Tuesday, 19 August 2008

MOSI 20-22nd August

I'll be at the Museum of Science and Industry on Liverpool Street in Manchester, from 1-3pm on the 20th, 21st, August.

You can find me in the learning space which is at the end of the finishing platform of the textile gallery.

I'm hoping to talk to as many people as possible about their family stories, about what they think gets passed down in families, and how important they think that is - and about what they think makes them who they are.

If you're around please come and join me!

Monday, 4 August 2008

On Not Being Oneself

This is a bit of a rant really.

I've often noticed that when people do something stupid, something they regret, or make a bad choice, they say "I wasn't myself" or "that's not me".

There's a range of behaviours that they associate with their idea of themselves, beyond those boundaries the things they do are seen as abberations.

But it seems to me that it's not that simple - those behaviours are precisely "them". They are the choices those people make and the way those people react to certain situations.

I'd like to say that I wasn't myself on Friday morning when my internet connection went down and I got frustrated and just a little rude with the man from Virgin media. But the truth is I am the kind of person that gets very stressed when I can't get onto the internet, and that I'm the kind of person that can take that frustration out on someone on the phone.

I'm not proud of it. I shall try and control myself better next time. But in all those many many tiny facets that make up a person there's one labelled 'nightmare customer'.

I was as much myself then as I am now, when I'm feeling all calm and benevolent and at peace with the world. Especially now I've had my rant.

Who are You? Lewis Carroll

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.

`Who are YOU? 'said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
`What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. `Explain yourself!'
`I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, `because I'm not myself, you see.'

`I don't see,' said the Caterpillar.

`I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, `for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.'
`It isn't,' said the Caterpillar.
`Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet,' said Alice; `but when you have to turn into a chrysalis--you will some day, you know--and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?'
`Not a bit,' said the Caterpillar.
`Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,' said Alice; `all I know is, it would feel very queer to ME.'
`You!' said the Caterpillar contemptuously.
`Who are YOU?'