One Week

It’s been one week since you looked at me,
Cocked your head to the side and said: “I’m angry.”
Five days since you laughed at me saying,
“Get that together, come back and see me..”
Three days since the living room,
I realized it’s all my fault, but couldn’t tell you.
Yesterday you’d forgiven me;
But it’ll still be two days till I say I’m sorry

…Time Passes…

It’s been rather more than one week; so what’s happened since?

  • Cycled 38 miles when I was aiming for 30 on a quiet Saturday morning ride. Ouch. Cycled the intended route a couple of times later, much less ouch.
  • School’s actually out for the summer. A will be starting reception in September and now has a uniform that looks way too big (and will no doubt be way too small this time next year. Sleeper, Jr. got to go back to school for a single hour, just to see his classmates, say goodbyes to his teacher and meet next year’s.
  • More Ring Fit Adventure. I’ve been playing it a few times a week on a hard difficulty setting and it definitely seems to be helping with my fitness.
  • Failed utterly to update this blog.
  • Cycled up Box Hill – exhausting but fun!
  • Ground down by work; making slow but steady progress toward go-live in August
  • Cycled up Box Hill again, on the grounds that I was shying away from it for being hard work

Truth be told, I’ve lost steam for this blog as I’ve found things to fill the evenings and my work’s got busier. My weight is creeping down, no bad thing, probably because I’m actually trying to hit the 650 calories of active movement a day my watch has me aiming for. I’ve been trying to find the time I can meet friends in a socially distanced manner is insane; currently I’ve got one group pencilled in for some time in September!

So, yeah. Things could be worse. Check in for the next instalment in another week*.

*Definition of “week” may not match any dictionary definition.

Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover

She said: “It’s really not my habit to intrude;
Furthermore, I hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued.
But I’ll repeat myself, at the risk of being crude,
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover.”


Got up pretty early. What with plans for Sunday, I moved my weekly long ride forward to today rather than skipping it. Left around 9:30, aiming for about thirty miles in two hours. My bike computer has been misplaced, annoyingly, so I made do with just the tracking on my watch; this proved to be a massive mistake.

Initially I headed south, up the hills to the outskirts of Banstead, then east through Woodcote and then heading back north through Wallington and up through Mitcham and Tooting. It was there did something very silly; rather than turn back towards Morden, I headed for Earlsfield, then Wandsworth. Before I knew it I was passing Richmond park, heading down into Kingston, where I repeated my error and did a lap of the Hampton Court estate before heading back through Worcester Park and Cheam, feeling incredibly tired and starting to struggle.

Thirty-six miles down, in a little under two and a half hours. For a little while I could barely walk; that’s nearly a 30% increase in distance over my usual route; no wonder. I had to keep getting up during lunch to stretch my legs; though that didn’t last long and by the afternoon I was back to my usual self with only a slight ache from pushing myself.

Cooked a lasagne for dinner, despite my heroic exercise efforts earlier (apparently 1600 calories down) I wasn’t massively hungry, and there’s plenty left for another day. The kids seemed exhausted, so we put them to bed relatively early, then settled down to watch Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. At least that was the plan; numerous interruptions in the first hour of “I can’t sleep!” and “I’ve left my teddy downstairs!” meant that we didn’t really get the uninterrupted time we wanted; never mind.


Out of bed even earlier, greeted by rain falling. Will I never get another lie in again? This time it was to make sandwiches to take on our picnic, and pack the bag so we could leave as early as possible. The kids gave me some lovely home-made fathers’ day cards, plus some chocolates and other goodies, and shortly after breakfast we were out in the car, arriving at Alice Holt forest a little after 10am.

The forest car park was already quite busy; despite the signs saying that its capacity had been reduced to maintain social distancing, I didn’t see much in the way of a reduction of parking spaces, though, and there were plenty of people about, though all were being sensible about keeping their distance. We had a lovely amble around the forest before breaking for lunch and then carrying on afterward. We headed back home about 2pm having had a really enjoyable walk, with the sun shining. I’m making plans to come back with bikes, but need to sort out a few things first – like bike racks and trail gators.

