Showing posts from April, 2011

Brain Dump!

Last night I saw an old woman in her heavy cotton pyjamas and her belt of authorita giving a demonstration. She proved, beyond all expectations, that her self-defence art only works if the attacker obligingly holds himself in the right position.
It reminded me of my childhood and the various martial arts renaissances – most particularly karate. There seemed to be an army of black belts sprouting, like dragon’s teeth, all claiming that they were invincible. Most went on to point out that you were not attacking them in the right way when they were unable to fell you with a “deft monkey” or something like that.
All of this brought me on the handful of finishers’ medals that I have for various silliness. I put those in a similar league to the non-competitive sports-days and electoral reform…I know my mind is as cluttered (and as filthy) as a teenager’s bedroom!
The medals slice up two ways. Yes, they are a symbol of the achievement of finishing, and that separates those of who received one f…


There's a lot of macho imagery that swirls around the word courage. The word resonates with us on a primal level. Our receptors fire with screen reels of John Wayne; or frantically fluttering pages of Boy's Own or Commando; or the sight of a group staring down a wild beast.
But I'm not thinking about those this time. There's a much less dramatic demonstration of it that occurs every day, in a million ways, and it has no need for people to enter a burning building.
It's the courage to do the little things, to stand and live by your values. The courage to not surrender to disinclination because you could, or because you know that others would. Elite performance is the sum of the occasions when you exert your will in the face of boredom, or in refusing to sacrifice longer-term momentum for titillation or gratification.
You might be an absolute game-winner but if you are the sort of person who is absent for 90% of the match you need to know that your place, and by extensi…


While we have all been there, it is still desperately sad to see somebody wallowing in the pit of despair. 
(from "The Princess Bride" a must-watch film, the book is different but well worth a read too)
I get that it is difficult for you. I know that you want me or somebody to say or do something that will make it easy. Something that will make it all ok, that will make it go away.
I can't.
In truth, the admission still hurts me but it is the truth. 
What you want is a bottle labelled "drink me" that will take you to a different world. But all you seem to get is the world saying "eat me". I hate to be the one to stamp on your playset but the Star Trek transporter system doesn't yet actually exist. If you look up for a minute you will see that there is an open door for you. I know, there are stairs on the other side of the door and they will be harder and who knows, you may even run the risk of having to put in some effort. But what's your alternati…