Category Archives: Christmas

Quote Book -[4]- People

Page 3 Normally we are sure of nothing so much as a sense of self, of our of our own ego.
Page 16 Normally we are sure of nothing so much as a sense of self, of our of our own ego.
Page 26 Despite the incompleteness of my presentation, I venture to offer even at this early stage a few remarks to round off our present enquiry. The programme for attaining happiness, imposed on us by the pleasure principle, cannot be fully realised, but we must not – indeed cannot – abandon our efforts to bring its realisation somehow closer. To reach this goal we may take very different routes and give priority to one or the other of two aims: the positive aim of gaining pleasure or the negative one of avoiding its opposite. On neither route can we attain all we desire. Happiness, in the reduced sense in which it is acknowledged to be possible, is a problem concerning the economy of the individual libido. There is no advice that would be beneficial to all; everyone must discover for himself how he can achieve salvation.

Source: Civilization and its discontents. By Sigmund Freud


Snow & returning – UK bound (2b) ..

I may have mentioned this – After some days spent enjoying the lengthier than normal commute and the colder than previously stations .. all courtesy of over head lines, they break the trains… the trains get replaced by coaches – but then they don’t because the trains are back … celebration…only they’re not …short lived celebration …

Least they’re back just long enough for us to all about turn and trudge back and do some serious thinking about what we did here today, and what we did here today was some low level comfort, polyester blue, cushion bench sitting, for another 20 minutes … then back to the coaches, for apparently some other train (further up the tracks) having also been caught up all this good stuff, had gone and adopted that tried and tested defence mechanism of all the local trains in times such as this, of peril and surprise – the application of the brakes.. then the wind changed and it went and got stuck that way.

So back to the coaches and with that the days go by ….

Sunday the before all this time, in conclusion then, where’d I get to before I accidentally went and posted this in the wrong place (genius.. If only I could remember my password I could download the app – that might make this easier, o well)

…”So if the threat of gasoline dependants being cut off was enough to put pay to any flawed notion of British lips (they are as stiff as fresh Brie) then what on earth will this do to the Swiss .. People my people stand steadfast, be strong..” ..

I for one will not be buying a new ticket – I resolved while wondering unpurposefully about as at oerlikon station – for they may choose go and time limit their tickets but I had had to run .. Run … I’d bought a ticket to the airport and by Jove this ticket would see me there, yes sir I’m getting on this train (when it comes) with this (by such a time expired) ticket and nothing more – Twas most rousing monologue, that went little like that.. It was cold .. What is more faithfully accurate, was the plan, I was prepared to go with either my finest Hugh grant confounded, bemused, befuddled and generally well meaning abroad fopishness (once having been quite the default) or .. The as yet untested & more outlandish Reese Witherspoon inspired German effort, more in the vein of – what the fuck and do you know who I am ?!!? .. No well quite right, there’re are people who I work with who may well be equally unprivy to such knowledge..

I was prepared – if undecided.. Free from concerns of arrival times, there was little fat left in the schedule but that was ok …

while purposelessly wondering the station a girl in poorly chosen (one can only presume) boots descended a couple of steps on her rear end .. They were wooden due to the reconstruction work and it made quite the noise … Huh, a helpful thought to have at such moments.. I looked down for experience suggests that this is where those taking this approach to stairs decent tend to be .. Plus it’s where the accompanying noises that were thudish in nature had come from

In finest ‘not to be taken to mean anything tangible you understand’ English I asked something – basically along the lines of whether they were ok? – I didn’t catch the response as she scrambled double time to her feat .. Not a proudest of moments, just unexpected, not quite sure when someone descents so dramatically what one does… look and wonder should I do something here ? Yes that’s it …

She took a step and slid bum to floor down a couple more .. The steps were few and by now ideally or not she’d pretty much completed that leg of her journey .. The wooden steps really did something for the acoustics and the fellow travellers in this underpass must now if not the first time, felt themselves duly apprised of her struggles with the surfaces.

On the train – No ticket man came, they seldom do and over here they don’t do barriers . .. Perhaps it’s the greater surplus but there remains a higher level to which you are on your honour, not so in the UK ..( I’m not old enough to remember these other times that may justify such stereotypes of the English Gents – I don’t know whether they once were or weather the time to which such things belong has more in common with the dragons which presumably  kept those fine folks occupied)  .. Perhaps it’s simply that the shit service, high prices – years and years of being shafted in our ever less equal society – perhaps that is one moderately stretched rational for the barrier requirement… Who in their right mind would pay to go on a commuter train in the uk?

