Marnova – of and from a wandering mind…

Marnova's musings on life, media and Mongolia

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Protected: Horsing around…Chinese New Year 2014

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Written by marnova

February 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Personal

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[Chip off the old blog] Isambard, me ol’ mucker

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Lots of celebrations across town today – all for Brunel (Isambard Kingdom no less)  and the 200 years since his birth.  As part of festivities,  round the corner tonight, will be 200 saxophonists, a music stage up by the old camera obscura and fireworks over the city and the Avon gorge.  Something like this…

If you don’t already know – Brunel is/was a dude.  A few years back, Brunel was voted the second greatest Briton of all time, after Winston Churchill, also a dude (“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind”).  He was responsible for many engineering firsts – still valid and in use today;  implementing innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. Amongst many other achievements, he built the Great Western Railway (a network of viaducts, purpose built stations, vast tunnels, broad gauge tracksand so on), the first tunnel under a navigable river, the first propeller driven ocean going iron ship, the largest ship, the longest bridge and laying the cable that enabled communications between Europe and America blah, blah, blah.  Look him up.

In Bristol, he masterminded the construction of the docks, the SS Great Britain (first iron-hulled ship), built the first rail terminus and the Great Western Railway and of course the Clifton Suspension Bridge.  But most of all, I love him because he knew he knew his stuff…the GWR (still the fastest bit of track in Britain today) passes through the long Box Tunnel. On his birthday (today), the sun shines straight through the tunnel.  That isn’t smug – that’s engineering with style!

Brunel was a bit (!) of a workaholic.  Inside his famous top hat, which he had had specially made, were pockets in which he kept the plans of his current project, pens and bottles of ink so that he could work whenever, where ever he was.  Last week, I met a guy that loved his work as much as Brunel did.  He is a chemist, working for a specialist ink manufacturer solving how they cured their inks, making them resistant to UV light.  He absolutely loved his job, championing his monomers and polymers with such passion, that it made me excited about the ink industry!

So many people hate their jobs with equal passion.  Too many people.  We spend more of our waking hours working than we do playing.  Why is it then that so many of us tolerate jobs we detest?  Familiarity can be tricksy and lull us into a sense of security.  But security doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness.  In the West at least, we all certainly have the choice. 

So anyway the wind blows, right?  Yeah same old, same old.  I only enjoy a job so long as it remains challenging and I’m treated fairly.  I can work for myself, by myself at home (and have done so), but I choose to be in a big corporate family.  Maybe I’ve been lucky and picked good companies with unusually good people.  More like an extension of university – always saw university as a place to learn about life, not just an academic subject, with codes of conduct built in.  Life made simple.  Unfortunately, after three years (the longest I’ve ever been in one company), the main job has just about finished evolving and I need to move on.  Yeeeaaah, I’ll head to the Big Smoke to see a man about a job.   Either know why you’re doing something you don’t want to, or work out what you’d rather be doing and move on. 

The Chinese ethic is to work.  Full stop.  Work is the common denominator.  Work unites everyone.  Work maintains humility.  You work for your childrens future.  You work for your next life.  Hard work is rewarded.  Part of me agrees with a good part of that, but of all the balls we juggle, work is the rubber one that will bounce back if its dropped.  The rest are made of the finest glass and need to be cherished and handled with care.   Gawd, have more I want to write, but gotta go to bed cant keep track of what Im trying to say!!

As for Brunel, he died of a stroke aged 53.  A short life, but a legacy indeed.  His accomplishments ignited the imagination of the greatest British minds of his age.  His obituary http://www.vauxhallsociety.org.uk/Brunel Obituary.html 

I can hear the musicians soundchecking – the party is going to be a big one.  I have no idea where they will fit all the people, but it’s gonna be good!

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From Karma Slave (Splashdown) 

Today I’ll be spinning on a Wheel,
I’m a slave to a Wheel
And there isn’t any stopping
What mistake(s) could I have made?
I’m a slave serving time for a life that I’ve forgotten.

Stand in the Middle and you won’t get dizzy
Stand in the Middle and you won’t fall down
If you stand in the Middle you can keep your balance
Stand in the Middle while the Wheel spins round and round…

Who’s at the center of the Wheel
The inventor of the Wheel
or another spinning servant
I’m the Master of my Wheel of my very own Wheel
Universal and recurrent

Currently listening :
Yol Bolsin
By Sevara Nazarkhan
Release date: 25 February, 2003

Written by marnova

April 8, 2006 at 2:21 am