Checked into two Zimbabwean fiction – We Need New Names (Noviolet Bulawayo) and Nervous Conditions (Tsitsi Dangarembga). Latter echoes of Lina and Lila’s relationships in Neopolitan Quartet (Elena Ferrante). Sluggish parkrun double efforts to sort this and a hot September extends the swimming season. Visits to Nattergal’s first re-wilding site near Granthan, also Knepp and overnight camping at Heal, Somerset. Impressive climate-environment show at Saatchi Gallery, and new composting community found at The Barbican.
Cycled to Brighton from London, pairing with a reading of Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. Visited Vaucluse near Avignon for three days of cycling and eating between Lourmarin, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.. New city guides on Zafiri – Mumbai and Bangkok. Skillhood posts 300 Living Wage Jobs, covering London, Birmingham, Brighton and Bristol.
Opened the year in Penang ahead of a wedding in Kuala Lumpur. Detroit for February to signpost the pivot of Tendo to Skillhood – taking a content-first, place-based approach. Long runs and velodrome debut in Detroit, also urban rambles, an ice storm and meeting of artist Scott Hocking who had work showing at Cranbrook Art Museum and Goodman Gallery. Finally published Zafiri city guide for Austin, also reviews for The Prestige, Penang and Else, Kuala Lumpur.
Kezar Track included in a San Francisco visit with Kevin Brennan (8x 600m). Monocle’s The Chiefs summit in Dallas assembles 75 people. First visit to Detroit – urban farming, apparel manufacturing, tire recycling and Shinola as new waypoints for Tendo. Read Middlesex (Detroit) and American Gods (plenty of Wisconsin). Zafiri charts Prague, Detroit and Richard Mosse’s Broken Spectre show.
New Alexander Calder and Barbara Hepworth sculpture at Fondation Maeght near Nice. Where the Crawdads Sing read, now waterways vigilante in South Buckinghamshire near Marlow – clearing culverts and connecting waterways. Asheville, Savannah, Nashville and Greenville covered by Zafiri. Tendo publishes coffee skills glossary – press coverage.
To San Diego to start April and attend skills / EdTech conference ASU+GSV. Tendo launches skills library at skills.tendo.id – a wiki that allows anyone at add, define, edit and upvote a skill. Goal is to connect this to a payment-like way to issue verified skills. Zafiri published guides for Boulder, Auckland and Bristol. Athletics dormant but contemporary sculpture in Bentonville, Arkansas exercises.
Two bookends: Completed four months at Monocle running their café on Chiltern Street, and moved out of Highbury Fields after an outstanding year on Calabria Road. Tendo sells “tendo.com,” effectively raising a round of investment and adopting tendo.id. Limited longreads and even less running – the scourge of PF. Re-visited Bristol, and made it to Copenhagen to see Alexander Calder and Richard Serra at Louisiana, with chance encounter of environmental work from Vibeke Nodskov.
Pitched Tendo to Pret after 125 hours on the tills, then joined Monocle in time for their late-November Christmas Market. Burglar Bill out as a celebration of 10 years of adulting in the same Halloween outfit. Cross-country season starts and Zafiri finally gets around to publishing Vienna and Melbourne city guides, Sheffield charted too.
Wedding season wrapped with a Bavarian fixture and Aberdeen venture. Completed time at Farmdrop in July, departing with advice on how to eliminate £50k per month of food waste (cost). Attended Wealden Literary Festival in Kent, finding a hammock to complete An American Wife from Curtis Sittenfeld. Tendo interviews 50 baristas.
Read Mukiwa (Peter Godwin) and An American Wife (Curtis Sittenfeld), pre-Independence Zimbabwe and Wisconsin respectively. Lockdown travels eased, allowing for a household visit to a lighthouse near Winterton, Norfolk. Naval heritage explored in June on Thames Estuary en route to see Nadav Kandar’s triptych. Promoted to Stock Hubber at Farmdrop – life on rotation.
Clocked 500 hours at Farmdrop in Hubber role. Moved to Calabria Road in Highbury. Finally addressed the final chapters of Anna Karenina. Running continues in parks with tracks closed. Zafiri publishes guides for San Diego and Sydney. Conversation with United Airlines for Tendo.
Summer spent in London. Money from Martin Amis was a highlight – the ease of flying between New York and London in the previous millennial at a distance from pandemic travel. That said, made it to Margate, Cardiff and to Dungeness for desert, art and English sparking wine. Spoke with Walmart and Verizon on skilling topics for Tendo. Track races but nothing exceptional 2:02 being the season’s best.
This (first) COVID-19 quarter was spent between Buckinghamshire and King’s Cross. Bucks allowed for some renewed energy on Tendo – delivering online training to furloughed baristas. Read Sitopia from Carolyn Steel – looking at the ways we have ceased to design societies around food. While Bucks allowed for plenty of trails for running, London provides cycleways for bike rides and rewards at coffee shops that operate with COVID-safe measures. Continued online course material on Tendo during the quarter ahead – 100 courses by the end of September.
