This week has been a bit of an odd one, mainly because it began with my wife’s birthday and then threw me a bit of a curveball in the middle.

I usually plan out my weeks on a Monday morning (or if I’m Very Organised™ perhaps the prior Friday afternoon). This week I had everything mapped out, primarily because this weekend I’m off on my second Mountain Leader weekend, which involves wild camping in the Lake District. I had things to buy and stuff to prepare.

However, on Wednesday afternoon, I received a phone call from my father asking me to go immediately to the hospital where he was with my mother. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but it transpired she’d suffered (suspected) temporary temporal lobe amnesia.

What I found fascinating was that, over the course of around four hours, what had been a complete memory ‘black hole’ for her slowly started to re-appear. The period between Sunday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon, none of which she could previously remember, came back to her. All, that is, except for the stressful event which seemed to trigger it.

The human brain is an amazing, but fragile, thing. My Grandmother lost her short-term memory entirely before she died, and her sister (my Great Aunt) had Alzheimer’s for the last few years of her life. I’m glad my mother seems to have recovered pretty much immediately.

Everything else this week therefore paled into into insignificance. I ended up taking Friday afternoon off work to get things bought, packed, and organised for the weekend. Thankfully, there’s a Montane outlet near my parents’ house, so I was able to feed two birds with one scone.


On the MoodleNet front, we’re on the home stretch towards the Global Moot in Barcelona. This week, we decided that instead of having a separate federation testing period and then the ‘launch’, we’d do things a bit differently. We think it makes more sense to start the federation testing period, and carry that through the Global Moot and on into December.

Talking of December, we’ve submitted a proposal for the ALT Online Winter Conference, and drafted a post about why we’ll be moving our code repositories away from gitlab.com (hint).

Other than that, I’ve been laying the groundwork for a security review of MoodleNet to take place before the federation testing begins. I’ve also been grappling with Aha! and liaising with a Moodle Partner about developing a plugin for Moodle LMS. It’s also been fantastic to welcome back Mayel de Borniol after his month-long parental leave.


In other news, my We Are Open colleague Laura Hilliger wrote about the next iteration of our co-op, and explained how I’m currently a dormant member. I’m certainly looking forward to getting back into consultancy work in 2020!

I went to a climate change event, organised by Northumberland County Council. They seem to have a decent enough plan, but it’s not really worthy of a climate emergency. And I said as much, along with plans a bit more radical than they were proposing.

Also, I took delivery this week of a new laptop and desktop machine, which I discuss in Thought Shrapnel Microcast #078. I also published an article entitled I am not fond of expecting catastrophes, but there are cracks in the universe, and a roundup of interesting links I came across entitled Friday flowerings.


So this weekend I’m with a group in the Lake District near the Hardknott Pass, the steepest road in England. Next week, I’m working from home and then heading to London for the Redecentralize Conference and then the Mozilla Festival!


Photo taken on Monday during a birthday walk with my wife in the Simonside Hills, Northumberland.