Weeknotes 24 September

3 min readSep 24, 2021


I did a lateral flow test on Sunday. No Covid, very mild cold continued but seemed to pass. Feeling better about the seasons it’s less soggy.

Monday’s are fractured days as I pick up Eloise and then we do swimming. This week as I stood outside I updated my Trello cards and that felt really nice, it’s something that I often neglected and then wonder where I’m at. I also have it duplicated on my whiteboard.

Emi, Mike and I went to the Senior Leadership Team Monday meeting to talk about the FFCP Showcase. I said very little, Emi is just fantastic and she took wonderful notes, I made some in my book. Emma who is just back from leave made a great observation about a fear of openness and made a great destination between openness and promising. Something we’re invariably pick up again as part of the Senior Leadership Team Awaydays and planning for the Showcase.

I had a thought as I went to make a cup of tea of Tuesday: my job is like not creating any fires. The three things we all know you need for a fire are… heat, oxygen and fuel. In an organisation I think oxygen is deadlines you need some but you don't need too much.

I read How to run a Futurespective | Liz Keogh, lunivore which Amy sent in preparation for the next Senior Leadership Team Awayday.

I had this half formed thought on Wednesday, I dont like the implication that you have to take everything on yourself, but in some way I liked it enough to share :)

Don’t freak out, freak in.

On Wednesday we had our September FFCP introduction session. I’ve noticed a change in my language evident in the previous sentence, that I now feel possessive i.e. our not distant i.e. the when referring to the Future Farming and Countryside Programme I wonder what’s changed. Is it just how long I have been here or more than that. Rather than me rambling for most of the introduction Janet, Beja and Jill came and that made it wonderful. Janet’s introduction brought so much energy and excitement and lots of great tips for success as well as books to read. After our guests I gabbled through everything, choosing where to repeat messages. Building trust came out as the hardest principal to live up-to. It has every time I’ve asked that question.

On Tuesday I did something I haven’t done for a while and joined two calls while out for a walk with the dogs. I was keen to get some sun. And it was really nice, though I very much wish I had a pencil and postit – I have them in my coat but didn’t take it. Someone made a great point in the lightning talk on Power about how that term is preload they suggested an alternative word and it’s left me.

I found out I know some things about farming machinery but now know even more thanks to a quiz as part of Defra live. I also came across a great slide on the process of recruitment in another Defra Live session, I’ve asked for a copy of (not in pdf).

On Thursday three meetings finished early — it felt like some strange parallel universe one that I could enjoy as long as we also had general chat sessions. On Thursday we also found out that you can’t use & in Share Point Online, and also which is side splittingly funny it doesn't stop you using it. Also on Thursday I finally managed to get a video to Kim, it’s been on my mind and every previous attempt was a disaster — sometimes I forget the easier routes and get trapped in ways of doing things that I do most regularly.

Today has been quite a lot about slides, I even had a meeting with the fantastic Giles to talk about slides for the FFCP Showcase. But my slides have been for the summary of the Empowerment things the Or dynamics team has been up-to including user research and surveys and making Nour’s privileged walk slides mine for the session next week. It’s been an ongoing project of care that I’ve now come to the end off — all is left is to do the session. Uwais is kindly organising the medium on which we can do it — just incase we overrun our zoom limit.

And I think, and I maybe cursing my self here, but that I have had the last back and fourth on the Civil Service People Survey today. Keen to get on now and get the results in. But all in good time.




Working from Defra in the Future Farming and Countryside Programme, OneTeamGov and UKGovCamp. Government romantic and lover of tea