Archive for the ‘Executive Business Coaching’ Category

How can Professional Life Coaching help You?

I am often asked the above question, “How can Coaching help You”

Well, Coaching allows you to set realistic goals / objectives that you want to really achieve in life.

How much time, effort or money would you be prepared to commit to, to change your life for the better?

Before you answer the last question, you need to understand the benefits you will get by achieving a goal / objective.

The easy way to imagine / visualise the benefits you will gain, lets draw a circle and call it the Wheel of Life and divide the circle into eight segments / areas or as many segments / areas as you want.

Next name each and every segment of the Wheel of Life with an aspect of your life, i.e:-

1) Health, 2) Wealth, 3)Work, 4) Social Life, 5) Interests / Hobbies, 6) Personal Development, 7) Friends, 8) Family Life.

Now I want you to rate each segment / area of your life with a number between one and ten, one being the lowest score (Least Happiest) and ten being the highest score (Happiest).

Once you have done this exercise, you will now have a visual chart that clearly shows how you rate various areas of your life.

If you score eight or above, it shows you that you are pretty happy with those areas of your life.

Next you need to look at the scores under eight and put them in order of priority, i.e which areas you need to change first that will make the biggest impact on changing your life for the better?

So lets give you an example, lets say I am overweight, what would be the benefits of reducing my weight?

Answer – Feel good /healthier, Eat healthier food, Healthier life style (more active, walking, sports etc,), Save money (on food, clothes etc.) etc.etc.etc.

Now by doing the above, what impact would being healthier have on the rest of your segments / areas of your life.?

When you are selecting which segment / area of your life to work on first, take a moment to reflect on which area would have the best impact that will benefit you and your life most.?

Once you have completed a segment / area of your life and are benefiting from it. You can then move on to the next segment / area which needs improving and so on until you have achieve the scores on all of your segments / areas of your life.

It is not rocket science, but by having a Life Coach who will work with you helping you to set realistic goals / objectives along the way. Plus they will be able to assist you overcome any barriers / obstacles which may get in your way.

Remember without a Life Coach, you may achieve certain improvements on your own, but how many times have you tried and not been successful to date?

With a Professional Life Coach, you will be able to achieve success in every segment or area of your life.

So how valuable is it to be able to completely change your life for the better and all you need is a Professional Life Coach.

I hope this article goes a long way to demonstrate, “How can Professional Life Coaching help You”?

 

 

 

Diagnose What is Stopping You ?

What is a diagnosis ?

It is a process to identify what is stopping someone from achieving something that they want to do, but are struggling to do so.

If you follow the process listed below, you can start to work out what obsticales / barriers are getting in the way of someone achieving their goals etc.

Hou to Carry out your Diagnosis

 1.       Gain a general sense of the issues

 Asking open questions and actively listening in order to get the coachee to open up about the current situation.

 Example questions –

  •  What is it you’re trying to achieve?
  • What is your goal?
  • What is the ultimate intention of achieving that goal?
  • How long have you had this goal?
  • How important is this goal to you?
  • What have you tried previously?
  • What was the result of this?
  • Tell me about a time when you achieved something that you thought you couldn’t.
  • What did you do that made you successful in this?

 2          Home in on particular incidents

Link and build your questions based on the responses given in order to get more information and find the root cause

 Example questions :-

  • Tell me more about…….
  • Give me an example of that.
  • What happened when……?
  • What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about times when you have been successful in this area, what was happening?
  • What do you see as being the implications of…..?

 3          Identify what’s stopping a better performance

Example questions :-

  • What stops you from…..?
  • What would need to happen for you to be able to……?
  • When you tried that in the past, what was missing?
  • What else would you need in order to succeed?
  • Pose the Suppose – Ifx was not an issue, would there be anything else stopping you?

Choose the right type of question to help the coachee to identify what barriers they are facing and what is stopping them from getting what they want

 4          Work out and agree if/how coaching can help them

  • I will get you to agree some action plans, are you happy to carry these out?

Check for their commitment to coaching and explain the guidelines of how the coaching relationship will work.

 Once you have done your diagnosis, if you determine it’s –

 Knowledge

 Discuss how they can obtain this knowledge

Aptitude

This means the coachee is not really cut out for the role

You can’t put in what god left out!!

 Attitude or Skills

 This is where you coach, you can now go on to use the GROW model and this will help you get the best results from your coaching session.

 From what you have learned today and from past experience, write down:

 1.    Your main strength’s when doing your diagnosis?

2.    The one area you still need to develop?

3. How you will address this development area?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 28, 2013 by purecollaboration

I have been thinking long and hard about the future of Pure Collaboration, having trial’ed various events for five events from July to Nov in 2012, to see whether it was a venture that firstly had merit and secondly that there was a need for within the Business Sector?

Well the events were a success and due to the positive feedback recieved from members and visitors, on how they found the events interesting on several levels. Firstly it was a business club with a difference, they enjoyed the sponsor spots, plus the informative educational spots that provided valuable information which helped businesses to think about how they can look to build relationships with and for the disabled market.

So I have taken time out since Dec 2012 to reflect on the options available for me to launch a fully operational business club for abled and disabled to meet, share ideas and exchange ways that will benefit their own businesses and the local community as well.

The club will be for the benefit of Businesses, Universities, Colleges, Charites, Local Authorities and for the Local Community to take part.

One key factor I am looking for, is for local businesses to take an active part, become fully involved in the promoting, day to day running etc and in return for their effort , they will get recognition for being a business that is active within the local community and has demonstrated by your commitment.

I am not looking for free cash injections (but I wouldn’t be rejected any), more importantly it is about gaining additional expertise from established businesses who have the knowhow plus the contacts to help fellow businesses to grow and develop. In return they will have the knowledge of become part of something that is special & currently there is nothing like it out there in the market place.

The Clue is in the name “Pure Collaboration” by giviing and supporting others you will get a return on your investment (witch is based on effort) without any real financial cost to you or your business.

So if you want to be part of a new venture that is being put together to provide, development, education, sales skills, marketing knowhow, confidence building etc.etc.etc.

Plus you will gain from the expertise from every club member as well their support in build your business via support, knowledge & contacts.

Finally I am keen for all Colleges, Universities, Local Authoriites, Charities, Existing Businesses, New Businesses, New Start Up Businesses and supporting everyone within the community that wants to change their existing life and support others to do the same.

If you can see my vision, like the sound of what I am saying and feel you want to be part of this journey, then contact me at msbiginelli@gmail.com or martin.biginelli@yahoo.com. or contact me direct via 07710163790.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, but I hope more importantly that it prompts you to respond in a positive way and get on board with this venture.

Many Thanks & Best Wishes

Martin

“G R O W”

The GROW Coaching Model

The G is for – Goal Setting, which has  6 stages :-

1) Previous actions

2) Agree goal or goals required

3) Evidence Procedure- what does it Look Like, Sound Like or Feel Like. (Imagine what its like)

4) Maintaining positive bye products (keep doing what you are already do well)

5) Checking the ecology (is the goal worthwhile) i.e. worth the effort etc to achieve?

6) Checking / understanding (commitment to goal)

The R is Reality Check :-

1) Current situation

2) Is the goal stretching (developing) enough ?

2) Is the gap between actual performance / desired performance challenging enough?

3) Check whether person has been coached this way before ?

O is for Options :-

1) Explore different options available ?

2) What are the Pros & Cons of each option?

3) Facilitate choice (Do not direct)

4) Check commitment (using encouragement via internal / external fliter)

5) Run options session (using options / procedures fliter)

W is for What next :-

1) Recap / whats been achieved

2) Agree action points (SMART)

3) Agree next session & goal

Thank coachee for effort & showing your belief in their ability to succeed

The Best Motivation Video

Useful Diagnostic Questions!

Whether you are an Executive in Business, Senior Manager, Front Line Manager, Small Business Owner, you will have staff working for you and sometimes are at a loss to know why someone is not performing as you expect them to or know that they can.

