Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Chester musings

I've been away again. This time in Chester delivering a presentation and then a workshop at a one day conference. I was doing this alongside my colleague as part of our NHS Education in Scotland role.

The journey down was uneventful and we arrived at the rather plush Crowne Plaza Hotel. It's amazing how looks can make one think that a hotel is going to be a first-class experience, but I have to say that my initial 'wow' was rather overtaken by a big underwhelm after waiting 15+ minutes for someone to come and book us in at reception.

The room I was given was very comfortable and the goodies I got on my pillow (a duo of spray for my pillow and roll on aromatherapy for my wrist) to help me sleep lifted my hopes, but sadly these were soon dashed again as we went for dinner and were again kept waiting to be seated, kept waiting for our menus, kept waiting for our drinks (and yes, we did have a glass of wine because we both felt we needed it by then), and then kept waiting for an almost just warm soup and an average main course.  The bed was comfortable, but I'm not sure the sleep goodies helped in the slightest as I woke up at 4.30 and spraying and rolling to my heart's content didn't garner me any more sleep.

The morning presentation went ok, I felt. It was us and 3 other people from around the UK telling how our services were doing to about 40 delegates. Then the delegates had to choose which workshop they wanted to go to and here, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, we didn't do well at all. We had the grand total of 4 participants!

Actually it turned out ok. We didn't quite do the workshop we'd planned but we did get an opportunity to help a psychiatrist who's setting up services in Brazil and someone else who's doing some specialist work. And then it was the final plenary, which went well and I felt a lot better at that point.

So on reflection, it was probably my worst conference experience, but then the law of averages says it's got to happen some time. Sad really that it went like that for this particular group as I'm not going to be working with any of them again and I'd far rather have gone out on a high, but hey, it's all in the past now so can only look to the next one and hope for better things.

Getting back to Edinburgh late last night (put my key in the door just after 10 pm) and a reasonable sleep to wake up to snow this morning has left me tired and definitely not amused, but with a couple of days of downtime ahead I should perk up a bit, especially as I'm home alone for the next few days so can delight myself with my OU course manual and a lot of staring out of the window, which is, I believe, a course requirement!

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