Author Archives: nlpnowcom

Discovering a Martian Fighting Machine

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After my post about the book The Martians Are Coming, and with nothing to do the next afternoon, I jumped on a local train and visited the home town of H G Wells, a place called Woking, Surrey, England.

I endeavour where ever possible, not to take what I am told, given, or learn at face value, unlike the listeners of that radio play by Orson Welles broadcast in 1938 in the USA, which resulted in mass panic, where people thought Martians were invading Earth. I need to dig down, chunk down, to discover more facts, to understand the truth behind what I am being told, what I read, or what I am being fed.
And so it was, after a short journey I left the railway station in Woking. I had read that there was a Martian Fighting Machine described by H G Wells in his book The War Of The Worlds erected in the town center. I walked down a road deserted of shoppers and with not very inspiring shops, having really no idea of which direction to take, only presupposing that any artwork would perhaps be in the town center.
Hawker Hunter Woking

Hawker Hunter Woking

As I rounded a corner my eyes caught sight of a jet fighter mounted on a large metal pole. Why was it mounted in the center of Woking I could not find out from asking local people, only that once it had been a indoor showpiece of the nearby Big Apple family entertainment centre. One window cleaner I talked to, said he had worked and lived in the area for fifteen years and had no idea what it was all about. I have later found out that it is thought to be the very last Hawker Hunter ever built.
Then down the road from the corner of my eye, (thank you Phillip’s Sausage), I saw the Martian Fighting Machine.
Martian Fighting Machine Woking

Martian Fighting Machine Woking

Martian Fighting Machine Micheal Condron

Martian Fighting Machine Micheal Condron

With very little information about the sculpture I took my time viewing this work by Michael Condron. Smaller than I imagined, some 7m (23′) tall, the sculpture seemed to be in the wrong place to honour one of Woking’s greatest authors.
A quick tour of the shops and a cup of hot chocolate and I was back on a train home, not knowing much more than when I started my afternoon trip. But now a little seed has been planted to research why the Hawker Hunter has been placed outside a rather seedy looking Big Apple family entertainment centre.

The Martians Are Coming

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As people who have attended my training courses around the world know, I have one love, and that is the H G Wells story of The War of the Worlds.

Along with story Jeff Wayne long ago created the musical The War of the Worlds, and I can loose myself in masterpiece of music and song wrapped around a fantastic story.
Set in the UK in the late 19th Century, in the area I live in Surrey, H G Wells tells the story of how earth is invaded by Martians. H G Wells weaves his story around his intimate knowledge of the area of Woking and Horsell Common, Leatherhead, Shepperton, Walton, Sheen, and so on.
I get lost in Jeff Wayne‘s two CD musical, with the striking voice of Richard Burton as the voice of the journalist telling the story, mixed in with dramatic song and music.
Durring my many years of listening and reading The War of the Worlds, I had also heard how late one Sunday evening in 1938, mass hysteria swept across America, as a play was acted-out on the then new medium of radio. People fled their homes, telephone switchboards were engulfed with panicked citizens demand to know what they should do to avoid the invasion.
In his book, The Martians Are Coming, Alan Gallop tells the story of the actor Orson Welles had entered into the profession of acting. Orson Welles soon became well known on stage for his voice and acting abilities, for his passion for adapting plays and books into plays that he could produce and often star in.
It was with a theatrical producer, John Housman, that Orson Welles set-up the Mercury Theatre, to stage plays, and this allowed Welles to pursue his acting career, which he did along side his radio work. The pair were approached by a radio company to broadcast a one hour play each week to be heard all over America.
Welles would take a book and adapt it to become a radio play using the actors from the Mercury Theatre On Air group. The programmes were not a roaring success, but they were listened to.
The night before Halloween in October 1938, Orson Welles had decided to broadcast The War of the Worlds, and the now in place writer, Howard Koch, struggled with taking the original work of H G Wells work set in England, and make it relevant to the ears of the American listeners.
It was decided that the scene should be set in the USA, and Koch purchased a map and chose the site of the landing of the first cylinder from Mars to be Wilmuth Farm, Grover’s Mill in New Jersey.
The play was based on the premise that a music program was to be interrupted by news flashes from the scene of the landing, having interviews with professors and politicians, and following the progress of the Martians in their three legged fighting machines through to New York, reeking havoc and death on their way.
Although, an announcement was made at the beginning, at the end and during the play that is was fiction, many listeners tuned-in missing these messages, and those assumed that the USA was being attacked by Martians, and thus spread panic and rumours amongst the population.
Not knowing what was happening outside the CBS radio broadcasting studios, Orson Welles and his fellow actors and musicians continued, reeking more havoc.
This book gives the background and facts to this 1938 happening, showing how human beings can be so influenced, how we can take a little piece of information and this become the truth. How unrelated situations, in this case Hitler and the chance of Germany invading other countries in Europe can be brought in to create panic. (See Cat on the Mat).
It was from here that Steven Spielberg created his film version of The War of the Worlds. NOw, I think a new film version be produced, based truly on the book of H G Wells, in the UK, using the countryside and towns written. For me the original story is far more gripping, and after all, America did not win the war against the Martians.

