I ran my first training session at Canary Wharf on Wednesday – time management for small businesses. I love training, it’s my favourite part of the job so I’m always excited leading up to a session with a new group. But I was particularly looking forward to be working in the landmark building that dominates the skyline from so far that I can see it from my loft. (Ok, with a step up and a bit of craning…) I couldn’t wait to enjoy the views across London, wondering like a small child if I’d be able to see my house.
But no, I was on the tenth floor, inside, surrounded by other training suites and offices. It was a fantastic morning though and I met some super people. We ate complimentary banana and butterscotch biscuits as I showed them ways to make more effective use of their time and kick back against constant interruptions.
One of the delegates, Paul, runs a health and safety company. I’m all about the safety – I balanced very carefully on the edge of a wonky chair as I put up my five Christmas trees this weekend. Disentangling myself from almost a thousand twinkling lights, I was very careful about not stabbing myself on broken baubles or swallowing any of the little wooden soldiers. (Yes, in the past…) I do admit to an accident with my advent calendar on November 29th, eliciting a vast number of Facebook comments and an email from my friend’s wife telling me that eating it early is sinful, so I’m sorry about that. It’s lucky I’m Jewish – we’re allowed to eat whole boxes of chocolates in one go. Without sharing.
Anyway, not sure that Paul’s training covers all that, but he did give me a very useful gift – a neat little box of emergency equipment to keep in my car. (Actually I’m hoping it doesn’t become useful –I‘m probably not the best person to deal with any type of road emergency. I haven’t attended one of Paul’s courses yet, but he was a really nice guy and extremely knowledgeable, so if you haven’t attended an H&S course, please email me and I’ll happily pass on his details.
On Thursday I was honoured to attend the Soldiering On Through Life Trust’s reception in the Churchill Room at the House of Commons. I prefer to call it the Palace of Westminster but, by whichever name, it’s a fabulous building and I love being there. This was my third visit this year and it’s kind of making me want to go into politics. But that’s another thought for another day.
The reception was to thank sponsors and promote the trust’s aims, as well as drawing the annual grand raffle. I didn’t win the car or the diamond necklace, but I consoled myself with several glasses of very lovely pink Taittinger champagne. Anne Diamond gave a heart warming speech; she’ll be doing a lot of work during 2014 to raise awareness of the charity, and I liked her a lot. I also thought Miss UK was lovely – and not just pretty: a much smarter young lady than the beauty queen in I’m a Celebrity, and also very keen to support the charity. So we all stood around together for five hours, chatting, networking, promoting and making new friends – in very high heels. And a tabloid reporter I met there invited me for coffee in his office very high up in Canary Wharf, so my wish may yet come true. (It’s not my Christmas wish, that’s something different!)
So putting up five sparkling trees only two days later, with Christmas music playing in the background, this song resonated. ‘Hey, Mr Churchill comes over here, to say we’re doing splendidly. But it’s very cold out here in the snow, marching to win from the enemy.’ There are no enemies in my training room, just learning, improving and perhaps a few chocolate snowmen. Let me know if you’d like to book: @WeekendWitch.