Why MPs need mentors

I’m sure you’re as heartily fed up of Brexit as I am right now. It’s inevitable that long negotiations sap our strength especially when we can’t see an end. I have also found that all deals of any complexity are off at least once so the current impasse doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is the attitude of MPs. Well OK not surprise but disappoint. Instead of looking at 650 mature leaders of our nation I see 649 children squabbling over whose fault it is, being kept in order by Daddy Bercow.

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Why Maro Itoje isn’t world class. Yet

It’s great to see England playing pretty well and being up there, in the chasing pack behind New Zealand and Ireland. It’s contended that in order to win a World Cup you need at least 5 players who are world class. Billy Vunipola (a notable absentee this season) is one and Manu Tuilagi looks to be coming back to his best. Kyle Sinckler may reach the giddy heights. Owen Farrell makes a significant difference every time he comes onto the pitch, and has managed to escape sanction for some dodgy tackles. But Maro Itoje hasn’t. Continue…

Greetings from Hay

Greetings from Hay

Maybe it’s the fact that Brexit seems never ending, or the feeling that it’s the biggest sideshow of them all, pushing real issues to one side, that prompted the Hay festival to change its strap line from “Imagine The World” to “Imagine Other worlds”. This expansiveness was reflected in its growth, with talks or shows (James Acaster, Laura Mvula et al) going on 3 or 4 hours later than last year.

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Mindful cooking

Mindful cooking

I’ve always enjoyed cooking but over the last few years I’ve spent more time on it and now even my fellow diners enjoy the results! I was wondering to Tim as to why I enjoyed it and he, no mean chef himself, pointed out that it’s a mindful activity. I do feel present when I’m doing it, I have no time to think about anything else and of course the tastes and smells use more of my senses than any negotiation or business plan ever did. It fits the definition of Flow (see p 128): It requires skill and has a clear set of rules (wrong time or temperature and it’s ruined); I have skills sufficient to be confident but not finding it too easy; I have to focus hard so there is no room for anything else; and I get clear and immediate feedback.

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