Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Net worth...

This is not so much a blog about football, but it does contain football references. So Gaby will be hooked already and Hazel will be put off already. But you can't please all the people all the time. At least, Chris Evans clearly can't on his blog so why should I expect to?

I heard a Radio Five Live discussion the other night about doctors. It was the old chestnut of GPs salaries having gone up significantly and how a lot of them now earn over £100k a year.

A number of people were complaining about the outrageous level of GPs earnings, specifically in relation to other health service workers. Now if you're a nurse or a paramedic or any other of the thousands of care workers that earn too little, I have every sympathy. I have blogged before about value and worth, I think, about how our society only values celebrity and money, so I hope you will know that I fully agree that we undervalue many in our society that really add value - not only the traditional care workers, but also and especially, the stay at home mums.

So what does it say about our society that we can complain so bitterly about the discrepancy between the lowest paid care workers and the highest paid, while not even blinking about the fact that these highly paid GPs actaully earn the same in a year as some top footballers earn in a week? Now THAT is what I call really obscene and unacceptable.
What does it say to our kids? Go play football instead of studying to become a doctor. You'll be more highly valued.
There was a comment I heard on the radio about some footballer who had been bought for £8million or something and allowed to go on a free transfer. They had worked out a cost of about £360,000 per goal he had scored. And that was without the extortionate wages he'd earned during that time.

"Market economics" I hear many of you cry. The people want the football, are willing to pay huge ticket prices, are fiercely loyal customers, and the players are simply reaping the rewards of that demand. Besides, Burberry wouldn't do much business if it wasn't clothing the footballer's wives and girlfriends and the wannabe fans. There's a massive knock-on business of conspicuous consumption, generating jobs and fuelling growth.
Absolute rubbish, I say. So much money that they cannot know what to do with it all. Gambling, mansions, fast cars driven way too fast, women like Danielle Lloyd attached to their arms. It is all just quite distasteful from where I sit.

I don't know what to do about it. Boycott Sky maybe? We've been there in blog-world already...
Boycott football? Well it's actually a pretty small minority of people who actually go. Did you know that more people attend church on an average weekend than go to a live football match? Now, personally, I do think that we might get somewhere as a society if the people who normally go to football went to church instead, and gave the money they would normally spend on tickets, beer, pies, travelling to away matches (or home matches in the case of Man Utd fans), replica shirts, programmes (need I go on?)...give it all to a worthier cause. Like nurses, or paramedics, or homeless people, or starving street kids in India. Whatever. Anything but give it to this very small group of quite fragile and strange individuals, who happen to be fortunate enough to be able to do funny things with their feet and a bit of leather (or plastic). And have no doubt that most of the money paid for these things basically flows straight into the players pockets.

What real net worth do footballers actually add to society?

I think I shall have to do what Mrs Moose always suggests, and refuse to be associated with something so immoral. At least at the top level. With the way West Ham are going this year, that won't be too hard after the end of this season!

Tuesday, 30 January 2007


There are some strange places to fall asleep...

Sitting on a train or plane, head lolling to one side, dribbling on the shoulder of the person sitting next to you, especially if that person is Claudia Schiffer.
In a job interview.
In the middle of a dinner party.
On your stag night, head flopping forwards into your chicken balti.
In church, in the middle of a sermon.
During sex.
At work in front of your PC.
At work in a meeting.

I'm not admitting to all of the above, but certainly some. I'll let your imagination work on which ones I've done and which are other anecdotes I have heard (or seen in at least one case), not all of them necessarily true.

Tonight was antler clipping night. As I arrived at the barbers, I went straight into the chair. The guys there know me pretty well as I'm a regular and take the mooselets there too. All three of us have the same haircut so the barbers all know it pretty well. So the guy checked with me that I wanted the usual, put the cape around me, and started with the clippers. Within a minute, a felt my eyes closing. Now I didn't actually fall asleep. Nor did I do the nodding dog. At least I don't think I did. I'm pretty sure that I managed to stop myself, but there are at least a few seconds that I can't account for.
I don't have any tell tale strange cuts in my hair. My ears are still both there. There are no blood stains on my shirt. All good signs that I managed to hold it together.
I guess it's a good thing. I am now regular enough to be able to relax in there, no matter which of the 6 barbers cut my hair, because they've all done it so many times, and all of them reasonably well. Not easy with my hair. It is dead straight and does nothing. If there is a stray slip of the clippers or the scissors or the cut-throat razor, then it shows up big time.
It was actually a nice moment of relaxation in a busy day.

