Friday, 3 July 2020

The Power of Forward Thinking

My sister-in-law's late father, Geoffrey Whatmore, was a lovely man. He was also well-travelled, extremely clever and a wrote a number of books. I was recently shown this newspaper article, written in November 1968, which I thought some of you would find interesting ...


Here is an extract of Geoffrey's obituary,
which appeared in The Guardian newspaper
on 8th Jan 2016

My fellow news librarian, Geoffrey Whatmore, who has died aged 95, was one of the key figures in the world of media information during the second half of the 20th century. Appointed in the early 1950s as the Manchester Guardian’s first professional librarian, he later became BBC head of news information.
Geoffrey was to spend the next few years turning an archaic collection of press cuttings, index cards and random books into an effective newspaper reference service, providing valuable assistance during major events such as the Suez crisis. He even managed to persuade management to install a telephone in the library.
Eventually, though, he found the paper “stuffy” and, keen to move to London, found a job running the British Institute of Management’s information department. Following this, he was appointed personal assistant to Cecil King, chairman of the Daily Mirror. Throughout much of the 1960s and during dramatic company takeovers, Geoffrey was at the newspaper baron’s side, writing many of his speeches.
Over the years, the BBC had fostered a whole tribe of intersecting libraries and it was one of Geoffrey’s jobs to bring some order to radio and TV reference services. The role was also the focus of intense library politics, but he was later to look back at this time at the BBC as the most rewarding of his working life.
A fine writer, Geoffrey was the author of a number of books, including titles on news information and a guide to his adopted home of Pershore in Worcestershire. In a long retirement he ran his own antiquarian books business, specialising in angling, one of his favourite pastimes.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Where are they now? Basim

Hello, Hola, Salut, Namaste, Bonjour, Marhaba, Ciao and
Assalam Alaikum,

To all the beautiful people out there who are about to read
this article, you must wait for my introduction. You will only
know who I am at the end because that might be the most
boring bit I guess, well at least I am not boring at all in

All you need to know is that I am hot!!! well I mean feeling
hot 🤣🤣🤣 The temperature here today has crossed 51 C,
"woohoo summer is here, time for some tanning at the beach”
that’s what might be going on in your head if you are in the
UK/Europe or anywhere else where it rains in summer and
the breeze comes at night. Nahh!! Not the same here. IT IS
HOT!! BOILING HOT! Sitting in the car feels like a sauna,
touching the door handle feels like touching a BBQ coal and
going out feels like a steam room, where the body gets wet
due to humidity and burns your skin like a tasty spiced up
BBQ chicken!! Oh Yeah on side note … I love eating
Chicken 🤣  (reality is - he just loves eating!!!)

Well without any waiting, many of you might have guessed
where I am from, but for those who still could not guess. I am
living in the Middle East in a country called Saudi Arabia,
this country requires no explanation, as it is one of the best
for living in many aspects. One of the best bits is we do not
pay taxes on salaries and can save a bunch of notes in the
banks. However, this is where I live and work with my
parents and siblings, a country l have lived in since
childhood.  Though I am not a Saudi, I am from Pakistan (a
beautiful paradise on earth). 
I have met wonderful people during 
my University life at Greenwich and 
they all have a special place in my
heart. Countless friends, professors,
classmates, colleagues.  However, then
there was the Lady Marvellous!!!
Yes Absolutely!! You heard it!! 
Lady Marvellous!! She is the
University Chaplain who cares about
students and organises endless 
activities that I would go to every 
single one of them. Anyone who joins 
University should meet her and attend 
at least one of her events. She is pure from the heart,
beautiful, her smile is contagious, and her laugh is
wonderful, a nature full of love and splendid hugs. Her name
is prestigious so please stand up and give her a huge round of
applause for the Marvellous Lady, Lynne Martin!! 👏👏👏
Eating 'depressed cake' at
World Mental Health Day

Last evening at TABLEtalk 

Lastly, my own introduction!! 
My name is Basim Chishty and 
work as an Electrical Design 
Engineer for an amazing French
Company called Assystem in 
Saudi Arabia. I love my job and 
life. I graduated from University 
of Greenwich (MC) with a degree 
in BSC (Hons) Electrical & 
Electronics Engineering. I used 
to live in Gillingham, 15 mins walk
from the Medway Campus. I worked 
as an IT Assistant in the longest 
library in Europe (Drill Hall Library) and Senior Outreach 
Ambassador for University of Greenwich. Both jobs were
the best jobs a student can ever get. You got well paid, 
with the chance to meet new people, communicate,
help, support, influence and inspire
others to be a better person with the
power of education. I am passionate
about everything, a caring friend 
and an enthusiastic sportsman. 
Well a bit 'fluffy' now due to the
pandemic, so you can take the 
sportsman out of it and replace it 
with constantly hungry person.
My life advice  ...  work-hard, earn-well, never give up on
your life, friends, family and especially yourself. Stay true to
who you are and enjoy every moment in life. Advice for
students  ...  your pain is temporary but remember grades are
forever, so make them count. Sleepless nights studying can
give you a holiday with family in your career life BUT
sleepless nights playing will only allow you to wave off
someone else going on holiday with their family. You

Thought for the week ...

