Open Thinkering


Weeknote 22/2021

black and white photo of sea fret coming inland over fields and trees

I’m sitting writing this, one beer in, listening to Despite a couple of work meetings yesterday morning, I’ve been on holiday all week ⁠— including three nights away last Bank Holiday weekend. My stress levels are low enough that I’ve stopped taking L-Theanine. I’m not sure if this is a permanent thing, or whether I’m just experimenting with what I feel like when I’m not on it.

If you asked me, I’d say that I’ve been taking L-Theanine “for about 18 months” but, given that I reference it in this post from January 2018, I guess it’s more like “at least 3.5 years”. This is something you can buy over-the-counter (or, my case, from Amazon) so we’re talking a mild, but nevertheless noticeable, effect. It’s found naturally in cups of tea, which makes me wonder if there’s a correlation between that fact and my maternal grandmother being effectively a walking tea strainer while she was alive. I’ve never seen someone drink so many cups of tea in one day.

It’s quite discombobulating to realise that it’s now June 2021. To me, it feels like the year has just started. Yet here we are. My son’s school moves all the kids up a year after this half-term, so he’ll be officially in Year 10 and starting his GCSEs. It doesn’t feel that long ago since I was doing mine, so this, and the fact that he’s now the same waist size as me, is a bit of a shock to the system. Yes, I’m (getting) old.

There’s not much to report on the work front other than the aforementioned meetings. I wasn’t really planning to have this week completely off, but it just made sense to do so given that my wife starts her new NHS Digital contract next week, the kids are off, things are a bit quieter, and colleagues are away (or taking things easier).

I’ve taken the opportunity to write here and also post a bunch of things on Thought Shrapnel. I’ve hooked up the RSS feed of the latter to both Twitter and Mastodon, so you can subscribe for updates. Alternatively, you could sign up for the monthly roundup email. I’m not sure if I should say “you’re welcome” or “apologies in advance”…

The things I’ve written here are:

As ever, I’ve been merrily (well, perhaps not merrily) posting away at Despite what you might have read or watched elsewhere, the world is still completely shafted. I recommend you watch all 24 minutes of this video if you’re in any doubt:

Next week, I’m back to work. Hannah and I will be in the brave new world of both working remotely but on different projects. This is likely to be, as the young people say, ‘a thing’ from now on, so we’re changing a weird half-room / half-landing in our loft conversion to an office for her.

Laura will still be away, so I’ll be heading up most of the new and existing client work. We’ve just got a small continuation contract with Catalyst to support some charities embed their innovation work, so I’ll need to schedule some of that in. In general, I’m happy to keep things ticking over during the summer, as it’s the first time Hannah’s worked full time since before our eldest was born, and (as a former teacher) the first time she’s worked over the school summer holidays. I might need to be on-hand a bit more over the coming months!

Header photo is my poor attempt at an arty photo of the sea fret coming in near St Abbs while we were on holiday last weekend. Interestingly, the fishing village features in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (the highest grossing film of all time) as New Asgard.

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