Thursday, 21 November 2013

Role models

Someone - maybe Saint-Exupery? - said some of the most important sights in life are seen from the air.

This is a long way: though a 4 hour 40 minute journey from Heathrow to Tel Aviv is quicker than a First Great Western train to Camborne (from Paddington). People have taken out their Bibles and stand up now and again to pray.

Interesting article in the Financial Times on reverse mentoring: the Chief Executive of Tesco's is being mentored by a 28-year-old on new technology. "The real leap today is to think like a digital native. These mentoring sessions help me to do that, to understand how our customers will think, interact and operate in the future." Philip Clark. Does reverse mentoring work? Is it this really mentoring? - or just coaching.

How to learn from others? What are role models? Too early in the morning to have any answers. Gods in the ancient world weren't role models: they were agents of transformation and change. Some of the tough Romans maybe were.

  • I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony:
    O, such another sleep, that I might see
    But such another man!
    His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm
    Crested the world: his voice was propertied
    As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
    But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
    He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
    There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
    That grew the more by reaping: his delights
    Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
    The element they lived in: in his livery
    Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
    As plates dropp'd from his pocket.

But Cleopatra was in love.

Elton John in the Independent today: "I hate the celebrity that is around now - the vacuous, talentless, horror show that they get paid millions for, when there are people who are teaching kids every day that are trying to scrape by and earn a living."

A beautiful day in Israel - temperature is 18 degress. Seat belts must be fastened on entering Israeli airspace.




Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy