Between personal and professional

exploring work life balance



Bubble baggage

“I just said ‘bubble baggage’ out loud didn’t I?”

“Yes, but I know what you meant; can I have it?”

“Feel free –that’s what I do”

That happened in a meeting recently. Fortunately, in the context of the discussion, it was understood as it appropriately explained things however you may still be none the wiser, so let me explain.

Continue reading “Bubble baggage”


47 (and a bit more) and not out


As a child I drew pictures of racing cars, houses, rockets, tanks, footballers and other sportsmen; typical boy stuff. They were mostly numbered 47. A four and a seven sat well together and curved numbers were more difficult to draw.

Continue reading “47 (and a bit more) and not out”

White smoke

Analogies help explain things that are complicated; whether we overcomplicate them in the first place; possible and in some cases probable or whether they are things or processes that just aren’t easy to explain. I suppose it’s a sort of translation for the ‘man on the street’. Continue reading “White smoke”

The naked public servant


I don’t consider myself a complicated person so I usually keep things simple. When things intrigue me I will investigate or ask that awkward, question; “so what?”  I break things down into their basic form to try and understand them, mostly so I can explain to others; be it as a parent, or through my work. If I have to look too far to find a meaning or if I’m given a load of twaddle then I’ll soon switch off. That’s probably the same for most people.

Continue reading “The naked public servant”


Last month I received a clock and a lapel badge in recognition of 25 years local government service. I’ll fess up; I was just a bit proud as I was called to receive them at our staff achievement awards. And yes, it was a clock, only a small one but quite heavy, which is my standard measure of quality, mostly used when assessing cakes and puddings! Continue reading “Journeyman”

Once upon a time…my introduction to scrum Agile

……….so if you recall, I was in the initial project planning meeting for my organisation’s website and intranet replacements. I’d just met a ‘Scrum Master’and had the Agile methodology speed dating equivalent and been tasked with cascading it to the world and his dog.

Continue reading “Once upon a time…my introduction to scrum Agile”

A proper scrum and Agile too

When I was 11, my Fir Tree Middle School report for ‘games’ (as we called it in those days) read “Philip is a well balanced athlete and a very agile cross country runner”. I’ve never forgotten that statement; not so much for what it said, but for what it didn’t say. It could have read “Philip demonstrates absolutely no interest in rugby and actually is a bit of a wimp when it comes to sports of a physical nature”.

Continue reading “A proper scrum and Agile too”

The one with pictures

I’ve never really looked at a photo to see why it works, I generally know that they do or don’t. I took this on my phone whilst watching a street dance performance of Overworlds and Underworlds in Leeds on a Saturday afternoon in May 2012.

I wasn’t really sure what I was watching so I wanted to capture some of it to look back at later.


I generally just click and shoot and hope what comes out is something like. When I looked at what I’d captured, the dancers seemed lost between the area of pavement and complicated background.

I cropped it to a square format, used a filter to enhance the colour and added a border, resulting in the image below.

I was quite impressed with what I could do with a couple of clicks. I can see this opens debate as to whether apps and filters and the like are taking the skill out of photography or actually opening it up to others. I’m not going to cover the pros and cons here as this is about how this image turned out.

By accident, I managed to catch a moment where all dancers were as one. The neutral colours of their outfits brings out their hair colour and complements the colours in the buildings behind. I like that the complicated metal infrastructure contrasts with the simplicity of a group of people standing and sitting together.

The image also catches something about value and worth. Those dance students are probably finding it tough to get by so there’s some irony they are pictured in front of one of the more expensive shops in the city.

I also like how the shop name sits above the arch; total accident by the way.

There’s one aspect which initially annoyed me but on reflection puts the image in context. I managed to capture a shopper looking through the dancers.

Anyway, it works for me and I hope it does for others too.

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