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My mood is tempered by my need this morning for emergency dental treatment. The pain has been creeping up on me for weeks, but I didn’t get round to making a call until yesterday morning and midday today was the earliest I could get to see someone.
I went for antibiotics and painkillers rather than immediate root canal surgery just before Christmas…
This therefore qualifies as my first real middle-aged birthday post as it’s dominated by news of my health
Otherwise, I’m having a lovely day: sausages with candles in them for breakfast, courtesy of Miss Laura Musgrave. An hour-long massage at Wandsworth’s finest and then the traditional watching of “It’s A Wonderful Life” on a big screen.
I’m also a bit overexcited about my new project for the new year, I hope lots of you will join in – more of that next week.
I had a conversation with a friend this morning that has become quite traditional for me at this time of year. It’s my birthday on Sunday and obviously Christmas a couple of days after and I’ve come to dread the days leading up when people say to me “What do you want for your Birthday & Christmas?”
What do I want?
And that’s usually as far as it goes. And this friend today pointed out that that’s a really good way of avoiding receiving anything. *And* that that is a hugely selfish position to put oneself in. I know the joy of giving. And I withhold that joy from people around me by making it hugely difficult for them to give. I want to keep the giving all to myself. Yuk!
I was encouraged instead to “Get ready to receive like hell!” and make a list of things I’d like to receive. Yuk! again! Yuk! I would do anything to avoid this. I do anything to avoid being given to, but then end up wondering why I don’t have stuff. I’m avoiding it now by writing about it instead of doing it.
Now of course, I let go of a lot of “stuff” when I went on the road, but now I’m settled again, there are things that I need and want that are associated with that lifestyle. I think I’m cured of accumulation for its own sake, but for the last five months I’ve been a bit needless and wantless.
See how I’m still avoiding getting down to it. It’s painful, isn’t it? I really want to slip out of doing this and get on with working out what I can give to others, but the truth is that this is a time of exchange, not one-way flows. I don’t have a problem with giving, I have a problem with receiving, so that’s where my attention needs to be.
I’ve got a high-level list of spending categories from times when I’ve had plentiful income and when I look through that, I find that there are things I want. And if I let go of the idea that anyone at all might be interested in this list and might act upon it, I can trick myself into typing it out and posting it to the internet.
I’d be really grateful for:
- a bedside table (or a TV stand to replace the bedside table that’s currently holding up the TV!)
- a really nice solid writing desk
- a warm blanket that feels like it’s mine
- bed linen in dark warm coloursn
- a thicker duvet
- my bed back from storage
- curtains for the bedroom that really blackout
- a blender
- a roasting tin that fits our little oven
- measuring cups and a measuring jug
- kitchen scales
- a little one-cup coffee filter like Laura’s got
- some more plants for the flat
- homebase/IKEA vouchers (!)
- a big (no really, probably bigger than you’re thinking) whiteboard
- a lifetime’s supply of whiteboard markers & wipers
- a noticeboard for the hall
- a generous, dark, soft fleecy/velvety/corduroy beanbag
- HD storage for home media
- big chunky headphones
- my turntable and amp from storage
- a desktop PC that’s less than 5 years old
- a movie-quality video camera with good sound
- new glasses (spectacles) – last time I bought new ones was 1996 that’s too long.
- a case + screen protector for my phone (HTC Desire S)
- good smells – there was a time when I wouldn’t have dreamed of going out without suitable aftershave, but I have no idea what suits me these days.
And that’s what just comes out when I give it a little thought, I’m sure other things will dribble into my consciousness.
My standard answer is “Oh nothing, I don’t need much.”
Kevin Kelly via Russell Davies
“The Paleolithic rhythm actually reflects the “predator rhythm,” since the great hunters of the animal world, the lion and other large cats, exhibit the same style: hunting to exhaustion in a short burst and then lounging around for days afterward.”
I’ve lounged. I’m hungry. It’s time to go hunting again. Who’s coming?
Christian just tweeted with a link to lists of old BBS’s
And so I ended up looking at this list for the UK in 1994 and thinking there’s a culturematic in doing the following:
- Bring the STD codes up to date (mostly “add a 1″ but there have been other changes)
- Call each of the numbers on the list to see what response you get.
- If you talk to a person, write up the conversation. If you get a modem (!) there’s another project in finding out what’s going on.
Just y’know, if you like.
Nothing to see here, move right along, folks…