Frip, what a few weeks since my last notes. Sorry if this turns into an unedited braindump. Rough summary:
- Having COVID was ok, in the end. Spent a few days isolating, clearing out cupboards and sorting out the retrogaming collection. Had a proper duvet day and was good.
- Son2 tested positive just before half-term holiday, so things got shuffled. Was fine after a day of a similar duvet day.
- My wife tested positive a few days after – she suffered the most (but is ok now), but all half-term holiday plans were ditched.
That said, I’ve also been really pleased with a lot of things – I feel like I’ve learned "enough" about measuring technology to be of use, I’ve had some fantastic conversations, and I’m working for other people.
So apologies if I’m emotionally a bit up and down at the moment. One day I’m literally dancing round the kitchen, and the next day I’m breaking out in tears without any sensible reason. Life, huh?
Those tears hit suddenly and unexpectedly – possibly a mix of tiredness, the weather, finally having COVID after avoiding it for so long, being stuck inside. Maybe it was finally a letting go of my Past Life, all those years where I felt like I needed to prove myself, to get everything done. Maybe it was an overwhelming need to stop parenting for a day. I still don’t quite get it, just that a few hours dozing in bed, listening to the wind, really helped.
[Edit to add: Exhaustion. I’m pretty sure it’s just pure exhaustion.]
I think I know where the week’s joy came from though. I love that feeling of having indulged in learning something new. And I love being able to help others out. I’ve been looking into optimising a new WordPress site for someone*, which has meant digging into the (old) source code of websitecarbon.com, and getting a comprehensive understanding of security plug-ins.
* Side question for other weeknoters: Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable putting people’s names in if they don’t know you blog about you work?
(Incomplete and comments/additions very welcome, but basically they’re all fairly good for free but expect to pay for comprehensive functionality.)
I’ve also got the chance to start learning Laravel properly, which has also involved finally figuring Docker out as well. It’s been a rapid learning exercise, and I’m pleased that everything so far has made a lot of sense – I know enough about basic computing patterns that it’s a job of mapping tech stack names to those patterns. "Eloquent"? Database tables. "Blade"? HTML templates.
A lot of coding is like reading a book, with a Dramatis Personae list to keep track of who’s up to what. I’m learning to accept that – I don’t know if it’s always been like that and I’ve just absorbed it, or if the technical ecosystem has exploded to the point of a paradigm shift since everything moved to the network. Probably both – maybe learning github flows and CI is the equivalent of packet-sniffing FTP and figuring out Trumpet in the "olden days"…
Recently I had some fantastic chats with Thayer, Hannah, Steph and Liz, delving into different things each time, from sustainability to freelancing to personal journeys and repurposing devices.
Between chatting with Thayer and Hannah, I’m still figuring out where I fit, what my "brand" is – some of this comes down to whether I want to put "efficiency and sustainability" first (in tech), or "technical skills" first (with E/S). Same, but different – when something is a secondary focus, it’s a lot easier to deprioritise work which fits in with it, I think. There are only so many hours in the day, and a lot of things you can research.
That said, now that I feel comfortable with a couple of efficiency areas (namely browser efficiency and WordPress efficiency), I’m ready to move on to learning more teechnology frameworks, so Laravel is a good start. Vue and React are on my list: not necessarily to work in them, but at least so that I know what they are, how they work, and what jobs they’re appropriate for.
Or, in other words, I haven’t decided much but I am finding a lot of grounding in my "wandering" and "rejuvenating" values set out recently.
Loads of other stuff happened too.
- I went to a GreenTech South West talk on "Zero Waste Web Design".
- I’m finding out more about becoming a National Portfolio Organsation with Arts Council England.
- I started posting map sketches to this blog, and postcards to the newsletter.
- A lot of thoughts on brutalism, navigation, labyrinths, minimalism, and information.
- I even went to the pub a couple of times. I’ve missed the pub.
Who knows where the world will be next time I write? It’s playing on my mind a lot and I’m trying not to get too distracted by wanting to help people with the threat of gas prices and nucelar war, but nothing is too certain this year, it seems.
Still, at least the daffodils are out.