Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


With an MBA from Harvard, seven years at McKinsey and the turnaround of Random House Children's Books (where she was MD) under her belt, Debbie Sandford hardly thought she would find herself unemployed and at home with two kids. But life has a funny way of turning out. If you've ever wondered what it is like to drop out of the fast lane, you can find out in her new column 'Wanting It All'.


Summer's here, and every tired manager's thoughts turn to holidays. But, as former MT features editor Stefan Stern points out, even going away on holiday can be dangerous. He writes this month about those unwary bosses who return from a break to find that their world has been turned upside-down. Stern himself has no such fears. After his wedding on 7 July he will be off on honeymoon to Provence for two weeks - and he won't be taking his laptop.


'If I were to start again, I'd do something else, but I'm used to the stress,' says Christine Roche, who illustrated our piece on how taking holidays can actually be a pretty stressful business. French-Canadian Roche has worked extensively for the Guardian, the Independent and a host of magazines. At the end of this year, her work will be on our screens when an animated BBC series designed by her is broadcast.


Who better to review Powerful Women: Dancing on the Glass Ceiling than someone who is doing just that? Baroness Hogg is the first woman to chair a FTSE-100 company, in this case 3i. Although best known for her political achievements (most infamously as the woman behind John Major's 'Back to Basics' crusade) she was previously a journalist, has also enjoyed a distinguished business career and is a hot tip to take over as the next chairman of the BBC. She says she's not interested.


In this month's books section, Matthew Fort finds a refreshingly honest picture of the restaurant business - 'the last of the great unreconstructed 19th-century industries' - in chef Andrew Parkinson's Cutting It Fine. Fort is food and drink editor of the Guardian. He once did a stint in the kitchens at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons; the experience almost killed him. Doubtless the reason he concurs with Parkinson's sentiment 'Cooking as the new rock and roll? Bullshit.'


Our section editor Rebecca Hoar casts a knowing eye this month over the winners in MT's 35-under-35 survey. Although not on the list of top women herself, she claims that she was number 36, having been edged out in a last-minute reshuffle. Still, she sighs, 'there's always next year'. Luckily, Hoar is not only the right side of 35, she is also the right side of 30 and has another seven years to get it right.

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