Thursday, August 29, 2019

Throwback Thursday (from 19 December, 2013) – Be Grateful, Be Good.



In our increasingly stressful, self-centred, Instagram world, one of the best and quickest antidotes to alleviate stress – is saying Thank-You to someone.  Expressing gratitude not only makes the recipient feel good, it makes us feel good too.

Be grateful for what you’ve got, not what you’ve not.

Here’s a post from December 2013:

There are many things that make us human. Compassion, grace, love. The ability to forgive. Another I hadn’t really given much thought to, until I read this article, is gratitude. As the author says, Thanksgiving in America lends itself to taking stock of the good in our lives. Other countries and cultures reflect at different times of the year – whether that’s Christmas or New Year. The point is, ultimately gratitude is a powerful force for good. It’s how friendships are maintained and love blossoms, because gratitude is an act of selflessness. It’s an emotion we then feel compelled to pay forward and society at large benefits.

I was struck by the simplicity of this notion, but also the complexity of how gratitude, or a lack thereof, is reflected in modern society. We live in a screen age where everyone is constantly on the go. Gratitude is often an after-thought, if a thought at all. For a lot of people, the stronger emotion is a sense of entitlement. That someone else must help them because they’re so busy. Others see good deeds imparted on them as a burden, favors they are now obligated to pay back.

But if we all just took a moment to slow down and recognize what we’re grateful for and who we’re grateful too, we can understand that being grateful is integral to the fabric of our society. It keeps us in tune with each other. It makes us better people and the world a kinder place.

KR

Monday, August 26, 2019

Passages



In 1977 I read a landmark book, Gail Sheehy’s Passages where she predicted and commented upon the various life stages we Baby Boomers were inevitably going to pass through.

In 64 Spurs, Robin Dyke characterised them more practically in groups of four:

Awakening
Reflecting
Dreaming
Exploring

Playing
Creating
Connecting
Loving

Doing
Learning
Changing
Winning

Grounding
Coping
Growing
Aging

I merrily move between the last two groups.  You?

KR

PS - Actually I move between all four.  KR

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Out Today!



Robin Dyke’s second book of poems – following his successful debut collection ‘Lasting, Leaving, Left’, here comes 64 Spurs.

Poetic shots for riding in a wondrous world.  A counterpoint to my own 64 Shots – Leadership in a Crazy World.  A companion set of poems to awaken and arise.

The end is nothing.  The ride is all.

Published by Bay Tidings Creations in Canada.

Saddle Up!

KR

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Life Needs More Sport



Saturday night in Auckland.

7.35pm:
At Eden Park to watch the All Blacks bounce back and dismantle Australia by a near record breaking 36 to nil.  And lay down a Rugby World Cup marker behind world number one player Beauden Barrett.

2.00am:
Get up after two hours sleep to watch Wigan lose Joe Williams to a red card and go down fighting two/nil vs Championship favourites Leeds United.

4.30am:
Watch incredulously as Manchester City take Spurs apart with 30 goal attempts vs 3 – holding a 93rd minute winner mysteriously disallowed by VAR and only draw 2/2 vs the third best team in England, Spurs.

One win, one draw, one defeat for my three teams.  What’s not to love about This Sporting Life?

KR

Friday, August 16, 2019

Foodie Friday – Eating at Pasture



Pasture was recently named Restaurant of the Year by Auckland’s Metro Magazine.

And I agree with them.

We took over the entire restaurant on Wednesday night.  A family get-together – but not as grandiose as it sounds.  There were only six of us (wife, sister and daughter – how spoilt am I?), but the restaurant only has six seats!

Like my favourite Binkleys in Phoenix, Pasture chef Ed Verner is re-imagining the entire restaurant experience – making it an intimate, focused, intense yet relaxed night full of quiet delight.

The six seats are all at the Chef’s counter.  Three chefs serve a tasting menu – no choices, no dietary stuff, just imaginative, wholesome, delicious tasty treats – partnered with unusual, interesting, beverages (sake, beer, wine, cocktail, mead) pairings.

Two seatings per night – 5.45pm and 8.15pm, Wednesday to Saturday.  No frills.  Just excellence.  Doors open at 8.15pm and then you’re off.  Three hours of fun.

The restaurant has its own lounge integrated into the counter/kitchen – decorated like a cross between a Japanese inn, a Scandinavian bolthole and a 50’s New York loft.

Ed works with whole animals, seafood and line-caught fish.  Japanese, Kiwi, Danish, Peruvian – you name it.

Here’s what we ate and drank.

Mushroom & hazelnut
**
Under the Milky Way / Grandmaster Flash
Build me up buttercup
**
Kohlrabi, pear, pumpkin seed
**
Rock Lobster
Zenkuro ‘Junmai’ Queenstown ‘18
**
Blue Mackerel
Memento Mori ‘Rosso’ Victoria ’17 – Cucumber & white asparagus
**
Diamond Shell Clams
**
Wheat & rye sourdough, our aged butter
Three Boys Wheat, Christchurch – Our sourdough ‘beer’
**
Radishes, beeswax & almond
Supernatural ‘Minus 220’ Hawkes Bay ’18 – Celeriac & pear
**
Snapper, egg yolk & saffron
Patrick Sulivan ‘Baw Baw Shire’ Chardonnay ’18 – Savagnin & Artichoke
**
The Pig Crumpet
Peckham’s ‘Western Pathfinder’ Moutere ’18 – Toasted hay
**
Tomato over embers
Distilled Chilli & Greens – Red capsicum
**
Aged New Zealand Wagyu
Basket Range ‘Vineyard Blend’ Adelaide Hills ’19 – Blackcurrant
**
Lobster Head & Mead
**
Mandarin & fennel pollen
Fermented fig leaf – Mandarin
**
Meyer Lemon & egg yolk
Hot pokered Bellbird Spring ‘Aeris’ Waipara – Rhubarb & Thyme

We’ll be back when we’re next in Auckland.

