Culture Rotary Club KOT Thoughts

Being Father Christmas

Phillip Holt as Santa ClausChristmas time is a very special time in many countries around the world, whereas in others it is a time that is not celebrated or recognised. In the UK the day is a very special day, no matter what belief system people follow. It is a time of reflection, a time of religious beliefs, a time of sharing, a time of family, a time of friendship, but for children it is a time when Santa Claus travels the world in the early hours of Christmas Day with his trusted Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer delivering presents.

Children often visit Santa’s Grotto before Christmas to ask for the presents they want him to leave them.
As a member of the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames, we collect funds for local charities and projects run throughout the year, like taking under privileged children out for the day to theme parks (Kids Out), helping families in need, raising funds for End Polio Now, and many more. During the period of Christmas we tow Santa’s Sleigh through the local community in the evenings taking Santa to the people, and in the main shopping centre of Kingston upon Thames we erect a Christmas Tree and Santa Hut, and one of our members will become Santa.
It is one of the great moments of the year for me to become Santa Claus, to don the red coat and hat, and grow my beard long and white, wear my wellington boots, and wait for the small children to come to me to ask for their Christmas gift.
Ringing my bell, I sit there, warm and snug in layers of clothing, waving at the passing people, and it is when a young child sees Santa that magic happens. Their eyes light up, their belief system kicks in, and often I here the thrill in their voice as they shout out, “SANTA”.
Most parents then bring the excited children up to Santa, and that is the time for me to interact with the child, to enter into their fantasy their belief system.
I ask them their name so that the time becomes very personal between us, and enter into a conversation which ends with Santa asking, “what do you want me to leave you for Christmas?“. Some children already have specific gifts in mind, others are not sure, but I tell them that not to worry, Santa will leave them something special, as long as they leave me a mince pie and a carrot for Rudolf as we will be very hungry.
Phillip Holt as Father ChristmasAs the children leave they get a sweet that they can choose from a small box Santa offers them, and the look on their faces is fabulous, one of trust, innocence and belief. But, it is the happiness of the parents, of them being drawn into the beliefs of their children.
For me this is the spirit of Christmas, and I am part of that spirit that will form the memories of a lifetime. And, it does not matter what belief system the families belong to, the magic of Christmas is shared with all.
 Santa Claus and reindeer
Thoughts Travels

Xmas Storms Hit Brighton

Its was certainly windy on the promenade in the run-up to Xmas in the English seaside town of Brighton.
Brighton seafront in storm
Was it snow for Xmas?

I needed to visit Brighton two days before Christmas day, and decided to walk along the seafront, what a mistake. It appeared to be snow on the promenade, as my photograph shows the woman fighting the wind whilst hanging onto her dog, she seems to be knee deep in snow, but actually it is foam being driven off the waves off the wild sea.

We had been warned of adverse weather conditions, with winds of between 60 – 90 mph (96 – 145 km/h) and heavy rain all over the UK.
Heavy seas in Brighton
Heavy seas in Brighton
The waves lashed the pebbled beach and the high wind blew the white crests into the foam, which mixed with the rain flew parallel onto land, stinging the face, and inhibiting any forward flight the seagulls were trying to make.
I was drenched from head to foot within seconds, and at times found it difficult to keep my footing.
The height of the storm on Brighton beach (UK)
The height of the storm on Brighton beach (UK)
I only spent a short time on the seafront being quickly soaked to the skin and a train journey to take back to home.
With warnings of possible transport delays due to the severe weather, trees being uprooted, lorries being blown over, and changing trains at London’s Clapham Junction, I was not surprised to hear that my train had been cancelled back to Norbiton. Little did I know the cause was a bus having its roof sliced off as it went under the low railway bridge at Norbiton Station, which resulted in many roads in the vicinity being closed. This meant a long walk around back streets, in more driving rain, by-passing the wreck of the bus.
Now I am in my warm home as the storm rages outside, and the storms are predicted to continue into Christmas Eve. I will not venture out.

Good job I have cooked enough food to keep me fed over the Xmas period.

Thoughts Travels

Bus Looses Roof in Norbiton

Sometimes it is not worth taking a short-cut.

At Norbiton railway station near Kingston upon Thames, the road infront of the station towards Kingston Hospital, passes under the rail track, and there is a height restriction.
Unfortunately, the driver of this bus did not realise, and thus lost the roof.
Oh Poo Poo.
Bus looses roof in Norbiton
Bus looses roof in Norbiton
Click to see bridge as it was being replaced 2010.
Rotary Club KOT Thoughts

End Polio Now

One of the efforts that Rotary Club members worldwide is to eradicate the terrible disease of polio (poliomyelitis) through out our world. To this end over the years since 1985, Rotary Club has raised many millions of dollars, which has been matched dollar for dollar by the Bill Gates Foundation and in conjunction with health authorities, to buy the vaccine and facilitate the distribution and administration in all countries.

