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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 23-Jan-08

 


Wednesday 23-January-08

Eccentrically light reading

One of the problems I faced recently was how to read the newspaper whilst walking between work and the station. It's ok when it's light, but at this time of the year it's still dark. I found the answer in a book reading light -- you know, one of those things you clip onto the back of a book so you can read in bed whilst your partner is asleep. I found a nice LED light with an extending goose light and a good strong clip I could attach to my suit breast pocket.

Now you might think I would look like a bit of a fool walking across London with a light sprouting out of my pocket and you might just be right. I get some funny looks but I don't mind and if a by-product of my being able to read is a bit of harmless gaiety then well and good.

It is a part of my character that I delight in such things. There's a bit of gadgetry, some innovative usage, and wry humour. I find myself funny sometimes, which is probably better than being embarrassed. I'm occasionally told I'm a bit eccentric, which I find kind of flattering. It has been said that to be eccentric, you must be wealthy and preferably an aristocrat. Otherwise you're just weird. Naa. I'll be eccentric without the loot.

Eccentricity seems to be a quite British thing and has several advantages. Whilst only extreme examples live outside of society, most of us constrain our quirkiness and are generally accepted for who we are. We add a bit of spice and fun and perhaps vicarious enjoyment for those who prefer to stay well inside the lines of conformity. At the same time we have tacit permission to be a bit different, which can be very liberating.

If you want to join the UK eccentric's club, here are a few basic rules:

  • Find your theme -- what you really are
  • Be different, but not too different
  • Amuse yourself before you amuse others
  • Be human before being eccentric.

Go on. You can be it.


Your comments


Rather interesting post.
And what do you think of this: http://www.eccentricclub.co.uk ?

-- Stranger in the Night


Dave replies:
Great definition of the UK eccentric!


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