Tag: Germany

Sunday Column (204)

This week I finished Kofi Annan’s autobiography. One of the closing sentences were ‘A Swahili proverb holds that “You cannot turn the wind, so turn the sail”‘. I like and dislike this quote. On the one hand the proverb tries to tell me that if the wind is blowing in one direction, there is nothing we can do. On the other hand it says to change direction to make use of the wind. Then again it tells me, whatever the wind, just go with the flow, don’t go against it. Do you see where I am coming from? I like to go with the flow. Enjoy having my sail in the wind and make progress. That’s fun and easy even. I also like to go against the wind. Stir things up, question rules and challenge people. I cannot just turn around and go with the wind. Not my style. Of course wind can never always blow in your sail, so sometimes you go through rough or unpleasant rides. Way of life. Am I missing something the proverb wants to tell me? Do I look too deep into it? Anyway. Annan’s book was good. A good summary of his work and

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Sunday Column (203)

This week was dominated by flying and associated chaos. Work took me to Cologne on Monday. With the snowy weather I was worried that we might not make the flight. We left the office in time, checked the websites and then arrived at Paddington to find out that the Heathrow Express wasn’t working. Hence we cut it fine and just made our flight using the tube. Wow. A bit too much travel stress for my liking on a Monday. Back we went on Thursday, thanks to an unannounced strike by security personnel, we spent 3 hours in the queue and had an hour delay before arriving safely in London Gatwick thanks to a fabulous Easyjet crew. I normally don’t mind travelling, and travelling in a group is always easier. Having said that, if you make your own schedule it is easier if you don’t run into problems. Chicken and Egg. This time we really worked well travelling as a team. The next bigger trip is with the family, this won’t be easy either. No question, Friday turned out to be a slow day. Having not slept Thursday night, I hit a wall around 4 pm and almost fell asleep at

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Sunday Column (139)

Hey-ho, Now a full summary of what happened over the last 10 days. We were in Germany for a week, driving over there in our “beast“. Of course we are back in time for Halloween of course 🙂 Firstly, we drove the whole way over: the garage said that the journey should be safe and we arrived in Detmold (my home town) in good time and with two well behaved boys. Actually, we managed to get there quicker than anticipated, with only one break on the main land. We also did some shopping. Winter clothing for Colin: a new jacket and trousers. I got an autobiography of Ben Becker: a German actor and singer I admire. Colin got some more toys, and Jen got some kitchen toys. The joys. We didn’t get much for Rohan though but maybe next time. He instead got more cuddles than ever from Oma & Opa, and to be honest from almost anyone he met. I visited my old school teacher who is now the principal of my old secondary school. It was an enjoyable two hours chatting about life, teachers, working hours, differences of cultures and general chit chat. I really enjoyed it and

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Ode to my fatherland

It has been over 10 years when I left Duesseldorf airport in Germany to go to Aberdeen, Scotland. My ambition was to finish a degree in mechanical engineering and then come back to Germany to continue my career in sales. However, things happened differently. I was born to parents that were themselves born during the 2nd World War. My grandparents hid from the Nazis as much as they hid from the Russians. My parents grew up feeling the guilt of Germany being responsible for mass murder. This guilt, this burden, was passed on to me. I guess with my parents born just at the end of the war, and me being quite a late child, I was one of few within my generation that had this burden passed on to. In 2006 we visited my fatherland. The worldcup was on and people in my generation were cheering for Germany. I was impressed. The majority of people in my generation were born to parents just after the 2nd world war. They carried less burden and freed themselves by being able to host an international sporting event. It was cool again amongst Germans “to be German”. To be proud of heritage and

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Sunday Column (128)

My head is spinning for several reasons this week. I had a interesting week with lots of things to think about, some work related and some private things. Let me start with the London riots. I published my thoughts and fears, as well as my Buddhist thoughts on it too. Without twitter and the update from our @beckenham community tweet, I think I would have been more worried. As David Cameron said, no one should be fearful in his own home. I would have fought for my rights and safety of my family and community. However, I never thought I had to feel like I did in the UK 🙁 This leads me nicely on to the next topic. For a while now I am debating with my wife and work, whether the UK is the country we want to work and live in. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with both my job and the UK, but after 10 years, I am thinking, whilst the kids are still young, whether we should try a few more countries before we make a final decision where we’d like to settle and bring up the kids. This is a decision

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Sunday Column (126)

A Family Man in Digital Marketing – the title of this blog couldn’t have been more reflected this weekend. I finally, after long planning, managed to get a few friends over to my family home: friends from digital marketing. One ex staff member and his highly successful academic partner, one ex colleague of mine, now coach, with his partner who runs a business in wine (so very interesting), and one close friend who I have not (yet) worked with and his partner who works for the big G. Three friends from different walks of life, all connected through the passion for digital marketing. You can imagine we talked a lot about work and the industry, but more so about passion, the way the world and life is going, and what comes next. A fantastic day, fantastic people, a really good time. And, they all met with the family: my wife and the two boys. I couldn’t have wished for a happier day. Thanks guys. The rest of the week, given it was my first week back from my holidays, went “balanced”. What I mean by that is due to Colin having trouble settling at night at the moment, I made

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Sunday Column (67)

Another week has passed without being noticed. We came back from the wedding in Germany on Sunday night. On Monday it was bank holiday in the UK, so I tried to make the most of the time and the family went for a walk and chilled. I also felt very tired from the weekend, and noticed getting a cold 🙁 But no whining…. On Monday night there was the last episode of Flash Forward, a TV series I am actually glad about that it is over. You get hooked in the first few episodes and then realise that you aren’t interested. But you cannot stop until the end. And the end wasn’t great. Tuesday I went off to mexad’s first birthday party to Cologne along with my new member of staff. So it was a good trip, some beers and of course a lot of meetings and work. We came back late on Wednesday. Thursday I went to friends’ wedding in Essex. A lovely country / golf club atmosphere, lovely weather and Jen’s and mine first English wedding. We had to leave early and I drove, so we were home by 11 or so. That was my week really. Friday

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