My New Job Hiring Out Halls

I’ll be honest, at my age I didn’t think that I’d be starting any new jobs.

I thought that I was quite happy carrying on with my little routine, it was simple and just varied enough to keep me interested, but after receiving an offer from a friend who had just reached retiring age I decided to throw in my current lifestyle and trade it in for something a lot more hectic and, dare I say it, interesting!

My new vocation has me travelling all over Somerset.

I’m on the hunt for spaces to hire out for parties, weddings, celebrations – you name it! The business that my friend was running is really quite ingenious. He works off the basis that most publicly hired halls (such as village halls, church halls or school halls) are managed by volunteers who tend to care less about their job as time begins to wear on. He knew this from experience as he’d tried to organise his granddaughter’s birthday party in a village hall, only to find the management surrounding the particular venue was appalling. My mate decided that he could take the responsibility of managing all the public spaces in a given area, thus taking the burden of responsibility off good-natured folk (who were perhaps not best suited for the task) and also making a pretty penny at the same time.

There are dozens of halls for hire near me, all of which I’ve now taken responsibility for which is both an exciting challenge and a serious responsibility. I have keys for all of these venues, as well as a black book containing all of their security alarm codes. Not only do I have to deal with the physical responsibility of having access to these properties, I must keep an eye on a very important phone which serves as the first point of contact for all of these venues. From living a very peaceful existence of meditation and reading, I have now been thrust into an exciting world where my phone is ringing 10 times a day and email enquiries are constantly streaming in – it’s stressful, but fun!

There’s a lot more to this job than I initially thought there was.

Each day I need to reply to any messages that have been sent to me, answering any number of questions about the amenities on offer at one of these halls and consulting a spreadsheet to check the availability. Most people want to take a look around their party venue before they book it, so I often find myself jumping in my car and heading off to a hall to meet some new people and give them the ‘grand tour’. Then there are the actual events to squeeze in too. Sometimes I might be shooting off to several different places in the course of the day, opening up a school hall for a Golden Wedding Anniversary Party in the morning, showing a young couple around potential new reception venues in the afternoon and then setting up a hall for a Murder Mystery Night in the evening.

It’s all rather thrilling and I’m finding myself rather taken with my new occupation!

Have An Idea? Tell The World About It!

The 21st Century truly is a time for dreamers.

I grew up throughout the hazy days of the 60s and 70s in America, at a time when, arguably, the American Dream was all but dead.

The idea that any man or woman with the right idea could simply step up and achieve their dream (which usually involved earning money in some way) was well and truly over. The post-War boom had led to a rather squalid period of stagnation with the Vietnam War playing as a rather grim backing music to my childhood. I never felt that my dreams were unattainable by any stretch, I just didn’t have the same unfailing sense of optimism that I knew my parents had at my age.

I had to graft hard to make a living for myself out here in England and it was mostly through a firm belief in my idea, rather than any all encompassing notion of a ‘dream’, that I managed to succeed in building my idea into a viable business.

In a pre-internet world I managed to spot a niche and fill it with my own business, it’s something that I’m very proud of but this accomplishment is by no means unique.

Thousands of people, just like you and me, come up with good business ideas every year, however there are always a few things that stop them from reaching fruition. For many people it’s not a matter of money or profitability, it’s more of a case of perseverance and time.

The 21st Century has so far been defined by creators and individuals that have essentially come from nowhere.

Whilst Mark Zuckerberg might well have had the good fortune of attending one of the world’s finest educational institutes, he was still driven forward to pursue his Facebook idea on his own steam. His perseverance to complete his project is indicative of the kind of qualities that are absolutely necessary for success in today’s world.

I talk to a lot of my students about their dreams and ambitions, many of them cite starting their own business as one of them. It seems like more and more people are starting to grow restless with the conventional way of making money. Simply turning up, earning your pay then going home doesn’t seem to be enough for the 21st Century person any more.

Today, people want to be their own boss. They want to decide when and where they work. Most of all, they want to see the lion’s share of the money that is made.

