Madam - chilled grapes - sofa - padI used to work in film. For years and years I worked like a dog – more hours than seemed reasonable. For many more years than now seems to have been sensible.

Until eventually, I got sick and had to have a really major operation.

Then, because I was freelance and I didn’t get paid if I didn’t work, I had to put in a lot of hours to make up the earnings I’d missed plus the cost of my treatment.

I worked very, very hard.


Don’t get me wrong, I did some lovely films those years. Many of them back to back. They did well, the VFX were praised (even if the films weren’t) and they were nominated, and in some cases won, lots of big awards. Really big awards.

Anyway, I worked like a dog and I got sick again. Very sick – back in hospital for another major op sick.

You can’t call me a quick learner though: I’d worked myself into the hospital not once, but twice. Frankly, I was running out of bits of me to be removed. But credit where it’s due, I did eventually realise that I really needed to change my working habits. Or I’d be dead. I was literally working myself to death.

So, to cut a long story remarkably short… I did: I changed everything. I built an escape route and I left film.

That’s where Rethink Retreats came from – I now spend my days working with delightful clients helping them make changes to their careers till they’re living their perfect life.

Madam - chilled grapesI know I can help people, because I’ve changed my life. I work from somewhere I love – there’s even eagles on my roof! – I work only with people I really enjoy and I spend most of my day giggling with those same lovely people.

This was brought home to me the other day when a friend called and asked me what I was doing – well I’ve just finished a coaching call while sitting on the sofa in my pyjamas. Frankly, I’m eating chilled grapes and calling it work.

She couldn’t get over the chilled grapes part.

Personally, I’d have thought the pyjamas at 3 in the afternoon was a bit more shocking.

When she’d stopped laughing, I informed her that the best bit of the chilled grapes was that I’d not pulled them from the stem myself. Oh no. I get my maid to do that, and then rinse them in drinking water so they’re all ready for Madam to eat. That’s me – Madam. Say what you like about my maid – and I regularly do – she’s rubbish at dusting, but she’s pretty good at fruit.

So absolutely all I have to do to enjoy a grape at the perfect temperature, is waltz to the fridge and place them in bowl. Perhaps something in bone china with a lively modern twist? I think so.

Yes, it’s hell in the tropics.

But a chilled grape will make it an awful lot better.


If you’d like to be annoyed some more about what a terrible life I now lead, do check out some of the below:

The view from the office: Tues 14 August
Even my breakfast was happy
For internal use, madam

And if you’re still speaking to me after that lot – do please leave a comment below.

Or hop over to Rethink Retreats to find out about some coaching. I’m awfully good, and I even share my grapes. Well, sometimes.

And do check the Rethink Retreats blog – this month is ‘Movement Month’ – so you can live your perfect life in your pyjamas but still look pretty snappy in them as well.