A week in which I…
- No, we, successfully completed our New York end-user infrastructure rollout. Half of our deployment team had to leave last week, so I ended up having to sit one-to-one with half of the office to take them through how to set up and use their new kit. It was great to be out in the field again. Everyone seems very pleased and we’ve had a few notes thanking us for the work that has gone into the new platform.
- Ran a couple of training courses for the New York office, giving everyone a proper introduction to Microsoft Teams as well as showing them the real-time collaboration and versioning features of Office 365. In the past we’ve suffered from deploying technology within the organisation and not giving staff enough knowledge on how to use it. I didn’t go into too much depth in the couple of hours I had available, but hopefully it was enough to make the team realise the possibilities that are open to them.
- Spent the day on my own in the office on Monday while everyone was off for Presidents’ Day. Although I was all alone, getting out of my hotel room felt a lot healthier than just sitting there, and I got to play some loud music and greedily use all of the new network just for myself.
- Worked very late on Tuesday as a vendor got our new wireless access points installed into the ceiling voids, and connected back to the server room. I spent time the next day wandering around the length and breadth of the office on a Teams video call to check coverage is good, and it’s superb.
- Was grateful to not get caught in the second storm in as many weeks in the UK. Our neighbour’s front garden wall didn’t fare so well; apparently my children woke up in the middle of the night because of the noise and one of them had reported hearing a bang.
- Discovered Beyond Meat. New York has a massive variety of restaurants for an aspiring vegan. Eighteen years after having last been there I had the fortune to dine again at the Candle Cafe, a wonderful cosy and homely vegan restaurant. I was intrigued by the ‘Beyond Burger’ they had on the menu, but went for something different. A few days later I saw the same on the menu at MTHR Vegan, a small fast food joint tucked out of the way on 49th Street. After one bite I had to go back to the menu to check that I had ordered the right thing; despite the name of the place I wasn’t convinced that I’d bitten into something that had once been wandering around. It was incredibly tasty. Kebabs made from the same stuff at Beyond Sushi were also excellent. It seems that Beyond Meat has only reached the UK very recently, so we’ll have to make a special trip to Tesco to eat some more at home. It’s like Quorn, but super tasty. I’m sure the amount of processing doesn’t make it very healthy, but it’s nice to be able to reach for the junk food occasionally without the guilt of eating animals.
- Managed a few runs in Central Park. The full circuit makes a great course at around 7 miles, with just enough hills to be a bit of a challenge. At the weekend I treated myself to my first new pair of trainers in ten years, and could immediately feel the difference. I don’t want to go faster, but I do want to try to avoid injury as I have a history of knee pain.
- Drove my eldest son up to Nottingham to compete in the National Cross Country Championships. The awful weather in the week leading up to the event meant that the car park was closed and the routes leading there had gigantic traffic jams. After over an hour in a queue I managed to watch the boys race through the muddiest course I’ve ever seen before getting a little cleaned up and heading for home again. At least it wasn’t raining!
- Finally finished reading Cultural Amnesia by Clive James, literally two years after I started it. The book is organised into chapters or essays on a variety of historical figures, which the author uses as a jumping off point to explore a particular set of thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts they veer way off course before coming back around again. It’s never boring, but I found it extremely challenging and hard-going, and don’t mind admitting this text is probably at the limit of my intellectual capacity. I have no idea where he found the time to read so much , and what perseverance he must have had to learn French and German by picking up classic texts in those languages. Amazing.
- Have been completely obsessed by all things Smoke Fairies, ten years after the first time, trying to catch up with the music I missed out on after Blood Speaks. Their new album, Darkness Brings The Wonders Home, is simply stunning, with big guitar riffs and wonderful vocal harmonies throughout.
Next week: Back in London again, turning my attention to all of the things I have had to put aside while I focused on New York. Attention turns to São Paulo now. Plus an Album Club.