Weeknotes #180 — Reconnecting

Different location, same story

Different location, same story

I spent most of this week in Johannesburg. The main purpose of my trip was to attend a three-day workshop with the aim of rebooting the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) within our company. A few years ago it was the shiny new thing, but for a number of reasons it has faded away. It feels as though we are trying to climb out of the ‘trough of disillusionment’ up the ‘slope of enlightenment’ of the Gartner hype cycle:

I hadn’t been to Johannesburg since 2018 and it was so good to be back. Our company headquarters are there and it is great to be immersed in a place where the organisation has such a significant role to play in peoples’ lives. Of the 30 or so colleagues at the workshop I only knew a couple of them, and nobody very well. Our facilitators were amazing, with two of them leading the sessions and another acting as a scribe, resulting in a collaborative piece of work being emailed to us just a couple of hours after we finished. We have a bunch of actions to follow up with as a group and none of them feel unrealistic or overreaching.

Everything a flight geek needs

Everything a flight geek needs

On Thursday I spent the day in our head office with our immediate team, meeting a whole bunch of people in person for the first time. They all travelled in to say hello and enjoy a fabulous team lunch together. It was so lovely to reconnect with my colleagues, our company and Africa again.

Two minutes before I took this, we had a flat-bed truck filled with people going to work ahead of us

Two minutes before I took this, we had a flat-bed truck filled with people going to work ahead of us

A week in which I:

  • Agreed to take an action to look at how we can effectively collaborate across Microsoft 365 tenants with a company that we recently acquired.
  • Took the decision not to roll out our digital signage solution to one of our smaller offices. They use their screen to watch the news on occasion; they agreed that putting signs in their face would be overkill.
  • Continued to try and navigate the process to on-board a new contractor to the team.
  • Pondered how the sunk cost fallacy applies to hotel breakfasts. They are always a set rate of around £10–15, most of the time I just want my usual bowl of muesli, but I end up eating fruit, toast, mini muffins, bowls of fruit, eggs and everything else even when I don’t really want them, because £10 for a bowl of muesli seems excessive.
  • Felt good to be reconnecting with the worlds of software development and ‘ways of work’ through the workshop. I felt as though I could contribute to the topic despite SAFe not being a big part of my current day-to-day reality. I took the opportunity to explain about our little-known and sometimes misunderstood part of the company that sits outside Africa.
  • Ate a lot of junk food for dinner. Being away from home and an aspiring vegan meant that choices were limited.
  • Tried samp for the first time. Absolutely delicious.
  • Was the first person to go through Heathrow Terminal 3 immigration on Friday. I woke up at 3:30am as we started to descend towards the airport. The flight back from Johannesburg never used to get in so early; as a result of the pandemic there are a reduced number of flights and I think the airline needs to use their early slot to avoid losing it.
  • Spent Friday working from home in a bit of a daze before driving down to a hotel near Gatwick airport, ready for an early flight on Saturday. We have a holiday away with my parents, my brothers and all of our families which we are finally embarking on after a couple of cancellations — the first time because the travel company went bust and the second time due to the pandemic. It’s going to be amazing to spend so much time with everyone for the first time since we were teenagers. I’ll be able to avoid that feeling of always leaving shortly after arriving when we meet up. Being able to spend time together is such a luxury. From Wait But Why:

I’ve been thinking about my parents, who are in their mid-60s. During my first 18 years, I spent some time with my parents during at least 90% of my days. But since heading off to college and then later moving out of Boston, I’ve probably seen them an average of only five times a year each, for an average of maybe two days each time. 10 days a year. About 3% of the days I spent with them each year of my childhood.

Being in their mid-60s, let’s continue to be super optimistic and say I’m one of the incredibly lucky people to have both parents alive into my 60s. That would give us about 30 more years of coexistence. If the ten days a year thing holds, that’s 300 days left to hang with mom and dad. Less time than I spent with them in any one of my 18 childhood years.

Next week: Holiday!

Weeknotes #179 — CPR towel

I wish it would rain. It’s been so hot and dry in the UK, with some parts of the country already taking measures against the drought. I took the photo above as I walked through the village of Potten End on Thursday. Usually this village pond is full of water; it was a shock to see it so dried up.

