Those of you that know me well would say that I am pretty good at talking. That I am. In a “supermarket queue”, “bus stop”, “train journey”, “any time any place” kind of way. This is part affliction, part blessing. My mum is to blame as she has perfected The Art over the years and has passed these cursed genes on to me. Today I gave a talk to U3A, the University of the Third Age. This was quite a different matter all together. It is not idle gossip, passing the time of day or indeed small talk. It involved a lot of forward planning, a projector, Powerpoint presentation, an audience and, a first for me, a microphone. How many of these torturous talks make you a seasoned professional I am not sure, I think today was number five in my career. In truth I was marginally less nervous than normal, the nightmares only began a couple of nights ago. I awoke at 6.00am with a calm innocence until I remembered what lay ahead. Then came countdown to doom, frenzied rereading of notes and wondering if the Foreign Legion takes women recruits these days. After all the stress, I think it went well and I might even have enjoyed it. The projector worked perfectly, I remembered all parts to my computer, most plant names and, as I was dangerously armed with a microphone, I didn’t forget myself and start a karaoke session. They were an attentive and generous audience who laughed at my jokes. There were trays of member donated plants, several of which I now call my own. I only spotted one man with his eyes closed and I would like to imagine he was going into raptures at my sage-like words. All in all it was a good day.