Venice in the rain, being away

Venice in the rain

My triumphant return to blogging. If you can play the trumpet, insert your own fanfare or watch this one. Triumphant isn’t it.

I took a short break from blogging after my best run EVER posting new content.

I needed to pause, I wasn’t too tired or bored of blogging. My computer was still alive and well. My fingers could still type. Allow me to take a moment to explain why this blog holiday was so required.

I am a man of finite resource and time. I can’t do everything all at once, even if I would like to and in the past would have tried to.

My April was made up of online courses, reading, preparing my house for a baby and also preparing my mind for fatherhood. Something needed to move to allow for the other things to be picked up.

I took myself off social media and limited the amount of TV I watched. The only reason I watched anything was because Silicon Valley came back. I wasn’t going to miss out on that. Obviously.

I am finding more and more that these pauses are good for me. They reaffirm what I need to be working on, and also what I shouldn’t be working on.

The picture above was in Venice on a rainy Saturday in April. My favourite trip ever. I took my phone but ignored it for the 5 days we were there. The TV in our apartment had one English speaking channel. Pippa had my full 100% attention and my mind had a bit more space to think. I think I look back so fondly on that trip in part because I was very present, not lost and distracted in e mail or news.

The wonderful part about the current blogging pause? I really missed writing. I am not sharing this blog anywhere at the moment, just practicing my WordPress building skills and practicing writing.

I wont be attempting to scale the dizzy heights of posting every day at the moment as I am still working hard on those online courses and baby T is due any day now, but I will be posting again.

It’s nice to miss something and to be able to start again.

The final piece of the puzzle

The lead.

Connection between you and your dog.

The guide to let them know where you are going and where they should be.

The rope that lets them walk you. 
The last one is where we are at. The lead remains the final piece of the puzzle. Nala is calm, loving and like a crazy beast when she gets on her lead. 

Usually I think dogs don’t get things because people don’t train hard enough. They don’t stay focussed. I have tried so hard, countless hours, countless techniques. Still Nala leads the walk. 

I shall be trying another thing this week, the figure of 8 lead. 

You can see it here

Next update – the battle for lead walking, a new tool…

A gift for you


Nala’s latest love is finding and retrieving dead dog fish. 

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Not strictly true. 

I think in this picture she is saying ‘I am so good to you, and yet you don’t seem grateful’.

This week I have been struck again by how wonderful it is to have a dog. The latest reason is the sense of community from other dog walkers. I chatted to three different groups of people at the pub on Sunday – we would have had nothing to talk about if Nala hadn’t tried to climb under their tables to try to eat the chips that had fallen down there. 

Love that dog. 

Saturday freestyle – soundtrack to the week

I love a live album. 

RHCP live at Hyde Park. Not widely appreciated but it was my first HUGE gig and I loved it with all my heart.

Jay Z unplugged. I recorded this on VHS from MTV base. I came close to wearing the video out. 

Foo fighters at Hyde Park (I don’t only like rock shows from Hyde park I promise). I watched Everlong about 50 times when I got this DVD one Christmas. 

This week has been the turn of Greenday. Wonderful songs, all the energy and a crowd that adores them. 

So, so much fun. 

Hooray for the live album!

Blogging – the how and when

I set myself a challenge to blog every day in March. This challenge will be achieved in 3 days. Hooray!

I’ve blogged about starting blogging a few times (Inception – blogs within blogs, within blogs…). On each occasion I’ve never been able to get into a rhythm. Sporadic posts and not very interested in writing them. It turns out I needed to apply my approach to learning a new tech skill, make it a part of my routine and just get on with it.

I won’t write a good post every time (or any of the time depending on the level of banter), but the discipline of starting and finishing is positive. I learn what works and what doesn’t. I learn what I like writing about and what I don’t.

I only read, write and listen on the train now. My commute feels more intentional.

That being said, I truly believe the only reason I was able to complete the month was because I set myself topics for a week. The month has flown by.

The decision now is, at what rate should I carry on blogging?

I am going to blog sporadically in April because there is some hardcore learning to be done. These new skills are tech related and I just need to give them my full attention. I will pause for the most part and resume in May with stories of all the learning I’ve undertaken.

March, we’re nearly through. It’s been fun. Let’s see what April brings.