Anastasia’s St Albans

My local followers will know Anastasia’s Greek restaurant in St Albans is one I often recommend. My family and friends have been eating and celebrating there now for twenty years plus.

Over the years I have held many a corporate, charity or family event and never been disappointed the food is great and the atmosphere always welcoming.  Costa and his team always go the extra mile to ensure their guests whatever they are celebrating have a good time.

Whether you choose from the main menu or book your party for a meze you won’t be disappointed. With music, dancing and traditional greek entertainment at weekends it’s party time for certain.

Thanks again to Costa for making our family meal memorable last Friday.




Redbourn Auto Solutions

Regular followers know that I am particular who I recommend and/or associate with on my blog. However, we all know how easy it is to complain but we often fall short when giving credit where credit due. I am an old fashioned girly and like to receive good customer service and like to place my business with those one can trust.

I guess one of the many times trust is crucial is where car repairs are concerned. I hold my hand up and say I know nothing about cars and have to rely on the kindness of male friends to step in…but guys you have let me down…my tyres did need replacing!  Thankfully I took the ‘old girl’ to Redbourn Auto Solutions for pre MOT check today and was met with really friendly and helpful staff early Monday morning and happily left her in more reliable hands. Not only did Ian and team carry out all the necessary repairs within a day, and, source and fit replacement tyres but took her round for the MOT for me too.

It’s great to know that I now have peace of mind, that works were carried out safely and at competititive prices. For those living local who may travel to alternative garage solutions I would recommend next time you give Redbourn Auto Solutions a try. It’s not only good to keep trade with local businesses but you know with Ian’s team they value your custom, are looking to serve you well and longer term rather than viewing you as just a one-off hit with a huge bill to boot! I wouldn’t take my car anywhere else.

Thanks again to the team for taking the stress away today.

Looking for the best

I am a great believer in giving the other guy the benefit of the doubt and trying to look for the best, but appreciate that with some individuals this is not so easy.

As a child I remember my mother asking us to even make allowances for the bullies as after all they were basically unhappy children.  Some truth in that of course and my regular followers know that anti-bullying is a subject of frequent posts.

In life it is often about changing our own attitudes which makes us stronger.

To quote Mahatma Ghandi:-

‘Before we expect to see our desired qualities in others, we should assimilate them in ouselves. We are all wonderful and extremely beautiful from the inside and the more we see the same thing in others, we shall get the same in return.’

Even in business this is true and from an early age I was encouraged to ‘kill customers with kindness‘ backed up by great training films featuring John Cleese on how not to treat them!

Keep smiling.

Being mindful and listening

During the course of both business and social meetings this week friends and colleagues have all mentioned the value of being listened to in both personal and business environments.

Whatever age we have arrived at in life, and, whatever journey we have travelled to get there we will have times when we need support..although we may fight against admitting it.

During my early morning dog walk (before being glued to the laptop) a colleague and I not only covered many steps but many topics. Both professionals in pastoral and practice mindfulness but ‘mindful’ that our maturity and qualifications enable us to do so whereas others are struggling particularly today’s teenagers/students.

We both discussed the rewards we get when we have a break-through with somebody we are trying to support and how the use of eye-contact, or rather its avoidance, plays such an important part. We have many senses and our hearing being our best gift for those that need to talk and not be judged. Sitting next to somebody, respecting their space and not intimidating them takes patience and consideration..but it’s easier than we think. That’s all part of mindfulness…slowing down and using our intellect rather than our emotions will always be fruitful.

Over the weekend find time to be ‘that friend’ who listens. Please give those you love the platform and opportunity to talk, but moreover the chance for someone to listen.

Positive Monday

Mondays can be a bit of a drag some weeks even for the most positive soul. But isn’t it great when the week starts off with positive news? Over the past months I have had the privilege of helping a few friends, family and clients with keeping motivated after interviews have been non-productive.

Often the reasons we don’t get that brilliant job we felt we were made for are nothing whatsoever to do with us, our skills, or how we performed on interview…and sometimes it is because something better is out there with our name on it.

