All entries for October 2004

October 25, 2004

NESTA Crucible programme

Have just got back from the last in a series of 3 Crucible labs. A fantastic time at Dartington Hall, learning about creativity within Science, engineering and technology.
The Crucible programme is a fantastic opportunity for young scientists to take a bit of time out and to broaden their whole persepctive on science and society.
Nesta will be looking for a new set of "recruits" in November time – so if you are a young scientist, engineer or technologist who wants to be challenged to examine how you feel about science and how it fits with society and other issues such as ethics, politics and creativity, then look out for the call.

For me, the programme has opened my eyes to how my work fits within a much wider context, it has given me more conifdence to take my work in the directions I want to go, and to look for, identify and sieze opportunities as they arise, rather than to think "I'll never get that" or "I'll never be able to do that".

One of the sessions focussed on politics and we were set the task of writing a personal white paper, that set out our vision of where we want to go in life/career/science. Mine is below, I think it provides a good summary of what theCrucible programme meant to me and what it aims to do.

Personal White Paper

Climbing in the mountains,
Floating down the streams,
Following no footsteps,
Building hopes and dreams.

Time enough to wonder,
Time enough to share,
Watching and progressing,
Time enough to care.

Communicating my science,
Letting others see,
Considering broader issues,
Letting my mind fly free.

Guiding those who need it,
Letting staff and youngsters grow,
Inspiring and stimulating,
Allowing ideas to flow.

Working for society
Within my own beliefs.
Retaining my identity
Resisting the “political thief”.

Reading , absorbing,
Learning, leading,
Discussing not destroying,
Evaluating, seeding.

Freedom from pressures,
Freedom from strife,
Freedom for growing,
Freedom for life.

For more information on NESTA and the Crucible programme go to:

October 20, 2004

A pox on me

Caught chicken pox last Tuesday.
Spent the whole week off Nursery – sleeping most of the time.
Saw 3 different doctors during the week – mummy and daddy kept giving me horrible eye drops and covering me in pink cream!

Now feeling better, and Gran is looking after me well (Muummy and Daddy had to go to work)

My spots are slowly disappearing, and I am feeling up to playing a lot more now.

Can't wait to get bak to Nursery and see all my friends, plus they have lots of cool toys for me to play with there as well.

TTFN - Henry

Friends move on

Some good friends move up to the North of England a couple of weeks ago, which prompted me to think a bit more about friendship and relationships in general.

At least it is easy to keep in touch nowadays with email, blogs etc – I'm actually pretty poor at writing snail mail letters.

It is interesting how friends come and go throughout your life. We seem to float along in our lives, meeting new people and making new friends, some we keep for years, others drift off after a week or month or year. Someone once wrote that is only possible for a person to maintain a network of about 12 friends or so. Don't know about this, I prefer to have 4 or 5 close firends rather than lots of acquaintances. I suppose this a sort of secruity blanket, knowing that whatever you face in life, there is always someone there willing to listen and be there when you need them.

Most of the friends I made at University have now disappeared from my life and I have new friends who have filled the gaps. Some friendships are work working for though, no matter where in the world the person happens to be.

Anyway, must go and get back to work.

Just leave with a couple of poems (one light one dark) on the subject of friends.

Will you?

Will you be the one who sits
And listens when I speak?
Will you be there to give me strength
When I am feeling weak?

Will you be the one who comforts me
Through my trouble and my woes?
Will you be there to stand with me
Against adversity and foes?

Will you be the one who helps me up
When I have been knocked down?
Will you be the one who cheers me up
When you see me frown?

Will you lend me your support
When I fall out of luck?
Will you be the one who nurses me
When, with illness, I am struck?

Will you be there to guide me
If, of the way, I lose my sight?
Will you be there beside me
When I waken in the night?

Will you be there to share with me
My thoughts, ideas and dreams?
Will you speak out for me
When all is not as it seems?

Will you be the one who cares for me
When I feel bereft?
Will you be the one who stays
When everyone else has left?

Will you provide a shelter
And aid me when I fall?
Will you always come to me
Whenever you hear my call?

Will you take me in your arms
And shield me from my fears?
Will you be the one who picks me up
And wipes away my tears?