There has been a 99% success rate.

Now, there are only three countries left with polio, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. But only yesterday I read that there were potentially 22 suspected cases in war torn Syria.
Along with many agencies and health authorities, members of Rotary Clubs worldwide will blitz areas or countries with the vaccine, and in India on their immunisation days, up to 65 million children can be immunised, protecting them for life.
Once a child has been immunised, their finger is dipped in a purple dye.
Phillip Holt End Polio Now
End Polio Now with me and a big crocus on my head
To raise funds for this wonderful cause, Rotary Club members run events and collect money from the public, and yesterday was End Polio Now day.
Because the children have their fingers dipped in a purple dye, the crocus has been adopted as a symbol, and around the UK, millions of crocus bulbs have been planted to form in future a carpet of purple to remind us of this effort, and collections are made in exchange for a crocus flower pin.
Although I felt an idiot, I recently as a Rotary member, went onto the streets of my local town to collect money. Wearing a crocus headgear, I stood waiting and hoping for donations from from the giving fatigued public.
Thank you those who have helped to save those who need to be immunised against polio.
My little effort was just a drop in the ocean, but an ocean that joins other oceans to cover the world.
Coaching Memory Mind Maps NLP Phobias PhotoReading Presentations Stage Hypnosis Travels

A Long Journey for Coaches in Italy

Coaching Milan

NLP Coaching participants with Certificates in Italy, Renata Laria, Andrea Gervasini, Franco Di Gilio, Flor Fernandez e Monica, Alessandro Orlando, Claudia Sabatini, Cotardo Giulia, Valeria Sturniolo , Phillip Holt, Marcello Buglione — at Hotel Residence Golf Milano
Life is a journey, and from beginning to end, with many tours to places we never knew about or visited before, we will have many experiences, meet many people, visit many places, some are great, some are bad, and from this journey and side tours, we can learn.
As I travel the world, to many different places, I am being exposed to different cultures, different food, different languages, and in my later years I have endeavoured to learn from these experiences, unlike the younger me who thought he knew everything.
As a younger me, I despised the get rich quickly tour guides who touted on street corners, at tourist attractions, in airport or in hotels, offering their services for a fee to tell you about what I presupposed I already knew. Why should I pay for these leeches when I could walk around myself and find out?
My long lost daughter, Vanessa came to stay with us in our home in Kingston upon Thames, and it was decide that we should go into central London to see the tourist attractions, Big Ben, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral etc. I knew these places, I had lived and worked in London for over twenty years, why should not I be the guide?
Instead of being the tour guide, we decided that we should take one of the city tour buses.
It was just like when I recently joined an Official Tour Guide of my home town of Kingston upon Thames, a town’s history I had researched, a town I had lived in for many years. I soon realised how much I did not know, there was so much missing information in my knowledge, knowledge that I would need to expand upon and enhance.
So it was in London with my daughter, I learnt so much, little pieces of information adding to my knowledge base, which only got me more interested and intrigued, to go back and research for more knowledge.
When I have time now, which is not very often visiting new or old places, I will often join an official tour, to get to know the basic information of the area, then if I wish, I will revisit where I have been taken to, to discover more, to chunk down, I will buy books, ask questions, just to enhance my knowledge.
And so it was some many months ago, I was invited to give a group of Italian people a range of courses so that they can become coaches, people who can help others enhance their lives.
It was a journey of discovery for them and for me, because I was to be their guide through a learning process, and for them to visit places and knowledge they had not been before, and I had to go there too, and I would be learning too, taking a journey to places inside ourselves often.
To go on a journey within ourselves, our beliefs, our understanding of the world we live in, we might find ourselves challenged as our knowledge as we knew it will have been contradicted.
Were we right, or, is the rest of the world right? Who knows?
It was on this journey with the Italian Coaching participants, that many beliefs were challenged, and if the individuals so wished, changed. It was their willingness to explore new places, revisit places and reevaluate their previous beliefs and knowledge and make changes that made this journey together so enjoyable.
You now have new possibilities or strategies within, use them wisely, and help others on their journey through life.
The truth is out there for us to be guided through our journey, but which is right or wrong only your heart and further knowledge will help.
NLP Thoughts

Half a Moon

 Italian Version


The Half Moon
The Half Moon

Last night, 15th August 2013, as night crept upon me, I looked out of my window into a near cloudless sky and noticed the moon in the southern sky. It was only half full.

The photograph I took above has not been enhanced or changed, yet half of the moon is invisible, it does not exist. The clear blue sky is visible all around the moon.

When we see something, and we process that information, what we see is what we believe, it is the truth.

It is only half a moon.

There is an object, it is sitting in a clear blue sky. We can see the half moon, greyish in colour, it is there.

