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Old traditions die hard


I have noticed that many of us are very particular and indeed sentimental about Christmas. We’re all very emotionally attached  to our own family traditions and when people from different families come together, for example when they get married, there’s a very interesting little bit of jockeying that goes on as to which partner’s Christmas traditions prevail.  Real tree or artificial tree? Full-…

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I'm on the train!


I wouldn’t say I was a particularly early adopter of the mobile phone.  Maybe it was the yuppies of the 1980’s with their brick-sized mobile’s or the idiot who would talk loudly and incessantly on the train with the inevitable tag-line “I’m on the train” that put me off.  I could never quite see the immense appeal of mobile phones to my children as they were growing up and viewed the classroom on…

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Toll Road: dangerous precedent or triumph of common sense?


Doesn’t it just inspire you when somebody takes some initiative? One of the latest people to inspire me is Mike Watts who has stepped in and taken the initiative to create a temporary toll road to solve the problem created by a landslip at Kelston .  This toll road enables motorists wanting to use the A431 to travel between Bristol and Bath to avoid a lengthy detour.  Anybody who has used the …

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Murals and Mutuals


In the foyer of Bristol & West’s head office, where I used to work many years ago, there was one of those beautiful ceramic murals by Phillippa Threlfall that grace many a West Country building. It bore an inscription which read “When we build, let us think that we build forever”. Looking round at everything that we seem to make today; cars, houses, furniture; this sentiment could be said to h…

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Sleep deprivation, motorway advertising and values


Occasionally in business you come across something that really strikes a chord. Such a thing happened to me at this year’s Building Society Conference, an event which inevitably brings late night chatting to folks in the bar, way too much rich food and, by day three, severe sleep deprivation. And so it was in a state of late-conference torpor that I wandered into a presentation by a lady na…

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