My Week: Peter Cardy spies unwarranted toadying

When I announced that I'd be stepping down as Macmillan's chief executive, I overestimated the Blair effect, assuming I would become yesterday's man immediately.

 Not a bit of it: a period that's always busy now has to include the handover, nailing down several major projects, doing farewells and job-hunting.

MONDAY: A presentation to a group of new Macmillan professionals – nurses, but also social workers, therapists, benefits advisers and information specialists. I try to explain to them what Macmillan is, how it works and where they fit in – a tall order in 15 minutes.

On to a really enjoyable interview for a fascinating job, with a group of charity trustees to whom I take an immediate liking. Writing my CV and submissions has been a voyage of discovery as I remember relevant experiences from a long career. It helps your self-esteem to be wanted, but it feels risky to turn jobs down.

A late finish after a grand dinner at Clarence House with the Prince of Wales, Macmillan's patron, and the Duchess of Cornwall. It's attended by a small group of our past and prospective major supporters, who seem to enjoy having their arms twisted gently but royally.

TUESDAY: In Edinburgh to meet the Macmillan Scotland and Northern Ireland fundraising team - inventive, great fun and welcoming. Their latest scheme is Conquer a Corbett (not Ronnie, but mountains between 2,500 and 2,999 feet high), and they plan sponsored climbs of all 219 next May.

WEDNESDAY: Alex Markham announces his departure from CRUK: what a great leader he has been for this great charity and for the cancer sector. At the Britain Against Cancer conference, Patricia Hewitt announces a review of cancer strategy with no money attached to it. It's a small concession that starts an outbreak of unwarranted toadying. Given the contradictory messages from ministers in the past few months, it's an important handhold for reshaping policy.

THURSDAY: Knowledge harvesting is a formal process suggested by our planners so that what I know doesn't walk out of the door with me. It's demanding, and ends with a tough Q&A session with the executive team.

THE WEEKEND: The invitations to Christmas concerts flood in – a mix of cathedrals, barracks and parish churches. Our fundraisers are keen to have me for my last visit and couldn't treat me more kindly. Back to back with a health policy conference in Blenheim Palace, this makes it a memorable end to an unusual week.

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