bookmark_borderHome is…

It’s over six months since I moved into my flat, and it’s only now starting to feel like home.

For a while I was using the old sofa (old as in age, and as in ‘pre-divorce’) but I now have my own sofa and chairs. I have art on the walls, bookcases, lamps and, once I get a couple of plants and some curtain-like things it will really start to feel like mine.

Except it’s not mine, it’s rented. But aside from that… it’s mine. Right?

I’m still scouring shops for a coffee table, and think I might need a rug to really pull things together but I’m in no rush.

I’ve been reasonably smart with my purchases, determined not to buy things for the sake of it and to make sure that anything I buy now could fit somewhere else. My living room is huge, it was what attracted me to the flat, but I won’t be there forever so I need to keep that in mind and make sure the same furniture will squeeze into a smaller space.

Interestingly, it’s this very desire to keep things ‘small’ that has me, once again, pondering whether to ditch my home PC and get a laptop instead. Regardless of that decision, I need to get more storage space (new camera + shooting in RAW = rapidly filling hard drive) and so it seems sensible to get a network storage device first, and then I can make a decision on desktop vs laptop later.

Part of that thinking also found me clicking the BUY button and ordering a certain, well known, tablet computer. It’s called an iPad and, given that the bulk of my use of the computer is centred around consumption and social networking, it gives me a much more mobile system. My TV can handle media files so it will be interesting how my use of my desktop changes as it will mainly only REALLY be needed for doing website development work (something that could easily be done on a laptop, a nice Air-ey one perhaps?).

What has really surprised me is how much enjoyment I’ve taken from pulling together a room, but that’s maybe because I can’t change much in the kitchen, the bedroom only really needs some art on the walls as it’s not really got space for much other than the bed and some chests of drawers, and the spare room is, for now, a bit of a dumping ground. I have plans for the spare room too but I’m keen to keep it sparse, functional and not to rely on the space too much, again, when I move in the future, it might be somewhere smaller.

Turns out I’m quite house proud, and I’m really enjoying trawling shops (online and off) for decorations.

I really REALLY wish I’d bought that letterpress lamp base when I saw it though…

bookmark_borderOn not worrying

I’m not the best qualified person to write about this but when has that ever stopped me.

A few weeks back, as we rolled towards the new year, I started to ponder resolutions. It’s something I think of every new year, even if I don’t publically state them. There seems to be something about the ‘new’ part of the new year which allows for a clean slate, new beginnings and all that.

As ever most of my resolutions focus on being better, rather than worse*, at things in my life that I could control. Read more, exericse more, etc etc. Nothing revolutionary or notable there.

It seems, however, that I have subconsciously been taking another tack. Whilst I’ve been joining gyms and buying books, my brain has been busy churning away in the background and has, a few weeks late, that my new year resolution will be to avoid negativity wherever I can.

I’m not quite sure what that means in any specific detail but the facts remain that I find myself shying away from people who moan and gripe for no good reason, letting things go when all they will do is wind me up, and trying to improve my outlook in general.

The glass is half full.

I’m not always successful, and occasionally I think I’m dismissing some things that I should be tackling but I’m presuming my brain knows what it is doing (heaven knows I’ve no idea what I’m doing. Does anyone? REALLY?).

In the midst of this, as most of you know, my Mum was rushed to hospital and almost 9 days later she is still there (slowly improving).

So, whilst it’s a cliche I don’t really care because it’s true, but there is always someone worse off than you. In the grand scheme of things, the irks and bugbears we (yes I’m still doing my share of moaning, I didn’t say I’d cracked this yet!) continue to bleat and harp on about are but blips. We are only here for a short while, and I’m determined to make the most of it.

So, you. Yeah, you. Stop moaning about how “the world” is out to get you, about how everyone else has it better, because it’s not changing anything. Only YOU can change YOU and, until you do, I’ll be over here, smilingly ignoring you.

I’m aware this is all a bit obvious and self-serving, and that certain events during life will spark the same thoughts in others but it felt like something I had to write.

* Does anyone ever resolve to be worse at something?

bookmark_borderRose tinted

It’s funny, I always considered myself a pessimist, and whilst I certainly employ large doses of cynic it seems that I have a far more romantic view of the world than I realised.

Maybe romantic isn’t the right word, let me put it another way. I day dream. A lot.

