An apology

It’s come to my attention that when I made this statement yesterday about not eating any longer in the staff restaurant my words could, in a certain light, be open to a small degree of accidental misinterpretation.

 So in the interest of setting the record straight I need to add this very small condition.

When J, S and R all decided an hour ago that the time was right for lunch and a visit to the restaurant was in order…

And when J and S queued for hot food (R, wise before the event, having brought sandwiches)…

That I only joined them in the hot meal option out of a sense of politeness.

It would, after all, have been massively ill-mannered of me to sit with them – chatting about all manner of things (as we did) but with an empty place before me.

I just feel that I need to make it clear that although I wasn’t exactly forced to go upstairs to the restaurant, and although I wasn’t literally compelled to eat from the restaurant…

That – contrary to how this scene could have looked to an external observer – I was actually making myself eat with them out of a – perhaps misplaced – sense of… duty.

Yes, that’s the word, duty.

And I only had very small quantities.

In a manner of speaking.

There, I hope that’s set the record straight and clarified a few things?


The food of love

I’ve got a big, serious-looking blog in progress but I just had to dump this one quickly

I can’t carry on.


I’m sad that it’s come to this but, in a nutshell and not to prevaricate about the bush, the time has come.

To bite the bullet.

Take the bull by the horns.

Grasp the nettle.

Make difficult choices.

We’re all grown-ups here, right?

So we have to be adult about this.

A time for unpleasant things.

But hey, good things can come out of forward movements.

And the time is, most definitely, time for moving on.

And letting go.

And it’s the letting go that we need to discuss today.


It’s been what seems like a long time but, let’s be frank, it hasn’t been that long really, has it?

Couple of weeks?

Time to bite the bullet (You’ve already done that one. Ed).

Grasp the nettle by the horns (Look, you’re making them up now!).

Too many cooks spoil the broth (Can’t you even keep them relevant now?).

But you see that’s the root of the problem.

There are too many cooks – though they’re not spoiling the broth.

Today has to be my last lunch here.

The staff restaurant…

It’s having a direct influence on the tightness of my trousers.

So that’s it then.

No more.


I’ll miss you!

Don’t forget to write, let me know how you’re getting on will you?

And those deliciously tempting little scents you keep sending down the stairs, you won’t stop making those will you?

Spicy vegetable stew today.

It was lovely.

Perhaps it’s best to end like this after all.

You know, finish things on a high note; leave when they can’t get much better.

But it doesn’t alter the fact…

I’ll miss you.

Take care now.


Knew this would happen

Don’t often twitter about the 9-5 side of things but…

Last week I accepted a very interesting opportunity in Wiltshire that I’m due to start on Monday (one of the reasons that Antonia is starring as our guest blogger).

Since accepting this role I have been offered:

A contract in Staffordshire

A contract in Oxfordshire I interviewed for so long ago the details are now hazy

An interview in London which I’ve been told is a formality

Another interview in London

An interview in Sussex


The truth is that the job in Wiltshire attracts my brain as well as my enthusiasm.

But this consulting/contracting lifestyle – the phrase “like buses” springs to mind.





To report them, or not report them?

That really is the question.

My publisher says one thing…

But I think another – my professionalism winning out.

I guess the answer is to do that thing – be professional.

And see what decisions are made.


Monday evening blues

The Lovely S.


And I can’t be there – in Worcestershire – to give her the support and comfort that she needs.

This sucks.

It’s official.

You can quote me.

My poor girl, she sounded so… cast away, isolated.

And there’s other stuff…

I discovered this evening (I’ve been doing my books – break out the rum rations!) that the agency I’m working for down here has been paying me Net of VAT.

So I’m going to have to ring them tomorrow and sort it out.

I hate talking about money, but…

If these people don’t cough up my VAT I’m probably going to have to hand in my notice; there’s no way I can sustain paying 17.5% tax on a Net earning on what is the lowest rate I’ve ever accepted.

So all in all I’m feeling a little subdued too.

Wish I could just get in the car and go home.

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.


Today I’ve been


To get out of bed at 04.15

To get out of the house before 05.30

Through the occasionally heavy, squally showers

To battle my way down the M42, M6, M1, M25, M11, A12 and A13

To believe that some of my fellow drivers of cars, vans and HGVs could have ever got a legitimate driving licence.

And surprisingly (or not surprisingly)…

Not struggling at all to:

Get things done

Keep interest high during a day of almost back-to-back meetings

Continue to be fascinated by my fellow man and woman

Finish work at 19.00

Drive back to Brixton

Do a little emergency shopping in Tesco

Prepare food, cook, eat, do washing up

Speak to The Lovely S

Fall in to bed at 21.20

Now planning to:

Read for as long as I can stay awake (I have a New Book, oh yes!)




