The Do Word

  • Posted by howies
  • 7 April 2009

The Do Word

It’s short.

To the point.

Quick to say.

All its letters do something.

It loves a deadline.

Despises procrastination.

It’s the rapids of a river.

The bubbles in a lemonade.

The kick in caffeine.

It’ s a small word but does more than almost any other .

It means the same thing all over the world.

It’s most effective when its got a plan.

It’s a word for getting things done.

It means action.

It’s all verb.

Doers inspire.The Do Lectures. Sept 3-7th 09.

www.dolectures.com

Once a year, the doers of the world come together to share their stories. To inspire the rest of us to go and do something positive.

Tickets go on sale May 1st

I want to tell you why I think The Do Lectures are important.

And I want to tell you how over the next decade they will become one of the most important set of talks in the world. And yet there’s little evidence to suggest that’s possible right now.

To that end I want to tell you about a book that I have never read.

And the two things it taught me.

(Bare with me, the dots will connect.)

The book was called What Make’s Sammy Run.

It’s about the drive of someone who started at the bottom.

And how he worked his way up to the top.

And although a fictional character, I always wondered what drove him.

What made him run? Something had set him off. But what exactly? This ‘Something’ had always interested me.

Just by being told the story of the book had inspired me without ever reading it. But the idea that you could start at the bottom and work your way up just through hard-work, never left me.

This was my first learning. I had discovered the power of story telling. And how people’s stories can release the handbrake in our minds.

This was the reason Clare and myself started The Do lectures. To bring these remarkable storytellers together in one place to inspire the rest of us. To release lots of handbrakes.

But going back to the book for a minute, I don’t think he was about just hard-work and persistence. I think there was a little more to it.

My take on it is this, I don’t think he ever dreamt of just being a runner. I believe as he ran, he took his dream of running the whole thing along with him.

Indeed it was this dream that made him run. And this brings me to my second piece of learning from the book that I never read: The power of dreams.

What makes some people change things? What makes some people start something when the odds are so stacked against them? What keeps them going when others fall by the wayside? Well, my answer is because these people are dreamers. They have made it exist in their own head long before it exists in real life.

They use their vision of things to take them forward. Just like cats eyes in the road, their dream slowly guides them along the way.

And right now that is where we are at with The Do Lectures. We got the dream in our heads. And we are running.

We are going to create a set of talks over the next decade that will change things, create national debate on issues that are important to all of us from the environment to business to technology to design to education to food to play.

It will become an amazing resource for the Doers of the world both in terms of inspiration and, just as importantly, the plain nuts and bolts practical stuff of how to do this or that.

The first Do Lectures felt like being at the start of something. Like being at the first Glastonbury. But a Glastonbury for talks rather than music.

And now before this September’s talks start, the website should have received over 100,000 visits from over 3000 cities in over 100 countries. It’s still small in comparison to some. But all great things start out small.

So right now we are busy trying to find a sponsor and trying to raise donations too. We are doing that thing of jumping off the edge of the cliff and building our wings on the way down. But that’s what Doers do.

They tell stories. They dream a lot. But at the end of the day, they make things happen.

If you would like to make a small Do-nation, please Do.

Help us run.

David Hieatt

Co-founder of the Do lectures.

www.thedolectures.co.uk

On the radar

  • Posted by howies
  • 9 February 2009

Tim, Alison and I visited our friends at Dirt on friday. We were chatting about their lone Mongol visitor and how they'd spotted him/her on google analytics. 

So I had a look on our site stats and we have a few Ambassadors too! So if you're one of these, we'd love to know who you are and what you do?  Please leave a comment or email me,  jon [at] howies .co .uk

Mission Passport

  • Posted by james
  • 3 February 2009

After a crash course in snow driving trying to get out of Tenby, I've at least made it to london. A little later than hoped but walking through Swansea in a blizzard to get a coffee this morning was interesting. 

So tubes negotiated, passport collected (at last!) and snowballs thrown.

Tomorrow, London - Brussels - Cologne and on to Warsaw to meet a friend of a friend's cousin who I've never met who is looking after me...errrmm this could be interesting.

more soon.

Packing Light

  • Posted by james
  • 2 February 2009

Packing my bags is one thing I have done many times... For a single destination it's easy. Open bag, throw in clothes, throw in cameras and a little more, zip bag closed... leave... done. So when howies asked me to travel out to Hong Kong to visit their denim factory, by train. The whole packing thing just got a little bit more complicated...

