A pretty regular week, despite the government announcing a tightening of pandemic restrictions (after having seen most measures removed in September), in light of the rising case numbers heading into winter. It means face to face office meetings, the few we did, are again not taking place. Masks are mandatory in public places and shops again. I briefly contemplated going to a very large scale conference (10k people) in Barcelona later this month, but realised I felt uncomfortable about it, as well as seeing limited potential value in being there. I need and want to be more selective in opting to travel.

This week I

  • Had an extensive session with my business partners reviewing the 2020 and current year’s financials. I do the books for our company, and it was useful to provide the others a deeper insight into how things went and are going in this pandemic. We saw a slow down in activity this spring, in everything, probably general fatigue, visible on our side and with our customers. After the summer holiday we see a very different momentum, and the figures show a matching uptick.
  • Bought some cushions for the new couches in our office. We redid our office, removing a large part of the working desks, and adding two large couches. When I saw the couches this week, I realised they needed some colorful cushions.
  • Had a very useful day comparing the current results of the various work groups in the national digital twin for the built environment program. I’m part of the working group for a reference architecture, which intersects with the other working groups (e.g. on models and AI, on public values and ethics, on data, and on the state of play w.r.t. digital twins in the Netherlands). It was the first time that I saw the work in other groups in detail, and immediately different connections jumped out at me, to be followed up in the coming week.
  • Had a half day working session of the reference architecture group for the Dutch national digital twin
  • Spoke to a re-formed project team at a client we finished work for last spring, to discuss the progress we made and didn’t make until then, and our perpsective on what’s missing and next steps. It’s odd but sometimes as an external party you get to play the role of organisational memory for a client, and this was an example of that. Maybe next year we can do some more work for them when it comes to deploying data sharing as a policy instrument to enable and encourage others to act.
  • Went shopping with E, and now have all our Sinterklaas shopping done. Being this early, partly because of some signs of supply chain issues, creates an unexpected calm.
  • Did the monthly invoicing
  • Marked the 19th anniversary of this blog
  • Had our car towed, with a malfunctioning clutch pedal. Before our summer trip to Denmark I had added a component to our Volvo service subscription, extending car replacement from 3 to 30 days. Because if something happened in Denmark, I didn’t want to have to break off our stay there. This upgrade is valid for a year, and now comes in handy, as the repair of our car may take over 2 weeks before they have time for it. Meaning we now have a Volvo rental for that time without charge.
  • Wrote a proposal for a small additional component on my work on the EU data legislation, to compare it with existing Dutch government plans for potential public use of 3rd party (geographic) data.
  • Discussed with colleague J how to better visualise what our team is working on and how busy we really are(n’t)
  • With E put together Y’s new Ikea loft bed. By having Y sleep a bit higher up, she has an additional space in her room to play.
  • Went shopping again at the re-opened wholesale store I had to leave in a hurry last week because there was a fire.
  • Visited our teen-aged cousin M with E and Y, for his birthday party.


Waiting for a morning train at Vathorst station in the early low sunlight.

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