It's that time of year again...

So I'm on another aircraft this time heading for Chicago, IL. Since I left IBM I've been flying quite a bit. Back and for to Geneva, Nice and Buffalo and whilst I enjoy air travel, being away from home is more of an issue now than it used to be. Having two children turn up in our lives has made Marissa and I value our time together even more. I'm also very involved in the kids daily routines so I miss it and them when I'm not there.This flight to Chicago will then join a flight to Buffalo so that I can spend the rest of the week meeting with the USA teams of GSX. Being the Technical Services Manager means that I have to do annual reviews and I prefer to do these face to face if at all possible. I think it's important to get the feeling from your team members as to how they are performing and feeling about their jobs. If any of them are reading this, then I hope you realise how important this is to me.

After my week in the office meetings, a couple of dinners and some sleep I will head down to Orlando, FL for a week in the "Happiest place on earth!" and the extremes of Lotusphere 2012. But before all that kicks off, I get to indulge one of my vices and go ride motorbikes with friends. Now that I don't work over the weekend putting together the excellent Collaborative Solutions lab I get to go play for the weekend. So I get to join the, now annual, LS hog ride. But anyone that knows me and knows that I won't ride a Harley Davidson by choice. So I have rented a Triumph Thruxton for the weekend in answer to all the American metal I thought I'd bring some pure British beef to the table. More on that at the weekend.

So this year I hear that the team are doing great things with the Collaborative Solutions lab and you really must go and see them up on the Europe corridor in the Dolphin hotel. I have no idea what they are doing in total this year, but I know the team and they will make sure it's something special. From XPages to Sametime or Portal they will have quite special tricks up their sleeves and what's more, they will show you how you can do it too. I will certainly be making an early stop in my LS schedule to find out what's new.

Really looking forward to the challenge of the next few weeks, whether that is meetings with the team or trying to stay awake long enough to present at Lotusphere on Wednesday and Thursday. Yes the Matt White and Tim Clark show will be rolling back into town again. This year we are just doing XPages Blast in the Best Practises track. Matt and I are really looking forward to sharing another 30 top tips with everyone again. See you there!