12 of 365

On Father’s Day I had a symbolic ceremony where I said goodbye to Mum and let go.

I was given the red balloon as a present – and it was something that came back to our house after the funeral.  There it stayed whilst we were in Cornwall.  And it was still there when we got home.  .

As you can see, if you watch the video, the balloon has a mind of its own and at first is reluctant to leave.  But then it is caught by the wind.


11 of 365

Self-Orientation the big killer

The Trust Equation

I sent my friend “The Trust Equation” from the book “The Trusted Advisor” today.  I sent it as a conversation starter – and I’m hoping that I’ll see him face to face soon to discuss it.

Back in the earlier 1980’s I had lent my nameless friend some money.  After a long summer waiting, he had not made any effort to pay me back.  To resolve the matter we’d agreed that he would part with some records (an old word for vinyl) to add to my growing collection.  We sat in his bedroom and individually valued each one together at prices ranging from 50p to £1.00, until we reached the magic figure.  There were some that he couldn’t bear to part with and he kept, and that was ok – it wasn’t sentimental for me – it was business!  I can’t remember how much I paid for my copy of Martha and the Muffin’s on clear vinyl – but I still have that record today.

We have been friends throughout that time – and it’s the accumulation of all those experiences that have allowed me to trust him so much.  And also the fact that I believe we share the same values.  We live very different lifestyles, move in different circles and have different goals and ambitions.  But put very simply I trust him.

Can this equation apply to teams?  I think it can.  Can it apply to organisations though?  I’m not sure, perhaps it needs a different equation – because self-orientation doesn’t quite fit – as it’s not a living entity.  But let’s ignore that for now.

When I think of the relationship I have with my bank (it’s no longer just a dark horse) I just don’t trust it.  I was trying to figure out why I don’t trust.

For me, it was boiling down to the fact that the bank is there to make money – and they make money from their customers and put the money making ahead of their customer’s interests.  I’m not going to give examples in this post.  But relating their behaviour to “The Trust Equation” above, their “self-orientation” is way too high.  My bank doesn’t look to do the right thing, it looks to do the thing that’s in their interest.  Shame on you!

10 of 365

We were up early to pack and head home.

After we’d left the house we stopped at the Catch for Breakfast.  I avoided the temptation to have the house equivalent of the full english and stuck to a delicious muesli with raspberries, yoghurt and a raspberry coulis.

Opposite the Cafe, we took time for a last photo.

Six retreat at Mawgan Porth

The last photo of our Cornish rainfest

The journey home took us from around 11:00 a.m. to approx. 6:00 p.m.  We got hung up around the Gordano services (about 10 miles or so before the M5 meets the M4).

We picked up the dogs from Colin at around 8:00 p.m.  And around 9:00 I took them for their evening walk along the river, which they loved as always.

9 of 365

On our last full day in Cornwall as the weather was still quite bad, we decided to visit the Eden Project (Pretty sure this was my third visit).  It was a good choice.  It was quite close to us, despite being near St. Austell on the South Coast, the drive from the North Coast where we were (between Padstow and Newquay) was pleasant and short.

We arrived around midday and caught the land train down to the Visitor Centre.

Graham Parker

Selfie on the Land Train

and along the way saw these marvellous patches of vegetables which reminded me of allotments.

The joy of an allotment

View from the land train down to the visitor’s centre

At the visitor centre – we got a special code that would allow us to re-visit any time free of charge over the next year.

Eden is built in an old china clay quarry

Map of Eden

We made our way through the three domes, first the Mediterranean zone, then the Rainforest zone and finally the core zone.

In the Mediterranean Zone I stopped for 20 minutes to listen to Adrian the animated children’s storyteller tell a great story about “The Knockers”.  He had written this himself and learnt it pretty much verbatim – it was word perfect.  The knockers were small people that lived in the old mines in Cornwall.

What a great job, telling stories for a living.

The Story Teller

Afterwards I said hello and we had a brief chat and I mentioned that we lived near the Roald Dahl Museum.

