Sunday, June 24, 2007

"There could not be another person on earth who read these things with more intense interest than he did, for to him these were questions of immediate practice, influencing what he might do that very day. To him every paper had the unwritten subtitle How Should I Live Right Now?" Kim Stanley Robinson, Fifty Degrees Below Zero.

I've been thinking a lot about creativity lately, as well as trying to push it all into practise using GTD as a framework to capture everything and free me up to observe the world in as many different ways as I can while dosed up on repeats of Ze Frank's Show and random inspiration from the internet and books.

The most important thing is simply making the time to do things. (Easier now I don't have a tv.) Even when you are engaged in something else, like walking to the shops, listen and look about you for what is new, for the elements of beatitude around you in the pattern of clouds, the feeling of weightlessness at the top of an assisted chin up in the gym, the flicker of rain on a window, the thoughts fired by an article on the internet, the blank page in a notebook, overheard conversations on buses. Creativity is a habit. I'm also trying to do more than just write. While I am not a photographer I thought it would be nice to wander around Manchester with a camera a few weeks ago and I think I'll do it again. I also make sure I have coloured pens around for creating colourful things and am trying to make time to do some sketching.

Yesterday I read in Fifty Degrees Below Zero about Freegans. Checking my 30 Signals vs Noise feed later that morning I came across an article on Freegans in a nice piece of synchronicity. When I took the rubbish down I had a quick poke around and found a pair of almost new swimming goggles (worth 12 quid) which are perfect for Zak, who had said earlier that very day that she needed some.

Also went to Urbis where there is a nice exhibition of modern Hong Kong artists and a exhibition called Play. Play looks like it would be good if you were with a kid or two and if it had all been open.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Filofax hole punch
Originally uploaded by grazulis.
Yesterday went in to the Arndale centre to find some bits and pieces. I had a quick check of the filofax section in Smith's but didn't really see anything I want (I'm looking for quadrille paper, a world map, printer paper and some other stuff but shops never have it for pocket size, only the larger sizes). Then I found the hole punch. That was pretty much top of the list because with it I can create my own pages and really start to customise and prettify what can otherwise be an overly drab and practical object. The photo shows the punch and a page I create from a flyer for Journey to the West opera that is coming up in July. Much better to see that rather than gun-metal grey.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Finally got around to joining and then getting to the gym this morning. So I am now tired and vaguely cheerful while quietly ignoring how much I am going to hurt tomorrow.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Had a nice weekend. The weather was really nice so I decided to spend a couple of hours wandering around taking photos. The light wasn't great as it was around midday that I was out but some of them are ok. Mike came over from Leeds for lunch at a good little veggie cafe here in Manchester then we wandered back through town looking for somewhere that wasn't full for a beer and ended up at our apartment. For the evening Zak and I went to see a dance/show based on the Indian epic The Mahabharata. Some of it was ok but apparently modern dance is just another term for formation walking which kind of took any excitement to be had out of the whole affair. The music, by Nitin Sawney, was pretty good, though. After that went to Canal St. and had a beer sat outside, by the canal. All very European. Sunday decided not to do much except get the shopping done and play some PS2. Final Fantasy XII for those who are interested.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Been a very GTD heavy week. Really enjoyed listening to the podcast with Merlin Mann and David Allen mentioned a couple of posts back and have now tricked out my filofax for proper GTD use. I'd never really gotten to grips with how the filofax could be organised and it's been a very organic process. Still not entirely happy with it but it's definitely getting there. A couple of interesting comments that pinged in my mind were that can take two years for GTD to really take hold. The other was to remember that it's as easy to fall back on to GTD as to fall off.
The other GTD-related observation I have for the week is in the use of place labels. That is, organising next actions by location or person: Stuff I want to ask my boss goes on an @boss list. I started consciously doing this a few weeks ago because I need to be in regular contact with several people who are not based at the same site as me and it was a convenient way of organising. Of course, this is not some new GTD thing, it's always been there but I just never had a great need to do it before. And now that I've recognised it I can start implementing this in other ways. So if I have a bunch of phonecalls to make they go on an @phone list, or websites on an @internet list.
Went to see Pirates 3 this week. It was all right, better than the second one. I feel about it much as I did Spiderman 3. It's a fun film, not art. Bad reviews come along because it's supposed to match some ridiculous artistic ideal that it's not really striving for. The main problem with it is that it's just a bit too silly and the macguffins are generally poorly explained and come across as just plot devices we're supposed to suck up without questioning. Which is ok unless you're remotely tempted to ask yourself, erm, why did that just happen?