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Archive for the ‘Personal Blog’ Category

The Secret Millionaire: could we all do more?

Posted by jorbell on October 24, 2010

In the UK there is a TV series called the Secret Millionaire where a wealthy person goes undercover into underprivileged areas and then after a period of time comes clean and hands over money for what he considers a deserving cause, person or project. It seems that £30K is the usual amount that is given overall and it could be split several ways for repairs to a local facility, or help with a care centre or for a person or family who are doing good in the community or becuase they deserve a break. It’s quite emotional stuff on many levels.

First of all you have the successful person. Being one of those ‘in the middle’ of society that have a decent job and are doing OK, how should I react to him or her? Some will be jealous of their success saying it is down to luck or a prosperous family whether they’ve earnt it or not. Others will applaud them because they had the drive and commitment to be a success especially if they started with nothing. Then there will be cynical people who think they are doing good to boost their ego or to make some personal gain and not doing it for the right reasons.

We also have those people who need care, or are out of work, living in poor conditions or being brought up in violent areas. People who feel trapped in their circumstances and can’t see a way out. Despite any range of problems including one or all of the above there are the persons who still seem to love life and will do anything for anyone for nothing or a pittance because it is the right thing to do.

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Intention manifestation or spooky coincidences?

Posted by jorbell on September 29, 2010

There will be a few people who will know I’m interested in psychology, the Law of Attraction, Intention Manifestation and the like. I thought I’d recount a couple of stories from the last couple of weeks that could be described as proof there’s ‘something in it’or simply wild coincidences.

A while back I had the sum of £40,000 come into my head. I don’t know why it just seemed to present itself to me and it hung around long enough to make think about how I should use that particular  thought. In the evening I spotted a lottery scratch card where the top prize was £40,000 a year for life which felt like a sign worth following up on.

Now, I don’t normally do gambling of any sort but I did wonder whether the figure was significant so I bought a card and won!

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe and my meeting with a drunk Glaswegian Eric Cantona Lookalike

Posted by jorbell on August 23, 2010

Edinburgh Festival - Banshee Labyrinth 2010

Edinburgh Festival - Banshee Labyrinth 2010

Later today I’m going to the Edinburgh Festival to watch my wife, Jo, perform on the Fringe. She is part of something called ‘A Pint of Poetry & a Dram of Drama’ at Scotland’s most haunted pub, The Banshee Labyrinth.

“A Pint of Poetry and a Dram of Drama is an open mic spoken word event from Peterborough. You know, near Cambridge. For 4 years it has hosted local poets, bards of the fens and MCs. In Edinburgh for the first time. We bring some of PTowns best wordy talent to you.”

I’ve been to the Edinburgh Festival before but not since the late 90s but I thought I’d recount a tale of when I found myself alone in the city in altogether strange circumstances…

Strangers: My meeting with a drunk Glaswegian Eric Cantona Lookalike

The following story relates to a person I knew for just six short hours, three of which involved us both sleeping (though not together) but is an oft repeated tale from me when a discussion turns to the subject of strangers, Edinburgh and Scotland.

Back in 1996 I was on a three week summer break between finishing a five month secondment position and returning to my old job. This allowed me to just tour where I liked around the UK as long as I made two pre-arranged appointments in the English Peak and Lake District National Parks.

The rest of this trip took in North Wales, Dublin in Ireland, Scottish Lochs and western isles, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and East Anglia. In total I travelled around 2000 miles in 19 days crossing the Irish Sea, climbing one of England’s highest peaks in Helvellyn and experiencing the joys of the famous Edinburgh Festival. It was in this final location that I met my stranger….

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7/7 – The London Bombings, 5 years on…

Posted by jorbell on July 7, 2010

July the 7th 2010 is the 5th anniversary of the London bombings where 52 people were killed in four separate but co-ordinated terrorist attacks. I would like to take the opportunity to reproduce one of my articles that was written about those tragic events that seeks to explain how small, seemingly meaningless, decisions, can have a massive impact on people’s lives.

None of us are here forever but we still change the World

Where we are in our lives today is essentially the end results of two seperate series of actions that run alongside each other. One is based on our own internal decision making and how we react to the situations we are faced with and the other are the external events over which we have absolutely no control. Making the distinction between them both is very important.

What is difficult to comprehend is that what happens to us today could be traced back to borderline decisions made hundreds and thousands of years ago. The future changes with any decision any of us make no matter how trivial it seems in the greater scheme of things.

If we think back to the London bombings in July 2005 we can look at many peoples lives completely changed, not just for the unfortunates who were killed and injured, but for the family and friends who have had to deal with the aftermath. In fact we’ve all been affected in some ways because our attitudes will change with respect to travelling in London and what we feel for certain members of society, it can’t not have an impact.

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Posted in events, News, Personal Blog, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Posted by jorbell on June 15, 2010

Busy Busy Busy bookIt’s hard to believe but it’s been a couple of months since I’ve updated this blog but as John Lennon once famously said: “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”. It’s a statement that’s never been more true than it has been this past week as my wife Jo conspired to break an arm a few days before she was about to start a new job. However, that’s a blog for another day.

