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.


Week ending Sunday 3rd July 2011

July 9, 2011
Best day this week
Friday – the day we left for our holiday.  We were up, not exactly bright-eyed, at 3.30am for a 4.30 pickup to Luton Airport.  Last minute traffic chaos around the airport approach (normal for Luton apparently, even at 5.00 am) did not prevent us checking in on time, and we had a pleasant 3 hour flight to Corfu from where we boarded our ship around lunchtime.  It’s a ship we know, so we settled in easily, and were completely relaxed (no, not a euphemism for legless) by dinner time.  Saturday (our first port of call in Montenegro) and Sunday (at sea) were also thoroughly enjoyable.

Most frustrating work meeting of the week
Just the one formal meeting this week, and a mixed success.  I was presenting to a group of Heads of IT, asking for their support for our system as it does need IT input and HR staff don’t always have the right language to explain to IT professionals the tasks required.  The reaction was a bit savage from some directions but I never take challenges personally, and in any case as it was my last afternoon before holidays I cared even less!

Best work activity of the week
This week and last week were fairly light meetings-wise so I have been able to catch up on emails and other tasks outstanding.  I’m looking forward to losing East of England and just concentrating on London.  Although I’ll have the same number of trusts – possibly more – it will be less complicated just dealing with one set of regional meetings and issues.

Favourite meal of the week

Our first meal on board was good, not just because the food was good, but because we ate in the table service restaurant where the service is excellent and the staff are friendly.

Favourite Mensa activity this week
I’ve finally confirmed my speakers and got publicity out for my Mensa Brilliant workshop on 1st October.  And I’ve taken my first bookings, so I’m pleased that some people are interested at least!  Hopefully I will come home to find some more enquiries and bookings.

Favourite moment of the week
Boarding the plane and taking off on holiday.

Favourite TV programme of the week
The second part of Three men go to Venice – like last week I enjoyed the banter, but in particular I enjoyed seeing the ports we will be visiting.

Mad purchase of the week
I splashed out on a package of three treatments in the health & beauty salon – it was the 15% discount that swung it – a silly amount of money but I like to pamper myself on holiday.  Yesterday I had an Ayurvedic head and face massage, and today I had my hair trimmed and a deep conditioning treatment applied. 

Most unusual activity this week
Visiting the ship’s bridge earlier today.  As it’s a day at sea and things are relatively quiet they were showing small groups of passengers around the bridge and we were lucky enough to get tickets.  Whilst we were there there was a minor emergency (phone rings, officer on watch answers..”oh dear, which engine?”  Eeek) but it was all resolved without any panic.

Sight of the week
The sail into our first port of call of Kotor, in Montenegro, through the Bay of Boka, is breathtaking.  Sadly it was dark when we sailed out so the effect was somewhat lost then but it’s two hours of amazing scenery.

What have I learned this week
I’ve learned that although sometimes I over-analyse decisions and find it difficult to make up my mind, there are other times when I just know what’s right.  I’ve spent quite a lot of money recently on seeing a nutritionist and various other professionals, and with not only the consultations but all the treatments they recommended, the costs were spiralling out of control and I was starting to despair.  I decided to stop all further sessions and save my money, and immediately felt much better.  I’ve been wondering for a while whether to stop, but this week I just knew it was the right time.


Week ending Sunday 26th June 2011

June 27, 2011
Best day this week
Saturday – a lazy day although we did get a few chores done.  In the afternoon I went along to a Red Hat tea party which I enjoyed, and came home to an almost unrecognisable Chris.  He had warned me about the haircut, but it was still startling initially.  I’m getting used to it……

Best decision of the week
Last minute decision to have a brow tint and pedicure before our holidays.  The beautician fitted me in at short notice so that was a very nice relaxing end to Frida...
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Week ending Sunday 19th June 2011

June 20, 2011
Best day this week
Both Saturday and Sunday were enjoyable days.  Saturday was lazy except for afternoon tea at Dobbie’s garden centre with some pals.  On Sunday my brother and sister-in-law in Lincoln had organised an impromptu barbecue so we picked my mother up and drove up there for the afternoon.  It was lovely to see them again, and for an impromptu event they had put in a lot of culinary effort!

Best decision of the week
A decision taken with a heavy heart and a lot of sadness, but “be...
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Week ending Sunday 12th June 2011

June 12, 2011
Best day this week
Difficult one.  Friday was good because I caught up a lot on a backlog of work emails, but the evening ended a bit frustratingly with Chris getting stuck in London and having to find an alternative route home which made him very late.  Saturday was good because I enjoyed the feeling of achievement in doing the Race for Life.  And Sunday was good, despite torrential rain, because we went to a theme park with a group of friends and I enjoyed several of the rides and activities...
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Week ending Sunday 5th June 2011

June 5, 2011
Best day this week
Saturday was a leisurely day with no commitments, though we did get a few useful chores done.

Best work meeting of the week
Meeting in east London where things seem to be going well.  They asked me to visit as they had a few questions, but they were easily answered and so the meeting was fairly quick and straightforward.  It will be interesting to see whether their confidence is reflected in the next set of statistics though!

Favourite meal of the week
We tried a new Spanish tap...
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Week ending Sunday 29th May 2011

May 29, 2011
Best day this week
Saturday, I think.  I was given tickets for my old school Speech Day.  The school has historic links with the City of London so the Lord Mayor and his entourage always attend, and it’s a very formal ceremonial occasion.  We made good time and were turning off the M23 ready to navigate the last few miles from directions, when we realised we were following the Lord Mayor’s Bentley.  So we put the directions away and just tailgated!  Chapel service was the first event, not ...

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Week ending Sunday 22nd May 2011

May 22, 2011
Best day this week
Wednesday – it was my birthday.  I worked in the morning but bunked off about 2pm and went into the city centre to do a bit of shopping.  Chris gave me some vouchers for a new fish pedicure place in MK so I decided to build that into my plans for the afternoon too.  I also treated myself to a frappuccino and chocolate cake at Starbucks as a break from shopping.  Then in the evening Chris took me out for a lovely Thai meal.  It was a very pleasant and relaxing day.

Best deci...
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Week ending Sunday 15th May 2011

May 15, 2011
Best day this week
Wednesday – I caught up with work and started to feel I was on top of things again, after bank holiday disruption followed by a busy week last week.

Best work activity of the week
I think starting to go through the coming year’s plan for one of my regions and actually make inroads into some of the actions.  I wanted to amend a milestone check document “borrowed” from a colleague to make it more relevant for my region, and ended up turning into something completely diff...
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Week ending Sunday 8th May 2011

May 8, 2011
Best day this week
I think it was Tuesday.  We had stayed an extra day in Ireland to take advantage of there being more air miles flights on the Tuesday.  We stayed overnight in the Europa Hotel in Belfast (also courtesy of air miles) and had a leisurely start in the morning before getting the bus to the airport and our flight home.  We flew both ways on a small turboprop plane which was surprisingly roomy as there were only two seats each side of the aisle.  The flight back was far from full ...
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Week ending Sunday 1st May 2011

May 2, 2011
Best day this week
I think it was Sunday this week.  We were in Enniskillen, at the Irish Mensa Annual Gathering, and I did the Lazy Sunday boat trip while Chris had a seaplane ride.  Our boat trip was pleasant, the weather was glorious, and we had about half an hour on Devenish Island, a beautiful uninhabited island with some medieval ruined churches and a round stone tower.  The views were breathtaking as there were no buildings on the surrounding mainland, so apart from the archaeological f...

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