Tag Archives: habit

Old Habits Die Hard

The secret of training, as many top athletes have said, is not dedication or motivation,, but habit. You don’r drag yourself into a November night because you are dedicated or motivated; you do it because you have established a habit.

At the moment I cannot help myself and have sat down at the blog to write. I will not, however, post it until Sunday.

I can’t really complain, because when I started the blog I did it partly to practice writing and establish a writing habit. I think I have succeeded in that ambition. The other part of the plan, to promote the Quercus Community group, did not go quite so well.

“C’est la vie”, as Chuck Berry said, it goes to show you never can tell.

On my return from work, I found the lighting subdued, the temperature cool and the air still. There were three bumblebees on the teasel in the front garden and, with it being cool and still, they were more inclined to pose for me than they had been last night. I was able to use both hands on the camera and work close to the bees without them taking flight.

I can’t see myself having to attend any awards ceremonies in the near future, but at least it’s progress. Looking on the bright side, if you don’t get prizes, you don’t need to polish them. One thing I do need to improve on, as the photos show, is learning which end is which. I would not like to be known to posterity as the man who took pictures of bumblebee’s bottoms.

Doh!

Despite what I said, I just pressed the button automatically and posted on Saturday night.Old habits, as I have already said, really do die hard.

Shakespeare, St George and the Calcutta Light Horse

I have now managed 102 consecutive days of posting. It’s an example of habit taking over. You sometimes hear about it when athletes are interviewed on TV when the interviewer refers to dedication in training and the athlete responds that it’s just about establishing a habit.

That much is true: training is just a habit. However, I’m not trying to make it sound easy. The habit bit is easy, but simply turning up for training doesn’t guarantee success. That is where the dedication comes in. And the luck, the talent, the work ethic, the…

As I’ve said before, quantity is no guarantee of quality. It also means that I’ve resorted to posting at five past midnight just to ensure that I’m credited with a post for that day. It has also led to me writing things in advance and, as mentioned here, posting by accident. That was a simple button pushing error.

Here, I wrote a post and automatically pushed the button, which means I posted several times yesterday. If I’d pushed the button 15 minutes later it would have been OK, but I ended up posting just before midnight, so I posted three times yesterday and need something for today.

It’s St George’s Day today, and if Labour win the election it will be a public holiday, as will St David’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and St Andrew’s Day. That’s March 1st, March 17th, April 23rd and November 30th. I don’t know about you but I really don’t need days off in March and November. As for 23rd April, we already have Easter, which moves, May Day and Late Spring Bank Holiday  (which used to be Whitsun). That would be three Bank Holidays in 5 weeks. Well, it would be in England and Wales, it’s different in other parts of the UK.

Even more confusingly, whilst re-enacting the Battle of Dunbar, I found out that Haddington in Scotland also follows some English holidays.

It’s also the 99th Anniversary of the Zeebrugge Raid. It wasn’t necessarily a great strategic success, but it’s a good story. The Hundred Year’s War didn’t end particularly well but we still have Henry V.

There are some interesting sidelights on the raid. It was, for instance, the last time a VC Ballot was held. The VC is unique amongst British decorations in that if a unit performed in a particularly valorous manner the participants are allowed to vote on who they think should be awarded a VC. That way you limit the number given out, and they go to people who really deserve them.

One of the casualties of the raid was Wing Commander Frank Brock of the fireworks family. Amongst other things he invented the machinery to produce the smokescreen for the raid.

Another participant was Bill Grice. He lied about his age to join the Royal Navy and was Mentioned in Despatches for his part in the raid. Thirty years later took part in another daring raid with the Calcutta Light Horse. This link has more details – there’s a bit of a proofing issue with this article but it’s better than some of the others out there. The man who took his glass eye out before the action started was called Bill Manners. When volunteering he’d asked if the glass eye would be a problem. Grice said it hadn’t been a problem for Nelson…

There were no decorations for the 1943 raid, though Grice was played by David Niven in The Sea Wolves.

I’m already running on, and haven’t even started on Shakespeare’s Birthday or the likely consequences of having a public holiday on St George’s Day. I’ll have to cover them on another day.