- The rich don’t work for money
- The importance of financial literacy
- Minding Your own business
- Taxes and corporations
- The rich invent money
- The need to work to learn and not to work for money
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a writer. Yet, here I am writing a blog.
Last year was a momentous year, I not only overcame a large professional hurdle of obtaining my accreditation but also a personal one, I began working on my health and fitness levels.
Little did I know, working on my health and fitness also helped focus my mind and helped with my overall mental wellbeing. This day and age, mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject. People are demanding a better work and lifestyle balance.
And so, this blog is about personal perspective.
After such a large chunk of my time became free again, no longer working full-time and over-time with part-time study, I began to feel a little lost. What can I do with my time? Where do I go from here? What’s next? A good friend of mine recommended some literature to read. At first, I will be honest and say, I was ambivalent. I had always seen “Self-help” books as something you read if you were so deep down the rabbit hole you really did need help. Again, this was the same mindset that scoffed at Yoga.
I am very proud to say, I overcame that closed mindedness and not only started becoming a yoga addict but started to read the recommendations. At first, out of curiosity, then I really started to absorb the information and gain a whole new perspective.
The first book I read was “The Richest Man in Babylon”, there was a reason this single book had sold over two million copies. Wow.
This book managed to combine all the previous knowledge I had about finances and focus it. All the advice I had received over my lifetime was now defined and bullet pointed.
“Lo, money is plentiful for those who understand the simple rules of acquisition”
There are 5 laws to gold, follow these laws and you will begin to make your money work for you opposed to you working for money. I’m paraphrasing but:
- 1/10th of all earnings into savings for future purposes
- Find profitable employment (i.e. a role you can grow in)
- Invest your money wisely (take advice from professionals in the correct field)
- Do not invest in businesses which you have not researched.
- Don’t invest if there is too higher risk against your money (i.e. don’t follow advice of tricksters of schemers or invest in liabilities.)
After reading this book, I sat down with my finances and realised; the current role I was in was not profitable, to save 1/10th of my earnings meant I would have to reduce my overall outgoings and finally, I had no investments. So, I began looking for options and ways to change this.
The second book I then read was Miracle Mornings. I am not a morning person, anyone who knows me can tell you that. After reading this book, I woke up earlier, I began my mornings earlier and I felt so much more productive, happier and overall on the ball! Everything was beginning to come into focus.
I began to understand why people loved the mornings so much. The six habits that changed my mornings and perspective:
S – Silence
A – Affirmation
V – Visualise
E – Exercise
R – Read
S – Scribe
I personalised this to follow my own routine:
My mornings begin with 5minutes silence followed by 30-45mintes exercise. I then shower and begin my day.
I recite my personal affirmations, I begin with immediate goals then future aspirations.
On the commute to work I read, 20minutes each way.
I arrive at work 30minutes before my contracted hours, to sit and write. Figure out how my day would pan out followed by further planning on how to achieve my goals.
It sounds like hard work, right? Wrong. Once you have begun your first week like this, it becomes addictive. You then find yourself waking up earlier, brighter and lighter. Becoming more positive, smiling more and achieving so much more in a day than ever before.
The final book which launched me into the next step was “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. I enjoyed this book most of all. It gave me the motivation to fill in the missing pieces. I needed to push myself, find a better role and figure out where my interests truly lied. Like the book stated, I had this voice in the back of my head that continually doubted my desire for change.
“Why change roles when this one is so easy, you really enjoy working with the people, yes the work might not be great but what happens if you move to a different role, you don’t like the people, the work is too hard?” – I shot down the voices and began altering my perspective once more.
So, what if the new role was hard, it’s a challenge!
“do one thing everyday that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt
After overcoming such a professional hurdle, and then gaining so much time back I began to feel a lot of anxiety. As if I had to fill every waking moment with something or I would be wasting time. The anxiety then filtered into social situations, I felt an unbearable weight when walking into an unknown situation. I then recited “feel the fear and do it anyway”, repeatedly until I felt slightly calmer and then threw myself at the situation until there was no longer fear.
Suffice to say, I have now got a new role, new perspective, and I have not said “no” or “flaked” out on a single situation because of anxiety. My calendar is filled with events, new experiences, new possibilities.
Sometimes we just need a little perspective on a situation.
“Making architectural moments”Dirk Sommers, Barbican, Architecture on Stage by The Architecture Foundation
I recently attended a lecture given by Bovenbouw’s Dirk Sommers. Bovenbouw is an Architectural Practice base in Antwerp which makes architecture that can be itself, freed from the compulsive desire to be avant-garde.
Dirk Sommers, the founder and director of Bovenbouw regularly publishes books and gives lectures on topics such as tectonics, representation and urban architecture.
