Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pomp And Circumstance - A Right Royal Wedding!

If your name is Pseudorandom or Aufidius or one of my other UK (currently) based readers you may well be very aware of what I'm talking about. Though I'm not talking, I'm writing.

There's a wave of Royal wedding fever and excitement sweeping the nation at the moment. The population at large is divided into two groups; those who are quite into the forthcoming wedding and celebrations and those who hate the concept and think that the money should be spent on homeless people, the welfare state and providing money to students so they can get pissed.

I've found myself falling into the first group. I'm no Royalist either, nor am I a Thomian Republican. There are things I rather like about the monarchy here as well as things that don't float my flotilla.

The negative side includes factors such as their inherent ugliness; the women all looking like horses dressed as Humans and the men opting for that chewing a lemon big eared goofy posh look that's all the rage among big eared goofy posh people these days.

And there's uselessness. Many of these Royals live extravagant and opulent lifestyles at our expense. Examples like Prince Andrew and Fergie are pretty much disliked by all, though I admire the way that Fergie has carved out her own career with Will.I.Am and the others.

Most people think that Prince Charles, though a bit mad, is okay. Camilla seems to mind her own business and has been quietly adopted by the public, which is quite nice and British really. Perhaps because she appears so unlike Princess Diana in every way there's never been much in the way of comparisons by the public, just an acceptance that she is where and who she is.

Her Maj The Queen? Everyone likes her. She's getting on, she doesn't do a lot in terms of ruling the country, but she opens parliament, makes speeches at Christmas time and gives lessons to everyone on how to talk posh.

Prince Philip is treated with a mixture of amused scorn and admiration. When he's your own man you have to like a fellow who says things like:

"You look like you're ready for bed" - to the President of Nigeria, dressed in traditional robes.

Or to a driving instructor in Scotland "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through their test?"

The news here is dominated by Royal Wedding related stories. Of course the weather takes the number one spot in this. You can talk to just about anyone and they'll probably be able to give you an accurate and detailed report of the forecast for tomorrow, such is the nation's obsession.

Pubs, streets and houses are adorned and decorated with bunting and Union flags (not Union Jacks; they're only called that when flown at sea you know!) and people are busily organising street parties. In typically British fashion people started camping out days ago in central London to get a good view. Queueing, like saying sorry at every available opportunity, is an intrinsic part of British culture.

I drove down Pall Mall the other day and saw the old buildings and the back of Clarence House, where Prince William lives in London. It's right next to the wedding route and there were barriers up already in preparation for the crowds and a fleet of outside broadcast vans and trucks parked there doing their thing. I felt excited and a bit proud.

The eyes of the world are upon us, looking at London, this wickedly fantastic city, doing what it does best.

I love it. Really I do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Accents In The Literary World

I sometimes wish I didn't get hit by realisations at my age. It's not fair. I should be allowed to get on with life, using the few existing chunks of knowledge I already possess, not having to cope with fresh ones, figuring out what to do with them and where they apply.

But, the key to the quandary probably lies somewhere around my wholly appropriate use of the word "few" immediately prior to "existing chunks of knowledge".

And one such example cropped up the other day as I was reading a book, an American one no less. I read a lot, something you might be aware of, and I reckon I'm quite good at it, though I do struggle with the more meaningful stuff.

As I munched my way through this book I dwelled more and more on the thought I'd had. I contemplated the books I read, many of which are Sri Lankan, many British and many American. Yes, I thought, I was right, I wasn't imagining it.

Every character in every book I've ever read, and I include comics here too, from Tin Tin to Asterix to Bertie Wooster to even Pradeep Mathews, is the proud owner of a middle class and British accent. The only exceptions I can think of are rare ones like the Godfather, where of course Don Corleone sounds like Marlon Brando trying to do an Italian accent with wads of tissue stuck in his cheeks.

I have a vague feeling that I sometimes give villains a foreign accent, totally understandable I think. But, for the main, my literary world consists of British people, well, more specifically English, even Londoners.

I wonder if this is the same for everyone. When you read a book and imagine the voices of the characters do they assume your native accent? Do you change the accent in your head according to the character or are these people without dialect?

Have you ever even thought about this?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Receiver or Transmitter?

I was watching an episode of "Come Dine With Me" last night. It's a curiously addictive programme in which a group of four or five total strangers each hold a dinner party for the others on consecutive nights of a week. They then score each host and the winner gets a prize.

