Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Out of puff?

December 21, 2015

I’ve been writing these Monday blogs now for over five years and have now reached post number 244! However, I have found recently that my “blog-muse” has been feeling a little jaded , that my writing seems to be losing some of its spark. Perhaps I’m imagining this, but I’m finding writing posts to be […]

Where are you?

December 14, 2015

The other day I was chatting with a fellow trainer who told me a mutual contact had moved on to another training organisation. I decided to look him up and try to make contact with a view to seeing if there were any opportunity there to do business. I located the company’s website and sought […]

Cheap laughs? Absolutely!

December 7, 2015

It’s been almost a year now since I did my very first stand up comedy gig at the ripe old age of 59 in a pub in Leytonstone, East London. Since then, I’ve racked up sixty or so gigs mainly in similar “open mike” venues around London. During these eleven months or so, chances are […]

Ten words for a better world?

November 30, 2015

There’s an awful lot of upset in the world at the moment. Our media and leaders seem intent on sending messages that can strike fear in our hearts, stifle our spirit. The assumption is that the only way forward must be to fight. As my way of handling this, I list a number of words […]


July 6, 2015

I have been posting weekly blogs here for almost five years now. I thoroughly enjoy writing them and find myself actually looking forward to Monday mornings when I put them out there for people to read – should they choose to! However, I feel like the blog needs a bit of a break and, when […]

As you like it

June 28, 2015

Like – (verb) to endorse someone or something on social media as a result of being asked by another, in order to help grow or enhance their enterprise or reputation It’s perfectly possible that this will, in the coming years become a dictionary definition of the verb to “like”. All language evolves and many word […]

Life savers

April 27, 2015

“Last year Robert collapsed while playing golf with Dave and Nick, Nick saved my Robert’s life – for that I am eternally grateful.” I read this on a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago. It was written by a dear, longstanding friend of mine who’d have lost her husband had it not been for […]

Sprite-ly days!

April 18, 2015

Spring is in the air, the sun is peeping through, the wood pigeons are coo-ing and my thoughts turn to my Sprite. I’m not referring to a can of soft drink here. Rather,  the first car I ever bought which was a 1967 Austin Healey Sprite. I acquired it in my early 20’s  for the […]

Empathic or arrogant?

March 23, 2015

It appears that, at times, when trying to be empathic we may instead display a kind of inadvertent arrogance. This is represented in an oft used statement which, on the face of it,  may seem perfectly reasonable. It can tend to trip off the tongue when another person is upset or distressed by something. So, […]

Take one tea bag, add an uncle and…..

March 9, 2015

We all had such a laugh years ago when my uncle Wladek had his first experience of using a tea bag. He tore it open, emptied the contents into a tea strainer and brewed himself a cuppa. He’d never encountered or used a tea bag before and had no idea that it should go in […]

Exceedingly charmed

February 23, 2015

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” – Oscar Wilde So, what’s the secret to being charming rather than tedious? Take an interest – enquire. More specifically, we need to ask the right questions. These allow the other person to open up, and the vast majority […]

If only?

February 16, 2015

Many readers of this blog are likely to be car drivers. I’m not, as I tend to hit things. However, having been a driver for quite some years before my eyesight became too poor, I still have a pretty good grip on the fundamentals. One of these is about use of the rear view mirror. […]

Time was

January 5, 2015

“Time was when there were things around to be afraid of” Line from the lyrics of “Time Was” by Wishbone Ash . A couple of weeks back, I sat down and listened, for the first time in ages,  to the 70’s album, Argus by Wishbone Ash. The single line of lyrics above seemed to jump […]

Straight talking

December 8, 2014

A judge decided last week that the word “pleb” was most likely uttered by UK MP Andrew Mitchell during his altercation with a police officer. Whilst, you could argue that its not OK to use such language, there was a small part of me that admired the straight talking. In his years of attending sessions […]

That night time “stuff”

November 24, 2014

At just before three o’clock this morning, I found myself awake. I don’t know what woke me, but in that moment I was feeling really calm and relaxed. I wasn’t anxious, I wasn’t concerned. I turned over in order to try and get back to sleep. Then it came. The thought-seed. A tiny, single thought […]

To know or not to know?

November 17, 2014

The girl on the Personal Impact course I was running asked me “What if I don’t know the answer when a colleague or customer asks me something?” Afraid that her credibility would be blown, she was worried that not having the answer to something would stand against her. However, there are likely to be times […]


November 10, 2014

Remembrance Sunday was generally considered a fitting tribute to those that have fought for our country. The display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London was also a poignant reminder of every one of our troops who never made it as a result of World War 1. I think it’s absolutely appropriate to remember […]

What’s in a name?

