Welcome to Oz's Blog About Andy Osborne
Recent Posts Categories All Posts Tip of the Month
Oz's Business Continuity Blog 

Oz's Blog

Chicken food

Caution - this blog contains scenes of gratuitous violence and may be unsuitable for children and vegans. It’s also my longest blog yet, overtaking the previous record-holder, '(Bitten to) death in Venice' by over 600 words, so if you decide ...

Read More

Be prepared

These days pretty much  every news item, blog, tweet, report, article, paper, marketing email and blatant sales pitch seems to have a COVID-19 slant. Which is hardly surprising really. But, if you're anything like me - in which case you ...

Read More

One flew over the chicken’s nest

I started writing this blog a few weeks ago, when the level of Coronavirus-related selfishness and stupidity was nearing epic proportions. It turned into a fairly substantial rant, even by my standards, on such topics as the ridiculous level of ...

Read More

The wood from the trees (or, more accurately, the trees from the wood)

Just before Christmas, my chainsaw (see ‘Boys' toys’ and 'No jacket required’) made one of its increasingly infrequent appearances. It doesn’t come out to play very often, but Christmas is one of the rare occasions when it does, as it ...

Read More

Judgement day

The last few weeks have been quite busy - and, at times, a teeny bit stressful. I’ve prepared and facilitated four crisis management  and business recovery exercises (two of which included actors and journalists and mock TV and radio news ...

Read More

It’s about time (2)

During a recent, admittedly somewhat one-sided, conversation with Barney (see '20/20 hindsight', 'Not what it seems', 'Horses for courses' and 'Paws for thought', amongst other previous blogs), after a couple of glasses of wine, I have to confess, it struck ...

Read More

Oh dear diary

A couple of blogs ago (see ‘It’s all geek to me’) I mentioned the fact that I’m not, shall we say, totally wedded to technology, at least not for technology’s sake. In that blog I also mentioned that I’m an aficionado of ...

Read More

A deep and meaningful experience

Last week I was subjected to a torture session masquerading as physiotherapy, to help treat yet another sport-related ailment (see 'Eye eye captain', 'Going head to head' and 'A toe-curling tale'). This time it's a condition called plantar fasciitis, which, ...

Read More

It’s all geek to me

A friend of mine has, on more than one occasion, and somewhat unfairly in my opinion, accused me of being a Luddite. It's not that I have anything against technology per se and, unlike the original Luddites, I have no particular desire ...

Read More

A bird in the hand

Last year I had ‘one of those’ train journeys. I suppose it’s only to be expected when you’re travelling on a third world rail system. Like the one we have in the UK, for instance. Many of you will, I'm sure, have ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 8

I recently spent a week in Sofia in Bulgaria, with a colleague, helping a client with some business continuity exercises and tests. The work went fine and, as expected, an assortment of successes, gaps, suggested improvements and follow-up actions were identified. ...

Read More

The skiing bug

Seasoned readers of my blog will know that the Osbornes are keen skiers (see 'A white Christmas', 'Ski boots and celery', 'Piste again' and 'Snow bother'). We recently spent a week in Cortina D'Ampezzo, in the Italian Dolomites, with some friends, ...

Read More

Baggage allowance

I've just returned from a trip to the dentist. Not one of my favourite outings at the best of times, for reasons which I'll come to, but it had to be done. It started with a bit of tenderness in one ...

Read More

A key issue

Returning home from a recent client visit, I arrived, after a long, tiring drive, to find that I couldn't open my front door. Whilst previous occurrences were due to me forgetting to take my door key with me, I had ...

Read More

Enough is enough

A chap I know likes cars. "Likes" is, in fact, a massive understatement - he's fanatical about them. And he particularly loves having a new one to play with, which is quite a regular occurrence, because he changes his cars ...

Read More

It’s about time

I can't believe it's already more than a month since the Easter weekend, the subject of this blog. As so often happens, I started writing it shortly after the event, but then other priorities conspired to prevent, or at least ...

