Week 01/52

So I am back. 210 days later I fired up my new Windows laptop, opened Teams, waited for the fan to calm down and dived back in.

My start was delayed a week by a particularly nasty bout of Covid which I suspect has made this re-entry a bit tougher physically but mentally I’ve really enjoyed getting back at it. The role is familiar, as are the challenges but there is enough new and unique to keep things interesting…and the mission and profile of the work is top tier public service stuff.

I had 30 different Teams calls, meeting 25 different people (not including all the participants on the bigger calls.) I completed six mandatory courses, went to one Show & Tell and got an extra log-in.

I discovered people from ONS, Jisc, Govcamps and every corner of Twitter so that was reassuring.

Hopefully I am going to be working in the Bristol office (near Temple Meads) most Thursdays and have ambitions of getting some kind of minimal viable public service digital meet-up going again.

It has been reassuring to remember that I can still do this stuff – I was pretty fragile before my break (to say the least) and the longer I was away the more nervous I became that I might have lost my mojo. That hasn’t proved to be the case – pretty much immediately a switch flicked in the old noggin and all those years of digital gov and product experience came flooding back. In the past the fact that so little has really moved on in this space in the last decade has been frustrating but this time it was a real comfort!

I do feel a bit like John Terry though – showing up after the fact in full kit to take the applause having not been in the big game!

Last night I met up with a few folks from Foundry 4 who happened to be in Bristol to say a bit of a final farewell. It was lovely to see them and I’ll really miss the people there – through all the ups and downs I always felt like they had my back. Terrible choice of restaurant though Ollie!

Peacemaker was great fun – spinning out from Suicide Squad it is a really good laugh – entirely over the top and silly but also pretty coherent from a story point of view.

wecrashed is horrifying – the level of toxicity displayed in this show about the rise and fall of WeWork is just overwhelming. If it is even 20% accurate it really is an indictment on the whole start-up culture.

I’m still mainly listening to a playlist from Inventing Anna – the show was good but the soundtrack was pure fire!

It is my 49th birthday this weekend. 49! God I got old. I am doing nothing at all for it but I do have big plans for 50.

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