So when have you fallen asleep when you shouldn't have?

Monday, 29 January 2007

Silence is golden?

A very strange but very normal thing happened to me today.
I went to the Board meeting to present some recommendations. Well, actually that's the point. What I actually did was go to the Board meeting to watch my boss present my recommendations, while I sat silently taking notes, nodding when the CEO said something wise. Most of this wisdom was prompted by something I had written in my paper.
So this is normal. Well it is at our place. I know of many people at my level (which is 2 steps below the Board) who go to these meetings to "present" their work, only to sit in silence doing one of 2 things:
- watching their boss take the credit, or
- getting beaten up verbally for stuff the boss made them write.
And yet actually it is very strange behaviour. What I find astounding is how everyone gets so used to it, so lined up with the way of working, that it no longer appears strange but takes on a normality.
When I think back, I feel that not only have I gone nowhere, but actually I've gone backwards. I remember the CFO of the company I worked for 15 years ago coming to visit. The company was American and I was a lowly person in the German company, how many levels below the Board I couldn't tell you, but it was a lot more than 2. If I had to guess, it would have been 6 levels below. Anyway, I was about 5 years out of University and the CFO came to visit and I presented to him. I actually spoke, I took him through the papers, I answered his questions.
15 years on, 15 years of hard work, 15 years of experience, and now I get to sit in silence while the CEO tells my boss what a great piece of work it is, and how right he was to focus on the one big issue that nobody wants to focus on. The big issue that I have been banging on about for the last 3 months, trying to get my boss to understand that it is the big issue.

What I'm not sure about is whether this is normal only for my company, normal for all big companies, normal for all big British companies or normal for all British companies.
Whichever, it is most definitely strange!

Sunday, 28 January 2007

At least we don't like ourselves...

I have to admit to watching the final of Big Brother tonight. After church this morning, this afternoon has been a heavy one of shovelling compost (you thought I was going somewhere else there for a moment, didn't you? Especially any Sex Pistols fans...), washing, tax returning, trying to get mooselets to do homework, I've settled down on the sofa having not done my ironing for the first time in ages.
So after my normal Sunday evening jacket potato, I'm on the sofa with the remnants of a Chateauneuf and BB on in the background. Mrs Moose is tracking the e-bay sales for tonight, and about to start packaging up the items to post tomorrow.
As Ian was evicted, I realized that it is all the non-Brits left in the final three. So, appalling as a race as we have been (in the house at least), I am somewhat relieved that we at least recognize it. For after all, while it may not be the great British public that has been completely and fully represented by the housemates, they/we are very definitely represented by the voting public.
So, we have shown ourselves to be on the side of the bullied and the peace-loving, the cultured and the talented...rather than the bullies and the argumentative, the shrill and the talentless.
That's something I suppose. To a certain extent it restores some of the destroyed feelings following from the terrible behaviour of the morons.
I still find it slightly sad though, that even a dirty old man that's only famous for smoking large cigars and one part which finished decades ago, can be more popular than ALL of the Brits in there...Jermaine fair enough he's a genuinely nice guy. And Shilpa, after being bullied was bound to do well, and deserved to after the commendable way she handled it all.
Sorry to go on about BB...back to more important things tomorrow...and let's face it, that could mean just about anything!

Friday, 26 January 2007

Name the blogger...