Work felt a bit of a struggle this week as I couldn’t seem to shake an overwhelming tiredness. I found myself needing to eat something in meetings where I was taking more of a back seat role just to keep my eyes open. I have a few weeks coming up where I’m in workshops and taking a few days off, so I tried to focus to get things into a good state before the turbulence kicks in.

A week in which I:

  • Attended an Architecture Deep Dive into our cloud computing setup. Moving the IT assets of a large organisation from an on-premises setup to the cloud is a fascinatingly difficult problem, with multiple approaches and tradeoffs to be navigated throughout the work.
  • Along with our CTO, completed and delivered a virtual presentation to the Architecture Community of Practice on the work that we have done over the past five years. It felt as though the presentation went down well, but it was difficult to gauge as not many people had their cameras on. Hopefully it is the start of more collaboration with the teams across the Group.
  • Created the Kanban cards for our work to shut down one of our regional offices, and reviewed the consolidated milestones for the work across all of the other departments. Discussed the approach to planning with the project manager. Recruited a peer to get involved with representing us at the project management forums as I won’t be able to make the meetings for the next few weeks.
  • Reviewed the plan for the second phase of a physical infrastructure change in one of our offices. Getting this work completed will be a massive win, vastly simplifying our physical architecture in line with our new design.
  • Had a very insightful conversation with one of our executives as part of our work to understand more about the challenges faced by our business. We are using the information as input into how we can extend our digital capabilities to best effect. The discussion went for double the time it was booked for and gave us lots to think about.
  • Attended a de-brief of our annual Investors’ Conference that took place at the end of June.
  • Met with our divisional CIO who was visiting our London office. Demonstrated a Meeting Owl Pro camera as part of a hybrid meeting with him. We’ve sent one of our cameras to Johannesburg for the purpose of lending it to our colleagues there, enhancing our experience when colleagues get together in a room over there.
  • Met with a vendor that we use for our mobile phone contract to discuss their broader offerings.
  • Had our monthly catch-up with our head of Operational Risk.
  • Met with a colleague in our Wealth Management team for a random coffee. It’s great meeting people for a second time as you get straight into a meaty conversation.
  • Re-qualified in First Aid at Work again. I’ve been a first aider on and off for the past twenty years or so and only let my training lapse when I was working for my own company as a contractor. Embedding the knowledge over a long time frame is very useful, despite that knowledge changing over time to follow current best practice. The changes due to COVID-19 might have been appropriate in March 2020 but are a little silly and outdated now, advising you to put a towel or piece of cloth over someone’s face so that they don’t breathe on you when you administer CPR chest compressions.
  • Decided to take a two hour walk home from the training session instead of getting a taxi. Regretted wearing jeans after ten minutes of the journey.

  • Took my son to the Watford Open track meet. He managed to get a new personal best in the 1,500m which he was very pleased with.
  • Enjoyed the much delayed instalment of our International Album Club with some friends and colleagues from work. I’d never heard of Joe before, let alone listened to one of his albums. The modern version of R&B is not the sort of thing I’ve explored much. It took me back to similar music of the past and it was great to hear something different. Very enjoyable.
  • Spent Saturday prepping for a business trip, my first since I came back from New York in February 2020. Shirts ironed, bags packed, travel checklist checked. I flew to Johannesburg overnight on Saturday, not sleeping very much. I wondered how much thought goes into the acoustics of an aircraft cabin layout — I seemed to be able to hear every conversation that was taking place from the front to the rear galleys. I may need to give the ear plugs a go on my way home.
  • Enjoyed a lovely Sunday afternoon with the family of a friend from work. We had lunch out and then tea and cakes back at their house, playing air hockey and table football with their young boys and making friends with the lovely family dog. They were very gracious when I thought we might put the final of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 on. I’m so glad they were! A fabulous day.

Next week: An in-person workshop on agile software development practices, meeting some of our team for the first time, rounding out the week back at home and packing once again.

📷 Walked through Potten End on my way home yesterday. I’ve cycled this road so many times but I’d never before spotted the little house at number 80.

Weeknotes #178 — What it means

Three years ago, on a business trip to Dubai, I took this photo of the weather forecast on my hotel TV screen. I remember sending it to friends to show them just how crazily — unbelievably — high the temperatures were. It never crossed my mind that this short time later we would see those same temperatures in the UK. Monday and Tuesday were hot. Alice Bell’s tweet captured my mood perfectly.

