Online Learning Courses, New Year, New Cause, Udemy & New You?

Online learning courses - photo leaping from 2017 to 2018
Wishing you a Happy New Year – 2018
I’m quite excited tonight… New Year and all that… I’m a bit of a collector of online learning courses… as well as currently halfway through my hons year of a degree. 

Stepping Stones

The reason I mention online learning courses is because over the last few years, by purchasing one for Microsoft Office, it encouraged me to steady concentration enough to ‘think’ and stop some of my silly ‘self-doubt’… after ‘two of the big life changes’ that came my way 2013.

Prior to this over the years I have used SAMS Teach Yourself  xhtml and css in 24 hours, books and volunteer webpages giving tips, alongside World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)  standards to validate my studious hours of coding in Notepad with great satisfaction and pride.

I had self-taught skills dating back to 1997, when I became the proud owner of a 40mb hard-drive home computer. The technological and digital world has changed vastly over the period 1995 – now. I had started off with a ‘state of the art’  5 interchangeable daisywheel, A3 electronic typewriter!  You could change font?  Wow!

Nowadays, young people would be hard pressed to know what a daisywheel is. Now it is rare for anyone not to have access to computer, laptop, tablet, and ultimately SMART phones.

My online course then took me round the corner to the local adult flexible learning unit/community centre and two ECDL’s successfully completed with great marks.  And that… after one year gave me the confidence to go to the open day at my local college. Thinking on more Office software type admin skills to instead, jump in the deep end of 3rd year of a degree.

So, little steps that can lead you to big mountains and knowledge, always, always brings you a sense of growth.

Online Learning Courses, New Year & Udemy

Why I’m writing tonight? Udemy … these courses are peanuts to buy and I saw one on sale today via a newsletter which will endorse a lot of what I have encountered this last academic year – some grounding and a great deal more towards successfully understanding more about what my potential clients/customers need in the way of support. How to provide an even better customer experience.

Udemy, GoRaise & Spider-ede Appeal

The most important surprise for me though is that… Udemy supports GoRaise – THE SPIDER-EDE APPEAL. I added this App to my browser just before Christmas when I heard that my kind and helpful friends (who have given me so much guidance with my web designing skills) David and Sarah’s little grand niece had been struggling with headaches and possible diagnosis of DIPG. They are trying to raise awareness and help Edie journey across to Mexico to receive the life-saving, pioneering treatment that is available there.
When I made my tiny purchase, Udemy gave £1.75 towards their cause. That thrills me, because, I get to learn, the person who compiles the course gets a customer who may wish to buy more courses (this is my second by this instructor) and more than anything, I get to help a little towards Edie’s treatment.

New Year, New You!

 I know, I will continue to enjoy learning new skills, and a better understanding about how the world ticks, and how I tick. I want to wish you all a wonderful journey through 2018 and hope that maybe my blog item does not come across so much as an advert or an appeal, I know you all have your favourite causes, but more, you catch my excitement; it might offer you the opportunity to enjoy a browse on some of the things you might want to explore more, such as a hobby, interest or skill.


Who knows what road you may take up after this? Whatever it may be, have fun!  And if it also inspires you to add the ‘GoRaise’ App to your browser to help Edie or knowing that what you buy helps others, even better!

Happy New Year!

One Small Step…

Red MoonKyle-Greenwell-Flickr-Creative-Commons, all rights attributed to original artist and used with kind permission
Red Moon – Taken on Winter Solstice (21.12.2010) Nikkorz Flickr stream – all rights attributed to original artist and used under kind permission – Creative Commons licence

This day in history…
20th July, 1969,
“At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home:
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.”

However, Snopes, reports that Neil, his one incredible opportunity, which, incidentally I grew up believing he just came out with it, flubs his well rehearsed opening one liner.

In my mind when I was looking at events in history or in the present moment to inspire my writing today, as I take ‘one small step back’ into ‘business life’ and joining in, and I focused in on this, and I remembered watching with my family and thinking, wow, 240,000 miles from Earth and we can receive a transmission… wow, human beings travelled that distance and landed on my moon, they survived, they flew that thing! This is incredible. So many things, other than, did he get it right?

