Monday, January 30, 2006

AMOC aftermath

My brain is aching like an unused muscle after a 1500m dash.

I didn't realise how tiring two days of thinking could be. I got home on Friday evening to find family plus Bethan and mum Sarah eating spaghetti bolognese in loud and messy form. Missus was remarkably supportive - I had worried that she might have crumbled under the strain of No.1 Son and the Galster. Granny C had "been an angel" the day before and Granpa J had come over to see grandchilds and celebrate a surprise birthday party. Thom had made a card and Thomas the Tank Engine cupcakes, one of which received a candle. Thom was also able to present a bottle of Granpa Juice.

I reverted to my usual nocturnal habits - get to the third story with Thom and fall asleep myself, waking up at 1am in order to brush my teeth.

Saturday and Sunday were spent ranting at Wanadoo (or Wanadon't as I shall now call them) who in their attempt to "upgrade" our local network lost us our telephone line and broadband connection. The phone line came back after 4 days, the broadband is gone and won't be back for a while.

Its amazing, when you do a google, how many people have had similar problems with wanadoo. i now have the direct number of the Customer Relations Specialist and i will use it if I don't get satisfaction (which includes at least 1 month free).

So I have to do all my browsing and blogging at work - whilst trying to do some work and thinking about my first assignment

Produce a written account of what in your own assessment you have learned from you own experience. Consulting is a complex process and it is often not possible, or helpful to separate it out into discrete chunks. You are encouraged to "tell your development story" and to demonstrate a clear orientation towards reflexive praxis through the way that your represent your reflections.

We will look for evidence of your learning capabilities in these following three areas:
The application of your learning to consulting practice
Critical reference to appropriate theory
Increasing personal awareness through reflexive practice.

Oh Hell!

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Not a sci-fi programme from the US that has recently landed on CHannel 5, but the acronym of the Ashirdge Masters in Organisational Consulting (Year 9) that I have justed started.

i am sitting inan empty "internet cafe" in a business school library in a former monastery in the middle of Hertfordshire after a very nice dinner of onion and goats cheese tart, venison and multiple puddings.

First night away from the family for months and months.

Much much much to think and about and reflect upon.

More and more and more anon as I start ot use the Blog as a way to list and record my thoughts as I embark on this reflective programme of hopefully improvement.

Fantastically interesting people (and a tutor who played a CD of John COltrane's Meditations during the first meeting!)

WOw. More anon!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More ThomThink

in the bath..
"Thom, have you washed your face?"
"Then why isn't your face wet?"
"I used dry water"

Shahid 2 - the sandwich returns

Shahid is now back with the sandwiches. There is a consistency in his cuisine as he is sticking with Tuna Mayo, a cheese croissant and a boiled egg. He is following the Rene Caryol series on BBC2 and cutting his spending down.

I have been cutting our spending at home to overcome the pending bankruptcy, poverty and general feeling that we can't afford the Tesco Value range. I used a site suggested by The Guardian to switch all our utilities and credit cards and phone line. Since then the phone line has gone down. That is thanks to our, to date, very good broadband suppliers who very kindly took over half of our local exchange in order to speed things up and in the course of this have f**ked up our phone and broadband.

Anyway my major coup this week has been to identify a source of home insulation - a skip outside our office - and nab, for free, 8 rolls of loft insulation, furthering the cause of recycling and keeping my money away from the DIY stores.

Tomorrow I go back to school. More anon

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Quartets for experiencing

4 performances that I will never forget and by which all other performances are judged in the hope that I might once again experience the other worldly feeling of complete absorption, delight and wonder

1. The Mahabarata directed by Peter Brook
2. Tectonic Plates written and directed by Robert Lepage
3. Needles & Opium written and directed by Robert Lepage
4. A Minute Too Late written and performed by Theatre de Complicite

Monday, January 16, 2006

thom art

Quartets for reading

4 books i might chose if I was on Desert Island Discs and Sue Lawley decided to chuck the format out the window after over 40 years and allow me have 5 records and 4 books - of course I might want the 8 records, but if she held me down and threatened to pummel if I don't go with the new deal... well, this is what i would probably say, given enough time to think. As it is recorded they could edit the thinking time out so you wouldn't hear the threat or the thinking

1. Euclid's Elements
2. "Life a User's Manual" by George Perec
3. The Lotus Sutra
4. "Glass Bead Game" by Herman Hesse

Quartets for living

4 places I have lived

1. Blackheath
2. Exeter
3. Ealing
4. Norwich

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Last words

There have been a few comments asking for my thoughts on Donna Tartt's "The Little Friend". I was a bit disappointed with it to be honest. I honestly can't remember much about "The Secret History", but seem to recall that after a tragic murder at the beginning of the book not much happens over a number of years while people go through some kind of rites of passage until not a lot of outcome at the end. Sort of the same as "The Little Friend". It does have a good last line though

"Say what you want to, I don't care" he said, "But she's a genius."
Pem laughed. "Sure she is," he said, as he headed out the door. "Compared to you"

which isn't bad

Not as good as my all time favourite from George V. Higgins.

