27 December 2003 - 3 January 2004: Celebrating the New Year with the annual Gay Men's Week house-party at Wasdale with the Edward Carpenter Community. A peaceful and reflective week of winter walking, meditation, party games, dancing, cabaret, literature, stillness, heart circles, and good fellowship. 


25 December 2003:  Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year from Keswick


18 December 2003: With far more time for reflection and meditation over the past four months, the number of interesting books read is starting to make an impression on the ever-growing pile of books waiting to be read.  Two recent good reads have complimented each other very well.  Eckhart Tolle's new Stillness Speaks is a short and powerful follow-up to The Power of Now and offers over 200 illuminating reflections on living in the present and experiencing who we really are.  Oriah Mountain Dreamer's The Dance is also a follow-up to The Invitation and her personal stories and reflections provide a great insight into living fully and consciously.  


17 December 2003: Sift's annual Christmas staff party is a black-tie Night at the Oscars held at Ashton Court, Bristol.


16 December 2030:  Great tools training day for Countryside Agency staff working on their Market Towns Learning Network, using the Orange Studios in Birmingham as the training venue.


11 December 2003:  Delivery of a Dealing with Disaffection course for teachers, guidance staff and social work teams in Dumfries and Galloway on behalf of the Crannog Service.  


8/9 December 2003:  Development work and consultant interviews to expand the team of people delivering the Modern Sports programme with sports governing bodies throughout the UK on behalf of SportScotland and UK Sports.


7 December 2003:  Keswick annual Victorian Fair attracts record crowds on a day of clear sharp skies, winter sunshine and low temperatures.  It's another outing for the Keswick Street Theatre Players, this time performing Magi Express, a Victorian christmas story written as if by Cannon Hardwicke Rawnsley, with added cast from the staff of Keswick very own CKP Railway. 


28-30 November 2006: A weekend workshop on heightened states of consciousness, breath work, meditation and sensuous massage run for gay men with an interest in more spiritual aspects of living. 


26 November 2003: Creation and publication of the Modern Sports resource website on behalf of sportscotland with funding from the UK Sport modernisation fund.  This projects works with sports national bodies throughout the UK to deliver best practice in corporate governance and management. 


24 November 2003: Completion of the Interim Evaluation Report on the Rural Gateway online project, delivered by Sift for the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department, with the support of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations as site content managers.


20 November 2003:  Delivered Improving Youth Work Management programme to youth work staff from throughout south-west England on behalf of FPM and the National Youth Agency..


15 November 2003: This website is transferred to a new host server provider in preparation for new content and functionality, and to restore excellent reliability.


8 November 2003:  My Virtual Re-TIMe-Ment Party held at The Archway to celebrate several significant changes and developments over the past year including: the complete re-design of the kitchen; recovery from illness; involvement in several new groups such as the Edward Carpenter Community; re-claiming my sense of self-identity; and making major changes in my work-life balance to allow far more time to be spent on those projects of greatest interest to me.


6 November 2003:  Annual Dinner and trophy ceremony of the Keswick Croquet Club.  This year's winners are: Borrowdale Mallet - Mary Hopper; League Trophy - Lewis Garrett; Golf Tournament - Muriel Pye and Jim Taylor.


1 November 2003:  97th AGM and Annual Dinner of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, held again at Shap Wells Hotel, and another significant step on the planning road to the FRCC Centenary in 2006.


27-29 October 2003:  Delivery of Partners in Success programme for chairs and chief executives of hospice organisations, meeting in Birmingham.  This successful 'collaborative enquiry' programme forms part of my on-going Hospice Programme with UK hospices.


22-24 October 2003:  Annual conference and exhibition in Harrogate of the CIPD including the public launch of the new CIPD Professional Community.  Some interesting sessions on the theme of From Training to Learning including challenging questions on the day-to-day involvement of managers as coaches to their staff.


20 October 2003: Further consultancy support to staff at the NHS Information Authority on the use and management of their professional community of practice.


