Happiness as Anarchy #124: Instant finds amongst the mess

I confess that I do often lose things in my house (and in moving have found things I’ve been trying to locate for years). On the other hand, I also have a sixth sense for where certain items are, despite the piles of boxes yet to be unpacked and stacks of books. Take, for example, a volume of Latin American Stories that I haven’t read for over a decade, but I thought it would be nice to read a couple this week. Somehow I knew exactly which pile it was on and found it in less than three seconds. It may be a mess, but it is certainly not chaos.

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Happiness as Anarchy #123: Long haul inflight entertainment

It may seem strange to say that I like a long haul flight. I see it as a fabulous opportunity to do nothing for a day, without having to think of anything more than which movie to watch. It just dawned on my that I can drink G&Ts and binge watch movies all the way to Argentina on Friday. I’ll be starting with Rocketman, followed by Bohemian Rhapsody, Vita & Virginia …

This photo is Air New Zealand’s first flight attendant crew in 1940.

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Happiness as Anarchy #122: A letter that’s not a bill

A letter arrives in the mailbox with the logo of your energy company on the front. Tired of paying an endless stream of bills, you leave it sitting on the bench for several days before opening. You’re sure that it is another bill inside. When pragmatism beats procrastination you open the letter to find a delightful surprise: it is not a bill at all! Just a little letter to say that you are on the best plan for the amount of electricity you use. Aaah, happy days!


Happiness as Anarchy #121: Musical Lineage

My musical lineage has some rather distinguished names in it and makes me feel I’m carrying a certain responsibility to keep playing. If I trace back the teachers, it arrives with J.S. Bach. He taught his son, C.P.E. Bach, who taught Haydn. Haydn taught Beethoven, who in turn taught Czerny. He taught Parratt who taught Nickson, who in turn taught Keck, who taught me.

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Happiness as Anarchy #120: Flower Arrangements

The Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley in France has immaculate gardens, exquisitely designed and carefully maintained, delighting the eye in every direction. In addition there is a prolific flower garden with blooms destined for the château. In every room and corridor there are fascinating flower arrangements, every bit as interesting as the furniture and architecture, adding a living presence to the historic site.


Happiness as Anarchy #119: Old Red Books

They sit on the shelf like wise old sages. Not demanding to be read like their flashy descendants, but waiting patiently until the time is right. A classic tale unravels in the printed word and the untold story of readers over decades floats from between the pages. Who read this before me? And who before them? How did the story touch their heart? A perpetual mystery.

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Happiness as Anarchy #116: Reversing a trailer successfully

Reversing with a trailer on does weird things to even the most engineering driven brain. Working out the logic of articulation whilst doing it is a gargantuan cognitive task (because no-one practices reversing a trailer – you just find yourself needing to do it and realise you haven’t done it for several years and all the requisite knowledge has leaked out your left ear). That special trailer-reversing happy is here this week – I’ve done it the rain, in the dark, and even avoided the path of an oncoming duck.

I think I’ve got a handle on it now