Well, here goes after a 3 month period without a smile. I hardly know where to begin ….life has been a roller-coaster: exciting, daring, fun, great experience – and plenty of screaming and hanging on for dear life!
The last quarter of 2012 saw me pretty much flat out on a few projects in the UK that kept me mainly there through one of the most delightful Winters in history. That is if you are a cold-blooded frog who enjoys plenty of water! That combined with a number of lecturing stints in Spain and other parts of Europe just to keep me on my toes. The g Vivi managed to get across a few times and I snuck back to sunny Madrid as often as possible – but went the occasional weekend nose to the proverbial in England. A special thanks to Andy & Maria who put up with an almost permanent lodger with great spirits (mainly gin for Maria!).
Then year-end, my folks descended on Maria as well. Given she had me there, Vivi occasionally, Seb (their nephew from Spain as a semi-permanent lodger) and Steffi (their daughter) – she almost reached sainthood simply through not physically damaging one of her house-guests! But Christmas was a great occasion with copious alcohol lubricating the family spirits. In December we also celebrated my dads 85th birthday which was also a special occasion – how an octogenarian can consume so much chocolate cake is beyond me.
The 27th of December saw me wave good bye to Vivi as she returned to Madrid to spend New Year and Reyes with her family and me to fly down to SA to spend 3 weeks with my boys who came up to meet me in Josie. We took over my parents house (they weren’t using it as they were still in the UK) and occasionally my long-suffering sisters kitchen for the occasional square meal. We had an incredible time together – many long talks, lots of laughs, tons of tennis, about 18 hours of House, mountains of movies and a relaxed time in general. Devon was about to start his first year of college in Stellenbosch and Marc moving into Grade 10. I am now officially the shortest of the three of us – so have to use bribery, manipulation and other Machiavellian traits to get my way- as the threat of “a hiding” would move Devon and Marc to paroxysms of laughter. Did I mention I have THE greatest kids in the world?
I arrived back in Spain in mid January and, in addition to normal Genesis work, I have been launching a new business with two co-founders. We set ourselves an incredibly tight time-line and, so far, have managed to stay on target. Mashauri Limited is a business aimed at mentoring (supporting and driving) entrepreneurs from their start-up concept through to reaching a stable business. It is primarily an on-line offer but supported by real-life, experienced mentors who each support one, two or a portfolio of ventures. For more info, you will be able to go to our beta-site in a few weeks.
The idea of developing such an on-line consulting model has been a dream of mine for a while, but thanks to my (highly tech-guru colleague with ideas even more grandiose than mine: Victor), we are close to making this a reality. More recently, we have taken on Xenia – our design expert. The fact that we are doing our bit to stimulate the economy through increasing the success rate of new and small business owners is what is driving us – and we are initially launching in Spain where such an initiative is critical makes it even more important. Watch this space for more launch details – and anyone who is interested in becoming a Masharatti (what we call our mentors), please get in contact with me.
By the way, this new venture is in addition to, and complementary to, Genesis Management Consulting – so my business clients, do not despair – we will continue to improve lives through better decisions!
The short movie below is NOT ours – but it shows so well what we are trying to do and why. So I thought I would sneak it into the Smile.
So, I reckon spending time with my family and saving the global economy, is a reasonable excuse for the paucity of smiles. What do you think?
Abrazos a todos.
Before the actual smiles, instead of the normal quote I thought I would include this video reminding us what a difference the small things can make – and how our deeds can inspire others in turn.
A few minutes of perfection
An Emergency Call Centre worker in London has been dismissed from her job, much to the dismay of colleagues who are reportedly unhappy with her treatment.
It seems a male caller dialled 999 from a mobile phone stating, “I am depressed and lying here on a railway track. I am waiting for the train to come so I can finally meet Allah.”
Apparently “remain calm and stay on the line” was not considered to be an appropriate or correct response…
I believe they are going to make a movie based on the book 50 Shades of Grey and I have managed to get a sneak preview to the theme tune music score.
And finally ….
Paddy took 2 stuffed dogs to the Antiques Road show
“Ooh!” said the presenter, “This is a very rare set, produced by the celebrated Johns Brothers taxidermists who operated in London at the turn of last century.
Do you have any idea what they would fetch if they were in good condition?”
“Sticks?” Paddy said.