Immanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boosey beggar who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume Shoppenhauer and Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as schloshed as Schloegel.

There’s nothin’ Neitzche couldn’t teach ya ’bout the raisin’ of the wrist;
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will, after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle, Hobbes was fond of his dram.
And René Déscartes was a drunken fart, “I drink therefore I am.”
Yes Socrates, himself, is particularly missed: A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he’s pissed!

– Monty Python

Green Park

I have been reading “How to Stay Sane” by Philippa Perry and came across the gem that is Negative-Positivity, and by george does it explain a lot about London.

Essentially (please excuse my paraphrasing) politeness changes depending on if you are in a overpopulated area or not. In places like America where there is a lot of open space, the polite thing to do is to go up to people and make their acquaintance. You can be loud and personable because there is space. In that type of country (I say country because this type of behaviour has been ingrained through the generations) it would  be considered impolite to ignore someone.

However in a crowded place like London, negative-politeness comes into effect. When there are so many people about, the polite thing to do is give them as much space as possible – be that physical or by just avoiding eye contact. While London is famed for people being ignored on the underground, actually we are just being as considerate as possible under the circumstances. If my face is in your armpit, the only thing this negative-politeness will let us do is pretend that it is not happening.

Next time you are in an (assumed) unfriendly situation, take a think and see if negative-positivity applies.

Ship in a bottle

Rather frighteningly it is now 2013 and I am almost 25. When I was younger I assumed that by this point I would have a long term boyfriend, be at the top of a towering career pyramid, be living in London and be drafting my Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Currently only one of those is true (although I am expecting my peace prize nomination any day now).

I am not unhappy about my life right now – in fact being a single blogger in London with enough money to feed myself and a steady job is pretty awesome. But even though I am happy overall, and I live a life full of privilege and equality, day to day its not all sunshine and rainbows.

I am of the generation that concentrates on milestones rather than journeys. In my head I will be happy when I finally take that trip to India, or get the perfect job, or sell more pendants (shameless plug, build a bridge).

Not only are the milestones not the answer to happiness, but thinking that way contributes to a massive portion of negativity e.g. Life now is not as good in comparison with these shining milestones.

So what is a runawaykiwi to do? The answer isn’t for me to make drastic New Years resolutions about losing weight, new jobs, boyfriends and travel – because these are bandaids over my actual day to day state of mind.

Thankfully there is an answer and it comes in the form of a Happiness Project. If you have not read the book , get amongst it. The author Gretchen Rubin had all hallmarks of happiness – the loving family, dream creative job and nice house – and yet she wasn’t happy. So she started her Happiness Project which month by month tackled an area she was dissatisfied with. Some were little things like getting to bed early and keeping the house tidy, where others were bigger like writing a novel. All things which could make her happy.

Thus I take my inspiration where I can get it, and I have started my own. I have written a list of things which I think contribute to my happiness, and will be tackling them over the next year.

First up is two things which I already know change my mood drastically – sleep and sugar. For two weeks (only two to hard core evaluate and then I can keep going if I like) I will be lights out by 10pm and no sugar or candy.

This could be a challenge.

My Happiness Challenge is not about dramatic 2013 resolutions which will die a quiet death in February. This is the year of being happy, of finding out my triggers and living life to enjoy everyday not jut the milestones.

Stay tuned for my first HP update in a couple of weeks.

xx

I was casually wandering through* the GDT European wildlife photographer of the year photos, when I found this beauty by Cristobal Serrano. It was the ‘Underwater world’ winner so you know it is a good image, but it really got me into a metaphorical line of thinking.

For my generation there are a hell of a lot of options out there, the certainties which have previously been set in stone are far more fluid for us. Which country will you live in? The world is your oyster. Husband and kids? Nope, not if you don’t want to. Predetermined corporate ladder? It is what you make it.

Which is why I love Serrano’s picture so much. All the options are there, but it is never as easy or straight forward as you think. Sometimes you will see the exact thing you want, and will just have to swim your heart out to get it. You could just get lazy, and get the fish of least resistance. There will always be the lucky ones, who find their perfect dinner right off. And there is always the chance you will get the answer that you never anticipated.

 

xx

 

*By wandering through, I mean looking at on the internet on a Saturday night – its party central around here.