I am more than aware my mood has been rather down of late and I’ve more than focussed on the negatives in my life, how I’m feeling and the world round about me – so it’s time for a positive post; one that picks some of the good things around just now that I should really take more notice of.
Taking the kids to see Santa: Today we went to Alford to go on the Santa Express where the model railway drives you on a two mile journey across village and back and on your return there is a chance to visit Santa. We hadn’t taken Jenna up until now as anyone who knows her will tell you keeping her quiet or still enough for anything is almost impossible, but this year we felt she’d cope well with it. Let’s just say the look on her little face would have melted an Ice Maiden’s heart completely as she looked at the jolly faced man in the red suit and told him she just wanted a “shiny red present”. She smiled all the way home after that. The real joy is that she genuinely means that when she says that’s all she wants – I’ve rarely met a kid with such a low “want” threshold as Jenna. If we got Jake a dozen gifts he’d be looking for the next ne but Jenna would honestly be happy if she just got the one.
LinkedIn & Connections: Deciding to see what is out there in terms of new directions and careers is a huge challenge but thankfully I have already had lots of support and ideas put in my direction. From friends putting me in touch with people in the kinds of jobs I’m looking at to meetings with people who I am getting to know both on LinkedIn and through friends has been great and is opening up my understanding of what is out there. I’ve a couple more meetings lined up over the coming week before the Christmas break. Previously I have been quite passive when job hunting – but with a view to possibly leaving academia I knew this time I would have to stretch myself, meet and talk to more people and face my fears. I’ve had great help from Brian, Donna and Becca so far and the support is still coming in – so if you know anyone…
The Room 2: There are so many iPad games out there it’s difficult to select them without good recommendations or seeing them advertised, but The Room was a game I got about a year ago and now the second edition is out. It is a beautifully designed game with lots of clever gameplay, fantastic graphics, puzzles and the overall style is brilliant. It combines the skill of a good puzzle with riddles and mystery and is a great purchase to challenge yourself with over the Christmas Holidays. It’s quite addictive too so it is just as well it comes in chapters so you can stop yourself from finishing the whole game in one go.
Bob Harris: One of the biggest things I have missed from gigging on a Saturday night was listening to Bob’s late night show on Radio 2. He finds fantastic acts, interesting music and has some wonderful live performances. Last night there was a group called “The Dunwells” who were on and played a couple of live tracks, a combination of great vocals and harmonies in the Americana style. The other element that is always good is that Whispering Bob also asks them for a list of their favourite tracks so I was also introduced to Kodaline and Joy Vance and I’ll be hitting iTunes later to download and listen to more of all their work. As much as I love Dermot’s show on a Saturday afternoon, Bob’s Saturday Night/Sunday Morning programme is great for hearing new and exciting bands for a man of my age and tastes.