Quote of the Day

29 05 2011


How many books are written on the subject of happiness, when all they come down to is ….




“Do the things in which you feel alive, you grow and you help other people.” anon


Do You Really Know What You Want?

26 05 2011

Val and Cokie Smaller copy

Val and Cokie

Written by leave-your-job-inspirer Valerie Young this is a great way of considering what you want in your life. Most people will look for the job and work their life around that, but what about if it’s the other way around??

Read the rest of this entry »

Our ideal work

8 03 2011

‘When we do work we love, we’re growing, thriving, happy, and energised. We are rejuvinated by it. This is our bliss, our Calling, and it nurtures us.”

From ‘Making work work for the highly sensitive person’.

The Butterfly Pirate

2 02 2011

Here’s one of the opening chapters of my new book ‘The Butterfly Pirate’.

Set some time in the past it’s a story full of sailing ships and scullduggery.
In the search for the rarest of treasures in the butterfly collecting world something is amiss. Two arch rivals bump into each other on a job and are then forced to work together on a project which will decide the fate of their little world. But there is also something they have no idea about which will shock them to the core.

Read the rest of this entry »

Currently redesigning my life, again.

1 01 2011

I am currently redesigning my life, again.

What’s happened in the past is that I have written all my inspired ideas on pieces of paper and put them in a book. Occasionally I would take out that book and re-inspire myself by looking at the entries.

That’s great and I love doing it but it doesn’t really go anywhere, there’s no forward motion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Recommendation: Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good

14 12 2010

I was browsing the shelves of my local book store today and came across this little gem. Now it’s not a book for those who want an easy read as the language is pretty high brow but nevertheless very interesting.

Essentially Matthew Crawford discusses the cubicle culture and the reasons behind dissatisfaction in the office workspace. He argues the benefits of working with one’s hands and in my skim read of the book does so effectively.

Worth a look if you are at your local store or £5 of your cash if you fancy a punt online. Click the link below for the Hardcover version (including a ‘look inside’ option). Or you can click the picture above for the paperback version.

Best Wishes


The Case for Working with Your Hands: or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good

PSP Game Review: Jungle Party

13 12 2010

The award winning Buzz! Junior Jungle Party series arrives on the Sony PSP and aside from a few minor niggles does not disappoint.

The game has been around on other Sony systems since 2006 and in 2007 achieved an award in Britain for the best children’s video game. This PSP version continues in the same vein.

For those of you not familiar with these types of games they are specifically designed to be played by groups of people. In this case groups of children – although adults will enjoy playing along as well. The colors, sounds, humor and simplicity of the game reflect this focus.

Up to four players each take the role of a monkey and compete against each other in a series of cheekily humorous mini-games. The range of these is rather impressive and parents will like the fact…..

Read the rest of this entry »

Do something for you..

1 11 2010

Photo by lincolnian (click for site)

Hi Guys,

If you wake up feeling down the chances are that emotion will rule the rest of your day.

I had a period in my life where I felt my life was being defined by someone other than me, every single day.

I would wake up feeling down, and trudge into work with no personal empowerment whatsoever. I think this happens a lot in this world, especially as the demands of work seem to increase year by year.

Your boss/kids/dog/mother/wife/ does NOT rule your life, YOU do. You may need to attend to their needs soon but who has the right to say you have to do that first.

Read the rest of this entry »

Note: inventing my chapters, when is best.

21 10 2010

Re my new book project.  I came up with the second chapter whilst lying in bed.  I Wonder if I can do this with the characters as well or perhaps I should write them down, develop their characters on paper first?

One things for sure though, it will be interesting lying in bed coming up with the next chapters at night. In fact that could easily help me fall asleep. Sort of like a reverse morning pages*.  I am inspiring myself before I go asleep. The next chapter could be born before I wake. I need not let the next days writing be a chore of invention because I have already invented it. I like this idea. It worked last night let’s see if it works in the future. Will test.

*’morning pages’ – a concept written about recently in Julia Cameron’s book ‘The Artists Way’ (not solely I might add as Dorothea Brande wrote on it in the 1930’s).

Billy and the lost number picture book

5 10 2010

The second story post of the day!

Below you will find Billy and The Lost Number. Another picture book story from Andy’s growing stable of stories.

But before that,  a note on how to help yourself write or create, more.

