Chris Thomas

Notes

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.

/notes/2020/03/29/weeknote.html

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.

/notes/2020/03/20/weeknote.html

Weeks #14, #15 & #16

  • I have been slacking on writing weeknotes. This is mostly because Harriet and I have spent the last few weeks completing on and moving into a flat. I’m fucking chuffed to be honest.
  • We now live in the slightly more suburban climes of West Norwood. I have gained a lot of Quality Of Life points in the last week. I don’t get the tube to work any more. The ceilings are high enough that I can’t reach them and the windows let light in. At dawn you can hear birds singing instead of pissheads. We have a dishwasher. Is this what adulthood is like?
  • I’m reliably informed that pretty much no-one refers to West Norwood as ‘WoNo’.
  • Now that I use it regularly again – credit where credit’s due, they have done an excellent job with the the new London Bridge station. Hard to remember now how crap it was when I first moved to London.
  • Work’s been good. Highlight has been going up to Manchester to give some training and getting reliably soaked through on the 5 minute walk from my hotel to the venue.
  • I’m really into these Thames Water drinking fountains that have started popping up around the place. Just something sort of Japanese and knowingly obvious about them. Haven’t actually used one like.
  • Sounds like no-one else likes them, although I don’t have time to list all my takedowns of the critique in this popular tweet
  • This new Beatrice Dillon album is made of thousands of very nice little noises
  • Just as I feel like I’m properly getting my shit together, Liverpool are losing theirs. So it goes.

/notes/2020/03/06/weeknote.html