Read More

Viva Las Vegas, part 4

Despite waking again at three in the morning due to my body clock still being up the Swanny, day two of the conference went fine. The presentations were interesting and informative and I only suffered a couple of relatively minor ...

Read More

Viva Las Vegas, part 3

It would appear that my body clock has gone a bit haywire. Yesterday was quite a long day. By the time I got to the ironing episode (see 'Viva Las Vegas, part 2') I'd been up for almost nineteen hours, which ...

Read More

Viva Las Vegas, part 2

Well, here I am in Vegas after a long, slightly delayed but otherwise uneventful flight. After the standard cheery greeting at border control I wandered out into the Nevada sunshine and got a taxi to my hotel. The driver asked what ...

Read More

Viva Las Vegas

I've never been to Las Vegas. I'm going there soon and I'm really quite excited at the prospect. Not because I'm a gambler, I hasten to add. I have been known to buy the occasional lottery ticket and enter the office Grand National ...

Read More

Snow bother

The Osborne family has recently returned from a skiing trip in France, our first in four years (see 'Piste again'). Actually, for family, read family plus one, as this year we were joined by our lodger, AKA number two son's ...

Read More

If proof were needed

This is a very difficult blog for me to write and it pains me to do so, but some of you have been with me for several years now so I feel able to confide in you. I'm devastated. And the reason is ...

Read More

Ear ear

I spent much of my time over the past few weeks in my own little world, largely oblivious to everything going on around me. No change there, some might say, but on this occasion I have an excuse. A small problem ...

Read More

What’s up doc?

I recently had the misfortune to have to book a doctor's appointment. Nothing serious, I hasten to add, just a minor ear-related inconvenience, but it did warrant seeing someone slightly more medically qualified than the one current and one lapsed ...

Read More

Going off the rails

I started writing this blog absolutely ages ago, as a continuation of the story in ‘Time off in loo’. I've just stumbled across it languishing forgotten and forlorn in my drafts folder, so I thought I should do the decent ...

Read More

Singularly unsuccessful

I write this blog with a heavy heart. Regrettably I have to inform you that the sock situation at Chez Oz (see 'The odd problem') has, after an all-too-brief respite, suffered something of a relapse. In fact, it's taken a ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 7

I do a fair amount of travelling. It goes with the turf really, particularly as Evesham, where I live, being somewhat rural, isn't exactly a hotbed of business continuity consultancy opportunity. Much of that travelling takes place in my car. Most of ...

Read More

Good enough?

Back in December I bemoaned the fact that I hadn't posted many blogs recently, claiming that I planned to address that particular issue in the new year (see 'Eye eye captain'). Since then I've posted the impressive total of two ...

Read More

Forget it!

With increasing regularity these days I seem to find myself asking the question "why am I here?". Not in any deep, philosophical way, I hasten to add; rather when I've gone from one room to another then can't remember why. ...

Read More

Time off in loo

My favourite room at Chez Oz at the moment is the downstairs cloakroom (I refrained from using the word loo, as in the title, lest you think me common). I've spent a serious amount of time in there recently. Not ...

Read More

Eye eye captain

Last Saturday was not one of my better days. Regular readers of my blogs (which, I have to admit, haven't been particularly regular lately, something I plan to address in the new year) will know that my chosen winter sport is ...

Read More

A cracking story (part 1)

A few weeks ago the powers that be decided it would be a good idea to re-surface the main road that runs from the village where I live to just about anywhere I want to go. This was a good ...

Read More

Who cares?

You may be surprised to hear this (unless, of course, you've been a reader of my blogs for a while or are a member of my family) but I'm possibly not the world's most tolerant person. Particularly in the face of ...

