in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #165 — Hillbuster II

Having lunch in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral

Having lunch in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral

Back to work with a bump. Tuesday was a shock to the system with a return to the office; I had a feeling of being slightly punch-drunk by the time the evening commute came. I’d spent the day in an attempt to catch up with colleagues as well as get on top of two weeks of emails, messages and other notifications. Some projects had moved on in leaps and bounds during my absence while others were just as I left them.

I went into the office again on Wednesday prior to a couple of days working from home and think that I’ve finally started to enjoy the variation of where I’m working. I still need to have a purpose to travel in and be there, but we have enough going on physically in the office to make it worthwhile.

A week in which I:

  • Concluded the latest ‘request for proposal’ process for the technical components of our annual conference. It’ll be great to start working with the chosen vendor on the delivery timeline now.
  • Had the weekly internal project meeting for the annual conference project.
  • Met with a colleague to give an overview of a project I ran a couple of years ago to change the way in which we manage unstructured data in our London office. Agreed to meet again in a week or so to see if there are any follow-up actions we need to take.
  • Met with the head of our API Marketplace to discuss the approach that we are taking as a company to launching and promoting it.
  • Caught up on the programme relating to the lease expiry events for two of our offices.
  • Reviewed the status of work to improve the physical and audio/visual aspects of our office ahead of a town hall meeting in a few weeks’ time, and our annual conference later in the year.
  • Discussed progress with the dashboards that we are creating as part of the big group programme.
  • Reviewed the final draft contract for renewing our helpdesk and ‘level one’ support function.
  • Updated the monthly London Governance Committee pack, including a slide on the audio/visual changes we are working on.
  • Had the bi-weekly management team meeting.
  • Ran my first ‘wins’ session with the team for a few weeks. The sessions always seem to start slowly but then build to a decent set of achievements.
  • Pondered why some people don’t take time to clear out their diary ahead of a holiday, cancelling and declining meetings that they can’t attend. Doing it is both helpful and joyous.
  • Was treated to two small work lunches on Tuesday and Wednesday, one in a restaurant and the other sitting on a bench in the grounds of St Paul’s Cathedral. I was very grateful for both. It felt good to be back with the team again. I also discovered that Hotel Chocolat now sell ice cream, and enjoyed a tub on the way back to the office.
  • Had the mid-year appraisal for our Headteacher. It was lovely to spend some time catching up with her and the Chair of Governors.
  • Enjoyed a lovely family barbecue with my brothers, hosted at a new house that one of them has just moved into. It felt like forever since we had got together.
  • Renewed our home buildings and contents insurance by phone after three unsuccessful attempts to buy it online at the weekend. All of the multi-factor authentication mechanisms didn’t seem to be working on multiple cards that I tried. However, I now find that I’ve paid for the insurance four times over so will need to call them again.
  • Made some headway on catching up with my personal emails again, and then immediately fell behind. I’m not sure what changes I need to make to get on top of it.
  • Substituted Monday’s scheduled indoor trainer recovery ride for a run. Compared to the running that I had done on holiday it felt very hard, but I was glad that I did it.
  • Started watching the Ken Burns documentary on Muhammad Ali. Of course, it’s superb.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the latest Album Club.
  • Did a lot of cycling. Saturday morning’s club ride was full-on, with an average speed of over 17mph. I then did the Hemel Hillbuster on Sunday, a charity ride in aid of the Dacorum Emergency Night Shelter (DENS). Usage of the DENS food bank has increased by 15% in the last three weeks alone, and I suspect that this will only get worse. Last year’s ride was in July and I was grateful that they had moved it to April, turning down the heat. After all that riding, I felt a little destroyed by the time I got home.
Queuing to register at the start of the Hemel Hillbuster

Queuing to register at the start of the Hemel Hillbuster

  • Had a friend over on Sunday afternoon again to watch the F1 Grand Prix. Not the most exciting race I’ve ever seen, but there was enough to keep us entertained. I’m really looking forward to the circus going to a brand new track for the next race.

Next week: Another four-day week, bisected by the welcome return of the annual Governors in School Day.

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