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Automattic Life

Sabbatical: Week Four

The fourth week of my sabbatical is over.

Right now it still feels like an extended holiday rather than the “oh wow, this is something special” that I know it will morph into over time.

The week is interesting because I’ve started to feel less fulfilled from what I’m doing each day – I get to the end and think “I haven’t done enough today”.

  • I mentioned last week that I was baking for my choir. I didn’t take picture of the “before” but at the top of this post is the “after” (after the choir had demolished it all). I made a lemon drizzle, fresh fruit muffins and gooey chocolate brownie. The remainder here only represents a small amount of what I made.
  • The most important bit, at the beginning of the week, was finishing off the shed work. Even after that post about it, I did some more work to it on the outside – a handle (it lacked one), a sign (long story) and a hook to hold the door open.
  • Tuesday marked the apex of an issue that I’d been having for a few weeks. Since cycling regularly I’d been encountering what, I suspect, most cyclists do, in the form of dangerous encounters with pedestrians and car drivers. These often turn to aggression and today just that happened, but on an epic scale.
    My park has a cycle lane, separate to the pedestrian lane, but that doesn’t stop dog walkers or whoever else from using it. I was cycling along this, heading to the gym, when a jogger was coming towards me, in the cycling lane. I rang my bell to make sure he was aware of my presence but he didn’t move. I had to move into the pedestrian lane to cycle around him. As I did I pointed out, very politely and calmly, that he was in the cycle lane.
    Oh, dear God. He went ballistic. He tried running after me. Called me every name you could think of. And threatened me.
    I’ve also had some close encounters with car drivers, including one later in the week that I reported to the police. As a result of all this I’ve spent a far chunk of money ordering a camera for my cycle helmet, which will make me feel safer.
  • I spent quite a chunk of Tuesday and Wednesday preparing and managing (is that the right word?) my wife’s birthday – shopping and prep on Tuesday followed by sorting out food, present opening, setting up presents (!), etc.
  • I had a hearing test. It was pro-active one – when you get to 50, you want to make sure, as these things tend to slowly happen and you don’t realise. It turns out my hearing is absolutely fine and I don’t have to consider it again for another 5 years.
  • With events coming up at the weekend and my car looking like it’s been through a ploughed field, I spent some time on Friday giving it a clean inside before taking it get washed on the outside on Saturday morning.
  • One of my musical societies, The Cast, was having a BBQ on Saturday, and I went to that. Members past and present were invited and I was the only past one, so didn’t know anybody there. It was awkward but I stayed for 4 hours in the end, mainly listening rather than talking.
  • Today, there’s a meet up of my wife’s family in Harrogate. My sister-in-law drove over to us last night and I’ll drive us all up there this morning, before returning this evening.
  • I also spent some time on Friday tidying the top bedroom, in preparation for my sister-in-law staying over.

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