I have a new lodger. A squirrel seems to have made itself a snug little home in the roof space above my office. The first time I heard it I thought there was an intruder upstairs; definite footsteps and what sounded like rummaging through bags. Grabbing my keys I ran to my car, where I sat shivering for five minutes while deciding whether or not to call the police. The arrival of my neighbour prompted me to venture out of the car and he, oh so bravely, ran through the premises ready to confront the burglar. I know he thought I was bonkers and no one, or nothing, was there. I’ve since heard the noises several times, as well as scuttling along the side of the office wall along a gap little more than two inches wide.
My friend Alan is Head of Licencing for the public protection team at the local council. He’s the client who first commissioned me to run a series of training sessions on alcohol awareness, and we’ve remained friends ever since – having shared some wine and a good few cream cakes along the way. I’m a member of the public in need of protection so I’m hoping he’ll be able to advise me on how to remove the cheeky little creature and let me get on with my work. Turns out it’s pretty hard to concentrate on writing a social media book with its constant scrabbling above my head. Some days when I’ve been too distracted to focus, I’ve wandered down to my local library and worked in the reading room. But… I have a new favourite place to go now: the aptly named City Business Library.
Do you know it? I’ll be running some mini social media workshops there in the new year, so I went along this week to meet the team and see the training rooms. What a fantastic place!! It’s a veritable hive of knowledge for small businesses – or any business in fact. If you need help – on line, through workshops or with the help of some very well informed people – this is the place to be.
The computers contain a whole hoard of databases so you can search for information on virtually anything you can imagine! I went with one of my clients; together we’ll be offering a business growth workshop that covers finance and all-sorts, so he needed to see the venue too. While we were there, he decided to carry out some research on music. Now, as you know, I love anything to do with music, especially if its origins were in the 80s. While he played around, I discovered how easy it is to create a targeted mailing list in a couple of minutes – with The Joshua Tree ringing in my ears. (No singing along though…it’s very peaceful in the City Business Library!)
The library’s part of Guildhall, a fantastic medieval structure that I toured a couple of years ago as part of a sponsored walk through London to raise money for the Sick Children’s Trust (SCT). Harry Potter was at his best that day as we wandered through Diagon Alley… Yes it’s here, right in the heart of our city!
I was thinking about the SCT in the build up to Children in Need, and the amazing work they do for families. Talking about music, I missed Children in Need Rocks when it was shown live – don’t tend to watch much TV but so many people were commenting on Facebook that I caught it on catch-up. After laughing at Chris Evans’ Botoxed smile we watched some of the music industry’s cream performing for charity and, yet again, I marvelled at the way in which Bob Geldof changed the world. I’ve spoken many times on my respect for this absolute superstar who managed to achieve where governments failed to even try.
And I remember the night of Live Aid like it was yesterday – a fancy dress party with Gill and I dressed as Betty Rubble and Wilma Flintstone, dancing in the street at midnight to Bowie and Jagger. That was way before my afternoon working with Sir Bob, which I still count as one of my favourite projects, by the way. And his inspiration and charm keep him firmly in my top ten of heroes. Who’s in yours?
I play Sir Bob often, but not tonight. Tonight’s reserved for the songs playing in my mind at the City Business Library. ‘Through the storm we reach the shore; you gave it all but I want more. And I’m waiting for you…’ Don’t leave me waiting… Come and find me: @WeekendWitch.
(Thanks to www.Guildhall.CityofLondon.gov.uk for sharing the pic.)