Let's take those 29 Ways in turn
1. Make lists.
Yes, well, I wouldn't be functional without lists. I'm increasingly reliant on lists and I wouldn't be surprised if by the middle of 2012 my daily 'to do' list goes something like:
- wake up
- breathe in
- breathe out
- continue to breathe
- get up
- etc, etc
In fact many of my lists have persisted since childhood. Here's my list of 'holiday ideas' from about 1974 (aged 12) -- I wouldn't be averse to doing most of them now. Is that bad?
2. Carry a notebook everywhere.
Absolutely. I am never without a notebook. Usually two or three. The trouble is I now have about 36 notebooks full of a mishmash of work stuff, 'creative' stuff, shopping lists, plans, curtain measurements, and so on, not by any means all dated, so extracting the good stuff is quite difficult. A sample page, hopefully not too embarrassing -- these are opening lines for novels, written very quickly for a writing workshop...
Oh dear, oh dear. This one is very dodgy. I've tried it in the past and it's completely weird. Not sure I should go public with this stuff...
4. Get away from the computer.
Ha. Ha ha. I can't step away from the computer because it's my brain. It's my head and my outside world and my sketchbook and my magical answer-machine. I do go away from it sometimes, as earlier this afternoon when feebly trying to do a bit of my new painting, but it soon calls me back. I will try to get away from the computer. I have a plan to sort out all the photos and documents I have relating to my family history ... but then I'll probably scan them.
|A fine photo of my great aunt Winnie|
This is a good one, because who wants to suffer the Dantean levels of self-flagellation we inflict upon ourselves? Could I really stop berating myself for not publishing at least one novel, not winning every competition I enter, not getting up while it's still dark to jog round the garden (no way I'm going public), not doing all the other thousand things I had every intention of doing when they first entered my psyche (probably in around 2002)? And if I could, what would happen? Would I achieve anything at all? Perhaps if I cut myself a little more slack, it might result in less time wasted feeling guilty. Or it might result in complete indolence...
|best Google Images search ever: 'sleepy cat'|
I do like to keep busy. I also waste an awful lot time playing games on King.com and I don't think that really counts as taking a break as it makes your eyeballs feel like frozen sprouts. I will try to stir myself more often. Look, I will go and check on our tea right now...
|not very interesting...|
I absolutely believe in singing at every opportunity. I favour the Marseillaise which I know in French without ever having knowingly learnt it (this spooks me -- I suspect a previous existence as a Revolutionary). I also like to sing Jerusalem and Downtown and Monsieur Dupont. I also love to sing carols and hymns, favouring descants, but have been warned by my children not to do this at any school event.
8. Drink coffee.
No, coffee is bad. Drink Dragonfly Eary Grey Rooibos tea instead. It only smells slightly of fish and won't keep you awake at night or make you feel as though your heart is making a bid for freedom through your ribcage.
Yes! I completely endorse this one. It's very stimulating. To show willing I have just this very second downloaded Quisiera by Raul Orellana from iTunes, a masterpiece of Spanish house music from 1990. Oh, those tinkling milk bottles (that's what it sounds like to me). I loved this back in 1990, all too briefly, and have been trying to remember what it was for, oh dear lord, 21 years.... By sheer mind power, I have tracked it down. Hurray! (OK, so it's not completely new to me, but it's not my usual thing and my memory is very bad ... does that count?)
I feel I've got this covered. I'm about as eclectic as it's possible to be without exploding, I think (perhaps I exaggerate a little). I like ... Proust, Big Brother, aubergines, washers, Spongebob, Mike Harding, Dickens, Dvorak, Puff the Magic Dragon, Project Runway, Freud, bagels, starlings, true crime, Melvyn Bragg, pork scratchings.... What do you like?
|Peter, Paul and Mary frolic in the Autumn mist|