Plenty to Celebrate in our Beautiful County

street partyArrangements for formal celebrations of the Queen’s 90th birthday are well underway at the moment, we have already had the lighting of the beacons around the county and in a few weeks’ time there will be thousands of people getting together for street parties. In my village the Parish Council has organised a BBQ at a local farm and if it is anything like the one we had to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee it will be a real knees up welcoming everyone from tiny tots to elders of the village.

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Their Future in Your Hands

Like many of you, I have a family and live in a rural area. My children have grown up here but are teenagers now and need different things from when they were younger. In the past I was able to provide all of the things they needed – love, food, Lego blocks a swing set, it was relatively easy and I didn’t really need the help of anyone else. But this has changed as they have got older, Continue Reading

Raising the stakes whilst keeping your cool

WarriorMonk13This morning in between meeting with my Board to discuss governance issues and setting up meetings to create new opportunities I have been flicking around Twitter, reading articles and following leads to interesting ideas and people. Today is International Women’s Day and the great thing about Twitter is that I can connect with people at the touch of a button. Continue Reading

Birthdays, Stress and Funding

BirthdayIt’s my birthday today and I’m heading rapidly towards the big 50, although not quite as rapidly as my husband seems to think – stop adding an extra year to my age will you my dear chap! Inevitably birthdays always leave me assessing where I am and where I’m headed and what has changed over the year.

Personally as I’ve gone through my fourth decade I have felt more and more comfortable with myself and my life and less inclined to question everything that comes along. I don’t know if this is because I have less energy or if I am just more relaxed, but my new frame of mind has certainly helped me cope with situations that in times gone by would have given me absolute nightmares. Being a Chief Executive of a medium sized charity certainly has plenty of stressors so a calm approach to working life is definitely a help to me and those around me. I think if you asked any of my team they would probably say that I see red a lot less now than I used to! Continue Reading

Global or Local – where should our focus be?

helpingThere’s an awful lot going on at the moment that has given me pause for thought and made me question the sanity of the world – and let’s face it by world I mean people. I am an avid reader of news sites from Sky News to the Guardian to the Telegraph and the Spectator. By my way of thinking the more you absorb the better the chance you have of filtering out the white noise and finding the truth of the matter. I don’t like to be told what to think but I do like to hear other people’s opinions and naturally these start to frame my own. I have noticed that I appear to be in the minority in this respect, so many people have such fixed and closed ideas about what is right and wrong that they aren’t prepared to listen to another’s point of view. This only leads to entrenched and divisive approaches that give rise to the internet trolls we are always hearing about; people who seem to take pleasure in spewing abuse at others simply because they have a different point of view.

Voltaire summed up the Western world’s approach to free speech when it is claimed that he said ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’. No matter what some would have you believe in the UK we can still pretty much say what we want, it allows us to have a plurality of opinion and to embrace different cultures, politics and persuasions. To me it sums up some of the best things about our country and I will always champion our right to free speech. Continue Reading