Friday Flashback…

Yesterday’s nostalgia trip along the Royal Canal’s towpath had dire consequences for both you and me. Why? Well, now I’m in a mood for more flashbacks. Yep, how about me taking you back a year and showing you a view of the village of Kilcock as seen from the north bank of the Royal Canal Harbour in the town. Why Kilcock? Because it’s the village where we’ve mostly lived in all our years in Ireland…

Early August 2013, Royal Canal Harbour in Kilcock, Co Kildare, Ireland... home!

Happy Friday, may you have a fun day and an even better weekend, especially if it’s a long one like we’re having!

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Flashbacks?

A few days ago I had ONE of THOSE days at work. The result startled some. I simply picked up my bag, threw my things in and walked out… without saying a word to anyone on my team. I walked the five or so minutes to the station, only to see the train depart so instead of waiting for the next one I changed direction and headed for the Royal Canal’s towpath.

I’ll be lying if I say the walk didn’t do me good but what I mostly realised is how much I miss the long walks along the canals. I still do the odd shortish walk but it has now been well over a year since I last had a long 15 to 20 kilometer session along any canal. What I also realised on the day was that it must have been about the only time I’ve done a bit of walking along a canal without a camera in hand… and no, I wasn’t about to start using my phone’s camera.

The result of this all? I suffered severe canal walking withdrawal symptoms accompanied by flashbacks of times gone by so I’ll leave you with a photo of one of the times I last walked this way in the summer…

June 2012, Rambler on the Royal Canal near Pike Bridge, summer bliss!!

The big picture? See the Rambler in the distance while a more modern transporter passes overhead? The towpath along the Royal Canal a few hundred meters east of Pike Bridge as it looked in June 2012… splendid!

So, if you’re wondering about the repercussions of me walking out, no… I didn’t get fired. In fact, I think it may have proved a worthwhile exercise as maybe a few folk could’ve been reminded about manners and tact… and that dignity and respect are still values to be recommended in the workplace, even in this day and age!

Posted in Boating, Factual Opinion, Family & Life, Ireland, Photography, Royal Canal, Seasons, Travel, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Meeting Places – Ailsa’s WTT

This week I’m very late in responding to Ailsa’s challenge but I can’t let an opportunity like this go by. Last Friday evening I met friends in Dublin and as Ailsa so rightly mentions in her post, pubs are definitely high on the agenda when after work meetings are planned. So, I’ll show you a meeting place but not as you’d expect to see it. I’ll show you my fun view of things… from over the rim of a glass!

Life as it may well be seen on the odd occasion!

Posted in Dublin, Family & Life, Ireland, Local Curiosity, Local Places, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Reflection!

Nominated for IBotY 2014!!

OK, I’ll begin with a confession. I entered my own blogs for the 2014 Irish Blog of the Year. Yes, I’m aware that some folk may think that’s a tad bold of me but then, I learned a valuable lesson last year. Then the GLW nominated OMBH in only one category. So, naturally when competing in the largest grouping it was not easy to reach the shortlist, never mind the winners or runners-up prizes.

So, after much thought, I entered this blog in the following categories:

  • Personal blog
  • Photography
  • The Great Outdoors

I must add, one may enter a blog in multiple categories but it must meet the requirements so even though a blog is entered does not mean it will make the long list. I’ll also add that I nominated a few other folk’s blogs so it seems feasible that my blog could’ve been nominated by others. However, which ever way you look at it, it is still an honour to have made the lists and once again, my thanks goes out to you who support the blogs. You are really the reason why I’m still at it, why I still find pleasure in posting and sharing.

So, here’s to hoping that the lesson learned last year will bear fruit this year. Let’s hope that being along in a few categories helps the blog onto a shortlist or two… who knows, all the work of more than 3 and a half years may garner even more value when more folk discover they may be finding something new to enjoy on the odd occasion.

Summer sunshine brings out the best in all of us!!

North Kildare Cricket made the Sport and Recreation long list and Biltong, Braai and Boerewors made the Food and Drink list…

Posted in Factual Opinion, Family & Life, Fun and Food, Ireland, Photography, Sport, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Can Micro Managers Be Leaders?

Conversely put,

can leaders stoop to micro managing?

Somehow, I think the answer to both questions is an emphatic NO!

I’m perturbed by the concept that so-called team leaders are lumbered with the title when they are in effect team managers. I have difficulty answering to micro managers. I have difficulty in seeing the logic of placing someone in a position of management when they clearly haven’t grasped the core essentials of leadership.

I’ve occasionally posted about the joys of (bad) management in the workplace. I especially love the creativity of those moving within the lofty realms of the corporate human resources environment. Mostly though, I love the way they twist corporate values to suit the management styles of bullies. Ever changing performance indicators and a sliding approach to team functions lead to confusion and under-performance. That, in turn, leads to more reprisals from managers and so the spiral closes in on itself.

However, I’m not attempting to answer the question I posed. Maybe I can’t and that’s why I’m again banging on about bad managers. Maybe I can point the conversation in a direction and you can mull on the outcome of the implied route map.

Let me take you back to school. There were teachers who knew everything about their chosen subject yet, when it came to transferring the knowledge or skills required to master elements of the subject, they were incapable of such transfer. How often didn’t you hear fellow students complain about their maths teachers?

“Mr Brain-box knows it all but when he explains I don’t grasp what he’s doing!”

There’s an art to imparting technical knowledge to learners, much like there’s an art to managing a disparate group of professionals. In the workplace this art is called leadership, NOT manager-ship!

