18APR24 / the thaw

Umeå doesn’t really get a spring, they tell me. What it gets, not long after the clocks change, is a couple of weeks when the the temperature wavers around either side of zero centigrade, while the huge piles of gritty snow that have been scraped off the roads and pavements over the last half year sit sullenly in gardens and verges, awaiting the inevitable.

And then the sun breaks through properly—as it has today—and the ice-locked river finally frees up, and the berms of snow begin to melt with alarming rapidity, revealing surprise gifts left during the winter by unscrupulous dog owners… and things like this, presumably much missed by its owner on the fateful day of its being dropped.

Yesterday’s seminar went pretty OK, and this morning’s workshop (which ended up being more of a rambling discussion) went better still. That arc of improvement almost certainly correlates to last night’s improved sleep, which in turn connects to having actually done some exercise yesterday evening… which in turn meant confirming my suspicions that those elliptical-training-machine things you find in hotel gyms are really not for me. But they don’t have a rowing machine here, and I had to do something.

Now I have this afternoon and evening to myself—time with which to finish the slides for the morning half of tomorrow’s all-dayer workshop. It’s obvious in hindsight that doing two and a half days of seminars and workshops in just four days is a big ask, even if you’re based at home. Doing it at the far end of a ten-hour train trip, eating hotel food and not getting your usual exercise, that’s a lot. It’s been fun, for sure—and my hotel is pretty nice—but it’s taking a bunch of reserves out of me, I think.

Next week is pretty wild too—though I’ll be back in Malmö, which should make it easier. And the week after that it’ll somehow be the start of May, which is basically the first week in this year’s calendar that isn’t fully blocked out with stuff to do in advance… so, time to take stock, and maybe to finally advance those plans so blithely made late last year, and so swiftly set aside when the rubber hit the road.

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One response to “18APR24 / the thaw”

  1. […] home from the Frozen Thawing North, and back at my desk, because the deadlines ain’t […]

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