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Archive for February, 2012

Nothing feels nicer than a newly stacked couple of cubic metres of dry, mature firewood logs. Plus, I g0t an hour’s exercise carrying it in from the roadside to the garage first thing this morning, while my neighbours got woken by the very loud noise they made being tipped from the truck!

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Had to wait to the end of the day to catch this photo opportunity. HB42, an intake of the Flexible MBA at Henley, attending the final residential workshop of their programme, after a special “bonus” Personal Development session with me at the end of their regular workshop day, sit down to enjoy a private supper to mark the occasion. We usually set these events up in the private dining room areas at Greenlands, which adds the sense of accomplishment (even though they still have to write their final projects!)

But here they are, two and a half years in, still smiling…

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My office (one part of it, anyway) seems to have turned into the Bat Cave, full of gadgets and screens, most of which seem oriented toward one of two themes:

1. creating, fiddling with and tedious stitching together of the PhD (the bookshelves not in view here play their own, groaning, part in this as they bear both witness to and the weight of my Magpie-like joy in collecting old books on my subject)

2. a whole set of electronic activities designed to keep me in touch with colleagues, students, family, friends and acquaintances. And, of course, provide distraction from getting on with point 1 above.

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We’re now at the half way point in this month-long series of photos. So far, the experience of coming up with what to photograph and what then to place online here, with what sorts of image enhancement and what sort of accompanying text, has been a mix of pleasure and chore. But I’d been thinking about inclusion of today’s shot for a while – to give it enough forethought to ask the sitters to let me know which day and time would suit them. This is in part a recognition of the active and on-demand nature of their jobs, and in part also my respect for the work that they do.

So, I present the “Post Room” staff here at Henley Greenlands. To appreciate why I wanted to photo them you might first need to spend some time working or, especially, teaching here. Henley has quite a lot of teaching spaces and places and sometimes, if, for example, we are very busy with many programmes in, the potential for confusion and lack of room readiness would be great. But not here. Not only does our post room team sort and deliver the mail, they are also responsible for making sure that every room is clear, laid out as requested, and ready for the group to work in. And invariably it is. What’s more, they do this tireless task with such efficiency and good humour that I’m sure our clients and students notice. And that, dear senior management (anywhere),
is what customer service is all about.

From left to right: Jim, Dave, Darren, Vilma and Alan. Not pictured is Tim.

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It’s Valentine’s Day, and this street scene felt a little like a piece of New Orleans visits Broad Street in Oxford. The jazz, coupled with the antics of the fella with the umbrella, was infectious. Who knows why they were there, but they emerged from one of the College quads…

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There are a lot of bicycles in Oxford, and keen competition for places to lock them up, so many places try to discourage cyclists from using their railings. Many bikes end up chained, never to be claimed by their owners, gradually losing their parts until only a frame is left.

Probably won’t be the fate for this posh model, seen in Holywell Street.

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