Category Archives: English Sayings

Missing information, Bronze Age.

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A couple of days ago I wrote about Part of history was missing, about how perhaps we are only told as a person, an individual, as a class of students, as a community, as a nation, what those in power want us to know. They miss out what may influence to think one way, and put in things that make us believe another.
I can think back not a few years ago, to a war that split the world.
Without going into the rights or wrongs, I do not want to be involved with that, there are too issues, ifs and buts, I found it incredible to look at the belief systems of others, the understandings of different nations towards that war. Some nations were for it, others were vehemently against it.
If we take the UK (Great Britain), there was a majority for the war, yet in France there was a movement against it. But there is only fifteen miles of sea, a small stretch of water that separates the two countries. Why were the two populations taking or having two different views, understandings or beliefs as to what was going on?
At the time, I was traveling in Italy, and giving a presentation at a big congress in Bologna, housing one of the first universities of the Western World, a beautiful medieval town, full of history. I was told not to leave the congress hall, as there was a strong anti British feeling, and I could come to harm. Of cause I did, to marvel at the wonders of the town.
But why did the town folk (students) of Bologna have such a differing view to the situation than that I had, which was really neither here nor there?
Why were there so many multi-coloured peace flags hanging from balconies and windows? I had not seen one in London.
The answer is what we are being fed by the friends, colleagues, the media, newspapers, TV, radio, the establishments, the politicians, the religious leaders.
We are influenced by what information we are being given, it influences what we believe and understand.
Often there is a lot of missing information, as per the article on the way brain processing information, the deep structure and surface structure of understanding.
On a recent trip to Gaziantep, where I was and do give courses in NLP, Mind Maps and others, my host Mehpare Şayan Kileci of GAP Danismanlik took me to visit a glass museum in the town, Cam Eserler Müzesi. This museum has a glass blowing demonstration areas, fine silverware jewelry making demonstrations, and a museum of glass artifacts second to non.
Cam Eserler Müzesi, Gaziantep, Turkey
Glass Museum, Gaziantep

I was really interested hearing the history of the glass bottles and bowls on display, what they were used for, their odd shapes, but what got me pondering about what I was being told, was what I was taught at school about bronze and the Bronze Age history.
My mind said, and my understanding and belief was, yes there was a Bronze Age in the British history, and as I was told no different, assumed that the discovery of the making of bronze came from Britain. No-one told me that perhaps the discovery of bronze had come from the North Caucasus regions perhaps from the Maykop cultures. 
I had been taught history from the British point on view,
Suddenly my belief system was called into question, here was proof of something different to my understanding. At this museum I began to question my history lessons. There was so much missing in my knowledge.
Later whilst working in Bahrain, I came across a book and was told about white slaves in the British history. Something I was never told about in my history classes. More to follow. 

Wedding Meal

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Weddings are a big celebration time in any country, a time of joy, a time of sadness.

It is a time for joy that two people have chosen to spend their lives together, to share with each other the ups and downs of life, to learn to give to the partner more than you get back, to communicate, to talk.

It is a time of sadness, when one relationship ends and another starts, in that the parents have to learn to let go, that their child has left the nest to find their own tree or place to start a home, to be making their own choices and decisions in life.

It is the same the world over, the only difference is the way the ceremony is conducted.

Mee Len was invited to the celebration meal of the wedding of her old school friend, Mee Siam Ho‘s daughter Su Ann and Teil Hong.

The hotel hall was packed tight with guests, not just one wedding diner, but two, with a small six foot wooden screen dividing the celebrations. The other group seemed to be celebrating with a Karaoke sign along, ours was a more “getting to know you” meal, with old friends and relatives getting together again.

Mee Len had left her schools, The Convent School in Bukit Mertajam  and the MBS (Methodist Boys School) in Penang, many years ago, and Mee Siam had invited many of the old girls to the wedding meal.

Unlike western or European wedding meals which are served on individual plates, the Chinese way is to serve the helpings on a central serving dish in the middle of the table, and those at the table help themselves.

