Between personal and professional

exploring work life balance



Not quite anywhere, but somewhere liveable for #cityseriesleeds

St Matthews

I recently saw the letter sent to people living on the route of the upcoming Tour de France informing what will happen on July 5 and in the run up. A fair few cyclists will make their way from central Leeds, up Scott Hall Road (welcome to Yorkshire!), along Harrogate Road, to the north of Moortown Corner, across the outer Ring Road and on to Harewood.

The letter mentioned the cyclists would visit Chapel Allerton and Moortown. So I checked the route and if anyone sat outside Sunshine Bakery or The Queen’s Arms in Chapel A sees Chris Froome ride by on July 5, then summat will most definitely be up with t’tour. It doesn’t go through what I would call Chapel Allerton. Maybe others would agree.

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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.

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A land down under

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Somewhat odd that it takes travelling half way round the world to learn more about your home and yourself but sometimes doing stuff out of the ordinary makes you see and appreciate the obvious.

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Meaning of us


I’ve been thinking a fair bit about what my role is in the big scheme of things, in and around the increasing network of networks I move between or in which there may be an expectation I should be part of. Also what value I bring, and who for. And it seems from recent chats, over coffee or online, I’m not alone in this. More people seem to be questioning the purpose of various aspects of what they are doing and how they are expected to do things differently, move to a next stage or in what is happening around them. It may be changes at work, adapting to new phases of family life, even down to things like changing seasons, or not as it seems these days.

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The wrong sort of sand

Ok don't LOL. A skinny me and my survey truck. This electronic theodolite was one of the first GPS products in the world. Back then we had to wait ages to get enough satellite passes.

When I was a child, me and my sister had a sand pit at the top of the garden. My dad made it as he was handy that way. It was sunken, lined with plastic and edged with railway sleepers.  My sister didn’t really play in it so I assumed responsibility and claimed it as my territory. I loved it. My favourite toys were diggers and trucks. My pride and joy was an 18 wheeler HGV. It had sliding doors and the cab uncoupled from the trailer. Put them in the sand pit and that was me sorted.

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A good knock

The 27th May 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the day I joined Leeds City Council. I thought the occasion merited a few anecdotes. Back in ‘87 there was no big signing on fee, no press photo call holding up my shirt with my name on it with. I just turned up with my packed lunch and certificates at the Department of Industry and Estates (to become Leeds Development Agency, then Development Department, then Planning & Development Department, now City Development Directorate, etc etc).

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Time to think

“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think”Edwin Schlossberg.


I use lists because that’s how I seem to work best. I like crossing stuff off which means things on the list are getting done. I think I have a good memory however when I’m a bit stressed my list management becomes less effective. The signal this is happening is when I recall something needs doing but can’t remember what it is and so it won’t be on the list.

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