Trust, Infrastructure and Forgetting your Glasses

For more than two months, there has been infrastructure work in our neighbourhood. As the gas lines were laid, the work managed to disrupt every other service we receive. To be fair, they didn’t hit the phone line. They did break the main electric cable and several minor ones several times, and hit the water main and a few other water lines, and knocked some of the sewer lids a bit.

The disruption was immense as every road had trenches laid, then pipes and finally filled in. They were a little short of sand to fill around the pipes so they just scooped up whatever dirt was left in the field and dumped it in.

The gas company left at last and we had three solid days of rain. And all the soil from the field turned into sticky gloopy mud and trapped us in our houses.

So then the council arrived to throw a load of gravel on top. Even the backhoe loaders had trouble in the mud on our road. Eventually gravel was laid. But each trench dug for the gas line was immediately obvious as hollows where the wheels of the trucks sank ominously.

So perhaps that was that.

But no, the council arrived again and began to dig more trenches, in slightly different locations. Now it was time to pull the phone line down. They installed a brand new water pipe that’s not connected to any of the houses, and there was another mud and gravel rigmarole to finish off.

All of this emphasises the importance of infrastructure and laying it before you have to dig it all up multiple times. At the moment I’m trying to lay my own infrastructure for a stable writing practice and for my current project. One of the things I need to do is set up a website or two, and plan some writing.

A hand holds a pair of glasses up in the middle of a street, with the image more in focus through the glasses but blurred everywhere else
Photo by Josh Calabrese (@joshcala) from unsplash.com

I feel like I’ve left my glasses off at some points as I face some problems that I had no idea existed or were a problem. Some things seem extremely hard, like adding a link to text in a block editor. Well that’s ok once the link is to a website, but if you want to link to a file you can’t do it directly from inside the text, which you could do in previous versions. It reminds me to trust that some things really are difficult (this is a known issue) and perhaps that my knowledge may be out of date.

Things are moving slowly, as my free time is limited and searching for solutions to problems takes time. But I’m avoiding my usual trick of focusing on the one thing I can’t do and moving onto the things I can do.

There’ll be some small changes as I sort things out, and I’m excited to share the new project once I get it up and running.

My infrastructure should have enough flexibility to cope with uncertainty, multiple alternatives in place when one does not work out and the ability to seize the moment when the fates collide and everything works.

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