A little weekend competition for you guys....which blogger is the blogger in the photo?
Well I've had a very pleasant and unusual Saturday today.
The mooselets were awake pretty early - always a slightly frustrating thing on a Saturday - but I always think that kids that want to get up and do things has to be good, right? They'll probably make up for it as teenagers!
Mrs Moose said to me in bed over a cup of coffee...why don't we go up to London today. The eldest mooselet has been doing the Great Fire of London - would be good for him to see the Monument and Pudding Lane.
So we went, did the fire stuff, including the 311 steps to the top of the Monument - extra weight training for the Moose as the littlest mooselet gave up after about 200 steps and needed to be carried the rest of the way. (Aside - he weighs 2 stone. If I compare the difference between walking up with him and without him, I am going to feel GREAT when I've lost another 2 stone!!!)
Then we went and walked around the outside of the Tower of London, saw Tower Bridge, ST Katherine's Dock, then took the river boat to Westminster, to show them the London Eye and Houses of Parliament. Queues were too long to go into the Aquarium or the Eye, so we headed back via Trafalgar Square and then a top deck bus ride back to Kings Cross.
Went out for a meal in Stevenage before getting home with 2 sleeping mooselets and having had a fabulous day. I had no alcohol and a double espresso, so I am now completely buzzing!!!
The restaurant was a disppointing experience all round, so much so that I am going to write a letter of complaint to the CEO. I am currently working in the office with the team that answers customer complaints to our CEO. I have learned that it is definitely worth complaining to the top!
In short:
- the table for 4 was only just about big enough for 2 (not even the waiters could get to some of the tables)
- they took forever to take our order, bring our order, clear plates etc
- they were totally clueless about kids (no kids menu, no immediate offer of options, no straws for drinking etc etc) Ok it's not a family diner type of place, but you can only go to them so often...
- the mooselets pizza did not taste good at all.
- they finally brought me completely the wrong bill. If it had been small I might even have paid it and left!!! (actually unlikely - I can never seem to do stuff like that. I was embarrassed on Friday when the caterers were selling off their stock for 10p for all cans, chewing gum etc. I was buying a can for a colleague and a cup of tea for me. I jokingly said "Is the tea 10p too?" and she rang only 20p into the till and refused to take more!!!)

Do you know who it is yet???

A landmark reached...

So today I reached a landmark. I shared my writing for the very first time.
Of course that's not entirely true, because this blog is also part of my writing and I share that every day.
But it is the first time that I have shared part of my book with others. Shared part of what I consider to be a finished work, thought through, edited, corrected, a piece designed to hang together, a work which I hope will have somewhat more longevity than the blog or any other random musings of mine.

It feels great and I'm so glad to have done it.
I can understand something of the feelings an "artist" goes through between the performance and the reviews...

Writing the above does make me think though. Because a blog is virtual, it feels more transient, less permanent and more likely to disappear into the mists of time. But will it? Should it?
As far as I'm aware, most physical books go out of print relatively quickly, and therefore, apart from the copies collecting dust on the bookshelves of the 5 people who might buy it, or be given a copy by me when I'm trying to offload them, won't survive very long.
The blog however, requires me to go back and delete posts. I have no idea (I haven't looked) what the archive policy is of this host if I do nothing. If I don't consciously delete them, they might be her forever. And really, who knows the future of internet published writing?

Anyway that's an aside...
All I really wanted to post tonight was a big THANK YOU to everyone on here, everyone who has said they will "review" my work. Be honest, be critical, be constructive, be, just be whatever you want and say what you want. Because I am determined that this thing will be published, one way or another.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

To publish or not to publish, that is the question...

Sorry, but I'm on about my book again.
As I said earlier, I have edited 2 chapters today. I stopped before the dreaded 3rd chapter. Dreaded because I know I'm not happy with it, AND it's the most complex one with theory and maths and stuff in it. I really want to do the subject matter proud, but at the same time make it accessible, understandable and enjoyable to read even if challenging. Is that too much to ask?
Anyway, my real dilemma has been bothering me for a while.
Should I test out all or parts of my book on a test audience?

I'm torn.

One part of me says no. What can I gain? Some people may say they love it but will that make any difference with literary agents and publishers? Some people may say they don't like it but will that make me re-write it or not send it off to the agents? I might feel compelled to re-write big chunks, slowing me down.

One part of me says yes. It may boost confidence in my writing abilities, give energy to get the rest finished, and be in keeping with feedback being the breakfast of champions. Or it may stop me from making a fool of myself and save a lot of wasted effort trying to get a losing proposition published.

