Chris Ballantine-Thomas

Note

Weeknote S2 E1

Interviewer: Welcome back Chris! It’s been a while. What made you start writing weeknotes again?

Chris: Thanks for having me! Yes, I’m back. I gave in after being repeatedly shamed and threatened by Angus. I can’t promise I’ll always write weekly – writing even a cursory list of bullets each week was too much to keep up when the pandemic first began. Why would things be better now?

I: Well it’s fair to say, we’ve all missed hearing about your weeks. How was the last week of January 2021 then?

C: I’ve started the year feeling fairly tired and demoralised. Just no future is there? Living in the moment can only go so far if the moment is a bit shit.

Whilst I’ve never been more grateful for the material, pragmatic aspects of my work – job security, good pay – my relationship with it has also never felt so transactional or attritional. Everything happening on this flat shiny surface connected to a tube. I really miss going to a different place and being around people every day. If the last year has told me anything it’s that there are real limits to my introversion.

I: You poor thing. How are you taking care of yourself?

C: I’ve tried to be on social media less. A good way someone suggested to do this is to stop using the apps. The relative clunkiness of the Instagram and Twitter websites seems to make them a bit less addictive. And logging out after you’ve had a scroll and got the dopamine injection.

That iPhone ‘app limit’ feature has never worked for me. It’s too easy to override. It needs more friction – complete a puzzle to enter, do 50 pushups to enter, watch 3 minutes of adverts to enter… anything as long as it’s awful.

I: The most important step is realising and accepting you have a problem. On a more positive note, what was the highlight of your week?

C: The snow on Sunday morning. It felt like a gift. Went for a lovely walk and took some very grey pictures in Norwood Park.

I: Not bad.

C: Thank you.

I: So have you been consuming any outré cultural products lately that will give an impression of sophistication to your online readership?

C: Not really. My favourite TV show at the moment is Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel. I watch it religiously every Saturday night.

I: Oh dear.

C:

I: I suppose this is the bit where you go on about football for a while.

C: What a shitshow the last few weeks have been. Even Thiago, beautiful, elegant Thiago, has resembled a disheveled friend who’s let themselves go a bit. It was a relief to beat Spurs last night and play relatively well. I couldn’t enjoy it that much because my dodgy stream skipped out for 2 of Liverpool’s 3 goals. I jus–

I: That’s probably enough on that. Not everyone’s into football you know.

C: I’m sorry, forgive me.

I: Let’s finish it there. I have another appointment.

C: Yeah. Thanks for the opportunity.

I: Prepare better next time. See you next week.

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