Rags to riches… then back again!

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

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