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The worst way I measure my time.

Is by how much money it can earn me.

Which is strange.

Because in all of my 30’s.

And most of my 40’s.

I did very little else.

The Journey.

Look.

I get it.

Working and saving.

But not too much.

Not all the time.

Because when we’re working and saving.

We’re focussing on the fuel.

And it’s not the fuel that matters most.

It’s not the fuel that we remember.

It’s not the fuel we love.

It’s the journeys.

Those mornings when I pour whole coffee beans straight into the cafetière.

Sending a hundred of them clitter-clattering against the glass.

Or ricocheting like little brown bullets beneath the microwave.

Bypassing the coffee grinder completely.

I need to avoid mornings like that.

Mornings like that are not good for me.

Beans.

I freeze when this happens.

The coffee bean thing.

I freeze like a statue.

Staring first at the mis-housed beans.

Staring second at the bag I poured the beans from.

As I hold the bag static.

Chest high.

In disbelief.

I need to avoid mornings like that.

Mornings like that are not good for me.

Split. 

It feel split in two whenever this happens.

The coffee bean thing.

I feel split between being in the kitchen.

Fucking up coffee.

And somewhere else quite different.

Worrying, no doubt.

Drifting off.

Overthinking a money thing.

Or a house thing.

Or an Izobel thing.

I need to avoid mornings like that.

Mornings like that are not good for me.

Funny. 

The scenario itself is funny, of course.

Me swearing.

Growling under my breath.

Squeezing fat, clumsy finger-tweasers into vessels and under toasters to get the whole beans back to the coffee grinder to meet their crumbly demise.

But why it happened is not funny.

Because to fully enjoy my coffee.

I need to concentrate on coffee.

Thinking only of coffee.

Smelling only coffee.

Tasting only coffee.

Not polluting the all-important multi-sensory minutiae with uninvited troublesome thoughts.

I need to avoid mornings like that.

Mornings like that are not good for me.

I get Jenny Curran.

I understand.

Jenny Curran.

I get Jenny Curran.

Because I myself am sometimes like Jenny Curran.

Frustrated by my own limitations.

Excited by the unknown.

Convinced I’m missing out.

Convinced I can do better.

Convinced I deserve better.

Attracted to danger.

Self-destructive, even.

Prone to ruining what I have.

Even when knowing what I have.

Is the best that I have ever had.

I get Jenny Curran.

Because I myself am sometimes like Jenny Curran.

All Bad.

No one is all bad though.

I am kind and loving.

Clear minded.

Interesting and warm, I’m told.

Fun, bright and engaging from time to time, too.

As was Jenny.

And these are some of the reasons why.

Despite her faults.

From the day she went away.

To the day she eventually decided to come home.

Forrest loved her.

A few weeks ago.

I wrote  this story.

Called, ‘Dreaming of ASDA’.

Give it a click for a reminder:

DREAMING OF ASDA.

It’s a nice little story about my 4 year old daughter Izobel.

And the hero of the story.

Was ASDA.

ASDA.

I posted the original story on Linkedin.

Initially, 5,000 people had a read.

And one nice chap suggested tagging ASDA in the story.

To see if they were listening.

To see if they’d do something nice for Izobel.

Because Izobel had said something nice about them.

Lovely Idea.

What a lovely idea!

A chance for ASDA to listen.

A chance for Izobel to get a nice thing.

A chance for 5,000 to 10,000 people to read about ASDA listening to an ASDA customer.

A chance for 5,000 to 10,000 people to read about ASDA doing a nice thing for Izobel.

A 4 year old ASDA customer.

What a lovely idea!

Huge.

ASDA is huge.

Their annual sales are about 22 billion pounds.

The supermarket category in the UK is huge.

Annual sales for the category are about 200 billion pounds.

And it’s so competitive!

Small margins.

Gigantic volume.

Little things can make a big difference.

I don’t envy all of that hard work.

But I still don’t think it’s an excuse for brands not to listen.

Listen.

This is not about Izobel.

It’s about listening.

And a reminder to all brands.

Big and small.

That of course communication and connection is important.

Of course advertising and strategising is important.

But it’s not as important as listening.

Because ASDA not taking the time to listen to the story if one little girl.

Means that instead of (now about) 20,000 people reading about how ASDA have a great ear for their customers.

Instead of that.

About 20,000 people are reading about how they don’t.

Nowadays.

On my worst days.

It feels like I’m walking the plank.

Really, it does.

It’s not a pantomime piratey feeling, though.

It’s not that jolly.

It’s not that dramatic.

It’s not that colourful.

It’s not that storyful.

It’s just a feeling.

A sad feeling.

A calm, silent and personal feeling.

Inside.

On my worst days.

It feels like I’m walking the plank.

Really, it does.

Being 50odd has to have something to do with this feeling.

Because when I was younger.

I never felt like this.

I never felt like I do nowadays.

On my worst days

Like I am walking the plank.

I smile.

As I walk this plank.

It is not a happy smile, though.

It is a smile of resignation.

As I resign myself to the fact that this plank I walk.

It will end.

I resign myself to this.

And the fact I don’t know when.

Nowadays.

On my worst days

It feels like I’m walking the plank.

Really, it does.

When I made music in my 20’s and 30’s.

It was fun.

Pete and I wrote songs with great care.

Influenced by The Gin Blossoms.

Oasis.

And Iggy Pop.

Careless.

Sometimes, however.

We cared less than that.

Sometimes.

We relaxed.

And that’s when we wrote songs for Buff Carradine.

And lead guitarist Tommy ‘Salt & Vinegar’ Timpson.

(We never addressed or explained the ‘Salt & Vinegar’ part).

Buff Carradine.

Buff Carradine is.

(In his own mind).

Errol Flynn.

Buff wears smart shirts.

Cuban heels.

Lots of aftershave.

Cufflinks.

And he winks at people.

Sleazy.

Buff sings about magicians.

Pink and yellow balloons.

Black bow ties.

Chandeliers.

And his sleaziness creeps unapologetically into the lyrics of every song.

It’s just the way Buff is.

Up In A Balloon.

Anyhow.

Have a listen.

(Pete (Tommy) sings the first two verses.

I (Buff) sing from the first chorus to the end).

Up in a balloon (original).

There are very many things that you really should know in business.

If you’re in the business of running a business.

And one of the most important things that you really should know.

Is what you really shouldn’t bother trying to know.

Pay Someone. 

I am neither patient enough.

Nor accurate enough.

To do my own books and accounts.

So I pay someone to do it.

And if I tried to do plumbing or electrical things.

I would kill me.

Or the nearest person to me.

Or both of us.

So.

Again.

I pay someone to do it.

Dangerous. 

It is fucking dangerous for me to poke around with blue and brown wires.

But is just as dangerous.

Albeit a different kind of dangerous.

For me to bugger about with balancing books.

Because I’d be neglecting what I really should be doing.

And fucking up my records at the same time.

Know. 

Think about what you’re best at.

And have the intelligence to do that.

Then think about what you’re shit at.

And have the intelligence not to do that.

There are very many things that you really should know in business.

If you’re in the business of running a business.

And one of the most important things that you really should know.

Is what you really shouldn’t bother trying to know.

Creative is good.

Bravery is good.

But Creative Bravery.

Wow!

Now that’s something else.

1+1=3

Creative Bravery is classic ‘1+1=3″.

The whole being far greater than the sum of the two parts.

If creativity is using our imagination and ideas to create something inventive and (at least in part) new.

Imagine doing that whilst being brave!

Imagine doing that whilst being courageous enough and ready enough to face and endure – or if you want to, ignore – anything that anybody said, thought or did to potentially derail you and that which you were creating.

You’d be unstoppable!

Creative Bravery.

Be Creative.

That’s brilliant.

Be Brave.

That’s brilliant.

But true Creative Bravery.

That is so rare.

And so special.

That is where the magic happens.