Friday, 26 September 2014

What a Week!

Well we now have had the Labour Conference which has not been a success ....not only my view but even those from then far left reflect adversely about the gaffes and lack lustre feel. We can exchange opinions on this over and over again but when the left wing press are unsupportive you have a problem.....
Ed Miliband ...even if you are his mother ...might say you need this son? this the right job for you?.....

Then today Nigel Farage....what a confident flamboyant showman .....(not my politics I stress) he has the habit of capturing the mood....he actually listens and comes up with  sound objectives which although difficult to counter are not likely to be feasible.  He in my eyes has shaken up the establishment and says we know u want this but.....we know u don't  want to say so!  Parties should be very afraid.....

Goodness knows how things will pan out....

Conservatives next which I will attend!  Will keep u posted!  If u r interested in politics you will enjoy  conference  no matter which party.  Its not all about politics but about inspirational speakers on a range of topics which makes u think and also most importantly may change your direction....

My children think I am probably a sad case but these topical issues are important and also go to share and debate to be a valuable member of society....refrain from word "community" seems fragmented to me.....we are all as "community"

Saturday, 20 September 2014

A Week is a Long Time..........

"A week is a long time in the world of politics" - this comment is attributed to Harold Wilson after winning an election.

This couldn't be more relevant in this week gone by.

Many of us will have felt bombarded with information from just about every media source on the Scottish Referendum.  The polls ebbed and flowed, pundits speculated, debates went on endlessly......we had passion, despair, elation , disappointment, accusations, humiliation, resignation,.....and consequences.

Careers were improved or ruined, some performances were praised and some were vilified.  No matter where you positioned yourself in the decision whether Scotland should be independent or not you cannot help but feel for the main players in this Greek tragedy.  

Although I very much interested in politics, the older I get the more I realise that there is no such thing as an ideal outcome.

Some think they have gained too much or too little.  Some will try to save face and will seek to employ damage limitation. Winning is only the start not an end in itself as the victors struggle to make their policies viable and to weather the storm of the opposition.

We now have the political conferences for the next 2/3 weeks with the inevitable posturing and promises, pledges. What is a fact of life is that unless you get a convincing mandate you are unable to carry through policies as intended.  Instead you have to negotiate with other parties to achieve a resolution which does not water down (too much) your intended goal.

Whatever you do you are on a hiding to nothing as vested interests will interpret your actions along tribal lines and you will rarely hear praise for the efforts employed.

So it is in everyday corporate life....managers would love to see their plans implemented but instead find they have to "play the game" with the most overused management speak.....with the dreaded stakeholders!!  You are in a "no win" situation as you will be perceived as being strong, weak, indecisive, a good leader, a bad one, strategic or tactical........

As I have been musing and reflecting on the past week a couple of pieces of advice which were given to me very early in my career came into my head......

Always be kind and mindful of the people on the way up because you might meet them on the way down....

and ........

Remember it pays to fail in later life....................

Friday, 19 September 2014

Gardening help!

This time of year means sorting out jobs ready for the winter, If you have a garden no matter how big or small you know there are essential maintenance tasks to do. I know friends and relatives see this process as a mega imposition on their free time for me I just see it as preparation for the good things which come out of it! I also feel there us the added bonus of exercise and extra calories burned!

Some jobs in the garden can be onerous especially.......cutting hedges and foliage  - can be a challenge. In the past I have had hedge cutters which haven't been effective or efficient. They frequently jammed and the battery life on the cordless models was extremely limited. I wasted more time trying to solve problems leading to great frustration,

So with caution I ventured into research into latest hedge cutters and found several in Amazon which were well recommended in the feedback comments - I went for this Bosch which has proved to be absolutely superb - some challenging tasks take no time at all.  Mine is robust has a long battery life and is able to cope with just about everything I throw at it! Why did I wait so long to try again!!

The other gardening labour saving device is this flexible hose ,,,,,my friends laugh at my preoccupation with things they would regard me as viewing mundane ......little do they know! Ihave always been frustrated with our normal hose - watering takes far longer , the hose keeps "kinking" cutting off water supply and I find myself running backwards and forwards trying to remedy the problem. We saw an advert on TV about a flexible hose which resolved all the problems I have encountered - too good to be true - no! Does what us says on the box!!

We bought ours from Robert Dyas but am sure other outlets stock this. Why make life harder for yourself?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Interesting links!!
(see my entry on my blog on the Tria - I use it  and husband!)

Junk Mail and Nuisance Calls!!

When I reached the age of 50 I started getting junk mail, mainly catalogues illustrating sensible nighties - you know the ones I mean? The ones  which are long with a little collar and 3 buttons .....and at an exorbitant price! I also got many leaflets showing the benefits of stair lifts and.....others on sheltered housing!

So what or who triggers this - someone is selling or  giving targeted information. I now post mail back "return to sender"

Cold calls are also on the increase even though we have telephone preference service! Maybe knowing we are retired they target 12, 2 and 4. We are getting to the stage where we will just let calls go to voicemail.

