Not The Features Ed Blog: Team Talk


We had our usual Features team meeting the other day.

On most Tuesday afternoons, Angela sits down with us to plan future features content. Working to tight deadlines every week, the chance to look up and scan the horizon a year or more ahead is very welcome.

In the office, before lockdown, we’d take our notes and cups of tea off to a breakout area away from our desks.

For the next hour or so, we’d discuss the ideas that our brilliant contributors had sent to us, as well as the ideas we had ourselves for features that readers might like to see in future issues.

This is where we really notice the value of being in a team.

Having four or five different points of view is a real asset. Sometimes, it’s only when you start to defend an idea against someone’s misgivings that you realise it wasn’t such a strong one after all.

Alternatively, the germ of the idea might be good, but it takes a few minutes of everyone making suggestions to fine-tune it into something that will be great for readers.

There is much truth in the old quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one in which they sprang up.”

Virtual venue

Now we’re all working from home, the content of our meetings is the same, but the format is a little different.

Cups of tea, notebooks and animated discussion still feature, though now instead of a break-out area in the office, we join one another on screen in a virtual meeting.

If there’s anything good to come out of the current circumstances, it’s been the pet participation in meetings.

We might not see much of Yvonne’s cat, Peaches, or puppy, little Roo, but we know they’re there.

As you know, Alex is currently on leave, and we’re missing not only him, but also his mischievous home-invading hens (Murphy the cat made the occasional appearance, too).

However, it’s Angela’s cats who are stars of the Features team show these days.

Hardly a week goes by without seeing Zorro or Matilda – usually Matilda – on screen.

She was with us again this week. In true feline fashion, she wouldn’t stay still to have her picture taken.

I got one eventually – but only after a couple of failed attempts.


Where’s Matilda? Photograph by Marion McGivern.


No Angela! Photograph by Marion McGivern.



A screenshot too far. Photograph by Marion McGivern.

Whenever we do make it back to the office, the Features team meeting won’t be the same without Matilda.

Maybe we’ll have to co-opt office cat Marmalade for companionship!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few more of my favourite quotes about teamwork.

These ones definitely feel like they apply to the “Friend”!

Team spirit

No-one can whistle a symphony – it takes a whole orchestra to play it

– Halford Luccock


None of us is as smart as all of us.

– Ken Blanchard


If you take out the team in teamwork, it’s just work. Now who wants that?

– Matthew Woodring Stover

For more from the Features Ed blog, click here.

Marion McGivern

As editor of the cookery, money, pets and eco pages, Marion covers a wide range of regular Features content. Along with the rest of the Team, she enjoys finding interesting features for both the weekly and Special issues that readers will love. Having so much variety every day means that over ten years with the “Friend” has just flown by!