So that was my first full week of Deliberate DownTime. And very enjoyable it was too. Here are my highlights and learnings.
DDT week 1 started with a trip to London to meet up with friends and go to the Tate Modern. We spent quite a bit of time in the Turbine Hall swinging on the Superflex swings and watching the pendulum above us. We spent the rest of our time on the viewing level getting a fantastic view across London. An enjoyable day, though I’m not sure I could have told you that the Superflex exhibition was all about apathy, production and movement had I not read about it.
On Sunday we popped into Berwick Church as the guide had mentioned it during my tour of Charleston Farmhouse in DDT 0.5. It is a beautiful and peaceful place. I was particularly taken with the clear glass windows. It was so refreshing to stand inside a church and appreciate the beauty outside rather than through stained glass. It felt unusual and beautiful. And reminded me of the view from behind the altar of the Church of the Good Shepherd overlooking Lake Tekapo in New Zealand
I watched a beautiful murmuration over the West Pier as the sun set on Monday evening. I wasn’t the only one to watch it. And I enjoyed seeing people stop as they were walking along the promenade and watch the starlings dance for a while. I even heard applause at one point as the birds flew directly overhead. I doubt that I will ever tire of watching murmurations. They are charming, and I find them very calming and hypnotic.
On Wednesday evening some of the choir, myself included, performed with the Nordic Giants on the stage at Concorde 2. We accompanied their final track Autonomous which is a beautiful, building piece. They’d composed it to accompany this video from the G20 summit. And we accompanied them. Dressed in the style of the grey people in that video. The song was a challenge to learn. And it felt mad to be emulsion painting clothes to get the desired effect. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was all so worthwhile. It felt different to our usual gigs - I was less nervous and more excited. I enjoyed the build-up as we had hair done and faces painted and the amusement we all had as we took photos our ourselves and each other looking like zombies. There is a video of us performing recorded by one of my fellow Alto 2’s son. It was something I’m pleased to have been a part of and I can’t help but smile to myself everytime I think about it.
- I don’t eat as many biscuits when I’m at home as I did in the office (that’s a good thing)
- I don’t drink as much water at home as I did in the office (that’s not such a good thing)
- Meeting friends for lunch is lovely but does break up the day quite a lot, so I need to make sure I have a balance throughout my week so that every day doesn’t feel like it’s all about moving around from one place to another without sitting down and reflecting
- The Countdown music makes me anxious (I discovered this during James Box’s talk at UX Brighton)
- If you put a slide up that says something like ‘X things to do with Y’ then I will make notes - just in case it gets to point 3 and I feel I’ve missed something amazing (I discovered this in Daniel Harris’s talk at UX Brighton)