Sometimes Time Flies

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For some time now I have not posted any blog, any thoughts, any comments, any news.

Why?
I have no idea.
Perhaps I have become lazy. Perhaps I have been distracted. Perhaps I have had other things to do. Perhaps I have no time.
I do not think any of the above is the reason why, but sitting here in Italy, waiting for my next course to start tomorrow on Coaching, I have had time to reflect on what has been happening in my life over the last few months, something I have not done for a long time, and I realised that I had been distracted away from things I liked to do, like writing an article here on my blog.
Often we are distracted from our normal routine, by a family crisis, a work problem, a domestic problem, a person who needs help, and it is right that we should devote time and effort to those distractions, but, there comes a time when those distractions resolve themselves, and we can get back to normality.
Perhaps I can now return to normality as many of my distractions appears to have been resolved.
I am back.

PhotoReading in Milano 2012

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Milan PhotoReading

Milan PhotoReading

Eighteen people attended the PhotoReading course  in the Golf Residence Hotel, Opera, Milano.Coach4Life

Three wonderful days, where each participant brought into the course five books, each of 300 pages, and during the weekend they got through six books, plus articles, plus ate and slept, plus listen to me.
I think some of them came in on the first day thinking that it would be impossible to absorb such an amount of information, especially from four of their books that they had never read and did not even know the subject.
What a surprise then for many, when on the last afternoon, they gave a presentation to their fellow participants about those four books that they had no knowledge of on the first day.
It was a joy for me to stand back and listen to them talking and answering questions with such authority, and those listening were amazed at the knowledge being shown.
My only problem was my flight that evening was once again delayed leaving Milan’s Linate airport, meaning a late arrival back in the UK. But it was worth it especially as I read this on Facebook :-
Ecco il gruppo di Photoreading! 

18 nuovi Fotolettori che hanno assorbito e “cantato” il contenuto di ben 5 libri….un totale di circa 1500 pagine in 3 giorni. 
Compliments and greetings to our great trainer Phillip Holt for his performance and hard work!”

 
    or translated
Here is the Group of Photoreading! 
18 new Fotolettori that have absorbed and “sang” the contents of as many as 5 books …. a total of approximately 1500 pages in 3 days. Compliments and greetings to our great trainer Phillip Holt for his performance and hard work!

Synchronicity, Bletchley Park, History Unfolding

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It was in the 1920’s that the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung first described the the terminology of synchronicity, saying that when two or more events occur together or are linked when there is no apparent reason for them to be linked at that time, things come together by what seems chance, this is synchronicity.

