Category Archives: My Journey

Caterham in the snow 1963

Caterham In The Snow 1963

I recently moved my blog to a new hosting provider and for some reason this post didn’t come across. So for posterity sake here are a couple of pictures taken of our house on Stanstead Road, Caterham, Surrey, UK during the severe winter of 1963. I would have been 7 years old and remember it reasonably well.

Caterham in the snow 1963


Caterham in the snow 1963


Surfer Dude

Trolled down to Garrettstown this morning to pay a visit to the surf school sale. Really looking for shore boots and maybe a buoyancy aid for the Nibser.

Arrived around 10:45 and Jon said, “There’s a lesson starting at 11:00, why not join it?”. So rather than think about it for another week and get stressed over it I accepted the place on the lesson.

Why get stressed about it? Well the idea of surfing is something very new to me; I mean I’ve spent the last 52 years carefully avoiding the water and here I am voluntarily going in the sea. I don’t know why I’ve always been afraid (petrified!) of the water (sea, swimming pool, puddle); but I have. However last month we saw the Nibser having a fantastic time at Surf2Heal (she has no fear at all) so I resolved to overcome my trepidation and get stuck in so that I can feel comfortable taking her in the water.

Did I stand up on the board? Not today; but I did get on a board in the sea; and that’s a great start.

Update… That was Sunday and now it’s Tuesday evening. Since the lesson every muscle group in my body has been queuing up to howl in protest at the exertion it’s been put through. Just goes to show how unfit I am and what a good work over surfing is!

The Social and Health Education Project

In one of my other lives I build web sites and I’m very pleased to be able to announce today the launch of a new site for The Social and Health Education Project (SHEP).

The project does sterling work in the area of providing personal development and community training courses as well as training the facilitators to go out in society and deliver the courses. Here’s a small snippet from the description of their work:

Through its Training and Development Services, SHEP offers a wide range of courses aimed at helping people to be effective in their personal lives, in their family relationships and in their communities. It also trains people to become group-facilitators. Many of these use the skills they learn with the Project in their professional work or in their work in the community. Others undergo advanced training in order to play specialist roles with the Project, working either as Community Tutors or as Organisational Mentors. Community Tutors deliver a number of introductory courses in personal development through SHEP’s Community Training Programme, while Organisational Mentors provide support and guidance for organisations operating in the community and voluntary sector through the Project’s Community Governance Enhancement Programme.

If you’ve an interest in personal development or community and society issues then please visit the site and help support the work that they do.

A Tough Few Days

I know the blog’s been a bit quiet the last few days as I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with my work situation. I was made redundant last Thursday (31st May) and even though I’ve known this was coming since the start of March I’m still finding it harder to adjust too than I’d expected.

Despite of having lots of plans for the future, this blog being part of those, I still feel angry that I’ve lost my job, and not a little down too. I guess it’s knowing now that all the structures that go with having a full time job; the routine and not to mention the pay cheque each month, have all been stripped away leaving me feeling empty and rejected.

So here are some of the things I’m doing to stay positive:

  1. I’ve lots of DIY to do around the place and this is coming on well. I’ve never had much motivation for DIY in the past; but I’m pleased with what I’m doing now and I’m getting a buzz out of getting the jobs done.
  2. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking so I’ve a list of career oriented affirmations that pop-up on my PC every 30 minutes. These keep me focussed on the opportunities that now present themselves.
  3. I’m also a firm believer that these things happen for the right reasons and that nothing arises in our lives that we’re not already equipped to deal with or find the answer too.
  4. I’m continuing to read up on subjects that interest me and that might lead to new avenues of employment.
  5. I’ve the feelers out with the recruitment agents so I get an early shot at any relevant positions that come along.
  6. I’m continuing with my goals and expanding on these as I go along.

So, all in all, I’ve a good bit to be getting on with. Actually, now that I’ve written this posting, I feel a good bit more energised and positive. It’s been a very useful exercise just to get me back in touch with some of my core values and beliefs.

Right, back to the gardening!

Setting Life Goals

Who has life goals?

Until recently I didn’t think I had any life goals. Today I do; but a lot of people I speak to can’t tell me their life goals.

So what’s the block? Why don’t more people have life goals?

Firstly let’s look at what a life goal is. A life goal is either:

  • A goal it takes your entire life to accomplish. I.e. you only accomplish it on your death bed at the end of your life. Who wants one of those? No one? Didn’t think so.
  • It’s a goal that you achieve at some point and then maintain for the rest of your life. This looks to be a better bet.

