Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on May 31, 2012 at 6:18 am

Apologies for the lack of blog last night. It’s amazing what an impact 5-6 beers can have on you following football, hence a quick overview this morning!

Yesterday’s landmark photo was taken in Whittingham Gardens. Whittington Gardens is a small but beautiful place of peace and tranquillity at the heart of London’s financial district. Named after Dick Whittington, the most famous Lord Mayor of London, the gardens are managed by the local authority and are open at all times for local people, tourists and workers to enjoy some respite from the busy streets of the capital.

Thats it for my landmarks. I hope you enjoyed this little feature during May.

My work day was mainly free of meetings, which was unusual, but it gave me a valuable opportunity to catch up on approvals for all sorts of matters.

Budgets were still looming in all my discussions, but thankfully not as prominent in my workload, as the two previous days.

No Twitter press this morning, but back in my my blog later.

There are now 57 days to the Olympics. Yesterdays event that includes bunny hops and loop outs was BMX cycling correctly spotted by Mr Andy Robb.


Today’s event simply includes two laps of the running track. Which distance?

Today’s highlight has to be the fact that I have managed to finally get my blog out (Maybe not for you?).



In Uncategorized on May 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Today a unique thing happened in that a useful application was released for my Windows mobile device!

Thankfully this only come to light at the end of a busy working day, or I am not sure I could have lived with the excitement (how cynical I’ve become)!

Anyhow I will leave you hanging in anticipation of this and my working day, as we deal with the penultimate landmark feature.

The location of yesterday’s landmark photo, which was correctly guessed by Mr Cook was indeed Postman’s Park, hence my reference to my mate Bazza (postman) and the black and white cat reference (of Pat fame – clever eh)!

A quiet space in the City of London is remarkable, but Postman’s Park is unique. Round the corner from St Paul’s Cathedral where the streets are bustling, it contains the Watts Memorial where people who were ordinary, yet extraordinary are remembered in a very beautiful way.

In one corner of the park, easily overlooked under a canopy, there are over 50 plaques, with beautiful lettering hand-painted onto Royal Doulton tiles. Each one details the untimely end of a heroic soul who died trying to save another life. Except they put it much more poetically than that.

Although I’ve not been physically there, I plan to do it over the summer months.

Today’s landmark.


What is this place? The most famous Lord Mayor of London would love this location.

My work day was split today between our HQ and our Bank office.

After some further work on the budget work I achieved the previous day, I’m hoping that this has put us in a position for our Finance guys to do their magic and hopefully this will be sufficient to close it out (but watch this space).

I also had an interesting session with a consultancy business we have worked with before that highlighted a product called Talon Storage. Wonder if anyone has come across this before and explored it as a branch office solution?

With one eye on Twitter again today, there were some interesting stories in the press today.

As mentioned yesterday, BT plan to deliver half a million hotspots at the Olympic games venues. What I did not realise is that they intend to deliver a significant part of this using a feature called FON, in which BT siphons off a portion of bandwidth from the wireless connections it provides to homes and offices in order to give the public a pay as you surf Wi-Fi hotspot. Clever way to make easy money eh! BT article.

Symantec Enterprise Vault declared a leader in the Gartner magic quadrant. How prudent were we that we purchased this product and are just about to go live with this leading email archiving product.

European council signs off reduced mobile roaming charges. How significant that could be for the poor souls that need to use their mobiles when on holiday and get stung for huge bills. Long overdue this one! Mobile article.

The new Windows mobile application is called Photosynth. Apparently you can create panoramic pictures using your still images. The Apple version has been a hit with over 7 million downloads. Watch this space though, as cannot find it yet in Windows Marketplace!

There are are now 58 days to the Olympics. Yesterdays event that includes a men’s world record that is nearly 100 metres and forms part of the Heptathlon and Decathlon is the Javelin.

Today’s event includes bunny hops and loop outs? Really!

