No biscuits but join the club(house)

Plus videos for posterity

Hello! Welcome to this latest edition of the missive. We have big news!

After being of no fixed abode for 99 days, we will be moving into our new house this coming week! Our various communications had an effect, the builder took pity on us and agreed to make some adjustments to meet our original date. I think we have the Site Manager to thank, in part, for this change of heart. I’ve been watching, from the bottom field, as the roof trusses have gone up this past week. I suspect some tweaking of plans to accommodate us. Baked goods may be involved to say thank you!

When the call came, I was quite speechless and we both shed a few tears of joy afterwards. We’re on countdown now!

We’re so keen to move in that we’ll be sleeping on an inflatable mattress and sitting on deck chairs for the first few days. The removal company’s earliest availability is the week after our completion date. But there will be lots to do. Having an empty house for a few days will have its benefits. It will give us chance to find a home for everything we brought with us in the car, take delivery of a few items, and perhaps have some storage added to the garage/workshop. We can also plan where furniture might go before it arrives.

It’s wonderful to be able to look to the future again, and really start living our Derbyshire life. Who knows, I might be writing the next newsletter from my study - if I can get it all together by then!

It’s become rather Groundhog Day around here, not helped by the countdown we’re now on to move! Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to!

We’ve had snow! Beautiful, glittery, crisp snow. It crunches and squelches under foot. The valley has been a sight to behold. Bamber loves the snow! He’s been asking to go out every few minutes - so that he can eat it!

I’ve had one visit to Inn Farm Dairy as I was missing their milk for my coffee. It was great timing as some of the cows were right at the gate and came over to say hello.

I’m keeping myself awake at night making lists of what we need until our furniture arrives. Mugs, plates and cutlery, for example. We may have to improvise a little as we won’t have any pans. Pizza and takeaway it is!!

I’ve started getting up and having midnight parties of one in the kitchen so that I can add to my to do list. The other night I started looking through videos either filmed by my Dad, or of my Mum and Dad. It’s always quite surreal to hear their voices. We’re so lucky to have this technology. A lot of the videos are the random silly videos I used to make when we were out together. So everyday and generally me messing about with a new phone or camera. While it would be great to have more considered recordings, I rather like these because they take me right back to those moments. If you don’t have any photos or videos of loved ones, I urge you to make some. Just doing really ordinary things. I have photos of my Mum ironing! My Dad in the garden. I’m so glad I have them.

I signed up for Clubhouse quite a few weeks ago. I’d been waiting for an invite when one of my friends nominated me and pushed me up the list. I love it! But then I am a geek!

If you’ve not come across Clubhouse it’s a little bit like networking but online and voice only. It reminds me of those conference calls we used to have back in the day! You can follow others and they can follow you. A room is where calls take place, and a club brings together others who share similar interests.

Rooms are hosted and moderated. If you wish to speak, you can raise your hand to ask to be included. Or, you can simply be part of the audience. Some rooms are big and others are tiny. You can create your own room or club.

I’m putting together a longer blog post about my thoughts. I think Clubhouse has great potential and scope. I’m a big fan of audio. I find it less distracting than video, even Zoom calls. You can listen wearing pyjamas and no-one knows or cares. It’s a bit like an interactive podcast.

This morning Chris was in the Talk Club room telling his story to Thomas Power and answering questions from people in the US. It’s a great medium for Chris and we’re thinking about different ways to use Clubhouse.

Your feed is curated based on your interests and who you follow - my themes include business and entrepreneurship, positive mindset, self-care, journaling, how to …, wellness and mindfulness. I’m exploring at the moment, joining rooms to see what they’re like (you can leave quietly) and testing the waters. As time goes on, I’ll streamline my feed more.

What I love about Clubhouse - it can put you in front of movers and shakers in your area of interest, members come from all over the world so it’s not just limited to the UK, whatever your passions and interests there’s a room for that - or create your own. It’s still relatively early days for the app so there’s lots of innovation going on in terms of how people are using rooms and clubs.

The calendar lists all upcoming events and your upcoming events (based on your interests). You can add event reminders to your Google/Apple/Outlook Calendar.

Profiles can be quite long and expansive and it’s interesting to see how people are using these. I can see a style emerging. The first two lines are your profile summary which appear whenever anyone sees your name in a list. The remainder can be a mix of emojis and text. Lists of what I love are popular.

You can specify your Twitter and/or Instagram username. There’s no messaging on Clubhouse so you’re referred to DMs. I’m finding this leads to a good crossover between Clubhouse and Instagram.

Clubhouse is still in beta which means that it’s invite only as they scale. This staged approach is fairly standard practice for new apps. For the same reason it’s currently only available on iPhone.

If you’re interested in being on Clubhouse, I have 3 invites. Just let me know if you would like one. I’ll need a mobile number if you do as the invite is sent by text.

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Until next time, thank you, as always, for reading my newsletters and sharing this journey with me.