BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 16 APR 2012


Getting to stop and think is an unusual pleasure when travel is a constant, but circumstances have conspired fortuitously to make today all about the vision thing. And I am doing this the best way, alone. Team days have been and gone and more discussion awaits further down the line. Today? It’s me and Steve Wright, since Bargain Hunt finished a while ago. After a morning of a monk’s silence I needed the noise. (And by the way, always go with the Bonus Buy on Bargain Hunt; it’s the right thing to do.)

It’s tough, having a blank sheet of paper surrounded by a seemingly infinite number of ideas. It’s also exhausting, real brain-work that takes and takes and takes, with a real danger there will be nothing on the page by the time Judge Judy starts. I like to think the vision thing is my thing, having been an architect. My MBTI preferences show that I do indeed like to look at what might be out there, beyond the horizon. So it is my thing: or more accurately, it’s my job. This part of the vision thing is to find a narrative for where we are going as a business, to put some very good lead-up work into words.

Out earlier in the new garden, in the sun, for yet another “clear the clutter” five minutes, watching the first midweek bowling match of the year, I realise I am not alone. The ever bolder Felix the cat is walking about like he owns the place, as only a cat can. And I know he’s looking for a way out. Having spent the first decade of his life in a flat Felix seems destined to have the next decade going for it in the garden and beyond, if he gets his way. (As I type this he’s stalking a fat bullfinch but has yet to realise he needs not to be seen.)

Felix went behind the retaining wall, the sliver between the wall and boundary fence is a favourite spot, and disturbed the wee west highland terrier pup now living next door. A noisy, yappy wee chap, I can assure you, though I am sure the neighbours say the same about me. Before you could say Antiques Road Trip Felix was up in the spare bedroom, covering 50 metres horizontally and 15 vertically in a few seconds. In a fair contest Felix would run rings around Westy, clouting him on the nose at will, hissing menacingly and sending him packing in jig-time. He just doesn’t know it. In fact, he has no idea what’s behind the six foot fence and his visceral reaction is to fear it. He stayed in his old bed under the dresser for quite a while.

It seems I have become fixated, in my need to get this done today, by the fear of the unknown. Every phrase that gets as far as the page gets pulverised before it has a chance. Pulverised by me, on my own!  And there’s more. Not only do I fear the unknown, but I am too easily seduced by the comfort of the romantic past and successful present. The real and the pragmatic: what we already do, with only a cherry on top. This, of course, is no way to do the vision thing. So right now it’s not quite blue sky thinking, but more an acceptance that they are only words on paper and for a while I should go with the flow.

There’s really nothing to be scared of behind the fence, is there?


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about the author

Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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