Few things focus my mind like a project. I've always got projects on the go. In business terms I think they’re called “Work in Progress". Regular readers will know about my kitchen project. It’s stopped at the moment while we wait for our worktops and splashbacks but it’s nearing completion. You may also recall the dilemma I have regarding my next planned project. Should I start the wet room or grannie’s harmonium? Perhaps I should finish some of the projects I’ve started like replacing the satellite dish or converting a Jamie Oliver chopping board into a tide clock.
Just to be clear a project is “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim” not a “government-subsidized housing development with relatively low rents”. That's an American term for social housing.
Why is it that we, as a nation, seem to be obsessed with the parts of the world that happen to speak another, possibly, inferior version of English? Take the increasingly Un-united States of America. As I write the country seems to have a very sore loser waiting to contest the outcome of the Presidential election, very presidential indeed. Mind you as the drama unfolds it'll provide some entertainment while we're waiting for "I'm a Celebrity" to return to our screens. Generally, given a choice, I'll watch British TV rather than American TV, read British books rather than American books and I'll always try my very best to use British English rather than the English from the colonies. Actually when I say British I’m probably thinking English. So I prefer English English rather than Scottish English, Welsh English or any other English. I make an exception for Cornish English.
But I digress.
Let me return to my thoughts on my projects. Two or three, maybe more, new projects, different projects, have entered my life in recent months. These projects, unlike my normal projects, may not have a tangible outcome. Let’s see how they align with the definition.
“An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim”.
The first one, let’s call it Project Life. This project came about when I realised this project was finite, indeed my life had suddenly become finite. When I say finite I don’t mean it has a definite end, although it has, I mean it’s not an overly long project. It has an aim, like all good projects must. It’s aim is to live the best life I can. To do good, to care, to let my family know how much I love them, to let my friends know how much I love them as well. This is sometimes a tough task. My health means it can be, at times, challenging but equally it’s got some great rewards. I’m well into Project Life. Mind you it’s a bit worrying when you realise there’s a gathering of the clan about to happen.
Another project gets me out on my feet. I’m going to call this Project Boots. When I had a real job, I was in a position to, occasionally, hear a good idea, tweak it a bit and pass it off as my own. I could say Project Boots is all my own idea. But it’s not. Walking on alternate Thursdays, just before chemo, asking as many people as possible to join me, is probably my idea. The idea of walking in the first place, raising awareness of Bowel Cancer and raising money for Bowel Cancer UK, I take no credit for at all. All that credit goes to my friend Emma who set up the original Gannel walks that I simply wanted to join in with. Project Boots has gained a momentum of its own. All I’ve got to do is find a 5 mile circular walk and write about it. It’s like my own “Field of Dreams". My next walk is going to be from Castle-an-Dinas through the Menalhyl valley and back. Obviously I can tell you that I intend to do this walk next Thursday (during lockdown) at 10am but unfortunately Boris tells me I can't invite you. So I won't. This is the second project I want to keep going as long as possible. Just in case you want to see where I’m walking the details are here http://iwkc.co.uk/w/144
A third project, a particularly rewarding one is Project Blog. You know about this one because you’re engaging with it at this very moment. This project, unlike the aforementioned is a kind of legacy project. Something will remain after the project is done. The project may already be done and, if you’re reading this post project, then Project Blog was successful. This project was devised to enable me to jot some thoughts down. It’s become a bit of a beast that needs to be fed. I’m tempted to wean it off it’s daily diet of drivel and nonsense but my very own Jiminy Cricket tells me to carry on feeding the beast.
The first two of these projects have at least one thing in common, they’re collaborative. I couldn't do them without you. The third is an individual effort (although I always ask Tricia to proof read them).
All three have specific aims which, in my humble opinion, are being met.
But above all, they’re fun.
(School Photo, Top row, first left)