In order to achieve their goals they’re using all of the extra-curricular skills that they didn’t learn from school and are ploughing hours of their free time to build projects that are completely their own. Everything from college marketing to social media campaigns are employed by the socially empowered entrepreneurs of tomorrow, as a way of pushing their businesses into the paths of unsuspecting customers.

When it comes to succeeding with your own business, the only thing that is stopping you from achieving your own self-made dream is your own perseverance.

Nestor’s 3 Secrets of Happiness

The 3 Methods that help me sleep easy at night.

As much as helping others get better through the use of music therapy and relaxation techniques is very much a business for me, (God knows I’d probably be destitute without the regular visits that I receive from members of the public) I have no qualms with spreading the knowledge that I have gained over the years with other people online.

In my view, the more people that I can help on a daily basis, the better my spirit will feel. There are so many people out there who are intent on monetising and monopolising ‘happiness’ and the tools that we use to achieve it, that I believe it’s important to offer a certain amount of information out for no charge whatsoever.

In this article, I’m going to run through some of the techniques that I use on a daily basis to maintain my constant level of contentment. All of these skills might not necessarily be of use to you, as each person is different and will react as such to new lifestyle changes. However, if you approach my ideas with an open mind and a good dose of enthusiasm, there’s no reason why you can’t benefit greatly from them.

Music as Therapy

Everybody loves music. I’ve not met a person that doesn’t appreciate music on some level and whilst our tastes can vary greatly, there’s still a huge amount of cathartic relief that we can gain out of listening to certain songs. What many people don’t appreciate about music is the cerebral link that it creates between our memories and their associative emotions. Songs can pull us back to the memories that we love, as well as the ones that we’re not so keen on, thus allowing us a chance to reconcile ourselves with our past actions.

Healthy In-Healthy Out

Anyone who’s met me will know that I’m a little obsessive about what I put in my body. You can chalk it down to the increasingly eccentric behaviour of an older man, or you can see it as one of the ways that I stay happy and content. I’ve already written about my struggle with quitting smoking and how I managed to overcome my addiction, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve got a rather hard line attitude to smoking (and most other recreational drugs). That being said, I believe that every person is different – as long as you stay in control of what is going into your body, you should stay in control of your happiness.

Short Term/Long Term

Part of staying consistently happy and content is understanding where you have come from and where you intend on going. It can be too easy to aimlessly drift through life, with no real goal or sense of purpose. The time in your life can be easily commanded by the hours that you work each week and your responsibilities to your friends and family. Neglect making any long-term plans, such as travelling or developing other skills and you may find that you are somewhat unhappy in later life when you have more time on your side…

Most of all, it’s important that you remain happy within yourself.


Pilton Festival – Healing the Masses

When I tell people that I live in Glastonbury I usually get the same question…

How much do you love the festival?

It’s a question that I never tire of answering. The festival is one of the main reasons why I came to live here in Somerset. Although I’ve been to many music festivals all around the world, it’s true what they say: there’s nothing really quite like Glastonbury.

The festival has been running since 1971, when entry was just £1 a go. 1,500 people gathered at Pilton for the inaugural festival that year meanwhile, over the pond, I was just graduating from high school and setting out on my first travelling experience. Things have changed a bit since those heady days of free love (and cheaper festival tickets), a ticket to Glastonbury Festival now has to be booked nearly 9 months advance in a mad virtual rush and when the full price is paid the punter is left with around a fiver’s change from £230.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is head honcho Micheal Eavis’ approach to offering free tickets to the good people of Pilton and the surrounding areas of Central Somerset. If, like me, you’re lucky enough to live in Pilton itself, then you can benefit from free tickets, once you’ve jumped through the online hoops.

Those living in the other areas of Somerset can buy discounted tickets, including bus travel, for the Sunday of the festival at a reasonable £85. I’ve attended the festival every year that I can, although I’ve not always been completely enamoured by the music line up, the feeling of community spirit and camaraderie is truly unmatched anywhere else on this planet. This year’s festival was no exception.

