January 2018

Fresh Ambitions

A new year brings new ambitions of self-improvement, the annual resolution, long forgotten by the end of the month in most cases, however the symbols it represents is worth retaining in a fast living world of technology and impersonal lifestyle. This year I didn’t send any business Christmas cards as I feel they have now been converted to a marketing tool, predominantly to inform you of trading hours over the ‘holiday’ rather than over Christmas.

So what is a New Year’s Resolution? I think it is about improving the way we feel and the person we want to be. So Healthcare is high up there; where prevention is better than cure, the aim is to stop damaging what we have due to the lack of exercise, bad diet and being generally unfit.

Personal improvement is high up there too; mine is to return to pre-business days with my British appointments on time. Having spent many years working with people who are never on time, I would waste so much time arriving for a time-slot to find that the appointment was always late, as a busy person myself, I just got slower and slower at arriving on time and my office call me as I am going out of the door with a hundred questions. So for me this year, it is a case of book early to avoid disappointment, if I am on my feet to leave my office and I have been there and nobody asked a question until I began to leave, then it wasn’t so important and I can deal with it on my return and arrive on time. It’s very British to be on time.

Awards, interior design

Giles Brandreth and Dr Vanessa Brady OBE at the 2017 SBID International Design Awards

I think it is about becoming a better you. So I looked at the things around me this year more closely than ever. I don’t remember people sleeping on the streets when I was a child, now every city, almost town has people sleeping ‘rough’… so is this progress?

I don’t remember people being so rude just because they can either. Although social media created keyboard warriors, the law is quickly catching up to stop such harassment. How have we improved so much and not kept the basic moral values that should be at the forefront of everything that we work and achieve. People, be it ourselves or others, have forgotten to treat each other properly; with manners and respect. I am surprised at the way in which the dating world for young (and many older) people connect now. This is not progress; it is more like processing an entry list. Is Tinder and all the other apps the way forward?

I see a lonely generation where people are intolerant and striving only for perfection. You cannot have perfection, human beings are deliberately built to be imperfect and make choices, that is part of life, some will be good choices and some will not. It is the outcome that must be measured and reviewed which helps us understand the consequences of our actions.

Have those now obsessed with how they look become happier or achieved more? No I think the opposite has happened, they continue to look for self-fault and dislike more not less about their appearance. This leads to self-doubt and depression, eating disorders and self-harm, drug addiction and alcoholism among just a few of the self-abuse options chosen to cover the feeling of personal inadequacy.

Behaviour is one of the few things that separates us from each other without cost, breeding, location or culture. It is conduct that has kept the masses in their place for centuries. It is conduct that will separate one person from another and sometimes at Christmas I look around at people racing to buy gifts, catch a plane, spend time to show off or demonstrate one-upmanship and I think we may have come so far, but we haven’t moved at all.

This Christmas period, including the lead up I met some and dealt with others who I thought were amazing, my plumber came to fix a leak and would not take the payment I gave him, he said ‘no its too much’ but put it down on the table – ‘I said but its Christmas and you left your family to come and help me so I want to pay you correctly’. He was shocked and truly grateful as was I. I sat with a big hole in my ceiling and thought how lucky am I. Although I had just finished decorating, the leak (from an old and worn out fitting) caused an entire floor to be destroyed, but I remain content with what I had as I looked at it. I have my health, a modern family and enough money to pay a bill when it arrives. Collectively I feel that is all I could hope for and that is success. I have contentment.

I do not want to be part of the hate and evil to succeed in life, the venomous emails and comments and the phoney lives where people pretend to care, air kiss, lie and back stab. It’s not for me, I am far too outspoken. Occasionally I have to deal with professionals who lie and cheat, and slip from authority into criminality and nothing pleases me more than seeing such people brought to account. This is a serious point and one that needs to be addressed. Next time you read the health content on a packet of peas, read carefully to make sure the data provided is for the entire packet – not just one portion in a two portion pack etc. This half-truth or unclear statement is deliberately misleading although arguably still true. It is still not truthful and makes us lesser than we need to be. As the Founder of the interior design industry standard-bearer organisation for best practice, education and protection, I am going to use some alternative industries as a benchmark for best practice. Let’s see how good or how bad the design industry is; starting with hospitality.

SBID, Intellectual property, House of commons

Image – Leo Telling, BBC, Peter O’Doherty, Detective Chief Superintendent, City of London Police; Dr Vanessa Brady OBE, SBID; Tony Nash TM Eye Ltd

With help and assistance form my colleagues at TM-Eye, BBC Panorama Researchers, the Metropolitan Police (both present and retired) we are going to reveal conduct that should not have occurred across many areas of what is promoted as ‘business’ but is simply criminal conduct. It is a serious series and comes with a criminal record for those brought to account in the courts. TM- Eye are the only company in the UK with access to upload convictions onto the police crime information computer record. It is an example of the private business and government joint partnerships that the UK adopted across many industries in an effort to both stamp out waste, cost and improve performance and delivery. It is a testament to the ethical, technical and knowledgeable ability that the company, its founders and their partners have achieved. SBID is a formal partner and the only interior design representative, we are at the top of the industry and we are global. This has taken us where we could not progress back in 2009 to enable us to punish people wherever they are around the world even in the crime generated in a village in the UK.

interior design