Archive for January, 2013

Snow fun travelling…

Posted in Daily Jollop with tags on 23 January 2013 by misselisabethuk

My life in motion,  a snowy plain
gazes back through the window pane.

A thought to my brain, brief but strong,
I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong.

My reality skewed, I didn’t see the truth, the horror of my life on show,

I wished for this day to be calm and fresh, like the newly fallen snow.  

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Rags to riches… then back again!

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , on 19 January 2013 by misselisabethuk

Welcome one and all to the third weekly blog in my life blogging series.

A very different week this week in many ways, with some highs and some lows, ending in a 24 hour endurance test.

Last week ended with the impending trauma of a presentation to be given to a group of secondary school children, so I want to update you on how that went.  However, to start off I wanted to share with you an experience I had Monday night, which got me thinking about opportunities offered to us and those we create for ourselves.

With January so busy and passing so quickly I had almost forgotten that I was going out after work on a belated birthday treat.  So, dressed in my glad rags I headed for Green Park underground station.  I took the wrong exit, as is my usual trick as I have no sense of direction, but a couple of about turns later I eventually found my way to my birthday treat – Tea at the Ritz!

I will try to add a photo at this point (this could be challenging with my new tablet as I am still learning)… (YAY! I did it.)

Putting on the Ritz...

Putting on the Ritz…

On arrival it was clear that we were not mixing with the hotel’s typical clientele but it provided an opportunity to soak in the opulent decor and the rich ambience of this hotels amazing old world London grandeur and charm.  A pianist was softly playing recognisable tunes, the piped music equivalent of a generation past.

Shown to a corner table we were greeted with white china crockery embellished with gold scrolling, the whitest linen you have ever seen (I wondered what washing powder they used) and silverware to die for.  A 3-tier plate-stand was brought to our table filled with neatly cut sandwiches on the lower tier and a selection of yummy bite sized cakes on the top.  The perfectly cut rectangular sandwiches had fillings such as; cheese and chutney, ham and mustard and smoked salmon all made from a selection of breads. The cakes included a sumptuous chocolate cake, fresh raspberry tartlet and a white/pink fruity macaroon, to name a few.

Next came the tea, which we selected from a range of fruit and world teas, served in a huge silver tea-pot.  I chose English tea of course, for the all round English experience!  Once brewed this was a ‘serve-yourself’ job, to be poured through a strainer as it was ‘proper’ tea. Warning: extra arm muscles are required to lift a silver teapot full of tea!

When the sandwiches had been devoured, they were no sooner replenished whilst an endless supply of tea was supplied to wash them down.  Next came the scones, served warm with clotted cream and raspberry jam, which were placed in the middle tier.  These too were bite sized, which was a relief due to the amount of sandwiches and tea I had already consumed.

The hour and a half passed quickly and so did the tea and food as we indulged to excess. A great experience, something worth doing at least once but for me it’s the people you are with that makes the experience something special. So that was my opportunity offered….

And so to the created ‘opportunity’ and the presentation I mentioned at the start of my blog.  Note to self: I should remember not to volunteer without first knowing what I’m volunteering for!  Actually it wasn’t so bad.  The children were very highly spirited and I think I went deaf a couple of times during the session due to the noise but they all engaged with the subject.

The subject was ethical and sustainable business.  The children were already aware of some of the key learnings raised by the presentation, which I thought may have been a little bit advanced for their age group, however, there was some good discussions  and intelligent questions raised.   I’m not sure I was even aware of ‘Business’ at their age so it was great to see them embrace the subject.

As with anything that you think is going to be uncomfortable or difficult, it usually turns out fine and this giving of my experience and teaching actually turned out to be one of the highlights of the week.

Ok, ok, I know you have all been waiting patiently to find out what my 24 hour endurance test was.  The over-indulgence at the start of the week had left me feeling sluggish and over-full so I decided to embark on a 24 hour fast, just water for 24 hours!
How did it go?  You will have to wait for another blog on this subject to find out…

Have a fantastic week everyone and I’ll be back next week with some more tales from Liz-World.

Ciao x

So…. that was the week, that was…..

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12 January 2013 by misselisabethuk

Morning, hope you are all feeling good today…well, what a week that was!

Certainly 2013 has decided to go in all guns blazing but so far it hasn’t materialised in to the obligatory showdown.

Second weekly blog of my 2013 goal and so far I’m still committed to the cause.  Although, when you have had a busy week and feel so tired you could sleep in until midday (although those days are long gone) it becomes a little harder to get motivated.

To help with my motivation, “what’s my motivation” I ask, I decided to treat myself this week and purchased a 7″ tablet, with the idea of blogging on the go, catching up with missed tv programmes etc.  I have a lot of dead travelling time, just under 3 hours a day now, so although a bit of an extravagance (I hardly treat myself and I mean really treat myself, anything over £30 is a big purchase for me), on balance I could justify the money spent on this gadgety gadget.

Back to the events of this week….

The first week back in the new year in any office is always hectic. The repetitive sounds of “Happy New Year” and everyone regaling stories of their christmas break and the adventures they have had with family and friends.

Some, however, were not so lucky spending most of their holiday time suffering from either flu-like symptoms or worse, being house bound requiring certain facilities to be on hand 24-7 (het hem).  Some selective hearing was required for those stories!

