Stuff I couldn’t learn at school!

Like most, possibly I spent months ahead of exams pouring over books and past notes to hope for a good outcome, to get the marks needed.

Algebra, economics and history to name a few.  I had pretty rubbish results.

Certain private issues that I made public on another post here didn’t help, yet that’s not an excuse.

I loved wood work but didn’t have a knack, the flying propeller nose dived like my results!

Yet years later, I’m surprised by what I now remember and I suppose that’s because I’m interested and engaged.

There’s loads of non important, non world breaking, no newspaper front page stories of the things I memorise but it’s what makes me who I am and what makes us all a little unique.

We all have talents and passions, not all of them can fit into the conformity of a curriculum, so while as a child I felt I couldn’t learn Stuff, I guess the passion of my teachers  (not always in the right 70’s context) helped me in later life to seek a passion and follow it, to memorise a belief!


Rope swings

I was walking with tee and one of her clients, a beautiful husky called Boris.



Finally we have a lovely warm sunny day, so the three of us are making the most of the weather when I came across this.

Ok it’s not the best but the memories of proper rope swings was a nostalgic trip!


Instant memories of a childhood spent swinging on a rope came flooding back.

Who cares about health and safety, as a kid if you came across a rope and stick there was fun to be had.  Who cares whether the stranger who setup the rope was competent, I didn’t care and risked unknown injuries to swing as far or as high as possible!

There was one swing down near giants grave  (love that name but could never find the grave of the giants).  The swing hung over the canal.  Long summer days were spent swinging out and diving into the cool water.

Now that sounds idyllic but if you saw the canal with adult eyes you’d be concerned.  But we didn’t care we had a swing and cool water to dive into!

Another fine swing was in the ferry woods, it was atop of a deep drop so when we swung out it was like you were at the top of the empire state building!

I went back a few years ago and it was more like six foot tall!

Funny how time alters memory.  Yet the memories of the fun to be had with rope swings is a priceless memory, who doesn’t love a good rope swing!

Happy memories.


My balloon fell on the moon

I can’t recall where, but as a seven year old I’d been somewhere that earnt me a balloon.

I was walking home with my mum, one hand in her hand and my other holding this balloon.  Best balloon in the world, its smooth silky like bobbing in the wind captivated me.  She danced as dusk touched our day.

We were nearly home, I must have got distracted, maybe mum was asking a question or the magic of my balloon temporarily escaped me.

One minute my balloon was safe in the guardian grip of my hand, holding the string that kept my balloon close.

Yet then she was gone, floating away into the air, higher and higher, gone lost.

I had this such clear vivid memory of hopelessly chasing my balloon, shouts and tears as she floated higher to the moon.

Without Rhyme or reason I was crushed.  Years later as an adult, that memory confused me, why did the loss of this balloon upset me.

At that age the little things that are so important, so crucial seem miniscule as an adult.  Yet they signpost to who we are.

I made that balloon a part of me and with it’s loss it felt I was losing something close.  Like a close friend that becomes a distant contact.

Not sure this makes sense, no rhyme or reason i guess, but I do hope that balloon, made it to the moon.


Dedication to a passion

People who avoid pubs, avoid late nights, eat the right foods, who get up ridiculously early to go and do their thing.


Like most I’m in awe of these amazing people who dedicate their lives to their passion, to their sport.

I’ve watched the last couple of Olympics with tee and we’re glued to the screen, to sports we don’t normally watch but to see the achievement and the success of gold coming to these athletes has been a beautiful experience.

Equally for the losers and the really closers the emotion displayed is magnified by all those years of dedication of training. It’s something that leaves us speechless.

These people give their all for years, the early mornings and late nights, literally hours and hours of unseen dedication for a moment of potential.

I feel honoured to witness this dedication to watch the eyes and focus these people have to grab their dreams. Just a moment.

I pay Homage to all athletes, you inspire me to do more.


Bleak without broadband

Life without broadband sucks!

Don’t get me wrong there are way more important concerns in this world with hunger, homeless, terrorism, crazy presidents, the list goes on.

