Four days in Berlin knocked me out. Prior to the trip, I’d already decided to take off an extra couple of days after I got back, as the rest of the family would be off work and school for half term. I’m so glad I did. Tuesday was spent pottering around the house in a daze. On Wednesday the four of us jumped in a car for a day trip to Bristol, to see my wife’s brother and his family.
We had a lovely day out. Vegan pizzas at the Left-Handed Giant brewpub were followed by extraordinary hot chocolates at neighbouring Ruby Hue’s. It was so great to see everyone and particularly to spend time with the youngest member of our extended family who has recently started to talk.
I got back to work on Thursday for a two-day week, still feeling out of sorts. I wondered whether I’d picked up an illness but with the benefit of hindsight I think I was just worn out.
This was a week in which I:
- Joined a presentation to our Technology Executive Committee to give feedback on our recent ‘immersion’.
- Met with a member of our Investment Banking team to talk through the AI components of a client’s business model.
- Attended a kickoff workshop to look at simplifying the complex process of onboarding staff to the organisation.
- Met with the Finance team to review the approach to a major project that we are running over the next couple of years.
- Reviewed the latest iteration of a proposed vendor contract with our Procurement department.
- Continued the series of meetings with my product development and product management leads. It feels like we are making good progress in getting everything pointing in the same direction.
- Met to discuss the status of one of our prototype products and how we will take it forward.
- Gave yet another presentation on Large Language Models and Generative AI to a team of client-facing staff in Johannesburg.
- Wondered who looks forward to eating jackfruit? It seems to be a staple vegetarian option in a cafe close to the office. I’ve never heard anyone drool at the sound of it, or say how much they are looking forward to it.
- Went to my eldest son’s football match, my first of the season. He’s now playing in the Under 18’s, with players who span the ages of 16 to 18 years old. I couldn’t believe the amount of abuse that the referee got from the spectators and had to intervene at half time, siding with the ref and persuading him to stay for the second half.
- Started to think about getting a new kitchen to replace our old and tired one.
- Enjoyed a lovely meal out at Tabure in Berkhamsted with old friends. We felt a little unloved by the waiting staff as they seemed to leave us to our own devices for far too long. The manager told us that they are trying their best, but are struggling to find staff at the moment.
- Had a visit from a neighbour’s cat who decided to make himself at home in my office.
Next week: Getting to know our neighbours.