Churchill, Lemons, Lists and Sunshine

Well, well, well, you have been busy this week. What a bumper crop of blogs you’ve kindly submitted for the rest of the world to enjoy, it’s really rather kind of you. Thanks.

A couple of our bloggers took up the [entirely optional] theme of colour this week, first was Carol Woolley with Bring me sunshine…  I am holding Carol entirely responsible for the lovely weather we had at the weekend. I think the lovely sunny bag she crafted called to the sun. I hope Carol can blog about similar sunny projects for the next 6 months. Karen Hart also blogged about colour in the wonderful post  Lists, writing and memory Karen writes about how Ray Bradbury used lists to spark off creative thinking through word association. Karen uses this technique to share with us some highlights and memories around the colour blue.

I’m delighted to see that Janet E Davis is painting again, and that she shares the various stages of her work with us through her blogs. This latest painting One and a half lemons and a pepper  has some amazing colours in it, so vibrant and bright, a very cheerful picture, but as Janet explains there were some difficulties getting the colours right, and the danger of running out of paint trying to mix colours. I look forward to reading about and seeing more of Janet’s paintings as they develop.

More food in the post submitted by Diane Sims  in Feeling blue  in which we see a photo of some Salad Blue potatoes which she used in a recipe for potato salad. Although the potatoes might look a little unusual the dish was enjoyed by all who tried it. The colour and texture of the potatoes resonated with the way Diane was feeling when she wrote the blog. 

Another classic photo from Richard Overy of a lost image found at a car boot sale and now preserved digitally for us all to enjoy. The two women in this photo show the fashion of the time, standing in front of a very fancy looking car. I really enjoy looking at these images and Two Ladies and a Vintage Car is one of my favourite.

A brilliant post from Chris Bolton this week who shares with us how Winston Churchill’s famous speech might have been received differently if he’d have used PowerPoint and pie charts. Chris is encouraging us all to deliver big messages face to face, or through video, so that the audience can not only be clear about the message but also see the passion and emotion with which it should be delivered. Winston Churchill and the ‘fight them on the beaches’ Pie Chart  is a very enjoyable read. 

Also looking at communication and getting messages through to the audience is Ross Wigham In Shotgun wedding   Ross, who was larking about in the countryside dressed in tweed, shooting at clay pigeons, reflects on a time when some PR campaigns might have taken a scatter gun approach to hitting the target but now, with reduced budgets and increased data on potential audiences, PR professionals are now making sure the message is getting through to its intended recipient.

Phil Jewitt explains that it can be tricky working for the local authority in which you live. Contributing to discussion and debate as a resident about plans of your employer sometimes needs clarifying so there is no doubt as to which hat (personal or professional) one is wearing. Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be… looks at this potentially confusing subject for individuals contributing as well as the colleagues hosting.  

It’s hard to think that there are many good novels about local government but to celebrate Happy World Book Day, Dawn Reeves blogs about one of her favourite novels which surprisingly has local government at the heart of its plot. The story looks at communities, public/private schemes, flood plains and budget cuts – and was written over 80 years ago. Dawn challenges you to find other examples of novels where local government is key to the storyline.

Mark Braggins is Introducing Hampshire Hub, which is a collaboration of partners including local authorities, police, fire, armed forces and others to be open by default and that any information shared will be available under open licence. The hub is currently involved in various projects including hackathons, aerial photography, open data communities, alongside looking at developing a datastore. A really interesting blog, and project, which will be worth following over the coming months.

A blog from Anne Marshall on the Dumfries and Galloway health blog looks at how to overcome the discrepancy between wanting to deliver a five star service on a one star budget. Anne suggests that we still want to see the best treatment and care for patients but is has to be within reasonable and sustainable limits – and this might lead to having to say ‘No’ and set some Boundaries . . .

Another health related blog this week is from Susan Munro who reminds herself why she started her blog – to highlight the work of a speech and language therapist working in the field of adult mental health. In this blog Susan highlights three best things about her working week, which includes a great success story of a client who hadn’t spoken for 10 years who is now very talkative. Simply the Best  is a very positive read.

When preparing for a new job, as Chief Executive of NHS Scotland, Paul Gray  visited a number of NHS Boards to meet staff and patients. He was inspired by what he found. Then a few days before starting, tragedy hit so many when a helicopter crashed into the roof of a Glasgow pub. Paul then spent time with paramedics and medical staff who assisted during this awful time and was impressed by their dedication, care and humility. Not quite the preparation he had planned but helped him see more than ever that First impressions count.

Someone else making a good first impression is Sarah at Participation Cymru who blogs about her experience of being on the radio for the first time. In Our radio debut!   the team share how they were asked to take part is Diverse Cardiff, a radio show which goes out on the community station Radio Cardiff. With some preparation beforehand, Sarah found that the interview was really just a chat about who Participation Cymru are, the work they do and how others can get involved – and what’s to fear about that?