However, getting back on the job-seeking horse can be daunting when our self-esteem has taken a knocking, and would-be-employers or agents saying ‘you were over qualified’ is just simply unhelpful.

Sometimes we just have to be patient and that great opportunity will come along and have our name on it and all is perfect in the world. So for one talented young man, who may read my blog today well done…I am almost as thrilled as you.

As for me; well I had a surprisingly high mark on my first assignment on my  latest course. The first one is always the hardest… getting back into the swing of studying and trying to gauge whether one has ‘done enough’ to please the tutors is often daunting. We are never too old to accept positive feedback nor be excited to receive a great mark!

I am now in an excellent place, to a) start assignment number two and b) see what Tuesday holds.

End of exams..where’s my flip flops

The examination period is finally coming to an end for invigilators and students. It has been a long hot summer for many and I am mindful for all students as they now have the anticipated wait for the results of said exams. You have done your best (hopefully) and remember if you don’t get that first option at university the second may end up being the better option for you in the longer term.

Now is the time to recharge those batteries, wind down and have some fun. I say that with a degree of caution reminding students not to over do things, after exams one can feel run down and it is easy to feel unwell.

I think we have all experienced the holiday flu as our body sighs a relief that it is starting to relax…prime time for bugs to creep in. I am telling myself the exact same things as I wind down for a well deserved break away in Cornwall. The nature of my work, which although an enjoyable challenge takes its toll and I will try to practice what I preach about taking time out to do the things we enjoy.

Packing goodies for my retreat, plenty of treats and good reading material, last three months writers news (never get time to read that!!)..just incase the weather is unkind. Who knows I may even get time to write some poetry – I am inspired by a lovely new writer friend who is a talented writer of Haiku works.

No broadband at my cottage; so off line for emails and away from the blog but will return bursting with energy and full of cream teas!

Keep healthy and be happy fellow bloggers and my lovely followers – life is short so have that naughty ice know you want to.








Technology running our lives

OK I know it’s not Monday but I didn’t have time to rant yesterday as I spent the day glued to laptop! I am so aware that we all depend so much on out technology and when changes are made beyond our control it can be daunting if not frustrating…not to mention time consuming and additional costs.

My email server for many years has decided to withdraw my email address leaving me with hours of fun…did I say fun?  There are so many things in our business that are connected to our email address that have to be changed aside of re-printing costs of stationary! Like many business people my email package is my filing system – in an attempt to be paper free haha we leave ourselves vulnerable it seems.

Luckily my daughter is home from university and helped me to import data and contacts to new email… some has arrived here’s hoping the rest does soon!

I confess to not saving all my contact  details either, who does when it may be just one or two emails? So I am apologising in advance to anybody I inadvertantly lose contact with after the end of May. I am doing my best to notify those I can of change of email details.

On the good side maybe I may end up actually talking to people instead of communication via modern there’s a thought.

Work experience and social skills

Many of the more sensible students will have secured volunteering positions for half term and for those of you that were not as proactive or unlucky in your endeavours don’t be disheartened.

Now is the time to start approaching charities and organisations for the forthcoming Easter break. I know parents and teachers alike will be encouraging students to get work experience and improve their social skills.

What students have to bear in mind is that being a great academic is not enough your future university will be looking for characters with a good and interesting CV. Showing personal skills and ability to contribute something of value.

Please read my article on Innovate My School’s website:-

Looking back

During my remiscent works with my lovely elderly clients I enjoy looking back at old  black and white photos of yester-years and finding inspiration quotes by various celebrities and politicians of the time which we then discuss.

Today I came across a great quote made in 1924 by the then Director General of the BBC

‘He who prides himself on giving what he thinks the public wants is often creating a fictious demand for low standards which he will then satisfy’ John Reith

I think a lot of people in various business sectors applied and still apply this mantra…sadly so

Set the bar higher I say.

Keep signing

Thank you to all my friends and colleagues who found time to sign the OPA’s petition yesterday. Please keep signing and circulate if you feel able to support.

Never under-estimate what we the people can do when we join hands and make those in power listen.

Preventative rather than cure especially in health is a no-brainer and can help reduce the NHS ever increasing costs.