I stayed at home for the first few days of the week. The train companies had advised us to stay at home. Services had been reduced to two trains an hour, running slowly over potentially dangerous track. We managed to keep our house at a relatively cool 27°C but my home office is like a greenhouse; I had to keep the door open, and only had a fan blasting warm air at me for any kind of relief. The cats weren’t impressed, stretching themselves as long and low as they could in order to cool down.

I felt as though I got lots done this week, managing to get focused quickly when I was at my desk. It’s been a week of ideas, many of which I’ve had to jot down with the intention of working them out as blog posts sometime soon. This weekend I’ve had to spend some time at my desk to close off a few things as I’m about to enter a few weeks where I’m going to be short of time.

A week in which I:

  • Worked on a presentation for our Group ‘Architecture Community of Practice’ forum that myself and our CTO have been invited to speak at next week. We are going to tell the story of the work we have done over the past few years. I’m excited about sharing it with the teams across the organisation. We’ve had a first run through and will have a final check-in on Monday.
  • Met with the team developing a series of interactive dashboards to be used by our front office staff. Thought about the need for ‘rules of the road’ that everyone sticks to, i.e. ensuring that all staff regularly and consistently capture data in the source systems so that the dashboards are as useful and insightful as they can be. If you work for the police, you know that there is a minimum standard of documentation that you have to complete such as writing up incident reports; my assumption is that not doing this would be negligence or misconduct. The challenge is in moving the organisation towards a similar minimum standard, changing the culture so that this data capture is something that we just do.
  • Spent time talking through a compliance issue with an in-house application that we are developing. Hoping that my contribution was useful and may help unblock things so that we can get the tool in front of people as soon as possible.
  • Met with colleagues in the People and Culture team to discuss the work I have been preparing for our Digital Literacy programme.
  • Took part in the first internal project team meeting for the work of closing one of our offices. This first meeting was to agree the processes that we will follow, as well as the artefacts that we intend to use.
  • Reviewed and discussed the outcome of our interviews of senior leaders in our part of the organisation that we undertook as part of our digital journey mapping. Agreed how we would feed the results back to the Executive Committee.
  • Went live with our new digital signage system in London, getting the Raspberry Pi devices installed on each of the monitors in our office. I wrote up a Teams post to explain what we’ve done and how it works, as well as asking for feedback on the information that colleagues want to see on the displays. The devices also arrived in our office in Asia this week; it has been interesting to understand and deal with a number of challenges that come about specifically due to the location. Hopefully we will have them up and running in the next few days.
  • Updated the security design and end-user notes for our mandatory regulatory audio recording system following an agreement to make a small change to the setup.
  • Went through the draft proposal document for how we will manage ‘Internet of Things’ devices on our office networks.
  • Reviewed the latest formal quote for upgrading the door access system in one of our smaller offices, comparing it to a quote we received months ago. This project has taken an extraordinary amount of time for the work that is required, with lots of back-and-forth with vendors. Agreed next steps to try and get the quote reduced.
  • Gave another IT team an introduction to LeanKit and explained how we came to adopt it a couple of years ago.
  • Attended an online internal town hall-style meeting on the topic of being Human First. Gave some feedback to colleagues in London who were promoting the event.
  • Met with our audio/visual equipment and services vendor to review our latest requirements for our London office and agreed next steps.
  • Booked flights and a hotel for my first business trip since February 2020.
  • Enjoyed an insightful presentation on the automation of our travel processes.
  • Completed online First Aid at Work training ahead of my in-person requalification course next week. It’s been a while since I’ve held a certificate and I’m looking forward to being qualified again.
  • Had a lovely random coffee with a colleague in the Investment Banking team.
  • Completed an analysis of technology spend in the primary school that I support as a governor, and put forward a plan for work next year. The school have already taken this forward with our current and planned technology support vendors.
  • Agreed to look at becoming a Strategic Leader of Governance for Herts for Learning. It is a volunteer role where I will get to mentor and give advice to Chairs of school governing boards across Hertfordshire. I hope it is not quite as tough as the SLOG acronym suggests.
  • Enjoyed ‘shoegaze night’ at the latest Album Club.
  • Have had the song Perfect Man by Rufus Wainwright whirling around my head. I don’t think this song gets anywhere near the recognition it deserves — it’s a genius piece of work which happens to be both melancholy and funky at the same time. I can’t believe it’s been a decade since it came out.

