Satellites, cricket, travel down under, and a ray in Wales.

There seemed to be quite a lot of challenges in Week 35’s posts. I failed the challenge of getting a post written, but Chris Bolton advised Learning from failure. The more it hurts the better you learn. I wish Chris luck on his next sea swimming challenge, but I wonder if it depends on a person’s personality or state of mind at the time of a failure as to whether they respond by learning from it. Some respond to failure by avoiding the thing another time.

I don’t think I’ve tried to swim in the sea since I was 5 or 6 (with armbands!), on holiday in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It was either the fear of getting stung by a jellyfish after seeing hundreds stranded on the beach one day, or the experience of a wave covering me and depositing seaweed on my face. I spent much time as a child at Welsh beaches. I still love the coast, and remain fascinated by the creatures that live there so Kate Bentham’s post A Welsh Walk caught my eye. She shared some pictures of an obviously happy seaside holiday (including of the strange-looking ray), after vividly evoking a past of kipper ties and pineapple hedgehogs that seems a world away to me even though I recognise it.

Phil Jewitt had travelled even further for his summer holiday this year, to the other side of the world. The occasional tweet had indicated that he was having an interesting and enjoyable time but I was delighted to see that he had found time to blog about it in A land down under (a reference to a 1981 song by Men at Work – you might want to listen to the song as you read). He shares lots of lovely photos of different aspects of Australia (including fabulous views from aeroplane windows, wonderful landscapes, shiny cityscapes, and cute little kookaburras). It really is a good read.

Another blogger quoting a song this week was Andrew Jacobs in I wished on them but they were only satellites. If you want to listen to it whilst reading Andrew’s post that gives news of the forthcoming #learncamp at the Royal Festival Hall, try a live and lively version of a young Billy Bragg singing his own song A New England, or what could be my favourite version by the late and great Kirsty MacColl. Don’t forget to read the post – you may find it really useful.

Louise Brown wrote about learning about teaching people in Testing understanding and not just facts. This is something that I have not spent much time thinking about although I have informally taught people for years, so I found it interesting to read her post. Please do share your experience and knowledge with her in the comments on her post.

Dyfrig Williams has been learning different approaches to social media and reflected on them in Personal use of social media on the Good Practice Exchange blog for his Week 35 blog. Meanwhile, back in Participation Cymru where Dyfrig used to work, Jon Birts introduced himself in Introducing our new administrator: Jon Birts. He told us he previously worked in Health and Social Care, and is interesed in the the idea of hearing views and opinions on how care and support should be delivered from those receiving it. Lovely to meet you, Jon, and we hope you enjoy your new job!

It was good to see Mark MacGregor, Associate Medical Director in NHS Ayrshire & Arran, writing for the AyrshireHealth blog again. This time he confessed to a liking of shines, but expressed a scepticism about how effective some new technology is for patients and whether it is value-for-money in Telehealth: so obvious it must be true. Objective evidence is a good thing, as long as there are decision-makers who understand the evidence.

Healthcare professional Heather Currie wrote about her observations of her father’s experience as an out-patient in An out-patient journey on the dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog. This is a post well worth reading, along with another one that will be included in next week’s summary. Hospitals remain rather scary places to those of us who don’t work in them, even those of us who have to visit them regularly enough to lose the initial fear of unfamiliarity.

It was also good to see Elaine Hunter, an AHP (Allied Health Professional)  return to her blog. In Leadership: The Conversation Continues, she reported on and considered her experience of delivering the Dr Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture. She talked about leadership, the need to share, and asking people to share their key messages about leadership on Twitter. It was interesting to see how created an opportunity for collaborating with others in this way.

Karl Green seems to have got a lot out of working with others a year ago when he was one of the Gamesmakers at the Paralympics in London in 2012. He recounted his experiences of it in The Adventures of Gamesmaker Karl for Week 35.

Dan Slee also had sport on his mind this week in EXTRA COVER: 21 ways a cricket club can use Twitter (with lessons for organisations). If you don’t like cricket, you should still read Dan’s post (not least because Dan’s writing is always an enjoyable read) and you may find some tips on more useful ways of using social media for your work or voluntary group.

Finally, artist Louise Atkinson’s post this week for her Week 46 – Pretty Brutal Library and the politics of labour – is about some exhibitions she has visited recently that connect with her own work. I was quite fascinated by the concept she mentions of poetry that came from the Amazon Mechanical Turk, and the exploration of the ethics of artwork that uses workers who are exploited. I have had cause to think about this in the past, particularly in relation to the 19th century British social realist artists whose work helped to raise awareness of issues and situations affecting the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

I was too busy thinking about today’s community issues to write a blog myself for Week 35, but I did contribute several 130 character stories during the week on Twitter (look for @130story).

During this last week, someone unexpectedly tweeted something nice about me. It made me feel more cheerful instantly, especially since it was so unexpected. So my suggestions for the [totally optional] theme for Week 36 are unexpected nice things that have happened to you, or what you appreciate about one or more of the people you know. Kate Bentham has kindly offered to take over looking after Weekly Blog Club for Week 36. I am very grateful to her for doing this, and in her honour, I suggest another theme: cakes.

Thank you all for reading, writing, Liking, commenting and retweeting or otherwise passing on link to the blogs. This wouldn’t happen without you. I leave you in Kate’s very capable hands (and I know that we already have blogs in by new members Nic Davies Uley and Simon Harrington, and a very interesting one on dghealth, so we start the week off well).

Over to Kate…


Janet E Davis

Summary of Week 35 posts

The Adventures of Gamesmaker Karl by Karl S Green.

Leadership: The Conversation Continues by Elaine Hunter.

A land down under by Phil Jewitt.

EXTRA COVER: 21 ways a cricket club can use Twitter (with lessons for organisations) by Dan Slee.

Telehealth: so obvious it must be true by Mark MacGregor on the AyrshireHealth blog.

Personal use of social media by Dyfrig Williams on the Good Practice Exchange blog.

Testing understanding and not just facts by Louise Brown.

Pretty Brutal Library and the politics of labour by Louise Atkinson.

Learning from failure. The more it hurts the better you learn by Chris Bolton.

An out-patient journey by Heather Currie on the dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog.

I wished on them but they were only satellites by Andrew Jacobs.

A Welsh Walk by Kate Bentham.

Introducing our new administrator: Jon Birts by Jon Birts on the Participation Cymru 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.

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