Blue Sky Update – April 2020

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – Friday 3rd April 2020

Often when I sit down to practise on my piano, I am reminded of a past coaching client. Describing an activity, she did that fully absorbed her, where she could focus on and get into her flow. Playing the piano does this for me. I cannot play a G Major scale and have other stuff scurrying about inside my head. I do not have the bandwidth I am either playing the piano or doing something else.

So, what is the one thing that absorbs and takes you out of yourself? Whatever it is, take the time to do it regularly.

And here you go Janine Coombs, you asked about video evidence of my playing, and here it is. By no means perfect, but you can still hear a tune – German Dance in A Major.

Until next time


PS now I am now off to set up some indoor table tennis ????

Update – Friday 10th April 2020

How often do you remember to step away from your screen?

With everything that is going on, I am wondering how many of us need to make more of a conscious effort to step away and go and do something completely unconnected.

I was reminded of this when my teenage daughter woke up on Monday morning, feeling decidedly tired after an evening online with her friends. She emerged to say, ‘I can’t face another screen today.’

Being the good mother, I am, ???? I reminded her that she still had some Psychology work to complete, to which my daughter patiently explained, ‘mum my eyes hurt and I’m going to do some art.’

There was nothing more to be said.

So, are you taking enough breaks away from your screens?

Update: Friday 17th April 2020

I stumbled across a bit of a blast from my past yesterday while sorting through some old documents.

Three printed estimates from my days in engineering, thirty years ago, prepared via SuperCalc4. A spreadsheet program available long before the days of Excel. I was quite proud to uncover these.

I had forgotten how much was involved in preparing an estimate in the production of a counter unit/ floor stand: the materials, components and different manufacturing processes.

Back in the day, I was assigned to bring my spreadsheet skills to the Estimating department, which meant I had first to learn what was involved in pulling a complete estimate together.

I had already had one fantastic manager teach me how to use a spreadsheet effectively, and he was using them to manage Production Control.  I then gained another one in Estimating, a brilliant teacher, mentor, boss all three rolled into one. And we made a bloody good team, churning out estimates at the rate of knots once we got SuperCalc4 involved.

So, who are the colleagues from your past that you remember with both affection and respect?

 Update – Friday 24th April 2020

 I was enjoying the sunshine in my garden yesterday when I spotted what I think was a pair of Red Kites soaring high in the cloudless sky. Not something you see every day, they looked as though they were surfing on the air currents far above the noisy seagulls and the pigeons.

Even from where I was sitting the wingspan on this pair looked huge, must have been at almost two metres. One small thing that I was able to appreciate from this week. I didn’t have time to catch them on film, but it cheered me up thinking that even though we’re a bit stuck on the ground, other creatures are not. I hope I get to see them again.

So, what unusual thing from nature have you spotted this week?

Until next time