Sunday, 26 May 2013

All Change at Crewe, and Play it Again Sam

Last week was a busy one. Monday and Tuesday were full on days at the University. Academic Council on Tuesday was devoted to rethinking the University Research, Enterprise and Innovation Strategy. The debate was honest and focused and reflected very much the recent developments in the School in terms of getting to where we want to be research wise. And then early Wednesday morning it was off to Crewe and the Council of Deans 2013 Summit.

Now the Council of Deans (Health) are a membership organisation, influential  and powerful in  representing the voice of the Deans and Heads of the 85 UK University faculties across the UK who deliver health professional education and research for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions. Strategic direction and operational management of the Council is delivered through an Executive Team made up of representatives elected by the membership and who represent either the 4 nations of the UK or particular professional groups. On Tuesday, following a membership ballot, I was elected to the Executive Team to represent nursing and midwifery education.

The summit was a great success, with speakers such as Ian Cumming, Alistair Burns, Emma Westcott, Belinda Dewar and Pauline Watts presenting well thought through challenges to the future health professions education agenda, regulation, dementia awareness and relationship centred approaches to health care. The latter challenge is something very close to my own heart. It was then a fast forward to Friday, a hectic day playing catch up, but with a long weekend to look forward to.

Saturday was the start of Scotland’s premier Art and Craft Open Studios Event. This is the Spring Fling where just under a 100 artists across the Dumfries and Galloway area open their homes and studios to the public. First stop was to Urpu Sellar, my favourite artist and creator of quirky sculpture. It was wonderful to be able to see where she creates her works and enjoy a whistle stop tour through her home. It was very Finnish, even though she has lived in Scotland for 32 years.

Whistle stop tour to the Wicker Man creator, Trevor Leat – fantastic works created entirely in Willow. Then on to Adam Booth, an exceptional Blacksmith Artist! A pulsating 45 minutes were spent looking at his creations (truly amazing), and watching him use his forge, before buying a flock of seagulls for the garden. However, yesterdays stay in the mind experience was becoming Humphrey Bogart in Castle Douglas

Kim Ayers, photographer with big idea, is creating a 100 portrait installation of Humphrey Bogart’s – all of which are members of the public, who dressed in the same trench coat and trilby, have a black and white photo taken and placed on a Humphrey Bogart wall. This wall when assembled will be photographed as a single image and posted on the internet as an image of Humphrey Bogart made up of these individual photos. I cannot show my photo here as its work in progress, but I will post once published. Today its garden visiting, which feels a long way away from NHS Commissioning Boards – but I guess both are equally important.