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Being Father Christmas

Phillip Holt as Santa Claus in Kingston upon Thames, Rotary ClubChristmas time is a very special time in many countries around the world, whereas in others it is a time that is not celebrated or recognised. In the UK the day is a very special day, no matter what belief system people follow. It is a time of reflection, a time of religious beliefs, a time of sharing, a time of family, a time of friendship, but for children it is a time when Santa Claus travels the world in the early hours of Christmas Day with his trusted Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer delivering presents.

Children often visit Santa's Grotto before Christmas to ask for the presents they want him to leave them.

As a member of the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames, we collect funds for local charities and projects run throughout the year, like taking under privileged children out for the day to theme parks (Kids Out), helping families in need, raising funds for End Polio Now, and many more. During the period of Christmas we tow Santa's Sleigh through the local community in the evenings taking Santa to the people, and in the main shopping centre of Kingston upon Thames we erect a Christmas Tree and Santa Hut, and one of our members will become Santa.

Phillip Holt as Santa Claus in Kingston upon Thames, Rotary Club
It is one of the great moments of the year for me to become Santa Claus, to don the red coat and hat, and grow my beard long and white, wear my wellington boots, and wait for the small children to come to me to ask for their Christmas gift.

Ringing my bell, I sit there, warm and snug in layers of clothing, waving at the passing people, and it is when a young child sees Santa that magic happens. Their eyes light up, their belief system kicks in, and often I here the thrill in their voice as they shout out, "SANTA".

Most parents then bring the excited children up to Santa, and that is the time for me to interact with the child, to enter into their fantasy their belief system.

I ask them their name so that the time becomes very personal between us, and enter into a conversation which ends with Santa asking, "what do you want me to leave you for Christmas?". Some children already have specific gifts in mind, others are not sure, but I tell them that not to worry, Santa will leave them something special, as long as they leave me a mince pie and a carrot for Rudolf as we will be very hungry.

Phillip Holt as Santa Claus in Kingston upon Thames, Rotary Club

As the children leave they get a sweet that they can choose from a small box Santa offers them, and the look on their faces is fabulous, one of trust, innocence and belief. But, it is the happiness of the parents, of them being drawn into the beliefs of their children.

For me this is the spirit of Christmas, and I am part of that spirit that will form the memories of a lifetime. And, it does not matter what belief system the families belong to, the magic of Christmas is shared with all.


Xmas Storms Hit Brighton

Its was certainly windy on the promenade in the run-up to Xmas in the English seaside town of Brighton.

Sea foam being driven off the wild sea in Brighton, Xmas 2013
Was it snow for Christmas?

I needed to visit Brighton two days before Christmas day, and decided to walk along the seafront, what a mistake. It appeared to be snow on the promenade, as my photograph shows the woman fighting the wind whilst hanging onto her dog, she seems to be knee deep in snow, but actually it is foam being driven off the waves off the wild sea.

We had been warned of adverse weather conditions, with winds of between 60 - 90 mph (96 - 145 km/h) and heavy rain all over the UK.

A wild sea Brighton, Xmas 2013

The waves lashed the pebbled beach and the high wind blew the white crests into the foam, which mixed with the rain flew parallel onto land, stinging the face, and inhibiting any forward flight the seagulls were trying to make.

I was drenched from head to foot within seconds, and at times found it difficult to keep my footing.
A wild sea Brighton, Xmas 2013

I only spent a short time on the seafront being quickly soaked to the skin and a train journey to take back to home.

With warnings of possible transport delays due to the severe weather, trees being uprooted, lorries being blown over, and changing trains at London's Clapham Junction, I was not surprised to hear that my train had been cancelled back to Norbiton. Little did I know the cause was a bus having its roof sliced off as it went under the low railway bridge at Norbiton Station, which resulted in many roads in the vicinity being closed. This meant a long walk around back streets, in more driving rain, by-passing the wreck of the bus.

Now I am in my warm home as the storm rages outside, and the storms are predicted to continue into Christmas Eve. I will not venture out.

Good job I have cooked enough food to keep me fed over the Xmas period.

Bus Looses Roof in Norbiton

Sometimes it is not worth taking a short-cut.

At Norbiton railway station near Kingston upon Thames, the road infront of the station towards Kingston Hospital, passes under the rail track, and there is a height restriction.

Unfortunately, the driver of this bus did not realise, and thus lost the roof.

Oh Poo Poo.

Bus looses roof in Norbiton

Bus looses roof in Norbiton

Click to see bridge as it was being replaced 2010.

End Polio Now

One of the efforts that Rotary Club members worldwide is to eradicate the terrible disease of polio (poliomyelitis) through out our world. To this end over the years since 1985, Rotary Club has raised many millions of dollars, which has been matched dollar for dollar by the Bill Gates Foundation and in conjunction with health authorities, to buy the vaccine and facilitate the distribution and administration in all countries.

There has been a 99% success rate.

Now, there are only three countries left with polio, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. But only yesterday I read that there were potentially 22 suspected cases in war torn Syria.

Along with many agencies and health authorities, members of Rotary Clubs worldwide will blitz areas or countries with the vaccine, and in India on their immunisation days, up to 65 million children can be immunised, protecting them for life.

Once a child has been immunised, their finger is dipped in a purple dye.

Phillip Holt of the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames, End Polio Now day
To raise funds for this wonderful cause, Rotary Club members run events and collect money from the public, and yesterday was End Polio Now day.

Because the children have their fingers dipped in a purple dye, the crocus has been adopted as a symbol, and around the UK, millions of crocus bulbs have been planted to form in future a carpet of purple to remind us of this effort, and collections are made in exchange for a crocus flower pin.

Although I felt an idiot, I recently as a Rotary member, went onto the streets of my local town to collect money. Wearing a crocus headgear, I stood waiting and hoping for donations from from the giving fatigued public.

Thank you those who have helped to save those who need to be immunised against polio.

My little effort was just a drop in the ocean, but an ocean that joins other oceans to cover the world. 

How Time Flies

Looking back at my past, I remember as a small boy, playing with my friends in the traffic free streets of my home town of Chasetown in England, the long summer days, the long school holidays, my playtime that lasted forever, time seemed to stand still.

Even when I was at college in Wednesbury, The Staffordshire College of Commerce, time seemed to go so slow. Sitting in the history class, a lesson I could not relate too as the lecturer did not have the ability to capture students attention or interest, I remember sitting watching the second hand of the clock seemingly moving backwards, time passed so slowly.

Now reaching the age of 95, (no I am not really 95), time just speeds bye. No sooner has summer started, the trees are covered in green leaves, then they are turning brown and falling off the trees.

Time just seems to fly by. It is so quick.

Now I have noticed that it is getting darker in the evenings so much sooner.

Gone so quickly are the evenings when the sun still shines at 9:30pm and it is mid December when the sun sets at 4pm.

As I get older the nights seems to draw in quicker, no sooner am I enjoying late summer evenings then it is getting dark too early.

This must be part of the ageing process. Time passes quicker, the nights draw in quicker, the leaves drop from the leaves quicker, and policemen are so young. 

A Long Journey for Coaches in Italy

NLP Coaching participants with Certificates in Italy, Renata Laria, Andrea Gervasini, Franco Di Gilio, Flor Fernandez e Monica, Alessandro Orlando, Claudia Sabatini, Cotardo Giulia, Valeria Sturniolo , Phillip Holt, Marcello Buglione — at Hotel Residence Golf Milano.

Life is a journey, and from beginning to end, with many tours to places we never knew about or visited before, we will have many experiences, meet many people, visit many places, some are great, some are bad, and from this journey and side tours, we can learn.

As I travel the world, to many different places, I am being exposed to different cultures, different food, different languages, and in my later years I have endeavoured to learn from these experiences, unlike the younger me who thought he knew everything.

As a younger me, I despised the get rich quickly tour guides who touted on street corners, at tourist attractions, in airport or in hotels, offering their services for a fee to tell you about what I presupposed I already knew. Why should I pay for these leeches when I could walk around myself and find out?

My long lost daughter, Vanessa came to stay with us in our home in Kingston upon Thames, and it was decide that we should go into central London to see the tourist attractions, Big Ben, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral etc. I knew these places, I had lived and worked in London for over twenty years, why should not I be the guide?

Instead of being the tour guide, we decided that we should take one of the city tour buses.

It was just like when I recently joined an Official Tour Guide of my home town of Kingston upon Thames, a town's history I had researched, a town I had lived in for many years. I soon realised how much I did not know, there was so much missing information in my knowledge, knowledge that I would need to expand upon and enhance.

So it was in London with my daughter, I learnt so much, little pieces of information adding to my knowledge base, which only got me more interested and intrigued, to go back and research for more knowledge. 

When I have time now, which is not very often visiting new or old places, I will often join an official tour, to get to know the basic information of the area, then if I wish, I will revisit where I have been taken to, to discover more, to chunk down, I will buy books, ask questions, just to enhance my knowledge.

And so it was some many months ago, I was invited to give a group of Italian people a range of courses so that they can become coaches, people who can help others enhance their lives.

It was a journey of discovery for them and for me, because I was to be their guide through a learning process, and for them to visit places and knowledge they had not been before, and I had to go there too, and I would be learning too, taking a journey to places inside ourselves often.

To go on a journey within ourselves, our beliefs, our understanding of the world we live in, we might find ourselves challenged as our knowledge as we knew it will have been contradicted. 

Were we right, or, is the rest of the world right? Who knows?

It was on this journey with the Italian Coaching participants, that many beliefs were challenged, and if the individuals so wished, changed. It was their willingness to explore new places, revisit places and reevaluate their previous beliefs and knowledge and make changes that made this journey together so enjoyable.

You now have new possibilities or strategies within, use them wisely, and help others on their journey through life.

The truth is out there for us to be guided through our journey, but which is right or wrong only your heart and further knowledge will help.

Not British

Oh Poo Poo, our cultures are not the same.

"Wait your turn", or "First come, first served", "Respect your elders", "Do what you are told", were instilled in me from the day I was born, British sayings that have guided me through my life, are now pulling at my heart strings as I continue to travel, not only the world, but the British Isles.

If two people stand behind another person in Britain, you can be sure, others will join the queue. They will not perhaps know what they are waiting for, but but they will form an orderly queue.

As a small boy, I remember catching the bus to visit my Grandmother or go shopping, and when we arrived at the bus stop, we would mentally work out how many people had arrived before us, and as more people arrived, who was the person who had arrived immediately after us and the sequence of people arriving after them. We were forming a queue, a sequence of order of those who arrived first would get on the bus first, followed by the next person, and so on and so forth.

In the shop, we knew who was before us and who had arrived after us, and thus we had order, "first come, first served", and if the shop assistant went to serve a customer out of order, the customer would say, "No, I think that person was before me".

We had respect for others, we had order, we knew our place, we knew the rules, written and unwritten, we knew we must "wait your turn" rule.

At school, queuing was further instilled in us, as before classes we would be required to stand in an orderly line, a queue, not saying a word. Sometimes this queue was further defined by height, or alphabetically by family name or by the sequence in which we sat in the classroom, those sitting at the back would be first in the queue and those sitting at the front of the classroom would be last in the queue.

British love queues

For my non British readers you can see this in action when watching the tennis on your TV of Wimbledon, where people will queue to buy tickets, and these queues are very long, or when there is a sale at a shop like Harrods in London, or the launch of a new product like the Apple iPhone, people will start queuing days before the start of the sale, bringing along beds and blankets to sleep and keep warm.