If any of you are budding writers or creative people without a space of your own I urge you to look into getting one. Find out about the studio spaces in your local area.The sense of personal freedom and inspiration you can feel is brilliant, especially if you work around other creative people. It really feels like you are at work, but in the most wonderful way. 😀

For the following story the picture ideas are in the parentheses.

Pictures by Judi_* , Hammotime and Yan San, from Flickr.

Billy and the Lost Number

Billy woke up one day feeling funny. Something was wrong and he didn’t know what.
[Picture 1]

Read the rest of this entry »

Holly The Day Dreamer Picture book

5 10 2010

Hi All,

Here’s a new format for my Holly Daydreamer story, inspired by the Oliver Jeffers range of picture books.

I have designed it in a picture book format. You will find the picture descriptions at the base of the post. You could either read them at the same time as the text or just read the text straight through however after the first few lines the pictures do much of the explaining of what’s going on.

If oyu have any comments on the flow of the story I would appreciate it. The pictures and sentences become more complex as you get further into the book but does this take away from the story, should they it be a similar style right from the beginning?

Thanks for looking.

Holly daydreaming champion of the world

Holly Doorway

Holly Dorway

Once there was a girl who loved daydreaming very much.
[Picture 1]

Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping the spirit up.

19 08 2010

Here’s a good blog post I just found. Regarding our job, our work, our passion, it talks of how from time to time we need reminding who we are and why we do what we.

Sometimes I doubt what I want because I believe that it’s not the right thing to do. Consequently I don’t do it as much. For that read skiiing and writing kids books. However when I am actually doing it I come alive! It’s keeping that memory at the forefront of our mind which will keep us all going in the down times in between jobs (e.g. an actor) or customers (e.g. a life coach).

Read the inspiring post here at:


Do what you love without pay until someone offers it.

6 08 2010

“Write without pay until someone offers to pay. ”

-Mark Twain

Ahh yes, sound advice indeed. Until the world hears what you have to offer, how can they offer you anything? Interestingly completely the opposite of the typical work scenario. There, you go looking for work in an area you can offer benefit. Rather than in the Mark Twain comment, wait for people to come to you.

Taken from  http://www.corporaterenegadecopy.com ‘s latest newsletter.

What Ghandi said on Happyness.

24 07 2010

Gandhi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Hmm, I like this.

I was considering recently how so many of us hide our true selves. And how this reduces our happyness in life and how much we give to this world and by association, to ourselves.

Our environment is so important in allowing us to express ourselves. Allowing what we think, what we say and what we do to be in harmony.

As most of our day is spent in some form of work, This environment is especially important.

In my job these are definately not in alignment.

I work in a retail shop and have known for a long time, ever since I took my first job in fact, that it wasn’t the right environment for me.

It’s an environment which causes me to be more outgoing than I am comfortable with, working with things I don’t necessarily care about too much and ‘meeting targets which aren’t important to me’. Consequently I feel repressed and that I am ‘less’ than I could be.

Does anyone else feel like this in their workplace?

I am lucky now in that over the last year I have discovered two environments i feel comfortable in.

When I found these environments my soul expanded, my inspiration exploded and my heart soared.

Has anyone else found the same?

Gotta go, am going down to a local bar to talk over (having reminded myself of these environments) my next life/work choices with my partner.

Best wishes


10 ways to live authentically

12 07 2010

Top Ten Ways to Live Authentically

By Ann Ronan AuthenticLifeInstitute.com

1. Know Your Purpose

Are you wandering through life with little direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.

2. Know Your Values

What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals – – check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values – you may want to reconsider it or revise it.

3. Know Your Needs

Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? List your top four needs and get them met!

4. Know Your Passions

Honor those things that make your heart sing. Whatever it is, do more of it!

5. Live From the Inside Out

Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind.

6. Honor Your Strengths

What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths.

7. Take Time to Play

Give yourself time to recharge doing things you love to do or by just doing nothing.

8. Be Aware of Your Self-Talk

Are you blocking your potential? Check out your first thoughts when you wake tomorrow. Are they supportive, encouraging or positive? Choose the kind of chatter that’s goes on in your mind. Become aware of the negative messages you give yourself. Gently catch them and turn them into positive affirmations.