Have you noticed how leaders seem to get the group moving in the same direction with ease and then, with the minimum effort, they keep the group aligned to the end goal. Have you noticed how micro (bad) managers are always cajoling or chasing their tails to get traction within the group. They seem to spend half their time cracking the whip or dealing in reprisal while true leaders spend half their time on the golf course networking for the better of the organisation.

Micro managers will drive creative minds away, ultimately being left with a workforce of ever-changing faces who become part of the revolving door syndrome. Oh, I mustn’t forget, there will always be a few loyal pawns who stick with the micro managers. They become clones and will one day follow in the footsteps of their gurus. Sad.

So, how do you deal with a micro manager without getting your sorry posterior booted off the team? I don’t yet have the answer but basically, when I do, I may well be a very wealthy man! Imagine the royalties garnered when the bestseller flies off the bookshelves… imagine the € 200K per hour after dinner motivational speeches! Imagine.

Rowan Gillespie's Aspiration... a little help may get her to the top...

Aspiration, Rowan Gillespie’s sculpture of the a naked lady scaling the outside of Dublin’s Treasury Building… maybe if I tilt the building a little she may make it to the top!

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Summer Lovin’ – WPhotoC

This week summer has really arrived in Ireland. Thursday was s scorcher followed by what must have been the hottest day of the year on Friday. I was out and about in Dublin and got a few photos of the effect the glorious weather was having on the population. As is always the case, when the temperatures rise, the clothes get shed so if I say there were some sorry sights to be seen you can well believe me.

However, I’ll rather show you something of beauty… something that is associated with the height of summer. The Evening Primrose is regarded by many as a weed and by others it’s revered for its medicinal qualities so you can choose which side of the fence you want to be on but as a neutral I’ll show you a photo that oozes summer… even if it was taken in the twilight it still shouts warmth and summer!

Evening Primrose... at the height of summer!!

For a more in-depth description of the plant do click here to visit Wiki-P. For a look at some other blogger’s contribution to this week’s challenge do click here

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Do You See It?

Lines… some nature’s… some man’s effect on nature but the colours and shapes spell only one thing… summer!! Once the windrows start appearing you know it’s the height of the summer season. What’s the age-old story? Make hay while the sun shines and oh boy, has it been doing just that in the last while here in Ireland. I’ll take you a side bet… while you all have your Saturday fun there will be farmers all over the country baling the summer’s bounty… preparing for that dreaded time toward year’s end when the season beginning with a “w” has us in its full grip… berrrr… too much to contemplate at this time of the year!

Summer lines... summer fun!

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Can You Hear It?

Close your eyes… listen. Ope your eyes again and look at the image. It was taken at the 15th Lock on the Royal Canal in Co Kildare, Ireland. It was taken on a warm summer’s evening so the slightly hazy effect is natural… the air heavy with pollen , dust and summer heat. Look at the image again, now close your eyes and listen… I’m sure you’ll hear the enormously soothing melody of the cascading water. Let the melody float over you… let it sooth your soul and take you away to a place where you can relax… totally!

The soothing plunge of water over the lock gate at the 15th Lock on the Royal Canal... can you hear it?

I hope you have a fantastic Friday… and a great weekend!

Posted in Ireland, Local Curiosity, Local Places, Photography, Royal Canal, Seasons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiring over 50’s

Lately I’ve heard a lot, both in the news and from clients, that people just don’t want to hire a candidate that is over 50. This is short sighted and wrong, and here’s why:

The comment above and the article it’s taken from inspired today’s post. The author of the article, Kimberley Dart, touches on a topic that’s very close to my heart. So close that this blog even has a page listed about the very same topic. Please click here to read the article and then you’ll get the gist of the comment (below) I posted…

You say much and I have to agree because I’m at that great age of 55! I’ve worked in the young environment at a few places, including the Big G here in Dublin and can assure you my age was a greater positive than was immediately obvious. The youngsters liked a fatherly figure about, a shoulder to cry on and someone who they knew was likely to have an instant answer for a problem that seemed out of their league.

One drawback, as you say, is the market value of the role in question and some employers utilise this. They offer the role, they want you to be on their team because they’re looking for your skill and experience yet they only want to pay for a junior’s role knowing full well they will be getting much more than they’ve asked for!

Give us a chance, pay us a realistic wage and suddenly you may have two, or I dare say, even three skill-sets for the price of one!! I dare you, give it a go!!

I’ll close with a volley. I hail from a country that’s as much renowned for its natural beauty as for the many different layers of discrimination so when I say I know discrimination when I see it, I KNOW discrimination. What I’ve witnessed personally, both in SA and here in Ireland in the last 10 to 15 years, angers me. Companies don’t want to employ certain pigeonholed  “classes” of people so they find ways of twisting their company policy to suit. If you don’t fit the profile you may as well stand on your hands and whistle your national anthem through your posterior… you will not get the job!

Goalposts shifting into the sunset?

Shifting goalposts? Into the sunset? Who knows?

Posted in Dublin, Factual Opinion, Family & Life, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun With Flowers

Actually, it should be fun with camera and flowers. Yes, as I told you last week the new toy has me playing often… like a kid in his sandbox I am experimenting with the textures and functions of some of the items to be found in the sandbox. It’s fun. It’s also amazing to realise that a little box that captures light can have so much technology built in. Imagine what Prof Michelangelo or Dr da Vinci would have made of such a toy!

Bright yellow... floral fun!

Posted in Art, Factual Opinion, Photography, The Birds and the Bees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments