Tag: Core Process Psychotherapy

Getting to know oneself

The journey inwards is the most challenging and yet the most rewarding of all!

This post is essentially a reposting of an item that I published nearly three years ago. It came to me as a result of some delightful exchanges following my post last Thursday: How well our dogs read us!

Tomorrow I will go into more details of that fateful event in my past:  December 20th, 1956.

ooOOoo

Further musings on dogs, women and men.

Published on Learning from Dogs, August 6th, 2015

A few weeks ago, I read a book entitled The Republican Brain written by Chris Mooney and to quote WikiPedia:

The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality is a book by the journalist Chris Mooney that is about the psychological basis for many Republicans’ rejection of mainstream scientific theories, as well as theories of economics and history.

On page 83, Chris Mooney writes (my emphasis):

Here also arises a chief liberal weakness, in Lakoff’s view (*), and one that is probably amplified by academic training. Call it the Condorcet handicap, or the Enlightenment syndrome. Either way, it will sound very familiar: Constantly trying to use factual and reasoned arguments to make the world better and being amazed to find even though these arguments are sound, well-researched, and supported, they are disregarded, or even actively attacked by conservatives.

When glimpsed from a bird’s eye view, all the morality research that we’re surveying is broadly consistent. It once again reinforces the idea that there are deep differences between liberals and conservatives – differences that are operating, in many cases, beneath the level of conscious awareness, and that ultimately must be rooted in the brain.

(*) George Lakoff, Berkeley Cognitive Linguist and author of the book Moral Politics.

What Chris Mooney is proposing is that the difference between liberals and conservatives could be genetically rooted, at least in part.

That underlines in my mind how each of us, before even considering our gender differences, is truly a complex mix of ‘nature and nurture’ with countless numbers of permutations resulting.

That there are deep differences, apart from the obvious ones, between man and woman goes without saying. In earlier times, these differences were essential in us humans achieving so much and leading to, in the words of Yuval Noah Harari from yesterday’s post., ” … few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we’ve spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself).”

Speaking of earlier times, let me turn to dogs, for it is pertinent to my post, and I would like to quote an extract from what Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine, Jim Goodbrod, writes in the foreword of my forthcoming book:

But what exactly is this human-dog bond and why do we feel such an affinity for this species above all others? My feeling is that it may be associated with our deep but subconscious longing for that age of simple innocence and innate human goodness that we supposedly possessed before we became truly “human”: that child-like innocence or what Rousseau referred to as the “noble savage”, before being corrupted by civilization, before we were booted out of the Garden of Eden. We humans, for better or worse, somewhere along that evolutionary road acquired consciousness or so-called human nature and with it we lost that innocence. What we gained were those marvelous qualities that make us uniquely human: a sense of self-awareness, an innate moral and ethical code, the ability to contemplate our own existence and mortality, and our place in the universe. We gained the ability to think abstract thoughts and the intellectual power to unravel many of the mysteries of the universe. Because of that acquired consciousness and humans’ creative and imaginative mind we have produced the likes of Shakespeare, Mozart, and Einstein. We have peered deep into outer space, deciphered the genetic code, eradicated deadly diseases, probed the bizarre inner world of the atom, and accomplished thousands of other intellectual feats that hitherto would not have been possible without the evolution of our incredible brain and the consciousness with which it is equipped.

No other living species on this planet before or since has developed this massive intellectual power. But this consciousness was attained at what cost? Despite all the amazing accomplishments of the human race, we are the only species that repeatedly commits genocide and wages war against ourselves over political ideology, geographic boundaries, or religious superstition. We are capable of justifying the suffering and death of fellow human beings over rights to a shiny gold metal or a black oily liquid that powers our cars. We are the only species that has the capability to destroy our own planet, our only home in this vast universe, by either nuclear warfare, or more insidiously by environmental contamination on a global scale. Was it worth it? No matter what your or my opinion may be, Pandora’s Box has been opened and we cannot put the lid back on.

What can we do now to reverse this trend and help improve the quality of life for humanity and ensure the well-being of our planet? I think, if we recognize the problem and look very critically at ourselves as a unique species with awesome powers to do both good and bad, and put our collective minds to the task, it may be possible to retrieve some of the qualities of that innocence lost, without losing all that we have gained.

Dogs represent to me that innocence lost. Their emotions are pure. They live in the present. They do not suffer existential angst over who or what they are. They do not covet material wealth. They offer us unconditional love and devotion. Although they certainly have not reached the great heights of intellectual achievement of us humans (I know for a fact that this is true after having lived with a Labrador retriever for several years), at the same time they have not sunk to the depths of depravity to which we are susceptible. It could be argued that I am being overly anthropomorphic, or that dogs are simply mentally incapable of these thoughts. But nevertheless, metaphorically or otherwise, I believe that dogs demonstrate a simple and uncorrupted approach to life from which we all could benefit. I think the crux of Paul’s thesis is that, within the confines and limitations of our human consciousness, we can (and should) metaphorically view the integrity of the dog as a template for human behavior.

“Dogs demonstrate a simple and uncorrupted approach to life …”

I closed yesterday’s post with these words, “It is my contention that humankind’s evolution, our ability to “cooperate flexibly in large numbers”, is rooted in the gender differences between man and woman.”

The premise behind that proposition is that until, say one hundred years ago, give or take, that co-operation between large numbers of humans was critically important in so many areas: health; science; medicine; physics; exploration; outer space and more. (And whether one likes it or not: wars.)  My proposition is that it is predominantly men who have been the ‘shakers and movers’ in these areas. Of course not exclusively, far from it, just saying that so many advances in society are more likely to have been led by men.

But (and you sensed a ‘but’ coming up, perhaps) these present times call for a different type of man. A man who is less the rational thinker, wanting to set the pace, and more a man capable of expressing his fears, exploring his feelings, defining his fear of failure, and more. I don’t know about you but when I read Raúl Ilargi Meijer words from yesterday, “And if and when we resort to only rational terms to define ourselves, as well as our world and the societies we create in that world, we can only fail.”, it was the male of our species that was in my mind. As in, “And if and when we [males] resort to only rational terms to define ourselves …”.

Staying with Raúl Meijer’s words from yesterday (my emphasis), “And those should never be defined by economists or lawyers or politicians, but by the people themselves. A social contract needs to be set up by everyone involved, and with everyone’s consent.”

Dogs demonstrate a simple and uncorrupted approach to life but that doesn’t extend to them making social contracts. Women do understand social contracts, they are predominantly caring, social humans. Less so for men. But for that social contract to be successfully set up by everyone it must, of course, include men. And that requires men, speaking generally you realise, to find safe ways to get in touch with their feelings, to tap into their emotional intelligence, using positive psychology to listen to their feelings and know the truth of what they and their loved ones need to guarantee a better future. What they need in terms of emotional and behavioural change. And, if I may say, sensing when they might need the support of subject experts to embed and sustain those behavioural changes.

It was the fickle finger of fate that led me to the arms, metaphorically speaking, of a core process psychotherapist back in Devon in the first half of 2007. That counselling relationship that revealed a deeply hidden aspect of my consciousness: a fear of rejection that I had had since December, 1956. That finger of fate that took me to Mexico for Christmas 2007 and me meeting Jean and all her dogs. That finger of fate that pointed me to the happiest years of my life and a love between Jeannie and me that I could hitherto never ever have imagined.

However, as much as I love and trust Jean, wholeheartedly, it comes back to dogs.

For when I curl up and wrap myself around a dog and sense that pure unconditional love coming back to me, I have access to my inner feelings, my inner joys and fears, in a way unmatched by anything else.

Where learning from dogs is a gateway to learning from me.

Pharaoh – more than just a dog!

ooOOoo

I will never be able to look at those eyes of Pharaoh, looking into my eyes, without feeling terrible pangs of loss. For he was the most amazing, the most wise, the most deep-thinking dog that I have ever known. Correction: that Jean and I have ever known!

The male of the species, Part Two

Further musings on dogs, women and men.

A few weeks ago, I read a book entitled The Republican Brain written by Chris Mooney and to quote WikiPedia:

The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality is a book by the journalist Chris Mooney that is about the psychological basis for many Republicans’ rejection of mainstream scientific theories, as well as theories of economics and history.

On page 83, Chris Mooney writes (my emphasis):

Here also arises a chief liberal weakness, in Lakoff’s view (*), and one that is probably amplified by academic training. Call it the Condorcet handicap, or the Enlightenment syndrome. Either way, it will sound very familiar: Constantly trying to use factual and reasoned arguments to make the world better and being amazed to find even though these arguments are sound, well-researched, and supported, they are disregarded, or even actively attacked by conservatives.