These queuers will be allowed to leave the queue by others, and, return without any problems or queries, just by saying, "Can you save my place please?"

My first shock to the system, my first challenge to my up-bringing and my beliefs happened in the 1980's when I worked in Saudi Arabia as the Software Manager for the Texas Instruments distributor, Saudi Computer Services. I had been sent to the capital, Riyadh, to install a new client's computer system, a task I had done many times, flying from the Red Sea town of Jeddah into the middle of the country where Riyadh is located.

My flights had been arranged, and upon completion of the job, I went to catch my return leg back to Jeddah early, as I had completed the installation ahead of schedule. I went to book-in, only to be told that the flight had been cancelled due to a sand storm and I had been placed on "standby" for the next available flight, and that I should join the queue at the standby desk.

With some fellow standby queuers, all Western Ex-Patriates, we talked and laughed as we waited for the next available seatings.

An announcement was made in Arabic, and within seconds from being first in the queue, we found ourselves at the back of the queue, with hundred of shouting, arms waving men in their white thobes and keffiyeh head dress.

Then they were gone, we found ourselves back at the front of the queue, but all spare seats had been taken.

This process continued, at one time we were at the front of the queue, only to find ourselves at the back following an announcement we did not understand, and any available seats were quickly allocated to those pushing to the front of the queue. We were only saved by a kind Saudia Airlines employee taking pity upon us.

The feeling of despair, the feeling of disbelief, the feeling of not fair play, something we say in British colloquialism when people do not play by the rules is "it's not cricket", still stays with me today.

I am experiencing this feeling more and more in the UK as more and more visitors and immigrants descend upon the small and overcrowded islands, and especially in London.

Gone are the orderly queues on the Waterloo and City underground line, (The Drain), the two station tube line, linking Waterloo mainline train station to the City of London banking area, where city centre office workers, would each morning and evening, "wait their turn" to board the over crowded trains, often missing several trains until they reached the front of the queue.

Gone are the orderly queues at bus stops.

Gone are the "first come, first served" rules in shops, restaurants and bars, as the shop assistants and waiters are often non British and do not have any concept of British cultural rules, and serve those with the loudest voice, the highest valued bank note, or the person that catches their eye.

My blood boils when waiting for a bus, especially at London Heathrow Airport after a long flight, where workers are more often than not from ethnic minority backgrounds, especially from the Indian subcontinent, where "Wait your turn", or "First come, first served" appears does not exist in their culture.

More often of not I have just missed a bus and thus first in the queue with my suitcase for the next one, only to find when the bus arrives I am last on the bus with no seats left.

At the luggage carrousels in airport baggage halls, I am often one of the first to arrive to claim my suitcase as I can bye-pass the often long immigration queues with my biometric passport. At the carrousel, as at all airports, there is a distinctive yellow line which states, "Stand behind the line". I follow this rule, and stand there like a statue or a soldier on guard, only to find myself soon unable to see the conveyer belt and the suitcases gliding past, as I am pushed to the back as others do not follow the rules and do what they are told, to "Stand behind the line".

On a recent short flight from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, I resisted the need to get on the aircraft first, because as soon as the announcement was made that the flight was ready for boarding, and that we would be boarding by seat numbers, passengers raced to the departure gate, disregarding the request that only the few backseat passengers, rows 55 - 60 go forward.

For goodness sake, the plane will not leave without us.

I waited my turn and boarded the plane to take my allocated seat 6F, a window seat I had booked the day before and printed on my ticket. When I got to row 6, my seat was taken by an Indian looking young man. I politely asked him what was his ticketed seat number which turned-out to be 6D, the aisle seat. Not to cause a fuss and ask the gentleman sitting in the middle seat, 6E, to move so we could swop seats, I smiled and said I would take the aisle seat.

The air steward hearing what was happening and to my compromise to allow the person to occupy my seat, and yes I prefer the window seat, gave me a knowing smile and nod.

We were ready for taxiing out to the runway, and the announcement was made in two languages to make sure the seats were upright, tray tables stowed away, seat belts fastened, all electronic devices switched off and phone set to flight mode.

At this point, the Indian looking guy, started making a telephone call, and continued as we were pulling onto the runway to take-off. Faces of people turned to him in disbelief, but he continued, so I shouted at him to switch it off. He did.

As we were descending into Penang the announcement was made to make sure seat belts were fastened, seat backs were upright, tray tables stowed away and electronical devices switched off. He followed non of these instructions, his tray table still pocking into his stomach.

We landed in Penang, and as soon as we touched down, not even off the runway, he was making another call, again people gave him dirty looks, but this time I stayed calm and said nothing.

As we came to a stop at the gate. He stood-up waiting to get off the aircraft. Why people do it, I will never know, because we have to wait until those nearest the exit door get off first.

As I stood up to get my hand luggage from the overhead compartments, he tried to push me out of the way. I stood my ground and shouted at him to WAIT.

He looked at me sheepishly as said "sorry sir" and sat down. Faces around me gave me a knowing smile.

Being near to the front of the plane, I was one of the first off and thus one of the first at the baggage carrousel, and I dutifully stood waiting behind the yellow line. As the luggage started to arrive more passengers arrived, and I found myself once again with people infront of me, mostly of Indian ethnicity, craning to see if their suitcase was coming.

My suitcase came before those who had pushed infront of me, and it was quite a struggle to extract the suitcase from the carrousel as I had to push and shove my way in and out of the scrummage.

Oh, and the Indian looking guy was on the opposite side of the carrousel having just arrived from disembarking from the aircraft, and his luggage still not delivered.

It is against my nature, my culture not to "Wait my turn", or accept "First come, first served", "Respect your elders", "Do what you are told", but these days when I sense I could be forced to the back of the queue, it becomes playtime for Phillip. I use my body to stop these "I must be first, I have no regard for others around me" people, from getting infront of me, often forcing them to board last, allowing others to get on or served first, I'm using Phillip's Sausage to know their every move, and counteracting them, letting them feel the frustration I feel against them.

I love my job, and my games.

Chocolate cake"

Vi è di più là fuori che soddisfa l'occhio

Half a moon in the early evening night sky

Ieri sera 15 agosto 2013, mentre la notte scendeva , ho guardato fuori dalla mia finestra in un cielo senza nubi ed ho notato, nel cielo del sud, la luna. Era solo mezza piena.

La fotografia che ho scattato non è stata manipolata, migliorata o cambiata. Sembra che l’altra metà della luna sia stata cancellata, come se non esistesse.

Il cielo blu chiaro è visibile tutto intorno alla luna.

Quando interagiamo con la realtà e vediamo qualcosa,  elaboriamo le informazioni e, ciò che vediamo, diventa ciò che noi crediamo: la verità.

E 'solo una mezza luna. Infatti c'è un oggetto e si vede, posizionato  in un cielo blu chiaro. Possiamo vedere la mezza luna di colore grigiastro, che è lì. Giusto?

Logicamente, perché tutti abbiamo visto la luna piena almeno una volta, sappiamo che la luna è rotonda. Quindi? dove si trova l’altra metà della luna che dovrebbe essere li ma non c’è?

La spiegazione è da ricercare nell’atmosfera della terra che assorbe i raggi scuri emessi dalla luna.
Solo perché non possiamo vedere qualcosa non significa che non c'è o che non esiste.

Quante volte lo facciamo, come esseri umani,  prendendo per vere le cose unicamente percepite attraverso i limite dei 5 sensi?

Come esseri umani, troppo spesso crediamo che ciò  che ci è stato detto o mostrato sia la verità, la realtà.
E non ci rendiamo conto che la persona, l’educatore, l’organizzazione, il giornale, l’emittente che riporta quella informazione ha svolto un processo di eliminazione, cancellazione, perdita di dati.

Non crederete ai vostri occhi,  orecchie, emozioni, odori o sapori. VAKog in modalità in PNL.

Vi è di più là fuori che soddisfa l'occhio.

Half a moon in the early evening night sky, London 2013

Translation Marcello Buglione Coach4Life

Half a Moon

 Italian Version
Half a moon in the early evening night sky

Last night, 15th August 2013, as night crept upon me, I looked out of my window into a near cloudless sky and noticed the moon in the southern sky. It was only half full.

The photograph I took above has not been enhanced or changed, yet half of the moon is invisible, it does not exist. The clear blue sky is visible all around the moon.

When we see something, and we process that information, what we see is what we believe, it is the truth.

It is only half a moon.

There is an object, it is sitting in a clear blue sky. We can see the half moon, greyish in colour, it is there.

But, logically because we have all seen a full moon, we know that the moon is round, but it cannot be, as, where is the missing half of the moon?

Yes it is all to do with the earth's atmosphere absorbing the darker rays of light being emitted from the moon, where-as, the sun's illuminated side, the rays of light have passed through the atmosphere.

Just because we cannot see something does not mean it is not there or that it does not exist.

How many times do we as humans take things on face value?

How many times do we as humans believe what we have been told or shown, not realising that the person, educator, organisation, newspaper, broadcaster, has eliminate, deleted, missed out information, misinforming us?

Do not believe your eyes, ears, feelings, smell or taste. VAKog modalities in NLP.

There is more out there than meets the eye.

Half a moon in the early evening night sky, London 2013

Home is where you make it

Malaysian wasp build nestHome is where you make, it is often a saying I hear. Certainly these insects are making their home here on this plant leaf in Malaysia.

These little insects are building a wonderful structure, attached to the underside of the leaf by a simple single arm.

They have been working tirlessly throughout the heat of the day, whereas I have had to stay indoors in an air-conditioned room to stay comfortable.

The heat and humidity is something that after a time overcomes me, draining me of the ability to think, to function as I would in the temperate climate of the UK.

Perhaps the home we create should be where we are conditioned to physically, and not to live in such a place will put undue strain on our bodies and mind. I do not think these wasp like creatures could survive the freezing cold of a British winter.
Malaysian wasp

Perhaps the home we create should be where we are culturally brought-up, with food stuffs we eat, pastimes we pursue, clothes we wear, beliefs we follow. Travelling to other countries other than the UK I see the British still holding onto their traditions, living a certain lifestyle, and for non British moving to seek a new life in the UK, that they too hold onto their traditions, cultures, lifestyles and beliefs.

So is home where you make it?

Is home where you were brought-up?

Is home where your roots are?

As I talk to ex-patriates, people who have moved to other countries, many will want to return to their roots, their home of up-bringing, even after many years of living abroad.

This brings many problems.

Often the ex-patriates have children whilst living in foreign lands, who are raised in the culture and traditions of that foreign land. Some with gain foreign spouses with their traditions and cultures.

Where do their hearts belong?

Where is home?

Dreaming the Dreams of Dreams

Last night was the last night of the Muslim fasting, and as darkness fell in the evening, prayers were offered via the very noisy loudspeakers perched atop of the mosques minarets, and even more noisy firework were being let off, booming like I have never heard before.

Fireworks were still being let off well after midnight, and even more prayers were started to be  broadcast via the minarets starting a good ten minutes after the clock struck twelve. I think their watches must be slow, why start ten minutes after midnight?

But I was tired, and sleep soon took me away into its arms, to a Never Never Land of make believe.

I knew I was dreaming very vivid dreams, as I was consciously aware of the dreams taking place even in my sleep, it was as if I was awake knowing that a story was unfolding in my dreams, and I was happy.

