Weeknotes 12

25th March 2019 – 31st March 2019

More feeling rough, still too much Brexit news, and some progress on my projects.

Client work

A busier week, although still feeling rough which slowed progress.

Cloudflare is looking better for the client I am testing it for and seems to knock about half a second off their page load time now it has settled in. I’m now working out whether to use it on their standard domain or register one for their static assets (CSS, images and so on.)

I finally actually managed to get access to another client’s new server… but only using Windows 10, which I have on a very underpowered PC I use for testing. This is far from ideal as I don’t want to cart around two laptops whenever I need to work on that site, and the PC is really too slow to comfortably develop on. I’m currently waiting for their support to come back with enough details that I can get a VPN client for OSX working to connect. OSX has VPN software built in, but I’ve tried all the options in it and can’t get it to connect to the firewall the host has set up. I’m still finding this very frustrating.

Mixed in with this, various small updates for all my clients, and testing work that Laura did for them.

My projects

After a motivating talk with Dave at the Farm, I managed to get a chunk of work done on Brisk. I’ve still got a bunch to do on it, but it feels good to get some more, very useful features in and work towards getting in some changes one of my beta testers requested to match how she works.


Better than last week, but still not great. I hurt my knee doing a walk in the Downs with my son’s Cub group on Thursday night and was in pain until something clicked back in to place on Saturday. This leads me to think I have the same problem in my knee(s) that I do in my hips, which isn’t great. Before I’d blamed my reoccurring knee problem on wrenching it when ice skating a couple of years ago. I have to hope that it’s really just that coming back, but I need to get it checked at some point.

Several days at The Skiff helped with productivity, and thanks to family help and Tom going to a special music event one day after school, I got more work time than our schedules would suggest this week.


A chunk more 30×500 is now under my belt. I’ve got a few more stages to do then I want to sit down, finish a chunk of content for the Farm site, then get on with researching what to write for Brisk.

The Farm

We were back in the Caxton Arms this week, and I was back driving so no beer for me. Numbers were down a bit again at only 15. My notes are…

  • Looking for the right kind of marketer
  • Brexit votes
  • American tax forms
  • Building vs marketing an app
  • You need to understand some marketing yourself even if you get someone else to do it
  • Mutual client project catch up
  • Google Cloud Talent Solutions
  • Changes of management at a client/employer can be problematic
  • Scheduling your time effectively
  • Wanting to become a better writer
  • Procrastination
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Embuggerance
  • Client troubles
  • Trying to find time for building your own app/assets


The Downs walk on Thursday finished at the same time as the ISS was visible, causing my excitement from Tom which transferred to the rest of his pack. I had Tom all weekend as Katie was working. I got Garageband working on my laptop so he could practise what he learnt using it at a special music event at our local secondary school on Wednesday.

The highlight of the weekend was going to Robots Live in Burgess Hill, to see various remote controlled ‘robots’ fighting, as per the TV show Robot Wars (once again cancelled, which was how the Robots Live touring show started many years ago.) As well as enjoying the robot battles, Tom was delighted to get a chance to drive a tiny version of one of the fighting robots thanks to a member of one of the teams generously letting a lot of the younger members of the audience have a go on several robots under his watchful eye.

We’ve been to the show three times now and the STEM links to building robots is getting mentioned a lot more than it used to, but if this is the sort of thing that encourages kids in to science and engineering, that is all for the better. It’s not all just seeing 100kg lumps of metal throwing each other around, honest.

Here’s a blurry photo of some of the robots fighting in their heavily armoured arena…

Robots fighting at Robots Live in Burgess Hill

Reading: I’m very much enjoying Ancillary Mercy and I’m going to be disappointed to leave the characers behind when it finishes.

Writing with: Started on a Fountain Pentel, then kept bouncing back to the Zebra Z-Grip Max I have on the go as it’s almost empty. I’ll probably stick with the Zebra until it’s done next week, then work out what I’m switching on to.

Writing in: I finished the Lemome notebook I started the year with and started a Flying Tiger bullet journal dot grid A5 notebook. The paper isn’t as thick and good as the Lemome, but at £6 it was a bargain and I think better than the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks I’ve had in the past. Minimal ghosting meaning I have a chance to use both sides of the page which is difficult in a Leuchtturm and nigh on impossible in Moleskine with the pens I’m currently using.

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