November 3, 2014

Names fascinate me. We can all think of people we know or in the public arena who have names that couldn’t better suit their profession. My first bank manager was named Ransom. I think it fun that one of the gardening experts on Radio 4 is called Bob Flowerdew. I wonder whether names help determine […]

Singing survivors

October 13, 2014

She was barely four years old. Covered in bruises, she was getting the attention of passers by, who may well have thought she was being beaten or abused. Even the woman at the supermarket checkout advised her “you should be eating more greens” as she encountered this pale, waif-like creature. She wasn’t being beaten or […]

Purpose schmurpose?

October 6, 2014

The first part of this week’s post doesn’t emanate from my own keyboard, but from that of one Jamie Catto, a  Facebook buddy of mine. The following is a post he put on the social media site a few weeks ago. I have reproduced it verbatim, although the paragraph breaks are mine for ease of reading: […]

Photos, photos everywhere!

September 15, 2014

I’ve had a great idea for a smartphone app. The idea is simple, yet powerful. It could revolutionise the way we use the camera function on our super-whizzo devices. If anyone has the expertise to help develop it, then please step forward…… The app will programme the phone to take no more than 36 photos […]


August 4, 2014

This is the last piece I shall be posting for a little while. For the first time since I started writing the blog in the autumn of 2010, it will be taking an extended summer break. A combination of holidays and a work assignment overseas will see me away from my desk for most of […]

A fine mess!

July 28, 2014

I messed up recently. Thankfully, it didn’t end up with major repercussions, but may well have done. A major training organisation I work with regularly  asked me to re-run a programme that had flopped badly for one of their key clients under the tutelage of another trainer. Flattered by such a request, I allowed my […]

Hypocrites all?

June 30, 2014

It was interesting to hear the singer Lily Allen interviewed on the radio this weekend. I’m not that familiar with her work, beyond one or two of her big hits, but really warmed to her as she spoke about her life and views on life. She came over as someone who was both gracious and […]

Abuse? What abuse?

June 9, 2014

I was speaking to a friend a while back who told me he had listened to a radio phone-in about abusive behaviour, and even violence, towards blind and visually impaired people. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hear the programme myself. However I have heard of this before, yet still found myself astonished at the fact […]

The times they are a-changing?

May 5, 2014

This coming June, I’m off to the Isle of Wight Festival, along with my fifteen year old son and his pal. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the main draw, although I daresay, I’ll also do a spot of leaping about to The Specials. I needed to contact the ferry company as I had a […]

If I can do it…….

April 7, 2014

The past twenty years or so have seen me engage in all manner of personal development activities. Listing them will probably use up my maximum weekly ration of 500 or so words that I allocate for this blog. I’ve also read and enjoyed many personal development and inspirational books about peoples’ successes and how they’ve […]

Oh dear!

March 17, 2014

Oh dear, it’s Sunday evening, a few short hours before I’m due to post my weekly blog and……. I’m struggling. I have about a dozen pieces that are half written or in seed form but the blog-muse quite simply isn’t coming up with a finished product. So, I’m off to bed and it looks like this […]

Upward and onward?

November 25, 2013

The young sixth form student took to the stage to give a speech at the school open evening for prospective new joiners and their parents. She was to speak about her experience of being at the school. She was eloquent, articulate and well spoken. Her talk received hearty applause – clearly “hitting the spot” with […]

The insurance man – nearly

November 18, 2013

When I was in my early twenties, I set about looking for a job. I’d had a couple of years at South Bank Poly doing a business studies HND and now needed to get myself into the world of work. I wasn’t particularly ambitious and had no specific direction in mind – I  mainly wanted […]

Stain on a train

November 11, 2013

So there I was, leaving Waterloo station on a train to the small town of Liphook in Hampshire. It happened to be where a prospective client was based and I was on my way to meet with them. As it was summer, I’d donned a smart navy blazer and nicely pressed light tan trousers. A white […]


October 28, 2013

I heard this weekend that Marek had died. I’d known him, on and off since childhood, although had spent most time with him in my late teens and early 20’s when he was part of a group of Polish mates I knocked around with. He also played keyboards in the band I sang in for […]

Sixteen tons – and that’s just the start!

September 16, 2013

I guess older readers of this blog may recall a song by Tennessee Ernie Ford called Sixteen Tons. I remember that I really liked that song when I was a young lad. Only recently did I discover that it was actually number one in the UK charts on the very day that I was born. Had I, […]

Out of time, or self sabotage?

