Low mojo

After a full and challenging week containing a mix of lecturing, executive coaching and stay-away consulting, along with a working day yesterday catching up with all the administration, my mojo was at a surprisingly low ebb this morning.  This was exacerbated by the realisation that the clocks had gone back overnight, meaning that I had got up somewhat earlier than I really needed to.

The only apparent upside was that by 8am I had already finished my quadspressos and guitar playing and was on the running machine starting to run.

I ran for 30 minutes as per the last couple of weeks, warming up at 7mph and ramping this up as the distance increased.  As I finished the allotted time, covered in sweat, I had completed 3.71 miles with the average of 7.4 mph falling neatly between the results from the last two weeks.

Little else to report other than that the glorious bright red leaves on our Japanese Maple have finally fallen off and the first major storm is fast approaching.  Despite this, the mild weather seems set to continue for a few weeks: no forecast yet on my mojo, but I’m sure it’ll be back to normal soon.

Have a great week!


With a little more flex in my schedule last week and rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday, I chose to spend a few sunny hours here and there working in the garden as a trainee stonemason in exchange for a few rainy hours working over the weekend.

This meant that that the stone garden and path has progressed well, to the point where I can now focus on other things.


Next on the schedule is a final version of the hastily thrown-together prototype panel that has been standing firm against the elements for a couple of weeks, and a hidden store to clear out the shed part of the tea-house.

The latter is to facilitate the latest idea, which is to create a frame in the tea-house to take a futon mattress… moving it closer to the original relaxation/contemplation purpose that I had in mind when I designed it five years ago.

I was up good and early this morning, making good use of the tea-house (and coffee) doing the readings that I had set for my students tomorrow.  Fascinating stuff and all about self development and happiness.

Around half-ten I jumped on the machine, positively reinforcing the habit that I’ve created over the last few weeks.

I warmed up for a mile at 7mph and then started to increase the speed as per last week.

It seemed easier, so I pushed a little harder towards the end and completed 3.74 miles in the 30 minutes… a shade under 7.5mph average compared to 7.3mph last week.

I still don’t think I’ll be completing the marathon distance pier to pier run next month, but at least I’m running enough to have overcome the feeling of slothfulness!  Although that could also be something to do with moving the pieces of a one-tonne stone jigsaw around!

Project Man digs in

Last week was somehow more frenetic than any of the nine weeks that preceded it, despite generally not working the 11+ hour days that had typified the Cambridge project.  Thus, when Saturday morning emerged, I was ready for a rest.

Hmmm… well, they say that a change is as good as a rest and since I’m not really one for sitting around, I opted for the former.

Kim and I had been looking for stone with which to progress the garden project and with a little desk research we found it… right on our doorstep!

I had been wanting to visit the local reclamation company Dorton for years, but it doesn’t have a particularly consumer friendly exterior.  However, once inside there are friendly staff making sure that you can find what you’re looking for in this capacious Aladdin’s cave.

We found a metric tonne of rock… as you do.

With the rock ordered and the likelihood of dry days fading as autumn blows in, we seized the sunny day to prepare the ground.

Whilst I stripped the turf, Kim laid it back down in the new ‘working garden’ area behind the deck panel.  It was back-breaking work for both of us, but by evening we had completed our task.

BeforeDuringAfterWorking garden areaFinishing touches

Fast forward to today and I was fully expecting to feel wrecked after all that hard work.  But with the rain tipping down outside, all I could feel was really pleased that we had grabbed the moment.

I’ve been preparing for my Monday workshops on and off across the weekend and I finally reached an interesting inflexion point at a confluence of thought between the following two ideas… in the context of creating high performance teams:

I could see that there was a really important link, but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was… it was clearly a good moment for a run!

I hopped on the machine and set myself a 30 minute challenge like last week, this time donning trainers to protect my feet from the heat.  I set the warm-up speed to 7mph and then increased it slowly after the first mile until I finally reached 8mph.

The run was harder work than last week, but the result was a little better too: 3.66 miles in 30 minutes, 7.3 mph average.

As I’ve noted before, I find it difficult to think clearly around 7 mph or faster, so it was actually a really great break from my cognitive challenge.  Better still, Kim (a qualified CBT practitioner) quickly pointed out the connection afterwards… rather obviously, I guess, it’s simply belief.

I believe that we’ve had a fantastic weekend and that I’m now ready for another frenetic week!  Have a great one!

Lightly toasted feet

It was a sublimely glorious morning and I wandered outside into the sunlit garden with my quadspresso.  The chairs were wet with dew so I sat in the tea-house and let my mind relax, a sensible thing to do having completed an intense nine-week project in Cambridge.

As I sat and looked, so thoughts from my subconscious bubbled to the surface in the form of new ideas about the garden.  A second quadspresso helped!  Kim was looking out at me from her office and could tell that light-bulbs were flashing from the way I was standing and staring.

In my mind I designed a hidden shed to free up the tea-house to relaxation and a new partition to create a Japanese stone garden… both were seeds (or subtle challenges) that Kim had planted a few weeks ago.

Sated, I capitalised on the reversal from this deeply thoughtful mode by stripping off and jumping on the running machine.  I decided to run for 30 minutes and slowly ramped the speed up above 7mph.

The run was as perfect as the day outside and I swept along almost effortlessly, the only mild discomfort being the slowly rising temperature of my feet as they were toasted on the belt of the machine.  I’m not really sure whether this is the belt heating up or the friction of my feet on the grippy surface but either way it was a little like walking on hot coals… I imagine!

After 30 minutes I had covered 3.55 miles (7.1 mph average) and still felt great… apart from my lightly grilled feet!

I stretched outside, showered, had breakfast and then got into prototype mode to explain to Kim what I had in mind.

Looking outside, as I sit here typing, the prototype is complete, whilst Kim is researching deliveries of stone and the prospect of two new stages to the autumn garden project is very exciting!