Today’s highlight has to be the weather. It can only all go wrong, as we approach the long diamond jubilee weekend!


In Uncategorized on May 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

My real set of wheels are finally back on the road today, as my MG is now roadworthy again!

In amongst the delivery and pickup from the garage, my day has been punctuated with meetings and some interesting technology developments.


Before filling in some of the details, let’s focus on yesterday’s landmark photo, which was taken in Finsbury Circus, hence the clowning about clue!

The exact building and location was correctly spotted by Mr Wells.

Finsbury Circus is, as its name suggests, elliptical with a long axis lying east to west in the City of London. With an area of 2.2 hectares it is the largest public open space within the City’s boundaries. It has an immaculately maintained Lawn Bowls club in the centre, which has existed in the gardens since 1925.

Today’s landmark.


What is this place. One of my best mates Bazza should know, but you would not expect to see a black and white cat here?

My work day today was full of meetings. Literally back to back with staff and a number of suppliers.

Unfortunately the budget work I was pleased with yesterday still remained outstanding, but there was some positive progress made in relation to meetings on our desktop build, Websense (our Data Loss Prevention project) and some staffing matters.

The twitter press raised some interesting matters today. Specifically in relation to consumerisation.

Cisco plan to bin their Cius tablet range in favour of development of their software products. The reason being touted was Bring Your Own Devices! I guess Cisco were targeting the enterprise space, which is clearly not what BYOD is about!

In the mobile space, although Android, Apple and Windows devices are growing their market share, it is Android devices that are taking the majority of share from Symbian and Blackberry! Not really a surprise!

BT to deliver half a million WiFi hotspots at the Olympic venues. Great, but only ideal for BT Openzone customers, as everyone else will have to pay. Only a concern if you even have a Olympic ticket!

Speaking of which, there are now 59 days to the Olympics. Yesterdays event that includes chips, dinks and elbows was Tennis!

Today’s event includes a men’s world record that is nearly 100 metres and forms part of the Heptathlon and Decathlon, as well as being its own event! Easy eh?

Today’s highlight has to be the MG running again. Looking forward to a summer of driving to fishing (only joking)!


In Uncategorized on May 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm

So my May project of cycling to Brighton is now over, I’m looking for my next project to keep me fit and active through the summer months (suggestions on a postcard please – well through my blog feedback).


Ideally my next project will be an half marathon, as it’s high on my list of challenges to compete, so please let me know of any happening in the next 2-3 months (relatively near to London).

Although my body feels pretty good today, I have to say the mind is a tad tired through the lack of sleep!

Thankfully I’m coming to the end of my May challenge, which was to include a daily landmark picture local to our office in Bank.

Yesterday’s landmark building was the Guildhall. The Guildhall been used as a town hall for several hundred years, and is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London and its Corporation. The term Guildhall refers both to the whole building and to its main room, which is a medieval-style great hall. SThree hosted its 25th anniversary here and I have to say it is an incredible building.

Today’s landmark.


Where is this building north of Bank station located? Not easy, but I’m not clowning around today!

My work day today has been full of budgets! So much so that I had to cancel a meeting this afternoon with a key supplier so that I could focus on our headcount projections.

Hopefully it’s now a bit clearer and I’m hoping that we can close this element out tomorrow.

Another subject that is popular at the moment is video conferencing, as the current economic climate and green thinking is making this an obvious initiative to promote. This is great news that the business value this service we provide and so we now need to make sure that our customers are fully refreshed on all aspects of using the technology.

There was some interesting stuff in the general news today with rumours that Facebook may bring out their own mobile products (interesting to see how that goes down) and that TFL may introduce pre-paid WiFi on the tube once the free trial period during the Olympics is over! I wonder how many people will really pay for this considering the service will not function when the train is in a tunnel!

There are now 61 days to the Olympics. Yesterday’s event that includes classes and bells was boxing.

