I like you, get many sayings, thought provoking ideas, jokes and junk emails, but sometimes I get one that makes me sit up, to have a “ah” experience, seeing things from another’s point of view.
Today I was sent a poem which gave me a “ah” experience. OK, a bit of a joke poem, but look below the surface level, there may be some truth in there.
Written by an African kid.
When I born, I black
When I grow up, I black
When I go in Sun, I black
When I scared, I black
When I sick, I black
And when I die, I still black
And you white fellow
When you born, you pink
When you grow up, you white
When you go in sun, you red
When you cold, you blue
When you scared, you yellow
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you gray
And you calling me coloured?
It is how we see and understand our world that leads to problems.
It is when we see things from others points of view, put their shoes on, that we see the real world.
See perceptual positions exercise.
For the last few weeks I have been rushing around in the skies between the UK, Turkey and Italy, at enjoying the company of many people both participating in, and helping with the courses and presentations I have given.
At “95”, it appears I am falling apart at the seams.
The zip in my trousers fell apart. So, it was a less expensive suit from Erol in Taxim Square, Istanbul. It was not like my last encounter, (see My Trousers are Undone) with my memory failing me.
The heels of my shoes wearing away whilst in Gaziantep. Now I know why I take glue with me on my travels.
A crown off one of my teeth coming off, and a filling in one of my back teeth falling out.
The handle from my suitcase breaking, a bad design by Samsonite. Then the locking mechanism on another Samsonite suitcase breaking. Good for Samsonite, they replaced that lock free.
The case on my new Philips computer beginning to split.
Will I get paid for the presentations I have done?
Then on a routine blood test I find that my blood sugar levels are a little high. I do not want diabetes, so I must watch my sugar intake. It is difficult when living in hotels and eating in restaurants as I seem to do. So, I was called back to the doctors. Blood pressure fine, a quick check on the blood sugar level seemed reasonable, but then.
I happened to mention a vision problem, not so much a problem but a change. I then find myself in the emergency eye hospital. Now I must await the report on that.
Oh Poo Poo, I am falling apart.
A car boot sale in the UK is a very popular pastime. People with loads of unwanted items, clothes, books, ornaments, trash, you name it, fill up their car with this stuff and gather with other people with unwanted goods, and sell them at very cheap prices.
These meetings or sales are organised and marketed, and they attract many sellers and people searching for bargains.
I love to walk around these car boots, not to buy, just to look, as they have a great atmosphere, and may be there will be something I may spot, an electronic gadget, a book, a tool.
Books that cost £15 in the shops will be sold for 50 pence, and I love books, but they have to be what I want, a subject that interests me, and be of use. Thank goodness for PhotoReading, even at 50 pence, it is not worth buying something that will not be useful to me, plus I am running out of space on my bookshelves.
But now I am glad to get back indoors. I am so cold. A nice cup of tea is now required, English Breakfast tea with milk. That’s better.
Today whilst I had spare time, it seemed today was a lot of spare time, I listened to a piece of music I had not heard since I was a boy. It was Peter and the Wolf.
Sergei Prokofiev in 1936, was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow to write a new musical symphony for children. This symphony was completed in four days by Prokofiev and was first performed on May 2nd of the same year 1936.
It tells of a small boy, Peter, who was staying with his grandfather in Russia. His bedroom overlooked a meadow and a mysterious forest.
As I listen to the music, my mind went back to a client I saw recently, his name can be Peter too. He was having relationship problems with a loved one, they were not seeing eye to eye. It seemed that Peter’s partner was beginning to not believe what Peter said anymore. Peter said certain things would happen, had happened, were happening, and they never happened.
The partner had built great expectations up on what Peter had said, only to become confused and frustrated, eventually saying “oh yes” to anything Peter said.
It appeared that Peter also had a lot of “pain”, or would say something was painful, or hurt, giving out utterances such as “ouch”, or would flinch when touched.
In Peter and the Wolf, there are certain characters, each depicted or played by instruments of the orchestra, with the story being narrated by an actor.
* Peter is played by the stings of the orchestra
* the wolf is played by the French horns
* the bird is played by the flute
* the duck is played by the oboe
* the hunter is played by the timpani drums
* the grandfather is played by the bassoon
* the cat is played by the clarinet
Early every morning, as the sun’s rays crept through the curtains, Peter would be up and out into the yard, which had a big wall and gate to stop Peter entering the dangers of the meadow and forest.
There was a large tree in the yard which had a big branch reaching out into the meadow, which Peter loved to climb. In the middle of the meadow was a pond.
One morning whilst sitting on the branch a little bird began to sing a happy tune which made both very happy, the bird flying over the pond.
As the bird flew, he saw a duck swimming in the pond keeping cool. They did not like each other and tormented one another, saying the duck was not a bird as it could not fly, and the bird was not a bird because it could not swim.
