I went to Hull today and was surprised to see it in quite the state of disarray, bridges closed, roads being re-surfaced, squares and pedestrian streets ripped up, all in preparation for next years, City Of Culture designation. All told apparently £25M is being spent on improvements to the city centre, quite impressive, and quite a mess right now. It didn’t spoil my day though as I was mostly on the waterfront, in the park, in the Caffe Neros and the cinema.
I slept well again, although I did wake up once briefly and got up just after 8am. I had wholemeal muffins for breakfast, something I’ve not had for perhaps 10 years, quite a treat and then drove straight to Hull. I was listening to my fiction book, Moriarty, for the drive and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy listening to fiction! The drive was uneventful and by the time I reached Hull the rain had stopped. I parked at the far east end of Victoria Dock, near the old fish docks and walked along the prom into the centre, and got a seat in Caffe Nero/House of Fraser.
I’d decided that I would spend the morning writing about my new experiment in introducing more movement into my days, and how I’ve been able to stop taking pain killers and reduce my pain levels using this approach. It took a couple of hours to write this up and create the diagrams, and I was fairly pleased with the result. Getting it published though proved quite a trial, in fact I spent over an hour trying to debug why I couldn’t upload the post and failed. Eventually I had to re-author it using the web editor for WordPress, manually uploading all of the images – quite a trial – but in the end I succeeded, albeit with the formatting leaving something to be desired. I’m still not sure what the problem was, although I suspect slow networking to be something to do with it.
I finished with the blog post just in time to go and watch The Big Short at the VUE cinema. It was a shocking film, that detailed not just why the crash of 2008 happened, but also the incompetence, collusion, greed and fraudulent behaviour that was behind it and still is. The culture of the financial services industry seems to be incredibly broken, but how do you control an industry that’s immensely rich and powerful and run by some of the best minds in the world, supported by an army of PhDs. The film only reinforces for me the incredible risk the world is exposed to as a result of huge levels of debt and manipulation of financial services market that still continues and our total dependence on run-away resource depletion and unsustainable growth to keep us from disaster. The prudent approach seems to be to develop a personal finance strategy that’s resilient to these risks and I’m gradually doing that, and thankfully it’s possible to do it without disrupting our lifestyle that much – because of good choices we’ve already made and some lucky breaks.
After the film I went to another Caffe Nero and then walked back along the prom to the car. I then re-did the trip along the prom and back on my bike, also following the trans-Pennine way further east to the docks. It was a great ride, especially the easterly stretch with the strong wind behind me!
I talked to Debbie on the drive back and then made soup, and fruit salad while watching the new series of the X-Files, which was worth watching for old times sale, but left much to be desired.