Next week: Presenting at the Architecture Community of Practice, a summer social at work, attempting to requalify as a First Aider, a debrief from our recent conference and preparing for a trip.

Today I learned that PowerPoint slides can have headers and footers. It was driving me crazy why some of my slides had random page numbers on them that I couldn’t find anywhere on the masters. Is this just a historical artefact or is there a need for the feature?

Heard this low-flying jet over the house last night. There’s short haul, and then there’s short haul.

📚 RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK, on 9/11. I had no idea that covering up of road signs was still a military tactic in 2001.

Weeknotes #177 — Teenagers

A regular week with plenty to do. I managed to steer clear of the gory details of the Conservative Party leadership contest, avoiding the live TV debates and catching up with the news and hot-takes “in a specific and limited way”. Given that the myriad of candidates to be our next Prime Minister will be whittled down to two by their fellow Tory MPs and then voted on by the 200,000 party members, I don’t understand why we are having TV debates at all. It’s incredibly depressing that one of these will be our next leader; it’s like the country is waiting for sentencing after being found guilty of committing a crime.

A lot of thought and discussion focused on Monday and Tuesday next week, where we are expecting to see the highest ever recorded temperatures in the UK. Dark, foreboding emails from the train companies about reduced services, bent rails and trackside fires have torpedoed any ideas I had of going into the office to enjoy the air conditioning. So far I haven’t seen any reports of wildfires here in the UK but it wouldn’t be a shock if they occurred; the countryside looks properly parched at the moment.

I’m enjoying work, but seem to have a chronic feeling of every day being too short for what I wanted to get done. I’m sure it’s always been like this, but for some reason the feeling has become more acute over the past couple of years.

At the weekend, our eldest boy was away doing his expedition for his silver Duke of Edinburgh award and his younger brother turned 13. It was strange celebrating without both of them being there. This now means that we have two teenagers in the house, which feels like another life milestone that we’ve reached.

A week in which I:

  • Was so sad to hear that we will be closing one of our offices. Although I never made it there for a visit, I’ve made many friends there through working with the team as we rolled out our new IT infrastructure. It’s going to be a shame to say goodbye.
  • Spent time playing with ideas for a digital literacy programme that I am planning to get off the ground in the second half of this year. I’m very much at the ‘discover’ phase of the Double Diamond, gathering and ordering ideas that I hope to shape into something structured. The work has spurred some great discussions already, some of which I need to turn into blog posts in order to clarify my thinking.
  • Showed someone how to post an announcement on Teams.It has made me realise how much additional benefit we can still get from the tools we have already deployed.
  • Installed the digital signage player to drive the looooong monitor in our office. It took some fiddling to get the Raspberry Pi to drive the screen at an appropriate resolution but it’s now looking great. I have it running live Bloomberg TV from YouTube, a fancy world clock that I forked and tweaked on codepen.io and a beautiful weather display from Meteoblue. We’re due to get all of the others installed in the next week or two.
  • Wrote up instructions for on-boarding new digital signage players so that colleagues in other offices can get started when their devices arrive.
  • Reviewed the latest iteration of our audio/visual vision document with our AV service provider and agreed next steps.
  • Met with our landlord and our Head of Legal to discuss next steps for an additional Internet Service Provider connection to our office. Of all the countries we operate in, London is by far the most difficult for getting this kind of work done due to the need to get a wayleave in place.
  • Enjoyed an internal Learning Hour session hosted by three members of the team who took us through the work they have been doing on a new internal product.
  • Took part in our monthly risk review meeting.
  • Joined our bi-monthly information risk meeting.
  • Prepped for, and then ran, a school Pay Committee meeting. We have them at least once a year and then on an as-needed basis which meant I was a little out of practice. I’ve now got to find some time to write up the minutes.
  • Assisted with updating a school policy. PDF Expert on the iPad is a great tool for concatenating two PDFs.
  • Had fun taking my son and a few of his friends to TeamSport Karting in Dunstable for his 13th birthday. It wasn’t cheap, but after two years of no parties at all it felt as though we were making up for lost time. They all seemed to love it. The venue wasn’t brilliant — all of the track marshals seemed to be on a go slow, meaning that every little crash took an age to resolve — but we had fun all the same.
  • Popped down to my aunt and uncle’s house near Romsey for lunch with my mum’s side of our family, including my lovely nan that I haven’t seen in a very long time. Another aunt and uncle are visiting from Australia and it was great to see them too.
  • Had the news that my bike is no longer viable for riding on the road. It needs almost everything replacing on it at a cost that would be greater than what I bought it for eight years ago. After some good long chats with the brilliant guys at my local bike shop, I found something I like and put a deposit down directly with the manufacturer. Their website says that orders placed now aren’t likely to be completed until November, so I’m resigned to riding indoors for the next few months.
  • Joined a Tortoise ThinkIn for the first time in months, this time with the wonderful PP Arnold. She’s still fantastic.

