Week 15 of 2020 brings another multi-team project, Easter isolation DIY, return of House Finesse, Roku Express delights, The Nest, Nick Hornby and Victoria Lee.
I’m returning to the original format of long-form text, grouped by the same topics. I felt I was cheating a little with the Twitter digest format plus the process to capture them automatically was taking too much time considering the value.
Another month, another big multi-team project to focus my energy on. This time, it was to re-apply some of the best practices we want to roll out across our engineering teams. There are certain habits and processes that we think will aid delivery and reporting which we’ve already trialled on another programme of work so this was a chance to try it on a different context.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to divulge too many details but it is definitely another milestone in the new career – and, as I’m in my third month, it’s also the fourth programme of work that requires my attention. Let’s just say I should probably get used to flipping focus this frequently.
This week, we should’ve been holidaying in Bali as part of our 40th blow out. Obviously, Coronavirus restrictions have put a hold on that so we’re finding other ways to treat ourselves. We’ve ordered a hot-tub for the garden but, due to high demand, it won’t arrive until mid-to-late May.
Getting a full refund for our holiday has proven extremely difficult too. Despite endless calls and emails to the provider, they are typically dragging their feet to release the funds back to my credit card. Once I’ve got some resolution, I will name and shame but until then (hopefully this week), I’ll hold off.
With the Easter weekend and extended bank holidays, we’ve also made the most of quality time with the kids. Sunday night was spent camping in the garden but was short-lived following a toilet trip at 4am. We’ve also been redecorating the summer house after a clear out with a more nautical theme. It’s been lovely getting to spend so much time outdoors with the family and extremely satisfying to get handy on some DIY. This lockdown does have some perks.
Exercise is hard to fit in with working from home permanently. My hours are generally 8:30-5:30 so by the time I finish work and sit down with the kids for dinner, I’m too tired to get out. I managed to get a couple evening runs in though, even joined the boy on one of his jogs one evening and ran after Princess riding her bike.
For Good Friday, we put out a much-needed dose of House Finesse with an extended 2-hour format now that we’re reducing the frequency to quarterly. It was great fun producing the mix and quite straight forward collaborating with Stu on it. My uncompressed WAV was shared through iCloud and his final MP3 was then uploaded to Pinecast. Artwork was created with Canva and, following some RSS tinkering Friday morning, people were downloading it all weekend with over 150 in the first 24 hours. Most shows get about 1,500 downloads so we’re off to a good start.
I also blogged on life 17 days into the lockdown. I’m trying to write a lot more at the moment, using the opportunity to flex my writing muscles and capture key memories. It might be hard at times, especially with the topics, but it will be worth it in the future as so many people keep referencing these “unprecedented times”.
Roku Express has continued to impress with its wealth of supported content providers. I bought it as the cheapest option to support DisneyPlus but I was delighted to notice AppleTV was also available along with Prime and NowTV. The iOS app also improves the UX for easier navigation so compared to an Apple TV box, it’s about 20% the cost but provides most the features required. Even this Apple Fanboy is impressed.
I also managed to revive an old 2TB Western Digital network drive which I thought had seen its days. It’s now plugged into the Linksys mesh network so it’s discoverable on all internal devices, with more than a decade’s worth of content to browse.
- The Nest on BBC is continuing to keep us gripped on with the surrogate mother and murder mystery. Plenty twists and turns to keep you hooked.
- I finished reading Slam by Nick Hornby last week. Slightly indulgent and definitely not as literally challenging as I should be reading, but I’ve always been a fan of Hornby’s stories so it was a delight to complete that one.
- I’ve now started reading The Fever King by Victoria Lee – a dystopian fiction which appears to combine politics, magic and futuristic happenings. First few chapters are difficult to get in to but I’m persisting.