Now I wonder, how many hours did he sit there thinking, must get this right, I’m on soon, this is my moment to impress the world, this is MY moment, where’s my business card? Did we forget to bring the flag? (No pressure, Neil!)

It would be really wonderful if we saw the likes of something as significant and awe inspiring as the Moon landing in our history again. But let’s bring it down to a local level. Each and every day we as individuals are given opportunities to make ‘one small step’, and I’m pretty sure, I’m much like any of you, wanting to rehearse and get it right. At the end of the day though, I miss many opportunities because of this need to be perfect, I simply end up turning back round and walking away. Now, I guess, Neil couldn’t really do that. Well, I suppose he could have bottled out and said, Buzz, you do it, I’ve got stage fright. Nahhh. What’s important is that Neil, went down those steps to enjoy the first walk on the moon and say what he did.

I know if it were me, I’d be busy making sure my hair was just right (for me – it’s never right, as in ‘just right’). I’d be tottering on those steps scared I’d fall off, like a catwalk model just doing the final twirl and awkwardly falling over the side of my badly placed heel. I’d probably want to take a ‘selfie’ and post it on Facebook. What would I say? I’d probably cry a little, giggle a lot, definitely want to say something so astounding I could see heads nodding in approval, and more than likely I’d just say. Wow, gosh, oh my! And I’d definitely be ‘miffed’ I forgot to sing a song.

So as I sit here today, supposed to be thinking about, how do I sell myself to you? I am instead thinking, here I am, hello again, I hope today brings you good moments, small steps and a sense of opportunity around every corner. No rehearsing necessary.

By the way, I’d love to help you out on that journey, whether it be providing you with a CV, typing your first novel, audio transcribing your interviews/conferences, updating your website/blog/Facebook presence, phoning your prospective clients and booking an appointment, maintaining a diary, emailing on your behalf and so many other services, please, do get in touch.

I have now relocated to Cardenden, I am still able to provide you with the very best service, remotely worldwide, and within Fife/Edinburgh region for as many or as little hours as you require. Please check out my new website,, this is my Small Step. I will now be expanding the Business Card Web Directory to Fife rather than only Dunfermline (It’s still very much a project in hand that got put on the back burner while life showed me how to become an expert trapeze artist juggling eggs with one hand tied behind my back – no, I’m sorry, you can’t hire me to do this for you). If you wish to include your Business Card, again, please get in touch.

I look forward to many new ventures from the beginning of August and will be updating this page with offers from time to time.

Out of System Resources…

This was my status yesterday, out of waking from a hugely intensive dream! And, a pondering on two nights prior when I received this message in the wee hours of the morning and Google Chrome gave up the ghost.

The Dream…

It was a cross between Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and Alice In Wonderland, if you may.

Once again, I wake up late and tired, daughter is getting herself ready for her new school (the old one I went to) she’s running late and telling me I’m useless – she looks like someone I know, but she’s not my daughter – she’s a teacher, masquerading.

I pull myself together and follow her out the door, concerned as she’s never been this way before, it’s a long walk and I want to make sure she is alright… she walks too fast.

Soon it is apparent that she’s taken another route from what I would do, and I feel very lost when I try to catch her up… the trees cover the pathway shading the light overhead. I am so aware of being late. I see a bus and stop it and get on. As I do so, it dawns on me that actually, we’re not far from the school, just ahead of it, and I don’t really want to be on this bus. I paid £1.53 as well! And I get off at the next stop and try to backtrack. I see my daughter up ahead. The white railings of a tall modern comprehensive school’s gates… teenagers playing football in an adjoining park.

I’m not quite sure what happens next, but suddenly… we are together – with my other daughter and diverted. It is as though we are at the top of tall pine trees and we see this massive iced white cake. A sort of art exhibition – marked “New World”, and we enter… we are walking for miles, we have somehow missed the school and end up way over by the hills, but by the sea. It is quaint, and quiet, I feel sure I’ve been this way in a dream before. The buildings are those you’d expect in a small fishing village, craft shops, flowers, feelings of touristy attractions in their windows beckoning us in.

