Best day this week
Saturday again.  We were going to a friend’s party up in Chorley in the evening, so set off mid-afternoon and arrived at our hotel early evening.  Several other people we knew were staying in the same hotel (Premier Inn South Chorley – highly recommended for a budget hotel) so we caught up with a few of them before walking the half mile or so to our friend’s house.  It was an excellent evening, and very nice to catch up with old friends and make a few more.

Best work activity of the week
We had a good User Group meeting in London for trusts that are implementing, or have implemented, our system.  Despite the venue being somewhat less easily accessible than I’d expected, we had a reasonable turnout, an excellent presentation from one of the group members, and some useful discussions.

Favourite meal of the week
Has to be the food at the party.  Our host likes to affect a non-PC caveman-like image but (as well as having a very nice house) he is an extremely good cook.  He had promised us Tesco Value crisps, but what we actually had was salmon en croute, breaded chicken, garlic mushrooms and chilli con carne, accompanied by several very interesting and imaginative salads – all home-made.   Needless to say it was delicious, and the more so for being enjoyed in the company of good friends.

Favourite Mensa activity this week
Not strictly a Mensa activity, but our party host was a fellow Mensan and so were the other guests that we knew.  I feel a little guilty that we formed a bit of a clique in the lounge, but it was honestly just because that’s where the comfy chairs were!  The company, food and wine were excellent, and we left reluctantly around 1am only because most other people had already gone and the host had retired – as another guest so delicately put it – hors de combat.

Favourite TV programme of the week
Buzzcocks was good again this week, surprisingly, as it was chaired by Terry Wogan.  I am also enjoying the re-runs of Reggie Perrin, excellently recreated by Martin Clunes.

Progress on last week’s objectives
Pay balance and book menu choices for our Christmas Day lunch at local pub – as this is on the way home from something I have to do tomorrow evening I’m leaving it until then rather than making a special journey.
Finish first re-draft of magazine article - Done
Sort out final speaker for January open meeting - Done

Key objectives for the coming week
- I’ve been putting it off: I must tidy out at least part of the filing cabinet in the office.  My personal drawer, and the drawer for joint household paperwork, will barely shut at the moment.  It’s a job I hate doing because I’m a hoarder by nature, but if I add it to the list I will be shamed into it.
- Write up Don Giovanni for the next issue of Intermezzo (while it’s still fresh in my mind!)
- Finalise the magazine article ready for submission
- Finalise programme for the January open meeting

Least favourite moment of the week
Possibly discovering on Thursday morning that my connection out to south London had been delayed, and that I needn’t have got up to get an extra-early train into London in the first place.  I could have had another 20 minutes in bed.  But a small grumble in a generally good week.

Most frustrating work activity of the week
On Monday afternoon a colleague and I were doing a stand at a small conference in London.  I decided to go in on the same early morning train as Chris, and find somewhere in the conference venue to camp out and work for a few hours until the conference started.  For some reason that I still don’t understand, my usually trusty Vodafone dongle was on a complete go-slow (5 minutes to load web pages), despite claiming to have a good signal.  So in the end I got very little work done and I’d have been better staying at home.

Most unusual activity this week
Meeting with my boss at his house.  It was a totally pragmatic solution to our London team getting together with him when the rest of us had just been at another meeting nearby, so I don’t know why it felt so odd.  Maybe I set different boundaries round my personal space in terms of work and non-work activities, I don’t know.  Good meeting though.

Sight of the week
I watched the Lord Mayor’s Show (thank you, iPlayer!) as this year there were two participants with whom I had a connection.  First, my cousin’s steam bus from Yorkshire, which got quite a mention.  They are based in Whitby where Elizabeth (the bus) is quite a tourist attraction.  Her husband Vernon was easily visible in the close-ups, waving from the front window, and I even caught sight of Viv inside the bus on one shot.  The second was the band from my old school, Christ’s Hospital.  The school has a strong musical tradition and features in the LMS every year due to its links with the City of London.  I was enormously proud to see them playing and marching to their usual high standard.  Although I didn’t participate in the LMS, I have marched through London behind the band on school occasions and it quite brought a lump to my throat!

Outing of the week
We saw Don Giovanni at Milton Keynes Theatre on Friday night, which was excellent.  It was the Glyndebourne touring production, and an opera I’d wanted to see for some time.  On Thursday night we saw Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, which was also very good, but not so much my cup of tea.  We gave La Cenerentola, their third work in this tour, a miss because we saw it a couple of years ago.  We are very lucky with MK Theatre, and also Northampton just up the road – we get to see some excellent dramatic and operatic productions. 

What have I learned this week
The last couple of times we’ve been to the theatre (including this week), we’ve seen a group of ladies in purple with red hats.  I figured they would be something to do with the Jenny Joseph poem (“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat that doesn’t go…..”), and a spot of googling confirmed that there is a flourishing Red Hatters organisation, with a chapter in Milton Keynes.  They look like they have a great time.  Hmmm……I think I may join.