As usual the time before Christmas is busy. Last things people want to get finished before the end of the year, budgets to allocate, already lining up work for next year. I don’t think January 1st is much of a thing, but it is a psychological threshold for many because of letting planning and budgeting cycles coincide with the calendar year. The Dutch government added some additional urgency because of the announcement the schools will close a week early, meaning Y is at home from tomorrow. That halves the time that E and I can work. On top of that yesterday additional lock down measures were announced to help prevent an omikron wave in January. Judging by the crowds of people in the city yesterday that messed up a lot of people’s Christmas shopping. Other than that our outlook for the coming weeks has shifted somewhat, it was a pretty normal working week for this time of year.

This week I

  • got involved in an interesting discussion about ethical research design based on spam mails I received last week
  • did a session with the community of practice of data management professionals of provinces on the incoming EU data regulations
  • did a similar session with the national statistics office, and because of high interest will do another one in January
  • wrote up the notes from a session with the JRC two weeks ago
  • participated in a session of the Dutch community of practice of government satellite data holders and users
  • updated the wiki I maintain for a client about the EU digital and data legislation, as a lot has happened in the past few weeks
  • had an all hands meet-up with my company. We did a ceramics workshop together in Utrecht and then had dinner together at my business partner F’s home. There we shared small gifts and talked about the things that stood out this past year. It was very good to hang out together as a team.
  • Wrote and submitted a proposal for an existing client, which if (or rather when) accepted will mean 2022 will be well filled with interesting work on EU the digital and data strategies.
  • Discussed the design of a project on how to facilitate access and re-use of the Dutch national database of flora and fauna sightings. This data is collected and pooled by a variety of private and government entities, which makes the question how to facilitate data sharing a complicated one.
  • fixed some issues and updated my OPML booklist. Next step is looking at automating the creation of that list. I think I will be able to do it all in my notes application Obsidian, where the entire OPML file is just a note created from other notes.
  • Went out for lunch with E and Y in town yesterday, in anticipation of the renewed lock down until mid January
  • Met up with my business partners and co-founder M who left the company. Originally we planned to have dinner, and then lunch (due to new pandemic restrictions) in the restaurant where we decided to start our company ten years ago last month. Yesterday when the new lockdown was announced and our reservation was cancelled M invited us to come to his home out in the woods near Arnhem. We had a pleasant afternoon catching up, sharing stories from the last decade, getting nostalgic for how and when it all began. M had arranged a fully catered dinner on very short notice, which we enjoyed outside in a tent, with two wood fire stoves blazing.


The results of our work during the ceramics workshop. The pastels are the glazing, which will become much stronger colours in the oven. The pink on my product will become a deep red for instance.

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