Scrum Retrospective for Diwali

Seeing as most members of our Agile Scrum team are based in India, and with Diwali coming up on 4th November, I wanted to facilitate a Retrospective that incorporated this significant religious festival.

Below is a simple board I put together for our team. It got an amazing response, arguably the best since the team was formed in April this year. For anyone else currently doing similar with their teams I hope it proves to be a useful kick-start.

Diwali: A Retro for Good Over Evil

Credit to The Virtual Agile Coach, who’s Diwali board inspired me to create my own – https://www.thevirtualagilecoach.co.uk/post/7d83be43

And, for anyone wishing to brush up their knowledge on the Festival of Light, check out this short video which brings to life the story in an easy to understand way:

There are lots of fascinating elements and unique celebrations to the Festival of Diwali, so why not take up the chance to learn something new!

**

Found this content useful? Please consider donating the price of a cup of coffee to my funding page:

Ko-Fi

**

A Song For Every Day of the Week

Monday

The Boomtown Rats – “I Don’t Like Mondays”

Tuesday

Burak Yeter – “Tuesday”

Wednesday

Macklemore – “Wednesday Morning”

Thursday

Knapsack – “Hey Thursday”

Friday

Katy Perry – “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)”

Saturday

Twenty One Pilots – “Saturday”

Sunday

No Doubt – “Sunday Morning”

Notable Mentions:

New Order – “Blue Monday”

The Cure – “Friday I’m in Love”

Sam Fender – “Saturday”

Whigfield – “Saturday Night”

The Commodores – “Easy”

Craig David – “7 Days”

Less Notable Mentions:

Rebecca Black – “Friday”

Deary me.

**

Enjoy this content? Please consider donating the price of a cup of coffee to my funding page:

Ko-Fi

**

Alice’s Signature “Three Ingredient” Cooking (Alias “Stodge Dinner”)

A couple of videos that showcase just the level of my culinary abilities. I’d caveat it with something like, “it had been a long day in the office and/or it was 23:00 in the evening”, but it wasn’t. It was 19:00 and it was me, being me.

Part One – Preparation and Cooking

Part Two – Finishing Touches and the Taste Test

Oh, and here is the pastry I mentioned in the video, the free one.

I think it was a citrus tart. It tasted of lemons. It was going out of date that day, so someone came up to me and asked if I wanted it. Five days after said expiry date, I ate it (because that’s the kind of classy girl I am).

So, who wants to hire me as their private chef?

**

Enjoy this content? Please consider donating the price of a cup of coffee to my funding page:

Ko-Fi

**

Photo of the Week – “Fish Eyes”

Well, seems Marlin has been enjoying himself down the local aquarium.

From the makers of Finding Nemo, “Finding Marlin…in the gentleman’s club”

**

Enjoy this content? Please consider donating the price of a cup of coffee to my funding page:

Ko-Fi

**

“Another Chance” is SUCH a Throwback Banger

You know what song I recently rediscovered? “Another Chance”, by Roger Sanchez.

And if not for the track itself, then for this surprisingly emotive music video:

“Can’t come inside.”

“Why?”

“Heart’s too big.”

Things like that are deeper on a level that I never really picked up when I first heard the song.

Given this track came out in 2001 (yes, it’s 20 years old), growing up it was one of the first music videos I remember seeing with a story to tell. The actors are relatable in their looks, they talk over the track, the DJ artist is visually non existent. While the idea of a woman carting a massive physical heart around New York City isn’t particularly believable, the message and sentiment behind it resonated for thousands (if not millions) of people.

Compare this to its industry-defining successor, Eric Prydz’s “Call on Me” which came out 3 years later, in 2004.

It’s a banger, but as a result did we really need to have five years of music videos filled with this?

Fun fact, every time you watch “Perfect”, a Feminist dies.

Also, another fun fact, “Another Chance” features a sample of Toto’s “I Won’t Hold You Back” (as if you needed more reason to love this song).

**

Please support unpaid writers, like me, by donating to my funding page:

Ko-Fi

**

You’re Welcome

I sent a thank you card to one of the restaurants I frequented when I made a solo staycation to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

(God knows what I wrote inside, I can barely remember what I ate for lunch five minutes ago.)

Whatever its contents were, The Northern Whig clearly enjoyed them enough to prop it up on their fancy bar and share it on their Instagram story.

Caption reads: Such a thoughtful thank-you card from @aeb.thewriter

You’re welcome guys, hope to visit again soon. x

**

Please support unpaid writers, like me, by donating to my funding page:

Ko-Fi

**

Geology, Politics and Guinness: My Week in Belfast

Just back, having spent a week in the lovely city of Belfast (capital of Northern Ireland, UK).

I had a wonderful time visiting The Giants Causeway, drinking Guinness, admiring political murals, drinking my weight in coffee, absorbing the industrial significance of the Titanic…getting through a lot of local gins. It was a cultural whirlwind. Best of all, it was unbelievably sunny; it didn’t rain once!*

* – apart from the ten minutes it pelted it down, but at that point had just paid my entrance ticket to spend some time inside Belfast’s notorious Crumlin prison. (I swear I’m a normal human being deep down.)