At 4:05 am, another loud bang, rattling the whole bedroom, coming from yet another firework waking me up, my poor heart thumping with shock and my body aching from an overly hard bed. Some of these blasts could not be from shop bought fireworks as the blasts were too deep and the sound wave too big and penetrating. I am told they are home made. Interesting as I do not know of many people who can make explosives.

As I lay there, calming myself down, I tried to recall my dreams only minutes before I had been enjoying. Nothing, except I knew it had involved an ex girlfriend called Liz, (was her name Elizabeth Drew?), from the days when I was a young schoolboy, where certain urges were there, but what those urges meant, I had no idea at the time.

What were we doing in those dreams I had had?

They were not naughty, I knew that much, I know I could have shared the story-line with my mother, and I knew there had been a proper story-line, a good one. But, nothing came to mind of the dream.

Yet, other memories came flooding back as I lay there of actual events that happened, many, many years ago, of me hiding under the dining table one evening when I had visited Liz at her parents house, why I did that I have no idea, of me missing band practice so I could watch Star Trek on her parents TV, and walking with her around the water's of Chasewater, a large reservoir near our home town. But, nothing about the contents of the dream I had just awoken from.

Other actual memories came flooding back too, of long lost girlfriends, of days when I was so innocent and naive, and so young. Paula Dawes from my college days, then the girl whose name eludes me, on the number 5 Walsall bus every morning and night, with her long straight red hair, we never dated but we were very close, and the girl I had my first real kiss with at a Xmas Party for the Lichfield Junior Accident Prevention Committee, sorry did I ever know your name?

Still nothing about my dream content.

I know I dreamt, but I cannot remember.

Often in my courses as we discuss what are dreams and why do we sleep, participants will say that they never dream. I disagree. Just because we cannot remember something happening, does not mean it never happened. We all dream.

Brains are designed to forget, to erase information, thy are designed to sleep, to dream, from the smallest of living beings, say the fruit fly, through mice, fish, whales, cats and dogs on to humans, without sleep and dreams we would be overwhelmed by information and the brain would die.

But, I would still like to recall my dream.

Memory provoking smell

Jasmine bloom

Today as I walked passed a single jasmine flower bloom, I caught the perfume in a quick brief experience which took me back into my memories of good times, happy times, far, far gone now in my past history.

Unlike the flower petals which will fall off the plant perhaps tomorrow, taking with it that wonderful perfume, my memories will stay with me, to be invoked again when I pass that jasmine plant, and I am lucky enough to catch it in bloom.

A new creature for me

In Malaysia and other countries I often visit, I have experienced and seen things which is not the norm in my own country of the UK, that is not in the British culture, or is not contained in my belief system. I have had to learn to accept with an open mind new things presented to me as I travel.

Today I saw what I would have presumed was a grasshopper, but this creature had different markings that I have never seen before.

grasshopper in Malaysia

I have seen green grasshoppers, light yellow grasshoppers and more, but one with not such a dark brown with white markings. See previous postings of grasshoppers.

But then, perhaps I do not know everything about grasshoppers.

I teach in NLP, we only know what we know, or want to know, and that is the world we live in, our belief system. Anything that does not fit into our existing or previous knowledge, learnings, what we have been taught, our understanding of our own small world would be strange, incorrect, and we will distort any new experience to fit into our existing understanding of our world.

Yet, obviously this creature was in existence prior to my seeing it. Just because I was not aware of it does not say it did not not exist.

We should all open our minds up for new possibilities, accept that a belief is just a belief based upon what we have been told by others, and we all have different beliefs.

Which or whose belief is correct? 

We will never know until the lights go out.

So until I am told differently, this is a grasshopper.

Psychology of NLP in Coaching, Malaysia

Petronas, Psychology of NLP in Coaching

Another great course finished here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, called the Psychology of NLP in Coaching.

Arranged with my partner in Malaysia, Surrey McVey Resources, we had twenty participants from Petronas attending in the Royale Chulan Hotel.

A great time with lots of learning.

More of the travels - Audi cars

Acarsan Audi Cars Gaziantep Turkey

More staff of Acarsan, Audi Cars finish the six day course which will help them in their work and personal life.

Great people, and thank you guys for all your support during our time together.

See you soon.

More Travels - Audi Cars

It is always a pleasure to work with corporate clients, and the staff from Audi Cars here in Gaziantep in Southern Turkey has been no exception.

Audi Acarsan staff in Gaziantep, first group

Some of the staff from many departments of Acarsan Audi in Gaziantep (Southern Turkey), from sales, marketing, fleet, accounts, attended the first of some courses designed to help in team work, and increase productivity for the company.

Fantastic group of people.

My thanks goes to Mehpare Kileci of Gap Danışmanlık for organising the even and her translation.

I Love My Job

My work continues around the world, delivering courses to providers who want my expertise and knowledge for their clients.

Today I find myself in SE Asia, having delivered a course in conjunction with Surrey Mcvey Resources in Kuala Lumpur.

Tomorrow I fly to Turkey to give a Society of NLP Practitioner course and NLP Master Practitioner course with NLPGrup in Istanbul, for just over two weeks, to return back to SE Asia  to continue training immediately on my return.

It is so empowering to deliver and work in an industry I love, to impart and share my knowledge in a fun and easy to learn way, to shake the hands of participants as they leave with smiles on their faces, knowing in some small way, I may have enriched their world, as well as those they have contact with.

I just love my job.

Merry May Day

Unlike many parts of the World, the UK (United Kingdom) does not have a public holiday on 1st May. We have the first Monday in May as a Bank Holiday.

A Bank Holiday in the UK comes from a time when banks were shut and thus no trading could take place, and today we have eight such days although Northern Ireland has ten. Most notable dates of Bank Holidays are, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday.

So today is May Day, and in my home town, The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, we have Merry May Day celebrations, with the town full of singing, dancing, food stalls and people.

Performers at Merry May Day Kingston upon Thames

The town is alive with families having a nice warm summery day out.

Families enjoying Merry May Day in Kingston on May Day Bank Holiday

Not only are there human families enjoying the glorious weather.

A family of ducks on the Thames in Kingston upon Thames 2013

A family of geese on the Thames in Kingston upon Thames 2013

Bank Holidays have become family days, where people get together, but not for me, I have work to do, because some who know me say that every day is a Bank Holiday for me.

Families enjoying gorgeous weather by the Thames in Kingston on May Day Bank Holiday

Disturbed Sleep

"Phillip, are you up yet?", or "Go back to sleep.", were often comments I got in the morning from my mother when I was a younger boy. If she was awake, then I and the whole world should be awake, to be up and about, but, if she wanted a lay-in, if she wanted an extra hour of sleep, which always seemed to be on a Sunday, then I should also sleep in.

Living in a block of apartments in Norbiton Hall, it means I have a family above me, below me and to the two sides of me, and noise does penetrate the floors, ceilings and walls, which is understandable when sharing communal buildings.

It is the same in hotels, where one usually has a small room with very thin walls and doors separating ones-self and the other guests.

Travelling the world as I do on a regular basis, I have encountered many styles and types of hotels, and it seems that I do not sleep in the same bed for more than ten days at a time. I also encounter different cultures and behaviours.

Early morning calls for hotel guests, especially those on a tour when their bus/coach leaves at 7am. I did not ask for a call, but with the walls so thin I also hear their wake-up call.

Tours which need to have block booking of multiple rooms is another, "time to wake up" signal for Phillip, although I do not need one or placed one.

Suitcases being dragged down the corridors, and banging doors as guests come and go are a sleep disturbing episode.

School trips or sports team members love to stay-up late at night, perhaps going out to a late night disco, come back in high spirits, laughing, singing, shouting, running from room to room, banging doors.

Chinese tourists seem to have to shout from room to room with their doors closed. Have they not heard of the bedside telephone which they can use? The Oriental women seem to have to shout and in a high pitch voice in all their conversations.

In hotels catering for the Middle Eastern peoples, they seem to travel in family groups, and they allow the children to run from room to room into the early hours of the morning. OK, in my culture from the UK, all children have to be in bed for say 9pm. The hotel guests also leave their doors open to their rooms and shout to each other in conversations.

Then you get the couples, who, after a good night out, or a great meal in the restaurant, return to have an argument in their room. As I will not be able to probably understand their language, it all becomes a mass of unbearable noise which keeps me awake.

Then you get other noises. 

A hotel in Ankara, Turkey where I stayed, gave me a really pleasant room, and I went to bed early to get enough sleep to give my course the next day. I was awoken with a thump, thump, thump, on the dividing wall between my room and the next. It was not long before the sounds of pleasure were penetrating the walls. Laying there, I had to endure the sounds for a few more minutes, until they ceased, and I was able to get to sleep.

An hour later, the thump, thump, thump, on my wall started again, waking me up, followed by the sounds of passion and pleasure. I lay there until it stopped and went back to sleep.

On the hour, every hour, all through the night this continued. I was exhausted.

The next morning I left my room to go down for breakfast the same time as the guests from the room next to mine left their room. She was young, model figured lady, and he was a wizen old man. I was amazed by his stamina, or could it be that the lady was a business lady?

I moved rooms.

On top of all the other noises as mentioned above, there are the traffic noises, people snoring, perhaps the person I am sleeping with fidgeting or talking in their sleep, keeping me awake at night.

Last night I knew I was in for trouble. I arrived home from a meeting at 10pm, to see two taxis's waiting outside the next apartment entrance, and young adults streaming out of the apartment block laughing and joking, obviously going to a night club.

At 3am in the morning they returned, and their party continued in an adjacent apartment, loud talking and shouting, laughter and banging of doors and furniture.

Other residents were obviously being disturbed to, as I heard knocking on floors and walls, loud enough to make me think someone was knocking on my front door.

The noise continued until 7:45am, when all went quiet, and I went back to sleep, only to be awoken by a telephone call half an hour later to inform me by a recorded voice that "Congratulations, you have won a prize.....". I did not stop to listen, but switched the phone off and placed it under my pillow.

My sleep had been disturbed now and I got up.

Oh for a good nights sleep. 

Perhaps I should go and find a desert island somewhere. 

But then I expect a flock of seagulls would wake me up as soon as it became light, signalling each other it was time to get their early morning food.

It is now 1:30 pm in the afternoon, and the revellers have just woken-up, and shouting and laughing has started again. 

So afternoon nap for me then.

I found a new friend Oakley

Last night at a concert featuring Kingston University Chamber Choir, Chorus and Ensemble entitled, Ancient and Modern, Innovation & Modern: c1656 - 3/5/2013, I made a new friend.

Kingston University Chamber Choir, Chorus and Ensemble

The concert had been organised at St. John's Church, Hampton Wick, to present prizes to three winners of the Music Composition Competition at Kingston University, with prizes given by the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames.

I was asked as a Rotarian and member of the organising committee to take photographs of the event, and as an added advantage, I got to hear the concert, plus meet many people.

But I made one special friend if only for a moment, Oakley.

Oakley is a Labrador guide dog for the blind, and his owner sat infront of me. He lay next to his owner, listening to the music in a deep slumber, as he was off duty.

Then he awoke, stretched, saw me and came and rested his head on my leg, looking me directly in my eyes with his big brown and black eyes.

Oakley a Labrador guide dog for the blind

Oakley a Labrador guide dog for the blind, my friend

I was in love. My heart went out to him, and in an instant I had made a friend, perhaps for a short time, but one of trust between the two of us.