I think that’s one part of being a human that I enjoy the most, aside from custard creams and other things I can’t mention here because my mother reads this and her head would spin, and to be honest so would yours. Well not YOU, obviously, but the rest of you would probably be quite shocked. Hmmm this is sounding worse than it should. Ok ok, so I also enjoy eating bourbons. There. I said it. Phew. Feels good to say it out loud to be honest, and at least I wasn’t admitting to anything too deviant like, purely for example, my shoe fetish…

Where the hell was I?

Oh yes, it’s good to be a human being because, as well as enjoy the styling and drama a 4″ stiletto brings to the party, I can spend time imagining how things may be in the future. Lazy Sundays with a good book in hand, holidays spent in exotic  lands, an entire weekend only watching Hitchcock movies, a day spent relearning how to canoe. That kind of thing.

And the REALLY good bit about being a human being is that it doesn’t need to be just a daydream. I can make it happen, hell I can make anything happen if I put my mind to it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to imagine up an ice cream van….

bookmark_borderWhat do you not do?

When was the last time you looked at the things you don’t do?

The reason I ask is that this very question is occupying my mind at the moment as I try to pull together both a content audit of what we have and a plan to create the things we don’t have. Which isn’t as easy as it may sound.

There are three or four different departments involved in the audit, and from each I’ve asked the same two things:

  1. A list of all the content you currently have
  2. A list of all the content you would like to have

With both lists in place, and understanding that some items in the first list may also need some rework or ongoing maintenance, we should all have a good view of what everyone else is doing and be able to plan a smarter way to produce more of the items in list two.

Whilst this is nothing radical it should help us by making people step back to see the big picture and allow us to move forward in one direction. Once this phase of the content audit is complete, the next stage, planning how to fill some of the “would like to have” gaps, will begin and once we start producing this content, regular catchups will help keep everyone up-to-speed and make sure we all focussed towards the same goals.

The tricky bit will be populating the second list. Asking your audience or colleagues for input will lead to one thing, a very big long list of “hey, do you know what would be REALLY good…” style requests. I’m more than happy to field those and they are, for the most part, good to have noted down.

Where it starts to get tricky is in the prioritisation of these things, and for that you’ll need to get some of the interested parties together to help. I’ve already covered how I do that but to make that process a bit slicker (it’s very ad-hoc at the moment) I’ll be setting up a common “Information Planning” meeting. That way we can involve the pertinent stakeholders in the decision process, and it will help communicate the ongoing plans around the Information Strategy.


I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now that it is, without a shadow of doubt, December.

If nothing else, the ceaseless adverts for perfume, chocolate and some really REALLY faked Christmases (c’mon, does ANYONE have a Christmas like the ones on the telly?) should have clued you in.

There is no denying it. It is most definitely Christmas.

Which means two things.

1. The Christmas decorations will go up this weekend, and I’ll spend as much time as I can avoiding doing just that.

2. Blogs all over the land will start their ‘best of’ lists and recaps.

Except this one.

I thought I’d state it right now just in case any of you are waiting with baited breath, because it ain’t gonna happen. Now matter how many times I consider it, and I’ve tried it a couple of times in the past, I just never seem to have the time (or the inclination if I’m honest).

Instead, let us look forward to 2010, the year where a new sun will be borne from the ashes of Jupiter (we shall call it Lucifer) and.. ohh wait, that’s the book.

As ever, life will bring what it will bring, so I probably won’t be doing a lot of “looking forward” either, and it’s much easier to live in the here and now, don’t you think?

bookmark_borderHome again, home again

I’m currently operating on about 4.5hrs sleep having landed earlier this morning and suffering the return of the 6.30 alarm.

Spain was warm, sunny for the most part, a little misty some mornings, blowing a gale for two of the days and we saw a beautiful lightning storm rage over the Mediterranean.

I read books (more on those later), drank beer, sang at the karaoke (a rare event, I was quite spectacularly drunk mind you), sunbathed and did pretty much bugger all for the entire week.

I couldn’t half do with a siesta right now though.

Aside from a vigorous can of cider erupting all over my sister on the plane on the way there, and my sister-in-law deciding to get herself a tattoo there isn’t a huge amount to report. Like I said, the sky was mostly blue, the sun was mostly hot, the beer was always cold. Same as it always is.

It was good to get back to my bed last night though, and I’m REALLY looking forward to spending a bit longer in it tonight! Only a few thousands RSS feeds to read, a handful of photos to upload and, if I can be bothered, I’ll jot down my thoughts on the books I read.

Enough about me though, how are you? Aside from the political goings-on (anyone want to own up to voting in the BNP? No I didn’t think so), what did I miss?