The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The North Looks Down On The South [Planning From The Top]
March 1, 2010, 6:16 am
Filed under: Comment

There’s a lot of blogs out there that claim to be about planning, but in my admitedly cynical opinion, quite often they’re just jumped up, back-slapping, pseudo intellectualism, ego-fests that are more focused on the creation of dinner party fodder for Guardian reading-Audi/Prius driving-Oxbridge quoting-wine boring-crushing media bores or simply celebrating something “new” that’s actually something old, albeit with a brand spanking-neon flashing, new fucking name attached to it.

If you actually want to read a planner blog that can help you be great at doing – not spouting – then forget 99% of everything else out there and read NP’s guides to what I call creating practical magic.

[make sure you read the post he refers to in the post as well]

Without doubt there’s a craft to great planning but in my opinion, you only really find that out if you do something with it … and with so many planners trying desperately to be interesting by what they say [via their smug, self congratulatory, self adjudicated mutterings] NP is one of those guys who is interesting because of what he actually has done and for me, that’s always what separates the great from the good.

I’ve said it before but apart from being immensly talented and smart, the reason I think NP is so great is that he works in a region of the country that is hard to convince about “new” … a region that isn’t obsessed with being always aligned to the next “cool thing” … and so because of this, he’s had to fight for his right to exist each and every day – not just to his clients, but to his bosses and colleagues – and that ladies and gentlemen, is why he is one of the best planners around – not just in the UK, just ‘around’.

When even Andy likes you [he wanted him to come to cynic but when I emailed NP about it, he wisely said he wasn’t interested! – albeit in a nice way, ha!] you know you must be something special … but that’s the thing, NP doesn’t, and yet he is.

I wish I could hate him but he happens to be a great guy/husband/father who also happens to be a great planner … what a bastard!

So in his honour … and he should know how much this pains me …


57 Comments so far
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a very fucking long time ago i thought it might be interesting to work with the fucker but it appears you want to give him a fucking handjob then feed him peeled grapes.

fawning. pictures of the smiths. what the fuck has got into you campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

Here here.

Particularly like: “he works in a region of the country that is hard to convince about “new” … so he’s had to fight for his right to exist each and every day – not just to his clients, but to his bosses and colleagues”.

Hadn’t thought of the effect that would have on a planner, but makes perfect sense.

Comment by Pete

I know Andy … I know … maybe I’m running a temperature.

Comment by Rob

Excellent comment Andy.

Comment by Angus

He lives in a region of the country where it’s hard to understand what anyone is saying.

Comment by John

Out of interest John, do you live in the southern half of England? Just a wild guess.

Comment by Rob

I live in the part where nobody says anything worth listening to.

Comment by John

Good point.

Comment by Rob

Over a year ago NP wrote a great post which spoke about the power of the word “Why?”. Even right now as I type this I have a large quote from that post sitting right beside my computer screen. As a planner, it’s still one of the most helpful things I’ve ever read.

Comment by Age

asking why is one of the most helpful things youve ever fucking read?

fuck me age, step away from your computer and go and get laid. and dont ask why, do.

Comment by andy@cynic

helpful in the context of work, yes. but you’re advice is also very good too Andy.

Comment by Age

my advice was for your work too.

Comment by andy@cynic

Sod all the planning rubbish, it’s a good blog about the world too.
Being a swimmer.
A son.
A husband.
And a dad.
He can ramble on about tea too.
One of the few I still bother with.
Good evening.

Comment by Paul H. Colman

Colman swans in here and his comments work straight away. I give up.

Comment by John

John, didn’t you read my post … the reason my blog ignores your words of wisdom is because it doesn’t like people who make jumped up, back-slapping, pseudo intellectual, ego-fest comments whose soul goal is to create dinner party fodder for Guardian reading-Audi/Prius driving-Oxbridge quoting-wine boring-crushing media bores or simply celebrating something “new” that’s actually something old, albeit with a brand spanking-neon flashing, new fucking name attached to it.

ie: You.

Hope that helps.

Comment by Rob

I take it you came on here in a moment of suicide contemplation Paul?

Lovely to have you though … especially as Mr Dodds has got his knickers in a twist over it.

Comment by Rob

Andy wanted Northern to work at cynic? That’s like being touched by God, or that’s what Andy would like people to think. LOL.

What Paul & Pete said, Northern is brilliant.

Comment by Bazza

I always read this and northerns blog because you learn more than just planning which is what makes a great planner I suppose. Still working on the “great” bit though.

Comment by Adrian Richmond

Hello Adrian … welcome to the madness. You are very kind with your words, especially when my ‘unplanning’ posts are nowhere near as interesting and valuable as NP’s … he does recipies, I talk about porn left on dustbins.

Then again …

Anyway, really nice to have a comment from you and I hope this is the start of many.