It's a bit about cooking, with some recipe sharing and kitchen adventures, and a lot about personalities and people, as we, the viewers, get to witness people arguing, becoming great friends, bitching about each other and everything in between.

It's also unusual in that it's not presenter lead. The presenter is purely done via a voice over, though the chap who does it has made his commentary an integral part of the show, with little witticisms and cutting remarks.

So there I was, watching an episode and along came a section in which a man was talking about one of his female fellow contestants.

"She's far more of a transmitter than a receiver and I wish she do a bit more receiving" said the aforementioned man.

It got me thinking.

Is everybody more of one than the other? What am I? What are you?

Well I reckon I'm usually more of a receiver, though there are situations and instances when I more of a transmitter.

The people I know, the ones I consider to have superb interpersonal skills, are the ones who seem to be able to balance and switch between the two. One minute they're a witty and engaging raconteur, the life and soul of the party, but the next they're the best and most intent listener I can think of, paying attention and hearing things, not just listening.

But these people with sublime interpersonal skills are few and far between, most of the people I can think of are either in one camp or the other.

What are you then? Transmitter? Receiver? Or one of the brilliant ones?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday Bloody Easter Sunday

It was another of these gorgeous days we've been having. I woke up and was greeted by sun streaming through my wooden blinds and the humid sounds of warmth and sun.

The plan for the day was roughly like this; a bit of skype chat with C, then some serious drum practice, then some more serious drum practice. Easter is one of those rare times when the shops in these parts are mostly closed, so it becomes like one of those old fashioned Sundays, when people couldn't shop and were forced to go to church. Or stay at home and talk to people of course, something that I can't really do anyhow!

It's nice, though rare, to be able to set aside the best part of a day for practice and my most problematic issue was my choice of footwear. The temperature demanded attire consisting of shorts and flip flops yet the practice required different footwear.

My new Lacoste blue trainers were the obvious choice for the music side of things. I was worried about their blueness when I bought them, something that K has pointed out as a problem but A seemed to approve of. In the end I spent some time switching between shorts (combat style) and flip flops and jeans and trainers when practicing. There was a quick hour during which I got lazy and practiced in the shorts and slippers, but of course my bass drum work suffered.

I'm working from a book called the New Breed. It's one of those drum "bibles" that everyone is supposed to study from and my new teacher, the esteemed Mr Dolbear, has got me doing stuff from this. It's quite intense, but satisfying in a major way and one of those books that will stand me in the goodest stead possible. In fact it's so intense and satisfying that I can almost feel my playing improve as I master each bar and each section.

The bars and lines were punctuated by glances at the river, casual spells of spying on the passers by, the boats, the swans and the general ambience. It's a cool way to practice, as ways to practice go.

Early evening came a massage. As I type this I'm feeling the effects of it, hoping that the slightly scary looking masseur didn't overdo things and that I'll feel good, not aching, in the morning.

And, in the new episode of the new series of Hawaii Five O, Steve McGarrett's sister has been kidnapped.

Now that's serious!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My How They Grow!

So it's Wednesday evening as I write this, 7.20 PM to be precise. Wednesdays, you may be aware, are my regular evening with A and K. Every other Friday night (in theory) they come to me too, the theory being that they stay the night and are with me until Saturday evening. It's a bummer sometimes, this divorce thing isn't easy on any of the parties involved and the time apart from your children can wrench at the heart and tear at a fellow.

And now, as K hits fifteen and A approaches seventeen, the last thing either of them wants to do is spend time with a male parent, a father as they're commonly called.

A couple of years ago I'd collect them from their place every Wednesday at around 3.30 PM. These days it's become a case of "what time will you be at mine?" and they break off activities with their pals to pop round and let me feed them.

K has just left. She texted me earlier to say she'll be here at about 6 PM, but then "had" to go to a friend's house and would make her own way back to her mother's later on. Minutes before she arrived I got another text:

"Dada will you get Chinese food for me as I have to eat quickly and then go?"

I chose not to respond, figuring that way I could actually walk to the Chinese across the road with her, to get a brief snippet of time together. That plan came close to working, though talking to me proved quite hard with the distraction of whatever hum of activity was going on on Facebook at the time.

A quick refuel, involving K stuffing more Chinese food into her mouth than even I thought possible, followed by another check on Facebook, and she was gone. There was a commitment to let me know what's going to happen this Friday and there was a spell in which I gave her £40 for a trip to Alton Towers, an amusement park, that she claims to be doing in the next day or two.

