What do you know about Emperor Nero?

Erm…… He fiddled while Rome burned?

Sorry Mr Archer (GCSE History represent)!

A quick Google tells me the fire was known as The Great Fire of Rome and ran for 9 days from July 18th 64 CE, resulting in the destruction of two thirds of Rome.

The theories behind who was responsible for the fire vary.

Many pointing to Nero himself.

But what most of the theories from the time agree on is that Nero did little to nothing to sort it.

Playing his lyre (fiddle) and writing and singing songs.

And the phrase has become widely used over the last two millennia – recently being cast at Donald Trump at the start of the pandemic.

We like to think we wouldn’t do that, don’t we?

We’d sort the problem rather than doing something trivial, wouldn’t we?

But, we don’t always, do we?

And do you know what the modern equivalent of “fiddling” is?

Our phones.

And, perhaps, Netflix.

And, I get it.

I do the same.

I’m super busy this week.

As I’m writing this it’s the first week of the Easter holidays.

Two of the kids are off, two are off next week and the week after.

We’re on holiday “next week” (Update: Apologies for the poor chronology in this week’s blogs – banging out these bad boys daily for a decade ain’t always easy).

So I’ve got to get everything sorted for then.

Do the normal school runs (51 mile round trip) for the other two.

Entertain the kids.

Our ferry has just been cancelled.

My wife spent Monday in bed with a infection in her wisdom tooth.

Got half a day work done yesterday at most.

So will have to work all day for the next couple of days to be done in time.

The car needs an engine problem sorting before we go.

The dishwasher isn’t working.

The boiler has only just been fixed.

I’ve got a damaged wall that needs fixing.

I have zero time to waste.


Do you know what I’m super tempted to do?

Waste time.

Go on my phone.

It’s a momentary distraction from the challenges and frustrations of life.

Makes us feel a little better.

Just for a bit.

A sedation if you will.

Quietens those negative feelings sometimes.

If I could be bothered, I’m sure I could find a pretty direct correlation between my stress levels and screen time.

But, it doesn’t really help, does it?

If anything, it just makes it worse.

If our body, energy levels, work, relationships or any other aspect of our lives aren’t, at least, being worked on………..

And we’re wasting time on our phones, Netflix or anything else………

Then we’re doing the equivalent of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

Much love,

Jon ‘Morpheus’ Hall

P.S. One of the things we’re really good at is helping people make changes in as little as time as possible. Giving you you stuff that takes two hours a day is pretty pointless in my experience. It’d work. But it doesn’t happen. Check www.myrise.co.uk/apply if you like the sound of a higher return on investment for your efforts.


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.