In the Rainforest Zone we enjoyed the waterfall and the wildlife and some of us went up close to the roof.  Aubergines, I’m reliably informed, can grow in the UK in a greenhouse, not sure they would fare that well outside though.

I love aubergines, one of my favourite vegetables.

Aubergines growing in the Rainforest Zone

We took a trip through the obligatory gift shop and then went back to base for our last night at the Coastman’s Nest.

7 of 365

Walking down to Mawgan Porth

The View out to sea – from the side of the Bedruthan

I took a morning stroll down to Cornish Fresh.  What a delight!  And after breakfast we set off for Truro.

It was a wet day and the democratic decision was to visit the escape room there.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to book ahead and didn’t get to go, it looks pretty cool so maybe save that one for another time.

We had lunch at the Wetherspoon’s Try Dowr.  I failed to impress, with my knowledge full of holes, of the story of The Moon Under Water.  I was right about the George Orwell connection but wrong that it was from his book The Road to Wigan Pier.

After lunch we split into two groups again.  Caroline and I visited the local market – where I re-kindled my interest in stamps with a chat with the local stamp dealer.  We walked up to the cathedral – and browsed the shop there buying a few souvenirs and gifts.

I bought a really nice inexpensive wallet for my phone and then on an impulse went to get my hair cut.  The closest was called Cluck on my google maps, but when I arrived it was called Clique.  I stopped to chat to the barber who explained it was possibly changed by someone with a grudge.  They couldn’t cut my hair that day anyway!!

A fender copy bass guitar caught my eye - I really wanted to get my hair cut here.

Inside Clique


Luckily for me, I ended up in The Mensroom round the corner.

A fine place for banter.

The Mensroom in Truro.

Plenty of banter with (mostly) Paul, who was cutting my hair and also Mike about all sorts of things; love island, boxing, chess, chess-boxing, comedy, vegetarianism, depression, martial arts and more.  I ended up leaving with a broad smile feeling a few inches taller with a slick hair cut to boot.

In the evening a special treat had been lined up – we ate at Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant in Padstow.



6 of 365

Yesterday we went to this chocolate factory and Karting and afterwards Caroline dropped me for a massage and use of the spa at Bedruthan.  I continued reading my book by Thomas Friedman, used the reed filtered outdoor pool nearby and mostly stayed in the hot-tub.

Consequentially perhaps I’ve had the best night’s sleep for many weeks.  Other than that, I don’t have much that I want to say today.

Instead, I’ve dug up this post, which I had completed but hadn’t published from an October 2017 stay in Edinburgh – in case you wanted something longer….

6 tiny things to make my AirBnB experience perfecter

No AirBnB is perfect, but this one practically is. It’s the Mary Poppins of AirBnB’s – practically perfect in every way.  From just less than half a dozen AirBnB’s that I’ve stayed at this is my top pick.

I like the fact that it’s clean, it has a king size bed, my own bathroom, coffee facilities, biscuits, cuddly hot chocolate, an iron and ironing board.  It’s on a major bus route, right from the airport, it’s 5 minutes from a great corner store, the hosts are lovely (SuperHosts in fact!).  There’s complimentary bathroom miniatures, like you might find at a plush hotel, it’s been decorated recently.  The bathroom has a vanity mirror.  I have my own key – not just for the front door, but also for my bedroom door.  It’s lovely and clean.  The communication has been great.  It’s in Edinburgh.  It’s great value for money.  Most people would sense a ‘but’ coming along about here …. but you’d be wrong (have I just been accidentally ironic?).  It has a lovely framed picture on the wall of my favourite scripture – you’ve probably heard the one ‘love is patient, love is kind etc.’ it is double glazed, there are throw cushions on the bed, it is bright, there is space, I feel safe, I was met with a very warm welcome.  Did I say it’s lovely and clean?  The bed is soft.  The bedside table has a little drawer with brochures for local attractions in it.  And I could go on, but it’s getting harder to find new things to say about how good it is.

