Tag: tai chi

Sunday Column (91)

This week passed very very quickly. But it was a good week looking back.

After 8 days of wait my replacement laptop arrived and it only took a few hours to have my life back, reinstalling everything. And, at night, I met a friend of mine I haven’t seen for a long time. She is German, used to live in London but seemed to have found her happiness back home again. It was good to exchange ideas, life thoughts and expectations. Sometimes people own things they aren’t aware of. And, if you read this, you know that you are actually much much happier than many other people. Embrace it!

Tuesday was my normal Tai Chi night. I am debating whether I should continue in the new year. I enjoy it very much, but it almost seems, with the upcoming second child, that I might not have time. And I think I could use the time more useful but would I? It is my night (me time) after all, and I should try to keep it that way. Really need to think that through.

Now Wednesday the team from mexad went for one drink. Maybe two. It is great to work with such nice colleagues and I am very excited about the opportunities and growth that lies ahead for 2011. Really enjoy working with you guys! Not that you’d read it πŸ™‚

Thursday was a long awaited night in the whiskey bar of the Athenaeum Hotel. Whilst pricey I had a great night amongst other whiskey drinkers and friends. I tried my first Japanese Whiskey (although my wife said I tried one years ago….), some new Islay Whiskies and had a genuine great night. Sorry I couldn’t stay longer, but there is always next time. Thanks, Adam, for organising it.

Now, the highlight was really the weekend. Not only did I hit 1000 followers on Twitter, but my parents came to visit. I got the new Reinhard Mey CD “Mairegen”. Although, listening to it on Friday night over a glass of wine, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the older stuff he did.

However, we had a fantastic weekend. I really enjoyed family time. Three generation and two cultures together for a weekend. It really makes me think how far I would move away or how much I would miss my roots in Germany if I was further away. Does it matter? How far are my roots still in Germany, Scotland, England, Britain or Europe. I often wonder where life will take me.

Ballueder Coat of ArmsMy parents have helped a lot lately to look into our past, e.g. to research the family history. Bottom line is that we still don’t know where we are coming from. Most likely not from France which is nice to know πŸ˜‰ but it now makes it more difficult to find out. “Balluer” seems to be a real variation of our last name. So we are curious if we ever find out. Funny or coincidently there is a dance called the “Braes of Balluder” in Scotland. So maybe my roots are further grown in Scotland than I had ever imagined. Who knows, definitely something to research. And most my family where farm workers, interesting.

Anyway, it was a fantastic weekend. Despite Colin’s and my cold, we managed to spend great quality time together. I have the feeling that the next 4 weeks to Christmas will be very busy and passing very quickly. So any time I can spend with my wee man, I really enjoy. He is growing so quickly, discovering and learning. Only when you realise how much children mean to you and how much joy they bring, you realise how little important so many other things are. It is all about the greater good. And children make you greater.

Love and Happiness to all of you.


Sunday Column (76)

This weeks flew past with many many meetings. All good though and we are making progress. I now have to be careful what I write here, as my boss has discovered the blog and seems to have added it to his RSS feed πŸ™‚ Just teasing πŸ˜‰ I like my boss!

Luckily this week was less eventful than last week. However, we made preparations of handling Colin easier, without my wife lifting him. Quite a few adjustments, including a very cute duvet and duvet cover of the hungry caterpillar. Colin has had his ups and downs this week, and I managed to spend about an hour in the morning with him. His teeth still seem to bother him, but overall he is jolly good.

Another few things I wanted to mention. I tried out another Tai Chi class which I believe goes beyond what I am willing and ready to invest in regards to time and practise. But never say never. I will have to give up my Tai Chi class in Beckenham due to time restraints from my work. It is just not feasible to make it home by 7:30 pm, particularly on a Thursday. Currently, I think I go back to the practical class, e.g. pushing hands, on Tuesdays across the road from my work.

Then I was impressed with some customer service this week. One was with Blackberry Help via Twitter. After I installed the latest software update which had some problems, they talked me through todos on twitter to restore the old settings. Very helpful. The other one was BT Business. Our broadband seemed to drop every now and then in the office, so they first investigated via Twitter, called and seemed to have sorted the problem.

I remember a few years ago when I was at university, e.g. almost 10 years ago, and the first blogs came up. I mentioned to a few people that “companies should have a customer service real time response on their website” – here we go. Twitter makes it possible and if I had thought through my idea, I could sit on a full bank account now. What will the future hold….????

To be honest these are the key developments at the moment. I am recovering from a (mild) man-flu, and have a very busy week ahead. The weekend therefore was quite relaxing. We want to do some improvements on the house, and my wife finally agreed to a TV in the bedroom. More out of necessity as she needs to rest more. Ach well, should be a problem for me having a telly in the bedroom πŸ˜‰

Have a good week.

