Yearly Archives: 2021

Jammy, trick or treat?

Getting out and about is now starting to add up again financially. Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Pret-a-manager, a little treat here and there is all very tasty, however now noticeably more expensive than the tea and biscuits I have got used … Continue reading

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The importance of verbal communication

Human communication can sometimes be a strange and subtle thing. I was reminded of this, this week, in an online exchange where there was a misunderstanding, and things should I say, got a little testy. I am not sure what … Continue reading

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Rain and shine

This week, for many, was half-term holidays in the UK and the weather finally cooperated with some glorious sunshine… Having come off what was a busy week, the week before, somehow working inside seemed harder than normal… it all just … Continue reading

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The digital balancing act

This week with much of the talk, and data, pointing to a potential third wave of cases many of us have been thinking about what happens next. Certainly, we are all fed up with lockdowns and being stuck at home, … Continue reading

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Extendy time is back…

It is amazing what a burst of sunny weather does, things definitely feel like they are getting more back to normal. It is great, but for one thing. Once again time has evaporated. With the starting of work travel, activities, … Continue reading

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Chatting away….

Staring into the long weekend at the end of a long week we are all hoping the weather improves. The start of this year has been a long haul and judging by the volume of traffic on the road, everyone … Continue reading

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Lateral reality… coming into focus

This last week was a travel week, the first for a while and as familiar as it all was, undoubtedly a few things have changed… Masks. They have of course been mandatory for a while, but with all the talking, … Continue reading

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Smörgåsbord

This week was the week I had my first in-person meeting. It was a prospect that generated both excited anticipation and a feeling of slight nervousness. It had been 15months after all. The day arrived and a few things were … Continue reading

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Socially distanced coincidence?

A couple of new developments expected this week with the prospect of lockdown restrictions being further relaxed here. The timing of all this has come as a bit of a relief as I am due to be away for a … Continue reading

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The bag where time stood still

In all likelihood, I will be out on the road next week. This will be the first time in over a year workwise, and I am really looking forward to it. It should be different and a refreshing change, I … Continue reading

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One cup or two?

Another week and judging by the number of pieces of paper on my desk, indicating things to do (and to remember – it’s all very high tech!), things are looking up. It is now likely I will be out and … Continue reading

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Remotely fun or serious…?

There were a couple of interesting developments this week all set against a continued gradual improvement and stabilization of the pandemic in Europe. There was a change, returning to the office, it is now starting to seem real. Conversations are … Continue reading

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Treat Temptation

Everything is starting to get strange, even, dare I say, a little normal. Evening sports activities have now started again and so have been out and about, albeit as the evening taxi service. This new ‘normality’ is resulting in a … Continue reading

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Take a deep breath and plan to return

In my interactions this week everyone pretty much mentioned being busy, really busy. It does seem economic and activity levels seem to be trying to make up for lost time, with average debt down, and indeed the banks seeing fewer … Continue reading

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Time to upgrade?

This last week I tried to make an effort to upgrade lunch. After a year of lockdown and soggy ham sandwiches, I figured there is still a little time to enjoy a change before a return to office canteen food. … Continue reading

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Looking forward at things, things looking up

This week I had the pleasure of chairing a couple of events, namely the Lending Technology Think Tank with Credit Connect and a webinar on Breathing Space with Aryza. Lending Technology Think Tank. From the discussion, there was undoubtedly a … Continue reading

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Let us eat cake…

This week it felt like spring returned and we arrived at that strange time of year when it is warmer outside than inside. It is now of course entirely possible to spend the morning working away, shivering with the heating … Continue reading

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Office Cakeism

Increasingly there are discussions taking place not just about when to return to working in an office environment, but how. Which meetings, how to structure these for a blended remote/office environment, how exactly is all this going to work? It … Continue reading

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A long time ago, in a galaxy not far away…

With this week being largely vacation the pace of life slowed somewhat. My cat for one seemed to notice, or at least I noticed back. It seemly spent the week practicing Jedi mind stares on me for food and treats… … Continue reading

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Vacationing at home…

With 2 back-to-back bank holidays in the UK, normally at this time of year, many of us would be off to sunnier climes, on vacation. Last year, of course, was different, we were in full lockdown and at this moment … Continue reading

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Video delivery…

Last week has been the run-up to Easter and the question of the week was why do things always seem to get busier right before a few days off? Why does it always feel like a rush to the finish … Continue reading

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Making hay while the sun shines…

This week we have finally, and officially, been allowed out again. With warmer weather in the UK, lower COVID case numbers we seem to have grasped the opportunity and been out in droves. Certainly, the traffic on the road increased … Continue reading

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One year on…

This week marked a milestone. One year since the start of lockdown started and a year since these weekly observations started. Sometimes it is worth looking back… how we seemed to be in complete shock at the time, stuck at … Continue reading

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Engines ready?

