Best day this week
Saturday was good – I had lots to do, all swimming round in my mind until I made a list (I like lists!).  I got a fair few of them done, and made a start on several others, which left me with a feeling of achievement by early evening.  So I treated myself to a couple of hours of TV with a nice glass of Isle of Wight cider.

Best work meeting of the week
There was only one, but it was quite productive.  I had to feed back on the status of our project to a User Group in London, most of whom were people I worked with a few years ago but haven’t seen since.  So it was great to catch up with them.  Afterwards I stayed on for a chat with one member about the situation at her trust and we agreed a way forward, which was a useful result.

Favourite meal of the week
Sunday lunch was nice, even though I cooked it!  We’d invited my mother over as we didn’t get chance over the holidays, and I did chicken in cider and cream, followed by lemon meringue pie.  Chicken in cider and cream was one of my dad's specialities.  Mum doesn’t particularly enjoy cooking so she tends to do either ready meals or something very simple, so any time she comes to us I try to do something that dad used to cook.  I can’t claim credit for the lemon meringue pie but that’s one of her favourite desserts so Mr Tesco obliged.

Favourite Mensa activity this week
First Thursday at Jury’s Inn was a small but select group this week.  It was good to catch up with what everyone had been doing over Christmas and New Year.

Favourite TV programme of the week

QI was entertaining as usual, and it’s nice to see Lark Rise to Candleford back, even though the scripts are no longer based on the books.  It’s gentle Sunday evening escapism.  However, the unexpected gem of the week was a programme on Saturday night about the heyday of coach travel and the coach holiday.  It brought back memories of parish outings to the seaside in the sixties – happy times.

Progress on last week’s objectives
Take down Christmas decorations - done
Prepare for Bedford meeting on 22nd January – made further progress: called into the hotel, checked arrangements with the office, and made a start on my slides.  But the preparation won’t be finished until the meeting actually starts!
Re-read time management books – made a start but I’ve dug out a number of books and it will take a while to work through them all.  Rediscovering some useful tips though.

Key objectives for the coming week
Book Portmeirion weekend and IMAG activities.
Use Airmiles to book IMAG flights.
Get Intermezzo (a newsletter I edit) as far advanced as possible – though I’m still awaiting other people’s contributions.
Get old school newsletter obits as far advanced as possible, pending any further additions by the copy deadline

Least favourite moment of the week
Hearing that one of my colleagues (not managed by the same person as the rest of us) may be diverted to other duties, which will mean I have to pick up a substantial chunk of her workload.  This happened temporarily in November, but the situation was resolved that time.  I’m not so hopeful this time.

Mad purchase of the week
I’ve bought a data projector and screen.  They were excellent value – Chris found a model that is reasonably compact, good quality, and the right price.  There are smaller models but they would either be much more expensive or not as good quality.  I’ve often thought it would be useful just to have my own projector for work, but it will also be useful for the presentation skills coaching that I’m doing.

Most unusual activity this week
Unusual for me these days, at least, though it was commonplace in my youth.  I’m pulling together a piece for my Classical Music SIG newsletter, and discovered that French Wikipedia has more detailed information on this particular topic than US/UK Wikipedia.  So I’m translating it into English.  I’m pleased to realise that my French isn’t too rusty, and it’s good to keep my hand in occasionally.

Sad moment of the week

Taking down the Christmas decorations, especially the tree.  I put them up early this year, the first weekend in December, and the tree lights stay on continuously, so the lounge looks really bare now.

Duh! Moment of the week
I’d arranged to call this morning into the hotel in the hotel in Bedford that we’re using for the open meeting in a couple of weeks.  It fitted in with picking my mother up for lunch.  I wanted to look at the room, and also check wifi and 3G with my netbook.  The Duty Manager met us, showed us the room, and said something about wifi – and then I realised I’d forgotten to bring my netbook with me.  The main point of the exercise – I couldn’t believe it!  Still, the situation was retrieved by calling in again late afternoon when dropping my mother back home again, this time with the netbook, and happily things worked ok.

What have I learned this week
It sounds like a small point, but it’s useful. I’ve learned that when moving to another motor insurance company, to ensure that they provide proof of the correct number of years of No Claims Discount entitlement.  My previous insurer’s renewal notice acknowledged that I have “5 or more years” of NCD.  My new company’s quotation was based on 9 or more years, which I have but can’t prove.  When I moved to my previous insurer two years ago, I sent them proof of “5 or more years” so they should be able to verify that I now have “7 or more years”, and I have asked them to do so.  I had to pay my new insurer a small premium increase, which I’ve written off this time, but I’m trying to get prepared for next time by ensuring that I collect the correct information each year.