The two argued about who was the best, and did not notice the cat creeping up to eat the bird. It was Peter who saw the cat and shouted a warning to the bird who flew out of harms way, landing o the branch of the tree with Peter. The cat realising that it was not worth climbing the tree, settled at it’s base for a sleep.
The grandfather hearing the commotion, told Peter what a bad place the meadow was, with dangerous animals, and made Peter go back in the yard.
At that time, the wolf came into the meadow. The bird saw the wolf and chirped a warning, making the cat run up the tree, but the duck left the safety of the pond and waddled across the meadow.
The wolf quickly caught the duck and swallowed it whole.
The wolf now sat at the base of the tree waiting for the cat or the bird to make a mistake. But Peter had a plan, he would catch the wolf, so he asked the bird to distract the wolf.
The bird flew over the wolf’s nose many times, enough to distract the wolf allowing Peter to snare the wolfs’ tail with a rope. The more the wolf struggled the tighter the rope got.
As the wolf struggle some hunters came out of the wood, and were about to shoot the wolf, when Peter shouted at them to spare the wolf’s life and take him to the zoo so everyone could see this animal. So off they paraded the wolf as they took him to the zoo, the villagers proud of Peter, but the grandfather knowing that there were dangers in the forest.
It is a loverly piece of music and narration, and it reminds me of another small child and a wolf.
Every night the child went to bed, and as the parents went downstairs to rest, the child would shout, “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”. Just to draw the attention of the parents.
The parents would race to the aid of the child, to save it from the wolf, but each time they got to the bedside, there was no wolf.
The child continued to call out, “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”, and the parents would go to the bedside knowing there would be no wolf.
One night, a wolf crept towards the house looking for food, and saw the child in bed.
The child cried out “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”, and the parents took no notice of the cries.
The wolf ate the child.
Ten years ago, we gave up living on a boat, our Dicken’s Class 50′ ocean going vessel named Mr Toots, (click to see), and swapped her, with a friend Richard Morris, for our flat. Where are you now Richard?
The first clue obviously is that the estate is in the village or district of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, (Click to view film), called Norbiton, south west of London, and within the M25 motorway.
Another clue is a blue plaque on the outer wall of the flats which says:-
HERE FORMALLY STOOD NORBITON HALL
BUILT IN THE 16TH CENTURY ON LOVEKYN’S CHAPEL LAND
IT HAS BEEN THE RESIDENCE OF
MR ANTONY BENN
THE COUNTESS OF LIVERPOOL
I decided to research in the library and museum. What was here before these flats?
The first records I found for Norbiton was for 1174 when Henry II bestowed the Manor of North Barton to the Knights of Anjou. The word Barton I suspect being derived from the Saxon word “beartun”, meaning to store grain.
In 1309 Edward Lovekyn founded Lovekyn Chapel, still standing and in use opposite the end of Old London Road, and standing in the grounds of Tiffins Grammar School, at the start of London Road. It is said that most of the lands in the area belonged to Lovekyn at that time.
The plaque on the wall of the chapel says :-
“The Lovekyn Chapel founded 1309 by Edward Lovekyn bailiff and member of the butchers’ company of Kingston: rebuilt and re-endowed 1352 by John Lovekyn stock-fishmonger and Alderman and four times Lord Mayor of London: confiscated to the Crown 1535 granted to the Kingston Grammar School 1561 by Queen Elizabeth.”
There is mentioned that in 1532 a certain Mr Erasmus Ford who owned the land, complained bitterly to King Henry VIII, as some of King’s men had cut down 35 prime elms, it is presupposed to help built Hampton Court, which is not far away from Norbiton and Kingston, up the River Thames.
The Evelyn family in 1588 used the property to store and make gunpowder.
What building existed then could not be found, but there is reference of a building in 1631 as being newly built in brick and had 13 hearths. There is mention of the Jenkinson family owning Norbiton Hall in 1681 when major renovation and alteration was undertaken, saying that 43 persons could be comfortable sat for diner.
There were two large estates in the area, the one I researched Norbiton Hall, and the other which should not be confused with the Hall, which was Norbiton House or Place, the two estates divided by the London Road. Both areas prior to the 19th century being primarily agricultural land.
Norbiton Hall‘s grounds were to the north of London Road, the road was said prior to adoption by the local authority a difficult place to negotiate, as carts would become stuck for hours from the resultant mud and ruts after rain.
Norbiton House or Place was to the south of London Road, bordered by Cambridge Road and Coombe Road. The house and grounds were palatial, with the owner a rich merchant, a Mr Pallmer, trading in the West Indies, spending most of his money on the estate, eventually becoming bankrupt. He would open the grounds for the public to enjoy at weekends. The house was of more grandeur than the buildings at Norbiton Hall, having 23 hearths.
