Tag: good days

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 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.

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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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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.

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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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ Getting old.

Have a great week everyone.
Volker

Sunday Column (166)

I couldn’t have asked for a nicer start to the week. It was a special day, I had the day off, and for the first time in weeks it was sunny. So the family took off to an animal farm in order to look at goats, sheep, lamas, cows etc. However, the turkeys were evil and really scared Colin. Bless. We did a nice lunch in a country pub and finished the day with playing train tracks at home. Fantastic.

I agree that these birds are ugly and can be quite scary if you are a lot smaller than myself πŸ˜‰

Obviously reality caught up with me this week at work. I have been busier than normal and lots of things seem to happen. I also did a lot of networking, ending up drinking too much, every night of the week. Having said that, I kept up my running routine and managed my first 30 minute non-stop run on Friday. So I am very chuffed with myself.

This week I had a lot of thoughts. Not only about age but also about where the journey is going. The life journey. It might sound sentimental but when you stop life for a split second, sit down and look at what you like to achieve, then kids spring to mind first. At least with me.

I wanted to watch a movie on Saturday when my wife went out with some friends. But Colin woke up and hence I ended up not watching any. Here is one of my favourite movie speeches though:

A leader, military type, telling his troops that not faith nor race nor anything matters but that for their common goal they need to stick together no matter what. And, that he will be the first to enter the battle, and the last to leave. Heroic yet fantastic.

I never thought that kids became so important. They admittedly did my head in this weekend though. I dropped off Colin at school on Thursday and he was very huggy. When my wife picked him up and he asked whether “daddy was home” and she explained that I was at work, he said “I want my daddy back”. Only 3 year olds can come up with those questions and wouldn’t understand what is going on. On Saturday he wouldn’t settle asking for mum. You can’t win I guess. Hence when working from home, Colin is very much focused on what I am doing. We got some great shots of him and me in front of the laptop, or him using my headset pretending to speak to people. Only 3 year olds…..

On that note we still waiting to hear re our exchange date for the house. Our solicitor seemed to have screwed up a bit and we are very unhappy. Again, things are delayed. Unbelievable. And it is totally out of our hands which is the most annoying bit. I just hope everything is going well and we can move the beginning of June. Fingers and toes crossed.

Let’s see. What meant to be meant to be they say.

Have a great Bank Holiday Monday!

Best
Volker