The lecture I attended was discussing “Form and Figure”, how the facade needs to be legible and conveyed internally. The lecture covered a range of projects by Bovenbouw but finished on one unique project which features heavily in Bovenbouw Architectuur: Living the Exotic Everyday, (the book was published for the exhibition The House of The Explorer).
The lecture spoke about capturing the character featured on the façade and creating architectural moments throughout the reconfigured and internally restored building. Each room had a main focus or framed focus. It created a journey from room to room and was a truly inspiring project to be walked through step by step.
The practice, unlike many I have worked for, utilises concept models and experiments with light, texture, materiality and form in different mediums. Even the use of cut brick spliced against blockwork had a remarkable effect, adjusting focus and perception of space.
It is safe to say, after leaving the lecture, I immediately looked up the book and purchased a copy. Watch this space, once I have read the book at least five times, I will provide a sneak preview for you all to assess if you too, wish to purchase the book!
Gluten free style…
Being gluten intolerant really does put a large strain on baking. It’s surprising the amount of alternatives which are required to look and taste equivalent to a normal gingerbread cookie.
So, the best gluten free recipe out there! Which tastes better than a normal one!
Ingredients – Gingerbread
- 225g (9oz) gluten free plain flour
- 100g (4oz) golden caster sugar
- 100g (4oz) Butter
- 5 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 300g royal icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons warm water
Tip – Royal icing sugar contains egg white powder which solidifies and helps when you’re trying to decorate – Worked this out the hard way…
- Preheat the over 150 degrees
- Mix flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl
- Rub in butter forming a breadcrumb-like mixture
- Mix syrup with the hot water and then add to the main breadcrumb-ike mixture
- Roll into a ball using your hands and flatten onto a clean surface, approx. 1cm thick.
- Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter
- Place onto greesed baking tray leaving approx. 1inch apart. Bake 15-20minutes.
- Once golden brown – leave on cooling tray for 45minutes before mixing the icing together and decorating your cookies!
It has been a fantastic year, and what a brilliant way to end it.
This year, like so many before it, has been filled with ups and downs.
This year I became an accredited Architect, it was the start of StudioFAFF, and it’s blog. Not to mention the start of a new role in January 2020.
To finish off the year, I decided to participate in the Gingerbread City 2019 competition collaborating with fellow colleagues in architecture. Our brief was to design a typical London-Style residential refurbishment on a separate island plot.
Primarily located near the Thames, inspiration was not hard to find.
We drew inspiration from the Thames-side dockland factory buildings and Shad Thames to recreate the London style. Adding on features such as floor ties, balconies and old cranes still visible today, the concept began to evolve.
Our brief was to incorporate sustainability to the design. Our refurbished dockland building hosted an airspace development consisting of an urban greenhouse, utilising the natural daylight and orientation.
The whole project took a lot longer than originally anticipated, after 3 or 4 batch gingerbread bakes we finally got the consistency and texture we wanted. Each bake we experimented with details, such as brickwork, Candy Cane glasswork and roofing structure.
Overall, it was a really fun experience, and once we got the hard part (the frame) completed, the detailing of the landscaping and scene settings was where our creativity could really go nuts. Our gingerbread men were staged in a snowball fighting whilst making snow angels off the jelly bean path next to a rather angry snowman… this was not intended but rather a happy accident!
On reflection… It is safe to say I cannot be trusted with sugar supplies. Regarding budgets, always account for twice the amount of sweets…
If you want to hear more behind the scenes tips and information by all means click the link below!
As 2019 draws to an end, its an important time to reflect and reassess.
Throughout the construction industry, Architects have declared a climate emergency. An 11 point declaration has been signed by 811 architecture practices all vowing to collaborate, raise awareness and share knowledge to tackle the current crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.
Architects Declare have recently issued a statement highlighting the proposed Part L 2020 was a regression opposed to progression, during a period when it is most desperately needed, adding that it was vital architects make their voices heard.
In response to raising awareness of climatic breakdown and biodiversity loss, the RIBA committee has issued a challenge – RIBA Climate Change 2030. Again, encompassing the key actions required to tackle the climate crises. https://www.architecture.com/about/policy/climate-action
Not only Architects Declare #architectsdeclare but further organisations have formed – Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN). https://www.architectscan.org/home
The AJ issued an article https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/opinion/three-things-architecture-practices-can-do-immediately-to-help-combat-climate-change/10045563.article?blocktitle=Comment&contentID=13641 urging architects to take the first small step towards a brighter future.
There is no Planet B.
I urge you all to reassess the importance of sustainability. To aid in this process, the RIBA has created a document which I highly recommend we all begin to use as the first port of reference.
“The fundamental aim of RIBA Sustainable Outcomes is to distil the complexity of sustainable architectural design into a set of measurable and manageable outcomes that architectural practices can use on a daily basis on projects of all scales.”