2019 Who is Simon
Whilst you probably get to speak with the people here at Synium quite often, chances are you may not know too much about them/us. As I am a big believer of putting names to faces, I thought it might be nice to share a bit about ourselves – and it’s only right that I go first.
I am Simon Tonks, and I am one lucky chap: I have a pretty amazing family; some great friends; I do enjoyable stuff; and I happen to work for the best IT support company in Henley in Arden – Synium IT.
Synium was founded back in 2010, and the last 9 years have been both challenging and exciting – but we have always strived to be a company of people who enjoyed what we do. I have worked in a crappy job before which I really disliked – and I always vowed this wouldn’t be the case if I ever had my own business.
From 1997 to 2010 I was the IT Director at City College – a wonderful job which gave me excellent experience in all aspects of IT – and has proved to be a superb foundation for starting and managing our own IT business. It also started the working relationship (and great friendship) with fellow Director Andy Woods, and Stuart Kingscote who work with me here at Synium.
Some random stuff
What do I do now that I wish I’d started years ago ?
Easy one this… skiing! I went on my first proper skiing trip with Joe (my son) 2 years ago…. and loved it. In the mountains. Stunning scenery. Blue skies. Brilliant. Now try to go every year.
What is the best thing I’ve bought recently (less than £200) ?
I’ve always been a bit of a gadget freak (guess it comes with the territory) – and I recently bought a pair of Apple AirPods.
I love the way they work immediately; I love the way they work brilliantly for telephone calls – and I love the way they allow me focus-time in an often noisy office. Really recommended.
What books have proved to be life-changing ?
I love reading. I read a lot. I listen to a lot of audiobooks also.
As well as fiction, I also read a lot of personal growths type books – and whilst many can be a bit trite, there have been some which have really hit the mark with me:
This (for me) was a truly life-changing book. Its core premise is that the only true time we have is NOW – right now. You can only ever experience life in the ‘now’. Nothing ever happens in the future – or in the past – it only ever happens ‘now’.
The strapline for this book is ‘The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” – and that sums it up. Again (for me) a life-changing book. I used to try and manage everything to be done in my head – but that just creates stress. Get your ‘to do’ list out of your head.
“What makes life worth living in the face of death?” This is a stunning book, and I can’t recommend it enough. Be glad to be alive.
I’m currently reading (and really enjoying) “Deep Work” by Cal Newport which explores how modern technology and communication (ie Email and Social Media) soaks up our attention and saps our focus.
What is the most daring thing I have ever done ?
I’d love to say it was Wing-Suit flying through the Andes – but alas, no.
However, I do love riding my mountain bikes. And I do really love riding them fast downhill. Now I’m a bit older, I have probably slowed down a bit – crashing hurts much more the older you get.
If I ever have a day free to myself, my first thought is ‘can I go mountain biking’ – I really love being out in ‘the wilderness’ and there are some great places to go mountain biking in the UK.
One of my real joys now is racing down narrow, fast-flowing single track trying to keep up with my boy Joe (who is also keen to get out on his bike).
What are your 3 favourite movies (and why) in no particular order ?
I could be all high-brow here and list some classics – but if I’m honest, I have a much lower-brow taste in movies:
My 3 favourites would be films that I can watch over and over, and still love them each time – so in no particular order:
Sicario – it’s a mixture of the music, the cinematography, and the characters of Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro – i love this film. (I also really like Arrival by the same director (Denis Villeneuve)
Interstella – any film by Christopher Nolan is good for me…. but this is my favourite. A brilliant story that really makes you feel glad to be alive.
Equalizer – my absolute favourite actor is Denzel Washington – I would always watch any film with him in. But as Robert McCall he’s super cool – and I love it.
What are my 3 favourite times in the week ?
I won’t lie and say Monday morning is one of my absolute favourites – but I do always enjoy coming to work, so I have never minded Mondays.
But my 3 favourites times are probably: Wednesday evenings – I usually try and go for a bike ride (road or MTB) followed by a couple of beers with mates. Fridays evenings are also good (start of the weekend and all that) – plus it is FNC (a stupid title for Friday Night Club) – which only consists of a couple of beers after work, but always a good laugh. I also love Sunday evenings when I cook Sunday dinner for the family and spend time planning my week ahead.