I decided to launch a new blog when at the tender age of 45 years, I was medically retired due to my neurological condition of Arnold Chiari Malformation, and related ugly sisters, Occipital Neuralgia and Complex Mixed/Central Sleep Apnoea.
It has meant a lot of readjustment, but it has also made me realise that I now have more of a space in my life (and a responsibility) to reflect on the things that are important to me. My previous blog had just become a bit of promotional tool for my previous work role, so the decision to start again seemed natural.
Hence, Dutch HQ was born. And so to the ‘header’ strap-line.
“Communication” – because of my time spent working and lecturing in PR and communication, and my fascination with how we manage to interact on a human level, whether that’s anthropological, rhetoric, persuasion or design, for example.
“Commonplace” – because, first, I like the spirt of the ‘commonplace‘ books, which gave people a home for their thoughts, notes and jottings long before blogs arrived. Second, I want to give voice to the ‘particular’; those everyday details which we take for granted, which in fifty years time will probably be celebrated as nostalgia. I want to celebrate them now, and in doing so, also give more of a voice to the political side of my character that I feel I often allowed my professional roles to ‘muzzle’. Third, I now live next to a huge area of ‘Common’ land in Hampshire where I grew up, and I love it!
Finally, “Confounded“. Again, this has two sides. First, I want at times to be described as “..that confounded…”, or “that damned”, because of my actions or positions. But, less ambitiously, “Confounded” because I am bewildered, confused or astounded by much of what I see, and want to reflect on it.
So, whether it’s public relations, or education; politics, radio or ‘listening’ more broadly; or music, family history, Leeds United, botanical prints, sourdough baking, Slinkachu photography, Ben Whishaw – and much more besides in my wider personal space, welcome to the new home of Dutch HQ.
Whether it’s about where power lies, or why buses are a disgrace outside of London; how organisations work most effectively with their customers or supporters, or why a particular colour works best in a campaign, I want to be there. If it is a mess, so be it. That is life. If I can do something about teasing out the individual threads, so that the mess becomes a bit more fathomable, and we become more motivated to clear it up, so much to the good.