September 16, 2013 · 12:02 pm
The optimist is on the right hand side of the picture, with her arm round the pessimist.
Be pessimistic while you’re young, but optimistic when you get older. Do you agree?
I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the message from Diana Athill in her entertaining autobiographical installment Somewhere Towards The End.
To boil it down further: Be thankful, be appreciative, be optimistic. (Don’t worry too much about being pessimistic at all.)
It’s not just Diana Athill’s credo – she was inspired by newspaper interview with 100+-year old Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer.
According to Alice, people are born either pessimistic or optimistic.
According to Diana, pessimism or “a painful sensitivity to evil” may be useful in providing a spur to struggle against wrong, but optimism enables one to endure.
Do you agree with either of them? I think I do. Though I also think one can change or learn new behaviour – so the born pessimist may mellow Continue reading →
Filed under Music, What I'm Reading
Tagged as age, Alice Herz-Sommer, beethoven, biography, centenarian, concentration camp, czechoslovakia, Diana Athill, Israel, laugh, moonlight Sonata, Nazis. holocaust, optimism, pessimism, pianist, piano, prague, radiant, smile, Somewhere towards the end, Theresienstadt, youth
March 19, 2012 · 9:00 am
Hee hee – it’s great isn’t it? Whatever you were hoping for can’t be any better than this pic.
It’s catch up time with some of the strong things other people are up to.
Ras Jacobson from the Lessons for Teachers and Twits blog (for which I once revealed a shocking piece of personal history* via here) accidentally stumbles on to someone in trouble in webland. Very challenging and involves annorexia. Have a look here to see how she handles it.
Noble Cause Corruption (a police officer posting anonymously) is Continue reading →
Filed under blogs
Tagged as annorexia, blackwater, blackwatertown, blogs, border guards, budapest, cairo, contest, dominic wilcox, Egypt, friend to yourself, guilt, Gullible's Travels, lessons for teachers and twits, nadia elawady, noble cause corruption, one year on, PCSO, police, prague, ras jacobson, revolution, Rudy Noriega, Sana Johnson-Quijada, special constables, Specials, train journey, Variations on Normal, wee, wet t-shirt
October 26, 2011 · 12:09 am
"I just can't bear to look at that man."
The bar is hereby set to a new high for the The Day I Met… Competition. We’re talking mightily prestigious here. Almost John Peel level. Someone who has two birthdays each year. Holiday homes across the globe. Likes the gee-gees. She even knew Princess Diana. Yes… it’s the Queen. Queen Elizabeth II (or I if you’re Scottish). As monarchs go, she makes up in dignity what she lacks in liveliness.
This startling tale comes from Rudy Noriega of the Gullible’s Travels blog.
Regardless of your politics (and you know how I compromised mine here and here), Queen Elizabeth is the sort of person for whom you’d want to scrub up well before meeting. You’d want to make a fairly good impression, wouldn’t you? Not encounter with your flies down or spinach between your teeth. You certainly wouldn’t want to encounter her when you were… say…. oh I don’t know… PISSED! (That means drunk, by the way, not angry, for any Americans reading this.)
Oh Rudy, Rudy, Rudy… Continue reading →
Filed under Guest Posts, The Day I Met... Competition
Tagged as blackwater, blackwatertown, celeb, celebrity, czech, drunk, duke of edinburgh, Elizabeth, embarrassing, embarrassment, encounter, guest post, Gullible's Travels, marimba, nun, nun with concussion, nun with percussion, philip, pissed, prague, prince, Queen, royal, Rudy Noriega, the day I met, tipsy, trutnov