Author Archives: nlpnow

Airspace closed?

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As I search for ways of getting out of the UK to travel to Istanbul, I am continually told that there are no available seats on trains, no available seats on buses, I watch the news for updates, and see thousands of people struggling to get home, as the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption continues it is said to spead over the UK and Europe, ceasing all air travel.

I decided to have a break and go for a walk, on a quite nice day here in London, having a few white clouds floating above me.

As I looked up enjoying the fresh air, there were two aircraft vapour trails crossing overhead, over London and Heathrow.

Aircraft vapour trails over London Heathrow 20/04/10

I am not a happy boy.

So OK, they are perhaps above 35,000ft, (10,000m), but if they can do it why not the rest?

No travel again as the ash cloud covers the UK

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Monday 19th April 2010, I am still trying to get to Istanbul to give an NLP Practitioner course , and the situation did not look good.

Not wanting to disappoint the participants and to honour the commitment I had made to give the course, I had been continually reviewing my options, and modes of transport.

I had contacted EuroLines, a bus transport organisation, transporting passengers throughout Europe by road, but they do not go to Turkey. The nearest they could take me was Sofia in Bulgaria, a three day journey, and the earliest they could get me a seat was in five days time. I would then have to find my way from Sofia, across the Turkish border into Istanbul, perhaps another day in travel.

I could drive my car across Europe, that was not a solution as I have not taken my car on the road for 18 months, it would need a service, oil changed, brakes checked, the paperwork prepared, insurance, but the worse would be the fuel consumption, my car achieves 18 miles to the gallon, (29 kilometers 4.5 liters approx.)

I could take a train or trains. On my return from working in Saudi Arabia, I had visited a friend in Athens, and on the spur of the moment, decided to take the train home from Athens to England and in 1988, with slower trains, it had taken me four or five days, a wonderful experience, but would I want to do it again, London to Istanbul by train.

I decided to go to the offices of Europe Train in central London, as they were not answering the telephones, their web site did not give me any help, in fact at the beginning of this crisis, their web site was being rebuilt and was unavailable.

Arriving at just after 10am in the morning, I joined the queue of hopeful travelers, which stretched from inside the offices, round a corner, down a street, around another corner, and down that street.

The queue outside Eorope Trains in Central London stretches even further into the distance, inwhich I stood for over 6 hours.

I stood in that queue until 4:30pm, and still not reaching the last corner, and we were told that there was a chance we would not be seen as the offices closed at 6pm.

I was cold, the cold wind had reached my bones. I was hunger, I had not eaten since breakfast, I was thirsty, again not having anything since breakfast.

I was asking myself, was this worth the waiting? But I had made a commitment and a promise, people had booked time off work, not gone on holidays to attend the course.

Would Europe Rail be able to get me to Istanbul, after all, the bus company EuroLines only went to Bulgaria?

There was no information, no-one from Europe Train was to be seen. A young man, a fellow traveler made an effort to get information, and slowly went down the queue informing people that the earliest train to Rome would be Wednesday and the same to Spain. But I was going a different route, perhaps I could get an earlier connection from Paris.

Now, I had an idea, just like the ending of the very funny film, The Italian Job, (the original is far better than the recent release), what if I went to Rome and took a flight from there? Then I thought, would I get a flight? What happens if the ash cloud covers Rome, or as I had been told closed Turkish airspace, I would be stuck in Rome.

I had throughout the day been telephoning friends to keep an eye on the fluid situation, the ever changing news of the air travel, I had my travel agents checking as well. Nothing.

Then I had another “Italian Job” idea, check the internet myself on my mobile phone, and the news from the BBC news pages was, that flights were being allowed from Scotland the next day, and with luck London airports opening in the evening.

I had a British Airways ticket on BA0676 on Wednesday.

After spending six and a half hours in the queue, cold, hungry, thirsty, tired, my legs stiff and back aching, with no guarantee that Europe Train could help me, and at what cost, I left the queue to return home, spirits raised.

