Thursday, October 06, 2011

2011 Streak 257 (Saturday Sept 17th): Small pleasures

2011 Streak 257 (Saturday Sept 17th): Walk 3 miles, Time 1hr, Weather - There were clouds
I think I should now celebrate small pleasures. Not the big stuff that lifts you up and gives you a sense of your identity, not the set pieces you plan for, nor even the things you feel you can't live without. No I want to celebrate the little things that make you feel just that slightly better. Mostly they are simple, often they can be semi-routines (not totally a routine though because once something becomes a habit you lose the sense of attention).
One of mine is to walk to a coffee shop and read the Saturday Guardian in a slow, relaxed way. Always I will find something to catch my attention away from the mainstream news, whether it be a personal story or an essay. I don't read the whole paper, that would take too much time and anyway I like to hold back the review section for the following day, but just enough to make the time seem well spent.
Today for example I was  interested in an article by Ian Jack about the differing fates of Tony Hayward, who was the CEO of BP at the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and J Bruce Ismay, who was the Chairman and managing director of the White Star Line when the Titanic sunk. Tony Hayward has now moved on (as jargon would have it) to another venture which has raised £1.35bn by floating on the stock market. However the shame of the Titanic and the opprobrium of public meant that Ismay never quite got his life back again. As Ian jack said "This is what shame and feelings of personal responsibility did, once upon a time." but now "Public disgrace – the fact of it, whether justified or not – no longer presents an obstacle to powerful careers."
An interesting comparison of changing mores and what I look for in my Saturday read - a broader perspective on what is happening, something more considered than the endless chatter of rolling news.
P.S. Summer might have been rubbish by any normal summery criterium but the slight consolation has been some spectacular cloud formations. This dark sunset in today's picture is an example among many.

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