Action Plans

There’s nothing much to report or rant about this last week or so: work seems to have fallen into a humdrum never-ending pattern. The last two weeks have pretty much involved reading, passing back and eventually accepting action plans for one of the programmes [see rant-note below re: spelling] I’m working on.

What is it that’s so hard about Action Plans? I remember Janet Pittaway, my boss at the time, making me realise that for every action there needed to be a desired outcome and the bits in between were how you make sure it gets done. The ones we’re looking at for this programme also have impact measures and that really seems to be a difficult title for many. I’ve tried to say (did say to one guy) that an action might be along the following lines:

Aim: (to play football and) to win the game
Action 1: To score a goal – Outcome 1: goal is scored.
Action 2: To prevent other team scoring goal – Outcome 2: opposing team are prevented from scoring goal. Impact: Game is won. Measure = 3 league point awarded.

I know it’s corny but it seemed to work – I got better actions and impact measures!

Anyway, I’ve also been to Liverpool and Birmingham over the last two weeks, researching European Project work and representing a colleague at a seminar requiring ICT input. Sharon came to Liverpool with me and we ended the day with a nice meal at el Rincon in Manchester – nice Tapas.Programme

Programme – that’s our word for, well … programme isn’t it? Well, because I got a red line i double checked and it seems that Americans think it’s a variant of program. Surely it’s the other way around?  Grrr. See




10 years of Blogging

I was out walking with John Rousell yesterday, as usual on a Saturday morning [see the more recent photographs taken on Saturday jaunts here], when it occurred to me that I had actually been blogging for over 10 years. It came as quite a surprise to realise this, but in many ways quite rewarding to become aware that my ‘first’ blog post hadn’t been that made back in May 2005, just a few months before leaving my employment at Dewsbury College. As I’ve said before, I’ve always been something of a diary writer, but our conversation yesterday made me realise that I’d also been a blogger for some time too, even before I knew what the word was or meant.

Our conversation had drifted back to the time John and I spent a week cycling from Barmouth (in Wales) to Great Yarmouth (in East Anglia). We’d not realised that it was now over ten years ago (July 1999) since we’d done that trip. We had wanted to cycle from coast to coast and not only did this accomplish that feat at the widest point of the country – but the names rhymed!

John had been showing the cycle trip website to a friend last week and was telling me of his friend’s reaction (incredulity!), when I realised that this was indeed a rudimentary, early blog. We’d photographed our way across the country and kept notes about the journey, which then ended up online as part of my personal website. I had web space at the time from NHL (that might be wrong – they started as Cabletel, then became whatever they were called beginning with ‘n’ and were themselves taken over about the time I moved house and over to BT for my internet). Nevertheless, my ability to edit etc, was lost after my move but I eventually managed to regain the pages and re-post the site a few years ago by simply searching for it (this was before Google offered such a service). I lost some images, but was able to reform it in pretty much the way it was presented originally and to put it back online – back under my control. I’ve never really advertised it as part of my Village e-Learning site – but that’s where it is. Some of the pictures we took that week (on on subsequent Saturday mornings) were later used as part of John’s brilliant SimDis web pages not hosted by TechDis at

This week I’ve been to Birmingham (picture above) once and Leeds twice for work. I learned much more about each city during these visits and although I’ve always liked Birmingham as a city, I’ve similarly always hated Leeds. In both cases – my visits increased my liking for the cities themselves. Well done Leeds. I’ll write more about this later as my interest in Leeds will become a developing theme.

Whilst in Leeds the second time, I was helping Dave Foord and Lilian Soon to deliver a conference/workshop event at The Carriage House for the RSC-YH. This introduced a support service for regional ‘Pathfinder’ bids. We all felt that it went well and now look forward to the contact from delegates to ask for advice and guidance regarding the equipment side of their bids. Whilst there I took this video of Lilian making paper boxes.