Now, Tuesday morning, (20th April), I have seen on the news that there has been fresh eruptions from the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption, and an ash cloud is set to cover the UK.

Oh Poo Poo

Then I looked at what aircraft have been allowed to fly so far today from Scotland. They are small propeller driven aircraft being flown to the outer island around Scotland, which fly below any ash cloud, not the jet airliners flying to international destinations the majority of travelers and myself hope to take.

So, were we given the correct information by the news media?

We all assume that if someone says the flightpaths are to reopen, that ALL aircraft will be flying. We put out “cat on the mat“, in NLP terms we made a presupposition, we presupposed that we understood what was being said by putting our own understanding.

The other piece of information that was given was that an international flight was made. Where to? Iceland.

Tomorrows flight to Istanbul BA0678 Cancelled

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It is a wonderful day in London, not a cloud in the sky, yet there is, an ash cloud, grounding all flights in many European countries.

Trafagar Square and The London Eye, basks under a blue cloudless sky, well apart from and ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption

Still trying to reach Istanbul to give an NLP Practitioner course , I was booked to fly on Sunday (18th April 2010) at 0710 hours, but I have just received an email from British Airways to say that its’ flight BA0678 is canceled.

I have tried other ways to travel to Istanbul, but it seems to be near impossible to book tickets.

Traveling into Cental London to the offices of Europe Rail near Piccadilly Circus, I was met be a large queue of people, all trying to get train tickets on Eurostar and Continental railway systems.

A large queue outside Europe Rail hoping to buy rail tickets due to the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption 

Speaking to a number of them, I realise how lucky I am to be living in London, and being stuck here rather than being stuck in another country.

People who have been waiting for a number of days have had to find hotel accommodation, find food, all at their own expense.

There was one couple who were going away this weekend to be married, but now cannot get to their own wedding. Their guests were also not going anywhere.

I tried to purchase train tickets out of London to main land Europe, but all seats are booked, and I am told that all trains out of Paris are fully booked as flights are grounded in France.

I intended to get to Milan, but was informed that Italian airspace is also affected by the ash cloud. So, had I reached Milan, I would have been stuck there.

So the course in Istanbul will have to be postponed by one week, and somehow I will find a way to get to Istanbul, as I have just heard that aircraft could be grounded until next Wednesday at the earliest.

Pity that I have already ironed all my shirts, (22), prior to my now defunct trip, I could have spent this weekend with a purpose.

Still trying to get to Istanbul

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I should be in Istanbul this morning, starting a 7 day Society of NLP Practitioner course, but the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption has grounded all flights out of England and most of northern Europe due to the ash cloud in the upper atmosphere which aircraft cannot fly through.

The question I have heard many times is why does not the aircraft fly below the ash cloud? Aircraft jet engines are designed for high altitude efficiency, and burn less fuel at their cruising height. For example it is said that a trans Atlantic aircraft flying at say 10,000ft or 3,000m, would not have enough fuel to make the journey.

I have a new booking with British Airways to fly to Istanbul on Sunday morning at 0710 hours, but I have just during the early hours of Saturday morning that all flights are suspended until Saturday evening 7pm.

Oh Poo Poo.

I have awoken early, ready on my quest to find an alternate way of getting to Istanbul.

Driving is out of the question, the distance is too far, my car is unlicensed, and anyway, the car ferries are all full crossing the English Channel.

I could catch a Eurostar train to Paris, but they are fully booked now until Monday, then if I got to Paris, trains out of Paris are fully booked.

If I got to Paris, where would I go? I did have the idea of getting to Milan, then pick-up a flight to Istanbul, but where will the ash cloud reach, how far south over Europe will it reach? So, I could arrive in Milan and find flights from there are suspended.

So people in Istanbul, I am pursuing all avenues to get to you, getting out of bed early to try something else.
The view from my home this morning did not look good, as I thought the ash cloud had desended onto Kingston upon Thames,

Thankfully, it is only early morning mist.

