Word in Edgeways…..(shut up and listen!)

Have you ever had one of those conversations when you just cant get a word in edgeways? When the person opposite you seems to not even take a breath…..and you know that they will not stop until they have said their piece? I love a good conversation especially when the person you are with is interesting but who is also interested in you and what you have to say. There is nothing worse than not being part of a conversation but simply being on the end of a lecture and feeling like you have not been heard. Is the art of conversation dying….are we becoming a society of people who would prefer to stare into their screens in silence and when confronted by another person they are simply unable to interact? Recently I have experienced this situation, whereby the other person displayed the inability to have a 2 way conversation and the net effect is that nothing is achieved and you feel completely ignored and frustrated. If only we had a little more time for each other, to listen to one another and to be heard. Maybe next time I find myself in this situation I will follow the lead of the Jackdaw in this photo and  simply shout SHUT UP and LISTEN!

Lakes 19.06.11 216


Generalist, Specialist or Opportunist….which one am I?

You may wonder what has an image of 2 birds on a birdfeeder got to do with the title of this post, well yes I agree it may be a little tentative but let me see if I can explain my thought process….

So today I was sat at my desk considering job titles, roles and responsibilities and the necessary skills that fulfil them. What is it that leads us to believe that one person may be a better fit for a role than another? In the acting world people audition for roles, in the business world people interview for roles, so what is the difference between an audition and an interview? Stay with me here….in my opinion they are one and the same, to some degree we all act out the part that we think others want us to be. During an interview the candidate will behave in a certain manner, provide answers that they assume are what the interviewer wants to hear. In an audition you do the same, you play the part in a manner that you believe fits the character, only in an audition it is a little easier to distinguish between the actor and the character. In an interview the lines are more blurred.

Back to the title of this post, the question is during an interview are you seeing the generalist, specialist or opportunist at work and how do you ultimately make a decision? Does the person define the role or does the role define the person that you inevitably choose? Do you go with the individual who has all the skills on paper but who may lack the right personality, the person with the personality that fits the environment but who has less experience, the specialist who knows much about less or the generalist who knows little about much? It’s a tricky question and one that can lead to a bad decision.

My own preference would be to go with the generalist, someone who has a little knowledge about many areas as I believe that these individuals display a talent to absorb and utilise in a broader spectrum, with the ability to diversify and build on their knowledge. Of course it depends upon the role, but there is never a perfect fit and like the birds in the image, one may be the perfect build for birdfeeder,agile and fast, the other a perfect fit for the woodland environment camouflaged and stealthy, but as these 2 demonstrate, a willingness to learn new skills from another and adaptability are the key to success!


41 Day 220 – Winter White

This is another of the images taken last weekend whilst out enjoying the recent snow. I wanted to keep the theme of white whilst trying to go a little off the beaten track, those of you who have followed me for a while know that I have tended to stay with tried and trusted methods but with the sheer brilliance of the snow I tried breaking a few rules and wanted to achieve something different. Some time ago I posted a shot of a swan sleeping, in colour, detailing the feathers and highlighting the colour in an otherwise white bird. This time I have photographed this very willing subject with the emphasis on the whiteness of his plumage. He was an absolute star, preening and posing to perfection, a beautiful Swan indeed, white as the snow around him, not in the least bit bothered by my constant fiddling with the camera and recomposing the image! So here he is in all his winter white glory…

41 Day203 – Swans on Flood Water Field

Driving to work a few days ago I couldnt believe the amount of rain that had fallen, flooding lanes and villages on my route, turning ploughed fields into shallow lakes. One field in particular borders the lane that I drive and the water had risen to almost the height of the road, swamping the fences and overflowing into the ditch, luckily it had not breached onto the lane! The light at that time of the morning was soft and low and the colours it cast across the water was so soft, like a watercolour painting. As I drove past I saw 2 swans appear from the edge of the flooded field and glide regally into sight, taking great pleasure in their new found home. I just had to stop! but as always there was so much traffic behind me so I drove to the end of the lane and then promptly turned round and headed back, stopping a few yards away on the grass verge, careful not to go to close to the saturated ditch. Then, would you believe it! My batteries died in my camera!! Admittedly it was only my small pocket camera but I was livid! Marching back up the lane to the car I had only one option, to use my phone camera, so not quite the shot I wanted, definately not as crystal clear and sharp as I would have liked but still a pleasing shot.

41 Day 103 – Splashing Time

The sun shone and so I made the most of it! (well you have too!) I drove out to Thornton Reservoir, a place that I knew was there but had never visited until recently, so today was a test to see if I could find it again! Having parked up I set off, the reservoir has a circular walk around the banks and is simply lovely! Even though there were many people there it wasnt crowded and it gave me plenty of oppotunity to take some photos but today I have shot in RAW format. This particular shot was taken whilst enjoying a hot chocolate! The duck was having such a good time, splashing around and generally annoying all the other ducks who were waiting patiently for some crumbs to be thrown in their direction, no chance! I was enjoying my cherry muffin far too much to share!



41 Day 73 – Imposter!

Today is Easter Sunday, a religious day for Christians around the world but do you know why we give eggs at Easter? Well apparently eggs are a forbidden food during the period of Lent, and so eggs are given at this time as a celebration of new life and new beginnings. An Anglo  Saxon legend tells how the Saxon Goddess Eostre found a wounded bird and transformed it into a Hare so that it would survive the Winter, the Hare found that it could lay eggs and so decorated them each Spring and left them for the Goddess as a gift! In more recent times the first Easter eggs were birds eggs which were hand painted in bright colours and given as gifts however around the world there are many different references to eggs at Easter. Personally I love eggs and I especially love chocolate eggs! So todays image just had to be egg related! (How did I manage to get through this post without one egg joke?? Eggstremely unusual for me!)

41 Day 34 – Bottoms Up!

By the time I got home tonight it was still light and so I headed to a small village a mile from where I live in the hope of finding todays photo. I wasnt really sure what I wanted for todays photo but just as I was about to return to the car I noted a group of ducks with their young heading down the canal. The ducklings seemed to be having a great time chasing each other round and diving head first into the water copying their parents! At this point I started to snap away and have ended up with a rather cute image perfect for a caption competition…let me know your caption!!

Do you reckon she's gone yet??