Read More

The odd problem

I have a drawer where my socks live when they're off-duty. Doubtless some of you reading this have a sock drawer too. And, like mine, yours probably contains the odd odd sock. There are, at any given time, up to ten ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 6 (part 2)

A couple of blogs ago I wrote about a trip to Oman (see "The ramblings of a travelling consultant episode 6, part 1") and a couple of minor glitches I experienced while I was there. I promised to finish the ...

Read More

Why testing and exercising are essential for an effective business continuity programme

This is a tale from the mists of time; from days of yore when it was difficult to get people interested in business continuity management and even more difficult to secure their involvement in exercises and tests (OK, in fairness, ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 6 (part 1)

Long time no blog! I've been a bit of a busy boy recently, with one thing and another and, as a result, I'm afraid I haven't had much time to indulge my blogging habit. I've half-written a few but haven't ...

Read More

“What’s the damage?”

They say that pride comes before a fall so perhaps I only have myself to blame. In my last blog I expressed my pleasure at taking delivery of a shiny new car (see "Pressure tested"), and very nice it is too. ...

Read More

Pressure tested

A few weeks ago I took delivery of a shiny new car. So you don't think I'm showing off, or that I've won the lottery, I should perhaps explain that the previous vehicle was well over four years old and had ...

Read More

Oz’s ice bucket challenge

As you may know (if not, have a squint at 'An icy crisis' and 'Water, water everywhere (part 2)') I'm a big fan of ice cubes. I do, however, prefer them floating in a glass of gin and tonic rather than in ...

Read More

A long and winding road

If you've been reading my blogs for a while you may recall one I wrote a while ago ("Keeping it together") about my younger son's hockey goalkeeping exploits and the fact that he was hoping for selection to the under ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 5

Yesterday morning I did a remarkably silly thing. Something I hadn't done in almost seventeen years as the proverbial travelling consultant. Yesterday morning I went to London. No, that's not the silly thing - I go to London quite often and ...

Read More

Is it just me? (part 2)

Is it just me? Is it really? In a scene somewhat reminiscent of the supermarket painkillers fiasco (see "Is it just me (part 1)") I recently attempted something equally ridiculous - I called my dentist to book an appointment. Yes, it ...

Read More

The best laid plans

I spent last weekend in Wales, at the world-famous annual golfing event, the Abersoch Open. There's a blow-by-blow account in my previous blog "@TheAbersoch" so I won't repeat too much of it here.Suffice it to say that it was just about ...

Read More

@TheAbersoch

'The time has come', the Walrus said, 'to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing-wax; of cabbages and kings...' (Lewis Carroll)...and, because it's that time of year again, of the general nonsense that surrounds the Abersoch Open.I can't ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 4 (part 2)

After the day I'd had (see part 1) I thought things could only get better. Silly me. Unfortunately real life's not always that considerate and it clearly has a sense of humour, if a somewhat warped one. Suffice it to say that they ...

Read More

Counting the cost of consultancy support

Pre(r)amble Before I start I feel I should make two important points : 1) If you're expecting a serious, academic blog containing a reasoned argument backed up by empirical evidence, you've come to the wrong place; 2) I was asked to write 500 ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 4 (part 1)

Yesterday was one of those days. In fact it was about four of those days rolled into one! It started at precisely 4.09am when I was rudely awakened by a loud but unintelligible shout from Mrs Oz who, as it turned out, was ...

Read More

From blog to book

On Wednesday I wrote a book. Now, before I get picked up on a technicality by someone in the know,  I have to admit that it was actually a few Wednesdays ago, but I've only just got round to posting this ...

Read More

Christmas competition answers

Well done to everyone who entered my Christmas competition. It was a close-run thing, but congratulations go to Penny in London, who won the first prize of a year's subscription to Audible (audio books), and to Christine in Ashby and Denise in Birmingham, who ...

Read More

The long and short of it

In our family there's a phenomenon known as the "Thomas goodbye". Thomas is Mrs Oz's maiden name and the Thomas goodbye pretty much applies to everyone on that side of the family, whether or not they've changed their surnames through ...