And I sit and wait for the older sister, who promises to arrive about 9PM. She'll want feeding, she'll get on facebook, watch TV and send more texts than I do in about a century. Then I'll drop her home, getting some vague promise that she'll let me know what's happening on Friday.

Sometimes, the life of a divorced Dad does hurt a bit you know.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Capital, Country.

I've noticed something lately, something that you might be able to help me with.

It's about septics, or Americans as you might prefer to call them. On TV, when you see the fellows talking and they refer to a city or town in another country, they almost always say "Paris, France" or "Colombo, Sri Lanka", "London, England" or "Sydney, Australia".

Why is this?

Is it because they have such a poor knowledge of international geography that, when talking to each other, they need to do this in order to explain where the hell each city is?

Is it because Paris, as an example, also exists in Texas, as is the case with many city or town names, and they therefore feel the need to clarify which one they're referring to?

Maybe it's something that happens on TV but that real life Americans don't actually do. Or do other nationalities do it as well and it's just that I haven't noticed this? I suspect not though, as I think most of us assume people are aware enough to know where most cities are and, if they're not, then we clarify.

Was thinkest du? As they'd say in Munch, Germany, assuming that you were a close friend, not someone who deserved a "sie". And I'm not sure if "thinkest" is a proper German word. But, you get my drift.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just Like Sri Lanka!

Here in Blighty we've got a mental little spell of holidays, short weeks and potential sunshine coming up.

One of my minds thinks it's great; the mind of the employee, the one that thinks about rest, leisure and general relaxation. Another of my minds; that of the employer, ponders on the revenue my company will lose from the extra days of holiday and gets all Scrooge like. Another mind just feels lucky that I don't have any schizophrenic tendencies.

First we've got Easter this weekend, meaning that it's Good Friday on, well, Friday and then Easter Monday on, you've guessed it, Monday. So it's a four day working week followed by a four day weekend. Class. And I've got a Solskala gig on Thursday night so will have a nice lie in on the following day, then will have A and K with me in the evening (I hope, though it's always dependent on their social lives these days!).

Then we return to our desks on Tuesday and only work for three days, as it's old Will's and Kate's wedding on the Friday. I've got two gigs with the covers band over that weekend, meaning the luxury of late nights, grooving like a mofo and then lie ins again. Sorted.

And, to top it all off we have a bank holiday Monday on May 2nd, giving us a four day week for that week.

Sadly we don't have beaches, jungles, beautiful hill country and lush landscapes to die for within a few hours' drive of just about anywhere. Nor do we have almost guaranteed good weather, though the forecasts are looking good. And these spells of excessive public holiday happen about once a century here, not the once every couple of weeks frequency that you guys are used to.

Our motorways will be packed, our airports full to the brim with people fleeing the country and just about everything that's worth doing will be so full and busy that it won't be worth doing. Such is life here.

But still, it's going to be fun. Except the revenue side of things!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Alarming News

So I went and bought myself one of these "intelligent" alarm clock apps for my phone the other day. The idea is that you can tailor make the alarm sounds, the volume, the actual tone, the level of fading in and out etc. More importantly, this one is supposed to wake you gently and subtly, with none of the loud crashing and jumping out of bed like the thunder business we're all so used to.

How does it do all this?

Well the principle is that it has a pre alarm; one that starts ringing at a very gentle and soft level at about half an hour before you actually want to get up. The book, though it's not so much a book as an on phone manual, tells me that it's so soft that it won't wake me if I'm in deep sleep.

It says that we sleep in cycles and that the timing of these almost guarantees that I'll hear it at some point prior to the actual required wake up time, when in light sleep. So, by the time I really want to get up comes, I'll be lying there awake and won't get jolted into the oblivion of a sudden start.

I'll let you know how I get on with it, it's early days, time will tell, there are plenty more fish in the sea, don't be alarmed....

It got me thinking about the plight of alarm clock manufacturers. For so many decades they existed happily as we all owned one of their products. Okay we didn't go out buying them every few weeks, just when our existing one broke or died, but it must have been a pretty steady and regular market.

Then, bang, mobile phones hit and all of a sudden (well over about 20 years) we all now use the alarm on our phones. My last alarm clock, the special one that actually projects the time onto the ceiling at the touch of a button (can you believe the level of technology required there?) is now consigned to the bedside table with its alarm button set firmly to "off". The new smart alarm app cost me less than the price of one battery for my alarm clock.

And what about the people in hotels who had the job of ringing guests with their alarm call? There must be hoards of them wandering around the world looking for jobs, perhaps as alarm clock disposal specialists.