Yesterday I had one who said ...."do you have problems with mobility?"  I said "why" she cheekily said "just asking" .........

What is surprising and also insulting is that they assume people in a certain age group are all infirm or certainly past it! The grey vote has disposable income and some considerable. Next April access to pensions funds will be made so much easier. Marketing companies should think about targeting enjoyment  and leisure activities. Longevity is increasing - 50s 60s 70s 80s and beyond are  not how they used to be and can give youngsters a run for their money!  Many are pursing activities our parents would never have dreamed of doing!

In the meantime we have to still put up with the junk mail ......our postman says it helps to keep him in a job - and the nuisance calls. These methods must work otherwise they wouldn't do it.... .....

Monday, 15 September 2014

Teeth Matters

I was driving home last Friday and listening to LBC radio.  A Harley Street dentist was being interviewed - Dr Steve Sharma.   It proved to be a very entertaining and informative session.  There was also a phone in and it was fascinating to hear the problems people have with their teeth.  He was very frank about taking care of your teeth and how some neglect their teeth over many years.  The upside to this was that he stressed that no matter how guilty you feel about the neglect you still should go to a dentist who will agree a plan with you.

One thing I still find incredible is that some do not clean their teeth.  I can't imagine how they must feel on a daily basis with remnants of food between teeth and the build up of plaque.

Dr Sharma also mentioned that visiting a dentist is not only about the teeth but also about examination of the soft tissue in the mouth, under the tongue etc. to make sure nothing sinister is happening.

Surely from a health point of view taking care of your teeth is essential - even doing the basics would be beneficial.

Dr Sharma also outlined some of the most recent research on tackling bone loss, implants, veneers and so on - this certainly gave that the impression that there is hope for those who have more extreme conditions.

I can't emphasise enough how important it is to have regular checkups with your dentist and to visit a hygienist. I have to give my dentist a mention Mr Mistry in Borehamwood  who has looked after my teeth and my family's teeth over many years and has done a brilliant job.

I have dental insurance which keeps costs down.  I know some will say they can't afford to go to a dentist and can't find an NHS dentist but I would argue it is a matter of priorities.  Some will spend money on facials, massages, spas -  surely attending to your teeth is one of the best beauty treatments you can have.

What is surprising is that many people on TV who can afford to have the best treatment fail to pay attention to their teeth.  If you are in the communication business in all of its guises you must be conscious of what others are seeing.  There are a number of politicians and celebs who should really take note - as it is a real turn off when you see dirty teeth.  I know some are smokers and the staining is very noticeable particularly on HD TV!

A healthy mouth and a nice smile will give you a confidence boost, can make you look more attractive and hopefully make you look younger  and will help you smile more!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Image and Grooming at 60!!

I noticed from the age of 50 that my skin tone was changing and my once very dark brown  hair  (which I was maintaining) no longer seemed to sit comfortably with my palour!  So overtime I have had my hair streaked with highlights and lowlights until it sort of gave me a kind of equilibrium. 

I know this takes time but it isn't too onerous. It's a small price to pay to  remain attractive and part of the human race! I have mentioned in a previous post that when I was working as a  management consultant and providing advice to decision makers,  we placed great store on image and grooming. Why does this matter? Well it is all about perception. The way you look provide clues as to what you are all about. Some would say - well that's not fair - maybe not but realistically that's the way things are. Look at the politicians they are wakening up to the power of the right image for credibility. With a general election on the horizon - have a look at the efforts which are being made!!! 

When you reach your senior years you suddenly find that you can become invisible. Your once vital opinion may not be sought as your age......maybe it isn't so valuable? ! 

You find that many topical items don't include you anymore.......your age group is not regarded as important - surveys, fashion, jobs........

I would argue that we do matter, that we have a wealth of experience and wisdom. However to remain relevant we must play our part in changing perceptions of the elderly and be aware of our own PR.

 Some talk themselves old, they don't take care of themselves, pay less attention to how they look, neglect cleanliness and grooming......... They also rule themselves out of many interests and activities which are well within their grasp.

However going back to my starting point of  paying attention to my hair.........
last week this article appeared on whether or not to go grey. .......

Have a read and let me know what you think!!

I know which image is appealing to me! This is only one aspect of getting old my opinion  ....I think men as well as women benefit from a little enhancement in the dye department. More difficult for men to achieve a natural look but so many new products are available to quieten the glow of snowy hair.

You may say well I can't be bothered and of course this is your prerogative .......but be aware of the possible consequences..........

Tomorrow I am returning to my real bugbear.......... yucky teeth!!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Healthy Weight....

Getting older means increased maintenance....tedious but necessary!  If we have looked after our bodies along the way then we hope we have gained some credits! I don't know about you but certainly my conversations with my 60 ish friends and relatives often revolve around ailments and operations and we compare notes.

We look for advice from people we regard as the experts and in my book we look to them as role models.  I have mentioned this before when I had a routine medical overseen by an obese nurse. The consultation had an almost facial quality about it as she provided information on weight, blood pressure and the dangers of a poor diet..........  all good stuff but seemed to have been wasted on her.

