14) Books: Books are one of humanity's greatest inventions, a simple concept that has lasted for centuries and will survive for many more. Portable knowledge, and the words are still there when you turn back five pages. No technology can beat that. When the world you're living in is getting you down, escape into another world with a good book. Hogwarts perhaps, or Mordor, or Gormenghast, or somewhere through the back of the wardrobe. If I'm reading a good book I usually immerse myself in it completely and devour it in 24 hours or less, which is an excellent way of filling time. Recommended to me lately: American Psycho, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Bleeding London. That could be the rest of the week gone, then.
15) Mobile phones: You can never be bored with a mobile phone in your pocket. (Not unless you've got a prehistoric featureless model, so many commiserations to all my American readers). If you're ever sat on a train bored out of your skull you can ring someone up and tell them you're sat on a train bored out of your skull. If you're ever stuck for hours in a tedious meeting you can text someone sitting on the other side of the table and make rude comments about your boss without your boss noticing. If you're ever standing waiting in a slow-moving queue you can casually play through your entire library of ringtones and watch the rest of the queue melt away. If you're ever early for a doctor's appointment you can always pass the time away playing a mini video game that would have looked substandard on a Commodore PET in 1979. And if all else fails and the boredom appears insurmountable, just set your phone to vibrate, shove the phone down your pocket and ask someone else to ring you up.
16) Culture: For some people, culture is merely that stuff you find in yoghurt. However, for a whole group of people out there, culture is the hub of one's social life. These people divide into culture (active) and culture (passive). The active crowd can be found treading the boards with the amateur dramatic society (that's three months of one's social life gobbled up), or locked away in an attic with the watercolours (that's three months of anti-social life gobbled up instead). The passive crowd are more likely to be tuned into Radio 3 or BBC4, or wandering unnaturally slowly round the Tate Modern with thoughtful looks on their faces. Some can even be found lapping up an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Ah, sorry, did I say culture? Apologies.
What's on this weekend? Spring Into Summer Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 May
40 free guided London walks. Purley Festival Friday 29 - Sunday 5 June
Bunting week, below Croydon. E17 Art Trail Sat 30th May - Sun 14th June
250 arty Walthamstow things.