Fundamental career rethink, new arrival


That might be a bit of an exaggeration, as I’m sure I will end up accidentally running some other massive programme at some point. But, I must face facts, I did not enjoy the Wales & Borders rail franchise programme.

A Great Career Opportunity

There is no doubt that my senior team at Amey Strategic Consulting did me a great favour by putting me as the Programme Manager. And for that I need to thank them. The ego and the ‘being in charge’ appealled. And the working with a great, ever-so-hard working team will not be forgotten. Katie and Ian in particular, and Neil, James and Andy himself, all must be noted and thanked.

Trouble being, two major issues.

  1. I don’t want a career where I run massive programmes – I’ve always avoided programme management (and definitely should’ve been bolder and braver and said that “no, thanks, I don’t want that”).
  2. I got very worked up and stressed out by it. There is a lot of additional stress management and ‘how I operate’ that I want to / and how really have to investigate and sort out.

I will look to write a good deal about no. 2, above. It’s a crucial thing and I think much shared by lots of other people.

Also, I hesitate (but only for a millisecond) to write, I have good reason to believe that all my baggage about our imminent arrival is a considerable contributory factor. See below.

I will be looking to do some other Asset Management consultancy-type work. I’ll write about this in another post I am sure, but essentially my wife and I have decided I will take a year off for a Fundamental Career Rethink.


My wife won’t be immensely pleased, I know, when I post this picture. But it’s the only one in focus of her up a ladder when 4 months pregnant. I’d say, and that’s ’cause I know – and also there is an enormous grin on her face, that she was enjoying painting.

Blogged 180711 Asturias - AJTH painting

And, any observant readers will note that outside looks verdant and green. And provided the additional information that this was July 2018, they would then ask: “where were you redecorating, exactly?”.

But that is for another post on Our place in the Asturias.

The really big news this year was that any second now (as I write in November), our first baby will arrive.


So we are both quietly mildly alarmed at the ‘intervention’ this little one will make in our lives.

We’ve been enjoying wine and Argentina etc together so much and so well. Hmm, let’s see how can integrate the little “well-done sum” into how we like to be.

Been kicking a great deal, and some strong stretching out has been the case recently. No response to my tapping of prime numbers though (1, 3, 5, 7, 11). Disappointing.

In almost every way, Anna has been very happy. No sickness (isn’t that just unfair?) and not even that massive or uncomfortable at 8.75 months.
We are hoping for a hypno-birthing led calm, confident and gentle birth. Of course, we understand anything could happen.

There is a list of names in front of me. I wonder what we will call the little Loaf? This poem Anna read to me months and months ago. And just reduced me to tears, and my dan-tien hopping and flipping. Wonderful.

Over and out.

Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.
Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.

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