Archive for August, 2007

When I was a GP (a Family Doctor) I had a pony tail but once I became a grandfather I cut it off. One of my patients brought her daughter to see me where I work now (Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital) having been to consult me herself several years ago. She said her husband asked her where she was going today and she replied “To see Dr Leckridge at the Homeopathic Hospital”. He said, “Oh, that hippie doctor!” “What do you mean?” she asked. “The one with the pony tail,” he replied. “Oh, he doesn’t have a pony tail any more” she told him and he replied “Aye, but it’ll still be on the inside!!”

“I hope it is!” she said to me.

Conforming is a zombie way of life in my opinion. It’s good to know your uniqueness and to be yourself. There’s a great post on this across on lifehack today. It’s written by Adrian Savage who writes the great Slow Leadership blog. I love his conclusion –

Conformity has very little to recommend it. Trust yourself and trust others. Our world has so little trust even a little more is precious. If you can’t trust who you are—the naturally valuable, curious, interesting, and exciting person you were born to be—why should anyone else trust you?

Mediocrity and inner frustration are the true price of conforming. Only those with the courage openly to live their dreams can ever hope to find lasting satisfaction with their lives.

I also love the quote he’s chosen from Rollo May’s “Man’s Search for Himself”

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice…it is conformity.”

Go on, trust yourself, and be the hero of your own life story.

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Weathered wall, originally uploaded by bobsee.

How aware are you of the textures of the world you live in? I notice colour a lot and when I have my camera with me (which is ALWAYS) it’s often the colour of something which attracts me.
However I am also VERY aware of textures. I realise my favourite clothes are probably ALL my favourites primarily because of their textures (much more than their design or their colour)
What catches your attention on an everyday basis?
Colour? Shape? Texture? Scent? Sound?

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Expanding your musical horizons

Here are some ways I’ve expanded my musical horizons over the years –

  1. The Music Club.
    When I was a teenager, my friends and I started a club. There were a dozen of us and we grouped together into three groups of four. Everyone put one pound into the kitty every week (that was 12 pounds a week). Each group took it in turn to buy albums with that week’s money and everyone in the purchase group got to keep each album for a week before passing it on to a friend. If you liked it you could tape it. If you didn’t you just passed it on quickly. Once an album had been all round the purchase group it was passed on to the next group. Once everyone had borrowed an album we auctioned it amongst ourselves with the money being added to the kitty. I discovered a lot of music that way.
  2. John Peel and Bob Harris on the radio
    I was a regular listener to John Peel on Radio 1 and when I was at school I wired up an audio lead to the speaker terminals in my dad’s radio to tape his show onto cassette. Sadly, John died in 2004. His taste and mine were not always the same but in his earlier years at least there was a lot of overlap. Bob Harris in recent years has broadcast a regular show at the weekend on Radio 2 and I’d routinely record it onto minidisc then listen to it on the train over the following week. I abandoned that practice when I moved from the minidisc to the ipod. I still listen to his show from time to time, either live on Radio 2, or on the net, using the BBC’s listen again service.
  3. MP3 blogs
    MP3 blogs are blogs about music. You have to hunt about for a bit to find one which matches your tastes. I especially like saidthegramaphone – its my favourite!  I’ve recently discovered elbo.ws which is an MP3 blog aggregator (that means it collects the posts from a range of other blogs)
  4. New net technologies
    I really enjoyed Pandora while it lasted! Sadly the copyright fanatics are busy killing it off in the UK but if you’re in the US you are still in luck. It uses a special algorithm to work out what kind of music you’ll like if you tell it some of your favourites.
    Most recently I’ve discovered Musicovery – it’s fabulous! The interface is THE most innovative music interface I’ve seen on the net. You have two axes – Energetic/calm and dark/positive and you just drag the cursor into the zone you want to discover. It then instantly creates an incredibly colourful music map with the central node being a song you might enjoy. You can move around the map sampling songs that are more or less like the one which is playing – oh dear! That’s not too clear is it? The best thing to do is go and see it for yourself! Musicovery

So, tell me, how to you find music you like?

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Here‘s more to enjoy. Brilliantly observed and very funny.

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The heart of the flower, originally uploaded by bobsee.

There’s a whole world in there isn’t there?
In Leisure, by Joseph Pieper, he refers to the act of contemplation as a way of perceiving without effort. In Eastern religious traditions meditation is a common practice (and scientific studies support the claims that meditation practice can bring many health benefits). However, for those of us from different cultural backgrounds to those where such spiritual practices are taught, meditation can seem alien and difficult.
Contemplation as effortless perception however is accessible to all of us. First you have to notice something. Then you have to slow down, stop and gaze, letting the object of your gaze fill your thoughts. You don’t have to figure out exactly what you are looking at. You shouldn’t ask yourself any questions about it.
Just take a few moments in silent contemplation.
It’s good for you.
Flowers capture me. On so many levels. From catching my attention, to contemplation, wonder, awe and curiosity.
What captures you?

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I’ve recently been playing with Stumbleupon and stumbled across this page.

It’s good to read aphorisms and when they are spiced with humour they’re even better.

The “thought for the day” at the bottom of the page captures the tone of the whole piece –

Thought for the day: Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

Check it out. I think you’ll laugh at (and agree with) all these “pearls”.

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Black Boy fountain, originally uploaded by bobsee.

I was born and brought up in Stirling. I left in 1972 to go to Edinburgh University but about 6 years ago I came back. A home town changes a lot over a decade or two but some things stay the same.
This fountain is called “The Black Boy” and I would see it every day as I walked to Primary School. Its good to see it still alive with cascading water. It’s one of those physical points in the world that gives me such a strong sense of connection. The familiar can become invisible to us of course and we just stop seeing. That’s the benefit of carrying a digital camera with you everywhere. It’s kind of a catalyst to seeing again.
I was really struck with the brightness of the sun sparkling the water in the fountain this week.
Then I looked again at the photo later and I noticed the surveillance camera in the background. All of a sudden I had such a strong feeling of lost innocence. When I was a child the world seemed a gentler, kinder, safer place.
Can we make it that way again?

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