What I’m up to at the moment

This is my “Now” page, as pioneered by Derek Sivers. You can find out out more about the whole concept at nownownow.com.

Life

Since 2014, home has been in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. As of 2024, all 3 kids (22, 20 and 16) are still living at home, which means there are basically 5 adults in the house. It’s a lot, sometimes 😬.

But on the plus side I’ve moved my office space off the upstairs landing and into my very own basement room. It has a big desk, a huge monitor, bookshelves, a sofabed and a door I can close. It’s chilly in the winter but pleasantly cool in the summer. I love it 😍.

Hobbies

Sewing: I bought myself a vintage Bernina sewing machine off Facebook Marketplace and I LOVE IT. It’s smooth, it’s quiet, it makes beautifully neat stitches. I’m gradually sewing myself a wardrobe of clothes that are comfortable and which suit my personality and lifestyle. Natural fabrics, roomy dimensions, multiple pockets for phone, reading glasses and credit cards, and any custom features I fancy.

Typing: I also bought myself a vintage Hermes typewriter because, I dunno, I’m now into heavy Swiss-made vintage equipment, apparently. It needs a bit of TLC but I’ll sluice it out with white spirit sometime this summer when I can leave it out in the sun to dry.

Other stuff

AI: I’m fascinated by it. I try to keep up with what’s going on but find it a bit overwhelming. However, I’m pretty good at jumping on all the latest models and spending hours testing them. But I do feel like as long as I pay attention to what Ethan Mollick and Rob Lennon are saying, I won’t be too badly out of touch.

Automation: I love building stuff with Make.com. Is it bad that I will happily spend an entire week creating an automation that saves me 15 minutes a month?

Work

I’ve been a professional translator, both in-house and freelance, since 1993. But AI has been getting so good recently that I believe I have maybe 2 years (tops) before the robots make me completely obsolete.

So I’m looking for alternative ways to make a living, my main focus being Notion consultancy.

I just completed my Notion Essentials certification and am working towards the rest.

Reading

I decided I wanted to have another go at the Malazan series by Steven Erikson, but I stopped about 60% through the first book (Gardens of the Moon) to read Shogun. That might have been a mistake.

But I did enjoy Shogun. Watching the TV series, I found myself getting confused, and wondered if that was because a lot of the context was missing. I was right, the books are easier to understand.

My escape fantasy

I used to tell people that, if everything in my life went horribly wrong and I had to start over from nothing, I’d become a long-distance lorry driver.

Pros: You don’t have to talk to people. You don’t spend much money. You can listen to loads of podcasts. Cons: Haemorrhoids. Traffic jams. Terrible motorway food. Laybys that smell of piss. And I have trouble parking my car, not sure how I’d handle a lorry.

BUT I’ve had a better idea.

If I had to leave my life, I’d apply for a job as a cocktail pianist on a cruise ship. I reckon with a couple of weeks’ practice I’d have a big enough repertoire to play for two hours without repeating myself. If I could throw in a bit of classical I could probably stretch it to 3.

Pros: I wouldn’t spend much money. I’d get to see new places. I’d become a much better pianist. Cons: Seasickness. Small living quarters, possibly shared. I’m terrified of performing.

In any case, I think it’s useful to have that in my back pocket.