Saturday, 20 September 2008


Saturday 7.10pm

For years now, on and off, I have kept notebooks. Less formal or demanding than a diary they are a place to put things. What things? Anything and everything in fact - ideas, appointments, shopping lists, sketches, handwriting practice, my thoughts on life and the answers to those quizzes and questionaires you find in self help books.

Like dream catchers they allow me to put things down in writing before I forget, and the very act of writing encourages and helps my ideas become more organised, more real. The ones from the past become little snapshots of what I was doing and how I felt at the time. Like music, reading one will take me back to a particular time and I can feel what I felt like then, what I was doing, even what my hopes and aspirations were. A couple of posts ago I listed what makes me happy and one particular notebook has the same thing written years ago  along with my wishes for the future. Written on the edge of a hillside in the Scottish Borders, long before I met Nicola, I find the entry particularly poignent because reading it I can feel exactly how I felt then and you know most of what I wished for has come true. (the rest I am still working on).

I have three notebooks on the go at the moment, one for work, one to keep track of money and my newest one above, is for everything else. Well four actually - my computer is also a notebook - I am writing this on it now, but the the paper ones will always be there as well.

Notebooks. Everyone should have one.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

It's all in the details

Sunday 8.52pm

I've never quite got jazz. Some of it I enjoy but then, especially with the more modern stuff it goes somewhere and leaves me behind. The musicians obviously hear something I cannot. And so it is with experts in any field. At some point they become so deeply involved in their subject that they move beyond what us mere mortals can see or understand. I see glimpses of this in my own specialities. I can diagnose the cause of your toothache just by talking to you, sometimes even by just looking at you. The difference between me as the dentist, and you as the patient is that I see the whole picture. I see the cause, what led up to it, the immediate and long term treatment options along with the risks and benefits of each, and more importantly what needs to be done to prevent it happening again. And yet still people complain about my consultation fee because in their words I "did not do anything". They just don't see what I see.

Not everybody will get to that level in their chosen field of course, that stage where you do not have to think things through - you just feel the answer, you just know. Nicola has it in computing, she sees things that I just don't, and like jazz probably never will. 

We all see things differently, something
that is easy to forget. For example I took
the picture above, I wrote the words,
chose the typeface and put the two
things together. But what really makes it work for me is the way I have got the flower petals to sit around the "s" in soup, linking the two paragraphs and tying the words and picture together. Just this one detail makes all the difference.

Life is never dull when you can look at it through anothers eyes.

(That typeface is a condensed Gill Sans, by the way - if you click on the top picture you'll see it better).

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