This blog began on a whim.
A discussion with a good friend on the occurrences of the day, as so many bright ideas often are. And this first post was inspired by the reaction of said friend to the day’s occurrences.
I was in a nice hotel in Mayfair for a Christmas lunch. An AGM/presentation was taking place, a review and celebration of a business year well conducted by an institute that my company is a part of. Everything was positive, the speaker was entertaining and the room in good spirits.
Yet as often happens when such things go on, the mind wanders. I found myself taking stock of the beautiful room in which we were sat, with hand-carved wooden panels in what looked liked walnut and ornamental plasterwork of the highest quality. I noticed myself reflecting on the beautiful serenity the room instilled in me, and hoped that the other occupants of the room were giving it half the same appreciation. It seems unlikely, however.
This led to a train of thought stratospheres away from the industry of food service consultancy. It hearkened back to Matthew Crawford’s “Shop Class as Soulcraft” and Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance“, two of the most timeless books on the nature of quality and craftsmanship that I have had the pleasure of reading, and produced almost a meditative state thinking on the skill of these craftsmen. I found myself wondering how long it would take to learn such skill, in a trade nowadays considered by many to be so menial and readily outsourced?
At the end of the garden path was the mental exercise of building a shed/garage from scratch, with all of the interior trimmings of this beautiful room in which we sat. Foundations, brick exterior, wooden trellises for the roof and walls, insulation, panelling, plaster and then decoration. The effort, care and skill required is boundless.
I shared these thoughts with a friend of mine later that day – let’s call her Liss. She laughed, commented “that is so hilariously you” and told me I should write that sh*t down, people would find it entertaining at best and painful at worst. Here it is.
This will be a 21st century, diluted version of Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” – a melting pot of swirling thoughts akin to Dumbledore’s Pensieve, an outpouring of encouragement to take the time to stop, think and reflect on the beauty in the world. To be grateful for what we see and hear and feel around us, and be appreciative of the many wonders and feats of skill this world throws at us every single day.
Stop and take stock of them.

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