Blog archive May 2021

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12.05.21 / 01 / logo redesign (again)

sorry about all this messing about with the logo. every time i think i've nailed it, and then i think, "no"...

and you have to wait for the browser cache to catch up again.

what i'm aiming for these days is something that might be found on the back of a citroen SM. that weird angularity that the french used to do so well. see also the spaceman audacieuse watch. and inspiration from the rinse fm logo.

but the letters of 'small ritual' are an awkward bunch to combine, even pushed to the edge of legible. compare new order - the perfect graphic name. just play with the O, or italicise one word, or even omit the vowels nwrdr.

and the colours - always circling back to the british rail corporate identity.

02.05.21 / 02 / future present korea webinar

Meanwhile, I did a Future Present webinar with Jonny to 60-70 South Korean Anglican clergy on Wednesday - say a couple of sentences, then wait to be translated. No way of knowing how they translated you - when they laugh but you didn’t say anything funny... Jonny mentioned Minecraft church, the translator had to explain what Minecraft was! Who knows what they said about us in the chat, but Korean typography looks cool.

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02.05.21 / 01 / ill health and resignation

In December I developed a soreness in my right side - I couldn't sleep on that side without waking up in intense discomfort - like something was injured that had no pain nerves and could only communicate with a sense of 'shock'. A course of heavy doses of ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory as much as painkilling) helped but did not cure.

I was of course very concerned - my aunt died of liver cancer (four weeks after diagnosis!), Nic Hughes had gall bladder cancer, all in that general area of the body. Or a duodenal ulcer - quite possible given the stress I have been living with. The blood tests and ultrasound scan were negative. "You have a fatty liver," said the ultrasound person. "Like a goose?" I replied.

The doctor said "it's not visceral (ie organs) - it must be musculo-skeletal" and the symptoms have gradually improved. Whatever it is, it is clearly very affected by my work stress levels. I wondered why I was risking my long term health and possibly my life. The scan was on Friday 26th March. I resigned on Monday 29th, after discussing it with Jonny on the weekend. I leave on 28th May.

Every major project for the last 5 years resulted in me taking a month or two off to deal with mental/physical illness. Every time I started further down the ladder of ill-health and burnout. The only way to stop the cycle is to leave, before I have an irretrievable breakdown of some sort.

I worked out last year that I could take a year out without working if required (the sort of calculation one made during the pandemic). So the plan is to spend six months out without looking for work, to recover my health, fitness, and creativity. If work comes looking or I spot something, I will still be saying can it wait until next year.

Meanwhile I still have to slog through the current project situation, working nights and weekends. In spite of the health scare, the only days I have not logged into work recently have been Good Friday, and a couple of Saturdays when I was ill. This has actually been my life.

As the lockdowns lift and people get back together I am seeing that there is a lot of burnout and personal implosion happening. This is due primarily to extreme overwork - the added effect of WFH has been to rob people of the support that comes from just being in the same space together, the presence and sympathy and solidarity. And people who live alone have to cope with bad things by themselves. It’s tough.

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