I have often talked in my courses of how a whole fish is served on the central server, and so it was last night.

Pomfret (Tau tay) Fish
Within minutes the flesh of the fish was consumed, leaving just the head and bones, just like a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Pomfret (Tau tay) Fish bones

Another dish served was a suckling pig, a young pig that has only fed on its mother’s
milk. The piglet is killed between the ages of two to six weeks, and roasted, only being served on such special occasions as a wedding diner.
Suckling Pig
Within minutes of the wedding diner being finished, the place was empty, unlike other cultures where there would be dancing and drinking.

Keep your mouth shut

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There is a saying in English which says “keep your mouth shut.

It is what it says, to stay quiet, not to say anything, to keep your thoughts to yourself.

Often it is the best medicine, the best thing to do, because you can “dig the hole deeper“, you can create situations, arguments which get worse and worse, driving the conversation deeper and deeper, entrenching people firmly into their beliefs.

I have found myself on many occasions where I have been in conversation, maybe in the training room, maybe in debates, and I have said something which I believe to be true from my experience, from my life, from my culture, from my religion, only to suddenly realise I have said something wrong, to person or persons I am in conversation with, who disagree with my ideas, as my understanding, my culture does not fit theirs.

It is time like this that I wish I had kept my mouth shut, not said what I did. For now I have upset someone.

But then sometimes, like a fool, I will “stick to my guns“, I will “stand my corner“, I will argue my case, defend my point of view. Not only do I defend my argument, but so does the person I am in conversation with stick with theirs.

What happens next? An argument ensues. People start to get upset, and the more upset they become the “deeper the hole gets“, the worse the argument gets.

I have lost count of the times I have entered a debate, a conversation, only to realise I should not be involved, because our views are so wide, our understandings, our beliefs, our cultures are so wide, that they will never, with all the good will in the world, merge.

I come across this sometimes in my courses. One participant is so anti the subject, does not believe that the subject is right, that the subject is against their morals and culture, that nothing I say is correct.

Why did they enroll on the course in the first place?

It is then that I will suggest that the person leaves the course, and I will refund their fees. (Subject to this occurring on the first day.)

Sometimes I get emails where I am attacked, because my, like others, methods of delivering the subject matter does not fit the ideals of the writer.

I will never win.

If I say black they will say white. If I say white they will say black.

If I say “I like that“, they will say “No, it is terrible“.

Then there are the people who always know better, have done better, been there or done more, always have the best solution, and there can be no other. They do not believe that others can have their point of view, beliefs or culture.

These people know the best restaurants, the best shops, the best way to get from one place to another. They will know which is the best product to buy, the best flower to plant in the garden, and if you say different, then you are in trouble.

I am aware of these people, and sometimes hear myself becoming one, and have to stop myself, to keep my mouth shut.

Yes, one should express a point of view, it should be everyones right, and it should be everyones right to be given that right to express an opinion, and have it that opinion considered.

But when it will lead to arguments, to bad feelings, rightly or wrongly, I will walk away, and keep my mouth shut.

Each and everyone of us will have our own “cat on the mat“, our own beliefs, ways of doing things, as we process information, go on that transderivational search, to make sense of our world.

The trouble is, some peoples cats are so big, they get so involved in their cat, that result is they can only see their cat, it obstructs the view of a big world of possibilities out there.

Our internal voice need to shut-up too

Bob’s your Uncle

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Thank you Ahmad El-bahri for your comment in the article The cost of a telephone call.

The English really do have strange sayings, and often giving courses in non UK countries, I come out with a saying we would intuitively use in the UK, and I get a look of :-

                        “What are you taking about? How am I going to translate that?

from my translator. A look of total confusion colours their faces.

I should not say these phrases, but it all adds to the rich tapestry of the information I an imparting to the participants.

So I have to explain.

Bob’s your Uncle,” is said when an action or explanation is finished or could be finished, in a very easy way.

Perhaps we will be asked to explain how do something, say bake a chocolate cake.

