The sun finally came out from behind the clouds just in time for half term and stayed in Dronfield for the whole Bank Holiday weekend – when did that last happen? My friends in Cirencester were apparently not quite so lucky all weekend, but as we were up in Dronfield for a hat trick of birthday bashes, we basked in the glorious sunshine.
The weekend included a couple of house visits as we’ll soon be moving back up. We also visited the schools for the kids. Going back to Fanshawe was interesting. It looks like a sprawling mass from the outside, but seems to be well thought out. Visiting the old maths quadrangle was a bit emotional, as that was where my tutor room used to be and, having done both “O” and “A” level maths, I spent a lot of time down there! It looks very tired in comparison to the new bits, but then again, I suppose I do, too!
Saturday was the big party day, starting with my mum’s 80th birthday in the afternoon. She knew that family and friends were coming, but had no idea exactly who, nor that we had booked the excellent Russ and The Fox to get things moving. Russ commented “We used to do 25ths, then it was 30ths, a few 40ths and 50ths, but this is definitely the first 80th party we’ve played at!” My mum had a great time and I hope I am equally able to dance on my 80th birthday – perhaps it should be put in the diary now since Russ and The Fox are so busy!
The partying continued that evening with a double 50th birthday bash – and who played? Junkyard Dog of course, with guest appearance from the stunning Hannah Lilly. And, whilst some of us may be reaching our mid century, we still know how to keep dancing all night.
Russ had played 8 gigs by the end of Monday. I really don’t know how he did it – and I wasn’t the only one to be there for several of them. My son and I joined Russ and the Fox (with Pete Morgan too) for the final event of the weekend at the Devonshire Middle Handley. I can’t remember the last time I was in there, teenage years most likely. It’s a lovely place and I’ll definitely be going back, probably with my mum. In fact, I’m looking forward to returning to many old haunts once we’re back, so much so that my husband has asked when I’m planning to be at home J
The reality of being a working mum hit home on Thursday. Everyone has their own way of coping with school holidays and, thankfully, working for myself means it’s easier than for a lot of people. I’ve just started a new project with a car dealership. We’re looking at how they interact with their customers during the sale and servicing of their cars and what they can do to make the whole process easier for the customer. Essentially, what they need to change in the way the different teams relate to their customers so that the customer comes first at all times. We’ve all heard the expression “The customer is always right” but it can be difficult to put into practice! I’d love to hear what you like and dislike about the way car dealerships and garages treat you as a customer.
Putting oneself in someone else’s shoes has been very much in the news this week following the murder in Woolwich. I went to university in South East London and lived in Woolwich for several years. I know the road where the murder happened really well, as it’s right next to the Halls of Residence. When I was a student, we had people from all over the world studying together side by side and socialising in the same places as the Army personnel and the local community; all living, working and having fun in a small part of London that had seen some conflict in the past, but had moved on. I have very good memories of Woolwich and I find the week’s events very hard to comprehend – both the murder itself and the reaction from certain elements of our society. However, from the comments on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere by all walks of life, I believe that the majority of people are disgusted with the actions of the far right and will react responsibly. Sadly, the minority of maniacs get so much publicity, it gets more and more difficult to keep a sense of perspective. I was, therefore, heartened to read Russell Brand’s articulate commentary. If you haven’t seen it, click here.
That’s it for this week.