Bake!

A small win today.

Earlier this year I started to learn to bake and set out to perfect a simple sponge cake.

A sponge cake has 7 ingredients: self raising flour, stork, eggs, caster sugar, icing sugar, jam and vanilla essence.

Two months ago all of these ingrediants were freely available. Flour was a mundane and plentiful object. Today it’s become a rare and precious commodity with comedians joking you can buy bags on the dark web.

I last baked a sponge over a month ago as I ran out of flour. This evening I managed to find a bag of flour. I can bake again and plan on making a sponge cake at the weekend. I feel so happy.

Trransformation is like baking a cake. It has multiple ingrediants that all go into the mix. And you just know when an ingredient is missing as the cake won’t rise! I don’t think I’ll ever take mundane things for granted in my life ever again.

Stay safe. Stay inside. Bake!cake

Lockdown

COVID-19 has transformed our street. What was once a quiet terraced commuter street where people occasionally nodded and said hello has turned into something remarkable.

When we entered lockdown, one neighbour came up with the idea of a WhatsApp group to look out for each other. I’m sure this kind of thing must be happening everywhere. What started with a few people has now turned into hundreds.

Neighbours now ask while they are out shopping if anyone needs anything.

Neighbours are lending tools and gifting items to each other.

One neighbour did a sponsored cook and raised hundreds for the NHS.

One neighbour has organised a collection for the local food bank.

One neighbour is a Michelin starred chef who has been sharing cookery videos from his kitchen.

Our Thursday clapping session has become a wonderful joint thankyou to the NHS.

There are even plans afoot to organise a street party when we eventually come out of lockdown.

We’ll never go back to before and we’ll be better for it. We’ve become a true community. Our street has transformed.

Transformation takes many shapes and sizes. It doesn’t need to be big bang. Small opportunities can make huge changes.

Stay safe. Stay Inside.

street

The Fighting Temeraire

My favourite painting is ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ by Turner whose home is the National Gallery. It depicts a scene of one of the last gun ships from the Battle of Trafalgar being towed off for scrap by a paddle steamer. To me it symbolises transformation in moving from one stage to another. I find it very powerful and moving. Anyway, managed to duck out at lunch today to pop into the gallery and take this pic with the new £20 note (in front of some very patient tourists!) #transformation

trem

Half time!

Last weekend I ran my first (of 8) half marathons this year. Was a tad windy! In 4 weeks I’m running the London Landmarks half marathon for Guide Dogs and determined to run it sub 2 hours…

Every 6 minutes someone is told they’re going blind and every day 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. Guide Dogs exists to help people when they need help in their moment of truth. It’s mostly through the kindness of the public’s donations that they can provide their life changing services. I’ve set up a Justgiving page, link below for my run. If you’d like to sponsor me and in the process support the Guide Dogs mission I’d be most grateful.

Thankyou! 🤜💥🤛

https://lnkd.in/dcEPSet

time

Rock God

“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting”. – David Bowie

#transformation

bowie

Flow

This week Paddington Station has started a renovation (transformation?) of the Bakerloo line entrance. What used to be a mad scramble of intersecting commuters has vanished. Foot traffic now flows elegantly one way in one entrance and then out through another. The ticket gates have all gone and it’s truly a thing of beauty. The speed to get in and down onto the platform is remarkable. I kind of hope they keep it like this. Moral – transformation doesn’t need to be big bang. Customers can immediately benefit from ‘works in progress’.

#flow

paddo

Hold the front page!

Well this was a nice surprise. Found out today from one of my lovely old colleagues that one of my selfies at the Guide Dog’s annual awards last year made it onto the front cover of the staff magazine!

FRONTPAGE

Hackerthon

A few years ago I had a health scare. A routine doctor’s visit showed my blood pressure was way too high and I had to get it down. I was told to lose weight and cut my caffeine intake which was c.10 cups a day…

So I turned to Dr. Google and obsessively measured my bp. (On reflection, this probably wasn’t the best plan). It’s not like I hadn’t been trying to keep fit! Over the years I would buy fitness magazines to follow routines to ‘get ripped’. They never worked.

I needed to transform my approach. So I hired a trainer, took up running, drank MUCH less coffee and cut my salt. Over time these made a huge change to my health. My bp is down, weight dropped & caffeine controlled.

Getting expert advice is key. Hypertension is common, affecting 1 in 3 UK adults.
Follow this link for NICE guidance (wish I’d read years ago).

https://lnkd.in/d-2bZsW

Today I took part in a NICE ‘hypertension hackathon’ which was awesome. Big thanks to Johanna for driving this; great team, high energy & great outcomes. I’m inspired! This kind of work is at the beating heart of our transformation. Here’s a selfie mid-hack with our sub-team!

#NICEConnect #TeamNICE

selfie2

Selfie time!

Great planning day with the NICE – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Centre for Guidelines in Manchester. This amazing team are responsible for developing evidence based guidance on good health, ill health prevention, appropriate treatment and care for people with specific diseases and social care and service delivery. This results in clinical, public health and social care guidelines which are used by the NHS, local government, social care, patients and their families. Thankyou Paul for the invite! #TeamNICE #NICEConnect #FirstNICESelfie

selfie1

Week 1

Fantastic first week at Nice meeting the team in London and Manchester. It’s been fascinating to learn more about what we do; it’s a whole new world of terms like guidelines, pathways and multi-morbidity. #MindBlown. Really lovely welcome by everyone I met and great patience explaining all the new acronyms to learn. Thankyou for the likes and kind comments on my post, felt the love!

Wonderful being back working in central London; literally tripping over famous people like London mayor candidate Rory Stewart who I bumped into on Wednesday! A few people have asked about guide dog pics. I’m really not sure why as I only posted 1 or 2 last year, lolz. I can totally recommend @guidedogs on Twitter, where you’ll find lots of wholesome content. Good weekends everyone!

#TeamNiceweek1