Open Thinkering


Weeknote 16/2021

Wall with shield engraved into it, along with some markings and 'AD 1857'

This week I realised, if I didn’t know already, the value of working with people I know and trust, and who work quickly. There’s nothing so soul-crushing for me than for things to take (much) longer than they should do, just because of politics or a lack of ambition. That’s why I enjoy working with my We Are Open colleagues and, this week, I’ve been reminded of how awesome Laura is. Shepherding 10 charities through a funded programme is not an easy thing to do, but (with some help from the rest of us) she absolutely nailed it.

While that project came to an end with all of the charities presenting their playback slide decks this week, the Catalyst-funded project I’ve been managing kicked back into gear for an extra two weeks. We haven’t got ages to get work done, but I’m pleased that the DWP have shown such interest in what we’re doing, and I’m pleased that we get to combine the functionality of two of the prototypes we came up with. Hannah‘s done a great job of sketching out the next steps.

Other than that, I’ve been working on some We Are Open website stuff which we’ll announce on our fifth birthday next week, and on the Greenpeace project that cannot be named. Oh, and some business development, as ever. I can’t believe I was ever worried about our co-op not having enough work on!

I wrote this week about checking out of therapy, something I had planned for a while. To mark the occasion, I bought my children each a different memento mori, and my wife something which has emblazoned on it “embrace the ordinary”. I told the kids that they were to put it on their bedside table, and to keep it long after I’ve gone, as a reminder that one day they will die. As a result, they should act accordingly and, you know, carpe diem.

This was perhaps particularly poignant for my son, who was stretchered off the football field last Sunday, damaging again his neck and shoulder with which he’d had a problem before lockdown last year. It’s never nice to see your offspring go into shock, with eyes flickering, but thankfully, after gas and air in the back of the ambulance he was in better shape by the time he got to hospital.

He’s had the week off school, and there doesn’t seem to be any permanent damage in terms of loss of sensation to the left side of his body. It might be a couple of weeks until he’s fully back to his sporting activities, especially as he’s still on painkillers. We’ll see. Meanwhile, my wife had the COVID jab this week and felt a bit ill the next day, so it’s been great fun Chez Belshaw, mopping brows and doling out medication.

I bought some KORG volca synths last week, cashing out some of my crypto to do so. I feel a little smug about that, given the crypto price crash this week. Nothing lasts forever. I’m still terrible at even understanding what these little music-making marvels can do, but at least I’ve got them all synced up together. My new EP, Music To Make Your Ears Bleed, Vol.2 will be in no good record shops anytime soon. It’s made me appreciate even more the work of my friend Oliver Quinlan, who as Mentat, is a DJ, producer, and record label owner.

Right now, everything’s in my home office, which will need to change. Not only do I already spend a lot of time in that room during the day, but in the evening my kids are often in there playing on the PlayStation. We don’t have a huge house, so I’m perhaps going to have to get creative with space before we move house (hopefully next year!)

Next week, we need to get the majority of the additional Catalyst UC project out of the door, and I’ve got some media production to do for the Greenpeace work we’re doing. That, and helping getting the new co-op website ready for our fifth birthday on May 1st!

Photo of abandoned chapel along one of my running routes near the River Wansbeck near where I live in Morpeth, England.

One thought on “Weeknote 16/2021

  1. Chez Belshazzar sounds very much like Chez Crozier re mopping brows and dolling out meds, although I think the ones I’m dolling out are probably a bit stronger than yours!

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