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Between personal and professional

exploring work life balance

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holidays

In the eye of the beholder

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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. Continue reading “In the eye of the beholder”

Judging books by covers – #blimage

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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 not everyone gets a holiday and I’m lucky to have a good job. 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 May elections which is perhaps unnerving. Others are interpreting changes and what it all means and comparing thoughts. Continue reading “Judging books by covers – #blimage”

Fear of missing out

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I recently stayed somewhere without wifi or TV. Imagine that for a minute. Pretty much cut off from the networked world. Alternatively; I’ve just been lucky enough to go somewhere and experience things I’ve never seen before or might again. Perhaps a serendipitous outcome, which is the reason for posting.

When a friend offered me a week in her newly built holiday home in the north of Scotland as a birthday present, my first thoughts were it’s 400 miles away, has no telly or wifi. But, as it was a gift, then I’d gladly accepted.

I then told the family.

“What, no TV or wifi?”

“Nope – just fresh air, countryside, the sea and probably rainbows; big rainbows mind!”

So we went and it was great to experience a new place, different flora and fauna and spend time off the matrix.

Continue reading “Fear of missing out”

The personal touch

IMG_20130826_181316As usual, the seasonal break has been a time of contemplation and self reflection. I’ve been considering what’s happening and changing in my area of work, around where I live and at home as myself, colleagues, family and friends prepare to move on to the next chapters of our lives.

It’s made me consider and appreciate what I have. I’ve also read far more than I usually do and I’ll share some of that shortly.

The family was reunited as firstborn returned from Russia before heading off on his travels again in February. Russia is a communication culture we’ve recently learnt about by experience. It’s not as easy to access folk in Russia in some ways but compared to how things were when I was studying away from home it’s a lot easier. We did however Skype him every week and perhaps spoke more often than when he was at university in the UK. It was good to actually see him talking with us. It certainly narrowed the distance but it’s been really nice to have him home.

Continue reading “The personal touch”

The kite

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I was rummaging around in our box of family photos, (from before digital!) when I came across this image. One of those chance shots that captured everything. So I took a photo of it with my phone, made it square and there it is; digital.

Devaluing friction

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Use words like ‘disruptor’ or ‘activist’ when talking about organisational development or business change and there will probably be a few eyebrows raised.

“Disruption! – we’ll have none of that round here thank you kindly, even though things need to change”

Well it’s been a year since seeing the sun go the other way across the sky showed me that being prepared to see things differently can make a huge difference to how we interact with others. 

Another penny dropped whilst on my travels about how what we value might be perceived as different to what others value or see, even when it’s the same thing. Similarly, that how we demonstrate what we value can say a lot about us.

Continue reading “Devaluing friction”

Nova Huta – Urban dream or realist reality?

20140726_155818Seldom do I go anywhere without noticing comparisons or otherwise to where I live or places I know. I’ve always had this fascination about how places come to be and how they change or adapt. I suppose it comes from my liking of geography at school which lead me to study land use.

This year’s summer hols were no different. We went to Zakopane in south Poland and spent some time in and around Kraków. I tend to share photos of my travels when I’m out and about, hoping others might find what I share interesting or useful in some way; my way of attempting to make the world a smaller place perhaps.

Continue reading “Nova Huta – Urban dream or realist reality?”

Just a little bit proud

Helligan 2002Me and my boys at Helligan circa 2002.

Today I’m the parent of two teenage sons. Tomorrow the eldest will be 20. I will have a 20 year old and in 9 days an 18 year old. When did that happen?

Happy birthday boys!

When you decide to have kids, let’s face it, you have no real idea what you are about to take on. Helping them to walk and talk, sleepless nights, grazed knees and illnesses, birthday party manicness, the financial implications of increasing the world’s population, sharing their disappointments and achievements and many other things including the good times, days out and holidays. You take on a responsibility for their upbringing and safeguarding until they become an adult. Continue reading “Just a little bit proud”

Seeing things differently

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In 2013 I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia. Something happened there that really made me think about how I sometimes view things.

It was late in the afternoon and the sun was just starting to sink. We’d been doing the sights in Sydney and decided to have a drink in one of the quayside bars. The tables had sun shades and we chose a table; part inside and part out as it was cooling down. I’d picked a seat partly in shade but which would be in the sun shortly.

Continue reading “Seeing things differently”

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