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Weeknotes #238 — Flyying Colours

Flyying Colours at The Lexington, London, 11 September 2023

Flyying Colours at The Lexington, London, 11 September 2023

An exhausting week that whizzed by. On Monday morning I took my wife for a cataract operation. A cataract was the almost inevitable side-effect of the operation she had to repair a detached retina back in March. We arrived very early at the hospital to go through the various registration and preparation procedures. There was quite a bit of hanging around, but once she was called in it took no time at all. We didn’t hang around the post-op waiting area for very long before she was quickly discharged, multiple bottles of eyedrops in hand. The operation is incredible; it has restored her sight in the affected eye to the point that she no longer needs a prescription lens on that side of her glasses. (Of course, for some reason it costs £55 at the opticians to get the old lens replaced with a basic plastic one.) I don’t really understand the sorcery of putting a plastic lens into an eye and it being exactly right.

The care that my wife received was superb. I know we fund the NHS through our taxes, but it still feels amazing to walk in and out within a few hours with the only cost that day being a £9 parking charge.

This was a week in which I:

  • Finalised the details for a statement of work with an external vendor and created a small set of summary slides for internal review.
  • Reviewed a first set of architectural fit-out drawings for offices that we are considering as a new home in one of our locations.
  • Kicked off a series of internal meetings with our heads of Product Management and Engineering, alternating our focus between the two areas with the intent that we coalesce round one agreed way forward.
  • Started to look at Planview’s new Roadmaps product. As AgilePlace users, it’s an attractive prospect as it would mean that the digital representation of our work would all be kept in the same space.
  • Attended a kick-off session for a ‘digital immersion’ that I am attending next week. We had a keynote speaker and a very free-flowing discussion about all things cryptocurrency and blockchain-related. I’m still of the view that the technology is interesting but is still in search of a use-case.
  • Received a preliminary update on some recent cybersecurity testing.
  • Had a check-in meeting on the current state of our unstructured document management programme.
  • Met with colleagues to discuss the challenges we are having as participants in developing changes for a large group-wide platform.
  • Spent some time with a colleague who wanted some guidance on how to approach rolling out a solution for a client across multiple countries.
  • Attended a workshop on a proposed updated approach to managing non-financial risk.
  • Met with our Group Head of Enterprise Architecture for a catch-up while he was in London for the week. It’s always great to see him.
  • Did some online pre-work for a training course which was then cancelled at the last minute.
  • Enjoyed a colleague’s presentation at our weekly Learning Hour meeting on the topic of meditation.
  • Met a colleague’s son for a chat as he spent the week in our office for his work experience.
  • Removed my school governor accounts from all of my devices now that I am no longer part of the board.
  • Attended a Sixth Form induction meeting with our eldest son. From what I can remember, these next two years will go by in a flash for him.
  • Fielded a couple of requests to join Album Club after my article appeared in the Berkhamsted Town Council newsletter. In retrospect, the article should ideally have been clearly marked as a ‘what local people get up to’ story so that it couldn’t be mistaken for an appeal for new members. By mutual consent, I’ve put the people that contacted me in touch with each other and suggested they set up their own club.
  • Enjoyed hearing Love’s Forever Changes at Album Club. It had been on my list to listen to for years but I’d never got round to it.
  • Went to see Flyying Colours at The Lexington in London. Four of us had intended to go, but one had COVID-19 an another was under the weather, leaving just Mat and I. The band were excellent; I’d never heard them before but they were instantly likeable. At times they felt like a fantastic cross between Ride and Lush.
  • Can’t quite work out why I’m finding cycling on the indoor trainer so difficult at the moment. I suspect that TrainerRoad has miscalculated my abilities, but I also don’t seem to be able to ‘push through’ one of the harder segments.
  • Enjoyed my weekly Saturday morning club cycle ride. Autumn is definitely in the air; I was questioning my choice of fingerless gloves for the first few minutes of the ride. It won’t be long until the winter gear gets donned again. In a break from our usual routine we went for a coffee and cake at the Dower House on Berkhamsted High Street. I’m not sure I was completely aware that the place had been turned into a cafe. It’s a splendid one.
  • Sampled gelato from a bicycle that has appeared in the High Street on a Saturday. (Yes, I know — cake and ice cream on the same day.)

  • Finished the first season of Barry. It did not disappoint.

Next week: Digital immersion.

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