Tag Archives: self improvement

Day 208

What, I ask myself, marks out today from previous days. Not much. The details are a little different, but the essentials stay the same. We were nearly hit by an idiot on a roundabout but I realised he wasn’t going to stop, so I stopped despite having right of way. I was already half way round and could have carried on but there is little good to be had from a situation where you are in the right but have a bent car and an insurance claim.

It barely seemed to register with him as he sped by the front of the car and even the sound of my car horn produced little effect, apart from provoking him into using his own. Not enough brain cells to use his brakes but enough to feel outrage at having it pointed out that he had done wrong. Clearly a child of the 21st century, for they can never be told there is the possibility they may not be in the right.

I hope that when he has the accident he is clearly destined to have he doesn’t injure anyone else. I don’t particularly want him to injure himself either, just give himself a big enough shock to realise drivers have responsibilities. Having said that, if he did injure himself, I wouldn’t particularly mind, as a little less vigilance on my part would have seen him smash into Julia’s door. If only we had the ability to live our days over again.

In the alternative universe I would be driving a tank, and I wouldn’t stop for him.

Of course, in a really alternative universe, I wouldn’t be driving Julia to work at 8.30

Another unusual thing that happened today is that I made a list of things I must do, and actually made a start on doing some of them. I am, for instance, writing this post instead of snoozing in front of TV. It’s not going to change the world, but it is a start . . .

RAVC Badge

RAVC Badge – penny for size comparison









The featured image is a sweetheart brooch of the Army Gymnastic Staff. It is probably from the Great War, which was when sweethearts became popular. It is 1919 at the latest, as they changed the name to Army Physical Training Staff in 1919, a name it kept until 1940.

The other pictures are a sweetheart of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Carved in mother of pearl, probably in Palestine. It dates from between 1919, when they adopted the “Royal” and the centaur badge, and 1952, when they changed the crown.

I added these to my collection last week.

Sundays and Self-Improvement

I’m currently reading yet another self-improvement book. I can’t recommend it as I’m currently wondering whether to carry on reading it, and one of the few things that I have learned from it is that extremely successful people say “no” more often than people who are merely ordinarily successful.

So I’m close to saying “no”, I won’t waste more of my life on this book. It’s strident in tone, doesn’t really explain the concept of being extreme and isn’t giving much in the way of insight.

Fortunately, being a Kindle book, it was cheap, it hasn’t killed a tree and nobody else will have to suffer as I can’t pass it on.

It’s even worse than the last one. I decided I would benefit from a book on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. So far, I haven’t. I kept falling asleep when I read it. This probably isn’t the fault of the book as I have a habit of buying psychology books despite knowing that they have a soporific effect on me. I’m going to persist with this one as I think it has something for me.

I can finish most books, including the one about eating frogs. It isn’t really about eating frogs, but it does offer an extended, and overdone, metaphor. It was irritating but useful.

For some reason the writers of self-improvement books really have it in for frogs, as do Victorian scientists.

A couple of weeks ago, I listened to a radio programme on self-improvement and research suggested that by the end of a self-improvement book you feel worse about yourself for failing to be the person the book implies you should be.

The strident book mentioned in the opening paragraph is a bit like that, and tells you that you should write all your failures in a journal as this helps you get over them. I’m currently failing to make the change from self-employment to employment, and did wonder, momentarily, whether to write it all down. I’m not sure, but if I do you will be the first to know.

The picture shows a cream tea that came off second best when it went head to head with me on Wednesday. It wasn’t the greatest cream tea, but it does have a link to self-improvement and failure in that one of my long-standing self-improvement targets is to lose weight.

That cackling sound you hear is 2,000 calories laughing ironically.

And that concludes my thoughts for Sunday morning.

The Coming Year (Part 2)

The plan for the year is gradually coming together, which is good, because I want something to take my mind off yesterday.

First, I’m spending time on getting my health in order. This isn’t really an active choice, after the pre-Christmas admission to hospital it was more or less forced on me. I’m in hospital tomorrow, though I’ve already covered that.

Second, I’m doing more exercise and making sure I get out in the open air. We said we would do it and although it’s a bit patchy it’s going quite well. Having blown a few cobwebs away I’m now feeling a lot fitter. Again, it’s not taking a lot of effort as I like getting out with the camera and binoculars.

Third, we’re putting a few plans in place for holidays- a long weekend in the Lakes and a week on Mull. Last time we had a full week the Beijing Olympics were on. Again, it’s not difficult to manage this.

Fourth, we have the permaculture and nature books out and we’re planning the changes in the garden. We’ll start with a good tidy (we’ve neglected it badly over the last couple of years due to the time we’ve spent on the farm) and see how it goes. This is going to take more effort. I’m starting with a wildlife pond and gooseberry bushes. Well, you have to start somewhere.


Washing up basin wildlife pond

Fifth, we need to declutter the house  and do some decorating. (See comments in Four). So far I’ve taken some books to charity shops. Every journey starts with a single step…

Sixth is weight loss. No plan just yet, it’s just sitting their like the elephant in the room. That’s what Julia has started calling me anyway.

The featured picture is a Robin from Rufford Abbey, all puffed up against last week’s cold.  It’s hard to beat a Robin photo for cheeriness.