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

Archive for the ‘Well-being’ Category

Greenfly man

May 31, 2015

What’s going on here then? Am I heralding the arrival of some new super hero? Not quite….. I recall that, some years ago, there was a man on a course I was running who was a renowned world authority on a certain species of greenfly. In his introduction to the group, he explained how his […]

Strong or cheerful?

May 18, 2015

A while back I put the following question onto my Facebook  page: Which is it better to be – strong or cheerful? Interestingly, the answers I got fell both ways with some saying strong was better and others declaring cheerful as being most beneficial. I have to say that, for me, cheerful seems to be […]

Seriously funny

May 11, 2015

Being as I’m now in my 60th year, thoughts can easily turn to the kinds of fears people of my age have for later life. For me, these can include failing health, financial challenges and my diminishing eyesight. Yet, one that equally concerns me is the fear of being patronised by others. I see this […]

Birds and taxes

May 4, 2015

Lying in bed this bank holiday morning, listening to the soothing  sounds of the dawn chorus, my thoughts turned to taxes.  I guess that, with the UK election just days away, the topic  is pretty much in the air. Will taxes go up? Will they go down? Will they be abolished? Whilst that last one […]

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 […]

Whatever happened to “good enough”?

April 13, 2015

I ran a one day course the other day for a new client. The course went well, yet I came away feeling slightly disappointed in myself. I knew it wasn’t quite up to my usual standard. On my arrival home, I took a look at the feedback forms, every one of which gave very high […]

Bank holiday chaps

April 6, 2015

So, another bank holiday, and chances are there will be queues at all the local DIY outlets as chaps stock up on gear to use for a few hours of DIY. There may also be queues at supermarkets and off licences as chaps purchase a few beers to watch sporting events on TV. Yet, despite […]

The eyes have it

March 30, 2015

The writer, Aldous Huxley, in his book The Art of Seeing, asserts that, if we treated our bodies like we treat our eyes most of us would end up in wheelchairs. Huxley had a rare eye condition and sought ways of improving what sight he had. He became a disciple of William  Bates, a New […]

Bored? Excellent!

March 16, 2015

It may come as a surprise to some readers that I’ve spent a large amount of my life feeling bored. I recall vividly the occasions in my childhood when I’d complain of boredom to my mother, only to hear back:  “Idz pluc I lapac – go spit and catch it”! Yet, hearing the writer and […]


March 2, 2015

I’ve almost lost count of the number of times I’ve been called brave over the past few weeks. And, why so? I’ve started to doing stand up comedy. This involves my pitching up at various venues around London and performing five minute routines and, hopefully getting laughs. I find it rather over the the top […]

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. […]

Too old? Nah!

February 2, 2015

Some months back I was working on a course alongside another trainer. It was for a major client who usually likes to have two trainers as group sizes tend to be quite large. I’d never worked with this guy before, and to watch him run the programme was an absolute delight. He was energetic, sharp, humorous […]

Separate worlds

January 18, 2015

“There doesn’t happen to be any RP specialists on here does there? “ This quote probably leaves you a little baffled. It’s actually a comment that was posted on the retinitis pigmentosa (RP) Facebook page. People who have this eye disease (including myself) have the opportunity there to share experiences, post questions, read up on […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

And the children?

September 22, 2014

Sitting on a train from Manchester late one evening, I overheard a conversation between two women sitting across from me. They were chatting for most of the journey. Dressed smartly, they were discussing the business meetings they’d had that day. The conversation moved on to other matters, and one of the women was talking to […]

The .001% (or less?)

July 21, 2014

Ever since the Occupy Wall Street movement came into being in 2011, the figure of 1% has taken on quite a potent meaning. The idea that such a small percentage of the world’s population enjoys a massively disproportionate amount of its material riches is, of course, understandable reason for great disquiet. Actually, I consider myself […]

Great work, great contribution, but……

July 7, 2014

Sitting chatting with the HR Director at a newspaper publisher’s a while back, the conversation turned to the people that were working there. She was responsible for the welfare of several hundred staff engaged in a whole range of roles. In her position, she would need to deal with all manner of issues concerning all manner […]

Be-er or do-er?

May 12, 2014

I’m kicking off this week’s piece by offering up a simple challenge. How easy would you find it to sit and do absolutely nothing for, say half an hour? By doing nothing, I don’t just mean lack of physical activity, but also being without TV, smartphone,  computer, radio, book or any other distraction. This is […]

A perverse arrogance

April 28, 2014

Do you like you? You may be thinking, what an odd way to open a blog post. It sounds like nonsense – on one level. Yet, if we step back and seriously ask that question about our relationship with ourselves, it can be quite an eye opener. “Do I like me?”. There is a belief […]

Still the same

April 14, 2014

As many of my readers will know, I am just a couple years off from completing my sixth decade. There are things about being in your late 50’s that don’t really apply when you are younger. You may think that I’m referring to aches n pains, tiredness, grumpiness, ailments and the like.These can, of course, be […]

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 […]

All in a day’s work

March 31, 2014

  A packed train journey into work – standing all the way Arriving, carton of strong coffee in hand, to an inbox with over 100 new emails Office, hermetically sealed – no natural air, no windows that open Old air re-circulating Can’t adjust the temperature – its done “centrally” High intensity fluorescent lighting Several hours […]