OK, if a life goal is something you achieve and then maintain for the rest of your life, then it has to be achieved at some point in time before the end of your life. no? So really life goals are just like any other goals, right? You set the goal and, at some point down the line, you achieve it.

A life goal can seem like a big deal, “What goal do I want for the rest of my life?”. Scary question! On the other hand setting medium term or long term goals doesn’t seem like such a big deal. What do I want in five years or ten years? These are time frames I can relate to, they’re within my reach and they don’t scare me.

Does that mean any goal as a ‘life goal’? No, a life goal has to have long term implications, “Get my hair cut”, is a goal; but it doesn’t have life long implications so it’s not a life goal. For me a life goal is:

A goal that has life long implications.

Finally let’s take a look at some goals I posted a few days ago and see how they map into this new definition for life goals:

  1. To be my ideal weight (12st 6lbs) – is this a life goal? Yes it is, even though it’s got a relatively short time frame it’s something I want for the rest of my life.
  2. To live in a cottage by the sea – is this a life goal? Yes it is; but it has a longer time span of 14 years, which is when I retire.
  3. To earn more than €100K a year – is this a life goal? Not as it’s phrased, it’s a medium term goal of 4 years and then stops there. I need to work on this goal to ensure it becomes a life goal.
  4. To run a successful life coach business – is this a life goal? Yes it is. It has a medium time frame also of 4 years; but it’s something I want to be doing the rest of my life.

(That last goal is not a properly defined goal at all; but I’ll explain that in another posting).

I may have started off this session thinking I’d no life goals, where as in fact I’ve lots of them. So don’t be intimidated by the notion of setting ‘life goals’. Just set your goals and enjoy achieving them in this life.

Setting Myself a Goal

This is a time of upheaval in my life with my permanent job coming to an end at the end of May and I’m in the process of reviewing all areas of my life. In GTD terms I’m doing a full review at 50,000 feet.

One of the areas I’ve really let slip over the years, if I ever had a grip on it at all, is my overall fitness level and in particular my weight. Some time ago quality pair of scales, the sort that tell you your fat and water percentages; but when I got on them yesterday I realized it was about 12 months since I last weighed myself. No need to tell you that I had put on weight!

So my current weight is 197lbs and my ideal (target) weight for a man my height is 173lbs. That’s 24lbs I’ve got to loose. Ouch! In fact I’m only 0.8 Body Mass Index (BMI) points away from being obese (double ouch).

OK, this is getting depressing. Let’s move on.

This goal is intended to contribute to the overall goal of improving my fitness and loosing those 24lbs. Note that I’m not defining the weight loss goal here as I have to do some more work defining that one. This goal is to start me back to gaining some sort of fitness as well as making a small contribution to losing weight.

The goal is to walk for 20 minutes, unencumbered, 3 days a week for a month.

This may not seem like a very arduous goal to achieve; but in the past I’ve set goals like this that were doomed to failure from the off because they were over ambitious. For example; walk for an hour 3 times a week. An hour for me is a long time to fit in around all my work and personal commitments and it was very rare for me to actually get away from my desk for an hour.

On the other hand 20 minutes is just 10 minutes outbound and then home again. This I’m sure I can do and part of the idea of doing this for a month is to establish the walking goal as a habit. The “unencumbered” bit is to stop me from hanging my camera and / or binoculars round my neck which are guaranteed to slow me down. This is walking for exercise sake and nothing else.

The intention is that if I can achieve this for a month then I increase the time to 30 minutes for a month, then 40 minutes and so on; but let’s get this month over with first.

So I have tomorrow marked as the first day and the end date is 7th May.

Here goes….

The first step…

All journeys begin with a first step and so this is mine. As I’m writing this the first of my colleagues are preparing to leave the company for good as the site winds down. Some have been here for nearly 20 years. There’s much laughter; but underneath it I can feel the tension, uncertainty and fear of the unknown.

I myself don’t leave until the end of May. I shan’t be the last one out the door; but not far from it. Next week will be difficult as the building will seem so empty with half the staff gone. So the purpose of this blog is to chart the last two months of my time here and where I go from there. As the title says this is a personal journey. This is my opportunity to step out of my familiar cozy surroundings and experience things from another perspective. While I’m on my way I’ll most certainly post up things that annoy me and things that delight me (hopefully more of the latter).

So there it is; my right foot planted firmly in front of my left foot and I’m on my way. Here’s to a safe journey.