A weekend billed as “spending time among gentlemen” – something like that

One man’s brief recollections of 48 hours in the woods: 

8 hours in the car there (5 hours back).

The forty-five pound chair.


Paul Gadd’s twin. 

Meat. Lots of meat. 

Up Shi….

Chicken suit.

Neolithic monuments.



A blunt axe.

More ale.

More farting.

Carcinogenic fires.

Scaling the North Downs.


More nicknames than people. More nicknames than names.


Rat’s piss gloves.

This vaseline’s for professional purposes.

The Ponceometer. It spoke the truth. 

Herrings, cheese and the dirty paaahnt.

Snoring. Oh the effing snoring!

More fun than can possibly be repeated. Even here.

(Neither of these two are the stag. But they are gentlemen*)



*This may be a lie. You decide.

A difficult conversation with a great outcome.

We live in a world of inputs and outputs. We also live in a world of outcomes. And these outcomes represent the interrelation between our actions and others’ perceptions. None of us is an island. 

A colleague and I had slipped into the downward spiral of a worsening working relationship. We each felt the actions of the other acutely, and sometimes hyper-acutely. We had both become emotional and career islands. The spiral was set to full downwards spin. 

A third party has carefully brokered a conversation. The Big Conversation. We considered how it might happen, and decided a mediated option might work. 

Then, by chance, the Big Conversation happened anyway. It was cathartic and free. The more we went along, the more we learned and the more we understood. Each of our actions and perceptions of the other’s had badly clouded judgement and reality. We now know where each of us is coming from, and where we’re each going. The conversation was great. 

But there’s an interesting by product of this. We’ve pretty quickly gone from being miles apart, staring far away from each other, to getting each other’s back right away. Our goals are different, but complementary.

What we learned most of all was that it was circumstances and not an inherent dislike of the other that had brought us to a bad place. And the circumstances involve other people. Which now means that each of us now has another perspective of those third parties, and our respective relationships with them. 

Don’t you just love workplace politics?

A beating away from broken.

I’ve got a week off work next week. By god I need it. Prior to that, I have only had one day off in six months, and lost too many weekends and late nights to the intervening onslaught. 

The rest I really need is not really from work or the workplace (although it’s quite true that if I was independently wealthy, I certainly wouldn’t choose what I do to occupy my days). Sadly, I’ve yet to find a sugar daddy.

It’s the constant self examination in the spirit of contributing to the greater good. There are difficult conversations with colleagues to be had and, now, it seems, a shift in approach. I’m getting to the point that, if the vague hints at “a great career here” are true, I don’t know whether I need the aggravation.

But I know I want the upside. Wherever that may be (I can’t see where the future lies here, whatever the current promises are). So, to go through the downside is probably what I need to do to get a clearer picture of me and how components of my personality affect others. 

But right now, I need a break. Time to switch my head off.


A week or so on. Still a bit of a fatty. But a bit less.

Returning, as I am rather often these days, to the scene of the crime, a quick thought on my previous post.

  • First week was just following rule 1 (low GL with some tweaks). Some weight lost.
  • This week has added in rule 2. I’ve already survived two fasts, and plan another for tomorrow.
  • Rule 3 has yet to be broached. Maybe for next week.

Observations include the inevitable quick weight loss, as water stops binding onto stuff (with the instant feelgood “hey this is easy!”), and some extra. Whether it’s fat or muscle, it’s hard to say. I’m certainly not active enough to avoid muscle loss.

Non-weight observations: I feel better without starchy stuff, especially bread. Much less bloated. Need more fibre, however, so will seek out something suitable. Hunger during a fast is perfectly manageable, and water seems to take the edge of easily. that said, I am now pissing like the proverbial racehorse. The main side-effect is a revived interest in cooking and eating interesting food – that makes compliance with rules slightly less bitter than usual.

Drop so far? 6lbs/2.7kg.

A fat man in the mirror

I’ve had to face facts. But first I’ve had to face fat. The fat man in the mirror. 

I remember once sniffing at someone who stated that he’d let himself go until he was 35 and then repair the damage. “What a fool”, I thought. Now I’m that fool.

