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You are coaching or being coached

Two weeks ago, I received an email with this phrase: “If you’d like me to coach you to confidence and self-belief, reply to this email and let’s talk”. This had made me think about the essence of coaching and the talents of coaches. I don’t need coaching on confidence and self-belief; but, perhaps, in some areas. There is always room for improvement, and I’m perfectly imperfect.

What is coaching? Cambridge Dictionary defines coaching (UK – kəʊ.tʃɪŋ/ US -ˈkoʊ.tʃɪŋ) as

“the act of giving special classes in sports, a school subject, or a work-related activity, especially to one person or a small group” (Reference).

Collins English Dictionary’s definition of it includes

“training staff in business or office practice” and “giving a person special teaching in a particular subject” (HarperCollins Publishers (reference).

When I was young, I associated coaching only with sports. I have since changed my understanding of it. Coaching applies in every professional and personal area and in every aspect of one’s life.

COP26 et le Luxembourg

COP26 (Octobre 31 – Novembre 12, 2021)

Et si le changement climatique rencontrait déjà son point de non-retour ? Un basculement menant à l’inéluctable faillite systémique ou, autrement dit, l’inexorable planéticide environnemental ? Ne pouvant plus nous fier au climat que nous avons passablement détraqué, ni aux terres dont nous avons abusées à l’extrême, au point de les voir si appauvries et chimiquement polluées qu’elles en sont inexploitables, que reste-il à espérer pour l’agriculture et l’économie qui en découle ? car sans culture saine, que mettre à l’étalage des magasins ? des productions agro-alimentaires industrielles gavées d’OGM et de pétrochimie ? en voilà un joli futur qui se dessine dans nos assiettes et celles des générations à venir ! Ce sont pourtant là des conséquences prévisibles du basculement qui s’opère maintenant, des conséquences que tout notre argent ne nous permettra pas d’éviter…[1]

Le 9 août 2021, le Groupe d'experts Intergouvernemental sur l'Évolution du Climat (GIEC) a publié son avertissement le plus sévère [2]. Il annonce des changements climatiques et environnementaux majeurs et inévitables. Par ailleurs, en novembre prochain à Glasgow, d'importantes négociations se tiendront sous l’égide des Nations Unies, dans le cadre de la COP26, pour discuter de toutes les matières (sociales, économiques, scientifiques et autres) liées au casse-tête climatique de presque tous les États. Chacune des 195 nations participantes doit y présenter ses plans concrets et de vrais engagements pour réduire fortement ses émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Toutefois, alors que le GIEC nous prévient d’ores et déjà clairement que la limitation du réchauffement aux alentours de 1,5°C, ou même à 2°C, sera hors de portée à moins d’efforts drastiques, on peut s’interroger sur l’utilité de l’exercice COP26, L’apathie patentée du « pouvoir » politique, son soutien mitigé (quand ce n’est pas un antagonisme à peine voilé) envers les initiatives citoyennes allant dans le bon sens et la place laissée aux pressions exercées par les lobbies (pas uniquement industriels) font de ces événements « COP » au mieux des mascarades et au pire de beaux gâchis sur le dos du monde.

Lire la suite 。。。

Wise travelling, Dealing with the unexpected, and Making the most of it

You might have read, heard, or experienced the hustle and bustle of travelling abroad during this period of the pandemic. If you had an annual leave last summer, you probably checked every day where to go, which destinations were on the green and amber lists. In addition to being fully vaccinated, there were travel restrictions and sanitary “must do” things.

We were in England for a week for a family reason. From July 19, France has placed the UK on its amber list; the UK has ended its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travellers from amber countries, like France. However, there was more to comply with. We had to present our EU or French COVID certificate. Additionally, we had to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken a maximum of 72 hours before our departure. Then, we must complete a passenger locator form, which could only be done after purchasing a 1 x COVID-19 travel test that cost about 50 euros (PCR Test is free in France). Those from red countries and not fully vaccinated must book and pay for 2 x COVID-19 travel tests before arrival; once in the UK, they must quarantine for ten days and take a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight.

Vanity or career necessity

Last month, during my Skype lesson, I noticed my student looked prettier than previously.

“You have got sparkling eyes; what’s the good news?”

She giggled and lowered her voice. “I don’t know the word in English; in French, it’s ‘rehaussement de cils’. With this, I don’t need a mascara; when I do, it takes only a second, unlike before”.

