Winter rules?

I’ve played very little golf this year. Not through any choices I have made, but on medical grounds. It’s been a strange year as a result. I went to Wentworth and saw Luke Donald putt for victory on the 18th. And, I, like many of us watched from the edge of our sofa as Europe held on to the Ryder Cup. But, I didn’t play. I had a couple of hospital procedures and lots of physio.

It’s now dark at 4:30pm. It’s cold. It’s windy and it has been raining a lot. That means Winter rules. At our local 9-hole pay-to-play, that also means Winter tees. (A raised platform with fake grass and a fixed place for your tee). Even so, I want to play. I want to get my clubs out of the garage, along with the Go Kart┬áthat has seen little action this year and play 9-holes.

I suspect I will be awful. My shoulder is still very ‘tight’. I won’t have much success. But that won’t matter. I’ll be playing again.

Only, I know I have work to do before I can get on the course again. I need to be fitter than I am. I need to increase the mobility in my shoulders. I have to work on increasing my overall flexibility. And, I have to go visit the Pro at the local course as I suspect I have been compensating for a dodgy shoulder for too long… How does one learn a new golf swing and ‘unlearn’ bad habits?

Answers on a postcard, please?

Family traditions?

There’s a family get together this weekend – it’s in Yorkshire. I’m travelling up there to be with family, my parents are travelling down from Scotland. It’s a surprise party for an aunt and uncle. My Mum is doing most of the catering, because that’s what she does.

My only role is to bake Parkin. Yorkshire Parkin. I used a recipe today that had been recommended online. I had to make enough for 30 people. So, that meant trebling the recipe. Halfway through baking it, Mum asked if I was using the family recipe…oops. No, it’s not my Gran’s recipe, it’s another. I don’t have Gran’s recipe.

With the cakes (three of them) in the oven, the aroma starts to permeate around the house and it’s gorgeous. It also takes me right back to Bonfire Night when I was a child. Toffee apples, bonfire toffee and Parkin. All homemade. All yummy. ┬áSeasonal treats. All steeped in tradition as they are made.

Mum is making toffee apples and bonfire toffee for the event, so I had a look at recipes for toffee. Comparing the online recipes to ‘our recipes’ was interesting. All the online recipes recommended the use of a sugar thermometer to check the toffee as it’s boiling (to get the right point for ‘crunchy or chewy’ toffee. I don’t remember my Gran or Mum having one of those. We used a jug of very cold water to test the toffee. You simply drop a teaspoon of the (still boiling, liquid) toffee into the cold water and then you test it. Simple.

I’m quite lucky that I come from a family steeped in tradition. Baking is relaxing. It’s part of what makes me, me. It’s tradition. Family tradition.

I’ve made my Christmas cakes (one rum, one brandy and one whisky). I’ve made Parkin for bonfire night. What’s next??

The other me…

I have had a couple of days to think about this blog and what I would like to do with it…

I have decided that this blog will be dedicated to fun stuff and musings about life, cookery, golf, wine and other ‘tribbles’ as they crop up.

For everything marketing, I have another blog over at dhtmarketing.co.uk. Drop by sometime for tips, tricks and insights by me and other B2B marketing experts.

What to do next?

I’ve kind of lost my way with this blog. It has been about cooking and recipes, marketing, working in B2B tech, playing golf and my family. I haven’t blogged for a long time as I had a feeling this was becoming a rather shouty, rant about everything negative.

I read through some of the more ‘focussed’ posts recently and really enjoyed some of the memories that they brought back. So, now’s the time for me to think through what I want to use this blog for.

 

‘I’ve got your back, trust me’

Whether you’re working for a new company and have that nerve racking first day ahead of you, or you’re part of an established team awaiting the arrival of new colleagues – the road ahead can be a minefield. New personalities. Skills. Moods. Contribution. Fit.

How do you work out the dynamic between you? How do you establish working relationships that count?

Teams of people work eight or so hours a day, relationships build quickly and common ground is established. You might even start to build trust between you and those colleagues, giving you a deeper understanding and empathy within the team. But, trust must be earned, as must respect. They are not given lightly, nor are they something to play with.

But, how do you know if trust is mutual? How do you know if someone is genuine? At what point do you ‘relax’, get back to ‘normal’ and do the job at hand, without distraction? Do you simply ‘trust’ your instincts and feelings?

There are people in life who are simply not genuine. People who are centred on themselves. Who think of themselves, before others and about securing their position in business. These are the people who tell you to (face to face) ‘I’ve got your back’. The same people who think nothing of calling with their woes and worries; a review, an issue with the spouse or kids or even a team member. So, what do you do, and how do you handle it when your trust is betrayed? Confront them? Ignore them? Get on with your job regardless? But, what happens when their actions have a serious impact on you, both personally and professionally? Where do you turn when the person you thought you trusted has betrayed that trust?

Karma really is a beautiful thing. The only thing you have to do is wait.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Other ‘Social Networking’

We live in a world that’s changing. Networks are expanding. Lives don’t move on and it’s difficult for people to make a clean break or a fresh start in any area. I’m not saying it’s wrong (or right) but, I do think it gives pause for thought.

Facebook allows us to reconnect with old friends, or those we’ve lost touch with over the years. It gives us licence to chat, post updates about our lives and tell others what’s going on. It allows people to keep up the happenings of far away friends, but at what point does it become a little bit ‘intrusive’? Or voyeuristic? Do you really want your entire friends list knowing what you had for breakfast? Or that you’re a bit drunk and threw up on the train?

And LinkedIn? The ‘professional’ network…? I have noticed recently that my profile gets a lot of attention from ex-colleagues – people that haven’t actually spoken to me in recent months. What do they want? Is it to know what I’m doing and where? Or another reason?

I’ve had a Twitter account for many years, but recently, my use of Twitter has changed. Is what I say interesting enough to warrant a post? Are my followers really interested in my life? What do I enjoy from the people that follow me? And why?

Are we creating tools and environments that allow people to satisfy curiosity or are we giving people windows into our lives that they normally would not have? Is it stalking? If it’s not stalking, at what point does it become stalking?

What’s going on?

To those of you who check in regularly to see what news, you’ll know there’s not been much blogging going on. Not just recently, but, it seems, over the past year or so. I’m in two minds whether to continue or whether to delete this. Over recent months the blog has simply become a place to rant, a place to let off steam and to talk about stuff that really shouldn’t matter.

It has lost it’s way. I shall look for it. If I don’t succeed then I promise to make it disappear.