Author Archives: nlpnow

Rotary Club of Shanghai

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My trip to Shanghai, China, has not been the first, but one of many, the previous being perhaps five years ago, and what a change there has been.

The only place I recognised was the Shanghai Bund lining the Huangpu River, which has dozens of historical buildings that once housed consulates, banks and trading houses from the various countries, for example the UK, France, Russia to name just a few.

As a member of Rotary Club in my home town of Kingston upon Thames, it was a privilege to visit the Shanghai Rotary Club for the friendship and fellowship Rotary offers around the world.

It is a young active club, one of only two in China, with many visitors in attendance, and quite a young average age membership. On my visit three new members were being inducted into their club.

It is good that I got rid of my phobia of heights, as the meeting and meal was held on the 40th floor of the Hilton Hotel. But it did give fantastic views of the Shanghai city at night and the wonderful light displays of the buildings.

Presentation of Shanghai Rotary Club flag

There is always a first time

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My host and I were walking to a coffee shop, and she was explaining what each shop was as I was unable to understand the shop signs, and I was engrossed, as always, in the culture, sights and sounds. The bright red and gold signs above the shops, the smells of the food and spices.

My host, Aisha Solimon, said to me that this shop sells this and that shop sells that, mentioning a manicure shop, to which I said as a joke that I could get mine cut, as they were getting too long. Within minutes I was sitting down having my first manicure. Oh the pain.

A cup too big

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Why do I subject myself to too much chocolate?

Working with my client here in Shanghai, we decided to go to a very Chinese coffee shop (not) Costa, and I had the largest hot chocolate drink I have had for a long time.
Too much, it up-set my stomach.
Too much hot chocolate at
Costa Shanghai
Silly boy.

A visit to Shanghai, China

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I have been traveling since the end of November 2010, and I am not scheduled to finish until the end of April 2011, being in Italy three times, Turkey twice, Libya getting out just before the troubles, and now I find myself in Shanghai China.

I love my job, training so many people, with them having so many different cultures, beliefs and cultures, although at times it can be frustrating.

One of the great experiences one can have is the wide range of food available and the different styles of cooking.

Here in Shanghai, the restaurant Gintei Teppanyaki Sushi for example, bananas coated in what seemed to be coconut, was subjected to being cooked in front of us Japanese style, with various unknown ingredients being applied. The best part was when the cook added some spirit and set fire to the bananas. Lovely.


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This is a special time of the year to many peoples though-out the world, Christmas.

So to all my followers, may I wish you Merry Xmas.
It is a time of faith for many, others a time of giving, a time for the family to come together.
This year I fine myself by myself in southern Turkey giving training. But I am not alone, as I am with many people who it feels have become my family for a small time of my life, but will remain firmly as my future life.
This time last year, I had been on occasions Father Christmas or Santa Claus in my home town of Kingston upon Thames in the UK for a number of weeks, collecting for charity under the Christmas Tree of the town center. This year I have not been able to participate in this annual event, and I have missed the build-up, the atmosphere created by the experience, the shops being decked out with Christmas gifts, the streets being lit by magical lights, and the Xmas cards dropping through the letter box. It is not part of the Turkish culture as with other countries.
But, tonight, the hotel (the RIXOS Premium Belek, in Antalya ) I am staying in over the festive season is providing a special Festive Season Meal for all the foreign guests and their children, and I am honoured to be invited to be asked to be Father Christmas to deliver presents to the children.
This will make my day, it will now be Christmas for me, as I will see and experience the wonderment on the faces of the young children as they meet Santa Claus, children coming from many different countries of the world, Germany, Russia etc.
Christmas is for families and children around the world whatever belief, race, colour or creed.
Merry Xmas to you all.
Phillip Holt as Santa Claus, at the RIXOS Premium Belek Antalya
Phillip Holt as Santa Claus
at the
RIXOS Premium Belek Antalya

Dragon Boat Race 2010, Kingston upon Thames, Rotary Club

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It was an early start for club members of Kingston’s Rotary Club, preparing the 2010 Dragon Boat Race on the River Thames .

