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Monthnotes: January 2024

As I am just dabbling my toes back into the world of writing for myself, attempting to do weeknotes feels a bit out of reach, so I’ve settled on aiming for monthnotes.

January has been a challenging month. My husband has pneumonia and for several weeks I have been doing all the nursery drop offs, pick ups, food shops, bedtimes, wake ups, playtime and the entire weekends full of childcare and entertainment. The good news is he seems to be on the mend after the third round of antibiotics.

In work I have been tying together a close on a long discovery programme of work with a wonderful client. We’ve been working together for most of last year, and its been such a fantastic experience digging into a really meaningful concept that could ultimately improve outcomes for cancer patients. So this feels personal, and I am very invested in getting the concept through to a beta phase we’re discussing.

I’ve got a small sprint on the go with another client, doing some incremental improvements for their editorial team. Due to changes in their team last year we struggled to get a cadence in place to do this sort of sprint, so its good to have a programme of enhancement sprints planned in for this year.

Outside of client work I have been collaborating with Michael (who is another Product Director at Torchbox) and we are collating our wider team’s knowledge and experience with fundraising strategies. I’m really appreciating and enjoying working with him, and spend some time debating ideas and looking more broadly at donations. He’s very generous and thoughtful, but still has direction and I admire his approach a lot.

At home I have not had a huge amount of time to do anything beyond the essentials, but I have had a little time to come back and dabble in WordPress and reacquaint myself with it. I did manage to do my tax return and apply for my daughter’s passport (both tasks I have been putting off for weeks). Its good to have them both done!

I’ve not read very much this month, but I have started Thinking in Pictures by Michael Blastland, and finished the wonderful graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson. I’m listening to the audiobook of Cured by Lol Tolhurst.

I’ve been listening to The Archers (as always), a little bit of Prince (after watching this video of him performing Creep at Coachella), and using Noisli to create background soundscapes to help me concentrate on the specification doc I am writing. My favourite combination of sounds is coffee shop, train and open fire.