From on ro-ar.com This week seemed a week of reflection. Attending a few of webinars it seems a few of us were in the same mode too. The spurt of activity post-Christmas seems to have waned, investment-ready, but the button … Continue reading

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…don’t pave the cow path

With schools back, daily life is increasingly resembling some form of normality. However, Easter is around the corner and thoughts are now turning to summer holidays. The potential for continued travel restrictions over the summer was not great news this … Continue reading

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… and the orchestra plays on

From on ro-ar.com What is up in the second charge mortgage and car finance market? New figures from the FLA this week show new business fell by 40% YOY in January and t was a similar situation in the consumer … Continue reading

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The work-life-school balance

With many schools in the UK restarting last week, this week marks a big step for many parents… the end of homeschooling. Hopefully a change in the right direction for all of us. Some quick observations so far. Time seemed … Continue reading

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Creatively creating time. Time to think and to get stuff done.

From on ro-ar.com An odd week this week. It seemed like there was not a lot going on however news-wise, in Collections and Recoveries that is! Maybe this was just more of a function of attention being elsewhere, rather than … Continue reading

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Saying a lot by saying nothing

This last week was busy, juggling a few priorities, trying to keep on top of things. How we managed all this when we were commuting to the office, travelling to clients, and running the evening taxi service for family, now … Continue reading

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The Art of Digital

There was quite a bit in the news this week, what with the budget in the UK and the imminent start of relaxation of restrictions in the UK. Most of us here are hoping that this is the last lockdown … Continue reading

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Un-lockdown v 2.0

Finally, it feels as if things are looking up; Pandemic case numbers are down, the vaccine reached 20m 1st doses, schools due to return & this weekend was positively spring-like. Inevitably discussion is now turning to what will happen next. … Continue reading

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Growing guidance – a new baseline

The big development this week was the release, from the FCA, of finalised guidance for treatment around vulnerable customers. Much of this reflects some of the best practices we already see within financial services and other leading industries, and indeed … Continue reading

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The grapes of sloth

Another weekend passes and the weather has finally started to get a little warmer, even a few early flowers out. Spring will cheer us all up no doubt, and with lower COVID numbers there are definite reasons for optimism… long … Continue reading

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Half term – half time

Things seemed to slow this week. Maybe it was because it was half term at school or maybe we are just more in a rhythm. Mind you in the wider world there were still a few stories that caught the … Continue reading

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Brrrring on Spring

Last weekend felt like spring and by contrast this weekend back in the deep freeze. However, out on the bike for a ride, there were still lots of people also outside too. At this point I think we all need … Continue reading

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Mining new data for new value

With the move of much of our lives online, digital interaction has now become almost everyday. Development and configuration does take time however and this week I seem to have mainly spent setting up some digital infrastructure behind the scenes … Continue reading

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Click and Collect – going off my trolley

We have all been locked in for a few weeks now and it’s clear we are all getting a bit stir crazy. Out walking everyone is just so friendly these days, stopping for a chat or say hello. It is … Continue reading

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Peak Digital: Are we starting to see some limits?

With lockdown, many of us have transformed how we work, shop and use services from companies. As a result, and also through necessity, there has been widescale digital implementation and adoption. New habits have been created for employees and customers … Continue reading

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The new business casual?

Another weekend and lockdown fatigue is starting to set in again. It has happened quicker this time than last. There certainly seem to be less novelty video calls at home, quizzes at work, and merriment with memes on the phone. … Continue reading

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Viral Opinions – Lessons from a crisis

With all the talk of vaccines, delivery and contracts this week much of the news from the financial services industry again seemed lost in the mix. It was still there, but for the moment COVID the vaccine scandal has dominated … Continue reading

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Return to New Normal or Nearly Normal

Everything picked up this week, a real sense of momentum and movement, which I sense has cheered us all up. We even had snow today, which really helped break the monotony of lockdown. Everyone was outside it seemed and the … Continue reading

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How to climb a mountain – a step at a time

This week, the general stupor from the holidays seemed to lift and we all found ourselves standing in bright sunshine, staring at each other. It dawned, maybe, just how high the mountain of work for 2021 is. A sense of … Continue reading

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New Year – Déjà Vu

Another week gone and definitely back into the lockdown routine… Not going out, not meeting folks, and lots of tea with biscuits; my excitement this weekend… defrosting the freezer. Roll-on spring, longer days, and the vaccine… at this point I … Continue reading

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Moving on and moving on up…

Two weeks into the year and a couple of themes are already emerging. Complexities: Rising complexities with trade, increased COVID levels, with new variants, is all leading to a real sense of unease on the economy and going forward more … Continue reading

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Double humpf day

What a crazy week that was. Not only were we back to work, but also whisked off into another lockdown, schools off, homeschooling, COVID cases rising and then towards the end of the week – a late night watching developments … Continue reading

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6 months in 5 days – the first week of 2021

It has been quite the first week of the year. Back to work after the holidays A new lockdown, with a spiraling pandemic Brexit/End of the transition period, with a loss of trade freedoms with the EU starting to bite … Continue reading

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Humpf day

For many of us, today is humpf day… the last day of holiday before we return to normality; work, school and of course that which cannot be put off any longer, new year diets. I am not quite sure what … Continue reading

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Forest for the trees: Some outlandish predictions for 2021

The week between Christmas and New Year is always difficult. Most of us are huddled at home, in hiding and pretending the world has stopped for a week. For some, this year, with COVID levels continuing to rise, has of … Continue reading

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