Read More

Christmas competition 2013

Christmas comes but once a year, and so does my Christmas competition. This year's fabulous prizes are a years's subscription to Audible (giving the winner twelve free audio books) and copies of my new e-book, a compendium of my blogs to date (which ...

Read More

Tales from the Abersoch Open 2013

Well, a promise is a promise, so here it is at last. The long wait is finally over. If you didn't read my last blog you'll no doubt be wondering what on earth I'm on about so, just for you, I'll summarise...Back ...

Read More

An Open question

I've come in for a bit of stick recently from some of my readers. It was fully deserved, admittedly, but a bit unexpected nevertheless. Nothing terrible, I hasten to add, it's just that questions have been asked. Interestingly, it wasn't ...

Read More

Delving into the depths

Following the recent departure of number one son to Manchester (see “University challenge”), on Sunday afternoon I decided to address a small issue that's been troubling me for a while. For several years, in fact. When I say troubling, I ...

Read More

University challenge

A couple of weeks ago we reached a significant milestone in the Oz family history, when we transported number one son (number one as in the sequence in which they arrived, as opposed to any order of preference, I hasten ...

Read More

Never work with children or animals…or technology

The other day I attended a meeting of a local business continuity forum. It was a very well run, very interesting meeting - the latter despite the fact that one of the topics was business interruption insurance, living proof that any ...

Read More

The comfort factor

I'd just about come to terms with the (sometimes literally) painful realisation that I've reached middle age, despite my various attempts to fight its insidious approach (see "Mid-life crisis management", "Going head-to-head" and "Fit for nothing"). A few weeks ago, however, ...

Read More

A picture of professionalism

As you may be aware - particularly if I, or my co-conspirators, bombarded you with information about it in my shameless quest for votes - I was recently nominated for an award.I feel duty bound to tell you that it was ...

Read More

Open season

Hooray! I'm not usually given to bouts of unfettered glee, but just occasionally one has to make an exception. And the thing that's got me all worked up is the time of year. Yes, it's time for the world-famous Abersoch ...

Read More

Water, water everywhere (part 2)

I started to write this blog some time ago, but I didn't get around to posting it, or finishing it for that matter, because it was overtaken by my blog about some other watery exploits. Which, as it happens, also ...

Read More

A bumpy landing

I've just finished doing one of those straightforward "I'll knock that off in a day or two" type jobs. It only took me seven days. Over a period of four and a half weeks. The last stint used up pretty ...

Read More

In cyberspace, no-one can hear you scream (or snore)

 On Friday I presented a webinar, on scenario-based exercising, as part of the Business Continuity Institute's Business Continuity Awareness Week. And I have to tell you, it was one of the most nerve-wracking things I've done for a long time.Which ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 3

Last week I paid, quite literally, a flying visit to Dublin to meet a prospective client. The trip presented me with two opportunities. First and foremost, the possibility of some new business, but also the rare opportunity to sample "the ...

Read More

Is it just me? (part 1)

I've not long returned from a trip to the supermarket. Not my favourite activity at the best of times, I have to say, but I usually manage to get through it without having to have an argument. Sadly, not today. It ...

Read More

Piste again

As is the Oz family's wont - in a tradition going back as far as, let me see now, oh yes, the Christmas before last - we spent Christmas skiing. So, whilst a number of my readers were sweating over ...

Read More

Christmas competition – and the winner is…

A somewhat belated happy new year!The Christmas competition draw has taken place (ably assisted once again by Barney the spaniel) and the winners have been notified. A shiny new Kindle Fire is currently winging its way to the winner, Ed in Manchester ...

Read More

Christmas competition (the questions)

It’s competition time!The fabulous prizes this year are a Kindle Fire for the winner and one of my books each for two runners-up. Quite similar to last year, admittedly but, nevertheless, still fabulous!As you may already know if you've read the prelude, the ...