Opposite Norbiton Hall is St Peters Church, which was built in 1842 by Gilbert Scott in the Norman Style.
It was at this time that big changes started to occur in the area. By 1838 the Enclosure Commissioners alloted land from Norbiton Hall for development, and with the introduction of the railway line to Kingston and Maldon, the Norbiton Hall estate was split into two and got smaller. By 1873 there was only 12 acres left, and in 1882-4 the then owner drove a road though the estate calling it Birkenhead Avenue, named after the families favourite town. Land was sold in small plots to build houses adjoining the new Avenue.
In 1829 the estate was purchased by Mary, Countess of Liverpool, and her cousin Robert Jenkinson who was Lieutenant of Dover Castle, a well to do man, and was known as the squire. He died in the mid 1850s. The Countess died 1846. Lord Liverpool who died a year before the purchase was Prime Minister for 15 years, and was responsible for the erection of Kingston Bridge, the first stone being laid 1825 and opened 1828, replacing an earlier bridge which was documented crossing the Thames since 1219.
Norbiton Hall was acquired from John Guy 1864 by William Hardman, for 8000 guineas, he was to become Mayor of Kingston, magistrate and recorder, and was knighted in 1885. As a justice he had rooms in the hall which he used to hear cases against local villains on a daily basis.
In 1884 Norbiton Hall was advertised for sale with 4 servants bedrooms, 5 best bedrooms, dressing and bathroom, drawing dining morning and billiard room, library breakfast room. But the grounds were only 2 acres left and sold in lots.
A Mr E J Cave lived in the house for an annual rent of £200, and in 1884 brought the house for £3500, but it went into a long decline.
In 1933 a planning application was submitted for the land to be to become a dog racing track but was rejected by council, and subsequently by the government on appeal. Soon after the hall was demolished to make way for the 192 to flats as we see them today.
The back of Norbiton Hall, in Birkenhead Avenue.
Same position about 1925 with post box and tram lines
Norbiton Hall c. 1930
Old Photographs Copyright R.H.Byran
Reproduced with permission and fee from
Kingston Museum April 2007
See a film of Kingston upon Thames taken on a sunny day in April 2007, click here.
Today was nearly a full day away from the office or school.
I was delivering a Mind Map and Memory course at a major communications company in Turkey. Sixteen employees finding out that they can remember 14 random items by just listening to them once, the planets, how to construct a Mind Map as originated by Tony Buzan.
Yes guys I had a burger but not from McDonnell’s, but from a Turkish takeaway.
The English session in the morning of NLP was not run, and due to the course I was running out of the school, but they the participants, had a rest.
They settled down to a lunch time session but I was not there. As they closed their eyes, my voice was with them, we played my CD of The Castle (buy it by clicking here) .
The drive back to my apartment took nearly two hours, much quicker to take the ferry.
In my mind as we drove back, I thought of those that were doing things I was not, perhaps being with friends eating a meal, something I cannot do, I do not have time, if I did, I would need to relax, but that is seen as not being social, or not etiquette.
The time to leave the office/training facilities in Kadikoy, Istanbul came and I ventured into the cold afternoon to travel back to my accommodation in Taxim Tunel.
Taxim Square is if you like the Piccadilly Circus, the Leicester Square, the Times Square for Istanbul, many mass meetings are held there, with a large presence of riot clad police in attendance, it is where people meet, lovers, families and friends, a of fun, happiness. It draws people in via the buses, yellow taxis, the short Metro only perhaps six stations. Taxim Hill is a pedestrian only shopping area, recently being repaved (twice), with a twin trolley/tram service passing each other midway.
At the far end, where I stay is Tunel. This is a tunnel that links this part of Istanbul to the lower area near the Bosphorus called Karakoy, from here I catch the ferry to the other side. This tram tunnel the world’s second oldest metro was built in 1871. Again a twin tram system passing in the middle. The whole ride lasting only a couple of minutes (1.5). No chance of missing a station there are only two. But, it save a long hard and steep walk from the ferry to my flat.
Half way across the Bosphorus, we passed a large ship heading towards the Black Sea, to my amazement racing along side was a pod of dolphins breaking water as the swam against the strong current flowing towards the Aegean Sea. The dolphins swam at ease with each other, the never seem to make a mistake, make a wrong turn, hit an object, they are one with their surroundings, their environment. Why do we humans make so many mistakes, make the wrong decisions? We have much to learn about what is happening around us. For those who have worked with me, remember Phillips sausage.
It has been said that you can eat an elephant, perhaps that is how I considered writing this blog, too big a task.
I had a participant on a Stage Hypnosis course who suggested that with all the travel I do, to so many countries, I should put my experiences down, my thoughts, my in-sights. Who would want that? Well many people. So here goes.
Perhaps I can eat an elephant, if I eat it one bite at a time.