These Words Are My Words



“People will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words.” Khalil Gibran

What would your seven words be?

(1) “Hmmm”

Some might say that this isn’t really a word but I originally had it with an extra “m” and the spell checker suggested hmmm, therefore it must be an actual word, right? I read somewhere once that saying “hmmm” to people when you are unsure of the answer or solution they are looking for puts them at ease, more so than if you just start blurting out words. I can’t remember where I read it or I would share it. Upon trying to use Google just now to find the article I just kept coming up against this. Anyway, wherever I read it, it’s stayed with me and has been quite useful in my job where people expect me to know all the answers, all the time – which I don’t, never will and never want to.

(2) “Stuff”

A fantastic word. I use it a lot when I either can’t think of the correct word to describe something or if I just don’t know – most often the latter.


This is nothing to do with Facebook likes or blog post likes. It’s maybe a bad habit of mine and I use this word too much i.e. “I was, like, I couldn’t believe it and he was like, what did you mean?” But a really good use of this word is as a form of greeting in Aberdeen – prefix it with the word “fit” and you have a fantastic way of saying “hello, how are you” – Fit Like

(4) “Yeah”

Something was pointed out to me a few years ago when I worked with my flatmate. He said I used “yeah” only at work, never at home – at the end of a sentence when I was asking people to carry out tasks for me i.e. “Will you tidy up the stock room, yeah?” It obviously worked as he would tidy up at work but never do his dishes at home. I still use this all the time – it’s like a way of making someone agree to do something without them really realising.

(5) “So” or “To” or “Is”

I use these three words in equal measures so they count as one.  I use them to get people to tell me more information that I don’t know…or should know but I need to make them tell me so it looks like I do know. Say a sentence and end it with one of these words. Follow it up with a pause and a lean in of head. The information will then come pouring from the person…

(6) “Y’know”

Not strictly one word, however, this is my list. I do a lot of presentations and when I watch other people present,  I always look out for words that they use far too much and quite often unnecessarily. I’m guilty of it too but I am conscious of it and try very hard not to do it. Common ones such as “basically”, “obviously” and “okay” are ones that I listen out for and often tally up how many times they are used. These would be the ones that most people spot easily. I’ve recently started using “y’know” in place of those common words as I keep telling myself this word is a “new kid on the block” and nobody has spotted it yet. Perhaps this is not true but I’ll carry on in my misguided ignorance for now. An extra benefit of using “y’now” is it gives me a second or two to think of my next words, or the word I really want to use but need a second to recall it.

(7) “F*ck”

Yes, it’s a profanity but it’s a one of the great swear words. It can be fitted in almost anywhere and can really emphasize anything. Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not a constant swearer and I can judge the time and place that it is acceptable to get my f**ks out. It really annoys me when people get that so wrong. I don’t appreciate people who I have only just met swearing in my presence and I certainly don’t appreciate people swearing in an open office where everyone can hear. Those f**king people can f*ck off – that’s just f**king rude.

(7.1) Should”

I used to say “try that, it should work now” when I already knew 100% that it would work. I’ve learned to be confident in what I am saying so I have removed “should” from my vocabulary and replaced it with words such as “will”, “sure” and “confident”

What about you – what would your seven words be? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014

Super Sense Me

Which of your senses could you give up?

If I had to give up one of my senses then I would only do so if I could not only increase the sensitivity of another but also control it better.

There is no way I would give up sight as there is so much more that I want to, need to, have to see before my eyes close for good. I also already know what it’s like to have this sense increased as I have underwent laser eye surgery and have complete vision without glasses or contacts. I can’t even describe how that feels!

Touch? No, I’m a very tactile person and I love to touch things. I get in trouble when I am in shops or museums as I just have to know what things feel like. Trying to control myself when I see a “do not touch” sign can be very difficult.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's just Steve...

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, sadly – it’s just Steve…

Taste? That’s tricky, sometimes I think I just eat to live rather than live to eat and I’m unsure if not tasting things would bother me too much. Although I have recently been enjoying more spicy food and I think I would miss that.

I would easily give up smell. As I was writing this I was on the bus on the way home from work. There was a man on the bus who obviously works in a fish factory…need I say more? Flowers look nice but I don’t need to smell them to know that. I like nice aftershaves…but that’s more for other people’s benefit. Therefore, easy, you can take away my sense of smell!