Whilst many complain about the ever growing commercial aspects to the festival, I personally don’t have an issue with it. After all, it’s to be expected that wherever thousands of people congregate (135,000 attendees were recorded last year) there will always be a contingent of eager businessmen looking to make a quick buck.

Walking through the festival this year I was truly astonished by the variety of food and goods you can purchase here. Everything from designer bobble hats to ponchos made with alpaca fur were on sale this weekend. Should you wish, you could spend hundreds of pounds on shopping alone there – this year though, I was attending to spread my knowledge of meditation and self-healing.

I first brought by particular brand of mindfulness to Glastonbury back in 1998. That year Britain was very much in the grips of guitar-rock. Primal Scream, Blur and Pulp were headlining that year – three bands that would go on to become icons in their own right –  and there was a huge amount of anticipation their sets. As much as people were eager to get out in the sun, drinking and dancing, there was also a sense of foreboding that was tough to get to grips with. It felt like the closer we were getting to the Millennium, the more people were worrying about the future and where it would take them.

I spent my weekend at Glastonbury this year in much the same way that I spent that first one, helping revellers find a way to wind down and relax from within the madness. 

Harnessing Music Into Positive Energy

There’s great potential to encourage happiness using Music…

Despite always having a deep love for music, especially the Rock’n’Roll of the 60s, I’ve never had too much skill with emulating the heroes of my youth.


kid-guitarThe 1960s were a wonderful time for creativity and burgeoning ambition, a time when the American Dream was truly alive and well.

With the rise of blues music, young boys and girls all across the US (and indeed the rest of the world) were beginning to pick up instruments.

They started out playing simple ditties and rhymes that had been developed and popularised by the subjugated African American population, unwittingly passing on the torch for thousands of tortured souls.

I was no different to any of these kids. Although I had little time to hone my musical skills, in between playing Football, studying and hanging out with my friends – I always felt a strong emotional bond to those that played Music.

I cherished the feeling of well being that listening and playing the music encouraged in me. Although my parents didn’t quite understand the intense fascination that I had with bands such as the Animals and the 13th Floor Elevators – they understood the positive effect that music could have on the psyche and never discouraged my exploration of other musical genres.

Although an argument could be made that all Art, in it’s own way, provides us humans with a sense of cathartic relief – I believe there is no more immediate medium that music to achieve this goal.

Literature may well enlighten the mind, but it takes an intense amount of concentration and hours of study. Film is a wonderful distraction, whose lights and sounds can elevate the viewer almost to the state of an out of body experience – but cinematic representations of life can often misconstrue and confuse, rather than provide clarification in times of need. An appreciation for music, however, is hardwired into our very sense of being. The rhythm of even the most simple tune can easily be traced by any person – even a child with no music experience whatsoever.

The effect of music on a single mind is almost hypnotic.


Played in a quiet, slightly darkened room, with little space for distraction – the mind can become one with the notes and rhythm. Given time, all doubt, fear and negativity can slowly be eradicated from the mind, as the tune and beat becomes the only thing that occupies the listener’s conscious thoughts. This is the effect of simply listening to the music, when the listener becomes an active participant in the aural space – that’s when the magic really starts to happen.

It can be as simple as tapping one’s feet or clapping one’s hand – the pure joy that fills the body with becoming one with the music (even in the most minor way) can foster not only a sense of community within groups of people, but help lift sadness and boost self-esteem. I would never claim to be the next Jimi Hendrix (although I’ve probably been playing guitar longer than he ever got the chance to!) however, I’m always happy to offer basic guitar lessons to anyone who may think that they could benefit from it.


Learning to play a musical instrument is an accomplishment that sits on many people’s Bucket List – many feel that it’s simply an unreachable goal – something that they could never really achieve, due to their inherent lack of ‘musical ability’.

The sense of satisfaction and joy that emanates from someone eclipsing their own expectations has to be seen (or felt) to be believed.

Why not give it a try?