[2024] Week 15

I’ve been a little (lot) overwhelmed this week and unfortunately it leaked through and at times I wasn’t my best self. Frustrations I would usually brush off really affected me and it manifested in stubborn and churlish behaviour on Monday and Tuesday particularly. There are aspects of this role that I don’t enjoy but this week they really did make me miserable and that really had me second guessing things.

I suspect I need some time just to come to terms with my new medical reality – all the medications, blood tests, side effects and anxiety driven mood swings are quite a bit to deal with when you are also juggling landing eight new projects with 50 new people while also handing over elements of your role and kicking off your own new projects.

Aaaarrrggghhhhh!

All that said, I think we’ve landed an amazing cast list across the teams – just dozens of lovely, empathetic and clever people who are excited to get stuck in. So many people made it possible and I hope they do know how much I appreciated all their hard work.

There were some other high spots this week.

I loved being involved in getting this blogpost and report out. I was very much a background artist – George and Mikey did the original work and Katy did the hard yards on the blogpost – but I contributed to some of the framing and messaging and have been a big advocate for this particular piece of work. 

I’ve been manoeuvring myself into a position to be involved in this open data standards strand of work as it emerges – though I have handed off the next phase of ORUK to Ben U and Mike now.

Helped the Local Digital team with a spend controls board presentation which took me back – as ever my presentation was too long and I was better in the Q&A than in the rehearsed bit but it was a nice burst of adrenaline.

I MC’d the first (TPX) programme All-Hands of the new phase of Local Digital on Wednesday – providing a bit of context, asking for a new weeknotes commitment and having all the new teams introduce themselves and their missions. It seemed to go well and felt like a nice way to start things off with everyone looking sideways and making connections from the off plus it was a nice way to kind of pass the torch to Ben.

The next quarter or so of my work started to come into focus and I started having some conversations about that – like I said I’ll still be in the Local Digital space mainly aligned to Data Standards work but additionally I’ll be helping out DLUHC’s Spatial Data Unit and a DESNZ programme as well. They are all interesting and exciting projects where my role is a bit (not loads but a bit) closer to the action so that makes me feel good about the next couple of months.

Read Don Winslow’s final book – City in Ruins – in a single afternoon. I enjoyed it, as I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything he has ever written, but it was pretty light compared to his Cartel stuff in particular. Sad he is retiring though – one of the most reliable authors for me in my favourite genre.

Bought a new iPhone 15. First time I’ve gone for a modern, bigger screen phone. I’ve always chosen the SE or Mini (or a smaller Android in the old days) but have been tempted with the better camera and screen as I take more photos and my eyes get ever worse! Also got some new Beats headphones – my excuse is all the long haul flights but excuse it is.

Decided to try and get tickets for New York Comic-Con in October. After San Diego it is the biggest Comic-Con anywhere I think and I’ve always wanted to just experience one of the really big conventions with all the comics, TV and movie panels and cosplayers etc. I love NYC in Autumn anyway so I’m sure it will be a wonderful trip (though it would mean Austin, New York and Nashville this year when I planned to ease up on the travel.)

Went and watched the new Alex Garland movie – Civil War. I really enjoyed it but bloody hell it is brutal and bleak. Not sure it was the movie I needed to lift my mood! 

Right – hopefully see some folk in London next week for Product for the People but until then take care gang!

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