Sunday Column (75)

What could be a better start in the week. A 12 week scan of our “new” baby and the news that everything is ok. Happy days, and we were over the moon.

Unfortunately, this didn’t last too long, as my wife noticed some discomfort as of Monday night. We went to A&E, spoke to the ante-natal department, ended up in A&E on Wednesday again until 3 am, spoke to a specialist on Thursday morning, and the news is better than we anticipated: there will most probably be no risk for the baby and everything should be ok, however my wife won’t be able to lift heavy objects, will need a lot of rest and might get more discomfort over the forthcoming month. Finger’s crossed.

On this note I want to say thank you to our neighbours who not only drove my wife to A&E, helped looking after Colin but also gave us lots of support and help during these hours. This is great to have such wonderful neighbours!

We started making preparations now to make my wife’s life easier. Colin starts learning to go up and down the stairs himself, crawling into bed and his pram. He is growing and growing up, has almost 12 teeth, and whilst I am typing this just before 8 am on Saturday morning, he is sitting next to me playing with my Blackberry. He is so much fun and so enjoyable. I am a very happy and lucky man to have such a fantastic family.

Now, these were the main news of the week. We also had a mouse under the fridge but that is really not important, is it πŸ™‚ I went to a more practical approach class of Tai Chi across from my work. Reason is that on the one hand I want to learn more about the practical application of Tai Chi. And, my Tai Chi class in Beckenham is at 7.30 pm and there is no way that I can make it in time back from work.

Work is great. After 2 weeks away I noticed how great my new colleague is, and we are making lots of progress. Whilst August seems slower than expected, we are now having loads of meetings to prepare for a storm in autumn πŸ˜‰

Our first weekend back from our holidays was spend planning, and un-planning visits and trips we wanted to do. Weddings unfortunately too. The next 6 months (and beyond) are all about getting my wife as comfortable as possible, for her to manage every day with Colin and not to have too much discomfort carrying our 2nd child. And, we are very excited to have Colin’s little brother….or sister.

Have a fantastic week.

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,

Sunday Column (35)

Another week, another Sunday. And it is a sunny Sunday πŸ™‚

This week, after a few days off, passed quickly but different to many other weeks. I believe every time you have some time off and go back to work, you start thinking about things and re-calibre your work. Hence it seems as if you get less done but you actually work more productively.

Anyways, Tuesday was our 2nd anniversary. I cannot believe how quickly those two years passed. And, we are still very happy together and have enjoyed the time together. With the house, boy and all, we are very settled and happy how and where we live. We enjoy what we have, and this is one of those unbeatable feelings to have. Happiness.

On Thursday, at Tai-Chi, we started refining the form. Particularly with the speed and control. Wow, I felt very tired after the session and now start noticing how much good it does for me. Also, I found out that my old work is not doing too well and people seem to not get paid and made redundant. Hence I am feeling very sorry for them, looking back I am glad I got made redundant whilst they could still pay me. Also, I think that it is such a shame for so many people not knowing what the future holds. All I can do is to offer my help. Fingers crossed it works out for everyone.

At the weekend my cousin was here. Her boyfriend works for an airline so it is easy for them to get flights from Zurich to London. It was a lovely weekend. Too much wine on Friday, a mess on Saturday and a lovely walk on Sunday. Time, although we gained an hour with the change to the winter time, was too short and they had to leave just around 2 pm again on Sunday.

It is so nice to stay in touch with family, sharing values and time, and having Colin meeting my cousin and his godmother. Talking about the family, the grandparents, the parents and how things have changed since we were young is interesting, fascinating and scary at the same time. It is so enjoyable and I hope that Colin will appreciate a German godmother that will teach him “Ballueder Family Values” πŸ™‚
With her being a trained acupuncturist, I got rid of some back pain and enjoyed some needles being stuck into myself πŸ™‚

Another topic that came up this week was the boy: I enjoy it so much more to be around him. He gives me so much back when I come home from work or wake him in the morning. Just the smile at me and the touching, grabbing and love he shows me, makes me feel so good. Whilst at some point I wasn’t sure how much I enjoy having children, after 4 months I want to have the next one…or two πŸ˜‰ We shall see.

Also, we bought instant coffee and, although difficult to admit, I actually don’t mind it too much. I will never be a big fan, but I do enjoy it now and then for a quick cup of coffee. Letting go of my standards is not what I had in mind, but maybe getting used to more average supply of coffee (and same is true for wine after my month break), is not a bad thing in the recession.

This brings the week to a close. I could go to sleep and curl up in my bed, watching the wind in the trees, chasing the leaves around the garden. I love autumn with its fascinating colours. I have some things to do this afternoon, but hope that tonight I put on a nice fire, maybe a nice take away and a nice movie. Just chilling. That’s Sunday, that is autumn.

