Monday, 28 February 2011

Another dull running stat

Last time I did the London Marathon (2009) I ran around 228km in Jan and Feb. Or an average of about 3.86km per day

This year I've managed 381km in January and February. An average of 6.46km per day.

I'm not a lot (perhaps at all) faster. But very pleased with how much more I've managed this year.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Older consumers

I've posted my presentation (for Age UK) on older consumers up to slideshare.


Have published my presentation on "Research on ageing, making an impact". Presentation made in February 2011 for the University of Manchester/Micra.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Brighton residents - where were you?

Very much enjoyed the Brighton half marathon this morning.

I was about 10 minutes quicker than I'd planned to be (and 10 mins quicker than I achieved in my last half marathon - Run to the Beat - in October 2010) and sped up towards the end. My last km was pretty fast for me and I think I managed a negative split. Weather was good (ie not wet nor too cold) for February.Whilst I am often towards the back of these races, it remains nice to be faster than a few people five years younger (and 5 or more stone lighter) than I.

I experimented with Runkeeper ( It allowed the family to track where I was on the route at any point. And the distance was pretty accurate I think.

The race was well organised in the main although the event organisers could put on more toilets. Huge queues at the start. At the outdoor beach volleyball court near the start, two staff were in place to stop people weeing on their wall. But perhaps they would have had more success if they had just opened their doors and let people use their toilets.

But main observation was the very real lack of support from locals. Almost no clapping or support along the route (except from the family). Generally a pretty poor atmosphere.

A well managed/organised race in the main. And at least this time they hadnt run out of bananas by the time us slow people came through.

Most importantly, I had fun.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Village Hotel Leeds

My review of Village Hotel Leeds South. Just posted to tripadvisor.

The hotel benefits from a great gym and leisure facilities.

The free Wifi is very useful as the 3G/mobile signal isn't brilliant. Although the password is the same as at another hotel at this chain!

The room had an ipod Docking station. A nice touch. Would have been better if it worked however.

When I arrived there was no tv remote in the room but it only took a couple of minutes for one to be sent up.

The staff were very friendly and helpful.

The hotel had a very modern feel and was very clean.

There was a good choice at breakfast and again, the staff were quick and attentive. The breakfast coffee was much better than you get at most chains. And they give away a free Independent.

It's 6 or so miles from Leeds. Ok as a motorway stop but I generally prefer city centre hotels.

I was at the hotel for a conference. The day delegate lunch was nice and the hotel were very welcoming.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

My last two weeks.

I've decided that I'm going to take a bit of time every now and again to write about how I fill my working day. As usual, am not expecting this to be of interest to anyone but me. But I feel I need to start recording some of this. I'm hoping it will serve to help me realise I've achieve something beyond copying and pasting.

The older consumer work continues to take up a bit of time. In addition to preparation for some forthcoming presentations, I've met recently with the BRC and Age Uk to discuss a couple of forthcoming events. I brought together a group of academics to talk about research gaps and I've briefed my boss ahead of a presentation she is giving on the subject.

As usual, fundraising has also kept me busy. And the last couple of weeks pretty much every free work minute has been spent writing a proposal for BT. I spent the evening before submission date trying to add up columns of numbers in the dark with a solar powered calculator - I wasn't brilliantly efficient. Let's just say a 10 minute job took an hour.

I've also managed this week to bring in a bit of money for a small lunch event on the flu. But it's an event we've got to do quickly so I probably won't be able to actually go.

I've also drafted a proposal for a friends provident foundation funded bit of research (working with a university). But I might delay submitting as it does need more work. I've also been in touch with a friend at Shelter about a housing proposal we're seeking funding for.

Over the past year I've been working on the development of a formal relationship with the BSG. This has been coming together well since Christmas. We now have some words on paper agreed. We also have our first ILC/BSG think piece. We are exploring how we can best launch it - we'd like to do an event but time is not on our side to do something quickly. That said, I have got a journalist interested and we are planning to submit a BSG symposium on the subject.

I've done odds and ends on an esrc dissemination project we are working on. I've done a bit of editing of a report and been working with a colleague on a series of events. Am lucky that we've got a fantastic intern making the events happen.

Our new website(s) have been a source of pleasure and annoyance. On the one hand they are looking good -on the other, the delays are annoying.

I've done a little bit of work on a paper on speech therapy. Its a paper I've been working on for far too long. I've had a few more comments on it and have got a journalist interested in finding a way of getting some coverage.

Event planning has taken a bit of time over the last couple of weeks. Our social care events are coming together well and I'm pleased we've secured Dilnot for a conference in the autumn.

The last couple of weeks have also featured a bit of internal/management work including some strategy discussions and interim reviews.

I organised a Skillshare which (I think) went well. The team gave some great presentations and we had a few excellent external speakers.

The biggest bit of research I'm working on at the moment is on the oldest old. It still needs a lot of work but I'm starting to get there. I presented some ideas to our academic advisory group. I also went to a lecture organised by Kings on "living forever".

And I've done the necessary evil which is finding an hour to do an expenses claim.