Dear peoples, after sharing with you last month that curiosity is good for you, my curiosity was piqued. I longed to know more. So off I went and bought Ian Leslie’s Curious. The Boyfriend is heartily sorry that I did. I have interrupted him repeatedly to read him passages from the book. Some of these are quite long. He’s bearing it nobly. One passage really struck me… on page 21 just in case you are interested. It was mentioned in the article I linked to, but I think it worth repeating… just because, wow! People with “…a lifelong habit of lots of reading and writing slowed their rate of mental decline by a third compared to those who did only an average amount of those things.” And folks “…who rarely read or wrote experienced a decline that was a staggering 48% faster…” than average.


So books can help save your brain from turning completely to mush. How marvellous is that? But you have to do more than just line them up nicely on a shelf. You have to, you know, actually read them. Who’d have thought it?  I don’t plan my bookshelves. I’ve discovered that left to themselves, books will self organise. It’s probably one of those immutable Laws of the Universe. I think they do it deep in the night, when nobody is looking. For I never have trouble finding the book I need.


A book happily ensconced on my shelf is The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. His premise is that happiness fuels success and not the other way around. But… how to be happy? Shawn has some ideas, as does Tal Ben-Shahar. Helen Russell found that £33,000 a year may have something to do with it. In Britain, at least.


One thing you’d think would definitely make you unhappy is contemplating your own death. But it seems doing so can make you funnier, which makes others happy and so you are too. And now, ta da, you can be composted instead of buried.  Certainly brings a whole new meaning to pushing up the daisies and is much more planet-friendly than becoming a diamond. Plus, it has the benefit of being easier to let folks know should you find yourself not being dead. You just knock, and they’ll let you out. Phew!


I didn’t think it is possible to have too many trees, but it seems it is, especially if there is no market for the wood. I was intrigued to read about Studio Playfool’s Forest Crayons, a gorgeous palette of naturally coloured crayons made from the wood of Japanese trees. It’s such a clever idea and there are more colours than you might imagine.


Here it is, my favourite restoration of the moment… a restored house in the mythical town of Pedraza by Belen Ferrandiz, where the exquisitely detailed work of paper artist Rogan Brown and Tina Sturzenegger’s surreal photography might feel right at home.


When not relating large extracts of Curious to the saintly patient Boyfriend, I’ve been delving into Matt Gibberd’s A Modern Way to Live. It’s unusual for a book about house and home in that it’s actually a good read. And I learned a lot. And it has pictures.


I leave you with this… Dead Meat, an animated short by Adnan Peer Mohamed. It’s good for a laugh…


A bientôt


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