Paying at all for the privilege of standing, wedged in place only by your neighbours opportunity located armpit is reasonably enough to convince even the most fair minded that there should be a free’r way, that or a more pleasant one .. Either might work.

Still there’s always the tube when the train journeys over – the hundreds of thousands and their collective morning happiness, it’s a beautiful day don’t let it get way … And the debates about who pushed whom – I’m lucky I get to walk it, but that’s a tomorrow away.. For now I’m still on a Swiss plane .. Window seat & for some bizarre reason Tom & Jerry on the overhead mini screens – their with dinosaurs .. On the way out it was bean – that’s to be expected from the outside at least it seems no one quite loves me bean quite like the Swiss. Broadly I think the Brits rather wonder how they ever came to be part of a collective that gave rise to this … But we can forgive – anything for the man who brought blackadder unto us…

It seems I’m speaking for a country – a country I’m only a half genetic part of and an harder to define cultural product of .. Overreaching perhaps..

Zurich airport departures
Zurich Swiss flight departing

Deiceing Plane
De-Iceing – Preflight … Light Big Fish Queuing At A Bluestreak cleaner wrasse station

As the plane made its way to takeoff, looked out the window, happy to have a window seat (the best for propping the head up when grabbing those often quick to arrive flight winks), letting the work iPhone do its optimal things as pocket DJ .. unfamiliar tune shuffled up and out, quite liked it, not so uplifting, surprised id entirely forgotten this one, i must have loaded it at some point..

Snow & returning – UK bound

Snow apparently it can have adverse impacts in Switzerland – bringing dishevelment – boarder line relative chaos – to the very heart of order …

Snow covered tree

!! beware the overuse of stereotypes may prove harmful to acuity !! – & yet

Snow Topped Christmas Tree Switzerland

Snow apparently it can have adverse impacts in Switzerland – bringing disorderlyness to the very heart of order … Heading to the airport we got to the top of the hill in time to see the bus head off, historically I’ve been here quite regularly and it’s always taken me longer to leave than planned for.. Basically put I don’t want to, it’s one of the common themes of my life, some things change this seems one of those that doesn’t, I should be grateful. Can’t live a life on the reactive incoherence and short sighted vision of a child but there’s a truth in it.
So there it was the recently bus departed stop with the snowy ground, relatively clear road and not entirely warm outsideness.
The next one is in 10 mins, would rather walk to next stop, wastes some time and is less cold.
Back turned and wondering another 46 zips past, where’d that come from … Bugger … What ? … Moderate confusion along with a Sense that my propensity to sacrifice waiting for corrective action has done me no favours this time. Patience grasshopper – nope – taint right, time for manoeuvres .. These are more thoughts than were had at time – they were more limited to bugger-wtf-darn-why & what – things of that ilk

The plan remained and arrived in good time for the next bus, procured tickets and sat.
It did not arrive, Swiss busses, Zurich busses arrive – along with being blue, white & cleaner than many houses – they arrive … It begins go occur to me that this may be such a day as when they don’t. A notion I struggle to contend with, flying as it does in the face of an established truth, while also undermining my plan for attending the airport to a quite uncertain extent.

I am not an early to airport person, nor am I at ease with last minute dashing, an hour of airport excess time is about right for a European internal flight-that hour is starting to look decidedly unhealthy. My mother is not of that mind, it’s been a bone of contention since I took it upon myself to take a view of my own on such matters. She is a 2+hour person who would be at the airport by now & she is here, a plan to see me off..
Then there’s that inclination again.. I could sit and wait here but this isn’t the bus I really need I need the 80 and it leaves from down in the village, for me that should be 15mins pessimistically and I need to see how that service is effected. It’s a thought not necessarily shared by the more conservative of approach & as I set off frequent gawping back occurs, no 46 had been seen going up the hill so there shouldn’t be one coming the other way – that’s the premises but it has the potential to be flawed and this time I want to catch it in the act of eluding my bus catching efforts.

No parental marching of any pace – I’ve gotten chubby in that last year, a lack of football and an onset of unrequited years playing their part but still swift enough across the ground even when sliding in marginally impractical (for the current surface terrain) shoes.. Also the person left in my snow dust is not Usain Bolt those few telling years later ..

