Chris Thomas

I am a designer working in graphic and interaction design. I work at the Government Digital Service, where I'm on the GOV.UK Design System and GOV.UK Pay teams.



Week #18

  • Not much happened
  • Running for 20-odd minutes just before or after work has been good for not getting depressed
  • Tuesday night I watched the Liverpool Barcelona match from last season on Zoom with my Liverpool-supporting pals. Sadio Mané was extraordinary in that game.
  • We’re still without a sofa in the flat, and no-one’s delivering them anymore. So we fashioned one out of some spare bedding piled up in a cardboard box. Put some swanky cushions on top. Looks deece.

Photo of a makeshift sofa constructed from piled up duvets in a cardboard box


Week #19 (Lockdown week 1?)

  • It’s hailing outside as I write this. Which is interesting isn’t it. Something to look at.
  • Harriet’s doing her YouTube Pilates video, which is something to look at too
  • I stopped shaving about a week ago. I was hoping my facial hair might have developed since the last time I did this about 10 years ago. It has not.
  • I mostly look like I’ve let myself go a bit. Perhaps I have. Last night we watched Cruising with Jane McDonald and got a Chinese. It felt like the height of luxury at the time.
  • I’ve managed to spend less time looking at the news which has helped my mental state significantly
  • Got pulled back onto my old team to help out with some COVID-related work this week. When I got there they seemed to be doing a great job and didn’t really need my help.
  • More generally, I’m very impressed by and thankful for the work my colleagues are doing on GOV.UK and NHS.UK at the moment. They’re doing incredible work in very pressured circumstances.
  • The value of having skilled in-house digital teams in government has surely never been more clear. Imagine if we were just spaffing a load of money at BIG IT CORP to build these new services from scratch in a week. Reader, it would not go well.
  • Finished reading ‘Designing Japan’ by Kenya Hara, who wrote one of my favourite books ‘Designing Design’. TBH I’m not too sure about this one. It has an interesting premise – how the deep aesthetic sensibility of Japanese people and culture can be the country’s most valuable resource in its post-industrial post-growth era… And like ‘Designing Design’ it reads beautifully at times, like you are in the calm mind of a very considered and rational person. But the book’s a bit all over the place, with a weird focus on cars and tourism. Recommend only for fanbois.
  • Went for a top walk yesterday up to Crystal Palace park. A truly underrated London park. Completely batshit. Concrete Victorian dinosaur sculpures, a maze, derelict Italian-style terraces (with sphinxes, apropos of nothing), a concert arena with a modern rusted steel stage. Barely anyone there. Recommend for anyone.
  • I am becoming very fixated on the idea of that first pint out in a beer garden somewhere this summer. We’ll drink again, some sunny day.


Weeks #17 & #18

  • What a strange couple of weeks. It is only going to get stranger.
  • Feeling extremely fortunate to have a stable job where it is easy enough to work from home, as well as good health, no dependents etc.
  • There must be lists out there of things you can do to help others less fortunate than yourself? Obviously from the comfort of your own home. I’m donating to the local foodbank, which is generally a good idea, but feels a bit like pissing in the wind.
  • Have been feeling extremely anxious at times. When you start thinking of the implications of everything and how ill-prepared (philosophically as much as materially) we are to deal with a global crisis like this it can leave your head spinning.
  • I know whose fault my mum would say this all goes back to but will skip mentioning it on here. Happy Mother’s Day, mum.
  • I have been enjoying making food at least. Pies and stews. Cheese and bread. Why have I immediately lapsed into making austerity nostalgia meals?
  • Wallowing in potato and pastry will only go so far. Am also working my way through pretty much everything in Meera Sodha’s East. Every recipe is good.
  • I’m hoping that at some point in the next few weeks, people settle into being indoors and some new positive social/cultural things come out of it. Even if it’s people being funny on Tiktok. We’ve never been better placed to communicate with one another in such circumstances.
  • At the very least, I should be able to keep up with writing a weeknote every week now.