The Importance of Being Genuine

An old friend sent me an email this morning which I opened over my cooked breakfast. At a dinner party last night, she reported, the subject of blog writing had come up as some of the guests had aspirations to start their personal blog.  Life of Yablon had been cited as an example and its contents had been chewed over… while quaffing some fine wine, I’m sure.

Reading the email I felt a PANG. Not (as I used to) because of my hang-up cringe excuse for a career as a writer but because my poor neglected blog could hardly be called a regular soapbox nowadays. My voice (although He would hasten to deny that I have ever neglected my voice), my ex-day-job, my online home of constant self-indulgent drivel…. all seem to be a distant memory.

You see, the harder I have worked this year, the less I have had any time and energy for Life of Yablon– despite having promised Lord Y that the posts would keep on coming through thick / thin.

Of course, anyone who works in a fast-paced work environment will nod adamantly as I sit here and complain of the total creative drain I feel at the end of a long day. [Plus recently I’ve been re-cranking my middle-aged brain to tune into with 11+ Maths and English papers in my ‘free time’.]

But instead of droning on about the lack of time and inclination I have clearly been suffering, I wanted to report back on something really interesting I have learnt from my back-to-office work life. Observing curiously as those (much younger than me) integrate themselves into their daily grind, I have had a couple of revelations. Some are more academic than others, some are edgier than others but almost all are keen – keen to learn, have fun and move onwards and upwards in their careers. In short, normal kids in the media world.

Where I would have presumed IQ was all they needed to excel, I have instead noted that it’s more about their EQ – yes, that’s their emotional intelligence – as they set about managing clients/teams/media expectations. But there’s a further catch here…. EQ makes zero difference when those who are emotionally tuned in are not quite the genuine article.  Because genuine people don’t even need to try to make people like them. It’s that effortless quality we’d all die for and makes for perfectly powerful persuasion.

My next massive learning (and those who might work with me might be quaking here) is that I now have proof that authenticity requires a certain amount of vulnerability – crucially mixed with transparency and a healthy dose of integrity. If you really want someone to listen to the point you’re making, say it in a friendly way – concisely but with confidence–keeping it REAL the whole way.

So there you go. I’m writing less (here) but learning more (there) and all the time working out what works best in storytelling. So far it seems that a genuine attitude is much more important than knowing all the answers. So maybe my blog had a point after all…

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House of Mouse

I was never very good at being that hostess with the most-est. All the excitement up front – the invitation, stocking up the fridge, fresh flowers by the bedside and the sweet-smelling bread in the oven. But then, as soon as the guest has unpacked, I start glancing at the clock, waiting for this long-awaited friend to depart.  You see, home is my sanctuary; a place where I totally switch off, shuffle around in slippers and wear BAD tracksuits.

But this particular guest was never invited. He simply dug his way into our lives and now seems to act like he’s ruling our roost. OUR casa is HIS casa, or so it seems.

House of Mouse life of yablon

Of course I immediately called in the 4th emergency service to get this furry (non)friend evicted. Traps were set and poison laid down. But no, he still reins on; over us mere lodgers in his castle.

Now known by our other 5* hotel guests as ‘The Other Him’, the pest is dead (if only) keen on midnight feasting, tireless scurrying and general frolicking.  In short, TOH is living it up chez nous. And I’m now not seeing the funny side of this intruder. So another appointment has been booked and this time it’s HIM or ME.

I know, I know. Those who live surrounded by green fields have many such infiltrators, some even with longer tails. I know that he’s a great deal smaller than me. I know he’s potentially harmless (if you don’t count the countless health risks carried by these pests) but I absolutely refuse to cohabit one more day with an overly curious, entirely intrusive, trap-dodging RODENT.

This column first appeared in The Lady where I am their Mum About Town.

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storytelling in monochrome…

…because that’s basically what I do when I’m out + about with my camera. Snatching stories from the outside world and bringing them into my world; my social feeds, my blog or just my camera roll.

Life of Yablon monochrome images

 

I’ve often wondered what it is about black and white photographs – how and why they seem to tell us so much more of the story.

Life of Yablon monochrome images

 

Life of Yablon monochrome images

Life of Yablon monochrome images

Life of Yablon monochrome images

 

Life of Yablon monochrome images

Life of Yablon monochrome images

Life of Yablon monochrome images

Life of Yablon monochrome images

It’s more than nostalgia. It’s the full on monochrome appeal which made me challenge myself this morning. I was walking to a meeting in Bayswater and made myself jump off the tube at the WRONG stop. 30 minutes walk on a gloomy grey day and my task was to capture 10 images which felt timeless and distraction free.

Life of Yablon monochrome images

it’s black and white’ I was told as a school girl • but in reality (of course) it isn’t • it’s all those shades of grey •

 

 

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birthday BADass

Growing up, I never ever understood why my mother didn’t like her birthday. AT. ALL. In fact, she positively willed it to pass as painlessly as possible. And, year after year, I thought she was a bit of a spoilsport and a birthday-sort-of-Scrooge.

But this year I totally GET IT.

I’m currently mid stream, drifting through those in-between years.   Never one to shy away from a properly large, arms-above-ahead, party-popper celebration, the flashing disco lights of my 40th are but a mere memory and, while I’m vowing to re-invent the party wheel in time for the big 45 … this year… BLEUGH is just about the sum of how I feel.

So, mix all of the above self-indulgent pitiful woes with a pinch of ‘who might I offend if I don’t invite’ anxiety plus a massive dose of head cold exhaustion, you’ll understand why last Thursday (44 years to the day post entering this age-obsessed world) I just wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep… and sleep…. and sleep.

Of course, I put a brave face on it,  birthday badging up my jumper and leaping forth to reveal myself as The Birthday Boss.

Besides, this was always meant to be a restaurant review as I KNOW you’ll love Lurra (a hell of a lot more than your next birthday). Scooped up by two of my closests, the three of us lunch partied at this new Basque grill on Seymour Place.

lurra restaurant

thumb_PA220108_1024

sourdough with bone marrow.

(Maybe it’s my age) I always forget this street even exists. It’s that place of stillness which happens to lie between the tourist-mayhem of Marble Arch and the hectic chaos of Edgware Road. Yet another reason I love London; curiously remarkable as it unfolds.

courgette flower with cod brandada

courgette flower with cod brandada

Anyway we ate. REALLY well. And gulped pretty rosé too – while delighting in delicious gossip and silly, amusing tales that we never ever get around to sharing.

14 year Rubia Galena ‘Galician Blond’ Prime Rib, Grade 9. TO YOU + ME, AMAZING MEAT.

Of course there was a candle and a song too. I was having such a ball, I had even forgotten it was a birthday at all.

happy BADass day to me

happy day to me

But once back home, I rolled back into my big duvet and called it a day.

 

 

 

 

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