in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #260 — We are the world

A huge banner now hangs from St Pancras New Church near Euston Station in London, raising awareness of the climate emergency

A huge banner now hangs from St Pancras New Church near Euston Station in London, raising awareness of the climate emergency

I’m enjoying my work, but this week was super hectic. To add to the fun, on Thursday afternoon I started getting a cold and by Friday evening it was in full swing, forcing me to load up all of my pockets with tissues. As of Sunday night I’ve started to turn the corner, just in time to get back to work again.

This was a big week for the main programme that we are running this year. I’d set up our first Steering Committee meeting for Friday afternoon and I had to prepare a slide deck for the team to review. Getting ready for a governance meeting isn’t something that you can start too early, otherwise the information changes and you end up tweaking and reworking the slides multiple times. Once I’d aligned with our CIO on the information we wanted to present it was then just a case of getting my head down and creating the document, which I did through Thursday evening and Friday morning. The meeting went well and I feel as though we have a good collective understanding of where we are and what we need to do.

This was a week in which I:

  • Had several meetings with our audio/visual technical design vendor who are working on multiple projects for us.
  • Met with our Finance team to discuss the approach to modelling our property programme costs. We’ve now got a clear view of what we need to pull together.
  • Continued with the process to bring additional project management support on board for our team.
  • Had the weekly project meeting with our sister company for renovating our main office.
  • Spent half a day in vendor presentations that were in response to an RFP issued by our sister company. We may have some involvement with the organisations so it was good to see what they have to offer.
  • Had the weekly meeting for the move of one of our offices.
  • Reviewed the latest draft of an RFP for furniture in our new office.
  • Wrote my sections of our quarterly report to our Board of Directors.
  • Attended a vendor demo of a web-based software tool that may help us with originating new business.
  • Met with a colleague who is getting an internal Engineering Community of Practice off the ground. Offered my thoughts that we need to encourage our staff to be members of communities of practice beyond the boundaries of our organisation, and that we should use the internal forum for the things that are unique to us.
  • Drafted text for an article in our in-house monthly magazine about speaking to the Technology team ahead of planning an important meeting or event. Although the technology in our office is relatively straightforward and intuitive, this doesn’t always hold when people start to do something exotic such as using shared meeting spaces and expecting a particular conferencing platform to work.
  • Reviewed text for another article that encourages people to take part in our Random Coffees initiative. After nearly four years we’ve had over 5,000 pairings and still have about 60 people that regularly take part. Staff joining our organisation have consistently said how useful it has been to be able to meet other people through this process.
  • Took part in a half-day mandatory training session on the topic of Meaningful Conversations.
  • Had our monthly catch-up with the Operational Risk team.
  • Had my weekly meeting with my product leadership team.
  • Decided to replace an old Raspberry Pi with a model 4B. I use two Pis for running redundant pi-holes at home, but this old one regularly gives me trouble when I try to upgrade the software. The rpilocator website is an incredible tool for finding where Raspberry Pis are in stock.
  • Heard an unexpected clatter and thunk as I drove my car off of our driveway. It turned out that one of our front coil springs had failed, leaving a piece of it in the road. Getting the pair replaced and getting four new tyres at the same time left us unexpectedly £900 lighter.
  • Had a very informative meeting with a company that specialises in sports-based scholarships at US universities. It now feels like a real possibility for our eldest son.

Media

Video

  • One of my Album Club friends was gushing about how good Netflix’s The Greatest Night in Pop (2024) is. He wasn’t wrong — it’s superb. I remember watching the music video for We Are the World, tucked up on the sofa with my parents when I was about nine years old, with them delighting in telling me who was singing each part. Watching it all come together in this movie is an absolute delight. There are so many amazing moments which I won’t spoil here. But, the next time I start thinking that I’ve had quite a long day, I will channel my inner Lionel Richie and push on through.
  • My family are more of a TV series kind of people than movies. I took advantage of being home alone one evening by watching Toni Erdmann (2016), a three-hour German film. It’s a slow-burning delight which made me laugh out loud, a weird thing to find yourself doing when you’re watching a movie alone. Loved it.

Audio

  • Loved hearing Soundgarden’s Superunknown at Album Club. I listened to the album a little bit around the time that it was released but probably haven’t heard it in 25 years or so. Spoonman has been rattling around my head ever since.

Books

  • Needing to feed my soul with some fiction, I picked up a copy of Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning from my bookshelf. I was delighted to remember that it is a BookCrossing book that was sent to me by someone I met on Twitter some 15 years ago. Once I’ve read it I’ll drop it off somewhere for the next person to enjoy.

Next week: Quote-gathering, and finally seeing Helena Deland live.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.