Now the evening has gone, the music has stopped, the prizes given, I will probably never meet Oakley again, but that moment will stay with me forever.

We all have those special times when deep friendships are made, perhaps for a few moments, perhaps from a weeks holiday, perhaps over an acquaintance of ten years, perhaps over a near lifetime of togetherness, then we go our separate ways, but that special friendship can never be taken away, neither the memories or feelings can be erased, forever etched into our personality.

Thank you my friend for our brief time together.

Discovering a Martian Fighting Machine

After my post about the book The Martians Are Coming, and with nothing to do the next afternoon, I jumped on a local train and visited the home town of H G Wells, a place called Woking, Surrey, England.

I endeavour where ever possible, not to take what I am told, given, or learn at face value, unlike the listeners of that radio play by Orson Welles broadcast in 1938 in the USA, which resulted in mass panic, where people thought Martians were invading Earth. I need to dig down, chunk down, to discover more facts, to understand the truth behind what I am being told, what I read, or what I am being fed.

And so it was, after a short journey I left the railway station in Woking. I had read that there was a Martian Fighting Machine described by H G Wells in his book The War Of The Worlds erected in the town center. I walked down a road deserted of shoppers and with not very inspiring shops, having really no idea of which direction to take, only presupposing that any artwork would perhaps be in the town center.

As I rounded a corner my eyes caught sight of a jet fighter mounted on a large metal pole. Why was it mounted in the center of Woking I could not find out from asking local people, only that once it had been a indoor showpiece of the nearby Big Apple family entertainment centre. One window cleaner I talked to, said he had worked and lived in the area for fifteen years and had no idea what it was all about. I have later found out that it is thought to be the very last Hawker Hunter ever built.

Hawker Hunter Jet Outside Big Apple Woking

Then down the road from the corner of my eye, (thank you Phillip's Sausage), I saw the Martian Fighting Machine.

H G Wells The Martian Fighting Machine in Woking

 H G Wells The Martian Fighting Machine Pod

With very little information about the sculpture I took my time viewing this work by Michael Condron. Smaller than I imagined, some 7m (23') tall, the sculpture seemed to be in the wrong place to honour one of Woking's greatest authors.

A quick tour of the shops and a cup of hot chocolate and I was back on a train home, not knowing much more than when I started my afternoon trip. But now a little seed has been planted to research why the Hawker Hunter has been placed outside a rather seedy looking Big Apple family entertainment centre.

The Martians Are Coming

As people who have attended my training courses around the world know, I have one love, and that is the H G Wells story of The War of the Worlds.

Along with story Jeff Wayne long ago created the musical The War of the Worlds, and I can loose myself in masterpiece of music and song wrapped around a fantastic story.

Set in the UK in the late 19th Century, in the area I live in Surrey, H G Wells tells the story of how earth is invaded by Martians. H G Wells weaves his story around his intimate knowledge of the area of Woking and Horsell Common, Leatherhead, Shepperton, Walton, Sheen, and so on.

I get lost in Jeff Wayne's two CD musical, with the striking voice of Richard Burton as the voice of the journalist telling the story, mixed in with dramatic song and music.

Durring my many years of listening and reading The War of the Worlds, I had also heard how late one Sunday evening in 1938, mass hysteria swept across America, as a play was acted-out on the then new medium of radio. People fled their homes, telephone switchboards were engulfed with panicked citizens demand to know what they should do to avoid the invasion.

In his book, The Martians Are Coming, Alan Gallop tells the story of the actor Orson Welles had entered into the profession of acting. Orson Welles soon became well known on stage for his voice and acting abilities, for his passion for adapting plays and books into plays that he could produce and often star in.

It was with a theatrical producer, John Housman, that Orson Welles set-up the Mercury Theatre, to stage plays, and this allowed Welles to pursue his acting career, which he did along side his radio work. The pair were approached by a radio company to broadcast a one hour play each week to be heard all over America.

Welles would take a book and adapt it to become a radio play using the actors from the Mercury Theatre On Air group. The programmes were not a roaring success, but they were listened to.

The night before Halloween in October 1938, Orson Welles had decided to broadcast The War of the Worlds, and the now in place writer, Howard Koch, struggled with taking the original work of H G Wells work set in England, and make it relevant to the ears of the American listeners.

It was decided that the scene should be set in the USA, and Koch purchased a map and chose the site of the landing of the first cylinder from Mars to be Wilmuth Farm, Grover's Mill in New Jersey.

The play was based on the premise that a music program was to be interrupted by news flashes from the scene of the landing, having interviews with professors and politicians, and following the progress of the Martians in their three legged fighting machines through to New York, reeking havoc and death on their way.

Although, an announcement was made at the beginning, at the end and during the play that is was fiction, many listeners tuned-in missing these messages, and those assumed that the USA was being attacked by Martians, and thus spread panic and rumours amongst the population.

Not knowing what was happening outside the CBS radio broadcasting studios, Orson Welles and his fellow actors and musicians continued, reeking more havoc.

This book gives the background and facts to this 1938 happening, showing how human beings can be so influenced, how we can take a little piece of information and this become the truth. How unrelated situations, in this case Hitler and the chance of Germany invading other countries in Europe can be brought in to create panic. (See Cat on the Mat).

It was from here that Steven Spielberg created his film version of The War of the Worlds. NOw, I think a new film version be produced, based truly on the book of H G Wells, in the UK, using the countryside and towns written. For me the original story is far more gripping, and after all, America did not win the war against the Martians.

Sometimes Time Flies

For some time now I have not posted any blog, any thoughts, any comments, any news.


I have no idea.

Perhaps I have become lazy. Perhaps I have been distracted. Perhaps I have had other things to do. Perhaps I have no time.

I do not think any of the above is the reason why, but sitting here in Italy, waiting for my next course to start tomorrow on Coaching, I have had time to reflect on what has been happening in my life over the last few months, something I have not done for a long time, and I realised that I had been distracted away from things I liked to do, like writing an article here on my blog.

Often we are distracted from our normal routine, by a family crisis, a work problem, a domestic problem, a person who needs help, and it is right that we should devote time and effort to those distractions, but, there comes a time when those distractions resolve themselves, and we can get back to normality.

Perhaps I can now return to normality as many of my distractions appears to have been resolved.

I am back.

Youth Speaks, a Rotary Club Competition

The annual Senior Youth Speaks Competition, for schools in the Royal Borough, was held in the Methodist Church, New Malden, on the 13th November, and organised by the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames.

Pupils, teachers, friends and families of the competing teams, members and friends of the Rotary Club, and The Worshipful Mayor of Kingston upon Thames, Councillor Mary Heathcote, were presented with very high standard and thought provoking speeches by five teams from, Richard Challoner, Coombe Boys, Coombe Girls, Surbiton High and Tolworth Girls schools.

Each team consisted of three members, a chairperson, a speaker, and a vote of thanks, with each being allocated a set time to deliver a speech. Titles of the talks covered many areas, “Time: it's all relative”, “The Rise and fall of the Dark Night”, “The Olympic Legacy”, “Are We Slaves To Conformity”, and a rather controversial “Duty to our Parents”, where the speaker implied that there could be an answer to the ever increasing grey haired population, euthanasia.

Obviously, a lot of effort and coaching had been put into the preparation for the night, and all credit must be given to the teachers for supporting their teams both before and during the evening, and it was wonderful to witness teams supporting their competing teams.

Three Adjudicators sat marking the teams, June McCullough, Dr, Helen Setright and Dr. David Lawson, and after the talks and as we all helped ourselves to an array of food and drink, mingling and chatting as the Adjudicators deliberated the results.

After the break, The Worshipful Mayor of Kingston upon Thames, Councillor Mary Heathcote and Kingston Rotary Clubs' President Paul Hickson, presented each team member with a certificate of merit. Then the results were anounced.

Best Speaker Stephen Inns from Coombe Boys School

Best Chairperson Jinal Parekh from Tolworth Girls School

Best Proposer Jordan Agyemang from Coombe Boys School

Special Award for Merit Sam Baxter from Richard Challoner

The winning team which will go forward to the next round of the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland in March 2013, to represent the Royal Borough was Tolworth Girls School.

The Rotary Club Youth Speaks Competition gives the youth practice and confidence for their future life, both personally and professionally in public speaking, something we all may have to do sometime during our life, with the opportunity to have fun, meet new people, win prizes and a chance to participate in the Rotary Club's Youth Exchange program, where two teenagers will spend a sponsored week with others in either, France, Germany, Poland or the UK, expanding and understanding others' cultures.

PhotoReading in Milano 2012

PhotoReading course in Italy

Eighteen people attended the PhotoReading course organised by Coach4Life in the Golf Residence Hotel, Opera, Milano.

Three wonderful days, where each participant brought into the course five books, each of 300 pages, and during the weekend they got through six books, plus articles, plus ate and slept, plus listen to me.

I think some of them came in on the first day thinking that it would be impossible to absorb such an amount of information, especially from four of their books that they had never read and did not even know the subject.

What a surprise then for many, when on the last afternoon, they gave a presentation to their fellow participants about those four books that they had no knowledge of on the first day.

It was a joy for me to stand back and listen to them talking and answering questions with such authority, and those listening were amazed at the knowledge being shown.

My only problem was my flight that evening was once again delayed leaving Milan's Linate airport, meaning a late arrival back in the UK. But it was worth it especially as I read this on Facebook :-

"Ecco il gruppo di Photoreading! 
18 nuovi Fotolettori che hanno assorbito e "cantato" il contenuto di ben 5 libri....un totale di circa 1500 pagine in 3 giorni. 
Compliments and greetings to our great trainer Phillip Holt for his performance and hard work!"

    or translated

Here is the Group of Photoreading! 
18 new Fotolettori that have absorbed and "sang" the contents of as many as 5 books .... a total of approximately 1500 pages in 3 days. 
Compliments and greetings to our great trainer Phillip Holt for his performance and hard work!

Fireworks in Kingston upon Thames 2012

Every year on 5th November, to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, of as it is also known, Bonfire Night, the British people burn rubbish piled high, and on top of the bonfire, we will have a Guy, or a mannequin or dummy, which is the representation of Guy Fawkes.

During the evening when we light the bonfire we will let of lots of fireworks.

It is also tradition that the children will take the "Guy" into the streets, and ask passers-bye "A penny for the Guy". As a boy, I would collect enough pennies to buy the fireworks for the night, and have great joy in firstly building the "Guy", and then seeing him burn on the bonfire.

In 1605, a number of conspirators planned to assassinate the then King, James 1, to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne by blowing-up the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster.

The Gunpowder plot was discovered, and the conspirators arrested. And, it is this that the British celebrate.

Due to health and safety, the population no-longer having gardens capable of having a bonfire, individual households or small groups getting together is now a rare occurrence to have a bonfire, but in Kingston upon Thames, the Rotary Club and Roundtable, get together and organise a large firework display. Along with the local radio station, Radio Jackie, who provide the commutation and music, the local Royal Borough also support the venture.

A modest entrance fee is charged, and the many hundreds of people enjoy a superb evening of fireworks, and much money is raised to help the local community.

I have produced a small video of the evening, I hope you enjoy it.

Coming Courses in Italy and Turkey, November 2012

 Italian Version    Türkçe versiyonu

I have a number of courses coming up, and for those that follow me, and those who have asked to be informed about future courses here are two I will be giving in Italy and Turkey.