These questions will help you to understand your staff better and find out what actually motivates them performance wise, once you know this you can then help them to achieve the goals they want out of working for you. The added benefit is you will really understand and know what makes an individual tick, plus you will know what also motivates them, which is good for both parties.

Start General and get more specific to get them talking openly about their performance.

  • What is it you’re trying to achieve?
  • What is your goal?
  • What is the ultimate intention of achieving that goal?
  • How long have you had this goal?
  • How important is this goal to you?
  • What have you tried previously?
  • What was the result of this?
  • Tell me about a time when you achieved something that you thought you couldn’t.
  • What did you do that made you successful in this?
  1. Home in on particular incidents.

Target potential areas for improvement.

  • Tell me more about…….
  • Give me an example of that.
  • What happened when……?
  • What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about times when you have been successful in this area, what was happening?
  • What do you see as being the implications of…..?
  1. Identify what is stopping the coachee from performing better.

Get them to talk about barriers and hence possible solutions.

  • What stops you from…..?
  • What would need to happen for you to be able to……?
  • When you tried that in the past, what was missing?
  • What else would you need in order to succeed?
  • Pose the Suppose – If x was not an issue, would there be anything else stopping you?
  1. Work out and agree what the appropriate intervention will be based on the diagnosis result.

Gain commitment to coaching if this is the appropriate intervention. Get the coachee to carry out an action before the first coaching session to test this commitment.

  • I am prepared to make this commitment to you, are you prepared to make that same commitment to achieving your goal through coaching?
  • I will get you to agree some action plans, are you happy to carry these out?

So all Executives, Managers, Business Owners, if you use the above process and questions you will have staff that want to work for you and also buy into your own goals and objectives at the same time. It is a win win situation for both parties.

Love Your Life, Your Career & Your Relationships

What does it take to enjoy your life?

What does it mean to you?

How important is it to you to achieve success?

Unless you know what you want in life, and  how do you intend to achieve success – then you can underachieve your desires which can have a knock on effect.

Which can lead to you feeling at a loss, not knowing what to do or where to go in the future?

Well believe in yourself and what you can actually achieve, then you need to plan your goals and objectives for the future. Set yourself time scales to be able to measure your own success and achievements. Only by taking time out to reflect what you have already achieved and what you still need to achieve to enable you to move forward towards your goals and objectives.

There is no rocket science involved, just using your existing knowledge, skills and attitude can make the difference between success and missed opportunities!

So seek support and help to maximise your full potential via a coach, who will help you to identify  the key issues you need to address.

Firstly you need to know who you are and what you stand for? Also you need to want to make changes to enable you to succeed success!

And this means in all aspects of your life, including your career & your personal relationships, because you may be happy in one area but not all three?

So the key thing is to accept you need to have a balance in your life between your career and your relationships, because if you get the balance wrong then you are likely to head towards problems, which include emotions, your family, your career and finally what it will cost you in financial and personal terms.

So seek support on a regular basis with a coach to avoid the pitfalls that can impact on your life?

Don’t forget they creep up on you without your full knowledge that they are happening to you before it is to late!

There is nothing more important in life than your family & friends, compared to having money and career success, otherwise you will become the richest person in the cemetery!

So believe in the future and that you can make the changes that make a difference to enhance of your life and ambitions for the future.

Only conditioning during our lives makes us think or believe that you can’t do something! When in fact this is not true and you can achieve what ever you want if you really want to!

So always remember you only have one life, so why would you want to waste it? Make the most of your life and yes this will mean at times you need to take chances? Hay this is part of life, and what we need to accept and decide what we want and how we are going to achieve what I want in life.

You can have it all, happiness, success and fulfilment, provided you are adaptable and prepared to adjust to enable you to achieve your desired goals.

And trust me you can, I have worked with lots of people, including clients who have changed they way they do things for the better and achieved the desired results they wanted in like!

 

50 Power Questions for Coaches & Non Coaches!

I cam across this link which I thought you would enjoy and help to build your repertoire of powerful questions to use when you are coaching!