The rest of the afternoon was taken up with family movie afternoon – my turn to pick, and, inspired by our recent reading of the Borrowers books, I went for Arietty, which occupied most of the audience. I’m not sure Studio Ghibli’s deliberate style is suited to an impatient four year old.

J cooked us dinner while we caught up with my mum. Somehow the kids were in bed later than expected but all in all, a decent day.


What’s that Lassie? Another early start on the cards? Of course… Started work at 8am with a meeting with D to prepare for the afternoon’s presentation. Followed up that with more meetings with different members of my team about their work, and an interview with a candidate who did quite well and I hope to hear more from.

The presentation in the afternoon went fantastically; I had answers to every question and objection that came up; got a load of good feedback on that, which was fantastic. Finished up at the usual time and cooked burgers for dinner with spiced wedges and grilled peppers, finishing with ice cream in the garden. Summer is finally here!

Ended the day with a short Ring Fit session (leg day!) and Dark Matter‘s take on Groundhog Day. I want to know about far-future Android; she looks like someone not to mess with. Sadly I don’t expect we’ll get to see that revisited; we’re rapidly closing on the end of the series, cancelled way too soon.

He’ll Have To Stay

I am glad you’ve finally called me on the phone…
I’ve been waiting here tonight, but not alone.
You broke the date that we had made just yesterday;
Now there’s someone else who’s here, he’ll have to stay


Well, I wasn’t ready for that. With D out sick with a fever, the day started out well enough with the usual meetings. Then the wheels properly came off the wagon. My 11am, which was to discuss the upcoming production initiative, turned into the worst meeting I’ve been in for months, full of people asking questions they should have asked many months ago, and blaming me. R caught up with me straight afterward to express just how tough it had been, and sympathise.

The day didn’t get any better after that, ending a little late as a result of problems getting everyone in the same place at the same time for a meeting about a different project. By the time I turned the computer off and was ready for dinner, I was in a properly bad mood. The weather being what it was, I didn’t go out on my bike to reduce my stress levels, instead taking a mammoth hour-long Ring Fit session on. By the time I’d finished that I was somewhat calmer.


Met up with D, who was feeling a little better and apologetic for my plight yesterday. Spent the day discussing the platform architecture and next steps on the production project, grabbing some details from a friendly member of the architecture team on what the challenges are.

Finished the day in a less bad mood than I had been but still found time for more Ring Fit than I really should have; I’m now sporting carpet burns on my elbows from trying to hold a plank.


Spent some time going through the shopping list I’ve been given for things for the switch-on of the new project, and came up with a detailed plan, which D was delighted with; we’re going to present it together to the rest of the division on Monday.

This week it was my turn to host the team quiz; basing it off current events I thought I’d get decent scores. Nope; the winner scored 2/10. Seems like even when I’m trying not to pay too much attention to the news I take in more than most other people. I did at least get to slip a little bit of education into there with a question about Juneteenth.

No Ring Fit today, instead I was dragged into PE With Joe by the kids, one of whom then sat pretty much the entire thing out. That was tiring; I’m ready for the weekend

Frustrated Gangster

I’ll skin alive the next man who says I will
Stop at nothing to get all the way.
I’d recomend a good undertaker,
And of course a nice Beaujolais!

Work! Work! Work!
That’s no way to make a living…


An inauspicious start to the day; unlike the last few Saturdays, the grocery delivery wasn’t early. Coupled with the fact that we’d run out of milk the evening before, the day started very lazily. A took a very long time to eat her breakfast, far longer than normal, and needing more encouragement than usual. She still wasn’t keen on eating her mid-morning sweets, which is even more unusual; these are looked forward to immensely as they’re a weekend-only treat.

