Weeknote 02

Last week of freedom. It’s been pretty quiet really. My energy levels post-Christmas cold have been dreadful and the weather doesn’t help.

Last bits of admin for the new job. I’m waiting for my laptop to arrive today and hopefully I’ll be able to get things all set up for Monday.

The whole pre-joining process has been pretty smooth. Lots of forms to fill, no real chasing for anything needed.

I’ve had a chat with a couple of people in the team I’ll probably be joining first. Like everyone I’ve met so far, they’ve been fab and we feel like we gel really well and I just want to keep talking.

More on Monday, I’ll blog about the who, the what and the why.

Big numbers


The other thing taking up some time this week is kicking architects and builders. We’re a year into this process and frankly, we’re not that much closer to spades in the ground. I’m losing the will to live with it all.

As someone whose day job is about turning ambitions into actual delivery, I’m finding this inability to shift into a delivery phase for our house beyond frustrating. And as the client, there’s not a lot I can do right now to shift that along.

We had a quote before Christmas for “Phase 1” - to join our house with the studio and to essentially rebuild our massive office space. It came in before Christmas as an in-box clearing email from the builder. Not the Christmas present we wanted. I think I audibly gasped.

We had a chat with our architect this week and he’s liaising with the builder and his quantity surveyor to clarify costs and get costs for the work on the main part of the house (“Phase 2”) as well so we can make an informed decision. The rest will have to wait for a while.

Out here is the sticks, we’re really at the mercy of a very small pool of good quality builders so we’re having to dig deep on patience and wait. If you know me, you know patience is NOT my virtue.

We’ve also finalised our remortgage - our 2 year fix comes to an end this month. Rates are better than when we first started talking to our broker in the autumn. But we’re expecting them to get better yet. So to buy ourselves some time, we’re taking a slightly more expensive tracker product with no early redemption penalties. We will revisit after I clear my probation period and we see what happens with rates in the next few months. It’s a bit of a gamble, but we feel confident in the longer term we’ll be better off for it.

What I’ve been thinking about

Like most people in the UK, the Post Office/Fujitsu scandal has been forefront. I’ve read FAR too many bad takes on social media in the last week. Too many people looking for the silver bullet as to what happened and how to stop it happening again.

There. Is. No. Silver. Bullet.

This is a complex case, with complex causes - some tech, some culture, some lack of skills, some governance and a lot of lack of curiosity.

One of the better pieces this week is from, of all places, The Register, talking about how this situation happens (and it’s not just Post Office and Fujitsu), it grasps the complexity much better.

This thread on Twitter on the similarities to another horrific miscarriage of justice was also good (I’d say add in every other single large scandal in the UK)

What I’ve been watching

We’re still working through For All Mankind.

The last episode of season 2 nearly broke us. This show has no qualms about killing off characters. It’s brutal.

And as a child of the 1980s and the fear of nuclear war we grew up with, the sirens going off and the very real thread brought back a lot of that fear. It really jarred me.

And the straight into the first episode of season 3. Which I fear may have jumped the shark. I don’t know. There’s 2 strands to the storyline that aren’t jiving for me - the space hotel and what they are doing with Margo and the Russians.

I tried to get into Loudermilk on Netflix this week. Watched a few episodes, found myself struggling with it. Watching stuff about chaotic addiction when you were a chaotic addict isn’t always easy. And then I realised the main actor was Berger from Sex and the City and I’m not sure I can carry on with it now.

I need to sit down and make a proper list of what’s on my to-watch list for the next few months.

What I’m reading

Forced myself to finish All the Little-Bird Hearts by Victoria Lloyd-Barlow. I did not enjoy it. It was pretty bleak. Everything with the main character was just so fatalistic, everything happened to her and she had no agency. Too much about the main character just didn’t add up. And I didn’t get the concept of bird-hearts. It seemed stuck on with tape.

I’ve picked up Volume 2 of The Ministry of Truth. I read the first one over Christmas and loved it. Conspiracy theories, a massive commentary on the state of all this and just gorgeous artwork. I love everything about the art style of the series, it’s a visual joy as well as good storytelling.

What’s blooming

Not a lot. But I opened the curtains in the bedroom earlier this week. It looks out over the lane and into our neighbours chicken space (an orchard surrounded by hedges with their 4 chickens) and a clump of daffodils is blooming. It pretty much broke my brain.


This thread following on from an episode of University Challenge is just utterly glorious and why I miss Twitter of old:

I can't accept Drum & Bass. We need Jungle, I'm afraid.