Weeknote 08

Feel like I hit another gear in work this week. Things coming together. No panics to manage.

Weather has been AWFUL, good for the garden, bad for walks.

My shoulder is not healing well so I decided this week to book myself in to a physio to get it seen to. Old age is creeping in. I don’t like it.

What I’ve been doing

Started the week and ended the week like this



Made a change to two of the teams, replacing their DM with someone with a skill set more suited to discovery/alpha. So pleased to be working with Maria again. She landed on Wednesday in one of the fastest onboardings I’ve ever seen - well done to our resourcing teams on this - and is already making a difference to the teams she working with.

Helped our service owner to think through the shape and pace of building her perm team. We had a chat with the Head of Delivery in the wider programme and have the ball rolling on that.

Still chipping away at the roles and responsibilities thing. It’s hard to do in the margins of things. I’m starting to get annoyed at myself for not having this done yet.


Steady progress on planning work around roadmapping for “next” and “future” phases of Local Plans work. Not a roadmap, roadmapping.

It’s good timing as the wider programme is looking at how value is measured and talked about. It’s perfect for us.

Working with J, E and L on this - could not be happier to have this lot to plot and plan with. Our time together on Friday really solidified in my brain that I DO know what I’m doing and I got this.

Show and Tells

Managed to get to 3 of them this week.

Local Plans Home - in alpha, looking at what a ‘home’ for content and services for the world of local plans could/might be. We’ve got some constraints around possible platforms for this. I’m digging into this a bit more next week, something isn’t sitting quite right in my head about this.

Timetables - great to see a live demo of some of the work that’s being prototyped on a webform for local authorities to consistently publish their timetables for the various stages of developing their local plans. The data will eventually be held in the Planning Data Platform.

Visualisations - prototype work of how maps could look, questions about base maps, questions about naming things/policy.

The teams did a great job on all of them. Nothing warms the heart so much as questions to the teams at the end. No questions makes me nervous. It’s great to have policy colleagues in the room and to hear how our work is finding the same things and thinking similar thinks.

If only we could work together rather than out of step as we are. Baby steps...

Other stuff

Still having some lovely chats with folks across TPX.

A wonderful conversation with Tash about training.

Several chats with Vicky Brown, who is now very much on my list of people I must work with.

A secret squirrel chat with someone I’ve followed on Twitter forever but never actually spoke to. Watch this space...

A weekend away

On our own. Without the dog.

She had a trial with a home boarder. We went to The Gower. Had a wonderful meal at The Beach House (the 8 course tasting menu). Spent the days wandering the cliffs and the beaches at Three Cliffs Bay. Finished it up with pizza and reading in our little tiny house.

What I’ve been thinking about

The awfulness of THAT blogpost.

I was going to write words about it, but Neil has said exactly what was in my head, only better.

What I’ve been reading



I finished Kate Atkinson’s Case Files, the first Jackson Brodie novel. I really really really enjoyed it.

Refreshing to read a detective novel with a male detective that doesn’t follow the usual cliches of drunk, divorced, emotionally distant, screw up, misogynist.

He is divorced, and a little screwed up; but also a little bit feminist and quite self aware.

The cases in this novel stem from the 1970s and 1990s and weave together over the course of the book. All feature unsolved cases involving missing or dead girls and women.

Atkinson beautifully unfurls the story, petal by petal. Just enough to keep you going. No brutal, bloody, serial killers with unrealistic climaxes; but the grim truth of the world women face: abuse from the men in their lives, fathers and lovers; random strangers.

I’ll 100% be reading the rest of the series.

Picked up Naomi Alderman’s The Future and have made a start. Right back to it after I publish this week note...


Managed to read all of Volume 1 of What’s the Further Place From Here. I’m not convinced. Visuals aren’t blowing me away. The storyline is very snapshotty. But damn it, I need to know how it finishes, so I’ll plow through Volume 2 at some point.

What I’ve been watching

Finally finished Season 4 of For All Mankind.

They’ve pretty much killed everyone off now. I’m getting a bit fed up with this.

But the story feels very much not finished yet. Season 5?

What’s blooming

So many more crocus!

The first deep purple, velvety reticulata is out.

The gorse at the coast. One of my favourite smells, tropical, coconut, spice. It’s indescribable.

Bonus ‘bloom’. Teeny tiny anemone in a rock pool.