This week there was an article in the Mail on this very subject - some medics had decided to take their own advice and lose considerable amounts of weight whilst the last one featured decided not to heed the dangers and his image to patients.

Have a read on the link below and see what you think!

 One fact really disturbed me in this article ...that a recent study revealed that 700,000 people that is half of all NHS staff are overweight or obese!!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Importance of being Earnest

We went to see the Importance of being Earnest at the Harold Pinter Theatre yesterday and we were enthralled.  The distinguished cast provided a humorous well acted production.  The great thing is that they all seemed to be enjoying the occasion as much as the audience. Always a good sign!! 

Sian Phillips at the age of 81 was as vital as ever as Lady Bracknell; Martin Jarvis as John Worthing was convincing as his much younger character! ....and Cherie Lunghi was as vivacious as ever.

All the other actors were equally superb  - but I have to give a special mention for Nigel Havers.....quite delicious and elegant and fell into the role of the roguish Algernon so easily. My husband was amused at my intense interest and said well I suppose he is in your age category...... :) Ouch!

The Harold Pinter Theatre is a venue we don't go to so often which is puzzling considering the number of times we go to the theatre. It was formally the Comedy Theatre and we reminisced about attending this same play here many years ago now.  We remembered the main actors were Martin Shaw and the beautiful late Kate O'Mara. It was memorable for seeing them and also because it was an incredibly hot day and with no air conditioning - we all spilled out onto the pavement at the interval to swallow huge quantities of water.........remember summers like that?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Late, Great Joan Rivers!

So sad the passing of Joan Rivers. She was so talented, funny and irreverent  - so  rare these days. What is also remarkable about her, which has become clear over the past few days, is what a trooper the woman was. She experienced the highs and lows of her personal life and career and met all with great resilience.
In her private life her husband committed suicide but she had the support of her daughter and grandson. She lost her money twice as her style and humour was either in vogue ....or not. She wasn't one to wallow in misfortune and fought back. At the grand age of 81 she was still working and enjoying it. When asked whether she was going to retire  she retorted by asking why she would do that as what else would she do! She had a vitality and quick witted ness  which set her part from many of her generation. 

She was quite self deprecating and openly admitted to have "procedures" which became an avenue of material for show. She was the epitomy of old school charm and glamour which was reflected in her style and in her home.
I will miss Fashion Police and her comments on the red carpet events.  She had the confidence and chutzpah to actually articulate what many of us were thinking.

Age was no barrier to her ........when asked when she found time to sleep she reportedly said that she would have plenty of time for that when she was dead. So at least she achieved a great deal in life and left her  distinctive mark. Lessons for us all!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Breast Aware - Macmillan Fund Raising

There is so much tragedy in the world and increasingly so. Everyday we are made aware of atrocities in the news which seem to have increased in brutality. We should all be thankful for what we have - our daily moans pale into insignificance when compared with the hardships of others.

Closer to home you are never sure when something will come out of the blue and dramatically affect your way of life and your priorities. Our nearest and dearest sometimes have to fight battles they would never have imagined.

My friend Nilum discovered she had breast cancer about 18 months ago.  She is thankful that she has come through her round of chemotherapy and is optimistic about the future.  Part of her treatment involved a kind of therapy where she attended a centre which provided activities designed to promote well being - these included art classes, reflexology, counselling and so on.

As  way of thank you she organised a fund raising lunch last Saturday and from this was able to give a donation of over £400! It was a really fun occasion where people shared their experiences and compared notes.  What became clear is that we all have a responsibility whatever our ages to take care of ourselves and to be vigilant in maintaining our health as much as we can.

Lots of good works are conducted everyday by dedicated people - if you want to get involved in fund raising for something which may already be personal to you - you will find more information on this website

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cure for Ageing?

Found this interesting article which outlines some research on anti ageing measures. It ties in quite nicely with one of my earlier posts about the need for us all to MOVE!!

Sedentary existence as I have witnessed with friends and relatives does seem to have a degenerative effect. They complain of stiffness, difficulty getting up out of a chair, lethargy and weight gain.

Even a daily brisk walk can help considerably in keeping the machinery in good working order!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Awesome August!

I am conscious of the fact that I have been neglecting entries on my blog.  I don't know where the time has gone! This year unusually we have not taken a "proper" holiday and have spent time in and around our home and not venturing too far.  It has been a time of catching up on jobs, gardening, tidying and cleaning.  It has also been an opportunity to sort out those stubborn areas in the house which resist attention!!

One highlight to share however was a trip with my 5 year old granddaughter to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane.  I must admit I was a little unsure how a child of this age could endure 2 and a half hours of sitting.....still!  I needn't have worried she was mesmerised by the musical and effects. The story in itself can be a little dark in places as those of you who are familiar with Roald Dahl will appreciate - however all the children there seemed unfazed!

Mair loved getting dressed up and was so excited about the occasion -something I hope she will keep in her memory box!

Well worth a trip to see this and is very suitable for adults and children.