Try it out.

KR

Monday, August 12, 2019

See It. Say It. Fix It.




Alan Jones is an outspoken, brave, opinionated, creative Rugby loving Aussie – an all-round ‘big’ bloke who is always interesting.



Former Wallaby Captain Nick Farr-Jones sent me over Alan’s column a couple of weeks ago which contained a helluva lot of sensible advice for the Australian Rugby Union – all of which they will naturally ignore.



He also told the story of another Aussie, Tom Wolff who heads up the Mercedes Motor Sports Programme.  Here’s what Alan said:



“In 2014, Mercedes overtook Red Bull’s four year domination of Formula One racing.

Since then, they’ve won five consecutive doubles, the Drivers’ Championship and the Constructors’ Championship.

That equals the record set by Ferrari in the Michael Schumacher era.

This year they’re racing to break new ground aiming to win a sixth consecutive double and they’re well on track to do that.

The BBC recently spoke to Toto Wolff about his team’s success and, amongst other things, Wolff put it down to using the fear of failure as a motivation.

After difficult races, he talks about learning from failure.

Wolff argued, “The days we fail are the days we learn the most.  You never leave the track with a great victory saying ‘Why did we win?’ but you do leave the track saying ‘Why the hell did we lose ... indeed the diligence of the analysis to leave no stone unturned is much deeper and intense when you’ve lost.  The pain of losing lasts many days, probably until the next race.  And this has kept us going”.

(Aside – All Black Captain Sean Fitzpatrick told me pretty much the same thing about the All Blacks.)

A favourite Wolff saying is “Turn your worst days against your rivals”.

But success at Mercedes is not solely about fearing failure.

Toto Wolff also looks to learn from other successful sporting people and teams.

In fact it appears Mercedes have found inspiration from the winning record of the All Blacks.

They’re now working with a forensic psychiatrist, Ceri Evans who was instrumental in helping the New Zealand Rugby team shake off their World Cup choking habit.

Evans has a mantra he encourages all teams to make part of their culture, “See it, say it, fix it”.

Wolff says, “Encouraging everybody in the organisation to speak up and point out shortcomings and deficits has been instrumental in making us successful”.

He believes the openness and lack of blame culture is a key to keeping the team together.

“We actually encourage people to say their opinion because it’s important for their own development.  We keep our values up very high.  It’s a place where there are no internal politics.  Integrity is most important.  It is an environment where people dare to speak up.”

So it’s no accident that both the All Blacks and the Mercedes Formula One team have made winning an art form.

Both organisations have flourished by getting their workplace environments sorted out.

That’s called culture and the by-product of that culture is winning.”



Well said Alan, Tom and Fitzy.



See It.  Say It.  Fix It.

Fail Fast.  Learn Fast.  Fix Fast.



KR

Friday, August 9, 2019

Foodie Friday – Wabi Sabi Pop-Up



On May 30 I recommended a trip to Wabi Sabi in Ambleside – and we were honoured to have owners/chefs/managers Bing and Cara join us at Beckwood last week.  Our guests were eight global leaders from the world’s most exciting Irresistible Entertainment Company, Fremantle.

Bing produced a stunning evening of Contemporary Imagination cuisine – here’s what he created for us.

Nest
sweet potato, quail egg
crispy chicken skin, carrot
*
Velvet Crab
savoury egg custard
Cumbrae oyster, pickled granny smith
*
Langoustine
ScoDsh whole langoustine
enoki, laver
*
Foie Gras
chanterelle, king oyster, shiitake, shimeji
*
Honey
lemon
*
Duck
30 days dry aged duck
cavolo nero, spinach, ume
*
Herdwick
Hogget chump, cumin
*
Wagyu
Japanese Hida Wagyu A5 (Gifu Prefecture)
*
Tomato
sweet soy
*
Millefeuille
blue berry, Nikka Coffey Grain
*
Nebula
beetroot, purple carrot, cheese

Living the Dream!

KR

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Rolling Thunder Revue



1975-76 – Dylan, Baez, McGuinn, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin’ Jack unplugged, unleashed and unbelievable.

Scorsese’s brilliant Netflix movie is not a concert film, it’s not a documentary and it’s not a story.

Martin the Maestro has shot it like an epic Dylan song; poetic, rambling, colourful, crazy, connected and disconnected, socially serious, wickedly playful – as Kristofferson says “Partly truth, partly fiction”.

Includes rare footage of the Nobel Laureate still teasing us at 77 years young.

Sit back, enjoy the ride.

KR

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Red Letter Day



July 19 was a red letter day.  Series Three of my favourite Netflix show, La Casa de Papel – Money Heist.  Welcome back The Professor, Nairobi, Tokyo, Rio and (spoiler alert) the charismatic Berlin.  Rio is captured and Tokyo turns to The Professor for help.  The band is back in town.

KR

Thursday, August 1, 2019