After researching on this “rehaussement de cils” (eyelash enhancement), I wanted to do mine too. The eyes are a focal point of anyone’s face. Women with long eyelashes and large eyes are often considered to be beautiful. Was I vane to wish for full and long lashes that would give me a youthful and healthy look without mascara or eyelash extensions?

I was only a few steps away from our local beautician to make an appointment when I turned around. Walking back home, I bumped into my Irish friend. I told her that I had intended to have an eyelash enhancement but didn’t have the guts to do it. Smiling, almost laughing, she said: “You don’t need it; you look much younger than your age.” *

Tomato’s Survival Guide

  • Plants de tomates qui grandissent sur nos toits avec de petites tomates encore vertes et des rouges
  • Red lily flower blooming on our roof

My recent hobby is to share some baby (flowers) plants with friends and neighbors - that's my little Sunrise Movement. Plants quickly find adopters thanks to some joined leaflet mixing storytelling and guidelines. For instance, here is the note accompanying the last babies that left our place with a description of their origin and practical tips on how to nurture them so they become healthy grown-up tomato plants!

I was born in a little German village (at “Guiso’s tiny bio farm”) near Saarbrücken. I have many siblings… too many, so Guido has entrusted caring souls to take care of some of us! Please, adopt me!

1. I need a trim/trims before getting 100 cm. So that I will grow strong. Otherwise, no tomato, believe me! I thrive on hardships ☺ So, just cut the end of my major branches.

2. I love sunshine! ...

3. … I love water! (but not on my leaves, I’m picky!)
I dislike rain… like many at the moment.

4. I love rice water and sumi (炭) water! If you wash the rice manually, please save the water for me as it is rich in nutriments and so much better than direct tap water.

5. In case of sickness, no panic! You can spray (on the sick parts) a simple healing potion easy to prepare: 1 bottle of fresh mineral still water (not sparkling, no diet/salty water) in which you add 3 tea spoons of vinegar, but no sweet one to avoid attracting bugs; my friend Sachié uses rice vinegar so I am free from maladies and can survive anywhere!

6. As I flower, I need some stakes to support me.
Tomatoes can be quite heavy, you know!

7. By the end of October, I will have given all what I could give and I will be ready for compost, to return to the big cycle of Life… but we are not there yet, soooo….

8. … Let’s have fun together!

Adopt me!

Guide de Survie du Plant de Tomate

Plants de tomates qui grandissent sur nos toits avec de petites tomates encore vertes et des rouges

Mon dernier hobby en date est de partagé mes bébés-plantes avec des amis et des voisins - c'est mon petit Sunrise Movement à moi :-)

Chaque plante vient avec sa petite historiette ou une note d'entretien... ou parfois les deux comme c'est le cas des derniers plants de tomate qui sont partis pour adoption avec la présentation et les recommandations suivantes:

Je suis né dans un petit village allemand (dans “la mini ferme bio de chez Guido”) près de Saarbrücken. Ma fratrie est nombreuse… trop grande. c’est pourquoi Guido a décidé de nous confier à des âmes attentionnées qui prendront soin de nous. Adoptez-moi!

1. J’ai besoin d’être taillé quand j’atteins 100 cm. Grâce à ces épreuves☺ je me fortifierai. Sinon, pas de tomate, croyez-moi! Pour la taille, coupez juste le bout de mes branches.

2. J’adore le soleil! ...

Lire la suite 。。。

It could have been you

Football mania, here we go again. My, my, how can I resist it?

Indeed, I can’t resist watching and talking about the 51 games of 24 national teams vying for the 2021 European Football Championship trophy (simply known as the UEFA Euro, scheduled initially in July last year but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

However, it is not the focus of this article. On 12 June 2021, Christian Eriksen collapsed during his Danish team’s match against Finland. According to media reports, the referee acted quickly by alerting medical staff, who administered promptly cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) treatment and took him to the nearest hospital in Copenhagen.

A CPR involves uninterrupted chest compressions of 100 to 120 a minute until paramedics arrive. It is a lifesaving technique necessary in emergencies, such as a heart attack or near-drowning experience. Although it can be done by untrained bystanders and first responders, I’m unsure of being able to do it.

