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Friday, 22 May 2015

And . . . . . . . . . . . . relaaaaaaax

Another week over.  Nothing of note to report, just peelin' spuds and fending off escalations.

At home, things are very busy.  Last week of half term, and LO is working very long hours, running her day job whilst doing nearly a full time job getting her Academy status sorted.

We all need a week off, and what better than to go see Mickey.  We are very much looking forward to:
  • Time off
  • being together, away from normal life and technology
  • having some thrilling times on as many scary rides as we can fit in.

The only other news of note is that I am a "signed artist".  To be precise, lest anyone get carried away, I was one of three winners of a remix competition, and as a winner, will be on a release pegged for June.  I have signed a contract, and will be entitled to royalties.


I suspect I will not be retiring, and actually have set my sights very low as to earning anything, however it is very exciting to be out there, and if I DO get any revenue, I will be investing it in a new machine.

I hope you have a great weekend, and speak again next week, or maybe the week after.

Friday, 15 May 2015

And . . . relax

Another busy week.  I had two days of Cloud education Monday and Tuesday, which was excellent for the content, and also excellent coz I was able to speak to my potential new boss (PNB).  His dilemma is that Europe (are you imagining a slightly faceless set of droids who run on spreadsheets?  So am I) have dictated the number or roles he can have, and if that were to come to pass, then I am stuffed.  His local (sensible) boss has said ignore it, since his part of the business has its own P&L, so can and should be free to do whatever it thinks it needs to do to meet its targets, including hiring amazing people like me (one has to park one's modesty at moments like this).

So, I remain in a holding pattern, desperate to move to a new role, for an organisation that would like to take me, but with just a tiny weeny problem to resolve before it can happen.

One of the most distressing elements of the two days was that three of the people presenting a pitch WERE KIDS.  Not actually under-twelves, but two graduates and one placement student.  So, I am being taught things by people who have been in Starfleet for less than a year.  To quote Humphrey Lyttelton on I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue, when he was explaining the rules to a very silly and puerile game, "I'm seventy-seven for f##ks sake".  I guess the positive, if one were hunting for it, is that within a year of living and breathing Cloud, I too should be able to lecture on a subject, but also with XX years of experience behind it*.

Anyway, my actual work, the work from which I am trying to escape, continues at a fairly relentless speed.  Another round or redundancies are in flight at the moment, this time just voluntary, which added to the offer from management for us to take up to "three months secondment", effectively nearly-unpaid leave to "pursue a project or experience", and rumours of a further round of redundancy to come later in the year, things can only get worse I fear.

On the home front, my lawn is starting to reach the level of greenness where people no longer gasp at its tatty state, so phase one successfully completed. 

I have ditched my master plan to create a brick edge to the lawn, to tidy the edges, make it easy to mow the edges and generally bring a little architectural structure to the garden.  I still kind of think it would work, but it will cost money and take time, and I am not, if I am honest, one-hundred percent sure how it will look.  So, I have bought a strimmer instead.  While it does not create perfection, it does make the edges look a lot better, and I think will do for what we want from the garden.

Our next steps are to get the patio sorted.  LO has a vision of a pot or bench or table or wooden box, something structural, in which to put some herbs.  We also want so larger plants and pots, something to create drama, and finally we want some seats.  We are starting to think in terms of sofa and coffee table rather than table and chairs, simply because we think we will want to be using it for breakfasts and evening drinks, rather than meals.  Whichever we choose, it does of course cost money, so we are pondering whether to go strategic, or cheapish.

LO is up in London for the day on Saturday, so it is us lads to fend for ourselves.  Maggot 2 has a football match at 11am, Maggot 1 tennis at 12pm, and we have a half plan to play golf at the par three course up the road in the afternoon.
Sunday is another match for Maggot 2, and then what we do for the rest of the day is Maggot 1's choice.

Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

* bit of positive thinking

Friday, 8 May 2015

And . . . relax

Busy week.  Cloud role not really materially closer, however discussions have been had, and on a workshop Monday where I will see my potential new boss, so planning to collar him then.

