in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #122 — Shorts out, jumpers in

Summer has been trying, and failing, to make a comeback. My shorts and flip-flops have once again been packed away and replaced by jeans and jumpers. At one point this week our house’s heating system awoke from its summer hibernation to reinforce the point about how bad the weather has been.

The UK seems to be in a weird space COVID-wise, with rapidly rising infections but people being quite relaxed about the risks. Schools seem to be having a very bad time of it, with classes and in some cases whole schools being shut down due to infections. At some point there will have to be a difficult decision made in terms of whether to (offer to) vaccinate children and/or to keep them in school despite infections. It is ethically dubious to vaccinate them for a disease that doesn’t seem to pose much threat to them, but it also seems very unfair for them to keep going through the stop/start process when infections are diagnosed and reported.

I’ve been so tired all week, and by Friday evening I had completely run out of steam. I’m not one for going to bed early and often stay up late reading, but I’ve also been waking up early having had bizarre dreams. Someone randomly mentioned to me that they hadn’t slept well this week either, and I wonder how much the atmosphere has a collective effect on our sleep patterns.

This was a week in which I:

  • Attended an online funeral for a colleague. We received notice of his passing a little while ago, which came as a shock as I wasn’t even aware that he had been ill. I didn’t know him well, but he seemed like a lovely man and it was moving to hear the speeches prepared by his wife and daughters. I’m glad I ‘attended’ as I got to learn a little more about him and his extraordinary journey through life.
  • Completed preparation for our Internal Audit meeting, and frowned when it was moved out by a couple of weeks at the last minute.
  • Updated my high-level infrastructure slides for our London office, showing the transition from old to new over the past four years. Submitted these as material for the governance committee meeting next week.
  • Pieced together further information on how compliance monitoring works for one of our communication channels, and updated the slides relating to this for the same governance committee.
  • Created a short slide deck for options for integrating LeanKit with JIRA, should the need arise, and submitted a summary to the governance committee.
  • Agreed on a way forward for putting together a Microsoft Teams telephony business case for two of our offices.
  • Agreed on next steps for upgrading a physical door access system in one of our offices.
  • Attended the first sprint playback session for a new AI prototype tool being developed in-house for client-facing staff in our region. I was very impressed by how much had been achieved in such a short space of time.
  • Met with more vendors to discuss the technical consultant vacancy in our team and received some interesting, wide-ranging proposals.
  • Reviewed the latest drafts of the monitoring, maintenance and support renewal agreements for three of our offices.
  • Attended more meetings for the large group-wide programme covering architecture, funding and implementation details for specific modules. I was asked with one day’s notice to present at one of the steering committees; a colleague and I quickly put something together and delivered a well-received presentation.
  • Reviewed the Dubai Financial Service Authority  Guidelines for Financial Institutions Adopting Enabling Technologies and compared them to our existing practices and standards.
  • Had a random coffee with a Wealth Management colleague in Jersey. It’s always so lovely to meet someone new where there conversation is free-flowing and you feel like you could have spoken for two or three times as long.
  • Attended an excellent Herts for Learning webinar on the topic of systemic racism in schools. There was a lot to think about, and it was heartening to see the in-meeting chat being so thoughtful and considered despite there being over 200 attendees.
  • Finished Learned League 89 in a shocking position, only two slots from the bottom of the division. I had a fantastic season last time out and got promoted, so it was very sobering to find myself being relegated back down again straight away.
  • Had the car serviced and MOT-ed. I can’t believe a year has gone by since we bought it. It had done very little mileage and I was glad that nothing needed doing to it. Someone from the garage came to pick it up, and it was cool to see the AirTag tracker working as it made its journey there.
  • Bought some new cycling shoes. My old pair had done me well, but they are very long in the tooth and have 23,000km of sweaty riding to their name. I’m not sure if there is any science to fitting cleats into the right place — I’m used to drawing a template line on my old pair when the cleats needed changing. I guess I’ll find out when I start using them.
  • Went out for another 100km ride with my eldest son. He’s getting to be a really good rider and I really love going out on adventures with him. I hope he keeps his enthusiasm for our long rides.

  • Ran the line again for my longest son’s football match, his last of the season. I’m hoping I still get to do the job again next year when they move to 11-a-side.
  • Booked in a professional oven clean for the first time ever.
  • Followed along with the Euro 2020 championship as well as the F1. My wife and I have swapped our evening TV for the football, and occasionally the boys have joined us to watch some of it too.

Next week: A backlog of documentation to create and submit to various forums by the end of the week, and trying to get my sleeping back on track.

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