"Fuck Nietzche." Beale said. "he's never aroudn when you need him"

Though I point you in the direction of this article finishing sentence from Gaby Wood's Observer article last week

equal-opportunity farting - now that's what I call progress.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Darkest before dawn

The lurgy is now behind us, though all in the family have a propensity to snoring that hints at adenoids, but the sleep patterns are now completely shot. Despite Tuesday night's pub quiz -Thom Daddy drinks daddy juice and get wibbly wobbly) [also is very weird], we came second a second week running which is consistent and provides 6 free drinks, and more importantly we beat our arch rivals Feeding the Ducks - when I managed to stay awake beyond 9 o'clock, each night has been a test of willpower to get beyond the third Thomas the Tank Engine story to the great Thom [listening to the radio in car as we got home from nursery there appeared Elliot Carter's Three Occasions For Orchestra: A Celebration Of 100 X 150 Notes - his first utterance was "That's spooky", then at the end "Its not scary really, Daddy. Its only music"] before I fall asleep on the big bed with the slightly disappointed Thom who wanted a fourth and fifth reading. Mademoiselle Gal's sleep pattern has gone out the window and she consequently wakes and screams at 3am most nights. Wednesday it took us nearly 2 hours to get her back to sleep properly.

So, the house is a mess, I've done no reading for the AMOC which starts in two weeks time, have not got through to the computer helpline to get them to put the DVD tray back in the DVD player - its great having kids, you can blame the damage from your own clumsiness upon them - not swept away all the gravel in the garden/backyard to make it cyclable for the intrepid Thom and birthday present, not fixed the broken leg on the dining room chair, not re-wired the video so that it actually works, not really lived much at all!

After a night awake (sleep patterns are shot to pieces, as I said) finishing the last 150 pages of The Little Friend and then starting Middlesex I was alerted this morning just before leaving for work by the phone. An 8 o'clock call is unknown in our household unless it is my mother wanting to ask me something which could wait until I have upheld the trust that my employers invest in me by turning up on time for work. I picked up the phone and was greeted by "hello, here is a song about rain" and there followed a Hebrew song about rain. At the end of it (about 3 minutes) I was able to confirm my sister in law of her complete insanity, speaking from experience of course. Though...

... at times like these I start to wonder in an RD Laing-ian way whether my own apparent insanity is actually normality

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Quartets 5

Who am I?

In Superhero terms I am Super(wo)man, the sort of righteous, indestructible do-gooder the world is crying out for. I use your uncanny powers for good, not ill. I amupright, resolute and just a wee bit boring.

How very true

Friday, January 06, 2006

Saying Hello..

Thom is fascinated by language and is collecting hellos in different languages. He has English, Hebrew, French, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and, for some reason, York.

With talk of sharks and visiting cats and elves, the Yorkshire 'Ow do is now, according to Thom, that people in New York say "Owl Do" which, he says, is something that Owls do.

You do the math. Gei Weiss

Quartets 4

My four favourite string quartets
1. Schubert Quartetsatz
2. Ravel String Quartet
3. Schubert "Death and the Maiden"
4. Janacek String Quartet no.2 "Intimate Letters"

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Quartets 3

With the help of my elf

Your Elf Name Is...

Holly Cartwheels

here are

Four Films I could see over and over, especially if I had the whole afternoon and wanted to go on somey trippy out of my head trip kind of thing, dude

1. A Matter of Life and Death

2. The Sacrifice

3. Blood Simple

4. Apocalypse Now

Quartets 2

Four Children's TV personalities/characters that I would like to savage in the guise of my daemon animal
1. Barney
2. Little Cook from Big Cook Little Cook - he's the ginger one
3. Big Cook from Big Cook Little Cook
4. Josie Jump from Balamory

Tiger Daemon
My TIGER DAEMON shows an unmistakable aura of
pride, resilience, and aggression. My balance
of impatience and inspiration make you a
creative leader, although you are prone to
dangerous extremes.

What Animal Would Your Daemon Settle As?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Quartets, a beginning

Number Theory

"Thom, you know that I love you very much"
"No, much bigger than 10"
"Much Much bigger than that, Thom!"
"Ah ... 32"

Christmas or Midsummer?

25-12-05, Budleigh Salterton, Devon