The Sunset after Ash Cloud

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One of the other outcomes resulting from the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption, was to be a beautiful sunset, as the sinking sun shone through the suspended particulates in the upper atmosphere.

To have a view of this sunset on Thursday evening, 15th April 2010, I took a short bus ride to Richmond upon Thames, and climbed Richmond Hill.

A stunning view over Surrey and in the distance a very quite Heathrow, with no aircraft taking off or landing.

Below me was the River Thames, yet to flow through London.

View of the River Thames from Richmond Hill

Many famous paintings have been composed and produced from the same view, although the trees and island in the River Thames have changed, plus the style of dress.

William Turner, “Richmond Hill on the birthday of the Prince Regent”, 1819.

Many people stood watching the sun set behind Heathrow Airport. A red sun and sky resulted, perhaps not what I expected, and certainly not worth the cancelation of all flights in the UK and parts of Europe. 

Sunset from Richmond Hill looking over to Heathrow Airport 15th April 2010.

Jet Setting is no fun

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Jet setting is no fun, continually flying from one country to another as I tend to do, seems a dream to some people, but it is not.

Having to wait for hours in an airport, a departure lounge, the delays that just seem to happen, having to wait for luggage to tumble down onto the carousel, arranging and getting a taxis, or having to catch a bus to and from the airport, to be squashed into uncomfortable aircraft seats next to other passengers who fight for some personal space with elbows everywhere. Then there is the airline food, promoted as gourmet, promoted as being high class, but then it tends to be just fast food in style, and depending on the airline and their cuisine or culture, not to my taste.

Today has been a horror, a nightmare, due the the grounding of all UK flights and much of European flights.

I spent an hour sitting in front of a travel agent I use, just to find alternate ways of getting from London to Istanbul, perhaps they could get me from London to Paris by Eurostar  train, then from Paris to Milan, and I could catch a plane say from Milan to Istanbul, but there were no seats available on the trains from Paris to Milan, and so it was on all trains from Paris, all are fully booked.

My travel agent gave up trying.

I returned home to try myself on the telephone and internet.

I go onto the Eurostar web site , and there are shown seats available, so I go on the Rail Europe web site, to book train journeys onwards from Paris. Rail Europe  web site is down due to maintenance, so I tried their booking telephone line, engaged, engaged, engaged. Eventually I get connected and put on hold for twenty minutes, listening to music and a woman saying they are extremely busy, please hold, or visit their web site. The *?££$% web site does not work Rail Europe. When I speak to a very friendly sales person, she does her utmost to help, but everything is fully booked.

Oh Poo Poo.

Then I am told that even though Eurostar web site shows availability, actually when you do try and book, it says, no seats available.

Oh Poo Poo.

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajoekull eruption and the ash cloud has much to answer for. The disruption it has caused worldwide, the cost of lost holidays, work, and visits must be extremely high.

Flitting around the world has become easy, and we now take it for granted, just to jump on an aircraft and in a couple of hours be in a far off country. It is only when incidents like the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption  and the ash cloud over Europe, that one can begin to appreciate how lucky we all are, we take for granted airline travel.

As far as jet setting is concerned, forget it, it is Poo Poo.

I still have to get to Istanbul. How?

Istanbul’da NLP Practitioner Kursu

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                                                                                                                                                         English version

Türkiye’deki herkese güzel bir haber; Istanbul’da 17 Nisan 2010 tarihinden itibaren 7 gün sürecek bir Society of NLP Practitioner kursuna daha başlıyoruz.

Türkiye’yi uzun yıllar ziyaret ederek, Istanbul, Ankara, Gaziantep, Antalya başta olmak üzere birçok bölgede Society of NLP standartlarında NLP Practitioner ve Master Practitioner kursları verdim.