A move to King’s Cross re-orientated my perspective on London after a year in Tottenham. Spent two weeks between Johannesburg and Cape Town, meetings for Tendo. Covid-19 emerged in Italy soon after returning, shifting our focus on Tendo – online training for furloughed workers. Read the remarkable Three Women. Saw Norwegian Tuvaband perform at The Lexington (mesmerising opening with Trees). Visit to Marian Goodman Gallery for the remarkable An-My Lê’s Silent General, a photography show – border control, landscape and military industrial complex.
Wrapped the decade with Bethnal Green Ventures’ Demo Day presenting Tendo. A late-Autumnal West Country trip provided an opportunity to check into Bath. Then onto Frome the following day (NB visit on First Sundays), before returning to the train and onward to Bruton and Hauser & Wirth’s remarkable outpost. Overnight at the converted At the Chapel. A more total restoration the following day at The Newt from South Africans Karen Roos and Koos Bekker of Babylonstoren, doing up he former home of Hobhouses. For December, a weekend in Scotland, then a quiet Christmas in Buckinghamshire.
Made a fundamental shift with Tendo, involving Bethnal Green Ventures for 6% equity. Visited Manchester to see Timpson who are known for employing ex-offenders. Track season languished. Returned to California for a wedding – Ojai was a highlight, a tiny town 90 minutes from Los Angeles. Wrapping the decade in the UK.
On Tendo, now working directly with employee users to define best routes to weekly Stamps and how this relates to employer adoption. A long weekend in Lisbon in May uncovered a number of treats ant the viewing of Jeff Wall’s Morning Cleaning, Mies van der Rohe Foundation at. The Track season has started with flakes of rust shorn off in early April and a sub-2 time down before the end of June. Upcoming are the prospects of a small amount of investment for Tendo and continued efforts on the track for London Heathside.
Tendo now allows both employers and employees to issue verification for work done, allotments of hours and skills on a weekly basis. First visit to South America, via Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Mendoza. A highlight – hiking the W-Trail in Torres del Pain with my brother (80km in three days). Enjoyed reading McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Published Zafiri guides for Johannesburg and Baltimore. // Track season begins: sub-1:57.00 goal for 800m.
Tendo which is now usable in the UK, acting as a skills passport for frontline workers, with two-way verification built into every data point to ensure trust. Ended 2018 in South Africa, combining bush, Johannesburg and Cape Town / Stellenbosch. Now 22 city guides on Zafiri. >> Focusing on Tendo, customer activation and continued localisation to enable South Africa and USA. Travel: January 2nd, back in London for two months before starting March in Argentina (Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Mendoza).
Rounded out a consistent season on the track – no bounding results but repeatedly c. 1:59 in the 800m. Entralled by Dorothea Lange’s photos at The Barbican, including original note from Steinbeck whose Grapes of Wrath is the written account of the photographer’s Great Depression series. Batched feedback for Tendo to release via SMS this quarter. Finally cracking the whip on surfing with a long weekend in Cornwall before setting out to New York on October 16th. Spending a week between Baltimore and D.C., then returning to London November 9th. Kruger, Johannesburg and Cape Town from the end of November until returning to London on January 2nd.
Last quarter, published important piece on Johannesburg’s waste pickers, highlighting use case for Tendo, new app I’m building for labour verification and skill acquisition (sign up for updates). New city guides on Zafiri: Hollywood, Seattle, DTLA. This summer, competing in middle-distance track races for the rest of the summer (lofty goals set). Predominantly in London area July to early September, then Florence, Milan, Verona and Munich during the mid-month.
Extend Zafiri City Guides to a total of 20, including full coverage of West Coast (North America). UX research for Tendo, releasing prototype. Reduce volume and increase speed in track intervals. Fuerteventura for Easter, Berlin the following weekend, arriving on 4th. To Brooklyn for four weeks from 24th April, with short trips Upstate (Catskills & Tivoli). From May 20th: Pittsburgh, Aspen and Boulder. Returning to London via in time for Bonobo at Alexandra Palace (June 1st).
Broaden collection of Zafiri City Guides to include 12 cities. Race twice (parkrun included). Amsterdam from 11th Jan. before taking train to Paris. Returning to London 19th Jan., then to Cape Town on 23rd. Western Cape for three weeks before Namibian desert and Harare, closing the loop with a flight to Johannesburg on 28th February. Returning to London 8th March.
Introducing paid-for subscription layer to Zafiri, placing a paywall before two premium offerings. 1. City Guides: where to run, cycle and swim in cities, starting with London, San Francisco, and Rome. 2. Trips: training weekends away, typically near to a major city and orientated around an outstanding property. SW U.S. for 6 weeks until mid-Nov. (San Fran., L.A., Phoenix, Austin) before San José del Cabo (6th – 22nd Nov.). Then Mexico City (> 28th Nov.), Portland (> 1st Dec.), Seattle (> 8th Dec.), Vancouver, B.C. (> 14th Dec.), returning to San Fran. until 19th Dec.. Finally, returning to London for Christmas.
Finally subscribed to Guardian and NYT. Diving deeper into Framer, Sketch and Zeplin. Posting 1+ times a week at Zafiri, focusing on new city guides. Competing in middle distance races (800m). Europe (London-Munich-Rome-Oslo) until 22nd September, then to New York before San Francisco from 27th September.