Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A case of mistaken identity

I went to an Awards event last night. It was organised by a professional institute and so most people were wearing grey. Most also had grey hair and many were far older than even I am.

I saw someone I thought I recognised. He was sitting on his own reading the Awards booklet. From the top of his head, he looked very like a guy I know called John. John is someone with whom I enjoy lively banter whenever we meet, usually at events like this one.

I kicked his foot by way of jovial introduction and said something like; 'hi, what brings you here.' The papers fell into his lap and the guy looked straight into my face. I then realised it was not John at all. I glanced down at his name badge. It said Brigadier; it said OBE and listed lots of other letters too. John on the other hand would only have letters after his name if he saved enough coupons from cereal packets.

'Hello, my name is Robert and I thought you were somebody else.' I said, slightly embarrassed. 'Oh that's OK he said, my name is Barry.' Unusually for me, I did not turn this serendipitous meeting into an opportunity. I must be losing my networking touch!

Bu why is it that the older people get, the more alike they look?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Could someone please introduce me to reality?

Did you have a kaleidoscope as a child? You know, one of those tubes you peer into and twist to create startling, symmetrical patterns like the one here on your left.I did and spent hours looking through it, distorting things.

At times, life seems like that to me. In fact right now, two weeks into 2011 it feels very much that reality is being blurred into a series of confusing patterns. Is it the same for you too?

Perhaps I've had too many consecutive days of meeting bureaucrats, each recoiling from the dramatic change they face and have no influence over. Perhaps it's also because I've decided to stop working at the weekend and so am spending more time outside in my garden, on my tractor and generally connected with the natural cycle of seasons, climate and nature.

The landscape, bleak at this time of year, is bleak because it is this time of year. Leafless trees, sodden soil and frost browned grass. The other landscape is also very bleak right now. Job losses, budget cuts, tough decisions and inequalities - but are both equally real or is one an economic construct? Can we change the economy? We certainly can't change the climate - well not much.

and on a personal, micro-scale, just as one week 2011 seems filled with opportunity, so the next week it can look really gloomy? Now here I can make a difference . . .  . . .so will focus there!