Today’s event includes chips, dinks and elbows? It’s a relatively new event, but it sounds more like a dining moment!

Today’s highlight for me is around video conferencing, as I think both my team and our customers have got the perfect opportunity over the coming weeks to exploit this technology to reduce costs and improve our work life balance using our existing investment and some new features.


In Uncategorized on May 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Today has been a day of recovery after last night’s BHF bike ride to Brighton .

For those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you know we finally got away with 4,700 other people just after 1am.

Myself and Thomas were last to set off, as it was really difficult for us all to keep together.

6 hours and 45 minutes later, we arrived in Brighton after a thankfully mainly uneventful evening. Yes, Thomas had to cycle an hour without a back light, as this bounced off in Caterham, but it was a balmy evening and perfect riding conditions.

I have to say it was an incredible experience and something I am so pleased we have completed. Everyone deserves a medal for overcoming the South Downs at the end.

Yesterday’s landmark building was Fenchurch street station. Fenchurch Street station, also known as Fenchurch Street is one of the smallest railway termini in London in terms of platforms but one of the most intensively operated.

Today’s landmark.


Easy one today. What building is this?

After getting back today, it has been a chilled out day and all I have done is sleep and eat!

It was our town’s fun day and we popped down to get involved, but all I did was eat cake and Tapas and drink beer!

Hopefully the weather was as good with you, as it was for us. It certainly made the beer slide down extremely well!

There are now 62 days to the Olympics. Yesterday’s event that includes grips, mats and braces is Gymnastic parallel bars.

Today’s event includes classes and bells. You’d think you were at school! What event?

Today’s highlight can of course be only one thing, as it goes to all the SThree team and friends who raised over a £1,000 from the ride. Well done everyone!


In Uncategorized on May 26, 2012 at 8:38 am

The big day of our overnight BHF bike ride to Brighton and feeling a tad nervous.


I used to thrive on being nervous when I had big events (especially football), as I always thought it made me do well. Let’s hope the same can be said tonight.

Today I cover two of our other cyclists who are doing the ride. Mike Bonsor and my son Thomas.

Mike is the madman of the team with an history of slightly eccentric behaviour. Poor old Danny will be looking over his shoulder during the race in case darts come his way!

In his spare team, he is also a radio station disc jockey (pop pickers) so I’m wondering whether he will be doing an outside broadcast along the way! Spinning those wheels of steel!

Thomas is the youngest member of the team and although staying up to the early hours of the morning should not be a problem, as he does it all the time at home, there’s no Playstation or music channel to keep him awake

Thomas is a powerhouse on a bike once he gets moving. As with any teenager though, it’s getting him moving!

That’s most of the team complete. Although we have two others, who are friends of Paul, they are lucky, as I don’t know them (yet)! Maybe Paul and Phil may appear tomorrow, so that’s an incentive for them to stay well ahead of me!

Yesterday’s landmark building was 10, Trinity Square and it’s architect was Sir Edwin Cooper. The building site near to the Tower of London was officially opened by the Prime Minister David Lloyd George in 1922. Today it will become a 6 star hotel in time for the Olympics!

Today’s landmark.


Which impressive building is this?

Today was a hazy lazy Saturday.

This morning Grainne attempted to create Eggs benedict and did a pretty good job! It was amazing having breakfast in the garden on a sunny morning! Let’s hope this weather can continue through the diamond jubilee weekend and beyond.

After some tasks that needed completing (taxing the MG, final checks of the bikes and booking a birthday meal for Georgina’s 16th), it’s chill out time to prepare for tonight!

There are now 63 days to the Olympics. Yesterday’s event that includes skeets, traps and has a discipline that includes a deer was Shooting. The deer is one of the disciplines and does not include real animals (thankfully)!

Today’s event includes grips, mats and braces (surely these aren’t dentists)?

