Author Archives: Peter Honey

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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Short Story: The Guide

Basil had no idea that anyone had complained.  As far as he was aware, his customers had always been enthralled, gathering round  to catch his every word above the background noise of passing traffic, laughing appreciatively at his well-rehearsed jokes.  But a curt email conveyed the bad news: someone had accused him of making insensitive and offensive remarks.  Insensitive and offensive — not just one, but both! Appalled, Basil read the email again.  Apparently, an unidentified person or persons had […]

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Short Story: The Journal

This is weird.  Hang on, I wonder if that’s a fact or a feeling?  It certainly feels weird so I guess it’s a feeling.  But if it feels weird, doesn’t that make it a fact, as far as I’m concerned?  But if it’s a fact for me, but not for anyone else, surely it’s just a feeling?  Oh hell, I knew I’d get myself tied up in knots.  Still, as a colleague at work used to say, ‘If you don’t […]

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Short story: The Silver

Every Christmas Eve my father polished the silver.  It was an annual ritual he appeared to relish, though it was hard to be certain, since my father was an undemonstrative man.  He always followed the same routine.  First he would prepare by covering the kitchen table with newspaper and then donning an apron and a pair of rubber gloves. Next, one by one, he’d retrieve the tureens, platters and candelabra from the depths of the dining room sideboard, place them […]

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