19 October 2003:  Blue-skies thinking 'AwayDay' for senior staff, trustees and partners of St Rocco's Hospice, Warrington, focusing on their medium to long-term plans for an integrated hospice care service in the local area.


7 October 2003: In London on business and took the opportunity to see David Blaine suspended from a crane in his glass box near Tower Bridge in his Above the Below performance / exhibition.  Around 250 people were gathered, watching, at 22:00, all talking noisily about this performance as art.  This was Day 32 of his public confinement. 


2 October 2003: Delivery of second Facilitators Conference for Countryside Agency staff managing their online learning communities, focusing on techniques for creating greater engagement with network members.


1 October 2003:  Completion of the 8-month long kitchen re-design project at The Archway.


30 September 2003: Delivery of Negotiation Skills training programme for sports managers on behalf of SportScotland.


20 September 2003: Keswick Street Theatre perform four plays at the Jennings' Brewery 175th birthday party in Cockermouth depicting various aspects of Jennings history on both the global and local stages.


17 September 2003: Online Community Management training for learning network facilitators with the Countryside Agency in Manchester.


13/14 September 2003: Board Member Development Programme delivered to the 30-member Council of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club at Airth Castle on behalf of SportScotland.  The programme was well received and should lead to a substantial modernisation of the governing body's structures, practices and strategic plan.


7-13 September 2003: Another very enjoyable and supportive work as part of the Edward Carpenter Community.  This week was based at Wasdale Youth Hostel and saw 33 men gather for the Gay Men's Week with a theme of The Great Outdoors.  Workshops throughout the week involved walking, outdoor art, canoeing, drama, music, massage, five-rhythms, places of significance, and much more.  There was plenty of time for support, meditation, and intimacy in the very safe environment with a GMW always creates.


6 September 2003:  Change of role agreed with Sift, to move my status from a salaried position as Director of Best Practice, to a consultant role undertaking specific projects, tasks and client-based work.  This change reflects my changing career plans to take part-time "retirement" whilst continue to build a limited number of challenging consulting assignments with key clients.


4 September 2003: Consultancy workshop with staff from FPM to advise on the development of an online learning community for staff, associate tutors and future course participants.


25 August 2003: The annual Keswick Agricultural Show held in another day of brilliant weather.


1-17 August 2003:  Spectacular trekking amongst the highest mountains in East Africa, all forming part of the Tanzanian volcanic region.  Check out the following pages of photographs to see the big game wildlife of Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater (the world's largest volcanic caldera over 20km across, 600m deep and home to 20,000 wild animals).  These are also the homelands of 125,000 Maasai tribesman, still protecting their ancient way of life.  The three-day ascent of Mount Meru reached over 4,650m with a magnificent night-time ridge walk up the crater rim to watch the sunrise of Kilimanjaro.  And finally, the five-day ascent of Kili via the Machame route shows this massive mountain in all its landscape and vegetation regimes from equatorial rain-forest to arctic waste.  This is the highest point in Africa at nearly 20,000 feet.  The early morning sunrise in freezing conditions after six hours of night-time ascent reveals an awesome landscape. 


29/30 July 2003:  Best practice workshop in community management for staff at SCVO working on the Scottish Executive Rural Gateway website in Inverness.


24 July 2003:  Community Management seminar for the Professional Knowledge advisers team of a major professional chartered institute.


19 July 2003:  Entertaining afternoon croquet match against Crake Valley Club.


16 July 2003: Delivery of Advanced Community Facilitator Tools Workshop for staff from the Countryside Agency Learning Networks in Cheltenham.


11 July 2003:  Community Management Workshop with staff from Templeton College, Oxford.


July 2003: Development of an integrated programme for Modern Sports governance and leadership as part of the Modernising Sports agenda for use with national governing bodies of sport and other national sports organisations.


16/17 June 2003: 6th International Virtual Communities conference at Westminster, London, including presentation on one of our case studies around Communities of Practice.


14 June 2003: Excellent and challenging performance of Kiss of the Spiderwoman at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick (running in repertory until end-October).