Parking, delayed trains and an infamous French convict

March 3, 2014

Do you happen to know one of these people who seems to have the luck of the devil when it comes to parking spaces? Perhaps you’re one of those people? The one who always manages to secure a slot, virtually with no effort? I’ve come across quite a number of folk with this knack and heard […]

A man from NASA and the toilet attendant

February 3, 2014

Theres a lovely, simple story – possibly apocryphal –  that goes back to the 60’s about a janitor working at the US space agency (NASA). He was asked by a visiting diginitary what his job was. The janitor replied: “I’m helping put a man on the moon”. This blog is published on a Monday morning, […]

Second home

January 13, 2014

I’ve been preparing my accounts over the past few days in order to submit my tax return by the end of the month. The figures I need to put through pertain to work I carried out as long ago as two years back. You may think me odd when I say that doing these figures has, at […]

Stop, Start, Continue

January 6, 2014

You may be reading this today, on the first working Monday of the new year, having set some resolutions for 2014. Such resolutions usually involve either stopping something we’re doing or starting something new. For instance you may have resolved to stop eating three big pies a day and to start going to the gym […]

A fish, a little girl and the bigger picture

December 23, 2013

A fish is  swimming around in the sea. The sea is its whole world, its entire experience. Until, one day, for a split second it finds itself leaping out of the water and it catches a glimpse of San Francisco Harbour in all its splendour. And then quick as a flash, it’s back to the […]

In defence of thin skin

December 16, 2013

Whilst participating in an online  discussion recently, I found myself needing to tell someone that I was not happy about a personal comment he’d sent my way. He responded by saying that I shouldn’t have such a thin skin. I thought he may well have been right, given that I do at times fall a […]

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 […]

Forever young

October 7, 2013

Listening to discussions on the radio following the most recent budget, I heard a commentator declare that young people would be worse off overall as a result of changes being implemented. For a split second, I thought: “Drat, I’m likely to be worse off”. I then caught myself and realised that I’m actually not one […]

“Letterbox” days ahead

September 23, 2013

“Autumn is a season immediately followed by looking forward to spring” Anonymous I awoke this morning at six o’clock. It was still dark. It was the first real sign for me that autumn is well and truly here and part of me loves it. I’d say that it is my favourite season, with spring coming […]

Oh yeah?

August 19, 2013

“I wish I were as cool and awesome as I appear to be on Facebook” I saw that ditty on Facebook recently and can certainly relate to it at times! For better or for worse, I’m quite an avid user of the infamous social networking site. When I started using it a few years ago, […]

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. […]

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 […]

Oh, for a simpler life!

April 22, 2013

I went into a bank recently in order to pay a bill. It wasn’t my usual branch, so they didn’t know me. Also, I’d not filled in my payment slip as I didn’t have my reading specs with me. I arrived at  the cashier’s window and, white cane in hand,  passed over the payment and slip […]


March 10, 2013

The first dead body I ever saw had an unlit cigarette in its mouth. I was about twelve years old and Father Murray, our diminutive and eccentric history teacher was laid out in a coffin in the school chapel. We all had to file past to pay our final respects. A lad, a few up […]

The whopper

February 25, 2013

I did something the other day, that I hardly ever do any more – I told a whopper of a lie. I don’t feel good about that. I have found it immensely liberating in recent years to conduct myself in a totally honest way – most of the time. We often hear of studies that […]

The corner shop and the Greek island

February 18, 2013

As  I sit here on Sunday morning, writing this piece prior to cooking up a chili con carne for lunch, I wonder whether the carne in question is as claimed on the packaging, or whether I’ll be serving “chili con caballo”? The reaction to the horsemeat scandal is, on one hand absolutely justifiable – we […]

That taxing time of year

January 21, 2013

With a fortnight to go until the deadline for tax return submission, I girded my loins a couple of days back and set about doing my annual accounts. The black cloud of “having” to get it done had just grown and grown in size in recent weeks, until it felt like a mammoth task . […]

Mr Porsche Driver Man

December 17, 2012

Many years ago, when I was still driving, I was creeping along in slow moving traffic just by Carshalton Ponds, near where I lived at the time. The traffic in the other direction was just about at a standstill. About fifty yards ahead of me, in the oncoming traffic queue, I could make out the […]


December 10, 2012

At the end of a particularly fun day’s work a few weeks back, I was saying goodnight to the security guard in the reception where the course had taken place. My cheeky chappy self was very much in evidence and we had a playful, jokey exchange. As I left the building, I spotted him through […]

Walking home

November 26, 2012

I was on the train the other day, travelling home after a day’s work. I spotted, across the carriage a neighbour of mine sitting, reading. I’m not certain whether he saw me, but I was keen not to engage. So I decided not to and kept my head down all the way back. Was it […]

Eleventh hour – again!

November 12, 2012

It’s late on Sunday evening and I’m under some pressure. Yet again, I’ve left things until the last minute. Yet again, I’m in danger of beating myself up over it. I am running a new course tomorrow for the first time. I’m pretty well prepared at this point. Having said that, I also have this […]