Mechanical toys

The tour continues

I’m travelling back up north so what to do? Check out the Queen’s mini elephant?

And one or two other things…..

A wonderful exhibition of mechanical ‘toys’ or automata. Some minuscule such as the Queens elephant and some giants such as this amazing train!

In great location, country house with capability brown gardens in Warwickshire. Here at Compton Verney where there’s loads of exhibitions and Capability Brown’s landscape.

My advanced technical skills doesn’t enable me to get the map orientated properly.

muppet! .

More details here in the Guardian article.

It seems there are wonderful examples of these automata dotted around the country. One of my favourites is the little amusement arcade on the pier at Southwold in Suffolk.

Whispering Loudly

I’m a firm believer in listening to the whispers.

It’s not complex.

There’s often a pattern to the things that happen, that we hear or notice, or somehow seem apparent.

They are often messages we can choose to hear or ignore.

Today I’m fondly remembering a friend, my first proper girl friend. I set up home with Tricia at 18 before I even left school. We had a bedsit. It was the downstairs living room of a terraced two-up, two down. The kitchen was shared with the couple upstairs, toilet outside in the yard and ‘slipper’ * baths at the swimming pool down the road.

Well I learned today that Tricia had died earlier this year.

I’d bumped into Tricia again in TK Maxx in Sheffield a few years ago. I’d met her daughters, exchanged stories and introduced her to Manjula over the past two years. I was so pleased we’d reconnected.

I’m sad and sorry to hear she’s gone but grateful for our wonderful times together and that we’d found each other again.

I’m sending positive warmness to her husband and daughters.

The loud whispers ? : people’s deaths, great conversations with the 97 year old and Manjula’s near death experience this year .

The message? : cherish what you have, make the most of it, keep connected to the precious people in your life, be good.

From the Peace Gardens, one of our places in Sheffield

Farrell factoid

* a Victorian swimming pool often had slipper baths alongside. Small bathrooms where you could go for your full wash. Instead of the tin bath in the living room on the fire hearth

Douglas and I

Donkey loses legs!

Road Trip …. with a great geezer.

Attention!

Douglas and I spent the day together travelling from York to the Deep South!

It helps me realise how important it is to keep connected and spend time with those we might not ordinarily come into contact with….

… age difference 36 years!!

It was a great, fun journey and took maybe six hours (this disUnitedKingdom is a VERY BIG country, or so the Brexiteeeers think) taking in an extended lunch (talking) and unplanned detour (my battery ran out and talking).

Talk time was on a ratio of 9-1 Douglas to me). You may find that hard to believe but absolutely true.

Douglas is the father of Liz and grandpa of my sons Ben and Ol.

I’m clearly a donkey and my hind legs have now fallen off.

What a character! Aged 97 he retired from the army decades ago!

His final rank being lieutenant colonel (pronounced leftenant, in some inane British attempt to prove we’re not French. It’s a French word!) his experience is vast especially in logistics and management, nuclear armament transport (his daughter and I and Ben, years later would be demonstrating against those very things), the first Army helicopter outfit, suez crisis, parachutist, internal army machinations (like all organisations), and he’s an intelligent, thoughtful, aware guy and not the rabid Tory you might expect.

So thanks Douglas. Top man, great time and conversations.

It helps remind me that we just need to give people time and recognise that wealth is in sharing our knowledge, experience and opinions.

At ease

UK refuses holiday visas

The Home Office also refused visas by saying it was not confident the applicant would leave the country at the end of their visit despite applicants clearly visiting for a specific purpose, such as a weddin; submitting evidence that they had booked and already paid for hotel accommodation ending on a certain date; presenting letters from employers, that stated they had been granted a specific period off work for the holiday; or running their own, successful business back home.”

Guardian Article

This is exactly what happened to Manjula two years ago….. check below for links to the story of Manjula’s visa application.

A holiday visa is applied for

All she wants is a holiday

Let’s try again

She did succeed in obtaining a visa and now has had two wonderful trips to the UK

Customer service

I’m fresh back from delivering a workshop on engaging employees as a responsible business here in London.

We hung out with swans

We covered the usual stuff including issues related to quality, services, customer satisfaction and empowering employees to innovate.

I find a message waiting for me.

It’s from the cycle shop in Mysore. I’d left my main cycle to be fixed.

They’ve written to tell me that they’ve installed the wrong part which affects/reduces the performance of the cycle gears by one third.

Why have they written to tell me instead of just fixing it?

In my view… free consultancy…. it’s pretty clear what the options are….

1….Do it again, this time with the correct part.

