Wednesday, 4 January 2017


Day 36 (Thursday 5th January 2017)

36 top 40 hits - achieved by the singer George Michael during his lifetime. He died 
peacefully at his home in Goring on Christmas Day 2016. He was an iconic, quintessential
pop star of the 1980's. I had to ask him for help many years ago - I co-organised the
first charity ball in the Natural History Museum, London and he and his former school mate, 
Andrew Ridgeley, who together were the music duo "Wham!", came and helped raised funds, 
as well as behaving very badly on the night, which helped make the evening memorable. RIP.

Today's post is by the ever delightful Bina Briggs. She brightens many people's mornings with her cheery greetings, virtual hugs and smiles. You too can follow Bina on Twitter and benefit from her warmth and wisdom (her handle is @PlainTalkingHR).

Bina has become a regular contributor to the Advent Blogs series. After a medical set back in 2014, she pledged to spend more time with her husband and it is clear, from this year's post, that she remains true to her word. 

As I have got to know Bina socially, I have begun to meet members of her family. I can fully understand why she is so proud and close to them. Be it friends or family, Bina is extraordinarily supportive and she will always give strangers the benefit of the doubt. However, do not mistake her warmth for lack of commercial awareness or an understanding of life's hardships. Her encouraging and cheerful persona hides the struggles she has had to cope with over the years - from being a refugee, fleeing Uganda when Amin persecuted the Asian community in Kampala (not surprisingly, she was a close supported of the Connecting HR Initiative to Uganda in September) to caring for family and loved ones during severe illness. Whatever the task, she does it with willingness and a smile.

Bina is an experienced HR professional who, with Bronwen Philpott, founded and runs Plain Talking HR - a consultancy that provides down-to-earth advice and support. If you are part of a small business that cannot afford the luxury of full-time HR support, then Bina may be just the person you need.



Here I am again, wondering what to write for this year's blog on 'Heights, Hearts and Hollows'.  It is natural for most of us to reflect on the past 12 months as we prepare for and enjoy the festive season and most importantly look forward to 2017.

I'm smiling away quietly as I write this on my iPad on a flight to Poznan, Poland.  It is the 9th Of December and it is that time of the year to visit the family in Poland! On my iPad, I notice that the only time I have written something meaningful has been a blog, every year for the last 3 years! I ended my blog last year by saying" My family around the globe is getting closer by the day, thanks to Social Media and our zest to travel! So all in all, thank you 2015, you have been kind, generous and as a friend says 'awesome' in more ways than one, may that continue into next year and so here's looking forward to a diamond of a year in 2016! AWESOME! đŸ˜€ "

Well, the year has certainly been AWSOME awesome in many ways but most of all due to one person in my life. Hubby turned 65 this year in April and to celebrate it as the only way he knows, he entered the toughest series of bike races in the series called ”Red Hook Criterium” this year, racing in Brooklyn on 30th April, 

London on 9th July, 

Barcelona on 27th August and 

Milan on 1st October. 

He of course has his support team aka, me! 

When Ian rode a couple of these races last year, he knew that most of the riders were in their teens and in their twenties and they were power houses, but that didn’t deter Ian. So, when this year’s series was announced, he entered it straight away. 

As it turned out he was the oldest rider in the series this year. The whole experience of being there, participating, even though knowing that he wasn’t going to qualify to ride in the final session was still exciting for Ian. 

He didn’t crash or abandon any of his races which was a credit to him. Ian fell in love with NYC, so guess where we will be on his next birthday?! 

Each of the races had its specialism because they all brought the local ambience with them. We managed to do a little bit of sightseeing each time, not to mention the shopping. Ian’s zest for travelling and enthusiasm for cycling has brought many lovely people in our lives.

I thought our travelling this year wouldn’t be anywhere near last year’s but hey, I was wrong! We started the year by flying on New Year’s Day to Malaga and revisited it twice more in the year and of course the annual trip to see our “Polish Family” in December, in addition to the races! So, all in all, not bad at all.

This year has brought many “global hollows” for most of us, the uncertainties and the atrocities around the world.

On a personal front, things are changing all the time, I feel at peace with myself, my lot and the world. There are always challenges but in the main, I’m happy and looking forward to 2017. It’s bringing changes, especially as hubby will be retired in early 2017, which can only mean one thing, more bike races!!

1 comment:

  1. I do a lot of cycling Bina - not racing and not at your husband's level, but I find it so much better than taxis and tubes in London. People say "it must be dangerous in London" but, if you know what you are doing it's possible to miss most of the traffic through empty side streets and so on. An important thing for me as I spend so much of my life tied to the computer.