There’s Something about England


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Last night, I was asked to step in as an evaluator at the last minute for Noni’s Icebreaker.

I remember how very nervous I was on my own Icebreaker speech, not so very long ago. And I was impressed by how very calm Noni appeared to be, at the start of the night.

I tried to remember all the wonderful things Geoff had said to me before my icebreaker. Right there, I could only remember a very few of them. I found it hard to find much of value I could tell this apparently calm person.

Her speech was great, of course, which made it even more difficult for me to find something to help her with in my evaluation. There were moments where she had hurried a little bit, so I pointed that out. But then, she’d also made such great use of ‘the pause’ – so I was sure to mention that too. It was an interesting speech about her coming from Cyprus across to England – twice! It carried all of us, with its light, humorous look at bad weather and British pub life.

For myself, I enjoyed getting the chance to give this evaluation and hope I did a good job for Noni. One thing I need to work on is my close – I never seem to know what to say at the end of an evaluation.

Last night was no exception – I mumbled about how well I thought she’d done and then said something like “and that’s all I can think of to say”. Hmm. That’s something I’ll be working on.

On another note, Keith gave a funny table topics speech on blogs – and how he’d never read one. He compared blogs in general with those letters people send you at Christmas – you know, the long, photo-copied, impersonal ones. He said, whenever he’d tried to write such a letter himself, he’d found it hard not to come over supercilious. And he imagined a blog must be a similar thing. After all, he told us, what makes blog-writers think anyone wants to read their regular outpouring of views?

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