Posts Tagged royal wedding

Sunday Column (491)

Monday morning. All change. No, no new job but new train times. After lots of engineering works and the opening of London Bridge for Thameslink Services from Brighton, we got a lot of changes on the train times across the main line from Brighton to London Victoria. Allegedly this means only Gatwick Express services will go from Hassocks to London Victoria during peak time. That means Wi-fi on the trains but also that trains won’t stop at Clapham Junction anymore, and less direct services to East Croydon. A pain for a few people. Luckily I am not affected but I totally feel for my fellow commuters.

Let’s look back at last weekend for a bit. The Royal Wedding, Harry and Meghan, watched by billions. I am not sure what I found more noteworthy, the relaxed atmosphere of the wedding, that he married an American or that she came from an ethnical minority background, and that particularly black people were well represented at the wedding. Isn’t that a great sign that the world is coming together? The US-UK bond, the Royals accepting things they would have not accepted 50 years ago. Halleluja as my old physics teacher in the US, ‘Dr. Stone’, would have said. He would have been as good as the reverent speaking about Love and Fire.

On the note of fire. The Grenfell inquiry began this week. Videos of people telling their stories and getting their burned belongings back were shown on the BBC news site. I am still devastated to hear about it and don’t think this should have happened in 21st century Britain, or anywhere really. Cheap quality build on the back of greed and shortcuts, leading to loss of life. Maybe it isn’t that black and white but I am still angry as to how this could have happened. Let’s hope justice will be served.

Talking about inequality. This week, sparked by me finding 20 pence thinking I should give it to a homeless person, I was told about a problem homeless females face: they cannot afford sanitary products. What? I never thought about it and I was disgusted to hear that those products are not widely available for free, similar to condoms. A quick calculation. About 4m people in the UK live in poverty, that means if 40m people in the UK were to give 10 pence (!) a month, we could probably easily pay for sanitary products for the female population that cannot afford it. Is that thinking to easy? I am disgusted that in a first world country we still have these problems, and maybe I should get into politics.

Donate today to your local food bank! Exactly, it is as easy to buying some sanitary products and donate them where you would normally donate food.

You know when I say life is constantly changing. I cannot wait any longer to put things off, so I decided to start on one of my greatest bucket list items: another book. My working title is ‘Halftime’ and it is the story of my life. It might not be interesting for you but I hope it might be interesting for some. And by the time I finished writing up my 40+ years, 10 years of blogs and thoughts in two smaller books (150 pages each) of memories, I might be closer to 50. I always thought I start writing once I have been in a new job for a while but it felt right to pull the trigger this week. I am excited.

That sums up a nice week. I started another contract with a lovely start up which I hope I can help massively, even if I only do a few days for them. Things are moving in the right direction and blimey, it looks like we are already in June next week. Time flies but it seems to be ok. A podcast about sleep made me think of sleeping arrangements and productivity again. I just cannot stop improving my life and mastering what is there. A sunny bank holiday weekend, the Championship finals, a hangover from the dad’s night out and another grading for my youngest to receive the orange belt. Plodding along as they say. Plodding along.

Hope all is well with yours,
Volker

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Sunday Column (90)

90 weeks of writing my Sunday Column. 90 weeks since this day in February last year….2009. Must have been 2009. It seems longer ago sometimes, but also thinking about it, we soon will be in 2011. Scary. Do you remember in school speaking about this unreal date of 2000 and that by 2020 or 2030 we will all be flying in little car like planes to work? Well, let’s see what the future holds.

Also, looking at the number 90, my grandmother Charlotte would have been 99 this week. She passed away a few years ago but I still remember her often. She loved yellow roses, and so do I.

This week was dominated by two things. One was my laptop and I will write about that in a minute. The other one was a stomach bug. Colin was ill last Sunday, spewing and all, sleeping a lot. So I asked my wife if it is likely for us to get it and her answer was ‘of course not, don’t be such a hypochondriac‘. I was up all Monday night, missed a few meetings on Tuesday, dragged myself into work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning. Friday afternoon I made it home in time to look after Colin as my wife had been up all night on Thursday… So sitting here at the weekend, chilling and relaxing, couldn’t be better. Thinking about food, what I could eat, cook and drink. Very nice. Life is back to normal.

Not quite really. DELL, a well known brand that claims to have made millions with Twitter, is really shit in regards to customer service. After my laptop didn’t get delivered this week, and I chased them daily to find out when it will be delivered, I went on Twitter. The promise was shipment within 24 hours, so 8 days seemed rather unreasonable. My personal account manager wasn’t able to help me, nor was he able to call me back, leave voicemails or email me. He did offer a discount on my next order though. This doesn’t make sense as if it was up to me, I wouldn’t order with DELL again. Anyway, the social media trick seemed to have worked and DELL will call me on Tuesday to offer me a discount on the current purchase which….fingers crossed….should arrive on Monday. Just a shame that as a customer you have to escalate things until someone listens. And, that you have to chase something you are paying for rather than the other way around. Anyway, don’t get me started.

10 days without a laptop are fine. I have a desktop to work from at work and a laptop at home. But it is not the same to having all your data in one place, aggregating things, looking things up, organising things etc. My whole life is in a laptop, in Outlook really. I was now contemplating whether to complete change to the clouds, e.g. moving all my emails online (which we already do via gmail for businesses), the calendar and tasks too. But Outlook is still much better, particularly because you can have a reminder on an email, a function I dearly miss.

Another highlight this week was the royal wedding announcement. The eldest son of Princess Diana and Charles is finally getting married. What a wonderful news for Britain, isn’t it? I wonder if her parents have to pay for the wedding or if Prince Charles will help out 😉 Seriously, David Cameron is contemplating of giving us an extra bank holiday to celebrate. On Twitter we already agreed on a #royalweddingtweetup….so watch the space! It is hilarious. Bookmakers took bets on date of announcement, venue, wedding date etc. – if there is something in Britain going on, you can bet you can bet on it.

The weekend was rather productive too. I managed to repair the kitchen door, clean the leaves off the front garden, go shopping, clean the oven, have great food again, watch movies and really chill out. Of course spending lots of time with my precious boy. That was desperately needed.

Colin is fantastic at the moment. He gets all upset when you tell him off but he is a great laugh when you chase him around the house. He looks so lovely sleeping in his cot, and I could stand there forever at night watching him. Peaceful and fearless – nothing can bother him in his little sleep.

I think something I realised this week more and more are two things. One is that work is not everything. I love my work (Hello Boss 🙂 ) and I love working but I need to be clearer about when to take time off, e.g. when being sick, and when to put more emphasis on the family, e.g. when being home. Sometimes work just needs to wait. And it can. Perception though is often different.

The other thing I learned is how important the health of your guts are. If they are f* you are f* – so watch what you eat, how much you eat, and what and how much you drink of course.

Have a fantastic week. Mine can only get better, but I keep saying that 😉

Cheers
Volker

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