Love and Happiness to you all,

autum colours

Sunday Column (33)

Here we go again. Another week, another Sunday. I like writing these columns as it gives me some time to reflect on the week.

Monday: a client meeting, it was raining and I arrived there soaked. Met an ex-colleague and got some good gossip, and some good insight from a different perspective. Sometimes it is really good to just sit down and talk openly.

Tuesday: we had a workshop at work which worked out very well and I think we made a lot of progress, followed by a Wednesday where we had a great team night out. I really like the guys I am working with and it is great to see everyone working so hard to make things happen.

Thursday I went back to Tai Chi after a week’s break and enjoyed it a lot. And, before I knew it, it was Friday. Some positive comments from my boss which made me feel great. So the whole week ended on a positive note.

Saturday was divided into two – on the one hand I enjoyed myself and went for a massage. Stopped at McDonalds for a dirty breakfast, Starbucks for a coffee and read my FT. Me time, very enjoyable. Then, on the other hand, it was family day. I spent most of the day with the boy, went to Homebase to buy some plants and paint for the fence, and we had our neighbours over for a few drinks.

However, I am coming down with a cold AGAIN. Wonder if my immune system just decided to walk, or if it is the boy. They keep saying that you get ill more often having a baby, but he seems to be fine. I am off for 3 days next week, and don’t want to spend them all in bed.

Also, this week a friend’s nephew was killed in a car accident. It was one of those moments when you sit down and think “why am I going through all these things in life, hassle, work and stress when it can be over so quickly”. One of those moments when your life comes to a full stop and you reflect.

On Sunday my mother in law arrived. I haven’t seen her for a long time, so looking forward to spending a week with her.

There are many other things going on, which I don’t need to speak about: things like coaching and personal development. Also I am working on my cb consulting website. Would like to integrate some of the sites on this URL and also get some of the balamadana blog content here too.

I reviewed two more wines, so you will get a taste over the next 2 weeks. Will try to write more often, but seem to be busy with my job and the family. Both of which is enjoyable, but I need to work on a routine to fit things like my blog in again too.

Have a fantastic week!

Sunday Column (30)

Alright. This week was nothing like the ones before. It started off with a revelation I had seen coming and since, I have been thinking about “the meaning of life”. Funny that every now and then you get thrown off your path and then you start thinking about purposes in life and what you want to achieve. However, maybe I should just sit down and map out life regardless of how it develops. Maybe I should make my own master plan.

Tuesday was my first pitch at work. I enjoy it very much and things are going well. Time for things to pick up of course as it is September and budgets are made for 2010. I hope πŸ™‚

On Wednesday I caught up with a good friend who runs a successful business and on Thursday I met with a friend from the CMI who I enjoy meeting, unfortunately not often enough, for a Harvey’s Bitter in the Ole George in Beckenham. So this week was very social. Oh, almost forgot that on Monday I met another friend which works in the same industry and emigrated to London a few years ago from Germany too. So plenty of thoughts and input this week. Really enjoyable.

My Tai Chi is less enjoyable at the moment. Part of it is due to the fact that we are about 2/3 done with the long form and I am too impatient to actually wait and finish the form. The other reason is that I am always rushed to make it in time, which I often don’t. So my increased work load and long commute don’t help. Overall I hope that I will have enough stamina to finish the form and take it from there.

On Saturday, now this week was very social, we met good friends in Dulwich Village. We went to the Piaf where the food was great. However, prices and service were not as good as the first impression of the place suggested. It was a great Autumn day, very warm and muggy, and we had great fun with our friends. Colin behaved and was passed around which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Today I managed to get rid of the last vegetables. It was a failure to grow broccoli and courgettes and for next year, we might not grow many veggies at all.

The garden, the boy and many other take up a lot of time. Time, I personally have less and less of.
I realised that writing the blog becomes a shore, that I don’t enjoy being on Twitter as much, hardly have time for Facebook and that I hardly get enough time to myself, my family or hobbies.

Hence, you might notice a slow down in my online activities. My first priority for the remainder of the year is to make sure that my job is progressing the way I want and gives me the stability and security I need for the family.
To ensure that I have to work beyond 9-5; whilst I enjoy doing that I need to see the outcome. And I do, as otherwise I wouldn’t do it. I am confident the hard work will pay off towards the end of the year.

Until then I want to prioritise. My blog will take a 2nd priority and will mostly be ad hoc stuff and of course my Sunday column to keep you up to date.

I would almost consider this phase a reconsolidation – I cut everything possible down to focus on what I consider the most important thing. And, once that is becoming a routine, I will add other pieces to my life again accordingly.

