Open Thinkering


Tag: Weeknotes

Weeknote 33/2021

North York Moors

Quick one because I’m tired. This week I’ve…

I only did 13 hours work in total this week, which makes me think that I should have taken August off. Perhaps I will next year.

In terms of writing, here I published:

On the WAO Co-op blog, I published:

I’m also back to adding articles most days to and occasionally to Thought Shrapnel.

Weeknote 15/2021

Bluebells (not quite out yet) next to wild garlic, with trees in the background

This week has been a successful one. I earned 25% more than the target amount my wife and I decided upon after I quit my job last year, and I did so while solo parenting and taking most of Friday off. The latter was because time is more important than money; the former was because my wife was away for a few days looking after an ill relative.

To be fair, our children, now aged 14 and 10 respectively, are well-behaved and helpful (most of the time!) so that made things easier. Also, my wife is super-organised, which made my job easier. It did remind me of the importance of routines, though. Kids thrive on them, and it makes households run like clockwork.

A shout-out to my mother, who I know reads my weeknotes. Thanks for taking the kids to activities, and the cake, flapjack, and puddings! 😉

On the work front this week, I’ve done it all through the co-op and divided my time between:

  • Running another workshop for NEAR on Architectures of Participation with Laura and Bryan.
  • Planning and doing some production on a Greenpeace project that Laura and I kicked off before Christmas and are returning to.
  • Continuing running sessions for the Catalyst Definition project that Laura’s project managing. It was Week 9, so that’s wrapping up next week.
  • Working on the staging site for the co-op’s new website, which is a huge improvement on the current version and the super-corporate version our ex-members were planning last year!
  • Figuring out next steps for the Catalyst Sector Challenge 9 project I was PMing. I can’t announce anything related to funding, but it looks like we might be able to do some more work on it.

Other than that, looking after the kids, and playing some FIFA 21, I’ve been running, doing some Giggs Fitness, and treating my exercise bike like a spinning bike. I’ve bought some new Korg Volca synths (not all of which have arrived yet) listed some stuff on eBay, and listening to the remix album of Tycho’s Weather. I think the remix of ‘Japan’ is my favourite, and I was listening to it while taking the photo that illustrates this post.

Next week is shaping up to be a busy one: two Catalyst projects, Greenpeace production stuff, and potential new client work. Thankfully, Friday is currently (and blissfully) meeting-free.

Photo taken in the appropriately-named Bluebell Wood not too far away from where I live in Morpeth, England. The whole place will be a riot of purple, soon enough!

Weeknote 13/2021

Rothley Castle, Northumberland

This week has been a short one, work-wise, with me taking the equivalent of two days off (Monday PM, Wednesday AM, all day Friday).

The main focal points of the week were a playback session for the Catalyst-funded sector challenge project I’ve been leading over the last 11 weeks, and a workshop for NEAR, an open source platform accelerating the development of decentralized applications. For the latter, it will be the first time our co-op will be paid partly in crypto, so we’ve been sorting that out.

Unlike the majority of England, this was the first week of Easter holidays for our two children. They’ve played a lot of Minecraft this week during the times my wife I have been working. There are worse games; at least it’s both collaborative and creative.

This week has seen the easing of lockdown measures at a time when the weather improved dramatically. This meant that we could invite my parents into our garden for the first time in a long time. There are many things I used to take for granted that now seem quite precious.

I’m continuing to work on my side project, This week, I created @extinctionfyi, re-purposing an old conference-focused account I haven’t used for seven years. I also wrestled with Mailchimp to create an automatic RSS-to-email Saturday digest which you can subscribe to here. The website itself will show the latest 10 items, but the RSS feed and email digest contains everything.

My personal website also has a projects page where I’ve listed Thought Shrapnel,, and

Allied to the above, I’ve been thinking about resilient tech this week. This is on the road to what some might call appropriate technology. I haven’t over-theorised this, but I’ve been doing things like:

  • Buying old MP3 players to hold downloaded music (instead of streaming)
  • Resurrecting spare phones and updating them with LineageOS
  • Getting used to using my ThinkPad x220 with a 20-hour battery dock

I had a quick chat with my neighbour yesterday, who was the only other person I know from where I live who both went to the climate strike a couple of years ago and to the Northumberland County Council meeting on the climate emergency. He told me that he’s quite optimistic about the future because of the groundswell of younger people taking up the challenge that climate change poses.

I’m looking forward to getting to his state of optimism at some point. Right now, I’m continuing to wallow in despair at the scale of the challenge that humanity faces. I can’t see a way out other than a process of deep adaptation that might further exacerbate existing divisions in our already-fragmented societies. I hope I’m wrong.

This weekend is Easter, so I’ve got four days off in a row to scoff chocolate and feel slightly guilty about not doing more DIY. I’m planning to also take next Friday off, meaning that next Friday will be another three-day week, before diving into new work the following week.

Photo of Rothley Castle, Northumberland, which we visited on Saturday afternoon. Dithered using this service.