Author Archives: Peter Honey

The Reader

It was completely unexpected, something he never thought he’d see.  For some obscure reason it reminded him of occasions when he’d expected to see something but hadn’t.  Like the time when he’d spent three days being driven along dusty tracks in a safari park, gazing into parched scrubland expecting to see tigers, but none had appeared.  Or that time in an art gallery when he’d expected to see a painting by Albrecht Durer only to be confronted with a notice […]

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A manager who couldn’t resist tinkering with written reports

David was a civil servant who worked at a government establishment in the open countryside.  He was a dapper little man with a neat moustache and round ‘Schubert’ spectacles that used to look old fashioned but are now in great demand. David had two notable characteristics.  Firstly, he was a keen bird watcher and always had a pair of binoculars with him.  The grounds of the government installation where David worked were extensive (the site of a World War II […]

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A plaster for every sore

This morning I opened the doors of my bathroom cabinet (not, I know, a particularly gripping start to this blog, but stay with me).  As is common with bathroom cabinets the doors double up as mirrors and I caught my forearm on one of the corners.  No great harm done but my arm was cut and needed a plaster.  The plasters happen to live on the top shelf of my bathroom cabinet (convenient, eh?) and, bleeding, not profusely but certainly […]

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The Swoop

When it first started, Lucy decided it would be best to ignore it.  She just carried on reading her book before turning off the light and curling up under the duvet with a pillow over her head.  It was always the same: gentle tapping on the window accompanied by tuneless whistling, always after dark and only when her husband, Tom, was away.  But Lucy remained calm.  Confident she’d locked the front and back doors and closed all the downstairs windows.  […]

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Desert Island Discs

I’m a member of U3A and recently I was invited to pretend I was to be banished to a desert island where, absurdly, I would have time as a frantic hunter-gatherer to listen to ten of my favourite pieces of music.   It was fun working out what music I’d choose but I’m very glad that the likelihood of being whisked away to a desert island, even with my ten choices, remains unlikely.     1  I was born in Oxford in […]

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Dare I write about Integrity?

During my productive years as a freelance occupational psychologist (1969 – 2010) I invented over 100 self-assessment questionnaires.  I was, and remain, a keen advocate of inviting people to pause and take stock of their beliefs and behavioural patterns.  Hence the questionnaires I have devised on subjects ranging from learning styles (the best known), teamwork roles, assertiveness, managing your emotions, creative thinking, problem solving and many others.  In 1993 (yes, nearly 30 years ago!) I even had the audacity to […]

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Watercolours to raise funds for DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Since posting the blog below, five of the eight new paintings have been snapped up! Many thanks to the five purchasers. That leaves numbers 5, 6 and 7 unsold (see the list below). I have also added two new ones: ‘Silver Birch in the snow’, £80 and ‘The Road to John Piper’s House’ also £80. Both paintings are mounted and framed (my images show them before they were mounted and framed) and both paintings are slightly bigger than A4 size. […]

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The U3A Meeting

People arrived looking apprehensive, not quite sure what they’d let themselves in for.  They were welcomed by a cheerful lady who showed them where to put their coats and introduced herself as Belinda, their self-appointed convenor. ‘Thank you all for coming,’ she beamed.  ‘I’ve been recuperating after a short stay in hospital, a minor procedure, I’ll spare you the details.  Thankfully my surgeon assured me I could count on a few more years and, while I lay there contemplating what […]

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Short story: The Awayday

They’d held their annual company awayday at the same hotel for many years, apart from last year when the hotel had been closed for a major refurbishment. ‘I’ve checked out the hotel.  You’ll find quite a few changes,’ the managing director’s PA warned.  ‘It takes a bit of getting used to.’ ‘What sort of changes?’ Sir Cedric asked, not looking up as he busied himself signing a sheaf of letters with his favourite fountain pen.  It had a nib he […]

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Some years ago (in 2008) I wrote a paperback about the advantages of strengthening your strengths as opposed to overcoming your weaknesses.  There were (still are!) many reasons why focusing on strengths is preferable to struggling with weaknesses and, not surprisingly, in my book I rattled off a good many of them.  Here are just four: Greater gains – improving something you are already good at transforms your performance whereas striving to improve something you are not good at will […]

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