Rose Gardens

Despite having left it a bit late this year, she wants to visit a rose garden.

Rose gardens in Hampshire Mottisfont

And a quick search gave us three gardens in and around Hampshire and West Sussex. As well as a whole lot of questions which we will address, starting with Mottisfont.

Historic houses and gardens in Hampshire

Established as an Augustinian priory in 1201 it was transformed into a ‘grand house’ in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds and bequeathed to the National Trust 1n 1957 by Maud Russell.

Gardens open to the public in Hampshire the south coast

The gardens house the National Collection of old-fashioned roses which bloom just once a year, in early summer. However the herbaceous borders provide a riot of colour until early autumn.

Agapanthus, geraniums and peonies mingle with pinks, lilies, phlox and nepeta. The centres of the borders are a mass of soft blues, pinks and whites, whilst stronger yellows, oranges and dark pinks draw your eye along the length of the border.

Things to do in Hampshire, places to visit

Home to many stately trees, which take on vibrant shades in the autumn months, make a good excuse for a walk on the pathways along the River Test.

Go small

Most people make the same fundamental mistake starting out on the net. They get things all mixed up. Back to front, upside down, inside out.

It has to do how one relates. How one uses the available tools.

The internet is a communication tool. Nothing more. A resource that connects a single user to a service provider. Traffic, hits, views. Statistics that become more and more opaque the more detailed and complicated they become.

This is the first mistake people make.

It is irrelevant how much traffic you get. What you want is quality, targeted traffic. In other words users who are searching for whatever you provide. Everything else is noise. A distraction. Superfluous.

Small is sensible. You want to minimise the time you don’t have to waste.



Community building

There is always more to building a business than one anticipates.

Growth is generally a painful process with many companies failing due to a communication breakdown at one stage or another. Change is the only constant and when you start adding people to the mix, it can get really complicated.

All successful companies start with an idea. They then evolve into a structure where ideas give way to procedures and policy. Shifting priorities that demand a measure of flexibility and attitude adjustments.

A compromise.

But for some compromise is not an option. Some people are just not wired that way. In the words of George Bernard Shaw:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

So how does one accommodate that unreasonable man?

The answer is simple. An Idea Factory. A workshop where different people with different ideas come and go.  A resource that allows us to interact, communicate, to share ideas and which gives us every reason to pool our efforts to promote what we start.

In other words the internet.

All we have to do is to make it happen. The tools we need to change the way we do things are there. There are reasons enough to make it happen. It is just a question of adding people to the mix and expecting a different result.

Local Info

“…a child that knows will share that knowledge in return for friendship and reciprocity of information, unlike with the ownership of physical things, where they can use force to get what they do not have.

When you “take’ information, the donor doesn’t have to lose it!”

People are naturally curious. We learn by asking questions. Exploring and discovering.

The above quote was taken from an account of an experiment undertaken in a New Delhi slum where street kids were introduced to a computer for the first time. Within six months they had taught themselves almost everything they needed to know. How to use it. How to surf the internet. A resource that has already changed the way we do things.

People are naturally curious. We learn by asking questions. Exploring and discovering and the internet provides us with a means to communicate. A tool with which we can can explore. A resource that has opened doors to opportunities that will add value to whatever we do. Opportunities that can be unlocked simply by sharing our personal experience and know how.

We lose nothing by sharing information and experience. To the contrary there is everything to gain.

Effective Communication

Does the internet negatively impact on our inter-personal communication and interactions? Or is this just a reaction based on our inherent suspicion, rejection and fear of change?

Technology has changed the way we live, what we do and how we do it. Change is a constant. It is inevitable and resistance merely hinders one from learning and addressing whatever negative aspects there may be.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, technology and communication are not mutually exclusive. Communication apprehension is nothing new.

Most people dread being picked out of a crowd and put on a spot. As with public debating, a traumatic experience for most.  Something one naturally shies away from. An instinct that cant be blamed on the internet. Nor is it fair to pick out and censor technology for magnifying negative behavioral tendencies we all have to varying degrees.

Anxiety is the fear of the unknown. When communicating face to face, the reaction one gets isn’t always certain and popping down to the local pub is commonly accepted as a way of socialising.  As is the fact that a few pints tends to loosen the tongue.

We are reluctant to be judged and with technology, digital means, it’s actually becoming easier to communicate from behind a keyboard, because people do not have to do that initial face-to-face reaction.

This can be a good or a bad thing depending on how one chooses to communicate.  Where the emphasis should be on recognising that everyone is personally responsibile. Self-awareness and appreciation rather than the artificially constrained  social norms which often lag way behind their sell by date.

Our use of and dependence on digital means of communication allows people to learn written communication to varying audiences and simple tools like spell check can actually help develop our communication skills.


Home run start ups

Airbnb, like Uber, needs to grow up.

The hospitality platform’s systematic failure to follow rules is not only damaging its reputation but it is damaging our perception and understanding of how the web is supposed to work..