Saturday, 27 February 2010

What Makes You Feel Good - part two

Following on from my last post about "what makes you feel good" here's what's currently making me feel good.

The sight of 'Spring' emerging.

Although looking at the weather today in Scotland they're having a pretty tough time with the snow still coming down.

It's a good thing that I chose last week to visit Edinburgh and not this week.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

What Makes You Feel Good?

It's probably a re-occuring theme that I like to talk about, especially this time of year when we've all had enough of the those cold dark days.

But here's the big question - What makes you feel good?

Monday, 22 February 2010

Weekend In Edinburgh

I've just returned home after spending a weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland, with my wife Alison. It wasn't a vacation as such, more of a working holiday, if you can call practising Kuk Sool work.

The thing that I've always loved about the 'Scottish' is that have a natural fighting spirit, probably gained through all of the years fighting against (us) the English. The other thing that I most like about visiting Scotland is they seem to be the most friendliest and hospitable people on the planet.

My first visit to teach martial arts in Scotland started near-on twenty years ago (this April). Before that time I had only visited Scotland once as a tourist in my late teens.

My intial impression of a 'true-Scot' came about when I literally met a young hot-headed, fiesty nineteen year old lad who began practising at my martial art school in my home town in Suffolk.

The guy's name was Donald and I recognised the fact that he had great potential to become an outstanding martial art practitioner, however I just needed to help him through a difficult stage in his life by supporting him with Kuk Sool training.

At this time Donald had a major problem.... he became homesick and deeply missed the Scottish Highlands and needed to return home to his native town of Thurso, Caithness.

To cut a long story short, Donald invited me to visit him in the North of Scotland to help him continue with his practice, which I must add I was rather reluctant to do so to start with. Eventually his persistence wore me down and I took him up on his offer to visit.

Thurso just happens to be the most northerly town on the British mainland, however after that first initial visit, despite the length of the 700 mile journey I knew that I just had to return.

I kept my promise to Donald by returning more than thirty times to Caithness to help him progress to gain his black belt and beyond. Together Donald and I established the first Kuk Sool School in Scotland, which incidentally is still in existence today and now run by SBN Cathy Smith.

To bring this story up to date, Donald moved to Edinburgh in 1996 to teach Kuk Sool professionally. He is currently preparing for his final test toward 5th Degree Black Belt in May/June 2010.

Alison's and my job this weekend in Edinburgh was to add the final touches to Donald's preparation for Master level. We gave him a small test to see how he was progressing, which I'm pleased to say he breezed through.

In April, Donald and ourselves are returning to the birthplace of Scottish Kuk Sool - Thurso, to celebrate twenty years of training and I know for all of us it should bring back plenty of good memories.

The best thing about the whole situation over the last twenty years has been watching Donald mature from a hot-headed teenager - into an outstanding, responsible Instructor of the martial arts.

I'm proud of his achievement.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Big Lungs!

Being an underwater swimmer I'd always thought of myself as having a good set of lungs. But I've recently discovered on MSN News, that a world record has just been made for someone holding their breath underwater for over 19 minutes -

Wow that's an awesome set of Lungs. However I also just read that he was officially allowed to breath in pure oxygen for ten minutes before attempting to break the world record.

I'm just pleased that I can swim 25 metres underwater without coming up for air!

Talking of 'Lungs' I really love Florence and The Machines CD Album (called -'Lung's' who incidentally won a Brit Award last night for 'best album) - My wife bought it for me for Christmas - just though I'd mention that in passing while Im practising holding my breath.........

P.S. Just to inform you that's not me in the above picture.

Friday, 12 February 2010

My Daughter's Success

If you haven't heard already, my daughter Rachel recently won the East Of England Young Business Woman Of The Year Award. Her company is Apparition marketing & Design based in Halesworth and Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Well of course Dad's are always proud when their Kid's do well at anything and I'm no exception.

The award ceremony was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted, Essex, for over 180 guests and I have to admit I had my first alcoholic drink for four months, just a few glasses of champagne to celebrate, it tasted Goood!

I can recall when Rachel won a freestyle swimming competition at her Middle School Gala. I was cheering her on every stroke of the way. Other parents must have thought I was like a man possessed, admittedly they were probably correct in their observations.

It was much the same last week when the winner was announced at the award ceremony. I have to say I was thoroughly delighted for her, because I know how hard she had worked during last year.

So well done Rachey - you made all the family very proud indeed.