Tag Archives: motorbike

Do look back but with a smile

20110327 Motorbike luggage case 150x150 Do look back but with a smile

Today is the day of the British Census 2011 and also the start of British Summer Time (BST).  It marks the end of about five months of coming home from work in the dark and now the clocks have sprung an hour forward.  As a young child I always had trouble remembering which way the clocks went.  There is the mnemonic that says the clocks spring forward and fall back, where fall is used in the American sense.  The only trouble with that is that you can spring and fall in either direction so we’re none the wiser.  I also never knew when the clocks changed, as my young mind was not adept at spotting more complex patterns.  (For the record it happens on the last Sunday morning in March and October.)

So what does it all mean?

1) The clock tower on the Asda supermarket roof in Bedminster, Bristol is reading the correct time again for the first time since October.

2) My oven will now show the wrong time for the next eight months.

3) We lost an hour of our day – nay, our lives – but we usually get it back when the clocks “fall” forwards again – oh the confusion!  This year we may not get it back, as they (the powers that be) were considering keeping BST all year round.  To be fair though, this is mooted every so often and nothing has ever come of it. 

Time is a precious thing and it has the power to heal, to build and, as Albert Einstein said, to stop everything happening all at once.  Every one of us is on borrowed time – time that has been bestowed on us to do whatever we please, if you believe in free will.  Free will is a separate issue and warrants an article in its own right, but for the purposes of this article we will assume it exists and consider time from a human perspective.  There are things you don’t choose, which have an influence on your choices in life.  You don’t choose who your parents are, in what country or place you are born, what race or gender you are, what sexuality you are, how tall or good looking you are…  Clearly we are not born equal but we have equal worth and you can choose to use your time for good.

I was brought up to live life by the principles of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, although this isn’t always straightforward.  In a selfish world you have to protect yourself, look after your own interest sometimes and not let people take advantage of you.  My mother is very giving and she will bend over backwards to do things to help people – even when it is not in her own interest and severely inconveniences her.  On the other end of the spectrum there are people who take advantage of others and seem to go out of their way to hurt others for their own personal gain or satisfaction.  Generally though, I believe there is goodness in everyone and the existence of things like ambulances and charities shows that people really do value others as equals.  Even tax dodgers and burglars love.

The thing is not to bear grudges.  Anger and resentment eat away at you and the person towards whom your feelings are directed is often oblivious to this fact.  Don’t give the other person the pleasure of your pain by not feeling the pain in the first place.  Easier said than done.  I never run to catch a bus.  A minority of bus drivers seem to derive pleasure from not letting you on.  But the majority are decent people.  I was on my way to a Mexican restaurant in Bristol recently and the driver asked for £2.80 for a single, which is extortionate for a 20-minute journey.  I only had £2.50 in change and a £10 note and exclaimed, “How much?!” in disbelief.  What followed resembled a Dutch auction and the driver promptly responded, “Just give me £2,” and then gave me a pound back in change, after deciding he would give me a £1 ticket.

A wise man once told me the best way to respond to an act of kindness is to pass it on to someone else.  Yesterday I was at the supermarket and bought a pack of cooked chicken for the parley pesto I made as part of my food association experiment to use up copious quantities of parsley.  I now have an excess of Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic.  The lady in front of me was unloading her basket onto the conveyor belt and, spotting that I only had one item, let me go in front.  It was a totally unexpected act of kindness and it made her happy; her happiness was the pleasure of giving her time to me.  If I had given her (or the bus) driver a six-pack of Heineken to show my gratitude it would have undone everything.

And so from buses we tenuously make a link with transport and, somewhat arbitrarily, motorbikes.  The picture shows the luggage case on the back of a motorbike.  It is looking back at the road behind and it is smiling.  We have all heard the phrase “never look back”.  But I think the past is a good learning tool, though it is not necessarily a good indicator of what will happen in the future.  One thing it is good for is telling you where we came from and the things we learnt and experienced along the way.  On life’s journey look forward.  Forgive and forget insults, don’t bear grudges and remember the compliments you receive.  When you look back, do so with a smile.  The back of the motorbike says “demonstrator”.  Hard though this can be, let’s emulate it.

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Some say…

20110307 Helmet Man 150x150 Some say...

Remember I wrote about the invisible man some time ago?  It was an article in which I mentioned my colleague, who rides a motorbike.  I was chatting to him about work-related issues the other day and noticed his helmet on the window sill with his gloves wedged inside and poking out of the “face bit” – you know the hole with the visor.  Oh, I don’t know what that’s called, as I ride a bike, but see for yourself.  The result is a rather interesting gorilla-like face with a cheesy grin, a big speckled nose and a bit of a squint.  The “hair” reminds me of Dr Zoidberg’s top lip.

 Said colleague sits behind me and we share a window with a blind, which we tend to roll up.  This means we get natural daylight (Well duh!), but we also get to see what happens outside, which can be quite interesting at times.

 Quite often we’ll see a guy who jogs everywhere and always seems to have loads of carrier bags or balloons and a Union Jack.  He waves, shouts and sings at people as he runs past and I’m told he is a bit of a local celebrity.  I’ve also been told he survived a pretty serious illness, which is why he is so happy.  Fair play to the guy and apparently he’s been pictured with various celebrities running the New York marathon.  If all the above sounds a little bit like the introduction to The Stig (“Some say…”) then I guess that links us back to the image of the helmet.

There are plenty of other interesting things passing by our window and I will write about those in a future post.  It’s easy to get distracted sometimes and maybe the face on the window sill serves to tell us to get back to work.  Back to work is where I will be tomorrow, fully rested and raring to go.  A short four-day week beckons but it is set to be a busy one and I am dreading the state of my inbox tomorrow…

Posted in I See Faces, Object, Transport, Work | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

The invisible man

the invisible man 150x150 The invisible manOne of my colleagues rides a motorbike (this is relevant as you will find out later) and as well as doing his normal job he has the added responsibility of being our IT man.  If you have any IT problems, he’s the man to tell you to reboot your machine and check that everything’s plugged in properly. 😉  Every good company has an IT person and thank goodness for that.  In this modern age of computers, pencils and paper… and – wooooo! – pocket calculators (What a time to be alive!) it’s easy to spend entire days tapping away at a keyboard and fighting with IT equipment.  At a previous company I worked at, the internet would “break” at least once a fortnight.  One time this led to an interesting lunchtime, where – shock horror – people actually had to talk to each other, almost as if we had forgotten how to…  Oftentimes I find people are afraid to talk or simply can’t be bothered.  The result of this is an overflowing inbox and surely a less productive and less sociable (or dare I say it, human) existence.

We humans are incredibly clever; it’s no co-incidence that we call ourselves homo sapiens, or “wise man”.  We are so clever, we have the ability to use tools to make our lives easier.  So clever in fact, that we can communicate complex concepts to one another and pass on our knowledge of tools to others.  Sorry if that sounded sarcastic – that was meant in a sincere way!  But every problem solved brings about a new one.  Email is one such example.  We invented a medium to improve global telecommunications and we abuse it to a point where our ability to communicate is diminished.  We fix this problem by inventing social networking and as a result become more insular and spend our lives glued to computer screens away from other human beings.  This is the new “idiot box”.  I very rarely watch TV anymore, but will spend hours on the internet, blogging, reading up on PHP/CSS, checking the news, watching iPlayer, etc…  But I digress.

My colleague left his computer running to sort out some essential IT stuff, put on his motorcycle boots and left his office shoes by his desk.  This produced the curious illusion that he had turned invisible.  I chuckled, took a picture and returned to my computer screen, foaming at the mouth. 🙂

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