What’s this about?

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My plan is to write about the people, places and adventures that have inspired me over sixty odd years.  Mostly it’s just a way for me to recall and record the fun, excitement and times spent in good company, together with some of the pratfalls along the way, but if it makes you smile, so much the better.

Wherever I Go

Lockdown has provided ample time and subject matter for me to concoct spoof lyrics and thus massacre a few classic songs. However, on a more serious note, many of us are missing friends and looking forward to singing, dancing, breaking bread and having a few beers together again, so with this in mind…

On the subject of earworms…

One of my sea-shanty buddies suggested that we could have a go at ‘Stuck-in-the-middle-with-you’. However, in our midst lurks a proper sailor who gets the raging ‘ump’ if we sing anything that doesn’t have sea and/or boat in the subject matter, therefore it didn’t get sung. Nevertheless, an earworm got planted.

Sometime later I was involved in woodland activity and was swinging a socially distanced axe between a couple of blokes doing likewise. The earworm must still have been alive because I spontaneously broke into “fools to the left of me, jokers to the right…” My colleagues were unimpressed but a couple of weeks later when our foreman’s birthday cropped up, somewhat predictably, the words morphed into something a bit different…

Lockdown Blues

In many ways, it been great. No more FOMO, just lots and lots of JOMO. The opportunity to learn something new (my Spanish lessons aren’t going too well), pig out on old films, go for a few more bracing walks and ponder what next essential item to purchase on Amazon.

But, and it’s a BIG BUT, bouy-o-bouy (sic) I miss standing in a pub, beer in hand, singing sea shanties with my mates. It’s got so bad that the ‘ear-worms’ have started driving me crazy…

Planning

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A proper writer recently asked me… “oi ‘O’, why don’t you try your hand at fiction for a change?”

To which I replied…

“ha ha, once upon a time I wrote business and marketing plans for the phone company, so I’ve got that T shirt… I’ll stick to nonfiction nowadays thanks!”  However, although people moan about plans and planners, it’s worth considering that often the process is just as important as the outcome, especially when teams of people are involved.  Formulating plans encourages people to think about what they are doing and the value of their contribution.  A simple integrated plan with a clearly defined set of targets, developed by the people responsible for delivering against those targets is a powerful tool that can work wonders for team moral and get everyone facing the same way.

Doing What I’m Told

Some years ago I concluded that life was easier, less frustrating and just as fulfilling if I simply did what I was told.  This is not to say that I abandoned trying to make things better through dialogue and practical contribution; it’s just been a case learning to recognise when the point has come to shut up, knuckle down and get on with it as prescribed by those in authority.

And, not only have I stood on both sides of the authoritative fence, at times I’ve been ‘the fence’.  I’ve argued vehemently with authority about plans that I deemed were wrong, but having had my crack at influencing a decision, when the time came I ‘sold’ that decision to my team with absolute conviction; after all, that was what I was paid to do.  And, sometimes, it transpired that ‘management’ were right in the first place and it all turned out okay.

Freediving With Whales

When you scuba dive the whoosh of inhalation coupled with the rush of expanding bubbles muffles other sounds. Freediving brings a different perspective; the scraping from parrot fish browsing, the rattle of stone disturbed by tide. And then, if you allow yourself to drift into the abyss, total silence.

Freedive in the vicinity of whales though and ‘sound’ isn’t the word to describe the sensory experience. Their high pitched trills may be a simple musical composition, but their deep powerful murmurings engulf your body with something that soaks into your very soul.

It is hard to believe that the ‘Right Whale’ is so named because whalers considered it to be the ‘right’ whale to hunt. Despite mankind’s sophisticated evolutionary path, we still commit heinous acts of cruelty through ignorance, greed and expediency.

This is a difficult song to sing…