Posts Tagged hassocks
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 thoughts, challenges and successes. However, it seemed written a bit in a politically rather than personal manner. Guess that was to be expected from a man of his calibre.
Then I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman from the Brighton area who, same as me, has lived abroad for the past 13 years. And his conclusion, after all that time in Germany, was that he can’t stand the British way of life. Just like me! Only vice versa
When mentioning that to a friend from another country, I got told it is the same for her. This leads me, based on my small sample, to the following conclusion: if you voluntarily leave your country to adopt a new way of life in a different culture, there are two motivational directions:
- away from the current, soon old culture
- towards the new, soon daily culture
This leads, in my sample, to a love hate relationship with your current or old culture. I dismiss certain “German” attitudes and don’t like their way of dealing with things. However, in my case, I love the Britishness and culture here in the UK. Additionally, at least in my case, I find it nice to look back at my childhood and German values I was brought up with. This will always be home for me. But in regards to business or day to day stuff, I adopted the British culture to be “the right one”. Funny that. This would explain a lot of things
On Wednesday I attended a function, an event from a new potential hobby of mine. A group looking to help others in need, a charity if you like. It was a sit down dinner, discussion and to my surprise no alcohol. I really liked that. I attend another function next week and keep you posted on developments.
Thursday was a fun day. I got soaked going to the train station. At the train station the trains were cancelled or delayed by more than an hour. A train had broken down on the tracks just outside Hassocks. So I ended up working from home, getting loads of admin done, studying on the back of our sales training, exchange with the US office and general strategic stuff. I love those days. In the afternoon I popped out to get my hair cut and I spent lunch building “fire stations” with my boys. With Colin being “confined to quarters” with his chicken pox, he appreciated someone else playing with him. I ended up working much later than normal but I don’t mind that really.
However, this week was slow. Not work wise but more me feeling slow and tired. My wife has a cold and I woke up every morning with a sore throat being really tired. So some bug must have got the better of me. Nothing major, “man flu” enough but not too bad. Just this tiredness and exhaustion….but I shouldn’t moan. With feeling physically exhausted there was no running. No exercise. Just a massage on Saturday.
On top of that our fridge is about to die. We aiming to change the kitchen layout to accommodate a non build in fridge, e.g. if we were to replace the one we have with the same dimensions we pay an arm and a leg for a low quality fridge. Not a long term sensible solution. So my wish to buy a nice mountain bike might have to be pushed back for a few months until we recovered from this expense. The joys. Life
To conclude I had a fantastic weekend. I spent lots of time with the boys. Brighton, Sea Life, shopping, swimming, friends around for pizza. And I had another night out on Hassocks. It turned out to be a major piss-up so I was glad to leave when the shots were coming out.
Never mind Getting old.
Have a great week everyone.
After a bit of confusion and premature publication on Thursday, I have now got the revised version of my Sunday Column ready
Now this week has been rather interesting. Let me start with my new job role as of first of January. I will no longer look after any international business but solely focus on the UK market. As this has been communicated, I think it is fair to publish it here. There are of course many reasons for it, but the one I am happy to share is the focus for our company in the UK market. Being the most important market in Europe for our industry, we need a strong leader and someone solely dedicated to the market based in London. So come 1st of January, I am 100% back as Managing Director UK.
Then something funny happened. Chatting with someone the other day I was asked “what made you laugh last week”? I was stuck for an answer. Even this week or today I couldn’t tell you. I laugh a lot with the kids and they come up with all sorts of things that are funny, but I don’t really recall anything ad hoc. Work isn’t funny at the moment, however I don’t think there is a bad mood in the office either. Do I focus on the non funny aspects of life, I wonder? Is my map of the world gloomier than I thought it is? I am a very positive person, just remembering laughing at the 2 year old sitting in the bidet. Never mind but this question got me thinking. I don’t take myself too seriously, do I?
Waterstone’s tube ad grabbed my attention. About “the child in the book store”. That made me think. Maybe another gloomy thought but will my kids actually experience book stores or libraries for that matter? Or will it all be digitalised? Will I ever take them to the British Library and walk around all those millions of books and get them fascinated in reading and writing and history and all those things? Or will they be stuck to a touch screen reading off the clouds. We shall see but I am fearful that some of our history will be archived. Will book stores disappear? Whilst I am not the biggest reader, I always enjoyed wandering around book stores, sitting down in a coffee place and read a book for a while. Then another. There is something fascinating about it. Something peaceful.
