The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Like Father Like Son …
November 4, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Cunning, Emotion, Fatherhood, Jill, Love, My Fatherhood, Otis, Parents

As you read this, I’ll be on a plane to the UK for a weekend with my best friend.

I know … that sounds a bit indulgent, but the reason for that is because next week I’m in Amsterdam for work and to run a couple of classes for HOALA, so it’s not that too princessy.

So the good news for you is there will be no posts for all of next week.

The bad news – for Martin Weigel – is he is going to have to put up with me for 5 whole days.

Anyway, the reason for the title of this blog post is recently my wife sent me this message while she was in a cafe with Otis for a spot of breakfast.

I cannot tell you how proud I am.

Not just of Otis, but of my parenting skills, because they seem to be achieving real results in terms of nurturing a mischievous little sod.

Anyway, until the 14th …



Happy Birthday Mum …
November 3, 2016, 6:30 am
Filed under: Comment, Dad, Daddyhood, Family, Jill, Mum, Mum & Dad, Otis, Parents

Oh Mum.

How I miss you.

I am in a better place than I was this time last year, but you are always in my thoughts.

I continually tell Jill how much I would have loved you to meet Otis.

He’s such a lovely little boy.

Cheeky but oh-so-sweet.

He can throw a temper tantrum in 0.3 milliseconds, but will always say “thank you” [in a weird Americanesque accent] the moment you do anything for him … from giving him a drink to opening the front door.

I think about what you’d say if you saw him.

How you’d look.

And I know the pride and joy on your face would be both for how wonderful your grandson is and how well you think I – your son – am doing with him.

Of course we both would know so much of it is down to Jill, but if I’m doing anything right [and if you read tomorrow’s post, you’ll realise that is questionable] it is down to the love and support I felt from you and Dad throughout my childhood.

The love and support I still feel, despite you both being gone.

And that’s why I’m wishing you a happy birthday … not just because I love you and I miss you, but because your presence is still with me and always will be, which is probably the best testimony I can give to you as a person and as a parent.

I am honoured that I was able to call you my Mum.

You were an amazing lady and a fabulous Mum in every possible way … even if you never thought you were and would be telling me to stop with all the compliments.

So Happy birthday Mum, tell Dad to give you an extra kiss from me. Love you. Rx

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If You Think This Blog Talks Shit, You Should See What’s On Linkedin …
November 2, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

I have a soft spot for Linkedin.

No, I don’t mean a swamp filled with crocodiles, I mean a soft spot in my heart.

I don’t know why given they think the best way I can improve my career is by going to work for Johnson Controls, but maybe it’s because everyone on there tries so hard to be professional and meaningful and I find it kinda sweet, despite the fact there’s more fiction in there than any Harry Potter book.

Well, I say people try to be professional and meaningful on there but when someone makes a political statement, then all the nutcases and weirdo’s come out to insult and attack.

How do I know this?

Because when BREXIT happened, I wrote how gullible the people who voted leave were and I literally received hundreds of attacking and threatening comments.

Thank goodness I have been getting that on this blog for the last 10 years or it would have really upset me.

So back to the point of this post …

Recently I have seen a massive increase in the sort of ‘inspiration’ stories favoured by self-help gurus and evangelical priests.

You know the kind … the ones ‘with a message’ that are packaged to be truth but are obviously nothing of the sort.

Stuff like this …

See what I mean?

It’s utter bullshit and yet so many seem to be doing it and I just don’t quite understand why.

Do they think they’re inspiring people?

Do they think by writing something someone else said, it makes them look good?

Do they do it to make up for their own lack of career focus or success?

I honestly don’t know but like those religious folk who are on late night TV going on about how they were a drug-fuelled, alcoholic, cripple until God saved them and now they can heal others … it makes me angry.

To be honest, my reaction is out of proportion to what is being said and done. After all, it doesn’t directly affect me and yet I hate that people churn this bullshit out.

I hate that – consciously or not – they are suggesting that everyone and anyone can be successful as long as you blindly believe.

I get we all need faith in what we’re doing, but what pisses me off is it doesn’t talk about the importance of wanting to learn and to improve or even the requirement of talent.

Yes, talent … that thing that seems to have become a dirty word. That thing that seems to be viewed as a divisive reference when the reality is not everyone can be talented in every single thing, because if they were, then they wouldn’t be talented, they’d just be average.

Talent is vital.

That doesn’t mean people with less natural ability in a certain field should be ignored, of course not, but I do get fed up of this attitude amongst companies – and Linkedin commenters – that ‘talent’ is seemingly secondary to attitude or perseverance. Of course those 2 things are very important as well, but effort without ability or vision will only get you – and the company you work for – so far. Talent is something to be celebrated and rewarded and if people worry saying that might offend those without it, then frankly, you’re not representing the sort of standards the truly talented will want to be a part of.

Phew … I feel better for that.

Or I would if the above example was doing or saying what I was criticising it of.

You see when I looked more carefully at the person who posted it, I saw he worked for satirical magazine, The Onion and then realised [or hope he is] he’s taking the piss. This not only means he seems to also share my view that there’s a ton of this rubbish out there right now, but he has just turned it into comedy gold … which means it’s possibly the best ad for the Onion [and his own humour] you could possibly get.

Now if only the others who do this could claim they were doing it for the same reason …



When Product Descriptions Make You Feel Ill …

So I was in a supermarket recently when I saw this.

While I am a huge advocate of cleanliness and healthiness and I absolutely appreciate the cleaning properties of vinegar – I’m not sure if this is something I’d find appealing when looking for a product that I’m going to use on my most sensitive regions.

OK, two things.

1. I appreciate I WOULDN’T be using it on my sensitive regions.

[Sorry for that image]

2. Like Listerine [until they came out with the orange flavour, which is still madness personified] I get that some products need to leave you with an ‘ugly tingling feeling’ so you emotionally feel you have been cleaned. So to speak.

But seriously, is vinegar the sort of thing you’d want to use on yourself?

Maybe it’s because I’m a bloke – and an English bloke – but the word vinegar conjures up images of chips and while I would love to eat a bag of them covered in Sarsons [not that overpriced, poncy stuff] I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want my nether-regions to smell of them.

I wonder if that means this product isn’t available in the UK given vinegar’s strong association with dodgy food.

Actually I wonder if any normal person would spend this much time thinking about this subject?

Alright … maybe I’m a sad, weird freak but this product stopped me in my tracks, but that could also be because the naming is some of the weirdest I’ve ever seen in my life.

It starts off all nice and angelic with ‘Summers Eve’.

Oh that’s a nice name … it paints pictures of a beautiful evening sky, full of beautiful colours promising a bright tomorrow.

Then they throw in ‘Douche’.

OK, that kind of ruins the picture a bit because at best you think of someone you know who is a total idiot and at worst, you think of something a woman uses to clean her privates.

Then they double down with ‘Extra Cleaning Vinegar & Water’.

And with that, the beautiful evening sky has been replaced with the feeling of needles being jabbed where you never ever want them jabbed.

Seriously, that naming combination has to be the weirdest ever.

Surely they could have thought of other ways to talk about douche’s and vinegar given they’d come up with such an evocative product name.

But no. They didn’t which is why instead of Summers Eve, they should have called it Winter’s Worst and be done with it.