You probably never think about this sort of thing do you?

Well, I do! Not that it helps in any way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy New Year!!

I hope the coming year brings you peace, joy, fun and laughter.

If those are the things you want.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On Women

I'm aware that many in the Lankanosphere hold me in high regard because of my incredible understanding of the way the mind of a woman works. It's a knack, a talent. Dominic Sansoni has photography, I have an innate understanding of women. Some people are born with a gift and we just have to accept and try our best to make use of it.

I like to pass on nuggets of wisdom to you, my readers, as often as possible and, with C lurking around in RD Towers, I've noticed some things about women that the males might find useful:

1. Farting - the fairer sex, god alone knows why they're called this, don't like it. Seriously. We men know that there's nothing more satisfying than wallowing in the smell of one of those viciously fruity farts. Women don't like the smell. Weird but true.

2. Remote controls - they can sit there with the TV on and the remote next to them for periods of as long as perhaps two or three minutes without even thinking about flicking to another channel.

3. Talking - they like to do this. We men, particularly of the Sri Lankan variety, are happy to exist quietly in each other's company. We can eat, drink and be merry without feeling a pressing need to tell each other about our innermost thoughts on saving the world. They're different.

4. Thinking - on the other hand, if a woman is quiet, it's because of one (possibly a combination) of the following reasons:

a - she's asleep (though it's dangerous to assume this until it can be fully proven)
b - she's thinking about what to say to you or really serious stuff (often both)
c - she's angry with you

5. Thinking (for men) - when we're quiet it's because we're not thinking or because we're thinking about cars, girls, music or sport.

6. Thinking - They think to levels we're totally unaware of. They sometimes think about life, about what other people think, what motivates them, what makes them tick and why things happen. I'm being very serious here, they really do often think about WHY things happen.

7. Manflu - they think it's funny, they don't think it's serious. They have no idea, not the faintest of what we have to put up with when stricken with the serious illness. They might seem to give you sympathy but you'll catch them on the phone to their friend saying something like

"Oh yeah RD's got manflu" (chuckle, chuckle, titter titter, between both parties on the phone)

8. Super noodles - They just don't appreciate the beauty and culinary delight that of instant super noodles.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Think You Know About Women??

After Kottu, can you guess which two blogs London, Lanka and Drums gets the most referrals from?

As usual in these parts there's no material prize, just that smug sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you were right, that little smirk when you purse your lips slightly and hope that no one around you sees.

Apologies for the lazy post, but a particularly nasty bout of man flu prevents me from writing more. Normal service will resume shortly.

If I survive...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Real Music - Adele 21

So I went out and bought this album by Adele the other day. Pseudorandom, Darwin and people over here will know the one, others may not.

She's a woman, a proper singer type, and it's an album of real music. Her songs are all over the radio at the moment and even my covers band, an advocate of the Foos, Muse and the Killers, is doing one of her numbers.

After a couple of weeks of restraint, mostly because there's a girly piano, guitar and lead vocalist singing about love feel to some of her material, I caved and decided to buy the album.

It's number one in the album charts here, with her other album at number three, which I think gives you an idea of her current popularity. The great thing, the reason I'm telling you about this, is that I've listened to it a few times now and it makes me smile and feel a bit positive about the music business here.

Okay, I was right about some of the songs being a bit too loved up for my liking, though even they demonstrate levels of musicianship I can only dream of. But the ones I do like, the more uptempo and grooving ones, are totally stunning. Think Amy Winehouse without the drugs and issues, though the two women couldn't look more different, think about proper music played by proper musicians and you'll get the idea.

From a drummer's perspective it's a lesson in pure groove and drumming for the song. I haven't read the notes to see who's playing yet but it's superbly musical, with nothing unnecessary and nothing that shows off but doesn't fit the song.

In this day of Simon Cowell, of X fucking factor and manufactured music that's made by some bloke in his attic who's never played to a pub full of people, never sat at his instrument for hours on end actually trying to learn how to play things, it's great to know that once in a while the public can recognise true talent and real artists.

It's warming to see that through the cracks caused by all that rubbish, there can be a little shaft of white light sometimes.

Here's a little snifter for you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Problem With Averages

I glanced at this interesting post about the GNP of Sri Lanka the other day and it got me thinking.

So the Sri Lankan per capita income for 2010 has been estimated to be around $2400. That's got to be a good thing hasn't it?