11/12 June 2003:  Last in the present series of Transforming Youth Work Management modules delivered for FPM and the DfES with senior youth work managers from across north-west England.


31 May - 6 June 2003: A hugely enjoyable and enlightening week-long retreat exploring Gay Spiritualitywith the Edward Carpenter Community at Laurieston Hall near Castle Douglas.  The Laurieston residents shared their tranquil home with over 30 gay men on an exploration of our living, loving and spirituality.  It's been a very powerful week for me, including personal discoveries through the friendship, Vision Quest, rights of passage, intimacy, laughter, illusion of time, saunas, relaxation, meditation, and the joy of living together in Community.


30 May 2003:  Completion of first phase of consultancy support for a major professional chartered institute with the production of a Community: Functional and Management Requirements report.


24 May 2003: 50th anniversary of the opening of the Salving House as a climbing hut by the FRCC, celebrated with a great meal at Rosthwaite.


20/21 May 2003: Online Community Requirements workshop for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in London.


14/15 May 2003: Transforming Youth Work Management training programme for senior youth officers throughout North-West England.


13 May 2003:  Community management workshop for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


9 May 2003:  Fell and Rock Climbing Club Centenary Group takes next steps in planning programme of events for 2006/7.


7/8 May 2003:  Next in the series of Transforming Youth Work Management seminars for senior staff in the West Midlands area, on behalf of FPM and DfES.


1 May 2003: Training with Learning Network facilitators from the Countryside Agency.



17-24 April 2003:  Sunshine, beaches, history and food during a short visit to Catalunya and Barcelona:


12/13 April 2003:  Relaxing weekend with friends at Haltwhistle, Northumberland, visiting the Roman Wall.


2/3 and 7/8 April 2003: Further Transforming Youth Work Management programmes for senior youth service leaders in London, Yorkshire and Humberside on behalf of FPM and DfES.


1 April 2003: Training in the use of Online Meetings technology with the NHS Information Authority.


26/27 March 2003: Transforming Youth Work Management programme for heads of youth service agencies throughout North-West England in Oldham, on behalf of FPM and DfES.



21 March 2003: Spring arrives with over a week of glorious sunshine as a high pressure area settles over the Lakes.


12 March 2003:  I've just added The Joy of Burnout to my selection of good reads.  Subtitled 'How the end of the world can be a new beginning', this has been an insightful and inspirational read over the past few months.


10 March 2003: Official launch of the new Rural Community Gateway website by Allan Wilson, Scottish Executive Minister, at Nairn.  The portal site provides a gateway to online information and networking for people living and working in rural areas throughout Scotland.


5/6 March 2003: Developing and running two Facilitator Conferences for the team of Countryside Agency facilitators running their Learning Networks in London and Cheltenham. 


17-19 February 2003: 'Partners in Success' development programme for Chief Executives and Chairs of Trustees for UK Hospices on behalf of Help the Hospices.


15 February 2003:  Several days of brilliant winter sunshine and freezing temperatures make for excellent conditions on the fells.


12 February 2003:  Training for staff on Genesys Online Conferencing.


5/6 February 2003: Transforming Youth Work Management programme for senior youth officers in Yorkshire and NE England on behalf of FPM and the DfES.


28/29 January 2003: Community Tools Training for SCVO staff undertaking the community management role for the Rural Community Gateway site, operated by Sift on behalf of the Scottish Executive.


27 January 2003:  Negotiation Skills programme for SportScotland staff, followed by a review of the Through the Keyhole board development programme.


25/26 January 2003:  Delivery of the 'Moderning Sport' agenda with the Through the Keyhole programme for the management board of Scottish Badminton in Glasgow.


22/23 January 2003: Transforming Youth Work Management programme for senior youth work managers from the public and voluntary sectors across Yorkshire and NE England.