And then there were others, like me, who had worked over the Christmas period, so when asked whether I had had a good break I simply replied, “Well, it wasn’t really a long break, I was working”, all of a sudden I became some kind of leper, the conversation was cut short and they moved on to the next person with a story to tell.

It made me smile inside as I was all ready to tell them about the drama caused by a payment being made twice in error, the achievement of getting signoff on a project with a fixed deadline with limited signatories available and the excitement of putting a new process in place, whist they were drinking and eating to excess, but they didn’t really seem that interested.

By midweek the chat about the recent festivities had dissipated with the realisation that work had to be done and deadlines had to be met.  For me it was business as usual.  Although I did keep wishing the same people Happy New Year via email which probably annoyed them but was a source of amusement for me.

Wednesday was my Dad’s birthday so a present and card were delivered and another year noted, nothing special as he has a significant one next year.  Anyway, the anticipation of receiving my new tablet was excitement enough for me for one week!  I always wondered if people who have birthdays very near another significant celebration, especially the two biggest of the year Christmas and New Year, in some way feel that they lose out on either time, gifts, visits etc.  One day I’ll ask my Dad that question…

To finish the week off, and me, I had a mentoring meeting in preparation for a project due to start next week.  To my horror was told I am now giving a presentation, in part, to 28 secondary school children, so I now know what I have planned for the rest of my weekend!  They say it’s all in the preparation…. we’ll see.

Which brings you right up to date.  The prospect of next week is daunting but I’ve learnt a few things which will help; write a to-do-list (to keep focused), take one day at a time (priorities always change), smile when you really want to shout (better for your vocal chords) and don’t eat yellow snow (that’s worth mentioning if the weather forecasts are to be believed).

So this is me signing off for another week.  I hope you all have a great weekend and have a challenging, positive and productive week, next week.  Laters…

2013 : The start of something amazeballs…

Posted in Time for Change, Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , on 5 January 2013 by misselisabethuk

Morning all,

So, here’s to the start of one of my resolutions for 2013, to write a weekly blog.  This is challenging for me on many levels.

It requires commitment, scheduling, focus and regular ideas.  Previously I had been a fair weather blogger, or blogged as and when the ideas hit me or time permitted but what is different with this challenge is that I am going to dedicate a specific time in my life to do this on a regular basis, for a whole year (2013).

Making time for something I had previously considered a luxury and a self-indulgent hobby now becomes a part of my ‘everyday’ life.  Quite a commitment considering the other things I need to cram in to my busy life, however, one I think important to follow for 2013.

I decided to schedule in Saturday mornings as my ‘time to blog’.  I am a morning person so this is when I am fresher to give 100% focus to this kind of task.  Please do watch out for my postings and please comment and share your experiences on any of the disciplines I am signing up to by taking on this task:  “commitment, scheduling, focus and regular ideas”.  Of course you are welcome to chat to me on any subject that you wish…

As I sit here listening to the classics on Radio 2 (yes Radio 2, it gets you in the end!) I contemplate what to write about in my first weekly blog and I guess the most obvious topic is 2013 and how it will differ to 2012.

2012 for me was another challenging year with changes aplenty but I realised towards the end of the year that a number of opportunities were lining themselves up for 2013 and although 2012 was a year with some difficult personal growth issues, my direction was actually becoming clearer.  The people I had met, the relationships I had forged, the opportunities I had pursued and the obstacles I had overcome were leading me to a new phase in my life.

I have always believed that we are the sum of our experiences and I had always considered myself to be on the naive end of the scale when it comes to life, but actually I had learned an immense amount over the years and hadn’t realised or given myself credit for it.  I believe that everyone you meet will teach you something, so my other realisation for personal growth was that networking is key to your personal development.  If this theory of learning something new from everyone you meet is true, then meeting lots of people increases your opportunity for learning significantly.  Go talk to a stranger today, you never know you might have something in common!

I put this into practice in 2012 and enrolled as a mentor on a mentoring programme with the Aspire Foundation and was matched with a complete stranger who had signed up as a mentee.  The Aspire Foundation is a charity organisation who aims to positively impact the lives of 1 million women and girls by 2015 – http://theaspirefoundation.org/index.php. It’s been one of the highlights of my 2012, the feeling of positively supporting someone with their work/life goals has been greatly rewarding and a friendship has also been formed, an unexpected bonus.  A friendship which wouldn’t have existed had I not been prepared to take the opportunity to give some of my spare time to a stranger!

To summarise, the only way you are going to understand the world better is by living in it and talking to its inhabitants.  There is great power and enjoyment in forming alliances and learning from them.  Also by giving your support, benefit of experience and free time can make a huge difference to someone and you too will benefit in ways you never thought you could.

As possibly one of the longer blogs I have written to date, I should stick with the programme and end my first blog for 2013 right here.  It’s been enjoyable and emotional.  Please do leave me your comments as I like to hear what you have been doing….

Until next Saturday (or before if I get an idea..) I bid you adieu and hope you have a great weekend!

I have tasked myself with….

Posted in Daily Jollop with tags , , , , , , , on 1 January 2013 by misselisabethuk

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