Early December, we drove up to Grass Valley for our final soccer game of the NorCal Premier Fall season, for a game in which we lost, though it was a pretty close game for much of it. The other coaches were nice, and after the game the team all had pizza together. Afterwards I got to look around the town of Grass Valley for a bit, we had never been up that way before and the downtown area was quite historic looking. We went to a great little chocolate shop, and there was a lovely little music shop selling guitars and ukuleles. I have been getting much more into playing the ukulele lately, and been practicing on it much more, and I really wouldn’t mind getting back into the guitar again, though I put that instrument down a long time ago now. I also got to do a sketch (the music shop is the second one along, that flowery store on the furthest right was pretty cool as well and had a large Christmas tree inside that went up a couple of storeys. The shops snaking up the hill reminded me a little of Sonora, the place we visited before going to Yosemite. This was old gold mining country, so lots of these little old gold country towns looks a bit like this, quite sketchable. It was bright and sunny; down in the central valley where we live everything had been blanketed in a dense fog, but here in the foothills they were above the fog belt. Anyway that was Grass Valley.
Here is a sketch I did at my desk at work, during a very long meeting in early December in which I was mostly listening and taking lots of notes. We all came back to campus in Fall, although the majority of our meetings were still held via Zoom, except for a couple. I have my ring shaped light that I use for when I am in Zoom meetings, it helps me look less like a silhouette. And now Winter has started up again (and it’s taking me and probably all of you a lot of time to rev up the engines again), we’ve gone back to remote instruction and work again at least for the first month. It was going to be just the first week but they extended it yesterday to January 28 due to the large number of Omicron cases. I’m generally coming in still to work (very quiet at the office, but it keeps me further from the kitchen which still has many Christmas-shaped snacks to tempt me), but testing regularly, our campus has really good facilities for that. I have reorganized my office space a bit lately, right before we came back in Fall I moved out one of the filing cabinets (so heavy) to another space to give me a little more wiggle room, I replaced one of the bookshelves with an old wooden one that’s been floating around the department for years, it looks a bit nicer than pale green metal, and I even put up a couple of framed historic World Cup posters to give the office a bit more colour in the background when I am on Zoom calls. A few more pictures up, getting rid of the boxes of other people’s stuff that I was holding on to for them for years, still a few more piles of old files to go through but in general it feels a bit more like my space again. I still have the same chair I’ve had since I started nearly sixteen years ago, when I was in a different office, and sure the wheels are starting to fall off bit by bit but it’s still comfortable enough.