But, logically because we have all seen a full moon, we know that the moon is round, but it cannot be, as, where is the missing half of the moon?

Yes it is all to do with the earth’s atmosphere absorbing the darker rays of light being emitted from the moon, where-as, the sun’s illuminated side, the rays of light have passed through the atmosphere.

Just because we cannot see something does not mean it is not there or that it does not exist.

How many times do we as humans take things on face value?

How many times do we as humans believe what we have been told or shown, not realising that the person, educator, organisation, newspaper, broadcaster, has eliminate, deleted, missed out information, misinforming us?

Do not believe your eyes, ears, feelings, smell or taste. VAKog modalities in NLP

There is more out there than meets the eye.

Sleep Thoughts

Dreaming the Dreams of Dreams

Last night was the last night of the Muslim fasting, and as darkness fell in the evening, prayers were offered via the very noisy loudspeakers perched atop of the mosques minarets, and even more noisy firework were being let off, booming like I have never heard before.

Fireworks were still being let off well after midnight, and even more prayers were started to be  broadcast via the minarets starting a good ten minutes after the clock struck twelve. I think their watches must be slow, why start ten minutes after midnight?

But I was tired, and sleep soon took me away into its arms, to a Never Never Land of make believe.


I knew I was dreaming very vivid dreams, as I was consciously aware of the dreams taking place even in my sleep, it was as if I was awake knowing that a story was unfolding in my dreams, and I was happy.
At 4:05 am, another loud bang, rattling the whole bedroom, coming from yet another firework waking me up, my poor heart thumping with shock and my body aching from an overly hard bed. Some of these blasts could not be from shop bought fireworks as the blasts were too deep and the sound wave too big and penetrating. I am told they are home made. Interesting as I do not know of many people who can make explosives.
As I lay there, calming myself down, I tried to recall my dreams only minutes before I had been enjoying. Nothing, except I knew it had involved an ex girlfriend called Liz, (was her name Elizabeth Drew?), from the days when I was a young schoolboy, where certain urges were there, but what those urges meant, I had no idea at the time.
What were we doing in those dreams I had had?
They were not naughty, I knew that much, I know I could have shared the story-line with my mother, and I knew there had been a proper story-line, a good one. But, nothing came to mind of the dream.
Yet, other memories came flooding back as I lay there of actual events that happened, many, many years ago, of me hiding under the dining table one evening when I had visited Liz at her parents house, why I did that I have no idea, of me missing band practice so I could watch Star Trek on her parents TV, and walking with her around the water’s of Chasewater, a large reservoir near our home town. But, nothing about the contents of the dream I had just awoken from.
Other actual memories came flooding back too, of long lost girlfriends, of days when I was so innocent and naive, and so young. Paula Dawes from my college days, then the girl whose name eludes me, on the number 5 Walsall bus every morning and night, with her long straight red hair, we never dated but we were very close, and the girl I had my first real kiss with at a Xmas Party for the Lichfield Junior Accident Prevention Committee, sorry did I ever know your name?
Still nothing about my dream content.
I know I dreamt, but I cannot remember.
Often in my courses as we discuss what are dreams and why do we sleep, participants will say that they never dream. I disagree. Just because we cannot remember something happening, does not mean it never happened. We all dream.
Brains are designed to forget, to erase information, thy are designed to sleep, to dream, from the smallest of living beings, say the fruit fly, through mice, fish, whales, cats and dogs on to humans, without sleep and dreams we would be overwhelmed by information and the brain would die.
But, I would still like to recall my dream.

Memory provoking smell

Jasmine Flower

Today as I walked passed a single jasmine flower bloom, I caught the perfume in a quick brief experience which took me back into my memories of good times, happy times, far, far gone now in my past history.

Unlike the flower petals which will fall off the plant perhaps tomorrow, taking with it that wonderful perfume, my memories will stay with me, to be invoked again when I pass that jasmine plant, and I am lucky enough to catch it in bloom.
Coaching NLP

Psychology of NLP in Coaching, Malaysia

Petronas Psychology of NLP in Coaching
Petronas Psychology of NLP in Coaching
Another great course finished here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, called the Psychology of NLP in Coaching.
Arranged with my partner in Malaysia, Surrey McVey Resources, we had twenty participants from Petronas attending in the Royale Chulan Hotel.
A great time with lots of learning.
NLP Travels Turkish

More Travels – Audi Cars

It is always a pleasure to work with corporate clients, and the staff from Audi Cars here in Gaziantep in Southern Turkey has been no exception.

Audi Cars Gaziantep
Audi Cars Gaziantep
Some of the staff from many departments of Acarsan Audi in Gaziantep (Southern Turkey), from sales, marketing, fleet, accounts, attended the first of some courses designed to help in team work, and increase productivity for the company.
Fantastic group of people.
My thanks goes to Mehpare Kileci of Gap Danışmanlık for organising the even and her translation.