Le Salon Jaune de Bruxelles

  • Bird and Cat side by side and staring in the. same direction with the Cat giving a leg up to the Bird (an original design by Yuri-san)
  • Dog posing (an original design by Yuri-san)

Ce sac en coton biologique (30 x 40 cm) a été conçu par Yuri, une des filles de mon amie Ako. Yuri est prometteuse. Ako est une artiste, une amie des animaux et une coiffeuse à Bruxelles. Ako est une femme d'action, avec une attitude “on peut le faire!”. Ce sac est né de l'amour familial. Si vous passez à Bruxelles, n'hésitez pas à vous arrêter au salon de coiffure pour une coupe de cheveux ou une discussion !

Jaune
Viaductstraat 33
1050 Ixelles, Belgium

0475 40 59 46

The Salon Jaune in Brussels

  • Bird and Cat side by side and staring in the. same direction with the Cat giving a leg up to the Bird (an original design by Yuri-san)
  • Dog posing (an original design by Yuri-san)

This organic cotton bag (30 x 40 cm) is designed by Yuri, a daughter of my friend Ako. Yuri shows promise. Ako is an artist, animal lover, and hairdresser in Brussels. Ako is an action woman, with a can-do attitude. This bag was born out of family love. If you happen to be in Brussels, please stop by the salon for a haircut or for a chat!

Jaune
Viaductstraat 33
1050 Ixelles, Belgium

0475 40 59 46

ゆめのバッグ

Bird and Cat side by side and staring in the same direction with the Cat giving a leg up to the Bird (an original design by Yuri-san)

ベルリン、パリ、ニューヨーク、シカゴ、東京、バーリ、プラハ、ルクセンブルク。

髪を切ってもらうのも、旅の楽しみのひとつだ。ウインドウから覗いて、ここは良さそうだと思うと、3回くらいぐるぐると美容院のまわりを回って確かめる。そのような直感は、まず外れることはない。

イタリアのバーリでは、居合わせたお客さんたちがわざわざ通訳してくれた。「あなたは本当に幸運ね。ここのオーナーはマエストロなのよ」と言われた。窓越しに見えるマダムもなじみ客らしい。満足気に髪をさわりながら、仕事中の彼に「人生の歓を尽くす」感のあいさつを送って行った。気に入った髪型って、それくらい心を波打たせるものですね。

この頃、私はもっぱらブリュッセルの Akoさんに髪を切ってもらっている。マラケッシュで詐欺もどきに会ったことを、アコさんに話したら「お金って、そんなことしてもらうものじゃない」ときっぱりとおっしゃった。彼女の明快さ。プロフェッショナリズム。3匹の犬と安らぎ。交遊。そういうアコさんが好きで、折々通っている。

。。。下につづく

What’s behind a name?

I facilitate an English roundtable in Luxembourg every Friday, and we discuss professional, social and personal-interest topics. Last month, it was about names; one of the participants mentioned a girl initially called Nutella, a popular hazelnut chocolate spread. I checked it out and came across a Guardian’s article about a couple from Valenciennes in northern France who registered their daughter Nutella (source seen on 04/052021). The registrar alerted the local prosecutor, who referred the case to a family court judge. The court ruled that Nutella is a commercial brand and such a name was against the girl’s interests as it would cause “mockery or disobliging remarks”. The couple had to rename her Ella, which means a pleasant young woman.

According to Ms Catharine Smith (source seen 04/05/21), an Egyptian father, Jamal Ibrahim, named his daughter “Facebook” to honour the social media site’s role in Egypt’s revolution. Ms Smith quoted this from TechCrunch newspaper: “A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25th of January have achieved and chose to express it in the form of naming his firstborn girl “Facebook”.

In Marcio’s Italian family, all the children’s names start with the letter M. According to Marie-Pierre, her name’s male version is Pierre-Marie. The Arabic name Shadi means happiness. Do names reflect an individual’s personality? There are studies that show names make a difference in professional, social and financial standing.

COVID-19 vaccination

A butterfly with brown wings displaying owl eyes landed on a pink exotic flower located in the butterflies garden of Grevenmacher (Luxembourg)

I was vaccinated against Covid-19 on May 1, 7:30 AM. My first jab (Moderna) took place at Victor Hugo Sports Hall transformed into a vaccination center, in Luxembourg. My husband came to give me emotional support (or the other way around).

We sat and waited for my turn. I felt slightly excited. A nice older Luxembourgish woman took care of me. It was a slow and painless procedure. I saw she took more time than other healthcare workers. We thought she might be a retired physician. Thanks to her, I felt relaxed. After the inoculation, we had to sit for 15 minutes and I was given a box of masks afterward. Then we went to the market, bought four packets of strawberries (on May 1!), and happily went home. My left arm felt sore for two days. I wondered if I had been recovered from the virus without knowing it.