September 2, 2013

How often do you think that you don’t have enough time to get things done? How often might you blame others, outside circumstances or, indeed time itself? Yet, how often might it actually be a case of self sabotage? Below are five caricatures that represent some personality traits that can get in the way of […]

In the words of Stephen Stills…….

August 26, 2013

Being as it’s a public holiday here in the UK, I’m feeling a tad lazy today. So, rather than write something new, I’ve posted a piece that I penned about ten years ago for a small business network newsletter: Those of you of a similar age to me are likely to remember a song by […]

What I did in my holidays

August 5, 2013

As I emerged onto the street on a sunny July morning, I looked up at the skyline, dominated by the upper floors of the most imposing, stunning, old buildings. Suddenly something stirred inside me and, as I was walking had to turn to Ingrid and throw my head into her shoulder. I sobbed. These were […]

Veneers & maggots

July 15, 2013

Pitching up to run a course in a large impressive looking US bank in the City of London some years back, I was astonished to experience something that was anything but impressive . Frankly, it was a mess, right from the moment I arrived: There was a mix up over training rooms, they couldn’t find […]

So, why am I not blind?

July 8, 2013

I can recall that day 32 years ago almost as if it were yesterday. I remember the consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital uttering words like incurable, disease and blind as he told me of my diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). He made no bones about it, there was every likelihood I would lose all my sight in […]


July 1, 2013

“We all interpreted the past how we thought it was. And we were truthful about that and honest” These were the words of Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet during an interview with him and his bandmate Tony Hadley on the radio last week. He was referring to the massive split the group had suffered caused […]

Sweet sixteens

June 24, 2013

My daughter Clara had her 16th birthday party the other evening. There were about twenty youngsters there, both girls and boys – including Adam, her younger brother. Everyone got on brilliantly. In fact, they all seem to get on famously every time they get together. For example, a number of the families went camping together […]

Open letter to the head of Lacoste Retail UK

June 17, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam Please excuse the impersonal appearance of this letter, however I have had difficulty establishing the name of the top person at Lacoste in the UK. Hopefully, given the wonders of the internet, this missive will find its way to you. On a recent Sunday afternoon,  I visited your retail store in Gatwick Airport. […]

From Eden to oysters

June 10, 2013

I recall hearing a while back that all employees at the Eden Project in Cornwall are required to fulfil a particular task each year. That task involves them simply reading two books during that period. So, what’s the big deal? I’ve been known to read anything up to four books in a given year myself. […]

Shocking Phil

June 3, 2013

Just a few days ago I declared to a man called Phil that he was the most important person in my life, at that moment.  He was certainly taken aback!  And, indeed  you may think: “ Goodness me – has Chris taken a liking to a potential new, male life partner and thinking of abandoning Ingrid and […]

Under the covers

May 27, 2013

I certainly didn’t much feel like rolling out of bed this morning – for one thing it is a public holiday here in the UK today so I don’t “have to” go to work. Being self employed such holidays can easily pass me by. However, there can be the odd “ordinary” week day when I don’t much feel […]

Stop mucking about?

May 20, 2013

I’ve never been a particularly goal orientated person. I seem to be more into the journey of life, rather than focused on clearly defined outcomes. Having said that, part of me has often envied people who seem utterly focused on achieving a particular life or career goal – the driven ones who single mindedly pursue […]


May 13, 2013

The black UK comedian, Lenny Henry once quipped about a response he gave to a racist comment. A man had told him to go back to where he came from – at which Henry tells us that he duly got on the next train to Dudley. I find that joke rather sad – but for […]

The ultimate accolade!

May 6, 2013

I have won a Trainer of the Year award! I have to say that I can hardly believe it. Having worked in the field for well over two decades and having received consistently positive feedback over the years, I suppose I shouldn’t be quite so surprised.  It’s actually the first time this particular award has […]

Week off – with apologies

April 29, 2013

Apologies! Due to unforeseen technical problems, I was unable to post a blog this Monday – back to normal next week.

Blowing Bach’s mind

April 15, 2013

The early 1980’s saw the launch of a new and revolutionary way of listening to music via the natty little Sony Walkman tape player. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to own one, having received it as a leaving present from some work colleagues.  I recall vividly the whole new experience […]

Ask a stupid question…….

March 25, 2013

You may be familiar with the situation where British people, when visiting the US find themselves on the receiving end of an enquiry like: “ Hey, you’re from England! Do you know such and such a person who lives in Wohlverhamptahn?” – or wherever, as if the everyone in the UK knows each other. A […]