in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #263 — Codenames

Looking up on my Monday morning commute

Looking up on my Monday morning commute

Demands of my work have started to exceed supply of my time and it’s starting to get a little bit stressful. It left me feeling out of sorts at the start of the week. I’ve been here before and I’ll get through it, but it’s uncomfortable. A couple of hours at the weekend can usually go quite a long way to bridging the gap, but the next few are already filled with things, so I’m going to have to cram during the week. Radical diary prioritisation is required.

Away from my desk, Spring has arrived. Armies of daffodils having sprung up seemingly everywhere. It’s not completely pitch black when I get up in the morning. There’s a promise and excitement to this time of year. If only it would stop raining so that I can mow the lawn.

Outside the church of St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall, London

Outside the church of St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall, London

This was a week in which I:

  • Had the weekly and monthly meetings with the real estate project team at our sister company. We’ve now made some decisions about the work we are going to do in one of our offices which means that the detailed planning and execution can get underway.
  • Created and submitted a set of slides to our senior governance committee on the decisions made in our programme steering committee. I’ll be presenting these to the forum next week.
  • Updated my introductory presentation on Large Language Models and Generative AI ahead of presenting it to the board next week.
  • Learned that my foundational knowledge of accounting and finance isn’t enough. It’s not just a about opex, capex, cash flow and depreciation. It also matters what you’re spending the money on and what that implies. It’s so great when you get into the weeds on a topic with a specialist who knows their stuff.
  • Joined the weekly project meeting for setting up a new office. Dates have started to firm up.
  • Discussed an approach for how we would provide day-to-day technical support to the new office.
  • Met with our Procurement team to review all of the currently active and upcoming work that we are doing with vendors.
  • Attended our quarterly Architecture Governance Authority meeting where we reviewed the architecture of our scripted, rule-based chatbot that assists staff with navigating our policies, processes and procedures.
  • Made progress with bringing a consultant on board to help us with our move to a new office.
  • Reviewed proposed artwork for our new office and reviewed the floor plan to agree where it might be displayed.
  • Had the weekly meeting with the design team for our new office.
  • Agreed on details of how the server room will be configured in our new office.
  • Had the weekly meeting with our AV/IT design vendor.
  • Agreed on a plan to use one of our small meeting rooms as an easily-accessible demo/infrastructure room.
  • Met with the cross-functional team that have been collaborating on new digital products within our part of the business. We are at a crossroads in terms of what comes next and it was good to hear and understand the different points of view.
  • Joined a couple of meetings on our document management initiative.
  • Had an introductory meeting with an acoustician who then came along to our office later in the week. It is fascinating to see a space that I am so familiar with through the lens of someone who has never been there before. We have some acoustic issues in a number of our meeting rooms; I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to get a full diagnosis of the underlying issues.
  • Was so pleased to see one of my colleagues do his first ever presentation at our weekly Learning Hour meeting. A crash course on PowerPoint from his daughter helped him to structure his talk. It was a brilliant overview of the finances of the modern gaming industry.
  • Got one-on-ones in the diary with all of the members of my recently expanded team.
  • Enjoyed the monthly free lunch at the office.
  • Met my financial advisor for a check-in. We’ve got two children who are both potentially going through university over the next few years, so I’ve put together a simple spreadsheet to see what the projected impact could be on our finances.
  • Had a fabulous board games night at our new neighbours’ house. We brought along two of our oldest and best friends that also live in our town as they also love a board game. I thought I wasn’t much of a board game fan, but Codenames was so much fun. We had a lot of laughs.
  • Made it out for a Saturday morning cycle club ride for the first time in weeks. Had some lovely chats with riders that I don’t know that well — a Compliance officer in a bank based near to my own office, and a photographer/journalist who (amongst other things) reviews bikes and cycling gear.
  • Enjoyed a curry with some fabulous old friends at Maya in Sunninghill. Everything, including the pubs, seemed a bit more upmarket than when I lived in the area thirty years ago.
  • Made some decisions about upgrading our kitchen. The wheels are now starting to turn very quickly. It’ll be so good to have a space that will make us want to have guests.



The driver is the apotheosis of quick-moving prowess, total focus and control. The car is both the most studied piece of human engineering, tuned and devised in lab-like environments and at the same time a variable entity, something that must be wrestled with and pushed. The numbers are crunched, the forms wind-tunneled. And yet some spirit escapes their control, and that spirit is known only by the driver. Yes, we watch this perfect blend of man and machine, but we speak of the machine as though it were not of human origin, as though the machine, being born from science could—eventually, through its iterative processes—sublimate human flaws. The driver, being human, knows this is false. His intimacy with the machine is the necessary missing connection, and even if the machine were perfect, it was made for imperfect hands. But it is never perfect. The gaps in its perfection are where disasters transpire, but also miracles.




Next week: Many days in the office presenting to governance committees and boards, meeting vendors and heading out for a company social event.

Leave a comment

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