Many friends experienced little to no side effects (e.g., arm soreness). A few reported some side effects (e.g., headache, nausea, vomit, and more). And a few friends have refused to get vaccinated.

Unexpectedly I felt happy after getting the jab, which made me realize my valid concerns or vaccine hesitancy: are they really safe? are they effective? what about the Indian double mutation? what if nobody was there – on May 1? are we achieving herd immunity soon? what’s the point of getting a vaccine!? any excuse to skip vaccination?

Read more 。。。

The Lost Decade after Fukushima

In English here below – En française ci-dessous

「本当の『失われた10年』は2011〜2020年だ。3.11の後、日本は脱原発し、再生可能エネルギーやCO2回収技術にかつてない規模で投資し、世界一地球に優しい国になりながら、全世界のモデル国になるチャンスがあった。政府も、大企業もその道を選ばなかったのは本当に残念だ。」西村・プペ・カリン

Karyn Nishimura (French journalist living in Japan) tweeted on March 21, 2021.

The real "lost decade" was 2011-2020. Japan had a chance to become a model country for the world after 3.11, by getting rid of nuclear power, investing on an unprecedented scale in renewable energy and CO2 capture technology, and becoming the most eco-friendly country in the world. It's a real shame that the government and the big corporations didn't choose that path.

Karyn Nishimura (journaliste française vivant au Japon) a tweeté le 21 mars 2021.

La véritable "décennie perdue" a été la période 2011-2020. Le Japon avait la possibilité de devenir un pays modèle pour le monde après le 11 mars, en se débarrassant de l'énergie nucléaire, en investissant à une échelle sans précédent dans les énergies renouvelables et les technologies de capture du CO2, et en devenant le pays le plus respectueux de l'environnement au monde. Il est vraiment dommage que le gouvernement et les grandes entreprises n'aient pas choisi cette voie.

"The Lost Decade" originally refers to a period of economic slowdown from 2001 to 2010 in Japan. Now it has turned into the continuing lost decades — a period spanning nearly three decades. Now it is hard for me (Japanese expatriate living in Luxembourg) to see my native country’s precarious position.

Training and Learning at Home

“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King (1925-2015, American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer)
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented teleworking, including banks that used to disallow this for security reasons. In-person staff development training programme came to a halt for a while, then picked up virtually.

Staff development training is still arguably necessary in today’s world because competitiveness and changes are our society’s norms. Therefore, employers should continue providing this even during a lockdown or when their employees work from home. Governments in developed nations subsidise and consider such expense tax-deductible, which is an additional enticement. Though online training may not be cheaper as companies expect and more manageable as learners or participants like it to be, it is worthwhile.

Online training requires at least as much effort and time, and sometimes even more. Trainers need to buy or update their equipment, adjust their practices and style, and deal with disturbances from students’ family situations and technological hiccups. I have heard stories of participants cooking, texting, and feeding cats while on language training. It’s not the moment to multitask! I must admit that I cut my nails and did aerobics during boring webinars that did not allow participants to ask questions (guilty as charged!).

アキラ

eXtinction Rebellion Luxembourg

ボクの名前はアキラ。クロサワのアキラです。9ヶ月です。生まれはベルギー、種はアメリカン・アキタ、飼主はドイツ人です。ルクセンブルクに住んでいます。パパは「アキ」と呼びます。おとなしいので、ワンとも吠えませんが。ボクは元気玉です。

今日は友人宅に来ました。あまりの嬉しさに、横断歩道の真ん中でうんち(馬ほどの)をしてしまいました。が、パパがきれいにしてくれました。それから皆で森に行きました。やたらとヒトの匂いをかぐのは、失礼な田舎犬だと注意されました。秋田犬は寒いのが好きだと言って、大の大人が男二人で、ボクを噴水の中に入れようとしたのでムッとしましたが。サチエが止めてくれました。

このうちには植物がいっぱいあるので、体温調整ができて気持ちいいです。ちょうど目の高さに、お米をといだ水が陶器に入っていたので、(花にあげようととっといたのよ〜)それをいっぱい飲みました。真水より美味しいかったです。肉屋ワグナーのソーセージを食べて、チーズも舐めました。また遊びにこよう〜。(写真では見づらいですが。アキラのお腹の模様と色相は、墨絵のように美しい)

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