Sails Of The Unexpected

Well. After six days on the trot of massive over-indulgence that came to a natural end two days ago, I have now spent one day resting with a little working from home and today taking the bull by the horns with a surprising level of working and planning. I was intending to take until the 5th January as holiday, but decided I would rather do some catching up and workload clearing before New Year while I was in the right mood and mind-frame, so it isn’t such a chore and formidable prospect when I get back in to the office officially. Initially only setting out to answer a few emails and organise a few work tasks, I seem to have unexpectedly written a new business plan in the process. Nice. If nothing else, it has drastically improved my mood and given me new focus, at just the right time.

Now, I already have a blossoming career on the go as a yacht broker and company director; a job I absolutely adore doing and am very lucky to be able to do, and things are actually going pretty well for us – but a little while ago I decided that with such a risky position selling astronomically luxury items in what has been a very difficult market for a number of years and even though I am currently financially the strongest I have ever been, the best time to add another string to my bow would be when I have no pressure and good visibility for the future and not when things have already started going south or worse, when they have arrived at rock bottom. As I am acutely aware of the fact that it is incredibly challenging selling possibly one of the most niche products there is (we sell ocean-going liveaboard cruising catamarans, so not only do you have to be in to sailing, which is already one of the most exclusive arenas, you have to be in to catamaran cruising and have the money to partake in this…) I have thought for some time that it wouldn’t hurt to have a plan in place for if I ever need a new venture to pay the bills and keep me focussed. Plus, being that I work almost entirely under my own steam already and that I get to completely manage my time, I am able to gently start up something new at a pace and commitment level that suits me. Ace.

The main reason for all of this pre-planning for a fall-back is because I don’t think I could ever work for someone else again – an ideology that absolutely terrifies me. I’d be sacked on day 1 for insubordination, for sure.

On top of all that, I have even written a new blog post – another tick for the day and not something I manage all that often.

Happy New Year to you all.

Turn Off The Machines, While My Guitar Tries To Sleep.

Most days, when I am at home, I wake up and get up when I choose to. I open the curtains a touch to let some natural light in, check my phone (which is always on silent during the night), and pick up the remote that controls select power sockets in my room. Using this device, I can control the audio, light and heat in my room, plus also switch on the pre-prepared coffee machine, all without leaving my bed. When I’m ready, I get out of bed, grab the fresh cup of coffee I commanded to brew at the click of a button, sit down at my desk and open my laptop. To give you, the anonymous reader, a basic existential image of my room, it is a complex hybrid of bedroom, office, lounge, studio and store room. In no particular order of hierarchy or practicable usage.

Sat in front of my computer, I lean over and click on the TV, navigate my streaming device to the news and pop it on in the background. Unless something grabs my attention pretty quickly, I usually mute this and put some music on, or balance the two using my desktop-located mixing desk that everything audiovisual runs through. If I feel the need, and it’s not already running, I’ll fire up the dehumidifier in my otherwise mildly damp room. Then the usual office duties ensue; checking emails, managing tasks and making calls. Once I’m feeling more relaxed and comfortable that all the important stuff is in hand for the day, I’ll grab a shower and another cup of coffee or espresso from the kicthen and consider some breakfast, which I’ll eat while giving more attention to the news that’s on in the background.

Then back to work. I’ve worked from home for many years, very effectively, and fully enjoy this – however obvious that sounds. I am good at working on my own initiative and managing my time effectively and this is absolutely key to being able to work from a home office. I love the freedom to manage my time and put pressure on myself to get things done. Technology is very empowering and enables me to be able to work from most places as long as I have power and a data connection. I guess I am writing this post because I am constantly aware of my increasing reliance on gadgetry and electronics for productivity and comfort. Also, many of the devices we now see as everyday items are things I really wanted when I was younger yet they were either unattainable or uninvented at the time. Now I have access to all the tech wizardry that I can imagine. It’s great. I surround myself with it constantly, and most of it really does aid and help me get through the day in a more satisfied and fruitful manner.

Aside from specific technology that helps me autonomise my day, the other thing I like to do is keep things neat and tidy. In a similar vein to that of an earlier post about compartmentalising, I also love boxes. I find it hugely cathartic throwing or giving things away, but second to that is boxing them up. Items I don’t need for the day-to-day, but am not ready to let go entirely or have no foreseeable immediate use for. The relevance of this is that it all generally occurs in my hybrid work-space of a bedroom and helps me keep some kind of control and order to what could potentially be a room filled with chaos. I am someone who fully functions around the whole ‘tidy home, tidy mind’ personal ideology. It helps me get on with other things and I pretty much rely on it in order to relax. I abhor things in my own life feeling disorganised.

