I’ve just completed a three day intellectual marathon, attending the Norwich Literary Festival. Belinda and I also attended some of the concerts, in St Andrew’s Hall and the Cathedral, but the literary events, in Chapelfield Gardens and a week earlier, at City Hall, I attended on my own.
I was interviewed by Eddie Mair for Radio Four's iPM the other day. The piece was about Norwich Mustard, but my 1964 Fordson tractor also got a mention.
It was sad to hear on this morning that inventor Trevor Baylis has died at the age of 80. I was commissioned to interview him in 2010 and spent a very enjoyable morning talking with him at his home on Eeel Pie Island on the Thames.
I've long been a fan of community owned cooperatives. It's a fair, open and enterprising way that people who feel strongly about something can stop sounding off and do something positive. The story of Colman's mustard leaving Norwich is just such an opportunity.
I have to acknowledge the innovative approach to funding community groups taken by one local Council. They’re launching a lottery and are promising that 50% of the ticket money will be given to good causes. I remember years ago when working on a hospice project looking at the economics of local lotteries. They can be very good ways to grow income.
Do you follow a vocation or just have a job?
For centuries monks and more recently clergy have worked at our Cathedral. They are here because they have responded to deep innermost calling to serve God and community. For the rest of us, careers are chosen by a series of decisions, each reached as we approach a fork in life’s road. What subjects shall I study? Which degree or college course? Where shall I look for my first job?
Somebody asked me yesterday how I was going to see in the New Year. 'Asleep in bed of course,' was my reply. I prefer my own company to that of others and luckily am married to a woman who shares my dislike of socalising. We live very happily together with no need for the whirlwind of social activities Facebook would have me believe is normal.
I've had two reminders this last few days that just signing up to something is not enough. You have to actually put yourself out and actively get involved to get noticed and make a difference.