I’ve had a very long to do list recently which despite making things rather more hectic than I would like has actually made my day-to-day schedule rather exhilarating. In addition to my work in the office I’ve been in events in London (Internet World) and Newcastle (Thinking Digital) which were both very interesting in different ways. I will post a review of Thinking Digital later this week as this in particular is well worth attending if you can.

I’ve been working on copy for a 12 page corporate brochure, the content, design and layout for a five page staff newsletter and also the production of the company’s 16 page membership magazine. There have been banners to produce for an event in Brussels as well as for International Telecoms Week in Washington DC. The latter of these required the sourcing of a US supplier and arranging delivery to the conference organisers in Maryland.

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Posted in Blogging, Business, career, Design, employment, events, Personal Blog, Planning | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The London Marathon Experience: 26.2 memories

Posted by jorbell on April 17, 2010

Over the years I have run many 10Ks, 10 milers and half-marathons and and also a duathlon of two 5Ks and a 10K bike ride but it is the marathon that is the ultimate memory for me. Many people are about to embark on their first London Marathon experience on 25th April and I wish them all the very best.

Tomorrow marks the 11th anniversary since the last of my four London Marathons and rather than do what would in effect be a review of each one, I am going to pick out 26.2 of the more memorable instances from those four runs which best represent what it can be like to compete in a big city event. The route has changed since I last competed but you’ll get the picture.So here it is: This is your chance to take part in a marathon without moving from your PC. Don’t forget keep hydrated so I suggest you get yourself a beer!

1. On the free train from London Bridge station to Blackheath you join the masses of runners heading for the start. They all look fitter than yourself but everyone feels a connection because we are about to embark in what is akin to a spiritual experience. We are testing our strength and personal resolve against the ultimate test of human endurance – the mythical distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. Some people are quiet with it being their first event, others are chatty and excited having been this way before and then there are those who are running for a loved one or a good cause. In this final category you get those who take it a stage further and run in fancy dress. It is not often you find yourself nose to nose with a person in a rhino costume but curiously no-one bats and eyelid. Any other day and these people would be sectioned!

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What drives you? What would drive you more?

Posted by jorbell on April 11, 2010

What drives you? What would drive you more?

These are two questions to ask yourself to see if you are heading in the right direction with your life. While the first is important the second is probably worth thinking about a little more especially if you feel that you are treading water in your current job. In the moment you might think you know what’s important to you but have you really thought it through? Sometimes we need to speak to ourselves rather than looking for external answers.

If writing your answers down clarifies them in your mind your next step is to take action and reinforce those beliefs. State where you are and what you are doing but you have to look at where are you going next.

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Don’t vote for the lesser of two evils – vote for what you believe in

Posted by jorbell on April 7, 2010

I just thought I’d take this moment for a brief political rant as the UK prepares for a General Election on May 6th.

Vote for what you believe in!

If you think your party of choice has no chance of winning, voting for a different party just to stop another getting in is almost as bad as not voting at all. People are often so caught up in what they don’t want they won’t vote for what they do want. Basically, as long as the perceived enemy doesn’t get in all is well.

Opinion Polls

While the media and political parties would never allow it, we should ban political opinion polls, at least during the electioneering period. All they do is influence the way the public votes rather than reflect true public opinion.You don’t have to look at the following graph for long to reach the conclusion that a vote for the LibDems is probably a wasted vote. The point is is that I didn’t make that conclusion based on party policy but on data from a newspaper poll.

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Posted in News, Personal Blog, Research | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“You are a boring man” – example of questionable customer service

Posted by jorbell on March 23, 2010

I was in the main Peterborough Post Office yesterday and I was told that I was “a boring man” for not wanting a credit card or travel insurance. I can take a joke but I’d rather not be called “boring” by counter staff for not purchasing services I neither want nor need. It doesn’t bother me that much as it was supposed to be a joke but it’s a good example of how not to deal with customers – it lacks professionalism.

I decided to Twitter about it to see how long it takes for them to say anything to pacify someone badmouthing their organisation. After four similar tweets to @PostOfficeUK with no resposne I sent one to @RoyalMail who at least got back to me.

@RoyalMail Hi…sorry to hear about your experience, and trust that my colleagues @PostOfficeUK will be interested to hear about this.

I’ve heard nothing since.

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Posted in Blogging, Business, Customer Service, Personal Blog, public relations, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Remembering my mother and thanking my wife on Mother’s Day

Posted by jorbell on March 14, 2010

Today it is Mothers’ Day in the UK and this year I am approaching it with mixed emotions. It was on this day in 2009 that my own mother was taken ill and little did we know at the time, she only had a short time left with us. I remember waking up that day and everything was fine. Then, the news came on the radio which announced the sad loss of Jade Goody which I think affected many of us more than we care to admit. Despite everything that was said about her, there is no doubt Jade loved her children.

We were due to visit my mum in the afternoon and had bought her some flowers as a gift. When I called to say we were on our way I learned that all was not well. My mother said she didn’t feel too good but after nearly half a century with arthritis this would not have been a surprise. What was a surprise was when she said she had to go as an ambulance had arrived.

Despite her long years of ill health she never compained. As was her way she played down the significance of the ambulance that day as nothing to worry about and just a precaution. Unfortunately, later that week while in the city hospital she had a heart attack and had to be rushed to Papworth.

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