The process of getting the ingredients, mixing them, baking the cake will be explained, and when that explanation has finished the person will signal thats the end, there is no more information to be said with, Bob’s your Uncle“, also implying that there can be no failure in producing the chocolate cake.


Smells Fishy

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When it is said something smells fishy, it seems or indicates there is something wrong, it is out of the ordinary, not following the normal route.

This saying, it smells fishy, is often used for a situation which may or may not involve a person/s. To Smell a Rat is often used to indicate that a person is setting a trap, to do something wrong against another.

Fish for sale in Kingston upon Thames, smelly.

Smell a Rat

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As in the blog Missing days , I mentioned the English saying, To Smell a Rat.

The saying smell a rat means that there is something wrong, something is not right.

It could mean that someone is going to set a trap on another person into doing something that they do not want to do, to manipulate them into doing something or an carry out an action which is wrong.

Perhaps the onlooker or recipiant does not know what is going to possibly happen, but intuition tells them to be aware.


You’ve got to laugh

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I have been very busy these last two months, giving courses and presentations in the UK, Italy, Turkey and Bahrain. I have been educating myself becoming a Master Trainer with the computer software for Mind Maps, iMindMap.

The whole trip was to be three months, lasting until 15th December, but one company canceled the arranged courses I was to do, leaving me a huge bill and difficulty in rearranging flights. Not only have I lost out, but participants have lost-out, some have had to rearrange holidays and work, my translators have also lost work.


So today I am off to the UK for an early bath.

It is no good crying over spilt milk, so you’ve got to laugh.

If you have lost a contract, a loved one, a set of keys, a romance, visit

iMindMap - Free Download

London is

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London is great.

Over the last couple of days, I have been busy, seeing clients, preparing for the Stage Hypnosis Course on 20th and 21st of September 2008 in London, and trying to sort out the rest of the year for the countries I will be visiting to give training sessions, Turkey, Italy, Bahrain, UK etc.

I have had no time to think, which has been good.

When I needed help, mostly it has been there, supporting me, spurring me on, answering my questions, translating emails for me.

But there has been frustrations. With somethings I needed help, but could not find the anyone, I needed answers, but could not find the people or they did not or have not answered me.

Late Friday afternoon I needed to rearrange flights, and the best way was to accomplish it by sitting in front of the people, face to face, so of to Central London I went.

London is quite small really. It is easy to get around, from A to B, via X, by bus, tube, taxi or as we say in the UK,Shanksy’s Pony”.

So from my meeting in New Burlington Street, near Hamley’s Regent Street store, the best know toy shop in the world, on a warm late afternoon, I decided to walk back to Waterloo to catch the train home.

Pushing my way passed the tourists enjoying Piccadilly Circus, standing under Eros, hoping perhaps his arrow of love will capture someone for them, into China Town with a great restaurant for you to visit Wong Kei, out into Leicester Square with all its’ cinemas, then over the River Thames to Waterloo railway station, there is so much to see, and no time to do it in.

If you ever visit London, walk.

Piccadilly Circus from Regent Street, London
Piccadilly Circus from Regent Street, London

Eros in Piccadilly Circus, London
Eros in Piccadilly Circus, London

China Town, London
China Town, London

PS. for my American friends, we British are strange, and we pronounce words not as spelt. So Leicester Square is not pronounced “lie cester“, but “les ter” Square.

Part of Leicester Square, London, home of the British Cinema 
Part of Leicester Square, London

PPS. At the restaurant Wong Kei, do not expect good service with a smile, the waiters will be tell you off, where to sit, what to do, to hurry up, even take the unfinished food from under your nose if you take too long to eat. That is what makes Wong Kei a must to visit for good food at a very cheap price and to have a great time.

Wong Kei Restaurant, China Town London 
Wong Kei Restaurant, China Town London

Try it you might like it.

PhotoReading in Milano

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Sitting here on the dawn of another beautiful, and what will be a very hot day here in England, I can at last sit back and reflect on the previous weeks, and the next couple of weeks in Bahrain with Philip and Leila Edwards.

