I've been remiss lately and not been keeping the lists on the right hand side of the blog alive with latest stuff, I believe this is no doubt due to me moving to an android mobile platform (I bought a new phone with a touchy screen thing in other words) and do a lot of my social networking and communications (reading blogs / facebook and tapping out incomprehensible emails/comments etc.) on this device whilst on the move - i.e. on the train. It might be a good use of the commute but re-reading the spelling, grammatical etc. errors in some recent comments/emails I think it maybe not so and no doubt half of you think I've lost my marbles when you see my comments to you. Anyway I've updated the lists.
Music - there is a load of really good stuff around this year, with Rush Clockwork Angels, Marillion's Sounds that Can't be Made recently added to on the perpetual playlist with Muse's 2nd Law (different but growing), Linkin Park's Living Things (really good), Magnum's typically Magnum latest offering and Mumford & Sons Babel adding an acoustic less brash balance. I should review all of these probably on here really.
I've been busy reading too. Tim Severin's Saxon is a great book if you like his well researched, highly descriptive but perhaps slower paced than many style of novels - the first part in a trilogy I was impressed. The main character obtains a legendary Arabic work on the interpretation of dreams which was an interesting topic line around which to base his adventures. However I've just finished Sebastian Faulks' simply brilliant A Possible Life. A collection of short life stories set in present, past, future with rich, poor, male, female etc. main characters but each one draws you in and captivates you. I was spellbound by it - the overall message is one about the meaning of existence through the individuals love of another (or others) but then what or how is that relative to the individuals real being? Led me to buy a short book on reality from a philosophic point of view. Interesting and thought provoking stuff - I loved one bit in Faulks' novel where one character is remembering something in his distance past as a child but reflects there is no atom in his body by then that would have been there then, they would have all have been exchanged with new ones... so how come he can remember - the memory can't be physical but he is the physical being... Hmm... deep stuff, beyond me other than to say the book was profound for me and left me deeply touched as to what is my mark on the world now or what could it be? Highly recommended read.
I also attended a course at work this week on communication and how to work in teams etc. I found it a good course, the trainer was very good with bags of experience and humour. However I realised I actually knew a great deal already and this was a useful reminder and did introduce some new models for me to consider. However these "soft skills" are easy to learn but so, so hard to practice aren't they? Well I find they are, I'd rather go to my default behaviour of sending a badly written email or a scrappy blog post with no real purpose or content other than to say - "I'm still here and trying, progress not perfection, as AA say"! :-)
I feel that life is a little humdrum currently - probably the post birthday blues, you know all the build-up great event and now that is gone and past so feel a little deflated. I'm just trying to do the normal stuff every day and trying to get to be grateful and appreciative of it not ungrateful and resentful.