Tag: neighbours

Sunday Column (178)

The Olympics have arrived. I cannot believe it has been four years coming for London to plan this event. At work we still haven’t figured out whether people will work from home, more flexible or not at all. Will the tubes run, how full will public transport be….I guess we find out tomorrow.

20120727-191710.jpgMy wife reminded me on Friday that we said, when London was announced to host the 2012 Olympics, that we won’t be living in London anymore by the time they’d be happening. I guess we were somewhat right.

But London, as a Olympic town, has a fantastic USP (Unique Selling Point). In last week’s FT magazine, it was suggested that only in London you get a true melting pot of nations. I never thought about it but it probably is correct. No ghettos, lots of accents, skin colours and mixed races. Our kids are, our office has above 60% international employees and I haven’t had a take away from the chipper lately. Latter might be due to the fact that my wife doesn’t like fish but you get my point I am sure. London is multicultural at it’s best. We are loving it.

The weather. Would you believe it? High twenties, even above thirty degrees in July in London. I am glad my new commuter train actually has an air conditioning. So will our new office which we plan to move into by the end of next month.

Life couldn’t get much better. I get the evening sun in the garden despite it being a North facing garden. The universe is good to me. I better be good to the universe too.

This week I started another habit. You know when you say older people are stuck in their way, I am doing exactly that. Trying out the best routine and habit to get stuck in. And one, besides the weight lifting, is going to bed at 10 pm in order to get 7 hours sleep. Being an owl and enjoying to stay up all night, I am also a lark enjoying the early morning for both my sports but also for thinking and working.

So yes, the more I read about the energy household, the more I think I need to have 7 hours of sleep, probably cutting it down to 6 in the future. Even this week I realised that I seem more awake after 6 than 7 hours of sleep. You probably noticed that I have been posting info on cancer and cancer research. Luckily I don’t know anyone who has cancer but this is still a disease we haven’t mastered. Prevention is still the best medicine for it. And enough sleep and exercise is just one factor of it.

I like studying topics outside my work expertise to broaden my horizon. Cancer is one, personal development the other. Intellectual stimulation. And a lot of those learning can be applied to my daily life, killing two birds with one stone really.

You know how I keep saying I am so thankful and happy. I am. Seriously, I am in a stage of my life where I like to just enjoy what I have. Just to carry on. And enjoy. That is great. There are challenges ahead, more to learn, more to gain, more growth and all. And not that I don’t look left or right. But for now I just like to live and work, come home on a Friday, kick back a few glasses of red grape juice and enjoy where I am. The here and now. Now. Nowhere else. You never know how long you can hold on to those good times.

20120727-191018.jpgThinking back to the week I made a lot of progress at work. I have a bunch of really good people working for me. We are making loads of progress on all ends and I am confident to hit the targets I set myself, and the ones that were set for me. On the other hand we have some bad rumours circulating from people that left the company. It bugs me but I am trying to ignore it. This industry is very small. Anyway, only the one who knows knows. Onwards and upwards, still lots to come. Ignore those jealous unthankful people.

The weekend I spend with the family. I had a lot of catching up to do with the boys. I miss them, during the week but guess this is another thing I just need to accept.

Our old neighbours came to visit and we spend a nice day visiting some windmills in the South downs. You probably saw the pictures. It is great to see that we keep in touch with our good friends. I would love to have them as neighbours again. Having said that our new neighbours are lovely too. We have been lucky. The universe is good to us.

That is it really. Another week, and the Olympics are upon of us.

Let’s be excited, let’s take on the challenge.

Best,
Volker

Sunday Column (36)

This week ends with Halloween, also known as “day of the dead” in Mexico. Hence we had two pumpkins this year.

pumpkin The first pumpkin was a rather normal one. A bit shaped like a pear but generally ok. So let’s have a look back at the week.

Work seems rather busy but nothing that sticks out as being a big project. I expect things to kick off any day and getting really busy. So fingers crossed for that. Monday after work I went to meet someone to network and find out more about the industry from a different perspective.

I love digital marketing but there are still some areas I need to learn more about. Whilst I continue to pick brains at work, I also try to meet people outside work to do the same.

Tuesday just passed whilst Wednesday was the highlight of the week. A whole day from Microsoft Advertising, imagine09, which allowed me to see the latest developments of bing, digital marketing, touch screen technology and the Microsoft phone. Wow! That is all I can say. I am sure there are plenty of detailed reviews about, so go and check them out. All I can say that Bill Buxton said that anything we see as an innovation has been around for about 10 to 20 years. That means that we already hold the innovation of tomorrow in our hands, it just might take another 5-10 years to realise it. And things are moving faster by the day. We finished the day with a few drinks and good chats!

Colin as Pumpkin Thursday I went to the Tai Chi as normal after work and realised that we almost finished the long form, that is our form from the Hine Institute of Tai Chi. We started in February and I am hopeful to finish the “mechanics of the form” in the next two weeks. If that is the case, we can polish them off, which means another 12 years πŸ™‚ It would just be such a great achievement.

On Friday, as mentioned, was a Halloween party, and we had our own pumpkin. Jenny, my wife, organised a get together with the babies from her baby and Yoga group. I got to meet them over at a house warming party on Saturday. Good to meet new people in Beckenham, particularly blokes that have babies and go through the same experience I do. Very good to compare notes.

We didn’t get much gardening done this weekend, but I made progress on the coaching side of things. I have another session next week. Later this week I will also publish a video from Anthony Robbins who I think is great!

Sunday was spent being lazy. We went swimming with the boy and he seemed to enjoy it. Overall it was a relaxing day.

