An Odd Perspective

Galway Beach

Quaint,” he said.

“What?” I asked.

“Your view of the beach.”

“What’s wrong with my view of the beach?”

“There’s no sand, only rocks and water.”

“Is that really odd? Is it old-fashioned? Isn’t that the mindful way?”

“Oh, so we’re back to mindfulness, again. Now that is quaint.”

“What’s so odd about mindfulness?”

“Well, you have to admit that it’s a very strange way of doing things. I mean, you sit there contemplating your breath.”

“Among other things.”

“Such as?”

“Whatever comes to mind. The important thing is to spend time watching how your thoughts and feelings ebb and flow.”

“That’s what I mean. Quaint. Why would you want to know what’s going on in your own mind? That’s not just odd; it’s scary.”

“It’s only scary if you’re afraid of your own thoughts.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, consider this: How many people do you know who cannot abide silence? The first thing they do, every morning, is to turn on the radio or the TV, just to get some noise in their environment. Why do you think that is?”

“For company.”

“But why do they want company?”

“Because they . . .”

“Go on.”

“Okay. Because they don’t like being alone.”

“Why not?”

“Because they’re afraid to be alone.”

“We are built as communal creatures. Still, in my opinion, one of the biggest causes of anger management issues is that people don’t spend time alone with their thoughts. They are so busy that they don’t have time to stop and ponder. The result is frustration and anger.”

“Maybe. But I still don’t see why you have to take such a quaint view of the beach. No sand. It’s not a beach without sand.”

“Yet mindfulness tells me that the sand is there.”

“See. Now that’s what I mean by quaint. It’s odd how you can see that.”

“I take it that you can’t see it, then.”


“Where does sand come from?”

“Broken down rocks.”

“I rest my case.”

This post has been written in response to the Trifecta Challenge. The idea is to take the third definition of a word and write a complete story using that word. This week’s word is QUAINT. The story is limited to between 33 and 333 words. I hope you like it.

Such a Busy Life

New Beginning

So I have finally sorted out my business website and uploaded my first post. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Readers of my Harcourt 51 blog may remember that I was made redundant in October. Since then, I have come up against the problem of finding suitable work, especially in view of my age. No one will admit that they don’t like taking on employees of my age, but failing to get any interviews, even from agencies, sort of gives the game away.

Anyway, as I said at the time, this is the kick I need to get my own business up and running. My problem is this:-

I am a qualified accountant. I worked through my studies in order to have something that I could do from home should the need arise, especially if health issues were to arise again.

However, whilst I have been learning to use WordPress, which is how I intend to keep my website up to date, I have been enjoying the process of writing. It’s addictive! As a youth, I had the usual dream of writing my own book, but I never thought it would be possible. Yet, during the last six months, I have written enough material to fill a small book. It may not be all on one topic, but it could be combined to create a book.

This is crazy. Here I am, sitting on the edge of my future, and I don’t know what that future is, despite all the work that I have put in. Yes, I will be carrying out accounting services, but I will also be looking at whether I can put my first book together in my spare time.

So, watch this space. As my tagline says, anything can happen and probably will.


January is a busy time for business people. In the UK, if you are required to submit a personal tax return for the year ended 5th April, 2013, then you have until 31st January, 2014 to do so.

Still, as busy as the month may be, remember that it is also important to relax and have fun.

Resolution–The First Day of the Rest of Your Life


At this time of year, many people decide to make New Year’s Resolutions. Sadly, for most people, their resolve does not last as long as it took to make the resolution.

Yet, what do we mean by a resolution? It can mean any of several things. But in this context, we analyse a bad habit and determine to change, in the future.

I did see a humorous take on this, recently. I don’t have the reference, at the moment. If I find it I will share it. It went along the lines of: “My wife told me that this year I should make a resolution that I can achieve. So I resolve to be the fattest, laziest couch potato that I can be.” Sadly, this is the reality for too many people.

Why Resolve Now?

People see a new year as a new beginning. Yet, is it, really? Who decided that January 1st is the first day of the new year? The Chinese new year for 2014 starts on January 31st. The Indian sub-continent celebrates the new year at various dates, depending on where you live and which religion you follow, but is generally March 31st for many. For Muslims, the new year starts on October, 15th, 2014, with the last new year having started on November 4th, 2013.

If you are in business, you may have a number of new year dates. For personal tax purposes, the new year starts on 6th April, every year. For certain aspects of limited company tax matters, it is April 1st. For your business, it could be any time. I have known clients who start their financial year on 1st April, 6th April, 1st January, the first of any month that suits them, and one client whose financial year started on 2nd October. Why? Because that was the date he started his business, all those years ago, and he was sentimental about it.

A Symbolic New Start

The point is that what we are looking at is merely a symbolic day. Let’s be honest, changing habits takes longer than the time it takes to sleep from one day to the next. So what we are really saying is that this is going to be the first day of our new lives.

However, why wait until January 1st? We can start a new life at any time. I’m sure you have heard the old adage that “this is the first day of the rest of your life.” That is true, every day. Every morning that we awaken, life starts over. We may have to deal with the legacy of yesterday’s events. But we don’t have to repeat them.

So make this your resolution: That each day, from now on, as soon as you identify something in your life that you want to change, you will not wait until January 1st to change it. You will start immediately.

After all, if your roof started leaking on January 2nd, would you wait another 364 days before fixing it? If your business was struggling for sales, mid-year, would you another six months before acting? It’s the same with personal habits. Why wait until next year before changing?

Do it now, whenever now happens to be.