What a day! I hope to do it justice here - but it is 11pm and I am pretty brain dead by now having spent the day networking and sharing innovative and radical views and ideas.
So, first day of COT conference here in Brighton, awoke to beautiful sunshine so off across the road to the sea front for a morning stroll and a few photos before breakfast. Bumped into Jackie Taylor and some of the other team members who were seriously exercising in the proper clothes and everything!
Three confereences were running in tandem (COT, Older People and HIV/Aids and Palliative Care) in addition to the only exhibition in the country dedicated to our profession.
So highlights of the daya) hot topics clearly the new coalition government and their expected plans for their Health Bill - trying to second guess the impact on the profession and occupational therapists nationally b) social media and online networking is also clearly a growing area for discussion with many sessions covering issues around this c) standing in a queue for lunch for AGES! Usually delegates are given bags with various lunch items inside - but organisers this year are competing with the beach, Wimbledon and England playing a vital match in the World Cup so needed a captive audience to keep people in conference to the afterrnoon - so plates and buffet food provided - which slowed everything up. This led to Sarah having only 20 mins to eat and rush to her presentation. In the end a surreal experience where one of the exhibitors (Harrison Associates) were running around after us both with chairs, freebies and jelly babies to make us comfortable. Ever seen 3 sandwiches, quiche and a fruit kebab eaten in 2 minutes? I have !! d) freebies - status: 5 pens, 6 jelly babies, post it notes, 2 badges, 3 hessian bags, and a trolley token e) Catching up with (2 of our MSc Advanced OT students f) meeting with Hassan and Stephen from COT to discuss the COT strategy for social media and offer collaboration with our WFOT project with OT4OT in developing best practice guidance and advice for members in using social media for professional networking and development g) spotting some unusual pottery mugs on the Remap stall and witnessing an entrepreneur moment when the Cosy Feet exhibitor came across and asked after the mugs (very stylish but with 2 "handles" for people with no grip) and wanted to stock them in her catalogue. Left them swapping details of the designer who was looking for a stockist. It's amazing the different levels and opportunity for networking one finds at conferences! h) chatting with the new Head of Education and Development at COT (Anna Clampin) and catching up on the projects etc currently on the go. i) session by Council on their role and how to "think nationally, act locally"
We left for the day to meet with a facebook friend and supporter of our work with online learning who gave a key note speech at the launch of our MSc and is now at University of Brighton. During our meal we caught up on both work and personal issues and had a great time - mainly at Sarah's expense - and although she may not thank me I feel it is my duty to share here. Last year Sarah - believing she was texting her husband - texted - "please bring loo roll home". Now, our colleague has the same name as he husband - and it was to him she had sent it. He politely replied that he thought she had got the wrong person and suitably embarrased she apologised (all by text). Now, that was funny enough at the time! It turns out that her name had not come up on the text so he didn't know who it was from - but remembers a random text asking for loo roll. So.... whilst we digested the impact of this - what caused great hilarity wasa) him realising that the text was from Sarah b) he was in Australia when he recieved it c) that he felt compelled to reply to a random text from a perceived stranger from the other side of the world because they might desperately need the loo roll!!!
So on that note I end with two questions raised from the day a) should occupational therapy exist as a unique profession (a chance conversation, together with previous discussions at WFOT in Chile led to this discussion). We are looking forward to attending the debate on friday that will consider similar issues
b) what are the impacts of a misplaced text message?
I'm sure I have missed things out - but I really do have to finish as I have an early start and a presentation to give at 8.30am tomorrow with Sarah. Here's to another day of networking and challenging thinking