Blue Sky Update – June 2024

June 2024 – Update

It has been an exciting month, first attending the British Training Awards at Carnary Wharf alongside @Jenny Garrett as part of her team and then, on the following day, attending the Emerging Authors Showcase at Brighton Book Festival 2024 as a finalist. So, here is my round-up for June as a coach, writer and human being. 😊

Auntie Hyacinth

After last Thursday’s excitement, it isn’t easy to know what to write about this week. But first, let me start by saying a big thank you to those of you who took the time to like, comment, and generally celebrate and cheer me on. I appreciate every one of you 😊.

So, today, I will talk about a chance encounter I had on Sunday, the final day of the Brighton Book Festival. I had initially signed up for two events, Purpose and Profit in the Publishing Industry and Sudden Beauty. And then, as I was looking to sign up for the final two events, Around the Table and Interrupted, who should I find but an old family friend from way back in the day?

From the days when our families lived in single rooms with mice scuttling around at night and the grown-ups emptying the traps in the mornings. Days when we as children had to hide from the social lady because our childminder, Hermin, was looking after too many of us (no one was called Hermione back then). When Man and his wife Aunt Ivy were our landlords, the days before, my mum, aka Auntie Hyacinth, was able to get us into a flat – into what we would now refer to as #SocialHousing.

And I was so touched when my friend introduced me to her now-grown daughter with, ‘You remember Auntie Hyacinth?’

There isn’t a day that passes when I still don’t miss her.

PS I should also say how refreshed and energised I feel after attending the final day of the Brighton Book Festival; I wish I’d attended more. So that’s my plan for next year. Thank you, @MarthaCuffy, for reminding me about the festival and @AltheaWolfe, for encouraging me to enter the Emerging Authors Showcase.

#Windrush #WindrushGeneration #MadeInSocialHousing #BrightonBookFestival2024

So glad to be in the room

 I am beyond proud to have been selected as a finalist in the Emerging Authors showcase at the Brighton Book Festival.

But I am so glad I took a big gulp, pulled on my big girls’ pants, and just said yes. Without that, I would not have had the opportunity to share Knife on a Bus, the first story in my Thin Sandwich collection, with a live audience, including the three judges, and explain what inspired it.

So, at around four o’clock yesterday afternoon, I was on stage at the Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton University, sharing my story alongside seven other writers.

And I am thrilled to say I came in as a runner-up alongside Lewes and the winner, Niamh, and I’ll share the official media posts when I can.

But in the meantime, one delighted writer with her two goody bags filled with fantastic books.

Bridging the generational gap in our workplaces

 It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences – Audre Lorde.

There are many situations that Audre Lorde’s quote could usefully describe, but today, I am thinking about the different generations in our workplaces and how each is perceived. Recently, I have noticed a lot said about the shortcomings of Gen Z’s – their laziness, that somehow they don’t want to put in the hours, or they don’t appear to value hard work. But how fair is this?

My observation is that there are differences in the aspirations and values of this generation, especially concerning the Psychological Contract, which refers to the unspoken agreement and understanding between employer and employee.

For older generations, myself included, the expectation was that if you worked hard, kept your head down, and were loyal, your employer would look after you. You would almost have a job for life. Today, work is far more uncertain and complex for younger generations to gain a foothold in – hard work and loyalty may not cut it for them.

I should declare my bias – I am the mother of a Gen Z, and I firmly believe that they will face challenges that we can’t yet fully imagine. Who knows where AI will take us? At some point in the not-too-distant future, we may need to reimagine the role of work within our society. We might even have to reimagine our economics and the purpose of organisations, but these are all topics for another time.

In the meantime, let’s find ways to bridge that generational gap.

Make sure your dreams are still big enough.

I can’t quite believe we are already halfway through 2024. So where are you? Are you where you planned to be, well ahead or a little behind? I must admit I am not where I was hoping to be – but I am most likely where I need to be. There is no point in beating myself up after the curve ball life threw at us at the start of the year. Now, things are more settled; I can continue to pursue some of my bigger dreams while they are alive and kicking – I have always been a bit of a daydreamer 😊.

With setbacks, I think it is important to remember that it is never too late to pick yourself up, reset, and allow yourself the grace and compassion to move forward when you are ready.

Despite the tricky start to the year, things are still moving in the right direction. I have two exciting projects in the pipeline, both professionally and personally. I won’t say too much now, but they are both creative collaborations that will take me completely out of my comfort zone. Especially the one that involves a double-decker bus. I can’t wait to see how they turn out and hope to be able to say more soon.

But in any case, as we enter the second half of 2024, it is worth asking yourself if your dreams are still big enough.

Until next time