Oh well. A bit more chilling before final preparations, which include a sleep and some pasta. If you want to follow our journey overnight, I will be tweeting and updating Facebook along the way.


In Uncategorized on May 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Only 1 day left to the BHF bike ride and the donations are nearly £700. If you have not sponsored us yet, please take time out to do it today. Please!!!!

Yesterday it was the turn of Matt Cook to have the p(micky) taken out of him. Today it’s Danny Sargeant.

Danny is the dark horse of team, as no one really knows his potential when riding (his bike).

He certainly has an history, so if we have one concern, it’s whether he will actually get away from the start on Clapham Common on Saturday night when the clubs are just opening!

Of course the plus side is that Danny is used to arriving late home in the morning in Brighton!

He is certainly one of the younger members of the team with long flowing locks (oh how we all remember those days), and I’d hope that he has the staying power!

As we only have a day to go, tomorrow I will cover two of the four ringers in our team, who are Mike (madman) Bonsor and Thomas (Lengy) Lengthorn.

Yesterday’s landmark pub beneath the bridge on the south side of Cannon Street was the Anchor. The previous day was Southwark Cathedral, which I overlooked in my blog yesterday, so apologies for that.

Today’s landmark (oh I am glad we only have 6 more days of these).


Quite simply, what is the name of this building, as I only came across it for the first time a week or so back?

Today at work was another budget focused day. Although we did the reforecast a week or two ago, we still have some budget challenges and most of this has been about closing these out. Unfortunately I still think there will be some loose ends next week!

Apart from that, we had a core IS management team meeting, which we do weekly. The main subject of which was our Connect the World project. The core management team includes the CIO Lance Fisher and his direct reports, so it was an opportunity for everyone to get up to speed on the design phase.

Another meeting this PM was regarding Apple devices and our policy around them. As everyone in the industry knows, what a tricky subject this is with absolutely no defined answers! At the moment, we have a strategy, but like everyone else, this has issues!

There are now 64 days to the Olympics. Yesterday’s event that includes aces, chucks and cutees is beach volleyball (in our weather?).

Today’s event includes skeets, traps and has a discipline that includes a deer. Blimey, are we sure this is an Olympic event?

It’s Friday, my wife and son are meeting me from work, and we are off to the pub(s) to enjoy our summer. Enjoy your weekends.


In Uncategorized on May 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Only 2 days to the BHF bike ride and I’m pleased to see the donations are now at £645, which is a fantastic effort. To encourage more donations, my Twitter profile picture is now BHF’d as well!

Yesterday I introduced you to one of our team, Paul Chandler, whose profile went down well! Today it’s the turn of Matt Cook.

Matt is clearly the Lance Armstrong of the team, although you don’t want to be following him after he has had his breakfast. Something some colleagues of ours found to their cost when cycling to Paris.

Matt, with his white socks and Sandals after a race, defines fashion. Trust me!

He made me grin today when he actually explained that his problem is what he does when he arrives in Brighton around 3-4am, which is clearly only a problem for the semi-pro cyclists, as I will arrive at a perfect time for breakfast!

Today’s landmark.


What pub is hidden below the train on the south side of Cannon Street station?

Today at work, it was just one of those days, where it seemed there were more questions than answers! Whether that be from emails, meetings or verbal exchanges.

You get to the point, which I did, which was to plough through and hope that tomorrow brings some real positives!

Was there a highlight? I suspect the personal side made this today, as I left on time and due to train issues, I decided to grab a beer on the way home whilst London enjoys its early summer!

There are now 65 days to the Olympics. It was really funny yesterday, as I
posted this picture and everyone thought I had taken part in the torch relay!


In fact, I had this picture taken at a recent Samsung event. The clue is in the suit!

Yesterday’s event that requires the participants to wear gloves and do a lot of drawing is Archery.

Today’s event includes aces, chucks and cutees! Can you guess?


