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


It’s Monday. I’m Back. This Blog Has Recommenced.
April 23, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Culture, Freddie, Friendship, Singapore

If you look at the title of this blog post, you know it’s the perfect storm of hell.

Sorry.

But you did have 2ish weeks of freedom, so what do you expect.

But I’m not a total animal, so I’ll ease you back into the hell that is this blog with this …

Yes, it’s a photo of me and Fredrick.

Yes, it’s when we got together in Boston a few weeks ago.

Yes, I’m wearing a crappy t-shirt with a cassette labelled ‘Metal’ on it.

No, he hasn’t changed a bit.

No, it doesn’t really ease you back into the hell of this blog, but I don’t care, as seeing him after almost 6 years was one of the highlights of this year, even if we’re still in the first half of it.

Expect even worse blog violation tomorrow. Happy Monday.

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Test Your Trust …
March 16, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Friendship

A while back I wrote about how someone had betrayed my trust.

Well someone sent me a video about an experiment that took place in Amsterdam in 1980 to explore what trust means.

It’s a very simple test and yet – thanks to the lapel microphones – you can hear how the participants breathing reveals their nervousness.

At the end of the day, trust is only demonstrated when it’s tested and that’s why, when you find someone you can rely on, you hold on to them life your life depends on it.

Because one day, it just might.



Let’s See If Absence Really Makes The Heart Grow Fonder …
March 13, 2018, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Comment, Freddie, Friendship

So by the time you read this, I’ll be in Boston.

Snowy Boston.

Snowy and bloody freezing Boston.

While I’m here for a meeting, the best bit is I’m going to see the absolutely wonderful Freddie Sarnblad.

I’ve not seen this man for 5 and a half years, and while he probably wishes it was a lot longer, seeing him is going to make Boston’s harsh weather seem like LA.

There’s some people you work with where you just connect on a deeper level.

Where close colleagues become real friends.

And that’s what he is to me, even if there has been years between our times together.

One of the best things about having lived in multiple countries is the fact you meet people you might otherwise never meet. And when you meet those folks in countries like Singapore – a place that is very transient for foreigners – it means you often meet up in totally different places than where you started.

I think that’s an amazing gift.

Something that lets you feel connected to the World in ways few ever truly get to realise, let alone appreciate.

Which is why these next couple of days are very precious for me, even if the weather looks like it’s straight out the movie, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’.

So because of all this, you get a couple of days off from reading my rubbish.

Enjoy it, because it will be back … unless Freddie still hasn’t forgiven me for this.

Comments Off on Let’s See If Absence Really Makes The Heart Grow Fonder …


Donn. Rohn. Is. Gone …

When you start a new adventure – be it a new country or company – it can be daunting.

Of course no one starts a new adventure without there being a reason for it, but that still doesn’t mean you don’t find yourself being pulled into looking at what you are losing rather than what you could gain.

But good things can – and do – happen, of which one of them is meeting new people who make your new adventure more fulfilling and exciting.

One of those people is a guy called Donn Rohn.

I never knew Donn before I started at Deutsch. In fact on my first day at work, when I saw him, I thought he looked a bit of a dick, despite the fact a guy who used to work with him told me he was good.

But once I got talking to him, I realised almost immediately that it was only his walk that made him look an asshole [I’m serious, his walk is a cross between Dirty Harry and John Wayne] because the truth is, he’s as honourable a man as I have ever met in my life.

Smart.
Defender of his team.
A leader not a manager.
Committed to doing the right thing.
Empathetic, passionate, a dry sense of humour that drives brilliantly evil turns of phrase … he’s just a great human being and that’s before I mention how great a colleague, friend, husband and father he is.

I say all this because he leaves us today.

As sad as that is – and it really is – he’s off to do something that will change the path of his life so I’m genuinely happy and excited for him and his family because they deserve nothing but good things.

