As some of you know, I may need to go to the parental abode with very little notice. So here’s what I have with me almost all the time.
Before you ask, I have spare clothes at the parental abode.
This post is to say why I’ve been more or less off-line for a while, to thank people for their support and most importantly to thank my family for a fabulous birthday present.
As some of my reader might know, I’ve been in Worcester since late January, because my mother is in hospital and so she and my sister need support. It’s not been fun, but it has been made much easier by my ever-wonderful wife, eleanor.scot (aka @corrieshore). Huge thanks are also due to my colleagues at Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Social Informatics, LeithChooses, Leith Central CC, Leith Harbour & Newhaven CC and New Town & Broughton CC for their patience and support – thank you all!
I’ve been quite dependent on public transport to visit my mum. Journeys take a minimum of 90 minutes: bus to Worcester city centre, then an hour by bus directly to the hospital – or over an hour by train (with two changes) to Redditch, then another bus to the hospital. Coming back is complicated – and made more expensive – by direct buses not running after 4pm and buses from Worcester city centre to the house not running after 6:30pm. (They don’t run at all on Sundays!) And of course it’s all been made much less fun by the flooding.
I need to thank eleanor.scot and my brother for many lifts, especially when the hospital called me and him in at 1am one morning. Hairy in several ways!
But there is a point to this post!
eleanor.scot understood that I need an easy way to travel in Worcester that doesn’t involve bringing Lev Davidovitch Bikestein here. His home is Edinburgh, although he does love European jaunts and he has been known to take me from Birmingham New St station to Worcester. Add to that it’s just a PITA to book bike-spaces on trains. So ever-wonderful eleanor.scot has bought me a folding bike for my birthday! Accessories are from my mother, sister and brother.
‘Nikita’ is a Raleigh Evo-2 with 20″ wheels and 7 derailleur gears. (He gets his name because Mr Kruschev folded under pressure from Mr Kennedy.) Here are photos of unboxing to final assembled beast, and a video of our first ride.
Some of my reader might know that my mother has been in hospital. She was taken into Worcester Royal hospital on Friday 24 January due to severe abdominal pain, and had some procedures on Friday 31 January. These had to be delayed while various routine medications were still active. She was then transferred to the Alexandra hospital in Redditch. The Alex is the home of the specialist unit in Worcestershire that is best placed to handle my mother’s conditions.
I’ve been in Worcester since the afternoon of Monday 27 January. I’ve had to leave a lot of work in the very capable hands of colleagues at Napier, £eithChooses, Leith Central Community Council, Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council, New Town & Broughton Community Council and Community Councils Together on Trams. (I am doing some CC work remotely as I get snippets of time.) Huge thanks to all concerned! Continue reading
Elly has been in Bucharest since very early on Tuesday. I flew out to meet her yesterday (Friday). My flight was due to take off at 19:00 but took off after 19:30, after a sudden gate-change from 4 to 18, because the place was at gate 17. A 3 hour 30 minute flight landed me in Bucharest Otopeni airport around 1am Romanian time. Here’s what happened since… Continue reading
I’ve just applied for some digital democracy work. (Yes, that is a hint!) My covering email (slightly adapted below) says I can do some stuff.
I’m passionate about democracy and IT, especially in hyperlocal democracy (community councils, parish councils, and similar).
Professionally, I’m a part-time social informatics researcher at Edinburgh Napier University, concentrating on use of the internet by, and information literacy in, hyperlocal democracy. See more at https://www.napier.ac.uk/people/bruce-ryan
I’m also a member of the £eithChooses participatory budgeting process steering group, concentrating on written communications.
Prior to returning to academia in 2010, I was production manager at a Scottish educational publisher, running a fair proportion of the IT as well as delivering finished projects on time and in budget.
I’m not quite sure why I wanted to record this. Perhaps it’s to assuage some of my guilt at not being in the peoples’ vote/anti-brexit march yesterday. Anyway, this has been a relaxing weekend so far.
My reward for all of this is nut roast with roasted potatoes, onions, sprouts and carrots. You have been warned!
- Spinning at LifesCycle. We cheated slightly by travelling by bus, due to the rain. I usually prefer to cycle there and back, as warm-up and cool-down from the lovely madness. (Elly and I are on the front-left bikes of that Facebook video.)
- much-needed coffee and lunch
- catching up with personal and family finances, sadly neglected for a couple of weeks due to work-pressures
- washing our manky spinning gear. That’s the only downside!
- tidying my desk area after weeks of needing to let rubbish build up
- avoiding watching Strictly Come Dancing
- writing a presentation on a project I’m about to finish, so I can demonstrate the outcomes to a high-powered audience. (I think I should not say what the project is just now, but I will blow my own trumpet as hard as I can when the work goes live.)
- proofreading and commenting on a tender written by my ever-wonderful better half.
- much-needed coffee and lunch
We had decided to finished the holiday with a few days in Zaandam. We came here in late 2016: here’s our stories from then. So yesterday (Sunday 8 September) was taken up by a relatively long (42 miles) trip. No rain, little wind but much wiggling: https://cyclemeter.com/dd47ea6f33590baa/Cycle-20190908-1049-80348. I’d been keen to see the completely reclaimed countryside of Flevoland, and got it.
Today has been a deliberately lazy day: breakfast, shopping, coffee, more shopping, more coffee, dozing, cinema, sleep Tomorrow we might be energetic!