48 teams had entered the day long races, each having a purpose, perhaps raising awareness for a project, raising money for a good cause, or just to have fun with friends, and for each team and their friends and family, marquees had to be erected, signs to be placed, the funfair and other stalls, tents and services put in position. The work was only minor to all the effort and organisation that had been afforded by the committee and members of Kingston’s Rotary Club .
Within a short period of time, all was ready, and we awaited the arrival of hundreds of competitors and visitors on a warm Sunday. 
Competitors were very colourful in their racing kit, entering into the spirit of the fun day, the police team in uniform, the pirates, a team with strange metal hats which I still do not understand.

Eight dragon boats were ready for the races, each race having four teams paddling at full steam down the river, until we had eight finalists for the last race.
Team supporters shouted their teams on, the public joined in, the children loved it. Between races, teams and followers had picnics, purchased food from the food stalls, or sampled an over flowing glass full of sweet cherries.
The Dragon Boat Races were eventually won by Canbury Arms Boys team (see results ), in a thrilling eight boat race, where the ducks, swans and other river users had to make way, as the race took-up most of the river width as they splashed their way down steam.
Enter your team into the July 17th 2011 Dragon Boat Race, perhaps one of the biggest in the UK, contact Glenis to obtain an entry form.

The Cambridge Estate Tower Block Fire, Kingston upon Thames

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It has been a few days now since the horrific scenes of the Madingley tower block fire, on the Cambridge Estate in Kingston upon Thames. SeeTower Block on Fire in Kingston upon Thames.

As we watched the flames grow from the 12th floor, taking the next four floors and roof, black and white smoke billowing from the building and the red/orange flames indicating the heat and devastation being played-out, I became aware of the power of nature, of how we humans cannot sometimes be in control of forces that can overtake us.

The Cambridge Estate Tower Block Fire, Kingston upon Thames

I ask myself how can a concrete block of flats burn so fiercely? Surely there can not be so much flammable items in a normal home to create so much flames and smoke?
It is reported that a 32 year old woman has been arrested for starting the fire, perhaps by a single matchstick, a single small flame, which resulted in such damage.
Many comments have been added to the youtube video, some should be deleted, but I have not as it may indicate the frustration felt by many British people, some giving an indication of the goodness, compassion and help given by just ordinary people,  of how “Tommy Mackay ran up 15 floors to the the top of the burning building, and save a newborn baby.”, and Alan Woodman.

Looking out of our home window, the blackened Madingley tower block is a constant reminder of that fire. Even as darkness falls in the late evening there is a reminder, as there is a lack of lights on the skyline, lights of people’s homes now empty in the evacuated tower.

The Cambridge Estate Tower Block Fire, Kingston upon Thames The Cambridge Estate Tower Block Fire, Kingston upon Thames

Life goes on now. Cars and buses race by, full of people not even noticing the devastation left over, perhaps not even considering where the tenants are now living, where are they eating their meals, how are they providing for themselves, have they got their clothes out their homes? And, the tenants themselves, where are they?

Tower Block on Fire in Kingston upon Thames

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Today a tower block of flats caught fire in the Madingley Tower on the Cambridge Estate, in Cambridge Road, Kingston upon Thames here in the UK.

At 16:45 today, 12th July 2010, fire broke-out on the 12th floor of the 15 storey block of flats, and quickly spread to the top four floors.
It was reported that twenty fire engines attended the blaze, and so far there are no missing persons and no injuries.

Top 4 floors ablaze of the Cambridge Estate flats,
Kingston upon Thames


It seems only a short time.

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It seems like only yesterday since I last posted a blog, but it has been some weeks.

Unlike some people believe that I have been away, away on holiday, it has been very much the contrary, work, work, work, mostly in Turkey.
Now it is time to get rest myself, renew may batteries, ready for a new start, to do new training, talks, to visit new countries, meet new people, as well as revisiting established places where I offer my training.
So, if you have been following me in the past, I will be posting more, I have not fallen off the planet.