Tag: massage

Ballueder Thinks (6) – is it 2021 yet?

Hello again.

This post was started a few weeks ago, as I am reflecting on the first half +1 month of the year. Is it 2021 yet?

Whilst I am not someone who wishes time away, this has been an awful year so far.

I joked with the boys the other day, imagine you go to sleep and wake up, and it is 2021. The world is back to normal and Covid19 never happened. Now, discussing this with other people, there were those thoughts of sleeping pods, where you go in and time travel to the future. Why not?

We still don’t know if the virus was man-made, escaped a laboratory or if it was deliberately released. There are numerous accusations from the US to China, from UK to Russia, and the more I look at it, the more bored I get. Is this virus the result of a modern war fare, a new nuclear bomb, paired with ‘virus’ hacker attacks. Is that showcasing how world war 3 might look like? I am not sure, no one knows, and certainly I won’t. And if anyone in politics is reading this, I just want it to go away and have a more liberated life again. And I don’t give a toss about all those conspiracy theories quite frankly.

What came out of it for me? What did I learn?

I found work wasn’t too disruptive. But I am in working in a digital native industry, a lot of video conferencing and phone calls were the norm before the outbreak. Less face to face meetings are not too bad, and less of a commute too. That means, that we might see a decentralisation of the UK and other countries, as more people move to the country side? That would be good in terms of balancing house prices and all.

It was of course disruptive to my job. I managed, just, but a lot of people were out of their jobs, furloughed, or are still looking for their next adventure. Luckily I am a self starter – falling down 7 times, getting up 8 times – and I have pushed and pushed and hopefully will announce more contract work shortly. Do I still consider full time work? Yes, I wouldn’t not consider any options at the moment, but maybe that’s for another time. I also work on some other exciting ideas. So stay tuned, as always, there is never a dull moment in the Ballueder World.

Getting my hair done the other week was great. My first massage post lockdown was amazing. There are things I missed, and I am very grateful for having them back. And next week I am getting reflexology. My egg deliveries every two weeks are back, and enough delivery slots from Tesco.

But are we out of lockdown yet?

At time of writing, the PM announced that there will be less easing of restrictions, as the virus is spiking. Of course, look at the beaches and pubs, what do you expect? Why would a country suggest to start wearing face masks from a time in the future, if it is safer, it is safer now. Anyway…

There is a lot of talk about a second wave, and another lockdown. There is talk of changing measures. More face masks, more social distancing, but no restrictions going to the pub….our government, IMO, has failed massively in having a clear and concise strategy. I am more than disappointed with the Torries, and the way they handled the crisis. Again, I don’t like to get involved in politics, but it needs to be said.

When Boris first came to power, I hoped it might be ok, him as a CEO pulling the strings of very competent people. The problem is, the people around him are everything but competent, and Boris is directed by Dom Cummings. It makes me angry to see this country going down the hill, and IMO it will get worse with Brexit next year.

It’s like sitting in a car and driving down the road of 2020. As you start worrying about the wall ahead of you, let’s call it Brexit, the wheels of the car come off thanks to Covid. The driver is not able to control the car, and we are about to crash the car = country into the wall. I am frankly scared of that.

We are now in August. We are more than half way through the year. August is a quiet month, so from a work perspective, not much will happen. People are away, working from home or the garden, taking it a bit easier. I thought people would be working harder to make up from things missed during lockdown, but people are tired. I am tired. We need a break, recharge our batteries to recharge the country. That’s what it is.

I have been busy still, up to now, I revamped Ballueder Partners’ website, worked on my positioning, edited meditation recordings and so on. Never a dull moment. I have recorded videos, scheduled content on social media and written thoughts. I have been busy, and will take some time off soon. Even if it is just a day here and there.

To be honest, I have been taking a little bit of time off already. Here and there, a half day here, a day there. I will take more time off during August, as I am recharging. I already repositioned, and it is a constant change out there, and decision making is happening every day. Leadership, walking the talk, and making things happen are what we do. And opportunities are out there. The more I talk to people, the more opportunities I discover. I cannot sit still and do nothing, and I am always seeking to BeBetter.

That’s what I do I suppose. Or as Vishen from Mindvalley says, try to be better by 1% every single day. Just 1% better. That’s 365% in a year. If you can keep that up, you enter 2021 on a high, ready to conquer ‘your’ world.

There is something else to consider with Covid. And this nicely leads me on to some fundraising efforts.

