In spring 1988 I travelled to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) for a week with my school. We flew from London to Moscow, stayed in the capital for a few days then took an overnight train to Leningrad (now St Petersburg), not far from the Finnish and Estonian borders.Continue reading Learning Russian
Having attended a few Lean Agile Edinburgh events (the next one being next week at the Skyscanner offices), I was excited to learn there was a similar event starting in Dundee which is significantly closer for me.Continue reading Impact mapping at the first Lean Agile Dundee
What music, no matter when you play it or whatever mood you are in, always transports you back to a happy time or happy moment in your life?
I found myself pondering this last week when I listened to The Seer (1986) by Big Country.
It’s 1986 and I’m at my friend James’s house.
“You’ve got to listen to this,” said James reaching for his new 12″ album.
The needle came down on the vinyl and we listened to the anticipatory crackles and pops as it wound its way to the opening track.
This time we runLyrics from “Look away” by Big Country
This time we hide
This time we draw on all the fire we have inside.
We need some time
To find a place
Where I can wipe away the madness from your face.
We sat in almost silence for the next 50 minutes and 30 seconds as this Celtic rock washed over us. It was heavy, it was delicate, it was rousing and beautifully sweet in equal measure.
This was one of those moments of simple contentedness and the simplicity of sitting in the presence of a best friend.
If I remember correctly, James was made homeless that year—or maybe the next. He moved into the spare room of someone from church. This was one of the first albums we listened to on my first visit to his new home.
This album always reminds me of our friendship. The closeness we had. Both the fun and the laughter during these formative teenage years and the moments of sitting in silence with one another listening to music—Big Country, Sting, Jean Michel-Jarre, Guns n’ Roses—letting the music and lyrics change our view of the world.
I know the weary can rise againLyrics from “Remembrance Day” by Big Country
I know it all from the words you send
I’ve not seen James in many years—he eventually moved to live in Sweden—but this album reminds me of him every time I play it.
Predictions about the paperless office have been circulating for over 40 years now. And yet here I am in 2018 sitting next to a four-drawer filing cabinet containing letters and documents about everything from my house rental and utility bills to health records, university qualifications, and work-related documents.Continue reading My paperless(-ish) office with OneNote and NAPS2
I’m finally learning Russian (again)
I am currently learning Russian and reminding myself of the integral importance that failure has in the learning process.Continue reading The importance of failure (and of praising effort not intelligence)