Tag: renovation

Sunday Column (511)

India. This week was my first trip to this beautiful country. Like most business trips I mainly saw the hotel and the office, besides a few bus trips and an additional day spent on a temple tour. So at least I got some flavour of what the old town of Chennai, Mylapore, is like. The temples, the way Hindus celebrate religion and how India developed. Included was a ride on a motorised rickshaw or tuk tuk which was a lot of fun given the crazy traffic. When most people travel to India for the first time, they have a culture shock, I didn’t so much. I guess I have been in the job a while now, and I have been working with my Indian colleagues quite intensively. So for me it was a lot about putting a face to the name, connecting to real people in person. People I have known. Also, it reminded me of other emerging markets, e.g. Cairo where I spend some time in 2006 and also Thailand in 2007. A combination of emerging, high tech offices and crazy traffic; cows on the road, dogs, and organised chaos. I enjoyed India, Chennai to be precise, and hope

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Sunday Column (333)

July. A month that is traditional quiet, even in media. Not so for us this year or last year tbh. Whilst a few meetings got moved about, and yes you could argue a lot of admin catch up is going on, there is also still a lot of work todo. It doesn’t seem to stop, which is good I suppose. Also, which doesn’t seem to stop, is the renovation work. Finally we made some progress. Builders, with all due respect, are not easy to handle. You kind of know you have to pay a bit more than anticipated. And you know they are dodgy or sleazy somehow. Not all of them, and the one we have is really good, and does a great job too. Yet, in stereotypical manner, they are what they are. Two more projects to finish, then we are done. We also saw the dog trainer – that is good news. It is a bit down to us, a bit down to the breed and a bit down to the dog and its age. But overall we learned a lot more about what we have to do with Rosie to keep her stimulated, and train bad behaviour

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Sunday Column (332)

I survived, actually really enjoyed the long weekend with my boys. Having dad time is great, yet juggling the school run, taking the dog for a walk, particularly in the rain, with two little ones….anyway, it was all fine. The kids seemed to have enjoyed it and I did too. This week at work it was still busy. Looks like next week a lot of people are on holiday, then another busy week and July is already gone. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun! We interviewed for a German Sales Director position based in Germany and are in the process of appointing someone soon. So that’s good news, we are moving forward. Lots of things to do, targets to achieve. Exciting times. On the private side of things I am looking at my health again, my exercise patterns, my sleeping patterns. I am tempted to experiment more. My 18K run encouraged me to extend my running cycles but looking at having to spend 2 hours running and being tired for 2 days, just doesn’t work for me. My ambition is to stay fit and healthy. Also, my leg pains are back, not as strong, but I believe it

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Sunday Column (268)

Short weeks pass quicker they say. After a stunning and great wedding last weekend, we went back to work on Tuesday. I went for a run on Monday, then again on Wednesday, trying to get back into shape. I enjoy my exercise and don’t mind the early mornings as much. I also got introduced to proper Indian music – rhythmic style 😉 I played it all over this week, kind of motivating! The house is coming along nicely. The builders have left, the kitchen surface is due to drive next week and the fireplace and decoration has been done. We are getting somewhere. Unfortunately we have to do some more essential work, including repointing and replacing the cladding. It is never ending but hopefully we got most things done before the winter comes 😉 My pride, besides the whole place really, is my Sonos sound bar. An ease to put music on, stream radio or enjoy the sound of the TV. Also, of course, my fish tank with the fishes recovering. Only one fish loss so far, so fingers crossed. We get there at the end. Plus, I cannot wait to get the new couch, sit in front of the

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Sunday Column (267)

Easter Sunday. Easter hasn’t got a religious meaning for me anymore, I almost forgot it was happening. With the building work to be finished, and with the MIL arriving and us going to a wedding, this is more a four day mini holiday to sort out the house, take a day off from and for the kids, go cycling and sort out some other errands. No, Easter for me is definitely nothing else. Looking at this, I gain a better understanding why people in other countries don’t even get the Friday off. Life has changed over the years, we get too busy in our lives. Religion, whether you want to classify Buddhism as that or a philosophy is up to you, allows for retreat. For me, and I never saw that going to Christian church when I was a child, the belief in ‘something’ which helps you to focus on yourself, quieten your mind, and engage in nothing, focusing on something. Essentially it helps you to focus, switch off from every day life, not look at your todo list and not having anything to do or planned or worry about. This can be nice. Almost a treat. This and the

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Sunday Column (266)

Crazy is an understatement when I look back at the beginning of this week. By Sunday night 11 pm we finished packing our whole downstairs minus couch and had removed all furniture from the living and dining room. The couch had gone the week before. Monday at 10 am our builders rocked up. They took notes, discussed how to move the fish tank, which sockets need replacing, where the TV goes, and where to put the Sonos sound bar. By the time I left at 3 pm to catch a plane from Gatwick, the kitchen had gone. The floor had gone. The place looked like an empty shell. My wife who I hadn’t seen that stressed since our wedding managed to take one kid to a friend and the other to the doctor, back on the rail replacement bus service. It was chucking it down. She organised a three night stay with friends, gave final instructions to the builders and out of nothing presented dinner to the boys. In the meantime I had to take a taxi to Gatwick as there had been a fatality on the rails. I had dinner, wrote another article, caught up on emails and felt

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DIY – Renovating part 1

I think I mentioned it before. My wife is “nesting” and we are looking into turning our house into our home. Part one was the hall. My wife painted and then started sanding the floor with a small sander she had. Not a good idea, took too long. So we hired a bigger one last weekend and I did the floors downstairs in the hall and she did the hand rail. Now, the cleaning of this fine dust was the worst thing! Done and dusted (literally) now and we live with a hall that needs varnishing still and a carped down the middle of the stairs which still needs painting. Upstairs we aim for laminate flooring for a) the landing where you get laminate looking like real wood, and b) the bathroom. There are clever solutions out there now where laminate looks like ceramic floors. So I am quite impressed of what we can do and now I am eager to get it done. My wife plans to do some of the painting and varnishing as I am not patient enough to do a good job. However, I will try my luck with the laminate upstairs. If it goes well…

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