in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #129 — Meetups

Normality came a couple of paces closer this week as I attended more in-person meet-ups. COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths all seem to be flatlining here in the UK and it feels like we are at the ‘let’s just live with it’ stage. From next week onwards, the government no longer require us to self-isolate if we have been a close contact with a confirmed case. It really does feel like the bulk of the pandemic may be behind us here, and I hope that’s true. The next big discussion will be about whether our population gets ‘booster shots’ while the majority of the rest of the world remain unvaccinated. Given that we have already cut back overseas aid this year I am doubtful that we will be good global citizens, but I do hope we do the right thing.

This was a week in which I:

  • Met up with lots of my London-based colleagues for an afternoon social in Hyde Park. I hadn’t been on a train in 18 months and expected it to be quite profound, but the journey there and back actually felt quite mundane; I haven’t missed commuting in any way. It was so lovely to see everyone again and the hours flew by. I finished the day by going for a wonderful Greek dinner at Mazi with a friend and colleague who has been out of the office with a serious illness for most of the past year. Seeing him was just what I needed, and I left for home with a renewed sense of purpose and a warm glow from all the laughter we shared.
  • Attended a meeting to get an overview of our proposed post-pandemic working arrangements in London. It struck me that as our IT team is geographically dispersed, ‘being with everyone in the office again’ isn’t quite the same thing as it is for other teams. Before the pandemic, I spent most of the working day at my desk on Teams calls, so it will be interesting to see what kind of working pattern makes sense for me.
  • Saw the next part of our IT infrastructure implementation get moved out by a couple of weeks staff in one of our locations suddenly found themselves working from home again due to COVID-19. The team are trying to move things around so that we get the work done in a different order and stay on track overall for the quarter.
  • Reviewed a revised statement of work for the IT infrastructure implementation in our final office on our rollout schedule.
  • Discussed the current state of protection for confidential data in one of our key global systems.
  • Participated in our our monthly IT risk review meeting.
  • Started some more Kanban coaching with another member of the team.
  • Completed my mid-year performance review on our new performance management system.
  • Caught up with my messages, emails, and Kanban board notifications after being out of the office for a week.
  • Attended a presentation on our company’s new multi-factor authentication application.
  • Enjoyed a random coffee with a colleague who moved from Lagos to London just before the pandemic started. People are so interesting, and it’s great to get to know them in this way.
  • Enjoyed an in-person Album Club once again. If everything stays as-is COVID-19-wise, we’re probably back to being in-person for the foreseeable future.
  • Attended the first few sessions of Micro Camp, which started straight after I finished work for the day. It’s such a wonderful community to be a part of, and the event was a lovely opportunity to interact with so many like-minded people in real time. Kimberly Hirsh’s talk on Learning in Public on Your Blog was super inspirational; I’ve already watched it twice and it has got my brain whirring on things I could write about.
  • Celebrated my 17th wedding anniversary with a family day out in London. We took the train into Euston and wandered around Camden before strolling across to King’s Cross for an early dinner at Dishoom. The food was good but not as exceptional as I had been led to believe; I enjoyed my lunchtime falafel from Camden Market a lot more. The sun was shining, and as we strolled around, eating our post-dinner ice creams, it felt like we were on holiday.

  • Spent Sunday afternoon at our friends’ house for a lovely barbecue. It was lovely to relax in their beautiful new house, enjoying the food and being outside in great company.

Next week: A four-day week as I am taking Friday off as part of another short break. The diary is full up so I know this will mean cramming all of the work into those four days. Plus a visit from my wife’s parents, who haven’t been to stay with us for a very long time.

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