"Who am I? Why am I here? You're asking, I'm asking. Tired of all the moaning around me, tired of waiting for something to happen, I decided that I couldn't just let life pass me by. It occurred to me that if I could help a single person, that act could change the outcome of an entire community for the better. I want to matter. I want to make a difference. I've chosen Nicaragua." That was 2011 - this is 2017.
The postman has just arrived. I stood at the door and grabbed the items as he pushed them through the letterbox.
Mrs S called. I was going to ask her what she was doing on this day in May 1967 but last year she said I don’t know! Proof if ever there was that no matter how momentous the occasion, details may slip with time.
I’m now on, or in, the formal process by which I firmly wave goodbye to the roaring 40s.
On Tuesday, the guard on my train was assaulted. I believe his name is Islam and he’s relatively new to the job. It saddened me that he could find himself needing hospital attention when all he was doing was his job. I spent the morning thinking about how his day had started and what an awful turn it had taken. He didn’t deserve it. I told the train company that I wished him well and a speedy return to work. I’d hate for him to be deterred from doing his job, I wrote.
Yesterday, at least four people were killed. Murdered in an act of terrorism – one in the line of duty. Each woke that morning to enjoy a new day unaware of that twist of fate to come. There have been so many great words and memories shared about them. Wonderful stories. Amazing people.
Don’t you just love the London spirit:
the extremists: extremely kind, extremely compassionate, extremely tolerant;
the stiff-upper-lippers: let’s have a brew, keep calm and carry on;
the defiant: we are not afraid!
Multicultural London and multicultural Londoners at their very best. What’s not to heart?
Hope and scope! Another sports-related express. I heard this expression the other day and I thought: I’ll have that!
Why say optimism when you can rhyme with hope and scope?
Any excuse to doodle.
I used doodling in Nicaragua to teach children to read and write. It was a really creative way of engaging them. Initially, they giggled at my attempts but then they tried and realised they were no better than me. We were all in it together. I learned and they learned.
Sports people produce little gems of mantras. Choose your battles, saidtheChelseamanagerAntonio Conte to the England rugby coach Eddie Jones.
One Thursday, I found my yoga teacher in the changing room in a glow. It wasn’t a yoga glow. She gushed so much about a book she was reading that I bought it the next day.
I’ve since recommended it to many people. In fact, I was out with a friend some weeks later and she said I’ve got this book … I finished her sentence: The Four-hour Work Week!
In essence, one of Tim Ferris’ arguments is: choose your battles. We can’t do everything. Too much choice can be stressful. Lack of choice has been attributed to the success of supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl. Children like to know were the boundaries are – they may push them but, in general, they like limits. Less is more.