There’s a lot to be said for how the little touches can add an awful lot to any home and I’ve always seen the proof of that when my wife added small extra details to our home – well our US home. With my job I wind up travelling a lot and in the end it made practical sense to have a home in London too. Actually it went beyond sense and was more about logic than anything else and on top of living out of hotel rooms for weeks at a time – it might sound glamorous but believe me those 4 walls start to really close in on you in the end. A hotel room is a hotel room the world over – you can even forget what time zone you’re in but the room still looks the same.
But I’m going off on a tangent there and not talking to you about what was really on my mind today. So when the time came to decorate our London home it was my wife who was going to turn it from a house into a home. Part of decorating journey took us to searching for blinds in Reading and that’s where we came across a wonderful company called Blind Inspiration. They’re more than just a company who supply you with all kinds of blinds and window coverings and what they achieve is what most businesses are now missing out on – making their customers feel like real people and not just a number. It was the personal touch they gave us that made us feel wanted and also ensured that we parted with several hundred pounds from our credit cards for the blinds that my wife wanted for our second home.
Yes you can probably to go to some God-awful chain store to buy your blinds or you can visit the original blind artisans at Blind Inspiration instead.
Working in politics usually means have to travel and in my case I was fortunate enough to wind up travelling to places I liked – the United Kingdom being a prime example of that. And with the business of politics I usually wound up spending most of my travel time in London. The neat thing about London is that you have all the hustle and bustle of a huge city but then you have real green spaces where you can chill out. And on my rare periods of downtime I loved talking a stroll through Hyde Park no matter what time of year it was.
Normally taking a walk like this was enough for me to wind down but during one particularly stressful trip I was having trouble sleeping and found it almost impossible to relax at the end of each day. That was when a colleague suggested using a service he frequented who provided Tantric massage in London. Tantra isn’t something I’m overly familiar with (ok I know pretty much nothing about it) so I had to ask for more information. It sounded like a great idea because these practitioners look at your health and relaxation from a holistic standpoint and not just focusing on giving you an excellent massage.
Obviously when I saw the pictures of the practitioners themselves I was extremely tempted to avail of the services – the masseuses were all beautiful young women. Now, now I know what you’re thinking but it’s not that kind of massage but if you’re honest who would you rather receive a massage from? A pretty young woman versed in the arts of tantra or somebody who looks like they used to throw javelins for the East German Olympic squad? Yes and that’s the exact same reason I was more willing to have this type of intense massage too.
There’s always something that needs to be done around the house – whether we like it or not. That’s the nature of being a home owner – you always have something that needs fixing or replacing or both. And this is especially true when it comes to plumbing problems in your home or apartment and I recently ran into a problem like that. About a month or so ago I noticed an emerging damp patch on the ceiling of our hallway and realized there was a water leak up there somewhere. This wasn’t a job I was going to handle myself and I knew I’d be better off getting a leak detection company in to look at the problem for me.
After all I’m more of a professional speaker and debater than a DIY guy so I don’t try to work on things I’m not skilled at. It’s the same when my car breaks down or develops a problem. I could have a crack at it myself and potentially make matters worse or I can just drive it to my trusted mechanic and let him do what he does best – fix cars. If you need a speech written or a store opened I’m your guy but when it comes to DIY jobs and things like that they’re just not my forté.
Does that make me less of a man? Well not in my eyes. With the way life goes today it’s literally impossible to get everything that needs to be done all completed in a single day. There’s only 24 hours in the day so I’m pragmatic with my time and invest my time in what I can produce most from which is normally the things I’m good at – like being a political figure.
That’s everyone from bus drivers and doctors to people like me. Yes even politicians like to get away from it all from time to time. It’s healthy to see different sights and experience different cultures and France is one of my favorite places to visit in the world. And as part of our family holiday there last year we decided to check out some vineyards for sale in France. It’s not that we can afford to buy one or even that we intend to buy one it was just something that we thought would be really interesting to check out. If nothing else we got to see exactly what it takes to retire to France and run your own vineyard so it was fascinating to see all the steps that you need to take to make this happen.
For me it was seeing how much thought needs to go into a decision like this and just how expensive some vineyards are. And then it all depends on the location of the vineyard, local topography, the quality of the buildings and then of course things like French labor laws and how they affect exactly what you get with your new vineyard investment. It really opens your eyes up to what can and does go wrong with investments of this type and scale if you make even minor mistakes during the whole process.
So if you’re looking for a different type of activity the next time you’re on holiday in France at least go on a vineyard and wine tasting tour and if you enjoy that then maybe look at what you can source locally in terms of agents to show you vineyards for sale in that region. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you can buy for your budget!
From those first famous moments when Bill Gates described the Internet as “…just a passing fad” to the enormous digital monster it’s become today this particular discussion and advertising medium was eventually bound to be embraced, perhaps even abused, by political candidates from all corners and parties of the United States. Never before has there been a medium that allowed candidates to instantly reach tens of millions of voters in the comfort of their own homes and on such a wide variety of communication devices – from cell phones and iPads to desktop computers and Internet ready televisions.
What was once just a fad for politicians has become a critical electoral and campaigning tool with candidates from both sides of the divide vying to control online real estate like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. Some candidates such as Senator Ron Paul have even taken things a step further by avoiding the fund raising and ensuing spending campaign advertising frenzy which most presidential candidates pursue. Instead he favored the use of the Internet and more specifically Internet video to spread his message to potential voters all over the United States. Sadly Senator Paul was not elected President – the current financial crisis the US is experiencing right now would never have happened if he had been.
So does the future of US politics rely on the power of the Internet? Well in a way folks it does because in a true democracy (from the Greek words demos meaning “people” and kratos meaning “power” or power from the people) the voice of the people truly does count and for the first time in known human history all free peoples from all over the world have been able to voice their feelings in the most public possible way and often win popular support by doing so. Current political candidates are starting to embrace the true power of what promoting your political message online and electronic voting can mean for your overall campaign – and it’s not just about the money saved over the use of traditional advertising media.