If you’re worried about the weather then you picked the wrong place to stay.

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

When we’re young – let’s say between the ages of 15 and 18 – we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up. We’re usually then told to take that notion and pursue it for the rest of our lives on the basis that we’re following our dreams by doing so.

I can see the logic of that in some respects. After all, when we’re young we tend not to be encumbered with cynicism or, put another way, a sense of reality. I used to be very interested in the idea of pipe dreams and whether it was naive to pursue them. I ended up spending a few months putting that to the test.

The evidence I found suggested that pipe dreams weren’t pipe dreams at all – they were just aspirations that we hadn’t quite reached yet. I found that we tend to be limited by barriers of our own making rather than impossibility.

Tash Friday 24:10:14

On that basis, I could tell you that if you want something badly enough then you can achieve it. I could go on to say that if you find something impossible then you’re simply not working hard enough.

But that’s not life, is it – it’s not that simple.

I’m not persuaded that the aspirations we have when we’re 15 or 18 become impossible in later life. Maybe we realise that we have developed different aspirations as we get older. We might say that our old aspirations have become impossible as a way of getting ourselves off the hook for not pursuing our childhood dream.

Even that’s too simple though. Sometimes, we do everything possible to achieve what we want and we still don’t manage to get where we want to be. I don’t have any explanation for that other than the truism that life isn’t fair.

It doesn’t seem satisfactory for TF to simply say that life isn’t fair and that sometimes we won’t achieve what we want. This week’s Tash, Friedrich Nietzsche, said:

“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

Tash Friday 24:10:14 2

In the same way that we shouldn’t wait for something to happen before we engage with life, we also shouldn’t let something which has happened hold us back. Our lives do not stop the moment that something unfair happens or when we don’t reach a goal which we set ourselves. Life carries on regardless.

If we spend too much time gazing into an abyss of disappointment or wrestling with the inner monsters which tell us that we have failed, then we risk being overcome by disappointment or a sense of failure. The only answer is to not dwell for too long on perceived failure or disappointment and to press on with whatever comes next.

It’s also worth remembering, in the same way that what we wanted when we were 18 might not be what we want now, that our aspirations will continue to change and there will be another target at which we can aim and gain satisfaction. As we talked about last week, life is full of pivotal moments and we have to pivot with them. We may not always perceive what life throws at us as being “fair” but we can choose how we react and whether we move forward.

The difficulty which so many of us find is in freeing ourselves from our inner monsters and avoiding the gaze of the abyss. I’ll offer a view on that in Part 3.

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

How it starts

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

In season one of The Sopranos, Christopher Moltisanti – the youngest member of the Soprano crime family and desperate to be a “made guy”  – tries and fails to write a screenplay. The frustration he feels in not being able to write the script mirrors the frustration he feels in relation to the rest of his life. He realises that the narrative arc which he cannot create in his screenplay matches what he perceives to be the lack of an arc in his own life. He thinks he’s getting nowhere.

Tash Friday 17:10:14

One of the many great facets of The Sopranos is that we identify with its characters, even though their behaviour is far removed from our own experiences. Many of us will, at times, feel like we’re getting nowhere. What Christopher soon finds out is that life isn’t like in the movies – we don’t have one pivotal moment where are lives are changed and our “real” narrative begins. Our lives are full of pivotal moments and it’s up to us to notice them and take action to either use them as opportunities or correct our course.

In the real world, our lives can change on account of the most unlikely and seemingly insignificant things. For example, I wonder what would have become of this fresh-faced young man had he not decided to sport a Tash and go into show-business?

Tash Friday 17:10:11 2

As this is TF, we have to say that we don’t think he would have been so successful.

Equally, I wonder what could have happened to this week’s Tash had he not taken steps to change his life after this picture was taken?

Tash Friday 17:10:14 3

That’s Tim Allen in 1978, shortly after his arrest while carrying 650 grams of cocaine. He would later be convicted of drug trafficking and serve just over two years in prison. He was released in 1981, 10 years before the start of Home Improvements, the show which would make him famous and propel his career and his life in a more productive direction.