2….Replace with the original part and give back to me as it was.

This sort of thing is common in India but I can’t say that I can really understand it. How is it that the supplier didn’t supply the correct part? Did the cycle shop order the wrong part and did they not check before they installed it? Why haven’t they just solved the problem? Do they expect me to take it back like this?

It reminds me of the case of the Chinese Oil….

I’d ordered Tung or China Oil to treat our new Rosewood chairs and sofa. The seller was in Delhi who would arrange delivery. It didn’t arrive.

Me: where’s my oil?

Seller: it’s with the transporter sir.

Me: where’s my oil?

Transporter: we can deliver the container sir but there’s no oil in it, it’s leaked.

I’ll not bore you with the whole story. Suffice to say. ‘The it’s not my fault guv’ wasn’t accepted. The seller and transporter sorted out responsibility between themselves. It was eventually delivered.

I’ve placed trust in people and they are accountable to deliver what they’ve promised. Any problems, well it’s up to them to sort it out, if necessary to apportion responsibility. Hopefully we all learn from our mistakes and improve for the future and the business continues to thrive and survive. From it I also know who to trust, maybe.

What’s so difficult about that?

For some reason my Indian friends just accept this poor service and don’t challenge. In that case how will anything ever change?

Banana Republic 3

Phew

The attempt to allow a party (BJP) to establish a Government (in Karnataka) without an overall majority denying the opportunity to a coalition of other parties (Congress and JDS) fails

The BJP ‘Chief Minister’ (Yeddyurappa) resigns.

“Much of the credit for this Congress-JD(S) victory goes to the Supreme Court, which overturned Vala’s [the state a Governor, with a role like the British Queen] decision to allow the Yeddyurappa government 15 days time to prove its majority. The governor’s decision was surprising, as Yeddyurappa himself had reportedly asked for only one week.

In a rare display of promptness, the Congress-JD(S) combine left no stone unturned, moving the Supreme Court twice – first by challenging the governor’s decision to call Yeddyurappa to form the government and then again to get the nomination of the controversial pro tem speaker, K.G. Bopaiah, reversed. They also moved their MLAs around frequently and built public opinion against the alleged bribery attempts !by the BJP.”

Full article here

Real Message From Karnataka Floor Test is That Modi, Shah Are Not Invincible

Check the article here

So what can we take away from all this?

It’s not a Banana Republic?

The opposition seems to have got its act together to collaborate and to challenge the the BJP machine. Let’s hope it can continue that same energy and effectiveness in Government. It shows how best to beat BJP in next year’s national elections so it has national significance.

The robust institutions, in this case the Supreme Court as a brake on the BJP juggernaut.

That was all a couple of weeks ago. The ‘dynamic duo’ of Congress and JDS in coalition are now creating a Government.

The ministers are appointed and we wait with baited breath for some coherent Governance aka serving the people 😉 just look at the list above. The caste of each minister is listed and therefore just shows what the issues are. Many people vote according to community aka caste. Now there are arguments from individual ministers and communities that their ministerial responsibilities are not good enough! Good enough for what? Serving the community? Making a difference? Leaving a lasting legacy? Probably not …. if the comments of friends and neighbours are anything to go by it’s whether it creates enough of an opportunity to make money.

The lessons for elsewhere.

Let’s not be smug. This sort of shenanigans is found the world over, admittedly with cultural variations.

The Donaldness in the US is also testing the rules to the absolute limit, some would say clearly stepping over, bashing through or stomping on them, nepotism is just one of many examples. It might indicate that the rules and the institutions that ensure action and accountability aren’t quite working to ensure a ‘fair’ and robust system.

On the other side of the ‘big pond.’

In the chaos that once had an Empire, yes the disunited kingdom (UK) did once have an Empire. I’m not supporting colonialism just pointing out that there may have been at least one point in the past when they could actually manage something. Now they clearly can’t organise a party in a Brexit micro brewery.

Wherever in the world we’ve lost sight of the real focus. All this should not be about party, power at whatever cost or manic pursuit of dogma or money. Surely is should be about doing the best for all its people.

I can feel the innocence and naivety oozing from my every pore. 😉

a very big

thank you to our wonderful wedding guest friends

Mike and Sue representing our friends and family in the UK, indeed the whole of the British Isles

Tom and Amy, well for being Amy and Tom

witnesses for all turning up at the registry office to hang around

Vasanth for being the most tolerant and oldest friend

Satish, project manager

for the many friends we’ve been fortunate to make through Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle Tours and who’ve been great to keep in touch and tolerate Stephen’s continuing blog entries that have now actually lasted longer than the weddings.