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It's just us chickens ..

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2016
‘How long do we have to keep them in the coup before we can let them out?’ I asked the lady as she passed the last cardboard box to me with 2 chickens in it.

‘A few weeks should do it.’ She said. ‘They’ll come back to the coup when it starts getting dark anyway, but you don’t want them to wander off in the day.’

We’d never had chickens before, so this was a real adventure for the whole family! And as there are six of us, and we each chose one hen, we were driving off with 6 little hens.

We kept them in their coup for the first couple of weeks, as instructed, and let them wander around the garden. Our garden is around 2 acres, so they had plenty of space to run around and cause trouble.

We were all really surprised how interesting chickens are! They all developed their own little personalities and seeing them wander around the garden was great fun for the kids .. and for me and Sooze!

‘Are you coming to the chicken show tonight...
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Well, I didn't see that coming ..

Uncategorized Aug 31, 2016
In the early 90's I went travelling in South East Asia and stayed on a beautiful island in a little hut right on the beach. It was paradise! Each day, my only real responsibility was to walk about a couple of miles to the local market, choose some fresh fish and a few vegetables and then walk back and cook my dinner in an electric wok!

For four months I did practically the same thing every day.

I’ve always been an animal lover, and most particularly a dog person! So it was very interesting to watch the behaviour each day of all the stray dogs that lived in packs up and down the beach. The pack that lived on my stretch of the beach were a motley crew indeed. There were the older dogs who were obviously the leaders (by older I mean maybe 2 years old at most, life expectancy was not good), and there were the playful puppies. All the travelling foreigners loved to feed the cute puppies, but no one really wanted to have anything to do with the older dogs or the tattered looking,...
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If I can master my hand gestures, anyone can

Uncategorized Aug 30, 2016
‘Oh, did I tell you that Nick said he’d love to do the Q&A with you?’ Paul said.

‘Oh that’s fantastic!’ I said, very excited. Nick Vujicic is one of the most recognised people on the planet, a great speaker and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. To have him as a special guest during the IMC Speaker Training was a real coup!

We started introducing special guests in February 2015 – Les Brown surprised everyone when he came up on stage in the middle of the workshop and blew everyone’s minds with his talent.

Then in August of that year John Maxwell was my special guest – 45 minutes of pure gold from one of the very best speakers in the world.

And now Nick Vujicic, this was really great news!

A few days before the workshop, Paul and I were in Paul’s suite at the Marriot where the event was being held when Nick arrives at the door.

‘Come on in Nick, great to see you!’ Paul said.

Nick drove over to the settee...
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You need to keep well back (further than you think)

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2016
I remember when I was little, me and all the other kids in the road absolutely LOVED fireworks! They didn’t sell them all the year round in England like they do in some countries, so when they came on sale just before bonfire night on November 5th ("Remember, remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot" .. etc!) it was a VERY exciting time.

I was 10 years old, Martin across the road was a year older than me, and he knew all the different fireworks that you could buy by name .. Screachers, Airbombs, Catherine Wheels, Jumpin Jacks (they got banned a few years later), Airbomb Repeaters .. and the infamous LANDMINE!

Of course we couldn’t actually buy fireworks ourselves because you had to be 16! So we would scavenge at the end of organised firework displays. We’d collect all the old fireworks and see if we could find any that hadn’t gone off.

One day, we met early in the morning at the Cricket Club, the day after a big firework show the night before....
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Everything changes, but dreams don't

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2016
 
When we moved into our house in 2005, the first thing we thought about doing was having the house extended. As it was an old house that was listed (on a register of old houses with lots of restrictions as to what you can change) we knew it was going to be a difficult process.

One of the requirements of the local planning office was to include English Heritage in the planning process. Their first requirement was that we got an architectural historian's report on the house to document its evolution over the years.

I found a company who could do the work and they sent someone out to spend a day looking at the house, taking pictures of all the old beams and generally cataloguing every tiny detail.

After about 4 hours he came down into my office and said excitedly ‘You have to come up into the attic and look at this!’

So, somewhat bemused by his excitement, I followed him up into the attic. ‘Look at that’ he said pointing to one of the rafters near the...
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You can't see the picture when you are in the frame

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2016
 
Last week Susan and I were in the suite in Orlando talking at the end of an extremely busy day. We had two days before our Influencing the Outcome event on the 19th.

