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


Trouble Is Back …
February 1, 2023, 8:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Advertising, Attitude & Aptitude, Colenso, New Zealand, R/GA

Come on, you didn’t think I was not going to come back, did you?

I’m the cockroach of blogs. And advertising. And music. And good taste.

Besides, I really would love this blog to hit 21 before I blow it up.

Whether it will make it that long is anyone’s guess.

Whether I will make it that long is anyone’s guess.

But I’m going to give it a go because I’m annoying and pathetic like that … which means you still have 4 years to go.

I bet that feels so long away doesn’t it?

Probably as long as its feels you were enjoying the festive holiday season … but I do hope you had a good one.

I know I did.

Not just because in NZ we get a long time off.
Nor that in NZ people genuinely leave you alone.
But because I got to spend quality time with the family and that makes me enormously happy.

[I also got plenty of time to play video games, but that might ruin the ‘good husband/father/cat slave’ image I’ve tried to build up in this post]

That said, I’m back, feel fully rested and am raring to go.

I’ve also come back to 2 new/old brilliant planners in my team.

I say new/old, because they’re new to Colenso but old to me.

Martin and Meg were with me at R/GA in London and they’ve now come to be with me in NZ.

I say ‘with me’, but we all know the real reason they came was because they wanted to escape the madness of the UK. But that aside, I’m absolutely thrilled and – slightly overwhelmed/shocked – that they trusted me enough to come and deal with my bullshit all over again. What wonderful fools. So with them – and Shelly, who joined from the UK in December – the team is even more of a gang of talented misfits and that makes me happy and very, very excited for the mayhem we can cause.

I appreciate this is a massively indulgent post, but it is my blog and as I’ve still kept the comments off, I’ll assume you’re OK with it. Even though I’m pretty sure this will ignite the daily abuse of emails to start again from Andy, John, Dave and Baz [but sadly not you Lee or George], all telling me I’m only fooling myself.

Unfortunately for them, as far as I’m concerned that’s the only way to live.

See you tomorrow, with a killer of a post. And by killer, I mean you’ll want to kill yourself. Or me. OK, definitely me.

Ta-ra.

Comments Off on Trouble Is Back …


Goodbye 2022. Hello Peace And Quiet …

So this is it, the last post of 2022.

Again, I want to say a big thank you to everyone and anyone who has read or commented on my ranting rubbish.

I have to say, I miss the comments.

I know it was my choice to stop them, but I do miss them – so maybe I’ll have to bring them back, even though I’ve become waaaaaaay more productive since they’ve been turned off as I don’t have to spend vast amounts of my time checking what insults have been written to me and about me, hahaha.

But lack of comments aside, it’s been a big year … mainly because it has been the first year in a couple of years without any lock-down. And yet I still find it bizarre seeing people not wearing masks and being able to get on a plane again.

To think of the isolation, suffering and pain so many people suffered, the speed of the bounce-back has taken my breath away. Of course there are still people enduring tough times … but given the horror of the pandemic has seemingly been replaced by the threat of nuclear war and economic collapse, maybe COVID wasn’t so bad after all.

That said, I’m so grateful for the ability to travel again as it meant I was able to go on a trip that I’ll never, ever forget.

A trip where I got to see my beloved Martin getting married in Portugal.
A trip where I got to see my beloved Nottingham Forest getting promoted at Wembley.
A trip where I got to see my beloved Queen in concert with a ticket I bought 2 years earlier.
A trip where I got to see my beloved Paul, after the longest time we’ve been apart in 52 years.

It was, without exaggeration, one of the most special times in my life … with stuff I thought I may never see – or see again – so you will understand why I still feel so grateful to be able to have experienced it.

But beyond that, there were many other things that made this year memorable.

We did some fun work including Beyond Binary, Rick and Morty, Phone It In and Give Up On Humans. Our agency Christmas gift was interesting too. I say interesting, but I mean ridiculous, especially compared to last years more sophisticated Restraining Order, haha.
I wrote a pretty decent April Fools post that conned a few people.
And then, more seriously, I wrote some posts about my dalliance with depression, fulfilment, prejudice and respect that seemed to mean something to people, which made me feel happy it helped in some way.
I worked with Metallica, Miley Cyrus, Muse and Journey, to different degrees of success and enjoyment, hahaha.
We produced Dream Small … which I’m not only very proud of, but has led to conversations and change I never imagined we could have.
The way Otis – and his school – dealt with his dysgraphia diagnosis.
I celebrated my Mum’s 90th.
I got to see the wonderful Maya and Bree again, after years.
I was somehow featured in a book.
My Bohemian Catsody office mural … featuring Rosie amongst others.
I laughed myself stupid about Gi’s shit explosion while also being proud as punch of my wonderful team with our WARC/Cannes Global Grand Prix for effectiveness … followed up with us winning the same achievement at the NZ Effies … followed up by us winning the Global Grand Effie a few weeks later.
Renovating the old Colenso table to give it – and the irrepressible, unmistakeable Kate Maitland – the respect and recognition they deserve.
Lizzie and Amy’s news.
And Paula’s wonderful ray of sunshine.
Then finding the brilliant Briar and Shelly … with Martin and Meg arriving in Jan. [Which in Meg’s case, is almost 2 years in the waiting]
And last – but certainly not least – seeing Boris get pushed out quickly [literally and figuratively] by Liz Truss, even though the evil Tories somehow remain in power.

Of course there was some sad and disappointing stuff.