Read More

Christmas competition (prelude)

It's almost that time of year again and, due to the success of last year's Christmas competition I've decided to do it again this year. Interested? Excited even? Then read on...The lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire! Runners-up will ...

Read More

Going head-to-head

Warning : this blog contains bad language, violent scenes and images that some may find distressing. Particularly me and Mrs Oz!I'm starting to get a bit racked off now. I realise and fully accept that with the amount of hockey ...

Read More

Water, water everywhere

It's been an interesting few days. If I had to sum them up in one word, I think that word would be "watery". Let me explain why.Large parts of the UK have experienced wet weather for a couple of weeks ...

Read More

Keeping it together

Warning, self-indulgent blog approaching!I spent three days last week traveling to and from Cannock in Staffordshire, a round trip of well over a hundred miles, to sit in the cold and the wet and bite my fingernails to the quick. ...

Read More

20/20 hindsight

Barney fans need fret no longer. He's here again.For those of you who aren't familiar with Barney, he's the fifth member of the Oz household - a two-and-a-bit-year-old Field Spaniel (not a Springer!). And for those of you who've read ...

Read More

The ramblings of a travelling consultant – episode 2

Last week I went on a trip to Germany with a colleague. I’ll call him Ian – mainly because that’s his name. I’ve known him for almost as long as I’ve been involved in business continuity management and we’ve worked ...

Read More

No jacket required

On Saturday evening I couldn't wait to get my trousers off. In fact Mrs Oz helped me, so as not to delay the process unduly. This was nothing to do with the fact that it was my wedding anniversary or ...

Read More

Short and sweet

I can't help feeling that my last blog ("(Bitten to) death in Venice") was a little on the long side.Several people told me they enjoyed it, which was great for my ego. But I'm conscious of the fact that we all lead busy ...

Read More

(Bitten to) death in Venice

My favourite Italian city is Venice. It is this week at any rate. Until this week, and for the past year, my favourite Italian city was Verona (see 'A night at the opera') and up until about this time last ...

Read More

A nifty fifty?

It's finally caught up with me. I tried to ignore it and hoped it would go away but whatever I did it was destined to happen anyway. I was utterly powerless to prevent it. Resistance was futile. In the end I just had to take it ...

Read More

Live from The Abersoch Open 2012

Day 1 - On the roadHere we are again. More precisely, here we are at a greasy spoon cafe on the way to Wales. It's 10:30 and Chris and  I have just arrived. Mark B, Phil, Mike N and Dave ...

Read More

A prelude to the Abersoch Open 2012

Long-standing readers a) need to be congratulated on your staying power and b) might remember that this time last year I completely ignored the fact that my blogs are supposed to be about business continuity management and gave a blow-by-blow account ...

Read More

Murder most fowl

The Osbornes recently suffered a tragedy in our menagerie (which is almost good enough to be the title of this blog, but not quite).Regular readers will know that I'm a bit of a yokel and that I live in semi-rural idyll ...

Read More

Fit for nothing

I've spent the past week hobbling about with a sore calf. Before you ask, no I haven’t branched out into veal farming or bovine veterinarianism (if, indeed, that’s a real word) – the sore calf in question is my latest ...

Read More

A nice cup of tea

I do like a nice cup of tea. In fact tea is pretty near the top of my all-time favourite drinks list  (see "An icy crisis" and "Open all hours" for one of the others). Five or six cups a day is the norm ...

Read More

Ski boots and celery

In my last blog I wrote about my recent skiing trip and how much I enjoyed it. I love skiing. It's right up there on my list of top ten favourite things (I’ll keep the other nine and their relative ...

Read More

A white Christmas

To quote a certain Mr Crosby, I'm dreaming of  a white Christmas - specifically, the one I've recently returned from.The Oz family spent a fantastic week, up to and including Christmas day, skiing with our friends in a place called Pila in the Val ...

