I spent a lot of 2015-2020 at Labour Party meetings, rallies, canvassing sessions etc. In the Labour Party, as in pretty much any voluntary organisation, if you show up regularly and seem to be an agreeable and competent sort (emphasis on seem there), you get asked to do things. For three-ish years I was the secretary of my local branch—a job I really enjoyed. The responsibilities were relatively straightforward and the branch were lovely and mostly got on alright even when members disagreed.
Then in late 2018, I was persuaded to be the secretary for the whole constituency, the responsibilities for which could pretty easily constitute an additional full-time job, and while most people were lovely it did involve meetings which got pretty heated and stressful. Add to that, 2019 was a year of (in Brighton, at least) three elections (local, euro and general) and a pretty bad year for me outside of politics anyway, so when I moved house in 2020 and found myself just over the border in a different constituency it was a good chance to take a step back and recover from burnout.
Anyway: a comrade recently found themselves in the situation of being a branch secretary asked to take over as constituency secretary now the incumbent doesn't have the capacity, and when I asked them if I could do anything to help they asked if I could take over from them as branch secretary, so I said yes.
When I introduced myself to the branch, I said "I've done the job before, I'll do it again" which CM said sounded somewhat like a threat. If there was a threat, it was directed at myself. Just when I thought I was out etc etc.
When I worked at Measurelab, one of the highlights of the calendar was always the annual Lewes Rotary Club Skittles tournament, a thoroughly pleasant event that's been running since the '60s in the Grange Garden. The company usually puts a team together and we all have a nice time, a drink and a chat and place respectably mid-table in the qualifying rounds, not low enough to humiliate ourselves but not high enough that we'd have to come back later in the week for the finals.
It's not been on for the last couple of years, so I jumped at the chance to join their team this year. Somehow we accidentally came in the top 5, which left us scrambling to put together a team for the finals on Friday, which we did, and that time we did put in our usual respectably mid-table performance. A thoroughly lovely time had both evenings.
After the first day of skittles I went to see some friends who were having a birthday bonfire on the beach. I can't remember the last time I was at a bonfire on the beach; it was very pleasant and very warm.
We went along to the St James Tavern strike (read about it in the Seagull) which was incredibly heartening—all the people who were on the picket line at the train station came down and there were probably on the order of 100 people at one point. It felt like the whole of the Brighton left was there; I bumped into several people I've not seen in years and got to catch up with them at the pub afterwards.
I've been going to MMA training since the beginning of the year. While it's always good, the other week I got a bit gassed and felt off my game, which was a bit of a confidence knock. I'm not very good, but usually I feel like I'm making some kind of progress, and I just didn't. Last week, though, I felt like I was a lot more 'on it', and able to harness my aggression and keep pushing myself.
Part of my wobble is that despite having run a 10k three months ago, I got COVID a few months ago. A lot of folk seem to be able to maintain a generally good level of fitness seemingly without much effort: not me, sadly. Every time I stop exercising for more than a few weeks my fitness level pretty much goes to zero. Any gains in strength, stamina, endurance: gone. I'm building my way back up slowly, though—I've been running or doing bodyweight stuff most mornings, and hopefully will be able to get back to the gym to do weight stuff soon, once CM's shoulder is a bit better.
I went to visit my parents in Dorset; the slow fixing-up of their house continues. The kitchen has been re-tiled and Dad has build a little rowboat.
A bunch of us played through the not-very-good LOST tie-in game Via Domus yesterday. It reminds me of a very old Chris Franklin video (10 years! damn) about the different things that games adapting something can capture about the thing they're adapting. I think that game actually does a decent job capturing the environment, they got Michael Giacchino to do the score so it sounds right, and you do spend a lot of time wandering around the jungle confused, which is a fair whack of what happens in the show.
On top of all this: I had a lot of dayjob work on. Thankfully, I think we're now out the other side of the period of real intensity, and have settled down into being busy but not too busy, which is just fine by me. Hopefully I won't be kept from doing weeknotes for three weeks next time!