dealing with the world the way that it is, while managing to subtly move it in the direction of where we think that it ought to be

Things have been all very busy lately, with much that is strange and new. So I have fallen out of my normal routine, spending more time on things than I normally might, and doing things that I normally might not.

I set myself a sort of target to do a blog entry a week, but seeing as I have missed a couple of Saturday's, I posted a short story that I wrote a while back by way of recompense. I'm not sure what anyone else will think about it, but reading it now, with enough time elapsed for me to have forgotten the detail of it, I still think that it reads very well. It is so difficult to get perspective on what you write, it is easy to be over-critical, and as soon as you are familiar with something, it is impossible to be objective. You really need to be able to look at something with a stranger's eyes. So with my stranger's eyes, I still like it, so content to upload it here.

Part of the point of writing a weekly blog is that it rather forces me to loosen up on what I write, my self imposed target is to write something every week, and that just forces you to write something/anything. My other stipulation is that I write it, check it, then upload it. So it is not something that is considered and redrafted and reconsidered and redrafted, just something done and up there. Quite refreshing to do something with such low expectations.

We are coming to the end of the holiday season, so the girls go back to school, a couple of colleagues are off on a final week of leave, but all will be back to normal before too long. I've not really made much of the holidays, there was the stay-cation, which was all very nice, and plenty of ad hoc days off, but all very low key. Once again, I have failed to sort out all the problems of the world. But modest progress has been made. There has been a major push clearing junk out of the loft and now the long hard slog of making best use of it. I'm buying storage boxes from IKEA, and thinking about how best to store all sorts of things. I want to find ways of storing things such that they are accessible, but reasonably compact. So there are all manner of processes in hand,

1 work through stuff to get rid of the third to half that is actually rubbish

2 source better storage options for the remainder

3 put like with like, so that it becomes obvious when enough of something tips over into too much

I am used to jobs that you can actually split into tasks and project plan, but sorting out the loft is not really like that, you can identify near future stuff to do, but as you work on, it creates opportunities, and demands new solutions, so you never quite know where you are going, but you do have a direction of travel. I guess that a lot of stuff is like that really, more a direction of travel, than a clear project.

Other stuff, I was helping out at a couple of events that someone else was running. This meant reading up on a new policy area, meeting some new folk, and working with some new stakeholders. All positive stuff. However I am part of a pool of volunteers that help out with events, and despite there being something like a hundred people in the pool, only two of us volunteered! I guess that most people don't enjoy these things the same way that I do. Anyway, a chance to work with some bright sparky people, and do something different for a couple of days. The downside is being shattered by all the travel, but hey ho.

Also trying to get my head round what I need to do this week, when various colleagues are off. After being distinctly not busy, a gradual head of work has been piling up, and I now have ample stuff to get on with, some of which is even getting worryingly old and needs pretty urgent action. I would like to see a bit more structure to things, but with luck I can start to push things along in that direction. It would be wonderful to deal with the world the way that we think that it ought to be, but the real trick is in dealing with the world the way that it is, while managing to subtly move it in the direction of where we think that it ought to be. This is self effacing stuff, less about you, than quietly and gently achieving your vision.

The garden progresses, a wet year, so beyond keeping on top of the weeding, and the mowing, there has not been much terribly dramatic this year. I could easily spend a week out there, and really get the garden more how I would like it to be. However there is probably another solid week of work in sorting out the loft, as well as a week of painting and fixing stuff round the house exterior. Giving myself credit, I have felted the shed roof, painted the bathroom, pushed on the loft vastly, and over the past year made a step change in the household IT set up. I'm never exactly idle!