I was reading an article about a woman living in a Berlin apartment who is keeping bees. We do have a bee crisis and I know that Europe has different programmes to encourage back yard people to become beekeepers. Keeping them in an apartment block sounds very daring to me. I love bees and am concerned their numbers are dwindling but I understand it better now. Farms have basically become uni crop – just corn or just wheat or just lentils. Then farmers tend to use sprays which do not help the bees and are killing them. The farmers are dealing with difficult weather conditions and are doing what they can to stop their crops from being destroyed by pests or fungal diseases. If Europe can do it, we can do it. I loved watching that video. It is clever and inspiring and you can see that a back yard bee keeping exercise has turned into a business. It is well thought out and the level of care is obvious. There is also someone locally who provides honey from a back yard bee keeping establishment. I don’t know whether it’s good to keep back yard bees or not. I am going to find out. I wouldn’t want it to be a danger to myself, pets, children, people. Maybe I won’t be keeping bees. Maybe I can help someone? My plan for the new year to to find out what is offered locally by way of bee keeping courses. I then plan to find out where we have our local bee keeping people. It’s the sort of thing which could become a community project so that no one has the weight of carrying all those bees. I don’t know. I am creating a plan and then I am going to follow it through because it is not about me. It is all about the bees.
This is such a remarkable story. It tells of the power of resilience, a positive mindset and a determination to believe in yourself and never give up. Human beings can be so surprising and so inspiring. Whether you want to be like him or not is beside the point. Could everyone survive and overcome what he did ? He must have had an unstoppable faith in himself and a willingness to never give up on himself. Were those all failures or simply the training he needed to become the success he has been? I am not saying the name because you may not have worked out who it is. He is not someone I have thought about much. I shall now because he has never let anything get in his way.
Why shouldn’t here be a song about Slough as there are songs about New York, Paris, Chicago? There are films about the Snowy River, Paris, Seattle. Why not Slough? Why don’t North American Indians call themselves pelican names when they are happy with Sitting Bull, Hawkeye, Lone Wolf? Why can’t people have mental legs as they do a mental head? Why do we think one person is weird and another one is okay? Why shouldn’t we have songs about anything we like? The French make songs about cucumbers, run away dogs, picnics, voyeurs, cigarettes. I didn’t know what I was going to get when I went to see David Brent. I just knew I liked Ricky Gervais and what he stood for. I know he is a complex thinker and can fight effectively for animal rights. I know I liked The Office .The film is set in and around Slough, Berkshire where Ricky Gervais was born. The humour is British and I had some really good laughs throughout the film. It’s a complex film, though, and not to be given a post modern reading. You listen to the song lyrics, you know the actor is being a character you know who is then reflecting on that character. The film questions how we define normality and how we define mental illness. It clearly examines how mental illness is not a disease, it’s not an illness as such, but a person with hopes, thoughts, dreams, relationships and more than anything, feelings. A person is not this bit or that bit but a collection of traits, experiences and thoughts and is a whole . It’s a Gestalt reading of human behaviour. We are not our fatness or thinness or our job or the clothes we put on. We are all sorts of things and some of those things are transient, some of them are determined as acceptable by the norms of society. He questions political correctness, body image, language usage, content of popular culture, work place expectations. It is a film which puts everything under a lens but not in an arduous way. It’s thought provoking and it makes you wonder. If you are familiar with people with mental illness there is a lot which you can relate to. You could even be asking yourself well, maybe it’s not right to call someone that when all they are is a square peg in a round hole. Who are we to put down and judge? Where did we get the parameters from to judge them? You don’t ask yourself that, though. You look at the film and realise people are people and they are all on the road of life trying to get somewhere and trying to do their best at getting there. I really enjoyed this film and I am glad I went to see it. It will be one of my favourite films. I need to think about it some more!
Often you find so many reasons why you can’t do something or you can’t change. Your mind will bring up a whole array of logical reasons why you shouldn’t. And so you carry on as before. Nothing changes.It might feel safer that way. Life is change. Growth is change. change is action. So sometimes you need to dare yourself to be different and just go ahead. I always remember that episode of Seinfeld where George did the opposite and suddenly his life left the mediocrity and frustration behind and he reached new heady heights of success. It was a funny episode, but that message had a profound influence on me. When I feel I am drab or dull..then I do the opposite. I read something I’d never read. I watch something I’d never watch. I talk to a person I don’t know or I go and do something I would never do. It never ceases to create change in me and even if I choose never to do that thing again, there are plenty of things I have added to my life because I have done the opposite. The toughest challenge is to respond in the opposite way you would normally when you believe your normal response is not a good one. You realise how ingrained your reactions are and how they narrow your capacity to just be!