It was early one Sunday morning, the British clock system had been adjusted back to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) that morning, that meant that my clock showed 7:30am, but my body said it was 8:30am, and I had nothing meaningful to do and wide awake.
As a Radio Ham (G8YJQ), I had heard of the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) National Radio Centre based in Bletchley Park, the war-time home of secret code breaking and the birthplace of the first modern computer. I decided to visit the National Radio Centre.
I often like to revisit the basics, to start again to review, as if I knew nothing about a subject, as it reinforces the foundations of expertise, to pick-up knowledge missed along the way of learning a subject.
I joined a group of visitors, as toured the radio exhibition very quickly, leaving me in their wake as I read the documentation written about the displays, which they skipped over. The exhibition was quite small and a little disappointing to me, so I had finished my visit very quickly, even after a long conversation with a guide and another radio ham.
I decided to visit the rest of the Bletchley Park facility again as I had travelled a long way, to see if the model aircraft of the Italian aircraft (Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero) I had donated, had been used in their exhibition, and no it had not been used, to revisit, to reinforce and relearn what I knew about the site and its’ history.
I joined another small group of people of many nationalities, and we met in the main house to hear the initial opening lecture about the code breakers, setting the scene for the tour. Even though I had heard this talk before, it had been with another guide, and he gave us information new to me. As we wondered around the site, new information was being imparted, especially about the decoding Bombe machines, I had never understood how they worked, I had a concept, but now after the guides talk, I was beginning to understand.
That reminded me of something I had learnt when I first started in the computer field in 1963, sometimes you don’t need to know how something works to use it.
We eventually visited the National Museum of Computing housed in buildings of part of Bletchley Park.
Here the guide explained about Tunny code breaking machines, or as it is also known, the German Lorenz SZ42 cipher-machines.
Two new “Ah Ha” moments came to me, that the cipher machines Enigma and the Lorenz used by the German’s to encrypt messages ran side by side in the Second World War, being two separate systems or methods of transmission of a message, one being morse code the other being teleprinter.
The second “Ah Ha” moment came as I realised that I had heard and read about Lorenz in two different contexts, one was for the equipment to encode messages I was viewing, and the other was for the beams of radio waves the German aircraft to fly along and used to locate targets to bomb in the UK during the war. Both the encrypting machine and the beams were made by the German manufacturer Lorenz, but people had when speaking about the systems, had truncated or missed off what Lorenz model they were talking about, just like saying it was a Ford, but what model Ford, was it a car, was it a transit van?
As we walked around listening and learning, a couple in our group were talking about papers and artefacts that had been left to them by the husband’s now deceased mother and father, and that some of the letters were now making sense, they now realised that they had been written to and by people who had worked in Bletchley Park. These people at Bletchley Park in the Second World War had been sworn to secrecy at to what they were working on, what they were doing or even where they were, many taking their secrets with them to their graves many decades later. I now regret not asking my now departed Uncle Frank about his work in the 2nd World War, because as I research more, I believe he may have had had some dealing with the Bletchley Code Breakers.
Also, the couple told me that they had in their possession, left by the father, many old thermionic valves and parts used by the Post Office in the UK who used to run the telephone service.
Passing on from the Tunny Gallery, we passed into the Colossus Gallery, showing a reconstructed decoding machine, the worlds first digital semi-programmable computer, designed and built by Tommy Flowers, a telephone engineer, who took standard telephone switching gear, thermionic valves and other bits and pieces, to build this worlds first computer of it’s type.
As we listened to our guide about how the British Government, after the finish of the 2nd World War, did not want the secret be known by other powers and especially the Russians of Colossus, and apart from two machines which were sent to the Secret Service’s headquarters at GCHQ, all other machines were destroyed, along with paperwork, designs and drawings.
Colossus Bletchley Park

Colossus Bletchley Park

It was only a few years ago that a group of enthusiasts led by Tony Sale, who gathered information from photographs, people who worked on the Colossus, and those you built and maintained them, that rebuilt what we can see today, a working Colossus which can decipher and work as the originals did, and does so for visitors to see today.

Colossus valves Bletchley Park

Colossus valves Bletchley Park

 

When our guide had finished his talk, the couple’s eyes were alive, as they had some parts, letters, paperwork, documents and some knowledge from the father, who they now realised had worked with Tommy Flowers on the original Colossus, and I urged them to go and speak to one of the guides who I knew had worked on the rebuild and was now sitting in a small office near to the working computer.
I think at first reluctantly the guide listened to them, but he became interested, as here was new knowledge being delivered, and so off they went to another area of the exhibition, only to return with a framed photograph of Tommy Flowers, and in that photograph was the father.
I was witnessing the discovery of new knowledge, the recovery of history.
Leaving Bletchley Park, and a almost two hour journey, I arrived home and settled down to a wonderful hot chilli con carne meal I had made, and switched on the TV. To my surprise the BBC were showing a Timewatch series, “Codebreakers: Bletchley Park’s Lost Heroes“, the story of code breaking and the Colossus, reinforcing what I had learned not a few hours earlier.
Synchronicity. If I had not been bored and decided to rekindle my Ham Radio interests, to visit the National Radio Centre, which happened to be at Bletchley Park, and if I had not continued to do another tour of the park, I would not have had those “Ah Ha” moments, seen many more things, and learnt so much more, meet the couple who had a direct connection to Colossus through the father and Tommy Flowers, then see the TV program.

