I’ve probably only ever read 15 books in my life including those that I was made to read at school; Lord of the Flies; The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. All a bit bonkers as I recall and so not relevant to me at that time in my life.

The ones I chose to read much later in life were all biographies about achievement, mostly in adversity or against the odds. I suppose they wouldn’t be worth writing if there was no gutsy battle. My favourites were:

John McCarthy and Jill Morrell; ‘Some other rainbow’ – about the time John was being held hostage and the attempt to free him.

Arthur Roth; ‘Eiger – Wall of Death’ about the many attempts to scale the North face of the Eiger mountain.

John Daly; ‘My life in and out of the rough’ – the enigma that lived life to the overly full but managed to still win the Open Golf Championship.

Books generally don’t excite me; perhaps mild intrigue would be a better word to explain the very faint magnetic pull they have on me. Maybe I’ve missed out; who knows? My time may still come. That could be why I now like reading blogs, and taking on challenges; they seem to fall into my inbox with regularity at work but then it wouldn’t be interesting otherwise would it?

I like short snippets of text with a personality seeping through and a bit of life leak, whether the author intended or not….and the best bit about blogs is you get the chance to converse with the author. I make an effort to ‘like’ a post if I do, and I will comment if the author is requesting some reaction or response or help. And I have my favourites; those people who I consider interesting people or who are on a particular mission or journey….. perhaps even achieving in adverse situations, who knows?

This week I met two such people. One who lives in my home town and one who is a globetrotter. Both well respected in their own fields, thought leaders even. I’m honoured that they made time to meet me and listen to my ideas. I met them both separately for about an hour each. We could have talked longer but we were done; my head would have burst…it only holds a couple of things at once. I’m told that is extraordinary for a bloke too. It would have been wrong to have taken more of their time but I have a feeling we will meet up again soon.

They both gave me food for thought, about my city and how it is, and how it could be better. I came away with enthused confidence to pursue a different way of thinking that I’m forming but which I’m still trying to unravel. What I found really useful was they both mentioned the undervalued term of ‘relevance’. Somehow this took me back all those years ago to my aforementioned literature lessons at school; people don’t engage unless something is relevant to them or they feel their view counts. I didn’t/don’t; why would others?

Once again I realised it’s good to talk, but it’s much better to go listen.

It’s been a truly sociable week so far.

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