Weeknotes 15

15th April 2019 – 21st April 2019

A calmer week with quite a lot done.

Client work

My clients being surprisingly quiet, and I think in many cases spending time with their family, gave me a chance to catch up with a lot of hanging threads. So I was able to do testing, put prices together and investigate various things that have been waiting for my time for one client, although them not being responsive means I’m now waiting on several decisions which I’ll hopefully hear about next week. Otherwise it was lots of small fixes for various clients. On Wednesday Laura and I both worked in The Skiff, which is very helpful when we need to talk a lot about what’s going on with our mutual clients.

My Projects

Some progress on the negative keyword suggestions system which is part of my Brisk PPC web app. I got done some useful work with suggestions that come out of the database, then got bogged down on some libraries I’m trying to use to help with some text processing for other suggestions. I hit a frustrating part on Wednesday evening where I thought I could get some initial work done on getting a library working with Laravel, but couldn’t quite as I was tripping up on something simple, probably because I was just too tired to focus properly.

Very nice to make some progress, I hope to get the library work done enough to test next week.


Once again thanks to friends and family, I got quite a lot of work time this week given Tom was on Easter holiday from school. I’m back in balance on keeping my hip happy so minimal pain on that front helped concentration too. One bad morning / weak migraine in the night of Sunday to Monday which I’m still tracking down the cause of, but I think it was due to relaxing on Sunday – a standard cause of classic type migraines is relaxing after a run of stress/tension.


Once again not enough time on this, but I’m hoping to restart next week.

The Farm

Numbers up to 21, partly due to a new person brought along by Dan, and Claire who I know from the Skiff coming as she had childcare for a change. In the Caxton Arms as usual. My notes were…

  • A crash course in freelancing
  • Finding work via networking
  • How contracting works
  • Finding work through/within web agencies
  • Getting clients while in full time work
  • Rock climbing
  • When to keep an awkward client
  • Never quite getting to coworking
  • Horrific drinking stories
  • CBD oil
  • Stress/tension
  • Migraines
  • Smoking vs vaping
  • Magento v1 vs v2
  • Laravel
  • ColdFusion – still going
  • Juggling multiple clients
  • Continuous learning

I had a long chat with Nick about migraines and he’s very kindly given me some things to try to prevent them. I’m hoping I’m generally back to normal now, as in avoiding the food that triggers them, but we’ll see over the next few weeks.


I saw my cousin, her hubby and children in the week, which was lovely and I was able to give them their Christmas presents (yes, it’s been a while.) The weekend had a lot of family time as we visited both sides for Easter.

Katie’s laptop, an eight year old merging of two machines, died late in the week and I spent some time getting it going again. Sadly it’s not reliably working again but I’m going to have another go at it. I found this page on different startup options for Macs very helpful it getting it going enough to do some backing up, and James, who used to fix Macs professionally, was very helpful too.

Reading: Still on A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick. It’s interesting seeing how the characters are degrading through their drug use, and how the main character is becoming a noticeably less reliable narrator as the book goes on.

Listening to: Two podcasts I’m particularly enjoying at the moment are Rocket – tech, product and politics conversations, and Focused – productivity chat and interviews. Both from the Relay.fm, so production is excellent – they are well edited I can turn up my headphones and still hear what’s being said when I’m walking along busy roads, and there’s no swearing so I can have it on in the kitchen when cooking without worrying what Tom might hear. One extra nice thing about Rocket is it’s hosted by three women, so their opinions and experiences are different to my own and a lot of the podcasts I listen to, which tend to be two men talking, and most often two white men talking.

Writing with: Mainly my J Herbin rollerball. I thought I might finish the current cartridge of Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, but didn’t quite so may use it a bit next week to get through it. I’m probably swapping it back to black ink next time, for some reason I’m happy writing fiction in brown, but don’t like it for my tech work, even if it’s just notes for my use.


I’m finding reading other people’s weeknotes helpful as well as writing my own. To help spread the idea I’ve started a Weeknotes subreddit. If you do your own Weeknotes and are a Redditor, please do submit them there. I find Reddit sub-communities highly variable, I’m intending to keep this an on-topic and friendly subreddit.

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