Tag: old friends

Sunday Column (215)

This week has been an interesting one. I finally got over (most of) the viral infections and felt a lot better. It has been warmer also with some patches of rain but lots of garden time for the kids already. All that is great. Sunshine in Eastbourne and open windows at night. Spring is in the air. Coffees outside.

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On Monday, as normal these days, I spend the whole day in internal meetings catching up on everything. On Tuesday I attended a conference in Eastbourne, speaking, meeting and discussing top level as well as granular digital strategies and trends. I met a lot of cool, interesting, useful, inspiring and helpful people. The only issue is that you normally drink too much and by the time you are home on Wednesday, you just try to frantically catch up with two days of work. All well worth it.

I kept my Thursday as clear as possible but had to prepare a speaking engagement for next week. Whilst I love doing this, presenting and being at conferences, I never get too much sales done like I used to. Deep down I am a sales person, the hunter and go-getter. However, over the past 3-5 years I transformed more into the senior person, manager, country manager who coaches, develops successful high performance teams, joins high level meetings and talks to the CEOs and MDs. I like it. Yet, when you built a company and have done every job from connecting servers or putting cables down robbing on your knees, you are so more connected to the overall progress and guts of the company. Hands on I would write in a CV, and above reads a bit like one. But it is true. As many people in our industry you get approached and reflect on what you have, and I love the company I am working for. I would say that of course but we came a long way and will go a long way too. I love RTB πŸ™‚

As you can see this week was very work dominated. On Thursday I met an old uni friend I haven’t seen for at least four or five years. Time flies. You know when you pick up a conversation after so many years and think you just spoke to the person yesterday? That is what it is like with Mr. N. What a good catch up. What a great friend. He also might move down to London. This would be very nice.

On the overall side of life, it is a bit of rock’n roll at the moment. Some things falling apart, some things being pulled back together. Weird stuff happening. But life is good. Some cycling, soon I go running again, a massage and chilling out. Playing times with the boys and cuddles at night. Good movies, dirty food, and sunsets. What else can you wish for sometimes. It is on bad days, comparing it to my friend I spoke to this weekend, like you are at home and hiding in your rabbit hole, just cuddling with the boys and doing family stuff. You forget about everything and anything and then you are back out there during the week. I guess that’s normal. So many dads do it. I still find it complicated to understand and live.

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Anyway, no place like sunset whilst you are on the train home seeing the Ouse Valley Viaduct throwing a shadow across an English valley with oak trees. That is when I know I get closer to home and when I know it is time to chill out and relax (in my rabbit hole). That is home, that is the reason I commute. I love this peace and quiet, the peace I couldn’t get in London. A bit like the shire.

At the weekend we had friends from Essex visiting who we haven’t seen in ages. Again, the busier you get with family, work, growing up and daily business, the more you loose touch to the important friends. So good to see we make it an annual or bi-annual occasion to catch up with our friends. Maybe my 40th will get all of our friends together. From all walks of life, across the globe. A long way to go of course πŸ™‚

Next week is another busy schedule. I look forward to it. But hopefully I’ll be home before midnight on Friday. I hate travelling Friday night. I really like being home for bed time one day a week. And that is normally Fridays. Never mind, there are always exceptions.

That’s probably all folks.
Colin got his bike. So tha’s another job done.

Have a good one.

Cheers,
Volker

Sunday Column (169)

What a week. Sunny weather in London. Full pubs. All flags up for the Diamond Jubilee. Britain is enjoying the summer and it’s Britishness. I cannot imagine to live in any other town or country at the moment.

Of course that comes at a time when we finally exchanged contracts on our new house and we will be moving in 2 weeks time.

Work seems to dominate my life at the moment. So additionally to a lot of stress with the solicitors regarding the house, organising the move etc, it seems that since we got taken over in December, it is like a new job. And my job changed again just now. I might not work long hours at the moment unless I am travelling where I put in two-day-days but that will change soon too. It is very draining though and exhaustive to plan, put together strategies and organise a few things I cannot speak about here. Anyway – it has been 2.5 years since I started at my current job and I made a very conscious decision to turn off my phone and not to check any emails or voicemails for the 2 weeks when I go on holidays. And yes, I like my job πŸ™‚

Holidays might be exaggerated but we move house and I go to a friend’s wedding in Germany. I believe it is time to truly switch off. I even spoke to my boss whilst my wife was in labour, so it is time for a break, recharge, and come back to the new job with more power and strength than before. Whilst I always talk about productivity and energy households, this time I might actually lead by example. I don’t always do hat, for instance I do not take enough breaks.