It seems we will be messing about with my hearing then so as well as it being super sensitive, I’d like an on/off button and a tuning button please. For example when I don’t want to listen to someone talking about the weather for 2 hours (as they were doing on this very bus) then I can simply switch them off. Equally, if I want to focus on only one sound I can tune in only to that and mute everything else. After all it is getting harder to concentrate the closer to 40 I get…

If you were forced to give up one sense, but gain super-sensitivity in another, which senses would you choose? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014

When I Was A Young Boy I Played With This All The Time

What was your favourite toy when you were young?

When I’m asked what my favourite toy was when I was young I always think back to the same thing. I’m not sure if this was my favorite thing or my most played with but it is the one that always comes to my mind first.

It was called a Gobot Centre and it was a type of space ship. Upon reflection it looks like The Transformer’s poorer cousin

It had four legs so that it could stand up which would then fold down to allow the attached wheels to move it across the floor. Its back opened up to reveal the compartments/rooms inside and there was also had a little lift.

I don’t remember what accessories came with it or what set of toys it belonged to as I just made up my own rules. I had Star Wars figures, Transformers, Lego men, Plasticine people and toy cars all living happily together inside. They would go on all sorts of adventures across the carpets, land upon bed planets and even sometimes attempt to get in the bath – that never ended well, especially for the Plasticine people…

Do I see any connection between that and my life now? Yes – very happy memories when I look at the picture.

What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014


I Like The Way He Moves

Walk On The Wild Side - Original

Take a walk on the wild side

Greg walking along the coast near the lighthouse in Torry, Aberdeen.

It is very rare that Greg will go out walking with me so when he does I make sure I capture the moment.

I started doing a little editing…

I cropped the photo…

Walk On The Wild Side - Cropped

Walk On The Wild Side – Cropped

I then wanted to give the photo a blurry glow and the Sara filter seemed to do this quite well…

Walk On The Wild Side - Sara

Walk On The Wild Side – Sara

Next, I thought a canvas look would look good so I added a canvas fabric overlay…

Walk On The Wild Side - Canvas

Walk On The Wild Side – Canvas

I really wanted to get a 3D boxed canvas effect but spent almost an hour trying to find something that would do it that didn’t involve PhotoShop and I failed at that so then I got a little bit carried away with the effects…

Walk On The Wild Side - Got A Little Bit Carried Away

Walk On The Wild Side – Got A Little Bit Carried Away

All edits were carried out using Pixlr Express.

This post was part of the weekly photo challenge hosted by with the theme On The Move.

“Whether on foot, in a kayak, or on a train, we can document our lives easily. More than ever, the moments of our in-betweens are photo-worthy and shareable…Cheri, Daily Post


Rain & Spiderwebs


What’s the weather like in Scotland?

It’s summer and it’s raining – constantly –  but sometimes it allows us to see amazing achievements…

I captured this one morning before work during a break from the rain. How much work and effort must go into creating this? All that zigging and zagging must take so much skill.

I must admit I’m glad the rain enables us to see them as I usually end up walking into these webs and end up with it all over my face. Not good for me and worse for the poor spider whose work has been ruined.


This post was part of the weekly photo challenge hosted by with the theme ZigZag.

“This week, share a photo that foregoes the straightforward in favor of the twisting and winding..”  Ben, Daily Post

Remember Not To Forget To Breathe


How do you cope under pressure?

Think of a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright. 

It just goes with my job that things don’t go as planned and the s**t goes down always at the least appropriate time. For example, in the middle of a presentation on how to manage email, my Outlook crashes. You know the kind of thing that never ever happens to you until people are watching.

There are lots of ways to deal with this kind of situation and I’m sure everyone has their own coping strategy.

I discovered mine a few years ago and I call it “Rule Of 10”.

Basically, when something is not going quite right i.e. very wrong, use the “Rule Of 10”.

All you need to do is start counting backwards from 10 down to 1 and more often than not the problem decreases in size in line with the numbers.

For example, a computer application goes belly up when you are showing a group of people – start at 10 and, from my experience, it’s fixed itself well before you get to 1 but if it hasn’t it’s given you time to think of an alternative or prepare what to say to “wing it”.

Outwardly calm, inwardly calm.


I apply this everywhere not just at work.

The traffic lights are red when you are late – count from 10 and they are always changed before 1.

Someone in the queue in front of you in the shop is taking ages “rule of 10” it and they’ll be out the door with their shopping bags before you reach 1.

The TV box won’t boot up and your favourite tv show is about to start. 10…..and I’m lying on the sofa before 1.

Try it. It might just save your life. Haha, well, reduce your blood pressure anyway…

What about you? Tell me how you cope under pressure in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014