Lockdown Activities

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So much has been written about the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months, and adding any more to it will certainly not be helpful. But while we all learn to cope with our new reality, it’s been important for me to refocus my attention from the external to the internal.

We moved into our new house around 18 months ago, and there are still plenty of postponed tasks that could definitely be started. I plan to use my holiday days to tackle some of them — fitting some extra shelves, sorting through all the extra boxes of kitchen stuff that we never unpacked, hanging pictures, painting fences, fitting a light in the loft — the usual stuff!

As well as tackling jobs around the house, I’ve taken the same approach to my digital space, and have spent time on my own technical projects that I just couldn’t justify previously. Here are a few of the things I’ve been having fun with:

  • dino - a daft little script to try and play the chrome://dino game. It’s not very good at the moment!
  • Updated a number of the GitHub projects to use a standard showcase template, using jekyll-remote-theme
  • Moved all my videos to Cloudinary to consistently handle videos without converting them myself. Makes a big improvement to the Flash videos I had a number of years ago!
  • General improvements to mobile style, especially code blocks
  • I finally wrote my computing interests page!

Productivity aside, I’ve been doing my best to take time for friends and family too. I’m lucky to be able to work from home without children, but a number of friends and colleages simply don’t have that luxury: taking care of vulnerable relatives, teaching their children, working in vital healthcare roles, getting to grips with teaching classes remotely, and any number of important responsibilties. When they get a moment to unwind, we’ve spent time having a virtual drink together and chatting the usual rubbish. I’ve played poker with groups of friends, including one from the Cayman Islands — it took this lockdown for us to arrange a game with him, something we could have easily done before this, so I definitely feel bad about that!

As with everything, but especially in times of stress, I think it’s important to remember that we don’t have control over the adversity that we face, but we do have control over the way we respond.1 Stay safe, look out for each other, and we’ll see you all on the other side. ❤️

  1. This is the message of many motivational talks and management coaches, but this particular line came from Chad Williams. For another great Navy SEAL speech, see this speech by Admiral William H McRaven from UT Austin in 2014. 

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