Weeknote 05

Grumpier week notes than I’d like this week. Unhelpfully, I took a tumble on our icy deck yesterday morning and smashed my shoulder which has been making typing and Muralling difficult the last 2 days. Just about able to dress myself, so I guess that’s something.

It’s been two weeks of minor calamities that have thrown me a little more than they maybe should. Last week, I managed to continue my line of freak injuries. I cracked off (and swallowed) one of my front veneers whilst eating a kougin-amman pastry. I regret nothing, it was an outstanding piece of pastry. But I have been extremely self-conscious over that. Everyone has been very nice and said they don’t notice it. I appreciate the Britishness of their lie.


What I’ve been working on

Getting the governance structure for our programme of SoWs over the line with the client. Got the first sessions booked in as of today. Small victory.

I’ve also been trying to pull together a high-level roadmap for our teams of the work we’re doing across these SoWs. It’s not my core skill and it’s made me question my sanity at times. But I’ve got a skeleton together for others in team to start to populate. And the client seems happy with it so that’s something.

I’m beating myself up about not being over the detail of the policy work, but COME ON ANN, it’s week 3. Get a grip.

I’ve been in SO MANY meetings with various people across the teams. We’re only just getting started so a lot of trying to sort out the usual tensions between roles and interpersonal stuff. This isn’t going as fast as I’d like - which is also a mirror of the underlying issues. Tackling this in more depth next week as I start to set out my exceptions of my roles and others’ roles to the team(s).

There’s internal stuff happening in the mothership but I’ve mostly been able to stay on the edges of it and it doesn’t seem to effect me too much. Though I know that isn’t going to last much longer (but that’s next week’s challenge).

Standout meetings of the week: Finally, actually meeting Ben Holiday. And meeting Scott Drayton (and finally realising why his name was so familiar to me). And Jukesie and I finally got a whole half hour to talk to each other.

Looking ahead to next week:

  • Doing the governance, not just talking about it
  • picking up risks/RAID stuff
  • getting up to speed with the financials side of things
  • going to London for 2 days
  • getting my broken tooth fixed

What I’ve been thinking about

Still Wales. Still frustrated.

Listened to a great talk from Rich on our work across the whole planning system in England. There is so much good, proper ambitious and needed change that the Levelling up and Regeneration Act 2023 (LURA) is bringing about. Including the digital change being codified in law.

But it’s in England. Which doesn’t affect me. Then I look at Wales. Then I look back. Then I sigh and despair.

And I just don’t see Wales taking on an ambitious change of the planning system here. There’s no delivery culture. There’s no money. There’s no looking next door and saying “we can do that, we can do that better”. I'm not even sure there is the ambition.

And then I also despair at the state of devolution. It’s not done. England should have been devolved. It wasn’t. But it has massive “UK” government departments and ministries working on problems that are England-only.

What I’m watching

Not a lot this week. Mom cooked us dinner on Monday night. We had family round on Tuesday. I fell asleep on the couch at 7pm on Wednesday.

We managed to watch one episode of Pokerface with Natasha Lyonne. I’d watch her read the damn phonebook tbh. We’ll be going back to that.

I also used the excuse of being on my own last night (D was in London) and feeling proper sorry for myself to watch a crap movie last night on Netflix - The Lost City. It was EXACTLY what I needed. And it was crap.

What I’m reading

I’m LOVING reading all the weeknotes and month notes folks are doing. It feels like the breaking of Twitter and something else that I can’t put my finger on has shifted us back to blogging. It’s retro and I love it!

What’s blooming

Still not a lot. It feels like our little valley is quite behind this year. The snowdrops are really coming into their own. The woodland across the stream is carpeted in places

A couple of crocus are starting. But most stuff it still only just poking through the soil. And I have to remember it is only 2nd February.

The hellebores are also slow this year, and in smaller quantities. But they are sill gorgeous.

Close up of a white hellobore flower: five petalled white flower with small purple flecks radiating from the centre of the flower. The centre of the flower is green and cream.

Oh, and I found some seasonal mushrooms last weekend. Scarlet elfcup and wood (or jelly) ear. Both edible.

Small, red, cup shaped mushrooms with a bright rep top and lighter red underside. Growing out of a moss covered log.

Brownish grey mushroom growing on a dead log. The mushrooms are shaped like ears.