Wrong telephone number

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For the last two days my mobile phone has been hot with calls, but they were not business calls.

In England and Wales, our police force which are split into regions, will soon be overseen by commissioners for police and crime, one elected person per region.
Apart from The London Metropolitan Police Force, which has Mayor Boris Johnson as the “overseer” or “commissioner”, the people of England and Wales will be voting for representatives for these new posts, and as this is the first time any such post has been created, people have questions, so a help-line telephone number has allocated, a freephone number.
Unfortunately, people ringing this freephone number were forwarded to my mobile number.
I have spoken to so many nice people, who were asking me questions about the vote, about the candidates, the system, which I have no knowledge about, and it has been quite a change from all those “cold callers” trying to sell me computer virus checking on my PC which I do not have, I am an Apple user, and companies trying to sell me their services to recover money from banks that I have not spent on protection schemes for loans I have never had.
It took me two hours to find a person at the , who would listen to my problems of receiving their calls on my mobile.
It is a pity I cannot charge the Home Office for my time and telephone charges I have incurred, but then I have had many nice conversations today.

The Society Of NLP Practitioner, Milan

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Society NLP Practitioner Golf Hotel Milan

Society NLP Practitioner Golf Hotel Milan

It has been some time since my last blog, but that is not because I have not been inactive, far from it I have not had much time on my hands.
Today is the last day of the Society of NLP Practitioner Course being held in the Golf Residence Hotel in Milan. Coach4Life.
Once again, the Italian participants have been a joy to work with and to pass-on my knowledge to.
It has been since the early 1990’s that I have been coming to Italy sometimes on a monthly basis, to give courses, and it has made me happy to see participants rise to fame themselves in the training field.
Breakfast in Bed Golf Hotel Milan

Breakfast in Bed Golf Hotel Milan

But what happiness this morning, my last morning, a knock on my bedroom door, and there waiting for me was my breakfast on a tray.
Thank you guys for arranging my breakfast in bed.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Barge

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A quick bus ride from Kingston upon Thames to another town downstream on the River Thames, took me to Richmond upon Thames.
Looking down from the old Richmond Bridge to the boats moored on the banks of the Thames, I was taken aback at the sight of the Royal Barge, being prepared for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee river pageant to be held on June 3rd.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge at Richmond upon Thames.
Costing £1m, this 28.6m (94ft) barge called Gloriana, powered by 18 oarsmen, will head the river pageant from Wandsworth to Tower Bridge, leading it is estimated 1,000 boats carrying some 20,000 people. It has been said it will take one and a half hours for the pageant to pass any one point.
Covered, in parts, with gold leaf, the vessel sparkled in the sunlight.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge showing the Royal Crest.  
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge showing the stern crest. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Barge showing the gold leaf lion.

I wish boat I once owned, Mr Toots, had looked like The Royal Barge.

There Once was an Ugly Duckling

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Walking along the Thames Path from Kingston upon Thames towards Richmond upon Thames, a sight took me back to a story by Hans Christian Andersen, a story that was told to me as a small boy, and to a song sung by Danny Kaye.