Maybe I am just getting into the Christmas mood already. Less than four weeks. The Salvation Army playing Silent Night at Victoria Station, Christmas drinks being arranged. I believe I have a Christmas function every night in the last week before Christmas. Crazy but good. I hope anyway. Then we went to the Hassocks street fair and light up of Christmas lights. I love this little community and people we meet. People live in Hassocks for a reason. A good reason. We all have things in common.
I have been back on the treadmill all week. 5 days. 5 km each. I have also done some weights. Upward spiral.
I am aiming high. With the weights I am aiming high enough but I don’t want to overdo it either. Achievement. I am getting stronger, things falling into place. My massage therapist was pleased with my back. Good days.
On Friday when I worked from home to take the kids to the “light up Hassocks”, I spent some good time with the kids. I so enjoy spending time with my two wee ones, I sometimes wonder if I should stay at home. However, the mortgage doesn’t pay for itself. Maybe the lottery will help one day You never know. On Saturday I spent all afternoon with Rohan. Good times.
It got colder now. Winter I suppose. I got my furry hat out. I cleared my Barbour jacket from mould. People give me a smile re my outfit. New fingertip less gloves. My new jumpers keep me warm and overall I am very happy and content. Already in the Christmas mood!
Have a great week, December, here we go.
What should I say. An eventful week has passed. Summing up the last weekend, we went to a Christening. It was a Catholic Christening and I still feel a bit awkward to go to Churches. I guess I have been a bit detached from religion if you don’t count Buddhism as one. Anyway, it was a great event, and a nice get together afterwards. I hope, once we move, that we stay in contact with all those fantastic people we met in Beckenham over the last 8 years.
We also got a new neighbour. I didn’t post about it as I didn’t want to be the first one announcing it. A fantastic occurence if you think about it. Whilst having two kids of my onw it is still a miracle thinking a new human being enters this world. I love it and still get a bit sentimental.
Nevertheless our two are more than enough work. Nothing warms my heart more than coming home from work or travel and getting big hugs, kisses and a play about with the boys. I absolutely love and adore them!
I travelled to Milan this week and got a chance to read more of the Joan Baez biography. Page by page I realise what kind of world she used to live in. Segregation, inequality between races and genders. I actually cried a bit when she described her relationship with Dr. King. Those hippies set out to change the world, not to become super rich. Their motivation was “to make a dent” in the universe, nothing else.
Have you thought about the values you are living for? More money, bigger car or bigger house? It doesn’t work like that. It never will. Attachment and greed will ruin our society. Nothing about earning more money, being more successful but at some point you have to stop and think about it. Are a couple hundred more a month worth the additional hassle you have to put in? I guess it depends which level you are talking about but stop and think about it for a moment. Happiness comes from within not out of your wallet.
Making this impact I described above drives me on. Flying to the international offices and making a difference. I enjoy doing that. Having these 19 hours days collapsing at the end of the day with a satisfactory feeling. This is the dent I am making at the moment. On the exact opposite end I enjoy turning everything off during my flight and just relax. That can work wonders too!
Taking these powernaps at 30,000 ft. I love doing that. The 10 minutes after lunch or on the couch on a Saturday afternoon after the boys woke you up at 5:30 again. I guess I am lucky I can do that
We all followed the Facebook IO on Friday. Isn’t it fascinating that a social media network is worth so much money by the input we all provide. Should we not all have a bit of a share package? After all if we all withdraw our membership Facebook would be worth nothing. Interesting thought, no?
Anyway. Just when I left work on Friday someone stopped me in the street saying “Volker, you remember me? You interviewed me last year.” I didn’t remember him. He thought I was arrogant admitting it and saying he could add me on Linkedin. Crazy. I normally have a good memory but over the last 12 months I met so many people for interviews and business, how could I possibly remember who is who. I guess I was right (arrogant again) to not employ him, as he obviously didn’t make any lasting impression on me.
We spend the weekend on a 3rd birthday party and a school party down in Hassocks. I got some sun and we finished the day with a curry in our local restaurant. We cannot wait to move. Hopefully we finally exchange contracts on Monday. Fingers and toes crossed.
Have a great week.