Thoughts on choice

Politicians particularly on the right are constantly talking about the necessity of choice – consumers want choice! But what does that mean in reality?

During the first 20 years of my life, the number of TV channels increased from 1 to 2 to 3. A quick glance at Freeview, and I see that it offers me dozens of channels. The newspaper is TV Guide catalogues 13 channels – 6 of which are showing at least three episodes of the same programme; two of which are showing eight episodes of one series on the same day. Another channel is showing a feature film which I watched on different channel last week! So where is this choice?

I also recently heard some Radio 4 food snob deprecating the large number of number of people who eat the same lunch work every day – gasp! shock! horror!

I say; ‘What is wrong with that?!’

Stress is often linked to decisions and the we have to make every day. If you are food writer then making an avocado and blueberry dip to go with your freshly baked sourdough with added quinoa washed down with a freshly made strawberry and persimmon smoothie actually forms part of your work.

But please if I’m in need of a quick lunch whilst working on an involved and urgent project, please allow me the respite of eating a £3 deal cheese and onion sandwich with a packet of crisps and a bottle of water for my lunch for the fourth (or even 15th) day in a row!

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Italian tradition…..

The Italian summer is a time for numerous ‘festas’ celebrating various types of foods from onions to lake fish and many feature archaic games. As Autumn begins, it is time for the grape harvest – the vendemmia – and wine/grape festivals such as this one in Panicale featuring tastings, typical foods and live music – provided in this case by ……….
THE SEX MUTANTS ROCK BAND ….. hmm

Neuro Linguistic Programming ……….and shopping

If I understand it correctly, NPL posits that since our personal vocabulary is a reflection of ourselves we can modify our behaviour and attitudes by changing our vocabulary. Now though I can agree with the first concept, the idea that the causal relationship works both ways is frankly absurd – virtually implying that if I was to say 'they did well this season' sufficiently often I would develop a genuine and credible interest and subsequent career as a sports commentator?!

Oh, You think I could ?!??………
Ok that might not be a a good example…..

Anyway, I am interested in the way in which our vocabulary reflects our attitude and behaviour and in this piece, this subject is 'shopping' and in particular, how men and women (in general !) use words to describe the activity.
A male will say 'I'm going to do the shopping' – it is essentially a hunter/gatherer role the prey being defined by a constructed list.
A female is much more likely to say 'I'm going shopping' a similar task but more loosely defined.

So to describe this variation with attached value judgements:
The first is focused (+ ve) or blinkered (-ve)
The second is flexible (+ve) or unplanned (-ve)
The first offers fast efficient use of time; the second being a more relaxed process which may- or may not – be more fruitful.

Of course, there is an additional element which has been described as the 'Momentary Pleasure of Acquisition'.
Now it would appear to me that for a female, the threshold for that moment may be triggered by a 'bargain' though heightened to orgasmic levels by an object with a designer label and a bargain price attached. Of course, men are not immune to MPA to the entry level is more likely to be triggered at a higher fiscal level by some high-tech gadgetry or high speed vehicle!

To me, the trigger level for MPA and the difference between genders explains why women may 'just go for a wander round the shops' whereas, in most instances, a male will find this an incomprehensible way to spend an afternoon, having no purpose or focus.

Of course, there is an obvious flaw in my logic which undermines the gender-based analysis completely, as I demonstrated unequivocally last October when my patient 'other half' read several substantial volumes on her Kindle, as I wandered happily through the guitar shops of New York in Nashville, Clarksdale and Memphis …….'just having a look'!

Happy Birthday?

A quiet start to the day with walk through the park. 200 greetings on FB then this text arrives ……

Hi Mr Jones,
My Choice Funeral Plans here! Costs are rising for Funerals. Freeze your costs. For a FREE Plan, Reply YES. Text Stop to opt out.

When it says opt out —–what exactly do they mean? Some euphemism, maybe ……..

Hmm – worrying ……

I often wake up with some song or other, irritatingly reappearing every few minutes. 

This morning was different.

I awoke with a mash up of ‘Don’t look back in anger’ ‘Pretty Flamingo’ and ‘See Emily play’! 
It goes something like this: 
‘So Sally can wait like a flamingo

Crimson dress that clings so tight

She’s out of reach and out of sight 

There is no other day

Let’s try another way

You’ll lose your mind and play

Free games for May

See Emily play’