Hope that makes sense.

Oh, and before I forget, don’t forget to sponsor me, I look silly and would hope to make money with that Volker’s Tacheback Profile.

Sunday Column (10)

What a week this was!

It all started normally with a “normal” Monday which was just that: a Monday with all the highs and lows of a day. Due to my continuous knee pain I cannot go to the gym but will see a doctor about that next week again.

Tuesday the news was broken to me and my colleague that our company closes down the London office. Whilst I was given the option to go to York to work in our head office, this is not a good option for me. However, I will wait for the exact information to find out what package will be offered before I make any final decisions.

So from Wednesday it was all about tidying up my CV and sending it out to my network and contacting some Recruitment Consultants. It isn’t really the best time to be on the hunt for a new job. The economy is in a recession, our baby on its way, and it was my Birthday this week too. But, I guess there is only one way: forward; and I am confident to come out of it stronger than before.

Thursday and Friday were pre-booked holidays. It was my Birthday and I celebrated into it with my neighbour down in the Tapas Bar in Beckenham. Out of my Birthday was celebrated with my friends of my Tai Chi class.

On Thursday itself I finally found myself a nice new jacket which did not need any alteration. So it was all good. My wife took me to the Mandarin Oriental in London for a lovely lunch. That was fantastic and brought back all the lovely memories of our honeymoon. Thank you so much for the day.

Friday & Saturday: My Leibfuchs Volker from my German fraternity Franconia Darmstadt came up to London for his stag night. I arrived home again on Saturday night, after a pub crawl and London night clubs…..not really used to that anymore. Neither the boozing nor the late nights. But it was really enjoyable and I hope Volker and the boys enjoyed it too. They seemed like they did πŸ˜‰

Today I am chilling. Obviously polishing my CV, preparing things for the anticipation of next week. With the bank holiday tomorrow, this gives me plenty of time to be in top shape again on Tuesday.

Here is what I looked like today at our Sunday stroll through the park:

Volker Ballueder

I somewhat think it is going to be an exhausting night.

So, if you read that and have a position or know someone who does have a position as a Business Development Director or Manager, with responsibility for people, e.g. Head of Sales and Marketing or Team Leader in a larger organisation, please let me know. This position should be based in London. I am more than happy to look into country manager positions to start up a new VC backed company or helping a company to launch in Germany. So please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you and have a lovely Sunday night.

Tai Chi Beckenham (3) – Parting the horse’s mane

Wow, last week I went to my local Tai Chi class in Beckenham again.

And I am still so excited about the move we learned, “parting the horse’s mane”. So I tried finding it online and found two videos I wanted to share:

1) using the the move in an attack/defence

Yang Tai Chi -Parting the Horse’s Mane

2) a “beginner Tai Chi” video which I found quite neat to watch

Enjoy and stay out of trouble πŸ˜‰

For some training videos on Tai Chi, seek out this Tai Chi site.


Tai Chi (2)

I got a book about Tai Chi now, Yang Tai Chi Chuan, by John Hine.

I find it interesting reading and that the Tai Chi style I am learning is a figure that takes about 15 minutes to do, has 315 moves, and is one figure as a whole. Other Tai Chi forms seem to split it up in different figures, see earlier entry about Tai Chi.

I was reading about Chi and the martial arts, differentiating between 3 internal martial arts:

1) Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi is about deep relaxation of the body so that our energy can flow within the body. Particularly in self defense, you can use an explosive force (Jing) that is soft but with penetrating power.

2) Hsing Yi
For this style you need to be all relaxed and natural. Jing here is more like a piece of bamboo, flexible but with shocking force. Like a cannon ball. The fighting strategy of Hsing Yi is more assertive than of 1) Tai Chi Chuan. Therefore, you could argue that Hsing Yi could be more direct, offensive in use and uses straight and circular punches, palm strikes, elbow, shoulder, head butt, kicking both high and low, and throwing.

3) Pa Kua Chang
The movements here are not as forceful. The footwork and movement is compared to that of a dragon, light as a bird with the elusive quality of a snake. It is more defensive than 2) Hsing Yi, with more foot work in total as it seems. The movement, 8 actions for each 8 trigrams, place the man and his action in context with the cosmos.

Reading through that, I believe that Tai Chi Chuan is the right form for me.

The founder seems to be a Taoist monk, Chan San Feng. Living around 1000 A.D., however the first historical mention of Tai Chi was in the 17th century.

Yang Lu Chan worked for the Chen family and got caught secretly watching and practising their Tai Chi technique. He later founded his own style.

Very interesting stories and insight into the Chinese martial arts history. A pleasure to practise and very good for my health. So killing 2 birds with one stone really, gently of course πŸ˜‰