Fortnight notes: 24 June – 7 July 2024

Weekend shift, landslide, BFI Girl Summer.

Did you miss me? I skipped weeknoting last weekend because I needed to work. So here are two weeks’ worth of neutral-tinted haps and such (but it’s not longer, don’t worry!)


I’m usually with Keir on work-life balance but pulling a rare weekend shift was the only way I could hold dozens of docs in my head and get that grievance investigation report done. 

It was a big task – forming and evidencing conclusions, structuring them in a clear report, doing justice to multiple truths. It needed total immersion with no context switching – more of a maker schedule than manager schedule – which is near impossible to achieve in the week.

(Joy often needs to go away for uninterrupted writing weeks to stay immersed in characters and stories, and I totally get why).

I’m pleased with the results: it’s a clear, thorough, objective report. And off my desk now. Still, I was burned out after 11 consecutive days on top of recent intensive work on cyber security, so I took Friday off to recoup and see in the second Labour landslide of my lifetime. 

Such a lot has changed in two weeks! 🗳

My work feels a bit insignificant in context of an incoming government’s, but for life-logging purposes here’s the bigger stuff I got up to this fortnight…

  • I spent an off-site planning day with our awesome Board of Governors, which felt strategic and decisive in lots of ways.
  • I chaired our first Digital Transformation Advisory Board reasonably competently. We heard their first thoughts on our whole digital and tech change programme, mainly on the need for focus given there’s a lot to do with a little. Next we’ll seek their advice in sub-groups on more specific topics (a learning for us: ask better questions).
  • I pre-met Martha, my new EA/coordinator. She’s fab and we really click, so I’m beyond excited about having her help me and the team with that focus very soon.
  • We learned from a nasty slip-up on IT service delivery that we need to improve info-sharing when an issue spans teams. Said teams got right onto fixing it.
  • More work on cybersecurity, natch. 
  • A good check-in with the always-busy and impressive cinema tech team.
  • A nice lunch and catch up with Dave Mann, swapping leadership tidbits (and goss). 

Feeling a bit lighter now, with both the grievance report and first advisory board in rearview. Can get back to focusing on my teams a bit more, where a backlog awaits (like, ratifying OKRs for the quarter we’re already a week into).

Not work

Saw the Anthony McCall’s Solid Light at Tate Modern (featured pic). Insta-friendly but the Emperor is clearly naked if you ask me. 

The Pret Southbank loos are fixed after 2+ years and I totally made that happen. Think of me when you wee in there. 

Dylan had his prom on the Thames, while Joel and I went to the BFI (to see Ama Gloria) and Pizza Express. Took these nice pics of them on Waterloo bridge. 

Turns out not just one but two of Dylan’s prospective Sixth Forms were flat out lying to us about having teaching staff to run a Computer Science A-Level course. His plans are now in turmoil, and we’re furious about how sketchy the schools have been about it. It’s a national shortage, of course – a dire one for the UK’s future. Here’s hoping plenty of the 6,500 new teachers in mission 4/first step 6 will be STEM. 

Meanwhile he’s teaching himself Pygame, and we took him and Joel to the BAFTA young game designers’ showcase today for inspo. 

Found, interesting

Digital transformation – the missing government mission? 

Audree on false certainties

Jen Pahlka’s addendum on product funding

Dave’s back on the daynotes – love to see it. And shared this on drafting digital strategies.

“Admit needful words” says Joe Pairman in Redundant language — fluff, or cultural bridge?

Rob Miller’s parting thoughts on local gov digital

A plea for the lost practice of Information Architecture – no AI until you’ve fixed your IA.

WTF and SMH at the arrests of two Police Digital Service leaders 


In the cinema:
🎬 A Quiet Place: Day One. Small story, Big Apple-pocalypse. Strong lead performances by Lupita Nyong’o and Schnitzel the cat.
🎬 Ama Gloria. Sweet, but too slight for me. 

At home:
🎬 Silver Linings Playbook. Showed the kids. I adore this film so much. Excelsior!
🎬 Wild Tales. Perennially popular on BFI Player, my first watch. Dark and fun anthology.
🎬 Aniara. Another BFI Player pick. Haunting psychological sci-fi with an orgy in the middle, it’s fair to say I loved this. 
📺 Fleabag S1 rewatch, showing the kids (it’s a bit racier than we remember)
📺 Suspect S2 screener cos Joy wrote 5 of its 8 episodes. Classy. Tx: 17 July, Channel 4. 
📺 Euro 24. ENG-SWI proved very watchable. 
🕹️ More Galacticare and I started Animal Well.
📺🎧 Glasto. Enjoyed Danny Brown, Jamie XX, Idles, Little Simz and Orbital.

On the go:
🎧 New Bicep, new Kiasmos, new (to me, I think) Aphex Twin, old Death Grips.

Infinite scroll

Come on England. Good luck newer Labour.

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