235: Thorney

OS Explorer map 235, Wisbech & Peterborough North: Market Deeping & Crowland – I do not own this map, and had not visited it before starting this blog. Visited for this post 12th March 2020.

Google Maps location links: Rough location of house near Thorney. March.

This post isn’t going to be the most exciting, I’m afraid: like with Ipswich and Leicester, I came to this map area for some work-related training. However, this one was a little different: rather than me being sent to a pre-scheduled open course, my workplace had hired an instructor to lead a private session for a group of us. The training in question was a “transition to manager” day, and had been precipitated by it being noticed that, what with my then employer techspert.io growing quite quickly, several of us had recently become, or were soon going to become, managers for the first time; and it might make sense for there to be some training associated with this.

The house where we had our training day!

Now, it was my job to arrange the logistics for this training, and the instructor suggested that it would be best if we could go somewhere off-site, so as to be fully away from the day-to-day concerns of work. I considered just finding a conference room in Cambridge, but after realising it would be both more fun and cheaper, I ended up instead booking us into a rented house in the countryside for the day, usually used, as far as I’m aware, as holiday accommodation. This house was in the north Cambridgeshire fens, near the village of Thorney, and is what brought me to this map area!

I drove up to the house on this Thursday morning, swinging by the office on the way to collect some practical items like a screen, flipchart, pens and the like; and also picking up a sandwich lunch for everyone later in the day. The others and the instructor joined me at the house. Somewhat unexpectedly for a house in the East Anglian countryside, it was decorated in an African theme – I think it’s sometimes used as some kind of African cultural center – so we had a good time exploring for a little while before our training started!

I have to say, I quite enjoyed the training! I don’t remember the contents in particularly much detail now, given that I’m writing this almost two years later, have switched jobs since then (and also am no longer a manager), but I do recall it being very engaging. There was a lot of discussion about different personality types, how different people will react to things in different ways, have different tendencies and so on, and what this implies for managing well. We also did some little coaching exercises, where we helped each other through real or imagined work problems, which I think actually solved a real work problem in at least one case! The instructor was from a small (maybe one-person?) outfit called Inspire2Achieve, whom I’d recommend, though admittedly I’ve never done any other management training to compare it to.

And… that’s it, really! I did mention I’m writing this rather a while after the event; I didn’t take many photographs, and it being a previous job I don’t have any of the related emails or messages to refer to, which is one of my favourite blog-writing tricks. On the way home in the afternoon I stopped in the village of March for some dinner, and then the day was done!

The RIver Nene in March. My parents’ house in Northamptonshire, where I lived for much of my childhood, is very close to the River Nene, at a much closer point to its source; indeed one of Father Dearest’s favourite walks is to take his dogs for a paddle in it!

Before I leave, there are a couple of notable things about this blog post that I’d like to comment on:

  • Firstly, while this blog post suffered a little from my poor recall of now long-ago events, this post should hopefully be the last one for a very long time (maybe forever!) with this issue: with this post, I’ve in one sense now finally having caught up with my giant blog backlog – a couple of years of lockdowns are good for something! Admittedly, I have, uh, 27 entries to post before I’m actually up to date, but after this post, all the remaining ones are already written (or at least, already written apart from the “previous visits” section”). So, fingers crossed, hopefully I’ll be all caught up in not too many months!
  • Secondly, this trip taking place in mid-March 2020, it was the last new map area I visited before the coronavirus pandemic properly hit, with all its lockdowns and so on: I spent the next three months barely leaving the house. My next post will therefore tell you of the first time I and my friends got away from home after this period of isolation, which was of course very welcome!

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