The point I’m trying to make is that Christopher Moltisanti was wrong – he thought that he had to wait for something to happen before he could start living. What he didn’t understand was that we control our own narratives. Sure, there are unexpected twists and turns along the way but that’s what happens in life and it’s up to us to make sure we stay on track and get to where we want to go

This week’s TF is the first of a trilogy. We’ve now talked about how we get started, the next step is working out what to do next.

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

The Bell Tolls

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

I woke up on Wednesday to the joyous news that First Scotrail has been unsuccessful in retaining its franchise to run most of Scotland’s train services for the next ten years. TF’s dissatisfaction with Scotrail has been well documented and I won’t repeat the standard complaints that most – if not all – Scotrail customers make against their local train service.

Tash Friday 10:10:14 4

For some very strange reason, when I heard the news I immediately thought: “the bell tolls”. I thought about tweeting @scotrail “the bell finally tolls for thee.” I didn’t, that would not have been good for my Twitter-cred.

What I did do was wonder where that phrase about bells tolling came from.

It turns out the phrase comes from a passage in John Donne’s, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII: Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Mr Donne’s seventeenth century work (and his very pointy beard) but here’s the relevant part (and a painting of his beard!):

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells toll; it tolls for thee.”

Tash Friday 10:10:14

There are apparently a few interpretations of that passage but I think he’s saying we’re all connected and that if the bell tolls for one of us, or if one us suffers loss, we are all diminished.

Let’s test out our old chum John Donne’s theory in relation to the loss of First Scotrail:

  1. First Scotrail’s franchise is being taken over by a Dutch company. First is run from aberdeen and so, perhaps, this means that more of the profits of the business will flow out of Scotland than before.
  2. Scotrail will have presumably done their best over the last couple of years to pull out all of the stops to ensure that their service was as good as it could have been in an attempt to keep the franchise. Will the new franchisee have the same incentive given that they’re here for at least five years and probably ten?
  3. Some of what is wrong with Scotrail’s current service stems from the network itself; which they annoyingly remind us is nothing to do with them.
  4. Does changing the franchisee every ten years discourage real investment in improvements?
  5. Perhaps most importantly, Scotrail employs almost 5,000 people. As we know, in most cases where ownership of a business is transferred or there is any kind of major reorganisation, “rationalisation” – which always seems a gruesome euphemism for sacking people – occurs. We don’t really believe that we’ll soon be travelling between any Scottish city for a fiver – as has apparently been promised – so why would we believe that there won’t be any compulsory redundancies?

Having thought about it, I think big John Donne pretty much nailed the economic realities of a 21st century liberal society. That’s pretty solid work for a guy from the 1600s.

Anyway, having bored you all rigid with that, it’s time for the Tash. Ernest Hemingway saw the truth in what John Donne said and gave one of his books the title: “For Whom The Bell Tolls”. Apart from trying to work out how Hemingway came across Donne’s work without the assistance of Google, I realised that this was as good an opportunity as I’m going to get to use a quote of Hemingway’s which I particularly like:

“Never mistake motion for action.”

I almost made that mistake this week when I heard that Scotrail was being sacked. I’ll wait to see if the change is motion or action.

As you’d expect from one of the 20th centuries great wordsmiths, Hemingway wore an excellent Tash.

Tash Friday 10:10:14

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

Back to basics

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

When Tash Friday first started, it was aimed at finding something that everyone could appreciate. That’s a harder task than you might imagine – we don’t all like the same music; we don’t all like the same food; and we certainly don’t all like the same people. However, the Tash was, and is, different – everyone can appreciate a well-worn Tash.

TF’s theory about why everyone appreciates a Tash is that it’s about class. Not social class but the kind of class that cannot be taught; cannot be bought; and cannot be faked. The men (and, occasionally, women) who can really wear the Tash correctly are generally the ones with real class. There are exceptions, of course, and not all of the people who stand in the great pantheon of Tashes wear one all the time. But when they do, their class shines through. As discerning people, Tash Appreciators understand that quality and, as the name suggests, appreciate it.

In the recent past, examples of that class have included these two:

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Tash Friday 3:10:14

True class, or form, as others might put it, isn’t found in the amount of money you make or the clothes you wear. It’s about being yourself, being at ease in your own skin and making those around you feel at ease in theirs. It’s about bringing the best out of others because they have faith in your ability but doing it in a way which empowers them rather than overshadows them. People with class will not stop learning or giving maximum effort in all of their endeavours. They dare greatly and are gracious in both victory and defeat.

