Bits And Pieces

From weeding the garden, (why do weeds grow faster than plants?) to de-tufting Nismo the cat, (have you ever had to disentangle a slug from the belly fur of a wriggling cat?) it’s been a week of strange bits and pieces.

Trending themes from my week…

I discovered a new word this week which made me chuckle… ‘Exhaustipated’ Definition – ‘Too tired to give a shit.’ That about sums up the week for me…

Also, because I was feeling ‘exhaustipated’, I did a little experiment on brain function… OK so it wasn’t particularly scientific but resulted in a nice graph and some advice to friends… ‘Moral.... Basically, if you want anything sensible from me ask between 4am and 2pm. Otherwise? Don't bother!’

Feeling somewhat despondent after all that I felt the need to cheer someone up and found this positive psychology quote. It works! I spent a morning at work doing just this and I have to say my team seemed to be in a really good frame of mind for the rest of the day. Try it and ‘pay it forward’.

On the art front I completed a project for a friend where the brief was ‘gargoyles, cats, dragons, skulls and books.’ Quite a broad brief but I managed to include all the aspects. I’m thinking of doing a series of drawn stone images now so I got some good inspiration form that!

I also started a picture I promised my son of his pride and joy – his Toyota MR2 car. I’ll post a picture when I’m done. It became clear that a good sign of a productive art day is the amount of crap on our dining room table. Unfortunately my family’s only comment was ‘are we going to be able to eat at the table one day?’ Ugh.

Books read this week, 3 - two recommendations below…

The Carpenters Dilemma by Noah Harris

‘This is the beautifully written and lovingly crafted continuation of The Family Secrets series: Noah Harris' unique and awesome take on the history of werewolves and the folklore surrounding them. The first book, The Carpenters Secret, saw Dean take on his grandfather’s run down farm and start a relationship with the eponymous carpenter, Mikael, discovering his secret in the process: he's a werewolf! Both men have 'family secrets' that will be revealed and this second book delves deeper into Mikael's family, the werewolf pack, introducing some interesting characters such as the twins Apollo and Artemis and of course Mikael's parents. The plot revolves around Mikael's dilemma regarding his duty, his status in the pack and his feelings for his lover: he believes he cannot have everything he wants. Dean challenges the pack traditions, where Mikael won't, and puts their growing relationship in jeopardy as a result. I'm hoping Dean's family secrets, intriguingly alluded to in both books, will be fully revealed in book three and I can't wait, as that's the part I'm really looking forward to. Dean and Mikael are warm, loveable characters who both captured my heart and imagination in book one, and book two definitely didn't let me down on the emotional front either.’

Turning the Page by Sam Elswit

‘This is a great short read and if you're looking for a hot little story to fill a quiet couple of hours this fits the bill perfectly. I'm a fan of May to December tales and Alan is pushing fifty, going through a divorce and having to sleep on his daughter Wendy's sofa. He's bemoaning the awful hand fate has dealt him, reminiscing on his past failures but feeling he has to stay strong for his daughter. Then he meets a young 'twink', Thomas, who lives in the same building as Wendy. Thomas is a pianist, as Alan had been and even plays in the same bar: the bar where Alan has 'history'! Thomas makes a pass at Alan but is Alan really gay? When Wendy goes away for the weekend they have the chance to find out! I loved how Alan’s insecurities made things awkward and there are some funny moments in the book because of them.’

My time spent perusing the internet for interesting tuff to read has produced quite a few great articles recently which you too may find entertaining or useful…so I’ve included some links below.

Wayne Delfino ‘If you’re reading this story, you’re cutting your risk of a heart attack.

That got your attention, huh?’

I’m a firm believer in ‘use it or lose it.’ When applied to brain function. Look upon the brain as a muscle which will lose definition if not used regularly. Reading gives it a daily work out!

Thomas Oppong Founder @Alltopstartups.

The Only Time You Are Actually Growing is When You’re Uncomfortable

If everything is too good, you’re probably stuck not being awesome.

Don’t join an “easy” crowd. You won’t grow.

Many people are so comfortable they’re miserable.

Breaking a habit, trying something new, taking a risk, making new connections, or putting yourself in a totally new situation won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. It’s exhausting but rewarding.

The message here is that we have to challenge ourselves to change in order to achieve more. If we don’t change we stagnate.

Ever wondered why history’s great minds including Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marcus Aurelius, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw and Maya Angelou would spend so much of their precious time writing things that will never be seen by another soul?

I’ve often thought about journaling, several friends swear by it. I really should do it.

Brad Stulberg

Writing well is hard. Very hard. There are no short-cuts or “hacks.” The only way to improve is practice.

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