Buddha or God bless weekends and time with the boy. What a fantastic week.

All the best from Beckenham,
Volker

Sunday Column (22)

What an exciting week. My second full week in my new job and I am getting busy. Slowly but surely I am getting to a routine and getting things done. New leads, new friends and more fun. I am loving it! Really!!!

So what have I been doing outside work?

Monday was Hansel and Gretel’s first birthday. At night I went to a friend’s place and taught him some basic SEO techniques. Luckily he stopped me after 3 hours as I would have carried on, just scratching the surface of Social Media. Just by explaining others what I know, I notice how much I enjoy the idea of search and performance marketing in general. I always thought I wanted to change topics within the industry at some point and look into a more technology based products but I guess the “search fever” has taken over and I feel very comfortable and happy within this field. And, I am still learning daily!

The rest of the week just flew by. I feel tired, exhausted and run down. Because of the swine flu I am paranoid that it might be it but probably it is just tiredness paired with exhaustion. Basically sleeping 5 hours on average every night and not having weekends to catch up on sleep wears you down. They say that after 6 weeks babies get easier and sleep more. Fingers crossed. Still, my wife is the one who gets out at night, and I find it remarkable how she copes with that. I love her very much!

Saturday was very productive. I dug up a bucket (!) full of potatoes and about a dozen onions. potatoesIt is a great feeling to harvest what you grew yourself. It is great to know that you can grow enough food to survive. Maybe not this year though πŸ™‚ However, the carrots never grew properly, the remaining salad got too wet and didn’t look good. So the only things still growing are the courgettes and the broccoli. And, funny enough, tomatoes which I never planted in the first place. Very weird. Our beans are still trying to grow too but it doesn’t look too good πŸ™ We are getting lots of raspberries though.
I hope I take enough learning from that and plant less potatoes next year and give the carrots more space and light. Also, the garlic didn’t prosper, so I guess we need to buy some of our ingredients this winter.

To finish off a good a good day, and the warmest for 3 weeks, we had a BBQ at our neighbours. That was great, lots of vegetables and meat and wine πŸ™‚

On Sunday I donated a good amount to the guide dog charity. Why did I do that?
It is simple, we have a little Buddhist shrine where we donate little things, food (rice for example), water and money. shrine The latter we donate in 5 pounds steps, e.g. 5 gold coins. We have collected money for over 2 years and I donated money for my job hunt, for the health of my baby and my wife’s health, and so on. However, we thought, being so happy and feeling so fortunate in life, that we should take the money and donate it for a good cause.

Guide dogs is a charity that obviously helps blind people in two ways. Firstly it helps them getting around in everyday life but also it gives blind people a comrade and friend. I feel very strong about that because blindness is something I believe is very hard to cope with. So we felt very strong about donating that money towards this charity.

Also, we managed to speak to our neighbours who are harassed and bullied by some other neighbours in the street for wanting to get a planning submission for a new home. The plan does not seem too bad to me and I believe that if there is enough space that people should be able to build the home they like. Maybe we can help them achieving just that. So we wrote a letter to the council supporting their planning application. Hopefully not too late!

We also managed to say hello to one of our old neighbours. She is 93 and it was lovely to see her holding little Colin. I remember when we lived above her about 3 years ago. When she found out I was German, she wouldn’t talk to me for days because she got bombed out several times in the 2nd world war. It took some of my charm to convince her that I am not that bad and we are friends now. She was delighted to see the boy, my wife and even me! Bless her.

Next week shall be interesting, as I continue with some more tests in hospital on Thursday. Fingers crossed that is the final stretch of consultants to see.

Have a good week, be safe!

Sunday Column (7) – Happy Easter

Easter Holidays πŸ™‚

What an exciting week we had. After last weekend’s DIY efforts this week passed very quickly.

Not much excitement. I met a good friend for lunch whose partner is about to give birth – so it was good to meet up with someone who understands exactly in which situation I am in…and vice versa. So fingers crossed everything goes well, they are about 6 weeks ahead of us and by the time I write this, there might already be another baby born! Good Luck!

I had a day off on Thursday. Hurray. Besides watching a movie, going to the gym and doing the shopping, not much happened. Social night with the Tai Chi club and a Tesco that was busier than at Christmas. Horrendous. Glad I got it all done though. We had another scan of baby Ballueder and everything is fine. He is developing well and looks cute πŸ™‚

Friday we met our neighbours. They have 2 cats, a 9 months old daughter and live close to us, as neighbours do. Sounds familiar? They seem to be just one year ahead of us. It was a great afternoon with some great German wheat beer, and some vino. Shame the weather wasn’t as great, otherwise a BBQ would have been a perfect round up. Next time.

Saturday I finally finished taking about half a centimeter off the door to the kid’s room. My hand was in agony and I didn’t make it to the gym. Never thought it would be that difficult to take “a bit off a door”. Even used a saw. Crazy but finally finished. One thing less on our DIY list.

On Saturday night we went to see Kate Rusby in the Cadogan Hall. Kate was brilliant and joined by Donald Grant and the Red Skies String Ensemble to perform exciting new arrangements of Kate Rusby classics. She also played some new songs of her latest album Awkward Annie. My wife is a great fan and I really enjoy listening to her too.

Sunday morning started with another long gym session and 6K on the elliptical machine. Wow, now I am all knackered and will sleep for a while before preparing the Sunday roast: corn fed chicken with a special Ballueder marinade with roast vegetables. Yummy.

So, have a happy Easter Sunday.

Volker