This week, the team moved desks to a new floor, physically closer to our dependent teams which should improve communication and relationships. For me, it’s not a big thing with the pending departure and other recent moves, but I gathered from the team it’s quite an emotional event. I do find it funny how comfortable people get in their working environments, especially when we encourage “hot-desking” across the whole of the company.
I’ve also been trying to negotiate my departure date from ASOS back to the end of January, all pending leadership sign-off. It’s scary to think that the first month has flown by (the two week Christmas break certainly helped) but I’m also keen to wrap up my time with some specific goals. Three months notice can have their benefits from a management perspective but much less so from the employee’s perspective.
One of which is to back-fill some leavers I inherited when I joined the team. It’s been a long drawn-out process trying to source the candidates but came good this week with an impressive candidate interviewing really well and offer accepted. Interestingly, as part of the negotiation, they asked about a career development plan for them which made us (speedily) pull together what we have to offer. It’s quite impressive to see what engineers get from the company, especially at the scale we’re talking about.
The first family birthday of the month/year/decade was for my step-dad this week. We decided to get him some refillable beer bottles with some guest ales from a local indie shop, Rugby Tap. They get new casks in every week and open most weeknights until at least 8pm so I’ll be returning there in the future to reduce my recycling waste of beer bottles.
In the vicinity, we had a lovely breakfast at our new favourite haunt, Inside The 22. A great environment for food, drink and entertainment opposite Rugby School (where the game was originally invented). The owner told us they host band nights and had an album launch planned for Saturday evening so, when we heard the music that was coming, we suggested a friend’s band Blue Nation he should reach out to. Sounds like that will be happening soon.
We also returned to Walsall Saturday evening for a friend’s first gig in many years. She was awesome, blasting out a range of classics from the 80s and 90s (which actually provoked a new Nineties YouTube Music playlist). We used the opportunity to catch up with some old local chums too; Graham, the man who introduced me to my good lady wife nearly 20 years ago and Alex, another long-term friend from our youth. Aah, reminiscing times…
I’ve hit the gym every day in the office (typical start-of-year motivation combined with my pending departure) and I’ve been mostly focused on weights and strength. I’m now on the bars and currently shifting 40kg which I gather is quite an impressive start.
I’ve now eased off the dairy coffees too, hitting the soya flat white instead of my preferred full-fat milk #SoHipster. I’ve not felt the benefit yet but the texture and taste is actually quite pleasant despite early concerns. I’m also considering an intolerance test to try understand what my dietary demands could be following research with my ongoing abdominal pains.
We also went for a whole week without meat for our main evening meals; a combination of fish and meat-free replacements complimented with fresh vegetables or salads. Weekends are when we tend to indulge (not binge!) on alcohol so that’s accompanied with the occasional meats. I think a 4:3 balance is good enough, especially with the balance towards meat & alcohol free.
I’ve gone back to twice daily recorded voice memos on the drive to and from the train station. It gives me 10 minutes to plan the day and reflect on the reality.
This is unedited, off-the-cuff audio on very low-tech (iPhone 11 with Voice Record Pro posted straight to Pinecast). It’s audible but not high quality – I want it to be an authentic recording summarising a similar theme to these week-notes (and actually help summarise them).
I’m time-boxing this to a few weeks to see how it goes and grows. If it’s not sustainable or yielding any interest, I’ll can it. It’s low effort and zero cost though so not too challenging, just part of a daily routine and, with the conclusion of my time at ASOS and new job approaching, it could be a great time to capture for personal prosperity.
Make Life Work is back in the recording studio for season 2, starting with Naomi White (née Atkinson) on Friday. I’ve long appreciated Naomi’s design work and side projects plus she’s been very prevalent in the speaking community too so it’s fascinating to hear her story, especially as we share a similar background at university.
I also realised the 6 Nations competition was fast approaching so started looking into setting up my typical calendar service for it. Following some quick research, it turns out the official source are finally offering calendar downloads and subscriptions including TV broadcasters. I feel like my work is done in this space now they’ve realised the value (it’s only taken 12 years) so I won’t be trying to compete for traffic.
On the calendar front, Andy Yates has been making amazing progress on the F1 Calendar rebuild as that season fast approaches too. We hope to have it ready in the next couple of weeks so, if interested, make sure you follow @F1Cal on Twitter or the Github project.
Finally, Verbal Diary has been shelved. James and I have always struggled to schedule a regular recording time and now we’re no longer working together with new jobs, it’s become even harder. I don’t want to say it’ll never happen again but, for the foreseeable future, we’ll be wrapping it up. (I’ll probably let the domain expire at the end of this month – it’s $30/year which just seems wasteful).
Ladhood on BBC has caught my attention this week; another coming-of-age comedy series based on a bunch of lads growing up in Leeds in the noughties. It resonates quite well with me with some of the topics covered plus I find the creator, Liam Williams, very familiar; he has an air of John Simm and Andrew Lincoln about the way he talks.
Red Herrings and White Elephants is still keeping me enlightened on the origins of everyday idioms. Personal favourites include “pommy or pom” (the Australian’s wrongly accused nickname for Brits as Prisoners of Mother England – P.O.M.E.) and “berk” (a mildly-humorous put-down which is actually abbreviated from the Cockney-rhyming slang for “Berkshire Hunt“).