15 January 2003:  New Module Training day for SiftGroups clients.


31 December 2002:  Fireworks and partying for New Year in Newcastle.


25 December 2002:  Merry Christmas from Keswick.  The weather in Keswick today is shown in this live webcam image from George Fisher of the view north over the town towards Skiddaw:

Webcam View from George Fisher


11/12 December 2002:  Transforming Youth Work Management programme for senior public and voluntary sector staff across North West England.


10 December 2002:  Making best use of the Internet for the Management Development Network. 


2 December 2002:  Another 'win' for SiftGroups; this time to build and operate a Rural Communities Gateway for the Scottish Executive  Rural Affairs Directorate.


1 December 2002:  Keswick's Victorian Fair with a unique performance of a lost episode from the Vicar of Dibley performed by Keswick Street Theatre.


December 2002: A 'Stop' period to allow time for recovery and spiritual growth after a particularly stressful period.  Also being called a 'Holiday at Home'


29 November - 19 January 2003: Alice in Wonderland plays at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake with wonderful costumes and amazing visual jokes; don't miss it.


20/21 November 2002: Delivering Transforming Youth Work Management programme on behalf of FPM for senior public and voluntary sector staff across the South-West.


15/16 November 2002: Through the Keyhole management development programme for the board of the Civil Service Sports Council - the largest membership sports organisation in the UK - held in Chiswick.


14 November 2002:  Sift wins contract to provide Rural Communities Gateway for the Scottish Executive.


13 November 2002:  Annual Dinner and awards ceremony for Keswick Croquet at Portinscale.



9 November 2002:  Surprise 50th Birthday Party for family and friends organised in secret by Alan and Penny and held at Old Windebrowe Tythebarn, Keswick, with celeidh band, food and drinks.  Thanks to all those who came and gave so generously.  Here's the special decorated cake, complete with library books, croquet court, walking boots and Wasdale Head.


8 November 2002:  Launch of several new Learning Networks for the Countryside Agency.


6 November 2002: 'Communities in Practice' conference and seminar for British Council staff running community websites in Moscow, Cairo, Brazil, Belgium, France, Spain and the UK.


4 November 2002: Big 5-0 celebrations !


2 November 2002: Fell and Rock AGM and Dinner approves plans for Centenary in 2006/7.


21-28 October 2002: Visit to New York and Indianopolis, combining business with pleasure.  Highlights include: Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago, Battery Park, Century 21, UN Plaza, St Paul's Church, and the innumerable diners, diners and restaurants.


16 October 2002:  Keswick Street Theatre Players present an open-air performance of Blowing a Gale, a play specially written to celebrate the centenary of the National Trust's purchase of the Brandlehow Estate on the west shore of Derwentwater - the first Lake District acquisition.


11 October 2002: Completion of review of functions and roles for Scottish Canoe Association on behalf of SportScotland.


8 October 2002:  Developing Negotiation Skills course for SportScotland.


31 September - 3 October 2002: Study course on the life, music and musical influences of Benjamin Britten at Higham Hall.  A wonderful week of self-indulgence.  With the enthusiastic tutoring of Joan Burns, these few days have taken us deeply into Peter Grimes, the War Requiem, Serenade for Tenor Horn and Stings, love poems, and much more.  Moving, powerful, emotional, and disturbing: this week for me is a deep exploration of love, guilt, corruption, innocence, pacifism, sexuality, exclusion, devotion, and fulfillment in life.  When combined with some of my current readings on the same themes - particularly the writings for M Scott Peck and Neale Donald Walsch, this is a powerful week.  "There is no such thing as coincidence."


24/25 September 2002: Trainers event for the Transforming Youth Work Management programme run by FPM for the Department for Education and Skills.


17 September 2002:  3rd Communities in Practice conference attracts a record attendance.


15 September 2002: Borrowdale Mallet competition at Keswick Croquet Club won this year by Jim Taylor, with Lewis Garrett as runner-up.


31 August 2002:  Tim Pickles Ventures wins new contract to review organisational structures and staffing for Scottish Canoeing Association.


