Archive for November, 2007


In my limited experience, I’ve decided that a person’s biggest asset when it comes to doing anything, is confidence. Belief in yourself that you can get through and do something, is just as important as whatever skills and knowledge you have.

I have been on a course recently with both written and practical elements, and those people who were not convinced of their own ability from the outset were much more likely to struggle in the practical. Its difficult to aquire confidence if you aren’t a naturally confident person – but practice makes perfect. Just having the front to be able to take control of a situation, gives out good vibes to others that you can be trusted, and it bounces back to boost you up further. I’m not describing arrogance or big-headdedness here – I’m just talking about quiet belief in yourself. Here’s an example.

Dee is a small, quiet lady in her mid-30’s. She’s very capable, but does not believe in herself as much as she ought to. She was asked to take charge of a group of 4 others to complete a task, and it would be her job to organise what would happen, give instructions and see the job through. In her first sentence to the team she began, in a quiet voice with: “Right, we’re going to try and roll this over…”  The team were disjointed by the rest of her instructions, and the task was completed, but not as smoothly and efficiently as it might have been.  

So I said to Dee -“We’re not ‘trying‘ to do anything here, tell them that we will do this, and see what happens”. So she did. “Right” she said, somehow in a louder voice “We are going to roll this over. Is everybody ready?….” 

Second time around, it worked a treat. Somehow the positive vibes that Dee was giving off were received and reflected by those around her, and as the team responded, Dee’s confidence grew a little. It was only the use of the language that really made a difference here, but it just goes to show how important that can be.

Spending time telling yourself how awful its going to be when you fail, is not going to help you succeed. Saying “I know I can do this – I’ve done something similar before, and that went OK.” is a good start.

Hold that thought.   


A Word to the Wise – Don’t use Tiscali

…. and save yourself a hell of a lot of problems if you have to make a complaint about anything. Regular readers will remember by gripes. but if you haven’t already heard, read here.  A recent post by Mr Frog (read it here) also tells a sorry tale of moving house and trying to move the Tiscali connection. My advice is, don’t bother – look elsewhere, and here’s why:

1) They don’t do what they say they will. First of all my phonecalls to their customer service showed me that. They’d done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the intervening 10 days between my telephone calls, when they’d promised me that they would be able to sort out the connection in three weeks. Why should I trust them a second time? Also in my correspondence with the Customer service people where I was disputing what I they said I owed, I received a letter saying that they would ask the Credit Control people to write off the few pounds they claimed I owed them. I heard ABSOLUTELY NOTHING more from them, and then, redirected from my old address, a demand from the Debt Collectors arrived implying I had to pay up or else. Words cannot describe how angry I am.

2) Tiscali are not subscribing members of the Telecommunications Ombudsman, Otelo. Here’s their members list: . This means, if you have a complaint, you can’t use Otelo to help reslove it. Ofcom suggest I try the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme, which (once I’ve found it buried on Tiscali’s website) appears to be someone called CISAS.   

I will let you know how I get on.

I am NOT impressed.


Today was Remembrance Sunday. I marched in the parade in our small town to the Memorial, where hundreds of people gathered to hear the ceremony. I looked around me at all the children’s faces, and realised there were probably 200 children there, all dressed in the uniforms of the ATC, the Brownies the Guides, Cubs and Scouts, and the St John Ambulance Cadets. It was so nice that we all gave up two hours of a cold, drizzly Sunday morning, marched and remembered together.  As, of course,  we should.

And we heard these words:

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, 
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today ”

It brings tears to my eyes every time.  

(By the way, the words are attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958), who was an English Classicist, who put them together among a collection of 12 epitaphs for World War One in 1916).

Communication is the root of all squabbles

No, it is – honestly.

People converse, yes. Sometimes they do communicate, but they way in which it is done or not done is the cause of the misunderstanding, bad feeling, argument, and disaster to come. And whether 6 or 60, the issues remain the same.

Communication comes easier to me than many, and when I am a witness to a breakdown in communication such as this, the way clear seems obvious. Or at least, it would be obvious if it was for me to put right, but it isn’t for me to do. I cannot speak when others really should. Trust, confidence and sincerity cannot be gleaned second-hand. Its from your heart or nothing.

|Its like watching a car crash in slow motion. You know how it will pan out, but there’s nothing you can do to stop it….

Bonfire night = Chest Very Tight

I’ve summed it up in the title really.

All that smoke and chemical debris floating about in the atmosphere means that within the space of 3 hours I’ve aged about 20 years. I’m wheezing, I have to make a conscious effort to get the air I suck in right down into the bottom of my lungs, and I’ve got a dry annoying cough as I breathe out. My chest feels like there’s a heavy weight upon it, and I’m becoming tired very very quickly……

This is bonfire night, when we celebrate the foiled Gunpowder Plot, and hundreds of asthmatics have to up their medications while many get admitted to hospital.

Spare a thought for us, won’t you.