Nic Davies Uley tells us this week that meningitis kills more under 5s that any other infectious disease, and which on average kills 2 children a week, yet there is a vaccine available. Nic has joined a campaign by Meningitis Now to lobby the health secretary so that the vaccine is available on the NHS. In Bring in the meningitis b vaccine Nic shares how you can join in this worthwhile campaign too.

Charlotte Gibbons recently took part in Sleep Easy organised by the YMCA, to raise awareness and much needed funds for this charity which supports young homeless people in accessing temporary and permanent accommodation. In Living In A Box Charlotte writes about how she spent one evening trying to get some sleep outside. The howling wind, noise and cardboard box for a bed made it virtually impossible, very miserable and appreciative of home comforts.

So that’s your mighty fine lot. They are all worth a read, a like, a share or a comment.  If you want to have a go a writing a blog for week 10, then you can find out how on our About page. I’m going to set you an [entirely optional] theme this week based on Susan Munros post and go with ‘The three best things about…’ and this can be anything, the three best things about your job, your hobby, the sunshine, a slice of cake. You can even share three photos showing that a blog doesn’t have to be lots of text.

If you want to have a go at being the Weekly Blog Club host and curator for a week, and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you, there’s an easy step by step guide on how to on our Admin info page. Go on, give it a go.

Until next time, take care of yourself and keep blogging

Kate x

Kate Bentham

  1.  Lists, writing and memory by Karen Hart
  2. Boundaries . . . by Anne Marshall on the Dumfries and Galloway health blog
  3. Winston Churchill and the ‘fight them on the beaches’ Pie Chart  by Chris Bolton
  4. Happy World Book Day by Dawn Reeves
  5. Our radio debut!  by Participation Cymru
  6. Bring in the meningitis b vaccine by Nic Davies Uley
  7. One and a half lemons and a pepper by Janet E Davis
  8. Feeling blue by Diane Sims
  9. Bring me sunshine… by Carol Woolley
  10. Two Ladies and a Vintage Car by Richard Overy
  11. Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be… by Phil Jewitt
  12. First impressions count by Paul Gray on the Ayrshire Health blog
  13. Introducing Hampshire Hub by Mark Braggins
  14. Living In A Box by Charlotte Gibbons
  15. Simply the Best  by Susan Munro
  16. Shotgun wedding  by Ross Wigham

Lists, writing and memory

A wonderful post from Karen Hart this week, who writes about how Ray Bradbury used lists to spark off creative thinking through word association. Karen uses this technique and the [entirely optional] theme of colour to share with us some highlights and memories around the colour blue.

Lists, writing and memory by Karen Hart

Boundaries . . .

A blog from Anne Marshall this week who looks at how to overcome the discrepancy between wanting to deliver a five star service on a one star budget. Anne suggests that we still want to see the best treatment and care for patients but is has to be within reasonable and sustainable limits – and this might lead to having to say ‘No’ and set some boundaries. 

Boundaries . . . by Anne Marshall on the Dumfries and Galloway health blog

Winston Churchill and the ‘fight them on the beaches’ Pie Chart

A brilliant post from Chris Bolton this week who shares with us how Winston Churchill’s famous speech might have been received differently if he’d have used PowerPoint and pie charts. Chris is encouraging us all to deliver big messages face to face, or through video, so that the audience can not only be clear about the message but also see the passion and emotion with which is should be delivered.

Winston Churchill and the ‘fight them on the beaches’ Pie Chart  by Chris Bolton

Happy World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day, Dawn Reeves blogs about one of her favourite novels which surprisingly has local government at the heart of its plot. The story looks at communities, public/private schemes, flood plains and budget cuts – and was written over 80 years ago. Dawn challenges you to find other examples of novels where local government is key to the storyline.

Happy World Book Day by Dawn Reeves

Our radio debut!

This week we hear from Sarah at Participation Cymru and her experience of being on the radio for the first time. The team were asked to take part is Diverse Cardiff, a radio show which gos out on the community station Radio Cardiff. With some preparation beforehand, Sarah found that the interview was really just a chat about who Participation Cymru are, the work they do and how others can get involved – and what’s to fear about that?

Our radio debut!  by Participation Cymru

Bring in the meningitis b vaccine

Nic Davis Uley tells us this week that meningitis kills more under 5s that any other infectious disease, and which on average kills 2 children a week, yet there is a vaccine available. Nic has joined a campaign by Meningitis Now to lobby the health secretary so that the vaccine is available on the NHS. Nic shares how you can join in this worthwhile campaign too.

Bring in the meningitis b vaccine by Nic Davies Uley