Mark Boulton

Weeknotes 1

Prompted by Paul, and inspired by him and Aegir, I'm giving this weeknote thing a try. If only to just get me in the habit of writing again. Let's see how it goes.

I'm sat writing this on the 13:21 from Mannheim, Germany to Frankfurt airport. Every month I spend a week in Heidelberg in Germany for work. It's a lovely city. This week is one of those weeks where you see that spring is just around the corner. The birds sing in the morning, buds are swelling on branches, and the sun is starting to feel warm. Just a little bit. Next time I'm here, in April, I can finally get out on my bike after work and explore the nearby hills.

Those of you who know me know I've been a keen cyclist for a good while. That took a step up last year with a target of riding the GF Ventoux. After a wobble in August – where I was diagnosed with a very common heart complaint for endurance 'athletes' – I have since been training back to fitness in order to complete La Marmotte in France in July this year. I enjoy the process of training immensely. From the weekly slow change in my abilities, to understanding the physiology and psychology of how that change happens.

As most weeks in Heidelberg tend to be, this one has been busy with barely a moment to catch my breath in between meetings and presentations. I have to remind myself that this is the job.

On Monday I finally said on Twitter that I'd rebuilt this blog on Eleventy. Not redesigned, but I fancied learning something new and the direction Statamic is taking – whilst perfectly good and they have some amazing features planned for version 3 – I felt it might be a bit overkill for my needs. Plus, I also wanted my Pinboard integration working more reliably than it has done to date. I'll probably post more about this process in the coming weeks whilst it's fresh in my mind.

A few things caught my eye this week:

'What a day that was': Jeremy posted a wonderful account of his trip to CERN with Remy for the Web at 30 event. I've yet to write about this, but I was, once again, very fortunate to be invited to Geneva by CERN to participate in a week-long hackathon to recreate the WWW browser. It was a special week. More on that another time.

Stu posted a link on our project Slack for this article on Smashing Magazine from Val on animation in design systems. We're just starting to touch on this at work and Val's article was an invaluable leg-up for the team.

From a recommendation by Brian, I've been listening to the Containers podcast. If you like system design, then give this a listen. Good stuff.

I've been travelling on a week on/week off basis since January so I'm very much looking forward to the next few weeks where I'm going nowhere. I'll be starting a new four week build on the bike, which means I'll no doubt be a bit fatigued, hungry and grumpy anyway. Not the best recipe for travelling.

Elsewhere