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Catching our attention

Here is an eclectic mix of what we are enjoying, finding curious or weird plus the music that is helping us get a spring in our step.  The theme of our Question of the Moment is changing your viewing so you change your doing and all our OOR selection reflects people, writers and music that do this!


The Psychology of Gardening:  Harriet Gross

We love to recommend books by friends of FGC and even more, if we also love the book. Here is the latest in an ambitiously titled series from Routledge called The Psychology of Everything. Even if you don’t own a garden, even if you think gardening is strictly for the aged with nothing better to do….this slim book will inspire you to garden. Yes really. If you feel like a shrinking violet when it comes to gardening or you’re looking to cultivate your hidden potential and positively enjoy being led up the garden path…… start gardening. Just a tub of plants qualifies you as a gardener.


The Pixels of Cezanne:  Wim Wenders

The search for insight, outsight, second sight, far sight…. is greater now than it ever was as we try to make sense of the often crazy-making situations the world offers us. For new ways to perceive and shed light on the human condition, we should turn more often to artists….or so says the film director Wim Wenders in this shining work on how to see more richly, more sincerely, more pleasurably, more radiantly. And if that sounds like an exaggerated claim - read the book. It’s true. He’s right.

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Our Uninvited Guests:  Julie Summers

If you thought there was nothing more to tell about WW2…..this is for you. With her usual classy writing and amazing ability to unearth the most fascinating facts about her topic, Julie Summers tells the story of the grand country houses that were requisitioned during the war to house vulnerable people: school children, pregnant women, nuns and the sick. So next time you visit one of the grand country houses across the country - check with Our Uninvited Guests for the story of what went on there from 1939-45. Blenheim Palace a home for school boys….. Audley End, a training ground for secret agents…. Upton House, a temporary bank……

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Radical Ideas and Why They Still Matter:  Rutger Bregman

 If you believe ideas can and do change the world, and are wondering what ideas there are today that will change our world for the better….these short 4 minutes may grow your optimism that each of us can and should think bigger and larger than we do. If the limits of our own thinking are the limits to a better future, we’d all better start thinking differently. So what big thought have you had so far today?

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How to Tell A Great Story: BBC Short

Forget the usual presentations with dozens of slides, filled with data nobody wants to read, boring delivery and clock watching audiences desperate for the coffee break. Instead try out how to make your pitch, put across your information, engage your audience - all by telling a great story. And here’s how. It’s an approach that’s riskier (maybe), less corporate (yay!), more accessible (aaahhhh) and definitely more memorable (ta daaaa!) Enjoy yourself and so will your audience.


Questions No One Knows The Answers To: Chris Anderson

Here’s another animation from TED Talks dealing with the fascinating question of why we have questions we don't have answers to….. like how many universes are there? Why can’t we see evidence of aliens? With over 11 million views seems there are plenty of us fascinated with the unanswered questions. So go on: what’s the question you’re most fascinated by and for which there is no answer? Yet. We tried it on our office and here’s the sample: when will Bob Dylan become President? How often is too often? Why is why so important? Now your turn…..


Friends and Mentors: The Listening Project

Described as a project to capture the nation in conversation, we love this series from the Beeb - one of the great ways to use public radio. Hosted by the fabulous Fi Glover, and using the familiar format of ordinary people talking about something that matters to them, listen to how people describe where and why they have made enduring friendships. Quirky couples, unusual encounters and enduring times……who would be your Listening Project friend and why?

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Staying At Tamara’s: George Ezra.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know and love his music? If so….download and endlessly play Paradise off this album as a way to cure such ignorance. Like millions of his fans, we love how he manages to put into words and music the latest zeitgeist: there’s enough anxiety and worry about the state of the world here, but enough rhythm and lift to make us know we’ll all be OK. Phew.

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A Brief History of Time - from Big Bang to Black Holes: Stephen Hawking

This is a long, tough and complicated read as a regular book (well, we thought it was not being nuclear physicists) so we recommend an audiobook. No question this is a book that changed views about the cosmos and time, from the intellect of a brilliant man. If you’re still trying to answer questions like: does time have a beginning? Can time run backwards? then here lie answers. It’s well worth a listen on a long car journey, crushed on the bus to work or when you need something more brain stretching than sales charts, to-do lists or tube adverts.

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