Chris Croft's Personal Blog

July 24, 2016

Free sample of my Big Book of Happiness

Filed under: Books and Culture, Happiness, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — chriscroft @ 5:33 pm



Hi everybody – in case you’re not able to get a kindle copy (maybe you don’t have a kindle) then please do have a read of this (it’s less than a quarter of the book but it’s still quite long – just skim it if you like) and leave me an honest review on either the US Kindle or UK Kindle pages.  Many thanks in advance for any reviews!


happiness star




September 7, 2014

The top ten books that have influenced me most over the years are:

Filed under: Books and Culture, Happiness, Lists, Managing People — Tags: , , — chriscroft @ 6:05 pm

Scott Peck – The Road Less Traveled
Rupert Sheldrake – Seven Experiments that Could Change The World
Susan Jeffers – Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway
James Redfield – The Celestine Prophecy
Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance
Ken Blanchard – The One Minute Manager
Eli Goldratt – The Goal
Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene
Peter Senge – The Fifth Discipline
Stephen Knight – The Brotherhood
Marlo Morgan – Mutant Message From Down Under

Get them and read them!

August 5, 2013

Life in six words

Filed under: Books and Culture, Happiness, Lists — Tags: , , , — chriscroft @ 10:36 am

or “The meaning of life in 6 words”

I greatly enjoyed the item on Radio 4’s The Today Programme where they got people to send in their lives summed up in 6 words.  It was interesting to see that most people were a bit depressed about their lives – or maybe these just made the best quotes.  Here are the ones I thought were really good…

(and by the way, mine is not nearly as witty, it would just be “Burned The Candle At Both Ends”).

Foetus, son, brother, husband, father, vegetable.
Dick Hadfield

Conceived, implored, employed, adored, retired, ignored.
Joy MacKenzie

Beginning, gurgly. Middle, sombre. End, gurgly.
Roger Noble

Slow lane. Fast lane. Hard shoulder.
Alex Hansen Today.

Bantam, Anglia, Midget, Alfa, Volvo Estate.
Neil Feldman.

Womb, Play, Learn, Work, Decline, Tomb.
Jacquie Smith 

Start – programme – error – control – alt. – delete.

Outside lavatory, worked hard, now flush. Ashley Errington

Battered ball-bearing traversing pinball machine.
Nancy Connolly

Unravelled career reknitted as baby blankets.
Clare Hobba

Dot, two, six, three, one, wicket.
Tony Powell

Head in books, feet in flowers.
Heather Thomson

Trust me, I did my best.
Ray Kemp

An embroidered sampler, with some unpicking.
Sian Martin

Wrong era, Wrong Class, Wrong Gender.
Patsy Wheatcroft

Love Mountains both ups and downs.
Dennis Lee

Wasted my whole life getting comfortable.
Richard Merrington

Worry about tomorrow, rarely enjoy today!
Richard Rabone

Pass the bottle before clarity returns
Gail Edmans

I’m just happy to be here!
Graham Marsh

Not quite finished, tell you later.
Dave Nicholson

Hasn’t Been A Jane Austen Romance.
Alexandra Lackey

Bored, so bored, so very bored.
John Doyle

Run over twice, thankfully still alive.
Trudi Evans

Married childhood sweetheart. Two kids. Content.
Steve McMullen

Born London, lived elsewhere, died inside.

Some no-balls but several boundaries.
Di Attwood

Apple leads to eviction of two.
Una McMorran

Unfortunately I didn’t buy the t-shirt.
Caroline Ryan

My life? Six words? God knows.
Helen Underwood

Knight on white charger never showed.
Jane Kirk

No A Levels but a millionaire.
C North

Any chance I could start again?
Sunny Tailor

Lived, loved, laughed liberally a nd left.
Vince Horsman

Found it, Lost it, Found it.
Lucinda Lavelle

Worked all life still paying taxes.
John Ball

Born, bred. Work, wed. Dad, dead.
Colin Penfold 

Aspirations compromised by procrastination, then children.
Harry Beighton

Started slowly, then dash to line.
Richard Draper.

