Weeknotes - w/c 8th July 2019

/ About 4 min reading time

A week in the sun

I’m just back from a week away with my Wife. We’ve both been working really hard recently and were a little bit strung out. I’d got myself into a decent amount of sleep debt and needed a recharge. We booked a fairly last-minute trip to Majorca in a nice hotel and just had a really relaxing week.

I’d planned on renting a bike whilst we were and had taken my pedals, shoes and kit, but it was just too hot. It was ~35ºC most days, up to 40ºC at times. It never got below 30ºC at night, so even if I’d gone out first thing in the morning it would have been too hot for me. So, I didn’t. I spent the week relaxing and reading and eating and drinking. I went to the gym a few times, in the hope that the air conditioning in there would make it bearable (it did, just), and I did a lot of reading (see this week’s reading list, below).

I feel so much more refreshed having had a week away, not worrying about anything other than the SPF of my sun cream or where the next cocktail was coming from.

Voiceover by the pool

On a couple of days I challenged myself to spend some time learning to use Voiceover on iOS, using only gestures and swipes and a pair of earphones to navigate my iPad and iPhone and trying to do as much as possible without looking at my phone.

As a regularly sighted user, this feels like a steep learning curve. I soon picked up the gestures, but I was becoming very frustrated when I would hit brick walls in whatever interface I was using. A lot of that was navigating iOS itself, which made me think that I might be missing a part of the puzzle.

One of the things I noticed was that most of my current workflows, for reading and dealing with emails, managing my reading list and task list, etc. were just too difficult. Those workflows would either have to change, or I’d need to be a much more accomplished screen reader user to get that stuff done the way I currently do.

Reading the web itself was surprisingly decent, but I suppose the articles and pages I was reading were largely textual content written by people who care about building the web properly and were in the large part pretty accessible by dint of using correct HTML.

It was an interesting experience and it’s something I’m going to continue to pursue. Using a screen reader regularly will make me a better, more considerate web developer.

Big gig this weekend

I’ve got a gig! Those who’ve been following along will know that since the beginning of the year I’ve been playing at open mic nights, just me and my guitar, playing indie-folk covers. This has obviously gone down well because me and a couple of friends have been asked to play a solo set each and a short set together (we used to be in a band together, a long time ago).

I’ll admit, it’s not the O2 Arena. It’s hardly rock and roll, but I’m sure St Andrews Church Summer Garden Party’s visitors will appreciate my guitar ballads and folk stylings whilst they sup their Prosecco and nibble their cream teas.

I’ll let you know how it went in next week’s update.

Reading List