Solution Box has been very kind in allowing this material to be provided to others for free provided the originator is not looking to make money from it!

So I hope you will value these questions as much as I do, and let others know about this article as they are essential for anyone wanting to improve their management skills etc. or to improve your own personal life by asking yourself these questions to help you to achieve your own success.

50powerquestions

 

Coaching Culture, Are you ready?

Firstly I would like to talk briefly about coaching and the attitude a lot of people have formulated towards the term.

C0aching is not something new, it has been around for a long time and mainly associated with sports, so why do people think it is normal to have and pay for a sports coach? Because they want to achieve success, they want to be the best at what they do. And it has long been established that behind every successful sports person, there is a very successful coach!

Check by talking to someone who has used a professional coach for life, business, relationship, career or performance coaching needs. They will confirm that it is not myth, it works it enables and empowers them as an individual to work out for themselves, what needs to happen next.

Coaching puts structure into what you want to achieve, it also enables you to remove obstacles or barriers that have been getting in your way. You will discover things about yourself that you did not know, coaches do not have all the answers, but they able to coach you to find the answers for yourself.

A good coach will be able to understand you as a person, how you process things and how to show you ways to maximise the processes that you use to your advantage when dealing with others. They will know your VAK’s (modalities), Metaprogams (filters), and will look at a basic ladder of happiness / Wheel of Life – Employment, Money, Personal Development, Relationships, Health, Social Life and Freedom.

Coaching in simple terms allows you to know yourself and enable you to control what you want out of life. Knowing what you want and being able to achieve your desire and dreams, is so powerful and motivational, you want know yourself.

So why is it that generally we shun coaching in other areas of our lives?

Why do many people avoid success in there daily lives and struggle on hoping things will improve for the better? And again why do people plod on every day in work, watching the clock waiting for home time to come around, what impact is that having on you and your health.

Why is it? we are prepared to pay lots of money on commodities and consumer goods and expect quality. We will also beg still or borrow to make sure our children achieve or able to have the best start in life. Yet when it comes down to the individual, we don’t have the same desire or passion to do it for ourselves.

You carry on doing the same things day in day out and week in week out!

The main reason why people don’t consider coaching as a viable source is that firstly they are not sure what or how it can actually help them and secondly in their eyes it costs quite a lot.

Well I hope I have answered the first point or at least enough for you to give me a call and check it out for yourself.

The second point, what price do you put on happiness and fulfilment?

Would you buy a house or do anything legal without a solicitor, you might if you could avoid paying fees and also to save money. What happens thought, if something goes wrong, how much extra is it going to cost you.

Another couple of examples, of where people have wanted to avoid paying the fees for professional services .i.e. Accountants, where would you be if you avoided an accountant and then had to deal with the inland revenue because your accounts are incorrect or wrong?

Professional Financial Advise, Again without professional financial advice, would you have enough life cover for you and your family, or maybe not enough monies to live on when you retire or not enough to retire when you wanted to.

What you are paying for is the expertise the training that they all have had to undergo to provide you with knowledge, skills and knowhow as well as the best information possible available.

But without professional help and support in life, we would experience all kinds of potential problems costing far more that the original fees.

Take control of your life, seek the changes you want, because they won’t automatically come to you, you have to be proactive and go and get them yourself.

Pretty basic language I know, but it is true you get what you are prepared to focus on in life as well what you are prepared to pay. So let tomorrow be the first day of the rest of your new life, you can make changes, you can achieve what you want.

Turn those dreams and desires into reality, take the first step get yourself a coach, if you have been following my blogs for a while, you will know how passionate I am about coaching and what it do for you.

 

Thoughts,Feelings & Facts, About My Life & Business

Question 1) who would I like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

By choice it would be someone like the singer Duffy, but to keep it clean and meaningful I will choose the singer known to everyone as Little Stevie Wonder.

The reason I choose a singer is because I have a passion for music which stems right back to my youth (and that is a long time ago). I grew up in the sixties which produced some of the very best sounds.