In Uncategorized on May 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Only 3 days to the BHF bike ride and I’m pleased to see the donations have come to fruition with us bypassing the £500 mark today. Thanks to everyone for contributing and lets try to make a grand!

In the build up to the race, I thought it only appropriate to give some insight in to the members of our SThree team, and today I start with Paul Chandler, the grand old fox of the team (or Mr Darcy to the ladies).

Paul is now approaching the best years of his life (basically old) and has a good road cycling pedigree with three London to Paris rides under his belt.

His fitness levels are incredible, as well as his determination. If any concerns, it’s trying to make sure he don’t get his hands on my Rocky bars!

It’s likely we won’t get much chance to talk on Saturday, as Paul will probably be about 2 hours in front of me!

On to Yesterday’s landmark picture, which was related to to Heron Tower, the tallest building in the City of London, which has a 70,000 ltr fish tank in its lobby.

Today’s landmark.


What cathedral is hiding behind the modern buildings?

Today I was at Bank all day.

In the morning we had a full IS management team meeting, which was followed by a review of our Business Relationship strategy with Rebecca Smith, one of my direct reports.

After a swift lunch with my niece, Hayley, who works around the corner, to discuss her web site, my afternoon became available with some scheduled meetings disappearing.

This gave me the opportunity to look at some challenges around budgets and some associated purchases that need clarification on how we account for them.

Today was also the first opportunity for me to get real life experience of our new archiving solution for Outlook via Exchange. As you all know, it’s been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait for a 10gb mailbox!

There’s still some support material and communications to get organised for the go live for our customers, but it’s looking good.

There are now 66 days to the Olympics.

Yesterday’s event that includes a surface that is 20ft by 44ft and you win by getting to 21 points is Badminton.

Today’s event requires the participants to wear gloves and do a lot of drawing?

The highlight of the day has to go to the archiving. It’s been a long time coming!


In Uncategorized on May 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Only 4 days to the BHF bike ride. £325 raised so far. Come on, let’s raise another £175!

Our current plan is to start around midnight on Saturday and I will be attempting to tweet on route via my @garrylengthorn twitter account. There are 3 stops on route from Clapham Junction, so hopefully you will get updates from these points, as I’m not sure I am that confident to do tweets on the move, but you never know!

If all goes well, I’m hoping that we will arrive in Brighton before 8am. Just in time for breakfast!

Somehow on Saturday, we need to get some shut eye during the day / early evening and then also eat so that we have lots of energy.

Yesterday’s landmark picture was related to Tower 42, the second tallest building in the city of London after Heron Tower, which is 756ft high. I actually have a CIO event booked at Tower 42 in June, so I might have to wear my blinkers that evening, as I dont have a great head for heights!


Todays poser relates to Heron Tower. What 70,000ltr feature exists in the lobby?

Today I ventured away from Bank for the day and was at a Henley Partnership event at their Business School. Today’s subject was Business Success Through Customer Service Excellence.

As normal with Henley, it was an excellent day with some interesting material that hopefully I can use as part of our strategy to transform our Service function, as their lecturers always simulate debate and introduce new ideas.

The Henley partnership is a great opportunity for a number of senior staff at SThree. Today three of our sales team from the north, Amsterdam and New York were also present, as well as approximately thirty other staff representing some major UK businesses, whose services range from property to safety equipment.

As I caught up with my emails later, I got notified of making the press from a former colleague.

Here’s the article that relates to Mobile Device Management.

This week TechTarget, next week the Guardian!

There are now 67 days to the Olympics.

Yesterday’s event that includes a Keirin and Omnium and makes you go around in circles was Track Cycling. I believe both of these events are sprints.

Today’s event includes a surface that is 20ft by 44ft and you win by getting to 21 points?

The highlight of the day has to go Tom Tom. Considering my day has all been about service excellence, the repair of my Tom Tom has been a really seamless process under it’s warranty with expectations clearly laid out at each stage of the process. Now this is what I call good service.

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