Weeknowt – 25th March

Karl Hyde of Underworld, human sized and with a huge video screen image of himself just behind him, with the silhouettes of dancing middle-aged people in the foreground
Not exactly ‘a hundred days off’

A curious week, this one. Really busy, and lots of progress, but no major things that have happened or new ways I’m thinking about stuff. Or at least nothing worth sharing yet.

The good news is that, following on from the ‘new jobs are like being a new parent’ analogy of a few posts ago, the end of week five looks like a bit of a turning point. A few things are starting to make a bit more sense, I’m not quite so exhausted by all the newness, and I’m starting to see the hints of good things coming to fruition soon.

I’ve definitely been channeling quite a bit of my former partner in crime, and the wisdom of gigbuddy Victor, when thinking about ways the Heads of Profession can be more of a team, rather than merely a shared job title. There’s so much collective wisdom to draw upon, it would be a shame if we tackled any of our challenges fully alone.

Aside from this, I’m generally turning over ambiguous terms like “roadmap” and “delivery”, and starting to get my brain back into the zone for the next round of Mind the Product’s Product Leadership course in April. I’m taking a slight back seat this time round, because (for some wonderful reasons) I might be taking over from Bea in leading it in the Autumn so they need to get some other trainers up to speed.

I’m also wondering whether weeknotes are the right format for all this. The rhythm of reflection is unbelievably helpful, but I suspect I’m half-finishing thoughts that should really be stand-alone articles.

Due to a few deadlines at work I’ve been slightly neglecting exercise, meditation and a ton of my other self-care routines over the last fortnight. Just one of those “I need the fifteen minutes to prepare x before this particular day starts, so I’ll have that walk later” spirals it’s so easy to fall into. By the end of this week I was definitely feeling the cumulative effect of not looking after myself enough, so for next week I’m planning to be much more strict about being virtuous – and staving off some gloom as a result.

Oh, and I got to meet some lovely people from the US version of GDS. We were given Joe Biden-inscribed boxes of Hersheys Kisses as gifts which was very lovely. Of course, I now have to decide whether to actually eat American Chocolate, which can be a high-risk manouvre.

small blue box of chocolates, with a presidential seal and signature printed on the outside.
As weird perks of the job go…


Underworld at the Royal Albert Hall was just amazing. It was a charity gig, and so they stuck to The Hits. But it has inspired me to finally catch up on their epic lockdown opus Drift. And to perhaps rethink a few of my own approaches to writing music. I really admire the internal rhyming scheme of fairly-recent track “S T A R”.

Each, peach, tinfoil
I spy Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle made my summer
I spy Joe Strummer
Joe Strummer up in heaven
I spy Nye Bevan
Nye Bevan at the top
I spy Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop at the wheel
I spy John Peel
John Peel double decker
I spy Sally Becker
Sally Becker is a star

V and I were in a box, which was just lovely. It was even better when we were in the correct one, so huge retrospective apologies to the residents of Loggia 4 that we couldn’t read our own bloody tickets.

Sadly we didn’t get to catch up with the delightful Kate Collins who runs Teenage Cancer Trust, and we know from early-2000s Children In Need days when we were all mere babbies – the poor thing had an incredibly badly-timed case of Covid!

Anyway, here are some videos I took on the night.

The track’s actually called “Two Months Off”, but hey.

What else?

  • Got to toast Matt Jukes’ entry into his 50s on Wednesday, catch up with a few very lovely people, and meet two new folks I previously only knew from Twitter
  • Vicky’s choir performed Bob Chilcott’s “St John Passion” on Saturday, which was delightful. “Nice tunes and nice chords” are sadly hugely underrated. And I was just blown away by last-minute stand-in tenor Tim Burton who’d not even heard the piece until the night before and yet absolutely smashed the narrator role.
  • Daisy came down to see ‘Phaedra’ at the National yesterday, and I feel we ought to see it too.
  • Drove to UEA and back today to pick up all her stuff. Slightly numb, but largely doing ok.
    • Last piano lesson for nearly a month – but no zen moments to pass on really. Sadly it’s all about me doing the work from here on in…

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