Julie Lee `Snatch & Grab It` (1946)
Saturday, 19 January 2013
The Inventor; I've Been Thinking 'bout Forever
Dear Written World, Many people like to travel and enjoy new experiences. How many people do I meet every day who don't particularly like their jobs and spend lots of their weekends and holidays going on adventures, diving in exotic locations, wanting to have the time to learn how to make sushi or sourdough or learn how to streetdance? The answer is many. Whether this is because it's reflecting my recent experience of a working environment we'll overlook for now. A few years ago I volunteered with Worldwide Workers on Organic Farms in the UK and France. I was travelling mostly by train and spent some time exploring Totnes, South Devon with a friend and sleeping in his converted shed. It was a wonderful few weeks in summer but I forgot my bike on the way back home. Initially my mind was boggling with how a bike can be posted... wrapped like a bad Christmas present? Separated into its limbs and posted in a box? Should I go back down to Devon all the way from Lancashire?! And how much would this cost? Or should I just buy a new bike? Luckily common sense came a-knockin' in the form of the greatest invention on earth...the train! They fly around the country all day long and keep to their schedule. Fortune shone on my quest to be reunited with my beloved bicycle because the service is direct from Totnes to Manchester, where I could collect. Without a further ado, my Devonshire friend 'posted' it off with a tag round its handlebar neck... and happiness was arrived at only a few hours later. With not as much as a penny exchanging hands and the lovely train crew being very obliging. Last night after my first boogie of 2013, this memory revealed itself as I thought about how even more wonderfully, magically and gently we can live our lives. If my hypothesis about folk wanting to travel is true then why not let's make it easier with services that are already moving? Organisations like WWOOF (www.wwoof.org.uk) are amazing because they allow the volunteer to experience something new while getting bed and board. Other organisations like se7en and workaway.info have a wider range of activities to get involved with such as art projects, construction, beekeeping... whatever you've ever wanted to learn. In my experience with WWOOF, so many projects lack volunteers so work gets done very slowly if at all. If we could connect those projects with people who want to offer their skills or join in as an amateur, then wouldn't that be swell? If the transport system can support such volunteers then all the better...maybe in the form of a discounted rate on the rail network. This could be great for a weekend or a fun summer, or maybe extended, because expenditure would be minimal. Thanks to Frank Ocean's lovely track `Thinking About You` and the line `I've been thinking 'bout forever', I have been ... this to me means a fun life that uses resourcely wisely and responsibly. It means never stopping learning and crushing the part of us that constantly wants to grow by allowing different environments and experiences to shape us. Being on the move and meeting new people is such a fun way to spend time and if, like me, you are young, free of responsibility and single, it means you never have to feel out-of-the-loop, bored, isolated or lonely. There are a million projects to get involved with and redressing the balance or work/play has never been so opportune. With wireless connections, we can still keep our minds stimulated by doing distance courses and have an e-community for when donkeys, bees, sheep, cats or humans get a bit too much. 'Opportunity... knockin' at your door... opportunity knocks but once... and don't come back no more!'