Anyway. Enough about blowing my own trumpet of how great I am. I just enjoy what I do: simples. But at times you need to realise that you are not non-replaceable. And that’s it.

Let’s see what happened with the family this week? Rohan walks more but not consistently. Fingers crossed he will be properly walking soon. He seems ready but his feet aren’t. As if he had some rubbery bones πŸ™ Colin is great, and at an fantastic age. I so enjoy playing with him. Let it be at 6 am in the morning on a Saturday or after 8 whilst having a BBQ with our neighbours. Sometimes you just need to make use of the available time.

My running is going well too. I lost a few kilos and increased my speed. Finally I got a good routine back and my upper back pain has improved a lot too.

The iPad is a great replacement for my netbook. I enjoy the instantly available apps and connectivity on the go. The external keyboard helps with longer emails or blog posts, and for flights I put on some movies.

Two more thoughts to finish off this week.

Our neighbours and us agreed that 3 beers are plenty these days. With us being up at night with the kids and not sleeping great, we cannot cope with more: how old did we get? On the other hand we didn’t have a hangover after half a bottle of really good wine. Overall I drink a lot less alcohol than I used to but that’s the way it goes I suppose. I am up half the night and from 5.30 am. This just doesn’t mix.

The other thought came to me when I met a friend who I see about once a year. He lives two streets down, just got a kid and we used to do Tai Chi together. However, we met for a coffee in the park, including children. We both gave our wives some free time, tried to cope and arrived at this stage in life where coping is probably the better way of describing every day than living. However, I believe that this perception will change once the youngest, e.g. Rohan, will be around 2ish. So another year of worrying, sleepless nights every night, cuddly nights in daddy’s/mummy’s bed and crying in the cot because he doesn’t want to go to bed. From in a year’s time things will improve. Not long now!

I guess this sums up another draining and hot week. One more week to go before my 2 week work break starts. I can focus on the new house, unpack boxes and settle. I will arrive. I hope anyway.

Have a good one,
Volker

Sunday Column (132)

Another week, and…what a week. It seems as if the summer vacation is over. This week saw the return of my busier days at work. And at home.

My MIL stayed until Wednesday and she was a great help. We had to go to hospital for a check up for Rohan on Monday, and things turned out to be alright. So all good, everyone healthy, everyone happy. Although you don’t expect things to be bad, you never know and you are actually worry, maybe only unconsciously.

Tuesday I had a great meeting with a new part of a new part of our industry. I think things are developing very quickly and already have an opinion piece in mind. However, the one thing that really bugged me this week was time. So I have to be patient and hopefully I can put something together next week.

There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. Neither at work, nor at home. After a full day at work I went out with friends on Wednesday night. On Thursday we had a team night out, resulting in me being away two nights a week. That itself wasn’t too bad. But having had a few beers and full schedules just leave you drained. I am honestly contemplating of giving up the booze again. It all seemed much easier without.

The team night out however was fantastic. We played Urban Golfing, e.g. a computer game if you like where you play golf with real clubs. I am rubbish at golf, so maybe a good idea on how to practice it? Friday really finished on a “high” after very positive chats. So overall a really good week, up and down, a roller coaster ride.

Now the weekend. It all started with Colin not wanting to sleep on Friday and Rohan and myself being up from before 7 am on Saturday.

Something I was thinking to write about in detail is 9/11. However, given the extensive coverage for its 10th anniversary, I think there is enough said. It was 10 years ago that I came to the UK, laughing at the joke the radio DJ was making that “a plane had hit the WTC”. It was an hour later when things emerged and I realised this wasn’t a bad joke, this was reality. The world has changed since then. I only lived in the UK since it happened, I only know Britain and extensive travel past 9/11. I was in London 7/7. God bless America, and we all keep the ones we lost in terrorist attacks in our hearts and prayers.

10 years after 9/11 I met a friend, Adam, who I haven’t seen for 17 years. We went to High School together in my exchange year in Kansas. I can tell you that I really thought this might be awkward. But it wasn’t. I guess the most weird things was that we had lived so different lives over the last 17 years, and that we missed out on each other’s day to day experience. We don’t have that much to share. Having said that, it was like we had seen each other just yesterday. I honestly believe that our friendship is based on the trust and experience we gained 17 years ago. Adam, when you read that, it was so good to see you. I hope to see you again this week to catch up in greater detail.

So this weekend closes late. But on a very positive note.

May our love continue into next week and for many months to come.
Best wishes,
Volker