Sunday night I told myself I'd get a good night's sleep because it's my first day back at work after a week off. I went to bed early and then found myself awoken at midnight by a thunderstorm and unable to get back to sleep. The same thing happened on the subsequent two nights—in fact, the weather (cloudy in the morning, getting muggier until it became warm and sunny with clouds in the afternoon, thunderstorm all night) repeated itself several days in a row. It was oddly tropical. Not great for me, though, as I spent the week fighting through the mild delirium of sleep deprivation.
This was exacerbated by Monday and Tuesday mostly consisting of moving furniture to the new office I mentioned the other week, fitting what work I could in between. It's coming together nicely, and should be fully kitted out by the end of this week. Josef said on this week's Memhaz that I'd identified the correct level of friction for getting to the office—enough that it doesn't quite feel like part of the house, but not enough that it means I feel like it's any real level of effort to go there (which was the problem I've had with offices in the past). We've met most/all of our office neighbours and they're all thoroughly lovely. Very happy with it so far.
Monday evening was particularly fraught as I'd agree to go and see the play The Doctor with CM at the Theatre Royal. Despite my low energy, it was really enjoyable, with an absolutely stellar central performance from Juliet Stevenson. It was apparently adapted from another, older play—and to be honest, it did feel a little over-stuffed and unfocused, trying to address too many issues at once—but it was great regardless.
Wednesday and Thursday were theoretically easier nights for sleep but because I'd fallen behind on work I ended up staying up late to do it. This was compounded by the fact that I knew I wasn't going to be working on Friday because I was going to...
dConstruct; a conference organised by Jeremy Keith that I've wanted to go to for years but was always too much a poor student or too busy to do so.
In 2013 I was going to an event the day before dConstruct in the same building, and as I was leaving I saw some of the speakers for the next day milling around in the lobby, including my big-time fave Maciej Cegłowski, who was very nice to this strange awkward teenager who introduced himself, told him how much he loved Pinboard and gave him a hug. I may not have seen the talk but I did get that moment, at least.
It's somewhat difficult to describe what the conference is—as far as I can tell it started off being about web design and ended up being very loosely about that but mostly about whatever the organiser thought was cool (very much like Interesting).
I really enjoyed it—the talks were a bit of a mixed bag: some were absolute bangers, some were very interesting despite being presented by people whose aesthetic sensibilities seemed not to have moved on from those of a mid-2000s BoingBoing reader, and a few were unadvertised career retrospectives—which, even if you have had an interesting career (and some of these folk had!) I tend to switch off for.
But the bangers banged, and one of those was Matt Webb's talk, and I was able to go up to him afterwards and tell him how much I loved his blog. He was really sweet, especially since the first thing I told him was how wrong I thought he was about something he'd written about recently, and I've arranged to have a call with him next month; put another one in the Talk To People Whose Work You Like column.
So, on the whole an a+ affair, never to be repeated because that was the last dConstruct! I will have to lean on Jeremy the next time I bump into him at a folk night to do some more. Or maybe I'll have to organise something myself? Memhaz Live is in the ether. A field, a fire, a flipchart...
After dConstruct I wandered up the hill to deliver a birthday cake to my friend Geeta and also to see her new house which she's been doing up and is looking absolutely smashing!
After that I went to Josef's to record the first Memhaz episode in ages due to summer holidays etc, and I think it was an banger, classic Memhaz stuff.
We called it Return Of The King because we completely avoided talking about the Queen dying and talked about The Lord of the Rings instead. I thought that was a good joke.
Oh yeah—the Queen died. You'll remember where you were (in my case, lying in bed, taking a break from refreshing the BBC News site, when I heard someone outside the flat shout "LONG LIVE THE KING". Very strange way to find out.) and it certainly does feel like An Event (though obviously at least in part because the country's entire media apparatus is determine to make it feel that way). I think the thing that's been getting me the most is how the length of her reign means that there are a lot of things we've never had any different which are going to change. Expensive lawyers are now KCs (a lot of lawyers are going to have to get their fancy business cards reprinted), the anthem is God Save The King and banknotes, coins and stamps (well, I guess stamps are turning into barcodes, but still) are going to have Charles' face on. Things have not been this way since my grandparents were half my age.
The weekend was largely spent recovering from the week, and particularly quite because CM was in Dorset cat-sitting. It wasn't wholly without incident—a big Ikea order arrived today so I spent a lot of time assembling furniture which I will ferry to the office tomorrow. We also hit 100 subscribers on Seagull, which is thrilling—it's been a slow build but it feels like we're starting to get some momentum.