Explaining sporting allegiance

[Disclaimer – the sentiments expressed here speak a lot about Football, but could easily apply to any sport…]

Why do supporters of teams across all sports support the teams they do? It’s rarely simply the team in question being a hometown team as people often work or live far from where they grew up. Young kids first taking an interest in a sport may take to following whoever is the most successful side of the time. Family bias may also shape their decisions – my son is a prime example (sorry son!), me having wrapped him in a Spurs scarf the day he was born.

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People in the workplace – why getting it right helps…a simple view.

Many thousands (millions?) of words have been written and published about commercial success and “getting it right” in the workplace…factors that affect it, how to achieve it and so on. This is not by any means a lame attempt at a success manual, or a focus on one of those factors to explain a theory. It’s just a cautionary note regarding one of the factors that affects the delicately balanced workplace equation.

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Landmark Birthdays?

Growing up and moving into adulthood in working class UK suburbia, birthdays were mostly fun with only one or two exceptions. Parties, treats, a gift or two etc. Clearly, not everyone is that privileged, and I certainly appreciate that. When considering “landmark birthdays” however, it is both subjective and dependent upon where you live regarding what might be labelled as such.

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The cracks are starting to show…

“Share this to show you’re willing to listen”. “It’s good to talk”. “My Door’s always open.”. Positive in intent, posts like these abound on Facebook and other forms of Social Media, designed to promote awareness of mental health issues. Amongst men, misguided testosterone-fuelled bombast often muddies these waters with trite nonsense like “Stiff upper lip”, “Grow a pair”, “Man up” – cliched and old-fashioned attitudes that can make men feel inhibited when it comes to sharing their feelings and talking about mental health issues.Read More

The “Happy Nostalgia” of rediscovered musical taste!

Memory is a funny thing isn’t it? I have an ability to recall things and recount their details (an enjoyable movie scene or who said what in a conversation for example), that a friend of mine referred to as semi-eidetic memory. However, my wife and I can pull up outside our local grocery store, she’ll ask me to go inside and grab a few things, and I’ll forget one or more of them! Similarly, nostalgia. Recalling things from times gone by very fondly…yet I don’t recall liking them at the time! Case in point – music.

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A worthy cause, but in a COVID-19 world?

George Floyd’s 25th May 2020 death was an abhorrent example of racism towards African Americans in the USA. Although it already existed, it helped the #blacklivesmatter movement spread, with protests against racism across the world. I don’t condone the rioting and looting that has accompanied a lot of that in the USA, although I understand the anger that has motivated it and empathise with the genuine causes. Racism has no place in a modern civilised society.

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The end of the (Amber) Road

The few (!) changes on my CV over the years have occasionally made me feel a little self-conscious, especially when it’s examined by recruiters or interviewers. The same concern on my behalf has also come from older family members, a generation more often blessed with job longevity. The case for the defence is as follows, your honour:

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Special place(s)

I recently started considering childhood memories and / or memories of my own children when they were younger for blog subject inspiration. I used one of my own schoolboy memories for my last post, recalling writing a piece in response to extracts from Milton poetry during my English Literature A Level. The whole process got me thinking about “writing in response to…” as a means of kick-starting the creative muse. A worthwhile exercise, given that this blog is random in its subject matter as driven by said muse!

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The toxicity of the Brexit debate

Debates and arguments see people all loudly shouting over one another to champion their own point of view. These often calm down amidst a sea of reasoned argument, presentation of facts and compromise to varying degrees, with even the most aggrieved parties shelving their resentment (or certainly being less vocal about them). With regards to the UK debate on ‘Brexit’ and leaving the EU, the utter refusal of many people to even listen to anything that contradicts their own opinions, both opposing argument or cold hard facts, has seen the debate become a hideously toxic mess.

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Advice for bloggers: Grammar, spelling & punctuation ARE important!

I recently joined a number of blogging groups on Facebook. My own blog isn’t commercial or filled with affiliate links, so joining those groups wasn’t flagrant self-promotion (!) but was simply a desire to get better at blogging. To see the efforts of others, to share, to advise. To receive advice and feedback, and invite opinion on topics covered in blog articles if I choose to share them with this now wider audience. One thing that leapt out at me however, as part of an exercise on one group when we all invited to share a link to a post and comment on / share links shared by others: Spelling, grammar and punctuation!

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