Little Black Spot


There’s a little black spot on the sun today.

We lost our handsome, beautiful, opinionated Cairn Terrier Gizmo this week, to cancer. He was only 7 years old. My wife cries, my daughter is withdrawn and my chatty, noisy son is silent. I have a Cairn sized hole in me. When his predecessors left us (Woody at 14 and his brother Homer at 16) there was time to prepare. Time had caught up with them. For Gizmo it was less than 7 days from diagnosis to gone. He was an absolute delight, and lest I ever forget:

  • He had a strong belief that (when he woke us up by standing on our chests, madly wagging his tail to go out for a pee at 2.30 a.m.) we would be as happy about that as he was,
  • The way he ran downstairs to greet us at the front door, earning the nickname Thunderhooves,
  • That he learned (with my daughter) to do the cowboy trick – she drew imaginary pistols and made shooting noises – he rolled over and raised his paws,
  • When let  off the lead he didn’t run, he galloped,
  • How he slept on the big bed on his back with his head to one side and all four legs pointed to the ceiling, AND made puppy noises when he was dreaming,
  • That chasing a small tennis ball was great, but chasing three at once was the BEST THING EVER,
  • He loved licking faces, and my son’s face was his favourite,
  • How he was my bacon sandwich, sausage, cheese, tuna and afternoon sleep buddy.

He could also subdue a rubber chicken, stand for hours in plant pots, drink pond water and generally be magnificent.

As a family we already know that we have unfinished Cairn business, but this one, this little furry one was special.

Oh and if you look carefully you will see that the little black spot on the sun is Cairn Terrier shaped.

Goodbye to 2013


I want to say goodbye to 2013. No really I will pleased to open up 2014. This has been a strange and difficult year for me and our family and we need to move on. HIT THE REFRESH BUTTON.

On the good side my daughter turned 21 and got a 2/1 in her degree. My son turned 18 and my marriage turned 25. We have been largely healthy and Gizmo the Cairn has been a delight. There have been some fantastic supportive people around and I thank them all.

On the down side life has been tough and will be for a while yet. Sadly a number of people have let me down in business. They know who they are and know what they did (or didn’t do). While I wish them no ill-fortune I hope that in future they deliver on what they commit to. Enough of this and of them.

I did not see the sea in 2013, perhaps for the first year in my life. So if we are going to build a bucket list for 2014 it MUST include this. When you grow up by the sea it is just part of you and the separation is a strain on the soul. I am building my bucket list here.

We move into 2014 quietly and with purpose. As a good friend of mine pointed out to me this year “It is time to stop dicking around”. Quite

See you in a more sparkly and productive 2014.


Lost my Mojo

I confess that I’m suffering a bit at the moment. While sleeping, sometime in the last few weeks, someone SNUCK IN and stole my mojo. Or maybe it decided, all by itself to go on holiday on its own and have a (well-deserved) break from me.

Those that work with me know that I’m an optimist and strive to be the person that my dog thinks I am. At the moment there are no outward signs that anything is different. We have to accept that at times the way we behave towards others is supported not by rampant mojo but by a quiet determination not to let folk down. Frankly, between us it feels a tad inauthentic and is making me grumpy with myself, which again, is not my natural state. This Phil is usually happy in his own company – but right now I’m bored witless with myself.

So research has been done, but I’m not convinced by what is on the internetwebthang. Apparently I need to:

  1. Drink less alchohol (nope, haven’t had a drink yet in 2013)
  2. Eat better food (we do quite well on that front, thank you)
  3. Do something different ( Ok I can work on that one. My friend Lucy has just given up television and gained 3+ hours per day. But what to do – crochet? Water polo? I guess it has to be something unrelated to earning a living)
  4. Relieve stress (easier said than done)
  5. Spend less time online (Just how much time do we all waste dicking around online? Sometimes it is madly stimulating, but at other times it just sucks the life out of us)
  6. Getta betta social life (I hear you)
  7. Go on holiday (Not this year)
  8. Do what you love (I’m trying damn it)
  9. Get some exercise (Point taken)

I always quite fancied living on a WiFi enables barge, gliding gently from lock to lock in the summer sun, making a handsome living in two hours per day trading PORK BELLIES and selling DIESEL POWERED NUNS online. But I digress.

Do I now have a plan having got all of that off my chest? Not really but sometimes the simple act of writing it all down makes it better. A bit like by making a list of all of the things you have to do makes some of them go away! I’m leaning towards Lucy’s viewpoint, but need to find a mojo-regenerating project that is not work or chores. Something just for me.

Failing that, will whoever stole my mojo please return it pronto – it’s mine and won’t suit you anyway. Or…when it has had its fill of sun, sea, sand and whatever else mojos do on holiday, it will send me a postcard and return refreshed.


Last week was a week of laughter, fellowship, celebration for a friends wedding-come-birthday, re-meeting a smiley old friend and some new contacts. Sometimes appreciation is about the simple things rather than for an individual act. Have a great week. Laters…..

So this last week has been about appreciating teamwork and connections. These tweets are not only about thanking individuals, but also celebrating collaboration and mutual support.

Go Team GB and go-go the people mentioned below:

Union Jack

It has been a very interesting week, with some things coming to an end and some surprising opportunities. Martha Beck said “When you meet people, show real appreciation, then genuine curiosity“. What do you think?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,761 other followers