Well you know me, given a choice between optimism and pessimism, there's no choice. Optimism, in my book, is good, whereas the p word is bad. Of that I have no doubt. But, they're different perspectives that should be used in order to view a situation, neither is necessarily the approach one should take if a balanced and well thought out view is what's required.

And, like Ratmale says in the original post, things aren't always what they seem.

First of all there's the fact that the figures are reported by the Sri Lankan department of census and statistics. Actually, if I was to be really strict on this, the fact is that Ratmale is reporting this. He seems like a trustworthy fellow, but academics and brainy sorts might question his reporting. I won't, let's assume his is an accurate depiction of what the department of census and statistics has told us.

There are many who would say that the figures themselves aren't accurate. Let's face it, the statistics published by any government are questionable at the best of times, such is the somewhat sad nature of the short termism of politics.

But, even if these figures are accurate, I'm unsure about what to really feel here.

A mathematical average is a statistical tool. I'm highly and seriously qualified to tell you this, having got a B in my 'O' level statistics back in 1981 or so, no mean achievement I think you'll agree.

As statistical tools go, per capita income is pretty simple. It's the equivalent of the old one size manual flat head screwdriver that you've had for so many years that you don't want to throw away that sits in your toolbox. You might grab it and try to use it every time there's a screw to be turned, but it rarely does the job. Fuck me, I must confess I could go on for ages with this screwdriver and toolbox metaphor. I rather like it. In fact it's a bit like that old......

No, wait, the thing is that per capita income merely takes the total income and divides it by the total population, or something along those lines. I think it gives no more than a very general picture on the economy of a nation, if that.

And we all know that currently in the isle of Serendib there are a lot of rich people. And many of them are hungrily and busily making vast sums of money and growing richer. That's cool with me. They're people taking advantage of the opportunities that have opened up post conflict, the opportunities within and outside of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile there are a lot of poor people at the other end of the scale. The people who struggle to pay for gas and bread and rice and the basics, the people who, some say, are struggling more each day, who others say are going to prosper in time.

Sociologists, those with an economic bent, will say that this is what happens as an economy grows; that the upper echelons of society are the first to prosper and then, as they start to use the working classes in order to grow their wealth, the working class people begin to get more affluent and move up the ladder.

What we have here, in my humble O, is a current situation in which the top chaps makes shed loads of wedge, the bottom level struggles and the average rises, yet there are very few people who actually live like the "average".

How do I know all this? What statistics and proof do you have about this RD? I hear you asking.

None. Nothing. Zilch.

It's just my feeling.

And could I borrow that flashy screwdriver, the electric one with all the different heads please? My one's a but crap.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hypothetical Reality Car Question

I'd like to ask you a Q, a wholly hypothetical one.

Let's say a chap, a good looking and charming drummer, just a random one, I'm not thinking of anyone in particular here. Let's say he had a car, one that he'd bought about six years ago when it was brand new.

We'll also say that the car in question was a reasonably high end one, costing, we'll call it £40 at the time.

Our good looking and charming drummer drives the car for the six years, quite liking it but never thinking of it as being a scorcher of a car. However, though he doesn't consider himself a flashy, motivated by recognition type of person, he's also aware that he gets a certain amount of satisfaction from the fact that the car is one which turns a few heads.

Over the six years the car does its job, continuing to turn the occasional head or two. Then, our herothe random anonymous drummer takes the car to get it valued for a part exchange on a new car and is told that it's currently worth £8.50.

It's the same car, only six years older, than when it was bought, admittedly with a lot of depreciation, but still looking pretty much the same. It was the same car five minutes before the valuation as it was five minutes after. But, the chap can't help feeling a bit disappointed that it's now just a fairly regular saloon, the kind that many people will go out and buy.

He's an honest and genuine fellow, big and bold enough to admit this sort of thing.

What does this situation say about the fellow? Is it bad, good or just normal?

What do you reckon then?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Advice Needed....

"You're turning my brain into cheese" said C to me the other night.

What does this mean in manspeak?

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Morning After the Morning After....

There's not much that can be said, especially by a chap like me who knows bugger all about cricket, that hasn't been said already.

The build up before the match was mostly about trying to find a suitable venue for the day's viewing. I googled, then I googled some more, and failed to find a pub or bar that was pushing a Lankan event for the day. If I was Indian life would have been sorted, with about a million pubs in Southall and other nearby places promising positive and fun mayhem.

Luckily I'm not Indian, but that's another matter.

