Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Tea Towel

A present I gave to one of my loveliest friends: Caroline when she got married. I basically painted six tea towels with six different artists' impression of Caroline and Joe - had they painted them. I did this one: Klimt and Miro, Munch, Van Gough, Kandinsky and another I cannot remember.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Still at the top trump malarky

I am still making top trump cards and scattering them here and there. I also hand them to people so that they can use them as a form of identifucation (sp). There are now well over three hundred to collect. My sister says it's just attention seeking behaviour. I agree.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

This book does not exist by Gary Hayden

I breezed through a book shop the other day and glanced at a book called, ‘This book does not exist’ which described itself as taking you on adventures in the paradoxical. It entertained my nerdy department briefly and had I had more than a bike pump, a bottle of water and a daft look with me I might have bought it. Anyway the paradoxes I remember enough to regurgitate are as follows.

(Is it really a) Paradox? 1
A hang man says to his ‘client’ I am going to give you a surprise hanging some time during the next working week. I will hang you on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday but I won’t tell you the day because it needs to be a surprise. The hangee replied, 'well if you have not done it by Thursday midnight, I will know it’s going to be on the Friday so that won’t be a surprise. So you can’t do it on Friday. By the same reckoning, if you haven’t done it by Wednesday Midnight then I will know it is going to be on Thursday so that would not be a surprise,' and so on. ‘So', said the chap waiting to be hanged, ‘you cannot hang me.’

I like that!!!

Paradox 2
Three people went into a restaurant to have lunch. At the end the bill amounted to £30. They each paid £10 towards the bill. At this point the manager realised that the restaurant had overcharged them and their bill should have been £25. She gave five £1 coins to the waiter and asked him to return the coins to the customers. The waiter was a little dishonest and chose to return just £1 to each of the customers and pocket the remaining £2. So if each customer has now paid just £9, three lots of £9 makes £27. Adding the two pound in the waiter’s pocket amounts to £29. Where has the missing pound gone.

I had to draw a picture to ‘see’ this one!


OK I am going to brazenly bare my nerdiness for potentially the world to see and add my picture. Please continue to talk to me.

I promise to get out more.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Getting priorities right

So we are in chaos generally - as a type of lifestyle. Full stop. We are happily resigned to that - especially as we are not sure if we created it or it found us - so embroiled as we are. We couldn't shake it off even if we wanted to.

But of course we have just moved house and consequently the randomly constructed 'to do' list is even bigger than usual.

So being the ever helpful person I am, I lightened the weighted list burden with my prevalent practical and supportive approach and chose, 'make alien flowers' as the most pressing priority in the in tray. My family are just so lucky to have me.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Maximisers and Sufficers

A few months ago my sister declared flippantly that she was 'one of those maximisers, maximosers or something' and couldn't remember the name of the 'other type.' Well being a fan of any tool that helps you gain some insight about yourself, off I went to investigate.

It appears to have originated in marketing and a book called, 'The Paradox of Choice' that argues that no choice is rarely good, some choice is OK but too much choice can cripple us - especially 'maximisers'. You see maximisers are those that have to research, ponder and research some more before they can make a purchase. Give them lots of choice and a lot more pondering is necessary. What's more, a maximiser can buy something and then be agitated if a new, and possibly better, product comes out.

Sufficers on the other hand are happy with 'good enough' and the 'what might have been' doesn't trouble them. That's me.

Looking at a holiday I once took with my sister to Istanbul I think the maximiser/sufficer dichotomy was extremely apparent. When I go on anywhere, I float around and just absorb what I stumble across. I am happy to! However, holidaying with my sister was absolutely brilliant. No research stone had been left unturned so my floating was channelled into a very packed and fulfilling experience of Istanbul. So although sufficers are more easily pleased, my advice to them would be: always take a maximiser with you on holiday!

Good enough but not great!!!

Sunday, 1 August 2010


I read another (better) book about neuro-linguistic-programming (NLP) recently and learned enough about it to conclude it's a pretty powerful thing. What’s more, it appears to have the potential to impact beneficially pretty instantly.

Now obviously you could go and read a book about it yourselves if it interested you so there's no point in me regurgitating it all so I will do my usual and outline the main messages I took with me. I will also add, I have yet to complete the book......

NLP has several main foundation philosophies that it's based on - one of which is, if one person can do something then it is possible for anyone to do it (with the right effort dedicated to whatever it is). I like that. It reduces the self-limiting beliefs we all hold that can stop us from trying things. It also has a premise that if you look far enough into every action a person takes; there is always an underlying good intention – even if it’s a little misguided. I like that too as I have always believed (in my fluff pot head) that nobody ever deliberately sets out to upset others. Upset is usually the result of misunderstandings, victim complexes (people kind of choosing to be upset) and/or individual’s buttons being pressed unintentionally and people not being self aware enough to own their own buttons!

NLP argues that we can use the way we remember or visualise things to impact on our attitudes towards anything. A good example kicked off the book. Take a bad memory from your past. Now you cannot change what actually happened but you can change the way you remember it. The book took you through an exercise where you revisited the memory in your mind’s eye. It then asked you to think of a comical (or rousing) piece of music (I used the Okey Dokey?) and then replay your memory but with your chosen tune playing as the soundtrack. At worst it numbs the memory, at best it makes it frivolous.

NLP also addresses getting motivated. It explores how your brain visualises something you can muster a lot of motivation up for and then it explains how to ‘drop’ in something you want or need to muster motivation for into the same ‘place and style’ in your brain to promote motivation.

But the main, simple message that I took was about what is needed to live a fulfilled life. It’s sort of obvious but it’s about exploring your inner values and then finding opportunities to make a living in a way that is aligned to these values. It is a life half lived for those that do not achieve this. This reminded me of a time when I worked as a research scientist for British Sugar just after I graduated. I hated it and it was simply because an idealist like myself could not possibly be happy in an existence where my role was fundamentally and ultimately about putting more money into shareholders pockets!!! So I went off and did teacher training.

Anyway, there’s much more to NLP – I’d recommend some exploration. I’m going to do more.