Wednesday 19 June 2013

The joy of small things....

There are many joys of not working full-time - I wish I could think of something better than "portfolio career".  The big downside is the lack of salary cheque hitting your bank account every month.  Sigh.

What I don't miss is racing round the supermarket at 10 at night, doing laundry all weekend, ironing on Sunday night, squashing medical appointments at the very early beginning or end of the day, missing exhibitions because I just don't get around to it in that squeezed weekend and not seeing my friends enough.

I miss the buzz and the interaction with people, the adrenalin (but not the exhaustion) and feeling that you are at the centre of things - but, as I decided after an appointment this morning, that I had time to walk home in the sunshine rather than take public transport for speed, and buy a birthday card on the way, and take my time choosing it - there really are compensations.

Confession though - exhibitions still come and go and all that catching up with friends - regrettably that is more often on Facebook than in the flesh...... Must do better!

Tuesday 18 June 2013

What could be more exciting?

There are some very exciting days in one's life - getting married, having a baby, having a grandchild, moving into a new home - the list is quite long - but nothing was quite like receiving a letter which starts,

"The Prime Minister has asked me to inform you in strict confidence, that having accepted the advice of the Head of the Civil Service and the Main Honours Committee, he proposes to submit your name to the Queen.  He is recommending that Her Majesty be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Birthday 2013 Honours List."

I am afraid that my reaction was very girly - I promptly burst into tears.  Number One Husband was concerned as to what might be wrong and I couldn't speak but just handed him the letter.  So - breach of confidence straight away - but perhaps that doesn't count.  I have been bursting with this news for a month but until I saw it on line on Friday night I didn't quite believe it.  (Just as a side issue - our internet kept crashing and eventually I was searching on my phone - lousy timing.)

Of course the emails then flew out to family and friends and a big, big thank you to my existing and former colleagues at Breast Cancer Campaign.  I was so privileged to be able to work with such talented and dedicated people over a long period of time that it seems a bit mean that it should only be me who is rewarded.

Of course as a serious individual my next problem is - what do I wear to the investiture?  I do have the outfit I wore to the Garden Party last year - but I would hate the Royal who pins on the award to mutter "at least you could have worn something new".

Because I am finding it very difficult to be modest (no change there then!) the following is the link to what Breast Cancer Campaign has put on its website Former Chief Executive, Pamela Goldberg. (While you are there, if you live in the UK, please sign up to their current campaign.)

My grandchildren are suitably blasé about it - question one - 'is this something you wear or keep in a drawer' (both is the answer) and 'can you get me Rowan Atkinsons' autograph'.  Sigh - they say that no man is a hero to his valet - a grandmother is just a grandmother for all that!