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A cold wintery start to the NLP Practitioner

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Today I started an NLP Practitioner course in Gaziantep, in southern Turkey, and it was a cold start.

I woke up before the alarm clock went off as usual, again my subconscious mind making sure I would have plenty of time to get ready. I tried the bedside light, but nothing happened. Then I tried the main bedroom light, still nothing.
Oh Poo Poo, no electricity and no heating.
I checked the hot water tap, and it was just about warm, and I needed a shower, so there was nothing for it but to grit my teeth and risk a cool cold shower. It certainly took my breath away, but I was very much awake.
It was even colder when I went outside, a fresh fall of snow covered the ground, leaving the trees that lined the road very picturesque.

Thank goodness the venue was warm along with the participants. A good start to the course.

Snow comes to the UK

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I have been back in the UK now for seven days, leaving Malaysia on Chinese New Years day, the Year of the Ox.

My annual tax return had to be submitted by the 31st January, and I had meetings to attend, so I left the high temperatures and humidity, for the cold winter weather of the UK. I personally like the colder climate, as I can sit in front of a warm fire, cuddle up in a warm duvet, or go out walking, wrapping up in warm clothes, adding more as needed. The trouble with the hot climates that I can take no more clothes off as I work in the garden, the neighbours would object.

Today we are in for snow storms here in London. Already one of my meetings has been cancelled for tonight, as all buses have been cancelled, trains and underground distrusted, flights from the major UK airports coming to a standstill with flights canceled. Well, there will be few passengers as travelers cannot get to the airports anyway.

This is one thing strange about the UK. A little bad weather and the country comes to a virtual stop. Schools are closed, shops do not open, meetings are canceled. The British cannot cope with weather. The UK is not the only country that cannot take changes in weather. Turkey for example nearly comes to a stop if it rains.

Just to show those not in the UK, here are a couple of photographs taken today from the flat window.

Snow laying in London Road, Norbiton, Kingston upon Thames
Snow laying in London Road, Kingston upon Thames.
Who woke me up so early at 5am in the morning?
Snow laying in London Road, Kingston upon Thames
Snow laying in London Road, Kingston upon Thames.
9am in the morning, 2nd February 2009

Snow laying in the gardens of Norbiton Hall

Snow laying in the gardens of Norbiton Hall.

See other pictures of same view of London Road in the floods. Click here.
More snow to follow I am told.

Part of history was missing

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Life has been one learning curve, and the more I learn, the more I know I do not know.

There are times when I am frustrated with my lack of knowledge on a subject that others can freely talk about. Times when I cannot converse with others because of my lack of language skills.
There are times when I listen to others talking on a subject that they have little or no knowledge about, yet they talk as if they are the world’s expert, filling listeners with their views, resulting in rubbish, misinformation being passed on.
I remember my mother saying “Oh I will not eat that, I know I wont like it, my friend said it was horrid.”
When I asked, “Have you tried it yourself, you might like it?
Her reply would be, “No I have not tried it. I know I wont like it.” 
I endevour to try everything, anything, to enrich my knowledge, learn new ways, learn new ideas, perhaps that is why I have such a rich portfolio of training skills I can offer to clients and participants, I am always adding to my knowledge.
If I have tried something and did not like it, at least I can speak with knowledge and say “no thank you”, or I can give an informed view from my perspective, my understanding.
I thought I had a good education. but I was I suppose lazy in that I could have learned more. Perhaps if I had knuckled under at college and spent more time learning the French language, I would not have the problems I have now in speaking other tongues.
But I was only taught what was on the school Curriculum, what the teachers were told to teach us. As a result I came away with a certificate which said I had a knowledge of history, I was educated. 
I thought I knew it all. I was an expert, after all, I had my certificate.
How wrong I was.
I was taught and had read about the Second World War. I had listened to my Uncles and their stories about what had happened to them in that war, my Uncle Vernon in his scout truck racing through France. My Uncle Frank who was in the Signals Unit of the RAF (Radio Operator) in the Nordic countries, but he never spoke about his war, I never knew that part of his history. Why would an RAF person be based in a foreign country, and would never talk about his experiences?.
I had watched the big movies of the 2nd World War. Reach For The Sky, The Dam Busters, 633 Squadron, Battle of Britain to name a few.
I thought I knew it all.
Last year I started looking into the British WW2 fighter aircraft, the Spitfire and the Hurricane, and read books, researched, visited museums, talked to ex pilots, and yes I know I have only just scratched the surface. I read about the war in Africa, and how the island of Malta was very important strategically and had to be defended at all costs against the German and Italian forces. How the Hurricane aircraft was sent to Malta to defend the skies. How the Hurricanes began to win the war, pushing the enemy back into mainland Europe.
Once the enemy was back in Europe how the British gained a foothold in Italy or to be precise Sicily, and the Hurricanes gained the upper hand against the Italian Airforce.
I was relating my new knowledge, or lack of knowledge to my good Italian friend and colleague Gianni Golfera, discussing what I was learning about our mutual past history and interests in aircraft, and mentioned about the Hurricanes in Sicily, and the white slave trade, (more to follow), that had affected many European countries in the early 1600’s to the late 1700’s. Gianni had heard nothing of them, but he knew a man who did, his Grandfather.
A few days later, Gianni contacted me to verify what I had told him was correct. There had been a big white slave market in Europe which also involved Italians, and that the Hurricanes had been in Sicily. His Grandfather had been an Italian Fighter pilot, and had been involved in air battl
es with the Hurricane.
He told how his Grandfather was flying on patrol over the sea near Sicily one day, when he was attacked by two Hurricanes. Gianni’s Grandfather flew for his life and dived to sea level followed down by the two British Hurricanes. Due to miscalculation, due to inexperience of the British pilots, both Hurricanes crashed into the sea, Gianni’s Grandfather was safe.
No where in all the books I read was there any mention about the lost of these two Hurricanes. There was plenty written about how good the Hurricanes were. So were the Hurricanes as good as I had read? Were there flaws? Was what I was reading one sided? Was I only being told what the powers that be (educators, the governments) or the author wanted me to know?
Why are we told what others want us to know, and only that? Why is there so much missing from our history lessons?
Do we know it all?
Hang on. A white slave market?  More to follow.

