Don’t call it a comeback 
But first, an update.
I needed to take a break from #weeknotes for a bit. I felt like I wasn’t being honest about what was happening, or how I was feeling. I felt myself being more cautious and more considered in everything… writing, reviewing, editing, rewriting, tweaking, rewriting, sighing, hitting publish.
It just all became that much harder, started taking longer and I didn’t feel like I sounded like myself when I read things back.
Overall, I didn’t feel like I was being myself or being open and saying the things I really wanted to; a key part of weeknoting for me. I still can’t say all that I want to say, but I’ll have to see how I get on with that.
Anyway, what do we call this? S04?! Or a continuation of S03? Who knows. I quite like the ambiguity right now.
Overarching feeling of the week
A bit of a strange week which started with an 8.45 Monday morning migraine on the bus to Liverpool Street, ahead of a full day of meetings (my brain really does have impeccable timing).
I spent the rest of the week out of the office, with a trip to Newcastle (a freezing hotel room), some new people, show and tells, a trip to Croydon, a Tea Camp, a WFH day and a couple of nice spells of coffee-shop working which I enjoyed.
I missed One Team Gov breakfast club because I was up north, and that made me a bit sad.
A couple of really good stakeholder engagements this morning (Friday) with colleagues at the Cabinet Office. They felt good, natural, easy and I remembered that I can be quite good at this stuff, actually.
This is what I really enjoy, working at the beginning of things, scoping and and defining the problem and context, thinking about how things could be done. I’ve been missing that recently as I’ve been trying to get to grips with slippery things that are already started (or so complex as to be entirely opaque).
I hadn’t taken stock about how difficult that is, and how difficult it is to work without any previous knowledge or context.
I met Nimalan for mentoring last week and I’ve been thinking about it a lot this week.
I really enjoy helping him think about his work and career progression. It made me really miss my old team, particularly managing the training team. I have some time to see them next week though, that will be good.
I’ve had some conversations about aspirations and career progression this week with people in my team. I’ve missed the opportunity to nurture and coach people and help them to think about what they want to do or how to get there.
It’s so important and a huge privilege when I get the chance to help like that.
I got to see a lot of show and tells for services this week, it was good to see teams working together addressing really complex problems, showing their user research and prototypes. This is really where it’s at for me.
I went to my first ever Teacamp on Thursday to cheer on Clara, one of our team’s Digital Engagement Managers (DEMs). She spoke brilliantly about the assessment process and how it all works.
I drew some messy notes and put them on Twitter:
As a result Hattie and Steve in my team asked me to do a session about sketch noting. That was very flattering because I tend to think I’m pretty appalling at it.
I’m thinking about writing a blog, because I know that will help me to order my thoughts and plan something useful out.
I think the key thing for me is — don’t be precious. I do this to share my work quickly and easily… even if it is full of mistakes, doodled cookies that look like angry babies and coffee cups that look like bricks.
Finally, a big highlight was hearing that someone I know who interviewed for a job somewhere got that job in that place and it will be so good and it’s not my news and it’s not completely final yet so this is necessarily cryptic. But you know who you are. Go you!
In other news…
I love this tweet by the awesome John Cutler:
And also this brilliant tweet:
And I’ve been reading this:
Also it was #dogsatpollingstations day! Yay.
Finally, I haven’t yet listened to this but I know that there is at least one welsh language music fan amongst my readership, so this is for you:
(Though I know not many welsh records on there, Gruff chose them and IMO he is very rarely wrong about anything so…)
 I’m really pleased with this Ladies Love Cool Jay reference, even if you’re not.