Friday, May 26, 2006

My Life.

Personal matters

A special person has come into my life. Gek.

What can I say. Since Jenny died in December last year, I have been thrashing around this planet, trying to make sense of it all and searching for a way to open to a get into a new future.......almost any future would have done. And, boy, did I find a way!!!!

First VSO offers me an opportunity to die for.......Mongolia. AND a way to meet and interact with some of the smartest and most pro-active people you are ever likely to find in one room!!! Made up! A true life line.

And, now Gek the sculptress!! A talented artist, Gek is Singaporean and has been studying/practicing sculpting in the UK for the past three years. We have know each other since 1993, but Gek was also a colleague of Jenny's in Singapore during three years we worked there in the early 1980's. We met up again briefly in the new year and, as they say, the rest is history.

Gek is on the cusp of change. She finishes her studies in June this year and is now busy preparing her final pieces for exhibition. We both want to grasp the challenge that VSO offers with both hands and the organisation is currently exploring ways in which we could be together on placement.

Something I omitted to a previous life Gek was a high flying Information Technolgy expert with a special interest in Curriculum Development in higher education!!!!

Self Briefing - 2

Lambeth College

What a couple of days! Absolutely brilliant. Loads of help and support form Len in Construction and Mike in Engineering. The mix of course provision and the physical resources at the college are excellent. It would be very tempting to lift the whole operation to U B!!!! But, I have now a model college from which I can take exemplars for Mongolia. All the staff I met were amazingly enthusiastic and I feel this could be the beginning of an extremely interesting and productive collaboration. The future is looking good!!

What a relief it was to realise that there will no problem using what I know and moving it across from Engineering to Construction. That was major light switching moment. NO PROBLEMO!!! I can do this!!! Just for that alone I owe Lambeth College big time!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Self Briefing - 1

Further Education College Education

I have just spent a great day at Lambeth College with the staff in the Construction Department, a Centre of Excellence for Construction. What a day. Absolutely brilliant. They are all so enthusiastic about their work and eager to help, I was bowled over! The Department is involved with a number of high profile projects in the London and this is something they are justifiably proud of.

The upshot is that from them kindly sharing some of their knowledge and expertise with me, I can see that taking what I know from Engineering across to Construction is going to be anywhere near as big a problem as I first imaged. That is some a relief, I can tell you! There are still clearly big gaps in my knowledge base but the other members of the VSO team assigned to this project are almost certainly going to cover my shortfalls. So, game on as they say. Result!

I am returning to the college tomorrow to visit the Engineering Department on another fact finding mission. Now that I have got back in the saddle, so to speak, after a 5 year absence for the world of work, I am really looking forward returning. I have to thank Len, the Head of the Construction Department for helping with this 'back to work' process. He made me feel as though I hadn't been away and I thank him for that. A brilliant day. Not work at all!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

London College Visit

Information gathering

I arrived in London to stay with friends on Friday. I love coming "up to town". Ruth and me always do the current exhibitons. Yesterday, Saturday, we did 4!!!!! By far the best was the Modernism and Design exhibition at the V & G. Superb history lesson on the influence of Modernism from the post Russian Revolution period to the present. The visual displays and the links made between art, design and engineering are extremely will presented. The massive influence the Bauhaus group had our lives today was well pointed up. As we wandered around the 10 rooms, I wondered what our world would be like now if they had had computer controlled machine tools which can create free forms and not just flats and circles.

Today, Sunday, I am off to see a friend who has recently come back into my life. She is currently preparing her final year sculpture installation for exhibition and assessment in June. All very exciting and none engineering. But I guess, sort of construction!!!

But, I digress!! VSO. Ruth has arranged a punishing schedule for me to meet both the construction guys and the engineering guys on two separate days. Am I ready to be thrown back into a work situation after so may years out of it?? I will let you know in the next blog.