Weeknote 06

Here endeth my first month at TPXimpact. It feels both longer and shorter than that.

My score for the first month: solid 9/10

The people have been lovely and welcoming. Everyone is SUPER smart. I have interesting client facing work, it’s also challenging. The onboarding has been exceptional. I have all the kit I need to work from home and on the move. I’ve been paid already (tho lets not discuss the tax code situation, HMRC).

The 1 missing point? Some internal change coming that’s made things a teeny tiny bit bumpy this week, as is inevitable.

What I’ve been doing


It’s been A WEEK. Still feeling the after effects of my fall last week. Putting on a coat and throwing a backpack on that shoulder are...excruciating. BUT, as of yesterday morning I have a shiny new tooth.

Also, this week was the week I was dreading: working whilst dealing with a peri-menopausal, fibroid, HRT affect period. The migraine was there. The emotional mess was there. The loss of confidence was there. The intrusive thoughts. And other stuff you REALLY don’t want to hear about. And the other people having to experience this version of me.

But I had a great chat with a senior colleague about some changes that are coming and what needs to happen to get there. I love how open the organisation is being about not having all the answers and wanting to design new things with them.

But we also somehow got on to talking about peri-menopause and PMDD. It’s good to find your group of women going through that in your workplace. Especially when you’re surrounded by much younger women. Having that support network is incredibly helpful and important. It does like to rear its head on the regular and can really impact day to day stuff. My brain fog is slightly better, but not gone and some days it does make it hard.

But if you are a TPX-er and you’re reading this and you think you might be peri-menopausal or want to understand what’s to come, reach out to me on Slack. I’m very happy to talk about this.

The slip road of doom

Joining a high performing team whilst they are in flow is hard. It feels like trying to join a motorway that’s all driving at 90, there’s no gaps opening up and you can’t get the speed fast enough.

This week was a lot in the weeds of trying to sort out a lot of low level STUFF that shouldn’t need me. And maybe didn’t need me. My size 5s might not have been needed.

The weeds kept me out of the cloudier space I need to be in - thinking bigger picture, longer term.

All in all a frustrating week, trying to decide if I added value or not. I tried.

I’m hoping the half day I spent 1:1 with the client on Friday is the starting of building a strong relationship and earning some trust.

Still meeting lots of lovely people in the margins of client work. And old faces popping up here and there in my new world. Reunited with Matt L who was part of my team at CDPS. Turns out we both still often think about (and reference) the Learn by Making work Matt and others did. I still believe there is something in this model as a way of learning and experimenting. One day...


Hauled myself to London again on Thursday after the dentist. The trains only being semi-cooperative. So I was late for things and missed a few meetings which always sets me on edge. Tried to join an important meeting from the train, started talking at precisely the moment the signal dropped. SIGH.

Thursday evening was the first Local Government Digital meet up of the year. It was all about AI - a thing I remain highly sceptical about.

The first session was Samantha Johnston from Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service discussing how they are using process automation to speed up their Local Plan representations process. Super relevant for the work we’re doing in Local Plans at the moment. I’m looking forward to rewatching this one ahead of us starting some work on this soon.

The second session was our own Tony Helluja sharing insights from designing and building our HR Chatbot.

The third, Phil Rumens from West Berkshire Council talked about the small scale experiments he and his team are doing with generative AI on things like job description writing and document redaction.

The final session was the one and only Rachel Coldicutt from Careful Trouble. So pleased to finally have a chance to hear her speak on this topic.

And best of all, I got to hang out with Sam Villis and give her a great big hug.

Reminded when suddenly Rachel appeared at my side wanting to meet me after so many years on Twitter that I’m more internet famous than sometimes I remember. Also, WHAT. RACHEL wanting to meet ME?! That’s surely the other way round...

And met another TPX-er on the train out of Paddington.


Sharon and I are off to Spain in early March for a bit of warmth (warmer than Wales and Netherlands at least). We’ve got 4 days in Malaga and I’m really looking forward to it. Any tips or ideas of what to do and where to eat, let me know!

D and I need to book a weekend away for 2 weeks time. Dog is going to boarder for the first time and we are FREEEEEEEE. Just can’t decide what to do with the time now!

What I’ve been thinking about

Have I had much time to think this week? No. It’s been last minute, send things 5 mins before a meeting, rush rush rush.

What I’ve been reading

I picked up a book this weekend and actually started reading it. And managed a chapter here and there throughout the week.

Redshirts by Joe Scalzi. Easy to read, funny, in my Star Trek nerdy world. It breaks my no books by men rule but hey ho, it’s got me reading and smiling again.

Debating picking up a Jasper Fforde next, for the same reason. Easy to read, light and humorous.

What I’ve been watching

The inside of my eyelids. Falling asleep on the couch at 7 most nights. We’ve also had actual guests round for dinner this week.

I managed to watch The Creator on Disney. The premise was promising - AI has taken over and needs to be defeated. And was more complex than that in the end, including AI’s having religion. But there was definitely something lacking in the execution - visually it was seamless and stunning. But it was flat, not sure if that was the writing or the acting.

What’s blooming

Took a long walk through the lanes this afternoon. Primroses blooming in the banks of hedges.

Pale yellow primrose flowers blooming out of a rosette of green, slightly furry leaves.