What growth are you planning?

Spring is a wonderful time. As the year unfolds new life abounds with lambs, leaf and more as the temperature rises. The light becomes more intense, the days lengthen, the birds busy bringing up their young.

I was recently away for a few days attending a conference where people from many parts of the world converge. We listen to the latest thinking from well-respected professors and academics as they unleash their latest findings; the progress with their current research – always keen to tap into all those who have gathered, seeking feedback and debate.

It is a massively valuable few days with time to meet new people, renew old friendships and have our minds challenged, stretched, opened.

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Making dough and more….

In our busy world, with so much to do, the pleasure of taking time out to travel by boat to a small island inhabited by around 25 – 30 people can be so wonderfully relaxing.

On this day it was great to enjoy time with 8 people I had never met before and learn a basic skill that reaches back into the mists time. A skill used to feed ourselves with a wonderful food. The baking of bread. In this case in an brick oven heated by burning wood. This is the way that bread has been made for centuries. And still is in parts of the world. Yet a skill that is seldom embraced in our

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Spring has arrived

I am always amazed at the power and beauty of nature. This picture shows some wonderful early spring blossom – how glorious!

I was walking past the college where I studied for my first postgraduate qualification, many years ago, and was rather absorbed in a sizeable trip down memory lane. Then suddenly I noticed this tree which may well not have even been planted all those years ago. How the tree must have grown in the years that followed. How magnificent the blossom looked on such a fresh day – that was enough in that moment, on that day. To wonder at the these soft petals, the subtle colour, the very delicate perfume, the way it

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Everyone has a story!

Spring is a great time of the year – the winter is fading away, the days becoming lighter for longer, the temperature warming up. It is also the signal for nature to start her new year of growth. The birds chirp more as they start to build their early nests. The trees start to wake up and suddenly the daffodils appear. We don’t seem to notice as they are start to grow with their plain green stems – and then suddenly there is this splash of colour.

The vibrancy of the yellow a wonderful reminder that spring is here. It also seems that people are brighter too.

I was on a long journey and as usual I

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Do you love cruise control?

An advert for a low priced car caught my eye the other day as I browsed through a newspaper. I have not taken a daily paper for many years and my ‘news intake’ is low yet focussed – more on that another time – on this occasion, while I was enjoying a swift coffee stop, as a newspaper was to hand, it was interesting to have a browse for a few minutes. There is always something that catches my eye.

It was an advert for a low priced car that caught my eye. It exclaimed just three features – cruise control was one of them. Many years ago cruise control was the reserve of luxury cars. It

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What a great end to the year!

What a great end to 2016!

It has been a strange year personally, politically and professionally and, as always if we should review the year, some challenges and some fascinating opportunities.

It has also been a year when it seems that more people in the public eye have died. And who can forget the political upheave in the summer!

Anyway this is a short article to remind ourselves of just three landmarks that 2016 should be remembered for:

Her Majesty celebrated her 90th birthday. The Prince’s Trust marked a 40 year anniversary. The Duke of Edinburgh‘s Award scheme marked a 60 year anniversary.

So all in all quite a ‘royal’ year.

It is the last landmark that

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Taking notice

As I travel around, I frequently come across something that stirs my interest. I cannot remember ever having been through Bristol Temple Meads, as I arrived at the railway station. As I was on the way to an appointment I was more interested in heading out and finding where I was going. I was a little unclear in which direction I initially needed to go so asked a man who worked at the station – he was extremely helpful, and then off I set, not looking back. I had noticed the railway ‘sheds’ where the trains used to go, and parts of the warm yellow stoned building, when I arrived, that was all. It was when I

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What can we learn from the monk and the stonemasons?

There is a story of a monk who supervised a construction project. One day he goes to see the team of stone masons and asks the first one he meets how things were going. The stonemason rather bluntly replied that the stone would be cut to shape on time.

The monk carried on and asked the same question of another stonemason who replied, more pleasantly, indicating that he was on schedule to complete an archway.

The monk continued on his way and asked the same question of a third stonemason. This stonemason leaned back greeting the monk with a beaming smile. Looking at the stone he worked, he declared all was well, and that whilst he knew

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Have you been unexpectedly stopped in your tracks recently?

I was walking down the road this morning and passed some fairly normal, and reasonably uninteresting looking greenery overflowing a wall. But WOW! Once I was a few steps further down the road the amazing perfume of the jasmine hit me; it was wonderful, intense, heavy, luxuriant in the air. Clearly the wind was gentle enough to blow the intoxicating smell in the direction I was going, rather than the direction I had just come.

I stopped, retracted my steps and took a few moments to soak in the wonderful aroma that filled the air. I also looked at the wonderful creation of nature; not a flash and imposing plant that made itself known by the colour

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Is keeping a low profile wise?

I was attending a meeting at a location I didn’t know well and was asked to take a seat and wait for the person I was due to see. I was a few minutes early so was not at all concerned and it provided the opportunity to relax and ensure my thought was on the topic ahead.

On this occasion I was near to a window so rather than sit and wait I walked over and had a look out. Sometimes if I am in a high building it is great to have a birds eye view around the area. There is always something of note to look at, recognise, get my bearings or look to a

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