Sunday, February 21, 2010

See you in a week's time!

Moving house so unable to Blog this week.

My Internet provider tells me we cannot be re-connected in our new house until Monday 1st March.

I will try to keep up with e-mails through my phone but will be at best a very skeleton service.

Have a great week all my Simplicity friends and thanks again for your brilliant support to this Blog - the pleasure is all mine!

See you in 7 days!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fair cop Guvnor - I'm just a big softie

All change on the domestic front this weekend.

Annie and I are downsizing from our 4 bedroom house to a very nice 3 bedroom flat and we are staying in our lovely Warwickshire village. This has come about for a few reasons not least the recession which has finally begun to affect business.

We’ve decided to hold on to our asset by letting our house and renting something cheaper. This, I gather, is a route many people are taking as the recession bites.

Initially we plan to rent for a couple of years at least until the housing market picks up at which point we may consider selling our property. Alternatively we may decide to rent long term and allow our house to increase in value as a long term investment for our dotage!!

So this is another ‘coping with change’ episode in our ever changing lives. This will be the third house move in four years. Who said life is dull?

We have a lot to be thankful for in our lives and there are far more positives than negatives.

One thing we are really struggling to come to terms with is that we had to say goodbye on Tuesday to our two wonderful dogs Rusty and Bertie – pictured above - because we are not allowed dogs in the flat.

We’ve had these two little gems with us for two years since they were puppies and we are staggered, in fact completely overwhelmed by the massive impact losing them has had on us both.

Annie and I are permanently holding back the tears (most of the time that is). Whoever said 'real men don't cry' was completely wrong!

It is incredible how these two little chaps have had such a profound effect on us. We under-estimated the loss we are suffering. We know it will get better but right now I have to say it hurts like hell.

To anyone who says I’m exaggerating I would say you are perfectly entitled to that view. From where I’m sitting believe me there is no exaggeration. We humans can learn so much from dogs about the real meaning of unconditional love and loyalty. These qualities are just automatic for our canine friends.

I’ve no doubt we miss them more than they are missing us.

The great news is that Rusty and Bertie are with a lovely family of four whom we know well and the love they are receiving is great.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our friend JK's new website launched today!

It is my pleasure and delight to bring to your attention the launch today of a new website for our great Simplicity friend J.Kannan from Chennai, India.

This is the link:

From the website you can link to JK’s Blog which is entitled “Business Ethics and Practice.”

I can think of no-one better at promoting Business Ethics than JK!

This is the full link to the Blog


Friday, February 12, 2010

A Smokefree England?

I was delighted earlier this week to attend a ‘SMOKEFREE Solihull’ event along with about 100 other health and social care professionals along with representatives from various charitable organisations. I hope to remain involved in this brilliant project.

The event was organised to promote a Government Paper published on 1st February entitled:

“A Smokefree Future – A comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy for England”

is a joint agency project aimed at raising awareness of the health dangers of smoking and encouraging people who smoke to quit. The progress is encouraging with Solihull much further ahead in such projects when compared with many parts of the UK.

Speaking personally, I smoked from age 16 until I finally quit about 7 years ago. Like most of my peers I gave up a few times but I always succumbed to the habit and returned to smoking time and time again. After almost 7 years I hope I have finally kicked the habit for good.

I have empathy for those who smoke and want to give up the habit. I also have great understanding and sympathy for those who just cannot quit. It is bloody hard work.

This question was asked from the audience to the health experts running the event;

“I know someone who smoked all their life and died at 87 years of age. How do you explain that?”

One of the Department of Health Team gave this brilliant answer;

"If everyone in this room was blindfolded and asked to cross the busiest motorway in England then some people would get to the other side."

My own view is that no one can surely argue against the ‘smoking kills’ argument – it does – end of story. I say let's just accept the overwhelming evidence.

Smoking will probably never be made illegal in the UK but things have moved on quickly over the last few years and we now have a smoking ban in pubs for instance – something I never thought would happen in my lifetime.

We surely owe it to our children and grandchildren to aim for a smoke free England.

(More about Smokefree initiatives can be seen here)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Why don't they resign?

I’m not perfect – far from it. I have my faults and I’ve made many mistakes in my life.

So having got that off my chest I’m not pretending for even one nanosecond that the world should be seen through rose tinted spectacles as a place where everyone will always be perfect.

BUT ……

Something has change during my adulthood. When I was a youngster and started to get interested in politics and the like I distinctly remember politicians in particular would resign as a matter of principle when they were caught out. Either in some question of their personal integrity or if they considered they had brought shame on the respected public position they held.

Nowadays – indeed for the last few years – high profile people who have been caught out, just ‘stay there’ trying to ‘stick it out’ presumably hoping the furore will die down so they can carry on in their position as if nothing has happened.

I am either just old fashioned or maybe I’m turning into a ‘Victor Meldrew’ grumpy old man. I am still hoping to see some high profile person just come in front of the TV camera without some highly paid PR or Communications Guru beside them and just honestly admit they made a massive mistake that gives them no alternative but to stand down because their personal integrity has been seriously damaged.

This is not restricted to politics – it applies in the world of big business and sport.

So thank you Mr Capello for showing real leadership in your decision to sack John Terry.

Clearly Mr Terry could see nothing wrong in his off the field activities and how they completely undermined his exalted position as England Football Captain.

In some ways I’m disappointed (but then again not surprised) that Mr Terry had to stick around until he was sacked and I am absolutely sure Mr Capello has made a 100% correct decision.

Now …..If only we had more leaders like Mr Capello in politics and business!