Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Flowers R US

Friday 25th Jan

Trevor was interviewed on the Fox Business Network TV channel this morning, broadcast live from London to the USA. The topic was ‘Effective Management’ and the simple steps that managers can take to be effective in the workplace. It was Trevor’s first TV interview and he had no idea of the questions. He did really well!

Wednesday 30th Jan

Other than the above, it’s been a really quiet week for both us. February is quite busy for Trevor but it will be mayhem from March onwards for both of us as bookings for our ‘Trust Me I’m A Patient’ workshops are flying in.

The weight-loss regime feels like an uphill struggle as I’ve only managed to lose 3 pounds in a month. Oh well, in the words of the US country rock band Lonestar, “Walking's easy when the road is flat.......the Good Lord gave us mountains so we can learn how to climb”.

On Friday, we’re going to see a woman about a dog. Watch this space!

To make up for a short blog post, here’s something trivial. If I was a flower, I’d be a dandelion: not much to look at but sturdy and can take root anywhere. (I’m also a tasty treat for guinea pigs). My husband would be a carnation: attractive, fragrant, great value, long-lasting and available all year round.

If you were a flower, what type would YOU be?

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Soft Soap

Thursday 17th Jan

Whoa, what a day!! I ran around like a headless chicken, a blue-arsed fly and a dog chasing its tail. However, the evening was rather pleasant, as Trevor and I arrived at the Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry to the filming of BBC Question Time. Neither of us was selected to ask our questions to the panel. See Trevor’s blog for more info. I thought my question about Britain’s responsibility to the children in the Czech Republic who are still living in caged beds, worthy of a response. However, it wasn’t deemed a popular enough topic and the BBC decided that Cabinet Minister Peter Hain’s undeclared donations scandal far more important. Tut.

Sunday 20th Jan

Trevor and I attended a service at the Holy Trinity Brompton church on the Brompton Road in London (near Harrods). Nicky Gumbel, one of the founders of the Alpha courses (exploring the meaning of life), is the vicar of the HTB and we find him so inspirational. Even if you’re not a Christian it’s worth downloading his heart-warming, intelligent, thought-provoking and witty sermons, available from the HTB website.

My son lives in West London and we called to see him after the service. He’s a university student and he lives with 6 other male university students and an assortment of ‘guests’. Judging by the state of the house, the guests include the tiny, itchy variety, found in beds, sofas and carpets. The bacterial type was also present in the toilets and I didn’t dare look in the fridge. I realised that probably the best place for the lads to hide any valuables was under the soap.

We had planned to attend a poetry performance in Leamington Spa this evening but we were reeled in by the TV which called out, “Watch ME instead!” We caught up on the past week’s programmes such as Torchwood (a tad disappointing) Moving Wallpaper & Echo Beach (Ben Miller is brilliant), Jam & Jerusalem (Dawn French is a hoot), Kingdom (love it) and Lark Rise to Candleford (just fab). I also worked out how to copy programmes from Sky+ on to DVD and whooped with joy. It doesn’t take much to please me.

Monday 21st Jan

Today has been billed as the ‘most depressing day of the year’ but going back to bed with the person you love brightens the darkest of days :-)

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Cross Country Runs

Thursday 10th Jan

Trevor and I delivered a ‘Trust Me I’m A Patient’ Workshop at the Widnes Viking Rugby League Football Club in Widnes, Cheshire. This was for a group of 46 participants from a Primary Care Trust in Merseyside. Click
here for more information about our workshops.

Having been constipated for nearly 3 days, today was the day my sluggish system chose to start working. Typical. Mind, you, nerves played a big part. This particular workshop involves me acting out 3 (scripted) characters. I play a disgruntled receptionist, an 85-year-old patient and an arrogant doctor. Trevor and I had decided at the last minute that I should also play the Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust. This was unrehearsed, unscripted, un-everything and subconsciously my bowels reacted in …..well, I wouldn’t say nerves exactly ……. just abject terror. After about the 5th visit to the loo our workshop commenced, my bowels switched themselves off and my usual three characters sprang into action (but not at the same time – I’m not that good). As it happened, one of the participants bravely took on the Chief Executive role and I was tempted, just for a second, to hug her. Trevor and I hug each other, our friends and most people we know in fact but we don’t hug NHS management people – they belong to a different species. The homo-slanganus variety has a peculiar language; it speaks in jargon and oh, so many acronyms. So, the CE of the PCT at the NHS was denied a hug.

Workshop successfully delivered, we made our way home and on the M6 back towards Coventry, my bowels switched themselves back on…….oh brilliant.

Friday 11th Jan

Trevor travelled up to Leeds by train today and left me alone in the house. I dislike my own company and felt 'lost' for most of the morning. I couldn’t concentrate on work and ran 6K on the treadmill. Afterwards I was mortified to discover that I had gained 2 lbs, despite the exercise and yesterday’s frequent offloads.

Trevor is a prolific writer on management, business and leadership. It came to our attention that he was featured in the New York Times on the 8th Jan. He’s really excited, bless him.

Saturday 12th Jan

I woke up feeling as though I was in Heaven, as I do every morning. Trevor and I go to sleep and wake up with our arms and legs wrapped round each other with my face buried into his hairy chest. It’s a wonder that I haven’t died of suffocation, but if I do ‘slip away’ during the night, what a beautiful way to go.

Today, we spent a few hours with a friend whose life has been turned upside down recently and he was in an emotional state. We pray for him every day that some normality will return to his life and he will be happy again. Later, Trevor and I went to a local Chinese takeaway and ordered a meal to share with my parents. The flamboyant Chinese lady behind the counter was unusual to say the least! After every sentence, she laughed loudly for no apparent reason and I found myself willing her to speak in longer sentences. After my little problem on Thursday, we decided to nickname her.

My mom is in much discomfort with backache, so it cheered her up when Trevor and I arrived with a selection of food from Won Long Poo.

Monday 14th Jan

This time 17 years ago I was feeling a little tender in the ‘lower regions’ having given birth to Lucy, my second child. The happy memories have come flooding back. As births go, it was comparatively short (but not painless, oh no!) and I managed a natural delivery without any form of pain relief. There wasn’t time. My little bundle of joy is now grown up, tall and skinny with legs up to her armpits and utterly lovely.

Tuesday 15th Jan

Trevor and I shall be attending BBC’s
Question Time this Thursday 17th January, when it will be televised from Coventry. Everyone in the audience has to be armed with 2 questions to ask the panel, one each that we have already emailed to the BBC and one that will be based on this Thursday’s news. There will be 150 people in the audience so the odds are that the cameras won't turn on me. I’d better take an extra toilet roll just to be on the safe side.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Blog Wednesdays

2nd January

“I stared, hypnotically, at the rectangular contraption at my feet with loathing and nausea. Wiping away beads of sticky perspiration from my forehead, I forced myself to stand on the machine. With a Formula One heartbeat and loud, laboured breathing, I knew that this moment couldn’t be avoided. Oh God, no, help me pleeaaaase…. I can’t do it…..oh. Silence.”

Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. In my imagination I’d gained 28 lbs since quitting smoking 3½ years ago, but my electronic scales revealed an increase of 21. Things aren’t always quite as terrible as they seem, when we lift our heads from the sand and face reality. I became the victor in the war against nicotine and whilst I haven’t reached the obesity stage (yet) it is time to fend off the increasing bulge.

Weight is not the only well-covered bone of contention in my life. Five years ago, I started writing a children’s adventure novel. There are only 30,000 words of my child-like imagination typed on crisp white sheets, but there are treble that number in scribbled notes.

It is SO easy to make excuses and put things off until tomorrow, next week, next month, after Christmas, in the New Year, when work is less busy…. the list goes on. Also, I’ve been so content with the love of my life, my other chance of happiness, my husband. Five years ago I was miserable and it’s often said that creativity comes from adversity. Today, I’ve learned how to love and life is wonderful, apart from a couple of inky blots on the landscape: my weight issue and the increasing desire to blow the dust of my manuscript and conjure up the inspiration to continue with the book.

To help plan a routine of when to work, write, exercise, etc., I’ve decided to only blog one day per week. Next post: 16th January.