24-31 August 2002:  Supportive time with close friends exploring relationships, spirituality, living in the present, and personal needs for the future.


23 August 2002:  Sift secures major new contract wins with BT Insight (for community management) and the Millennium Commission (for community building).


18/19 August 2002:  The end of my life as I previously knew it (deliberately enigmatic, but close friends will know to what I'm referring).


14-18 August 2002: Cycling from Inverness to John o'Groats on the Sustrans national cycle network.


29 July 2002: Impressive 9-7 win over Bowden in the NW Croquet Federation league match played at Levens Hall; with five consecutive match wins, short handicap drops from seven to six.


26 July 2002: Win contract to deliver board development programme for Civil Service Sports Council, the largest UK membership sports body.


21 July 2002:  Mum celebrates her 80th birthday with an all day garden party for over 60 guests.


10 July 2002: Sift win major contract with the Countryside Agency to build, host and support up to 60 online Learning Networks over the next five years.  A major part of the contract is the supply of training, coaching and practical 'know-how' to the network facilitators in the effective running of their communities.


4-19 July 2002: Enjoying chianti and pasta amongst the medieval hilltop villages of Tuscany, from Palazzo di Stigliano near Sienna (living in the small tower near the pool!).


1 July 2002:  Completion of "A Matter of Pride: a review of the governance and management of Northern Ireland Hospice Care" on behalf of Help the Hospices.  This major report contains 47 recommendations for the reform of this large hospice organisation, with 360 staff, 1100 volunteers and a budget of £6.5m.


29/30 June 2002: Initial weekend Board Member Development Seminar with directors and staff of Scottish Hockey Union, using the revised 'Through the Keyhole' materials, sponsored by UK Sport.


21 June 2002: Completion of third edition of 'Through the Keyhole' - a board member development programme for governing bodies of sport.


20 June 2002: Publication of new practice guide covering all aspects of online privacy and data protection.


17/18 June 2002: 5th Virtual Communities conference with over 20 sessions on current online developments includes our presentation on Diversifying Community Revenues.


3 June 2002: First performance of this season's Keswick Street Theatre Walk performs to a large and receptive audience.



1 June 2002: Gloriously hot sunshine as we enjoy a champagne picnic in the grounds of Buckingham Palace (with 12,000 other guests) and listen to a feast of classical music, with fireworks, at the 'Prom at the Palace'. Spectacular!


21 May 2002: Seminar for the BT Insight team on the Sift approach to online community building and management.


20 May 2002: After four years of study and several hundred hours of supervised practice, Alan receives formal accreditation and membership of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.


18 May 2002: Interim Recommendations for the future governance and management of Northern Ireland Hospice Care delivered to the client.


27 April 2002: The Ospreys return to Bassenthwaite Lake.  England's first successful breeding pair of Ospreys has returned and can be seen nest-building in Whinlatter forest.


18 April 2002:  Invitations arrive from the draw to attend the Queens Concert 'Prom at the Palace' during the June Jubilee celebrations.


10 April 2002:  Invited to plan and co-ordinate all the celebratory activities and events associated with the Fell and Rock's Centenary throughout 2006-7


29 March - 5 April 2002:  Quick escape to the delights of high level walking in Mallorca at La Reserva de Biniorella.


25 March 2002:  Fixture List published for the 2002 season of Keswick Croquet including Federation, Short, Association, Golf and other matches throughout the North-West.


18 March 2002: New contract to revise and update materials for the Sports Governing Body good governance programme.


14 March 2002: New contracts on behalf of FPM to review the organizational and governance structures of a large hospice organisation for Help the Hospices, and to develop lifelong learning and community development strategies for Leicester City Council .


8 February 2002: Completion of major audit and development report for business client.


28 January 2002:  A busy start to the new year for sales and consulting contracts.


4-18 January 2002:  A fabulous two weeks in the sun exploring the delights of La Gomera with HPB.  The island exceeded our expectation, with an ideal climate, exciting walking, plentiful national parks, and a very relaxed approach to life.