Okay, I’m going to start out honestly, and admit to having binged a lot of streaming services, primarily Netflix. Particularly over the Christmas period, before I realised just how long I was going to be bedridden for, I rewatched the entire series runs of Deep Space Nine and Friends, and watched a few shows I hadn’t seen before, the best of which were Still Game and Disenchantment.
Although certainly not healthy, watching something entertaining helps sometimes to get the mind off the pain.
Update 23 Feb:
With Still Game finished, and Disenchantment caught up to the end of its third season, I revisited and finally finished Black Sails, a pirate series that serves as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (which I also read again afterwards, see below). It has its ups and downs: some great swashbuckling action and 18th century visuals are let down at times by the modern
streaming TV trap of making a 40-hour movie; the writers often get tangled in their own plot lines and I felt the show could have been slightly more episodic and thus ran a season or two longer.
I also watched the premiere season of Star Trek: Picard. A long time Trek fan, I’d been holding off after finding the new Abrams movies and the first season of Discovery disappointing, but I really loved The Next Generation and found Picard’s first season quite good. I particularly liked the Romulan myth idea: this gave some real depth to an alien culture’s actions and prejudices in a way that’s not often adequately explored in science fiction, where bad guys too often do bad deeds simply because they’re bad guys. A welcome development in Trek!
With our long-planned bike touring trip from Austria to France now postponed for a few years by the ‘rona, I now have the time to learn some Français before going. I downloaded an online app called Duolingo, which is available both as a web browser app and a smartphone app (iOS, Android, etc.). Whilst it has some limitations, I certainly plan to expand my learning beyond Duolingo once I’m up and about again. The mental health benefits of learning French through the app has been two-fold — not only am I actively engaging my brain and learning something new, but it’s a positive way to burn some time. In just my first three days of usage I spent six hours and 27 minutes on Duolingo!
J’apprends à parler français! Je va trés bien.
Working on my blog
One of the best aspects of being a lover of the outdoors who’s also a rabid geek is that I derive as much enjoyment out of maintaining this blog as I do from the activities/things I’m blogging about. Now that I’m forced into bed, I have plenty of time for
site maintenance. Over the past few weeks I’ve cleanup some posts, worked on some better typography and appearance issues, updated plugins and wrote some customisations in my own plugin. I’ve also been working on some upcoming blog post ideas and concepts for when I do get back on my bike and on the rivers.
Updating my professional resumé
Now that I’ve finished my degree (late December 2020) I’ve been updating my resumé to reflect my new education achievements, as well as taking this time to refresh the overall layout and appearance of the printed version. Like this blog — my online resumé is actually a subdomain of this site — I’ve taken the time to work out some site bugs and better HTML markup etc. as well as line up some plugin modifications and portfolio features into the pipeline for the future.
Reading a book
This one seems so obvious that I was shocked when I realised just how long it had been since I’d read a good book during the day. As a young laid-back teenager I’d love to just curl up on the bed all day with a book and get lost in its pages. As a busy father, working, studying and looking after my children has taken up most of my daylight hours in recent years and my reading has been limited to an hour or so before sleep in the evenings.
I’ve picked up a copy of Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. I’ve read so much about it and its impact, am looking forward to it!
Creating a WordPress plugin
Maybe it’s just boredom, but I had an idea for a WordPress plugin around the topic of mental health, that I’m investigating and developing the framework for at the moment. I haven’t attempted a publicly-distributed plugin before so it will be an interesting little project. More to come on this soon, hopefully…