Happy days, sad days, empty days.
Richard Smallbone

Too many sausages, not enough sex.
Andrew Wilson

Laughed out loud, cried in silence.
Lisa from Weston

Age crept up and mugged me
Bill Cowan

If only I had turned left.
Robin Pickering 

Still searching around for the reins.
Jessica Kane

Blankets, books, bottles, books, blankets.
Margaret Melling

Ditched the map, found better route.
Gillian Smellie



If these weren’t enough (!) there is a book called “Not Quite What I Was Planning” which has loads more.  Would probably make a good toilet book!

April 10, 2013

Daily steps to increased happiness – every day for a year

Filed under: Books and Culture, Happiness, Lists — Tags: , , , , , — chriscroft @ 5:03 pm

I love my daily happiness book – every date of the year has something you can do to increase you happiness, that’s 366 practical ideas, and you can use it year after year as a fun challenge.
It is available from here:

Here is a random sample from it:
August 20
Organise a picnic with family or friends, either a fun one with kids or maybe a romantic one with a wicker basket and some alcohol, and a nice view, maybe for sunset.
Memories are made of things like picnics… Apart from the food, it’s free as well!

August 21
Go through all your jobs to do lists and move some of the items, especially some of the ones that have been there a while, onto a new list called “I’m never going to do these things, but never mind!”
After all, who says you’ve got to do everything?? Given that when you die there will still be things on your list, and it won’t matter, you might as well start choosing now, and consign the crappy stuff to this new list!

August 22
Walk around your home filming every object in every room.
As well as fun, making you realise how much you have, and being an interesting historical record to view in a few years’ time, this will also help if there is a fire or a burglary and you need to replace things and claim on insurance.

August 23
Spend some time with your parents, ideally face to face but on the phone would do. If you don’t have your parents any more then other older relatives.
It’s so easy to put off visiting older people, but when they’re gone we regret it. They may not be the easiest people sometimes, but they are also an amazing reservoir of experience and information about our common pasts.

August 24
Find a way to meet some new people today.
Your future best friend might be out there, passing you at the bus stop or playing in the tennis match that you haven’t managed to get to. And everyone we meet adds something to our experience.

August 25
Think of something big that you’re putting off, and take the first small step towards it today. No matter how small, this first step will feel great – the process has begun!
This method works because it fools your subconscious. Instead of “No I can’t face that” you think “Well that (first step) seems easy enough, yes I could do that” and before you know it you’re thinking “A bit longer and I could get this finished”.

August 26
Be a tourist in your own city.
Maybe go on an official guided tour, by bus or walking. Visit some touristy attractions that you’ve never been to, and try to learn a bit about the city. If you just discover one new thing about your home town it will have been worth it.

August 27
Thinking about your goals for your future: is at least one them a challenge? A little bit scary? Because it needs to be.
The feeling of writing down something as a goal that makes you feel uncomfortable is the feeling of your subconscious being expanded a little, and this allows you to achieve more than you would otherwise. And achieving challenging goals is one important source of happiness.

August 28
Today your task is to savour the sense of touch – the feel of wood, or leaves, or wool, or whatever. Maybe even a kitten! How wonderful the world is…
It’s so difficult to live in the present, and focussing on one of the senses is a way to do this – it kind of reinvents your world, making it new and more noticeable.

August 29
Write a list of everything that you are worrying about, and then against each one put what the possible actions are.
And begin them.

August 30
Say yes to something today that you probably wouldn’t normally say yes to, perhaps because it’s a bit scary or you don’t have the time – maybe it’ll be the best thing you’ve done for a while!
You might enjoy the film The Yes Man where Jim Carrey agrees to say yes to everything – and what a lot flows from that! This is a small version of that, where you just say yes to one or two things that you wouldn’t normally. Go to that party! Help that person! Do that activity that you don’t really fancy!

August 31
Find a body of water – the ocean, a lake, a river or a pond – and spend time looking at it, contemplating it, Ideally on your own.
Water is both restful and stimulating – mysterious and beautiful. The surface which you can see is quite boring, but what’s under there?

September 1
Make a list of past successes (on your own terms, whatever you feel is a success is fine) and put it somewhere where you can read them often. You deserve it!
Happiness comes from celebrating our successes – being proud of them, and revisiting them. But remember that as well as the past there’s the future, so don’t get TOO bound up in nostalgia. Ideally you’d have a great past AND a great future – and of course a fun present!

September 2
Are you worrying about anything that you can’t affect? Let it go. Say to yourself “All I can do is my best, I’ve prepared for it as much as I can, and what will be will be”
Worry can be a huge source of unhappiness for some people, and if you can’t do anything about it then you really are wasting energy. And even if you can, one you’ve done what you can, there is no more than you can do. What will be will be!

September 3
The Radish of Regret always tastes bitter – and we regret things we didn’t do much more than the things we did do. So – if you’re currently in doubt about whether to do something difficult or risky, decide today to do it!
Of course it’s still a good idea to assess risk, but if you feel 50/50 about something then the chances are it’s not TOO risky. And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….

September 4
Today’s happiness challenge is not for children – it’s to talk to strangers! Just briefly, just a friendly word.
See if you can make the effort to start a brief conversation with someone in the bus queue or lift or lunch queue or supermarket queue (hmm, maybe queues aren’t so bad after all!), someone walking their dog (just go up to them and admire the dog – it’s easy!). Happiness is increased for both of you.

September 5
How we spend our days is how we spend our lives: savour all the “ordinary” parts of your life today.
Take time to smell the roses. Make a constant effort to enjoy all the little things that you usually take for granted – your clothes, your car, your friends, your house, your food the view, your health, music, etc.

September 6
Create a Haiku (Google it, it’s a three line poem with 5 then 7 then 5 syllables. Very minimalist. For example, Crow has flown away: swaying in the evening sun, a leafless black tree.) You can do it!
But don’t write a Desk Haiku – where you imagine something and write about it. The best ones involve seeing something and then writing about it.

September 7
Compile a play list of music that makes you feel good.
Music is an instant hit of happiness, one of the easiest ways to influence your mood. I personally love depressing music like Stars by Janis Ian, or 10cc’s I’m Not In Love, and everything by Del Amitri, but today’s plan is to get some uplifting music like Walking on Sunshine, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Paolo Nutini’s New Shoes, almost anything by Pink, quite a bit of Disco, etc

September 8
Start a happiness graph – a piece of paper on the wall with dates along the bottom and a scale of 1-10 going up the left hand side. Put a blob each day and see what the pattern is like.
Maybe put some comments next to the blob saying why it’s high or low. What is it that brings you up or down? Can you do more of the good stuff and less of the bad?

September 9
At the end of today, make a list of the good things that you have experienced or had today – reasons to appreciate your life and the world. And consider making this a habit every day…
This could build into a great body of work after a while! If you live with someone it can be fun to do it as a joint activity at the end of each day.

September 10
Do three sets of press-ups, as many as you can in each set, then a break of a minute or two. You’ll feel better tomorrow for doing this. Don’t feel bad if you can only manage one or two, everyone has to start somewhere.
Pressups are one of the best all-purpose exercises, but they do require a bit of practice at first. If you can’t even do one (fairly common!) then you can rest on your knees rather than feet as you press the floor with your hands.

September 11
Today your task is to honour those who have suffered or even died to make your world as good as it is. In your mind, appreciate what you have. If possible, visit a memorial or military cemetery, or at least read a bit about what they did for you in the past.  This might bring you down at the time, but in the longer term it’ll make you more grateful and appreciative of everything you have.

September 12
Your challenge today is to go and see a football or rugby match (at any level) – Get really absorbed! Shout for your team!
This is an example of an activity that takes you away from your everyday cares – complete absorption in anything is a good source of happiness. And even if you don’t particularly like rugby or football you’ll find it absorbing, and that’s the key. Extra tip – wear comfortable shoes and a warm coat.

September 13
Finish work on time today, whatever it takes (but don’t get fired!!).
There, it wasn’t that bad was it? You can’t do it every day, but maybe from now on, at least once a week, you could maybe finish on time? All you have to do it leave some stuff until tomorrow, and maybe say “I can’t stay on late today I’m afraid, I’m…. (playing football / visiting my mum / looking after the kids / going for a cycle ride with some friends).

September 14
Treat yourself to some nice chocolate today. You deserve it!
Gosh it’s taken nearly a year to get around to chocolate! Not really a sustainable source of happiness, but as an occasional treat, why not? As long as you savour it you can get the maximum happiness from every piece….

September 15
Gift of appreciation – find someone you work with or socialise with who deserves some recognition, or a boost in confidence, and leave them an anonymous gift of flowers or chocolates – with a note saying “A gift of appreciation, for all you do”.
It doesn’t have to be anonymous, although that is rather fun, and makes the point that you aren’t doing it for any gain on your part, just purely to make them happy.

Imagine how much is in the full book – a bargain at £10 I reckon!

Add to basket!

January 16, 2013

My Calendar options explained

Filed under: Books and Culture, Happiness — Tags: , , , , , — chriscroft @ 5:19 pm

I’m not doing free calendars this year (to send out 3000 of them used to cost me £6,000!)
but I have made one which you can order from lulu (see below), and it’s really nice I think

I’ve also made a perpetual calendar, which, instead of one tip per week it has one tip per day, so the days can be used year after year. In fact, there is a Happiness version and a Success version. They each have 400 pages and are really nice, chunky books with an amazing 366 practical ideas in each one.

You can see them all here:

2013 weekly tip calendar:

Happiness perpetual:
Success perpetual:

The prices aren’t pretty reasonable (I have reduced my profit margin right down), the postage is a bit annoying on lulu, but if you’re getting several it’s not too bad



October 27, 2012

Tips for going on holiday to India

Filed under: Books and Culture, Happiness, Travel and driving — Tags: , , , — chriscroft @ 6:33 pm

I’ve been twice, so I’m not an expert but I know a bit. I was asked for any tips and this is what I said – I hope it helps anyone else who is going to this fantastic and wonderful country. I love the people, the food, and the buildings more than anywhere else in the world.

  • allow plenty of time for the taj mahal, it’s fantastic, just sit and stare at it.  Ideally go at sunrise and wait outside the doors before it opens so you’re the first one in!   It gets really packed during the day.
  • don’t expect any privacy, people will stare at you and want to talk to you, so you might as well be a celebrity and talk to everyone and have fun
  • it’s worth having a guide (not sure how your trip is organised) and good English is the main thing to try to get, though hard to assess until too late and they arrive!
  • see the Jantar Mantar if you can, it’s brilliant – in Jaipur
  • we only got ill because we went into a restaurant where no westerners were, and it had sticky tables and flies buzzing around – what were we thinking? On my second visit I didn’t get ill at all, and we ate food from street vendors but it was freshly cooked and still hot
  • beggars – not many and you get used to them. don’t give them money ever (it all goes back to central beggar-masters etc) – take a load of biros to give out!  Or maybe some small packs of cards to give out – you can get these from amazon very cheaply and I think they count as educational….
  • we felt safe all the time
  • take a great camera!
  • camel trips – over-rated. maybe try a 30 minute one but all day will be hell!
  • elephant ride – fun, but again, only for 10 minutes!
  • don’t trust the monkeys who hang around the monuments
  • it gets cold suddenly when the sun goes down at 6pm so take a sweater/fleece for the evenings (when you pack for the trip, and every day when you go out)
  • great shopping! get some hand made silk dresses – they do it in a day and it’s only £20 or something, and you choose the style and the material and they make it spot on (though tightly / closely fitted!). take more cash than you think, it’s very tempting!
  • when they say they will ship it home for you they really do. they are very honest, though everyone is taking a cut from everything so when they recommend a shop or restaurant it’s often just that they are getting a cut.
  • definitely negotiate on the price of everything you buy from a shop!
  • consider reading before you go (or taking with you) A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
  • have fun – it’s the most brilliant country in the world, without a shadow of a doubt

I hope that helps!!

August 3, 2012

50 Shades of Project Management

Filed under: Books and Culture, Project Management — Tags: , — chriscroft @ 9:06 am

50 Shades of Project Management

Sally had an appointment to interview Roger Prodger, the famous project manager. “I hope he’s my type”, she giggled to her friend Jenny, though deep down she expected him to be boring.
“What IS your type?”, asked Jenny.
“Well, I always insist on a PID” Sally replied.
“What’s that?”
“A Powerful Influential Dominator of course” Sally tittered.

Arriving at Roger’s offices, Sally was impressed by the smooth granite entrance hall and the immaculately coiffured receptionist who looked down her nose at Sally. Could this be the PID she had dreamed of for so many years?

On entering Roger’s office Sally was stunned to see the most gorgeous man she had ever met – he was wearing a slightly-too-tight light grey suit, with an enticing glimpse of his brown wool/nylon blend socks just visible above his expensive leather brogues. Standing behind his granite desk he swung his Burton jacket off to reveal a light blue short-sleeved shirt, with epaulettes. He loosened his navy blue tie slightly and reached for one of the four biros in his breast pocket. “Welcome to Project S” he boomed in a powerful, masculine voice.
“What’s Project S?” she queried?
“Project Sally of course. Everything’s a project, didn’t you know?”

As soon as he saw her, Roger had decided that he would pass his wisdom on to her, and that she too would become one of the master race like him – a Project Manager. They would travel the beaches of the world, calculating resource requirements together and logging key events.

“But I’m not qualified – I don’t have the three qualities of pessimism, OCD, or assertiveness!”, she cried. “Don’t worry”, he breathed, “you’ll soon be just like me. I’ll make you into a measurably high quality project manager within a fixed time, to an achievable budget. Anything’s possible once you have a Gantt chart”. She felt electricity running through her bones at the thought!

“But first, a brief kick off meeting” he commanded masterfully. “Some things you need to know about me…..
1. I would like to invite you out on a date but I have a morbid fear of scope creep, so clearly visible briefs are essential at all times.
2. My deliverables are well defined within my work package.
3. I don’t enjoy feeling a little behind.
4. In order to perform optimally I need a predicted spend profile for the evening, with hourly milestones and a half way budgetary and progress review”.
“Oh I do like a man with a well-resourced timeline and a substantial issues log”, Sally cooed.

…Later, back at Roger Prodger’s house….

On the granite drive to his Grade 1 listed Tudor mansion, Sally tripped at the boundary gateway, but Roger was there to catch her in his strong arms. “Oh, you’re my Prince!” she quavered.

His face darkened: “No!” He stormed, suddenly angry. “I won’t have that filthy word mentioned in my house – I’m strictly an APM man – VERY strictly in fact, as you will no doubt find out…. in fact I don’t like anything that’s not PERT. I always like to evaluate and review my programmes. It’s because of my father. He was no ordinary man; some called him the Prince2 Of Darkness, and he used to make me read 100 page reports, he made everything much too complicated, and he used to stop me starting anything. That’s why I have a deep horror of the P word and why I, er, have issues with control….

Realising he’d lost her, he softened and said
“OK, let’s G.a.n.t.t. – if you’re ready?”
“Let’s grab a naughty time together”, he barked, slightly impatient at having to explain himself. Communication wasn’t his strong point, and he often spoke in TLAs.
“Are you…… Prepared?” she asked with some embarrassment.
“Yes of course”, he grunted “…preventative and protective”.
She marvelled at the rigour of his risk analysis.

He ushered her down the long marble corridor and she entered a large room through something called an Initiation Gateway.
“Welcome to my project management dungeon” Roger announced – there were whiteboards and post it notes on every wall, and at the far end, a flip chart with handcuffs.

“If you fail to identify the critical path I might get upset”, he murmured huskily in her ear, and she started to wonder if she was out of her depth.
“What have you got planned for me, she quavered?”
“Just a bit of critical path analysis followed by resource planning, he purred”.
“Single or multiple projects?”
“Multiple of course….”

…And the next few hours exceeded her wildest dreams. First he put on some seductive music – it seemed to be some kind of project management rap. Then he began his work…

His strong hands were a blur of marker pens and post-it’s.
It wasn’t till 3am that they finally collapsed together in a sweaty heap.
“How was it for you?”, she asked, as Roger lit a cigarette and updated his highlight review with a colour coded marker.
“Well, quality was 10% above specification, with good attention to the non critical tasks, but there was some slippage on the expected timescale”, he rasped.

Finally he asked
“So Sally – lessons learned??”
“Er….,” she hesitated
“If you can’t remember the twelve step process I might have to issue an exception report”, he smirked sternly.

End of Part 1…

December 22, 2011

Reading – what’s on my list?

Filed under: Books and Culture — chriscroft @ 5:41 pm

I want to do more reading, (just finished and greatly enjoyed “Mutant Message Down Under”) and also I’ve been feeling a bit stressed that there are books all over my house that I want to read some time.  So I have moved them all onto one shelf, and there are quite a few!  But for your amusement, here are some of the ones on the pile:

(and does anyone think I shouldn’t bother with any of them??)

  • The Code Book by Simon Singh
  • Alan Clark’s diaries
  • Sharon Osbourne:  Extreme
  • The Mission Song – John Le Carre
  • John McEnroe: Serious
  • First Among Equals – How to Manage a Group of Professionals
  • The Seven Sins of Memory – How the mind forgets and remembers
  • The difficulty of being a dog – Roger Grenier
  • Just Six Numbers – Martin Rees
  • The Dice Man – Luke Reinhart (read it ages ago, know I loved it, can’t remembr the details, must re-read)
  • Michael Lewis – Liars’ Poker
  • Nancy Mitford – The Pursuit of Love
  • Back from the Brink (Coping with stress) – Nick Leeson
  • Roger Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind
  • Predictions – 30 great minds on the future
  • Potter on Gamesmanship
  • Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance (another re-read)
  • Impro – Keith Johnstone (my brother’s favourite book of all time, so I think I’d better read it)
  • Why do buses come in threes? – the hidden maths of everyday life
  • The inside story of Viz – Chris Donald
  • The Slap

September 13, 2011

The books in the background

Filed under: Books and Culture, Lists — chriscroft @ 8:38 pm

Many people have asked whether the books in the background of my Passport video were significant, and I can say that yes they were

I chose a mixture of business books and others that reveal a bit about the real me.


Here is complete list of all of the books that were behind me during filming, along with Mr Creosote and the Talking Monkey Radio:


The Ashley Book of Knots

The Rolling Stone Album Guide

The seven habits of highly effective people

The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought

Bob Dylan – Chronicles

Understanding Variation – the key to managing chaos

The challenge of change (Arthur Koestler)

Doctor Bey’s handbook of strange sex

The seven sins of memory


Morphology of the Folktale

Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman

Just six numbers

Potter on Gamesmanship

JH Fabre – the life of the spider

Ian Carr: Miles Davis

The holy blood and the Holy Grail

The book of lists

The inside story of viz

Up the organisation by Robert Townsend

Born to Win, by James & Jongeward

Why things bite back

The creative mind

JB Priestly: the image men

Management Mole

A directory of discarded ideas

Accounts demystified

The Dice Man

John McEnroe – Serious

Impro by Keith Johnstone

I’m OK you’re OK

The encyclopaedia of Fungi

Foucault’s Pendulum

The one minute sales person

E emperor’s new mind

Time Management

The definite business plan

The ultimate visual dictionary

Martin Gardner’s colossal book of short puzzles

Richard Long – heaven and earth

Watching the English

James Gleick – Chaos

Rupert Sheldrake – seven experiments that could change the world

Kingsley Amis – that uncertain feeling


The curious incident of the dog in the night time

Ian Fleming – For your eyes only

The Celestine Prophecy

The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight

The Ice Museum

Into Thin Air

Is it just me or is everything sh1t?

Bizarre but true

Nick Leeson – Back from the brink

Incredibly Absurd adverts

How to fossil your hamster

Mad cows

Moon tiger

Napoleons Hill’s Unlimited Success

Roger’s Profanisaurus

Men are from Mars

Cool – the complete handbook

Normal sex

Glen Baxter – Blizzards of Tweed

Delia Smith’s Winter Collection

Man and Time

The ants are my friends


September 2, 2011

Collection of PS’s from past tips of the month – Part 1

Filed under: Books and Culture, Gadgets, Lists, Music, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 7:47 pm

Hi everyone

for those who don’t get my tips in their email in box every week or two (hey! sign up here: – it’s free) or who missed some of these, here is a collection of the PSs that weren’t too time dependent. I hope it makes an amusing browse…

PS – Saw a hummingbird hawk moth in the garden yesterday. My favourite insect – worth looking out for! View pictures of them on google…

PPS – An exciting new DIY product that I have only recently discovered: self -amalgamating tape. Weird, and brilliant. How on earth does it work? Bodges almost anything.

PPPS – I’m continuing to discover things about google. On the google toolbar there’s a thing called Auto-Fill which is marvellous – it fills in your name and address etc automatically when you buy things on-line….

If there’s anyone out there who uses autofill, self amalgamating tape, and has seen an HHM in the last week, then I ought to award you the “Similar to Chris” prize. But you don’t want that!

PS – it’s getting cold and autumnal all of a sudden (apologies to my African and Australian readers!) and the positive thinkers just have to find something good in it. Personally I am quite looking forward to foraging for mushrooms in the forest, maybe finding a hedgehog mushroom or parasol mushroom. But don’t try this unless you REALLY know what you’re doing!

PPS – MBA news: we now have our first ever person enrolled in an MBA following doing a DMS course (Diploma in Management) with me. She is just starting at London Met, where she has to do one final year of their MBA, having got exemption from the first 2 years of their course. Sunderland have also agreed a (distance learning) MBA final year. Kingston have not agreed to it – we thought they might. Details on the forum, or email me.

PPPS – “British Airways: Britain’s favourite airline”. Well maybe, but not mine! When stranded at Newcastle and needing to change a flight at the last minute, from Newcastle-Gatwick to Newcastle-Heathrow, they quoted me £190 even though both flights had spaces on them and the original ticket was only £50. “Because it’s a last minute booking”. Thanks guys – good to know you really care!

PPPPS – greatly enjoying a book called “Watching the English” by Kate Fox – fascinating. What an odd bunch we are!

PPS – just saw Garage World from the M6 near Crewe.

PPPS – Tour de France on ITV – marvellous!

PS – listening to Blue Six “We had a thing” as I write this. Mmm, nice.

PPS – Thanks to Pete B for this hilarious and brilliant nightmare vision of the future! It’s great to have all your customer’s details at your fingertips when they call, but you can go too far:

PPPS Being the renaissance trainer that I am, I have a sensitive side behind my rugged exterior.

I have therefore been investigating poetry, and, as a person with the Hurry Up driver, it HAS to he Haikus. Only three lines – brilliant!

The official rules of Haiku are very strict (Seventeen syllables written in three lines divided into 5-7-5., must mention the weather etc) and I would like to propose ‘The Modern Haiku’ where you can write about anything you like, and the three lines have to be short but not exactly 29 syllables, as long as they ‘scan’ in some way. It just has to “feel” right. I also think we should try to keep the rule that there has to be a twist or clever observation or “aha” moment to the Haiku.

I’ve put some of my efforts on the forum – but what I really would like is for readers to send theirs in, ideally to the forum but replying to this email would be OK too, and I’ll upload them to the forum – anonymously if you like.

PPPPS – now listening to Audioslave – Sound of a gun. Chunky!

PS thanks to Ben for this website: Ever wanted to send a large file (e.g. a video, a Photoshop file) to a colleague but your server won’t allow it because the file is too big? Fear not. The website allows you to upload files of up to 100 MB (in the free version) to its server, which it will store until your recipient downloads it. The website even sends an email to your recipient telling them that they have a file waiting for them. (There is a professional upgrade which allows files of up to 2 GB to be uploaded but this costs $29.99 per month). It’s very handy if you work with large visual and/or audio documents.

PPS I want to do more reading, (currently enjoying Mark Haddon’s “A Spot of Bother”) and also I’ve been feeling a bit stressed that there are books all over my house that I want to read some time. So I have moved them all onto one shelf, and there are quite a few! But for your amusement, here are some of the ones on the pile:
(and does anyone think I shouldn’t bother with any of them??)

• The Code Book by Simon Singh
• Alan Clark’s diaries
• Sharon Osbourne: Extreme
• The Mission Song – John Le Carre
• John McEnroe: Serious
• First Among Equals – How to Manage a Group of Professionals
• The Seven Sins of Memory – How the mind forgets and remembers
• The difficulty of being a dog – Roger Grenier
• Just Six Numbers – Martin Rees
• The Dice Man – Luke Reinhart (read it ages ago, know I loved it, can’t remembr the details, must re-read)
• Michael Lewis – Liars’ Poker
• Nancy Mitford – The Pursuit of Love
• Back from the Brink (Coping with stress) – Nick Leeson
• Roger Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind
• Predictions – 30 great minds on the future
• Potter on Gamesmanship
• Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance (another re-read)
• Impro – Keith Johnstone (my brother’s favourite book of all time, so I think I’d better read it)
• Why do buses come in threes? – the hidden maths of everyday life
• The inside story of Viz – Chris Donald

PPPS – Open House London is this coming weekend. A chance to have a look at all sorts of interesting buildings, which are opened to the public, for free, one weekend a year. The gherkin is fully booked already, but lots of others, modern and historic, are worth seeing. There are guided walks too, which are great if you want to know how and why things got built. I went last year and I’m going again this year. Sad or interesting? – you decide!

PPS – this weeks stupidest website has to be – if you want to see a 6 foot twix or a malteser that’s bigger than a football…

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