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a blog by Chris Barrow


Heading for home after 8 consecutive days of work that began what seems like an age ago with a flight to Luxembourg last Saturday.

My last 24 hours with the team from Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic at Middle Aston House in Oxfordshire was a fabulous end to this tour of duty.

I’ve worked with Tim and the crew for well over 10 years – and this is undoubtedly the best team he has assembled – full of talent, intelligence and appreciation of what has to be done to let the patients “experience excellence”.

I’ve been a little dubious about organised team activities over the years – all that “cross a river with a paper-clip” stuff felt a bit old-hat and corporate – but congratulations to the team at Middle Aston, who fed us marvellously well, smiled throughout and presenting an entertaining Friday afternoon of outdoor pursuits that had us racing around the estate like demented marathoners, laughing out loud frequently and having to pool our resources to come up with solutions to challenges.

A complete “win” as a bonding exercise, reflected in the dinner and drinks last night that ended at 03:00 (ouch) after much wonderful conversation.

Tim has created a tribe of long-serving members and recent additions, whose intellectual grasp of what’s needed in his business was apparent during numerous chats, then demonstrated loud and clear in this morning’s conference room session on brand standards and behaviour.

I’m delighted that the opportunity was taken to announce the promotion of the talented Cat Dingee from Ops Manager to Managing Director of the Clinic – well deserved. Cat has evolved into this role with outstanding skill. Tim Caudrelier and I are looking forward to working closely with Cat to develop the business over the months ahead, as EHDC becomes a new member of the 7connections Top 20.

So I’m tired and happy this afternoon – more than ready to get home to Annie and the pooches, looking forward to my Saturday night cook-in.

Tomorrow a day of rest, fresh air and preparation for another 6-day week to follow.

I have to admit that, since my return to work on 4th March, I’ve probably been over-doing it in a lot of departments – eating and drinking to start with, work a close second.

During the next 7 days I’m going to have to talk with Phillippa and possibly restructure my calendar for the next few months to try and squeeze a bit of down-time into proceedings. Annie and I have seen very little of each other since the end of January – and that’s just not fair. Time to take some of my own medicine.

For now – bring on the rib-eye and red wine this evening my lovely…..

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