In Italy I will be giving a PhotoReading course from 9th - 11th November 2012, and will be held in the Golf Residence Hotel, Opera, Milan.

In todays world we are being overwhelmed with written material, perhaps by journals, magazines, manuals, books, emails, and to keep ourselves at the top, with the knowledge needed to compete and exist in our work and social lives.

How can we get through this vast amount of material? By reading more productively.

We can speed up our reading speeds.

We can read more selectively.

We can read only that information that is relevant to our needs or purpose.

On the course I will teach you all the above and more.

Normal reading, we can expect to read at approximately 180 Words Per Minute (WPM) with 60% comprehension.

With speed-reading it is said we can achieve 800 WPM with 60% comprehension.

With PhotoReading we can achieve 20,000 – 30,000 WPM with 80% comprehension for the purpose we are reading for.

Over the two and a half day course we will get through six books, each with 300 pages, so I will ask you to bring some books with you.

PhotoReading is not reading you have experienced before.

For those who have completed the course before, why not come along to practice and reinforce your learning, it will be fantastic to see you again for a small charge to cover the hire of the room etc. Remember for returning participants, you must have and produce the official Learning Strategies sealed certificate.

Contact the organisers Coach4Life for more information or email me.

In Istanbul, Turkey, 17th - 23rd November 2012, I will be giving a course Licensed by Richard Bandler's Society of NLP, the NLP Practitioner Course, your first step into obtaining excellence, confidence and change in yourself and others.

Learning NLP with Richard Bandler in the early 1990's and being one of his assistants for many years and becoming a Licensed Trainer with the Society of NLP, I have taught licensed Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses all over the world on a regular basis, especially in Turkey, many people have attended to gain excellence in their life, their work life, their business, their education, their family.

Previous participants have come from wide ranging backgrounds, housewives, doctors, students, princess, unemployed, retired or just interested, all are welcome to attend to this life changing course.

Gain the confidence to make changes in yourself and others, learn how we communicate and how the human brain processes information of change.

Contact NLPGrup in Istanbul for more information or email me.

I will continue to deliver more courses and talks will be following in Italy and Turkey plus many other countries, covering Licensed NLP at different levels, Licensed TonyBuzan's Mind Maps, Memory Skills, Speed-reading, Coaching, Hypnosis and Stage Hypnosis to name just a few.

Many companies and organisations have had in-house courses and seminars designed specifically for their needs, so should your company have requirements for in-house training or consultancy, please contact me for information and discussion.

İtalya ve Türkiye’deki Eğitimler, Kasım 2012

Yakın dönemde düzenleceğim çeşitli eğitimleri takip edenler ve eğitimlerimle ilgili bilgi almak isteyenler için, yakında İtalya ve Türkiye’de iki eğitim veriyor olacağım.
İtalya’da 9-11 Kasım 2012 tarihleri arasında Milano’daki Golf Residence Otel’inde PhotoReading eğitimi veriyor olacağım. 
Günümüz dünyasında gazeteler, dergiler, manüeller, kitaplar, e-postalar tarafından sayısız yazılı materyal bombardımanına uğruyoruz. Bunlara ek olarak iş ve sosyal yaşamımızda var olabilmek ve rekabet edebilmek için gereken bilgileri edinmemiz gerekiyor.
Bu yoğun materyallerin altından nasıl kalkacağız? Daha verimli okuyarak.
Okuma hızımızı artırabiliriz.
Daha seçici okuyabiliriz.
Yalnızca ihtiyaçlarımıza ya da amacımıza uygun olan bilgileri okuyabiliriz.
Eğitimde, yukarıdakilerin tümünü öğretiyor olacağım.
Normal okumada, dakikada yaklaşık 180 kelimeyi %60 anlama oranıyla okuruz.
Hızlı okumada, dakikada 800 kelimeyi %60 anlama oranıyla okuruz.
PhotoReading ile dakikada 20.000 – 30.000 kelimeyi okuma amacımıza yönelik olarak %80 oranında anlarız.
İki buçuk günlük bu eğitimde, her biri 300 sayfalık altı kitabı tamamlayacağız, dolayısıyla yanınızda kitap getirmenizi isteyeceğim.
PhotoReading, daha önceki okuma deneyimlerinizden tamamen farklı olacak.
Daha önce bu eğitimi almış olanlar, eğitime yeniden katılıp öğrendiklerini pekiştirebilir. İkinci sefer katılacak olan katılımcılarımızı, cüzi bir katılım miktarıyla aramızda görmekten memnuniyet duyarız. Bu katılımcılarımızın Learning Strategies kurumundan kendilerine verilen orjinal sertifikayı yanlarında getirmeleri gerekmektedir.
Daha fazla bilgi için Coach4Life ile irtibata geçin ya da bana e-posta gönderin.

Istanbul, Türkiye’de, 17-23 Kasım 2012 tarihlerinde, Richarch Bandler’ın Society of NLP kurumundan lisanslı, NLP Practitioner Eğitimi veriyor olacağım. Bu eğitim, mükemmelliğe ve özgüvene ulaşmak, kendinizde ve diğerlerinde değişim gerçekleştirmek için ilk adımınız olacak.

1990’ların başlarında NLP’yi Richard Bandler’dan öğrendikten ve uzun yıllar onun asistanlığını yaptıktan sonra Society of NLP kurumunun lisanslı bir eğitmeni olarak tüm dünyada düzenli olarak lisanslı Practitioner ve Master Practitioner eğitimleri verdim. Dünya genelinde ve özellikle de Türkiye’deki eğitimlere iş ve özel hayatlarında, eğitimlerinde, ailelerinde mükemmellik elde etmek isteyen çok sayıda kişi katıldı.
Katılımcılarımız doktor, öğrenci, ev hanımı, emekli ya da çeşitli mesleklerden kişiler olabildiği gibi yalnızca ilgisini çeken kişiler de olabilmekte.
Kendinizde ve diğerlerinde değişim yaratabilme özgüvenini kazanın, nasıl iletişim kurduğumuzu ve insan beyninin nasıl çalıştığını öğrenin.
Daha fazla bilgi için Istanbul’daki NLPGrup ile iletişime geçiniz ya da bana e-posta gönderebilirsiniz.
İtalya ve Türkiye’den sonra birçok ülkede eğitimler vermeye ve konuşmalar yapmaya devam edeceğim. Eğitim konuları arasında farklı seviyelerde Lisanslı NLP, Tony Buzan’ın Lisanslı Zihin Haritaları, Hafıza Becerileri, Hızlı Okuma, Koçluk, Hipnoz ve Sahne Hipnozu yer alıyor.
Birçok özel firma ve kuruluş için ihtiyaçlarına yönelik olarak şirket işi eğitimler ve seminerler düzenlemekteyiz, şirket içi eğitim ve danışmanlık ihtiyaçlarınız için de benimle irtibata geçebilirsiniz. 

Corsi di lingua in Italia e in Turchia, Novembre 2012

Ho un certo numero di corsi in arrivo e, per quelli che mi seguono e quelli che hanno chiesto di essere informati sui corsi futuri, qui ce ne sono due che terrò in Italia e Turchia.

In Italia terrò un corso di PhotoReading dal 9 all’11 Novembre 2012 e si terrà presso l'Hotel Residence Golf, Opera, Milano.

Nel mondo di oggi, la nostra mente, viene sopraffatto da materiale scritto, da giornali, riviste, manuali, libri, e-mail e dobbiamo per mantenere noi stessi al top con le conoscenze necessarie per essere competitivi nel nostro lavoro e a nostro agio nella vita sociale.

Come possiamo selezionare questa grande quantità di materiale?

Leggendo in modo più produttivo!

Siamo in grado di accelerare la nostra velocità di lettura.

Siamo in grado di leggere in modo più selettivo.

Siamo in grado di leggere solo le informazioni che sono rilevanti per le nostre esigenze o finalità.

Il corso vi insegnerà tutto questo e molto altro.

Lettura normale, ci si può aspettare di leggere a circa 180 parole al minuto (WPM) con il 60% di comprensione.

Con lo Speed Reading è detto che possiamo ottenere 800 WPM con il 60% di comprensione.

Con il PhotoReading siamo in grado di raggiungere 20.000 - 30.000 WPM con l'80% di comprensione per lo scopo con il quale stiamo leggendo.

Nel corso due giorni e mezzo giorno arriverai a foto leggere fino a sei libri, ciascuno con 300 pagine. Ecco perché ti chiedo di portare con te alcuni libri e tutti di 300 pagine circa.

PhotoReading non è un modo di leggere che avete sperimentato prima.

Per coloro i quali hanno completato il primo corso perché non venite a praticare ed a rafforzare l'apprendimento, sarà fantastico rivivere il seminario con un piccolo costo per coprire il noleggio della sala, ecc .

Ricordiamo a titti i partecipanti che ritornano al corso di portare con se il certificato originale firmato da Paul Scheele.

Contattate Coach4Life per ulteriori informazioni opuure scrivetemi una email.

A Istanbul, Turchia, 17-23 novembre 2012, terrò un corso di Programmazione Neurolinguistica della Società Richard Bandler. Il famosissimo Practitioner PNL, il tuo primo passo verso l'ottenimento dell’ eccellenza, la fiducia in te stesso ed il cambiamento anche negli altri!

Ho imparato la PNL con Richard Bandler nei primi anni ‘90 e sono stato uno dei suoi assistenti per moltissimi anni e, dopo aver conseguito la licenza come Trainer con la Society of NLP ho insegnato a Practitioner e Master Practitioner in tutto il mondo, su base regolare e, soprattutto, in Turchia molte persone hanno partecipato per ottenere l'eccellenza nella loro vita, nella loro vita lavorativa, la loro attività, la loro educazione, la loro famiglia.

I partecipanti alle edizioni precedenti avevano estrazioni di ogni genere: casalinghe, medici, studenti, principessa, disoccupato, pensionato o semplicemente interessati al funzionamento della mente. Infatti tutti sono invitati a partecipare a questo corso che cambia la vita.

Conquistare la fiducia di apportare modifiche in voi stessi e negli altri, imparare come si comunica e come il cervello umano elabora le informazioni per ottenere il cambiamento.

Contatta NLPGrup a Istanbul per maggiori informazioni anche tramite posta elettronica.

Continuerò a fornire ulteriori corsi e conferenze in Italia e Turchia oltre a molti altri paesi, insegnando PNL diversi livelli e, con licenza di Tony Buzan, mappe mentali, abilità di memoria, lettura veloce, Coaching, Ipnosi e Ipnosi da palcoscenico, per citarne solo alcuni.

Molte aziende e organizzazioni hanno avuto “tailor made” corsi e seminari studiati appositamente per le loro esigenze, se anche nella vostra azienda necessitate di formazione interna o di consulenza, di altissima qualità vi prego di contattarmi direttamente.

Synchronicity, Bletchley Park, History Unfolding

It was in the 1920's that the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung first described the the terminology of synchronicity, saying that when two or more events occur together or are linked when there is no apparent reason for them to be linked at that time, things come together by what seems chance, this is synchronicity.
It was early one Sunday morning, the British clock system had been adjusted back to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) that morning, that meant that my clock showed 7:30am, but my body said it was 8:30am, and I had nothing meaningful to do and wide awake. 

As a Radio Ham (G8YJQ), I had heard of the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) National Radio Centre based in Bletchley Park, the war-time home of secret code breaking and the birthplace of the first modern computer. I decided to visit the National Radio Centre.

