Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Another sneak peak into my notebooks...

Sometimes, I'm a bit of a bumbling idiot. I get myself into ridiculous problems or get anxious about the silliest things. As a result, I have learnt a few things that can help get you through the crazy world we live in.

So, as I often find myself with an inexplicable feeling of deja vu, only to realise that I have been in this situation before and I have still yet to learn from my mistakes, I decided to write some of these down. When my niece turns an appropriate age, I shall give her the little brown notebook with my life lessons in: Uncle Tom's Maxim's.

Some of them are serious lessons learnt from painful mistakes. Others are helpful practical tips. Some of them are to add a little mischief or humour into life. Here are four examples.

Lesson #8
Choose what you are for not what you are against.

Lesson #9
You can boil eggs in a coffee maker.

Lesson #11
If it won't matter in a week, it's not worth worrying over.

Lesson #17
Try to pull silly faces in public without getting caught.

As you can see, some of them are borrowed and paraphrased from far wiser people (like Martin Luther King). Currently, there's only seventeen. Hopefully, by the time my niece is of a respectable age, there'll be a few more.

What advice would you give someone?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A sneak peak into my notebooks...

I have dozens of notebooks; they each have different purposes. Some of them are filled, some of them are empty, some of them have had their role replaced by other notebooks, some are testaments to eagerly embarked on hobbies. Usually, no one ever gets to see inside them. But think yourself lucky...

I have a favourite notebook. It is woefully underused, but it brings a smile to my face when I open it and when I read what is written in it. It's just a jotting of thoughts and moments. I went through a phase of writing things down that I saw, thought of or felt. I did it sometimes on my phone; a lot of those have been lost through technical glitches (rue you, Evernote!).

I thought I'd give you a sneak preview into some of the moments captured.

"What do you have planned for the weekend?"
"Not much," I replied, concentrating on not mounting the curb, especially as I couldn't rely on him using his duel control. "Just homework and stuff."
"You need to get out more," he said with a strange earnestness. "You can't just work all your life."
I didn't need want his advice. I didn't need saving from my boring existence. And definitely not by a driving instructor who stared vacuously out of the passenger seat window while biting his nails.

In my previous job, I would often catch the train to work and would have to wait at various stations. This is where I collected most of the moments in this notebook.

The lady behind the counter greeted each customer as though they had just arrived at her birthday party.
"Hello!" she'd cry while she flung her arms into the air. "What can I get you today?"
She would tempt you with the offers as if she was showing you the buffet table: muffins, croissants and a you-know-you-want-to smile.

I'm especially fascinated by glimpses into worlds that I'm not usually a part of. It's like peeking through a keyhole in a locked and mysterious door. There were two builders at the train station one day that caught my attention.

"We'd never get a one point two in there," he said, waving his hands at the ceiling. "And what about the trunking? Fifty by fifty, you think?"
His companion mumbled an answer, gazing at wherever the louder man waved.
"It's getting the fixing for it," he said with a finality as if he solved all life's unanswered questions. "That's going to be the problem."

There are always some unusual characters at the train station (it's usually the guy with the little black notebook, writing down other people's conversations. Say hi, it's only me).

In the midst of the modern passenger and their accessories- bright pink trundle cases, high heels, canvas satchel bags and grey coats- was a man oddly out of place. He was wearing plus-fours, thigh high socks, loafers and a tweed flat-cap. If wasn't for the absence of a gun, he may have been off for a spot of grouse shooting.

This may be a New Year's resolution for 2015: fill the notebook. I hope this has given a little insight into the inside of my mind and how I see the world. Okay, one last one.

What I hate most about being thrust into a group of people I don't know is the utter drivel people talk. I am talking drivel, the person next to me is talking drivel and the excitable woman in the corner is most certainly talking drivel. At least I have an awareness of what nonsense I am speaking. Others do not. That woman is spouting it with such fluency she must have practiced it as one does a foreign language: with tedious repetition.