in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #134 — Dropped dishwasher

A really busy week where I generally felt quite tired for the majority of the time. Partly this was due to lack of exercise; I missed my Wednesday session due to going into the office, on Thursday I had to be up and ready for a scheduled delivery at home and on Friday I prioritised sleep, having had people over to my house until very late the night before. I drew a line under the week at 6pm on Friday and went out for a much-needed run.

This was a week in which I:

  • Turned my explainer on how Azure Information Protection works into a set of slides. I then used Zoom to record me giving the presentation, and uploaded it onto an internal Teams channel. Hopefully it will go some way to reducing the number of issues my colleagues have been having. I really enjoyed putting it together, with a few photos from Unsplash and animated GIF ‘screenshots’ created with SnagIt.
  • Attended our monthly Information Risk Steering Group.
  • Met with our chosen vendor to review the technical implementation document for rolling out Teams telephony in one of our offices in the next few months.
  • Took part in our monthly department Risk Management meeting. Noted that we don’t always need to wait for a technical risk mitigation; sometimes just raising awareness with people is enough to start to reduce our risks.
  • Attended our quarterly Architecture Design Authority meeting and reviewed a proposed Infrastructure and Operations strategy.
  • Joined a workshop on our network’s DDI (DNS, DHCP and IPAM — yes, I can’t believe there is an acronym for a set of acronyms) setup. We agreed a direction of travel, which should ultimately result in a third formal iteration of the design we started out with in 2018.
  • Spent another Wednesday working in London. There were more people on the commute with fewer masks, and more people in the office. Our team have now decided that this is the best day for us all to be in, given that we now have a Wednesday ‘meeting free’ policy.
  • Hosted a talk by a colleague to our internal team on the Equity Sales business. It was very interesting — there was so much material and so many questions that we ran out of time.
  • Joined a number of meetings relating to our big group programme. Had further discussions on the business case and timeline for the work, as well as how it fits into our broader objectives.
  • Attended a ‘digital showcase’ meeting on our renewable energy project funding platform.
  • Was delighted to see one of our biggest sub-teams getting on top of the contents of their Kanban board; the results shown on their cumulative flow report is a tribute to all of the hard work that they have been putting in.
  • Had a random coffee with a colleague in our Wealth Management business.
  • Completed my CliftonStrengths assessment as part of the Team Effectiveness work that we are doing. I can see myself in the results, but I am not sure if this is because the assessment is ‘accurate’ or that it is designed to feel this way to everyone no matter what their results are. It’ll be interesting to see the results from the rest of the team and start to discuss them.

  • Started using a Logitech MX Master 3 mouse in my home office. It’s absolutely lovely, not least because it allows me to switch between Bluetooth connections with my work PC, iPad and home computer at the touch of a button. I’m still learning its features, and accidentally discovered the handy audio and video mute buttons in Teams while I was on a call.
  • Attended two online webinars in succession on Tuesday night and started reflecting on my life choices a few minutes into each. Unless the speaker is incredible, the topic is deeply interesting, or there is a high degree of interactivity, I find myself quickly losing interest at these events. Pre-pandemic, when we went to Meetups in person, if the presentation was poor there was at least the promise of networking afterwards. Mostly I sat there wondering why I was taking part live when I could put the recordings into a ‘watch later’ queue. However, once I had turned up, it was difficult to leave without being rude.
  • Nearly took delivery of a new dishwasher after our previous one died following 11 years of what felt like constant use. The delivery guys took our old one away and then dropped the new one on our driveway before it even got to our house. We’ve had to get through a few more days of washing up by hand while we wait for its replacement to arrive next week.
  • Took my eldest boy for his regular orthodontist visit.
  • Having formally joined Berkhamsted Cycling Club, went out for an early morning club ride with my son. There were only four of us in our group but it was a lovely ride. A misty start gave way to sunshine on a day that made you feel grateful to be alive. I’ve picked up some official cycling tops for the club so next week we will look the part as well.

  • Ran the line for my youngest son’s football match. They won 4-1 which now means that they are top of the league. It felt like a fraught match, with so much shouting from the coaches and players, but the boys did brilliantly.
  • Had our garden contractors come and replace the pieces of turf in our back garden that didn’t ‘take’ when they put them in the first time. Laying turf in a heatwave is not a great idea.
  • Spent some time on the lawn, applying a pet-friendly ‘feed and weed’ mix in what I hope is the right quantity. I should be able to see in three to four weeks.

Next week: Trying to put some time aside for strategic thinking, if I can extract myself from the day-to-day. Plus our first school governor meeting of the year.

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