I am on a stag day tomorrow - I know, aren't I a bit old for such things - which is, perhaps as a nod to age, golf in the afternoon and beer and curry in the evening.  Translated, that is long, frustrating zig-zag walk in the afternoon and falling asleep early in the evening.

Sunday we have an all-day football tournament for Maggot 2.  He is delighted, it is fair to say we are less so.  His friend's mum will take him at 8am, and we plan to turn up 12pm ish.  Actually do enjoy the football.  There is a new kid in town, Pretzel* who is a creative midfielder, and he is good, from the Brighton and Hove Academy, and his arrival seems to have lifted the team.  Maggot 2 is not a bad player, he has just lacked, until this team, any real coaching on position, triangulation and "finding the empty squares".  He has great feet, practices all the Ronaldo-esque tricks and can find the back of the net with fairly unerring accuracy, so add in good coaching, and a pretty good team in which to play, and he could shape up nicely. 

I shouldn't boast**, but his Under Nines team play the Under Tens last weekend, and won 10-2, 7 of which were scored in the first 20 minute session.  The final two sessions I think they got a bit complacent, they did not pass as well and generally I think lost interest in scoring, combined with the opposition waking up a bit to the threats.

Have a great weekend, and if I survive, will speak next week.

* not his real name
** go on, you know you want to. Ed.

Friday, 1 May 2015

And . . . relax

Another day, another dollar, or rather, another week, another wedge*.

It has been a strange week.

As you know, my desire to move to something Cloud-shaped is currently sitting as "my name is on a list".  On Wednesday, I decided to ping who would be my new manager when I move, to see if anything had changed, if there was anything I should be doing or anyone I should be chasing.  His response was that it was fortuitous that I pinged, since it seems that in the people directory, I was not reporting to him, and why don't I speak to my manager to see if it can stay that way and I can move on over.  "Move on over to what?" I asked, and that is where the conversation went a little strange.  I have not been offered a job.  I have not accepted a job.  I have just spoken to people about a desire for a new role.  Period.

So, anyway, he suggested I speak to my boss, which I did, and he was pretty much no use.  He had not heard anything, did not know why I had moved managers, and found it hard to have a discussion about something when that something was not really anything.  I do have some sympathy with him.

Then, to add further to the strangeness, I got a ping from someone leading a Cloud transformation project for another account, my old account as it happens, who said that it seemed my name was in the frame to mature their Cloud solution, and when could I start. 

A whole day has passed with me doing nothing.  A day full of hassle, escalation, running a team whilst also trying to run my own stack of solutions.

Today, then, I plan to make contact again with my potential new manager, suggest he offers me a job, and if I like it I will accept, and then we are on a sound footing to have conversations with my boss and my current account.  Both these are standard practice, but I fear may be more difficult at the moment because my boss has a resource shortage**, and the account is preparing to go in to renegotiation, and have put a freeze on key resources, one of which, frustratingly, is me.

However, all that said, the first step is to setup some tension by having a new job to go to, and then we can start negotiations as to when and how.

At home, we are all very much looking forward to a long weekend.  Maggot 1 is now ill, ear infection, and Maggot 2 is recovered and looking forward to training Saturday and a match Sunday, and I am too actually, since I enjoy watching him and the team develop their skills. 

I have managed to re-turf the goal-mouth bald patch, and the weather has been sympathetic by raining every day, and I also managed to cut out a couple of tree roots that poked out the lawn too.  This weekend I will be cutting the rest of the lawn, and preparing for a feeding session, to try and get it a bit thicker and healthier, so that it can cover the many small baldish patches around the lawn.  I am aiming for average at best.  If my lawn draws no comments, either positive or negative, then it is good enough for me.  With two Maggots always playing one ball sport or another, it is always going to struggle to be perfect, to the point that even average is a big ask.

I hope you have a great weekend, speak next week.

* only money-related word I could think of starting with "w", except Wonga, which is persona non grata these days
** some of the heat coming from us as we fight for an additional UK-based person to come and "bust some backlog"