This week, I think I’ve found someone with all of those qualities. He’s dedicated to his profession and is not part of the celebrity “scene”, saying in response to questions relating to his private life: “I chose for a long time not to answer these questions because of the manner in which they were asked, and because I was never talking to someone I trusted, so why should I?” Every film, theatre production and television series in which he appears or produces are improved by his input. If anything, he has improved with age. To finish off the package, he manages to pull off the old receding hair-line look!

This week’s Tash was in Se7en, The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential, American Beauty and the tremendous Margin Call. He’s been Henry VI, Richard II, Kaiser Soze and (my favourite) Frank Underwood:

Tash Friday 3:10:14 5

He is probably my favourite actor – Kevin Spacey. He’s also been known to wear a Tash pretty bloomin’ well – there’s nothing this man cannot do:

Tash Friday 3:10:14 3

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

You’re having a gaffe

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

After several weeks of heavy and sometimes heated political discourse, TF HQ was this week alive to the sound of lol’ing as the leaders of the two largest UK political parties deliberately gave us all some light relief. At least, we assumed it was deliberate. Surely no politician could be as daft as these two?

First, there was Ed Miliband and his keynote speech to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

Tash Friday 26:9:14 6

The moment Ed realised he hadn’t mentioned the deficit OR immigration

In the days leading up to the speech, the Labour Party front bench had been out in force trying to build up hype. Ed Balls – who assaulted a journalist during a charity football match last week – was on The Today programme teasing the listeners by saying that his esteemed leader had a ten-year plan for the economy but that we’d have to wait for the speech to find out what it was. Thankfully, John Humphrys didn’t push Mr Balls too hard (my word that name is fun) as he would surely have run the risk of getting battered too.

Tash Friday 26:9:14 3

After all that, Ed’s comedy master stroke was to “forget” the sections of his speech relating to the deficit – you know, the issue which has dominated politics since 2008 – and immigration – the issue which, according to Nigel Farage, will lead to the end of the world. It was genius – no-one was expecting him to miss out those parts!

I have to say, I didn’t quite get the joke as I was reasonably interested in what Ed had to say on the deficit in particular. However, it must be one of those things that you only appreciate if you’re a parliamentarian; like stealing from the public purse and being very vocal in relation to issues in which you have no expertise.

The other contender for gag-of-the-week was David Cameron making saucy comments about the Queen while he was making Victoria Beckham his UN ambassador and partying with his world leader pals in New York.

It was worthy of prime-time, let alone a Prime Minister. Imagine the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland suggesting that Queen Elizabeth (who, let’s not forget, was chosen by God) “purred” down the phone to him when he gave her the news that Scotland had voted against independence!

Sources suggest that it wasn’t a literal purr but speculation is growing as to how close D-Cam and his unionist comrade George Galloway got on the “Better Together” campaign trail. If D-Cam is into people who purr at him, he and Mr Galloway seem like a match made in heaven.

Tash Friday 26:9:14 4

Anyway, I still haven’t heard Ed Miliband’s ten-year plan to deal with the deficit. It must be a belter because no politician would ever be so bold as to claim that they had such a plan unless they knew it was spot-on. After all, even Stalin refused to commit to anything longer than a five-year plan and he had rather more power – and rather less opposition – than Miliband will ever have. Maybe Ed forgot to tell us all about it so that he didn’t end up looking like this week’s Tash eleven years from now.

I’m sure Michael Fish was an excellent meteorologist but everyone remembers his one terrible prediction. Here’s to you Michael, at least your Tash was good:

Tash Friday 26:9:14 2

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next? (Tip: don’t ask Miliband)

Shut Up Legs

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

I’ve been making my way through a series of documentaries on the initial training of Navy SEALs this week. The series followed one class from the beginning to the end of their training.

Tash Friday 19:9:14 3

It turns out that SEAL training, particularly the first three weeks of it, is even more horrific than I had previously imagined. They call the first phase “two weeks and one long day”. The “one long day” refers to the third week of training, also known as Hell Week, where those wanting to become SEALs get up very early on Sunday morning and next go to bed on Friday night.