While J did her usual Saturday Zumba, I had another go at Ring Fit Adventure, cranking up the difficulty slightly, from before, raising a decent sweat. At lunchtime, A took one small bite of her sandwich and declared she’d finished, we noticed she felt a bit warm and took her temperature.

Oh dear. Running very hot, it seemed. Aiming to play it safe, I booked a COVID-19 test online while she had a nap, then bundled her into the car and drove to the local leisure centre which has been set up as a temporary testing centre. The soldiers working there gave me a test kit, and clambering over the seats to get from front to back (no leaving the car allowed), I attempted to gather a sample, in the process of which I tripped her gag reflex and ended up covering the place in vomit. After a second go-around to get a new test kit, I managed the deed and we headed home again. Unsurprisingly she barely moved from the sofa for the rest of the day.

I attempted a tear-and-share garlic bread recipe to go with the baked bacon and mushroom Macaroni Cheese that J made for dinner; it was mostly successful but I think the dough needed more kneading and more flour; wonderfully airy, but far too sticky to be comfortably rolled into 35 golf ball sized pieces as the recipe suggested; I ended up with about a dozen lumps instead. The amount of butter aded was insane too; between that and the main, I didn’t feel the need to move very rapidly at all for the rest of the evening, and there was a ridiculous amount left over for another day. Kids out of the way, we finished off The Umbrella Academy. Thank goodness the next season is out soon, for something that I wasn’t convinced about watching, it’s been pretty entertaining.


What with the pending COVID-19 test, the rules say to stay isolated. So, no bike ride this morning much to my massive disappointment. I did get some exercise in instead though; a round of Ring Fit Adventure (complete with small children as an audience). At least I’m getting some kind of exercise.

We seem somehow to have built up quite the surplus of apples, so while the kids watched Mulan in the afternoon, I knocked together an apple tart to go with the evening’s dinner of pork belly with root vegetables. That particular joint has been my go-to for a long time for an easy, lazy Sunday dinner – peel and chop the vegetables (in this case, new potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and red onions), score and salt the meat, then roast in the oven for about ninety minutes. It came out incredibly well, tender and fall-apart pork topped with a beautifully crispy crackling. A declined to eat any; she was still not feeling her best, though better than the day before. During our meal, my phone pinged – A’s test had come back negative; our brief period of isolation was thankfully at an end.

After dinner we packed the kids off to bed, and shortly after I was surprised by a little voice crying out “Daddy, I’m hungry!” A good sign in some ways, I brought her back downstairs and gave her a banana, which went down in a reasonable timespan, before packing her off to bed again.


Back to work. As usual a day full of meetings, though the first one is something of a milestone – it’s the last standup I’ll be running before I get a proper scrum master in to help me beat some shape into the daily meeting. I met up with her later and was extremely apologetic about the state of the backlog.

Spent a little time at lunchtime sorting holiday stuff. It’s almost certain we’ll be in Cornwall this time so I’ve booked tickets for Stonehenge on the way there, where we’re planning a picnic, and for Tintagel Castle for while we’re there. I just need to find stuff to occupy the rest of our time; hopefully things will be in a state that we can visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project; both are now open but not to the extent that would excite the kids so much – no play areas, no biome or indoor exhibits. There’s always the farm and the beach if nothing else.

The afternoon was somewhat thrown completely off course by a colleague pinging me: “You know that work that you and D said you wouldn’t be doing? The project manager for it seems to think you will be doing it after all.” Cue hurried conversation with D over slack, and then a swift gatecrashing of a meeting we weren’t invited to to attempt to set things straight. Seems like there’s a lot of that going on, what with Team Loki also hallucinating an agreement for us to do some work, which is now turning into a major headache for everyone concerned.

The afternoon and evening were rainy, and it wasn’t good road cycling weather, so I took the Switch upstairs for yet more Ring Fit Adventure. Seems to be becoming a bit of a habit. The console decided to introduce me to planks; all I can say is ouch; they’re tough.


