Monthnotes – May 2023

Monthnotes – May 2023

Today – 31st May 2023 – is our 20th wedding anniversary.

I can’t really believe that Jo and I have been married 20 years. It’s been a privilege to share those years together with such an intelligent, brilliant and lovely woman as my wife. She’s also a truly brilliant mum to our 18 and 16 year old boys.

As I look back over those 20 years it’s the times when the four of us have been together, travelling to new places and sharing new experiences and milestones in life, that are among the happiest memories.

She’s been ever supportive, loving, caring and I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m truly grateful for her being the best friend and companion I could ever have asked for as we’ve gone through the highs and lows of life.

And unfortunately my memories of much of this month are of it being one of those lows.

The first 19 days of May were dominated by my balls, or to be more precise one of them.

I spent more than half the month being 95% sure that I had testicular cancer and then having an operation to remove the dodgy ball.

My recovery from the op went well and I was back to being active pretty quickly. I kept busy doing some awareness raising and trying to normalise men talking about this kind of thing.

Then when I went back to the consultant for the histology results, my wife and I were rendered speechless when we were told it wasn’t cancer.

I was incredibly lucky to be in that 5% where the all the symptoms and tests point to cancer, but the growths were benign.

Because of the poor state the ball was in, it was at risk of becoming cancerous in future and the pain I had before has now gone – so all in all I’m pleased to have had it removed.

The full story and a load of helpful links about male cancers is here.

I took a few days out to recuperate this month after the op, but other than that work’s been busy this month with two ongoing fractional roles, a consultancy project and a new coaching client too.

I’ve also been doing reflecting on the freelance work I’ve been doing in the past five months – exploring what I’ve enjoyed and what pointers the experience gives me for the future.

I’m grateful to Divinia Knowles and Tim Deeson for valuable conversations last week to help me shape my work priorities for after the summer. I’m clear now where I want to focus in my work and have a plan to find some interesting opportunities for the future.

Music this month…

Been enjoying some D&B this month, with this live set from London Elektricity a particular favourite. I’m a sucker for an MC at the best of times, let alone a duo.

Podcasts this month…

I did a lot of walking after my op before I could run and cycle, so I’ve been hunting out some new podcasts. I found Practical Founders with Greg Head as a nice contrast to some of the more “growth at all costs” business podcasts. It’s a series of interviews with founders who’ve bootstrapped their growth, rather than taking outside investment.

Reading this month…

I read a lot this month. I’m going to pick out The Silo Effect by Gillian Tett as the most interesting. It’s an exploration of the downsides of silos in private and public sectors, although it maybe downplays the benefits of specialisation and focus too. It was published more than eight years ago so some of the examples have weathered the test of time better than others, but it’s worth reading to challenge some traditional norms we take for granted in leadership and organisational design.

Running this month…

27 miles, plus 25.4 miles of walking before I was allowed to run again.

Cycling this month…

28.2 miles.


I work with technology-centric businesses as an interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), interim Chief Operating Officer (COO), consultant and advisor. I also write a newsletter called Build about scaling brilliant businesses which you can subscribe to here.