Week 11 of 2020 brings remote-working fun, triathalon of fitness, cancelled holidays, Ashley Baxter, Disney Plus, mesh networks, Noughts + Crosses & more super-natural boxsets.
Coronavirus pandemic hit properly this week, forcing most staff to work from home rather than the office in London. On the bright side, its reducing all that travel to and from the office plus I get more time with the family. On the flip side, it’s been quite the challenge adapting to an isolated working environment with no people around me and trying to be as productive as possible.
The big project is going quite well (all things considered). Remote working has introduced some technical issues for the engineers and teams but, after a few days working through connection woes and remote builds on our internal infrastructure, progress got back on track.
As someone who always encourages face-to-face comms over digital, I’ve had to find innovative new ways to make that work. Regular video calls with colleagues has helped me keep sane and constant chat over Slack maintained my banter levels. Virtual Friday beers was certainly welcomed with some Zoom calls but, truth be told, I’ve been having a drink at the end of most days – a terrible consequence of not having to drive to or from work on a daily basis.
With the new remote working habit, I’ve had to adjust my health and wellbeing. Lunchtimes have been the ideal opportunity to get exercise so, thanks to a friend’s offer, I’m making the most of a free pass to the local hotel swimming pool. 60 lengths in half hour is a good benchmark but I need to confirm the lap length as I’m pretty sure it’s not the 20m guess I’m setting on my Apple Watch.
I’ve also mixed exercise up with a jog and cycle which has got me thinking about a triathlon challenge for next year. The Coronavirus pandemic is forcing most events to cancel this year so we’re waiting for our Jurassic Coast Challenge to be either put on hold or, worse still, completely cancelled. I’ll need another challenge to motivate me with fitness.
Similarly, our holiday to Bali is on the rocks too. It’s 3 weeks away and, as of Sunday afternoon, non-essential travel restrictions have been put in place by the Foreign Office. Secret Escapes suggest they’ll comply with Foreign Office advice so here’s hoping they’ll honour the refund. It’s a bad year for hospitality but they can’t expect customers to suck up the loss of 4-figure package holidays.
Working from home has limited my side project activities (losing all that commute time) but I’ve spent the same time box at home in the morning focused on editing Make Life Work. Ashley’s episode went live last Monday and Marc’s episode was prepared for this Monday. The final episode of the series with Dan Davies needs producing then I’ll be taking a break from making, but continuing to promote and gather audience feedback.
With that podcast on a break, I’ll be shifting focus to the Spring Break mix for House Finesse. My music collection has got quite healthy over the past few weeks and there’s now enough to fill an hour mix. I’m thinking we could create a double or triple mix as a collective each season but it all depends on Matt and Stu’s capacity. I know Stu will be game but let’s see.
With the Coronavirus throwing all things out, my attempt at being a local non-standing Green Party candidate has been put on hold until next year’s local elections. I was preparing more content for my political minister such as Green Tech Advocacy and better options for transport but at least now I’ve got more time to work on it.
Dropbox to iCloud migration is proving quite painful. iCloud Files on Windows is extremely unreliable and slow, after a week of trying to sync, still not 100% accurate and uploads from the Windows 10 device border-line non-existent. Back to the drawing board!
With Disney Plus fast approaching and the family keen to sign up, I’m trying to work out how to get it on our main living room TV. Our 4K NowTV (Roku) device should support it but I’m still waiting for some advice from them. I’m resisting the desire to buy another device until I know but it’s worth it.
Following a week of remote working, I’m also considering a better home network to cope with video calls and the whole family streaming through the day. Our Sky Fibre Max package isn’t brilliant but I do feel the default router is holding us back. A mesh network such as this LinkSys Velop solution will probably be best, especially following advice from Mr Norton, so I might treat us if the government close down schools.
Noughts + Crosses on BBC has been a joy to watch. Such an interesting concept switching the race power around plus Jack Rowan has excelled yet again in his role. I will probably be getting the book series following this as well.
I Am Not Okay With This on Netflix ticks all the boxes with a coming-of-age plot, retro 80’s vibe and super-natural powers. Wyatt Olef is a star in himself too – definitely one to watch in the future.