Woke to my abs still aching. Not surprising, really, given I’ve barely exercised them in, well… ever. D had taken the day off sick with a fever; hopefully it’s nothing too bad. Started the day with our newly led standup, which could have gone worse, then into the usual Architecture meeting before a monthly business update. After lunch was a meeting with HR to review the incoming pipeline, followed by a whole load of meetings about the projects from hell. We at least agreed to pull M off the work he’s currently doing and give hime one of the pieces of work; the other is an ongoing feast of pain.

Finished off the remainder of Saturday’s macaroni and garlic bread for dinner before catching up with friends online. Finished up late. Oops.

Tonight We Fly

Tonight we fly!
Over the chimney tops, skylights and slates ,
Looking into all your lives,
And wondering why
Happiness is so hard to find?


Starting to wake up earlier again much to my annoyance. Probably not helped by young children waking at the crack of dawn and playing “quietly” with some very noisy toys. Not much to report on work-wise, the days have settled into the usual rhythm of meeting, meeting, meeting, maybe a little time to get something done, meeting, meeting. It’s fine.

In the afternoon I took delivery of Ring Fit Adventure for the Switch. Busy with work, I told the kids they should feel free to open the package, but they were completely unfussed, unusually. I wonder if the novelty of opening deliveries is beginning to wear thin. Didn’t actually get to try it out, though – by the time the kids were in bed it was time for the weekly drinks session on FaceTime, before heading to bed at the surprisingly civilised hour of 10:30am.


The rain’s getting worse; good though it is for the garden. The potato plants are going mad; they’re starting to get so tall they can’t support their own weight. I’ve started supporting them with string pinned into the fence behind them to stop them falling over, which seems to be working. We’re also getting a steady stream of strawberries from our few plants that we potted last year, though no more than a handful each time.

Sleeper, J. had a go at Ring Fit Adventure while I was on my lunch break, looked fun, so while J was catching up with some of her friends later on over Zoom I plugged the console into the TV upstairs and had a go at the first level. It’s more fun than Joe Wicks, probably because of the little dopamine hit from defeating the baddies.


The rain’s lifted a little, but it’s still too damp for the kids to play outside much, so I’m still putting up with noise and bickering from downstairs while I try to get my work done. One particular project team, who I’ll call Loki, are driving me crazy with last minute requests and completely different expectations to what they’d actually asked for. Happily for me I’ve been pushing everything onto R, my new Technical Product Owner, who started last week. He might not be so happy with this state of affairs.

Finished up the day with more Ring Fit, before getting J to cut my hair – the sooner the barbers re-open, the better- and watching more of The Umbrella Academy. We’re going to run out of that soon.


The sunflowers we planted a few weeks ago have been attacked by the local wildlife; one had a broken stalk a few days ago. Fortunately that one still had its seed leaves intact, so it’s had a bit of a setback but it’s survived. This morning I found another laying flat on the ground, though not entirely broken away from its roots. I’ve set it upright again using wooden kebab skewers as supports; hopefully it’ll recover. That’s not the extent of the damage, either – one of our fledgeling pumpkin plants has been utterly destroyed. I could do without foxes.

Finished up work at a sensible time, then played Just Dance with the kids for a bit before preparing a dinner of what-have-we-got-in-the-freezer. The original plan had been curry, but a badly damaged pack of chicken that went off way before it should have put paid to that. Both kids were exhausted and in bed not long after 7, so once again I got out Ring Fit, upping the difficulty a little and extending my session a bit longer than yesterday. This is getting to be addicting. Finished up with more Umbrella Academy; only one episode left.

Sisters of Mercy

Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul
Well, I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see how you’re pinned
When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned


It might be Friday but because I’ve taken the day off work, it feels a bit more like a Saturday. For some reason I’ve taken to having very vivid dreams which are waking me early in the morning; like all dreams they fade quickly but there’s a faint feeling of unease that doesn’t pass easily.

Spent the day doing various jobs around the house that have been outstanding a little longer than they should have and trying not to be too grumpy at the kids, which I mostly succeeded at.


