Operation Endeavour

Just listening again to news coverage of the pedophiles directing the abuse of children as young as 5 in the Phillipines from the comfort of those laptop in homes in the UK, Australia, US and other places. Unimaginably horrific.

What is it like in the brain of those men to think this is ok, to think they have a right to damage these children and rob them of their childhood, to get families in the Phillipines to collude in this abuse ?

My heart goes out to those children and families.


Mirror mirror on the wall….


The wicked witch in one of those children’s stories constantly asked – mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all. Day after day she got the feedback she sought. One day out of the blue the mirror let her know that things had changed. No longer was she the fairest of them all. There was one more beautiful than she. She went into a rage and set off to wreak havoc. As you do, on hearing unwelcome news.

Every day we have the opportunity to learn what others think about what we do that works or doesn’t work for them. Asking for feedback creates the chance to find out, the chance to feel affirmed in what is working and the chance to do something about the things that aren’t. Yet for most it feels so hard to ask and/or receive and for others so hard to give.

Yet if we start from the mindset of wanting others to be successful, to be more effective, why wouldn’t we want to give them the opportunity to learn what else they might do or other more effective ways they could do what they are doing now. Why wouldn’t we also want them to hear what they get so right and why it is that it works so well? If we want to be successful why wouldn’t we seek out people to show us their perspective of us and how we do things.

I once went to a leaving party at work. Flowers, gifts, speeches, fond farewells and thanks for all those many long years of service talking about what a great contribution she had made. The leaving employee beamed from ear to ear. Rightly so hearing what she heard. No sooner was it done than the manager turned to me and said “Thank goodness she is gone at last. What a nightmare she’s been” . Such a complete disconnect. The person left feeling like she had been a valued contributing employee and her boss felt she was well shot of her, a poor employee. This caring manager, someone who prided herself on her support of her team, a people person, had failed to help this employee be more than she was. Giving feedback on what could change, be done differently felt just too hard, too uncaring, threatening good relationships would be how she saw things, this manager. So topsy turvey. I guess my perspective is very different. If you care, you give someone opportunities to succeed and feedback has a key part to play in that. It’s not allowing that to happen that’s uncaring. Not letting others be more.

Have I always felt like this? Far from it. It’s been a journey for me to come to seeking, welcoming and giving feedback, to seeing it as invaluable and essential to my development. Time was when I just wanted the mirror to either say nothing, just be a mirror keeping it’s opinion to itself or if speaking was a must to just say indeed you are the fairest of them all. Thanks though to all sorts of people over the years I’ve learnt so much and been able to support others to grow too. And there’s still so much to learn and so many to learn from. Still a work in progress. Feedback – bring it on.

So what do you think?

Only in England


What a great photographic exhibition it was at the Science Museum in London. Only in England. Photographs by Tony Ray Jones and Martin Parr. I loved it.

Tony Ray jones died at 30 in 1972. What else might he have produced had he lived longer ? The images selected were great. His representation of Englishness. Images of stoic holidaymakers braving bad weather at the beach, seaside guest houses, women knitting in deck chairs on Brighton Beach, men in ill fitting suits dressed for an occasion. Dogs and owners. A fond humour.

The commentary said “he had an eye for bizarre social interactions and incongruous narratives”. I love that description. This would be a great example :


A man in a suit drinking tea, not fazed at all by those around him.

And Martin Parr, inspired by his work, produced lots of images from the community around him in Hebden. Bridge. A mouse show in 1978. Yes, a mouse show! A man in a suit proudly holding a cabbage aloft- the winner in some competition of locally grown vegetables. Ladies in hats in a Methodist church hall pews eating scones and drinking tea to celebrate a church anniversary.

I left inspired and wanting to get my little lumix back into my handbag to catch the moments, the incongruous narratives I find around me.

A link to the exhibition – but as a novice blogger I fear I haven’t done it quite right!


Great Sunday!

My town


Bright sun and blue sky In London today. So welcome. Hate so what feels like endless dark, wet, cold days.

Been walking my feet off. Passed so many iconic sites, the places that make up my neighbourhood. Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park. Lovely. Past too a sign not seen before, saying that the church used to be attached to a leper colony. Different days. I enjoy the sense of history, wondering about all the people over the centuries who walked these streets.

Now it’s tourists taking photos with their smart phones, wealthy Russians in ostentatious expensive ugly fur coats, women in Burqas walking some steps behind their husbands, joggers in Lycra speeding by, a homeless man with his daily drawings of horses heads.

Always something and someone to catch my eye.

I love my neighbourhood.

One person’s clutter…

Declutter vb

1. to simplify or get rid of mess, disorder, complications, etc: declutter your life.


At the beginning of January I accepted a challenge to do a 30 day, daily 30 min walk/10 min declutter. It was a somewhat reluctant acceptance due to the declutter part. Not a passion of mine. In fact my partner would no doubt describe me as having a special talent for creating piles. A clean room created and within not too long a small pile emerges, growing swiftly or slowly but always growing.  And then like a molehill, a new one starts appearing somewhere else.


A modest example you can see here!

I am deeply impressed but also somewhat intimidated by people who have homes without all those piles, clean sleek lines, a place for everything and everything in its place. I love the feel of it there but if truth be told I like to imagine that if you open one of those cupboard doors a landslide of stuff will emerge. The thought gives me comfort. The only possible explanation for all that order.

So the challenge. 10 minutes a day. So far I’ve taken on decluttering the spice shelves – mystified how I came to have for example 3 lots of paprika but no fennel and embarrassed to see how old some of them were! 2010 bay leaves. Really ? Next came my inbox. A relief to let go of 18 month old junk email. A couple of book piles now sorted and a wardrobe. So many very similar black t-shirts. Probably don’t need more! Next challenge involves more bathroom bottles, potions and products than a person probably needs in a lifetime.

So far real progress and it’s only day 8. Even I am amazed at the clutter I create and the things I hold on to but don’t realise. And though I hate to admit it am even enjoying the slightly virtuous feeling of decluttering.

And what are the chances of a clutter-free life post end of the challenge? Who knows! It’s just a 10 minute a day for 30 day thing for now. Keeping to that commitment is what’s important.

Wish me luck! 23 days to go.



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