While I would have loved our time together to be longer, I’m grateful I met him and even more that I get to call him a mate so while he leaves a huge hole behind – especially in his ability to rock ‘grandpa sweaters’ that take no prisoners [his leaving present is the picture accompanying this post] – he also leaves a legacy of how to be a good human in a business that often tries its best to destroy that in all of us.

Thank you for everything Donn, never change.



Give A Little Love To The People Who Think They Will Never Get Any …

As today is Valentine’s Day, I am going to write about love.

Not the rubbish peddled by the card and florists so they can charge a 100% mark-up on their usual prices because today is supposedly a ‘special day’, but the sort of love that shows you genuinely care rather than have been bullied into looking like you do.

The fact is, they’re more people on the streets than at any point in the last 20 years and it’s going to get worse.

While a lot of media likes to paint these individuals as thieves or con artists, the vast majority are good people who have simply fallen on hard times. This could be because of family, work or mental health – but they are good people and we can’t be allowed to forget that.

While it’s easy to avoid them, I have a little ask.

If you see someone who you think is having a tough time – and please know most don’t have the confidence to write a sign, let alone ask for help – just quietly go up to them and say, “I don’t want to embarrass you but I thought this might help” and then provide what you can.

A bit of money, some food or a [none alcoholic] drink.

Then simply walk away with no fuss or expectation of gratitude because I guarantee your small act will have made a difference, if only for the momentary interaction of human warmth that is hugely different from the invisibility and insignificance they experience every day.

As many of you know, this is an issue that is hugely important to me that I see getting worse every day. Any help, helps … from simply acknowledging their existence, to offering a little helping hand to doing something that can give them back some of the self-esteem that they thought they had lost forever.

I will be forever grateful to Virgin and Human_2 for helping me see how much a little gesture can make a big difference. If more people understood that, maybe they’d feel more comfortable reaching out when they see someone having a tough time.

Happy Valentine’s Day.



A Picture Releases A Thousand Emotions …

It’s Monday.

I know that’s pretty shit for all of us so I thought I’d do something nice for a change.

OK, I’m not really doing any of it … my son is … but if it affects you 1/1000th in the way it affected me, it will make your day a little sweeter.

Otis has a friend called Elodie.

Her parents – by pure chance – are English and we met them at our kids school.

Elodie adores Otis.

And Otis adores Elodie.

They operate at the same speed and frequency and while there’s the odd moment where one of them goes slightly off the rails, their affection for each other is obvious.

A few weeks ago we were all at the beach to celebrate another kids birthday [this is my life now]

Living so close to the beach is a real privilege and even though both kids are there most days, they still act like it’s their first time.

Anyway, we were there for Jack’s 3rd birthday and in-between birthday cake and opening presents, I saw Elodie and Otis walk to the gentle tide.

As they chatted to each other, I followed them from a little distance to give them space to continue playing in their own World when suddenly they did this …

There are many beautiful things in my life that have taken my breath away, but this was one of the most powerful.

Innocent.

Heartfelt.

Friendship.

Which is why as much as that lone surfer in the distance may believe they are riding upon life’s purest joy, I would like to say to them they are wrong and point them to the embrace of my son and his dear Elodie.

I think they would acknowledge I am right.

Happy Monday.

Thank you Otis and Elodie.



My Friends Are A Bunch Of Bastards …
November 14, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Friendship

So a few weeks ago, I told you how my new car had arrived.

Well, the day it did, I posted this on Facebook:

If you can’t read what the status update says, it say’s this:

You know karma exists when the Audi dealer sends you a photo of the custom car you ordered 4 months ago to tell you it has just been delivered and will be ready to be picked up in an hour when you’re away from LA for the next few days.

As you can tell, I was excited.

Pissed off I was away so I couldn’t get it immediately, but excited.

As you can tell from the pic, it had literally just arrived which is why it still had the paper covers over the wheels to protect the alloys.

And how did my friends show their understanding of my excitement?

By doing this.

Fuckers. But I suppose they’re my fuckers.

Unfortunately.