Yet life without broadband sucks.

I grew up in the seventies where learning came from libraries, ceefax and talking to people!

Then along came this wonderful resource.


Then came high speed broadband and intelligent phones, chuck out the table greedy PC and get relaxed on the sofa with the world at the finger tips!

Our lives were changed!

When I first connected to the Internet way back in 1998, I remember the weird sound of the dial up modem bad-ing bad-ing, never heard such noises although closest was a gerbil!

I was in awe looking at some web pages in America.

Wow America, thats crazy, I could see information from a different country right from my desk!

Even typing these words now today (on a phone in the garden), I’m at a loss to explain what was so inspiring then about what is now an unthought of activity.   Less about the delivery and more about the end goal.

Maybe the same feelings were first had when television was first seen.  What, I don’t have to go to the cinema anymore?


The Web was pretty quiet back then, way before Google and Amazon and well, pretty much anything we now use in our everyday life today.

After I shut down my heavy looking white cladded computer I walked outside and looked up at the sky, I had the strangest feeling that I’ve been to a different country right from my little house in Fairford.

It’s hard to explain, looking up at the stars and the vastness of space that sort of made the connection between people on earth closer.

So now, without broadband my world felt isolated.  That walk to the library felt a long path..

Don’t get me wrong I still carried on, but without the convenience of grabbing my phone in the evening to do stuff was a pain.  It’s a different world in my own lifetime.

Who remembers all their friends phone numbers when we used to ‘dial’.

Thats just one!

After three weeks we got broadband back and I’m unashamedly happy for it.

Particularly as I’m sending this blog using my broadband from my phone in our garden.




If words are never read, then thoughts are lost

Solitary is a good word to explain how I feel about blogging.

When i tap the publish button I feel my blog, my thought, its message is in a solitary place.

Unviewed and unloved!

Like many, I spend hours trying to craft a perfect blog.  Except Lol  it’s the ‘daily one word’ blog of course!

For me, my blogs are about personal experience, views of life and poking fun on myself!

We all need to do the last bit more often in my view!

I’m new to this experience of sharing my thoughts and views with the world, so while there are countless bloggers with thought proking views, tips, ideas I feel even more naked towards my blog and the dread of solitude.

Bloggers and their blogs have at times touched my soul, moved my core and helped me to improve as a person and also at times increase my knowledge of a subject.

Except DIY, I’m just rubbish, im a tryer but if school games were based on DIY then I’d be the last picked, literally in solitude and rightly so!!

I salute the bloggers; the tryers, the changers and the downright brilliant who make the internet a lovely place to visit.

Long may you blog and I hope not in solitude.


A prickle in time


I’m about to marry this beautiful woman Tina.

I’ve never known anyone with such compassionate love towards animals, she truly is amazing.

My first experience of this love was seeing her cross the street to pick up a worm in danger of pedestrian treading territory!

She has a love and care of family too, always keen to put on parties with the aim of wanting people to have fun.

Yet all this was unknown to me when I first did a Facebook poke to her in 2008.  I think they changed the settings since then but at the time you could choose similar parameters to yourself.  Like age location etc.

So I was single and bored and had time on my hands.  I was trawling through the parameters, pictures of people my age my location etc etc.

Then stop the press.

This beautiful picture of a woman appeared on my screen.

Remember Facebook poking?  I was close to doing it but thought maybe not, so left it.

Her face kept in my mind for a while after, couple of months maybe.  I don’t know why but her face stayed with me.

It was Christmas 2008 and she had updated something on Facebook suggesting she was in a sad place.

So I ‘poked her’!

Conversations started, they matured over two months and we agreed to meet.  Boy I was nervous at that first meeting, I mean we met online, kind of before online dating was established!

It happened we would meet at the Wales Scotland game.  My brother sussed something was up as I was smartly dressed instead of my usual rugby shirt!

I met Tina after the game, it’s still vivid the thought of standing outside the ground, I had prickes of goosebumps!

Nervously waiting.

Will she show won’t she show!  And why are all these kilt wearing Scotsman flashing their wares!

