Friday, March 31, 2006

in passing...

... last weekend was taken with the writing of the draft of the assignment which is the summation of the learning from the experience of the formation of the CAG (Consulting Application Group) at Workshop 1 of Module 1 of AMOC 9. It took every night from about 10 until 2 in the morning to hit a self imposed deadline with Robin my tutor. What transpired was that I wasn't going to hit the deadline and would need an extra day. This actually suited Robin better because he was flying to DC on the Monday and we had a weird e-mail conversation about timezones and whether to talk over breakfast or lunch. In the end he rang me on Tuesday evening whilst he was digesting his lunch to inspire me to completely rewrite the 5,000 words. It is interesting to notice (this is the phrase that appears inumerous times during the assignment - it is the byword on AMOC - noticing - self reflexivity) how relieved and glad I was of the phone call. Robin didn't say it was a pile of shit. He teased out a few areas which he thought were interesting, enticed some further reflection from me, reframed the assignment and left me feeling surprisingly confident of my own abilities. Isn't that a great gift to have!

The last 3 weeks have been dominated by the draft writing and the coming 10 days will be shadowed by the handing in deadline. To quote Shakespeare "AMOC have murdered sleep" - this is because the only time I have been able to find the space and quiet to read and write has been post kids bedtime - and this haven is delayed slightly by the need to have a bit of a break from the cycle of getting up earlier than one would like after less sleep than one needs > rushing through morning rituals to get to work in time > so that one can get everything done > before one dashes back to pick up child from nursery > and then spend a few hours entertaining/feeding/bathing/story reading until they are all asleep.

Anyway we are off to Tel Aviv tomorrow for a) 4 weeks or b) 2 weeks if you have to come back to go to work and also do their masters course. We leave tomorow afternoon with the joyful discovery of being able to put a friend on the car insurance for free and have them drive you to Heathrow [a buggy, a large car seat, three suitcases, two kids and the missus panicking towards check in does not work on public transport] . In Tel Aviv I will be finding new ways of finding space to write a 5,000 word assignment encouraged by the presence of not only my family but my family's family. I hope to blog the experience.

One slightly worrying moment at the last workshop was discovering that a fellow participant was a) over a similar age, b) had been active the city of my university at the same time as I was studying, and c) had been not only a goth but then a psychobilly . Suffice to say that I had knowledge of some women from such tribes during that same period and I had to ask whether we had known each other previously. We agreed that it was unlikely. Phew!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

much seems to be passing me by at present. Ring shaped potato snacks are flying through the ether and the air at in alarming quantities

The hula hoop obsession that has been plaguing the New York, London, Paris, Munich (everyone's talking 'bout Pop Music) - well not really but since the Jazzshark flew into to town on her round the family world tour its noticeable that United Biscuits (parents of KP Foods) share price has risen on both the Dow and the Nikkei. Baroness CNL of Hernewich is feeding the frenzy.

For those unaware of the small ring-shaped snacks made from processed dried potatoes I do recommend for the definitive online resource for ring-shaped snacks and all other snackable foodstuffs. Their reviews of over a thousand different "sometimes foods" as the Cookie Monster would have it, are invaluable for the committed conoisseur of cheesy crispy crunchy comestibles

And apologies for the crude reference to M's seminal throw away track - but hunting it down did lead me to the Space Age Pop Music site - I do recommend their Space Age Pop broadcast for an endless stream of listening designed for cocktail lounging.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I got a comment from laydee hernewich asking if I was still chanting?

I took this to be a polite enquiry as to why there was not al ot happening on the page over the past week or so. Interestingly the lack of blog is not an indication of lakc of things happening to talk about, rather the opposite, so much going on that there is no time to stop and think, or rather to reflect. The blog is a great place to set down thoughts, release rant, and throw things out into the ether to see what bounces back.

I am in heavy active reflective mode (as well as theoretical mode) as I was at the big school Thu-Sat last week. 3 days residential, away from the family, more grub than you can shake a very large fork at and people accepting of my particular stream of consciousness thinking. In fact the noticing and commenting and reflecting is actively encouraged. My Triumph motorbike driving professor, said that we should take the opportunity to “honour” the quality of the conversations that we have on our AMOC get togethers.