What a difference

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I have just received a couple of photographs from Istanbul to make me feel really uncomfortable here in Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia.

The humidity is really so high, I can feel the water in the air as I breath in. It has been raining which adds to the humidity.

But the temperature is so high too.

Too much for me. I have a fan and an air conditioner working, with my shirt undone, yet I am still sweating.

Oh for a bit of Istanbul.

Snow from an office window in Istanbul 30/12/08

There is a start and an end

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This morning here in Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia, I am awoken once again by the first call to prayer. The Mosque is a long way from Desa Palma where the house is, but there is only one tree I think between loudspeakers on my eardrums, so there is a direct sound flow. Again he had turned the volume up so much, he was getting feedback, a high whistle.

Laying in bed, knowing that the sun would soon usher away the dark night, I wonder if I am the person he manages to wake up at such an hour. Many times on previous first calls I have looked out of the window, and never seen any lights go on as worshipers prepare themselves. I wonder how many understands him, as most of his talks seem to be in Arabic.

I take three deep breathes to stay calm and not get agitated by such an early awakening (5:30am) Perhaps I may manage to go back to sleep. If I stay calm, the prayers will end, and peace will descend upon me again.

Then the birds start their early morning calls, replacing the night insects chirping.

It seems there is a conspiracy to keep me awake, as the early morning workers on their Honda 50 motorbikes, pop, pop, pop, passed the bedroom window. The odd workers bus, with no exhaust system to silence the noisy diesel engines. The workers are off to start their working day.

Oh Poo Poo, there is nothing for it, but get up, and start my day.

Perhaps Jean-Daniel has added more to the debate we were having on the blog about NLP and PhotoReading. But it seems our dialog may have ended, there is no message.

Maybe there will not be a “Obama and Hillary” alliance, it had ended before it had even started.

I go out into the garden and look for my new friend I gained in the last week.

We have spend ages just looking at each other, there is no conversation, but that is no barrier, there has been no physical contact, we have just being there, being together, confident that we were safe with each other.

I have become quite fond of my new friend. It has not gone too far as I know my friend has their own life to get on with, but I just love being there together just for a while.

I search and search, but my friend is not there. I feel quite empty, lost.

Have I lost my friend?

Have they found another?

I know every thing will eventually come to an end, but this relationship had only just started. There is so much I want to learn, somehow this relationship left right.

I will look again tomorrow. Hopefully I will get a message, some sign that at least they are there.

My friend the lizard

Good friends are hard to come by sometimes.

Singapore Airlines A380

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Last week had been quite busy with meetings, but I had no courses to give or clients booked from now until Christmas.