Urgh. The dreams aren’t going away. This time I’m woken by the terror of running away from an explosion in some kind of office block, which I’d set up myself through some kind of sabotage.

If it hadn’t before, the weather has properly turned now. Had a day at home with the kids; we went out for a walk in the morning while J did her usual Zumba class. The rain mostly held off except for a few spots halfway around our route, though not long after we got home it started raining properly. The miserable weather made for a movie afternoon – Sleeper Jr.’s pick was The Sword In The Stone on Disney+; the kids are getting decent mileage out of the subscription at least, and it reminded me that I never seem to get around to reading The Once and Future King. Will maybe order it on Kindle soon. Finished up the day making what was supposed to be a ragu, served with much more expensive fusilli than I’d usually buy. To my surprise the pasta tasted much better, probably due to the much tighter spiral foundation giving it a more interesting texture. Maybe I won’t buy the cheapest supermarket-brand pasta in future; we’ll see.

The kids were in bed fairly early even given the weekly Doctor Who viewing; there was plenty of time for a movie; we’re pretty Marvel-ed out so settled on Contact, which I hadn’t seen in about twenty years. It still held up, though Rob Lowe looked alarmingly young even compared to his West Wing days.


Woke early and got up to breakfast before heading out on the bike, choosing a new route this time – up through Mitcham to Tooting, then Wandsworth, Putney, past Richmond Park to Kingston, a trip to the Hampton Court Palace main gate, then back the same way to Kingston followed by Norbiton, Worcester Park and Cheam. A decent ride of , and the weather held out for me.

I fried onions for hot dogs for lunch while J was out on a run, and then lounged about the house for much of the afternoon, getting little done apart from cooking roast lamb with new potatoes and honey-glazed carrots.

Finished up the evening pottering around and attempting to half-heartedly play LA Noire while J caught up with friends on Zoom; I didn’t really have the mental energy though and gave up after two interrogations and a car chase. Aimed for an early night but something stopped me from getting to sleep until nearly the normal time. Oh well.


Yet another weird dream; that one passed quickly from memory leaving me to get up and face sitting down to work, which I wasn’t looking forward to having enjoyed my days off. Today was an extremely meeting heavy day, even worse than usual and I didn’t really feel like I’d had much time to just stop and think.

Eventually finished work, then cooked a stir fry for dinner before going out on a ride with Sleeper Jr. Over an hour and a seven mile ride later, partly offroad, we packed him off to bed and chilled out.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you
By Xerox in four parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle.


If wittering on about my life stuck at home were ever important to talk about, today isn’t the day to do it. See most other Tuesdays for details of that; today is a day to listen to the lived experiences of others who don’t have the benefits of being born with innate privileges inner society, and to what one can do to help reduce those societal inequalities.

Pay attention to the stories of black folks especially; racism is all over the place but it seems worst directed at those with Black heritage, especially in the USA – but definitely not exclusively. Donate to causes which help to level the playing field, and spend money with businesses owned by those people who are the worst affected by the current situation.

Hopefully the revolution will be televised.


Up earlier than usual; I have a meeting at 8:30 to go over the slide deck for tomorrow’s all-hands; then it’s a day full of a non-stop tour of the the usual projects strands across various parts of the business. Managed to break for lunch for an hour before heading back in for an interview with someone who, sadly, didn’t pass the bar. The rest of the day blurred together; the final session at 5:00pm was delayed by one of the key decision makers being late, which in turn had a knock-on effect on dinner, which I was meant to be cooking. In the end, even more incredulously, after a vote, no decision was made on what to do next, the result being an unsatisfying “Just do both things“. I referred them to my product owner, who’ll decide whether we can even fit our option into the work schedule, and headed out for the day.

Dinner was pan-fried pork rib-eyes with sweet potato wedges and mushrooms. The pork was incredibly tasty but I think it needed a different way of cooking; the steaks were somewhat unevenly cut and cooked at different rates, though they were very tasty.

