Books I have read: A Life Too Short

A Life Too Short

Even though I’d count myself as a knowledgable football fan I wasn’t too aware of who Robert Enke was until he sadly took his own life on the 10th November 2009 by stepping in front of a passing train.  Enke was a German goalkeeper who played for Barcelona, Benefica, and a number of other top European clubs.  As a fellow struggler of depression I was interested to read Robert Reng’s award-winning account of Enke’s life, A Life Too Short.

Robert Reng was a close friend who spent a lot of time using his own memories of time with Robert Enke, his wife Teresa, and Robert Enke’s personal diaries.  The book follows Enke’s life and career, sharing the highs and lows of being a professional footballer, but showing the human side of footballer’s, in this case, someone who even whilst his career was on the up, struggled with anxiety and depression.  The book is challenging to read – I really felt for Enke at a couple of points in the book – the match he played for Barcelona against Novelda where he and his team imploded; the moment he and Teresa lost their first child due to a heart defect; the fear that sharing about his depression would lead to his adopted daughter being taken away.

The book highlights that regardless of outside success – in his case being the German national goalkeeper – it means nothing when the inner turmoil of depression exists.  It was the well deserved winner of the William Hill Sports Book in 2011, and if you haven’t read it, do grab hold of a copy, it will certainly be one of the best football biographies you will ever read.

My struggle – leaders fail


One of my biggest lessons in leadership is that leaders fail, and that it is necessary and good to fail.

The more I read of leaders the more I realise that those we often hold up as fantastic leaders in their own fields struggled time and time again with failure.  Their success is built upon a foundation of failures from which they learn and grow.

As Thomas Edison said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The other thing I’ve learnt is that just because you fail doesn’t mean you should drop that dream or goal – it may just need more practice or not be the right time for it to work.  Just check out this infographic:


Tropical Island Inside a Hangar

We’ve been away this week on holiday in North Norfolk – it was cold and grey but great fun and refreshing and an explanation as to why the blog has been quiet.


This picture of sandy beach, palm trees and clear, blue water.  But if you think that these holiday makers are lounging on a warm tropical island, you’d be wrong.  They’re inside a giant hangar in snowy Germany!

The ‘resort’ is actually located on the site of a former Soviet military air base in Krausnick, Germany. Tropical Islands is inside a hangar built originally to house airships designed to haul long-distance cargo. And despite it looking like temperatures are through the roof – outside the giant hangar it is actually snowing.


The Daily Mail has more photos: Link

My little action man

Josh, who has just turned one, has always been an active boy, never one for enjoying cuddles, he much prefers to be crawling or cruising around.  He’s recently discovered how to turn on our hi-fi and laptop which is a bit worrying!

In our house in Dibden we haven’t had stair gates as we couldn’t fit it to the bannisters.  Josh was very keen to go up and down the stairs so in the end we ensured that he was safe going up and down the stairs.  He’s now a bit of an expert as you can see from this:



iPotty entertains toddlers during toilet training


Hannah and I have recently been toilet training Daniel, our oldest, he’s done really well, but I wonder if this invention would have helped him or just distracted him, and I’m clearly not the only one thinking that, with Wired asking the same question.

The makers of the toilet don’t want parents to worry about any damage to their tablet — the training potty comes with a clear cover to put over the iPad, as well as a splash guard for boys. The potty can also be disassembled for easy cleaning, CNET reported.

iPotty with iPad

Daniel loves the iPad and is very proficient with it, and quite happy playing with it for a long period of time, but I’m not sure I would pay $40 to have a potty to which it could connect.

What do you think, is this a good invention or an over priced bit of plastic?

Raising the Kidds

Raising the Kidds

Hannah, my fantastic wife, has recently taken up blogging, starting a blog called Raising the Kidds.

The blog follows her adventures of looking after our two boys Daniel (two years and ten months) and Joshua (eleven months), and me!  I am biased but I think it is well worth a read so go check it out, add it to your favourites/google reader etc.

Let My First Thought Today Be of You

Eternal Father of my soul,
let my first thought today be of You,
let my first impulse be to worship You,
let my first speech be Your name,
let my first action be to kneel before You in prayer.

For Your perfect wisdom and perfect goodness:
For the love with which You love mankind:
For the love with which You love me:
For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life:
For the indwelling of Your Spirit in my heart:
For the sevenfold gifts of Your Spirit:
I praise and worship You, O Lord.

Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said,
think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of You.
Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth,
and joy, and power, that will remain with me
through all the hours of the day;

Keeping me chaste in thought:
Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech:
Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work:
Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself:
Keeping me honorable and generous in my dealings with others:
Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past:
Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Yours.

Through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

– John Baillie, 1886-1960

Via Trevin Wax

A Prayer of Brendan

Loved this prayer over on the Changing Worship blog:

“I thank you for this, my God,
I am a traveller and stranger
in the world,
like so many of Your people
before me.

There is a sense of adventure,
of openness to possibilities,
abandonment to God
and expectation
of fulfilling his will.

I accept the responsibility,
I’ll hear and obey,
and trust it is Your voice I hear,
the call of the Spirit,
the cry of the Bird of Heaven.

It is a Yes to risky living…

The sea takes me;
where I do not know,
but I gladly go.
And I can only trust
every word You say,
and obey.”

– Celtic Daily Prayer
Northumbria Community

10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Dad

Dan Darling:

  1. You are much less patient than you think you are.
  2. Many times you’ll have no clue what to do.
  3. You’ll realize that minivans are secretly awesome.
  4. You’ll probably not get six continuous hours of good sleep ever again.
  5. There are singular moments of joy so indescribable they can only be experienced.
  6. Your presence is more important than you know.
  7. You need to repeat the same words over and over to your children.
  8. You will watch less of your favorite games, play less video games, and will go out with your guy friends hardly at all.
  9. You will embrace your cluelessness as a gift from God.
  10. You will realize your ongoing need to repent, confess, apologize, and forgive.

Read the rest for his explanations.

The Most Expensive Drink at Starbucks

My colleagues at work give me stick for liking a Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino® Blended Crème from Starbucks.  One of their comments is how many calories and sugar must be in it.  However, it’s nothing in comparison with Logan Warren who set out to see how many add-ons he could order at Starbucks and how far he could run the bill up for one drink:

After about a half-hour with a laughing barista, we created the most expensive drink possible: one Java Chip Frappuccino in a Trenta cup, 16 shots of espresso, a shot of soy milk, caramel flavoring, banana puree, strawberry puree, vanilla beans, Matcha powder, protein powder, and a drizzle of caramel and mocha.
Price: $23.60.

Even I won’t drink this – mainly because it has coffee in it, but also because it has 1400 milligrams of caffeine!

Link via Neatorama