Friday, 29 July 2011

Of London Calling

I'm off to London today for meetings but staying on a few days. Apparently they tell me there is more to do in this city than Antrim so I plan to stay and find out.

They're debating in the Press at the moment whether the Clash's "London Calling" is the best anthem for the Olympics. I'm not sure but it'll do for my weekend....

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Of The Great Great Unknown

Yey! I signed off The Great Northern Ireland Mediation Symposium yesterday. I don't think I've ever worked so hard to set up a conference before. I wish now that I had kept a note of the number of hours I spent networking for speakers, researching the subject and drafting the programme. At a guess probably around 100 hours.
We've a great set of speakers including one flying in from New York, a local QC and an HR manager from the West Midlands Police who has done loads of work in the area of mediation.
The great unknown is how many people will want to attend?
Where's that crystal ball again I keep asking for?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Of Noises Off

Well the video shoot went well this morning. The only problem was that half through what was proving to be a great run my stomach rumbled. I carried on until the sound engineer waved his arms frantically in the air to indicate that some strange noise just had ruined the take. Well the lapel mike was perched just above my stomach and it was near lunch time.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Of War on War and Peace

I'm on about page 200 of War and Peace which means I've got 600 pages to go. But as Magnus Mangusson would say "I've started so I'll finish."
It is a great novel but it's hard hard work. Keeping abreast of all the characters requires real concentration which I don't always have at the end of a working day.
I've given myself a rule this year that I don't start one book until I've finished another. Problem is behind this great novel waits another : Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" - a belter of a book at 1168 pages.
What astonishes me is that these authors found the time to write (presumably in hand) a book in their lifetime that it takes others (or at least me) the good part of a year to read.
Maybe I'm just a very slow reader. Perhaps I should break my own rule and get another from Amazon "Dummies guide to Speed Reading"?

Monday, 25 July 2011

Of Tell Me Why I dont like this Monday

Oh No! I have media training today and I just can't bear seeing myself on video. Why did I ever agree to it?

Maye it wont be as bad as I think. May be...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Of Musical Terrets & The Sound of Music

Wow! So that was Austria. I don't think I've ever seen such a clean country. There was not a bit of litter anywhere. It was so beautiful too. Hiking one day, mountain biking the next lake swimming the day after. Yep that was a great holiday.
My holiday partner accused me of having musical terrets for each field we fired through on the bikes was treated to a burst of "The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music" and the first two lines only. He said it was very irritating and I think he may have had a point.
And the highlight? It has to be The Sound of Music tour where we got to see The Gazebo, the Von Trapp House and various other scenes from the movie. The visit to Hitler's Eagle's Nest just over the border in Germany came a close second.
And what did I learn? I learnt that the Von Trapps didn't escape over the mountains to freedom for the mountains would have taken them into Germany and even straight into Hitler's Nest. Instead they took a train to Italy then a plane to the USA. Funny thing real life innit?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Of Great Speeches from Great Ages

We had a visit yesterday at Legal-Island from Action Cancer to conduct health checks on staff. I'm feeling terribly smug now because I was told I have a metabolic age of just 32! Yey! Many other staff were given ages much great than their actually age. Needless to say they think I've fixed it. So distrusting my staff at times....

I gave a presentation today at Stormont, Northern Ireland's parliament. It's a great building in impressive grounds. Whilst waiting to go to the podium I couldn't help but think of all the great statesmen who had gone before me and made speeches which led to riots, to fractured relationships or later, had led to reconciliation and peace - of a sort at least. There's something about giving a talk or speech in a great building with a load of history - fires you on.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Of Up Up and Away

Wow! What a day yesterday proved to be! A hurling final in the afternoon and a balloon adventure in the evening. I don't think days come much more mixed than that.
There's something about taking off from a field in Northern Ireland that's freshly cut as the sun is setting over a beautiful day.
Life feels great which, of course, it is.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Of Sophie My Little MGB

OMG! That last hour of my life was terrible! I spent it at the MOT test centre with Sophie, my 1979 MG, and it she came unbearably close to failing. The test guy yanked the handbrake so hard and high before he was happy it was sticking that it was left in, how shall we say, a rather rude looking position. He said the front left wheel wasn't breaking well but he'd pass it this time. It was a nice day and I had already asked him if he'd have time to enjoy it when he finished work.
I explained that the petrol gauge was in fact working but that it took a while to warm up. As he tapped and yanked while she was on the ramp I could barely watch convinced the exhaust would fall off or something.
But no she's good for another 12 months and if God spares us both that means there's a whole lot of trips round the coast and to Donegal in the pipe line.