Spain-Portugal and a bunch of other stuff

I was originally not going to go to this game. I was for a while a bit relieved because it fell on a school night and I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with that, especially only four days after Netherlands-Cameroon …. But, what can I say, World Cup fever took over and by Tuesday morning I was quite excited. Not to mention that I had money riding on Spain.

But first – the work day. Oh, actually, before that was Tuesday’s workout which actually made me sore later; the first time I’d been properly sore in about a month. It consisted of 150m of walking lunges carrying a weight. Good heavens that was painful, and of course in the Old Castle Brewery between heart, Purple Heart, and the Hub you have to go up and down stairs all day long. Sheer craziness.

Yeah so I can’t actually remember what I did that day. But I do remember leaving early, around 5pm, to go home and cook dinner before heading out to the game. The fan walk was as annoying as always, and the queues to get in were some of the worst I’d seen them, outside of the first game. Yech.

This game was pretty fantastic. I was pulling for Spain, as mentioned above, but also just because I like them. It was quite interesting – Spain had ball control for most of the game, but Portugal actually had some of the best chances, I thought. After David Villa broke the Green Point curse (scoring here has been quite low overall, Portugal’s scorching of North Korea aside) and scored his fourth goal in as many games (amazing, but not quite as amazing as when he scored his fifth goal in five games a few days later in Spain’s 1-0 win over Paraguay that won me my bet), Spain started playing what I can really only describe as the trap. Didn’t help I suppose that I was there with a fellow hockey fan. Because yeah that was all I needed, to have the boys in red compared to the New Jersey Devils, blargh.

This is a dangerous game to play – it seemed like the whole match the ball was glued to Spain’s feet but whenever Portugal would get the ball they would generate a decent scoring chance and if one of those went in it would have been a whole different game. But it didn’t, so Spain won 1-0.

Wednesday I was very sore. And the day was literally filled with meetings – first FoodTents then a couple on Purple Heart. The FoodTents meeting was a bit intense, because there are a lot of decisions that need to be made quite quickly, and it’s pretty complicated – everything from what should the product mix be to how we should go to market (or even if we should or should we leave that to the entrepreneur/beneficiary). Even on the social impact side there is a lot of work to be done, to quantify what it means in terms of social impact to produce a certain amount of food.

In the middle we went out to lunch (I owed a couple of people lunch, and for one of them it was his last day) to a place called Jamaican Me Crazy. That took forever, and my pumpkin soup was watery and I scared/amused my co-worker by refusing to eat the utterly fried dough that came with my meal (he was happy to eat them for me). I was not pleased because I didn’t have time for a two-hour lunch but that is what wound up happening. And I wonder why I don’t get any sleep. But, sitting in the winter sun looking at Devil’s Peak and the lovely different colored houses in upper Woodstock was quite nice, I’ll admit.

So after work I quickly ran to get my veggie bag, then to my apartment to unpack it, and hurried over to Perseverence to meet some friends (a group of people from the gym, and some of their coworkers). But unfortunately I could only stay for one drink as a group of us were going out to Bombay Bicycle Club for another friend’s going away dinner. I really wanted to stay longer, but hey these people aren’t going anywhere. So saying goodbye was sad, but the meal was good and passing the hats around quite amusing I must say. Then instead of going out after I went home, probably to work some more before getting to bed.

Thursday we started off our morning meeting in I think one of the best ways I have seen so far. The guy who is running one of the in-house social enterprises wanted us to take the time to say things that we have left unsaid to our co-workers. One of the great things about heart is that everyone is really genuine, so it was really nice to hear the things that we had to say about each other. I thought it was really cool that there were actually three people that I had literally within the past 24 hours been thinking nice thoughts about, and to have an opportunity to tell them what I thought was nice. Of course there was the inevitable mutual love-fest going on with one of the projects I’ve been working on, but hey that’s a good thing. It is still nice to make implicit mutual respect implicit; usually these conversations only come out over a few beers and not at 8:30am!

This was also the day that someone told me my job was their worst nightmare. He meant this in the kindest possible way – meaning that they had a tremendous amount of respect for what I was trying to do; shape four business models at the same time. I do know that my stress level is unhealthily high, to the point where someone called me out in the kitchen. Asked how I was doing and apparently I responded a bit defensively….. “What? I’m fine! Who said I wasn’t fine?!” ok not like that, but enough that I got teased about it. Yoga maybe. Or, get back into running – that was what I liked about long runs back in Bolton; it was the only time of the day my brain wasn’t going 100 miles an hour.

The rest of the day I spent mainly on the Grow South Africa project, which is more complex than I feel like explaining just now. This was when I realized that I’m going to have to get more efficient at this or it’s going to take forever. Hopefully once I finish wrapping my head around the potential business and operational models and figuring out what research we need collating the results will be straightforward. Or that is the theory, at least.

Towards the end of the day I got roped into an RFP for Parliament that we were responding to. So instead of a hot date with my pillow I wound up on my computer until after midnight which was absolutely not what I needed given how little sleep I’d been getting. Lekker slaap indeed.


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