If these things you'll do for me,
For you I'll do the same.
True friends, one soul, two bodies,
Different in only name


Faces so familiar, passing in the night,
Lights within the darkness, shining so bright.
Thoughts and dreams, not open to dispute,
Shared confidences used to prosecute.

Friends once known, now long gone,
Fiends await you within the throng.
Friend or fiend, a letter away,
A friend may be a fiend one day.

Those closest hurt us most,
Taken soul, just a ghost.
Stolen heart and broken mind,
A f®iend leaves nothing behind.

Sapping embraces, "just a hug",
Once bitten, caught the bug.
No place to hide, nowhere to run,
A shared experience has just begun.

Words cannot be unspoken, f®iends know everything.
Shattered secrets are ties that bind, secure as string.

October 14, 2004

A need for set courses in the pool?

Follow-up to Thoughts for SOAK pool sessions and general paddling from The uncertainty of feeding the rat

Just a quick note:
Yesterday I was at a Duke of Edinburgh's Award meeting. One of the young people is into kayaking and her and her brother used to come to SOAK. However, her brother stopped coming as he did not feel he was progressing. He wanted to do star tests, but did not feel that he was being coached towards them.
I therefore think that this indicates a need to look at how we run the pool sessions – we should try and provide set courses in at least one of the sessions, with a defined date for assessment of star tests one saturday/sunday each term.

October 11, 2004

I can sort shapes !!

Had a fun week at nursery – lots of playing and painting.

Over the weekend Gran and Grandad came to see me and I showed them how good I am at standing up and cruising around.
I also showed them how I can sort my shapes out.
They have taken my highchair away- which mummy and daddy still haven't finished – so that they can varnish it and I can use it soon. I am looking forward to having my meals with mummy and daddy – they still won't give me any of their food no matter how hard I try to get it.

Will write more soon,


October 07, 2004

Thoughts for SOAK pool sessions and general paddling

There is a need to revisit how the club manages and organises pool sessions and river trips to ensure that there is adequate progression for paddlers of all skill levels within the club
The club needs to move away from the adult-children focus and perhaps group all members according to ability level so that we classify people as novices (up to 2 star), intermediates (2–3 star) and advanced (3 star and above).

Pool Sessions
Pool sessions could then be arranged to focus on progressing people from novice to intermediate paddlers.
Session 1 could be used to run 1 and 2 star courses (in block booked format, paid for in advance)
Session 2 could be used for 2 star and 3 star courses (in block booked format, paid for in advance)
Session 3 would be used for playboating and adult casual paddling

At present the turnout for session 4 seems to be low, we could therefore look at extending the session to say 40minutes with a 5 minute break in between.
Session times would then be:
session 1: 8:05 – 8:45
session 2: 8:50 – 9:30
session 3: 9: 35 – 10:15

River Trips
At present I feel that the club perhaps runs too many set large group trips over the winter season. Whilst I appreciate that people want to paddle as much as possible, I think that it might benefit the memebers to have fewer large group trips and more trips based on smaller groups, with defined ability levels.
There is also a need to include more day trips, perhaps on a short notice basis, and to have more trips arrange ad hoc between paddlers who just want to get out and paddle. Perhaps the website could have a small forum for paddlers to arrange trips between themselves.

My vision is set out as follows:
4 large group (social/paddling) trips over the winter – heading to venues such as: Dart (intermediate/advanced), Tees (intermediate/advanced), Barle (novice/intermediate), Usk/Wye (novice/intermediate).
5–6 Day trips at various venues such as Nene (novice), Mile End Mill (novice/intermediate), Symonds Yat(novice), Tryweryn (novice/intermediate), Ogwen (advanced)
4–5 small group trips, with different groups going to different rivers, choice of rivers will depend on ability levels.

I feel that this would benefit all members of the club, reduced the coaching load of the coaches and allow members to progress their paddling at their own speed.

Just a few ideas - any comments?

October 06, 2004

Why the title?

Writing about web page

So why did I give my blog the title it has?

Go to and find out. Its a way of life, a way of thinking and way of doing.

Read and enjoy!!

October 2004

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  • It's Saturday now. I hope you will be allright soon. by James on this entry
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