Weeknote 16/2020

This week has been an somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster for me. Today, after a morning spent in the sun doing exercise (running around the local sports pitches) and in the garden (weeding!) I’m feeling great. Earlier this week, I was so anxious that I got in touch with my therapist to request we restart sessions.

The trouble is that the ‘eustress‘ that keeps me on my toes and able to work two jobs (Moodle/co-op) can easily boil over into, well, just ‘stress’. I’ll admit that this is largely self-inflicted; there are both benefits and drawbacks, it would seem, of being your own worst critic.

This week has been a shorter one due to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and I’ve decided just to focus on the positives in what follows.


First off, yesterday morning was spent building a new PC with my children. We had a great time doing it, and it worked first time(!) so I was very happy about that. It didn’t cost me that much, yet it’s benchmarking as at least twice as fast as my laptop.

Another thing that’s gone well is reconfiguring the MoodleNet team. I’ll share more about this once it’s been shared more within Moodle HQ, but I’m happy that it looks like everything is going to come together. To my mind, how you do something is just as important as what you do. I’m not a consequentialist.

Third, We Are Open Co-op is not only about to onboard a new member (more about that next month when we announce!) but we’ve got a lot of work on. We’re part of the Catalyst programme, where organisations with digital skills are partnered with other organisations that need them. From next week, we’ll be helping out a charity quickly pivot their activities online.

Next, I really enjoyed advising Adam Procter with the work that’s coming out of his PhD thesis: nodenoggin. He’s set up a limited company, snagged relevant domains, and got an initial business plan for supporting the Open Source project.

And finally, just a comment on family relationships. I’ve never spent more time talking to my parents and sister on the phone or Google Duo than during this pandemic. It’s great. And while I get to spend a lot of time with my wife (because we’re both usually based at home) we’ve developed new rituals and routines that we’ll probably continue post-pandemic. Things like spending half an hour at the ‘pub’ at the bottom of our garden on a Friday after I finish work. (It’s actually just a picnic table.)


On the Thought Shrapnel front, I’ve been messing about with OBS and my green screen, as well as compiling my usual link roundup:


Finally, a couple of things have helped my mental health this week, which I’ll share. This quotation popped up via Momentum:

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.

Walter Anderson

The other thing was that I gave up reading 84K and instead started reading A Gentleman in Moscow. Both were recommendations that made it to my Lockdown Reading List, but the latter not only feeds my interest in Russian history, it references Montaigne’s Essays and has a wonderful lightness to it.


Next week? The plan is to do a code freeze on the backend of MoodleNet, to give the front-end team chance to catch up and get things in place for federation testing. I’ll also be working on the co-op stuff mentioned above, and supporting my family as the ‘Easter holidays’ end…


Photo from an epic family game of Risk on Sunday afternoon.

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  1. I love the idea of the pub aka picnic table at the bottom of the garden Doug !

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