Daily Routines

January 28, 2009

Daily Routines is a blog “how writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days”. I really enjoy it as it gives me inspiration for how I should be spending my day, how much time I waste and gives me insight into what real people do with their day when they’re not at work (or in some of the cases, whilst they are working).

It inspires me to formulate a rigid attitude to creativity but at the same time I’m of the feeling that disorder creates creativity. Inspiration comes from clutter and randomness (trinkets on the desk, photos on the walls, models and paintings scattered about) and minimalism is what I imagine firms use to make sure their employees work every single minute of the day.

In the book Queuing for Beginners there’s a whole chapter on the Englishman’s working day, and it goes into length about different attitudes brought over from America. The small desks, clean/blank desks, crammed workspace and firms trying to get rid of watercoolers because of ‘watercooler talk’ (an actual myth, there is no such thing according to the book). What it came down to was that firms wanted minimalism so their employees didn’t get distracted, but this kind of behaviour lowers moral and enjoyment in work. If you instead let workers make their desk their own little home then moral boosts and people enjoy their work more, you never know, they might even stay at work longer.

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Cormac McCarthy – The Road

January 28, 2009

I finished The Road last night and I must say I really really enjoyed it. It’s full of hope, toil, strife, love, pain and it’s written in a gripping and engaging way. By the end I really did feel like I couldn’t put it down till I had finished it, ending up sitting up till well past midnight reading, something I don’t think I’ve ever done.

It’s been made into a movie and should be out later this year and I’d recommend it to anyone. I always find it’s best not to know much about a book/film before you see it, so I’m not going to give anything away, just be warned, it’ll have a rollercoaster of a ride with your emotions.


The English

January 25, 2009

There are two books about the English that I really love, one I have just finished and the other I read quite a while ago. The was Watching the English by Kate Fox and I’d suggest anyone English reads it to get a sense of how obsurd we really are, a feeling of dread from some of the obsurd things we do and to just laugh at it all. I’d also suggest anyone foreign reads it as it’s going to shed a lot of light on why we’re such a bizarre set of peoples. From how and why we queue, to how and why we say sorry if someone else bumps into us. These are small things I’ve always wondered and was too English to ask (not really, but it goes :). The second is the one I’ve just finished and is called Queing for Beginners, it’s less for the foreigner looking to find out about the bizarre species known as the English and more for and English person who just wants to find out a bit more about our past and what makes us English. What’s the history of commuting, why do we give up our seats, when was the first time someone got into a fight because a youngster didn’t give up their seat (this last one is far earlier (early 20th century) than one would have imagined, what with us all complaining that the country is going to the dogs because the youth won’t give up their seats anymore). I don’t have any other books about the English on my list to read, but I look forward to finding some, at the moment my love is for books about Music, recently having bought Musicophilia and seeing lots of books like This is your brain on Music (I think it’s called).