Oh, someone else will sort it

Coffee shops are fascinating from every perspective. I think so anyway.

Firstly, I reckon the shop someone plumps for when faced with a choice between all of the ‘chains’ and an independent (or more) says as much about their personality as their star sign of MBTI ever could.

But inside them, too, there are all aspects of human nature on show – at their best, and their worst.

There’s the groups competing to consume the fewest calories when out for lunch, the one who doesn’t care what anyone, and the mother (or father) who just – just – wants a few moments peace.

Perhaps I’ve spent too much time in coffee shops – I did work in and run them for 4 years, so I’ve kind of got an excuse – or maybe I’m just paying attention to the wrong things.

There’s one aspect above all that I think most closely resembles human nature – and that’s when someone moves dirty items from one table (unoccupied, but dirty) to another (unoccupied, but otherwise clean).

Walking to the kitchen area, or finding someone to hand the tray to would probably take a very tiny amount more energy and effort. But still, almost universally, we chose not to do this – and instead simply shift the problem elsewhere. Someone else will deal with it now.

There’s been effort put in, and the short term goal has been achieved – they get the table they wanted – but overall it’s all been a waste of time.

Because there’s still the same number of dirty tables.

And that’s a little bit like life, and the choices each day. We’re all to often, by nature perhaps I think, focused on the short term aims – not the long term goal.

One day, we might want the table they’ve just dirtied.

What would I even stockpile?

Over the weekend, the snow – and the fact that it turned to ice, trapping me (yes, I’m exaggerating) at the top of a hill – got me thinking about stockpiling.

Leaving aside that stockpiling and panic buying seems fashionable, the fact that I found myself without easy access to a supermarket – and thus with only a limited choice of food – made me consider whether I was sufficiently well prepared. No deal Brexit or, indeed, global warming.

But then I got thinking. And frankly, it’s all just too many questions. What would I stockpile? What do I actually value and need access to? Is the point of stockpiling to survive (why bother) or to ensure you can access the things you like?

All in all, it meant I failed – because I didn’t do anything. I’m stockpiling inaction, and relying on the UK’s existing stocks of “oh, it’ll probably be OK”.

Helpfully, someone else has done the worrying for us. There’s a list of what to buy on, of course, the FT.

Books of 2018

Each year I set myself a goal of reading 12 or so books, and then at the end of the year I try to come here and review them. It’s a silly idea, because I can barely remember what I thought at the time when it comes to doing the review.

So this year I’ve made a change. Instead of just a number of books, I’ve picked fourteen actual books and as I finish them I’m going to come here and update this post. My aim is 12, but I chose 14 because I’m bound to want to abandon at least one if not two.

This does mean, of course, that you’ll all see me start off with good ambitions and slowly stall before, in about November, realising I’m well behind and going on a reading spree.

Books marked with a 🎧 are audiobooks.


  • Shop Girl – Mary Portas 🎧
    I found myself disappointed that I’d come to the end of this, which is a rarity because even with books I’ve enjoyed reading by the final few chapters it’s starting to feel a bit predictable. Onto the next challenge and all that. This book, however, concluding as it does while Mary is still progressing through the early stages of her career and continuing to recover from the loss of her Mother and Father, was a disappointment to reach the end of. Autobiographies are always a win with me, and given I’ve been enjoying Mary’s work on the telly for many years I’m not surprised that I enjoyed it – particularly as she read it herself. My surprise with the fact that stores used to have prop departments and employ oh-so-many people to dress windows was only replaced with sadness when I got thinking about how much we lose with our mass-produced world. I’m hoping there’s a second book on the way.
    📅 9 February 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Too Much Information… or Can Everyone Just Shut Up for a Moment, Some of Us Are Trying to Think – Dave Gorman
    I found Dave Gorman last year in about November (I was aware of him, but I’d never really paid attention), and the next few weeks were filled with just a little bit too much Dave Gorman. This book filled a gap that’ll keep me going until his show in November. A top read if you like stats, facts, logic and being taken on a journey which feels coincidental but which is entirely intentional.
    📅 3 April 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • And Furthermore – Judi Dench 🎧
    Fairly entertaining, but not exactly revealing the woman behind the actor, this book is basically a look back into how things “used to be”. A nicer time, perhaps? Certainly a lot more density of talent and a much more considered theatre. Who can’t love Dame Judi, anyway?
    📅 26 February 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve also read some extras which I hadn’t planned…

