Time travel, rock stars and chilli peppers

Not so many posts for Week 34, but it was the week after the bank holiday and some of the regulars are busy travelling or getting back into the routine after travelling. And less posts mean that you have time to see or read all these wonderful posts – especially as three are pictures with very few words.

I regard myself as a Doctor Who fan (though I was not keen on Colin Baker, Peter Davison, or Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor) and have watched most series since I was a toddler – but I would be totally unable to tell you the names of episodes or what happened in the old ones . I couldn’t name all the types of aliens that have appeared, nor even the companions. Karl Green reveals himself to be a true Whovian in The Seven Doctors, in which he picks out his favourite episode from each of the first seven incarnations.

Chris Bolton looked to rock rather than television stars for his inspiration this week in Oblique Strategies – Random Disruption, Rock Stars and Innovation. You too can learn how to disrupt thought patterns to be creative like a rock star with the help of some cards (now also an app) invented by Brian Eno and visual artist Peter Schmidt. Chris has actually handled a set. For the past 3 years, I’ve wanted to hold a CreativeCamp to do some disruptive things and get people to do some creative things because I think people will learn different ways of thinking about things, and about working with others.

Of course, another way of disrupting one’s thinking about work is to bring in some people who are not part of that workplace but who need to use the services – and to listen carefully to them. In Community engagement: its time has come, Sandy Watson, Chair of the NHS Tayside Board and Chair of the Scottish NHS Board Chairs’ Group, wrote for the AyrshireHealth blog about not just paying lip service to the idea of community engagement but to change thinking. He wrote about the use of social media to communicate with people, and also about working with the public not just to steer the boat but also to build it together. It will be interesting to see what they achieve.

At the other end of the UK, Mark Braggins explained about the Hampshire Hub – a responsive approach on the Hampshire Hub Prototype Local Information System blog. He also asked questions about what people want. This should be an interesting post particularly for those involved with creating or using public sector websites. I started trying to get public websites made in a way that is now called “responsive” about a decade ago. I find myself still explaining the concept to people this year. And please note Mark’s point about browsers. For so many years, so many have been groaning in horror at having to try to make their websites accessible to those with Internet Explorer 6 (which included many public sector staff).

I have always been very much in favour of sharing examples of when things have worked well (or have failed to work) so that we can learn from each other, and not waste time and money on often scantly-resourced projects. Ena Lloyd’s post for the Good Practice Exchange this week, We are passionate about not re-inventing the wheel, interested me a lot. The desk hire idea is a good one, and something we are beginning to see in North East England.

Dan Slee is always sharing good ideas. This week it was 18 things the Ashes can tell you about digital communications. I still know nothing much about cricket though I did manage to recognise Viv Richards and Ian Botham in a nightclub in Newcastle one night. Mr Slee’s 18 things is very readable, in an enjoyable way and no matter how much you don’t know about cricket. Everybody who has to communicate in any way, especially using social media, should read this.

Rachel also wrote about sport this week, but she wrote about another sport that traditionally involves wearing white in A slice of tennis. It sounds as if her family had lots of fun, although I do hope her mother’s leg muscle mends quickly. She proved that you don’t need to spend lots of money to have a fun time playing sport with family and friends.

The people on the trip Round the Isle of Wight in a boat do not look as if they’re having fun in Richard Overy’s post about a vintage postcard that he found in a car boot sale. Richard’s blog has been featured in The Shropshire Star recently too:

Well done, Richard!

I was out creating my own pictures of a day trip recently. It was not a very successful trip but was redeemed by Some Tyneside street art. I do look out for street art in certain areas, and it had been a while since I had been to the CoMusica walls and arches behind the Sage Gateshead. If you go to an event at the Sage, do try to go early or get out at lunchtime to see the street art (painted with permission). We get artists from elsewhere in the UK and from other countries in Newcastle and Gateshead. I find myself increasingly wishing I could do some. It must be interesting to work on a large scale. I have only done large things for stage scenery in school productions when I was young.

Louise Brown’s vegetables have got well beyond the baby veggies stage, judging by her lovely photos in Harvest time – part 2, including some very fine peppers. Well done, Louise, on growing such a wonderful crop!

Thank you very much to all the contributors and readers this week. If I have left out any posts, just let us know on Twitter and I will include them in next week’s summary. I was going to suggest a beginning of autumn theme for Week 35 (I listened to September Song early on 1st September and have to admit to bursting into tears at the sadness of it), but then I saw the weather forecast predicting a return to warm weather for most of the week. Perhaps the [entirely optional] theme should be going back to school, or writing about your summer holidays?

If you want to contribute posts to Weekly Blog Club, there’s info on what to do (1st Rule of Weekly Blog Club is to talk and tweet about it), on our About page. If you want to help look after Weekly Blog Club, there is more info on what’s involved on the Admin info page (but we also do things differently sometimes).

Have a great week, whether or not it’s going-back-to-school/work week for you!


Janet E Davis

Summary of Week 34

The Seven Doctors by Karl S Green.

Hampshire Hub – a responsive approach by Mark Braggins on the Hampshire Hub Prototype Local Information System blog.

18 things the Ashes can tell you about digital communications by Dan Slee.

Round the Isle of Wight by Richard Overy.

A slice of tennis by Rachel.

Community engagement: its time has come by Sandy Watson on the Ayrshire Health.

Oblique Strategies – Random Disruption, Rock Stars and Innovation by Chris Bolton.

Harvest time – part 2 by Louise Brown.

We are passionate about not re-inventing the wheel by Ena Lloyd for the Good Practice Exchange.

Some Tyneside street art by Janet E Davis.

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, blogging, communicating, communities, cricket, cultural heritage, digital technology, family, food, health, health services, holiday, horticulture, ideas/innovation, leadership, local government, music, national government, newspapers, open data, photography, public relations, social media, sunshine, tennis, working practices
3 comments on “Time travel, rock stars and chilli peppers
  1. Brill summary, thanks Janet! Do you know if there’s any info online on the desk hiring in the North East? It would be great for us to share that.


    – Dyfrig

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