The concept of making a to-do list of amazing experiences and must-see places has become something of a cliche in recent years. There was even a movie called The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, although I’ve not seen it (it’s not on my list).
If you’re not climbing the Matterhorn for charity dressed as a penguin, or piloting your own fantastical steam-punk ship/house to the Burning Man festival, you’re not really thinking big enough, man. Run an ultra-marathon across the desert, take ayahuasca with an Amazon shaman, or unicycle to the South Pole to raise awareness for world albino-hamster day. But don’t just sit there! Continue reading →
“I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now..”
So sang Freddie Mercury in the Queen hit “I want it all”. And from what I heard, he probably got a lot more than most of us.
Of course we all want stuff. Some of us want fancy stuff – our own pyramid, a gold yacht or a helicopter made of chocolate.
Some of us want simpler and more meaningful stuff – good relationships, inner peace and a sense of purpose (or, for confused dolphins, a sense of porpoise?).
And of course some of us just want another bag of popcorn and the return of Game of Thrones / The Walking Dead.
I imagine if you were a criminal in a chain-gang on the run, the thing you’d want most would be some good solid bolt-cutters and a place to lie low. But few of us will experience that situation – although, incredibly, chain-gangs have been reintroduced into some US prisons recently. Most of us have some degree of freedom to go where we please, and make our own choices, within reason. Continue reading →
The agonising wait is over at last! Here are the winners in the very first ever halfbananas awards.
There are so many amazing blogs out there, it’s hard to keep up. I hope you enjoy discovering some great new ones, and if you’ve won a coveted halfbananas award, congratulations!
The dedicated awards committee have tried to recognise the best examples in various categories, but inevitably there will be lots of other fabulous blogs that missed out this time around. But never fear, there will be more awards, accolades and virtual pats-on-backs coming soon. Let’s spread the love people!
I look forward to seeing all the lucky winners and honourable mentions, at the lavish Hollywood party I will be hosting, assuming awards condition #3 is met (see below). Continue reading →
For people of a certain age, being disciplined invokes a trip to the headmaster for punishment, while for others something rather more kinky. Or perhaps both.
But I will leave any salacious discussions of corporal punishment or saucy S&M shenanigans for another time. Here I want to try and get to the bottom of the mental discipline we apply, or fail to apply to ourselves.
Self discipline: The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses. OED
Self-discipline seems to be fundamental to success. Pretty much any type of challenging endeavour requires it, unless you join the military services and let someone else impose their discipline upon you.
I can see the potential advantages of having such a well-structured life: a clear set of rules and goals, strong motivators and the fellowship of comrades in arms. Not to mention the simplicity of wardrobe choices. But personally I would rather be skinned alive, lightly seasoned and fed to wolves than submit to such an authoritarian way of living.
Identity is a funny thing, something we often take for granted. How do you define the you that you see in the mirror? Who is that person looking back at you and is it the same person who was there yesterday? What do you mean you have no reflection? Do your friends know you’re a vampire?
When you think back you might realise just how much you’ve changed over the years, even if you’re still relatively young. The fact that you (hopefully) no longer howl when hungry, or throw a temper tantrum at the supermarket ‘cos they’ve sold the last of your favourite ice cream or potato chips shows that you are evolving. Of course not in a Darwinian sense: you are unlikely to develop gills just because you swim a lot, or wings because you are tired of taking the bus. It doesn’t quite work like that, unfortunately. Continue reading →
The best things in life are not only free, but the line is shorter.
A fellow blogger’s book review reminded me of the famous pyramid representing Abraham Maslow’s proposed hierarchy of needsand it set me wondering how relevant it might be in 2016.
A lot has changed since Maslow first published it way back in 1943. They didn’t have so many of the daily essentials we take for granted – the Internet, Wi-Fi, smartphones and microwave popcorn were all still a long way off. Life must have been hellish. Continue reading →
Once again It’s that time when folks everywhere gather together to celebrate the start of a new year with alcohol and explosives, the perfect match.
There are many strange and interesting customs, traditions and superstitions associated with this event. Some don lucky underwear to see in the new year (South America) others dress up as bears (Romania) or throw their old household items out of the window to make room for new stuff (Parts of Italy and South Africa).
In Denmark folks dutifully listen to the Queen’s speech on TV, then later watch an old black and white comedy skit from the UK – Dinner for one. This ancient piece of booze-related slapstick features just two characters – a posh lady and her butler – and shows that the Danes and indeed others in parts of Scandinavia and Germany, love nothing more that the collision of upper class formality and extreme drunkenness. Continue reading →
We all know sleep is important, but I’ve always been a bit of a ‘night owl’, never one for following the early to bed, early to rise mantra. But all those hours spent sitting in a tree in the forest can take their toll.. (I complained to my doctor about my nocturnal struggles, but he didn’t give two hoots). Like all neurotics I worry about my health and the long-term effects of all the lost sleep, but in the immortal words of Popeye, ‘I yam what I yam’, and accept that not all brains are wired the same way.
Many notable figures from history burned the midnight oil, while others swore by an early start, rising with the larks and achieving greatness while the world still drooled on its collective pillow. It’s a question of balance I suspect, finding what works without causing chaos and disaster for yourself and those around you. If you’re an airline pilot or a surgeon, starting your working day groggy, sleep-deprived and ‘out of sorts’ can have some major repercussions. Whereas if you are tasked with guarding the Mesopotamian spoon collection at the national museum for ancient cutlery, maybe not so much.