Rainy days and Sundays.

As that song by the by Carpenters says, “Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down“. Sadly,  Karen is no longer with us, but her legacy and that of her brother Richard, lives on. Works for some Sundays too.

So what has this got to do with a Sunday? Well, Sundays for me, are meant meant to share with a special friend, preferably in front of a log cabin in the Scottish countryside, with a comforting fire crackling away in the fireplace.


This thatched roofed house had such a fireplace. I had it built a lifetime ago & although it has new owners now and the trees have grown tall, with the fence replaced by a decorative wall, it still holds fond memories for me.

Funny how memories are triggered, hey?
One minute you are staring out the window in a distant land, looking at the grey skies and light rain peppering the windows and next you are planning a trip away.

Actually, this house is far away in South Africa.
Braaivleis (Barbecue), sunny skies & rugby are the order of the day.
OK, so maybe not rugby. Our wonderful Springboks are not doing too well this season and if there is any unifying topic that will ‘rile the bile’ of the ardent supporters, it is when the lads are not doing too well!

But I digress?

Back to Sundays, fires and log cabins.

Sundays in a log cabin in Scotland.

Auchterawe, Fort Augustus (near Loch Ness), is some 900 odd miles from where I stay in the South East. Well worth the trip.
Some would go as far as to say that it is soul food for the mind.

Most of all, I love to travel and while I would dearly love to spend more time in Southern Africa, because travel allows you to meet people of visible divergent backgrounds.

In conclusion,  choices need to made. Plans need to be put in place.
Above all, I need to make it plenty of fun.


Ten things to organize your twenty-four hour day?

“I just don’t have enough time!” is the most heard frustrated cry heard reverberating off the walls of many a household or business office.

“Improve your ‘Time Management’ comes the rallying call “?

So, without much further ado, let’s get you writing your Time Management check list. (Note 1).

1. Learn to be assertive – “you have the right to say NO !”
2. Maximize your sleep – you are pretty useless when you are ‘muggy’. A good restorative 6 hours.
3. From the 24 hour day, subtract the sleep, eating, washing & any other repetitive household activities – say 4 hours?
4. Now with the remaining 14 hours, make your list that will use these 14 hours most productively. I suggest no more than 10-12.
5. Add the letters M, A & N to those that you feel would be better done in the Morning, Afternoon & Night.
6. Then consider in which order each of the morning, afternoon & night-time should be done. Prioritize.
7. Allocate the amount of time to each activity. Be realistic.
8. Design, print & display weekly schedule. (5 or 7 day week?)
9. Focus – multitasking can be distracting?
10. Weekend reflection – “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”(Bill Gates) Reflection should be a daily practice but the weekends are a perfect opportunity to step back and reflect on the lessons of the previous week and to make improvements for the next. (Emma Rushton)

Gopi Kallayil’s list:


Gopi Kallayil is the Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing at Google. An avid yoga practitioner, triathlete, global traveler, and Burning Man devotee, he has spoken at TEDx, Yoga Journal LIVE!, and Wisdom 2.0. Gopi’s recent book, The Internet to the Inner-net, is available in bookstores and online.
More ….

If you look at some of the top entrepreneurs, You will discover the one common thread is that they all ‘delegate’.
Now that’s all good & well for those that have become rich & famous & pretty obvious.
But how does a one person budding entrepreneur achieve that status?

You could research a lot, choosing from those entrepreneurs you hold in high esteem & do what they have done.
Or you could draw up your own Time Management action plan & put it into practice, allowing room for monitoring it for a period of time.
Then make it a habit ! Like getting dressed for success each day, unless you want to continue being a slob?

Note 1.
How to start a decent
 Time Management check list. Click here.

Through the Eyes of an Artist.

In September 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Duncan Shoesmith, artist, at a function in Port Shepstone, KwaZuluNatal – South Africa.

These are a selection of his amazing works, he is going to exhibit for the Oribi Farmer’s Market on 16th, 17th and 18th December2016.

Map of Area

1 Jim, Girl in Dreams, Jim, Jim


2 Footprints at sunrise, Elvis, Marilyn


3. Oribi Gorge, Sardine run, Autumn leaves


4. Harvestine, Oslo Beach


5. Leopard in Ambush, Zebra’s at Oribi Gorge


6. Surfer’s corner – Muizenberg


How to Contact Duncan:
Tel: 083 2361375 or 039 6876004
Email: duncan.shoesmith@gmail.com

Whether it is to view his paintings, purchase or to a commission a painting, this is going to be a fun day’s outing! Travel safely.

