writing and thinking

Month: April 2017

Value the child, cherish the parent

I have had the good fortune throughout my working life to work with talented, intelligent and creative people. In almost all cases my colleagues have been completely blind to any special skill and expected nothing more than to work alongside others to do a good job, to improve their circumstances and those of the wider community. Continue reading

Home and hope

There is paint under my nails. An old pair of jeans torn at the knee and a spattered black polo shirt have been relegated to a corner in the wardrobe, officially fit now only for “jobs around the house”. I do not rush into redecorating on my own account. If I never spend another hour in B&Q or Homebase I would not be disappointed; a fetish for home improvement has passed me by. Continue reading

Taking back control

Is it possible that there is an upside to Brexit after all?

This week the international community chose to ignore the UK Government’s posturing on possible responses to the deaths by gas of innocent civilians in Syria. The Foreign Secretary gave up a proposed visit to Moscow, at the invitation of the Russians, and went instead to Tuscany to argue the case for sanctions to be applied to key figures in the Russian government and military; this despite there being no demonstrable link between those individuals and the actions in Ibdil province, no proof that the Syrian government was behind those actions, no agreement on any process to establish the facts of the case and instead unquestioning support by the UK Government for illegal military action by another government. Continue reading

Truth, faith and hope?

I am old enough to remember the election of Margaret Thatcher, though I was just too young to vote in 1979. I think I can remember her arriving in Downing Street and quoting St Francis: “Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” Thatcher had worked on her Lincolnshire accent to sound more regal and the “we” she referred to was clearly intended to evoke the royal “we”. She left an overwhelming impression of insincerity. Continue reading


I missed my own self-imposed deadline last week. I aim to update this blog with at least one post by close of play each Friday. And I missed last week’s deadline.

I have options. As an employer (of me) I can give myself a hard time. Or I can seek to understand why I missed the deadline, review my work to minimise the risk of my doing so again. As an employee I’m inclined to take responsibility for my failure and engage fully in any conversation intended to help me meet my responsibilities. I could just ignore the deadline. It’s my deadline after all. Who cares if I miss it (except me)? Well I do care. Missing deadlines shows no respect for my reader(s) and I do care about that. So I have given myself a talking to. Continue reading

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