There are a host of reasons and justifications and genuine limitations that I’ve turned over a thousand times in my head and that means there won’t be a return to c200 miles a week on the bike. I’m glad I had those days, and I miss them, but I’ll come to accept that loss and move on. 

But the most direct way to address this is still within my control: what I consume. Previous attempts have shown good results from: 

1. The infamous idave diet – summary here, though copyright is with 
Dave Smith and RST: http://www.jamesrichmond.com/misc/iDaveDiet-RST.pdf 

2. Intermittent fasting – more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermittent_fasting

3. Exercise.

The plan:

1. idave diet six days a week. Cake blowout on the seventh.

2. Of the six days a week, two to be 600cal fasting days. 

3. For other reasons this is the biggest long term question mark, so I’d rather do more than I’m doing (nothing), but less than I did. I think I’ll do some walking. And maybe a little light gym work with the odd ride at the weekends. 

Target? 2.5st/35lbs/16kg. 

Timescale? Yesterday, obviously. Realistically, around October 2013. But that’s less important than the end result: thinner, lighter, healthier. I’d like to get to a place where I can relax the dietary restrictions a little, but still use them to maintain weight.

Why write what I already know? I need to go back to the genesis of a commitment and have it stare back at me, as the fat man did looking back out of the mirror.

A head filled with static – apparently, I’m “over thinking”

I used to think a lot. Then the world of work, and the prosaic realities of routine, sort of put paid to it. No longer were my thoughts ahead of the curve – neither were they behind it – they’d got off the bus and gone somewhere else.

Much has changed recently, not least in the last 12 months where the thoughts have started a gentle flow. More recently it’s been rather more torrential. 

And with the torrent has come some big challenges to my usual way of doing things: like trying to be more open and sharing what’s going through my head. Only, it hasn’t been met with quite the enthusiasm I hoped.

People are telling me I’m “over thinking”. I’m not sure whether that’s (a) possible and (b) really a reflection on what’s going on. I’m more inclined to see it as impatience for change. Change feels like it’s there, but tantalisingly out of reach and I just want to plough on and grab the future.

Or maybe I’m just over thinking it all again. 

A job worth doing – is worth having someone else do it

Or so the old adage ought to go.

I’m currently having some decorating done by a friend. He’s not able to work right now, so he’s doing a favour by painting a room I’ve recently had some work done to. Namely having the whole thing replastered to get the walls super smooth. So it’s hard to see my friend doing such a poor job. I’m fighting the urge to tell him to forget it. 

Let’s face it, having really high standards for everything and judging everyone by them is only ever going to end in disappointment. It’s such a loaded word – all passive-aggressive and wrapped in piteous contempt.

The same is true of work and careers. That desire – worse, the sense obligation- to ace everything every time, and with it everyone else’s job because they’re not up it, only leads to one place: disappointment city. And while I get to perfect what I’m already good at, there is no collective moving forward. I can paint better, but should I even pick up the brush if that prevents someone else getting good too?

I’ve spent a year at work building my brand at the expense of everyone else. This is quite unlike me, but I have learned some useful hings. Not least that helping people work their way to the same end result is no less valuable if we can all gain something from the experience. I get walls with paint on. Colleagues get to improve what they do on the next deal.

But sitting on my hands is damned hard work.

A challenge to change – letting go

People describe me as laid back, someone who takes this in his stride. And that’s true. I’ve certainly done a line in appearing unflustered. Throughout my life I have had quite some success with an apparent lack of effort, a certain ability to get right result without breaking a sweat.

I guess I’ve been lucky.

But I’ve also made my own luck to. My decisions have played to my strengths and I have relied on a mixture of self belief and a fear of failure to push me on – that knowledge that one had been bestowed with a little talent and the shame of squandering it before those who have invested.

There was a brief time when I thought the luck had run out, when I’d reached the limits of ability. However, what that time really told me was I can be resilient, even when bricking it about the future. Most of all, I learned that I spend too much time having to have things just so.

I admit it: I’m a control freak. I have to have things my way. But, right now, I live in times of change and changing me – freeing up my prejudices – must be an option at the very least. I must relinquish some control in order to gain more.

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.