And just like that, holidays are over. At least until Christmas.
I’m feeling the pressure of trying to have a strong end to the year both at work and as a school governor. There is a massive pile of things I need to get done. This week felt disappointingly bitty; I was getting things done but I felt as though I was skirting around the edges of the bigger pieces of work I need to do. I was grateful for us having a public holiday on Monday, but a four-day week didn’t help me in terms of getting things done.
A week in which I:
- Reviewed the latest draft of our Internet of Things architecture strategy.
- Reviewed and edited a document on internal network risks written by our CTO.
- Attended an Architecture Community of Practice meeting and learned about our approach to blockchain technology.
- Met with the leaders of another internal technology team to talk about their ways of working. Started to learn about how the team is set up, what they manage and how they work.
- Caught up with all of the messages, emails and Kanban board updates that had happened while I was on holiday.
- Met with the team responsible for pushing our technology innovation initiatives and came up with some ideas as to how we can work more closely together.
- Attended a Town Hall meeting, run from our Collaboration Space and dialled into a Teams meeting with our other offices outside of Africa. Celebrated our half-year results with the rest of the office.
- Had a delightful random coffee with a colleague in one of our client-facing teams. Learned about his career, including all of the different countries he has worked in over the years. We’ve now reached 4,000 coffee pairings since May 2020; I’m so grateful to Chris Weston for passing the idea my way.
- Was so sorry to hear that one of my colleagues won’t make it over to the UK for a long-planned trip next week, as their visa is stuck in the system somewhere.
- Met with our Headteacher and Chair of Governors prior to the school year starting at the end of the week.
- Created our new school governance Programme of Business document for the coming academic year.
- Arranged to meet a prospective new school governor next week.
- Wrote up the minutes to our most recent Pay Committee meeting and circulated them to the rest of the committee for review.
- Had endodontic treatment. This sounds a little fancier than saying that I had root canal surgery. I think I had been subconsciously dreading it all week. I know that modern dentistry is excellent and there was no need to worry, but the thought of having my mouth open for two hours while they did their thing was playing on my mind. It went brilliantly; the endodontist made me feel very relaxed, talking me through all of the stages of the process as we went. I was a little uncomfortable when the anaesthetic wore off but I’ve not had to take any painkillers. Next stop is back to my dentist to have a crown fitted. Take care of your teeth, people.
- Had a wonderful Saturday lunch at my brother’s house for my mum’s birthday. It was so great to see everyone so soon after our holiday.
- Enjoyed the latest Album Club night, but listened with an open mouth to some of the lyrics.
- Re-imaged a Raspberry Pi and re-installed the Pi-hole software. Parts of the operating system were too out-of-date for the Pi-hole application to upgrade. I need to research how I can keep the operating system up-to-date in the same way.
- Caught up with the washing, ironing and other admin that needed doing post-holiday.
- Registered my interest in a solar panel/battery installation for our house. I’ve long suspected that our house isn’t suitable for solar; this will be a good way of finding out for sure.
- Attended a first aid callout in a nearby town. Fortunately everything seemed fine when I got there.
- Started reading Travels With Charley: In Search Of America by John Steinbeck. I’m getting close to the end of my journey through all of Steinbeck’s works. This is one I’ve been looking forward to; I loved it when I read it as a teenager and it’ll be great to go on the journey again.
- Bought Troy Hunt’s book. I’ve listened to his weekly update podcast for years and often pass on links to his blog posts. Buying a copy of his book feels like a good way of giving something back.
- Took advantage of Bandcamp Friday to buy some new music that that was on my wishlist:
- I pre-ordered Sophie Jamieson’s debut album Choosing off the back of seeing her support Kathryn Joseph a few months ago.
- I also pre-ordered Magdalena Bay’s deluxe edition of their incredible album Mercurial World.
- Samana’s Ascension hit my rule of buying an album of a current artist that I’ve played more than a handful of times on Spotify. It’s a really beautiful record. This band was introduced to me by the Smoke Fairies when they were their support act at a recent gig. I’m loving how bands I like are a gateway to these other discoveries.
Next week: A full week in the office, my first since June. The first official school governor duties of the school year. Dinner with friends.