A Nugget of Delight and Hope for the UK

There is plenty to be cynical in the UK about these days, but during a recent trip (and farewell tour through my old neighbourhood) I found an unexpected nugget of delight that fills me with hope for the future of government engagement in the UK.

Broken Toys and a Note

I used to live in Tamworth, Staffordshire – famous for pigs and the Robert Peel (founder of the modern British police force ‘The Bobbies’).  It is also famous for a castle that marks the seat of the Mercian kings.  Today there is a play area in the Castle grounds that delights modern little princes and princesses alike.

As I wondered through the Castle ground play area with my sons on Friday 04/Jan/2013 – I noticed an area of cordoned off fencing around some play equipment that had been removed.  I knew this equipment, it was in the under fives area and was one of those round-about installations where people get on, and someone pushes really fast and everyone feels queasy with possible projectile vomiting 😉

Now it was gone. In its place was this note, attached to the fencing.


This note delighted me so deeply I thought I might share it with you. It says to me that all is not lost within the heart of the State.

I really think that this approach/idea is brilliant and its originator ( Peter Watkins – the person listed on the email  or whoever ) should be commended.  It seems like a genuine interest in trying to engage with their actual users – being humorous,  speaking directly to the children who will use the equipment and offering them simple and descriptive choices of what they prefer.  It demonstrates putting children first and being prepared to listen. Something, sadly, we are seeing less and less of with the UK government.

The area is under the administration of Tamworth Borough Council and I sincerely hope that this is only one example of delightful engagement and interaction with the population of Tamworth.  I would love to hear of more.

Help Me Amplify Goodness

Hey, if you think this is a step in the right direction, please would you consider to do me a favour – tweet about this or perhaps say ‘Hello’ to Peter Watkins at the address above and let him know that you think this is a great idea.  I believe that those of us who work for a world with less distance between people must encourage the behaviour we want to see in this world and not let goodness go unacknowledged.  It doesn’t matter whether you are in the UK or not nor that you think they are just doing their job (in fact I think it matters most!)

What do you think?  Have you seen simple acts of delight that you would like to share – I would love to hear them.



#ReceiveTheGift Recipients Notification

First An Apology

Just before Christmas I made an offer to 15 people to receive a gift of a message contained inside a book. I had promised to pick those 15 from the respondents and let them know by the January 01 2013. I’m sorry I was didn’t do this as planned.

Actually I did pick the recipients at the time , but didn’t do the notifications. Many apologies for this.


Who Gets the Book.

20 people responded to my offer and to pick the 15 at random,  I used the traditional ‘name in a hat’ method – photos of names and hat coming soon!

Here are the twitter profiles of the people that will receive my gift:


What Happens Next

Over the next few days I will request shipping addresses from the recipients and complete the orders on Amazon the most affordable way that also is reasonably quick (3-5 days may) – after all you committed to read this in January!


How About The Folk Who Were Not Picked?

I am sorry I could not offer this pick to everyone, I really wish I could.  Here is what may happen…

  • They are really inspired to buy a copy anyway.
  • They go on the ‘next up’ list and when I do this again, they will get a copy by default.
  • They get gifted a copy by a recipient.
  • Something else I haven’t thought about.

Almost All Five Fingered

wpid-5fingerswolrd.jpgA year ago I got my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers. Today I have 4.

They have replaced almost all my shoes, as you can see the Converse All Star HiTops are still hanging in there – but not for too long.

Vibram Five Fingers are, without a doubt, the most comfortable footwear I have ever worn – by a long way.  I don’t intend to wear any other type of footwear (aside fromflip flops on the beach).

I’ve worn them to work, conferences,  a wedding (but not yet to a funeral). I have a pair that are extra thermal for the winter months too. Some days I have them onand forget about them until bed time!