Pepys writes in his usual graphic manner about being woken by a storm and then torrential rain. Wonderful obervations. Click on the link above.
It is a pity that we have lost the art of storytelling and thus the ability of the brain to conjure up images is seldom used to full potential. Instead, we have imagery thrust upon us (Thank you William Shakespeare for the use of this phrase – “some have greatness thrust upon them”) via TV and the media. I remember once I had a whole two weeks in natural surroundings. When I returned to so-called normal society I could scarcely face poster advertisements in the subways which I found assaulting and offensive. I do not recall turning on my television for a few days thereafter. I think we suffer from over-stimulation so that when something authentic comes along, our heads are too full of noise to notice it.
Today I hope to finish my 20 minute speech due for presentation on 6 September to the doctors group. If you reckon the average number of words per minute is 140 that means I have room for 2800 words. With the inevitable pauses and interruptions it’s probably better to aim for 2500 words. Try keeping the subject you’re interested in down to 2500 words. it’s tough. I always finish preparing my speeches well in advance so that I can refine it, changing a meaning here and there so it is fit for purpose when I deliver it. it is important that the speech is part of me not something I’m just reading like reading a newspaper. I will show my wife what I have written and she inevitably has one or two good suggestions.
You can always tell books that have been edited by the writer. They inevitably lack form and style and have inconsistencies and repetitions.
It is vital that I have quietness and peace while I am writing. Writing is somewhat like tuning several instruments at once. You have to be aware of the effect of everything you say on everything else you have said or might say..
I am not good at giving speeches off-the-cuff. I prefer reading my speech at the risk of losing contact with the audience because I make sure I get every point correct. You might say I have a rather clinical approach. Mother Theresa never wrote speeches. She spoke from the heart but I guess her material is evocative rather than analytical.
Synchronicity and timing
Timing is all. The driving belt on my Volvo has been doing impressions of legions of crickets or whatever the collective name is and I was putting off the evil day when I had to go along to the garage but something told me to call the RAC of which I’m a member. It was a definite push and a feeling that I had to do it. The very nice lady said there was a two hour wait. A few minutes later I received a call from a chap called Stuart who said he would be with me in 10 minutes. He diagnosed the problem as a loose tensioner. By coincidence he was also a Volvo owner and had a similar model as myself. He told me quite a story about the Bristol branch of the Volvo.
About eight years ago he went along with the show room with his wife to buy a car. His wife had the money and you exactly what she wanted. However, they did not look right in the eyes of the salesman. After one and a half hours waiting salesman came up to them and asked them if there is anything they wanted to know. On reflection, Stuart said ‘actually nothing’. They bought the car at another branch. This is a good lesson because you never know who someone is. They could be dressed in rags and yet be a quirky millionaire.
Stuart also knew Alex, his normal liaising mechanic at my Fourth Avenue garage. He called him up and have a chat, explained the problem, and I followed him in my squeaking car. He had offered to take me back home but by coincidence there was a hire car available which was given to me immediately. It went so smoothly it was almost a non event. Maybe all of life can be like that if we get our attitude right. who knows?
the exact timing was as follows:
14.57 – called RAC
15.02 – Stuart called me by mobile saying he would be with me in 10 min
15.16 – he turned up bright and breezy, did the diagnosis
15.40 – we both drove to the garage
15.58 – I left the garage in a hire car having given instructions
16.03 – I arrived back home
Had I not trusted my intuition and made the call even 10 min later it is very unlikely that I would have been allocated Stuart and the whole cascade of events would not have happened so smoothly.
Many years ago I read of an aborigine tribe in Australia, the leaders of whom would have a meeting from time to time. There were four separate tribes. The leaders just knew when to start walking for the meeting, a journey of many hours, and they all arrived at the same time. To the best of my knowledge and belief, they did not have mobile phones.