The loss of the irreplaceable and wonderful Dan Wieden.
Queenie … which hit me far more than I ever imagined it would.
Ben. Who left us too soon.
Mike’s motorcycle accident.
Henry, Liam and Robin left the team.
My first dalliance with COVID. And Jill too.
The bullshit that Simon P was forced to deal with and face.
Not to mention the horrible situation one of our clients was exposed to by the worst of society.
And then too many terrible global events, with the situations in Ukraine and Iran being possibly the worst of them all. What makes these last two even more disturbing is how the media only pay lip service to them. As if they don’t deem the horrors ‘relevant’ enough for their viewers and readers so they hide it on pages 5 and 6 … behind articles on energy bills, political scandal and sports scores.

I know it’s Christmas, but instead of having that one extra drink or buying that one shitty pressie, donating that money to organisations who offer support and help would be amazing. Two of them are this for Ukraine and this for Iran.

2022 has reminded me how privileged and comfortable my life is.

While compared to many, I have only experienced that sort of life, there have been times that have challenged me.

1999 was horrid.
As was 2015.
And last December was arguably, the worst month I’ve ever faced.

But this year, from a purely personal perspective, has generally been pretty special for me and one of the biggest reasons for that is my family.

I know we’re all supposed to say that, but it’s true.

Not just for who they are, but because for some reason, I feel we got even closer.

Emotionally.
Supportively.
Connectively.

To be honest, I thought we were already as close as you can be, but I discovered there’s actually no limit to the level of connection you can feel with loved ones and that has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Maybe it’s because NZ is so far from everyone, we feel closer to each other. Maybe it’s because we don’t see the people we love so often, we have become more reliant on each other. Maybe it’s because we just have gone through some stuff that it reinforced how special we are to each other. Maybe it’s for reasons I’ve not wanted to admit before because it challenges the priorities I’ve lived by before.

Who knows, but what I can say is I love my ramshackle collection of Campbell’s.

Including Rosie, of course.

They’re not perfect.
They can drive me nuts.
But they’re mine and I adore every bit of them.

Which is why I want to sign off by saying to them – and to the rest of you – that whatever you do over this period, I hope it gives you all you want and all you need. I am grateful for everything every one of you put in my life and I hope 2023 – as scary as many are suggesting it will be – will surprise us all with its happiness and fulfilment.

Just as long as mine is happier and more fulfilling than yours.

Hey, I may be getting more tolerant in my old age, but I’m still as only-child demanding as ever.

Have a great one. Back Feb 1. I hope to see you in 2023.

Comments Off on Goodbye 2022. Hello Peace And Quiet …


The Power Of Home.
December 6, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Childhood, Colenso, Comment, Family, New Zealand

This is a photo of my home. Obviously taken at night.

I love this place.

It’s probably my favourite place of all the places I’ve ever lived.

Of course, being able to have any home is a total privilege … so having one you really love is bordering on obscene. I get that.

And it’s obscene how much I love this place.

The fact it’s built into the trees.

That it’s surrounded by nature.

That it has outside decks on multiple floors.

That it’s close to work and yet feels a million miles away.

And then there’s the fact we bought it without having seen it – or even being in the country – which just makes it feel like we won the lottery. Except we paid a shitload for the ticket, haha.

So knowing one day we’ll leave it makes it all the more difficult.

Of course we don’t know when, but it will happen.

And while we’ve talked about trying to build an exect replica wherever we end up next … we know even if it was identical, it wouldn’t be the same.

Because a home is more than those walls.

It’s the environment. The surrounding area. The community. The moment in time.

Which is why I especially love the top pic.

Because while it doesn’t show much, it shows just enough.

A big steel door that holds a warm, inviting shelter.

A place where my family could blossom again after the challenges of covid.

A building where my son, wife and cat could connect to the privilege of living in New Zealand.

In many ways, it’s the most ‘family’ home we’ve had.

I don’t mean that in terms of size, but in our connection to it … which given we’ve lived in other places for far longer is testimony to what it means to us.

What New Zealand has done for us.

What Colenso made happen for us.

Leaving it will be terribly, terribly hard.

And while people reading this may rightfully say, “stop wishing your life away” … the reality is it means we’re not taking anything for granted. We notice and embrace every detail. We remain thankful for what we have. And in my book, that’s an act of love … which may be the most mature thing I’ve ever said, let alone done, in my life.

Comments Off on The Power Of Home.


Good Job I Love Weird …
November 7, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Advertising, Colenso, Creativity, Culture, Professionalism

A few weeks ago I came to the office and found a drawing on my desk.

Putting aside that the drawing makes Si look more like a snowman than our CCO, I’m wondering why someone thinks he is looking at me have a ‘pee pee’.

Or maybe it’s something more sinister …

What if it was Si who drew this?

Is this an HR offence?

Probably … but let’s be honest, I’ve done much worse.

Not in terms of looking at my colleagues going to the loo – just in case Colenso lawyers are reading this – but in terms of questionable professionalism.

Which just leaves me with one thing to say …

Thank god Si is a writer, because he sure as hell isn’t am artist.

Comments Off on Good Job I Love Weird …


Tell Me ….
October 28, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Cats, Colenso, Colleagues, Immaturity, Rosie

… you love Queen, your cat Rosie and you share an office with other cat lovers without telling me you love Queen, your cat Rosie and you share an office with other cat lovers.

I tell you what, however bad the day may be, this will make me happy.

Despite the judging, displeased look on all their faces.

Kate Maitland, you are a bloody genius.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Comments Off on Tell Me ….