Friday, 31 May 2013

Of The Legal-Island Garden Gets a Few Visitors

I arrived to the office early this morning to find a break out of animals all over the garden. And they're fantastic!
My favourite by far is the stag by the fence.
These garden sculptures are produced by a local artist based in Crumlin. Apparently he arrived with them all on the back of a trailer yesterday which must have made for a curious sight as he drove up the airport road.
I wonder if he does hens and for that matter people? Must find out.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Of The Aran Islands on a Bicycle Made for Two

 Mrs P and I have just finished three fabulous days away in the West of Ireland.
Innishmore, on the Aran Islands is quite unlike anything else I've ever seen. It is in facti it's the closest I've ever felt on this planet to being on another planet. The landscape is just amazing and the Atlantic Ocean has carved out over the centuries some of the most wonderful coastline you'll see anywhere.
Best of all, if you go this time of year you can have most of all of the above all to yourself if you know where to go.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Of One Russian Tour Guide

Mrs P has just started her own Russian Tour Guide Northern Ireland blog. She'll be blogging about all things random relevant to Northern Ireland and showing Russians around our great tourist attractions. She loves taking photos does Mrs P. She loves people too, so her blog will be the perfect place to post lots of photos of her in amongst the tourists and leading them around the likes of the Giant's Causeway and the Titanic Museum. Go for it Mrs P!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Of The Great Legal-Island Penalty Shoot Out

It was the great Legal-Island penalty shoot out yesterday Boys v Girls. Ok you may not say football is a particularly neutral sport and one in which you'd expect both genders to be equally practised but hey didn't we have to try our hand at Hoola Hooping the other week?
Thanks to some sharp shooting from Jimbarb and Peter F and some cat like defending of goal from the latter the boys pulled one back in the series.
What's next I wonder? Netball shooting? A skippathon?
Watch this space....

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

"The Snowball Effect"

I've just finished reading The Snowball Effect" by Andy Bounds. I don't like this book. As Simon Cowell would say "I love this book"! In fact it's so good I've ordered copies for each and every one of my staff to read.

It's very readable and accessible without dumbing down some really important communication issues. Key chapters for me are those on presentations, effective meetings and increasing sales but it's stuffed full of gems so you'll pick up great ideas and tips wherever you go in the book. His work on Henry Ford's classic quote is simply superb ("If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have just said faster horses").
He explains this as follows "As long as the expert (Henry Ford) knows the beneficiary's (customer's) desired future (to go faster) then the expert can apply his skills to help achieve it.
In fact the expert is bound to know more about how they can help than the beneficiary ever can because they're the expert. This is one of the reasons Steve Jobs didn't believe in customer research, saying it was Apple's job to know what customers wanted before they did". (p205).

Told you it was good stuff didn't I?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Legal-Island Company Raffle

We're running a couple of raffles here at Legal-Island and they're proving really popular.On offer is the change to win a place at our Annual Review of Employment Law Conference this year together with a Sunday carvery voucher for two.In Northern Ireland money raised goes to the NI Children's Cancer charity.
In the ROI it goes to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.
Good luck to all who enter!

Of Leave to Live

Currently the wife Anna is waiting on news from the British Embassy on Moscow as to whether she has leave to remain in the UK. This is a process that so far has taken 8 weeks. She was contacted last week and asked to bring in her passport which she duly did. She was then informed that it would take five days minimum to stamp her passport either Yey or Nay. It's now day 6 and she's still waiting to hear.
Meantime, I'm here in the UK waiting on the news. Yesterday I ran 5k in record time. This morning I swam 60 lengths of the pool.

I wonder if the two things are connected?

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Of The Hot and Cold in Int'l Relations

Recently I was hosting some Russian friends and spent a good two days showing them around Northern Ireland. What I always enjoy about hosting friends from abroad is that you can learn a lot from them about what is different here to what they're used to at home. This is most easily done by the questions they ask. This time around I must say there were quite a few random ones. They included "Roughly, how many sheep does each farmer own in Ireland?" "Why is there a wall right in front of your neighbours front window?" (I've wondered about this one myself) and also"Why are there lamas in that field?" (yes a field in Antrim too!)
Having entertained Russians, Poles, Spanish and French in the last few years if pushed to state the stop four always asked questions I'd probably say as follows :

1. Why is the food so bad here?
2. Why do the houses have carpets everywhere?
3. Why do you have light switches inside the rooms and not on the wall before you go in?
4. Why do you have separate outflows for your cold and hot water? Why not run them together so you can choose the right temperature before it gets to your hands?

This last one I've been asked countless times and I've never really had an answer. So yesterday  I Googled and still found no answer. What I did find however was an interesting article on Churchill's visit to Moscow to meet Stalin in 1942. Apparently, Churchill returned remarking that among all their many problems the Russians had a damn fine system where the cold and hot water taps ran into one outflow over the basin. Strange world isn't it?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Andy Bounds

The market and sales team went on a day trip last week to Liverpool for to see the master of selling himself, Andy Bounds. Andy is author "The Jelly Effect" and "The Snowball Effect" and the man behind a whole bunch of selling ideas that really work.
We spent a whole day in his office working through ideas, concepts and a whole lot of marketing material we have.
We left exhausted by highly motivated. First class! Top stuff.