Week Notes 2024 07 05 - Election

Vintage Ferrari + ice cream truck
2 July 2024

New government - new client

My new central government client had a lot of recent changes at the top and I expect more to follow under the newly elected Labour government. As a part-time civil servant again, I’ll refrain from sharing any political opinions and just say that it’s an exciting time for a fresh start!

As expected, it’s been tricky getting much time & enthusiasm from senior leaders to talk about OKRs lately but this will change once the dust settles and people’s need for clarity becomes paramount.

OKRs are a wonderful way to get this clarity.

Our aim is to set, refine, and align OKRs at the top, at the directorate level, and at the team level. Then we’ll “operationalise” OKRs via regular check-ins, simplifying portfolio governance & delivery as well as strengthening and elevating the existing culture of continuous improvement across the entire organisation. No biggie. 😅

Art, culture, friends

Saturday was Pride in London. I always enjoy giving my support at the parade and who doesn’t love a bit of pageantry and glitter? But this year I decided to skip the crowds and catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in a long while.

We strolled along the Parkland walk and through Hampstead Heath pausing to admire a vintage Ferrari next to an ice cream truck (see above) before having lunch at the 400+ year old Spaniards Inn. They have an expansive garden terrace and cook up a mean lemon sole.

Wednesday I took a couple of hours in the afternoon to visit Tate Modern – something I try to do regularly. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to live in London and why I still put up with the high cost of living, polluted air, and everything else.

I visited the “Solid Light” exhibition by Anthony McCall wherein gently animated undulating white lines projected through thick smoke carve out richly textured, inhabitable, three dimensional spaces in a darkened gallery.

A few visitors to Anthony McCall's Solid Light at Tate Modern

On the way out I stopped by the bookshop and bought myself a little gift: a recent translation of Charles Baudilaire’s “Salon of 1846” published by David Zwirner Gallery.

Cover of The Salon of 1846

It’s a delightful little object with its almost Mountbatten Pink cover filled with beautiful prose including turns of phrase like the following:

“Pure draftsmen are philosophers and dialecticians. Colorists are epic poets.” — Charles Baudelaire

🇺🇸 Thursday was American Independence Day. I celebrated by getting my teeth cleaned and having lunch at Dishoom with a Scottish friend who’s back from Romania because he has centre court tickets to Wimbledon. 🎾


This week I added a /now page to my site and in the process, discovered how much I enjoy the work of Derek Sivers who is credited with popularising the "/now" page movement. I sent him a note mentioning how I’m working on getting more of my writing out in the world and he responded almost immediately recommending a wonderful book: “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon. Check out Derek’s notes.

Through the /now page directory, I also discovered Marc Littlemore and the super cool webmention.io protocol/service which I intend to try out. Supposedly, I should start accumulating mentions here which I can then add to this site. Stay tuned!

I learned about the AVIF image format and started investigating how to use it with Hugo.

I also discovered the whole IndieWeb movement whose tenets I suppose I’ve been following to for decades without realising it was a thing!

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