Open Thinkering


Weeknote 02/2023

Artificial pitch with corner flag

It’s been back to work this week after a three-week break during the festive period. Starting the year off with seven projects for the first time as a four person co-op means a fair bit of context-switching! As a one-off this week, and because we’ve got an in-person meetup next week, we freestyled it a bit. Usually, we try and dedicate a half-day for each project, but the demands of the first days back meant that wasn’t possible.

These are our clients at the moment:

It’s also been back to school for our kids, with our eldest entering the home straight in his GCSE year. It’s a bit of a dance with teenagers, as on the one hand you want to push them to be able to achieve the best they possibly can. On the other, you want to make sure you don’t pile so much pressure on that they crumble. Parenting: perhaps one of the hardest job there is.

In this two-week period we celebrate the birthdays of both children, so not even a month after Christmas there’s more presents to buy and wrap, and parties/events to plan. I can see why people have expressed sympathy for my own birthday being so close to Christmas, but it’s mainly annoying for parents (financially, emotionally…)

Our daughter tried out for a ‘boys’ team this week and got into to it, so that’s five teams she plays for now (girls team, boys team, County, Newcastle ETC, school). Thankfully, a lot of Team Belshaw’s time revolves around sport so it’s just another fixture to throw into the mix. I do take a lot of pleasure from watching both of them playing sport to a decent level, to be honest.

I’m in better health this week after picking up some kind of virus that laid me low last week. It didn’t confine me to bed at any time, but it did make me feel rough and affect both my sleeping patterns and exercise regime. As I’m susceptible to migraines, the three ‘pillars’ of sleep, nutrition, and exercise are important to me; if I deviate too much from my routine, I pay for it.

A few days ago, Laura published a post that we worked on together with Julie Keane from Participate entitled Open Recognition is for every type of workplace. It’s a bit of a ‘thinky’ read for the start of the year, but an important one which marks a slight pivot with our work around Keep Badges Weird.

I updated my blog post about building an iPod for 2023 with more photographs and some updated details. I’m so happy with it!

Since the start of the year I’ve posted the following on Thought Shrapnel:

I switched hosting platforms for Thought Shrapnel over the holiday period, and it seems to be working better and less susceptible to inadvertent ‘Fedi DDoS’ attacks.

Next week is our WAO meetup in the Netherlands which I’m very much looking forward to. I’ve had a chat with Aaron about walking the Pennine Way and we’ve decided to do the first five days of it in April. I’m pleased about that, as it will be a much more social experience, and a lot less demanding on my joints! While I look back with pride on walking Hadrian’s Wall in 72 hours last year, it was mentally and physically tough. Trying to do the hardest National Trail by myself in two weeks might have been a step too far at the moment.

Photo of one of the many pitches at which I st. (Artificial pitches have absolutely revolutionised access to sport in the North East of England since I was my children’s ages)

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