Open Thinkering


Weeknote 04/2022

Whereas others, including my daughter, managed to get out of self-isolation early by having two negative lateral flow tests in a row, Dr Covid Features here had to stay inside for the full 10 days. It was not as fun as you’d think.

As someone who’s spent a decade working from home, and who has a, shall we say, limited IRL social life, I didn’t think it would be that difficult. I basically only go out to the gym, shops, and to take my kids to activities. Due to the pandemic, I haven’t travelled for work for a couple of years now.

But it’s psychological. When you can’t go out, you want to go out. Even just for a walk ‘up and round’ as we call it. I haven’t tested myself today because I don’t need to, but I bet I’m still testing postive. Thankfully the government guidelines are unequivocal: I can go out because I’m no longer infectious.

Of course, the day I’m allowed out Storm Malik hits the north of England. Our bedroom is in the loft conversion and I thought we’d wake up to there being no tiles left on our roof. It is not a day to just ‘go for a walk’ so I’ve literally only walked to the gym and back. Apparently I can still do pull-ups as my muscles haven’t completely atrophied over the last couple of weeks.

WAO started the year with four projects: one from Participate, two from Greenpeace, and one (with a couple of strands) from Julie’s Bicycle. To that I can now add one that I’m working on outside of the auspices of the co-op: user research leading to user stories for the Zappa project by the Bonfire team. The Zappa project is “custom bonfire extension to empower communities with a dedicated tool to deal with the coronavirus “infodemic” and online misinformation in general.”

The two main members of the Bonfire team are Ivan Minutillo and Mayel de Borniol who I worked with on MoodleNet. In fact, Bonfire is a fork of the original MoodleNet code called ‘CommonsPub’. It’s great to be working with them, and in fact wonderful to be doing cross-border collaboration (Ivan is in Italy, and Mayel is now in New Zealand!)

My only real Covid symptom this week was tiredness. I woke up later and finished work earlier than usual. Having a migraine on Wednesday night that lasted into Thursday morning didn’t help matters, especially as I had to run a client workshop. I took two of the three migraine meds I’m allowed to take within a one-month period.

I think it was at the point when I took my second migraine tablet that I realised that it would be fair to say that I have two chronic medical conditions: asthma (well-controlled) and migraines (reasonably well-controlled). The latter, as I’ve discussed before, are inextricably linked with who I am. There is no option for me but to live my life in such a way to minimise them, which constrains the levels of stress I can put myself under at any given time.

Team Belshaw booked a holiday this week. Last September, I announced that I wasn’t flying anymore in response to humanity living at a time of climate emergency. I did not consult my family before this announcement and it’s fair to say that it’s caused some pushback. In addition, I’ve realised that getting anywhere warm by other forms of transport would mean having to travel through multiple countries which will all have slightly different Covid protocols.

To cut a long story short, I’ve agreed to fly to Croatia in April. Just as I didn’t become vegetarian overnight, but was pescetarian for a couple of years first, so I might have to scale back my flying rather than go ‘cold turkey’ on it. We’ll see.

Next week, I’m looking forward to attending Outlandish’s new workshop entitled Reframing Conflict. Bryan’s going dormant for three months (as I and John have done before) to focus on non-coop activities. So Laura, John, and I will be attending as members. We’re not doing it because we’re in confict, but because co-owning a business means that being good at resolving/reframing it is always a good idea.

Other than that, I need to get my fitness levels back up after 10 days of self-isolation, and keep the plates spinning for all five projects I’m involved with. The nice thing about having already decided to take three weeks of April off is that I have a horizon to work to: a couple more months and then I’m off to walk Hadrian’s Wall and then go on holiday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *