Old Dutch, New Tricks

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.

Dogs create amazing paintings by shaking their coats - raising awareness of their plight, and funds for their shelter.

Dogs create amazing paintings by shaking their coats – raising awareness of their plight, and funds for their shelter.

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.

Yateley Common (with thanks to the Yateley Society)

Yateley Common (with thanks to the Yateley Society)

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!

Sometimes, the signs leave me feeling like I'm headed this way

Sometimes, the signs leave me feeling like I’m headed this way

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.

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