What makes us creative?

27.01.2014. Just been reading the excellent Kevin Roberts latest blog post, where he discusses Creative Competencies.

This is close to my heart at the moment, as I’m in the process of establishing an innovation culture into the organisation I’m working with. Creativity can come in many forms and I’ve found that it s often stifled as we get older. As a child we are at our most creative yet as we get older, we don’t develop this creativity or rather we let our need to conform stop us from appearing to be different.

Why is that?

We should encourage creativity at every opportunity!

Burns Night

25.01.2014. Are you off celebrating Burns night tonight?

Unfortunately, I’m not going to be at a party tonight in person but will be at one in thought. Having lived in Scotland, I appreciate the event more than I did before moving up there. I’ve had some really great Burns suppers over the years and if you’ve never been to one, I’d encourage you to put it on your bucket list.

Last years was amazing, hosted by the Caledonian club (a Private Members Club for Scots) in London when rather than just piping in the haggis and doing the usual speeches, the event went into much more detail on the background – educational but oh so funny.

It’s been a good day today. I took up photography seriously last year and started an online diploma. Today, I’ve been into Manchester Photographic for an interactive session – learned some really useful tips and certainly developed by skills further. Looking forward to attending another session in a few weeks

A day with no plans whatsoever

12.01.2014. Bliss!

I woke up this morning to a day of absolutely nothing planned and it felt great.

I, like many others have a tendency to fill my time up with commitments. But not today! And guess what?

I have had one of my most productive days in many months. Why do you think that is?

I’ve done things that I’ve been putting off for weeks, I taken some great photographs of my daughter, I’ve set up the Wii and PlayStation and spent time just playing games – not happy that I 10 year old daughter beat me at Football though!

I’ll have to schedule more days like this won’t I or does that defeat the object?

50th celebrations

11.1.13. No not mine!

A friend whom I share a birthday with, celebrated his 50th in style, taking his family on a cruise through the Panama Canal. Last night he continued the celebrations with a fantastic private dinner at the Inn at Whitewell in Lancashire UK. What a great night. Great company, great food, great event. Simple, no fancy disco, lights how etc, just a group of 24 friends enjoying each other’s company.

It was certainly a long one, didn’t get to bed until 3 this morning, hence the delay in my daily post.

Pressure us on now to make my 50th equally as good.

Do you have a life plan?

5.1.2014. The last day of the holidays. Back to work/ school tomorrow and 2014 starts in earnest.

Today has been a funny day really. A mix of tidying up after the holidays and getting ready for the week ahead, as well as a little thinking time to ensure that my head is in the right place. I’m determined that 2014 will be my best year yet, the year that I make significant breakthroughs in my chosen fields, the year when I finally create my desired lifestyle.

I know what I need to do to achieve this. The trick will be to undertake these activities whilst living for today. I’ve been guilty in the past of living for tomorrow too much and not enjoying today. This is an interesting dilemma I think, and one I know I’ll be grappling with this year. How do you balance the delivery of your life plan yet live for today?

Most, if not all of my building blocks are now in place, so I’ve created a set of regular activities that I need to do each day/ week to ensure that I progress with my plan. However these are not onerous and should enable me to leave sufficient time to enjoy each day to the maximum.

Today has been such a day. I’ve taken some small steps required to move things forward with my plan, whilst spending time with my parents, enjoying my daughters stories of her day and chilling with the missus!

Happy New Year

31.12.2013
My final post of 2013, a year that I will look back on fondly. As I highlighted yesterday, the year has contained some memorable events, some great people, significant highs and less lows than recent years.

We’ve just completed our family wish list for 2014 and for the first time structured it around the ‘wheel of life’ – our daughter is old enough now to understand the need for balance in different areas of life. It’s been a very interesting exercise and has established a set of clear goals for us too aim for in theNew Year.

The weather has been pretty poor all day so we changed plans and stayed in for most of the day, although we did manage to give the dog a run on the beach between showers. I’m not one for New Years Eve actually – I’d much rather celebrate the coming of the New Year tomorrow. Unfortunately the annual run into the sea is at risk due to the weather. I hope that it can take place – it is an amazing spectacle and a very funny way to kick off the New Year, full of laughter.

Anyway, off to watch the bells on TV now.

Happy New Year everyone.

The calm before the storm…

29.12.2013
We woke up this morning to beautiful clear skies, and absolute calm conditions. The complete opposite to the last few days.

Managed to take some great coastal photographs that I will post when I get back home in the New Year. The UK coastline is so beautiful and I’m amazed that we continue to find new bays, new cliffs and new caves every time we come down to the peninsula, even though we have been coming down for the last 10 years. Today has been no different. We drove down to a beach area that we go to frequently, probably one of the closest to the house, but instead of exploring the beach, we decided to walk along the cliff tops, taking advantage of the public footpaths that crisscross the area.

Lo and behold, within minutes, we found an amazing waterfall leading down to a craggy outlet with a couple of amazing caves. How we haven’t seen this before, I just don’t know.

We took full advantage of the day, knowing that tonight the weather was about to close in again, with 3 weeks worth of rain expected overnight so batten down the hatches, get the fire roaring, a nice bottle of read and candles twinkling.

Boxing Day traditions

26.12.13. We have a pretty special Boxing Day tradition.

A group of us who all met when our children were in nursery together get together and go for a walk, over the fields. It’s the same walk every year, starting off at roughly the same time, and culminating with turkey sandwiches, hot chocolate and more vino when we get back. We must have done the walk now for at least 6/7 years and each year, the children have their photograph taken on the same rock – wow, how they gave grown!

We have some amazing memories of these walks, each recounted and embellished as each year passes. One of my favourites was when one of the mummies got stuck in the mud, and when helped by another (who sadly passed away a few years back) both ended up on their backsides – a YouTube Classic.

So today has been no exception – same walk, with the same group – just a great way to blow off the cobwebs from yesterday.

What traditions do you have?

What does Christmas mean to you?

25.12.2013. It’s Christmas Day. Merry Christmas

But what does that mean? What does Christmas mean to you? It’s an interesting question and one that tends to start a healthy debate. Does it mean presents and gifts? Does it mean food and drink? What about excess and greed? Or goodwill to all men?
Christmas means so many things to many different people and I think that your perspective is very much driven by the type of Christmas you experienced as a child, which is why it is so important to teach our children of the real meaning, rather than focusing upon the excess that is commonplace at this time of year.

I have a lovely day today. Present opening first thing – everything went down really well and then a walk with the dog to allow my daughter to try her new rollerblades, followed by a chillax, before a quick shower and shave ahead of leaving for the inlaws for Christmas Dinner. A few family games – Pointless really lived up to its name – and then back home.

An ideal Christmas Day, very in keeping with my new philosophy around simplicity.