The purpose behind this torturous form of training turns out not to be a test of physical ability – these guys are already in good shape – it’s to teach them a lesson. The lesson is that their bodies are capable of withstanding more than they think possible and that the only thing holding them back is their mind.

To put the lesson in context, the first two weeks involve a series of “evolutions” which are carried out by boat crews of six. The evolutions range from each boat crew doing exercises while holding very large logs above their heads; to paddling rafts through/over impossibly large waves; to lying in freezing cold water for long periods of time.

Hell Week involves doing all of that for five or six straight days.

Tash Friday 19:9:14 4

As far as I’m concerned, surviving Hell Week should be impossible. That view is supported by the fact that the vast majority of those who start Hell Week do not make it past day two or three. However, by the third day, you can see that the prospective SEALs have simply stopped thinking about the pain and the fatigue. They no longer think; they simply do. They have gone beyond the mental barrier which in normal circumstances would have caused them to stop and they just get on with it.

In a less hostile environment, something similar happened last night. Jens Voigt, the 43 year old German cyclist, pushed his body to its limit by cycling a staggering 51.115km in one hour. That’s 400m further than the previous record.

I’m quite certain that Jens could have been a SEAL if he’d wanted to be. He’s well known – and incredibly popular – among cycling fans for his no-nonsense approach to riding and his seeming indifference to pain.

For those who haven’t heard of “The Jensie”, he retired last night but all year he’s been racing in a team where he’s been a pro longer than most of his team mates have been alive. But despite his age, the punishing pace which he sets when he’s racing is one that few can keep up with. That’s not because he’s physically in better shape than other riders (he’s clearly not), his ability comes from his mental strength. When his legs are screaming at him to stop, he simply says “shut up legs” and presses on. Seriously.

Not everyone can work at the level of Jens or SEALs – most of us will find that our brains will take over at some point and say “that’s enough”. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep taking ourselves to our limits and try to push them just a bit further away. In some cases, even where logic and reason says that something is impossible, we find that it is not. Sometimes glass ceilings can be smashed through and closed doors can be knocked down. I found that notion reassuring this week.

As for the Tash, Jens obviously rocked one:

Tash Friday 19:9:14

and it turns out the SEALs have been enjoying the benefits of a Tash since 1992 at least:

Tash Friday 19:9:14 2

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

 

From Scotland With Love

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

Almost exactly five years ago, I was enjoying a three-week road trip in the US with a group of pals. These were the days before Bluetooth and aux cables so our driving music was restricted to CDs. Between the nine of us (and our two cars) we had only three CDs: a David Guetta album, a Black-Eyed Peas album and a mix-CD titled “Scot Rock”.

The Scot Rock CD had been prepared by the musically minded member of our group. It had the usual Deacon Blue and Proclaimers tracks but it mostly contained songs from Arab Strap, Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jet Packs, Belle & Sebastian, Idlewild etc. It was a cracker, actually, and I still regularly listen to many of those tracks.

Tash Friday 12:9:14 2

Like many people, there are some songs which take me back to very vivid memories. One memory which comes to mind every time I hear any of the songs from the Scot Rock CD is from one particularly long day of driving. I remember that the weather was not good but that all of us in the car were gazing out of our respective windows in that way which only happens while travelling.

Although none of the songs we were listening to were particularly about Scotland, they all seemed to capture something which reminded us of home. It was strange – even though we were all thousands of miles away and having a great time, it was clear that each of those tracks made us think about home. Although we were looking out at a foreign countryside, our minds were in Scotland.

That brings me on to the independence referendum. Some of you will be sick to death of this topic but hopefully what follows will be constructive.

Thinking back to how the Scot Rock tracks caused five guys to sit and think of Scotland in their own way got me thinking about how personal the referendum vote will be to all voters. For most of us, we are not just thinking about who will run the country for the next five years but what the future will hold for the place we call home. The future which each of us is thinking about will be entirely unique.

For example, when I think of Scotland, I tend to not think about castles, mist or saltires fluttering in the sky; I think of pipe bands at Murrayfield and walking home from Central in the rain. My vision of the future will derive from those memories and the particular way my brain has processed them.  Your vision will be based on your own memories and your own thought processes, which can only result in an infinite number of ways to approach what appears on the face of it to be a very simple question.