Have to admit that the conversations one has at home, in the pub on Tuesday night, at work in the office, with passing drivers on the daily commute are not of the same nature. Not that that makes them bad in any way – just there does seem a need for me to outpour on occasion. This usually happens when the night extends out and the alcohol is present.

My Lenten denial is going to plan – i.e. 40 days and 40 nights without alcohol, except when its Tuesday night or when its AMOC. SO far that has meant only 3 days out of the last week have been dry!!

Probably the biggest influence on the whole blog-down-time was the weekend previous when I got about 1 hour to myself in the course of 4 days. Purely by accident the missus was going out on the Friday night, out all day Saturday, out till 2pm on Sunday and then in need of a sleep until about 5, and then out on the Monday night. I don’t count the period after lights out when the kids are down for the night, because this is inevitably tidy up the mess, wash the dishes (that don’t ift in the dish washer), do the laundry, hoover the mess, relay the mouse traps (yes, we have a mouse or mice who like to visit my wife in the evenings – she is very vocal in her discomfort and that does have an affect on my ability to get off to sleep if by some miracle I am in bed before midnight) and generally sort things out for the next day.

I managed to notice (whilst in the maelstrom of frustration) that it is not about tiredness it is about feeling trapped and not having any time to let thoughts settle, no time to find a bit of personal space. The cycle is one of growing frustration then anger and after that depression. Not very healthy and I do need to find some way of subverting this cycle.

I have to say that all the thinking and reading and “what the xxxx does that mean”ing which the course is throwing up has brought me to this nice cyclical view point. The need is therefore to create or enable a secondary order of change to assist the better functioning of my beleaguered brain.

I am going to have a chat with the boss to see if I can find some new ways of working – from home every now and again, from the library, from across the road, from a distance, from a trapeze, from a view to a kill – which can try

The basic Buddhist tenet of changing yourself to change the environment that surrounds you, the Donne-ian view “no man is an island” and the Ghandi-ian view of “be the change you want to see” seems to be the appropriate one here. Change the way I do things to change the environment around me.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Before I chant...

... just thought I'd let you know thqat the beard and tache have gone. Ashridge Business SChool filmed me , my boss and the V&A for thier corporate video - coming to a website near you in the next month or so. At the time I was clean shaven. Since I'm going up there on Thursday to what I tell Thom is Daddy's School with sleepovers, the film team want some more "GVs". SO for continuity's sake, I've had to trim the foliage.

I've also given up booze for Lent, with the exceptions of Tuesday's pub quiz and the days (and nights) I'm at Ashridge. There is a dinner with the faculty on Thursday where the wine will flow and as I am paying for it out of my fees, I thought it would be a waste not to partake.

The Shark is in town and is probably living the life of a Dullhill Hernewich with Catster and Laydee Codename (who's other half (the top one) is pretty impressive) throughout South London. Being teetotal and beset by kids (now asleep), am stuck at home. The missus is out being a buddhist with other laydees of that persuasion, and hopefully has ended up in the pub. Something she needs to do more often.

Well time for chanting

just another day...

In the office next to mine

Appearing at the Mormon church next door

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I know that most of my bloggin concerns sleep - lack of, need for, distant memory of, nostalgia for... All my own fault though. Last night was a pub quiz night and after a memorable pancake dinner - the new pizza pancake (grated cheese, pesto, oregano and ketchup) worked very well for thom who is becoming very UK in his eating habits (we wait to take the marmite test with him, in trepidation) and Gal,. who'll try anything and will probably eat a bit of it - I escaped to the pub for a smoky few pints of Guinness and the joy of winning. A jet lagged well spoken Englishman from Hollywood (not an actor... well, not one we recognised) was sitting at our table and we co-opted him for the night. Well Celia did as he was sponge-worthy.
Despite not listening to him, we still won to bring the year's stats as follows: 9 Tuesdays - 2 unplaced, 5 seconds and 2 firsts.

Me and Celia are setting the quiz next week - I think a picture round of moustaches would be good.