‘I think I am going to use the Eliza story this time.’ I said to Susan, as a statement but looking for approval.

‘I don’t think it fits.’ she said with a 'why would you want to do that?' look on her face!

‘What do you mean?’ I asked her surprised.

‘Well, it’s a great story but it doesn’t really fit with the end of the seminar.’ she said.

I was somewhat injured by her cold criticism and dismissed her feedback because she didn’t understand!

The next morning my mind went back to what Susan had said. Now, less defensive and emotional, I realised to my surprise that she was absolutely right! For years, week in week out, I have been coaching people on making sure that their stories have a point. That the point and the story are tightly related. That the...
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Adventures in Guatemala

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2016
 
I woke up very early this morning, too early to get up and do stuff, so I laid there in bed for an hour or more. My mind drifted to a very bizarre experience I had in Guatemala a few years back, that I hadn’t really thought about since it happened.

The first time I went to Guatemala was 2013 when about 150 JMT coaches took transformation to the country with John Maxwell. It was a truly sensational trip. While we were there, Paul and I really fell in love with the country and the beautiful people and so we decided we would like to do some charity work there. Over the next year or so we went back 3 or 4 times and looked at different projects that we could get involved with.

One trip, we talked to a Charity called DAR who ran school in the middle of nowhere. They offered to show us the school to see if it was the sort of project we wanted to invest in. It was either 4 hours of winding roads to get to it, or 45 minutes by helicopter. They offered to fly us there if we...
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Spectacular performance vs unspectacular preparation

Uncategorized Aug 23, 2016
 
So I’m sitting in the Orlando lounge with Sooze, surrounded by bags of Disney gifts for the kids, talking about what a fantastic International Maxwell Certification live event it was. On the drive up from Jupiter we compared this training to the last one and it reminded me of something John Maxwell had said.

It was on day 3 of the last training when I was filming with John in the morning. The filming went really well and Susan, John and I were all sharing a laugh at the end when Susan said as a passing comment, ‘You’re always so busy, I wish we had time for lunch.’

Straight away John said ‘Great idea! Let’s have lunch today!’

So at 12 noon we met John and went for lunch. We chatted for about an hour and a half about property, relatives, God, Speaking and Arnold Palmers of all things! Time spent with John is always so precious and very enlightening.

Towards the end of the lunch I said ‘John when am I going to see you deliver the Eric...
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Live from the IMC event :)

Uncategorized Aug 17, 2016
 
Sorry I didn’t get to you yesterday with a story, it was a pretty hectic day here in Orlando! 3,500 life-giving-people, all in the biggest room I’ve ever seen, provided a constant supply of selfie opportunities I just couldn’t tear myself away from!

At the beginning of day 1, before the doors opened for all the new people to come in, the mentorship alumni were in the room for Paul’s behind the scenes session. At the end of the session, John asked everyone to circle the room for a prayer.

It was a pretty special sight to see just under 500 helpers holding hands, circling the entire room – over 100 metres wide and 100 metres long. I looked up at the 6 giant jumbo-tron screens, stepped back through the room, and then tried to make out the faces of the people on the opposite side of the room. It was pretty amazing to think about how far this team has come in just 5 short years.

Then the doors opened to the sound of pounding music and 3,000 more people...
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The Tooth Fairy

Uncategorized Aug 15, 2016
 
Friday night was our first night in Orlando. We went for a fantastic meal at the Steakhouse on the Golf Course with Paul and Kelly and some of the rest of the team who were in early. We ended up talking about family and kids and Father Christmas (like you do)!

‘Roddy doesn’t think we should encourage the kids to believe in Father Christmas.’ Susan said mockingly.

‘No, I didn’t quite say that, I just think you have to be careful with what information goes into their young minds.’ I said defensively, I could tell everyone thought I was mean.

‘What harm could it do to believe in Santa?’ Kay pleaded.

‘Well, a few years ago, Susan told Amelie that there was a tooth fairy!’ I said.

‘Of course!’ 3 people jumped in at the same time.

‘Well Susan used to give Amelie two pounds for each tooth she put under her pillow.’ I said.

‘What’s wrong with that?’

‘Well, nothing I suppose, if you...
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