Chris Thomas


Week #19 (Lockdown week 1?)

  • It’s hailing outside as I write this. Which is interesting isn’t it. Something to look at.
  • Harriet’s doing her YouTube Pilates video, which is something to look at too
  • I stopped shaving about a week ago. I was hoping my facial hair might have developed since the last time I did this about 10 years ago. It has not.
  • I mostly look like I’ve let myself go a bit. Perhaps I have. Last night we watched Cruising with Jane McDonald and got a Chinese. It felt like the height of luxury at the time.
  • I’ve managed to spend less time looking at the news which has helped my mental state significantly
  • Got pulled back onto my old team to help out with some COVID-related work this week. When I got there they seemed to be doing a great job and didn’t really need my help.
  • More generally, I’m very impressed by and thankful for the work my colleagues are doing on GOV.UK and NHS.UK at the moment. They’re doing incredible work in very pressured circumstances.
  • The value of having skilled in-house digital teams in government has surely never been more clear. Imagine if we were just spaffing a load of money at BIG IT CORP to build these new services from scratch in a week. Reader, it would not go well.
  • Finished reading ‘Designing Japan’ by Kenya Hara, who wrote one of my favourite books ‘Designing Design’. TBH I’m not too sure about this one. It has an interesting premise – how the deep aesthetic sensibility of Japanese people and culture can be the country’s most valuable resource in its post-industrial post-growth era… And like ‘Designing Design’ it reads beautifully at times, like you are in the calm mind of a very considered and rational person. But the book’s a bit all over the place, with a weird focus on cars and tourism. Recommend only for fanbois.
  • Went for a top walk yesterday up to Crystal Palace park. A truly underrated London park. Completely batshit. Concrete Victorian dinosaur sculpures, a maze, derelict Italian-style terraces (with sphinxes, apropos of nothing), a concert arena with a modern rusted steel stage. Barely anyone there. Recommend for anyone.
  • I am becoming very fixated on the idea of that first pint out in a beer garden somewhere this summer. We’ll drink again, some sunny day.