The final destination of this post is nicely segued by the policy of being organised; I am not good at sleeping, and have struggled with this for years and years although it has slightly improved this year for some reason. Life is far too complex to know exactly what causes everything, especially something you can’t easily explain. I do believe having a clear mind is very important (for me at least) in order to maximise the chances of quality rest and therefore enable the brain to carry out it’s circadian-neuro-housekeeping*.

This is potentially the longest post I have written, so a good place to stop.

*Yes, I coined this phrase myself. Shush now.

Christmas Day

Today, of all the days of the year is where I find myself really thinking about all those people who don’t have anyone special to spend time with. I know so many people who have lost loved ones and a few who are alone or don’t have that someone really special to spoil or enjoy the holiday period with and I truly empathise with them, more than most people who know me realise.

This is going to be a short post, as I am finding it more difficult to express in words my deepest thoughts on this – but to all those missing someone or feeling lonely; I wish you a warm Christmas and wonderful things for the new year.

Running, Man

I never thought I would be at this stage in my life. Whoa, that sounds a little deep – especially when you find out I am merely talking about the fact I now run.

Up until 3 weeks ago to the day, I had only been running once or maybe twice in my adult life. I hated the thought of it, wasn’t particularly keen on the kind of person who usually does it – purely because I always thought of running as the kind of activity choice for people who didn’t have the foresight to see there are many far superior options out there, and when I considered all the other things on offer to go out and get fresh air and exercise, running really just wasn’t for me. I have always ridden bikes as my primary exercise of choice; this started when it wasn’t even for the exercise that I did it – being that all kids ride bikes (or should anyhow). Anyway, back to the running. Funnily I do remember being reasonably OK at cross-country events at school, and although I hated being forced in to it and the changing rooms and the kit, it was OK. So with all this in mind, I recently decided that some cross-country or ‘trail’ running might be for me. It makes sense – I love the woods and the mud and the nature you get off-road; part of the reason I am drawn to mountain-biking and hiking amongst other things. Not to mention the space you get and the views. The thought of road running is hideous to me to be quite honest.

So, 3 weeks ago today I went for my first trail run as an adult. I went with a friend who has been running for a little while but who wanted to take it easy as he’d had some time off. We ran 2.54 miles and I loved every second of it. I very quickly realised that, more so in the winter, one of the beauties of running was the ease and lack of hassle involved to go out and get some good exercise – compared to the biking where the cleaning takes up more time than the riding almost. It’s great.

Suffice it to say, I have now been out for 7 runs and am about to go for my 8th – again with the friend who ran with me on my first run 21 days ago. My longest run so far has been 6.1 miles, and I am apparently on target for covering 10k in under an hour which I am very pleased with. I’m loving the mud, the views, the people I pass and say hello to and as with all the outdoor activities I enjoy, the feeling I get when I finish each time. That post-exercise shower and coffee for example, is one of the greatest feelings I experience in life.

I have just glanced out of my window, there is not a cloud in sight, just a glorious, crisp blue sky. Time to get out on it again.


Not only do I absolutely adore the word, but I am positively obsessed with compartmentalising everything I can in my life. I love bags, which I have written about here previously, and for which I am sure I have an addiction; the act of placing things neatly and categorically in to their place where I can easily access and utilise the items and grab them to take with me at any given time is, for me, pure bliss. I love making little piles of things to attend to on my desk and love even more the feeling of attending to them and therefore ticking them off my lists (lists, that a whole other can of worms that I’ll probably ramble on about AGAIN another time; in fact so is rambling, but more on THAT later also) and either destroying items in the pile and beautifully clearing space in my life or moving them to a more long-term compartment of order once dealt with.

Many other things provide satisfaction in and around this area – wallets, bottles, wardrobes; all types of storage solutions and devices make me very happy. I’m 30 now and I don’t mind admitting all this.

And yes, I have had a ‘venti’ of Caramel Macchiato this morning. Time for a tea.