My plans had been squashed, as courses had been canceled, and people I had asked to be with me had not answered my requests, so rather than sit by myself in Norbiton Hall, Kingston upon Thames, I once again traveled into the West End of London, looking at the shops and streets, and decided on the spur of the moment to fly to Malaysia.

It was a grand opportunity to fly on Singapore Airlines new A380 aircraft, but try as I could I could not get a seat on the upper deck. I had been told that seat rows 71 – 78 are good seats, and row 80 as the latter is an exit seat so lots of leg room. The upper deck I am told has a row configuration of 2-4-2, whereas the main lower deck has a row configuration of 3-4-3.

Singapore Airlines A380 at Changi Airport

As I like a window seat, I often find myself locked into my seat by the two people sleeping next to me in the 3-4-3 configuration, so no pee pee’s.

Eventually, Friday evening I was able to log onto the web site of Singapore Airlines to book-in and choose a seat. But what I was shown was a seat booked for me, 46K, at least a window seat, but the rest of the seats fully booked, taken.

Boarding the aircraft was a dream, so quickly, even with over 470 passengers, and the seats are wide, comfortable, with plenty of leg room.

The view from the window amazed me. A gigantic wing, arcing like a ski slope from the fuselage, filling the whole window. I could see nothing but wing, and I believe it is so wide, you could play football on it. So, moral of this story is if you want a window seat on an A380, do not pick rows 44 – 48, because you will not see any more than the wing, beautiful as it is, just like ang eagle.

The smooth flight lasted over 12 hours, and was so smooth, but my video had no sound, so I could not watch any films.

Now I sit in Singapore Changi International Airport waiting for 7 more hours for the connecting flight to Penang.

I think I will get a free two hour tour of Singapore, that should keep me awake and give me something to do. 

NLP Diploma, Gaziantep

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Having just finished an NLP Diploma course in Gaziantep, Southern Turkey, I find myself with a rare day off, when I can relax, catch-up on my emails, work and friends.

It is wonderful to work with participants, who are willing to experiment, experience new ideas, explore perhaps subjects that the knew already yet never put into action yet.

It is a joy to watch the different personalities emerge throughout the two days, and the changes that can be achieved in that time for the participants and myself.

Yes, even changes in myself, for although I maybe giving the training, I too change as I discover new ideas from the participants, realise points I had missed over the many times I had delivered the courses, having that ‘Aha‘ experience, ‘now I understand‘ time, and notice where I can improve my delivery, adapting to the environment, the people, the changing situations and my own body and mind.

It is also good to be with friends, to talk, to communicate, catch-up on news, exchange ideas, challenge each other with beliefs and culture, yet keep in harmony, sharing and supporting, being there.

As I sit here on a wonderful sunny day, I can prepare myself for the next 7 days of training and presentations, realising that although I am tired, I love my job.

NPL Diploma Course, Gaziantep, South Turkey. Oct 2008

Today starts a three month trip

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It is early morning start today, as I start a three month tour of Turkey, Bahrain and Italy.

With nearly back-to-back training and talks, few days off, it will keep me active that is for sure.

We will be giving NLP Practitioner, Master Practitioner, Mind Mapping, PhotoReading, Coaching, Memory courses, presentations and talks at the Mind Festival in Bahrain, seeing clients on a 1-2-1 basis who will be travelling to see me from long distances.

Great work, little time for the internet and the blog, so see you all soon.

Spitfire Rebuild at Fort Perch Rock

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I received this message from Jamie Simmons, after he read my articles on the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft. I have asked Jamie if there are any photographs of their aircraft so that I can post them on the blog.

Please help with their project if you can.


My name is Jamie Simmons and volunteer my help by restoring classic aircraft and components for The Aircraft Museum at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton.

We have in our collection the remains of a Spitfire Mk2a which crashed during the war at Birkenhead Park, the pilot bailed out landed to fight another day.

The Spitfire is very complete from nose to tail and as we also have the manufacturers ID plate this constitutes an excellent point at which to start a rebuild to fly.

This would be a five year rebuild and have a restoration company based in the Isle of Wight named Airframe Assemblies who specialise in Spitfire rebuilds and restorations, we are looking for interested companies/persons to help rebuild this piece of British history, the benefits are aircraft displays, film work, documentary, corporate events and air displays, the first being a documentary on the rebuild and awareness of the rebuild at air displays and fund raising.

If you are interested or know of any company who would like to help please contact me by Email:-

Your Sincerely
Mr Jamie Simmons
The Aircraft Museum
Fort Perch Rock