in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #210 — Sit bones

A four-day week as I took Friday off for my wife’s birthday. Work is ramping up. For the first time in a while I found myself picking my laptop up again in the evenings, trying to wrestle a few things forward.

On the one day I worked from home my two boys both had the day off school due to a teacher strike. There are more to come later in the month.

March has started with a cold snap, with snow forecast for next week. I’m back to wearing multiple jumpers around the house as we try to keep the thermostat down.

This was a week in which I:

  • Ran through my Don’t Get Hacked presentation another couple of times, with our CEO and our Head of Global Markets. The material is very well-received and I feel as though I’m ready to deliver the presentations to the wider audiences over the next three weeks.
  • Discussed the short data management proposal that I put together, with a growing set of colleagues from across the organisation. I am waiting for someone to flag a showstopper issue with what I have proposed, but so far nothing has come up. The work could be transformational. It requires very little technology but lots of persuading people to work in a slightly different way, which may actually be more difficult.
  • Joined an impromptu technology strategy meeting.
  • Set up a meeting for next week for a new project that I am participating in with colleagues from other divisions of the organisation.
  • Met with our audio/visual vendor to discuss the upgrade and simplification of two of our key internal meeting rooms.
  • Felt privileged to be invited as a guest speaker to our People and Culture department’s strategic workshop. My first job out of university was working in an investment bank’s Human Resources IT department for nearly seven years; I’m still in contact with my wonderful colleagues from that time, and lent on them as I gathered my thoughts ahead of this week’s session. It felt like a very productive conversation.
  • Met with colleagues to review the operating model of one of our sub-teams and to talk about succession planning.
  • Caught up with the recording from the monthly Architecture Community of Practice meeting. Playing meetings back at 1.5x speed is a game-changer.
  • Attended our quarterly architecture governance authority meeting and reported back on why we did not proceed with the ‘location broadcasting tool’ that we trialled over the past few months.
  • Enjoyed this week’s internal Learning Hour session on the Banking Tech Awards that a colleague attended on our organisation’s behalf.
  • Attended a short training session on cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of a defibrillator. It was my first encounter with the inflatable ‘mini Annie’ trainers, which were really effective and can be easily stored away in large numbers.
  • Watched the third and final instalment of Ivar Jacobson’s Organising Around Value webinar series. I liked the sentiment on the ‘minimum viable bureacracy’:

  • Reviewed options for my school’s supplier of Occupational Health services and an Employee Assistance Programme.
  • Had a lovely day off for my wife’s birthday. A slightly lazy morning was followed by lunch at Crockers in Tring. The food was delicious, but the restaurant felt quite empty.
  • Started to get used to the new indoor bike trainer. My first proper training session started out feeling much too easy, so I ended up completing it at 115% of my measured FTP. I’ve since bumped it up so that future workouts should be more in-line with what I’m used to. My FTP is now about 60 watts higher than it was on the old ‘wheel on’ trainer, which makes me think that the old figure was meaningless as an absolute measure. On Sunday I did a two-hour ride, with my sit-bones wincing at me after 90 minutes. The reviews of the trainer are very complimentary about the saddle, so I’m now wondering whether I need to refresh my bib shorts.
  • Enjoyed Saturday morning’s bike club ride. It felt very cold, and added to the list of reasons I was giving myself not to get up on Sunday for the Verulam Cycling Club Reliability Ride. By Saturday night I was completely exhausted; I dragged myself up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire just after 9pm. I’m signed up for our own club’s reliability ride next Sunday but the weather doesn’t look great from here.
  • Wandered down to the cricket club to watch the Berkhamsted five mile fun run and half marathon. My eldest boy took part in the fun run and was hoping for a win, but felt dizzy and had to stop when he was halfway round.

  • Welcomed the Formula One season back for 2023. It was so great to see Alonso do so well with his third place finish. It’s interesting how he’s turned from pantomime villain to hero in the past few seasons.

Next week: Back to five days again. Delivering the Don’t Get Hackedpresentation to two of our offices, and joining two album clubs.

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