An Airstream Bambi. Here’s what to do when you want something really badly.

I mean really badly.

Take for example the small matter of a small caravan. Oops, there goes my first mistake, fostered by the blinding desire to have an Airstream Travel Trailer, I’ve gone and called it a caravan. The absolutely wonderful man at Airstream just off the M6 at Tebay, Cumbria, called Michael Something-or-other was so gentle as he reminded my that this was a ‘Travel Trailer’ not a ‘caravan’. He was lovely about it, explaining that Airstream is just coming of age in Europe, with a range specially designed for this side of the Atlantic Ocean (which is not, I hasten to point out, a ‘pond’. We had one of those in the village and it had ducks on it. You could also see the other side.)

Oh, you are gorgeous.

Immediately, in fact before he even mentioned it, I could see the difference.  Not only that, so could my wife. This was no caravan.  This was something completely different.  and I wanted one BADLY, the whole shiny aluminium gorgeous thing, and I had several choices, from a ultra-gigantic version, to be pulled, I would have thought, by one of those tow-trucks you see at fairgrounds, all the way down (or maybe that should read ‘up’) to the sweetest little travel trailer you’ve ever seen.  It is even called ‘Bambi’.

The very nicest thing about it, well there were dozens of nice things about it actually, was that it would easily be towed by my car.  MY car!  Little Bambi was taking on new significance – she wanted to be in our family and come on holiday with us.  With our Airstream Bambi in tow, my wife and I could trundle up to some remote sun-strewn beach in Europe, pull down the beautiful red awning, pull up a couple of red chairs and, hey presto, our very own boutique hotel on wheels, complete with sea view.

Now let me take you inside. No squeezing through some scrappy little door as on a ‘white box caravan’. No, I mean this, A proper door.  I experienced a slight physical (and emotional) shock to realise that I had walked into Bambi and hadn’t banged my head. Nor when I came out again!  That HAS to be a first for me when it comes to carav…  oops. When the children were small we caravanned (yes, the right word this time) most years and the holidays were only marred by the sobbing that issued from their broken father as I hit my head on the top of the doorway … again. And I’m not joking, it reduced me (in my weaker moments, which on holiday … well, you can imagine) to real tears.

But not with Bambi. Room to spare everywhere. Even the shower was a decent size. I swear I could reach all the parts of my body that I wanted to wash in that shower – although of course I was a tad embarrassed to do that in the showroom to check it out. The shower was great. I suspect that my wife AND I could … no, we won’t go there.

And so we come to the living space. Think boutique hotel again. The lighting reflecting throughout the cabin (its made like an aircraft) creates a romantic atmosphere to lull one into the dinner-a-deux mindset, though the single red rose was missing. I noted that the central heating (yes it has central heating for the winter months) was off, but the rich red upholstery begged you to recline in comfort and either watch the telly, which we would never willingly do unless Dad’s Army was on, or read a favourite novel to the subtle tones of Rachmaninov on the sound system.

Needless to say, images of Bambi are now pinned up on my study wall, where my first BMW car was before I owned one, where my R…x watch was before I owned it,  and my 1200GS motorbikes (yes, I’ve had two) were displayed before I owned them – and in fact where the details of the house we now live in were pinned before we bought it.

I think you probably get the point. When you want something REALLY badly, pin it up on the wall in your line of sight where you’ll see it every day, and start to dream. Imagine having it, enjoying it, sharing it, playing with it (in it?) Or just call me on 07771631945. Or email me. Or visit the Powerchange website. Chances are we can help you GET IT.

I want an Airstream Bambi, never mind the fact that it is over £30,000. My car was nearly that price and I didn’t have the money for that either when it first went on the wall. My car will tow it and I want it.

What do you want?

Tired and Inspired.

Tiredness doesn’t just come as a result of a few late nights – or nights disturbed by young children waking up. It can be the culmination of a particularly stressful or demanding six months or two years.


Of course, I don’t mean to say stresses or demands are wrong. They’re normal for most of us, but when I’m tired I am not so likely to make good choices. My perspective slips out of focus, and I see things subtly distorted from what they really are. Better to deal with the weariness than mess up the future with an inadequate decision or an unnecessarily damaging conversation. That’s not what I want at all.

When I’m tired it’s best to be honest with myself, and schedule some rest. Although I’m not ashamed to let my sense of ‘not making it’ be seen by those close to me, there is no need to make a public announcement, or brag about how tired

I am due to the work I  do (so proudly).  One reason I’m on this earth is to encourage and inspire people and feed them, not demand sympathy strokes. Those close to me know that I know how I am, and kindly pull out a few extra stops and support me (just as I regularly do for them when they are feeling weary) and suggest I take a break!

