Best day this week
Saturday (surprising how it’s usually Friday or Saturday!).   For Chris’s birthday I said I’d take him out for a meal and book us into a nice hotel over the weekend.  We stayed at Milsom’s Hotel in Kenilworth, which has a Loch Fyne restaurant attached, and enjoyed a leisurely drive over there on Saturday afternoon, a wander round the castle to see the new Elizabethan knot garden, a spectacular firework display in the evening, followed by a walk back to the hotel and an excellent dinner.

Best work activity of the week
Difficult one – I had a couple of good meetings with trusts, where they expressed a desire to get moving as quickly as possible with implementing the system – but sadly I’ve heard that before.  We shall see.  Other than that I ran a workshop on Monday that went well but may or may not translate into new users, and had our monthly team meeting on Tuesday – always good to catch up with colleagues.

Favourite meal of the week
Has to be dinner on Saturday night – we were at Loch Fyne and opted for a seafood platter, which we’ve seen other diners having in the past, but never previously chosen ourselves.  It was a two-tier affair with shellfish on ice on the lower tier, and then hot mussels and clams on the top.  The shellfish selection included lobster and oysters.  I’ve never had oysters before and they were interesting – nothing much in terms of texture, but they really tasted of the sea.  I wish I’d been able to tell my dad I’d finally tried them – he started life as a fishmonger (his dad had a fish shop) and he used to tell me about being asked to go along to supper balls and open huge quantities of oysters for the diners.

Favourite Mensa activity this week

Thursday’s meeting at Jury’s Inn was well attended and a wonderfully lively evening.  We even had ferrets by proxy – they weren’t allowed into the hotel but were nearby in the car, and I got to meet Sebastian again, whom I had the pleasure of taking for a walk earlier in the year.  It was lovely to see so many old friends, some of whom haven’t been to a meeting for a while.

Also went to another Sunday breakfast meeting, again in Café Rouge, but this time in Solihull (partly why we chose nearby Kenilworth to stay Saturday night).  It was a very pleasant couple of hours.

Favourite TV programme of the week
The one that made me laugh most was Never Mind the Buzzcocks.  The chemistry between the various regulars and guests really worked.  I’d never seen Jedward before, but Noel Fielding and Jack Dee tried (with difficulty) to keep them in order, and it descended somewhat into anarchy.  But it was very funny.

Progress on last week’s objectives
Go through Christmas card stock and buy enough for this year - Done
Plan some time off to use up my annual leave - Done
Start researching what to do and see on the Isle of Wight - Done

Key objectives for the coming week
Pay balance and book menu choices for our Christmas Day lunch at local pub
Finish first re-draft of magazine article
Sort out final speaker for January open meeting

Least favourite moment of the week
Hearing on the car radio that the M1 was still pretty much a no-go area after an accident on Thursday, and that all surrounding alternative routes were clogged up too.  I had 2¼ hours to get to a meeting in north London, which should have been ample, but they were quoting 2½ hours to get through the traffic jam.  I made a snap decision to head for the station instead, and luckily got a fast train without too much of a wait.  However, it was frustrating to have to go right into Euston and then right out nearly to the end of the Northern Line again – not to mention that I was dressed for a door-to-door car journey (light cardigan, high heels), and ended up having quite a walk from the tube to the meeting venue.  Came home cold, and with sore feet!

Most frustrating work meeting of the week
Driving for over 2 hours to do a presentation at a meeting, only to discover there were only 4 people there.  Driving home took even longer, thanks to hold-ups.  So, 4½ hours in the car and thirty minutes or so waiting for my agenda slot because they were running late – really not a good use of my time.

“Oops” moment of the week
I temporarily forgot Chris’s birthday.  I had a card and present, and had already booked a weekend away, but the night before I forgot to leave them out to remind me.  So waking up at the usual brutal weekday hour and stumbling into the bathroom half-awake, I completely forgot.  The “oh sh*t” moment came a couple of hours later on the station platform as I waited for a train to London.  A quick phone call reassured him that he wasn’t being punished for some unknown misdemeanour, that I hadn’t completely forgotten, and that matters would be put right later.  Still, I have a feeling it might come back to haunt me in the future!

Sight of the week
Definitely the Kenilworth fireworks on Saturday night.  I always forget until I see them again how magical fireworks are, and how much they have the capacity to lift my spirits.  I’m a real child when I see a sky full of exploding coloured lights.  I forgot that I was cold, hungry, and my feet hurt, and I oohed and aahed along with everyone else.  Half an hour of sheer unadulterated escapism.

What have I learned this week
I’ve finally learned what oysters taste like.  And that it’s quite therapeutic (and ok) to say to someone in a meeting “I’m not discussing this any more.  You’ve made your case and I’ve made mine, and it serves no purpose to discuss it further here” (in my head I was putting it slightly less politely but I managed to articulate it in acceptable words!).