I often like to revisit the basics, to start again to review, as if I knew nothing about a subject, as it reinforces the foundations of expertise, to pick-up knowledge missed along the way of learning a subject.

I joined a group of visitors, as toured the radio exhibition very quickly, leaving me in their wake as I read the documentation written about the displays, which they skipped over. The exhibition was quite small and a little disappointing to me, so I had finished my visit very quickly, even after a long conversation with a guide and another radio ham.

I decided to visit the rest of the Bletchley Park facility again as I had travelled a long way, to see if the model aircraft of the Italian aircraft (Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero) I had donated, had been used in their exhibition, and no it had not been used, to revisit, to reinforce and relearn what I knew about the site and its' history.

I joined another small group of people of many nationalities, and we met in the main house to hear the initial opening lecture about the code breakers, setting the scene for the tour. Even though I had heard this talk before, it had been with another guide, and he gave us information new to me. As we wondered around the site, new information was being imparted, especially about the decoding Bombe machines, I had never understood how they worked, I had a concept, but now after the guides talk, I was beginning to understand.

That reminded me of something I had learnt when I first started in the computer field in 1963, sometimes you don't need to know how something works to use it.

We eventually visited the National Museum of Computing housed in buildings of part of Bletchley Park.

Here the guide explained about Tunny code breaking machines, or as it is also known, the German Lorenz SZ42 cipher-machines.

Two new "Ah Ha" moments came to me, that the cipher machines Enigma and the Lorenz used by the German's to encrypt messages ran side by side in the Second World War, being two separate systems or methods of transmission of a message, one being morse code the other being teleprinter.

The second "Ah Ha" moment came as I realised that I had heard and read about Lorenz in two different contexts, one was for the equipment to encode messages I was viewing, and the other was for the beams of radio waves the German aircraft to fly along and used to locate targets to bomb in the UK during the war. Both the encrypting machine and the beams were made by the German manufacturer Lorenz, but people had when speaking about the systems, had truncated or missed off what Lorenz model they were talking about, just like saying it was a Ford, but what model Ford, was it a car, was it a transit van?

As we walked around listening and learning, a couple in our group were talking about papers and artefacts that had been left to them by the husband's now deceased mother and father, and that some of the letters were now making sense, they now realised that they had been written to and by people who had worked in Bletchley Park. These people at Bletchley Park in the Second World War had been sworn to secrecy at to what they were working on, what they were doing or even where they were, many taking their secrets with them to their graves many decades later. I now regret not asking my now departed Uncle Frank about his work in the 2nd World War, because as I research more, I believe he may have had had some dealing with the Bletchley Code Breakers.

Also, the couple told me that they had in their possession, left by the father, many old thermionic valves and parts used by the Post Office in the UK who used to run the telephone service.

Passing on from the Tunny Gallery, we passed into the Colossus Gallery, showing a reconstructed decoding machine, the worlds first digital semi-programmable computer, designed and built by Tommy Flowers, a telephone engineer, who took standard telephone switching gear, thermionic valves and other bits and pieces, to build this worlds first computer of it's type.

As we listened to our guide about how the British Government, after the finish of the 2nd World War, did not want the secret be known by other powers and especially the Russians of Colossus, and apart from two machines which were sent to the Secret Service's headquarters at GCHQ, all other machines were destroyed, along with paperwork, designs and drawings.

It was only a few years ago that a group of enthusiasts led by Tony Sale, who gathered information from photographs, people who worked on the Colossus, and those you built and maintained them, that rebuilt what we can see today, a working Colossus which can decipher and work as the originals did, and does so for visitors to see today.

Colossus, the worlds first semi-programmable computer at Bletchley Park
Colossus, the worlds first semi-programmable computer

Colossus from the rear, the worlds first semi-programmable computer at Bletchley Park
Colossus, from the rear showing the circuits and thermionic valves

When our guide had finished his talk, the couple's eyes were alive, as they had some parts, letters, paperwork, documents and some knowledge from the father, who they now realised had worked with Tommy Flowers on the original Colossus, and I urged them to go and speak to one of the guides who I knew had worked on the rebuild and was now sitting in a small office near to the working computer.

I think at first reluctantly the guide listened to them, but he became interested, as here was new knowledge being delivered, and so off they went to another area of the exhibition, only to return with a framed photograph of Tommy Flowers, and in that photograph was the father.

I was witnessing the discovery of new knowledge, the recovery of history.

Leaving Bletchley Park, and a almost two hour journey, I arrived home and settled down to a wonderful hot chilli con carne meal I had made, and switched on the TV. To my surprise the BBC were showing a Timewatch series, "Codebreakers: Bletchley Park's Lost Heroes", the story of code breaking and the Colossus, reinforcing what I had learned not a few hours earlier.

Synchronicity. If I had not been bored and decided to rekindle my Ham Radio interests, to visit the National Radio Centre, which happened to be at Bletchley Park, and if I had not continued to do another tour of the park, I would not have had those "Ah Ha" moments, seen many more things, and learnt so much more, meet the couple who had a direct connection to Colossus through the father and Tommy Flowers, then see the TV program.

Wrong telephone number

For the last two days my mobile phone has been hot with calls, but they were not business calls.

In England and Wales, our police force which are split into regions, will soon be overseen by commissioners for police and crime, one elected person per region. 

Apart from The London Metropolitan Police Force, which has Mayor Boris Johnson as the "overseer" or "commissioner", the people of England and Wales will be voting for representatives for these new posts, and as this is the first time any such post has been created, people have questions, so a help-line telephone number has allocated, a freephone number.

Unfortunately, people ringing this freephone number were forwarded to my mobile number.

I have spoken to so many nice people, who were asking me questions about the vote, about the candidates, the system, which I have no knowledge about, and it has been quite a change from all those "cold callers" trying to sell me computer virus checking on my PC which I do not have, I am an Apple user, and companies trying to sell me their services to recover money from banks that I have not spent on protection schemes for loans I have never had.

It took me two hours to find a person at the Election Reform Society and the British Home Office who would listen to my problems of receiving their calls on my mobile.

It is a pity I cannot charge the Home Office for my time and telephone charges I have incurred, but then I have had many nice conversations today.

The Society Of NLP Practitioner, Milan, 2012

Society of NLP Practitioner Course being held in the Golf Residence Hotel in Milan, with Coach4Life

It has been some time since my last blog, but that is not because I have not been inactive, far from it I have not had much time on my hands.

Today is the last day of the Society of NLP Practitioner Course being held in the Golf Residence Hotel in Milan, with Coach4Life.

Once again, the Italian participants have been a joy to work with and to pass-on my knowledge to. 

It has been since the early 1990's that I have been coming to Italy sometimes on a monthly basis, to give courses, and it has made me happy to see participants rise to fame themselves in the training field.

But what happiness this morning, my last morning, a knock on my bedroom door, and there waiting for me was my breakfast on a tray.

Thank you guys for arranging my breakfast in bed.

Breakfast in bed in the Golf Residence Hotel, Opera, Milan.

Spies in the Sky, Taylor Downing

After reading Target Tirpitz, Dam Busters, and other books on the history of World War II, (WW2), and realising how much was missing from my knowledge, my interest has been ignited to find other information, other gaps that need filling in.

One area mentioned was the intelligence which was gathered about targets prior to missions, and then post mission, the information which was made available as to the success or failure of the missions.

I came across Taylor Downing's book, Spies in the Sky, which like many books being publish at this time, gathers together facts, figures, information, stories, history about what I was looking for, "the secret battle for aerial intelligence during World War II".

This well written book tells in a near chronological sequence how and why the need for intelligence started in the 19th century, through the First World War, primarily the Second World War, even through to today, from the air.

It tells how Sidney Cotton, perhaps a maverick, an unconventional thinking person, used his knowledge and love of flying, to create methods of gathering aerial photographs of places of interest for military needs. It follows the story of how, despite opposition by some in power, the initial drive by Cotton was developed to a point where there were thousands of people gathering information, analysing and interpreting it to be made available just from aerial photographs, to the leaders, generals, admirals and air marshals, the planners, for battles that would follow.

The book tells the stories of pilots flying often alone for long hours, deep behind enemy lines, in unarmed reconnaissance aircraft, risked their lives, many never to return or unheard of again, just to photograph the land below them as they flew above, throughout the world.

Based in a country house, Danesfield House, Medmenham, in the Thames Valley near London, men and woman, civilians in uniform, academic people, gathered to process and analyse the millions of photographs taken by the reconnaissance pilots. Everyone, like those, the code breakers at Bletchley Park operated in total secret, unaware what others in other sections were doing, and their secrets were hidden from the public for many years.

This book tells the story of aerial intelligence during World War II, a good read.

But even more questions have been planted in my mind now.

Target Tirpitz Patrick Bishop

Another fantastic read, which has brought together lots of stories and knowledge I have gained, to become the realisation that many were linked together, something I had missed. 

OK, the subject matter that I have been reading was about the Second World War, (WW2), but what I had read and researched before, were about individual incidents/campaigns/missions, and I had seen them and understood them as that, stand-alone.

Why I read the book, Target Tirpitz, was because I had just finished the book Dam Busters, the formation of the special RAF Dambusters Squadron, 617, and how they went on to finally sink the German battleship the Tirpitz. I wanted to find more information about this famous RAF Squadron.

The easy to read book, left me with the feeling that it gave both sides of the story, from the point of views of the Axis Powers and the Allies, with Patrick Bishop having obtained interviews from many people from both sides involved with this part of history.

The book starts with the launching of Tirpitz on Saturday, 1st April 1939 and follows the battleships life until it was finally finished on 11th November 1944

In chapter one, Alfred Zuba tells his story of the final hours of how he was trapped in the then dark capsized vessel, of how he was one of only a few who were cut out of the upturned hull, leaving nearly 1,000 men who perished inside Tirpitz when the Dambusters sealed the final blow.

Although the Tirpitz really did not go into battle with Allied shipping, it did tie-up Allied Naval vessels in containing her mostly in the Norwegian Fiords, resources badly needed in other parts of the world.

The book tells how the British and the Americans were being pushed by what seems very ungrateful Russians, to supply badly needed food, materials and armaments to fight the German occupation of their country. The only way to get such goods to the Russians was by the Arctic Convoys, where many men lost their lives having their ships sunk by the German forces.

Winston Churchill, the British Leader, knew that the big German Naval force needed to be removed, especially the Tirpitz and the battle cruiser Scharnhorst. To do this required skill and daring, from the flyers of the British Navy's aircrews of the Fleet Air Arm, flying aircraft that had hardly been updated in thirty years, the submariners who tried to sink Tirpitz on two man torpedo shaped chariots as in the 1958 film The Silent Enemy, and the claustrophobic four man mini submarine the X-craft, as depicted in the 1955 film Above Us The Waves. How the Norwegian Resistance used the Shetland Bus route, a successful ferry services of agents and equipment over the cold and dangerous sea to play their role in the sinking.

Partrick Bishop brings into this book other related missions to give a whole picture of the death of Tirpitz, including the St. Nazaire Raid by the British on the large Normandie dry dock with HMS Campbeltown, later made into the 1952 film, Gift Horse.

So many films made about this period of history, but until now I had never linked them together, More gaps now filled in, and many more left open. A great read.

Dam Busters James Holland

As a small boy, growing up in the post WW2 era, the stories of those who fought in the war, especially the 1955 film The Dam Busters, left a strong impression on my mind. But somehow there was much missing from what I was told about the mission. I needed more details, to fill the gaps. 