Kids in bed, I baked a cake while J wrapped gifts. Tomorrow’s a special day.


Blimey, was this really eight years ago? Awake fairly early, but Sleeper, Jr decided he wanted to stay in bed until 8am; I think he was enjoying that feeling of having the whole of his birthday ahead of him, the anticipation that today was going to be a magical day. We had a lovely session unwrapping presents (he seems to have been given an incredible number of Harry Potter Lego sets), then busied ourselves making a picnic.

While I was busying myself with the cake decoration, K called around with her son; the two boys go to Beavers together, and we had a nice socially-distanced chat in the front garden before returning to the task of sandwich manufacture. We set off somewhat later than planned, but got to Oaks Park at a decent time, having worked up an appetite walking along countryside paths next to fields and stables. It’s nice to be able to walk to the very edge of the city and see green open areas, even if it’s a little further than we’d go on a regular basis. The park was reasonably busy, and the cafe was doing a decent trade, but it wasn’t by any means crowded; plenty of space for everyone and the kids had fun running around in the wide open space.

On our return home, there were more cards to open and Super Mario Party to play on the Nintendo Switch. I got rather annoyed at the RNG, but everyone else had fun, and before we knew it it was time for me to go out and pick up the Fish and Chip supper from the local chip shop, which is only doing advance orders at specific time slots. It was acceptable, I guess. The mushy peas were a let down and it’d be so much better if it hadn’t been wrapped up in paper steaming itself while we waited for dinner time.

Kids packed off to bed after dinner, we collapsed in front of the sofa. It’s been a delightful day, one which wouldn’t have happened under any other circumstances. Properly quality time, something that is more valuable than anyone in the world.


And if my name were Juniper,
Then I would know where I was going.
And then I would become all knowing,
My beard so very long and flowing.


Up a little earlier than usual, which was just as well as the Ocado delivery was early. I was helped by A in putting everything away, by which point everyone was up and ready for breakfast. Spent the morning attempting to tidy, as well as portioning up the large piece of beef fillet I’d taken delivery of from the butcher the day before.

The afternoon was spent partly in the garden; it’s been particularly warm but there was an old flowerbed that needed digging out to give the kids somewhere to plant pumpkins, before it gets too late. I cleared all the grasses and weeds from it, but left the sowing of the seeds for another day. Made another Detroit-style pizza for dinner; deliciously filling. I’m starting to wonder if I might be able to manage a gluten-free version the next time my mum can come to stay – whenever that is.

Finished up the day watching the SpaceX launch on YouTube; we managed to catch sight of the ISS in the sky later on, but any hint of the rocket itself passing was beyond us; our suspicion is it was behind the treeline. Never mind; when you’ve seen one spacecraft passing you’ve seen them all, I suppose.


Woke at 8am by one of the kids coming out of the bathroom. This was particularly annoying as I’d been intending to get up early so that I could be out and back on the bike in a sensible amount of time. Eventually left after the circus at about 9:30, heading up to Hampton Court Palace again.

Lots has changed in the last two weeks, including quite a few pop-up bike lanes and freshly painted ones on other roads. Did more or less the same route as the previous time, with the difference that I didn’t get lost in Thames Ditton, instead adding a couple of miles along the river heading back toward Kingston. Cycled back through Epsom again, this time knowing what I was letting myself in for; I wasn’t quite as quick through that bit as last time, but there was more of a headwind and it was warmer. I also need to manage my hydration better, I think.

In the afternoon we planted the pumpkins and I barbecued some bits and pieces for dinner. The kids keep asking if we can eat outside; much to their annoyance we’ve said no, mostly because there isn’t any shade in the garden. “What about the gazebo?” they ask, and they’d be right, except for the fact that even a pop-up gazebo takes more than the five minutes before a meal to put up.


