Following on from last week's "positive negative" campaign for non-voters, I came up with a small personal challenge, which I can thoroughly recommend if you're particularly bored, or just trying to avoid work...the latter being something I find far too easy to do (I should be bouzouki-ing my fingers to the bone right now, for instance, rather than write this ephemera).
Give yourself one minute (nae cheating) to write down/type out a list of "things you like" (and nae cheating by selective editing after you've finished to make yourself look better, like some politician appearing on Desert Island Discs, either). Then, if you're like me (oh dear) be surprised at all the stuff that didn't make it onto the list as the final seconds rushed away.
Oh, and there were a couple of other rules, too - no vague, woolly abstracts like "committing yourself to the cause of world peace" (or indeed, "world low-intensity conflict" if you're an arms dealer..unlikely, admittedly, but...). That's all great and lovely (not so much if it's the 'arms dealer' scenario), but could you be a little bit more specific, please? Name your favourite pro-peace (or war) organisation(s) instead, ok? And I consciously avoided anything to do with "lurve", since however much I may enjoy "snuggling" (a lot, since you didn't ask), there isn't any going-on around here, and this was meant to be about 'happiness'. No specific musicians, bands, or genres of music either, because thinking about that topic would have sabotaged my already-limited brain and prevented it from considering anything else.
Anyway, here's my 'honest & genuine' little list, in exactly the (dis)order in which it issued forth:
My kids, Bergen, rowing boats, hills, trees, flowers, Edinburgh, running, lifting, bouzoukis, bass guitars, chocolate, Puddledub Pork, castles, Norse sagas, history!, David Hume, John Muir, Richard Dawkins, my friends, red wine, Port Ellen, whisky, rugby, dogs, Keswick.
No idea why I typed an exclamation mark after "history", and yes, starting with "my kids" might seem a little contrived, but that's just what came out. Surprising, maybe, after the way the little beggars had been behaving today...
A few brief, but possibly necessary, explanations: "Puddledub Pork" are producers of delicious bacon and the fantastic "Auchtertool Originals" sausages; "running" is probably a reaction to my knee cartilage injury/surgery last year (I don't run up hills these days, just after my kids, but it's a great feeling - trying to do some "lifting" again though, albeit very carefully, and with a lot lighter weights than in years past); I'd been discussing John Muir and what an incredible life he'd had with my older monkey earlier; "Port Ellen" is, for me, the finest malt whisky ever produced; "Bergen" is a wonderful place, albeit expensive; finally, sorry, but I haven't a clue how "flowers" got in there, but "bicycles" didn't. Or "photography", for that matter, which is something I really enjoy (however mediocre the results may be).
Like I said, give it a try yourself - hopefully your results will make as little sense as mine.
Still, for what it's worth, thought I might as well finish by entering into the St. Valentine's Day spirit...