Living not far from Weybridge in the UK, the workplace of Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bombs, Highball and Upkeep, and where Vickers Aviation's factories and workshops were, gave me the opportunity to visit the small museum, to see first hand some of the actual equipment used on the mission to bomb the dams of the German Ruhr Valley, bringing me closer to filling in the gaps, but James Holland in his book Dam Busters, gave some deeper appreciation of what actually took place.  In addition his film, Dam Busters, produced with the BBC, brought life to his easy to read book. 

The book tells of the struggles faced by many to bring about such a what was seen as an impossible mission, from Barnes Wallis, the RAF, the Admiralty, the aircrews, and those left behind. 

The books tells how Guy Gibson, a young RAF Officer, having just finished a tour with Bomber Squadron 106, was asked to form a special squadron using the modified Lancaster 464, a four engined bomber aircraft, with highly trained crews. This had to be completed in a few weeks, before the May 1943 deadline, not knowing the target, nor the bomb which was to be used.

James Holland, brings into the book, personal recollections from those who took part, recalling personalities, private moments, even the death of Gibson's dog Nigger

This RAF Squadron was to become known as 617 Squadron, The Dam Busters.

James Holland also looks at the legacy left after the mission, was it worth taking such a risk? 

Well worth the read, to fill-in those gaps of knowledge we all have in our history.

A Radio Interview

I was invited to do another radio interview, and I present the broadcast here.

The interviewer, Rose Claire, is based in the USA and myself in the UK, so there is a slight delay in our conversation, plus due to a non functioning telephone link we went straight to air with no pre-interview.

Hope you enjoy, and remember you can hear more interviews on various subjects by clicking here.
Listen to internet radio with AshfordPublishing on Blog Talk Radio

Hawthorn Hedge under attack

Outside our apartment in Norbiton Hall, we have gardens, with trees, bushes and shrubs, flowers and lawns, making it a pleasant place to live.

Around the grounds we also have hedge rows mostly of hawthorn, and as long as it is cut and trimmed adds something to the ambience of the properties.

But, in the last couple of days, the hawthorne hedge has come under attack, from a hoard of black caterpillars.

They seem to have covered the hawthorn hedge with a thick covering of silky web, and beneath, the leaves are being eaten, leaving bare stalks.

Hawthorn Hedge under attack in Norbiton Hall

Hawthorn Hedge caterpillar

Hawthorn Hedge with a cluster of caterpillars

Hawthorn Hedge covered with web outside Norbiton Hall

What are these caterpillars?

What do they become?

Will the hawthorn hedge die?

Anyone any ideas please? Please leave a comment posting.

Isabella Plantation Richmond Park

An area of the Royal Park of Richmond Park waits to be discovered, a fenced-off garden, full of trees, plants, shrubs, colour, clearings, streams and ponds.

Originally fenced off in the 1700's to grow trees, this area was transformed in the 1950's by George Thomson and the head gardener at the time, Wally Miller. They cleared areas of plants to be replaced by rhododendrons and azaleas and other exotic shrubs and trees. Over the years since, streams and ponds have been added, including heathers, camellias and magnolias to name just a few.

So much bird life can be found within Isabella Plantation.

In April and May, Isabella Plantation is so full of colour, and I have tried to capture it on a short video.

I hope you enjoy.

Adult Achievement Awards 2012

I recently was present at the Kingston upon Thames, Rotary Club's Adult Achievement Awards, held once a year in the Royal Borough of Kingston's Guild Hall.

It is so humbling to listen to some of the stories, of those who had experienced difficulties in their life, yet overcame them to attain further education to better themselves.

Here is a small video made from the photographs I took of the evening.

SORRY, due to a member of staff offering-up potential objections from winners,
I have removed the video from public view, for now.

Presentations were handed out by the Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston, Barry O'Mahony, Club President Anne McCormack and Rotarian Peter Gray.

Dover Castle, English Heritage

The first sight many people see of the UK, or England in particular, are the White Cliffs of Dover. These are the chalk cliffs on the English side of the Strait of Dover, (in French Pas de Calais), and is the narrowest part of the English Channel at some 21 miles (34 km). At this distance it is possible on a clear day to see the coast of the other country, and at night see the lights over the other side, even as one local Dover person told me, the car lights as they travel along the French coast roads.
The White Cliffs of Dover
So, the first sight as people catching the ferry plying the Channel are the brilliant white chalk of the cliffs, and certainly on the many returning flights to the UK, as I look down to catch a glimpse of home, the white cliffs stand out above anything else on a cloudless day.

Atop the cliffs of Dover has been a significant position for man since before the Roman's invaded, as a lookout position to repel invaders, place for navigation, a place for communication.

In the 1180's, the then King of England and provinces of France, (King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou), Henry II, built a castle on top of the cliffs at Dover, and over the next 800 years, the buildings and grounds have been adapted to the changing needs and demands.

Dover Castle of Henry II

On my first visit to Dover Castle, I caught the high speed train (130 mph, 210 kph), from London, and arriving at Dover Priory train station it was a short walk, but very steep climb to The Castle. (Listen to my hypnotic The Castle CD).

My first impression was, "this is not a real castle, it is not in ruins", it is pristine unlike many other British castle I have visited. Despite the bombardment in the Second World War, it is said that Hitler had stated that the castle should not be attacked as he wanted it as a base for himself, the buildings where like they had just been completed.

So Henry II built his castle to impressed his many foreign guests, as was said, the castle was built as a bed and breakfast, an overnight hotel, as well as a garrison, and as people crossed from France, the elegance and richness would show what a powerful King he was.

Inside the battlement walls, the buildings are well maintained, it was still a military garrison until it was handed over to the Ministry of Works in 1963, and then onto English Heritage who now run the castle. But, it is not only the buildings above ground, there are extensive secret tunnels cut into the chalk, which housed up-to 2,000 persons in WWII, including a hospital, now mostly open to the public, exhibiting the history they have played over the years. The sights, sounds and smells are recreated to give a great understanding of what went on there.

In the Great Tower, there awaited another shock for me.

Dover Castle Great Tower

English Heritage have laid out displays, showing what it would/may have looked like in the days of Henry II. On level one, the guest bedroom, level two the Kings bedroom, throne room, and a small chapel attributed to Thomas Becket, who had been murdered by said agents of Henry II. Henry denied any involvement in the murder, and it is said this small chapel, still in use once a year, was Henry's penance to St. Thomas Becket.

Dover Castle Thomas Becket Chapel

The shock for me was the quality of the furniture, the vibrant colours of the paint and cloth. It looked too modern.

As with all the guides situated throughout the castle grounds, eager to engage and full of knowledge, I was able to enquire as to the authenticity of the exhibits, surely they could not be true, as all the movies (mostly American) I had seen of those times, I thought that everything would be dark and grey. The guide had found his ideal visitor, for he was able to give me all his acquired knowledge, the fact that the woodworkers had the skills to produce such stunning work, that they had the ingredients to produce dyes of such striking colours for paints, murals and cloths.

Dover Castle Royal bedroom

Wow, I was shocked, as were the other visitors I spoke to as we toured the castle. Perhaps the British were and are a colourful lot after all, with OK some French influence.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge

A quick bus ride from Kingston upon Thames to another town downstream on the River Thames, took me to Richmond upon Thames.

Looking down from the old Richmond Bridge to the boats moored on the banks of the Thames, I was taken aback at the sight of the Royal Barge, being prepared for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant to be held on June 3rd.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge at Richmond upon Thames.

Costing £1m, this 28.6m (94ft) barge called Gloriana, powered by 18 oarsmen, will head the river pageant from Wandsworth to Tower Bridge, leading it is estimated 1,000 boats carrying some 20,000 people. It has been said it will take one and a half hours for the pageant to pass any one point.

Covered, in parts, with gold leaf, the vessel sparkled in the sunlight.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge showing the Royal Crest.  
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge showing the stern crest. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge showing the gold leaf lion.

I wish boat I once owned, Mr Toots, had looked like The Royal Barge.

There Once was an Ugly Duckling

Walking along the Thames Path from Kingston upon Thames towards Richmond upon Thames, a sight took me back to a story by Hans Christian Andersen, a story that was told to me as a small boy, and to a song sung by Danny Kaye.

There Once was an Ugly Ducking
The Ugly Duckling

This little ball of fluff had three other siblings with it, not really standing out from the surrounding landscape, and it made me think of the work, my career, I have found myself involved with for nearly twenty years, and the people I have seen over this period of time.

Back in the 1990's, 80's and 70's, I was an expert in my work, working for computer manufacturers, I had to create computer systems to produce the results customers wanted. The customer would have a problem, perhaps to produce a payroll system, to capture sales figures at the point of sale on the shop floor, to record medical history in a hospital of patients, many many problems, and at that time, there was no packaged software, no apps available to provide them with the solution, so I would have to design, write and develop programs from scratch.

From knowing nothing about a subject, I had to learn what was being done manually by the customer, and transpose that to a computer system, I had to become an expert, to become one of those that had studied and worked in that area for years.

Yet I did not wish to become one of their group, or to replace them with myself.

In the late 1980's, again I had to become another expert in an area I had no knowledge, to know how the industry of manufacturing windows and doors and the making of glass worked, so that I could support the computer systems that were installed to help the workforce in the factories.

I had a need, the need to gain knowledge, to become an expert, to know what made things work, what were they? That need for knowledge has continued in my life.

In the early 1990's, I came across NLP, PhotoReading, Mind Maps and hypnosis, and the whole subjects fascinated me, I needed to know what was happening, what were these new ideas, how did they work, how could they make such major changes in people.

I had to understand, to become an expert, and I sought out the best to learn from, the originators.

One of my earliest computer clients, at the start of my working life, at a time I was learning new ideas, when I was honing my skills at becoming an expert, gaining the art of acquiring knowledge, in the 1970's, there was a company that had been in existence for over 100 years, and they wanted to move from quill pen to a computer. I listened to what they wanted, and produced a design for a computer system from my understanding of what was required.

It was at the presentation of my solution to the partners of the company, that I was told :- "Thank you Phillip, you have shown us a good computer solution, but, we have been doing this work for over one hundred years, and we are not going to change now, go away and come back with what we want."

I left the presentation deflated, I lost what confidence in myself I had in my abilities, I was not the expert I thought I was.

My manager saw this state I had gotten myself into, and helped me regain my confidence, to go out and acquire the knowledge to become an expert, to understand deeply down how things worked, why were things done in certain ways, what were the reasons certain results were wanted, because my manager saw in me a special person, an expert in the making.

I went back into the client, and with their permission, became one of them, to understand each process, the reasons why those processes were in place, and the results that came out of doing them.

Not only did I look at the client at work and learn, but I sought other companies that were in the same industry, and learnt from them too, adding to my knowledge.

So it has been with my work in NLPPhotoReadingMind Maps and hypnosis, I have continually sought-out knowledge, and with the permission and knowledge of the people I have worked with, incorporated this knowledge into my work, to become the expert, so to teach others.

I have watched others become experts, by taking their time to acquire knowledge and become an expert, to do the 10,000 hours that has been written about by Malcolm Gladwell and Matthew Syed.

Yet, it was at a recent training, that a participant spoke out with a smile on her face, "Now I understand. This is the second time I have done the course, and the first time it made no sense and did not work."