Back to work with a bump; today has been particularly horrendous, consisting of meeting after meeting, each about different projects and with different priorities. Although I stopped briefly for lunch, it didn’t really help with the onslaught and by the time 5:30 rolled around I was desperate to get away from the screen.

I’d been craving something slightly unhealthy, and succeeded in my plan by making a stir fry with deep-fried battered crispy pork. Delicious, and it was filling but not too much. Got the kids into bed and then collapsed in front of the TV; it was one of those kinds of days. Another one tomorrow, hopefully not quite so extreme.

She’s An Angel

When you’re following an angel,
Does it mean you have to throw your body off a building?
Somewhere they’re meeting on a pinhead,
Calling you an angel,
Calling you the nicest things.
I heard they had a space program-
When they sing you can’t hear, there’s no air.


The day started off much like every other; if anything a little easier, in fact. D had taken the day off to take his kids to the seaside, instantly clearing my calendar of a whole bunch of the meetings I’d had planned for the day. Unfortunately that was the end of things going to plan. By 10am, I was having a catch up with one of my team when I got a rather urgent ping from W, saying “Hey, can you join this incident bridge? There’s a problem with the outbound proxies, bits of the front end aren’t working…” I dropped everything and joined, and sure enough, there was a problem somewhere; no traffic was being recorded. Working my way through the stack (which a since-departed member of my team implemented), I drilled into what had happened.

Huh. Someone deployed a change which broke a bunch of stuff, including deleting and recreating the Transit Gateway through which traffic arrives into that VPC. On top of that, there seemed to have been manual changes somewhere along the way to kludge the whole thing together. No wonder nothing worked, there were references to the old, now deleted, gateway, in various other AWS accounts. Spent a good couple of hours finding all the references to the now missing gateway and getting them updated, at which point everything sprang back into life and we could relax, but only a little. The rest of the afternoon was spent making recommendations on what to do to avoid a repeat; first and foremost cutting through the complete nonsense we’ve got from the person who made the change. Yes, there’s blame enough for everyone to go around, but claiming you didn’t make a production change when there’s a record of you pressing the button is a bit rich.

Took Sleeper, Jr. out for a ride in the evening, that helped a little. We’re doing about six miles in our hour out on the bike; it’s funny how much more terrifying 15 mph is when you’re accompanying an eight-year-old. Packed him off to bed and watched the final (so far) episode of Westworld. More stuff I wasn’t expecting, but… yeah, the next season is going to be interesting, especially given the post-credits scene.


Started the day with a meeting with D and the rest of the leadership, giving him the details he needs to defend what happened yesterday to his boss and explain in as non-political and face-saving ways as possible. The day didn’t get any better as I got requests coming in from a certain team to get them out of a hole; they have a requirement on my team to implement something that they haven’t raised with anyone and they urgently needed it. I wasn’t inclined to help, not least because the request was incredibly vague and sounded like something that could take a few days to implement.

Sure enough, not long later, I got a prod from someone more senior. Can I make this happen? Well, no, not in the time she’s talking about. I send the headache D’s way and give him a heads-up about it. By the time 4pm arrives, we’ve gone all the way we can with it and in a meeting I agree to do the absolute bare minimum they need to get it working, by the end of Friday, adequately specified. Everyone goes away, if not happy, then at least agreeing that progress has been made.

After a day like that I needed a clear head so took the bike out for a spin a little after 8pm, while J attended a yoga class. First mistake of the day was to forget my lights, significantly limiting the time I was willing to stay out. Second was to have new cleats fitted to my shoes; these ones haven’t seen thousands of miles of riding so aren’t completely loose like the old ones were. They needed the tension slackening in the pedals, which I’d completely forgotten to do. I managed to clip in once, and then after a mile of completely failing to repeat the action after stopping at lights, took a pit stop and slackened the springs, which are still harder to clip in than I’d expected. Got home ten miles down, 40 minutes later. J finished her class and headed up to bed, feeling a little dizzy and light headed. I followed a little later.


