Best day this week
I think Sunday was the best day this week.  It’s been a busy week work-wise, and then I had a lot of personal work to do over the weekend.  I spent much of Saturday on a detailed task that was worthwhile but quite laborious, so that by the end of the day I had achieved something but it didn’t really feel like it.  Sunday was much more pleasant.  We started with a new breakfast meeting at Café Rouge where the food was disappointing but the company was excellent.  Back home again afterwards I completed a number of tasks and rounded off the evening with a bit of escapist TV in the form of Lark Rise to Candleford.

Best decision of the week
Not a decision made this week, but I am now starting to appreciate the benefits of it.  I had an article on presentation skills published in this month’s Mensa Magazine, and I wondered whether I was doing the right thing.  I’d originally submitted a much shorter piece offering presentation skills coaching to any willing “guinea pigs” as a way of establishing if there was a market and building a business model.  I had included a brief “Top Tips” section, but the editor asked me to change the emphasis and expand the tips into a longer article, with the coaching offer as a panel on the side.  I was a little worried that the article might seem condescending as much of it seemed like common sense (albeit some presenters evidently aren’t aware!).  In fact I have been really pleased with the responses and now have several coaching clients lined up over the next couple of months.

Best work activity of the week
A couple of good meetings; one on Tuesday afternoon where I was helping a group of people to log on and use our system, which went better than I expected; and another on Thursday where a previously reluctant trust now seems keen to forge ahead with their implementation.  I’ve learned to be cautious in the face of sudden enthusiasm but even so it was encouraging. Other than that it was nice to catch up with an old friend (Hello V!) at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Favourite meal of the week
Strangely, Sunday breakfast at Café Rouge.  Although the food wasn’t great the company was good and it was a really enjoyable couple of hours.  It just goes to show that a good meal depends on much more than the food.  Purely in terms of food, I enjoyed a piece of pan-fried salmon and steamed vegetables that I cooked on Friday evening.

Favourite Mensa activity this week
Our new Sunday breakfast meeting at Café Rouge.  We had six people, who were all pleasant company, and it was a very nice way to start a Sunday morning.  Sadly the food was not up to Café Rouge’s usual standard, but the manager redeemed himself amply by presenting himself unbidden at our table, apologising profusely, and knocking all the food off our bill so that we only paid for drinks.  A very acceptable result!

Favourite moment of the week
Friday evening – it was a long and busy week work-wise, and sheer bliss to call it a day on Friday afternoon and put my feet up.  My good mood was heightened by a call to the Mensa office which confirmed that numbers are increasing nicely for next Saturday’s open meeting.  Then Chris was late home so I treated myself to a Miranda-fest with the aid of the DVD of the first series that he gave me for Christmas.

Favourite TV programme of the week
A bit of a cheat, this, as it wasn’t actually broadcast this week.  But I really enjoyed reliving a couple of the early Miranda episodes on DVD.  QI was excellent too.

Progress on last week’s objectives
Book Portmeirion weekend and IMAG activities - Done
Use Airmiles to book IMAG flights - Done
Get Intermezzo (a newsletter I edit) as far advanced as possible – Made progress, though still further work to do.  However, I have until the end of the month to complete it.
Get old school newsletter obits as far advanced as possible – Done as much as I can; now awaiting further contributions and responses from others.

Key objectives for the coming week
Book holiday in March/April.
Finalise preparations for Bedford meeting on Saturday
Read SIG newsletters and follow up with responses where appropriate

Least favourite moment of the week
Nearly falling asleep on the motorway on Thursday morning, on my way to a meeting.  I don’t know why I was so tired, but after about an hour and a half’s drive I was struggling to stay awake, and abruptly realised with horror that not only had I very nearly missed my exit, but I was straying across into the fast lane in front of other traffic.  Fortunately it was through some roadworks with a speed restriction but it still scared me.  On the plus side, it brought me to my senses and I was wide awake for the rest of the journey.

Most frustrating work meeting of the week
Not so much the meeting itself, as a realisation just afterwards.  I’d covered for a colleague and believed I was presenting to a group of IT trainers so slanted my presentation accordingly.  Afterwards I realised that they were generalist Learning & Development people and would have found some of my slides and comments rather odd.  Oops.  So much for my advice in my presentation skills article about “knowing your audience”!

Sight of the week
Some Russian people I know had been home for Christmas, and they showed me a picture of the snow.  It was about six feet deep, and they just had to clear paths through it.  He told me the council does the main roads but individuals have to clear the access to their own houses.  I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen the pictures for myself.

What have I learned this week
That an early night and a good breakfast before setting out really help prepare me for a long drive.  After my scare on Thursday I had another fairly long journey on Friday morning but I was fine.

Also that it’s quite liberating to hit the “No” button on the card machine in answer to the “Do you want to add a tip” question when the service has been unexceptional.  A friend was telling us she has become quite firm about only tipping for good service, rather than only not tipping for bad service.  We popped out for dinner on Sunday evening and the service was extremely average so I took her advice.