I can remember thinking how can someone who is blind, be able to write lyrics and music with such quality and passion. Plus he was able to play various instruments as well. What a talented person.

So to be stuck in a lift with someone who you could pass the time away with finding out about this person’s life and background, you know what makes them tick etc.

And the added advantage would be to sing along with the maestro to his songs, just imagine me singing songs like – My Sherrie is no more and I just called to say I stuck in a lift, and perhaps the most classic one would be, For once in my life I’m going to open up a savings account.

Joking aside the guy is a musical genius and for me speaking as a trained life coach he is living proof that you can achieve anything in life if you want it bad enough.

So set yourself goals to help motivate, develop and move you through life towards your own desires.

Be happy and that is what Little Stevie Wonder does for me, when I listen to his music.

Question 2 – When I was young I wanted to be? “A lead singer and guitarist in a rock band.”  Why?

And the type band would have had to been something like – Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Yes, or Geneses.

I think inside me there is a hidden showman waiting to come out!!!

I can see myself strutting my stuff on stage, with all those women throwing their undies at me and trying to clamber onto the stage to get to me!!!  At least that’s what happens in my dreams and then I wake up and I am in Barclays banking hall with a customer saying oh young man (again I wish) are you the manager?

Again joking aside I have always thought how great it must be to be able to play a musical instrument of some kind, I have experimented with drums, guitar, keyboards and bongo’s so far. But as they say I am a jack of all trades and a master of none, in fact not even one.

Question 3 – About my role?

I am a life, business, executive, career & relationship coach. I also provide diagnostics for SME’s and help to put there business back on track, which may include training, coaching, observation and feedback?

Question 4) Roles I have done previously?

Where do I begin? At 56 I have undertaken quite a few positions over the years, so rather than bore with great detail here is a bullet point summary.

Paper boy (school) (London)

Messenger (London)

Postman (London)

Trainee butcher (Wallis Supermarkets) (London)

Butcher (Mac Markets, Safeway Supermarkets) (London)

Butchery Manager (various companies) (London)

Life Guard (London)

Life Saving Teacher (London)

ASA Swimming Instructor & Examiner (London)

STA Swimming Instructor & Examiner (London)

Disabled Swimming Support Teacher (London)

Leisure Centre Assistant Manager (Plus Swimming Teacher) (Gainsborough Lincs)

Overhead Crane Driver (Steel Works – Scunthorpe)

Postman (Gainsborough Lincs & then moved / transferred to Cardiff)

Postman Higher Grade (Code sort operator) (Cardiff)

Business Partner in Power Financial Services (Cardiff)

Financial Advisor – Colonial Mutual (Cardiff)

Will Drafter – Tregarons Will Writing Service (Cardiff)

Customer Service Advisor – TSB Telephone Banking (Newport)

Customer Service Advisor – Admiral Motor Insurance (Cardiff)

Salesman – Tandy’s Electrical – (Newport)

Manager – Tandy’s Electrical – (Newport)

Life & Pensions Advisor – Standard Life Insurance (Cardiff)

Customer Service Advisor – British Gas

Customer Sales Advisor – British Gas

Local Sales Coach – British Gas

National Sales Coach – British Gas (Travelling all UK, Inc Wales, Scotland, and Ireland)

Sales Coach – Barclays Bank (SE Wales & Herefordshire)

Performance Coach – Barclays Bank (SE Wales & Herefordshire Glou & Worc)

So quite a lot of experience has been gained in various sales / management roles, but the most valuable skills and training I have gained is whilst I was with British Gas as they trained me as a fully qualified sales, business and life coach with professional qualifications.

So if you need a Life Coach you no ware I am.

Question 5) My biggest success to date and why?

The Goal and aim of everyone involved in the project was to double the value of the turnover and increase the overall productivity across the site, from £38k per week to £80k.

The key was to appoint key personal to be accountable and responsible for the day to day running to each process, and to have built in contingency to cover when staff are off due to holidays or sickness.

