Jo Sidebottom

Why "Answers on a Postcard"?


Jo Sidebottom I wanted the experience of doing a regular blog, but unlike some of my pals I don't have a life or job filled with humorous and interesting anecdotes. The thought of coming up with entertaining stories regularly was quite daunting. "Answers on a Postcard" was born when I had the idea of asking myself a handful of questions each week, some serious and some more frivolous, and trying to keep the responses pithy and concise. Please feel free to leave any comments about my blog on my Guestbook page.

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Week ending Sunday 11th September 2011

September 11, 2011
Decision of the week
I’ve decided this will be the last blog.  I’m conscious it’s all getting a bit samey, and I’m also starting to find it a bit of a chore, so I think now is the time to stop.

Best work activity of the week

Several useful meetings in London this week.  We’ve agreed in future to amalgamate two different meetings together which I think will make more productive use of my time. 

Favourite Mensa activity this week

Apart from getting on with my actions from last weekend’s Board workshop, we also had a very enjoyable Sunday breakfast at Carluccio’s this morning.  The last one there for a while – next month we move to Brown’s restaurant which I think will be cosier for the winter months.

Favourite TV programme of the week
A number of good programmes this week – the Regency one, another interesting Who do you think you are?, new series of Mock the week and QI.  But the most unexpectedly good programme has to be Would I lie to you?, which I don’t often watch, but Friday’s edition was a classic.  Watch it on iPlayer if you haven’t already seen it.  Or maybe it’s just my sense of humour.

Most frustrating work meeting of the week
Although all my meetings went fairly well, there were a couple of frustrating moments during one of them when people asked inappropriate questions and got sidetracked into discussions that really belonged in a different forum.

Sad moment of the week
I’m a bit sad to be finishing the blog after a year, but times move on.

What have I learned this week
I’m re-reading a book on consulting that I first read about 18 years ago, and finding it very enlightening.  It has some relevance to my current role but may be even more useful if I do any freelance work in future.  There is a lot of material about the consultant’s needs in order to ensure a successful project, that I think often gets overlooked.

 

Week ending Sunday 4th September 2011

September 4, 2011
Best work activity of the week
I had a couple of days at home this week so managed to catch up quite significantly on a backlog of emails and other tasks.  Part of me feels guilty when I’m not out and about meeting trusts, but there is no doubt that a big part of the job involves the admin side of correspondence, planning, research, familiarisation with the system, and so on, much of which is really best done in uninterrupted office time.

Best work meeting of the week
Interesting activity on F...
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Week ending Sunday 28th August 2011

August 29, 2011
Best day this week
Saturday – my brother and sister-in-law in Lincoln had a barbecue for my brother’s birthday, and all the family were there.  We picked Mum up around lunchtime and got there just after 2.  Chris and I had decided to stay over and had booked into a local B&B, so it meant we didn’t have to rush back and we could both have a drink.  Fortunately the weather stayed fine and we were able to sit in their lovely garden.  It was a great day.

Best decision of the week
To stay over ...
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Week ending Sunday 21st August 2011

August 21, 2011
Best day this week
Friday, I think.  I had a mortgage appointment in the afternoon, and booked half a day’s leave so I could bunk off with a clear conscience.  So afterwards I didn’t hurry home, but enjoyed an iced coffee in Costa followed by some leisurely shopping. 

Best decision of the week
I test drove a new Mercedes in Milton Keynes on Saturday but knowing I was after a secondhand one, the dealer searched his network and found a possibility for me.  I was rather unsure about buying a s...
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Week ending Sunday 14th August 2011

August 15, 2011
Best day this week
Saturday was a very rewarding day – a very satisfying mortgage appointment in the morning, and a tour of car dealerships in the afternoon.  We didn’t actually buy anything in either case, but have discovered that both are eminently affordable within the budgets we had set ourselves.

Best work meeting of the week
I attended a meeting of London NHS HR Directors on Wednesday, which was more interesting than I’d expected.  I was there to do a presentation on our system, but ...
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Week ending Sunday 7th August 2011

August 7, 2011
Best day this week
Friday, I think.  A meeting was unexpectedly cancelled, and instead I had the whole day at home.  Chris was late home, so I made a fish pie and watched some junk TV for an hour in the evening.  Very enjoyable.

Best work activity of the week
Two meetings in east London on Thursday, which dovetailed well together, and both went well.  Two more trusts signed up to my focused programme, which is good news.

Favourite meal of the week

A toss-up between a Japanese lunch on Saturday, a ...
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Week ending Sunday 31st July 2011

July 31, 2011
Best day this week
This week the best day was Thursday.  Despite being at a funeral, it was lovely to see so many old friends again.  The weather was good, I had a reasonably smooth drive to Essex and back, the service was full of happy memories, and the reception afterwards was held in a club that backed on to a cricket field and a classic English village view. 

Best decision of the week
Despite the distance, I was very glad I took the time to go to the funeral of an ex-colleague.  She was par...
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Week ending Sunday 24th July 2011

July 24, 2011
Best day this week
Once again Saturday was the best day.  Having got through an emotional and difficult day on Friday, the day of my sister-in-law’s funeral, the whole family decided to go out for lunch on Saturday.  We had my other brother and sister-in-law staying with us, with my niece, so we spent a leisurely and pleasant morning chatting and reminiscing before meeting up with the rest of the family at the restaurant.  It was very busy and service was very slow, but for once that was in ...
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Week ending Sunday 17th July 2011

July 17, 2011
Best day this week
Both Saturday and Sunday were good – leisurely and relaxing but still got quite a lot done – mainly chores around the house and getting started on the next issue of my SIG newsletter.  Plus we walked round to our local pub for lunch on Saturday and I had more wine than I've been used to recently but it was very enjoyable!

Best work activity of the week
A good meeting in London on Thursday.  I didn’t need to be there but had asked if I could attend, and found it very usef...
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Week ending Sunday 10th July 2011

July 11, 2011
Best day this week
Difficult one – possibly Tuesday, in Venice.  We were up at 5.30 to catch the sail-in through the lagoon, which has to be one of the best approaches to port in the world.  Sadly the weather was stormy and overcast, with periodic flashes of lightening and torrential rain.  However, it cleared up and we enjoyed a tour to the islands of Murano (famous for its glass) and Burano (famous for its lace).  I’d never heard of Burano but it’s a lovely island with brightly coloure...
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