Viva La Musica – The Podcast

Hello friends

Following on from my last post, here it is, the latest podcast. It’s an inspirational interview with Barbara de Biasi, head of London’s Fireworks Music School.

If, like me, you’ve ever regretted not learning an instrument, and are wondering if it’s too late, you’ll want to hear this. Seems its not too late, and there are huge health benefits too. Here it is on Soundcloud. Scroll down too, for more useful links, including the Fireworks Music School. Give ’em a call.


And here it is on Podomatic:

Here’s Barbara’s website:

And the music school:

Read about research into the positive effects of music:

Well, that’s enough to be getting on with for now. Enjoy the podcast and keep creating.




Entrepreneur? Me?

So, last week’s creative commuting project was something of a mixed bag. The commuting bit was ok, in that I got to where I was going to.  As for the creativity, I probably made a poor choice of week, what with a business trip overseas and all. Too much in-flight turbulence put paid to clear thinking.

But here’s a jolly thing. As I was waiting for the train to Heathrow, who should hove into view but my old chum, Kathryn. I hadn’t seen her for literally years. She’s currently living in the Netherlands, and, although I keep meaning to find time in my work schedule to visit, it hasn’t happened up to now. So, it was one of those happy happenings. I mean, when do you bump into someone you know on an Underground platform? We had ten minutes to chat before she had to get off the train. It seems she’s just given up her job and was over here networking, her intention being to work freelance. In the Netherlands, she tells me, any self-employed person is called an ‘entrepreneur’. Of course! And that’s it! That’s what Squatting Toad is all about. We’re not would-be entrepreneurs like those misguided Apprentice contestants, we’re entrepreneurial about every aspect of ourselves. What am I good at? What am I passionate about? What can I create that will make me and others happy? At the end of the day, we are all more than the sum of the ‘Skills and Experience’ section of our CVs. In an ideal Squatting Toad-administered universe, we wouldn’t need formal CVs.

I arrived at the airport excited and enthused, and feeling every inch the entrepreneur. Thanks, Kathryn.

I’m still committed to the idea of using this otherwise ‘dead’ commuting time to do some thinking and planning and otherwise moving Squatting Toad forward. I’ve more podcasts to write, for one thing. Tomorrow is Monday, day one of the new entrepreneurial week. Bring it on!

Have a good, creative one yourselves. And watch out for the next podcast, coming your way later this week.


Creative Commuting.

Hello again.

If you’ve listened to the second episode of the podcast, you’ll have heard crafter, Emma McArthur, talk about how she used her morning bus ride to work to think about her creative work. Well, I have a bus ride to work. I have stuff I want to create. I could do that. So, I thought I’d try it this week, just for a week. See how it goes.

In truth, the daily commute is a bit of a chore for me, because I can’t read or write on a bus without feeling sick and dizzy. I can’t wear headphones, as they give me a splitting headache. So, the journey is often spent getting forensic over the working day, or fretting about things that really don’t matter that much but which grow to epic proportions when stuck on the top deck of a London bus. There’s nothing like a long bus journey for some unhealthy introspection, except maybe a long walk.

Here’s my first (and only) piece of advice to today’s readers. If you set yourself a time-based goal, with the hope of achieving something concrete by the end of it, don’t forget to start it. Yes, seriously, I blinking well forgot this morning, didn’t I? Monday mornings don’t often start with a bang, but forgetting was pretty unforgiveable.

I’d had it all planned out so neatly. Next to the stop where I end my journey is a bench. I would sit on that bench and quickly jot down all the creative ideas that were forming in my head before a short walk to the office. Given that I can’t write whilst travelling, due to the aforementioned nausea, a speedy recording of any gems seemed to be called for.

But I clean forgot. So I did have to question my commitment, but I really am going to try. Tomorrow I fly to Portugal for work, and I think that counts as a commute. The one vehicle I can happily read and write on is a plane, unless it’s very turbulent. If it is, creative gems won’t be high on my list anyway. Fear will nudge them aside. Assuming a smooth passage, I shall try to focus.

Let’s catch up here again soon. And I will fill you in on my progress. I can’t promise to share all my ideas, just in case they get stolen by the unscrupulous. That’s not you, my friends, but the online world is a devilish place.

Happy commuting yourselves until next time.

All best