So I thought I'd ask you guys 2 things:
1. Should I publish some of my work (a couple of chapters say) on a new blog and solicit feedback?, and
2. If I did, would you guys only read it and feed back if you really wanted to, rather than because you might feel that you'd have to? And would you be really honest and critical, not holding back?

Just to say it's not all on you guys, so don't feel any pressure. I have a few colleagues and other friends who I am also going to ask IF I decide to do it.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Let's just agree to disagree...

Even before seeing the CE blog arguments tonight, I was thinking on the following today.
Maybe more relevant now?

Opinions are funny things.
We can never find 100% agreement to our opinions. Nor, I suggest, would we want to. Where's the fun in agreeing all the time?
Usually, we can find someone to agree with us, so we're never likely to be in the minority of one either.
So we're somewhere in between 0% and 100% agreement.
The interesting thing for me is that the level of agreement is of no consequence as to whether we are right or not. Sometimes the majority are right. And sometimes they are wrong.
But being right or not is NOT really the point. If we wanted to simply be right all the time, we would be called God (my opinion, feel free to agree or disagree as you see fit!).
As humans we are fallible. We get things wrong. Some of us get things wrong all the time. Some only occasionally.
One sure-fire way of being wrong less often is to shut up and not offer our opinions.
This method (that Dr T so wisely counselled us towards on CE today) is wholly appropriate in certain circumstances.
But life would be dull indeed if we followed this advice all the time.
For me, the best outcomes of voicing opinions occur when we voice them with a willingness and humility to accept that they might be wrong. However much we think they are right, however strongly we believe something, we always, always, always might be wrong.
That should NOT deflect us from expressing our opinions though.
You may have picked up that I am a Christian. I believe the Bible. Most people would call me a fundamentalist. I try to follow Christ and live a life which is as "right" as I can. I guess that puts me in a minority. I'm not convinced that it means I am wrong though...
I will gladly express my opinions on Christianity, evolution, faith etc etc. And while I am SURE in my faith, I also recognize that it is MY faith. I am humble enough to accept that I may have some things wrong. I am willing to listen to other people's opinions and faith, and discuss with them. I'm also willing to learn where I have things wrong and adapt and adjust my faith accordingly.
There are certain things about my faith that are extremely unlikely to change, having been pulled apart, reconstructed, argued against and examined in intimate detail over many years with many people.
I am also willing to leave people with their faith. What I hope for, maybe even expect but definitely don't demand, is that people will be equally open, humble and willing to learn and adapt. What I struggle with is when people expect (or even demand) of me that I listen to them and be willing to accept that I might be wrong and change, and yet they are not willing to listen to me, accept that they might be wrong and be willing to change. And I know that fundamentalist Christians can be among the worst offenders. In my experience, fundamentalist evolutionists run them very close though! Don't get me started on Richard Dawkins...

If we express our opinions, and listen to those of others with the attitude of humility and willingness that I suggest, then I reckon we'll all end up with better relationships and greater understanding.
We still won't always agree. Long live that!
But we may all just learn something along the way, grow as human beings and learn to be able to agree to disagree.


For Hazel, she wanted you all to see a picture of Barney...

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Groups and the rule of 150...