I saw more of what I didn’t want to see in a lifetime!

Thankfully Tina did show and we left the ballsy flashing Scots to start a beautiful romance.

I can’t wait to marry her, those prickes are back as I’m closing out this post!


Time to do..

Time goes faster as we get older, that’s what people say.

I remember as a child summer holidays were a vastness of fun and exploration where time was endless, now summer is a brief interlude into hoping the sun will appear whilst balancing work and the chores of a home and garden.

We bought a hot tub recently, Tina started a pet walking business we have a great time but feel there’s less of it than those halcyon days of my childhood and those long lazy summers.  How come?!

Time is a tick tocking teasing provocateur who creaps when mortality is realised to punish when we have a good time and torture us when the ‘day drags’.

I’m sat here now attempting and likely failing the perfect jiffy related daily story for WordPress, yet it strikes me that time is like juggling sand, the more you try the more the sand falls to the ground.

So for now I won’t waste this moment in time, I’ll put my tablet down and spend quality time and reflect on the grains of happy memories of my past for that’s all we can hope for.

The quicker the sand falls the more memories we want to capture and cherish.



Bad bosses, stale bread and great coaches

We’ve all had them right? The boss who brings pain, anguish, frustration to a working life. They put pressure on the need to put bread on the table and preoccupies the mind when sleep should bring rest.

Whether it’s the deceiver, the faker, the out for themselvers, the lazy, the weak, the arrogant, the boss who just fails to be..well, a leader.

If you’ve not had a bad boss then you’re either lucky or self employed!

Anecdotes of our working woes have been employed to humour family and friends since the start of employment. What would the workers at the pyramid of giza have said of their bosses?

I was in a shop recently where I heard two workers being, well less than complimentary of the boss. The comments suggested this was their bad boss, sounding like the boss fell into the lazy and weak category with a splash of arrogance!

OUCH..they must really be a bad boss right?

Walking back to my car, and on the drive to work the thought kept replaying in my mind..What to do with a bad boss?

The bad boss is still a person, someone who needs to bring bread to their own table so why do they need to be..well bad.

We’re all in it together aren’t we?

I’ve also been lucky to have leaders in my life who really do listen inspire allow growth and..well they lead you to a better place amazing.

I’ve had two bad bosses, the first was inflexible and stuck to the rules, couldn’t change and wouldn’t want to..yet the second was the definite clear bad boss winner and all time champion.

Feel free to challenge this!

He offended pretty much all of my values and core beliefs; Honesty, integrity, team working, helping others yep they all got pretty much pooped on!

This guy not only takes the biscuit, he bought the biscuit factory!

For my first bad boss I felt powerless with the ‘only out’ being to find another job.

Which is what I did.

Thankfully for my ‘poop dropping biscuit factory owner’ bad boss I had a fantastic friend and coach who gave me great advice and helped me to grow as an employee and person.

If you can find a great coach the battle is half won.

He taught me to believe in myself, that I have a voice, to use it and challenge the boss, become the parent, win the small battles, create conviction and in turn value.

Trust me this is not one of those linkedin type blogs which offers little return from a big opening statement..its my experiences of bad bosses done in a humourous way!

The coaching along with my conviction to change did make a positive outcome. Yes along the way there was a whole bag of private ranting!

Words are easier than action I get it but if the bread goes stale, your future goes moldy.

It’s not only the boss who’s bad, maybe we need to self reflect, judge and adjust ourselves like we want to do our bosses. We’re all getting that bread on the table and need each other to do so to drive our business forward.

Whatever business that maybe.

For me I’ve learnt the only options are not just to accept a bad boss or to leave a job.

I had a tonne of low points but like I said having a great coach really helps.

Through him i went for that positive change, to push the boss into being a leader, it didn’t work but it improved me as a employee and got me noticed.

Why should the bad boss crush our standards and values, they belong to us.

I have to say, those workers whilst ranting were doing a great job so maybe it was just the blowing of steam and not the willingness to change.

There will always be the 9 to 5 anecdotes and long may they an extent.