9. Surround Yourself with Inspiration

Keep a success journal. Write down your four or five greatest strengths and post them where you can see them. On the last Friday of each month, write down all your accomplishments both big and small.

10. Serve Others

When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others -your spirit – your essence.



Billy and the Lost Number – new picture book story

8 07 2010

I must be on fire today (what did I eat yesterday to cause this?) as this is my second blog post of the day. I’m just finishing off a cute little picture book story about a boy who lost something…….and here’s (in movie terms) a teaser:

Billy and the Lost Number

Billy woke up one day feeling funny. Something was wrong and he didn’t know what.
He wasn’t feeling ill, his mum could see that in the way he gobbled up his breakfast.
He hadn’t forgotten to do his homework. The Easter bunny picture was all ready for him to take to school.

continued on my Childrens Writers society blog page

Proof of a possible new business card design

8 07 2010

I have used Vistaprint.co.uk to come up with this design for my new business card. It’s a V-fold card with print on all sides.

Front and Back

Business Card, Bee, 1


What do you think?


Nick Williams : Structure your life working from home.

5 07 2010

Best selling author Nick Williams started off as the owner of a small business and has now morphed into an inspired entrepreneur.

I read about him 10 years ago when setting out on my own road to discovery. The writing of his I have read covers the work we are born to do to self motivation and inspiration techniques.

He has written a guest article on the the3rdi.co.uk site about creating a structure for working whilst at work in our own home (Something I certainly need!) There is a link to this below but for those who don’t know of Nick Williams here is what he does in his own words..

“I am fascinated by leadership and what it means today, especially for inspired entrepreneurs.

I write, speak, coach, mentor, create products and programs, and broadcast, and run a business, but I evolved my job description to include the idea of also being a tribal leader after reading Seth Godin’s book, Tribe.

The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.

Today, anybody with a message can build a following and create their business serving their tribe.”

Read more of his article ‘Create your own structure while working from home


Well worth a read for the entrepreneur within.


Are you awaiting fulfillment?

26 06 2010

Zen hands

Zen says, let go of the conception of yourself as a lack walking around waiting for fulfillment. The seed is within. It is not something that needs to be added or invented. All you can do is create the right environment for its germination.

Adapted from the book  ‘Zen and the art of making a living’

Who do you work for and who do you help?

10 06 2010

Help others
Now I thought I wanted to help people. I thought that all I wanted to do was make people happy. Well, I’ve done that and I’m not happy.

Why would I not be happy helping people? Well, perhaps because at the moment I’m not actually helping people at all!

First a bit of background..

I never really wanted to work in retail, it was all a bit scary and busy. But needs must and there I was in my first retail job, in a record store. I found I actually liked helping people, when I was never really interested before.

In the small way that you do in a record store it made me happy to help people. Likewise with the ski instructing, the cabin crewing and the cafe work. But it never took long before the magic went and I needed a change.

Pondering recently, the lessening interest I currently hold in helping others, it stuck me that I actually wasn’t doing it at all. I wasn’t helping them, I wasn’t even helping myself!

To all those who work in retail…….I reckon that we’re all sadly mistaken if we think we are helping the customer. The customer is being helped by the owner of the company and YOU are helping HIM.

That kind’ve threw a dark rug over my bright altruistic thoughts and may explain why in a retail job I tend to last about 5 months feeling bright and happy and then have to find little shafts of light in my work to help prop up my feelings.

Where did this come from?

On a flight back from Turkey the other week I wandered over to give a man some sage advice on how to help his young child stop crying. Never mind that what I thought the boy was crying about wasn’t at all what he was actually crying about! As I got down on one knee next to his seat all the old cabin crew feelings came flooding back. I felt truly altruistic, warm,caring, peaceful and giving. These are the feelings I enjoy and I wasn’t even being paid for it!

Where were all these feelings in the retail stores I worked at? Oh they were there all right. Right up until the point I got my first pay cheque. THEN I remembered what it was all about!

I thought I enjoyed giving help to people but have I actually been doing that? Perhaps being paid by someone to help someone else is not actually helping. Perhaps that’s bribery?

So I feel only feel happy helping people when I am truly giving to them, not getting something in return for it, helping the old lady cross the road so to speak.

