It's hard to believe that another month has gone by since the last letter. I've been largely stuck down the rabbit hole of rebuilding how the blog works. I'm pretty much there but keep finding little quality of life tweaks and changes I want to make - it's an ever evolving canvas.
It's been a strange week having to go back down south to work in the office. It definitely felt weird, even a bit surreal but because of the job I do (supporting C-Suite executives) it's not been as quiet as it could have (they are in for year-end wrap up meetings and no doubt last minute Brexit planning) and the rules for the rest of the organisation don't apply to my team.
In the regular video calls with our head of department it has been widely touted that a "return to office" won't be mulled until the start of Q2 next year and that 6 weeks notice would be given before being required to come in to the office. I had less that 2 weeks. It's, unfortunately, the nature of our job and part of the reason I want to get out.
Still, I'm back home now - proper home, not that other house - and shouldn't need to go back for a while.
Not having much to do in the evenings while away I binge watched the whole of "Away" on Netflix, the series with Hillary Swank leading an international crew of astronauts on the first manned mission to Mars.
Overall I've really enjoyed it as it's been as much about the characters and their histories as the trip itself, although (without revealing any spoilers) I thought some of the things that came up on the journey would probably have arisen during training seeing as they would have likely been together for quite some time prior to the mission. Still, it didn't spoil the show and I suppose they needed something to fill the 8 months voyage 😉
With Elon musk declaring "Mars, here we come" after the latest test of Starship it was interesting to see no direct references to something like SpaceX but a definite nod in its direction in the last episode. You'll know what I'm talking about if you've seen it.
The best laid plans
Going back to "the plans" - I'm not sure if they will apply directly to the letters but I have definitely settled on what I'm going to be doing for the immediate future. I was considering studying for a philosophy degree, it's something I've always wanted to do, but realised that it was more of a vanity project than a necessity. Doing it part time online would have taken 6 years but I can still read and study at my own pace.
Instead I am going to spend some time doing work related training to enhance my prospects whilst returning to a writing project that I've wanted to do for a few of years and have mentioned on the blog recently.
It was this project that "the plans" related to and that also fell victim to "the great notes app crash" but I think I'm back in a position where I can do it justice.
No! I know I'm in a position where I can do it justice. Let's be positive about this. I think I've already exceeded what I had planned before and, with it being held on my own site, it's safe from all but the largest of disasters. Additional backups will be taken, however.
It was this writing project that really drove me to build the digital garden on the site and that's why I referred to it above as a canvas: it's not just a blog but somewhere I can be truly creative, somewhere that serves as an inspiration as well as a container.
My original idea was that as I wrote each section I would share it here via the muse-letter so that you could be the first to read and provide comments/thoughts/feedback. That may still happen but it will be a ways down the road. What's more likely for now is that I share snippets or thoughts as I go.
I'll go into greater depth in the coming letters.
Being buried in code and notes I've let my reading slip, well my reading of other people's work that is.
In line with the writing project I've been reading a lot of my old stuff, more specifically my #Write365 project from 2014, taking notes, pulling out extracts for re-use and compiling themes.
It's been interesting to go back through it all in such detail even though I'm still only about a third of the way through. Some of it was very much of its time or place being written at the now defunct Google+, relating to events on the service or social media in general, but there was a lot that was more philosophical, psychological, and personal in nature and it's all of this that I'm panning for gold.
Back in 2016 I wrote:
"Occasionally, someone may scour the stream and find a pearl of our wisdom like a prospector optimistically panning for gold, but when are we ever that prospector sifting through the muck for discarded nuggets in our own stream?"
Well, this is me finally being that prospector.
And that's it...
It's good to have a letter going out on a Friday again and, after the holiday season, I hope to get back on track with more regular updates. I need you to keep me honest and accountable for the project 😉
Until then, stay safe and I'll see you on the blog.