People that are close, places far away

My apologies for the delay in the Week 37 summary due to catastrophic laptop failure, resulting eventually in having to replace the hard drive (and losing some files from the last couple of months since it last broke down when I had to lose quite a few files when erasing the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system was tried).

Chris Bolton’s Week 37 post was, coincidentally, about how Failure* should be part of your CV (* = fast intelligent failure). This was a very good post for me to read. I am happy to share what didn’t happen to work on a project (though am usually constrained by more senior management), but I fear and hate personal failure. At times when I feel I’ve failed, I would love to go for a brisk walk (something I cannot do currently) as Rachel did in Autumn, winter, whatever. I remember an occasion  years ago, when striding along the Newcastle Quayside in the rain in winter, listening to Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe on my Sony Walkman, my black coat swirling in the wind, feeling that same feeling that Rachel describes.

I admire those who take on physical challenges such as Hannah Chia is tackling and told us about in My Crossfit Challenge: Dubai Fitness Championship, Here I Come! If you have read Hannah’s blog before, you’ll know she has always preferred getting dressed up to watch sport rather than participating so this will not be an easy challenge for her.

Paramedics face challenges every day as part of their work. Joseph Conaghan wrote about a few of them would be joining a big march in support of the NHS and to protest outside the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Sunday 29th September in Why will paramedics be marching?

John McGarva, in his post for Ayrshirehealth,  considered the importance of reflective practice in quality improvements in the NHS. He wrote about the need to remember to focus on the patient, from the micro level of individuals, to institutions and groups of institutions at the middle level, and country as the macro level. The title of his post – Polishing Narcissus’s Mirror – conjures up the warning tale from Classical mythology of Narcissus so in love with his own reflection that he is aware of nothing else.

Public sector standards and improving effective communication between local councils and citizens were the focus of Huw Lloyd Jones’s blog – Scrutiny in the spotlight: investing to maximise its impact – on the Good Practice Exchange at Wales Audit Office blog. Having been encouraged to tweet, he has looked at how six local councils are using Twitter and saw its potential.

Kenny McDonald considered public sector use of social media in Scotland in You don’t need to be a social media general to lead, his account of his experience at ScotGovCamp 2013, his first experience of an unconference. I was glad to hear that he had met Dan Slee (one of Weekly Blog Club’s founders), and enjoyed Carolyne Mitchell‘s cakes.

I was interested that Kenny thinks that it will take as long as 5 to 10 years for “social media to be proficiently relied on in the public sector in Scotland and for staff to be trusted with it.” About three years ago, I was helped at a couple of workshops to help cultural institutions in England to overcome barriers to using Web 2.0 tools, including social media. Very few of them were on Twitter then, and saw it as difficult to start. The increase in museums, galleries, archives, and libraries using Twitter has been phenomenal in the past couple of years (so what we were doing three years ago possibly helped). I have also seen how attitudes in local councils in England have changed over the past four years so that it now seems normal for them to have some sort of online presence. The fact that social media channels are regularly mentioned on television and are used by newspapers has probably helped to see them as more normal communication channels.

I am sure that Siobhan Hayward will help people to learn how to communicate in her new role at Participation Cymru as a new Training and Development Officer. Siobhan wrote a blog to introduce herself: Introducing our new Training and Development Officer, Siobhan Hayward. We hope that she enjoys her work there and will blog with us again.

Samuel-James Wilson has moved well beyond the UK for his next job. He has moved all the way to Australia, and has made time to give us an update in this big change in his life: I made it. He includes lovely pictures of where he has visited so far, and the news that his blog is up for an award.

One of our other regular bloggers, Phil Jewitt, visited Australia for the first time this summer (or winter from an Australian perspective) and found he was Seeing things differently as a result. Do read his blog and think about his revelation. How do you see your world, and what do you take for granted that those visiting it or new to it might not regard as normal?

I was delighted to hear from two of our other bloggers who have gone to a distant land with a different culture. Graham Budd wrote Sokcho safari – an introduction to where they are, with some great images. Rough Cat started with an observation of a practical difference: It’s Been 28 Days Since I Used a Fork and Other Fun Facts, and shared some more great photos (including squid drying on a washing line) plus a word picture of a dog wearing make up.

It sounds as if all our emigrated bloggers are having a great time, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about their new lives and seeing more photos of places I’ll never visit myself. The British have long been fascinated with the Orient. It is hard to tell from Richard Overy’s vintage picture this week, Ladies drinking tea, where the photo was taken but it looks decidedly oriental in style of building as well as clothes. I wonder if the ladies were visiting or lived in the Far East? It is an intriguing image.

Finally, Karl Green’s post for Week 37, simply entitled My dad, was a moving one to commemorate what would have been his father’s 70th birthday. His dad certainly did an unusual and interesting range of work during his life, and Karl’s pride in and love for him comes through so clearly in his post. It reminds us that we should always appreciate the people in our lives whilst they are here, with us.

Thank you very much to all who read, appreciated and shared the Week 37 posts, as well as to those who wrote them. If you have been inspired to write, do visit our About page to find out how to contribute blogs to Weekly Blog Club. I always find it fascinating to read blogs by new contributors, and look forward to those by names and faces that have become familiar. Do join in!


Janet E Davis

Summary of Week 37 posts

Failure* should be part of your CV (* = fast intelligent failure) by Chris Bolton.

My dad by Karl S Green.

I made it by Samuel-James Wilson.

Ladies drinking tea by Richard Overy.

Sokcho safari by Graham Budd.

It’s Been 28 Days Since I Used a Fork and Other Fun Facts by Rough Cat.

Autumn, winter, whatever by Rachel.

Introducing our new Training and Development Officer, Siobhan Hayward by Siobhan Hayward for Participation Cymru.

You don’t need to be a social media general to lead by Kenny McDonald.

Scrutiny in the spotlight: investing to maximise its impact by Huw Lloyd Jones.

Polishing Narcissus’s Mirror by John McGarva on the Ayrshirehealth blog.

Seeing things differently by Phil Jewitt.

My Crossfit Challenge: Dubai Fitness Championship, Here I Come! by Hannah Chia aka @SportingWag.

Why will paramedics be marching? by Joseph Conaghan.

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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Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, animals, beaches, blogging, cake/caek, communicating, construction industry, cooking, culture, digital technology, emergency services, family, health, health services, heat, holiday, humanity, leadership, libraries, local government, museums, national government, parks, public sector, social media, sports, sunshine, tourism, training, unconferences, working practices
2 comments on “People that are close, places far away
  1. Great summary, hope this hard drive is much more reliable than the last!

    – Dyfrig

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