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

It’s Monday. The World Is In A Bit Of Shit. We All Need This …
August 22, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Happiness

No … I’m not talking about a short blog post [though it is], I mean this.

What a champ.

If You Think Superman Is Fast, You Should See The Chinese DVD Pirates …

So the Olympics ends tomorrow.

Despite facing incredible apathy and backlash, I think it’s been pretty awesome.

Drama. Triumph. Legacies. Debate. Wonderfulness.


But that’s not why I want to write about.

I want to write about this …

What you see above is the DVD cover of the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

It was available at my local DVD store in Shanghai within 4 days of the ceremony happening.

For the equivalent of 90pence.

Copied. Duplicated. Distributed within 4 days.


Say what you like about the morality of what they’re doing – or lack of it – but you have to admit that’s quick.

Usain Bolt quick.

And if the IOC and Rio Authorities are pissed off about this … I’ll leave them with this.

China only focuses on things they can make money from, so by being copied, they’re saying there was demand for it.

In other words, you did a good job,

In even plainer speak, it’s a [kind-of] compliment.

And besides, you can’t really complain about doing bad things, when you used[?] to do this.

So enjoy the praise and look forward to the closing ceremony.

I can send you a DVD of it in about 4 days if you like …

A Commercial Break …
August 18, 2016, 6:23 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Comment, Culture

You’ll be glad that today I won’t be writing about anything plannery.

Nor will I be going on about Queen, Birkenstocks, gadgets or my best friends appendage.

What I will be writing about is something I recently saw in Tokyo.

Specifically THIS something …

What is this not a thing?

Seriously, why isn’t it.

A bread buffet sounds the greatest thing ever … though I must admit it could be superseded by a bread buffet with endless portions of salted french butter.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why travel is one of the greatest things ever.

I Don’t Know Who Erica Is, But She Sounds Pretty Special …
August 17, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Jill, Love

I love this.

I love the innocence of it all.

I love how her simple response made such a huge impression.

It wasn’t about what they did, or achieved or what they wore … it was about who she was.

Her essence.

I remember the first time I met Jill.

We went to a cafe and much to my surprise, she sat next to me.

Not opposite, next to …

I thought that was the coolest thing on earth.

I hope this man ended up being as lucky with Erica as I am with Jill.

They Never Leave You …
August 16, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment, Jill, Love, Mum, Mum & Dad, My Fatherhood, Otis, Parents

So yesterday went pretty well.

No one quit [yet] and everyone seemed to get along.

In some respects, that might be the most successful thing I’ll have achieved with The Kennedys.

Today we’re going to talk about emotion and the power it has over us.

I bring this up because on my holiday, I went to see some of my Italian family and I have to say that the whole thing was very emotional for me.

Part of this was because I stayed in the house, in the small town, in the small province where my Mum lived.

It was a place my Mum always regarded as incredibly special and important to her and to be there – with my family for the first time – was incredibly emotional for me.

Seeing my son run around a home that my Mum had run around as a child was both wonderful to see and hard to take.

Without doubt she would have been so very, very happy we were there, I just wish she was there to see it.

I looked at everything differently while I was there.

Everywhere I went I tried to imagine Mum as a child playing in the streets, visiting the park that she eventually took me to as a child [and that I took Otis too], laughing with her friends.

When I stood on one of the old houses balcony’s, I kept thinking Mum had done the same thing at one time.

In some ways, it made me feel I was near her again … that I had ‘brought her home’ and I loved that, though it also meant the rawness of her loss came to the surface again.

While I was there I met some of Mum’s school friends.

Some I had met before, some I hadn’t.

To hear them talk so wonderfully about my Mum really got to me.

It’s not that those words hadn’t been said by others before, it was just that these people knew my Mum in a way few did – certainly not me – and somehow that meant their words had even more power.

It was a privilege to be there and I am so glad I was able to bring my new family together with my old, but I don’t mind telling you I was emotionally exhausted when I left.

But there’s one story I want to talk about, because it’s a story I’m going to be telling The Kennedys students about today.

While I was in Italy, one of my relations showed me a bunch of old photographs.

One was of my family home in Nottingham and when I turned the photo over to see if had been dated, I saw this …

That’s my Dad’s writing.

Writing I had not seen for a long, long time.

And I have to say, it knocked me sideways.

I couldn’t stop looking at it.

Running my finger across it.

Like standing on that balcony in Mum’s family home, this writing suddenly made me feel close to my Dad again.

Not just emotionally, but physically.

It didn’t matter it was just an address.

It didn’t matter it was so old, I’m guessing it was when Mum & Dad had just moved into the area given he had spelt ‘Bridgford’ incorrectly.

It was my Dad and this had moved him from my past into my present.

And that was an amazing feeling. A precious, amazing feeling.

Now that’s what I call a real family holiday.

First Day Of School …
August 15, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

So after a lot of planning and evaluating and basically putting a bunch of clever people through the shit,

This starts today.

Wish me luck. though maybe the students need it more.

A Glimpse Of A Side Of Life You Never Knew …
August 12, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Family, Mum, Mum & Dad

So when I was in Italy my family there showed me a lot of photos.

Many I had seen before, some I hadn’t.

This is one of them …

That’s my Mum.

I don’t know when it was taken, but I’m guessing it was in the early 60’s when she arrived in London to study English.

If I’m right, she wouldn’t have even met my Dad yet – let alone started dating him – which means this is a part of her life where she is literally crossing the bridge between her old life and her future.

I love this photo.

I love it because obviously, it’s my Mum … but also because her body language conveys confidence and excitement.

I am in no doubt she knew she was entering a World of possibilities and she was thrilled by the idea of it.

But there is something else I love.

It’s the man on the top right of the photo looking back at Mum.

Even though it captures a millisecond of an event that happened over 50 years ago, I adore the fact it appears this guy was so taken by this striking and stylish young lady, that he had to turn away from the woman he was in conversation with to look at her.

Not just because of her beauty, but because of her confidence.

And I love that because it’s a side of my Mum that I didn’t really see.

Let me rephrase that.

It’s not that my Mum wasn’t confident in later life, but it was less overt in her body language.

Or maybe I didn’t see it because she was just my Mum.

But I love it.

I love how she looks like she’s cutting a swathe through the busy streets of London.

That she is the star.

That the World awaits.

I wish I could have talked to her immediately after this photo was taken.

Yes, I know that would be very Back To The Future … but it would be amazing to ask how she is feeling, what she is thinking and – most interestingly of all – what she hopes for her life.

I hope she was not disappointed with what she got because she deserved the World.

Miss you Mum.

Love you Mum.