Weeknotes 2022, part 7
Tales from my week. 29th October — 4th November
I travelled to London to see the Homes for Ukraine Digital team in person, some of them for the first time since we started working together in March. Not only did we have some lovely chit-chat (mostly notably about putting together a scratch band — we have a bass player, a pianist and a drummer in our midst, so we’ve got the makings of a jazz ensemble) and excellent snacks, but we also had some productive away day sessions. We did a speed round of ‘manual of me’ and learned that we have surprisingly varied communication preferences, and we also spent some focussed time talking about our discovery project and heard examples of similar services across our department, what worked well for them and pitfalls to avoid.
I had an introductory meeting with a junior BA who has asked me to be their mentor. I was delighted to be asked, it gives me a lot of joy to be able to share my experiences and see someone grow into their role. We chatted about our current work, our career histories and what they want to get out of our sessions, and we’ve scheduled regular calls which I’m looking forward to.
Banding continues to be busy. I played at Wychavon Festival of Brass for the first time at the weekend, making guest appearances for two bands. One was a last minute request to help out on the day after another player withdrew and I was more than happy to oblige. Sight-reading keeps my skills sharp, and there’s nothing like sight reading in performance with a well-respected adjudicator in your eye line! For the remainder of the week I’ve been back in rehearsals with Flowers preparing for Brass in Concert in a couple of weeks’ time. We’ve welcomed students from the University of Gloucestershire to the bandroom who are making a documentary. Being filmed in rehearsal is a new experience for me, and I’ve had to take great care to not run into them during quick instrument changes.
Finally I’ve got my writing mojo back, thanks to the National Blog Posting Month challenge (NaBloPoMo for short). I’m enjoying the process of writing more often and mixing up the themes and formats, and I’m also thoroughly enjoying reading posts from Amanda, Steve, Terence, Caroline, Amy and Martha.
As much as I enjoyed the away day, being in London does not suit me. The air feels thick, the water tastes funny, the public transport is crowded even when travelling ‘off peak’. I ended up missing our UKGovcamp meet up as I had a panicky moment on the tube and had to turn back.
I’ve been trying to put down a previous project for a couple of weeks, and despite my attempts to document and defer I am still getting queries in my inbox that only I can answer. I’m hopeful it won’t be long until more of the team understand the processes and context sufficiently to take over, and I’ll be able to redirect my focus fully on our discovery.
In the week ahead I’m looking forward to…
- Speaking at our first show and tell for our discovery project
- Looking back at the requirements I wrote a few days ago, correcting my mistakes and adding further detail as I see the work with fresh eyes, and starting to prioritise
- Attending the final show and tell for our onboarding and recruitment project, which I helped set up and scope in the early part of this year
- Upping the ante in rehearsals as we enter the home stretch in competition prep
- International rugby is back, so if I experience any side effects from my flu jab I can stay in bed and chain-watch the matches