I’m so glad I didn’t die…

‘I’m so glad I didn’t die on the various occasions I have earnestly wished I might, for I would have missed a lot of lovely weather.’ Elizabeth von Arnim, in a letter. [#quoteFriday] Born Mary Annette Beauchamp in Sydney, Australia on 31 August 1866, the prolific and, in her day, hugely successful author ‘Elizabeth’ von […]

Documentation, Disrupted

Just came across this great presentation by Google tech writer Riona MacNamara at WriteTheDocs recent Portland conference (May 19, 2015). The subject area is technical documentation, and is very interesting on that score. But it’s about so much more – most importantly, what you can achieve by being audacious (but not reckless), focused (but open and generous), […]

Handshake addendum

Whilst on the subject (of handshakes), remarks by Professor Peter Piot on Desert Island Discs this morning made fascinating – and poignant – listening. He is Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an expert on HIV and Ebola. On a recent trip to Sierra Leone he noticed that the local people […]

Ripeness is all

I’ve been reading Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native for a walk I’m leading. The strange thing about Hardy is that you seem to feel the need to offer an excuse as to why you’re reading him, or maybe that’s just me. But anyway – Clym Yeobright (the ‘Native’) has recently returned to Egdon Heath, where he […]

Carpe Diem – Proust on fishing

There’s no irony (is there?) that a novel the length of ‘In Search of Lost Time’ is in fact about seizing the moment – or rather, trying to understand / appreciate / experience the full depth of every moment. In this it is closer to the more accurate rendition of the phrase ‘carpe diem’ as […]

Starting Over

The ability to start over, forgive (oneself and/or others) and move on: isn’t this at the heart of personal success, as well as the ongoing success/prosperity of nations? An aside in Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, which I’ve just begun and is every bit as engrossing and electrifyingly well written as its predecessor, […]

Realism and disappointment

On the art of non-conformity facebook page a few days ago: ‘Every time someone tells you to “be realistic” they are asking you to compromise your ideals.’ The election results for the Liberal Democrats were as ‘disappointing’ as Nick Clegg described them as, after all the speculation the election landscape remains a two horse race […]

Cities of the mind

The Invisible City of Musistella/Invisible Cities)Second View, originally uploaded by magic fly paula. The inter-city train that Harvey (Taylor of HBT) set in motion in his incisive and characteristically exuberant presentation at the recent Shires BusinessXchange meeting has been running around my mind ever since and prompting searching questions – Have I got the balance […]