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 part of my team when I worked in Essex, and it seemed to mean a lot to her husband that his wife’s ex-boss had bothered to come so far. 

Best work activity of the week
I set a deadline of the end of July for expressions of interest in a new approach I am planning for supporting my trusts in London.  I was pleased, therefore, to receive a number of application forms this week, and am looking forward to spending more time with the trusts concerned discussing what’s involved and agreeing a way forward with them.

Best work meeting of the week
I met with a trust in north London who have started to implement our system on rather an ad hoc basis.  Discussing their progress with them made them realise that they need to take a more formal and structured approach, and get the appropriate directors involved so they have enough high level support.  I have told them this before but I’m glad they have now realised it for themselves.

Favourite meal of the week
Quite simple, but on Wednesday I cooked some salmon and just had it with some green salad and home-made coleslaw.  It doesn’t sound very exciting but it was delicious.

Favourite Mensa activity this week
On Sunday a small group of us did a self-guided walk around nearby Buckingham, using leaflets from the Tourist Information Centre.  It’s a town I have driven through many times, but never really stopped to explore, and the others said the same.  We spent a fascinating couple of hours wandering at a leisurely pace through side streets, picking out various historical buildings and landmarks.  It was well worth the effort and we were all glad we finally knew a bit more about what is a picturesque little town.

Favourite TV programme of the week
The Hour – another interesting episode that lived up to the standard set last week.

Least favourite moment of the week
We want to have the en-suite bathroom revamped and asked a local company for a quote.  They came and measured up, we discussed what I wanted, and I gave him a budget to work to.  When we visited the showroom to look at his proposals, somewhat predictably he showed us the design he’d done, went through the product costing – all within budget – and then as an afterthought produced the labour costings which took it 50% over.  Grrr.

Mad purchase of the week
I hate to admit it, but I am going to say yes to the bathroom.  We left the showroom on Saturday having negotiated the price down by £500, and I may try for a bit more as it’s still over my original budget.  But I think it will look good.

Sad moment of the week
The funeral of an ex-colleague, as described above.  Her husband had the courage to give the tribute himself, and although he faltered a couple of times, he did really well and captured her personality perfectly.  It was a bittersweet moment.

Sight of the week
Julie had wanted a horsedrawn hearse for her funeral, and that is what she had.  It was an impressive sight, drawing round to the chapel entrance, and the beautiful black horses behaved perfectly.

What have I learned this week
I was touched at the funeral this week how besotted Julie's husband still was with her.  To many people she was just an ordinary middle-aged woman, perhaps a bit loud and blunt, but good-hearted.  Those of us who knew her better saw other qualities and realised that she was quite insecure under the bluff exterior.  But to her husband she was still the teenager he had fallen in love with, the prettiest girl in the gang, the girl he couldn’t believe had agreed to go out with him.  It was lovely, and made me realise in a way I’d never quite seen before that virtually everyone is special to the people close to them

I also realised, reading a friend’s blog, that it’s ok to have a lifelong ambition to do something, and then to do it just once and never want to do it again.  She talked about particular crafts she had always wanted to try, but having done so she realised she had no desire to pursue them further.   Rather than feel a sense of disappointment, she was just content at having tried them.  I thought that was a remarkably healthy approach.