Helping yourself

I guess I have believed for a while that the aim of the game is to help ourselves first. I have tried to find the magic inside me and then somehow help others to experience is too. But it’s not just about that now. It’s about my whole life. And I am so much closer to nailing the ‘holy trinity’ of how I want to live:

Who I work for
Environment I want to work in
Type of people I want to work with (and how I do)

The results of this are showing. See my Dilly the Dog and Holly the Daydreamer posts below for the results so far.

Now, would anyone like help with a writing project?


‘Where the needs of the world and your enjoyment intersect, that’s where your work lies.’

Dilly is now available for sale.

7 06 2010

Dilly front cover

Dilly the dancing dog has now been put on the
Lulu.com online publishing site.

For all the lovely people who wish to buy a
download copy for you or a friend, for the
princely sum of £0 it can be yours 🙂

Yup, it’s free!

To get to the download page click on the
picture to the left, or on the link below..

Buy Dilly

Happy Reading 🙂

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Finished- Dilly the dancing dog.

16 05 2010

Dancing animals by hagerstenguy

This is designed as a picture book with one or two paragraphs per page with illustration opposite or integrated into the text. Created for younger readers.

Dilly the Dancing Dog


Dilly was a dancing dog. She danced in the morning, she danced in the evening and she always danced for fun. But no one knew she could dance.


When her owners were out she put on dancing clothes and twirled about the lounge.

But no one knew she could dance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Andy’s thought on how to get the best out of employees.

16 05 2010

Andy’s thought on how to get the best out of employees.

image by imapix (click)

Employees work best when they have defined objectives. Ideally a small number of them and ones which change only on an infrequent basis.

Give employees a framework in which to work and allow them to do so. Constantly changing the goalposts is a surefire way to introduce frustration.

The man at Tesco’s packing shelves has a distinct job to do and if we were to require him to run back and forth between the tills and his trolleys at the drop of a hat he should surely get dispirited.

People work best when they have focus, when they know what it is they have to do and what they need to do to get there.

Within our means.

16 05 2010

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

— Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist and novelist

Dilly the dancing dog

6 05 2010

{This is designed as a picture book with one paragraph per page with illustration opposite or integrate into the text. Designed for younger readers}

Dilly the dancing dog

Dilly was a dancing dog. She danced in the morning, she danced in the evening and she always danced for fun.

But no-one knew she could dance.

She danced the polka, she danced the tango and her favorite was the waltz.

But no-one knew she could dance.

When her owners were out she put on dancing clothes and twirled about the lounge.

But no-one knew she could dance.

In her head she was a world famous dancer and came first in big competitions.

But still no one knew she could dance!

Until one day dancing a jig across the fireplace she saw a face at the window.

‘You can dance!’ the cat said.

‘Why yes i can,’ Dilly replied.

‘Would you like to meet others who can dance?’ The cat asked politely.

‘No thank you,’ said Dilly for she was happy to dance alone.

Later that day fox-trotting across the carpet she saw two faces at the window.

‘I told you,’ said one cat to the other.
‘A dancing dog, well i never,’ it replied.

‘Would you like to meet others who can dance?’ It asked politely.

‘No thank you,’ replied Dilly, ‘I like dancing alone.’

{Unfinished section involving a cat barn dance and Dilly the dog}

Dilly lay down on her favorite rug. ‘I like dancing with others,’ she thought to herself and fell fast asleep.

Henry David Thoreau says..

22 04 2010

This, to me, struck a chord:

“Don’t cheat yourself by working primarily for a paycheck. If what you do with your life free-of-charge is so worthless to you that you’d be convinced to do something else in exchange for a little money or fame, you need better hobbies.”

“Sustain yourself by the life you live, not by exchanging your life for money and living off that.”

Holly’s daydreaming competition

9 04 2010

Hi Guys,

I have taken into account your kind comments. Here’s an improved (hopefully!) and now extended 1st chapter.

It’s more verbal which I hope works. So being a bit different it’s possible I have removed parts you liked. So if you miss a bit of the story please let me know, it’s great to get your feedback and it really does contribute to the development of the book.

Oh and I don’t think I mentioned the age range when I originally posted the chapter. It’s aimed at 7-9 year olds .

Thanks 🙂

Holly daydreamed, Holly daydreamed a lot, whenever and wherever she went, she daydreamed. Her mum always said she should have been born as a cloud because she had her head in them so often.