As most of us have lived here for a long time, it’s only natural for each of us to have a strong reaction to the question of whether Scotland should be an independent country. It’s probably an excellent thing that so many of us are passionate about our views. But when we’re dealing with each other, it might help if we remembered that there aren’t many things closer to each of our hearts than our homes. I wonder, with all that in mind, whether we might all be kinder to each other, regardless of how certain we may be that one view is right and one is wrong.

Tash Friday 12:9:14 3

I’ll leave you this week with a relevant Scot Rock recommendation and a Tash.

My recommendation is King Creosote’s One Night Only – it’s a track from his album From Scotland With Love, which was the soundtrack to a BBC film of the same name, made up of vintage Scottish footage and aimed at showing Scotland’s modern history in a new light.

Finally, the Tash. As one might expect of someone with credentials in music appreciation, the lad who created the Scot Rock CD has rocked a Tash for many years. He still does, even though he’s also developed a goatee type thang. Some of you will know him as Stuart, I know him as D-O-Double-B.

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

The McConaissance

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

Just a brief edition this week due to the fact that I wasted time contemplating whether it was too much to send a tweet @scotrail wishing a literal plague upon their house (true story – I despise “them”).

Anyway, while I was pondering how one might bring down Scotrail, I got to thinking about what I would do when I finally got home. I decided that my treat to myself would be an episode of a TV programme which I’ve slowly been watching – It’s the small things in life.

That, in turn, got me to thinking about one of the stars of the show and his marked rise to critical acclaim in the last few years. “Maybe he had to put up with the horrors of a monopolised public (but privately run) transport system too”, I thought.

I couldn’t find anything to suggest that this chap had ever been on a Scotfail train but I did find a marked pattern in his career which gave me encouragement. His career trajectory was essentially as follows:

  1. 10 years in TV shows, adverts and music videos.
  2. 10 years in romantic comedies; almost exclusively sans shirt. He became known by one leading critic as having the surname Mahogany on account of his perma-tan. He wasn’t thought to be much of an actor but I understand he was a hit with the ladies. I’ve no idea why.
  3. Tash Friday 5:9:14The current status of his career is that of a critically acclaimed Academy Award winning actor. He does TV these days because he’s able to explore the character in more depth but he’s also due to appear in Chris Nolan’s next blockbuster – Interstellar, which looks cracking, by-the-way.

The chap I’m talking about is Matthew McConaughey and the TV programme to which I am treating myself tonight is True Detective – both he and it are tremendous.

Interestingly, his change in fortune was not luck – it was planned. He knew what he wanted to stop doing and what he wanted to do instead, so he did. I suppose that if Matthew McConaughey was having to put up with Scotrail then he would just stop taking their trains. Maybe I should do that too…

To the Tash. In his Oscar-winning role (in Dallas Buyers Club), McConaughey played a guy suffering with HIV. The role required dramatic weight loss and he was regularly in the papers because of his painfully thin frame. I could point out that he had to go through tremendous physical and emotional stress to play the role and that there was a point to be taken from that, but that would be too obvious. All I have to say is that the weight loss was barely noticeable because of the splendid Tash which he was toting:

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

As far as I’m concerned, that Tash, not the Oscar, marked the completion of the McConaissance.

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

Mission Accomplished?

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

This week and next are big weeks for folk starting out in my line of work: some be starting their training; others will be moving into the job they’ve been working towards for up to seven years; but others will be going into something that they’re not altogether sure about.

I suppose it might seem that the people who are going into the jobs they want have got it made. While achieving a goal is worth celebrating, my concern would be that the energy and momentum which built up to allow the goal to be achieved could be lost if it’s not built upon. I’d also be wary of celebrating too early – you wouldn’t want to look like this guy:

Tash Friday 29:8:14 2

Over the last few months, I’ve picked up a strategy that deals with all of the possible scenarios listed above. I picked it up from a guy I’ve been doing some work with and again when I was reading up on the Scottish entrepreneur Jim McColl (incidentally, this speech which Jim McColl gave is particularly good). It might be worth passing on the strategy as I’ve found it to be effective while I’ve been working on Operation Zorro. It’s not rocket science but, like most sensible strategies, it involves hard work and persistence:

  1. Ascertain what your goal is and develop a plan to help you achieve it.
  2. Put the plan into action and give it as good a go as you can. Persevere with it.

