Friday, 29 June 2012

MATEY: Do you believe in fate?

HB: I believe that conscious individuation is extremely difficult to acheive. It may well be the quest of life. Its difficulty is not relieved by the self flattery we have of believing our own rhetoric, when it comes to our own authenticity. Semi conscious motivations can lead us to places and patterns which might feel externally derived or controlled. That's what I think we mistake for fate.

Sunday, 24 June 2012


On the whole I despise the idea of managing people.
As someone who sees work not only as a means of earning a humble crust, but also of self expression and creative fulfilment, I have expectations that others, in working for me, can and will exercise the same opportunities. This means that it is up to you to express yourself to whatever degree you want. You'll only get encouragement from me to do so. It means that the challenge of managing others for me is simply to encourage them to be themselves and then step back and let em be so. That, of course, to an extent, redefines job.
As someone who lives or dies by doing what they promise, I also expect that.
I believe strongly in self responsibility - doing what it says on the tin. More importantly, doing what you say you will, no matter what.
Not everyone gets it. Needy, "employee attitude" holders are unlikely to do so.
I don't care what time you come in.
I don't care what time you leave.
I don't much care what you do in between.
I don't believe in policies.
I don't believe in appraisals.
I don't believe in "development plans"
I don't believe in supervision.
I do believe in you and your ideas. Do you?
When there is an agreed output, you produce it.
No buts. No ifs. No excuses.
Do what you say.
Do it, even if it costs you.
Do it, at all costs.
If you don't, you won't be warned twice.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


I am an occasional smoker.
By which I mean, I never buy them, but if you open a pack of snouts, especially outside a pub two pints in, I'll happily cadge.
I'm not addicted. I'll go for weeks, months, without one. Then if I want one, I'll have one. No one is addicted. It is a myth bust open in Allen Carr's excellent book THE EASY WAY TO STOP SMOKING.
So I am not positioning myself as anti smoking.
But when I go to a client's offices and there is a constant stream of smokers heading out to the outside smoking hutch (now that smoking in any public building is banned) it does make me wonder whether an employer would be justified in paying smokers less than other workers. Five minutes for a fag. Ten fags a day, maybe more. That's an hour or so less a day than other workers. Five hours a week. twenty hours or so a month. 250 hours a year (or 30 and a bit days in old money).

Mmmm. A large cost, for sure.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


The poppies at Allerthorpe hurt my eyes.
It was as though someone had painted them in a hideously loud high visibility paint.
They are all red, of course, but each is different seen against its individual background.
They are like a family all dressed up to the nines, but with each one trying desperately to outdo the others. Fantastic reds, screaming at you to be noticed.
A red carpet to attract the brightest of stars.

Sunday, 10 June 2012


When the heaven has enough blue
To make a sailor's trousers
And the dew is fresh beneath the leaf
And joy comes easy,
You are singing your heart out,
Reminding me, Blackbird,
To drink in the radiance
Your song never forgot.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


When the sky is black over Will's Mum's
And my spirit's lower than the ponded field,
It takes just one blackbird singing
To keep me walking forward,
Rebuild faith in my own heart's beating,
Keep me going in my own direction.