There Once was an Ugly Ducking
The Ugly Duckling
This little ball of fluff had three other siblings with it, not really standing out from the surrounding landscape, and it made me think of the work, my career, I have found myself involved with for nearly twenty years, and the people I have seen over this period of time.
Back in the 1990’s, 80’s and 70’s, I was an expert in my work, working for computer manufacturers, I had to create computer systems to produce the results customers wanted. The customer would have a problem, perhaps to produce a payroll system, to capture sales figures at the point of sale on the shop floor, to record medical history in a hospital of patients, many many problems, and at that time, there was no packaged software, no apps available to provide them with the solution, so I would have to design, write and develop programs from scratch.
From knowing nothing about a subject, I had to learn what was being done manually by the customer, and transpose that to a computer system, I had to become an expert, to become one of those that had studied and worked in that area for years.
Yet I did not wish to become one of their group, or to replace them with myself.
In the late 1980’s, again I had to become another expert in an area I had no knowledge, to know how the industry of manufacturing windows and doors and the making of glass worked, so that I could support the computer systems that were installed to help the workforce in the factories.
I had a need, the need to gain knowledge, to become an expert, to know what made things work, what were they? That need for knowledge has continued in my life.
In the early 1990’s, I came across NLP, PhotoReading, Mind Maps and hypnosis, and the whole subjects fascinated me, I needed to know what was happening, what were these new ideas, how did they work, how could they make such major changes in people.
I had to understand, to become an expert, and I sought out the best to learn from, the originators.
One of my earliest computer clients, at the start of my working life, at a time I was learning new ideas, when I was honing my skills at becoming an expert, gaining the art of acquiring knowledge, in the 1970’s, there was a company that had been in existence for over 100 years, and they wanted to move from quill pen to a computer. I listened to what they wanted, and produced a design for a computer system from my understanding of what was required.
It was at the presentation of my solution to the partners of the company, that I was told :- “Thank you Phillip, you have shown us a good computer solution, but, we have been doing this work for over one hundred years, and we are not going to change now, go away and come back with what we want.”

I left the presentation deflated, I lost what confidence in myself I had in my abilities, I was not the expert I thought I was.
My manager saw this state I had gotten myself into, and helped me regain my confidence, to go out and acquire the knowledge to become an expert, to understand deeply down how things worked, why were things done in certain ways, what were the reasons certain results were wanted, because my manager saw in me a special person, an expert in the making.
I went back into the client, and with their permission, became one of them, to understand each process, the reasons why those processes were in place, and the results that came out of doing them.
Not only did I look at the client at work and learn, but I sought other companies that were in the same industry, and learnt from them too, adding to my knowledge.
So it has been with my work in NLPPhotoReadingMind Maps and hypnosis, I have continually sought-out knowledge, and with the permission and knowledge of the people I have worked with, incorporated this knowledge into my work, to become the expert, so to teach others.
I have watched others become experts, by taking their time to acquire knowledge and become an expert, to do the 10,000 hours that has been written about by Malcolm Gladwell and Matthew Syed.
Yet, it was at a recent training, that a participant spoke out with a smile on her face, “Now I understand. This is the second time I have done the course, and the first time it made no sense and did not work.”

Puzzled by this statement, I asked her to explain, as I had never seen this person before, this was her first course with me, and I knew that I was the only trainer teaching this subject in the country.
“Oh,” she said, “I went on a course with …………, he was a student of yours and decided to give the course himself, but I did not understand him.”

How many people become “experts” before they have learnt the subjects?
Like the fluffy “Ugly Duckling” in the picture above, we all have to learn, gain knowledge from those around us, like from our parents, our mentors, our teachers, to do our 10,000 hours, before we can blossom out to become the majestic swan.
Swans on the River Thames at Kingston
Majestic Swans from Ugly Ducklings

A surprise meeting

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It is when you have expectations that there could be something around the corner, when you start to look for something unexpected, even at a subconscious level, and perhaps using Phillip’s Sausage, that we are in for some surprises.
It could be looking above the shop windows to the roof-line that we will see some architecture from a bye gone era, unseen by the majority of shoppers, or below the shop front, lying on the footpath, a high valued bank note, or a small coin.
If we spend a little more time just being aware of what else is around us, seeing more than George Miller’s 7+/-2 visual deletion, we can enrich our experiences.
In the photographs below were creatures that I had walked passed not seeing them only five minutes previously, preoccupied in my mind with other issues, it was not until I was walking back having resolved my thoughts and had a relaxed mind that I saw them.

Praying Mantis Malaysia

Praying Mantis Malaysia

 
The first one, a grasshopper was camouflaged in a hibiscus bush whilst I was in Malaysia, and the second again in Malaysia, a praying mantis, its legs held in a strange position, and a look on its’ face as shocked of seeing a strange human as me seeing it.
Grasshopper In Malaysia

Grasshopper In Malaysia

Look beyond what you see, go below the surface level, chunk down, as things are not what they seem to be.