Weeknotes S04 Ep01

New season special

Watermelon. It’s been hot guys.

But first, an update.

I think a weeknote update is in order and I’ve really liked Dan’s new format which includes “Five things that happened this week” so I’ve decided to change it up a little. I hope it will be more freeing and give me more space to write about “other stuff that really matters”.

In that respect I’m taking a leaf out of Nour’s book to talk about my work on #OneTeamGovGlobal because I’ve talked around it for a while but not explicitly said how I’m involved, you’ll find that below.

Overarching feeling of the week

A short week because of a long bank holiday weekend. I think it’s fair to say that everyone felt better when they went into work this Tuesday – its amazing what a little sunshine can do.

Though a short week does mean general befuzzlement about what day it is…

What day is this?

This week I only spent only one day in the ofice for the second week running, so that’s a bit strange, and I didn’t manage to get to One Team Gov breakfast club again, which is hard because I really value that time.

I’m also not sure the nomadic life suits me, but it’s been an interesting week nonetheless.

Five things that happened (more than five things happened)

1. I put together our team’s weeknotes which go out to all of GDS. The team have tried it before but I’ve been able to bring them back to life. It wasn’t too cumbersome either thanks to some support from our Fast Streamer Tony.

2. Sprint 18 happened. It was good, much better than I expected, I enjoyed the show and tells, especially a few which showed great collaboration and sharing across departments.

I also really enjoyed the session on GOV.UK which Neil and Nicky did — they are GDS rockstars.

The big thing for me though was that I had the chance to catch up with some friendly faces including Rico who works in the Digital Academy (and has been really supportive, since my Product Owners course many moons ago), fellow weeknoter Ellie, and Martha who is a UR working on Verify.

I briefly chatted to Stefan who said he had been reading weeknotes of some intelligent people, and, while that may not have specifically meant me, I am totally banking it as a compliment. This is doubly great because I have masses of respect for Stefan.

And if you haven’t signed up for Strategic Reading you really should, you’ll find that here:


I also got to spend some more time with Joanne. We (bunked off a session and) sat in the sunshine on the south bank for a drink and chat, it was lovely.

Considering we have only met once before I feel as if I have known Joanne much, much longer. I currently have the pleasure of working with her on the One Team Gov Global comms planning.

Shhhhh, we weren’t bunking honest.

3. I had lunch with the inimitable Dan Barrett. Every time we chat I feel buoyed. Conversation is open and honest and it’s good just to learn about what is going on for someone else. I always get the sense that Dan cares a great deal and is really listening, that’s a very good quality.

We spoke about many things (as I tried hard to stuff corgetti salad into my mouth in a semi-dignified fashion) including misfits, work stuff, starting a metal band and theme tunes for work.


I’m still waiting on my personal theme tune, but after accidentally suggesting that a podcast theme he had written was “innocuous” I’m not sure if I’ll get one now!

4. I spent most of the day on Friday with my old team in Cabinet Office listening to the things they are working on. I’m now responsible for spend approvals for the department so by speaking with them I have a few things to work through.

I really enjoyed just catching up on the work but it felt a bit weird to be a part of (and welcomed back into) the team, while at the same time not being part of it anymore. I’ve really missed them all.

I miss you so much

5. I had a work from home day on Wednesday because my other half had a hospital appointment and I needed to walk my little one to nursery. It was good though because I got started 8am from a coffee shop in my town. I find I get a lot done in coffee shops; something about the ambient noise and being able to block out distractions there, which is strange.

When I got home I set up camp in my garden and managed to get sunburned which wasn’t so great.


I feel genuinely a bit honoured to be part of the team who are delivering this unconference this summer. It’s going to be huge, and it’s significant, we have over 40 countries already signed up and a range of people from really varying roles.

Earth gif

I’m part of the comms squad, which includes Stefan, Joanne, Debbie, Jemima and Kara. I feel like I’ve started to hit my stride in being able to do things which actually take us further and will make a difference.

I’m most interested in how we reach people, how we talk openly about what we are thinking, and how we get people excited (or harness already existing excitement).

I’ve been spending my spare time, and tiny snippets of downtime putting things together which will help the team, and this week has been fairly productive. This week I’ve:

  • created a collaborative content matrix and calendar so that we can target what key things people will need to know about and when (as well as tracking some fun stuff we want to say)
  • written a blog about #MyOneTeamGov to tell my story about why it’s important to me, and asked others to contribute with their stories


  • written some content and created a bloggroll-style thing bringing together all of the blogs we’ve published so far about the event. This will be updated as we go and will help people to find all of the information in one place…


There’s a lot to do and not much time until the big day, but everyone is really working hard and determinedly to make it a reality. I can’t wait.

In other news…

Fellow One Team Gov Global organiser and all round awesome person Nour has joined the weeknotes crew and her first is a corker. I was really honoured when she asked me to read through it before she hit publish:


Simone Giertz is one of my favourite people and she just released her Ted Talk which you can find below. It’s titled “Why you should make things” and I know that will chime with a lot of people (plus, I definitely need a googly eye top in my life).

Everyone has been tweeting about this book but I havent read it yet, instead I read this article on apolitical:

I also read about this really interesting study about how open plan offices are worse for women.

Sadly often when I read things like this I’m not surprised. Someone pointed out to me that this will also affect men and yep, I understand how open plan offices will be difficult for distinct sets of people, but also I have to say fairly strongly that it does disproportionally affect women. You only have to read Namoi Wolf’s few passages in the Beauty Myth to understand just what a minefield dressing for work is for women. So anyway, here’s the article:

Finally, after some Welsh language chatter on Twitter I present to you my weeknotes playlist feat. Datblygu, Gorky’s, Zabrinski and Gruff Rhys.

There’s also a Frightened Rabbit track on there because even though I wasn’t a big fan I did really enjoy their first album, of which, this is my favourite track.

What happened is really sad, so I guess, please, if you’re feeling low or blue or depressed, please reach out for help and try to remember you aren’t alone.

Till next time.

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