2014 – The best bits…
Mis-type of the year
I rattle along, typing as many as 70 words a minute. Sometimes things go wrong. My favourite mis-type of 2014 is shithamster, which was supposed to come out as ‘administrator’. Ha!
Word of the year
My word of the year is serendipity, a beautiful word as well a relevant one.
Several times during 2014 a new client has passed me onto another new client, who happens to know another business owner or creative agency in need of my content creation services. And, in one spectacularly happy accident, one of them turned out to be a lovely lady I worked with many years ago during my direct marketing industry days. Caroline, it was delightful to work with you again. What a treat.
Discovery of the year
I’ve been a freelance writer for eight years. I sit at my desk all day, five days a week, typing like a woman possessed. And by early 2014 my neck and shoulders were hurting a lot, most of the time.
Thankfully Twitter delivered the solution in the shape of Mark, my Alexander Technique teacher. Now I have no pain in my neck and shoulders. None at all. Heavenly.
Having explored the subject online before contacting Mark, I realised Alexander technique practitioners often find it difficult to describe how and why it works. As a copywriter it’s my job to express complex messages simply so everyone can understand them. Here goes.
The Alexander Technique uses a mixture of self-hypnosis and meditation, an awareness of gravity and insight into your body’s structure, constructive rest, visualisation, gentle manipulation and imagination to retrain the brain and body. Over time you learn to relax your muscles bit by bit until you’re only using those that are essential to the task in hand.
Here’s an example. Say you’re standing up. There’s no need to tense and hold your arm muscles to remain upright. Nor is there any need to tense up all your leg muscles, shove your chin forwards or grip the ground with your toes. Standing up straight doesn’t mean standing in the traditional way many of us are taught, either: shoulders back, stomach in and head up. There’s a better way and it takes less of a toll on your body.
A lot of people think Alexander Technique is a posture thing. Which it is in a way, but there’s so much more. It’s posture Jim, but not as we know it. In a nutshell it’s about doing less than you’ve been doing – making less effort to do everyday things like sitting at a desk.
If you’re struggling with neck and shoulder pain, give Mark Claireaux M.S.T.A.T a go. I hereby nominate Alexander Technique Brighton as my best discovery of 2014.
Overheard funny of the year
Brighton’s public transport system is so good I never bothered learning to drive. Better still, buses and trains are hotbeds of overheard conversational gems, with everyone burbling constantly into their mobiles.
I’ve collected overheard funnies for years. I’ve even written an ebook about them. This year’s favourite, which still makes me giggle, is this little beauty:
“Are you going to dip your knackers in it?”
2014 – The year video went mainstream
It’s been a massive year for video. As a freelance writer I could create videos… but as a marketer I reckon it’d be a bit weird. My stuff doesn’t lend itself naturally to video, not being particularly visual. And I have no desire to make training videos showing others how to write great copy, one way in which video would work for me.
But it’s the festive season, and as a grand finale to my post about the best bits from 2014 I’m proud and highly chuffed to present a video of my lovely SEO Consultant husband Tony doing his punky, bluesy, one-man-bandy thing.
Here he is: Strolling Tone on cigar box guitar, drums, cymbals and harmonica, plus vocals. How does he do that?