Like a sad, tired old balloon.

My normal degree of energy, vitality, engagement and indeed good humour has fled.

Yesterday was not a good day and it finished in some not good style.

Today is a downwards-sloping continuation of that mood.

Reasons to be uncheerful? (oh God, I canâ’t believe I just did that to Ian Dury!)

Project 1: I donâ’t know why but I continue to be surprised (impressed, even!) at the polished ability that software companies have to tell a pack of downright, blatant lies.

Project 2: I have a mental question-mark about the degree of senior management buy-in for another project.

Project 3: Thereâ’s a doubt about the commercial understanding of another area of senior management.

I fell asleep with these things in my head last night; they were still there this morning.

Walking in from the car park I felt as though I was the central character in one of those clever TV adverts – where I’m standing still in my own world of isolation and the rest of humanity is speeding around me, carrying out their productive tasks like a team of worker ants.

The only soundtrack that fitted my mood this morning was the haunting Gong by Sigur Ros.

Isolated is the right word.

R has her interview today, we had a brief deskside chat; she’ll be fine, I’m confident of her ability.

Drinkies after work I reckon.


The reverse Midas touch

That’s the one where everything starts out gold and gradually turns to brown, smelly stuff under your watchful eye.

I’m not sure what’s gold about the alarm going off at 04.15 but I felt remarkably chirpy when it did.

Lurched as quietly as possible out of the bedroom.

Teetered downstairs, kettle on, porridge into microwave.

Back upstairs; shower, shave.

Spare room; get dressed, take clutch of clean shirts and bag of belongings downstairs and out in to the car.

Kitchen; devour breakfast and cup of tea.

Back upstairs, brush teeth.

Tiptoe in to the bedroom, kiss a sleepy but Lovely S, tell her to go back to sleep (so why did I wake her to tell her that?).

Tiptoe downstairs again, put a few bits and bobs in the car and at:

05.03 drive off.

08.15 arrive Docklands, send ‘safe and sound’ text to The Lovely S (she is using my spare mobile handset with her sim card, because her two-week-old Motorola has dropped dead. Again. This is the second handset to do this in less than a month; well done Motorola!)

08.30 enter office.

Do typical Monday morning stuff.

09.20 leave office for a bus journey to Bow. What a great bus journey! The 277 goes all around the houses, it’s brilliant (Ted)! I wish I’d taken my camera with me.

10.00 arrive meeting venue.

10.30 start meeting.

11.35 finish meeting.

11.40 catch bus back to Docklands.

12.05 arrive back in the office, eat lunch while answering emails, responding to messages etc.

12.15 promise to help R with presentational stuff (she looks very fragile about this thing).

12.30 leave office for meeting on the Isle of Dogs.

12.55 arrive meeting venue.

13.00 start meeting.

13.45 finish meeting.

13.55 start next meeting

15.15 finish meeting.

15.18 move downstairs to chat with IP’s (interested parties).

16.00 arrive back in the office, do more emaily/messagy stuff.

16.15 take delivery of a USB dongle that will allow my laptop to receive DAB Radio/Digital television (how cool is this?).

16.30 reiterate to R that I’ll give whatever advice/info I can.

18.33 receive text from The Lovely S that mortifies me; she’s found ‘photos’ on my spare handset (I haven’t used it for two years – since before I met her). In equal measures I am embarrassed for me and fearful for any pain that I might have caused her.

18.55 in response to my apology The Lovely S replies that she’s not worried. Doesn’t alter the fact that I am. Still feel mortified and gutted.

19.00 install USB dongle. Insufficient signal in Brixton to make the effing thing pick up anything. Why does this surprise me? I can barely get a phone signal in Brixton.

19.30 receive email from R with her presentation. Except the file size is half a meg and despite downloading it three times the effing thing won’t open. Give up after third attempt.

20.30 phone call from The Lovely S. She says it’s no big deal. But it is to me. Still mortified of Brixton here!

21.09 phone call from R about her presentation; she resends it. This time the file size is different, I download and open it. Looks neat! I suggest we should have 10 mins together tomorrow so she can run through her presentation in tandem with the slides. Tell her it’s great stuff; she’s a little stressed – no need in my view. Have a gneral chat with R, exchange improbable-sounding but true stories about our pasts. We both chuckle.

21.30 try the USB dongle again. Perhaps if I used a kipper for an aerial I’d get a better signal. Why is it that Brixton is such an awful place for all manner of signals?

22.58 falling asleep whilst trying to read a bio of Napoleon. Need to get this blog out. Need to sleep, alarm will go off at 05.20.