Oxford MBA

Thoughtful friends, an overwhelming response and a Zoom call with a former PM…

Guys. What can I say…? Honestly, you guys 😍

A big thank you from me

Seriously though, thank you. Thank you for the amazing response to my post last week. I never started this blog with any other intentions than a) keeping my Mum updated on my bike trip and b) keeping a personal diary for myself so in years to come I can tell the grandkids (hopefully!) about the adventures I’ve had.

The fact that I can see people (other than my Mum!) are reading this and even more amazingly, responding is incredible. It’s absolutely not about the numbers but when I see that one post alone has been read over 250 times and I receive numerous heartfelt messages, comments and emails from everyone saying that the text resonated with them or just wishing me well with words of encouragement, is pretty incredible. So thank you.

The week got off to a much better start after a night in with Ant and Dec and an early(ish) night, and it went from strength to strength. I’m happy to report that this week felt much more positive and productive. I guess the lesson here is that we can’t be positive and productive all the time, so on those down days, just write it off as a “bad one” and move on.

I’ve been perfecting my weekend pancakes

I have quite a few highlights to mention from this week. Firstly, on Wednesday evening my college, St Catz, asked if I would do a Zoom workout for my college buddies. It was great fun. I had to quickly rush back from the Business School after my last class, which meant I went to school dressed in my workout kit. A couple of people enquired whether I was heading out on a bike ride or something!

Wednesday was also a great day as we came out of our second national lockdown. This lockdown definitely hasn’t felt as severe as the first one but as we know, I’ve had some down days throughout it, so it will be nice to do a few more “normal” things again, such as going out for dinner.

More sweaty Zoom workouts

My Thursday morning MBA Zoom workout is always good fun. This week was made even more so by the new people that joined and the addition of our first Christmas song of the season! This was followed on Thursday evening with a college Christmas dinner. A group of college MBAs headed over to St Catz for a rather bizarre start to the festivities. Our college has a strange policy (apparently because of Covid) in which you have to bring your own plate and cutlery to dinner and if you don’t, you have to eat your dinner out of a polystyrene tray and pay to have a wooden knife and fork! What’s more, they have installed Perspex panels along the dining tables, so there is some plastic in between you and whoever is opposite you.

St Catz is the youngest college in Oxford, tracing its roots back to 1868 although the college itself was only opened in 1962. Its buildings were designed by the Danish architect, Arne Jacobsen who used an awful lot of glass and concrete. Wikipedia describes the college as favouring “a minimalist, rather austere environment” if I’m being honest, I’d just say “a bit ugly”. The dining hall actually seats 350 (pre-Covid) and is the largest dining hall in Oxford. It is also featured in Season 4, Episode 6 of The Crown so if you’re watching, keep a look out for the ugly building that Prince Charles does a speech in – I had my Christmas dinner in there on Thursday!

Prince Charles in The Crown doing his thing in St Catz

Friday was a really busy Zoom day. I got out for a quick 5 mile run first thing before my calls started, as pretty much from 12-6pm I was chained to my desk (or sofa!) on Zoom calls. They were all interesting and some more exciting than others. One of them was an Oxford Union talk with our former Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Cup of tea and DC

On Friday morning I got to pick up my new Cross-Country kit and a whole load of Covid-19 self-testing kits. This means I can do a weekly test on myself, at home, to check that I’m not an asymptomatic carrier of Covid-19. I can happily report that today, I did my weekly test and I’m 100% Covid-19 free.

And finally, we have to end the week with the sad news that Michaela has left me….we celebrated Christmas and the end of term two weeks early as today she has flown back to the US for the holidays. It will be weird rattling around the flat on my own, but we are about to have the busiest two weeks, as we are on the rundown to the Christmas holidays, which means only one thing…the deadlines are back. Three assignments; 4,500 words in total; Friday 18th December. Wish me luck…

Merry Christmas from me and my MBA bestie

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