24-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Are our hands too soft?
COVID-19 has taught us a lot about what the word ‘essential’ really means.   Flour, eggs, pasta, alcohol, loo paper… we are all too well aware of the shopping essentials.  We also learned about our essential relationships, our essential work needs, even about our essential selves.  Life has been stripped back and, although we are starting to get some of it back, we are now much clearer about what really is essential in life.  The question is, are we up it?
17-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Answers on a postcard please
Now the real work begins.  As more and more firms make redundancies, as companies close their doors forever and businesses start to rationalise their operations, we need to think hard about the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who are going to lose their jobs.  My belief is that, collectively, we can find ways to ameliorate the hardship ahead and I’d like to start that process today.
10-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Is technology the only future?
It’s extraordinary to think that last week we all got excited about being able to see up to six people out of doors and that many of us seized the opportunity with both hands the minute we were able.  Some children returned to school too and were reportedly very excited to be back amongst their friends and learning.
03-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Back to school
The return of a small number of children to a small number of classes in a limited number of schools has excited a good deal of comment and speculation.  The schools are taking extraordinary measures to make the new system work, parents have a range of views about the safety and practicality of those measures and everyone else is watching (sometimes incredulously) the lengths everyone has gone to.
27-05-2020 - - 0 comments
What's your exit strategy?
As I write many people have started returning to offices and factories, garden centres are open and non-essential shops are next.  We can look at a new house, buy a new car and go on a picnic.  It almost feels like life is returning to normal… but of course it isn’t and it won’t for quite a while.
20-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Don’t get stuck down a gold-plated rabbit hole
Some of us are still working, some of us are on furlough, those of us with portfolio careers might be doing a bit of both.  All of us are finding new ways to do things and, in many cases, new things to do entirely. Whatever we are doing, it seems that almost all of us are waiting for normality to return and, whilst we wait, exploring new ideas.
14-05-2020 - - 0 comments
It's all a matter of perspective
Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher who was born a slave and became a free man and teacher.   As a stoic, many of the quotes attributed to him are particularly apposite at the moment (‘there is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will’), as well as more generally (‘we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak’), but what particularly strikes me during Coronavirus is Epictetus’s remark that ‘[people] are disturbed, not by things, but by the view which they take of them’.
07-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Can you help the next generation?
Talking to my children and their friends in their late teens and early twenties, I am aware of a sense of doom.  These young people were still at primary school when the financial crisis hit but after the long slog of austerity they had reasonable expectations that their futures looked fairly bright… until COVID hit.  Now they have not only lost their last days at school or chunks of their university lives, they are worried that they are going to lose their careers.
29-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Getting expert advice
There’s an awful lot of cleaning, DIY and gardening going on in the land at the moment.  Stuck in the house for most of the day, we are starting to notice and become irritated by all those unfinished jobs, never undertaken projects and ways in which we could have made our environment nicer.  From improving our domestic backgrounds in Zoom meetings to growing our own veg, the nation has embarked on a range of projects.

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