Happiness starts with a moment

September 27th, 2014 Comments off

On twitter today someone sent out a partial Charles Caleb Colton quote. I can’t find the tweet again, but if it was you let me know and I’ll give full credit. I ended up doing a little reading about Mr Colton, discovered a rather prolific and very quotable writer. He comes across as one of the steady supply of wonderful eccentrics that Georgian Britain produced and sent out into the world.

The quote in full was:

“Men spend their lives in anticipations, in determining to be vastly happy at some period when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other-it is our own.

Past opportunities are gone, future are not come. We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer the tasting of them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.”

Charles Caleb Colton

There are many things that keep us moving beyond anticipation. We live in a world focused on “what’s next” and “what’s better”. We spend our time chasing what’s supposed to make up happy, but some how we never quite catch it.

One form of happiness comes from appreciating the moment; being grateful for what you have and understanding that you have all you need right here, right now, to be happy.

It’s not easy to sit back and understand this. It took me years or therapy, of leaving a bad relationship with someone who made herself feel good at the expense of others.

Happiness is not found, it’s in the moment and we just need to see it.

This transient happiness comes in many forms. It’s my cat who is very insistent that he wants to be petted. It’s when I leave for work and I’m the only car on the road. It’s sharing an art museum with my girlfriend. It’s taking a selfie with Cinderella. It’s getting a “Thank you” and no questions from my boss when I present my projects.

It’s appreciating the moments, and eventually the moments weave together into something incredible.

The appreciation of the moment comes from inside, deep inside and it’s not easy to find at first. But when you recognize happiness for the first time you want more.

I am happy, I truly am and I don’t wonder why I’m happy, I just am. I am incredibly lucky have some wonderful positive and supportive people in my life who share the understanding that life is to be lived, not necessarily at 150 miles per hour, but to be lived nonetheless. I know who I am and today I like that person very much.

Happiness does not come from just going after one experience after another, the important part is appreciating what you are doing at the time. Being a good consumer and going after the next shiny thing may bring a little rush, but it also brings stress and rather quickly you feel empty again. No one gives a prize for being the person who has the most stuff when they die.

I don’t have the answers, and I certainly don’t claim to be omnipotent or know what anyone else should do. However I do believe most of us have everything we need right now to find that first glimmer of true appreciation and happiness. You may think it hokey, but be brave enough to connect with what you have today, and just maybe you’ll get what I’m on about.

35 things I learned from motor racing

September 24th, 2014 Comments off

MH001

  1. Once you have the helmet on and strapped in, it is way too late to wonder if this is a good idea
  2. The racing and rally communities are small, and they have long memories, so be nice
  3. It does not matter if it’s a 12 car road rally or a national championship, you are still a racer
  4. The part you need will be left at home
  5. Fast cars are cool, knowing when it acceptable to go fast is even cooler
  6. Rally cars are drawn towards stumps, ditches and trees. Despite the best efforts of the driver the inevitable can only be delayed, not prevented
  7. “Fast – Reliable – Cheap” decide which two out of the three you want before you buy a car
  8. This is way too expensive a hobby not to have fun
  9. It always used to be better than it is now
  10. Nap when you have the opportunity, go to the toilet before you need to
  11. Racing extracts a heavy mental toll, be ready with correct change
  12. Food and beer is the post race social lubricant, always come prepared with both
  13. Being both good and lucky is great, but at times it’s still not enough
  14. The louder the bang when you hit something the longer you should take to make sure the car is good before pushing again
  15. Racing isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle filled with incredibly generous people, and a few arseholes
  16. It will cost more than you budgeted, get used to it
  17. The more you stare at the temperature gauge the quicker it goes from OK to red
  18. It gets cold in the desert
  19. Only one person is responsible for your results. It’s a waste of time and energy to play the blame game.
  20. Remember nomex is not fireproof, it just buys you a few seconds to get out
  21. If nothing on the race car is broken give it a few minutes, that will change
  22. Real toilets are to be appreciated, you can’t have quiet time in a portapotty
  23. Everyone is a brilliant driver after the 4th beer at the post rally party, don’t correct people
  24. The closer to the end of a race the louder and more urgent the strange noises coming from the engine become
  25. Rolling a car hurts
  26. Know when to be serious, and when to laugh.
  27. Almost all racers are slightly OCD
  28. Rule of P’s – planning and preparation prevent a piss poor performance
  29. A HANS device will not stop you getting a stiff neck, just a basal skull fracture
  30. “Did Not Finish” is a very expensive, and frustrating, way to go racing
  31. No one said gravity is fair, just consistent
  32. Happiness is fresh tires
  33. Nobody cares what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow. The now is important
  34. You’ll never stop learning
  35. Enjoy the moment, the feeling and the people that make racing so very, very special

Vancouver Fringe

September 14th, 2014 Comments off

This was the final full weekend of the Vancouver Fringe Performing arts festival. The weather was about perfect, the performances we saw ranged from “inventive and interesting” to one the Edmonton Sun called “Half William Shatner, half Zapp Brannigan, half blind and total alcoholism”. How could you say no to theater like that?

Granville Island

It’s not the Edinburgh Fringe, that’s a unique beast, but there was plenty to enjoy. And it’s always fun to spend a weekend in Vancouver.

