Week 39 of 2020 brings home alone, beer fail, remote group workouts, Liz Elcoate, Amazon Podcasts, free Jira and unexpected Shopify charges.

Sticking to some outlined bullet points this week, simply for convenience and efficiency. (For reference, it took about 20-25 minutes to write. Nailing it.)

  • This was my first week alone in the house since lockdown came into place. It was very strange being the soul human around for a few days but, unfortunately, the boy’s return to school following surgery was slightly premature with further pains returning. A mid-week trip to A&E confirmed it was nothing serious (thankfully) but further R&R was suggested.
  • Dietary adjustments came into play this week with an attempt to introduce oily fish for aching joints (see featured image) and results from an intolerance test confirmed beer is a likely source of my abdominal pains. Age is a b*tch when it takes out one of your favourite foods. (It also prompted me to cancel the Brew Republic subscription I’ve recently been enjoying – time to find a gin/wine alternative)
  • I managed to squeeze in three Joe Wicks workouts this week thanks to a regularly scheduled “meeting” with a colleague to help encourage each other. Squatting and lunging over WhatsApp calls with colleagues is admittedly a strange sensation but a brilliant way to break down boundaries and add a comedic element to your daily workouts.
  • Make Life Work returned to the “airwaves” on Friday with Liz Elcoate providing the first episode of Season 4. As discussed on the show, the hard part is really all the preparation and promotion rather than the recording. Even post-production was quite straight forward (although I’ll admit now I kept it simple rather than going down the Nicholas Parsons’ route).
  • With the new website and feed, there was some extra admin to ensure new episodes were pushed out. My suspicions were squashed though as an early test showed Overcast first, Amazon second and Apple third without issues.
  • I also tried something new with early access on Patreon along with a video trailer for the socials (using Headliner). I’ve got beta access to a similar tool I’ll try this week to see how it compares but functionality does seem slightly simpler.
  • Earlier in the week, I discovered Jira now provides free plans for up to 10 users. With work shifting away to some internal proprietary alternatives, I’m keen to keep on top of Jira’s latest features (being the industry standard for what I do) so setup a plan for my side projects, tinkering around with some of the “next gen” features. For now, MLW is a kanban setup whilst TeachMugs (see next point) is Scrum.
  • Earlier in the year, Mrs J had a genius idea to setup a website selling mugs for teachers, so we snapped up teachmugs.com. Naturally, it fell by the way side but following an unexpected Shopify invoice for $28 following the initial 3-month free trial (some email warnings wouldn’t go amiss Shopify!), I’ve decided to give it one last try. I’ve connected Printful to the website with a couple sample products I’ve now ordered to test fulfilment. They should arrive in the next week or so to know what timelines and quality are like. Then we can pull together a fag-packet business plan on running costs/ROI.