My life’s essentials 14: Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS | @robertz

I have always enjoyed photography, although for much of my life did not spend much time on it. Moving to live by the sea and walking with our dogs have given me plenty of opportunities to take more photos. Five years ago, after we lost our dear two spaniels and there was a lot of … Read more

Ouch! That hurts. But not as much as it used to . . . | @robertz

It’s said that time heals or that painful memories grow less painful. 46 years ago, doctors were scratching their heads for five weeks as I was jabbed, x-rayed and subjected to all manner of medical tests, because they couldn’t find out what was wrong with me. (Some of those close to me say they still … Read more

My 5 ways to remedy procrastination

clock | procrastination | @robertz

There seems to be more advice on how to avoid procrastination and improve time management than we could possibly take in, but they can still remain a problem. There are many reasons for procrastination – from tiredness to fear, lack of motivation and boredom – and getting to the cause is a good idea. Why … Read more

When things don’t work, people can

Things don't work, but people can | @!robertz

Reading the news can be depressing. Institutions and organisational structures everywhere seem to be failing and instead of reforming, improving or replacing them, more time and effort is put into squabbling about what to do than doing anything, and faith and respect in our ‘systems’ are disappearing. Many see the solution as joining a side, … Read more

Camille and Kennerly and their dual harp revolution

Robert Zarywacz @robertz

YouTube is a good place to discover new artists and among my favourites are Camille and Kennerly, the Harp Twins, who are driving their dual harp revolution. Camille and Kennerly’s videos showcase their performances of a broad range of music interpreted by them on acoustic and electric harps. These vary from classic tunes to TV … Read more

Live and let live, but please don’t eat my seedlings

Runner bean flowers | @obertz

Early this morning, as I drove round the corner of a country lane, I was horrified to be confronted by three young wild rabbits hopping towards me in the middle of the road. Luckily, I was able to slow down and, realising the danger, they hopped on to the grass verge and disappeared through a … Read more

eXcentriX provides a business outlet for laughter

PIN number T-shirt | eXcentrix | @robertz

  I’m taking part in the July 2018 Ultimate Blog Challenge and on day 2 I read a blog by Fran Asaro on the topic of Bringing Crazy Back –  7 Ways to Lighten up You and Your Business, which really struck a chord with me. Much of my career has been spent on serious … Read more

Support Salisbury, one of England’s loveliest cities

Salisbury, Wiltshire, England | @robertz

You may have seen news reports of the second poisoning by a nerve agent in Salisbury, England. Most importantly, I hope the two people recover fast as, however it happened, this type of incident is horrific. I’m not going to discuss the incident itself as I feel I can know little of what really goes … Read more

Preparation and patience

I’m impatient, but I’m also patient. The older I get, the more I seem to become both. I can’t figure it out. As a child, I remember wanting things: a new bike, my first cassette tape recorder, a camera, hifi equipment and more. In those days, we saved up, putting aside some pocket money each … Read more

Sun or rain, heat or cold, fulfilment or regret?

I paddled in the sea at Woolacombe again this morning, throwing a tennis ball for our dog, before starting work. What a blessed life. But it’s not always sunny. On wintry days, we’re struggling along the beach in wellies with our faces sandblasted by the wind. But still it’s a blessed life. We moved from … Read more

The Residents: Animal Lover

I first heard The Residents’ version of Satisfaction while at school and was immediately intrigued. I remember heading down to Flyover Records in Hammersmith and greedily buying several albums, not knowing what to make of them and getting hooked on Not Available. I followed them for 15 years or so, still not knowing what to … Read more

Epic sagas of the future or historical footnotes?

For my History MA, I recently wrote an essay on the topic of how 19th century imperial powers relied on collaboration with indigenous populations in order to administer their colonies. I am interested in collaboration – in the sense of ‘working together’ – because, however much we do or don’t like it, we are all … Read more

My life’s essentials 11: reading

As a child, there was always something to read in our house: the Radio Times, books, newspapers, magazines, dictionaries, comics. While we listened to the radio and records, watched television and played with toys and in the garden, sometimes the house would be silent as we would all have our noses in books or magazines. … Read more

My three words for 2018: nibble – rest – clear 

In 2016 I chose three words to focus on, following a suggestion by Chris Brogan, and I repeated this in 2017, when I chose: face, laugh and breathe. So how did I do? Face – Concerned at the growing polarisation of views on many issues, with so more people hiding behind flags, icons and groups, … Read more

Finding life in facing death

It’s the time of year when plants are dying or bedding down for the winter. It’s all part of the cycle of death and life, and it touches us all. It makes me think of when I was first confronted with thinking about death. When I was 13, Crohn’s disease, with which I had been … Read more

Theatre to make you think: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Whatever happened to serious theatre? By that I don’t mean plays without jokes, but writing with depth that leaves you thinking and searching for answers the next day. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Terrence McNally‘s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at the SPACE in Ilfracombe. Now here I have … Read more

Dragged down a hole in the ground into hell

My baby teeth must have been stubborn and I remember my Mum taking me to the health clinic on the Bath Road, Hounslow for one to be extracted under anaesthetic. The strong memory of that day, some 50 years ago, is the weird dream I had after the mask was placed over my face to knock me out … Read more

30th May 2017

At Junior School, I used to write the date at the top of the page in my diary before writing about what I’d done over the weekend just passed. Being the 1960s, I liked writing 196- and was quite concerned at the end of 1969 when I realised that the 6 would change to 7, … Read more

Grateful for a holiday life

Today is the 13th anniversary of moving to Ilfracombe in North Devon. After locking the door of our house in Windsor, we posted the keys through the letterbox and set off in our two cars, with our cocker spaniel, Felix, wondering how our adventure would unfold. Not much went to plan, as we forgot that life … Read more

Three words for 2017: Face | Laugh | Breathe

I chose three words to focus on in 2016: irreverent, kind, treasure. How did I do? I was still far too serious, have more work to do on being kind, but certainly do treasure everything in my life more than I ever have. How and why have I chosen my three words for 2017? Face … Read more