Posted in New Year

Dusting off New Year’s Resolutions

How in advance of the chimes of Big Ben (if you’re in the UK) ringing through the start of another year, that the ink on your New Year’s Resolutions list was bone dry?

Historically we did it like this

Do the good people of planet Earth still use the phrase New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs)?  Apologies, I don’t mean to sound rude when I say this.  It’s just because in these very recent times we are good at re-visiting our trends at any point during the year.  Lets take the most common item on the NYRs list, joining a gym. Historically you may not have thought about this one in any particular detail, but it comes to the frontal lobe at the start of Christmas until New Years Eve.

Iterative evaluation

The alternative scenario is you’ve still managed to indulge during the festive period and who doesn’t.  One should always feel happy with themselves and not be coaxed into doing something for the sake of it. But a few months into the New Year someone you know is partaking in a sporting event for charity and Eureka, you decide to get involved and get fit! You evaluate and join the gym, or start walking more, running or even cycling. More importantly you’ve done it at the moment you felt ready which means you are more likely to stick with it.  According to the Fitness Industry Association gym memberships go up by 12% in January, with many quitting just 24 weeks later.  In fact many would quit earlier if they weren’t locked into 6 month contracts!

Let me dust off the NYRs cobwebs first

I was searching through my site the other day to see the last time I posted anything on this subject, as I don’t have any paper based evidence.  Patiently I watched the archive posts unfold themselves onto my screen and I chuckled.  Ahead of 2020, let me share what I noted as my NYRs all those years back:

Note: my profession involves a lifetime of applying a RAG (Red/Amber/Green) statuses to everyday management.  If it’s green, I’ve done it!  If it’s amber, it’s at risk of slippage. If it’s red, then it’s sadly slipped! 

On a dark December night in 2010…..

  • Develop my business ideaThrough a common interest (sport) a friend and myself decided to set up a sports foundation to help young Indian children.  Now you may be reading this and thinking, bit of a narrow take on things, what about everyone else. While we never turned anyone away, this particular ethnic group needed a push. Our foundation ran for a couple of years and helped kids in specialist sports such as cricket, go-karting, judo, squash and badminton.  We organised and delivered golf days to raise funds for equipment and private lessons where parents were unable to help.  With whatever we had left over we donated to charities such as Great Ormond Street Hospital or Ellenor Hospice. I am sure we will rejuvenate the foundation again at some point.   
  •  Convert my audio cassettes – I had 300 back in 2010 and you’ll be pleased to know I managed to convert, wait for it, 75% of the lot to MP3.  The remaining 15% I managed to acquire from the web. 
  •  Convert my VHS video tapesApart from the nostalgia and need to preserve memories, the cost was a driving factor to do it myself.  At the last time of enquiring an external company would be charging me a tidy sum of £50 per 3hrs of footage. As I picked myself off the floor and blurted a few expletives, common sense prevailed. Now I have myself a borrowed VHS recorder, a SCART lead and all of my VHS tapes.  All I need now is a conversion kit and I am ready to go! 

What new joys do I have on my list for 2020!

  •  Complete my FINAL book draft and publish – this one is top of my agenda! I started writing my first novel in December 2015.  Click here to read a brief background.  Realistically, by September I am hoping it’s sitting on bookshelves somewhere and also available for purchase online. A new website to support the book and also other new book ideas to be created by end of February, you heard it here first! 
  •  Launch a short YouTube mini series for our comedy venture The Chucklesinghs – 4 years ago a friend and myself got into stand-up comedy by mistake.  It started with an open mic session on stage at a charity event, and just this November we hosted and performed our 12th show.  It’s time for a mix up and we want to plan and release a short series on the other side of the Chucklesinghs. See it as a working sabbatical. 

So that’s it!  I am confident these are attainable but two things are bound to happen; (1) re-evaluation (2) emergence of new items on the list.

If you’re reading this, then a very Happy New Year, wishing you a 2020 full of great health and year of new adventures.

Posted in Short stories

A Nearly End: The Conversation

When all is said and done, no stone left unturned, the three of them lean back on the wooden chairs in the coffee house.  Glancing everywhere but at each other, the mood is very sombre.  Some tears, some disappointment, something lost forever, something worth saving, something forgotten, something worth remembering, something shattered, something worth repairing, something best buried. They depart one by one, hoping never to see each again….

A snippet from a new short story I am writing, more to come.  The Conversation.