So here are the other things that I would place in the Little Things that Could be Improved Category.

  1.  The four-way extension lead looks a bit cheap and when I plugged in my laptop a little blue spark leapt out.  But there’s no problem with it really, just a minor observation. And now thinking back the host did tell me there was a power point the other side of the bed!
  2. Some herbal tea would be lovely.  I must remember to pack my own tea bags, but the fact that there is decaffeinated coffee – is not too shabby.
  3. There is no desk to work at, there’s a bedside table though, and it’s just about working out, so can’t complaint too much.  And the host shared the wifi password as soon as I arrived – which was great.
  4. The wooden folding chair is a decorative item that makes the room look attractive, but it’s not overly functioning for me that well as somewhere to sit.
  5. Other than the bed and the chair and the floor, sitting options are limited.  An armchair would be nice (but not at the expense of the wonderful kingsize bed hmmmm).
  6. As well as a mug for tea – there could be a cup for water, or a bottle of water, or a mini-fridge…. actually none of these things are really needed – they are just nice to haves.  They are all first-world problems.

You see, the problem with this post is that the list above is all ‘first-world problems’ – there are absolutely no real problems with this B ‘n’ B at all.   Not one!  It’s absolutely 100% perfect for me and for what I need.  My brain has been wired to think like an analyst.  And sometimes you just don’t need this level of detail.  Sometimes you do, but sometimes you don’t.  So I am taking it all back, but leaving it there – just so everyone can see how ridiculous my request for perfect is.  Not just a waste of my time for writing it, but a waste of your time for reading it – and if you’ve got this far with it I’m sorry.

Perhaps I need to change.  Writing the post above led me to this.



5 of 365

I woke up yesterday, quite early and had Jill Duff on in the background – a special service for Pentecost.  I was reminded about ideas about my comedy character forming in my head about a very irreverent reverend.  I wondered the idea had been done before and it has by Oliver Samuels in “Oliver at Large”.  He’s playing in Harrow on Friday 14th June and I’d love to go see him – on this date in particular.

It was such a beautiful day yesterday in Mawgan Porth.  This is the view that greeted us around mid-morning.

After the rest of the party arrived at the cottage we had rented, we unwound for a bit and then went to Newquay.  Parking was easy and cheap.    Lunch was nice.  And afterwards we split into two groups.  

Caroline and I went for a stroll.  We saw “The Island“.  If you know Newquay you might be able to visualise the (now available to rent) property on the island which is connected to the “mainland” by a very impressive looking suspension bridge.  We laughed about how we could never rent it due to Caroline’s fear of heights.  And I teased her about wanting a picture of that bridge with her in the middle. I was surprised that she agreed, until she caveated that she must be photo-shopped onto it!

I almost relieved the BHF charity shop of the majority of their DVD collection and sent a postcard of the Island to one of my friends in Southend whilst the others paid the going rate for ice cream.   No man is an Island I mused.  I wondered whether it was legal to be charged 80p for a 70p 1st class stamp from a newsagent?  Answers on a postcard!

We headed home and after posting the postcard on the way back to the house I took this picture.

It was only in the morning that I realised the true significance of that picture to my own life.

Warnings: 1. This song has a mesmeric bassline. 2. I am not responsible for third party ads.

After walking back to the cottage the six of us had a lovely evening together, we had a “picky tea” (our family name for a buffet-style tea) before playing some games. I read a bit of Richard Wilson‘s book Can’t be Arsed and then bed.



4 of 365

A friend told me that his mum had died some time ago (his dad is still alive and in his nineties).  He said you have to move on as your mum would have wanted you to have a happy rest-of-your-life.

Yesterday we arrived in Mawgan Porth and this was the view around 9:30 p.m.    This is a time to relax and unwind after a long period of extended stress and a time of grief.  I don’t expect grief to be a stranger in the future though as my friend Pete can explain.