Showers pass roadie and skyline trouser review

So today was the first rain for my roadie pants. The brief is quite complicated. Be warm enough to keep me happy in British winters, but breathable enough so the inside is dryer than the outside. Chapeau showers pass. Success on both fronts. The skyline pant is simply a more evolved version of the roadie. Both great to wear on the daily commute and longer runs. Quality construction throughout and the following thoughtful details.
A closed loop wait drawstring. Once you figure out the right knot to use you can relax about losing the ends. A key pocket bug enough for a set of keys. Two flaps that cover you laces. A cut that leaves nothing flapping. All in a quality package.



Why don’t charities tell more stories?

I know why we don’t tell more stories.

Because we have lost the understanding of how powerful stories are. And we’re afraid of being vulnerable, and afraid of sharing the connectedness that telling stories exposes us to.

Let me explain, with a story.

What did your father do in the war has, for my generation, been replaced with what did your Grandfather do in the war. Like most people I’ve got two, both now deceased. They both had two very different war stories, one hated publicly one not given the heroes welcome he was expecting. Much to my disappointment I never heard their stories from them, I gleaned little pieces of history from other family members.

Stories from our family give us meaning, help figure out who we are and where we come from. Maybe we don’t share them often, and especially publicly, because they are precious and important to us, how long do you have know someone before you tell them about the patent fraud criminal in the family (I’ve still not told many people that one).

her’s hoping I can help people reassess the value of their stories, for themselves and for others. When you share something like that you create a bond that is not easily broken.

Grantwriting as storytelling

I like that I write for a living. But as with all wordsmiths the words are the elegant swan like results you see, the bulk of the work is the messy stuff that happens under water.

A few months ago I went on a course on writing better grant applications, ‘Improving your proposals’ not a lot of it was new, but it was very good. what tit did do was remind me of the fiction writing class I took just after I finished my dissertation. ‘start in the middle of the action’ was the overlap phrase that joined the two things, fiction writing and grant writing.

A few months ago my wife announced she had applied to graduate school to study journalism. Being supportive, but knowing nothing about journalism I turned to Amazon.co.uk to see how I could help. Regretfully the book that turned up has helped me much more than her. ‘Telling true stories’ Edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call, it’s a masterful series of tips, hints and explanations by some on the best narrative journalists working today. has told me a lot about grant writing.

Book cover, Telling Trust stories, Mark Kramer and Wendy Call, editors.

The Book, Telling Trust stories, Mark Kramer and Wendy Call, editors.

The whole book lives in that overlap between writing fiction and writing grants, telling tru stories. both have the goal of grasping the attention of the reader; giving them pleasure; amazement, and making them care about the fate of the heros, or villains of the piece.

Reading more of it this morning I stated thinking about the engine of the drama you write about that drives the story. For grant writing I feel it is the decision implicit in every application; will you, dear reader, allow this story to have the happy ending I am trying to depict? it’s a participatory story, the reader, the grant maker, defines the ending.

As for the beginning and the middle that’s up to me. Taking the reader on a journey up the ladder of abstraction. connecting them with the big ideas, the lofty goals that started our charity, and are enshrined in the deeds of trust of the foundation I am writing to.

It’s my job to understand the background, get to know the players and align the facts. That’s were this book is so useful. Written by journalists that specialise in telling true stories, and at it’s heart that’s what grant writing is all about.

I have to find the small, human details that will show them, not tell them,that this is an important story that needs the happy ending only they can provide. It’s make its way on to my book shelf, well pile at the moment , I believe it will earn it’s place there very quickly.