on times when thinking is a bad idea


Sounds daft to propose that there are times when thinking is not too clever, but I firmly believe it to be true. I would not advocate it as a blanket strategy, but there are times when being able to block certain thoughts will pay dividends. Read more…

the lockdown log 8


Another week has passed and our routine here stays the same. On five days out of seven I potter off to work and then come home to work in the garden, house or garage and often all three, albeit I have not developed the superpower of doing all three at once.

Today is main shop day and Sainsbury’s is my target. It is somewhere that we rarely go now and this will be my first foray there since before the lockdown so I have no idea what sort of queue I will face when I turn up in about 90 minutes from now. The Berkshire Belle has provided me with a list and I will do my best to get everything on it..

Most people seem to have got into the 1 Person – 1 Trolley way of shopping, but there are a few exceptions. The idea is that more households are allowed to shop; if the store has a limit of 80 customers at a time then 80 homes can shop at once if there is one person to a trolley (cart for my US readers), but if two people come in to shop together it spoils that. If ten people are shopping as pairs then it makes a big difference.

I accept that sometimes it is necessary; vulnerable people, those with kids etc, but when I see the wife pushing the trolley and doing the shop while hubby trails along behind the selfishness disappoints me. The Berkshire Belle flatly refuses to shop. I have offered to drive her and wait in the car, but she prefers not to go so I do all of the shopping for now.

At home the projects are being knocked off without resort to going the DIY stores that have now opened. I have most of what I need lying around and the internet fills in the odd gap. As always with plans the original tactical plan has gone out of the window and I just hop about between jobs doing anything that moves me towards the overall aim. The only spoilers have been the things that suddenly need fixing; the light in the oven stops working, that handle has come loose etc. ‘Twas ever thus.

I hope that you and yours are coping. Stay well, stay safe.

on opportunities to learn


Last week I was chatting on line with a former colleague who I first met when he was in one of the Belfast offices of the firm we both worked for. Amongst our reminiscences the Scottish office also came up and our conversation has sparked many memories of working with the top men in both locations. Read more…

the lockdown log 7


So far the day goes well. Thursdays I have off from my part time job and so I, being an early riser, get on with more personal projects. This morning I have written a new page for the companion blog to this one and saved the draft for reviewing later and been out for my essential chores trip. Read more…

on what comes next


At some point the Covid-19 crisis will begin to ease and the restrictions currently in force will be relaxed or removed, but the world has changed. Some businesses will not survive and others will have to change. Jobs will have been lost and commerce and travel will not return to where they were six months ago. Read more…

the lockdown log 6


Not quite nine o’clock and I have been working for about three and a half hours now, including a quick trip to my local Waitrose for a fix on some of the things we have not enjoyed for about two months. It has been a productive morning so far. Read more…

on a question of discipline


I wrote in a midweek blog recently about keeping one’s skills current when on furlough or just unable to work. With the Covid-19 lockdown continuing (this is being written two or three weeks ahead of publication) another skill comes to mind; that of discipline. Read more…

the lockdown log 5


Another week gone and the weather has broken. It is cold and wet out there, but I have plenty to do indoors, not least a little blogging. Looking at the rain outside my window here reminds me of the least pleasurable lock down that I have had to endure so far. It was a bid bunker and, like so many of those events, the schedule was blown. Read more…

on a question of trust


I have been reading a lot of political commentaries lately, not as a form of self-flagellation, but out of interest. A common thread has emerged from this that brings to mind parallels from my business experience down the years and I will call it The Curse of the New Broom. Read more…

the lockdown log 4


There have been a few lockdowns in my business life as I have mentioned earlier in this series. Some have been a condition of my contract and one, for Libya, included a very formal risk assessment spreadsheet. I was not arguing about that one though as I left the country a day ahead of my colleagues to get to another contract. They only just made it out and in another 24 hours the country was shut down. Read more…