New Homes

I’m writing this on the first day back after the school holidays. My consulting business, Outside Context, and I have new homes on and offline.

I’m coming up on four years of working as an independent consultant, and I’ve hit the limit on working from home: there are too many distractions, from parcel deliveries to barking dogs. Just before the Easter holidays I started looking at working space, and I’m delighted to have found my own office a short walk from home in Salisbury. There are fewer distractions, and it’s good to have a dedicated space for online training and webinars, and somewhere that I can meet colleagues and clients without cluttering up the kitchen table or going out to a noisy coffee shop.

Having had a few weeks here, I’ve also come to appreciate the routine of leaving the house. While I certainly don’t want to go back to the 20+ hours a week I used to spend commuting into London, I also miss the structure of a regular working day. At home it’s too easy to check in on one thing after supper and still be writing emails an hour later. Since being here, I’ve had more consistent hours, including a midday break and walk home most days, rather than a rushed, al desko lunch.

In parallel, I decided to clean up this website. After several hours of struggling with Wordpress and my hosting company, I vented my frustration at it on a Slack channel and one of my friends asked why I’d moved off Jekyll onto Wordpress anyway. The original decision was based on a slightly better range of themes, but my friend was right. My relatively simple requirements and infrequent updates didn’t really justify the increasing complexity of working with Wordpress. So over a couple of hours I last night, I moved everything over to Jekyll on Github Pages and made some tweaks to the base templates. There are a few things left to sort out, but other than waiting for DNS updates, it’s been a pretty smooth process and ChatGPT 4 has been a pretty helpful, iterative guide where documentation wasn’t clear.

Between the new office and the new site, it definitely feels like changing up a gear after the Easter break. Now to make the most of it.

Written on March 15, 2024