Tweek notes.

A screenshot of a Whatsapp exchange

Hi there, Friday again. I last wrote two weeks ago making these twoeknote (twokenotes, tweeknotes?!) rather than weeknotes.

That’s because the last weeknotes I wrote really took it out of me — I found it difficult to get my thoughts down in a way that made sense without being dramatic or over the top, or accusatory or any other thing. And then, on releasing them to the world, they were the kind of weeknotes that I occasionally write that got some attention, being read and shared and commented on by a lot of people. …

There will be a cost.

Part 1 of 3. A screenshot from Seerut K. Chawla on instagram shared by Lauren Currie which reads: “Not being true to yourself comes at a personal cost — Sacrificing authenticity for acceptance — Compliance & conformity — The pain of swallowing truth — Hiding parts of yourself which reinforces shame & fear around them — Choosing what other people think of you over what you think of yourself — Inhibited autonomy & agency.”

It’s been a rough week. There have been a few different reasons for that which I’ve been attempting to work through. I’ve also been wondering, how can I write my weeknotes about this stuff in a sensitive and workable way? How can I write this without shame, blame or accusation? How can I be generous to others while also being generous with myself?

Pfizer fog and paracetamol

Yeah I asked for a sticker — yes I’m nearly 40. What of it? This is not a great pic, but I am sporting my new Dry Clearning t-shirt, so it makes me very happy.

A short week and now heading into a long bank holiday and it’s supposed to be sunny‽ That is going to be so nice.

I had my jab yesterday — it was due to be at 9.30 this morning but I got a call yesterday about 3pm asking me to come down early — which was exciting! So I’m currently feeling a bit rough, but kinda fine, a bit hot and foggy which hopefully more paracetamol will fix. Trying to decide whether to stay here on the sofa or head back to bed for a bit.

Anyway, about this week…

Ok so where to begin?

Thank you, past me, for ordering myself peonies.

A return to weeknotes last week, it was hard but good to be back. I also published a quick overview to the piece of work that Ben and I did as part of our Systems Thinking for Service Designers course. I wrote it quickly, hit publish before the school run, and tweeted it when I came home.

I did not really expect for it to be picked up by anyone but it started getting likes and being shared about, which was a surprise. …

A screenshot of our assignment

I recently completed Module 1 of a Systems Thinking course with Design Dissolve and Franklin University.

As part of this I got to meet people working in a variety of roles in different organisations around the world which was an utter privilege.

I also met Ben, a public servant in New Zealand and we hit it off immediately with our experiences of working within government organisations. We each had similar questions about the role of service design within government and the affect it is able to have. …

Inadvertent splits.

Gif: A penguin leaps across from a piece of ice that is broken off of an ice sheet.

So here I am. Back again and it feels like an eternity since I’ve written anything. I’m feeling anxious about writing in a way that I haven’t for a long time. I guess that comes, in part, with the fact that I haven’t written anything at all since March, and now we are in almost the middle of May.

Two months with not a word, and two months without much being on Twitter and two months feeling a bit disconnected and aside from myself and wondering how to come back again.

I should explain that it’s been pre-election period, so…

Where my brain thinks I am

This week has been markedly quieter for me after all the activity of the workshops last week. I say for me because I know that this is not the case for much of the rest of the team who are working on what we need to move into the final phase, that’s the bit where it will all — hopefully — come together. Its been quieter but I’ve been able to interject here and there and offer what I hope has been useful value and perspective — but it’s sometimes hard to know.

What I’ve found as well is that…

Text me when you get home xx

I’m writing this on Friday, post-migraine so please excuse any typos or spelling mistakes on that basis — though I doubt you’ll really notice anything too different to normal.

I’ve been thinking about what a strange and difficult week it’s been for a whole range of people and for a whole number of reasons but especially for women, and black women and women of colour, people with mental health issues and much more.

And when I say women, I mean all women including queer and trans women too. …

Shifting sand and broken records.

It’s been a long and busy week. My current project team have been simultaneously finalising one phase of our work (synthesising and discussing research) while also prepping for the next phase.

I spent the first half of the week trying to second guess the outcomes of research in order to get ahead on the work I needed to deliver, but I see now that I was probably attempting to build on sand. Decisions wouldn’t ultimately be made until Wednesday that would effect the approach I needed to take. …

“A problem is an abstraction of reality extracted from reality by analysis”

An image of some notebook notes which include the quote in the subhead.

Well Friday has come around really quickly and I’m in a bit of a whirl as I type this. The project I’m working on has reached a really busy point and my week has been spent conducting something like 11 research interviews. It’s been really interesting and has required a lot of focus and concentration. I’m really glad that I have those coaching skills to fall back to feel confident in holding the space and letting people speak.

I’ve also been working again on co-creation workshop designs but only in and around other work, which has meant I haven’t been…

Sam Villis

Local Gov collaboration at MHCLG. Prev: Head of Digital at National Leadership Centre, Cabinet Office. Standards at GDS. Proud to be @OneTeamGov.

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