This entailed reviewing processes.

I am please to say with the help of every team member at the branch we managed to achieve the desired result, it was a very successful project and I am grateful to have been part of it

Question 6) What are my top three tips?

Now that would be telling wouldn’t it, well I love sharing and I want everyone to be as successful.

Before I give you my three top tips, I believe that everyone needs to understand the importance working as a team.

Because without teamwork it would be difficult for business to function effectively, and this would have a knock on effect to other parts of the business.

So it is vital for a business and for their customers, to maximise any opportunities to help improve and provide better customers service and then you will see the profits rise as well.

We need to look at the bigger picture, job security is also important and in these uncertain times we need to do what is best for the customer first, which in turn is best for the business and also it helps us as employees.

So in effect we are in control of our own destinies, it just depends on how each individual interprets it.

Which is where the managers come in, they provide the coaching, feedback and direction to enable everyone to have their own success stories.

Tip 1)

Set up an effective buddy system – Work in set teams, to include all staff, to help support and develop each other.

Each team to talk to each other on a daily basis to set the scene i.e. for example tell your buddy what you require for that day and vice versa.

To provide regular and valuable feedback on what is working and if you come across any areas which need to be developed to provide a structured feedback which will give the person the right amount of development that they require, plus making sure they feel motivated afterwards to continue seeking support.

Rather than that was crap or something on those lines which does not help anyone.

To get the same value and productivity via any other form of contact, and to achieve the desired amount of business would involve a greater amount of time and effort, than working with your buddies.

Tip 2)

Have effective processes in place and make sure they are managed properly and have contingency built into to cover holidays and sickness. My above notes in the Gloucester project provide further detail.

Tip 3)

Effective planning and organisation.

The key to success can be measured by three core things which are:-

1)     Activity

2)     Productivity

3)     Value

If you get any one of the above out of sink you will not achieve your desired outcome.

i.e.

Your activity is fairly good, productivity is pretty good to but the overall value is poor.

What do you need to do?

Your activity is pretty good, your productivity ok ‘ish , and your value is pretty good

What do you need to do?

Your activity is good, your productivity is great, but the value is only pretty good.

What do you need to do?

Your activity is really good and your productivity is where is should be or even higher and the end result value is also really good or excellent.

Which would you settle for?

I could give loads of examples and different formula’s but unless you have the correct amount of activity which in turn will produce the right amount of productivity and thus give you the desired amount of income.

Without an effective plan of action, which provides you with a structure to follow and enables you to set up contingency plan to cover for things that don’t quite go the way you planned, You are domed to fail.

And nobody plans to fail they just fail to plan!!!

Question 7) What are my current challenges?

My main areas are to help install motivation via regular feedback and to then provide where required to develop and build on to existing skill sets of individuals and they will be different dependant on the person as we are all different.

By regular feedback and coaching I will help to enhance the skills sets of individuals as well as their motivation, which in turn will have the natural effect of increasing a person’s confidence. Because confidence is the end result which is achieved from previous and present experiences and the learns gained from them.

I want the individuals to have the confidence and ability to be able to approach every customer. To engage in a conversation, which will help to establish any concerns they may have about the current climate.

They will also be able to identify any needs or requirements that they may and be able to help them by either saving or making them money from  products and services.

Only by staff having belief in products and having the skills and confidence to approach customers will we achieve our desired outcomes. The two other vital ingredients which need to be considered which are ownership and responsibility.

So investment in people to build their confidence will produce the desired outcomes we all require.

Question 8 – Funny Stories

Story no 1 – Chipolatas

When I was young and in my youth I became an apprentice butcher and one day whilst merrily boning away, that is a term for removing the meat from the bones and leaving the bones nice and clean,  and I hasten to add not something you were all thinking about.

Let me set the scene I am working in a supermarket, which has open planned counter prior to the pre packed counters of today. So my colleagues would be busy either cutting or preparing meat and roast joins etc or serving customers.