When glimpsed from a bird’s eye view, all the morality research that we’re surveying is broadly consistent. It once again reinforces the idea that there are deep differences between liberals and conservatives – differences that are operating, in many cases, beneath the level of conscious awareness, and that ultimately must be rooted in the brain.

(*) George Lakoff, Berkeley Cognitive Linguist and author of the book Moral Politics.

What Chris Mooney is proposing is that the difference between liberals and conservatives could be genetically rooted, at least in part.

That underlines in my mind how each of us, before even considering our gender differences, is truly a complex mix of ‘nature and nurture’ with countless numbers of permutations resulting.

That there are deep differences, apart from the obvious ones, between man and woman goes without saying. In earlier times, these differences were essential in us humans achieving so much and leading to, in the words of Yuval Noah Harari from yesterday’s post., ” … few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we’ve spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself).”

Speaking of earlier times, let me turn to dogs, for it is pertinent to my post, and I would like to quote an extract from what Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine, Jim Goodbrod, writes in the foreword of my forthcoming book:

But what exactly is this human-dog bond and why do we feel such an affinity for this species above all others? My feeling is that it may be associated with our deep but subconscious longing for that age of simple innocence and innate human goodness that we supposedly possessed before we became truly “human”: that child-like innocence or what Rousseau referred to as the “noble savage”, before being corrupted by civilization, before we were booted out of the Garden of Eden. We humans, for better or worse, somewhere along that evolutionary road acquired consciousness or so-called human nature and with it we lost that innocence. What we gained were those marvelous qualities that make us uniquely human: a sense of self-awareness, an innate moral and ethical code, the ability to contemplate our own existence and mortality, and our place in the universe. We gained the ability to think abstract thoughts and the intellectual power to unravel many of the mysteries of the universe. Because of that acquired consciousness and humans’ creative and imaginative mind we have produced the likes of Shakespeare, Mozart, and Einstein. We have peered deep into outer space, deciphered the genetic code, eradicated deadly diseases, probed the bizarre inner world of the atom, and accomplished thousands of other intellectual feats that hitherto would not have been possible without the evolution of our incredible brain and the consciousness with which it is equipped.

No other living species on this planet before or since has developed this massive intellectual power. But this consciousness was attained at what cost? Despite all the amazing accomplishments of the human race, we are the only species that repeatedly commits genocide and wages war against ourselves over political ideology, geographic boundaries, or religious superstition. We are capable of justifying the suffering and death of fellow human beings over rights to a shiny gold metal or a black oily liquid that powers our cars. We are the only species that has the capability to destroy our own planet, our only home in this vast universe, by either nuclear warfare, or more insidiously by environmental contamination on a global scale. Was it worth it? No matter what your or my opinion may be, Pandora’s Box has been opened and we cannot put the lid back on.

What can we do now to reverse this trend and help improve the quality of life for humanity and ensure the well-being of our planet? I think, if we recognize the problem and look very critically at ourselves as a unique species with awesome powers to do both good and bad, and put our collective minds to the task, it may be possible to retrieve some of the qualities of that innocence lost, without losing all that we have gained.

Dogs represent to me that innocence lost. Their emotions are pure. They live in the present. They do not suffer existential angst over who or what they are. They do not covet material wealth. They offer us unconditional love and devotion. Although they certainly have not reached the great heights of intellectual achievement of us humans (I know for a fact that this is true after having lived with a Labrador retriever for several years), at the same time they have not sunk to the depths of depravity to which we are susceptible. It could be argued that I am being overly anthropomorphic, or that dogs are simply mentally incapable of these thoughts. But nevertheless, metaphorically or otherwise, I believe that dogs demonstrate a simple and uncorrupted approach to life from which we all could benefit. I think the crux of Paul’s thesis is that, within the confines and limitations of our human consciousness, we can (and should) metaphorically view the integrity of the dog as a template for human behavior.

“Dogs demonstrate a simple and uncorrupted approach to life …”

I closed yesterday’s post with these words, “It is my contention that humankind’s evolution, our ability to “cooperate flexibly in large numbers”, is rooted in the gender differences between man and woman.”

The premise behind that proposition is that until, say one hundred years ago, give or take, that co-operation between large numbers of humans was critically important in so many areas: health; science; medicine; physics; exploration; outer space and more. (And whether one likes it or not: wars.)  My proposition is that it is predominantly men who have been the ‘shakers and movers’ in these areas. Of course not exclusively, far from it, just saying that so many advances in society are more likely to have been led by men.

But (and you sensed a ‘but’ coming up, perhaps) these present times call for a different type of man. A man who is less the rational thinker, wanting to set the pace, and more a man capable of expressing his fears, exploring his feelings, defining his fear of failure, and more. I don’t know about you but when I read Raúl Ilargi Meijer words from yesterday, “And if and when we resort to only rational terms to define ourselves, as well as our world and the societies we create in that world, we can only fail.”, it was the male of our species that was in my mind. As in, “And if and when we [males] resort to only rational terms to define ourselves …”.

Staying with Raúl Meijer’s words from yesterday (my emphasis), “And those should never be defined by economists or lawyers or politicians, but by the people themselves. A social contract needs to be set up by everyone involved, and with everyone’s consent.”

Dogs demonstrate a simple and uncorrupted approach to life but that doesn’t extend to them making social contracts. Women do understand social contracts, they are predominantly caring, social humans. Less so for men. But for that social contract to be successfully set up by everyone it must, of course, include men. And that requires men, speaking generally you realise, to find safe ways to get in touch with their feelings, to tap into their emotional intelligence, using positive psychology to listen to their feelings and know the truth of what they and their loved ones need to guarantee a better future. What they need in terms of emotional and behavioural change. And, if I may say, sensing when they might need the support of subject experts to embed and sustain those behavioural changes.

It was the fickle finger of fate that led me to the arms, metaphorically speaking, of a core process psychotherapist back in Devon in the first half of 2007. That counselling relationship that revealed a deeply hidden aspect of my consciousness: a fear of rejection that I had had since December, 1956. That finger of fate that took me to Mexico for Christmas 2007 and me meeting Jean and all her dogs. That finger of fate that pointed me to the happiest years of my life and a love between Jeannie and me that I could hitherto never ever have imagined.

However, as much as I love and trust Jean, wholeheartedly, it comes back to dogs.

For when I curl up and wrap myself around a dog and sense that pure unconditional love coming back to me, I have access to my inner feelings, my inner joys and fears, in a way unmatched by anything else.

Where learning from dogs is a gateway to learning from me.

Pharaoh – more than just a dog!

 

The book! Chapter Nine.

Life is full of surprises and that seems to apply to writing a book as well!

I was chatting to Jeannie yesterday afternoon taking a break from, yes, you guessed it, book writing!  Speaking about another aspect of ‘write a book in November’ that had been unexpected; that of the range of emotions associated with the task.

First up was excitement that I had committed to the idea.  Next was surprise that I had actually got stuck into it.  Then came the feeling of being over the worst, that I really would write a 50,000 word book. But what followed next, to a certain extent reflecting my present mood, is that writing words for words sake is one thing, writing something that would result in a compelling and engaging story is something completely different.

As you can see my emotions are rather at odds with what NaNoWriMo published yesterday:

Wrimos, congratulations. You’ve made it through the strenuous Week Two, and emerged (mostly) unscathed. Not only are you past the halfway point of the month, but you’re far enough into your novel that actual things are (likely) starting to happen.

I’ve always found the shore of Week Three to be the most exciting place to stand, and the trip through it the most exhilarating portion of the month. You’ve gotten to know your characters, the story has a discernible shape and trajectory, and it’s just so thrilling to go play in that world you’ve crafted.

That being said, a brief addendum: if the bogs of Week Two sucked you in a bit, and you’re behind on word count, don’t despair. Week Three’s momentum is fantastic for helping get back on track.

Ah well!

oooOOOooo

Learning from Dogs

Chapter Nine

Philip easily found the house, a relatively modern brick-built detached house in a suburban road just off the Torbay Road, the road that connected Torquay with Brixham and then on to Dartmouth.  Indeed, as Philip turned into the concrete drive that lead to the garage door, a neat garden on his left, he realised that a much shorter way back home via Totnes would be along the Preston Down Road just a couple of turnings from where the Atkins had their home.

Jonathan opened the front door just as Philip’s hand went to the bell-push.

“Ah, excellent timing.  Helen has just left so there’s been no need to ask you to park at the kerbside. Do come on in.”

He led Philip into a front room that seemed to be set up as an office room or study.

“Can I get you a warm drink? Coffee, tea?”

“I would murder for a tea, missed my second cup of the day to be here on time.”

“Oh, apologies, hope this wasn’t too early to meet up?”

“Jonathan, not at all, I was just kidding.  Well, maybe partially kidding!”

This levity from Philip came naturally and spontaneously, reflecting a sense of openness that he couldn’t put his finger on. That same feeling that he had had when listening to Jonathan’s presentation back, golly when was that now, he had to think for a moment, back in the Autumn some two months ago now.

Over the hot cup of tea, Earl Grey as Philip noticed, a favourite of his, Jonathan outlined his background.  That he was a registered psychotherapist with a Master’s degree in Core Process Psychotherapy, whatever that was Philip mused, and, interestingly, a qualified teacher with a teaching degree from Exeter back in 1989. Going on to add that he was a member of the Institute of Transactional Analysis and a licensed practitioner in neuro-linguistic programming.

At this point Jonathan paused noticing that Philip’s eyes had started to glaze over.

“Sorry, Philip, guess this all is a little mumbo-jumbo for the uninitiated,” going on to suggest that Philip can look up the full details on his website. Philip made a note of the web address.

Philip then paused before saying, “Sorry, Jonathan, I’m sure your background is crucial in terms of your professional way of life.  But the challenge for me before even thinking of being your business mentor is that there is nothing in my background that would allow me to understand your experiences, to know your world.” Philip paused, and then added, “Well, I guess I now know who to call if I become even sillier than I already am.”

“Philip, just stay with me for a little longer while I explain what my  situation is.”

Philip looked down at his notebook, drew a line under the website address he had just noted, put down the time and date and looked back up at Jonathan.

“I have been working as a psychotherapist for a number of years on the payroll of an Exeter company; Cowdrays.  It was something I needed to do in terms of becoming fully accredited as a psychotherapist.  It’s a long and drawn out process.”

Just as well Philip thought.

“I am now very close to the point where I want to stand on my own two feet and run my own business.  That’s why hearing you speak at that Exeter event was so useful.  I appreciate you saying how you don’t understand my background in detail.” Jonathan took a couple of breaths and continued, “But while I’m clear about the services that I can offer and where I would like to operate, when it comes to starting, running, and more critically, marketing my own business, frankly I haven’t a clue.”

Wow, Philip thought, still looking down at the page on his knee.

“So it occurred to me when listening to you speak whether you were still taking on clients and whether you felt you and I could work together?”

Philip let a few moments pass, trying to listen to the quieter, inner parts of his brain.

“Jonathan, In principle, I believe I have the experience and background that you are looking for.  But here’s the rub. My knowledge of your market is practically zero.  OK, I’ve been on the receiving end of some counselling, some relationship counselling, but many of the terms you used when explaining your background, terms like neuro-linguistic programming, did I hear that correctly?”

Jonathan nodded.

“Those were terms I didn’t understand at all. Even the phrase core process psychotherapy didn’t mean much to me.  So what bothers me is whether or not I could properly and competently understand your clients, in other words your potential customers’ needs.  Because if I can’t within reasonable time understand exactly who your potential customers are, what they have, what they don’t have, what they need, what the payoff is, sorry to use such a clumsy term, and more, I can’t competently mentor you.”

Philip went on to add, “Back in my old days of selling for IBM, we described the process of selling a product to a customer as the business of understanding need, feature and benefit.  OK, I was only selling IBM Selectric typewriters, you know the old golfball typewriters, but the principle is still the same.  That for every aspect of a service that you wish to sell to a customer, you need to understand fully what the customer’s need is for that service, how it can be described in terms that the customer understands and, finally, why the Jonathan Atkins’ service is better than your competitors.  Sorry if that sounded too much like a lecture.”

Philip realised that he had become quite agitated in those last few minutes and consciously breathed in and out a few times to settle himself down.  Jonathan had noticed but instinctively knew that Philip had a few more thoughts to offer.

Philip smiled, “Sorry, I got a little passionate just there,” and went on to say, “I think what I was responding to was the potential appeal of working with you but, at the same time, realising that I just didn’t have the appropriate experience of your likely market segments; to use some more jargon.”

Jonathan looked Philip in the face and said, “How well do you understand business people?”

“Er, that sounds like a trick question,” Philip replied with a smile across his face.

“No, it’s not.  For the area that I wish to be in is the area of the relationships that professional persons have in their workplace. Let me explain.”

Philip sensed something significant was about to happen.

“Professional people, managers, directors, even lawyers, those that are more likely than not to be driven people, they are much more likely to have some interesting childhood experiences, various levels of parental issues of one form or another, than people in general.  In a very real sense, those backgrounds give them the edge, the fuel, for want of a better term, to succeed.”

Again, Philip felt a breath of something blow across his consciousness.

“However, the very drivers of success are also the root causes of the many issues that these people have in managing their teams and, frequently, in getting the best from their suppliers and other key business relationships including, of course, their relationships with their customers.”

Jonathan added, with a wry smile on his face, “You see I can dish the jargon just as well as you.”

Philip smiled back and could sense where this was leading.

“So, it’s my guess that first as a salesman for IBM, then when running your own company selling software around the world, and now mentoring those already running their own businesses, you have a much better idea of this group of people, the personalities, the frequent lack of mindfulness, what may be expressed as their emotional ignorance, than you first thought.”

Philip got it.

“Well, yes, of course.  I just hadn’t thought of it in those terms.  As a salesman both for IBM and then for my own company, I must have met on a personal one-to-one basis, thousands of business people.  In fact, it got to the stage where I could make a private guess as to whether or not I was going to sell to that person within the first couple of minutes of meeting them.

Philip reflected for a moment, then went on to say, “In fact, my very good Californian friend, Danny Mitchell, who was my US West Coast distributor and with as many years of selling experience as me, used to say exactly the same thing.  That he knew whether or not he was going to close the deal within the first five minutes.”

This was starting to be very interesting.

“Philip, you don’t need to worry yourself about all the strange terms and descriptions that are wall-to-wall in my line of work, you need to understand that what I seek to offer are reliable, people-centred, sorry another term, ways of allowing professional people to realise that a better understanding of self, of who they are, can offer huge dividends in understanding others.  That, of course, if we are talking about a business, has a direct and hugely positive effect on the performance of that business.”

“OK, I’m sold,” Philip said, as he threw his arms up in mock surrender, going on to add in a light-hearted almost frivolous mood, “Of course, you do know that the easiest persons to sell to are salesmen!” He noted how comfortable this new relationship with Jonathan seemed to feel.

They then talked through the mentoring aims, agreed on the financial terms, and the usual other bits and pieces that such a new relationship often entailed.

“So, Jonathan, in terms of a schedule, when you do want to get started?”

“Frankly, Philip, there’s going to be a slight delay.  I’ll tell you why. Namely, that it’s not going to be possible for you and I to work together until not only have I resigned from Cowdrays but then worked out my notice.”

Philip showed with a nod that he understood this.

Jonathan continued, “What I am thinking is once the New Year is here and the coaching programme for the early part of 2006 is settled, then I will know what my obligations are to Cowdrays and when would be the appropriate time to give notice.”

Adding, almost as an afterthought, “And my inclination is that I should offer three months notice but appeal to Cowdrays that if it makes no difference to them, could I be released earlier. So it could well be heading towards the middle of 2006 before I can come to you unencumbered, as it were.”

“Jonathan, that’s not an issue at all.  In fact, it will give me plenty of time to think things through.  Because, what’s clear to me is that building your own business will require much more sensitivity than a classical start-up.  It’s not as though you can shout across the roof-tops, ‘are you a professional person who screws up relationships, because, hey, here’s someone who can really help’, much as it would be nice to do so.”  There was a hint of a giggle in Philip’s voice.

Philip made a few notes, closed his notebook, and started to rise from his chair.

“Once again, Jonathan, thank you so much.  I’m going to enjoy working together; hugely enjoy.  You and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  Going to be quite a year, me thinks.”

“Philip, you too.  Be in touch just as soon as I can.”

With that Philip bade farewell to Jonathan, unlocked his car door, started up the engine and reversed carefully out on to the street.

Yes, 2006 looked like being quite a year.

 

1,980 words. Copyright © 2013 Paul Handover