Up at the usual time; J seemed to be feeling a little better but still dizzy when I headed into my first (2 hour) meeting of the day; by the time I got out, she was feeling much worse. I cut short my work day, just finishing the bits and pieces I’d agreed the day before, and getting into an argument with the same team as yesterday that no, I they couldn’t have yet another new thing they’d asked for, especially one of such complexity. Left strict instructions not to even engage with that request to my team member who was being asked for advice, and got the hell out of there.

Had a lovely afternoon with the kids, mostly playing board games with A, while Sleeper Jr. tidied his room. We went out in the garden and tinkered with bikes, then I took both the kids for a walk before heading home and cooking dinner – curry. I’d planned on enchiladas but hadn’t reckoned on the grated cheese I’d been planning on using being mouldy. Next time….

Born Under A Bad Sign

What are you like?
You’ve had a right life and taken a long ride,
But oh what a cost…

And all of your life, staring at white lines
Reading the road signs,
And oh what a loss…

Sleeping late in the afternoon, playing your guitar,
Born under a bad sign.


Woke up early and checked on the whereabouts of my bike repair stuff; the tracking suggested it’d be mid-afternoon before it arrived; there was no chance of a ride today. Instead we pottered around the house, which has been increasingly untidy, starting to get things into some semblance of order. After lunch I took the kids for a walk, which was nice – not too warm and not too many people on the streets.

Got home and started to prepare dinner – kebabs and chicken wings cooked on the barbecue, and took delivery of my bead jack. Once the kids were in bed I set about trying to mount the tyre; instead of doing what I’d hoped, the tool snapped in two. These are particularly tough wheels, it seems. Eventually, using a huge amount of tape to hold the tension in the tyres in place, I managed to both get the tyre on and inflated. One down, one to go. The second one went on slightly faster, but only slightly, and started to inflate, pinged into the rim, and then went down again. Now I had a tyre that had a flat tube and I couldn’t get it off no matter how I tried to prise it. Gave up and went to bed frustrated, not managing to get to sleep until gone midnight.


Woke again ridiculously early, annoyed by the tyre, getting back to trying to remove it; in the process of doing so to change the tube I tore the rubber. Annoyed doesn’t even begin to cover it. Replaced the original tyre on the bike; fitting that one was a doddle, and watched some TV with A while we waited for everyone else to wake up and head downstairs.

I’ve been wanting to get out on the bike ever since the exploding inner tube incident, and today I finally had the chance, but setting off much later than I’d originally planned. Left at 10am, heading up through Mitcham, Streatham and Brixton to Blackfriars Bridge, then along the Embankment and home by way of Battersea and Tooting. I’d forgotten how many traffic lights there are on that route, especially in central London, and the number of people out on bikes was somewhat ridiculous too; seemed like half the city was out for a ride. Got home at 12, then a brief chat with the neighbours before lunch, and lighting the BBQ to slow-cook some ribs.

Spent most of the afternoon in the garden; it wasn’t until dinner time that the next disaster struck. I went to the garage door, pulled it to close it and with an almighty clunk it stopped and refused to budge. Had a good look at it and found the problem, but couldn’t fix it myself; I ended up having to call a locksmith to help with the mechanism. He couldn’t repair it either but he could at least secure it until I can get it fixed properly.


Back to work! Had a rare morning of quiet in the house as J took the kids to Banstead Wood for a walk. In between meetings I managed to get hold of a garage door company to come and take a look at my problem in the afternoon; other than that the day was pretty unremarkable. Helpfully the garage repair guys turned up while I was in the middle of a meeting with another team; I had to leave W to fend for himself while I went to sort the paperwork. It’s fixed now, but that was another chunk of cash I’m not too pleased to have had to part with.

The kids were both exhausted by evening; I wonder if there’s something in the air? Got them both into bed at a reasonably early hour, then took the laptop out to the garden, where I had a pleasant evening drinking beer and chatting with friends on Zoom. Tomorrow will hopefully be similar; the sun is shining and all’s as well as can be.