Comment by Rob


Comment by marcus

Are you charging by the word these days Mr Brown? If you are, what do I owe you?

Comment by Rob

No. The post and the comments say all that need to be said about the gentleman in question.

And he is a gentleman.

Comment by marcus

As are you my lovely …

This is all getting a bit Oprah isn’t it!

Comment by Rob

apart from the near-death experience I had yesterday, I’m fine. You?

Comment by marcus

Near death!!!???

Comment by Rob

My, you are all very kind.
Andy, you know the only reason I said no was planning for fatherhood.
Funnily enough I was listening to the Smiths on the way in to work this morning.

Comment by northern

It’s not kind – it’s true – and yes, we know you said ‘no’ because you wanted to be a Daddy [you can sort of prove that was the case can’t you!] but the news still made him cry into his nappy for about 3 weeks.

In all seriousness, the posts you’ve written about planning are some of the best things I’ve ever read – be it books, blogs or banter – which is why your new mob are very, very fortunate to have you and why I swallowed my taste and put a pic of the fucking Smiths up on my blog.

Comment by Rob

Speaking of my new lot, they may be taking me for a meeting with Mother in the next couple of weeks. Might have to accidentally stain one their granite tables. Why you ask? Despite their PG Tips being quite brilliant, they’ve got that bastard little monkey making tea in a cup. The POT you littl simian git, the bloody pot!

Comment by northern

I am sure you’ll put them right.

Dare I ask if you know who you might be meeting, as I have a funny feeling an old colleague of mine [old as in the sense of when I was there, not that he is old – Mother ‘don’t do’ old] might be responsible.

If he is, I apologise on his behalf.

Comment by Rob

Don’t know yet. I know of one whom it might be, if it’s him, there’s no need, I know everything I need to..

Comment by northern

If his name begins with ‘S’ and rhymes with errrrm, Mimon, I know shit that could send him down for 10 years. Shout if he gets a bit feisty with the cup/pot situation, ha!

Comment by Rob

All getting a bit Elton John around here isn’t it?

Comment by DH


Comment by marcus

Deacon Blue?

Comment by northern

no need for that NP.

Comment by marcus

Mr Northern has been making clever useful comments since I first started reading planning blogs. Whenever people ask about hiring a planner he is the first name I suggest.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

well in future mortimer can you suggest campbell and get the fucker out my hair. ill throw in auntie and a fiver to sweeten the deal.

kids over working with me northern? they breed men daft up there. got your handjob off campbell yet or playing hard to get so hell offer something bigger?

will see your deacon blue and raise you china crisis.

Comment by andy@cynic

Tempting. Which aunt?

I see your China Crisis and raise you T’Pau.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

auntie fucking george of course, you think id give away people i like?

t’pau. think campbell did something with the ginger minger lead screamer. no wonder they went to shit. what about living in a fucking box, another campbell skeleton.

Comment by andy@cynic

didn’t campbell do something with “curiosty killed the cat” too?

Comment by marcus

the one shit wonders? not sure will call the fucker now.

Comment by andy@cynic

Did he ever make their videos??

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I take T’pau and raise you Journey…oh damn

And I won’t get out of bed for anything less than full penetrative sex

Comment by northern

youve changed. much fucking better.

journey? theyre yankee royalty so lets get back to fucking basics with five star.

Comment by andy@cynic

no. he also said he is in a meeting and would prefer not to have his musical skeletons pulled out the closet. this from a fucker who admits to loving queen.

Comment by andy@cynic

got to go to a fucking meeting so i raise you fucking journey, five star and nick pissing haywood and raise you

that should keep things going for a while but who the fuck were lisa & friends and carmel? make sigue sigue look like the fucking stones.

Comment by andy@cynic

what the fuck was i thinking, i know lisa & friends, ive got all her hit.
boom shit tish.

Comment by andy@cynic

Jennifer Rush…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

he definitely did some shit with her. how the fuck he isnt in prison is beyond me.

Comment by andy@cynic

Here’s an insight. Planners are gay.

Comment by Billy Whizz

To paraphrase Black Books when the woman is having dinner with a man she suspects is gay:

‘What’s the connection between Elton John, Ian McKellen and Jean Paul Gaultier?’
“They are all fabulous”

Comment by Rob Mortimer

And there I thought an ex-Pat, ex-London,
now living in the boonies of the Massachusetts
Berkshires was the only one reading/ripping off
that Northern genius.
Ciaran McCabe

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

theyre not copying his thinking, they want to fucking be him. tossers.

Comment by andy@cynic

The meeting went well then?

Comment by John

I’ve just read the whole stream of comments. I need a lie down and to wash my history with bleach.

Comment by Rob

Trust me, no one wants to be me.

Comment by northern

Real nice pattern and excellent content, very little else we need :D.

Comment by web site

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