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Weeknote 02/2019

Tree bark

This week has been the first where I’ve started splitting my time between Moodle and We Are Open Co-op. For the former, my main focus was on the MoodleNet roadmap for 2020 and beyond, as well as a bunch of meetings. I’m trying to ensure we have the resources we require to get the job done. For the latter, I was putting together a proposal for a client, and finalising my AMICAL conference workshop on digital literacies.

I really enjoy planning workshops, as well as delivering them of course. Thinking through what you want participants to learn, how you can facilitate their interactions, and ensuring that transitions run smoothly, is fascinating.


Due to some building work happening next to my office, I decamped to my parents’ house for two days this week. Although I went to live back there the year after my undergraduate degree, I think that it’s the first time I’ve spend whole days working from my old bedroom since beginning my career proper. It was both slightly strange and oddly comforting.

I got into a pretty good exercise regime over the past week: swimming twice, running twice, gym twice, with one rest day. I’ve upped my daily press-ups, sit-ups, etc. as well as the number of lengths I do in the pool (currently 56, aiming for 72 next month).

In addition, I’ve been getting to bed between 21:00 and 21:30 and reading for about an hour before going to sleep. I’m currently re-reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, which I last read backpacking around Italy. I’ve been setting my alarm and waking at 06:30 each morning and, while my wife is in in the shower, I’ve been reading the following on my e-reader: Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, and On The Shortness of Life by Seneca. I did try Cicero again, but he really annoys me for some reason.

Talking of managing one’s emotions, I had another therapy session this week, where we started digging into the implicit ‘rules’ I have for my life. As we use a whiteboard during the session, it’s always interesting to have one’s assumptions and never-before-properly-expressed thoughts laid out in black and white. CBT is an incredible thing.


For Thought Shrapnel this week, I wrote an article that reflected, as many people have been doing, on the past decade. The microcast featured Adam Procter and we discussed his PhD project and the IndieWeb. My roundup of links always reflects what I’ve been reading, which in 2020 seems like it’s continuing to be the insidious effects of technology on society.


Having just recovered from turning 39, and a great Christmas and New Year, it’s my daughter’s ninth birthday this weekend. It’ll then be my son’s in a couple of week’s time. The fun never stops Chez Belshaw!


Next week, I’ll be working from home for Moodle on Monday and Friday, and then travelling on Tuesday and Thursday so that I can be in Kuwait City on Wednesday. Although there are tensions in the Middle East at the moment, I’m unconcerned. As I said to the conference organiser, so long as planes are flying there, I’m happy to go.


If you think I can help you with the work that you or your organisation is doing, please do get in touch: doug@nullweareopen.coop

(I’m particularly interested in getting some presentations and workshops booked at the moment)


Photo taken on New Year’s Day in the Simonside Hills, Northumberland

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