What to write to someone who comes out as LGBTQ

Much as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) people are now widely established in their rightful place in many of our communities, when someone close to you “comes out” it can still be an uncomfortable journey for them and their families.


For your friend or family member to have braved it and stuck with it can, sometimes, have been one hell of an achievement.

You may well feel, as I have done many times when a friend or family member of mine has come out, that you want to drop them a note to show that you care. Whether you are gay, straight or any other gender identity, the process for your friends and relatives who are “coming out” may be challenging for them – even though in our enlightened times it should not be so. Sadly what “should be” is often very different from the reality.

Whatever your gender, do you know what to write to your “coming out” friend or relative? [Read more…]

Cheap, drive-thru video: what little monsters we’ve unleashed!

Being a veteran of the very late 20th century when companies paid an average of £30K / USD $37.5K for a basic “corporate video” and in return received a top-class, professional production, I can’t help but be gob-smacked by the way businesses are whining these days.

Cheap business video on HTWB

Cheap business video: panacea or pain in the *ss?

This of course is about their paying more than a few hundred pounds/dollars for a business video, because they believe – and it’s true, sort-of – that all you need is to shoot it on an IPhone, edit on a laptop, and shove it up on YouTube as well as on their websites. Done and dusted in an afternoon.

And if you want something more sophisticated, you can hire that guy from the next town who just bought himself a fancy new video camera and could put Quentin Tarantino to shame, now that he’s read the instruction booklet.

Is this really the ultimate panacea for getting SMEs into the movies? Or is it the quickest, most monstrous way for those SMEs to flush their professional credibility down the toilet?

[Read more…]

Business writing reality check: it’s all about words. And a sparrow.

A sparrow joined us for our women’s business networking lunch yesterday in grizzly, drizzly south central England. Poor little guy was perched high up on the picture rail of our meeting room, watching us talk and eat our lunch.

Business writing reality check: it’s all about words. And a sparrow.

Go, little sparrow. We love you, your simplicity and what it can teach us about getting stuff right first time.

At one o’clock I thought, he’ll spring out and yell “Cuckoo!” But instead he took off along the lunch table (fortunately without dropping a bomb load) and landed on the floor near a doorway, just as one (fortunately) bird-loving guest was half-way through her 60-second elevator pitch. [Read more…]

Swearing: XXXX it, I’ve cleaned up my XXXXing language

OK, not everyone swears. But if you do let rip with the occasional 4-letter word, have you ever tried stopping yourself to use a “proper” word instead?

Swearing: why I've cleaned up my language

The (real) town of Shitterton, Dorset, England

As I write this I am in Canada and have been staying with my wonderful aunt who never swears, and has always frowned on us juniors using rude words in her company. So I resolved to clean up my potty-mouth while with her and use only the cleanest of expletives. [Read more…]

Harry S Truman – now here was a REAL politician…

Considering all the recent frolics on the part of politicians both in the UK and the USA, this story about the late Harry S Truman is not only sobering, but heart-warming. Why? Makes you realise that after all there can be such a thing as truly principled politico. But you need to have a long memory: Truman retired in 1952.

Now here was a REAL politician...Harry S Truman

Former US President Harry S Truman

Original author unknown – story shared with me by an old friend who lives in Idaho

Harry Truman was a different kind of President

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How a US teacher showed – not told – a crucial history lesson

In honor of US Independence Day, here is the true story of how a schoolteacher from Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, USAgave the most graphic and powerful history lesson I’ve ever heard of. Please share it on: thousands, if not millions more school children could learn something very valuable from it.  

HTWB US vets

This was shared with me by Janet M, my cousin and a special needs teacher in Toronto. (Original author unknown, but this has been verified as a true story by Snopes.com.)

A history lesson no-one could ever forget

[Read more…]