After a couple of days rest in the UK, and with great difficulty, (I could find no travel agency in the UK which would sell me an Alitalia airline ticket), I booked a ticket on-line with Alitalia an early morning flight to Milan.

I usually take the early morning flight, which lands at 11:30am local time in Milano, that gives me enough time to travel to the hotel, freshen up, and prepare for the start of the PhotoReading course at 2pm. This has great benefits to me, for one it cuts down on hotel fees, gives me an extra night at home, plus there is no chance of jet lag hitting me, as I enter the “presentation” mode.

It was the first time I have provided training and worked with Gianni Golfera, and I had two courses to give, PhotoReading and Mind Maps.

I ask people to bring five books with them on the course, each of about 300 hundred pages. Four of the books should be on the same subject matter, say the Queens and Kings of England, 1492 – 1556, as I know lots of people are interested in that period of English history (not). The fifth book, again about 300 pages, should have been read, and the subject known by the participant.

PhotoReading, Milan May 2008
PhotoReading with 40 participants, Milan 2008.

Unfortunately, this was not relayed to the participants, and as the course requires us to PhotoRead or absorb these five books, plus another book, plus articles at 20,000 – 30,000 words per minute (WPM) or a page a second, I had to send the participants out to buy the required books.

A misconception of people is that once a book is PhotoRead, or the page turning has taken place with the blip page seen, that at a conscious level, they will understand all the book. This is not the case, as we have to activate the knowledge, bring the unconscious learning to the conscious mind the knowing mind, and that is the fun part, and it can go on for hours, days, or even years, as our knowledge and interest grows.

We sometimes get one participant that takes that attitude or has that belief. At times it is easy to change their understanding or paradigm, but some get stuck in the mud, believes that they should remember every single word and its’ position on the exact page. No.

So it was with one participant who despite other participants trying to help him, decided that he had completed the activation stage in ten minutes (four books), and still said he did not understand anything. One out of forty is not bad, but not good enough for me, but you can take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

The rest? Happy faces, they understood, even those who had come all the way from Sardinia, to attend the course free of charge as they had taken it before.

That is the joy of training for me.

I love my job.

One up, all up

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As a young boy, in fact up until I left my parents home to start looking after myself, or in English we would say “flown the nest“, I remember the waking-up process I did.

I refer to one way in particular that involved my mother.

My mother never slept, or that is what she said, but many a night, I would be kept awake by her snoring, something I do not do, snoring that is. She would insist that she had not slept, and nothing would alter her belief.

Although she never slept, there would be different times of the morning she would wake-up, depending on what she would have to do. If I had school, she would be up before me. If it was the weekend, it would be later.

But, if mother was up, then everyone else would have to be up. If mother was asleep, then we had to be quiet. “We” being my father and myself.

It seems to be the same with some of the hotel guests I share the many hotels I stay in.

I have noticed that Middle Eastern families are very close and large often using several rooms. They allow the children to run up and down the corridors late at night, they leave their room doors open, and instead of using the hotel telephone systems or walk to their friends room, insist on shouting, their voices booming through the hotel. And, for some reason, they seem to have to shout to each other, even if they are standing face to face.

The walls of a hotel, are often thin.

My German (I think) next room neighbours, plus their friends, brought back the memories of my mother and previous hotel experiences, as last night at 11:30pm, someone started knocking at the door of the room next door.

This went on for five long minutes, as he shouted his friends name, and banged on the door. Surely after no answer on the first knock he would have realised his friends had left him and gone out, that they were not in.

Then this morning, at 7am, the same person came again, knocking the door, and shouting for his friends, this time in the room.

They could have been in my room, because it sounded like it. As they opened the door, they laughed and talked in loud voices, then headed off to breakfast, banging the door shut.

So OK, I am now awake.

Gives me something to write about.

flown the nest“, is a saying that refers to young birds, that once they have been fledged, the parent birds have finished feeding them, they leave the nest, perhaps never to have anything else to do with their parent birds.