Steps 1 and 2 were about as far as I’d got until fairly recently. It seems obvious now but I hadn’t thought of the remaining steps.

  1. Regularly assess your progress to ensure that the plan is taking you towards your goal. If the goal is achievable in the short/medium term, it’s probably worth assessing how effective the plan is every week or so. If it’s a longer-term goal, it’s likely that progress will not be as fast and it can probably be reviewed once a month.
  2. If the plan is not effective, think about changing it. What worked with the old plan and what didn’t – revise it to keep the effective parts but dump the ineffective ones.
  3. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until a plan which is entirely effective is found and the goal is achieved. If the goal is achieved, take time to enjoy it then go back to step 1.
  4. If you are still not achieving your goal, maybe it’s the wrong goal. That’s not to say that the goal you’ve set is impossible, it just might not be the right time or right for you.
  5. If step 6 is required, take time to deal with the disappointment before you proceed to step 1 again. Be honest with yourself about why things have not worked out; be honest with other people about it; then, when you’re ready, take that disappointment and use it to fuel your efforts next time around.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I found myself unwittingly at step 7 once – I didn’t work hard enough at school and I didn’t get onto the uni course that I wanted. It worked out fine in the end though: the course which I ended up doing was fantastic and my fear of feeling that disappointment again has driven me ever since.

My point is that the mission is never accomplished. In a world as diverse, interesting and troubled as ours, there is always something over the horizon waiting for us. The question we have to keep asking ourselves (and I know I bang on about it) is: what’s next? The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that asking that one simple question will keep you motivated and moving forward.

Anyway, to this week’s Tash – he was a man who must have felt at several times during his life that his mission was accomplished, only for it to be taken away from him. He had a successful company; lost it; got it back; only to lose it again when it was at the peak of its success. This week’s Tash is Steve Jobs:

Tash Friday 29:8:14

Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

 

 

Waiting ain’t no game

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

I was reading this week about how in 2012 callers spent the equivalent of 760 years on hold to Government telephone help lines. That’s a lot of waiting. I read some other facts about waiting too:

  • British people spend around 6 months of their lives waiting in queues;
  • We each generally spend 62 minutes per day waiting for one thing or another; and
  • We each spend 653 hours of our life waiting for trains. Anyone who has endured Scotrail’s diabolical service can testify to that.

These figures are almost certainly utter nonsense. Are thousands of people asked to measure how long they spend doing things for their whole lives and then an average is taken? I think not. The point from my perspective is that looking up these fatuous facts has killed ten minutes; ten minutes I would otherwise have spent waiting.

As I write this week’s TF, I’ve been waiting for in excess of 60 hours. By the time you’re reading this, that number could have increased to around 120 hours. It’s an email I’m waiting for – just an email. I don’t care if it’s in the ASCII medium usually associated with the early incarnation of electronic mail or if it arrives via the process standardised in the Internet Engineering Task Force’s RFC 2045 to 2049 – yes, I’ve got the stage where I’m looking at exactly what an email is to distract myself – all I care is that I get the email; preferably within the next five seconds.

Some of you will say that patience is a virtue. If you feel it necessary to make an incredibly helpful comment such as that, I refer you to the work of Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, the chap who set out the seven heavenly virtues (I looked that up too!), and ask whether you can lay claim to having the virtues of chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, kindness or humility. If you’re missing any of them, feel free to run along, lock yourself in your greenhouse and leave me to my torment.

Having made my point about waiting being roughly equivalent to the removal of finger nails with a rusty pair of pliers, let’s move on to this week’s Tash. I got to thinking about people who no-one in their right mind would keep meeting; the kind of person even an automated answering service would know not to trifle with. The person I immediately thought of has a reputation as being Britain’s most dangerous prisoner and happens to have an absolutely cracking Tash. This week’s Tash is Michael Gordon Peterson:

Tash Friday 22:8:14
You may know him better as “Bronson”, as played by Tom Hardy:

Tash Friday 22:8:14 2
Have a great weekend folks!

What’s next?

P.S. The email came in – it was worth the wait.