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

Hidden In Plain Sight …

A week or so ago, Otis was telling me about a magic trick he saw at school.

He was amazed by it.

Apparently some magicians came in to assembly and showed the school a book that was in black and white and then – at the flick of a wand – turned into colour.

So I said to him, was it something like this …

He watched transfixed before shouting with sheer joy …

“Yes Daddy, that’s it. THAT’S IT!”

So I said to him …

“Well if you like that, you may like this from a long time ago” …

He laughed and laughed and laughed, then asked me what it was.

So I told him that years ago, in 2007 in fact, a group of people did this thing called iPod Singing, which was the latest wonderfully bonkers ideas from Marcus Brown.

He looked at me for a second and said,

“Were those videos Marcus Brown?”

“No” …” I replied, “… they were of me”.


Bit more silence.

Look of confusion and amazement on his face.

“But it didn’t look like you or sound like you Daddy”.

I looked at Jill.

“Well your voice has changed over they years”, she said.

Jesus Christ …

And while I would like to think this means I could be James Bond, the reality is I now understand why tax departments in every country I’ve lived give me shit. Because every year, it appears they think the person who has to pay their bill isn’t the person who is stood in front of them saying, “I’ve paid, I’ve paid”.

So thank you Marcus for revealing how my son only recognises me from 2014 … which is handy given all the shit I want him not to see when he’s older.

Catching Up On Netflix …
August 27, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Comment, Holiday, Jill

So no posts till Tuesday.

While this is good news for you, spare a thought for my poor wife, who has to deal with me for FOUR DAYS IN A ROW. And she thought moving to NZ put an end to that. Cue: Evil Laugh.

Entitled To Nothing …

Once upon a time, I was invited to a meeting that frankly, I should not have been invited to.

Admittedly I was told I was only there so I could witness the behaviour of the most senior people in the company and I absolutely was not allowed to say a word … but it still was an absolutely ridiculous decision by the company.

Anyway, so I go in and I sit quietly at the back.

After about an hour, a new member of the board started speaking.

To be honest, I was quite taken aback at the tone they were using.

It wasn’t confident, it was down right arrogant … a unique ability to sound condescending, belittling and entitled all at the same time.

It was at this point, the CEO and founder of the company stepped in with words that shut things down in an absolute second.

He looked right at the individual flexing their metaphorical muscles and said:

“You haven’t earned the right to be arrogant and when you have, you will know that’s not the way to behave”.

It was brilliant and embarrassing in equal measure and I had to do all I could not to break out into wild applause.

I say this because a couple of weeks ago, I kind of had another experience like this.

A complete stranger on LinkedIn reached out to me to ask if I worked with Metallica.

When I told them I did, they said – and I quote – “How do I talk to them about my new business idea?

To which I replied:

“You have to find an old lamp & rub it. If a genie comes out, ask them to sort it for you.”

Unsurprisingly they called me a prick, but apart from the fact I am not the bands gatekeeper – I’m much more the bands cat litter tray – why does he think I would respond positively to his unsolicited email?

I’m not asking for subserviency.

I’m not asking for fawning.

But a little politeness would be nice.

Not that it would have changed anything, but I may have actually had a desire to hear what they were thinking and then see if there is someone else they should be talking to.

But no … they went right in as if I owed them something because they were brilliant and that entitled them to my desire to help unconditionally.

If that attitude wouldn’t work on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank … it sure as shit won’t work via an unsolicited email on LinkedIn to a petty bastard from Nottingham.

I know if you don’t ask, you don’t get, but what some people don’t seem to grasp is asking is very different to demanding.

Seriously, if this is what ‘professionalism’ is on LinkedIn, then I may be the most professional person on that platform and as you all know, that is possibly the scariest proposition of all time.

Talking of professionalism, I’m taking tomorrow and Monday off … and while you may think that is the antithesis of professionalism, I can assure you everyone else’s productivity will be up.

Love Is Lazy …

I found this photo recently.

It’s a few years old, when we lived in London … but there’s something about it that just warms my heart.

Not just because it features my son – though that helps – but because it in a period of pandemic chaos, it shows how love can make everything OK.

Covid had just taken hold.

We were all confined to home.

No one was offering any clarity.

People were dying at unprecedented numbers.

And Otis desperately needed his hair washing.

However …

… he was also playing a video game he absolutely didn’t want to stop playing so – because his world had been turned completely upside down – his wonderful, kind, considerate Mum found a way for him to keep playing while she could do some hair washing.

Obviously it is an utterly ridiculous way to do things, but it’s my ridiculous.

A moment of twisted normality at a time where nothing felt normal whatsoever.

And while I appreciate this is an utterly indulgent photograph, I love the way he seems oblivious to his surroundings. His little legs stretched out to the tip of his toes. And a kitchen that has been rapidly turned into a school, a playroom and a hairdressers all at the same time.

While we were painfully aware of the privileged position we were in – from having an income to having a teeny garden to escape in – the fear of COVID was starting to take a hold which is why, as I look at that photo today, I realise how much my ridiculously beautifully family let me feel we were strong together at a point where everything was feeling like it was falling apart.

The Most Insightful Photo In The World?
August 24, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Creativity, Culture, Honesty, Insight, Truth

Who knows if the photographer saw the irony in this photo.

Or the cutting social commentary.

Or – said another way – the uncomfortable honesty.

But regardless, it proves great humour is based on truth.

PS: If you don’t get what I’m talking about, then piss off you fresh, young, un-sad sods.