Best day this week
Sunday was the best day.  We were up early to go back over to Bedford for the Mensa Board meeting, which started at 9am.  It was nice to be there as an observer and not responsible for organising anything.  The meeting finished promptly at lunchtime so we headed home and went for lunch at our local Beefeater – somewhere we haven’t been for years.  We were very pleasantly surprised.  Then had a lazy afternoon and evening. 

Best decision of the week

One of my trusts was asking for help with something technical and I decided to set up a webex session so I could see her desktop and what she was doing.  I’ve always resisted that before as I don’t like being put on the spot and feeling pressurised to come up with an instant diagnosis.  However, the person in question is quite accommodating and although I wasn’t able to sort it out straight away she appreciated the exercise.  She has sent through some further information and I’ve involved our technical experts, so hopefully we’ll get there.  But I will definitely use webex for similar situations in future.

Best work activity of the week
After a week of feeling like I was running on the spot, finally catching up with my emails on Friday afternoon and reducing my inbox to a manageable level after a manic previous week.  It took all week, and another busy couple of days would send it out of control again, but at least now I can concentrate on other things that need to be done.  In the course of dealing with my inbox I did, of course, complete or progress a lot of key tasks that needed to be done anyway, but when I have too many emails I can’t see the wood for the trees.

Favourite meal of the week
After the open meeting in Bedford on Saturday we tried a Greek restaurant that has recently opened just along from the hotel.  We were particularly interested as that’s one cuisine we haven’t got in MK at the moment, and it might make a good eating meeting.  First surprise was how enormous the restaurant was once you went through the small bar at the front.  The second surprise was that it was actually very good.  We shared a mezze and we couldn’t finish it all as there was so much.

Favourite Mensa activity this week

Has to be the open meeting on Saturday.  I was nervous about it but it all went fairly smoothly, apart from running out of time a bit at the end.  Everyone mixed very well, and it was nice to meet a few new people, including some who said they would come to the monthly social meetings.  David’s website talk went down very well.  And the hotel looked after us well too.  Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves and it made the effort worthwhile.  I finished the day on a high.

Favourite moment of the week
When the meeting on Saturday finished successfully.

Favourite TV programme of the week

Top Gear
’s back and although it wasn’t a classic episode, it was a pretty good opener to the series.

Progress on last week’s objectives
Book holiday in March/April – We’ve decided to leave it and take a chance on a last minute booking to see if we can get a good deal with a travel agent.
Finalise preparations for Bedford meeting on Saturday - Done
Read SIG newsletters and follow up with responses where appropriat
e – Read the newsletters and know what comments I want to make, just haven’t sent the emails yet.

Key objectives for the coming week

Complete a set of forms I need to do
Prepare for our first presentation skills coaching client next weekend
Finish the current issue of Intermezzo and send to the office

Least favourite moment of the week

Not a specific moment, but one of our cats is poorly and I hate to see her struggling.  She was under the weather last week but picked up again and the vet couldn’t find anything wrong with her.  However for the past couple of days she’s been hobbling around unsteadily and limping badly on one back leg.  I couldn’t get a vet’s appointment until tomorrow evening and this evening in particular it’s been awful to watch her.  On the plus side, she is still eating well and quite alert, and she can get herself to wherever she wants to go, slowly – including upstairs – but she really can’t jump and just curls up on the floor.  Hopefully the vet will be able to pinpoint what the problem is.

Most frustrating work meeting of the week
On Monday I had a long drive for a very brief meeting with the executive sponsor at one of my trusts.  She was very supportive verbally but when I asked her to do a couple of things she prevaricated and made excuses, so I don’t know how effective she’ll be.  It was a long way to go for a not very productive meeting.

Most unusual activity this week

Being interviewed on local radio about Mensa and the local testing session this week.  Chris recorded it for me, and it sounded ok, I think, apart from the fact that I “um” quite a lot.  I knew I did, but hadn’t realised how much, and there’s no doubt I would sound much better if I didn’t!  If I’m doing presentation skills coaching I need to work on that myself.

The radio setup was very compact – I knew it would be small, but it was quite tiny.  I was surprised to be given pretty much no briefing at all – they did clear a chair and make me a coffee, but no-one really told me how it was going to work; I was just pushed into the studio and told to put on the headphones, and then I was live on air!  Actually, they did ask me when I arrived whether I could give them a question (the presenter and the 3 other staff) and see who could answer it first, so I had to come up with something on the spur of the moment.  Fortunately that bit worked ok.  While I was waiting they were talking about the news of the latest NHS reforms, and I wondered whether to reveal that I work for the NHS.  I think I did the right thing keeping my mouth shut on that one.

Sad moment of the week
Hearing of the passing of David Schulman.  A true gentleman and a lovely person.  I didn’t know him as well as some other Mensa friends did, but I’d got to know him a bit over the last few years.  He was charming, erudite, witty, and wise, but his health had been failing recently and he had never recovered from the death of his beloved wife a couple of years ago.  Mensa, both nationally and internationally, will be the poorer without him.

What have I learned this week

The Board meeting this morning was very enlightening.  I enjoyed hearing more about what the Board are working on – the meetings are minuted of course but hearing the background discussions fills in a lot of the detail.  Plus it was interesting to watch how the meeting went – I thought it was well chaired, although it didn’t actually need much active chairing: the atmosphere was informal but business-like and everyone stuck to the subject in hand.  Consequently it seemed like topics were adequately discussed and the agenda was completed on time.  Wish I could attend more often but the next two are in Leeds and Cardiff so probably not feasible.