At the last minute we (that's me and C to you) heard of a thing going on in a pub, a Sri Lankan thing, at least a gathering of the clans, the Lankan clans. We headed there, listening to the first ten or so overs of the match on the radio as we drove.

As we walked into the pub we were greeted by a sea of dark blue, flags, horns and that uniquely Sri Lankan smell of short eats. Even I, with my legendary status, didn't think that the horns and flags were for me. No, we had walked into the perfect out of Sri Lanka setting to watch the match.

We found our friends, never hard in these sort of situations, got some drinks in and settled down with those optimistic thoughts all of us had at that point. It seems so long ago now doesn't it?

I called Academic Bro and The Auf to see if they fancied joining us. Academic Bro was prevented from doing so by a Sri Lankan mother, the Auf was different and headed over from his lair in East London with a burst of speed that I wish had been displayed by the Lankan fielders on the day.

He strolled in after a bit, signed a few autographs and peeled off his jacket to reveal his SL cricket shirt. I don't own one so had gone for a Superdry shirt in what I thought was the right shade of blue, being faithful to that whole "wear blue to show your support for Sri Lanka" facebook campaign.

We got on with the serious business of watching. I was mightily chuffed in that we'd found the perfect venue. There was a stall at the front of the pub selling Lankan short eats. There was kadala, there were beef chinese rolls, cutlets, chocolate biscuit pudding and a full rice and curry option. Over the course of a few hours I made sure I ate everything, whereas C did that really bloody annoying woman thing; the one where they say they don't want you to buy them anything, then steam into your portion and eat about two thirds of it.

The crowd was good natured, even the few Indians in the pub were okay and there was a PA system that pumped out baila or Indian music depending on what had just happened. After we'd finished batting we danced, we drank, we sang, clapped and cheered. Optimism reigned supreme.

Then the Indians batted.

And we lost.

I started the day wishing I was in Colombo to witness it. By the end it didn't seem to matter. Had we won it all would have been so different.

And you know what?

I don't claim to be any sort of authority on cricket, but I reckon we lost it in our fielding. There was something lackadaisical and half hearted about it. We seemed to lack an urgency and never kicked things up into the next gear.

As I said on facebook.


Friday, April 1, 2011

RD And The Experiments

I told you here about one of my newer schemes; that of drawing myself a little five minute mindmap every morning as a means of illustrating and noting down the happenings of the previous day. Funnily enough, as I've just looked at that post to chuck the link in above I've noticed that it's one of those slightly rare species of posts that received no comments at all.

It's now about three months since I started it and I feel that I should report my findings to you.

The first is that it has taken me a small but definite amount of discipline to keep doing the mindmaps. Although it's relatively easy and it has proved to be a good way of documenting my day without incurring the time involved in writing a "proper" journal or diary entry, one that uses full sentences and goes into detail about everything, there has been discipline involved.

Most weekdays, when I'm at work, it's easier as I've made it into a part of my morning routine. But at weekends there have been times when I've got to about five in the afternoon and suddenly remembered that I haven't drawn the previous day's mindmap. At that point there's a tendency to think "fuck it I'll do two of them tomorrow morning", but I know that's when I'll start to wonder what happened on which day and I'll lose some of the momentum, so I kind of have to push myself through a very small mental barrier of sorts.

One of the many beauties of mindmaps, one of the reasons I'm such a fan, is that one can put as much or as little detail as required into them. My main objective in these has been to put brief outlines of the events of each day. Some days have been busier than others, some have been full to the brim with juicy bits and pieces and others have been quieter.

So far they've given me a better sense of appreciation of each day. I know this might sound a bit arsey but it actually seems that they've given me a better appreciation of life and of being itself. I now spend those few minutes consciously thinking about my day, of what its events meant to me, how I might have reacted, how others might have reacted, what I learned, what I was pleased or pissed off about.

I haven't reread the mindmaps that much, but there have been a few moments when I've quickly browsed their contents and found them to be quite sparkling, once I've got through the hassle of trying to decipher my own handwriting. What I mean is that, with a glance, I've been taken back to that day. Rather than each day being a wishy washy one that happened I can look and recall the structure of the day better, which things went with each other on the day.

You know, so it's not just that I vaguely recall having a meeting with you and David Blacker last Tuesday, it's that I can recall that we had that meeting but in the morning I spoke with K about her school report as well as felt excited about buying a new pair of skinny jeans (only joking T).


A good idea so far, one that I'm definitely going to continue with.

Good luck to Sri Lanka tomorrow too. I hope to be writing good celebratory things on Saturday's mind map!