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises – Fredrik Backman 🎧
A nice bit of escapism, mixing an easy-to-guess story with harder-to-guess twists in a way which pleases me – just because I’m really impressed when things pan out to have been planned all along. Which, of course, they were – because it was bloody planned, pitched, commissioned and written. Still, one to keep you company on a long car ride.
📅 28 March 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

WTF: What have we done? Why did it happen? How do we take back control? – Robert Peston
WTF. Quite.
📅 14 March 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In progress

Still to come


You’ll never guess what Monarch’s planes are doing now

… Broadly speaking, they’re flying about.

This blog post is mainly appearing here because I found myself wondering about the fate of Monarch’s 35-strong fleet of planes after it fell into administration last October.

I’d seen the “Monarch Cook” partially reliveried planes popping up on Instagram, but I was wondering… where did all the others go?

It’s the kind of thing I expected to see on the Internet – but despite much searching, I couldn’t find a compiled list. So, I made one.

Hello if you’ve landed here looking for just such a list. I like you. Stick around.

But on to why we’re here…

I’m very pleased to say that the vast majority of the fleet (according to Planespotters.net’s records) are up and about again, doing what they do best this summer.

Monarch RegFate
G-ZBASEasyJet Europe
G-ZBABFrontier Airlines
G-ZBAVNordwind Airlines
G-OZBYAzul Linhas Aéreas
G-ZBAHSmartLynx Estonia
G-OZBWAvion Express
G-ZBARThomas Cook Balearics
G-OZBLSmall Planet Airlines
G-MARAOlympus Airlines
G-OJEGOlympus Airlines
G-OZBMRed Wings Airlines
G-OZBNJust Us Air
G-OZBZSmall Planet Airlines
G-OZBERed Wings Airlines
G-OZBFRed Wings Airlines
G-OZBRLanmei Airlines
G-OZBG(Ural Airlines)
G-OZBHUral Airlines
G-OZBIAvion Express
G-ZBAIAegean Airlines
G-ZBAJAegean Airlines
G-ZBAGRed Wings
G-ZPAKNordwind Airlines
G-ZBALLanmei Airlines
G-OZBTAegean Airlines
G-OZBUNordwind Airlines
G-ZBADThomas Cook UK
G-ZBAEThomas Cook UK
G-ZBAMThomas Cook UK
G-ZBADThomas Cook UK

❌ Say no more

Part of my plan for 2017 was to say no to more short term things in favour of a long term approach. I don’t think I embraced this, and my scrawl on top of this objective on my plan – my way of marking what I thought I’d done well and what I hadn’t – says ‘not really’.

This kind of objective is always going to be a tough one to judge, and it would be very easy for this post to be my defence as to why I wasn’t more successful.

I could say many things: the last 12 months has been so busy and that has made it incredibly difficult to lift my nose up and look much more than a few weeks into the future, the kind of job I do – which means day-to-day plans are often aspirational rather than actually something which will happen – provides me with a short term culture that I constantly must challenge, and perhaps most importantly: I lost sight of my long term goal.

And that last one is important because it’s where my failure could really become a success (although I’m not changing the emoji, nor the scrawl). What is the purpose of a goal to be more long term by the end of the year than the trigger to develop a long term goal I didn’t realise I didn’t have.

Last night I flippantly asked Tim if he was looking forward to being 40, intending merely to make fun of the fact that we are in the dying days of the 4 months each year where he is a year older than me, and he pointed out that it is only about 11 years away from being true. And that kicked my thoughts back here.

What is my long term goal? What and who do I want to be? What do I want to achieve by the time I am 40 and how do I reconcile the need for not an aversion to short term in favour of long, but a need to build a mental framework for short term decisions which keeps me on the glide path?

That is my problem to solve for this year.

How did I do on my other goals?

This post was part of a series of posts organising my thoughts about how I did last year. You can also find out how else I did with my goals of 2017 in my other posts on the topic here, and sign up below to get an email whenever I post something new.

And finally, check out my aunty’s post from on her blog A Year Of Saying YES , where she reveals the tool I used to plan my 2017 (and my 2018).