8000 miles, 17 days, 8 trains, 2 continents, 9 time zones, 9 cities, rain, snow, -20c, +20c, cities, desert, mountains, hotels, bunks and one great wall. It's going to be quite an adventure!

It all begins tomorrow, first leg; Wales to London, where somewhere buried under 6 inches of snow is my passport (slightly important) with 5 shiny new visas. After that it's Paris-Brussles-Cologne and Warsaw, where I make my first stop. 

Will I make it? will I even make it to London to collect my passport? 

I'll keep you posted.

All Points South

  • Posted by tim
  • 20 January 2009

This documentary film depicts the ongoing threat of pollution from the pulp and paper manufacturing industry, and how over time the problem has moved from north to south. Today fishermen and surfers fight for clean water in Southern Chile, where the almighty company known as Celco spews toxic waste into the ocean environment. Featuring big wave surfing and interviews with both local and internationally recognized surfers, All Points South is a film you don't want to miss. Due for release in the Fall of 2009. Directed by Sachi Cunningham. Produced by Will Henry. Written by Josh Berry and Will Henry. Edited by Gregory O'Toole, with camerawork by Angel Marin, Vince Deur, and Majo Calderon.

Here's the trailer.

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Tea manifesto

  • Posted by howies
  • 9 January 2009

i am a tea junkie.

right now i am doing my normal january thing - no choc, no coffee, no alcohol and no tea.

i miss the no tea the most.

i made everyone a cuppa tea this morning, including myself out of habit.

then had to watch it go cold as i remembered it was january.

anyway, i saw this the morning.

http://teaappreciationsociety.blogspot.com/

we even get a mention.

pete, if you are reading this, lets ask them to do a piece for the catalogue.

pete, if you are not reading this, where are ya?

 
OUR MANIFESTO
Manifesto of the Tea Appreciation Society 

1. We want to sing the love of tea.

2. The essential elements of our poetry will be loose leaf tea, boiled water, a tea pot, a china cup and a biscuit.

3. Literature has up to now magnified idleness, and slumber. We want to exalt these slow movements of ecstasy, feverish boiling of the kettle, the pour, the perilous stir, the rattle and the clink of the spoon.

4. We declare that the splendour of the world has been enriched by an old beauty: the beauty of tea.

5. Beauty exists only in considered brewing. There is no masterpiece that has an aggressive character. Poetry is not a violent assault on the forces of infusion.

6. We want to glorify peace - the only cure for the world - militarism, patriotism; these destructive gestures kill the beautiful ideas of the human race.

7. We want to visit museums and libraries, encourage philosophy.

8. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work; the revolt, smashing the supermarkets; we will rejoice in the baking of bread; the polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern music as we play our ukuleles: the nocturnal vibration of the worms in our compost; our spirits suspended from the clouds by the thread of cup in sleeve tea bags; and the gliding flight of creativity whose propeller sounds like the sipping of enthusiastic tea drinkers.

Hope Bourne

  • Posted by tim
  • 3 December 2008

Last week i blogged about Hannah Hauxwell who lived on a solitary hill farm in the Pennines on her own with no running water gas or electricity. A fella by the name of Neil kindly replied to my blog and mentioned a lady of similar ilk living in Exmoor by the name of Hope Bourne. I managed to get my hands on a book by Hope called Wild Harvest which i have yet to read. I Have also found some great audio clips that makes for great listening, over two and a half hours worth here. 

 

Here is a summary about Hope taken from the Exmoor National Park website. 

 

HOPE BOURNE AND EXMOOR

Hope Bourne was born at Hartland in North Devon. She claims to have lost her birth certificate and not to know her age but one can guess that her birth was in 1920. Her mother was headmistress at the village school in Elmscott. Hope left school at the age of 14 and, as an asthmatic and the only child of a widowed mother, she was expected to stay at home. She was in her 30s when her mother died. All income then stopped and the house had to be sold to pay off debts. Hope was left with no home, little money, no income, no qualifications and no training. She decided to become as self sufficient as possible.

