Wedding Fayres are an Eye-Opener

Oh my {insert your preferred deity here}!!!!!!

We went to the Wedding and Lifestyle October 2010 event at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate at the weekend.  The showground itself is massive but the event was relatively easy to find even with a smart-a%@e for a parking attendant.

Inside hall 2 were a myriad of stands and small business owners plying for trade, thrusting business cards and pamphlets at us, accosting us for contact details to put on their mailing lists “…for all the latest offers”, etc.  Under any other circumstance, I would be saying “I’m just browsing, thanks!” but I think I was just too gob-smacked by it all.  There were service providers there offering stuff that no bachelor would EVER dream of when organising a wedding.  Who’s bright idea was it to tie up the napkins with ribbon?

Eventually, I did get to chat with some “normal” people like the heavily pregnant florist from Ripon and the self-confessed would-be bridezilla photographer.  It was a little disheartening telling people like this that we’d already sorted whatever they were trying to sell.  Thinking about it now, I should have taken their business cards and given them a mention here.  I’m ALWAYS doing that; some of my best EUREKA moments arrive 48-ish hours late!

As for the rest, the catwalk show could’ve been a lot more polished to get the maximum effect.  As it was, it came across as cheesy. The “man creche” was empty; it just didn’t appeal.

For brides-to-be, I think events like this are a must.  For virgin grooms-to-be, I would say the same thing but for a different reason.

Getting into Composting

We generate a LOT of biodegradable waste in our house. We eat a ton of fruit and vegetables, drink gallons of tea and have old paperwork coming out our ears. And that’s just from inside the house; there’s the garden waste on top of that.

We recycle what we can. We have a paper bin with a box-insert for cans and glass. We also have some large hessian bags for green waste. They are collected once a month on alternate fortnights; so for example, paper and glass are collected this week and green waste in two weeks time. As a result, the hessian bags get rather smelly in all but the coldest of weather. At the exact same time as when there’s none of the smelly stuff to collect.  Recycling plastics just isn’t on the local council’s agenda but we have found a collection point near our local Sainsbury’s. So, there’s a plastic sack in the garage waiting to go there.

Even so, our normal household waste bin, collected weekly, gets far too full for my liking.

So we’ve bought a compost bin.  We’ve only had it a couple of weeks and it’s already half full; although I did “do the garden” last weekend.  I know that as some point I need to start adding compost maker but I’m little way off that yet I think.

Russian Chapel

Russian Chapel Doors

These are the doors to the Russian Orthodox Chapel on Vrsic Pass in Slovenia.  It was built by Russian prisoners of war in 1916/17 as a memorial to those POWs and guards killed in an avalanche in March 1916.

POWs were ordered to keep the pass clear the pass of snow as Kranjska Gora had become a strategically important access point to the front.  The chapel is surrounded by prisoner’s graves.

The chapel was renovated in 2005.  The road on which the chapel sits was renamed Russian Road in 2006.

What Motivates Us?

For me, it’s about learning.  People never stop learning.  There’s even a phrase… “…learnt something new today!”

So when the presenter in the animation talks about Atlassian‘s “Free-for-All Thursdays”, I bet everyone who has watched this nodded their head in agreement at that point.  Being given the time and freedom to explore a topic of interest, at least for Atlassian it seems, is delivering tangible results.

In business, there has always been a background “pressure” to do more and more with the same resources or less.  That pressure is pushing its way to the front in the current climate and whatever (little) freedoms people have had in the past, I think, are being eroded.

My argument is for allowing some slack for research and (personal?) development in everyone’s work schedule.  As with Atlassian, that freedom also comes with the responsibility to feedback the benefit derived from it.  However, I think the results would be surprising in whatever scenario it was used.