It had started young and no-one could understand why. The first time happened when she was being fed as a baby and for no obvious reason she stopped eating mid-chew and started to stare at the rather boring lampshade that hung above the kitchen table. Not so unusual for a baby to do that you may think? But she stared at them for two whole hours!

Her mum was so worried, she took Holly to the doctor who sent them immediately to hospital. Holly was wired up to funny and complex looking machines for hours on end. But eventually all the Doctors could say was that there was probably nothing to worry about and that she would grow out of it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Holly’s Daydreaming Competition

9 03 2010

Chapter One

Holly daydreamed, Holly daydreamed a lot, whenever and wherever she
went, she daydreamed. Her mum used to say that she should have been
born as a cloud because she had her head in them so often.

When most girls of her age were using their brains to work out complex
long division sums at school, Holly used hers to devise new and
exciting things to daydream about.

This impressive skill didn’t really cause her any problems in life,
save for the odd joke made at her expense by her classmates, so Holly
really had no reason to stop doing it. Her dad used to comment that it
was a shame they didn’t run competitions for her special kind of talent.

Sometimes she would take herself off to her favorite place and dream
for hours on end. It was always her mum or dad that would have to stop
her so she could eat!

Holly, her Mum and Dad lived in an old thatched cottage just outside a
country village called Middlewhich. They had a large back garden, with
a wood behind it and some pretty roses in the small front garden. All
in all it was a lovely place to live.

It was the summer holidays so there were no classmates to bother her.
One day at the breakfast table with her dad Holly was having a
particularly nice dream. She was sitting on a shimmering silver unicorn
in a large crowd of people who were all cheering a brilliant idea she
had just had.

All of a sudden she was interrupted when her mum burst through the back
door looking very excited.

This didn’t surprise Holly, or her Dad, as her Mum was prone to bouts of
unusual excitement. They could be about anything from the news of a
newly born baby to the totally uninteresting news that one of her
Rhubarb plants had a leaf shaped like their next door neighbors cat
(perhaps this was where Holly’s imagination had come from!)

So when she burst through the door Holly and her Dad merely lazily
turned their heads towards her.

‘You’re back quickly dear’ her father remarked.
‘Well..’ Holly’s mum started, but was so flustered she had to prop
herself up on the edge of the work-surface just to catch her breath.

”You know how we joke there should be daydreaming competitions for
Holly to enter?”

Her dad nodded, looking curious.

“..and if there was, she would win first prize?”

“Yes” said her dad again, more curiously.

“Well…there is, down at the village hall in four weeks time!”

Holly and her father both turned to stare at one another. Surely mother
was making this all up? But as excitable as she was, inventing
something as fancyful as this, was not like her.

“No way!” they both exclaimed disbelievingly.

Her mum said, still out of breath “I heard it from Mrs Dukes, who got
it from Mr Dukes, who saw it on the notice board down at the village
hall. There’s going to be a tent set up and judges to assess the
entries and everything. And there are prizes!”

Surprised and excited both Holly and her dad didn’t know what to say
but looking at each other they both knew what each other was thinking.

Where do we sign up?

Doodle at 2am on a post-it.

9 09 2009
Tired at 2am

Tired at 2am

New ‘About Me’ page text

9 09 2009

My New ‘About Me’ page for this blog

Photo0612Early on in andrew’s life he decided that a non-conformist route would suit him best. Something perhaps to do with a rigid catholic school upbringing, but whatever it was, it has taken him down some interesting routes.

Andrew has been a ski-instructor, psychology teacher, I.T. consultant, car-park atendant, barrista, ski boot fitter, running shoe gait analyser, directory enquiries operator, shop worker. Phew!

What Andrew does for a living is important to him, whatever it happens to be at that time, it’s always something which resonates with his inner life.

“I want to connect with people, help them in some way, but I also feel it’s important to help myself by enjoying the process. Life can be about excitement and that’s what I constantly strive for.”

Writing is a integral part of Andrews life. His words allow him to express thoughts and ideas which otherwise would go unsaid and he wants his primary writing focus- topics of self-help and insight – to be that which will help others on their way. He is also in the process of writing a childrens book about a young girl who daydreams alot!

The way he wishes to help people as well as himself is not something he has fully defined yet but this blog has been a starting point on the road of inspiration. Read his post on ‘Life is like a game of table football’ for the type of writing he loves to do.