Welcome back to the Martini Diaries – as we enter the 12th week of lock-down in the UK I am beginning my plans to return to my office in London later this month. I felt it was time for a short period of reflection before we begin to share together the continuation of my life and travels as a CEO of a global non-profit organisation.
What have I learnt about leadership over these 11 weeks of being confined to barracks away from my team?
The Martini Diaries returns in 2020, with my return to skiing after a 13 year absence, and a visit to Georgia. I am bewildered by the sheer volume of luggage people try and take as ‘carry-on’, experience the new Istanbul airport, enjoy red wine for breakfast (a first), ski in Georgia, plan a conference, and now cannot wait until next February to ski again!
In which I reflect on the outcome of the General Election, note the importance of networking to help find employment and employees, explain leadership-in-action, attend the Annual Parliamentary Scientific Christmas Reception, fail to be inspired by the food of Ottolenghi, travel to Canada for Christmas, and offer my thoughts for 2020.
In which I reflect on my environmental footprint, lament the lack of scientific disciplined debate in environmental issues, fly to Belfast for three days, wonder why Belfast goes to bed at 10 pm, experience BA flight cancellations, live out of a small valise longer than intended, inter my Father’s ashes, celebrate my Birthday with a shave at Trumpers and meet the Chelsea Pensioners for the annual Christmas Cheese Ceremony.
In which I return to UK from Pakistan (with a head cold and stomach problems), attend a two day Board meeting, take multiple medications to keep going, try out my new velvet dinner jacket at the Inspire Suffolk charity ball, miss my first Remembrance Day parade in 36 years, seem to endlessly cris-cross London to attend meetings and events, enjoy breakfast at the Wolseley and lunch at my Club on the same day!
31 October – 4 November 2019. First visit to Pakistan
Thursday 31 October 2019
A very painful night’s sleep. My fingers are badly swollen, and forming a grip is a painful and slow process. I kept waking up due to the pain of moving my hand. Molly the dog didn’t help by wanting to go outside for a pee at 6 am! I finished packing and my driver collected me at 11 am for the trip to Heathrow. I couldn’t lift any suitcase or bag with my right hand, so this could be problematic on a trip where I have three bags/suitcases!
In which my Father dies and I take a break from writing my diary, attend the launch of Shaun Gordon’s AW19 collection, endure the agony of obtaining a Visa to visit Pakistan, survive a nasty fall whilst packing and prepare to visit Pakistan for the first time.
In which I return to work after my summer holiday, travel immediately to Rwanda, discover Rwanda is the safest country in Africa, visit the Genocide Museum, fly with Qatar Airways for the first time, bemoan the lack of respect in our society, discover I am now a male model for Italian clothing, enjoy the annual luncheon at my Club (and work out how to solve Brexit), have to wake up too early in the morning without my morning Royal Blend Tea (and miss my train as a result), and make a plea for a return to understatement in our language.Continue reading “The Martini Diaries – Episode 8”
In which a two day committee meeting makes a big decision, I visit The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and touch Moon rock, attend the Henley Royal Regatta, catch up with a ex-staff Member for luncheon, travel to Sheffield and find the worst hotel in England, discover my dog has excellent bladder control, and try to explain cricket to a Canadian.
In a slightly extended episode I welcome the croquet season, despair at my increasing weight having returned to the gym, fail to follow or understand a briefing on what constitutes ‘fake news’, travel to Kenya for the first time, experience British Airways First Class, deliver some lectures on leadership in Kenya, experience my first safari, and enjoy the best sleep ever on an aircraft.