As you might have seen, I am getting closer to the £2,000 for which I run the marathon distance in October – regardless if the London Marathon is on. If you haven’t donated yet, please do so here:


I wanted to share some facts people might not be aware of, as we taking our sight for granted. Due to Covid19, and I have heard that from a few people that are blind and had difficult experiences:

  • 66% of blind and partially sighted feel less independent now, compared to before lockdown.
  • 80% said the way they shop for essentials has drastically changed, with the number of blind and partially sighted people who feel confident to go shopping independently, reducing by half.
  • 74% are very or quite concerned about getting access to food and 21% have had to ration food.

I have never been blind, and forbid this will ever happen. But if you think for a moment to socially distance in a shop where you are not sure where things are in the shelf, asking for help….. I’d be terrified. And it seem that this is true for people that are used to not seeing too. It must be hard not to go to work, not being independent enough to go to the shop and get what you want. What about bumping into people? The concern for food is even more worrying.

I want to support the RNIB for all of the above reasons!
The RNIB does such a fantastic job supporting those people. And I am committed to support the RNIB to support those in need.

That’s why I went for a gruelling run on Saturday morning; I went early to be fair, avoiding the above 20 degrees. I didn’t feel it and yet went longer than anticipated.


And if the London Marathon gets postponed, I will run the marathon distance that weekend of the 3rd and 4th of October, and will try to raise even more money for next year. So please give generously.

They deserve it so badly. But I do need your help.

There is so much going on in my life, in anybody’s life. I spoke to someone earlier, that it’s been a weird year, obviously, and that we are all in the same boat. We will get through this and finish 2020 on a high. We must.

We also said that mental health is key for us to bounce back. Anxiety, Depression and other mental health issues would have flourished during Covid and lockdown, and this is scary to think. But the stats from the RNIB are probably true for a lot of other groups too.

Keep it positive, and keep the positive energy going. I am a firm believer that you fall down and get up again. Fall down 7 times, get up 8 times. My life’s motto. We will be alright in the end, and if we aren’t alright, isn’t ’ the end. Giving up is not an option.

That’s why I continue to work on my projects. My podcast is returning in September with a new logo. We are in season 4 and I start recording from next week. I am excited about the guests we lined up so far. People that can help you to make the most of the situation you are in. Coaches, Consultants, Health experts. I have them lined up and will keep you posted.

I am pumped. I am worried, but I am more pumped than worried. Because we, as a nation, as humankind will survive and get through this. Like I get through my marathon running and we will make things happen. Always.

With those words it’s time to stop.

Have a great August everyone,

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 gave me the opportunity to catch up on a lot of work and I was successful in getting a lot of it done. A day in the office which passed very quickly but got me on top of things. We have our new office lease signed and will be moving as of 1st of July.

Saturday morning I stole myself away to have a massage. I should go more often but the venue is very far away. The afternoon was under one motto: chilling! BBQ, boy, fun & sun. Desperately needed that as Colin’s and many other baby’s birthdays are coming up over the next few weekends.

The gadget of the week must be these cuff links: 4GB USB Flash drive to carry on your sleeve. At $195 a pair maybe too expensive for a father’s day present.

Ok, what a wonderful weekend, busy week and lots of things ahead. It should be a more quiet week – let’s see.

Have a good one,

Sunday Column (62)

Sometimes weeks just pass. And sometimes you don’t even realise they do. My week was driven by this weekend. Chilling out, a massage and going out for diner. I was so looking forward to it.

Work seemed almost secondary, but kept me very much on my feet with long hours in front of my laptop and blackberry. I went to Internetworld, caught up with many friends, networked and established new relationships. I had a few conference calls, meetings and …. half a day off on Friday 🙂

Yes, it was my birthday. I am now officially 33 and getting old. Mid-life crisis I guess. Still no lottery win and still a mortgage, but hey, I am healthy, fit and happy. With my boy and wife, we spent a fantastic afternoon. Colin starts standing himself now, at least a bit, and he soon will get the hang of “high five” 🙂 I just have to be patient.

I decided this week, that I will look more into productivity at the workplace. After reading and visiting the seminar of GTD (getting things done), I thought to myself that I already knew 90% of it before I read the book. With my NLP skills and my enthusiasm for efficiency and effectiveness, I decided I will develop my own seminar series. All in the name of cb consulting of course. So watch this space.

Now, there was my birthday this week too. Thanks for all the wishes. I have to say, and this is not meant in any negative way, that I didn’t feel like having a birthday. Maybe it is because you are happier with your son’s birthday, or other people’s birthday, but for the first time in my life, I really wasn’t bothered about the birthday at all. Ach well, we still had a great day and went to the London Aquarium. We wanted to do that for ages!

