Episode 14: Win or Learn

Failure is important; if you are a trapeze artist.

If every move was a guaranteed success there would be no tension, no excitement no show. No need to hold your breath as you wait to see if their outstretched arms will be received by the impossibly distant, saving arms of another.

When we think about failure in our own lives it can be easy to think about it in the same black and white terms. You either win or lose. I prefer to think about failure not in terms of what has been lost but instead what has been learned.

Episode 12: The Hardest Thing

I licked my thumb to turn the page of my book, glancing up for the first time in a while to enjoy my surroundings.  Mount Kilimanjaro sat proudly in the backdrop of my hotel, dragonflies hovered over the swimming pool and periodically nosedived for a drink. The sun was moving in the sky, stealthily stealing the shadow over my lounger and getting alarmingly close to my chilled beer.

Episode 10: Letting Go of the Bar

When I reached what looked like the centre of the bridge, I tentatively placed both my hands on the cold metal bar, leaning into it, to peer meekly over the edge. I’d been told by my tour guide, in his jovial Slovenian-English, that the drop was ‘only’ 10 metres. I was sceptical, it looked much higher. Much higher than a few minutes before when I’d eagerly raised my hand as volunteer to be the first to jump. Glancing back to the crowd standing on the embankment, I could see they were shouting something through the makeshift megaphones they had created with their hands. They could be words of encouragement or impatience I couldn’t tell, any sounds they were making had been stolen by the winds.

Episode 9: One Small Action

I must be crazy for trying this, I snorted mockingly at myself and gently shook my head.  I propped up my chin with my hand and felt a rogue forefinger move into position over my mouth, apparently concerned it might say something compromising, if left unsupervised.

It was of course the risk that I needed to take.

Episode 4: Today I…

It was the 2nd of January and I was packing my bag for work, reminding myself of the catastrophic state of my workload, that I had mentally abandoned after the first glass of Christmas party Prosecco, some two weeks before. My apprehension was not of getting back into the thick of it, but the memory of the exhaustion that followed every work day.

Episode 3: Queen of Sorting-My-Shit-Out

Seven years ago I attended a talk called ‘How to Make Money from Property’ with Martin Roberts; the host of Homes Under the Hammer. He’d invited a guest speaker, a chic-ly dressed woman with a blond bob, who had a radiant aura and owned the stage with the confidence of a west-end tenor. She spoke about how she’d courageously quit her six figure day-job and embarked on a financially treacherous journey into property development.

Episode 2: Best to Start at the Beginning Part Two

I got on the train and bagged myself a four seater with a table (winning), waving awkwardly through the closed window at my friend in the layby; waiting dutifully to make sure I caught the train after our late departure.

Episode 1: Best to Start at the Beginning.

I woke up one morning last week with a banging headache. Except it wasn’t morning, it had slipped into the afternoon and I was late to get the train back to Bristol. It was the 1st of January 2018 and I had spent the weekend hiking muddy paths and sitting by a roaring cottage fire with my closest friends eating cheese and playing Absolute Balderdash. I couldn’t want for more. Except for, of course, an answer to the general underlying discontentment I felt with all aspects of my life.