Weeknotes 2020 #4: cancel everything


Two weeks and a million years since the last weeknotes.

Coronavirus is here to change the fabric of our society. First suddenly, and then quietly forever.

The local supermarket is out of loo roll, rice, pasta, pasta sauces and most tinned goods. But, there is an abundance of good nature, hard workers and good food still on offer. TimeOut is now TimeIn, airlines, holiday makers on the verge of collapse. How thin parts of our late-capitalist society are shown to be.

What a time to have become an independent consultant!

To ease the weirdness and anxiety, the weekend has been spent figuring out other ways to be social: experimenting with always-on video calls with our globally scattered burning man camp; catch-ups with far flung friends and godchildren; small simple dinners hosted at home with just a couple of people. Whereby and Zoom are my favourite tools for this right now, hangouts meet is in the mix too.

Why outbreaks spread exponentially, does the best job of showing how staying at home where possible is simply the best thing to do for the resilience of our health service and the entire population, even if the government’s medical advisors believe we’re psychologically incapable of sustaining it.

On the work front, I’m bracing for potentially having contracts paused, resulting in a quiet time. I’m perhaps thankful I’ve been working solidly for some time now, so there’s money in the bank to sustain whilst thinking about perhaps doing some other / volunteer work to put my skills to good use for the crisis. And reaching out to neighbours.

In other news:

  • I sold some music. Well, licensed SATB & piano choral arrangements of songs, to be precise. I guess that makes me a paid musician now? I shall hardly be dining out on the takings but it feels like an accomplishment nonetheless.
  • The Pink Singers are not in the studio this weekend recording as planned. This is sad, but entirely the right decision to make in a group that spans many generations, includes a fair few immunocompromised folks, and an unusually high number of healthcare workers.
  • The Barberfellas are not having our 10-year-anniversary concert in April, nor going to Helsinki and Tallinn as previously planned, nor any of the other paid & unpaid gigs we had coming up, most likely.
  • The Open University are not holding the graduation ceremony I was looking forward to next weekend.
  • Elvis the puggle has had a stomach bug. D&V central. Thankfully a trip to the vet and a lot of imaginitive administering of antibiotics has helped
  • I went to Manchester this week for work and managed to squeeze in the Figs in Wigs show, Little Wimmin, which was quite grand, and accidentally bumped into loads of long-lost friends on the queer arts scene. It’s transferring to London and is worth a visit.

And finally, a couple of the things I’ll be looking at most in the next week. Firstly, a twitter thread from Dr Petra Boynton about anxiety in the time of corona:

And secondly, this really useful resource by Richard McLean with 101 things to read about remote working.

Maybe there will be more frequent weeknotes (they are basically fortnight notes right now).

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