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Wednesday 28th November 2012

My productivity is remaining high. Today I wrote all my remaining Metro columns for 2012. Sorry to break the magical illusion that I write them all on the morning of publication (or even as one person suggested "live"), but they have to be in about a week in advance anyway so it's hard to make them topical. Sometimes it's a struggle to think of even one at a time (and hawk-eyed long time fans will have spotted the occasional bit of recycling), so to manage to write three in a day felt like both an achievement and a relief. Even when I use an old idea or blog it still takes quite some time to edit it down to a pithy 600 words. But tonight I wrote one column about the time I was conned by a bogus estate agent, which is something I don't think I've ever written about before. And in a sense that was easier than adapting something I'd already had a crack at.
This splurge of activity doesn't quite get me off the hook because I will have to do another three columns before the end of the year to cover the time I am away on holiday (more or less the first two weeks of January - very much looking forward to that).
I also found time for a crepuscular run down by the Thames. I have let my exercise and my diet slide in the last three months and as tempted as I was to do my "long" six and three quarter mile run, I decided to aim for five for the moment. I listened to Robin Ince and Brian Cox's "Infinite Monkey Cage" podcast, which was entertaining and diverting enough to make me forget about the slight pain. The first podcast ended at exactly the 2.5 mile point of the run and the second one was finished just as I arrived back at my door, proving that I kept up a constant (if slightly slow) pace. With the scientific nature of the programme it felt apt to have been able to measure the run in this way. I ran two IMCs, a unit of both time and distance. Though thinking about it I got a phone call from my manager at around about the 3 and a half mile point which effectively paused the podcast for a few minutes. I am not the constant superman that I believed myself to be and the IMC unit of distance and time is proven to be no longer a constant. Damn! Though funnily enough having to conduct a business conversation whilst I was jogging was even more distracting and helped me through a difficult part of the run. Maybe I should do all my calls on a running machine like some kind of stereotypical 1980s businessman in a rubbish film.
And on top of all this I continued the never ending task of tidying up my office. I am a terrible hoarder (actually no, I am a brilliant one as I keep everything) but I am really trying to get rid of some of the junk I have accrued. I have found a couple of people who are happy to take my video collection off my hands which is a start and I should probably just throw out all my receipts and utility bills from the 1990s (instead I've put them all in a box in a cupboard - you never know when I'll want to check how much my water rates were in 1997), but very little went into the recycling bin.
Just as running and dieting have demonstrably had no long term effect on my weight, these occasional attempts to bring order to my work by finding the perfect place for everything invariably fail. In my heart I want to have the organisational skills of the librarian, with everything catalogued in the right order and the right place, but alas I have the brain of a toddler and just dump everything in piles around the house, occasionally putting stuff in drawers, then forgetting which drawer it's in.
It's nice to occasionally try and fight the unstoppable tide of your life like some kind of stupid Cnut (the King, you understand) and maybe one day I'll be a slim and organised hard-working man. It's nice to pretend every now and then.

I am delighted to see that the 10th anniversary SCOPE donations are approaching £1500. One hundred and ten people have donated, which is awesome, but still quite a small percentage of the number that (I like to think) are reading it. If you're a regular reader and haven't donated then why not chuck a tenner (or even a couple of quid) on to my justgiving page. You'll be helping an amazing charity, it'll give you a warm glow and then you can read this for another ten years without feeling you owe me anything.

A couple more 2010 aims have come through
Simon's aim was to have my own garden and somewhere to grow things, having always lived and worked in a City. But he's moved to a new job in Brussels and so has yet to totally fulfil his dream, though for the moment is making do with walking to work through the park.

JM says "My aim was to become a semi-professional comedian (i.e. get paid for a gig). This happened quite soon afterwards. I filled in for a Brighton-based comedy friend at a gig in Arundel, which paid me 15 pounds (which was a 2 pound profit after train fares) and a bottle of wine, which lasted me the train journey back. So that was quite successful." He is still working as a comedian and things seem to be ticking along nicely for him. Hooray!

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