These last few months especially, I seem to have a perpetually packed bag of some description. In particular, the last month or so I have literally come home from being away, emptied one bag, packed another, gone to bed and then got up to head somewhere else. If I’m lucky, I’ve had time to stick some washing on (although finding time to let it dry before setting off again has been a challenge).

In the last 3 months I have been to Amsterdam, Portugal, France, Morocco and back to France again, not to mention in any detail the various UK trips. Of course, I love this and it sounds quite impressive, but a lot of it is very hard work and at big expense to our company – necessary steps to give ourselves the best chance of making some back. I am constantly anxious about the amount of outlay we have to commit to in order to keep the momentum for the business.

I mentioned in an earlier post how much I enjoy packing a bag and heading off on a trip, with the simplicity of living with only a small selection of items for a short period. This is still so very true, although I find myself again today looking forward to being home. I am writing this in the passenger seat of a car en route to Calais following an epic business trip that has seen us covering 1500 miles so far, and we’re still over 200 miles from the English Channel. It has been a successful one I am pleased to report, but I am totally shattered and looking forward to my own surroundings and a little bit of down-time.

The truth is that I’ll only need a day or two back home before I start feeling like I’d like to go away again… Lucky for me I have nearly two weeks until the next trip (!) and will be very busy in between with work, birthdays and more trip planning. Cue more frantic bag loading.

A typical day on one of our work trips will involve getting up around 7am, breakfast at 8, meeting our business partners around 9/9:30, then the clients around 10am. We will then spend all day with them, showing them the factory, the manufacturing processes, taking them for lunch, then going for a sail in the afternoon, followed by a 2 or 3 hour meeting and then dinner with them also. It is very full-on and even though it sounds lovely in places (which it indeed is sometimes) it is hard work, tiring and anxiety-producing. Some days are easily up to 17 hours long, and most of the time for me, I have to do it on very little sleep. I didn’t even get time on this most recent week-long jaunt to start my new book. I managed to finish my last one during the Marrakech trip, which was for pleasure and not work.

We have just hit traffic on the outskirts of Paris. Nice.


I definitely prefer days where I have more to do than I can actually fit it or complete in one day. I love getting up and clearing things off the numerous lists I maintain constantly. I love the feeling of achievement, or is it just the need to remain busy as much as possible?

I am certainly not comfortable with the feeling of needing to do something and not doing it; I can’t relax until I feel on top of everything. I enjoy rushing around and meeting up with different people, going from here to there and back again to get things done. I have always enjoyed work and hope I always do. In the same breath, I like the odd day of doing things at home without any real jobs to do, but I can only handle one of those days every couple of weeks really.

Been meaning to write this one for a week or two now, but I have been away a hell of a lot and not had any real time to do so. Until now – I am sat in an apartment in La Rochelle tapping this out before I head off to meet a client.


I think I actually have some kind of travel disorder, where I need to have forthcoming travel plans at all times in order to be even remotely happy. I absolutely love packing a bag and heading off to new places; whether locally or thousands of miles away. The feeling I get from adventure is second-to-none.

When I’m away I love the fact that everything in my possession at any given time fits in to one bag; this really helps to de-clutter my mind so I can more effectively try to focus on relaxing or experiencing new things. The simplicity is wonderful. A few toiletries, my phone, ┬álimited clothing, a book and few other miscellaneous items. Nothing else to consider when moving around, and all the things back home are temporarily pushed to the very back of my thought queue; giving me the only realistic┬áchance for respite, being able to take a break from the daily pressures of work and the constant stimulation of domesticity and other mundane tasks.

Even if only for a day or two, this is one of the most important factors of my life I need to maintain at all costs. I reckon I average around 14 trips a year currently.

Keeping Organised

Today I have been thinking about my organised nature. I realise that every object in my life has an action attached to it. My wallet sits on my desk in front of me; I know I need that to hand at all times – it is not mess or part of anything ‘disorganised’. It passes all levels and stages of scrutiny.

A piece of paper with notes on, a bill, an article – these all have places, and must be filed in these places as soon as they are on my radar. This place of filing could be the bin, or a box somewhere in a place of order, or in a bag ready to be taken with me.

Every file I save on my computer has an associated folder it must be saved in to, and without fail I always think about the automatic backup that happens when I save them – just to make sure it is doing so. This is always checked and noted, which kind of defeats the object of it being automatic and ‘convenient’.

This shit drives me crazy, but not as much as if I left it all in disarray. I really envy people who can switch off and forget about things like this.