Week 8 had two themes in What I Learnt Yesterday. And a few extras.
Lets do extras first. Why does anything that you do always seem to take longer than you think? Look at tyre changes in Formula 1 racing. 6 seconds to do it. But because they have to slow down and speed up, it adds about 35 to 45 seconds onto that lap – because of the time taken away from what the car and driver were doing on a normal lap. Same with interruptions at work. Same with an emergency dental appointment. 40 minutes for the treatment. Set off at 11:50. Got home 4:45. Maddening, isn’t it??
Feb 14th – eating outside!
…at daffodil festival
Amazing to see so many people at Mawgan in Meneage parish church in the Lizard Peninsula, West Cornwall. The church was crammed with visitors for the whole festival – from Saturday at 10.30 until Monday at 4. Loads of volunteers, driven by our friend, Wendy Bailey. Both the daffodils (and the church) as well as the whole spirit of volunteerism, were equally uplifting. Congratulations to all. We loved it in a tired but happy way…!
Now can I just get a bit personal. We have had some work done on our house – Andy the tiler has done a fantastic job on the bathroom and en-suite. Him being a plumber too helped a lot…darned old kit just doesn’t got back where you took it out from. (Another useful metaphor, I feel?)
So it’s down to me, the occasional DIYer, to do the titivating and decorating: Here’s my rant of tweets:
- Preparation and putting stuff back is 90% of the time taken – only 10% is painting.
- Why do we keep aged old medicines at the back of that cupboard? 1997 was the use by date of one of them…
- You waste a lot of time with the wrong kit (another useful learning metaphor?)
- It is very satisfying when you have finished!
And finally two more personals. Talking about #WILY on MarlowFM (local community radio – all run by volunteers: again, very uplifting) – actually talking about it, really brings it home. It is really making me think every day about learning something new. You should try it!
And Janie was away over the weekend at a Spa Hen-Do. I missed her a lot.
One thing predominated my tweets last week. And there was more besides…
The main thing? Infectious, overwhelming, inspiring enthusiasm. And the opposite, which just serves to further prove the power of positive.
Many self help books tell you ‘How to never work again’, or similar. The best merely say to do something you absolutely love doing is the way forward – so that working doesn’t feel like work. I’m lucky enough to be in that position. But I do become very excited when I see proof of it all around me whilst on holiday. Firstly, Pauline the conductor on the little one carriage train that tootles between Looe and Liskeard on the Looe Valley line in East Cornwall. First she traveled through the train asking if anyone wanted to get off at the Halts – request stops – as she had to inform the driver (another woman – Train Driver just sounds like a male preserve?). Then she took our fares and chatted. Half way through the journey, she has to jump out of the train to change the points as we travel slowly up hill, zig-zagging. I asked her about this as we arrived at Liskeard. “Yes. It is great fun. I’m just so lucky to be able to do this”. She didn’t call it ‘my job’. It was just an endless piece of fun to her. Then Richard of the Plough in Duloe. He told us excitedly of his plans for refurbishment of his restaurant pub. You just know it is going to succeed. And the food was great too (see @canmencook) . And then the opposite. A miserable barman in a pub in Cawsand. Everything was negative. Everything.
Some people are drains. Some are radiators. I know which I prefer. And research suggests that being so negative actually shortens life span. Smile – live longer?
Had a quote from Disraeli too – you can get your WILYs from TV! We were watching a serial from BBC, 1978 – Ian McShane as Disraeli (as far from Lovejoy as one can imagine). “Complete honesty is often mistaken for political cunning”. Isn’t that just fab?
Daffodil Festival at Mawgan In Meneage church showed the power of volunteers and gifting. 8200 donated daffodils arranged by an army of floristic arrangers – and making over £5000 in 3 days. Uplifting.
(Sorry everyone – I am working on a MacBook and can’t find the Hashtag. My friend Jay Dodson will be giggling at this. I bought this mac from him – for a case of Rioja – because he got fed up with it not being a PC…maybe he is right).
