The Mental Health 5-a-day

This is an easy aide-memoire for staying mentally healthy. Mentally healthy does not mean 'not getting mentally ill'. It means feeling happy, confident, settled, and valued. The famous 5-a-day for fruit and veg is fine for nutrition. Your colon will thank you. But the contents of your head and of your heart require attention to these five-a-day.

If you can do this, you've got it cracked, basically.

Alan Moore's Jerusalem

I just finished Alan Moore's Jerusalem after probably a year. It is hands down the most extraordinary book I've ever read (although I listened to the Simon Vance audiobook, which ordinarily would be heresy but for this book - which relies so much on the sounds of words - particularly the bloody remarkable Lucia Joyce chapter - I would say it is far and away the best way to approach it.)

Anybody with a passing interest in language and how it does and doesn't work should read the Lucia chapter ("Round The Bend") but not without the context of the preceding twenty-five chapters(!)

I can't, and don't want to, explain what makes it so profoundly unique and affecting because it cannot be described and has to be experienced first hand. And besides, it's a 1200-page four-dimensional microscopic and universally-scaled portrait of Northampton. So not an obviously appealing read...

Nevertheless - if you do make the journey through this huge book, please talk to me about it because more than anything I want to chew it over with somebody.

Dr Jim's Gig Criteria

Let the undernoted hereby be proclaimed as the circumstances under which I will gig: 

  1. The interval between sets be no longer than the duration of a set. If sets be of differing lengths, the interval to be no longer than the duration of the shorter set. And:
  2. The cumulative time of each set to be longer than my cumulative journey time to the gig. And:
  3. There be no entry fee for the players. And:
  4. There be a bass player. (The bass player can be me if either a) I have song veto on grounds of competence or b) I have sufficient time before the gig to learn the nightmare songs. In the case of b) one drink or food item - at my discretion - to be bought for me per song.) And:
  5. I maintain the right to add further self-important criteria on a whim.