Tag Archives: Oxfam

Nudge nudge…

You may have noticed I didn’t post last night, though with so much activity on WP you probably didn’t notice. If you did notice, it’s possible that you remembered I posted recently on cutting back on my WP writing and thought, “Aha! He’s cutting back on his WP writing, just like he said he would.”

Of course, if you are one of the die-hard cynics that seem to congregate here, you may have thought “I bet he left it late then fell asleep in front of the TV”.

This goes to prove that, cynical as you may be, you aren’t incorrect.

I can’t remember what I was watching when I fell asleep, but by the time I woke up the TV had switched itself off. As the schedule seems to be full of rubbish, this was probably a good thing. In fact, considering the amount of rubbish on TV, it probably committed suicide out of shame.

We are still decluttering and more bags of books are on their way to the car. I emailed Oxfam to see about taking books in, and was told that I had to email the nearest shop to find out what the local policy was. They did offer to do it for me if necessary, but it seems an inefficient way of doing things.

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Bumblebee on Teasel

At the moment, having been given room to think, we have offered the books to one of Julia’s volunteers who does jumble sales and is currently running a local library service.

If you’ve ever read Inside the Nudge Unit you may recognise my behaviour – looks like I’m a case study from the Behavioural Insights Team.

In summary, if you want people to things for you, you make it easier, or less easy not to do. Governments do this by streamlining forms and by adding a reminder that most people pay their taxes on time. If you don’t want people to do things (like cancelling standing orders) you just add an extra step and that serves to put a lot of people off.

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Bumble bee on bramble flowers – Sherwood Forest

 

 

 

Struggling with Time and Stupidity

I’m currently 80% of the way through Eat that Frog!, which is a time management book by a man called Brian Tracy. The book includes advice on time management, an autobiography that seems to indicate that he left school at the age of eleven to join the Merchant Navy, and an overworked metaphor about eating a frog. You probably worked that out that last bit from the title.

The idea is that if you had to eat a live frog every morning none of your other daily tasks would seem so bad.

My version Eat that Pickled Beetroot!, is even more gastronomically revolting, but less catchy as a title. I should imagine that it will be very popular with people who share my views on pickled beetroot but less so with people who like extended amphibian metaphors.

Of course,¬† if you are looking for a simple way to cut down on wasted time you might want to consider cutting out time spent reading books about time management. It’s similar to buying a book about decluttering, as I pointed out in a previous post when my sister did exactly that.

Things have been a bit quiet recently, and I’ve missed posting on the last two days. The truth is that I just ran out of words and enthusiasm. It was a combination of big subjects (gun control and OXFAM), more low-level illness and some jobs that needed doing more urgently than the world needed another blog post.

Instead of facing up to the challenge I decided to leave it alone.

I don’t suppose that 5,000,000 members of the NRA are remotely interested in what I think about gun control. Fair enough, as I’m not interested in what they have to say about grouse moors.

However, I can’t leave without suggesting that, although there are moral questions over the activities of some OXFAM workers, there is nothing in the actions of our MPs that suggest they are suitable to pass judgement on the morals of others.

 

Wandering, not lost

Not all those who wander are lost

J R R Tolkien

I dropped Julia off at work this morning. The gates into the school car park were open today, as it’s school holidays, so we were able to drive right up to the garden gates and unload plants. Yes, unload plants. We’re at it again, making up gardens from scrounged plants.

After that I took a turn through the countryside between Nottingham and Loughborough. It’s scenic, though unexciting countryside, with some pleasant villages. The weather was a bit dull for photography and I wasn’t on top of my game so there are no photographs today. If there were, they would be pictures of gently rolling countryside with lots of greenery.

The trouble was that I started off mentally listing the things I need to do to set my life right, I’ve been letting things drift over the last few years and need to get organised.

Unfortunately this line of thought has a habit of sliding into thoughts of things that went wrong, things I should have done better and bad decisions I have made. It’s often sparked off by looking at a biggish house and thinking “I could have had one like that if I’d worked harder and planned better.”

However, I enjoyed my life as an unprofitable antique dealer and gardener. I also enjoyed the unprofitable time I spent with the kids. And I have two neighbours who ply me with cake.

All in all, it could be worse.

Eventually, I decided I was lost. Strictly speaking I couldn’t have been lost because I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s often been the subject of some discussion between me and Julia when I’ve been happily exploring country lanes over the years. Just because I don’t know where I am doesn’t mean I’m lost. And if I’ve got nowhere particular to go I can’t be going the wrong way.

After that I succumbed to the lure of the Oxfam bookshop in West Bridgford. It’s been refitted since last time I was here and is much better lit and laid out. This isn’t necessarily a good thing as I liked the poky old shop. In fact part of the experience of buying second-hand books ought to be in the dim, cramped, slightly musty conditions.

I resisted the temptation to buy books on Shakespeare, Mary Queen of Scots and Richard III, but did buy books on Percy Toplis, Moorcroft Pottery and historical trivia.

The Moorcroft book cost me £3.49. It was originally £35. Unfortunately, just as I was feeling  economically prudent I took a look at the prices on the Moorcroft site.

I’m going for a nice lie down in a darkened room now.