  • Found a piece of metal in my mouth as I munched my way through a bag of salad. I’ve let the manufacturer know but they are yet to get back to me.

Next week: Working from home a little more than usual, trying to keep cool, while the rest of the family enjoy their last week of the academic year at school.

🚲 My bike went for a full service on Tuesday but I am told that it is “beyond economical repair.” After eight years and 31,000km it looks like our adventures are over. I’m planning to ride it on the indoor trainer until it gives up completely. We’ve had such great times.

Getting a strong Stranger Things vibe from the things dropping from the beech tree in my garden.

Recruiting and mental health

At dinner with friends and colleagues a couple of weeks ago we started talking about the risks people take when they go through the process of being hired for a new job. At some point you will get asked questions that can make you vulnerable. This topic had come up at at a seminar I attended last year on Creating a Trans-Inclusive Workplace:

  • There are many points of risk in the processes that we run. If someone who identifies as a different gender to the one they had at birth gets all the way through your interview process, there is a point of vulnerability when they have to hand over a copy of their birth certificate to HR. The HR employee who receives the certificate has a lot of power, and can have a massive impact on the candidate depending on how they handle it.

I was fortunate to go to a university that was a popular recruitment ground for big companies. Not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I managed to secure a graduate job offer before my final year began. My application involved tests, interviews and group assessments. I also had to fill out an application form to give to their HR department. I vividly remember that the form had a question on whether I had any history of mental health issues. I ticked the ‘no’ box — and then proceeded to worry about it for weeks.

During the first part of my time at university I struggled with my mental health. Early in my second year this culminated with a late night visit to the Samaritans in Coventry. They were wonderful; the person I met there made me a cup of tea and listened to me for hours. It was a massive turning point; I could glimpse a way back from how I was feeling. I soon sought further help from the University and was fortunate to have free access to on-site counselling, another significant step to getting myself back on track.

Back in January I started thinking about all of this this again, having read Ruth Davidson express her fears about her medical history being revealed to the world if she ran for a political leadership position. I remembered how stressful it was after ticking that ‘no’ box and then hoping that it wouldn’t come back to haunt me. In my early twenties I had no idea about how HR processes and whether the company would be able to find out anything about what I had been through. I worried about what would happen if my mental health issues came back, impacted my work and then someone looked started questioning me further. Almost 25 years later, I can look back and see that these worries were overblown, but they felt very real at the time.

While mental health issues still carry a stigma, I like to think that the consequences of sharing them with others — and in particular, prospective employers — are not as bad as they used to be. Mind have an excellent write-up on discrimination at work, including a section on applying for jobs. It’s interesting to note that “Generally employers can’t ask you questions about your mental health before a job offer is made.” If you are made an offer, and you are then later turned down once you are further along the on-boarding process, you can look at raising whether the decision was discriminatory. I’m not sure whether this is a recent change to the law or something that has always been there, but it is great that organisations like Mind are trying to reduce concerns and anxiety by making more people aware of their rights.

Weeknotes #176 — Digital displays

In some ways, things were back to normal this week after the all-consuming focus of our annual conference. In other ways they were anything but — in the evenings I found myself glued to the TV, Signal chats and Twitter, catching up with the tumultuous goings-on in the UK government which culminated in the Prime Minister’s resignation. I’m so glad that we will finally see the back of the worst person ever to hold the office. I’m also fearful as to what comes next.