Hope moved to Exmoor, to a succession of remote and primitive cottages, including one near Nutscale Reservoir. She lived off the land, growing her own vegetables, gathering wood for fuel and shooting for the pot. She earned a small income through helping farming friends by tending stock. In the 1950s and 1960s she claimed to live on £5 per month. She earned about £100 per annum and saved nearly half. Hope relied heavily on friendships. She would call in at farms when she was out and about, and people would call in and see her. Neighbours, even if they were ten miles away, would always come and help out if there was any trouble. She spent 30 Christmases at Broomstreet Farm, owned in those days by Mary Richards, who was her oldest and best Exmoor friend. In the 1950s she spent a year on a sheep station in New South Wales; in the 1970s she spent three months in Canada with friends.

click on view to read more

She taught herself to paint and draw and kept a diary from which she wrote and published articles. She sent her first book, written in pencil, to Anthony Dent. He returned it neatly typed and visited in person shortly afterwards. The book, Living on Exmoor, published in 1963, is a month by month diary of her activities and is illustrated by her pen and ink drawings. Her next book, A Little History of Exmoor (1968), was also published by Dent. This is a good account of Exmoor from prehistoric times to the 20th century and concentrates on the history of farming. It is brought to life by her imaginative drawings of farmsteads through the ages. Her third and fourth books, Wild Harvest (1978) and My Moorland Year (1993), have a similar style to her first, being a collection of experiences of farming, local lore, encounters with neighbours and vivid descriptions of the seasons. It is perhaps in the latter that she has her finest, almost poetic writing.

From 1970 until the early 1990s she occupied a tiny, old and leaky touring caravan in the burnt out ruins of Ferny Ball Farm above Sherdon Water. There she kept her bantams in the ruins and helped out on neighbouring farms at busy times such as lambing and winter feeding. Getting up at 5am she'd do the farmer's stock, write her journal, and then go for a 20 mile walk with her sketch pad, mapless, guided by an inner compass. She followed the hunt on foot, shot and fished, never washed up, ate 1lb of meat a day, some of which was none too fresh, and drank from a stream. She believes that hunting and farming are the backbone of Exmoor. She wrote a weekly, thousand word column for the local paper, the West Somerset Free Press, which she picked up every Friday, when she went into Withypool to collect her mail and bread. At the same time she would post her next article, handwritten in pencil. The column was always popular and generated considerable correspondence. She also contributed articles and drawings to the Exmoor Review, with an emphasis on local farms and their history.

In the 1970s Hope became famous through newspaper articles, then two television documentaries about her and her lifestyle: About Britain: Hope Bourne Alone on Exmoor (1978) and Hope Bourne – Woman of Exmoor (1981). In 1979 Daniel Farson interviewed her for a feature in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine. She told him:

“I have never taken a penny from public money. Friends tell me I could live better on National Assistance, or whatever they call it now. Over my dead body! Anyway, I’ve never been able to afford the stamps. I’ve told them this would be more than my entire income! It’s a good life but it’s a tough life. You’ve got to be 100% physically fit to live as I do. You’ve got to be tough, body and soul. Whatever happens at Ferny Ball, I’ve got to cope with it alone.”

In the Exmoor Oral History Archive she gives a vivid account of how she dealt with accidents and extreme weather at Ferny Ball. In the late 1980s she was eventually persuaded to have a telephone put in for emergencies. Her asthma became worse and concerned friends managed to find her a new house at a community housing scheme in Withypool. Although on the edge of Withypool Common, she finds this like living in a city. She has all modern conveniences but rarely uses the electricity, sleeps on the living room floor in front of the open fire and leaves the rest of the house to her bantams. She is not able to go shooting now and, having sold her guns, gets her meat from the butchers.

Hope’s last publication was a booklet about former weights and measures and had no Exmoor connection. She is very concerned about the future of Exmoor, its farming and wildlife. She thinks there is too much 'taming down' of Exmoor by both the National Park Authority and the National Trust, even though both have done good work by preserving large chunks of moorland that otherwise might have gone under the plough. She believes that the wildness of Exmoor teaches self-reliance and that there are too many paths, signs and interpretation boards. People can learn better by finding things out for themselves.

 

The picture above is of Hope at the Withypool Tearoom and was taken by Arkwright

frosty

  • Posted by howies
  • 1 December 2008

Categories:

the frosty view on the way up pen y fan in the Brecon Beacons Saturday morning (yup, while the team was busy opening the Bristol store, I was out walking...)

our luck ran out though...as we came down the second peak, the fog enveloped us....4 hours later (and with not much daylight left) we managed to find our way back down the mountain....

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