Open Thinkering


Weeknote 49/2022

Doug striking a pose standing on a snowy in front of a sunset

I’m writing this by the light of the Christmas tree in our lounge. It’s Sunday morning and dark outside; the rest of my family are still in bed. England going out of the World Cup last night at the hands of France has obviously tired them out.

The highlight of this week was meeting up with Aaron to go walking in Northumberland National Park. It was glorious. Getting there was fun, as I unthinkingly drove the most direct route, on ungritted roads. I had to turn around when my car (a Volvo, but not a 4×4) couldn’t get up an icy incline and instead slid diagonally back down the road.

We regrouped, met elsewhere, and walked part of the Pennine Way. I lost my sunglasses, we walked the last bit in the dark, our feet went through the surface of frozen puddles into ice-cold water. It was great fun, with enjoyable conversation and company, and the views were spectacular.

The rest of the week involved me working 3.5 hour days on various projects. We ran a workshop for Passbolt, who we’re helping with some community strategy stuff, and continued work on other projects, including for Sport England, Participate, Greenpeace, and WEAll. An enquiry came in from a large, impactful, global nonprofit this week for some work in January. If it was anyone else, I think we’d say no, but WAO really want to work with them in some capacity (and one of our former colleagues works there).

Laura and I were guests on the OEG Voices podcast, hosted by Alan Levine, with whom we had a ramble chat about a whole host of things. That episode should be out in the new year, but the latest one of our own podcast, The Tao of WAO, is now available and includes Laura and I recapping Season 5 and talking about Fediverse migration, content warnings, and more!

I did some solo parenting for a couple of nights this week as my wife, Hannah, was down in London for an NHS Digital work thing. Her trip home took her a very long time due to train disruption. The cold weather has meant that both football training and matches have largely been cancelled for both of our kids, although my daughter did score a fantastic goal for the East Northumberland team on Tuesday night in the pouring rain. I was very impressed!

Next week is my last one at work of 2022. Although we might have to do some work teeing-up things for this potential work with the global nonprofit in January, I’m very much in wind-down mode. We’ll have our virtual Christmas party on Thursday, and then I can’t imagine doing anything other than a bit of admin on Friday.

The chances are I’ll take some time off social media over Christmas, and in fact I’d like to put my phone away for a bit altogether, to be quite honest. If I look at the list of things I wanted to do this year, then I’ve failed on all fronts. That doesn’t mean it’s been a bad year, but it’s been different than that which I expected — largely down to the impact (good and bad!) of having Covid in January. Perhaps I’ll reflect more on that in a future blog post.

Photo of me throwing a shape in Northumberland National Park, taken by Aaron Hirtenstein.

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