It’s good if Friday can be a good day. It draws a line under the week and sets the tone for the weekend. And for it to be a good day it needs a good start and that for me means one of my standard breakfasts.
This morning it’s been Caffè Nero in Cambridge and after a miserable week it’s been a bright start to the day. I leave home before 0800 and it’s an easy drive in. I park at Shire Hall (meetings later) before getting some steps in as I walk into town. I’m greeted by typical Caffè Nero music, today it’s a horn concerto, no queue and a competent barista. Plus my coffee card is full so it’s a free coffee. Perfect. It’s the ambience of cool professionalism that I like in Caffè Nero.
Cambridge seems to be in degree season. When I was in town on Wednesday there were people on the streets with degree kit and there are more today. There are lots of Chinese students in the mix and women of all nationalities looking very classy in black and white with heels not exactly suited to walking across Cambridge. There’s a guy in Caffè Nero in a morning suit. I’m not sure if he’s a part of the same event.
1000 and I’m into a meeting of the County Council’s Commercial and Investment Committee. This is a new committee built on the former Assets and Investments Committee and I’m the only surviving member. As with all the Council’s committees is chaired by a Tory and has a Tory majority.
The job of this committee is to make money from the Council’s assets and one of its tools is CHIC, the Cambridgeshire Housing and Investment Company. One of the problems though is that some of the Committee forget that it’s still a CCC committee and so it needs to act with due regard to the Council’s priorities. They seem to think that it’s role is to maximise deals through CHIC. It also automatically goes into private session when it reviews projects even though much of what it looks at then is not commercially sensitive. Along with my Lib Dem and Labour colleagues I make sure that it does behave in the right way. We win some, we lose some.
(Click here for my blog post of the meeting)
Lunch is late as I’m off to Royston to meet Peter Ramsden from Macsa to debrief last week’s Macsa University, the training program I ran in Barcelona. I pick Peter up at the station and as we’re driving into Royston we spot the Cambridge Wine Merchants wine and tapas bar so stop there for a very pleasant lunch.
The food was fine but unfortunately no wine because we were still working. The disappointment though was the coffee. The servers were very proud of their top of the range bean to cup machine but it didn’t really deliver a proper espresso.
Macsa U went well but highlighted Macsa’s inability to move on and the problems it’s having introducing new products and developing new distributors. Peter’s also stuck with a young and inexperienced commercial team. But there is goodwill in the distributors and it’s not too late to make the improvements which are necessary. If Macsa does not it will simply slip further back in it terms of its market position.
I’m finished with Peter in time to start my weekend at the spin class at the Barn. Tonight’s class is run by least favorite who’s pretty bad at the best of times. Tonight he runs it without participating himself and is suitably dire. He has no feeling for the mood of the class and seems to think that running the class is simply about setting silly goals. At one point he said anyone who can’t keep the pace should stand up. We all stood up!
Anyway job done and ready to wind down.
When I get home I update my stats and am pleased that this week’s been the best exercise week of the year with one day still to go. I’ve had a bad patch Apr/May/Jun, although during the election I’ve done lots of walking, and I’m unlikely to hit my target 84K calories this year
Friday evening is predictable. A bottle of Czech beer, Pilsner Urquell today, then steak and red wine. Exceptionally it’s a rib-eye this evening, usually it’s sirloin, then a couple of glasses of le Petit Pont 2015 Reserve which Peter Doyle gave us when he visited a couple of weeks ago. We eat in front of the bio (TV) and part of the ritual is Monty Don’s Gardeners’ World.
And to finish the day I do the quick crossword (Juni helps me with the last clue) and a hard Sudoku.
End of the day, time for bed. 2245.