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Not Your “Normal Holiday”

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

By Paul Willgoss

Is my passport in date?
Yup, I’m legal to go to Switzerland

Is my travel insurance still OK?
Yup, travel insurance can be a pain in the backside for GUCHs, but I’m still covered by the travel insurance that comes with my bank account.

Swiss Francs?
Not yet, but available over the counter—must remember, it’s francs not Euros!

Travel tickets?
All saved in multiple places, and printed out. So far…

Poster presentation?
Proofed and getting ready for printing.

PowerPoint presentation?
Content done, just need to tart it up.

Beginning to sound a little different?
Oh yes: running gear to pack, stuff to play football in, suit is at the dry cleaners, medal ready to be pinned…

In a couple of weeks I’m off to the ToughHearts conference, the biennial get-together of European GUCHs. I’ve got the honour and pleasure of representing both my organisation and my country—The Children’s Heart Federation covers all of Great Britain and Northern Ireland—and seeing old friends and making new ones. The conferences always cover new ideas in our care, new ways of thinking and, most importantly, how we can take what we learn back to our own countries and use it.

It’ll also be a transition for me, as I’m standing down from the working group of the European Congenital Heart Group. No big reasons: I’ve done my tours of duty and am about to start the final two years of my distance learning degree so will need all the time I can have. It’s odd, because it is a genuine transition. I’ve tried to lead this iteration of the ECHG to build structures that will outlast all of the current members. Will it be enough, I don’t know – but if I’m needed in the future my friends will know where to find me…

So wish us well, dear readers, for the fun in Switzerland—it’s not often that GUCHs from around the world get to share and it’ll be a good one!


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