On courage and where we find it

As a mentor, part of my job is to encourage and support people who are contemplating and then tackling change. I know this can be the most difficult time for many of us. Making the decision to do something differently whether gargantuan or minute and breaking the habit of doing what we have always done is immensely hard; but it will be a game changer, and it will be worth it.

Having the courage to change

Having the courage to change

I encourage and support change in my day job but actually it is in my DNA, so I do it all the time. Sometimes it might be a conversation; sometimes just offering the right word at the right moment; sometimes a card, a note or an email. I do it with with no hidden agenda, in the moment, and frequently forget all about it and move on; I never know, or worry, whether my tiny intervention will bear fruit.


This week I had the wonderful experience of someone telling me about the positive effect I have had on her. I admire Gemma. She works, she has two children and a couple of years ago was diagnosed as a coeliac. Life presents her with many challenges. Gemma was a freelancer and taught me all I know about Twitter. Then she decided to take the massive step back into full time employment. We met, I thanked her and a bottle and card changed hands. The rest of the story is Gemma’s but that day I did something right and helped someone find the courage to change and to persevere. Thank you for telling me Gemma but much more importantly keep the faith as you continue on your journey.

The Award for Courage

The Award for Courage goes to…….

Please read Gemma’s story and be encouraged.


Tagged , , , ,

On Excitement

I am packing to go to the Cheltenham Literary Festival. I have been before so know what to expect and how wet I will get if it rains. However the location is great; the arrangements are slick; and there are some great watering holes to escape to when the heavens open, so all will be well.


And here I am with a fist full of tickets thinking about the pleasures ahead of me. These twelve tickets in my hot little hand allow me to wallow in the subjects that I most enjoy for four marvellously precious  literary days.

So what have I got?

HistoryEdward Stourton who is as good on paper as he is on

Radio 4; and then more intimate stuff in a two hander between John Julius Norwich and Patricia Hodge based on his mother Lady Diana Cooper’s letters.

Contemporary religion – a discussion about the influences that have formed “The New Boys” AKA the new Pope, the new Archbishop of Canterbury and the new Chief Rabbi and what should be on their agenda. That will throw up lots of issues of social justice but if that isn’t enough, there is a panel discussion on Martin Luther King and American Civil Rights to keep me going.

Personal courageAndrew Marr talking to a live audience but confined by the immobility of his left hand from his usual hand flapping enthusiasm; and Alastair Campbell and Anne Robinson speaking about their addictions and depression.

Political discussion – there will be a panel “Reforming Government” chaired by the peerless Sue Macgregor; and Alan Johnson talking about his life: postman, trade unionist, politician and Home Secretary and maybe even his ambitions to be a rock star! And if that were not enough, Nick Robinson will be telling anecdotes of broadcasting politics.

Laughter will come from being with Julian Clary and John Bishop – most definitely the best medicine.

fishI am bound to come home with an empty wallet but with a pile of signed books.  I will have spoken to some of these incredible personalities and will no doubt be totally exhausted from all the  intellectual cut and thrust.  Ultimately, I’ll be one happy lady – after all what more could a girl want? Except to ask that it doesn’t rain! Where’s national treasure Michael Fish when you need him?  And where did I put that umbrella?

Tagged , , , , , ,