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a blog by Chris Barrow

Just a day

5.45am – alarm call in Sheffield and another encounter with the breakfast from hell – this time I plunge the serving spoon into a a vat of liquified scrambled egg and walk away, accepting tea and toast as my best option. 6.45am – sit down in the main hotel bar and begin work on my DBS PowerPoint slides for the second workshop series of 2007. As usual, this means opening the 2006 slides and deciding what to add, delete, adapt and update – as well as changing the slide backgrounds and clip art, mainly to amuse and stimulate myself as I tour. 9.00am – slides are finished and, as delegates arrive around me for a conference on “full employment in Yorkshire” I catch up with the overnight emails. 9.30am – depart Sheffield and pull on to the M1 heading South – (handsfree) calls with clients, team and family on the way. 12.15pm – arrive at Gallery Implants in Oxford – where my long-standing client Nigel Olesen has opened his new practice after searching for suitable premises these last 5 years.

I looked at the facility with Nigel 9 months ago, when it was bare office space – and I’m delighted to see the almost finished result – a purpose-built implant practice where Nigel has 2 surgeries connected by a sterilisation corridor, a hygienist’s surgery, 2 patient lounges and a recovery room, administration offices and excellent staff facilities – all that and ample parking, which his patients in Central Oxford love.

After a quick financial meeting with Nigel and his financial controller, I meet with the team over lunch to discuss their plans going forward and also speak with Nigel about his marketing plans for the year.

There’s going to be a lot to do here but at least they have remembered the cappucino machine!

3.00pm – leave Oxford for a “short” drive to Thatcham and the premises of Precision Dental Studio. The owner, Richard Stock, takes me on a tour of the recently extended and refurbished premises – quite the most magnificent dental laboratory I have seen for some years in the UK.

5.00pm – after discussing Richard’s needs, I quickly draw from my extensive archive of slides and pop together a 45-minute presentation on marketing. 6.00pm – dentists arrive for the official opening of the refurbished lab. The local press are here and a few of us make history (well, in Thatcham anyway) with a group photo for the local rag. Then it’s in for the biggest buffet you’ve ever seen. 7.00pm – Chris Barrow, live and uncut, to about 35 dentists and some of the Precision team. There are a few old friends in the audience, including Richard and Chris Charon from Newbury who I always enjoy joking with. The session is lively and funny and we all agree to let me ramble on until about 8.30pm. Audience disappears after Richard has presented me with a new leather journal as a gift – I am really touched by this as he has obviously done his research and provided a thoughtful and valuable “thank you”. 9.00pm – drive from Thatcham to Farnham and check in to The Bush. 10.00pm – in the bar for a solitary drink and to catch upon a few telephone messages. 10.45pm – read one line of current novel about 20 times before I admit to myself that I’m too tired to read and turn out the light.

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