5 life (career) changing decisions

Everyone’s life is the result of a mix of chance and decisions. You can’t do much about chance but it’s the decisions you make which map out your life. I reckon that there’s five decision which I’ve taken which, successively, have meant that I didn’t become an academic, a long term oil industry employee (and very possibly an American citizen God forbid), an old Asian hand, a senior Dow Chemical manager or a salary man through to retirement. 

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5 indicators that the worst of Covid might be over

1 going for a coffee

We’ve already been there of course and it made life so bearable through last summer. We’re blessed in Histon & Impington in having a choice and the St Andrew’s Centre, the Geographer and Delicious all provide good coffee and they’re each different from the others.

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5 business trips (which didn’t go to plan)

I’ve travelled enough so that I’m pretty adept at avoiding the pitfalls of business trips and the stresses that go with them but even then stuff happens which is outside your control and then you have to adapt. It’s happened to me several times, fortunately never catastrophically, but in today’s world the consequences of the earlier ones wouldn’t have been so easily managed.

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5 German cities

the old town hall in Munich; it’s now the toy museum

They’re not the most interesting German cities and this is certainly not any sort of in depth profile of them but it’s the five cities which give me good memories. It helps that I spent 13 years working in the chemicals industry in Europe and of course three of the biggest chemical companies were German and there were many others besides.

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Five restaurants with staying power

We had lunch at the Old Fire Engine House in Ely today. That in itself would be worthy of a post because the food is pretty good, there’s an acceptable wine list and service is intelligent and excellent. But there’s a twist. I first went to the Old Fire Engine House sometime in 1970. That’s 50 years ago and it got me thinking. Which iconic restaurants have I visited way back and are still in business today? I say iconic (a) to narrow the field a little but also (b) to highlight ones with a certain distinctive character. There aren’t many and I can’t find one to beat 50 years. 

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5 parties through my time

I’m not a great party goer, even less a party giver but there have been times when I’ve filled the latter role and it’s turned out rather well. They’re an eclectic mix and evoke multiple memories. It’s amazing what you remember when you set your mind to it. Sadly the photographic record is somewhat limited and even where there are photos they’re not as good as they might be.

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5 things I miss during social distancing

2020-03-28 17.08.29Firstly the small print. I’m a baby boomer, got my own house with no mortgage and have a couple of occupational pensions which keep my bank balance positive (although my pension pot has taken a bit of a hit as the stock market’s crashed). So I’m not worried about losing my job, I’m not working in the front line (at the NHS or at the Coop) and I don’t have a house full of children desperate to get outside and have fun. All of which makes me a little embarrassed by my rather smug, middle class list of 5. Continue reading