This week saw the Cranleigh Literature Festival with a range of events at Cranleigh Arts Centre delivered by authors of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Our own Martin Bamford delivered a half hour talk on the subject of his experiences and tips for publishing a non-fiction book.
As he is the proud author of six (soon to be seven!) of these, he speaks with a good deal of experience.
Our good friend and fellow Financial Planner Chris Budd delivered a great session on financial, physical and mental well being ahead of the publication of his own book on the same subject matter.
This was an interesting talk and I took away a lot of very good thoughts from the workshop.
Front of my mind was the discussion around the fact that we all feel better for longer when we have had an “experience” rather than when we spent money on a “thing”.
Whilst it is generally agreed that retail therapy can help a person feel better, this feeling doesn’t last for long and has to be topped up by further trips to the shops.
The well being created by an experience, a holiday or spending time with family for example lasts longer; indeed it lasts as long as the memory itself.
I thought about this subject this week when I experienced something that I had not done for the best part of 25 years.
I have started to take my grandsons Barnaby and Samuel to football practice on Saturday morning and Tuesday evening, and watching them learn how to play football is a real joy.
They are lucky enough to have some very patient coaches because trying to get 4 and 7 years old boys to follow coaching instructions is a bit like herding cats!
When I watch them play and a football comes my way I cannot help myself chasing after it in order to kick it back to them.
It’s the same when I go to watch my team Bristol Rovers play; even though I am sitting in the stands, my legs are constantly twitching to go after the ball as it passes me on the pitch.
Playing football (and now watching it) is a big part of my life, so this week I thought I would do something about it.
One of the friends of my eldest grandson has a father who together with a group of friends plays regular football matches on a Thursday evening at a local school.
I asked if I could join them and they kindly agreed that I could.
That was really good of them because I reckon I raised the average age by 20 years!!
On Tuesday evening, I kitted up, joined in the warm up and then the game commenced.
I lasted an entire 15 minutes!
I am pleased to say I did not embarrass myself; I can still control and kick a football (with both feet by the way!).
But I did do something rather stupid and pulled both a groin and thigh muscle.
In the whole of my playing career age 16 -34 that never happened to me and yet it happened almost as soon as I began this match!
I spent the rest of the game in goal, suffering the pain, but still enjoying the experience.
I don’t think I will be allowed to do it again as sad as that is I may be able to join in the new version of the game known as “walking football”.
15 minutes of the full speed game though bought back years of memory of the experience of playing and, as Chris Budd correctly pointed out in his talk, experiences count for a lot more than material things – pulled muscles or not!