Hopefully there will be a video coming up soonish (when I get a spare day to pull everything together), but in the meantime here are a selection of choice snaps from my staycation.

**

Please support unpaid writers, like me, by donating to my funding page:

Ko-Fi

**

How I Got Free Stuff From Innocent Drinks

Ah, the great immortal question; how does one get free stuff from large companies?

Over the years, I seem to have developed a knack for getting free stuff, whether it be from Jordan’s Cereals, who sent me a crate of snack bars and breakfast cereals, down to vouchers from an independent coffee house.

My most recent acquisition? Innocent Drinks. Namely, a bumper bundle of blue spark smoothies.

So, how did I get all this for free, I hear you cry.

How I got free stuff from Innocent Drinks

The honest, simple, answer? I was a nice human being.

I sent a note to say how much I enjoyed Innocent Drinks’ online content, also to say thanks for the continued efforts of those in the supply chain who have continued to through the pandemic.

About four months after my first contact, I got an email from a delightful member of the customer services team.

Electronic email exchanges ensued. Before long I was telling them about my former mermaid housemate and then conversations quickly unravelled into our favourite scenes from the film Splash.

I say “our”, there were multiple customer service personnel involved.

Several weeks later, Innocent asked if I’d be interested in getting some freebies to say thanks for lightening their collective days (and for reminding them of Tom Hanks at his 80s finest).

This is what I got delivered:

Perfectly insulated in a compostable protective layer. So very green of them.

There was also this lovely little note:

It reads:

Hey Alice,

Here are some of your faves to say thank you for your top-notch writing skills.

Enjoy,

Innocent

So there you go. My experience of getting free stuff from the Innocent Drinks brand. Don’t be a jerk, be kind and be prepared to sit through a lot of mermaid-related media to ensure your banter game is on top-form.

**

Please support unpaid writers, like me, by donating to my funding page: Ko-Fi (formerly Buy Me a Coffee)

**

That’s When the Cleaning Fumes Got to Me

You know how it is. It’s a Friday night, you’re a single woman with the world at your fingertips and anything is possible. You could go out, let your hair down or…you could stay in and give your kitchen a deep clean.

Thing is, I’m not even embarrassed to admit this. In the same way I’m not at all ashamed to say the only bottles this girl was demolishing the other night were these:

(Obviously in non-drinking, sense. Please don’t call 111.)

With cleaning plans firmly lodged in my head, I changed out of my dress and put on a black vest, thus transforming me into a low-budget search engine result for “contemporary dancer near me”.

(No refunds for crimes against the aeroplane dance move.)

First item in my line of cleaning sight (yes, this was genuinely how I spent my Friday night), the fridge. Breaking this mighty deliverable down into smaller, manageable, chunks (who said bringing the day job into personal life isn’t exotic?), I went for the bottom drawer first.

This was followed by a healthy amount of neighbour stalking / Alice rambling (feat. actual cleaning).

Several hours later, and after inhaling quite a considerable about of cleaning fumes in a confined space, this happened.

I’m not going to explain nor apologise. I sent it to my close friends and the responses speak for themselves.

So that’s how I spent my crazy Friday night, what about you?

**

Please support unpaid writers, like me, by donating to my funding page: Ko-Fi (formerly Buy Me a Coffee)

**

It’s Official: I’m a FULLY Vaxxer!

This is my obligatory public service announcement that I’ve now had my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination. Whoop! Go me/science/go-away pandemic.

And, because I’m also that kind of person, I used it as an excuse to post a number of letters on the way home. That’s right, I’m so productive!

I spent the vaccination part of my appointment talking to the nurse about my fabulous taste in dresses (best two minutes of any girl’s life) and the fifteen minutes wait time afterwards reading a book. I could have taken a photo of either one of these two activities but it really wasn’t that exciting. Posting letters in a pillar box, that was more exciting.

In short, the process to get both my vaccines was so laid back, it was virtually horizontal. All super friendly people, with big smiles and even bigger bottles of hand sanitiser.

I’m not going to get overly-preachy, but I’d highly encourage anyone to get jabbed (*if it’s something that’s offered to you and something you can medically take).

Still unsure? Browse information published on medically recognised websites, log onto your national health webpages (in the UK, anything endorsed by the NHS), talk to medicine women/men. Don’t listen to idiotic turnips, the ones who own little more in the technical department than a cheap keyboard and have way too much time on their hands to write whacky blogs (oh, wait…)

Anyway, this is my little bit to inform people that yes, I’ve had my second dose of the Covid vaccine and yes, that does mean 14 days from now there’s a heightened risk that I’ll start running around and hugging people for no apparent reason. Also, I may start crying. No reason, I just might.

You have been warned.

**

Please support unpaid writers, like me, by donating to my funding page:

Ko-fi (Formerly Buy Me a Coffee)

**