Sunday, 21 June 2020

June 21st - too many celebrations

Did you know that June 21st each year is World Music Day and National Selfie Day  ...  and it is also Father's Day.  Hmmmmm  ...  too much choice!!

So, I turned to students and asked for their help in creating this particular post.  Here are the responses I received:

"I used to work as a secretary and one of my main tasks was to jot down minutes of executive meetings. By the end of the day after I had to listen to conversations and discussions for like six hour straight, I felt I could no longer listen to any more verbal speaking and the only thing I wanted to hear was music. It is fascinating how verbal expression when beautifully selected and integrated with rhythm and instrument sounds can be moving and uplifting, contrary to the humdrum of verbal exchange! Happy World Music Day!
Your Song by Elton John
Pattamanan  (Thailand)

Cerys from Ireland writes. "I'm always grateful to my Dad, I know I don't say it as often as I should but I love him dearly and I always will. There are so many things I realise now looking back, that he did for me and my brothers that we never gave him credit or thanks for. Though I feel like there is nothing I can do for him that could even come close to all that he has done for me, I hope he knows that I am forever grateful and thankful that he is my dad and I wish him a very happy Father's Day :)"  
Cerys' piece of music is by a Korean groups called BTS (I know there are some other fans out there).  She says, "The group themselves are genuine, lovely people and spread positive and uplifting messages through their music, particularly in this song when you read the translated lyrics. The melody and rhythm of this song I also adore, I'll never forget the first time I heard it and no matter how many times I listen to it, i love it just as much as I did the first time around."  Have a listen ... Mikrokosmos by BTS

Some of you will recognise this face  ...  it's the loud and lovely Humphrey from Zambia 😀Humphrey's favourite piece of music is 'Three Little Birds' by Bob Marley.  Humphrey has memories of his late father dancing around the house, singing at the top of his voice.
The Legend that was Bob Marley

"I was 5 years old when I sang “You are my sunshine” for my dad. I didn’t know what I was saying then but as I grew and watched my dad love me day in and day out- I realise he is truly my sunshine in every sense of the way.
I am proud to be his daughter. Thank you for being the love and guidance I always needed.  Happy Father’s Day!"  Sakshi (Mauritius)
You are my Sunshine

Amira, from Egypt used to study with a music background of Omar Khairat, one of the greatest composers in Egypt. This piece of music always brings good memories and helps to put her in a good mood.   Omar Khairat

On a completely different end of the music spectrum is Jeff's choice by the Scottish band Alestorm  ...  be warned, you need to be in to heavy metal for this one.    Alestorm

"Dad, it’s my second Father’s Day far away from you. I want to say thank you for making me the woman that I’m today, for helping me to achieve my dreams and for giving me the best of you. My sister and I have the privilege to have you in our lives."  Lina (Colombia)

Here's a selfie Ahmed (from Egypt) took of himself at the Medway Campus (just incase some of you have forgotten what it looks like).  He used to listen to this piece of music every morning on his journey from Greenwich to Medway.        Cairo Steps

"Perfection is not a valid term in the world of humanity. Therefore, I do not have idols in my life as I do not see us as humans being perfect. However, I do strongly appreciate the deep influence that someone can make in our lives. 
My father’s influence in his turn took a huge role in shaping who I am today. The relationship that connected us is not only a genetic and biological relation it is further deeper and stronger. I have so many beautiful images of my father back in my mind. there is always the image of his dedication and integrity in his attitudes as a father, husband to my mother and leader at his work. My dad dedicated his life in working to educate his siblings according to my grandpa's will and he was happily committed to it. He is a determined, affectionate, caring person and a music lover. Another image of his endless support can be summarised of him always pushing us to limits we did not know that we could ever reach. He is a kind of person who teaches us good principles and values from his actions. All the appreciation goes to him as he taught us so many lessons of life.  I wouldn’t say my father is my idol, I would rather say his great impact is immortal and will live forever in me."
Afaf from Jordan

Sonali sent this lovely photo of her and her Dad
at her graduation from Warwick University.
I know how proud and blessed she is to have
him walk beside her.

Manuela (from Italy) writes, " This is my Granpa. He is always happy, very creative, fixes everything, and even though he couldn't finish school because of WWII, he is super curious and reads anything, from physics, to history, to philosophy. That has taken him to learning many many more things than I know, even if I have three university degrees!!"

Kuntal (from India) sent this great selfie, along with her chosen piece of music which she is actually singing:  Shayad - Love Aaj Kal

And finally, a wee word from me ... these are the faces of two people who have been 'home alone' for three months.😢  We've both found it hard, so it was big smiles all round when I drove to be with my dad on Friday, June 19th 💖  It's great to actually be here to say thank you for all the ways my dad has supported me over the years.  He couldn't decide on a favourite piece of music and in reality my musical tastes are sooooooo broad, I can't decide either. BUT, I recently came across this track from the classic film 'The Blue Brothers' starring John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. It put such a big smile on my face, I watched it twice; and I think dad will approve.     Blues Brothers