One of my favourite theories, which I will repeat as often as possible, invited or uninvited, is that of the "Rule of 150". So much so that it appears in both my books, and I had a chat about it at breakfast this morning too.
Basically, it's the theory that 150 is the maximum size of a group of human beings to function synergistically, altruistically and with common purpose. There's a strong correlation in animals between the ratio of brain to body size and the size of group they live in. Extrapolate for humans and the answer is something like 147.6, often rounded to 150.
I was pondering today the fact that as humans we can cope with a huge number of different small groups or communities that we belong to. We can cope quite happily switching between these groups all the time. We have our families, work colleagues (which may be split into a number of different groups), friends (ditto), virtual communities, church groups etc etc etc. The list goes on.
What interests me is the link between the two. I see the rule of 150 at work. Teams or business units below 150 seem to work. People are selfless, identify with common goals, pull together and have a feeling of togetherness. People like being in those teams and work harder and longer. Move over 150 and you start getting cliques, infighting, selfishness, politics etc. The Hutterite communities in the US unknowingly follow this rule and villages split in two when they reach 150 in size. The Gore Tex companies follow the rule in their business units.
However, in an exercise conducted as part of my first book, I listed out all the people that I know. "Know" being loosely defined as where there is mutual recognition of names and faces, and virtual friends being a fascinating exception to this rule. This came to significantly more than 150. There's a classic test of relative connectedness that takes 250 names from the phone book at random, and counts the number of people you know with that surname. Even on this fairly small group of names, results can go up to 120 for highly connected people, and 250 names is a very small proportion of the total possible.
So how can the rule of 150 work, and yet we all know so many more people?
Well, I think it's because of the sub-dividing that we do within the people we know. If they were all one amorphous blob of acquaintancies, then we would be limited to 150 of them. But, we actually cope with so many more because they are in smaller groups.
So what is the largest number of acquaintancies that we can cope with in total? And what is the largest number of different groups that we can cope with?
Answers on a postcard please!
I need to lie down and think of an experiment to test it.
In the meantime, if you are ever really bored and have some time to waste, can you do a couple of things for me:
- write down everyone you know (see definition above)
- group them into "communities" - define them however you see fit
- record the total number of people, the total number of groups and the range of people per group (min and max)
Include virtual/blog type communities and people you think you know well enough to include.
Anybody who answers gets a credit in the book!! Some prize huh?

Monday, 22 January 2007

Jabba the Hutt

I thought with all the talk about beach huts, I would upload a photo of some taken on Saturday. I have other photos but don't have a cable so can only e-mail one at a time from my phone, so I picked this one at random.
I like the thought of beach huts. I don't think I'd like the reality of them. This could be because I'd have to be responsible for it. But I think that some things are just better as an idea than in reality.
Beach huts are there to be admired when walking along the beach. If I lived in St Ives and needed a regular changing spot for going surfing, then it might be different.
Unfortunately, I don't yet.
Maybe by the time I live in Cornwall, I will have learned to take responsibility and then I'll be OK about taking on a beach hut.
Mine will be blue, with green and red stripes. Green and red are the mooselets favourite colours. Very tricky when the six nations is on, as I can never seem to make them support England - they always want Wales or Ireland to win.
I just hope that by the time I live in Cornwall, I'm still young and "fit" enough to surf...

So today was a day of false dawns.
My meeting with the HR lady was cancelled as she was off sick (now tomorrow).
My paper was bumped from the board meeting agenda as too few of them were there (now next Monday).
My one little commitment that I'm trying to keep for church was stumped by a company not returning my e-mail yet (will call them tomorrow).
One other commitment I failed to do anything about. Tomorrow is another day. Truth is, I'm sort of stuck until I've had the HR meeting.

I'm going to get more disciplined with the blogging. I'm thinking of moving my entries on here, and my reading of your comments to the evening. I can blog while sitting in front of the TV, a time I normally do nothing else. (Panorama then Waking the Dead on as I write this). So I think that's synergistic. I'm going to log in to CE once in the morning, posting a reply to CE musings. Then log on again once in the afternoon to check comments and catch up.
I doubt I'll keep it. I'm not sure whether to commit to myself to do it. At the moment it doesn't seem to matter too much as I have so little to do.
But once I have sorted out my agreement, I intend to put all my spare time at work openly into my book. I'm going to agree with HR/Boss that I will be available for work, but also doing my stuff while they continue to pay me but during notice.

Thanks for all your comments on my responsibility issue.
My conclusions are:
- I am not alone
- I am not that unusual
- It affects a lot of (especially) males
- I can do something about it
- I want to do something about it
- I choose to do something about it
- The key is in managing my motivational state well
- I can help others to make progress on the issue too

I have to go and look up some papers now to look something up for as66!!! A little extra commitment I made today!

I don't know about you, but I don't feel down or depressed at all today. I don't know what they are talking about!!!

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Rutting season...

Hazel - to answer your question, apparently it's mid September through October, so at this time of year you are quite safe....
For more info and other moose related trivia, follow the link...

Vamos a la playa...