So I being a trainee was given the job of boning a side of beef, which meant removing the bones whilst making sure they were clean and no meat left on the bones. I was given a very thin boning knife and a leather apron to wear in from of my vitals.

But being a trendy young youth who had an image to keep, decide to leave the apron off as it didn’t look cool.

Well back to my story I was merrily working away with my little boning “knife,” when suddenly the knife bounced off the bone and into my groin. Well you can imagine my reaction. The strange thing is that I felt no pain, in fact the groin area was quite num, just lots of blood coming from the area.

Well being a teenager and having only one thing on my mind which was another form of boning, panicked and decided to drop my trousers to make sure my vitals were still intact, well to my astonishment apart from the blood element i.e. it was going everywhere all else seemed to be in one piece.

I breathed a sigh of relieve to know that all was well in the vital regions, but suddenly, I heard above the commotion around me. The sound of lots of laughter and I turned to face the direction of the laughter, which came from to this woman, who was pointing to my private parts and shouting out aloud, oh that reminds me I need a pound of chipolatas.!!!

Story no 2 – Nearly prosecuted for not flashing at night

I am a bit of budding photographer and over the years I have undertaken lots of different projects to do with photography.

Well many years ago I agreed to spend an evening with a mate from work, who was also keen on photography.

We decide to do some night time photo’s using black and white film The film we used was a special film Ilford xp1 that would allow you to use it in without flashgun and in very low light conditions.

So we set off taking pictures using a tripod of cars driving down llandough hill, which is you leave the camera shutter open for a longer period of time you get an image of streaks of light and no image of a car at all. Which if done well is quite an effective picture.

Well as time went on, we decided to make are last shoot of the evening at a small old church and its cemetery. I thought it would make for a very granny image of a tomb stone which was tilted over and was against the entrance of the church yard with a small street light which was giving us just enough light to take the picture.

I was just about to take the picture, when I ask my friend to shine a small touch, you know the type you can carry on a key ring, so not very bright. I ask him to shine it onto the name of the person that was engraved upon the tomb stone. This was to give it more impact in the final picture.

I took the picture and suddenly without any warning a voice could be heard from behind the tomb stones a few yards away. Well I thought it was time to meet my maker, it was a good job I was wearing brown trousers at the time!!!

When we looked up and realised where and who the voice was coming from, it was a local farmer who had a small farm next to the church yard. He was not very happy and no matter how much we tried to tell him we meant no harm and that all we were doing was taking a photo in the dark without a flashgun, using special film. Well even as I was saying it, I thought to myself, even I don’t believe this story.

The farmer unbeknown to us had telephoned the police stating we were up to no good.

Then suddenly I heard another voice not far away from the farmer and I looked at my mate and we both looked in the direction of the voice to see a young woman trying to adjust her clothing and asking the farmer how long was he going to be.?

Well it appears the farmer was more worried that we had taken a picture of his activity with this young lady, than what we were up to.

You will be pleased to know I have stopped doing night time photography, unless within my four walls!!!!!

Story no 3 – Don’t do it on an air bed

I will let you use your on imagination for this one, all I will say that one night I was entertaining with a very nice lady (and not  a lady of the nights in case you are wondering).

We wined and dined and cook a meal and set the mood and everything was going to plan.

At the time I was living on my own and had just gone through a divorce and reduced to a bed-sit.

Not the biggest of places, well the moment arrived I could hardly control myself with excitement, when to my horror the lady said oh I sorry I am not used to a single bed!!

Well the brain was working overtime and the pulse was racing, just then I had a brain wave

(Not politically correct I no).

Well I said that is no problem I have a double air bed, oh ok lets use it she said,

(Obviously a lady of class).

The rest I will leave to you, except for the fact that right at the key moment passion, the bung came out of the air bed and if you can imagine an air bed which is leaking air and with the weight in the middle it behaves like a see saw with both ends going up at the same time and both ends also going down at the same time, it so of deflates the situation some what.

Plus this lady let it be known in my local pub.!!!

Well that’s it from me folks, I look forward to sharing ideas and best practices with everyone.

Until we speak again

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