West Scotland

Elsewhere on this blog I describe my motorbike trips round Europe. On a biking trip, particularly in the early part, I am surprised at how much I sleep. In the first week I climb into my sleeping bag at about 8.30pm and with no alarm providing a false dawn I find I sleep until nine the next morning!  It sometimes takes almost a week of going to bed when the sun goes down and allowing myself to wake naturally before I feet properly rested and start to wake to the birds singing, and feel energised for the day.

It is following such weeks that I am able to focus again on the deep simple things of life, and feed from them. As the tiredness is finally assuaged, I automatically begin to look forward to the future again. Riding on a motorbike is a solitary thing for me, and I love the peacefulness of my own company (inside my helmet!) as I ride through the seemingly limitless miles of natural beauty waiting for those who choose to notice it. With the tiredness gone, I notice more – I am more sensitive to the nuances of colour and shape in the countryside around me.  Long distance biking means travelling for hundreds – thousands – of miles through new territory, touched by the power of endless unexpected vistas, a constant flow of mountains, fiords, forests, streams, lakesand valleys.

Gower peninsular, Wales.

The days become lighter somehow, more worth living, more inspirational.  I notice the better bits of life, rather than the less pleasant ones. As each one reminds me that life can be very good, I am again seduced by the hope of tomorrow and what is possible for me if I’m willing to engage. By taking time out for rest and recreation (it is literally re-creation for body and brain as it renews itself in those rest times) I discover a healthier perspective of my place and role in the world, find people that much more appealing,  and realise again just how good it is to be alive.

It’s summer.  Be kind to yourself. Take a rest and find your future again.

Cumbria shootings: emotional pain reduction

There are comparatively few people in physical pain as a result of Derrick Bird’s shooting spree. The ones he killed are no longer suffering. The dozens left behind, injured and bereaved are the ones hurting, potentially catastrophically. And those uncovering and stirring their own old wounds as they are impacted by the media.

I’m not an anaesthetist so am not going to comment on reduction of purely physical pain.  Though a lot of physical pain is caused by emotional problems, the pain of physical injury is not my brief here.

However, I do have a track record of reducing emotional pain. I can categorically state that emotional pain CAN be reduced, if not completely eliminated, and when it goes, for many people it takes a lot of physical pain with it. That is not speculative comment. It happens. Let me explain a bit more…

Human beings, it seems, have basic emotional needs in the same way that they have basic physical needs in order to exist. Physical needs include food, water, sleep, protection – things like that.  The psychologist Maslow had what he called a Hierachy of Needs, and these physical things are ‘bottom line’ essentials for existence. Without them our physical bodies collapse. Maslow also had on his list emotional needs, and although we can live without them to survive, we cannot live without them without suffering emotionally.  They are emotional essentials. Deprived of them you HURT. Resupply them and the pain stops. Emotional pain is caused by the differential (the gap) between the need and the supply, so sometimes it is perfectly possible to reduce the pain by reducing a person’s need of those emotional essentials.

It’s interesting that some of them are perceptual. Here’s an example. The need to be accepted into a group is generally regarded as a very strong human emotional essential, but if you genuinely don’t interpret a group’s behaviour as rejection, you won’t feel the pain, even though people are rejecting you wholesale. And conversely, if you imagine their behaviour to be rejection, then you will feel pain, even if they are not rejecting you at all!

Emotional pain is very subjective. In other words, to a large extent it is up to you how it affects you. Now that is a useful thing to realise, because, potentially at least, it means that if you are in control of the way you think you can control the emotional pain you experience. This of course, like many things in life, may be simple, but not necessarily easy. The good thing is you can learn how to control it – if you want to. (Some people rather enjoy emotionally induced pain in a way that people can enjoy physically induced pain. It can have some real pluses: be a lifetime talking point, provide identity, and give you a bond with other sufferers.)

You CAN get rid of emotional pain – pretty much anyway. One way, like starvation in your physical body, is to provide what its crying out for. That can work, but it can also have other side effects. Like food, there are optimum levels for your emotional essentials, and too much is as bad as too little. It is easy to overcompensate and damage ourselves. And like a physical wound the damage starts to cause pain.

In Powerchange we have what we call  ‘psychological anaesthetic’ to enable people to find a new (usually lower) level of emotional need and close the differential gap so the pain stops.  The addiction to an external supply of the ’emotional need’ also stops.  Freedom!

It’s that freedom I’m wishing upon the people in West Cumbria this week, and anyone affected by Derrick Bird’s final journey.

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