Posted in Personal Observations, Words

The Tree My Perception

There is a large Tree near where I live,
It’s trunk is thick and brown, lines marking its bark conceal many tales,
It’s branches extending out at different lengths.

On many occasions it has offered shelter,
Today my soul wanders over to the foot of the Tree,
There I see four souls perched up against the trunk.

The first is thinking, while examining the sheer size of the Tree –
“Should I purchase this Tree for myself, then I can cut it down and sell it off for a profit”

The second is thinking, while listening to the branches and leaves nudge against each other –
“How wonderful is the sound this Tree makes, for surely it’s the perfect musician”

The third is thinking, having walked out after fighting with his wife, children and neighbour, in need of peace –
“The sheer noise these branches and leaves are making is like they are having a fight, the world is a house of arguments”

The fourth is meditating, notices a leaf falling from the Tree and thinks with sadness in his heart –
“Just as this leaf will never attach itself back to the branch again, each passing moment lost here cannot be reclaimed”

It’s a question of how we perceive….

 

 

Posted in Poetry

A Day Not The Same For All

It’s a warm Sunday morning and I decide to go for a bike ride

In the first leg of my ride, I cycle past a village pub,
There is a group of men sitting outside,
The amber looking beer glasses filled to the brim,
There is loud laughter, drinking together is fun,
They take a look at me riding past,
In my mind, they say “Silly guy on his wheels”
It’s now moving from warm to a little hot!

In the second leg of my ride, I am now cycling up a hill,
On my left side there is an old cemetery I can see,
There is a car reversing out but stops at the entrance,
I slow down just to be sure and my attention moves to the back,
There is a girl sitting with head down crying heavily,
Those in front haven’t noticed her state yet, But I have.
It’s now moving from a little hot to hotter!

In the third leg of my ride, I peddle swiftly along a flat countryside track,
It’s been 10 miles and I stop to fuel up with a chocolate bar,
I look around and notice a couple sitting on a grassy bank,
Both their eyes locked into each other, seem so in love,
I move along, as not to distract them from their moment.
It’s now moving from a little hotter to unbearable!

In the fourth leg of my ride, I am heading towards home,
10 more miles have passed since I saw that couple in love,
The sky has turned grey and the clouds look angry,
I’m not far from home when the heavens open,
God has left the tap running, drops come down menacingly,
Drivers stuck in traffic on the other side, look across to me,
In my mind, they say “Silly guy on his wheels”
It’s now moved from unbearable to cleansing!

 

 

Posted in Personal Observations

“Chup Da Dhaan” – A Plea for Peace

I hand wrote this post some 8 months ago while travelling on the train on a Monday morning. Something had bugged me the day before at an event so I jotted down some thoughts.  The draft remained on the back page of my work notepad, ink dry on a rough sandpaper type piece of paper.  Today I attended an event and came across the same experience 8 months earlier, so I decided to transfer dry ink to electronic font!

I sat down gently, my posture facing the front.  The Divan Hall was packed, both sides balancing each other out.  Not pretending to know everything that was being spoken, I tried to understand, learn, cling onto phrases I may recognise and hence piece together the meanings.

But, my focus was broken and I sensed the focus of the one speaking was also beginning to waiver.  I felt an intense heat of shame on my back, starting to feel its way into my skin and to my head.  It was the noise of the others sitting behind me, talking, continuously, embroiled in conversation, almost like the sound of a swarm of bees.  I really felt angry, disappointed….suddenly, the stage reacted.  Someone stood up, nodded to the Priest reading from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (The Sikh Holy Scripture) to lower his tone, then addressed the Sangat (congregation) by saying Chup Da Dhaan Buckshawgrant us the plea for peace. A hush hovered over everyone, I felt relaxed again, I closed my eyes, but then the heat started working its way back, the Sangat had started talking again, loudly, and I couldn’t make out what the Priest was reading.

The Sukhmani Sahib Path (prayer) is one of bliss and joy, which when absorbed brings tranquillity to one’s heart, like all Sikh prayers.  When we attend the Gurdwara (Sikh Holy place of worship) or any other place of worship then why do people insist on talking between each other?  Would you talk between yourself when someone at your workplace is giving you an important presentation?  The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji must be treated with the utmost respect – realise your environment and its importance to you and those around you.  You may not understand each and every word that is uttered from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji or by the Priest, however this is your opportunity to learn, even if it’s in small segments.

Please, respect your surrounding, those around you, don’t lose the opportunity in your grasp.