Granville Island Hotel

Peeling back the curtain – Four episodes in

September 14th, 2014 Comments off

Eleven times in the past we’ve adjusted to a new Doctor, we’ve slowly learned a little about who The Doctors is and now it’s time for number 12: Peter Capaldi to take center stage.

I’ve been watching The Doctor since John Pertwee (#3), admittedly that was mostly peering out from behind the sofa. The first bars of the theme tune sent me scurrying there like a whole generation of British kids.

The first Doctor I watched while proudly sitting on the sofa was Tom Baker, the person I consider my first Doctor. A somewhat disheveled man with a questionable taste in scarves (mentioned in the first Capaldi episode with a great throwaway line) and slightly strange eyes. However we had one thing in common, a love of Jelly babies.

The David Tennant to Matt Smith transition was pretty seamless, both younger doctors with similar personalities. So we’ve had close to a decade with similar Doctors, and then Peter Capaldi shows up. He’s a big departure, when he was announced my first thought was “Malcolm Tucker is going to be the Doctor? Should be interesting”.

If you don’t know who Malcolm Tucker is, watch the video, but I warn it’s very NSFW, but it’s worth 2 minutes 43 seconds of your time

Michele and I talked about this last week and we come to The Doctor from very different places. She knows very little of The Doctor before the Christopher Eccleston reboot. Michele wonders not only can Capaldi play The Doctor well, but her expectation is that he plays a good Matt Smith type Doctor. But, I want more than a simple continuation of what’s we’ve had for the last decade, I want to keep looking at the dark side that David Tennant first gave us a glimpse into.

We’re four shows in, and I like what I see. This is a different Doctor, his humour is darker, much like his outlook. He’s an older, angrier Doctor who is learning about who he is, the world around him and dealing with his personal demons.

Will Steven Moffat keep peeling back the curtain and let us see who The Doctor really is?

My geek-dar is hoping so, and if it’s half as good as the War Doctor we are in for a treat.

I’m back, I’m not quick, but I’m back…

September 10th, 2014 Comments off

This was a big milestone weekend for me, and I got to share it with 59 others all trying to do the same thing – Race to the top of a hill. I was not quick, but by gosh it felt good to be back, I’m still smiling.

This weekend was filled with good BBQ, lots of laughs, a few drinks and some wonderful moments shared with great friends.

I went racing, for the first time since this. This weekend the three years of learning to cope with the disorientation, dizziness and occasional vertigo through long sessions of physiotherapy, and dumb determination, paid off.

I had two goals for the weekend: drive to the top of the hill and drive the car home again. Not lofty goals, but I achieved them both. While I was not the quickest driver over the weekend (but not the slowest either), I’m not sure there was any that had a better time than I did.

Thanks to JB for knowing exactly what I needed over the last 12 years, I don’t know how you knew, but I love you for it. For Chris and Chris for being such a big part of the weekend. For Michele, Heidi, Amy and Jillian for letting us act our hat sizes, rather than ages, for a weekend thank you.

Why I Write

September 9th, 2014 Comments off

Why I write is an easy question to answer.

It empties my mind, I find it very relaxing, and it is hard to do sometimes. And if you’ve ever successfully copied something you saw on Pinterest, you’ll know nothing gives more pride than nailing something difficult.

Hard stuff takes determination, practice and a certain amount of dedication. Writing can be very hard and I know the rewards are proportional to the difficulty of what I’m doing.

I’ve blogged and written consistently for years, most blogs last less than a year. While it’s a couple of years since I wrote daily, there are archives going back 6 years, and I’m a little proud of that. This weekend I was asked if I still write. And I have been elsewhere, but it’s time to get back to writing here.

My blog is very personal and success or failure is determined by how I feel about it. Comments, tweets and email are nice, but I write for me, and that’s really important.

I’m truly fortunate, but like everyone else not everyday is perfect. I’m lucky to have many great people and had a really good therapist in my life. It’s a life that is unrecognizable when compared to where I was five years ago.

So to finally answer “why I write?” However my day has been there is one thing that will give me a sly, satisfying smile: Putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.

Thanks, Dave

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Rik Mayall – more than the people’s poet.

June 10th, 2014 Comments off

My first real exposure to alternative comedy was The Young Ones, I was about 13 and it was brilliant. This was comedy that my parents did not get, it was loud, a little sweary and very, very funny. This was probably the first thing that I saw as mine and as I was a few years too late for the Clash and the Sex Pistols, this was my counter culture moment.

I met Rik Mayall once, briefly in 1993 (I think it was in Barcelona) and it was not much more than a brief handshake, but by then we’d seen the wonderful Lord Flashheart, Comic Strip Presents, Filthy Rich and Catflap, Alan B’Stard, Colin the bassman and my personal favorite Bottom.

Which spawned the brilliant, brilliant Bottom Live. I saw two of the Bottom Live tours, not sure how much was improvised and what was in the script, but Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson brought an incredible, almost feral energy to the stage. It was anarchy and it was wonderful. The commitment to the characters was total and the audience were given something that could never be shown on BBC2, even after the watershed.

The Young Ones started it all, Rick was the self styled “Peoples Poet” and believed he spoke for a generation. His work left a lasting legacy and how can he be dead when we have his poetry?

Mar 1st

March 4th, 2014 Comments off

First game of the rugby season, this is when it gets really fun. 3-1

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Feb 28th

March 4th, 2014 Comments off

Final practice, first game of the season tomorrow. 2-28

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Feb 27th

March 4th, 2014 Comments off

2-27

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