Monday, May 30, 2011

Life in a Day

We’ve been pretty busy of late, which is one of the things that have contributed to the lack of blogging (another probably being laziness…).

Anyway, yesterday we went to see a preview of the film “Life in a Day”. The tickets were free, so we thought we’d give it a go. So we wended our way to the local cinema for a 10.30am Sunday showing.

The film is the culmination of a project that took place on 24 July 2010. People all around the world were asked to film their day and submit it to YouTube as a possible contribution to the film. They were asked to answer questions like “What do you love?”, “What to do you fear?” or “What is in your pocket or handbag?” (although I don’t think that was compulsorily) and the film was then put together from some of the 4000 plus films submitted from about 190 countries.

This is not the sort of film I would normally choose to go and see, but we actually both really liked it. It gave you a sense of the people and world around you (in the truly global sense). It showed happy parts of life, sad parts of life and everything in between.

I would recommend going to see it, but it is definitely one to see at the cinema rather than on DVD, although I can’t quite explain why. Although that said, there were times when it would have been good to pause it to discuss what we had just seen. It has no plot beyond there being the progression through 24 hours, so don’t expect a “story” to unfold in front of you. It is moments in people’s lives and it gives you a sense that the world over we have things in common and a shared humanity. Or that’s what I got from it anyway – it’s for you to decide what you get from it (and I would highly recommend listening in on other people's comments as you leave the cinema!).

Friday, May 20, 2011


Many of us believe that when we feel down, we should try to focus inwardly and evaluate our feelings and our situation in order to attain self-insight and find solutions that might ultimately resolve our problems and relieve unhappiness. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, I, and others have compiled a great deal of evidence challenging this assumption. Numerous studies over the past two decades have shown that to the contrary, overthinking ushers in a host of adverse consequences: It sustains or worsens sadness, fosters negatively biased thinking, impairs a person’s ability to solve problems, saps motivation, and interferes with concentration and initiative. Moreover, although people have a strong sense that they are gaining insight into themselves and their problems during their ruminations, this is rarely the case. What they do gain is a distorted, pessimistic perspective on their lives.

Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky - The How of Happiness

Saturday, May 07, 2011


I was disappointed that the AV referendum went with the “No” campaign. This was one of the best opportunities we were ever likely to get for people to have more of a say in how the government is formed. But the people have spoken.

I feel I might be able to give some insight into how the “No” campaign managed to win though. My sister went to vote and took my six year old nephew with her. He wanted to know what she was doing when she was standing their in the Polling Booth. So she read him the question and asked him what she thought. He said he thought the answer was “no”, so my sister told me she went with that*. If you voted “no”, you voted the same way as a six year old. Just so you know.

When my sister told me this tale, I replied that this was why women should never have got the vote.

*Just to spare my sister’s shame, she is actually a perfectly intelligent person and had already made up her mind about how to vote.