Puzzled by this statement, I asked her to explain, as I had never seen this person before, this was her first course with me, and I knew that I was the only trainer teaching this subject in the country.

"Oh," she said, "I went on a course with ............, he was a student of yours and decided to give the course himself, but I did not understand him."

How many people become "experts" before they have learnt the subjects?

Like the fluffy "Ugly Duckling" in the picture above, we all have to learn, gain knowledge from those around us, like from our parents, our mentors, our teachers, to do our 10,000 hours, before we can blossom out to become the majestic swan.

Swans on the River Thames at Kingston
Majestic Swans from Ugly Ducklings

The Rotary Club of Kingston, University of Kingston Music Awards

Following the article Proud Moments at the Music Awards, I have put together a very simple video record.

Perhaps not West End Theatre standard, or a potential The Voice TV show entry, it has to be said it was not a very nice day to be singing out-of-doors.

The winner this year was Adam Hope, with his entry, "The Dying Christian".  Adam, a very talented conductor is a 3rd year composition student at the university, working freelance in various jazz and light music ensembles, whilst he directs the Twist Choir at Kingston University.

Second place went to Nomi Helfensteller, with her entry of "We Still Got Time". Originally on an Erasmus exchange scheme from the Oldenburg University in Germany as a Masters student, Nomi is now a post-graduate student of Kingston University of music performance, having her own band and an enthusiastic member of local natural voice choirs.

Third place went to Matthew Bromley, with "Twilight Voices". Matthew is a 3rd year composition student, with a keen interest in music and theatre. He has spent many years as a musical director and has worked on several multimedia projects at Kingston University.

Relax for a minute in Isabella Plantation

Just relax for a minute with a small video taken of a stream in Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park on a cold and overcast day.

Music from Apple Final Cut Pro

Click here to see another video and photographs of Isabella Plantation.

Proud Moments at the Musical Awards

Perhaps not the best choice of venues to hold a musical recital on a cold day in May 2012, but this was the moment to announce the Kingston University Musical Awards in the ancient Market Place of Kingston upon Thames.

Once again the awards were given by the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames, and as I was asked to photograph the event, I paid attention to the people standing in the Market Place, observing their presence, and it was so obvious who were the composers of the music being performed by Kingston University's Chamber Choir, accompanied on the piano by Mr Michael Round.

From their faces, and those of their companions, the pride of what they had achieved was there to see, as they hung on every note and word being sung. Perhaps they had spent many hours and sleepless nights composing their entries into this annual event, but this day it had proven worth while, as their work was being performed in public.
Adam Hope, Kingston University Music Competition Awards, Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 1st place 2012
Adam Hope, Kingston University Music Competition Awards
Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 1st place 2012

Nomi Helfensteller, Kingston University Music Competition Awards, Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 2nd place 2012
Nomi Helfensteller, Kingston University Music Competition Awards
Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 2nd place 2012

Matthew Bromley, Kingston University Music Competition Awards, Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 3rd place 2012
Matthew Bromley, Kingston University Music Competition Awards
Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club 3rd place 2012

The winner this year was Adam Hope, with his entry, "The Dying Christian".  Adam, a very talented conductor is a 3rd year composition student at the university, working freelance in various jazz and light music ensembles, whilst he directs the Twist Choir at Kingston University.

Second place went to Nomi Helfensteller, with her entry of "We Still Got Time". Originally on an Erasmus exchange scheme from the Oldenburg University in Germany as a Masters student, Nomi is now a post-graduate student of Kingston University of music performance, having her own band and an enthusiastic member of local natural voice choirs.

Third place went to Matthew Bromley, with "Twilight Voices". Matthew is a 3rd year composition student, with a keen interest in music and theatre. He has spent many years as a musical director and has worked on several multimedia projects at Kingston University.

It was not only a proud moment for the winners of the University Music Awards, but also for the organiser Dr. David Osbon, Principal Lecturer and Head of Collegiate Music at Kingston University, who stood out with his flowing hair and his strong voice, and Kingston Rotary members there, especially Doreen Johnston and President Anne McCormack who presented the prizes.

By helping others, Rotary Club can inspire others to achieve and be proud of what they do, no matter at what level.

Perhaps writing this may inspire me to produce the video of the event.

Double Rainbow, Why?

A double rainbow

In the UK, after having such warm and dry period of weather at the start of spring, and over the last couple of years a reduced level of rainfall leading to the South East of England being declared in a draught, with reservoirs at all time low levels, the last few days of April has been cold and wet, with some areas having record rainfall.

The sky turns black, blacker than I have seen for a longtime, and the rain comes down, and yet, typical of UK weather, the dark clouds soon pass, and we find ourselves in sunshine. 

We call this weather April Showers.

So here we are, the dark cloud passes over in the early evening, yet to the west, the setting sun is in a cloud free sky, the result was another rainbow, not just one but a double rainbow.

I have never seen or realised there could be a double rainbow, so typically, I needed to know what causes this natural show.

A rainbow is caused by the light from the sun passing through the raindrops, resulting in a multicoloured arc. The light as it enters the droplets is refracted, split into the seven colours of the spectrum of light, as the picture above shows, being red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, with blue on the inside and red on the outside.

The process as the sunlight passes through the water droplets is that the light is refracted as it enters the droplets, then it is reflected back from the opposite side of the inside of the droplet, and as the light passes out of the droplet it is refracted again.

This was first described by Sir Isaac Newton, 1642 to 1727.

A double rainbow is a secondary arc outside the primary arc, and the colours are reversed, so the blue is on the outside, and is caused by the light being reflected twice within the droplets.

Now I know.

The Weather Changes in the UK at Hampton Court

From my home town of Kingston upon Thames, there is on the opposite bank of the River Thames the grounds of the Palace of Hampton Court, a largely open parkland area south of Bushy Park, the home of the Hampton Court Flower Show, and the historical Palace of Henry VIII.

On the north bank of the River Thames is an easy walk of about 3 miles (just under 5 km) following the river to Hampton Court called Badge Walk. Pleasure boats and ferries enjoying the leisurely pace of life, cruise passed on the river. Cyclists, joggers and walkers, out to exercise or just enjoy being out in the open air pass by, sometimes with a jolly "Hello" greeting. It is a pleasant walk on a sunny day for all.

For many weeks the weather in the UK has been like summer, even if it is only March/April, so much so that many parts of the UK are so short of water there has been a hosepipe ban introduced, rivers and reservoirs are running dry, the area has been declared officially in drought conditions.

And so I set out on a beautiful morning, to exercise myself on the walk, with the warmth of the sun putting an extra spring in my step. But as I neared the end of Badge Walk, coming to the entrance to the Royal Palace, the skies darkened, and I could see the ribbons of heavy rain falling in the near distance. Looking at the movement of the clouds and the direction of the wind, I realised and hoped the storm would pass to the north of me.

Ribbons of rain about to fall on Hampton Court seen from Barge Walk on the River Thames towards Hampton Court Bridge

It had taken about an hour and a half to reach Hampton Court, time enough to earn a sandwich and a cup of tea in one of the cafe's the grounds, and then to take a leisurely stroll through some of the gardens of the Palace.

It is a little too early for most of the flowering plants to bloom, but there were beds and beds of daffodils, some already having flowered looking a little bedraggled, some just in their prime, carpets of yellow gently swaying in the sunshine.

Daffodils in the Royal Palace of Hampton Court gardens

Yes, the rain did not materialise, but the sky was darkening, this time the blackest black I could remember, a storm was brewing, and it was time to leave, the quicker the better, and the quickest was a bus ride back to Kingston.

It was a race against the storm, and having reached the shopping centre of Kingston I entered the Bentall Shopping Centre, the heavens opened, delivering hail stones and rain drops large enough to stop and elephant stampede, but I was dry.

This British weather. It is so changeable, and it seems to be getting more so, from desert heat to Arctic freezing, tropical rainstorms to parched landscapes.

HEMS Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

A group of Kingston upon Thames Rotary Club members, plus spouses, visited the Kent, Surrey and Sussex HEMS service, based at the old RAF airfield, home of the BBC's Top Gear program, test track for the car manufacturer McLaren, Dunsfold.

Kingston Rotary visiting the Kent, Surrey and Sussex HEMS

HEMS, (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service), is operated every day of the year from 7am to 7pm in daylight hours, with the hope in the near future to extend its' service into night flying too, is an emergency response to medical situations with a team of a pilot, a highly skilled doctor and a critical care paramedic on board. We were told that this particular HEMS team responded to 3 or 4 situations per day.

The service is a registered charitable self funding organisation, covering the three counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex in conjunction with the NHS Ambulance Service which merged the three counties into one service, and has two MD902 Explorer helicopters, one based in Marden (Kent) and the other at Dunsfold (Surrey), and can reach any part of the SE England operational area it was said in 20 minutes.

The HEMS MD902 Explorer helicopter for Kent, Surrey and Sussex based at Dunsfold, by Phillip Holt

Taking A&E (Accident and Emergency) directly to a patient within minutes has been proven a lifesaver, with even open heart surgery being performed onsite, then to get the patient directly to the most appropriate hospital in a sort time, affects the quality of survival.

Constantly looking for and raising funds to cover the £5 million per year cost is a host of volunteers, as the service receives no funds from the Government or National Lottery. For a small sum, you can enter the Kent, Surrey and Sussex HEMS own lottery by filling in a form obtainable from their web site.

The dedication of the people at Dunsfold was obvious, as the pilot, doctor and paramedic took time out to show us around the helicopter, explain what they do and answer out multitude of questions. In the summing-up session back in the HEMS building, I glanced outside to where the helicopter was parked, only to see the three of them washing the already gleaming machine, but having fun in the process. These lifesavers are just human like you and me, and need our support just as we may need theirs one day.  

NLPNOW - Il META MODELLO – Predicati non Specificati

Predicati non Specificati

Il Meta Modello guarda ai model linguistici che noi costruiamo, i quali sono costruiti livello superficiale (per recuperate le informazioni) cancellate.

Un'affermazione che manca dei Predicati descrittivi di un'azione o di una cos a.


            "Sta piovendo."

Può essere sfidata con:-

            "Quanto forte sta piovendo?"


            "Mi picchia."

Può essere sfidata con:-

            "Quanto forte ti picchia?"

Back to Meta Model diagram (click)

Ringraziamento speciale a Chiara Pozzoll per questa traduzione.

Storm Front, Rowland White

In his third book, Rowland White writes about a part of the Sultanate of Oman's history, and as in his other books, Vulcan 607 and Phoenix Squadron, what part the British military played in this period.

This well researched book, taken from interviews from the small number of people involved and previously unpublished and classified documents. He tells the story of how the repressive Sultanate of Oman was to be changed by Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who deposed his father Sultan Said bin Taimur, with some help of seconded British military personnel who formed the start of the Sultanate armed forces.

He describes how the enemy terrorists, called the Adoo, based in the neighbouring Yemen, being trained by and being supplied with arms by the communist Russians and Chinese, were being fought by the the Sultan of Oman's armed forces, which were mostly made-up of the British SAS, and pilots of the RAF flying modified Jet Provost training aircraft which then could deliver bombs and air to ground rockets.

The Adoo launched a major offensive against the town of Mirbat, being protected by nine SAS men, and how the SAS being nearly over-run and defeated, was saved by the aircraft of the Sultanate, the Strikemasters, helping to save the day.

A great read which gives more information of history, in this case of the early 1970's and that of the Middle East.