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June's Journal
August's Journal

[17:00] So, almost two months to tell you about. I better get on with it!

After my last entry Rachel had her stint of volunteering at a 100 mile race. That means she was manning an aid station for a good few hours taking care of runners who came in and generally making sure they got fed, watered, and on their way if they were going to continue. I honestly can't remember if she managed to make it back to me afterwards, or just went to her Croydon home. I feel like she made the effort (she's lovely like that) and came all the way to see me. That was good as towards the end of the month she headed off to Burundi with work and ended up catching COVID-19 on the plane out there. That meant she was unable to come home the week or so later that she planned, but in fact didn't make it back for an extra two weeks. Let me tell you there was disappointment all round as that time covered her birthday, which I'd been all set to celebrate with her (as well as her seeing other people, some of whom also had birthdays). Suffice it to say when she did eventually make it back I made efforts to spoil her rotten. The banner I'd made stayed up almost a month in the end as she wanted it to remain whilest she went away for a few days and then came back again. It only came down when there was a risk it might appear on one of her official Zoom calls. Whilest she was away her home up north was slightly torn apart to deal with some more of the damp issues it has. When she eventually made it back there it was... something of a mess, and extremely dusty. Hopefully the hot weather we've had (more on that in a bit) has helped the plaster dry out a bit more quickly than might otherwise be the case. She's now come and gone from here a few times, and is now at a festival for work, touting her charity to those who're interested.

Work-wise for me the last few weeks have been a mixture of interesting and deadly dull. The latter being more my fault than work's. Other than some patching (there's always patching), I got to puzzle out how a whole new sub-service of our finance system was going to work, and implement it (not configure it, that's someone else's job). Everything's done barring the live system, and I've done everything there other than enable the Tomcats. Other news is that I've been able to power off about fifteen physical workstations as people have transitioned to virtual workstations on newer OSes. Mostly, though, I've been trying to keep up with my VMware/VCF training and failing miserably. I'm so far behind at this point, and could really do with starting to experiment with the system we actually have (which isn't live yet, so that's something I can do).

Outside of work has been a bit more interesting. It was the time of year where I do a bit of casual rowing again, and I was in a decent crew who did quite well, which was fun. We were probably seeded far lower in the running order than we should have been, so the competition wasn't quite up to our level, but them's the breaks sometimes. Work had a party at the local botanic gardens, which I attended, but only for the free food. It was far too hot to hang around given I didn't really know anyone. Which leads me on to the fact that it wasn't even the hottest day of the month. Those two days a week or so ago were absolutely scorching. It got up to 33degC in my home office, and without a fan I feel like I might have had to take a break. As it was some of our server rooms got a bit too hot for comfort and we even shut a few non-essential systems down for the day to take some load off the air conditioning. Other than that I've been forced to take a too-long break from running because of achilles tendonitis. It's mostly cleared up in my right leg, but the left continues to worry me and my coach. I've done a lot of cycling in the last three or so weeks, and lots of gym work (which really doesn't feel like it's helping). I went for my first one hour run in almost a month this morning and it... didn't go too badly. I'm hoping the review I gave of it to my coach will mean I get to train enough to make it to the 50 miler Rachel and I are doing in mid-September. If not I may have to see if I can defer for a year. Before then there's a trail (half) marathon I'd like to do, the two day recce we have planned of the 50 miler route and, just, wanting to get out and run now and then! We'll see.

Importantly, my mum's getting surgery next month, so I'll be heading to stay with them/my dad while she's in the hospital. We've all go everything crossed that she comes out of that OK/better than she went in. She's been required to go to the gym to get in "surgery shape" beforehand. I'm very impressed that she's really making the effort to go. Less importantly, I've decided it's time to get my teeth straightened. They're not bad, but I figured "why not"? I'm going with the Invisalign thingy, so cue 20 weeks of transparent plastic in my mouth and aching teeth. I just hope they don't make running ultras more complicated given the eating and drinking that has to take place. Again, we'll see.

Upcoming in the next few weeks is a trip to see Rachel's mum for my parents, me, and Rachel, which should be lovely. We seem to have been lucky with the current batch of train strikes (fingers crossed) in that they're around the dates we're travelling, not on them. Then there's Rachel and I volunteering at another 100 mile race, the trail (half) marathon the next day (distance for me depends on how my achilles tendons are doing), and me on a train early on the Monday morning back home for work. Then there's potentially a mythical free weekend (unlikely), then I'm off to my parents for the operation, home again for a week, then we're doing a weekend recce of the 50 miler we'll be running (not together; I'm not in race shape and Rachel's going for a fast time). That's basically all of August. Hopefully I'll update you on some of that before the end of the month.