Society of NLP’nin lisanslı eğitimeni olarak uzun yıllar Richard Bandler’ın ekibinde çalıştım ve doğrudan kendisinden eğitim aldım. Bu nedenle, benim katılımcılarım da NLP’yi Bandler’ın öğrettiği şekilde öğrendiklerini biliyorlar.

Malcolm Gladwell kitaplarında, bir kişinin belirli bir konuda ya da disiplinde uzman olabilmesi için o konuyu 10,000 saat öğrenmiş olması, içinde olması ya da kullanmış olması gerektiğini söyler. Katılımcılar bu zamanı benimle birlikte alacağından emin olabilir.

Yakın zamanda yine kurucularından PhotoReading, Zihin Haritaları (Mind Maps), Hafıza (Memory) ve Hipnoz (Hypnosis) eğitimleri de veriyor olacağım. Dolayısıyla umarım Istanbul’da görüşürüz…

17 Nisan 2010 tarihinde Istanbul ‘da yapılacak NLP Practitioner kursuyla ilgili daha detaylı bilgi için web sitesini ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

A couple of hours beside the sea

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My work and travels take me to many exotic places, China, Malaysia, Sri lanka, India, Turkey to name just a few, as I am invited to give my courses in NLP, PhotoReading, Mind MapsMemory and Hypnosis, plus working with people on a 1-2-1 basis for personal issues like phobias, fears and confidence building, and today was no exception, as I visited Clacton on Sea.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside. (click to listen to the song). Yes it invigorates me, it relaxes me, it clears my mind, I feel refreshed, and I needed all these, so a visit to Clacton on Sea on the East Coast of England, a place I had never visited before.

I took the train, a quick trip into London Waterloo Station, the Jubilee underground to Stratford where the new buildings for the London 2012 Olympics are clearly visible, and then a fast train straight to Clacton on Sea.

Well it should have been a fast train. Unfortunately, the train was stopped at a very small station in the middle of nowhere, Marks Tey as there was a person under the train further up the track, and the police had closed the rail track.

We were asked to get off the train after sitting there wondering what was happening, only to see the train return to London, and we stood there asking the now invisible station staff what was our next move. After a long wait we were told a bus would take us on our onward journey, and it would be with us in fifteen minutes. Obviously the locals had other ideas as the passenger numbers reduced as some of out fellow travelers jumped into arriving cars and taxis.

What seemed like hours the bus arrived, and the driver told us that he would take us onward to the next station, Colchester, were we could take another train to Clacton on Sea. Arriving at Colchester, I asked a member of the station staff what was our next move, and was told to go to platform one and a train would be there in five minutes.

Strange how railway staff have a different concept of time, as we were still waiting an hour later.

Still, one has to consider that someone had lost their life, that there were people who had to deal with the aftermath of that death, and there would be friends and family who would have lost that person. Being delayed seemed insignificant.

The stiff upper lip of the British came into play as we made conversation, told jokes, asked for advice from each other.

Eventually I arrived in Clacton on Sea, a typical small British holiday resort, especially on a not so warm out of season midweek day. It was empty.

I had come for a purpose, and I carried my work out that need.

     Clacton on Sea Pier

I found myself on the seafront, with the pier, amusements arcades, and fast food restaurants, similar to many other resorts around the coast of the UK.


I relaxed as I strolled up and the down the prom, watching the sea washing the sand and shingle beaches, with the odd family building sand castles, children enjoying themselves, people just walking taking in the good fresh air.

Clacton on Sea seafront promenade.

It is sometimes good to get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, to take in good fresh air, to allow the mind to empty, to become one with the environment, even when to get there, there could be many trials, many distractions and many things that we had hoped for do not happen.

Norbiton Railway Bridge Replacement – Like a Ballet

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It has been four days since the temporary closing of Norbiton Railway Bridge, so that it could be replaced after being used since 1869. This 2.9 million Pound (£) replacement was organised like a ballet, with orange clad workers buzzing around the project like bees around a honey pot, each having a particular job to do, each having a piece of the jigsaw to put into place to complete the whole.

