The pursuit of happiness makes life shallow
I've read this article a few times and still don't know if I agree or disagree. On the one hand I genuinely think having a stress free and peaceful life is the way to go and I'm always thankful how easy it is for me to achieve those things. On the other hand my best times do (and I hope, will) include those I spend fulfilling duties towards others - I especially relate to Penelope's point about choosing to have kids even though they technically don't bring happiness (don't fool yourselves, they don't).
But on the third hand still, I always cringe at how so many of my peers and colleagues seem to find this meaning through their careers - most will agree with the article in that sense I think. Of course that just means what we already know: that these things are subjective and what gives one person meaning may not provide anything to another. But in the hierarchy of things we can spend our time on I do think that some things can be more objectively meaningful than others (taking care of your family over evil banking for example) and I do think that that landscape is changing for the worse. Perhaps "meaning" has now just become a commodity that is conditioned, cultivated and marketed to us.
Thanks to Farah for the link. Oh and yes, I still love Penelope Trunk.
Friday, October 25
The pursuit of happiness makes life shallow
Thursday, October 24
Sometimes the best kept secrets really are in plain sight. Take this, a greasy little cafe right in the busiest part of Bishopsgate. Of all the years I've visited and even worked in the area I have never before even noticed the place.
Which sucks, because it really is a neat little gem. Okay, there's not much for those with restrictive halal diets, but the fish and veg options are pretty good (what can possible top a smoked salmon sandwich? Why, a fish finger sandwich, that's what), the service decent and the vibe top notch. It a great place to catch up with friends - there's not much to distract you from the company you're with.
And most surprisingly it wasn't even unreasonable value, with two sandwiches, drinks and a shared dessert all coming to £12.25 which is pretty unbeatable in my book. Totally recommended.
Tuesday, October 22
Urgh. There are some things I do, and some places I go, which make me wonder if anything ever changes and if humans as a species are actually progressing. Temple Lounge is one of these places. It really was like being back in the late-ninties-slash-early-noughties, with that particular blend of lowered brows and bad service that would only ever be tolerated by brown people who don't actually know better (or rather want to appear grown up by paying twenty quid to puff on a shisha pipe).
Okay fine: the food was alright and there were a few pretty young girls there if that's your thing (I'm guessing from QMW or Westminster - you know the type), but to be honest I'm just grasping at straws mentioning these things because I'd feel too bad giving the place a complete rinsing. Oh and yes, the place was way too expensive for what it was. Two hour limits? Cash only? I'd laugh if I wasn't cringing so badly.
Cheap, insubstantial and oh-so-tacky, I guess you could go here for a gag or a dare or just to remind ourselves that we can't take the more decent places for granted. Otherwise do yourself a favour and avoid.
Friday, October 18
Monday, October 14
Wednesday, October 9
It was a random woman in the T-Mobile shop who recommended I read this. "It's so much better than the Game of Thrones books I see you reading" she said. Of course I discarded her advice as the rantings of a madwoman at first, but once I googled it I began to realise that the Wheel of Time books were actually quite epic - and due to finish this year. The idea of embarking on 14 volumes of 6-800 page books was quite thrilling too - this will probably keep me occupied for the next few years at least, I thought, and that kind of investment in a book was exciting.
So here I am at the end of the first volume, The Eye of the World, with mixed feelings. The good first then: there is tons of potential here with the huge map, the wonderful mythology and a plot you just know is being set up for the long game. It's just a shame that the whole thing was a little flat: in characterisation, characters themselves and drama. I hate to break it to the lady who introduced me to it but Games of Thrones this ain't, and I've yet to have my breath taken away in the same way ASOIAF did.
But it is good enough to have me hanging on and who knows: maybe the real reward does indeed lie in the long haul. I look forward to finding that out - the best thing about the series is that I won't have to wait to progress in it.