I'm taking the mooselets to the beach today. If they can behave themselves long enough to tidy their room and get dressed, anyway.
Will pop back in later to tell you all about it...
In the meantime, thanks for getting in touch, and anyone who wants to, feel free to drop me an e-mail.
Feeling very good today - I think it's making progress on the weight front that does it.

We're back. Sometimes I wonder if the 3 and a half hours driving is worth it for an hour and a half there....Yes it is!!!
I'm now tired, but cobwebs blown away (thanks Jo!) and ready to go out for a meal as a family... I have a coffee in front of me, have now had e-mails from 3 bloggers. Thanks!

Friday, 19 January 2007

Weight Loss

Just thought I'd pop on to celebrate success with my virtual friends...

No competition this week - I think it was the kiss of death last week, and I have been justified in my opinion in that this week I have lost 1.4kg, based on my early evening weigh in.
Woo hoo! 3lbs a week is probably ideal.

Anyway, in other news, I now have an e-mail address on my profile. I hope you guys don't mind but I've set up a new one, rather than use my existing private e-mail, as I'm nervous about that one being on public display on my blog. I don't want to have to change it if it starts getting spammed to death, or I get stalked by Chris Evans or his disgruntled bloggers...

If you send me a mail there, I will vet you and if you pass muster I will send you a mail from my real private account so that we can stay in touch.
Cheers. Clink! That rioja doesn't stand a chance...

Thursday, 18 January 2007

The day after the (non-existent) night before...

Today I'm in reflective mood.
I have slept on my feelings of yesterday and come to a decision about what I need to do about them.
I am going to be more focused and disciplined about blogging. Where I say what is the main point.
So for clarity, OAMC stuff will appear on my OAMC blog and I will try to keep it off the Chris Evans blog and this one. This one is for my general musings. On the CE blog I will restrict myself to the matters that Chris raises and only those.
I have observed others that do this and it seems to work. Me not doing it only seems to cause trouble.
Please, please, please do as you see fit. Read any you like. Comment where you like. Comment however you like. Don't read and don't comment if that's what you'd prefer.

So, a quick work update (thanks to those of you that have expressed interest and support - it means a lot to me).
I am meeting the HR lady on Monday to have the first discussion on the details of my leaving agreement - notice, payments, conditions etc. I am not relishing the thought, because I am more convinced than ever that it is a sad state of affairs that brings me to this position, and also the manner in which it has been handled. To illustrate this, my boss was even changing his mind during Wednesday afternoon about how he was going to handle it. He decided on his course of action, it seemed, "on the hoof" in our meeting. How special does that make me feel? How important does that put me and my career in his eyes? (Never forget that "career" means to swerve violently out of control.)

Quick bee in the bonnet aside...I am not surprised by any of this. If I was, I wouldn't be writing my second book on big companies and what's wrong with them. This is not exclusive, even if extremely demonstrated, in my company. It is common in many big companies across the globe. One of the most worrying ideas for me is that we (us and the US) have exported our business approach and our management non-thinking. India and China (and others) are, not surprisingly, trying to compete, and in doing so look to us for a lead on how to be successful. If they see something that "works", they will copy it and replicate it faster and cheaper. I fear that the things that are wrong in big British and American companies will be even more extremely wrong in the big global players of the next 20 years.

OK back to the work situation...However, I am now engaged in a course of action that has to be seen through to the end. And I am determined to carry it through in a dignified, principled, honest and professional manner. They can handle it as they choose. But I need not to be swayed from my path.

Your feelings are always true. Don't ever let anyone deny you them. They are there to tell you what state your mind is in. If they are telling you that you are not in the right state of mind for a decision or action, then get your mind in the right state of willingness before you decide what to do or try to do anything.

Nobody ever said on their deathbed: "I wish I'd gone against my principles more often"

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

OAMC day is here...

Can you believe it?
We've spent a while last year flirting with the idea of a Blogfest.
Sometime this moved into the idea of a OAMC.
Then a date was suggested.
It was fixed.
It seemed so far off. So unreal.
Like it would never really happen.
But the weeks passed and the day got closer.
And now, here we are today...
First ever OAMC day.
I have to keep repeating it because I can't quite believe it.
But it is here.
Today is Thirsty Thursday.
Today is Thursday 18th January 2007.
Today is OAMC day.


Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Does the sauna boil your brain?

So, I'm sitting in the sauna last night after my first half decent gym session for a few weeks. And the funniest thought came into my mind. It was a new thought. One I do not consciously remember having had before.
Background is necessary. I've had an absolutely fantastic couple of days from an eating point of view. Fantastic in that I've eaten little, healthily and slowly. Doing all the right things. Last night I stopped on the way home to listen to the Paul McKenna mind-bender.
Today, I did 10 mins on the bike before doing 21 on the treadmill, alternating 2 mins running and 1 min walking. I started to get stomach cramps towards the end, not something I suffer from really.
Anyway, a quick stretch later and I was in the sauna.
And then it hit me...the thought.
"I'm a thin person, trying to get out."
I've had other thoughts in a similar but significantly less impactful vein before. "There's a thin person in there somewhere trying to get out." "I'm sure the real me is in there somewhere, just buried a bit." You get the drift.
But this was the first time my relaxed and conscious mind had thought this particular thought. It felt like a milestone. It felt like a watershed. It felt like the beginning of something new. Maybe only the start of the beginning. But something is different this time. And for anyone else out there that has tried many times to lose weight, you will know how important that is.
I AM A THIN PERSON. I have never thought that before. It's so definite. So positive. So affirming.
I can only put it down to Paul McKenna. It's really the only thing that's different for me this time, and I have listened twice in the last week.
OK it's also 2007, the year I turn 40. I always told myself that I needed to shed the excess weight before I was 40 or it would be too late. I'm not sure that's true in any way at all, but in past years it has served well to put of the real intent to lose weight to some future date. But I don't think that the beginning of a new year could really change anything quite so substantially.
The only other explanation is that the sauna was too hot and my brain was temporarily not working properly. But I was only in there 5 minutes and I go in regularly, so probably not that either.
So all I can do is give the credit to McKenna and keep going with it. Time will tell whether this really is different.
For the moment it feels different and that's good enough for me.

Due to popular demand...

I couldn't leave Anna's request unanswered, now could I? btw Anna - Happy Birthday to 'im indoors. Although thinking about that, the impact of that is probably similar to trying to explain the OAMC...
"Darling, Moose says Happy Birthday to you."
"Thanks. Who's Moose?"
"Just this guy from the blog. He's really funny."
"Uh huh"
"No it's nothing like that really. We just chat and swap recipes, celebrate our successes and divulge the intimate trials and tribulations of our lives, that's all."
"I see. Have you been corresponding with him for long?"
"About a month or two. Why?"
"Do you do it with anyone else?"
"Oh yes, there's loads of them. There's Joseph McCrumble and Dissing Dave and BigUn."
"Just guys then?"
"Oh no, there's Hazel and Mary and Gaby and Jo and JoJo and Jax and...."
"I give up!"

Celebration of the union. I've sort of already said this on "the other blog" this morning, but anyway...

Don't you think the contrast between the virtual world and the real world is quite funny and revealing sometimes.
Take all this debate about whether we should be celebrating or dissolving the union of Great Britain. Or is it the Union of the United Kingdom? People are so lax in their accuracy aren't they? Poor old Northern Ireland...they have the tomato dilemma ("Am I a fruit, am I a vegetable?") - "Are we in, are we out? We're in if it's the UK but we're excluded if it's GB. Yet we live in the British Isles...."

Real world: Division, politics, extreme opinions, polarisation.
Virtual world: Support, harmony, strong opinions voiced sensitively, togetherness.

Don't know about you, but I think that the sooner the virtual world takes over, the better.
We just need to work out how to run the currently physical things like the NHS, schools, manufacturing. No problem!
The very issue of Scottishness or Englishness or whatever just seems so irrelevant in the virtual world. Not irrelevant, that's the wrong word. It is "in proportion". We have our nationality and most of the time we know other's too. But it's just not a big point of discussion, we have more important things to talk about.
And long may it last. As it happens, long may the union of the UK or GB or whichever last too.
If it ain't broke...