Read More

Oz’s Business Continuity Blog – Christmas competition answers

Happy new year!The Christmas competition is now closed, the draw has taken place (ably assisted by Barney) and the winners have been notified. A shiny new Kindle is winging its way to Sarah in Nottingham and copies of my books are ...

Read More

Oz’s Business Continuity Blog – Christmas competition

Seeing as it's Christmas I thought I'd give my readers the chance of a Christmas treat. So this time, rather than reading my latest words of wisdom, here's a little competition for you. There are some fabulous prizes at stake ...

Read More

Oz’s Business Continuity Blog : “Out of the blue”

In a few of my previous blogs ('Fit for the job?', 'In the limelight', 'Mid-life crisis management' and 'A team effort')  I’ve mentioned that I’m a re-invigorated hockey player, having been dragged kicking and screaming back into the sport by my sons ...

Read More

Not what it seems

I was walking Barney recently when someone stopped to say hello. To him, not me - he's always the first one that people talk to, I can't think why. "I love Springers", she said, when she eventually acknowledged my presence, "in fact I have ...

Read More

Reading and writing

It may not have escaped your notice but I quite like writing. I like reading too, although with everything else vying for my attention, I don't get nearly enough time to read for pleasure. On the writing front, I blog when I can, although ...

Read More

Oz’ Business Continuity Blog : “One day at a time”

This week saw a significant milestone in the Osborne household and, regrettably, one of my worst fears realised. Yes, my younger son was officially proclaimed to be taller than me!It's not as if I didn't see it coming - he's been sneaking up ...

Read More

It’s just not cricket

Sunday is cricket day for the Osborne boys during the summer. Last Sunday's match was away at Nether Whitacre, a lovely little village cricket club about an hour's drive from Chez Osborne. We set off with just about enough time to spare with the ...

Read More

Boys’ toys

At the weekend I bought a new toy and I've spent the last couple of days playing with it. The 'toy' in question is a chainsaw. Unlike other midlife crisis sufferers, I have no desire to buy a motorbike or a ...

Read More

Risk Management Simplified – the movie

A while ago I wrote a blog called ' In the limelight ' about my experience of being filmed for the e-book version of 'Risk Management Simplified'.Having finally got over the cringe factor of watching myself on screen, I thought I'd share ...

Read More

A toe-curling tale

Today’s schedule went something like this: 09:00 write post-exercise report; 10:30 call client to discuss forthcoming business impact analysis workshop; 11:00 write proposal; 12:30 conference call with client to discuss business continuity strategy; 13:30 deal with today’s e-mail mountain; 14:00 ...

Read More

A night at the opera

I had a fabulous weekend, thank you for asking. It wasn't the usual, run-of-the-mill weekend of dog walking, cricketing, operating the Osborne taxi service or household chores, enjoyable as (most of) those things are, because this weekend Mrs Oz and I jetted off ...

Read More

Live from the Abersoch Open 2011

In something of a diversion from my more usual fortnightly(ish) blog, which purports to be business continuity-related, this weekend I thought I'd give you an insight into the pressure cooker of the Abersoch Open golf tournament.For this blog only, there ...

Read More

Oz’s Business Continuity Blog : “Apocalypse, no”

Unless you've missed the news recently, you'll know that last weekend was a hugely significant one for all of us.Or not, as it turned out.No, I'm not talking about my birthday on Friday, even though it was significant enough for me ...

Read More

Dental mental case

Yesterday was, without wishing to sound overly dramatic, a momentous day for me. After a year and a bit of discomfort (and, prior to that, 30-something years of actually getting around to doing it) I had my braces removed and revealed ...

Read More

Horses for courses

On Sunday, my wife and I took our dog Barney to Cleeve Hill, near Cheltenham for a walk. We had a very nice time, but it was ever so slightly marred by a minor altercation on our way back to the car.Now ...

Read More