I’m sat in the corner of my hotel room at the Novotel at Stanstead working on the blog on this tiny desk. Doll Parts and airplanes taking off for destinations unknown are my soundtrack. In a few hours, I will be co-delivering a team-building workshop with my friend Nicola Jones.

If you’re one of my handful of readers, you’ll notice the blog is going through yet another transformation. Since coming back from my 10-day camping trip, I’ve felt the desire to blog properly again. Consistent with my past pattern, every time I come back to blogging, I inevitably change the design. I guess it makes me feel like I’m starting something new.

I’m a sucker for new and shiny things.

Hence why I now have an iPad Pro 11 along with the Apple Pencil 2. Oh and I’ve upgraded my Garmin Vivofit 3 to the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus! (which I’ll do a review of at some point). All in the span of a couple of weeks. Oh, and did I mention, I’ve started window shopping for a Mazda Bongo.

I’m manic like that. If I change one thing, I have to change everything.

fast forward to the end of day…

The workshop was ace! The delegates were in the game and on point. Definitely a number of future leaders in the group.

The long drive back from Stansted went by without a hitch and I was home in time to grab a decent workout.

21:14hrs. Settling back into my workflow after a two day trip to Germany to deliver a customer centricity workshop. Actually, it was a follow-up day to some work I did with this team earlier in the year. We’re half-way through the program now. Next time I see the guys will be in Madrid in July.

It was nice to be back in Germany. I have many fond memories from my time living there back in 1993 – 1996. It was my first duty assignment. I did my platoon leader and XO time with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, which was, at the time, a mechanized infantry battalion attached to the 1st Armor Division – Old Ironside. Good times!

Once on the ground, the first thing I needed to do was make my way to a German pub for schnitzel, pommes frites, and a Hefeweizen. Gotta love Germany, if only for that.

Let me back up a second. On my approach into Munich airport, I posted this:

Well 30 minutes later, I was being escorted to a German police station. Seems I had been a naughty boy…


I must say though, the Polizei were very polite. They kept me informed of what was going the whole time. Not once did I feel intimidated or threatened.

We had an early start on Tuesday to try to pack as much learning into the day as we could, especially as people were flying in from all over the place (China, USA, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK) to attend this one-day event. Everything ran to plan – mostly. There’ll always be some tweaking to do keep things running smoothly, if not exactly to plan.

And then it was back on a plane late Tuesday night (22:05) to fly home.

I’m glad today was a non-client day. I needed to catch up on some reading and also record the next episode of the Havana Cafe Sessions podcast with Sarah. We’re talking Star Wars of all things, but not in a way you might think. Sneak peek: I explore freedom versus predetermination through the lens of Star Wars!

Well, tomorrow, I do have some client work, so I better jet and make sure I’m prepped for it. I’ll leave you with a photoset from the journey. Have a flick through:

Born again.

I was tired of this life and decided to create another, in Second Life of course. Like a scene out of the Terminator, I materialise into an all white room.  I am naked.  A woman materialises next to me.  She is naked.  We are Adam and Eve.  Or in this case Clay187 and Whitelake.  I ask her if this is Heaven.  She is to concerned with her naked body to reply.  I have been reborn a biker rock-star dude with spiky hair. My dress code is all black leather.

The gods of Second Life have left a set of instructions on big billboards.  Six steps to a new life.  First learn how to walk.  Next learn how to zoom in.  And you have to learn how to sit in case you get tired of walking around this vast virtual world.  It’s a new world, how do you find your way around? With a map of course and in this new world I can teleport from town to town, island to island, country to country.  And when exploring a place, why walk when you can fly.  The Second Life gods are cool.  Man can fly.

Six steps complete.  I fly off into a brave new world.

I meet my first friend in this new life, TheFallenPrince from Middlesex.  If any of you dear readers are roaming around the world of Second Life, look me up.  I am Clay187.

I decide to have a sit down lunch today. It has been at least a couple of weeks since I’ve had a decent burger. I spot the Slug and the Lettuce. They do a decent bacon cheeseburger, so I head there. The place is not busy which surprises me for a Friday lunch time in the city.

A quick glance at the menu and I understand why.  £9.75 for a burger. Geez…

A little stunned, I order from the chap at the bar.  He tells me to take a seat wherever I like.  I pull out the Time magazine I bought this morning. I am eager to read the interview of novelist Jonathan Franzen, although I have never read any of his work, I figure he must be important to grace the cover of Time magazine. Only 5 other novelists have done so – Salinger, Nabokov, Morrison, Joyce, and Updike.  Besides, I like reading about other writers.

The interview reads well.  I like what Franzen seems to be about as a writer.  I will have to read a couple of his novels, Corrections being his most known work, and Freedom, which is out at the end of this month.

I clocked that the clouds have burst and the rain is coming down heavy.  Good reason to hunker down delay going back to the office.

– –

Emerson, in his essay on Nature, says that the poet and the philosopher differ only in their main end.    The poet animates nature with his own thoughts, as does the philosopher.  However the poet’s main end is Beauty  and the philosopher’s main end is Truth.

I fancy myself a poet and a philosopher.  How true that is, I am not sure.  I am probably more the court jester than a poet or philosopher.  That aside, I had to ask myself the question: is my main aim beauty or truth?

I believe both ends are noble pursuits, but I think for me, on balance, Truth is my main end.  It underpins all that I do.  Perhaps it is that I seek the truth in a poetic way.

When I kissed Ruth goodbye this morning, the position she was laying in reminded me of the the Hanged Man in the Tarot Major Arcana.  I had one of those moments of “hmmm, I better follow this intuition,”  so I snatched the mini tarot book from my bedroom book shelf.  I wanted to know what the significance of the Hanged Man might be.  Wisdom, circumspection, discernment, trials, intuition, divination, and prophecy are the words associated with this card.  The words that resonated with me out of that list initially was wisdom, but then as I started writing this sentence, intuition came into the frame and then I remember an email my sister sent me earlier this week that said the pastor at my mom’s memorial service told her something that a prophet had told her about my mom.  My sister didn’t explain it in the email.  She told me she would need to talk to me in person about it.

Being in this space I decided to shuffle the tarot deck and do a simple past, present, future spread.  The cards turned out were: The Wheel of Fortune in the past position, Judgement in the present position, and The Fool in the future position.  What I took from that reading was destiny, change of position/renewal and folly/intoxication with life.

I feel like I need to give birth to something.

Perhaps today is a day to pay attention to signs and omens…