A year of work in progress – day 151

Day 147 – 5 September 2014

You can never get ahead. I realised this long ago. It doesn’t matter how much you get done, the vacuum you create will suck more work in. That’s the way the system works, just as money attracts money then work flows to the busy. I thought I’d cleared the decks yesterday only to be reminded that I have four reports to go to Resources Management Team next Wednesday. Two of them I have to write and the other two I’m relying on Lee to deliver.

The gas main has still not been repaired in Chester-le-Street but fortunately I was able to avoid that area again by going down to Spennymoor. My regular one-to-one with Tony was hijacked (willingly) in part by Andrea, a board member of the North Pennine Dales Leader who wants to get involved in improving broadband in the high mountains of the west. It is always good to have people involved, especially if they are as enthusiastic as she is but it is disappointing that some of the messages that we have been putting out have not got through. Better broadband is coming to Teesdale and Weardale shortly and we don’t want to build up an expectation until we are able to deliver.

EDC is noticeably busier now that the schools are back.

Back at County Hall I showed Jane a couple of new mobile phones that I would like some of the members to trial. One was a direct replacement for our current model while the other was our first phablet – a device a bit bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a tablet or an e-reader. Every week something new comes out and they are available in all sizes.

From there I went to Gateshead for a couple of meetings, one with Roy to talk about a visit next week and another with Graham to prepare for the next North East ICT Managers meeting. It’s going to be at Newcastle’s Culture Lab and is something to look forward to. Graham showed me a draft of his entry for the upcoming Dynamites awards. It’s looking good.

My Big Data soft market test has closed. It had been put on the North East Procurement Organisation’s portal (NEPO) with a due date of midday today. I’ve had a great response, indeed a big response with nineteen organisations expressing an interest, which is eighteen more than I was expecting. It’s going to keep me busy wading through the responses but I’m heartened to know that so many people have felt it worthwhile. I need to set some time aside.

I finished off the reports for RMT with a little help from my friends.

Learning points for today: There is a train spotting season yet I thought it ran from 1 January to 31 December; paper is evil; there is a sound mirror in the Bewick’s canteen in Gateshead Civic Centre and; my satnav knows how to avoid Chester-le-street.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – some good stuff and a weekend off as well.

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