Saturday, May 24

Mad, Bad & Good To Go

I spotted a BBC news item earlier today trailing the forthcoming BBC2 SpringWatch programme. One theme discussed was the beneficial effects of nature. With personal insight from one of SW's presenters, Bill Oddie, a self confessed sufferer with clinical depression.

This hearkens back to a regular theme mentioned here in the past praising regular activity outdoors as a simple and rapid pick-me-up for mental health improvement. And searching for that reference I spotted it was about the same time last year that I posted on this subject.

Oh dear - should I worry?

Perhaps its because I feel much in need of recharge myself after some difficult work pressures over the last few weeks (Hence the erratic posting - sitting in front of a keyboard for relaxation hasn't really been much of a pleasure recently)

Then there's been the steady stream of ad hoc visitors at home. All usually welcome, but not one after the other like the typical early morning bus to work.

Normally either of these is not a problem. But this Bank Holiday weekend I just feel like pulling up the drawbridge and repelling all boarders (says he mixing his metaphors)

I'd already decided, in light of Ian Fleming's 100th birthday anniversary (huh- how does that work then?) and a passing acquaintance with the film version of his creation James Bond 007, that I'd read through the whole series of Bond books in their published sequence. An idea arising from recent press articles about the man and the depiction of his work on film. For Bond, on film, is not the same as Bond the book character. (Why do films seem to screw up a good plot so very easily?) And as for the plot lines - typically mangled to hell it appears (I read Octopussy during the week - a 30 page short story, and little to do with Bond, except as a catalyst; And definitely nothing about world domination!)

Fleming wrote each new book to lead on from the previous, making for one long story across the books as a whole. It's a great way to approach an author's work if you find the material enjoyable, especially if you read as quickly as myself.

I first tried this a few years ago with the C.P.Snow series "Strangers & Brothers", about 13 books I recall. Trying to remember the total brings to mind pleasant memories of a trip to Hay-On Wye, the UK second-hand book capital, tracking down cheap pulp versions of each edition.

Closer to home I have scoured the local charity shops to find missing items, occasionally turning to E-Bay, or Amazon's excellent used section. For it's often the early part of the series that proves more difficult to find with smaller print runs when the author was less well known.

These days, having the benefit of on-line Library Search & Reservation facilities across three organisations, I can usually line up the books in advance, with only the cost of the reservation fee. True the thrill of the chase may be gone, but with much less cost. And there is also the consideration of what do to with the books once read. My expanding personal library is stored insecurely in large boxes, and as a result the attic floor groans alarmingly at times.

Its been said that "the pen is mightier than the sword" Not quite what was in mind if one night the straining attic floor was to give way, depositing its load onto me below. Peacefully asleep.

Which really is where I should be soon, to recharge my physical battery in preparation for some decent outdoor walkabouts, despite today's blustery south coast winds but unexpected warmth.

There you go.... TV, Health, Film, Education... and even a bit on the Weather at the end.

Where else could you get such a rich variety and still have the option of ignoring it all

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