Wow. Time really passes quickly. It’s been almost three months since I last wrote about my plans.
Three very surreal months! It been quite exciting, so I figured now would be a good time to share some updates.
My last update was in early April and I left the BBC on April the 28th. My team came to visit me for the last few days (final handovers etc).
At the moment my contract ended we where together with drinks to celebrate what we had done together and to our various futures.
It was a really great moment. I deeply care for my team and it’s been an honour to work alongside them for so long.
The BBC was very good to me for almost 11 years. I will always treasure the time I had there, but it stopped being the right place for me.
The summer of adventure was calling me and it was time for something different.
As hoped, my summer of adventure started with a heap of interesting trips and events. May was a wonderful blend of things.
Early in the month I did my first ‘stay away’ trip for an event in Cardiff. It went really smoothly and was rather wonderful. All the tools and techniques we’ve engineered worked beautifully. Once again, the buggy being the standout. It’s a little pocket of magic and has proven to be incredibly effective.
Another source of adventure was finding a suitable bike for Oli. Our riding has progressed considerably in the past year with much faster and more challenging trails. His little ebike was being pushed a tad to hard. We kept loosing rides due to bits breaking or small crashes. It was time to find Oli something more capable.
We test rode various options and it took about a month to identify the right bike and bike shop. The bike is a foundation of so many adventures, it was important it was right and worth the time and money invested.
Alongside the various adventures I’ve also had the time to play. Play has always been a huge part of my life, it’s been great to give it the time it needs so I can really make the most of it.
Throughout May I was playing with all sorts of projects. On the event side of things, I was very busy with things like the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This year I contributed to a dozen events for folks like Sky, HSBC, UXPA and others. It was a wild week and heaps of fun.
I’ve also played quite a lot of Xbox and did a lot of coding.
The coding stuff was a nice surprise. I started played with a new framework called SwiftUI. It’s used for building iPhone / iPad and Mac apps. It’s very powerful and enjoyable to build with.
I ended up doing way more than my intended part time work on our financial crime detection tool. I used SwiftUI to build out a full admin app and the API to power it.
It’s been fun to learn a new toolset. It builds on languages and development patterns I’ve used before and allows me to apply them in new places. It’s spawned a number of projects and experiments.
I came into June with really fantastic momentum and positivity. It erm. Then got a bit wobbly.
My flatmate got rather unlucky and caught COVID at an event. We already had an isolation plan in place so when he started feeling unwell we got him safely into isolation. The timing was good as he tested positive the following day.
COVID has been pretty rough. My flatmate is on the mend, but it’s fair to say it hit him far harder than anyone would have expected.
The impact of COVID has been quite varied. Past the health issues the biggest immediate impact was damage to the environment and our routines.
In order for him to isolate, we had to free up a room… the only room we could free up is also the only accessible room in the flat.
Essentially my world got a lot smaller… my world wasn’t huge to begin with.
Having so little usable space impacted my seating which in turn led to a big flare up in my spinal cord injury. It’s been very painful and physically complex to make life work with so little space.
We’re still navigating the space issues and other COVID fall out. My friends and support folks have been amazing and we have developed a ‘good enough for now’ solution.
All in, we got off lightly with COVID. It could have been so much worse. We kept positive through and we’re coming out of it with good momentum.
We’re already starting to rebuild things. In the next few weeks we should be able to fix most of the space related issues and in the past week we where able to resume adventures.
A few days ago we made it out for a ride at a nearby bike park and both the bikes are riding well. We have an entire summer of riding ahead of us.
June has been pretty brutal. However I’m thriving in ways I couldn’t have imagined a year ago. We’re navigating challenges with poise and I’m excited for the future.
My focus on adventure and play is working wonderfully. I am really excited to see what comes next.