Deprived of mechanised means of locomotion and without the aid of technology, the majority of urbanites, neither know where they are, nor are capable of getting somewhere else under their own power.

Will Self in the Guardian (quote slightly modified)

7 things to spend your money on to increase your happiness

Dutch magazine Intermediair ran an interesting article about 7 ways to spend your money to increase your happiness (it was actually a two part article, the first bit is here). For those of you who aren’t fluent in Dutch, this is what the article says to spend money on (and it’s based in scientific research, so it *has* to be true):

  1. Spend money on others
  2. Don’t buy things but experiences
  3. Buy lots of small things rather than 1 big thing
  4. Spend as little money on insurance as you possibly can 
  5. Pay now and consume later 
  6. Think about the things you don’t think about (e.g. not just whether the hotel you’ve selected is close to the beach, but also how easy it is to get to that beach)
  7. Watch how you do product comparison (which is now becoming so much easier with the internet: just because something’s got more features doesn’t mean you’ll use it more)

Things I’ve learned in my life so far, part 1

Don’t know where the inspiration for this came from but I thought I’d write down what I’ve learned in life so far, here’s part 1. No idea if there’ll ever be any more parts, but part 1 sounds optimistic, which is good. And hopefully it’ll propel me to reflect more. Actually, writing that word, ‘reflect’ made me realise that maybe this all stems from the excellent Hajj exhibition at the British Museum at the moment, which I visited a couple of weeks ago. 

Things I’ve learned so far:

  • It’s ok. Really, it is ok. There’s rarely anything that’s worth fussing about the amount of fussing I do about it. And everything tends to turn out ok, and if not, you adjust and cope. 
  • Things to work on every day: be a good person. Be nice and courteous, look out for other people, be good to yourself. Show little kindnesses, perform random acts of kindness. It’ll make your own life better and more fulfilled. If you feel down, do something genuinely kind and nice for someone else without expecting anything in return.
  • Dream bigger than you are now. What seems unattainable now becomes easier once you start taking steps to making it a reality, bringing the goal closer and making it seem smaller. Dream bigger and bigger. 
  • Related to that: dream big, but start small. Have a big goal in mind is like seeing people reach the top of the mountain: it looks easy, but takes a lot of preparation, luck and most of all small steps to get there. And at the same time it looks like you’ll never get there because it’s so high. Figure out what the small steps are and start. 


There are two ways to lead your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein. Always good to be reminded of this. 


But London’s uneasy alchemy is also what gives the city its propulsion. …“Some things will work and plenty of things won’t work, and somehow that combination of the working and not working is what gives it a particular energy and a particular life. If everything worked, it would be like Canberra. It would be dead in the water. And if nothing worked, it would be a third-world country, like Haiti. But this combination of not being able to get everything to work that we say will work seems to (make London) more appealing, perhaps, than a well-run, efficient city.