A New Night Before Christmas.

Please don’t go Daddy” pleaded Sam to her father, with that look on her face.

Sam was our second child and part of their amazing family package of four.

She, Samantha, had been specially delivered by a paramedic colleague three years ago without warning, whilst Terry and Angela were at a birthday party.

I looked across the dinner table at my wife for some assistance. Getting this problem solved was going to take the expertize of ‘The Boss’.
But Angela merely shrugged her shoulders and started clearing the dishes away.

Thanks a whole heap, thought Terry, as he watched his wife head to the kitchen.
How does one explain shift work to a three year old?

Do you remember what Daddy’s job is?”
Yeth” lisped Sam. “You’re a Paddymedic”
That’s correct, Munchins”

Terry smiled inwardly at his daughter’s description.

Sometimes Daddy has to work at night to help the doctors & the hospitals”

Sam slid off her chair and came to stand in front of her father, hands on hips and a determined frown on her face.

But it is the night before Christmas, Daddy”
I know it is hard for you to understand, Sam”
But why?”

James, their ten year, sat at the other end of the table, listening with a quizzical look.
Sam was starting to dig in and was not having any of it.
Terry looked across at the wall clock, time to nip this in the bud if he was to get to the station by eight.
Angela had returned from loading the dishwasher.

Come now Samantha” using her ‘Don’t mess with Mommy’ voice.
Time to kiss Daddy goodnight & for you to get upstairs and into bed!”

Sam gave a huge sigh, turned away from me and headed for the stairs.
Will someone just rip my heart out, thought Terry?

Just one moment, young Lady” admonished Angela.
You have forgotten to give this to Daddy”

And with that, Angela opened her hand and showed Sam the Badge.
Sam’s eyes became a large as dinner plates. She squealed with amazement and joy!
Off in a flash, she retraced her steps to her father.

“Here Daddy, you nearly forgot your ‘Santa’s Badge!”

Terry solemnly pinned the Santa Helper badge to the front of his jacket and smiled gratefully at his wife.

Quick, Daddy, you must not be late for work!” advised Sam.
Santa will will be very cross if you are”.

Mission accomplished. Terry gave his two favourite ladies a big hug and headed for the door
Santa’s Helper had work to do?

Lord Mayor of London’s dinner dates.

Key media events

Each year in November, The Lord Mayor of London has a banquet, normally after the LM of L’s Show.
This is the last of 16 events during the year.


Although there is no doubt about the importance of such events, the pomp & ceremony that promote London to the world, I could not pause to think about all the children in the UK, that go to school hungry each and every day?

So, how much do you you think that these functions cost?
Well, I had the temerity to ask this very question of the Administrator and Project Co-ordinator at Mansion House.
The answer – “These events are funded privately, so I am afraid we are not able to give you any information”.

So, there we go. A bang up meal for all those in their glad rags with even the PM giving a speech on behalf of the government, about her plan for how Britain can lead in the transformed modern world.


Let’s hope that after this transformation, there are a few extra pennies for the UK children?

What do FT, PT & DT have in common ?

Apart from self care, time management is a close second when it comes to being successful.


The road to success.
The road to success.

Some of the most successful people I know, apply these three things in their daily lives.
FT = Fun Time
PT = Productive Time
DT = Domestic Time
And together they develop a good SCT (Self Care Time) lifestyle.

It is not too important in what order these are actioned, but a matter of personal choice.  One may feel that things at home, around the house need to be done first, followed by some fun time and then on to productive time.

Now what would you call ‘Fun Time’?
Fun is doing something that you really enjoy, adding value to your life. You really appreciate doing it and something that gets your engine revving again.
It must, above all else, lift your spirits and give you a positive emotional experience.

‘Productive Time’ or some call it proactive time, making things happen?
But it is not the quantity of what one is doing during a given period of time, but the quality which generates the most change or reaction.
Most people chill out after some fun time, by going for a walk before engaging in the productive part of their day.
Tip – Manage yourself first by developing & selecting sound habits.

Domestic Time, or what some refer to as ‘Drudge Time’?
Do you reach that time of the day when you sigh with relief and collapse into a chair, wishing fervently, that someone would bring you a cup of tea?
But this period of time is important time. It is the glue that holds the rest of the day’s time together.
It is like ‘check-in’ time for the day’s flight. Well planned activities will ensure that you get to the next stage well rested & raring to go.
Tip – put some clothes on before rushing out to fetch the morning newspaper !

Finally, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Do You have a well oiled time machine?