Friday, 4 May 2018

I am working again!

You will have noticed that I have not posted about much of our travels down on the West Coast. I haven't written about spending lovely time in Hokitika, my favouriye place down there, or about all the lovely people we caught up with there. People like
  • Vicki who runs the Heritage Highway Motel and who let us park the motorhome (now definitely called CROW) on her driveway for several days
  • Fiona whom I worked with in DOC for 18 months and who is an absolute treasure as a Project Facilitator, and the most amazingly community-engaged woman I've ever met - she is one of the driving forces behind the development of a Chinese Memorial Garden in Kumara -and she runs a shop in Kumara as well as working 3 days a week in DOC, and she's building a house truck ...
  • Mark and Di whose house we stayed outside in the CROW down near the beach and joined them for drinks and a meal out in Hokitika with their regular Friday night crowd
  • another Mark and Di who live up on the hill in Hokitika - we stayed on the roadway/verge outside Di's house and had a great meal after work (them) one evening
  • Jim and Paula who we caught up with after the Wild Food Festival
  • Shane and Glenda who we caught up with on the street after the WFF as well
  • Suzie who took us out in Ross in her gig behind the two lovely ponies, Breeze and Chico - that was a big thing for her to do, as while the ride was for about an hour or so, the prep for it was much longer - and we had a great time and I will post photos soon, I promise (done - see following post)
  • and the lovely Katrina who we caught up with for lunch in a carpark in the middle of Greymouth - she was coming back from a meeting and heading for Hokitika and David and I were heading back to Westport in the CROW - back to stay with Leonie again.
Clearly our speedy gonzales (not!) narrowboating progress has rubbed off on us for our motorhoming as well - we spent almost all of our time on the West Coast and not even its full extent! The furthest south we got was to Ross (the pony experience with Susie) and the furthest north was to Mokihinui where we stayed a night and watched several kids and a dog having a great time racing back and forth across the rugby field in (and beside and behind) a kids' 4 wheeler - two kids riding at a time and multiple kids and one dog self propelled.

So the distance between those points is 209km, i.e. 145-ish miles. The journey from Picton (where the ferry docks) to Westport is about 360kms, i.e. 245-ish miles, so we did travel a fair bit, but nowhere near as far afield as others do when on a four or five week trip! When I consider that some people come to NZ for 3 weeks and 'see' the whole country, we practically dawdled ...

But anyway, that is all over now and life has taken another unexpected turn. hence the title of the post, that I am working again. Rest assured, it is only short term - and given the pace at which I am working, I wouldn't be able to sustain it for long!

I am helping to scope up quite a large programme of work which has several projects within it, each with multiple workstreams. So my task, given I know very little about the actual work involved, is to bring together the people who do, and artfully get them to do the work of giving me the info during workshops, so I can take all the input away and draw up the required documents (programme management plan, workstream briefs, stakeholder management plan, risk register, issues register, ...) Simple really - but running workshops is tiring business for a 67 year old ...

The week before last David accompanied me on a journey to the South Island so I could interview some of the key players to get an understanding of how they see the programme. (That's why David's birthday dinner was in Fairlie - a beautiful place that we need to bring the CROW when we come back from the UK.)

And then this week, I came home from the South Island on Thursday night after being away since Sunday lunchtime, and thought I would sleep in the next morning - but no: the brain will not stop, dammit! And the same this morning - I went off for my flu shot and took a notebook with me - after all there is an obligatory 20 minute wait after the jab to ensure no ill effects. So that 20 minutes was used to draw up diagrams showing the relationships between some of the workstreams. (And I had started drawing up the diagrams before David delivered a cup of tea and brekkie to me in bed.)

This is a serious affliction I am suffering from, people! Currently, I am meant to be having a rest - and can I relax? Nope!!

However things may improve tomorrow - Sarah, who has worked with me lots previously, is on board as my documentation specialist, and she is arriving tomorrow so we can start hauling together a first draft of the Programme Management Plan - it'll be skeletal, but the skeleton will show where flesh is needed and what form the flesh needs to take.

I still have lots of the output from the workshops to type up so I will do more of that tomorrow and hopefully break the back of it. The participants do note (but not in a complaining way) that I work them very hard in the workshops. Silly me! If I pushed them less, I would not have so much to do afterwards. Note to self: ease up on the Attila the Hun style ...

OK, now I had better release David from the exile - I put a big note on the bedroom door for him not to disturb me as I was sleeping. Seeing as that is not true, best I let him know!

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