There is a highway – that’s not right! We try to look at road signs that might lead us back to where we want to be, but, they are names of places we’ve never heard of, and we’ve no idea where we are now…

We turn round and climb some steps (you have to almost crawl as there is very little headroom) and at the top, there are huge rocks with barnacles on them, sort of more like bells, dark black – and they sing, and the people (men) sing with them, a sort of hum in honour of these spectacular monuments of time.

We turn and go up some stone steps. It is like a mini supermarket – craft shopping mall – very, very different from anything I’ve ever entered before in my life – it is underground. Beautiful clothes of a different age or time, one that we haven’t yet met, not the past. Up the stairs there is this large mannequin type doll person, who ‘watches’ us. Her head turns slowly and she says nothing, but she feels my tension and unsurety, and she nods in a disagreeing, warning but agreeing way, as if to say, no, you are right, don’t go there.

We enter a room, and it is slightly dark, in the shadows, waxwork grannies jump out and come alive, pointing and hushing us, as we pass quickly, further – knitted animals do the same. It was very frightening and we can’t wait to get out again.

Sarah says we should go up this ladder – iron rope steps. I am unsure about this, it doesn’t feel like a place the public are meant to go. We go anyhow. Up the top the iron ropes change to tie-dyed, weaved ladders like the kind that cross a gorge – not too much between you and the end of the world. I feel myself fall, I see nothing under my feet, but I land on what is now, tyres upright – a new path. Someone near me tells me not to worry, we are still on the aeroplane, remember? We cannot get hurt, we cannot fall, we are safe, it is all an illusion. But, I’m grabbing another rope and manage to get myself up safe.

Terrified, I realise, I have lost my daughters. I may never see them again, but I’m clinging onto the man’s words of it all being an illusion and we will get back together. There are lots of people on this journey – all going in different directions. The path keeps changing – it becomes a plum velvet carpet with tables and teapots – we are on an elevator going up – somewhere? It turns into wood again – bare brown trees. I look at my mobile, and see it is asking me to play games I’ve never heard of, and the people around me, laugh with me. Then it dawns on us that I could try and contact my daughters with my phone? Not to give up hope. I still feel panic that we will never be reunited, we feel so far away from each other, not just distance but years.

I never got to the top of the elevator. I woke! Shaken and my arm hurt. It was good to realise I had been dreaming, but still, very scary.

The Logic…

1) The wandering around in strange places that are quaint – the day before I’d talked with friends about places in Scotland, Menstrie, Pitlochry…

2) The cake, exhibition and the weird, vivid colours… I’d been sorting books, very, very quickly. Art books, massive – full of Surrealistic images – I flicked the pages very fast…

3) The elevator with the plum carpet and tables set with white table cloth and teapots? The wedding I am planning to go to.

4) Feelings of being lost and on a journey – the holiday I plan to take, familiar places down South where I went to school…

5) The scary mannequin doll person? Johanna had been telling me about the new XBox with the camera, you can never switch off as the console will not work without it on, Big Brother action.

6) The wax grannies? We plan to visit Madame Tussaud’s – the knitted animals? Canopy Woods – exhibition of knitted life 🙂

There are many, many other associations I could probably come up with connecting my ‘awake’ moments with my ‘asleep’ moments – the state of dream.

I think one of the most important one’s for me though was the reassurance from a stranger that, no matter what happens, I cannot get hurt – I am on a steady journey. It is true with my actual life, I am going through so many changes all at once, so many that it is hard to manage time and know how to focus. BUT… it will turn out all right. Nothing I go through with all this will harm me, the plane is still on track, but taking a scenic route.

The dream is just my brain – much like my computer – and I was just – out of system resources, temporarily. I needed to defragment myself, and put all my files in order – so that I could find them again when needed. There is a danger of burnout, and maybe I do need more ram, I am a bit outdated! 😀

Again, a day late – this is day two of my blog exercise. “Write a list post?”