Monday, 20 July 2009

Rowing and Showing

Well, what could be more appropriate - a photo of some of my staff with their umbrellas. Umbrelling in an umbrella body. What would Robin have to say I wonder?

A good Away Day up in Richmond. And if it was a trifle inclement at least it was not Doncaster in December (as my staff reminded me). Our last Away Day was planting trees in Ed Miliband's Constituency- we planted over a hundred - which may just offset my disgraceful use of airplanes! The Oak Trees Ed and I planted are flourishing I'm told.

But I digress; back to Richmond. I gave staff a tour de horizon (as we say in Euclid) and then we had a brilliant session on customer care. We are developing new standards about how we interact with our members. A great facilitator made us work for our lunch and as a reward Bubb said, bother charity finance, let's have wine. And frankly they needed it. For the rowing I'm afraid they had to do without my coxing skills (I did Cox for my College but then I was a skinny youth and now I'm impressively girthed) so I decided not to risk it, and I had developed an appalling headache so I was now convinced I was well on the way to swine flu! Of course it soon passed. As did the snuffle, but made me wonder, who will be the first umbrella leader to succumb? With all that networking Stuart must be a top tip - though both he and I are fortunately not in the age group most affected. Thank goodness for being old!

A short weekend in Charlbury as I had been asked by my friend the ex-Mayor of Lambeth (Clrr Meader) to go to the Lambeth Show on Sunday. This marvellous annual extravaganza takes place in the magnificent Brockwell Park. It was good to catch up with old friends - a trillion years back I was an esteemed Lambeth Councillor. They all look so young these days! I met the newly elected Princes Ward Councillor Mark Harrison- a mere boy at 23, though greatly charming and brainy. Several of the old lags suggested I think about standing for the Council again; in retirement as they amusingly put it. I thought about this for a few seconds but only in the context of wondering if I might also nail my tongue to the Marquee post.

There are a large number of third sector leaders living in Lambeth; at the chicken end are Nick Wilkie and Matthew Thomson and at the Rooster Jon Davies (runs Families need Fathers) and Deborah Arnot (runs ASH, the anti-smoking campaign). Jon and Deborah came into the office to see me recently; they are a third sector CEO couple! Deborah ran the hugely successful anti- smoking campaign which culminated in a smoking ban in public places. She demonstrates the power of the third sector at its advocacy best. Her negotiating and campaigning skills are second to none!

Sparkles clearly enjoyed her day out at the Show. She managed to acquire a rather charming claret streak from a spilled glass and proved adept at cadging from plates of food unwisely left on the ground by talkative Councillors. Anyway here is me and Hound with the current Mayor of Lambeth ! No umbrellas in sight!

1 comment:

Janet F said...

I'm completely lost with your chicken and rooster analogy (unless the CEO names don't quite reflect their sex)?
I'm also looking forward to Robin Bogg's version of this post (can't wait to see what he'll do with "I did cox for my College" - sounds like quite a challenging task).