Long, long ago - before Malta joined the EU and New York experienced power outage - I was on a mini tour of Asia, signing contracts with resellers for some software products. Most disconcerting was Taiwan (where a measure of success was how few people fell asleep during my presentation); most exciting was Hong Kong and the view across the bay. Media interviews were part of the trip, so I found myself in the Reception for a local radio station, waiting to go on air. For a few
True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing - Socrates
Our first house was a classic Victorian terrace: two-up, two-down, with an extension on the back for kitchen and bathroom.
The two rooms downstairs had been knocked into one, keeping one fireplace open, the other blocked. My wife and I saw that a neighbour had opened up the second fireplace and fitted shelves for books and audio equipment. We decided to do the same.
As a child I’d watched my father do br
Let’s start with a paradox: this post is writing about not writing.
A couple of days ago, I was noodling a 500-word piece as a possible blog post, and thought it would be perfectly ended by a Coachaiku: my hybrid term for a 17-syllable reflection, in a 5-7-5 form, for personal and professional development.
It would be the synthesis of the post’s central idea. A pay-off for the insight.
Walking home from the railway station that evening, I was half juggling words to fit
There are no rules and no guarantees when trying something new.
But we can learn from the successes of others - especially those outside our field.
1 Welcome unexpected proposals
Aged 16, Julie Taymor went to Paris and joined the Jacques LeCoq mime and theatre school.
At 18, she returned to the US to study anthropology, folklore and shamanism.
Julie then won a Fellowship to study Bunraku theatre in Japan and shadow puppet forms in Indonesia. An unconventional caree
"Instead of what our imagination makes us suppose and which we worthless try to discover, life gives us something that we could hardly imagine." Marcel Proust Problem: How to reunite the 52%-48% divide of the Brexit vote? Solution: A 57 year-old potter, with a transvestite alter ego called Claire, a customised Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, and a teddy bear called Alan Measles. How far did you read before you heard your mind slam shut? 'Brexit'? Turner Prize-winning Grayson Per
Raymond Corsini worked as a psychologist in Auburn Prison in New York. One day an inmate, about to be released on parole, came into his office:
“I couldn’t leave until I thanked you for what you did for me.”
Corsini was stumped; to the best of his knowledge he had never spoken to the man.
“When I left your office two years ago, I felt like I was walking on air. When I went into the prison yard, everything looked different, even the air smelled different. I was a new pe
My world wobbled today; not by much, not off its axis, but enough to take a tiny chip out of my version of reality.
As a child, I never ate vegetables. The scope in our house was pretty limited anyway - peas and carrots - but even here I put up a good defence.
As an incentive, my mother promised me that eating carrots would help me see better in the dark. I'm sure yours did too, right?
Of course, we didn't really believe our mothers; it was just one of those old wives
With thanks to the driver who took me from Paddington to Holborn last Thursday afternoon:
...the world is falling apart. it's official. i read it in the FT this morning. always read the FT. only honest voice out there. money is money, isn' it, and those boys don't lie. the French are marching in the streets, the Brits are calling wildcat strikes, polar bears are losing their homes, people who extended their mortgages four times in the past five years are losing their homes,
Did you hear the one about the man who walked into a store?
The US department chain Nordstrom has a policy of customer refunds on any returned product, without the need for price tag or receipt. One day a customer brings in a set of snow tyres, and the sales assistant gives a refund of $145.
Nordstrom retails high-end apparel; it doesn't stock tyres.
I first heard it over 20 years ago, and it’s appeared on my radar every couple of years ever since. Its brevity, clarity
In Singapore’s Chinatown – on the corner of Sago Street and South Bridge Road – stands the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (BTRT), a magnificent Tang Dynasty-style building. It’s a place of worship, a museum and a cultural centre.
Buddhists like teeth; there’s a similar relic temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The reverence with which both sites guard their connection to Siddhartha, the founder of the faith, is evident in the amount and purity of the gold they use to protect it.