The whole project was planned with precision, like a battle.

I was shown the gantt chart, the plan of how the replacement was to take place, and each task had its place on the chart, and the time the task was to start, and the time it was to finish.

At the start of the project on the first day they were one and a half hours behind, but working twenty-four hours, by the second day they were an hour and a half ahead of the schedule.

One can understand the schedule has to be precise, because if the next part of the rebuild requires premixed concrete, and the deliver lorry arrived on time but the workers were ahead of schedule, there would be a lot of standing around. Then if they re-ordered to concrete to arrive early, perhaps the lorry could not get through to the delivery spot as another lorry could be parked there, delivering some other component.

The new railway bridge open for business at
Norbiton Station

I think the next task will be from information I received will be the lengthening of the platforms to cater for ten carriage trains, not only to stations like Norbiton, but also to the main London Waterloo Station, which I am told will require the removal of the central concourse, as the tracks will be extended into that area, with access to the platforms from beneath what is the concourse now.

Those that know London Waterloo Station may ask, why not increase the capacity of the terminus by using the now empty EuroStar platforms, as EuroStar, the continental rail link, has move to London Paddington Railway Station? The answer I am told is that the current South West Trains (SWT) carriages will not fit into the platforms, as EuroStar is a narrower train to the standard British train. Why the planners, knowing that there was only a short life span of EuroStar Waterloo, not facilitate at the beginning the idea of being able to widen the gap after EuroStar move stations, simply by adding a bolt-on extension, making it platform wider for EuroStar, then unbolt the extension for SWT’s.

Fascinating work, that I hope all of the work will last another one hundred and fifty years.

But, will we still have trains then? 

Oh Poo Poo the Pigeons lost their Home

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The railway bridge at Norbiton railway station has been in place since its’ opening in 1869, taking the railway over the road which cars and pedestrians use to get from Kingston upon Thames to Norbiton station and Kingston Hospital, a walk I, as many others, would make often.

The bridge structure, the girders, the nooks and crannies, were home to many nesting pigeons.
Every morning we ran the gauntlet of the pigeons as they returned to their nests from their early morning feast, their breakfast.

Why is it that a bird cannot seem to poo, poop, pass solids, whilst in flight? They only seem about to do their toilet once landed. I know, I have watched them. They land, turn their back to their nest, lift their tail, and poo.

Now some people may argue that birds do not have brains strong enough to reason, to make conscious decisions, to be calculating.

I disagree.

I think that the pigeons whilst flying home to their nest, spy a human walking, especially me, a human that is going to walk under their perch, their landing spot, then they pick their target and wait.

They wait until the human is in bombing ranch. They calculate, wind speed, wind direction, velocity, the walking speed of their target human, and at the correct moment, it is “bombs away“.

The pigeons must do, else why have I like many others, have been pooped upon, white runny poo.

The road and footpath under Norbiton railway bridge was white over with pigeon droppings. The authorities placed netting under the bridge to stop the pigeons getting into the nooks and crannies, but still they were able to get in, as I suspect they had undercover agents in the form of “pigeon lovers“, who slashed the netting and left food for them, just so they could poop on other humans.

Wire mesh was installed to stop the pigeons nesting and landing on areas above the footpaths, but not over the road. Was that to appease the “pigeon lovers” I wonder?

But now the old bridge has gone, and the poor pigeons have nowhere to go, no home, no nest, and they sit on a near-by roof of a house, I think wondering what has happened, homeless, waiting to take up residence in the new bridge, ready to poop again.

I just hope that the builders and engineers installing the new bridge have eliminated any nooks and crannies that the pigeons can use, and I can walk under the bridge without having to watch for flying poo.


Pigeons waiting for their new nesting home on the new Norbiton railway bridge

You know, I think I may have got it wrong, I have been pooped on by a flying seagull. Oh Poo Poo