Sliding and toe pointed skipping over slush.. I’m waved on and that becomes the goodbye, a practical departure from the intentions I guess.. Hit the town centre and with that the brain pulls it’s support, deciding instead to remind me of my unfit state, burning lungs all those good things.. Find another 80 odd meters of semi speed and slow again as the intended way point bus stop comes into sight. Hopefully no blue and white will feel the need to turn into view now, probably near enough to make the back door, probably .. Maybe ..
No bus comes during a more gradual approach.
This stop comes with a service disruption warning – good to know – Taking up a vantage point to see either bus (The one that wouldn’t come, potentially carrying a parental personage and headed to the main station (as a solid alternative) or the intended 80 with it’s more direct approach to airport going efforts…)

After-all subsequently 4 of the 46s had made their way up the hill & what goes up would have to materialise down here …
Eannie meanie Minnie mo …. Tigers & toes – opting now to add that last bit, another thing from 2012 some peace of news came along that revealed to me seo sort of racist origins to this, what is generally just considered questionable judgement nursery rhyme ..

Tigers not being the first animal requiring resolution to that age old question: if one attempts to snare such a beasty by nabbing a firm grip of a poor exposed, innaccesble toe will it respond in a hostile manner expressed outwardly by a bite.  Felt a level of confidence preexisted, sufficiently probable umbrage might well be taken.  Beside any of that, image you got a grip a really firm clamping hold of the afforementioned toe, could you really see yourself clear to seeing that situation as best described as it’s owner having been caught.. In this instance eenie meenie were the 80 to Minnie & Moe’s 46, who would appear? It’s tense page turning stuff for future me to deal with – note to self: always end of a cliff hanger…

Moderate digression.

The 80 arrives (good to get the bus numbers in – most informative useful stuff) so the journey may continue but it will now be solo effort .. The elusive 46 now firmly on London time and operating in full caravan formation mode, one does though appear in the rear window as we pull off.
There’s quite the gap to the next train, the intended next train is delayed – unfathomable depth this.. In the uk during the great phantom petrol shortage of 2003/4 (cant recall but the lorry drivers were threading some sort of strike – heaven forfend) that wasn’t (well not until panic buying disconcertingly promptly set about) the people in their crowd wisdom, set to queuing in their anguished hoards and stockpiling .. Not merely petrol but tins etc .. It’s possible though unproven, SPAM may even have enjoyed its greatest and only resurgence on those proudfull days..

So if the threat of gasoline dependents being cut off was enough to put pay to any flawed notion of British lips (they are as stiff as fresh Brie) then what on earth will this do to the Swiss .. People my people stand stedfast, be strong..
Departure screen delay

Oerlikon station train
A train – not my train arrives on time



With all the unfettered chuntering of previously contribution there was a question and direction I think – though I’m not sure I know what it was. Perhaps if I do come back to read this some future day, a capsule from the past like the video watched this evening perhaps …

Yesterday I went to see my grandmother I was not alone and never am on such visits. She had dimensia of some sort and it’s taken it’s hold of her over the last ten or more years .. This is I’m led to understand a long slow burning example of such a condition .. i know not having never looked into it.

Going up there to the home / hospital my grandfather had told me of a man who spends his days in the smoking room, he sits and plays around with 5 or so lacks of cigarets & presumably smokes .. He told me about him and that he was up until only a few years ago a pilot for Swiss on their transatlantic route. I heard this but thought little of it other than it was quite a change to befall a person non shorter time. On arrival sure enough there was a man sat in the smoking room cigarette boxes lines up on the table before him.

At first when I would go up there and for many years I was fortunate, mostly I seemed to get good days, she knew who i was and while far from conversationally adept, she would sort of smile, say the odd thing and be happy to see people. She was sad to be up there and so leaving was always uncomfortable but within limits.  More so when she was brought home and seemed to know when other things were lost to her that time was finite and she would be going again.. Now physical accidents, brittle bones, stronger drugs and the disease itself have changed things, she is either in bed or placed into a chair, barely speaks and seems uncertain where who and what things are about.. But not entirely, occasional flickers still splutter up from somewhere, I’m more the audience member, there with whomever else has gone, little call for exiting my observation posting and somehow it’s barely the person who used to be in any real way. I rather hope it isn’t – these places are awful, this is switzerland, the building are nice, well kept, the rooms highly sanitary and the ward well staffed but it’s not life, it’s a prison, a tedious, odd smelling prison without any security, it doesn’t need it, they’re all prisoners of their own incapacities, unable by and large to escape, or too confused to make good on it, even if their initial faculties & person rendered an attempt possible, if ill advised.

It’s a none life – before she could walk and there were days when some more of the person would break free from their prison and appear on a look, a jesture and to decreasing extents in words – no more .. Though among the confusion and none sentence offering came this to the apparently rhetorical question – do you remember any English … Bisschen – thought to be a random response at first along with the other incoherent words lumped together in strings of no meaning (which is a good day I’m led to believe) – can you say something in English? She’s asked

there is a pause and things seem to move on

  • yes – the English yes not the German .. She smiles at us, presumably a response to our surprised smiles .. That was unexpected.  It begs a familiar question, how much of the person that used to be, is now trapped in there? Hopefully, I think again – not too much

Many years ago, also over Christmas I was invited round to a good friends – during that visit, they forgot something and having a car while they did not I headed to collect it. Bringing it to the home / hospital where their grandmother was staying. I remember it reasonably well, she seemed quite a strong willed old lady though small and frail and in the end she was taken back to her room. It’s was obscure & uncertain for me, I didn’t know quite what I was doing there or what I ought to do, so steered into the gap between polite as possible and distantly observant. I was stood toward the back of the room by this point removing myself so much as was possible from events while those who were left were clearly emotional about things. It was uncomfortable, not that this was of any consequence and I know not now a this time later if such a reaction was poor, ok, correct or what or how it would be done better.. Was not that useful in such matters.

Perhaps this instance, though it sticks in my mind is not really noteworthy but it highlights that what was true then is basically true now… Just as it had been true before.

Before that then – my orger grandfather was in hospital.  Having travelled to Glasgow, on the second of third day I remember not, he awoke. The room had many people in it, my father his brother and others .. He was. Straight talking often offensive more often funny man who’d struggled with the death of his wife. He was possibly not as he hoped himself to be or as he hoped to be seen and such things were too much for him. He woke and drew me close, I don’t remember how or why only that he asked that we go or that I go. I took no offence, said ok and did as I was asked. I was there, I had generally abstractly perhaps though i would be saying goodbye, so it proved to be, I see now as I seemed to then in nothing wrong in simply obliging his request.  One size though seldom to never fits all.

I returned to Glasgow not long after for his funeral – I don’t remember much of it – I remember my grans for the unusually raw state in which this usually proud and gruffish man now barley stood. I observed, distant and a row or so back.

This had been a quick year – there is upon us all a requirement to exist in the moments afforded to us to the most that the opportunities afforded us allow. This evening an old video ran from summer holidays in the mountains & one in Cornwall and there was the past, familiar faces not so very different for many of us but not for all.

We are bound to ourselves and the way we are – New Years are nothing more than another day of sand falling gradually.. But occasionally it does to reflect, am I paying enough heed to today in my predilection to concern myself with what could be tomorrow, was I enough there when spending all that time filing 20 odd yeas ago, those days when I couldn’t realise how unusual and fortunate much of my life was – am I doing the same now writing these notes to myself about future and past matters rather than appreciating what remains in this today …

New Years – compounded by uncertainties in careers or life – doesn’t do wonders for inherent introspection .. Observing too much? Not taking sufficient care of the day in doing jobs that take up so much life but that relate in only minimal ways to anything that I could conscrue as either interesting or good use of what time we have. The most fun is in the interesting, in the new and in the striving to be that better person making better decisions – nothing that is worthwhile is easy apparently but despite what initial discomforting shock it might bring a visit by three most well informed and directionally certain ghosts being heralded might not have gone amiss ..carrot by the fireplace to encourage forth a visits from the undead dead or whatever ghosts are .. The unquiet dead .. The informed & opinionated dead

Questions … & 2015 .. Antworten

Boxing Day 2014 – Omission Bias – & 2015 questions

Boxing Day – the day with no plans and coming as the third in a chain of days regularly beset by limited occurrences.

Could just lye in the floor and stare at the ceiling – as tempting as that’s been known to be it has a way of eliciting a confused and uncertain response from those with whom one is cooped up. Vacant spaces ..

Amazing how swiftly hours pass at work – evidence of how readily the brain can be fooled, for ostensibly there is much of the vacant space to be found there, only the puzzles or problems of the day such you in.. Like pets enjoy such moments as hoovering or other entertaing activities – movement it seems beats seditery even if the movement is a wheel firmly fixed to some bars & going nowhere other than round.  Offering puzzles – Deceiving in the moment – my work – shielded by at least two layers from meaning.

Layer 1 – an inherent ability to take any energy poured in and channel it out into a familiar unaltering outcome .. The more the struggle the more things stay the same.. not only in the big national organisations do system defend themselves manfully recruiting loyalists to their cause.  Omission bias & the deep routes of local norms

Layer 2 – we’re selling a highly commoditised product.  We don’t make it, we don’t offer it delivered by highly trained postal pelican or complete with added ‘advanced James Bond 1980s evil villain base escape aids.’  Nope we sell stuff for about the same price that any number of others do, in a way which one would be hard pressed to describe as unique, though those more at home in such waters may have stayed more effective means to stay afloat.

Its a game – no more, someone wins someone looses until an oligopoly or minimum viable number of players are established & barriers to entry firmed up.. Its hard to say it matters in any way other as a test of the worthy .. Unlike other tests of the worthy however the outcome to the wider world is beyond negligible, no disease  overcome, no product extended to the masses …

This cyclical test is of course not like a football match – nothing like it – suggestions to the contrary clearly outlanish notions of the uncomprehending.  Anyone that argues that any of the champions league finals are in some way an equivalent retreading of 2005 & Istanbul – nope – they are mistaken, a fool who fails to understand, to appreciate exactly what happened on that the greatest of all nights.  This on the hand is the height of meaningful moments.. A things without equivalence.

While work in the wheel, we leave the board and someone else will immediate grow into the space, indivuduals and their employers.  Customers will still get the product they really have no practical need for, no highly trained pelicans will have to go perform on south bank to make a living and the world will notice not a jot… The stakeholders will notice, suspect they’ve been noticing for some time – I’ve been here only months & noticed … Hence my major reticence on the intended property search – just as well.. Mortgages banks and their predilection for preferring regular and reliable repayment.

So now in the quiet of the empty days – ponderances occur upon what next – some may cry pessimism but to my mind evidence suggests investors don’t tend to love year on year on year losses without sign of reprieve .. People seem to prefer to keep hold of their funds  .

It is a little defeatist but some towels may better suited or at least in need of being thrown in – adapt or die – that is sort of what the market is meantto deliver.. It doesn’t but nor does is molicodle failure..

Work environments seem to demand ever more a mindless cosmetic optimism and this has been lost on me. It seems a growing trend, ever more prevalent, to expect people to say certain things, the optimism is good & pessimism good. Why? Sutely fact and unfettered actually is what leads to good decisions.. A previous colleague, german, simply stated how thing were and why  .. No flowering it up no political manoeuvring – after an initial surprise it was quite the most refreshing thing and by concentrating on actually doing stuff she was immediately more effective than all others.

Optimism – pesamism – accepted scripts of what’s go be said. Surely all are equally poor, two sides of same distortion to solid decision making.  Both suggest and require distortion of facts, ignoring what is self evident and over egging that which suits a preperscribed hypothesis. Surrendering balanced reflection in favour of emotive propensity from within. So let’s talk about opportunities & improvements, the achievements & the progress while the boats lists and breaches ..tipping in a manner that would leave any passenger with a renewed appreciation for dry land

I may cautious and caution tends to was pesamism but that’s nothing to be proud of – it’s a propensity in need of mitigation, if one is to overcome it, to not keep trying to prove the inherent hypothesis previlant in the thoughts but to follow a more balanced considered approach.

Why all this chuntering – well with a change looking like it’s about to foist itself onto life decision may be coming in need of the making.  The question begged – what next?  It’s not really about work at all – as with all such offerings it’s the internal meandering on the self or at least of the self .. Centralised around the self – diaries blogs … I’m guessing so.. People and there thoughts on themselves, what could be more roundly fascinating to all ..

Those who do not learn from the past are destined to repeat or doing the same thing / making the same decisions and expecting different outcomes – there are some famous quotes about that sort of thing .. Mr Einstein – pretty decent source