Week Notes #23

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  • First Week Notes of 2021!
  • It was a busy old time at the end of the year, where I both did nothing quite worth writing up about and a lot of things I couldn’t,
  • The big news is that now I’m fully remote and won’t be going back to the office when the pandemic restrictions lift (maybe for some Friday’s if others do too, but not at all like I once did); this is both exciting and scary as it opens up many options which previously weren’t possible,
  • On the book front, I just finished English Pastoral: An Inheritance, James Rebanks’ new book about inheriting his family’s farm and being a farmer in the modern world. I enjoyed it a lot. In a few ways it pairs well with George Monbiot’s Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life that I read last year and provided a more nuanced view on what the countryside is for, how we produce food and what it should be (specifically, I’m a big fan of the idea of rewilding ecosystems but the details are quite nuanced; for example, we’ve been doing organised farming for thousands of years and so the natural world has evolved around us and so I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect to return to vast amounts of temperate rainforest),
  • I’m now reading How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy which is excellent. It’s the book that formed this lovely talk from 2017, and (not quite what I was expecting) has similar themes from the prior two books,
  • Before Christmas, I also read What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, which came by recommendation from Alex Ellis. It’s about habits that might have been fine so far, but are now holding you back (like being a jerk to people without realising it, or shutting down conversations when you don’t mean to). I’d recommend it,
  • Outside of all of the cooking I did (I stayed in London, for the first time), I built a Brew Fridge and brewed my first beer in couple of years. I’d started brewing beer about four years ago, but in the old Victorian houses I’ve been in since it’s been very difficult to have the right place to ferment (over a period of two weeks and getting a stable temperature). So I built something to ferment in. Longer post to follow, but it was much easier to do than I expected!