Lights, Camera, Action

There’s a story about my parents attending my year 4 parents evening.  The new teacher talked about how I was doing with my times tables and spelling tests etc, and then there was a long pause.  “She’s got a very vivid imagination” she said, apparently rather hesitantly.  “She entertains us all with stories of her pretending to play with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis and Angela Lansbury”.  My...

I wouldn’t want to be in Theresa May’s shoes

After years of hum-ing and ha-ing I’ve finally retired from mediating.  I still believe mediation is the only way to go for separating couples, it makes sense in every way; it should be cheaper, you keep control of what happens to you and your kids, and at the end of the process you should be proud that you’ve ended your marriage in a civil way.  However, being a mediator is not...

The Best Bits

  Unlike accountants who have their year end in April, and the rest of the country who have their year end on New Year’s Eve my year end is the day the kids go back to school in September.  Day One, I clear the surfaces in the kitchen of the summer-holiday-detritus-build-up.  Day Two, I tackle the non-urgent emails that have disappeared off the bottom of my screen in my...

Europe – Hoisting my flag to the mast

A couple of months ago, the French Tricolore flag flew over St Clere during some filming. I felt profoundly uncomfortable; I am proudly, emphatically patriotic when it comes to our nation and St Clere’s place in it. On the day the referendum was announced, I was firmly sitting on the fence. To begin with my only certainty was that we shouldn’t be having a referendum about something as important...

Return on Investment

It’s often the Ocado drivers who get me thinking.  Apparently the word in the Ocado depot is that I am Bernie Ecclestone’s wife.  I don’t know if anyone has seen Bernie Ecclestone’s wife, but let’s put it this way, I’m taking it as a compliment.  So that’s always the first thing the Ocado drivers say.  The second always starts “You know what you should do here?…..”  So follows a...

Flatpack St Clere

It’s difficult to describe what it’s like running an estate, I’m drawn towards analogies to help. When my Dad ran St Clere my analogy was that he seemed to manage the whole thing with one finger on the steering wheel of a car with low revs and quality power-steering. When I took over it felt like I was driving the ford escort I inherited from my granny 20 years...