Some strange things in week 6. Personal ones first. Broke dry January a day early. We had a dinner party, and venison casserole sort of demanded to be teamed with the excellent reds our gusts had brought. I was a cheap date though. Your tolerance of alcohol via the de novo synthesis of Alcohol Dehydrogenase (the enzyme which breaks it down) takes a few drinks to happen. So, I was a bit squiffy after half a pint of beer. But enjoyed a fab dinner and great chat. Then rediscovered Brakspears bitter on day 2 of wet February. And it is still scrumptious. Walking in East Cornwall on a bright cold English winters day just makes the heart sing. Having a great lunch out is what being away is all about too…still feels naughty having a pint and leisurely lunch on a working day.
Had an altercation with Spell Check (my mate Tony used to call it ‘smell check’). Plough became Plugh then Plow. Why do we have to suffer American English?
Communication was the second theme – meeting up with an old friend for lunch, and making plans. Having 3 long phone calls over 4 hours one day – it is just good to talk, as BT used to say. And it is what sets us apart from other creatures.
And finally – Enthusiasm. It is infectious and you cannot fake it. I met an 87 year old at a networking event in London. He had been Head Producer at Radio 2, and was still working assiduously. Looked in his 60’s – sprightly, bright eyed, flu of ideas. This keeping active stuff does seem to work. Shami Chakrabati being interviewed on Newsnight about To Kill a Mocking Bird ‘sequel’. Totally excited – the book had informed her career choice, and it really showed. Looked her up on WikiPedia…and we share a birthday. One of those quirks of maths is you will have a better than evens chance of that happening if you randomly assemble 40 people in a room. Two will have the same birthday. No idea why. Final enthusiast – new landlord of a pub in Duloe, Cornwall. The aforementioned Plough. Telling us of his plans – just so enthused and infectious. Food is excellent there too.
Gratuitous pic of Izzy the time share dog just for fun!
#WILY has created a strange problem last week. I had one contact who asked what #WILY meant – and it had taken him some time to work it out. The Double Entendre made searching difficult. But he did say the posts were insightful and interesting…praise indeed!
What I Learnt Yesterday is my one year project to tweet everyday as near to 8:15 as I can (hard in the car or when a workshop starts early!) Based on the old phrase “Every day is a school day”, which Wendy espoused on a course last year. And it is true – there is something that happens every day that reminds you of something you ought to do, kicks you into a new action, or is something startling that adds to your way of thinking. Everyday feels a bit of an ask – but have managed a month now – only 11 to go. And this will form the basis for a book early 2016 too. So there you are. All happy now? Good…
Week 5 highlights:
- It was fun breaking dry January a day early, as we had a dinner party – the Venison Casserole (with Chilli Chocolate – yep…) demanded a glass or three of red. And a pudding wine for the cheeses (it works well) and it was lovely. I was also a cheap date, having become slightly tipsy on half a pint of beer!
- Cramming too much into a day leaves me feeling a bit unsatisfied – and it is too easy to focus just on tasks and almost forgetting the wetware (as IT geeks call us humans – as we are 70% water – how demeaning…). Don’t forget the people
- Our bathroom and en suite are now finished – and it was lovely to have a calm craftsman in the house for a few days. Thanks Andy – we feel like we have a new house.
- GPs are so in demand and vilified in the media – and all the ones that I know and work with are hyper committed and lovely people. And they are being worn down by the repeated attacks. Careful what you wish for, say. And don’t believe everything you read in The Daily Mail.
- My new whiteboard is such a help in organising my tasks that I wonder why I didn’t buy it a year ago! It has replaced a year planner that I didn’t use…and it means I have more time for item 2 above..
And great quote from @therealbanksy last week who is worth following on Twitter – “You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it”
Look forward to seeing you at 8:15 on Twitter tomorrow.