Tag Archives: smile

Be pessimistic when you’re young, but optimistic when you’re old

The optimist is on the right hand side of the picture, with her arm round the pessimist.

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

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Filed under Music, What I'm Reading

Classroom rule number one: Never smile before Christmas

Two excellent short films. The first is clever and imaginative. The second may induce feelings of vertigo or unsettled stomach – IT”S THAT EXCITING!

So – first – The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway’s book and John Sturges’s film starring Spencer Tracy – now an animation drawn by Marcel Schindler.

I saw this film on the excellent Brain Pickings website. My only quibble with the animation is that the role of the boy is omitted – though, to be fair, he doesn’t board the small boat on the trip depicted.

Next – short film number two. Some of the camera shots may make you queasy. Here’s the film called People Are Awesome.

It’s the going over the edge skiiing shot that has me holding on to the table for balance. Though I suspect it’s the sort of thing Lesley “Get” Carter does every morning before breakfast. I presume they used the same crew as this Carling Black Label advert (based on cameraman Graham Henry’s exploits with Anneka Rice in Treasure Hunt).

The nearest Continue reading

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Filed under art, Film, friends, life

Faces

Faces are here to be looked at. Even better – to be smiled at.

That might seem like stating the obvious, but so often people avoid face to face contact.

On public transport or in crowds people avert their eyes or look down. Anything but make eye contact.

(Oi cheeky! They’re not just trying to avoid making eye contact with me either. It’s everyone.)

When I was a boy in Belfast, catching the eye of a stranger was tantamount to challenging them to a fight. Ever been asked the question: “What are you lookin’ at?” It’s not a good start to a conversation Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium

Funny

You need cheering up. So here goes…

Mother Teresa (my Granny’s old mucker) died and went to heaven. God greeted her at the Pearly Gates. “Be thou hungry, Mother Teresa?” asked God.

“I could eat,” Mother Teresa replied.

So God opened a can of tuna and reached for a chunk of rye bread and they began to share it. While eating this humble meal, Mother Teresa looked down into Hell and saw the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, lobsters, pheasants, and pastries. Curious, but deeply trusting, she remained quiet.

The next day God again invited her to join him for a meal. Again, it was tuna and rye bread. Once again, Mother Teresa could see the denizens of Hell enjoying lamb, turkey, venison, and delicious desserts. Still she said nothing.

The following day, mealtime arrived and another can of tuna was opened. She couldn’t contain herself any longer. Meekly, she asked, “God, I am grateful to be in heaven with you as a reward for the pious, obedient life I led. But here in heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a piece of rye bread and in the Other Place they eat like emperors and kings! I just don’t understand it…”

God sighed. “Let’s be honest Teresa,” He said, “for just two people, it doesn’t pay to cook.”

Now you’re probably wondering how women burn calories in France?

Three ways. Wine, cigarettes and… surprise, surprise… exercise bikes. But not as you know it.

Here’s another.

A man enters a barber shop for a shave. While the barber is foaming him up, he mentions the problems he has getting a close shave around the cheeks.

“I have just the thing,” says the barber taking a small wooden ball from a nearby drawer. “Just place this between your cheek and gum.”

The client places the ball in his mouth and the barber proceeds with the closest shave the man has ever experienced. After a few strokes the client asks in garbled speech.

“And what if I swallow it?”

“No problem,” says the barber. “Just bring it back tomorrow like everyone else does Continue reading

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School Portrait

I asked my daughter to supply to words to this one . And top girl said: “Hey Hoberman. Hey Dapper Dan. You’ve both got your style, but brother you’re never fully dressed without a smile. Who cares what they’re wearing on Main Street or Saville Row. It’s what they wear from ear to ear and not from head to toe… that ma-ah-ters.”

Hmm – I’ve a feeling she did not just think that up on the spur of the moment. But it seems to fit this short video – which I dedicate to anyone having one of those days.

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Filed under life