June 2020

Huh – turns out I’ve been doing these #monthnotes for a year (May I swapped it out for the 10 weeks post.) Looking back at June 2019 is a reminder of how much has happened in that time. I’d almost forgotten about my failed dalliance as co-CEO. Obviously my brain blocking out the trauma. Also my #jukesiejaunt seems forever ago now.

Amazingly there is even more change afoot.

What about June 2020? Well to be honest it has been mainly dominated by continued struggle to shake off the COVID. I remain under-powered mentally and physically. My chest is tight more than not and I get hit with waves of fatigue. It is mainly frustrating as I don’t feel that unwell just unproductive for the most part. I’m aware I’ve started to be a bit whiney and one-note about it all as well.

I’m lucky though – the three days a week with Essex turns out to be just about what I can cope with at the moment. The work is also right in my sweet spot – a bunch of webby challenges and advocating embracing an agnostic agile product way of working. There are regularly conversations I can honestly say I enjoy and I am working with a great bunch of people. I’m learning loads about local government as well which is really an eye opener at times. So glad I landed this gig.

With the three days pretty much wiping me I have switched to a four day week – as of today actually. I work for Essex Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and spend a lot of my Fridays doing 1-2-1s, admin plus what I guess you could call ‘pro-bono’ work (mentoring, talks, assessments etc) so they don’t tend to be too onerous (but still leave me wiped) but Mondays I’d been trying to overfill I think and it wasn’t helping my health. I suspect my down time won’t look that different to my work time – just less pressure to perform.

I took a week off early in June. It was nice not to be on video calls every day and I had a lot of fun messing around vandalising my garden wall with the spray paint I bought. Much as I love graffiti I was never that great and it has been 25 years since I properly painted regularly. I tried six years ago but I bought cheap paint and my hand basically locked up so I gave up quickly. This time has been different and its been great to get away from one screen or another, actually get outside and just mess about. I’ll be sticking with it.

The week was a bit frustrating otherwise though as it kind of made me feel even more housebound. As I can’t drive or cycle, won’t currently use public transport or Uber/taxis and can only walk 30 minutes without getting puffed out my options were pretty limited. I really wanted to go to the BLM protests but just couldn’t do it between those transport issues and my fear of crowds now (which was already a dislike before all this!) As a sidenote Bristol becoming the centre of an international anti-racism was interesting.

When I have work to anchor the week that doesn’t bother me as much. It is probably my biggest concern about things getting back to semi-normal if I’m honest – how will I get anywhere!

The news about Warren Ellis and his predatory behaviour was a bit of a gut punch. I don’t tend to look up to people but beyond being a writer I enjoyed Ellis had a lot of influence on me – books I bought, my approach to blogging, side projects I have enjoyed. The fact that it was obvious an open secret in a community I support with my money was also really disappointing.

On a more positive note I finally binged Parks and Recreation and Schitts Creek. I’d tried before with both of them numerous times but this time I got sucked in – I loved Parks and Rec and came to enjoy Schitts Creek but think it is a miracle either ever got a second season! P&R was a struggle until part way through season two and SC didn’t click with me until season three.

Musically RTJ4 has been pretty much the soundtrack to June – though Jazzy Jeff’s Summertime mixtapes are making a late move.

Still not really reading anything but old comics and Robert B.Parker Spenser books. Still buying books though. I mean I’m still me.

I did a bit of blogging – I was pretty pleased with this one.

It was the five year anniversary of my #jukesiejobs side project. I’m currently going through one of my semi-regular ‘I should do more with this’ quandaries – maybe there is something in the simplicity and purity at the moment.

Here is to a better July.

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