Besides the aquarium, we also went to London Borough Market. I got some lovely smelly cheese, some olives and the wife got herself some nice beers. It was great and we got home very late. Apologies to anyone who tried phoning Friday night.

Saturday I had a massage which was really important. My back is aching and I desperately need to do something about it. Afterwards I met a great friend for lunch, and later at night my wife took me out for some Greek food whilst our neighbour was watching Colin. A perfect weekend I find.

The weather changed dramatically on Saturday night: rain and clouds. So Sunday we spend the day doing what you do: shopping, visiting friends, playing with Colin and trying to avoid the rain 😉

That is really it. Colin is teething and hence he is not in the best mood. But he stood himself this week, surely he will be walking before we know it. He also got his kilt, pictures can be found on Facebook.

With the bank holiday on Monday and a very busy week ahead, I hope you having a good night. We will have a cheese fondue with a nice bottle of wine. We have been naughty food and drink wise this weekend, but we truly enjoying it too 🙂


Sunday Column (12)

Time seems to fly quicker and quicker. It has been a few weeks now that I know about finding a new job and the input I am getting from conversations is good. But, so far I have nothing to report…..to the public anyway. But I keep you posted once there are new developments and progress. I have a couple more meetings next week, so keep your fingers and toes crossed.

This week was all about Social Media and Search Marketing. You read about my Inbound Marketing strategy and about the Social Media Summit. Next week I am going to review Viadeo and hopefully find time to write more about personal development and coaching. Also, I give you my views on telemarketing.

On Monday I went to York for some meetings. Tuesday I was booked all day with further conversations, meetings and discussions about my future. See above, I let you know if there is anything to report.

Wednesday I met a friend after work who I haven’t seen for a while. He was in London for an interview and although I only saw him for about 20 minutes before he had to catch his plane, it was so nice to see him. It so makes a difference to see people face to face! The night ended in a work night out before the summit with a few pints too many for a school night – at least for my liking.

The summit, see above, went well and finished with a great networking amongst the speakers in the Albannach in London. Not only do they have a fantastic Whisky collection, they also know how to make a very dry Martini, using Beefeater 24 🙂 As Hawkeye in M*A*S*H used to say “I’d like a dry martini, Mr. Quoc, a very dry martini. A very dry, arid, barren, desiccated, veritable dustbowl of a Martini. I want a Martini that could be declared a disaster area. Mix me just such a Martini.


On Friday I had some meetings with my staff in London before enjoying a well deserved weekend. Starting with the finale of the season of NCIS. A sad and interesting end that will give hope for a “new beginning”. I guess it is another 6 months until the next season comes out.

I also updated my CV to find the right Business Development position in London – so if you hear anything, please let me know. I think a start up or a branch of an existing company that opens an office in London and looks for someone to build their sales and marketing team is what I would truly enjoy. Check out my Linkedin Profile for references!

Also, we went baby sitting with our neighbours, I had a great back massage and good food all weekend. Fingers crossed the weather is nicer next week so that I can do some stuff in the garden. Rainy, cold and windy it was. However, after watching the new episodes of NCIS on Sky, I am tempted to get Sky now too…..it saves me waiting for 6 months ;-( (see above).

Let’s hope for a successful week, hopefully more face to face interviews – partly with some bigger companies that offer interesting opportunities. Maybe, it won’t be a start up after all…more soon.

Saturday Mornings and Wine using Online PR

Is it only me or…..

I love Saturday mornings. What did I do today? I woke up at 8ish with a tired head. Nice Bordeaux and Cheese Fondue made me very sleepy last night. I got up, showered and first thing: the post office. Aren’t those the pleasures of life where you have to pick up parcels because you weren’t at home during the week and opening hours are during your work time.

Then I got the FT, haven’t read it for a while but wanted to get back into the habit, really enjoying it. Off for a massage, shopping in a far too full supermarket, doing the laundry, tidying the house and – oups – it is almost 3 pm.

What does that mean? Lunch, a quick tidy, some friends for a BBQ and before I know it, it’s Sunday.

So what do I make of weekends these days? To be honest. Our weekends are planned until late September, therefore, I cannot wait until I am there (in September) to have each and every weekend off! Hurray.

When I decide to not invite friends for a weekend or two (sorry guys) and enjoy myself, the house and a weekend off. Times will come.

Anyhow, to make this entry not too boring, I should refresh it with some thoughts on …. wine of course.

The 2005 Cab Sav from California is apparently very good. No surprise I visited (online that is) one of my favourite wine suppliers again…www.kj.com and joined their mailing list. Better keep up to date with the developments.

Kendall Jackson is also using Online PR quite effectively, being featured on YouTub; learn more about combining wine and food here: