The answer to life, the universe and everything?

Week 42 of Weekly Blog Club may not provide you with the total answer to life, the universe and everything – but it gives you answers to questions that you had not thought of asking, and asks even more questions. Week 42 brought us 24 posts. Thank you all for such a perfect number!

Since there were so many posts (the most in any week so far), I shall list but not try to mention all in the body of this post – but they are all well worth reading. This unprecedented number is thanks in part to the Ayrshire Health blog which produced a post every day for a week (the first was in our Week 41), and then their usual weekly post on the day after the week of posts. The special week Ayrshire Health blog contributions were:

and the normal weekly post was: Delivering our quality ambitions by Derek Feeley.

I was delighted to see that the Ayrshire Health blog’s posts this week included one by Derek Feeley, the Chief Executive of NHS Scotland – Delivering our quality ambitions. It is good to see someone in such a senior role using social media, showing by example that the institution is prepared to engage in dialogue.

Some of the Ayrshire Health posts might be of particular interest to those who do not work in healthcare. Learning to learn by Kim Barron should be useful to any adult learner, especially post-graduate students. Mark Fleming’s A day in the life of an eHealth leader!  explained his unusual job, and gave insight to an element of the health service about which few probably think. He also proposed a method of explaining that could be useful to so many people who do not have common or traditional jobs. Those who write recruitment material could find ‘a day in the life of’ approach brings better results than their job descriptions that are so generic that they fail to describe the actual jobs.

I hope that it will not be too long before Eddie Docherty tells us about his trip to Alaska mentioned at the beginning of SPSP Fellowship – a personal reflection [SPSP is Scottish Patient Safety Programme]. It is good to know that people are looking at and learning from best practices elsewhere. Most people will find the statistics in Mark MacGregor’s post interesting and perhaps surprising. He also asks challenging questions in “Return the money” – is spending less on healthcare the moral thing to do? that is especially relevant to people in Scotland but something about which we all need to think since the politicians for whom we vote make the decisions on funding the NHS.

Healthcare, specifically in hospitals, were mentioned in another couple of posts: my own A changing view of hospitals (thinking more about the design and layout of them); and Stuart Mackintosh’s very delightful and touching post about his baby son Happy birthday Joshua (do have a look at the photos – Joshua’s grin will brighten your day), which also shows what good work hospitals do.

Other posts with interesting photographs this week were Richard Overy’s Dapper Gentleman in his Sunday Best, all about a portrait, and Louise Brown’s Taking the slow lane in a Windsor chair about a visit to a chair-maker’s and the history of making chairs in and around High Wycombe.

Kim Spence-Jones is concerned about the homes in which furniture can go, and had some suggestions about how the housing market in the UK could be fixed in the long-term in Why the UK housing market is so broken – and what to do about it. Phil Jewitt was a bit perplexed about spoons in his house, which has something to do with his eldest son being away at university for the first time: It’s not about the spoons.

Lesley Thomson focused on family in her post this week (welcome back!), specifically her mother, in a post to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day: My mum, the geek. If there were music to go with the posts, hers and Carolyne Mitchell’s would have had ‘Sisters are doing it for themselves.’ Carolyne’s post Unleash your inner geek was about using If This Then That to create social media tools easily, and enabling planning ahead for communicating and amplifying essential information during emergency situations.

Sarah Hall’s first Weekly Blog Club post provided very useful tips on How to craft the perfect press release, an everyday essential skill for the Third Sector as much as for the commercial sector. Ross Wigham wrote about How a hashtag helped our summer. You may have noticed that we in the North East have tweeted quite a bit about rain and floods this year. Ross and his team have been busy trying to counteract the effects of the soggy summer with innovative use of social media.

I wonder if Northumberland has tried a Zombie run? Lindsay’s first Weekly Blog Club post Zombie run – done! described the fun of dodging the undead at Lincolnshire’s showground. I am not very familiar with The Watchmen but I suspect the focus of Paul Coxon’s post  – Rorschach – A character in fiction who speaks to me – would not have looked out of place at Lindsay’s Zombie run (though whether he would have approved might be a different matter).

Kate Bentham was thinking about when one is fully grown up as she approaches ‘a significant birthday’ in Grow Up (I thought it might be when I owned a house or car, but those milestones came and went and still no change).

The moments that can make us regress to childhood can include training and workshops not led well and undertaken in the name of CPD (Continuing Professional Development). Andy Mahon of the BDOlocalgov team considered the value of conferences and unconferences to people in the public sector in What’s in a name?. Jon King gets round barriers to developing the use of social media at work by getting people to use Twitter for personal accounts,  For the fun of it (and they usually get the point of it after a while). Dan Slee’s approach to introducing things includes bringing out the mice, the Trojan mice, no less: TRIAL NOT ERROR: Why every organisation should have Trojan Mice. Andrew Jacobs wrote a funny post that many or most of us will recognise: If everyone’s here, we’ll start. So many of us have experienced such training sessions at some point!

I hope that I found everyone’s Week 42 posts (one or two late posts are going into Week 43) – if not, I apologise – tweet us the links again, and they too will be included in Week 43. I do not want to put anyone off blogging for Week 43 (we already have a couple of posts and another on its way) but I am hoping that it will not be quite such a busy week for Phil Jewitt’s first run at being Weekly Blog Club during Week 43. I look forward to hearing Phil’s thoughts after he has rummaged around  under the bonnet for a week.

Thank you, as ever, to all who have read, Liked, and commented on posts as well as to those who contributed them. I ought to do more metrics on our Twitter account and blog but after I saw that we have over 100 followers of our blog and wondered how many use our hashtag on Twitter, Andrew Jacobs kindly checked and one tool reckons we have 13,000+ – – which is not too bad. We have had 8, 859 views on the Weekly Blog Club blog (at the time of writing this) since we started in January.

If you want to join us by contributing a post, our About page tells you what you need to know about contributing (and note that “weekly” is an aim, not a requirement). Reading makes you as much a member as writing does. Please note that if you just post a first-time link to a blog rather than a specific post, we will probably not include you. We also prefer people to give full names so we have a bit more idea of who is writing (although recognise that there are cases when it is not advisable for people to use their own names). I have posted a couple by people this week who do not, and it was only because they seem to be genuine individuals.

I shall leave it to Phil Jewitt to set the [entirely optional] theme for Week 43.

Over to you, Phil!


Janet E Davis.

Summary of Week 42 posts

A day in the life of an eHealth leader! by Mark Fleming on the  Ayrshire Health blog.

How to craft the perfect press release by Sarah Hall.

Happy birthday Joshua by Stuart Mackintosh.

Why the UK housing market is so broken – and what to do about it by Kim Spence-Jones.

How a hashtag helped our summer by Ross Wigham.

Zombie run – done! by Lindsay.

Learning to learn by Kim Barron on the  Ayrshire Health blog.

Patient Safety – Harvesting the Fruits of Our Labour by Susan Hannah on the AyrshireHealth blog.

TRIAL NOT ERROR: Why every organisation should have Trojan Mice by Dan Slee.

Taking the slow lane in a Windsor chair by Louise Brown.

Dapper Gentleman in his Sunday Best by Richard Overy.

To screen or not to screen?- that is the question by Colin R Martin on the Ayrshire Health blog.

What’s in a name? by Andy Mahon of the BDOlocalgov team.

For the fun of it by Jon King.

My mum, the geek by Lesley Thomson.

SPSP Fellowship – a personal reflection by Eddie Docherty on the  Ayrshire Health blog.

Unleash your inner geek  by Carolyne Mitchell.

It’s not about the spoons by Phil Jewitt.

Grow Up by Kate Bentham.

A changing view of hospitals by Janet E Davis.

“Return the money” – is spending less on healthcare the moral thing to do? by Mark MacGregor on the  Ayrshire Health blog.

Rorschach – A character in fiction who speaks to me by Paul Coxon.

If everyone’s here, we’ll start by Andrew Jacobs.

Delivering our quality ambitions by Derek Feeley on the  Ayrshire Health blog.


Weekly Blog Club was set up in early January 2012 to encourage people to blog regularly, and especially to encourage those working in and with the public sector, charities and voluntary organisations in the UK to find their own 'voice' through writing.

Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, animations or cartoons, architecture, archives, childcare, communicating, conferences, data, design, digital technology, emergency planning, emergency services, family, finance, floods, health, health services, history, housing, humanity, leadership, learning, literature, local government, management, rain, running, setting goals, social media, special events, Third sector, tourism, training, unconferences, universities, women, working practices

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