Week 43/52

First five day week of 2023 and I managed to work in four different Government buildings in three cities – Cardiff, Bristol, London (Canary Wharf), London (Old Admiralty Building). Amazingly I did this without any public transport mishaps (especially given all the problems with the Severn Tunnel flooding yesterday.) That said, I am in London writing this and still need to get home – fingers crossed! (Inevitably it was a nightmare getting home!)

Yesterday was the Product Unconference – I was nominally one of the organisers but Steve did most of the heavy lifting with support from Debbie. I did buy the drinks and snacks, keep the room tidy, donate my laptop to power the main screen and have a load of great chats with people – classic corridor camp stuff. My jobs newsletter continues to be a great icebreaker – most people introduced themselves off the back of that. I enjoyed the whole vibe – there were some great conversations, a really nice mix of people from central & local government, charity, academia and the NHS. Lots of familiar, parallel problems and approaches shared.

It was so successful we immediately decided to take it on tour 🙂 We are going to run another event in Cardiff in the Spring and probably one in Manchester in the Autumn. Also I’m going to change the focus of my Product for the People website / domain to something that promotes and captures these events and community – also using my newsletter to promote it. Exciting stuff – and an unexpected extra side hustle!

It was also Tom’s leaving drinks last night – it was nice to raise a glass to him and see a bunch of people in a social situation after missing out in December – I maintained my three pints and out rule for work night outs so I wasn’t out long.

The rest of the week was a sea of 1-2-1s and a lot of second guessing about the planning proposal I mentioned last week – I am slowly sharing it more widely and folding in feedback as I go. You are supposed to be embarrassed by your first draft eh!?


The background stress throughout the week has been that the electricians have been in my flat for a few days – this is the third or fourth different set of electricians trying to sort things – and I’ve been away for most of the time as well. I think it is going alright and – fingers crossed – this might be the end of it. 


I realised that the last of my jobs emails that I sent out was the 300th edition. Though that doesn’t count the couple of years of irregular blogposts that looked very similar before that. Seven years and more than 3,000 featured jobs isn’t bad for a side hustle that started out as a way to build a network where I could share my ONS vacancies! Like I said earlier it remains a top class icebreaker and I really should do more with it as a dataset – job title, employer, location, salary and dates (pity so few vacancies are cool-URIs that are archived).


Booked my tattoo this week! I’ve been talking about this for years and have twice conditioned some art work for it but I’ve decided to do it as part of Operation Fifty. My birthday isn’t until the end of March and I shouldn’t wish my life away but I’m so looking forward to the things I have planned…including a series of blogposts – shocker eh?!

One response to “Week 43/52”

  1. […] Quite a few people thanked us for running it, which means it must have been good, and that makes doing this stuff worthwhile. I couldn’t have done it without the enthusiasm, support and collaborative work of Debbie and Jukesie though, so I’m looking forward to building on the day and doing more with them! Jukesie’s written about our further plans. […]

%d bloggers like this: