Here is an interesting concept that links my divorce and travel sections together….not sure about the idea personally. I think checking into an unfamiliar hotel under difficult circumstances would have make me feel worse and enjoying a celebratory meal together and a night out on the town afterwards seems decidedly […]
Posted by Family Affairs on 30-05-2012 in BLOG / TRAVEL tagged with facebook / shares
It was meant to be the launch party for the social networking boom and thus far, it hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. Which doesn’t surprise me, (or anyone else probably) in the least. The fact that Facebook shares have dipped below $29 for the first time since their flotation […]
Posted by Family Affairs on 29-05-2012 in BLOG tagged with formulae / maths / thank you card Posted by Family Affairs on 29-05-2012 in BLOG tagged with deer / GCSE's / park / sunshine / teenagers
Oh. So my daughter’s GCSE’s have actually FINISHED today. Seemingly about a month earlier than everybody else’s. I don’t know how that’s happened…
So. I’ve segued effortlessly from being anxious and worried about her exams to being anxious and worried about her not having exams. Because. Now it is of course time to celebrate and that in itself brings all sorts of other worries.
She’s now with her friends and of course she has forgotten to text me to tell me how the exam went. Instead of having a stressed daughter in the house I’m going to have a relaxed daughter out of the house. Which is worse???
SO hot today. All the deer in the park were under the trees cooling down whilst all the mad Englishmen were directly in the sun:-
Posted by Family Affairs on 29-05-2012 in BLOG / DIVORCE tagged with Expat Mum / Love / self marriage / self worth / Toni Summers-Hargis
Toni a lovely fellow blogger writes a blog called Expat Mum from Chicago where she has lived for a long time now. I was amazed to read about the latest “craze” to hit American. The story of a woman who post divorce decided that she would remarry herself. Now, I am all for enhancing self esteem after divorce, there is not much that (hopefully temporarily) destroys your very soul more than divorce but I am really not sure that marrying yourself is the answer. Will it catch on in the UK? I hope not. How sad. I really couldn’t imagine walking down the aisle on my own, doing the first dance alone in front of all my friends and family and imagine how boring the wedding night would be….and what if you went through a bad patch? Can you get divorced?
Here is her post on the matter:-
ONLY IN AMERICA
I get used to all the crazy antics in the USA, having lived here for 22 years. Besides, the mother country isn’t too far behind now, with personal injury litigation on the rise, toddlers dressed up as miniature prostitutes, and obesity gaining ground.
This, however, just made me shake my head in disbelief. – “Self-marriage”. No, no, not do-it-yourself marriage, but “self-marriage”. Here, have a look.
Apparently the woman, who went through a painful divorce six years ago, married herself, – ceremony, guests and the whole shebang, – to affirm how well she feels these days, and how much she loves herself. I get that. I haven’t been through a divorce, and I can’t even imagine how shattering it must be. It’s also very important to get back to a state where you do indeed like yourself. That’s to be encouraged and applauded.
But how many divorcees take themselves on “dates” to treat themselves and “to invest in the relationship”? (OK, you might do things to make yourself feel better, but would you call it a “self-date”?)
So come on Britain. Jump on this bandwagon if you dare!
Posted by Family Affairs on 29-05-2012 in BLOG tagged with Bananagrams / How I Made My Millions / invention / story
I have mentioned before that about five years ago, sitting in a local cafe with my friend Rena she told me that she and her father had invented a game that they were going to call Bananagrams and had decided to get a few made up to see what happened.
A lot happened.
This just goes to show that dreams are possible.
Here is a clip taken from “How I Made My Millions” a programme in the USA that focuses on ordinary people with extraordinary stories. It gives you her lovely family’s story all about how they invented the UK’s Number one game:-
She then gives some extremely insightful advice that she learnt from her wonderful father:-
My father, Abe Nathanson, was a man of many talents. He was an artist, painter, sculptor, writer, photographer and natural comedian who was self-taught in just about everything.
When we started Bananagrams in 2005, he was in his mid-70s and had already founded a design studio and created art and novelty gifts.
Throughout his life, and during our time working together at our company, he taught me some very valuable lessons that can be applied in the business world today.
I never tired of watching my father make things, whether it was a piece of art or a bookshelf! He had incredible patience. While waiting for layers of stain and varnish to dry or painstakingly giving all his attention to the smallest detail of a drawing, his hands would hold paintbrushes for hours, never wavering. To get the job done correctly, one must be prepared to wait.
My father applied those rules to Bananagrams as well, never rushing into any decision, weighing all the options with great consideration. I try to do the same now. I recognize that I don’t have the innate patience my father had, but I aspire to everyday. When faced with a decision, I will always stop and ask myself “what would my Dad do…?,” which makes me stop and consider, with patience … and hopefully come up with the right answer.
Research and ask questions, of everything and everyone
When embarking on anything new, whether it was purchasing a camera or computer, or trying to figure out the best way to do something, my father would read, research and ask questions. Never be afraid to admit you don’t know something. It is always better to ask for help than to pretend you know and mess things up. I have found that when people are asked for help, they are generally more than happy to oblige. In whatever business you are in, there is always someone who knows more. Use their knowledge and appreciate what they can offer.
Talk … and listen
I was amazed at my father’s gift for conversation. Even if he had nothing in common with someone, he could always find something to talk about and was able to make a connection. He helped me see that everyone has a story, probably an interesting or funny one, always worthwhile to listen to. It costs nothing to listen and can be incredibly rewarding. This has been a great lesson when meeting clients or people at trade shows, and is how trust is built and relationships thrive, which is paramount in business.
Don’t be bullied
There are BIG companies and small companies. We are a FAMILY company that grew very organically, by instinct. My father used to say, “The trick is to not let the tail wag the dog.” In other words, stick to your guns, and don’t be intimidated or bullied into a decision if you feel it isn’t the right one for the company.
Regularly, we have had “Those are our company rules” and “This is the way we do things” thrown at us. We often responded differently to what other companies may have done, advised or expected … not to be contentious, but to remain true to our goals and vision. Fortunately, this individual thought and true belief has won us respect and success.
Look at everything in a positive way and do everything to the best of your ability
When I told my son that I was writing this piece, he reminded me of this lesson and said that it was the most important thing that he had learned from his grandfather. That, and the ability to laugh, A LOT, is, as my father always said, the key to everything. Even in business, being able to keep things positive and in perspective is vital.
At the end of the day, we are selling GAMES. It should be FUN! We appreciate that Bananagrams is not life saving and will not necessarily bring world peace (although we can always hope!), but if it brings a few families together and makes even a few more laugh, talk and enjoy life just a little bit more, then we have achieved great success.
Posted by Family Affairs on 27-05-2012 in BLOG tagged with Rod Stewart / Sailing / The Queen / youtube Posted by Family Affairs on 26-05-2012 in BLOG / TRAVEL tagged with Angkor Wat / Cambodia / temples Posted by Family Affairs on 26-05-2012 in BLOG / TRAVEL tagged with Cambodia / genocide / Khmer Rouge / pol pot / The Killing Fields
My son, currently travelling around South East Asia on his gap year has just sent me a Facebook message:-
“Allll ok! We’re in Sihanoukville at the moment. We’re here for 3 more nights and then going to siem riep. Phnom Penh was so heavy for us. First of all we all fired AK 47’s and I fired a shot gun and then we went to ‘choeung ek‘ which are the killing fields and it was horrendous……brought morale down to its lowest point. It was incredibly moving because we had the headset that spoke English and they still have clothes and bones rising from the ground because of the rain and it was just very hard to take in…”
…I’m glad he went there and therefore has some understanding of Cambodia’s history in one of the worst genocides of modern times – I have heard that it is an incredibly harrowing experience. As much as a third of the population died at the hands of a Guerrilla movement called the Khmer Rouge. The communist regime seized state power in Phnom Penh just weeks before the communists triumphed in Vietnam in 1975. It was a brief but catastrophic period. Choeung Ek (The Killing Fields) is where the Khmer Rouge marched prisoners from Tuol Sleng to be murdered and buried in shallow pits and is also now a memorial to those who were killed by the regime. Under the rule of the Pol Pot led Khmer Rouge and their measures to cleanse the nation through genocide of “unapproved” Khmers it is estimated that 1.5 million people died before anti Pol Pot Cambodian Communists persuaded Vietnam to invade and stop the regime in 1979.
In Bosnia and Rwanda there have been international tribunals established to prosecute the perpetrators. I understand that this has not been the case in Cambodia. Apparently a lot of Cambodians know very little about what happened during this dark period of time and it is not covered in their history books. I wonder why. Perhaps they prefer not to talk about or do not wish to take revenge on their torturers because of their own culture and religion. Perhaps as Theravada Buddhists they prefer to move on with a positive message of forgiveness and compassion.
Posted by Family Affairs on 25-05-2012 in BLOG tagged with acupuncture / exercise / fitness / Pilates
I am teaching a Pilates class this morning and am really going to have to try and sort myself out. It is entirely possible that I will soon be voted “worst fitness instructor ever”. Since the Pink Power Walk a couple of weeks ago I have turned into an 89 year old. My back hurts. I have got sciatic pain in my arse. My hips feel a little bit stiff.
I had some treatment for everything on Wednesday – a combination of massage, manipulation and acupuncture which really helped. Brilliant. It appears that I am a little unstable (in the spine you understand, not in the mind…at least I don’t think she meant that). Have you ever had acupuncture? It’s very strange. Works very well for many complaints and you can hardly feel the needles going in. I did make a big mistake by trying to take a photo of needles stuck in my arse for future reference. It made me nearly faint. Thankfully my trusty practitioner who must have thought I was mad took the photo for me so here you are….I am feeling the need to share:-
Then yesterday morning I twisted my ankle in the road and fell over. SO PAINFUL. Now, I am hobbling. I’ve done the whole RICE thing but it really hurts and the last thing I want to do is jump up and down on the spot – although thankfully you don’t have to do too much of that in Pilates.
Oh dear. I’m a mess. I seem to forget that I’m quite old now and increasing the number of classes I am teaching takes a toll on my body. Must remember to try harder to keep fit.
Ps – oh and in the unlikely event that you think you know a worse Pilates teacher I forgot to mention that I have pink tape running up my back (some sort of kinaesthetic muscle support I think she said) so I’ve got to tuck clothes in massively in the class so top doesn’t reveal strips and bottoms don’t reveal ankle support AND it’s suddenly BOILING hot and I haven’t sorted armpits out. Oh. Dear.
Posted by Family Affairs on 23-05-2012 in BLOG tagged with chelsea flower show / football presentation / Made in Chelsea / Ollie Locke
I have just come back from my youngest son’s football presentation night. It is THREE hours long and involves about EIGHT managers (all dad’s) waxing lyrical about each and every one of their splendid little team members. It is an extraordinary evening. Each and every boy who plays in a team is credited and you can see their little chests puffing up with pride. I am beginning to get it – although that doesn’t mean that about half way through the evening I still lose the will to live. I worked out that this year was my 18th year of being at the same football presentation if I add my firstborn sons events to my third born sons events. I think that deserves a medal in itself personally (albeit at various different venues because one year our manager punched another dad and knocked two of his teeth out resulting in an infected hand that took ages to heal and consequently our team was banned from the big event and we had to hold it elsewhere – which in fact was much better because we didn’t have to sit and listen to all the other teams go on and on – so perhaps I’ll suggest that our current manager do something equally dramatic, although I realise that is not the attitude…)
I got through the evening with some warm white wine and a photo of Ollie Locke from Made In Chelsea that was shown to me by a friend who went to the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday. She didn’t even know who he was – she said “I thought he was a girl with hairy legs”. I don’t watch the programme all the time, but enough to know the characters because my daughter is an avid fan and I have to say that out of all of them, I love Ollie the most. Not only because he is spectacularly beautiful but he is funny – OK a little confused about his sexuality but he’ll sort that – especially when he realises that the way forward is with an older woman.
Just look at the photo she took of him. Do you think that the entire cast was forced to go to the Chelsea Flower Show because they have to do everything and anything that involves the word “Chelsea”?
And have you noticed how I’ve tied it all in nicely together – linked Ollie with Chelsea, with the Flower Show and with football – all coming together for the current kings of Europe.
Unintentional. I promise.
Posted by Family Affairs on 23-05-2012 in BLOG
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