A week in which I:

  • Started the week with my sixth weekday commute in a row. Our division of the company has implemented a new policy of having everyone around the world in the office on Monday. I understand why — this week’s FT Working It podcast noted that lots of companies are going this route, for good reasons — but it still felt a bit like being in the office for its own sake. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I had to leave the office at 3:45pm in order to make an in-person school governor meeting at 5:30pm. The travelling seemed like a colossal waste of time when I could have done a full day’s work at my desk at home.
  • Loved being in the office on Thursday, setting up our new Raspberry Pi-based digital signage players along with a Tidbyt that will sit near to our Helpdesk team. I can’t wait to get the players installed behind their respective screens and to train the wider team on how to manage the displays.

  • Made progress with my Agile Coach / Product Manager vacancy, interviewing three candidates. I’m hopeful that we’ve found someone who looks like an excellent fit. Interviewing is like DIY to me — I dread it until I’m actually doing it, and then I realise I quite enjoy it.
  • Was so pleased with the work my colleague got done to simplify the physical infrastructure in one of our offices. At his insistence, he jumped on a plane at short notice in order to take advantage of the space being vacant for a week. They managed to decommission tons of redundant cabling as well as a patch panel that looked like something out of the climactic scene of Superman III.

  • Reviewed our plan for our London office ‘collaboration space’ with our CIO. Agreed in principle what we will do. We now need to keep focused on closing out the specification and seeing the project through to a conclusion.
  • Moved to a new laptop. I’d had my Thinkpad X280 since early 2019 and was very fond of it. I’m now using a superbly-specced Thinkpad T14 and can really tell the difference. Our philosophy is to purchase devices with sufficient RAM, hard drive space etc. and to give everyone the same device, so that we minimise any follow-up work with specific staff members who need their hardware to be upgraded. It’s an approach that has served us well. I use Windows at work and macOS at home and generally prefer the former; I wonder how much of the preference for Apple is driven by people using underpowered devices.
  • Wrestled with getting my new laptop to sleep. Having said how much I like Windows, it still does have some bizarre niggles. Windows 10 was no problem — I locked the screen, walked away and the laptop would then switch itself off after a while. My Windows 11 devices don’t seem to do this, nor do they sleep when asked. A colleague shared a little BAT file with me which when run will force the computer to sleep, which works a treat.
  • Spent some time getting our Kanban cards into shape, after having neglected them for the past couple of weeks due to the conference.
  • Updated our quarterly roadmap, closing out on Q2 and refreshing the milestones we have planned for future quarters.
  • Contributed some text to our quarterly update to the divisional CIO.
  • Met with colleagues in our IT Innovation and Community Development team as they wanted to find out about what technology we had implemented in our offices over the past few years. I need to turn this into a short, snappy presentation by the end of July in conjunction with our CTO.
  • Met with colleagues for a Digital Showcase session on a ‘playbook’ put together for anyone who is providing digital services to clients via our new externally-facing portal.
  • Attended a Learning Hour session on the topic of Health and Safety in one of our regional offices. The presentation was followed by a useful discussion with about communication.
  • Enjoyed meeting in person for our final Full Governing Board meeting of the year at school. It was lovely to stay after the meeting and to chat with some of my fellow governors. We haven’t had much of an opportunity to do it over the past few years.
  • Attended a feedback meeting with our School Improvement Partner. Despite all of the challenges that the school has been facing, it was wonderful to hear from someone external on how well everything is going.
  • Got the car’s annual MOT and service done. We were hit with a hefty bill this time, partly because of the things that needed doing and partly because everything is getting more expensive. We bought our used car from a main dealer a couple of years ago. I know they are not the cheapest place to get a service, but it is very cool to be sent a link to a video showing all of the parts that need fixing. I’ve now made a vow to take more notice of the depth of tread on my tyres. Nobody needs a £10,000 fine.
  • Bumped into an old friend on the train home that I hadn’t seen for years. Our children started playing football around the same time so we used to chat at Saturday morning training. Added him into our F1 Geeks WhatsApp group so that he can enjoy the in-race banter.
  • Cycled over to my mum and dad’s house for a family get-together. I’m glad it wasn’t any longer than my usual Saturday morning ride as it was so hot. It was wonderful to be with so many friends and family, many of which I haven’t seen since before the pandemic. There have been a few family events recently as well as more planned in the near future. I like this.
  • Had two friends over to watch the F1. Getting together to watch the race is definitely the way forward.

Next week: Trying to keep cool while we bask in a heatwave. Taking my bike in for a much-needed service. The final school governor meeting of the year. And suddenly finding that we have two teenagers in the house.