Start wearing purple!


We held our second Admin’ Support Conference at the Marine Hotel, North Berwick for all of our Education Administrative Support Staff.

The title of the programme was “Feeling Good – Working Better” and was put together by representatives from all clusters and staff from John Muir House.

The morning session was composed of a variety of workshops covering such topics as finance, personnel, e-learning etc. The afternoon focussed upon Health at Work and offered Dance, well being, health testing and other related topics. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such positive feedback for a conference and was testimony to the organisers.

I had the privilege of closing the event and focussed on the competing work/life demands which many people face.  I finished with a poem by Jenny Joseph entitled Warning – I think it says it all about why it’s important to take some time for ourselves and not always do things to keep others happy


by Jenny Joseph

When I’m old I shall start wearing purple

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

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1 thought on “Start wearing purple!

  1. Does this poem go with Roger McGough’s “Let me die a young man’s death”?

    When I’m 73
    and in constant good humour
    may I be mown down at dawn
    by a bright red sports car
    on my way home
    from an all night party


    some of us are still trying to live up to this a little sometimes.


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