Monday, April 29, 2013

The Job Lot

The Job Lot is a brand new ITV comedy, which has it's first episode broadcast TONIGHT on ITV1 at 2130.

So, why am I so interested in this new comedy ?? Two big reasons: Claire Downes and Stuart Lane. They co-wrote the series with Ian Jarvis. Claire is my best friend, and Stuart is her partner. I've known Claire since we were 11 and we became close friends from the age of 15. That's twenty-five years ago.

Claire is an amazing, successful woman. I am in awe of her staying power, enthusiasm, energy and talent. Stuart is equally amazing. What he doesn't know about films isn't worth knowing.

If  I know Claire and Stu, their comedy is going to be an amazing success. This is their time and they, and their fellow writer, Ian, deserve to bask in the limelight. Well done guys !

How to find out more about Claire, Stuart and Ian, and specifically The Job Lot.

Follow The Job Lot on Twitter - @joblottv

Follow Claire on twitter - @iamClaireDownes

Follow Stuart on twitter - @itsStuartLane

Most of all watch The Job Lot tonight ! I'll be watching!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Selsdon Half Marathon 2013 - A Review

I was only a little disappointed when the Selsdon half marathon was cancelled three weeks ago, it was raining and cold, which isn't much fun over 13 miles.

The organiser emailed offering a choice: run in 3 weeks, or defer to 2014. I procrastinated. I haven't been running as much as usual - was I fit enough ? I did the Trail man Human Race event last weekend. That 8 mile slog through the mud left me exhausted.  I did a little local loop through the park with DD earlier in the week, and that was the whole of my prep.

Still, last night I dug out the kit, the trainers, the Garmin watch, the CompressSport supports, the gels, I even dug out my i-Pod thinking I was going to need every available prop, and had it all set up and ready to go. And so we went.

And what a day it was, firstly it was dry. Yippee! Also, ever so slightly sunny, but cool enough for a good run. The event is organised by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and the Start and Finish is in their beautiful premises. Since many runners had deferred to next year, I think there were more marshalls than actual runners. One of the marshalls came up and spoke to us, and was really very, very friendly. As was the man who gave me my race number.

The course was varied some hills, followed by nice down hills, but mostly flat and mainly through the streets of South Croydon. Although, sometimes we went through some dirt/mud tracks. I started well, with the first 6 miles under my belt in about 55 mins.

I took a gel whenever there was a water stop - so that was at 4.5 miles, 9 miles and 11 miles. That strategy worked well today. I overtook some runners on the second half and had a few 'battles' with some runners too. You know how it is when someone runs at almost exactly the same speed as you, and you take it in turns to try and outrun each other. In the end I focussed on my own race, which is all that really matters.

I crossed the line in 2:01:58 and that '58' is really important as I've already run a 2:02 half marathon, although the poor girl next to me thought that I was going for a sprint finish. Nah, it was all about me getting a PB.

BB and CC were there to support me and said I was about 6th woman, but I'll have to see what the final results say. Actually, I was 9th woman - results are out already!!. Still.. pretty happy with that ! I was 45th out of 71 runners, which includes males and females. Counting up the numbers, it seems that out of that, there were another 11 females and 15 males that finished after me.

The goodie bag was pretty good too - with a medal, banana, water, little chocolate bar and non-wicking, cotton t-shirt. Everything you need, really !

All in all an excellent, well organised race. Well done Selsdon half marathon. BB has already pledged to run it next year!

Here's a photo of me at the end - utterly exhausted.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

To do an MBA, or not to do an MBA, that is the question..

I don't often talk about my professional life here on the bliggy-bloggy, but if you want to know a little more about me check out my About Me link.

A few years ago now, I had set myself a personal life goal of completing my MBA by the time I reached 30. So, when my little CC was no more than 6 months old, and I had already gone back to work full-time. I started a part-time, distance-learning MBA.

I completed the course in 2 years, each module was studied over three days and then an assignment and project were set, I also did a final dissertation. It's true to say that I couldn't have completed it without my BB, as there was many a night that I was doing the night shift in the front of the laptop, whilst BB was sleeping and, of course, he looked after little CC whislt I was at university studying.

Graduating was a defining moment, I really felt complete and I was SO looking forward to not studying any more... Ha, ha since then I have completed the Foundation exam in IT Project management, an A+ Hardware exam and just this month I became a Microsoft Certified Professional in SQL Server 2008.

But that's by the by, so what does an MBA give you ? Well, if you're not a manager already, it enables you to see the bigger picture and really understand where your managers are coming from, you now understand their priorities. If you are a manager already, it gives you expertise on all facets of management. Here's the subjects I studied as part of my MBA: Marketing, Financial Management, Finance, Human Resources, Corporate Strategy, Marketing, Project Management, Entrepreneurship, Research and Statistics. My dissertation was about Corporate Social Responsibility Policies in FTSE-250 companies, and whether having such a policy has an impact on share price.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, an MBA will give you everything you need to make it a success, except the idea, of course.

I enjoyed the MBA, I met really interesting people whilst attending the course, and whilst I'm in a job where an MBA is not required, it has to be said that in my current role right now, I use the skills that the MBA gave me every day.

If you are thinking of doing an MBA, my advice would be to go for it !