Respect in how we share

It wasn’t the trip we’d planned. It wasn’t the Friday night the majority of people had planned. We were fortuitously lucky; a forgotten set of keys and what might have been but wasn’t.

I was in Paris during the recent attacks. Whilst deeply saddened, shocked and since troubled by it; we did come home. Hugged by friends and relatives, supported by wider networks and helped through this week at work by colleagues, we thank everyone for their concern. It helped more than you will know. Others weren’t so lucky and our thoughts are with them and their families.

Events in Paris last Friday night circulated round the world unbelievable quickly leading to all sorts of issues. For us, it meant trying to contact family and friends to let them know we were safe without alarming them. Work colleagues were sending messages of concern too. We responded as best we could, using social media where appropriate.

Clearly, people didn’t need to be there to be affected. Events like these affect many people in many different ways.

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Waiting for the little, big stuff


As I looked out on a drizzly Sunday morning, wondering if the grass will need another trim this year, the words of a partly overheard conversation came to mind – “I just wish they’d get on with the little, big stuff”. I didn’t hear the response but it perhaps mirrors my feelings at the moment too.

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Considerings from #localgovcamp 15


In the true tradition of ‘post event considerings’, due to time restrictions, this year I’ve used some of the suggested feedback questions to tease out my thinking on Localgovcamp 2015.

Firstly a big shout out to the organisers, sponsors, attendees (especially those who came a long way to Leeds). It was a good couple of days and I hope you enjoyed your trip to my home town. I learned stuff and it was good to catch up with others who care about local government.

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Ethics of sharing

Events in Turkey and Eastern Europe this week have rightly been highlighted by the media. The decision to print the image of the younger Syrian brother, who drowned whilst his family were attempting to get to Greece, became a focal point, increasing debate about the migration issue but also about use of the photo.

This isn’t a post about that photo, however I’ll watch that debate with interest as it will no doubt be compared to Nick Ut’s Napalm girl and the image of the Iraqi soldier from the Gulf war. Both images had significant potential to change public opinion if published; which they were.

This is relevant because I’d just launched a photoblog about people watching, following this year’s holiday realisation that I’ve moved from seeing where I go not so much in terms of places but more in terms of how people interact with those places.

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In the eye of the beholder


There are many sculptures in Opatija, Croatia where I spent my summer break. Most of them portray people who have influenced its history. One however has created its own history and captured my imagination. The maiden with the seagull by sculptor Zvonko Car.

I passed it many times whilst walking along the promenade into town, often sitting and wondering who it was, why it was there and how many others had seen it. I imagined she came alive at night and sat on the benches for a rest and talked through people’s problems with them.

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Judging books by covers – #blimage


I’ve struggled to get back into the swing of things since my summer break. Returning to work has been tough which isn’t normal for me and somewhat concerning. I respect that not everyone gets a holiday and I’m lucky to have a good job, so this post is partly me giving myself a good talking to, to snap out of it.

I think a lot of folk, in the public sector especially, are going through big changes and waiting for clarity following the May elections which is perhaps unnerving. Others are interpreting changes and what it all means and comparing thoughts. Interpretation is interesting.

I use experiences from my travels to make me think about things differently and then apply it to my home and work situations. I usually then share it with recent examples here and here. This year was no different but I couldn’t find an appropriate peg to hang it on, and with feeling a bit down, didn’t feel the same need to do it.

So I’ve been looking for something to get me motivated. That sometimes comes from work, sometimes elsewhere and is why I have this blog; to better understand the personal/professional life relationship.

And bingo! I came across #blimage – a challenge to write blog posts on learning, inspired by particular images. You can read more about the challenge from Steve Wheeler in his post Blimey, it’s #blimage.

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Here for the dancing?


Sometimes you just happen to be somewhere at the right moment to witness something you probably wouldn’t have purposely decided to go and see.

First year students of the BPA (Hons) degree in contemporary dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance were performing choreography inspired by the historic architecture and gardens at Harewood House and I happened to walk right into the middle of it.

“Are you here for the dancing?” the girl said.

“You asking?” I replied, guessing by her age that my response might be lost

“Funny” was the reply. With a smile. Obviously

So I watched; obviously.

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