Month: March 2015

Why don’t men go to Zumba?

This was the weird thought I had a Zumba today. I’ve been going to Zumba now for about two-and-a-half years and I only remember there being two brief appearances by two men. One was a dad of a boy in my son’s class and I think he came for about four sessions (he told me he enjoyed it but I know he works shifts so perhaps that was the reason he didn’t persevere with it). The other was a friend of a friend who came once (he was young and fit and as far as I remember, he was good at it, so not sure why he stopped). Why don’t men come? Don’t they know how amazing Zumba is?

Can you see any men? No?

Can you see any men? No?

I find this quite ironic considering that the person who conceived the idea was a man: Alberto “Beto” Perez.

Men  come to Zumba and you could look like this!

Zumba needs YOU!

Look at him? Surely he’s a fantastic advertisement for men-at-Zumba. Perhaps it is just the men of Shrewsbury who shy away to shaking their bits vigorously to Pitbull or Uptown Funk. I have only been to Zumba in Shrewbsury and only at my sons’ school so I haven’t carried out a particularly extensive survey.

There’s a lot about Zumba to appeal to men, besides the beautiful women and the great music. It’s a great way to get fit. It’s a great way to get muscles like Mr Beto. You too could look like this.

Perhaps men worry about lacking the coordination to do the moves. However, that doesn’t stop me from going.


Are you an Eeyore?

This is a weird thought I’ve had going around my head for a while now, but haven’t had time to write about it until now.

It is about Eeyore, that sweet, sad, solemn donkey from the Winne the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne. As a child reading those books,I was very fond of old Eeyore. I felt sorry for him. I wanted to make him happy. Now I am a grown up I realise that Eeyore is not just a fictional donkey, he is real.


The original Eeyore - that lovable, grey pesimist

The original Eeyore – that lovable, grey pessimist

I know a few Eeyores.  I’ve known even more. They reside pessimistically in the various circles in which I operate from both work and non-work. I am very fond of all the Eeyores in my life, past and present.  I couldn’t live without them. They fulfill a basic function for me. They inadvertently cheer me up. They make me smile. They make me happy. I like the challenge of making them smile (and they do smile when prompted). I think I naturally gravitate to life’s Eeyores. I need at least one in my life. My eldest son can be a bit of an Eeyore and I get a great sense of achievement if I persuade him out of his Eeyoreness. If you ask an Eeyore how he or she is on any particular day, they will always answer with negatives (but secretly they will be pleased you care).

Let me bounce into your life

Let me bounce into your life

I think I’m a Tigger. Of course everyone (else) needs a Tigger in their life, especially the Eeyores.

Is it possible to experience something with all of the senses at once?

Last night my middle son and I had a weird thought together. We were eating chocolate at the time. That thought is: it is not possible to be either repulsed or find pleasure in something with all the senses. We thought that most things could affect up to four of the senses, but not all five. We started off by considering chocolate.

Chocolate smells nice, it feels nice, it tastes nice, it looks nice, but it doesn’t sound nice, does it?

Does this sound good?

Does this sound good?

We then thought about music. Music sounds good, it can look good (or the people singing the music can look good), it feels good (the vibrations), perhaps it can even smell good (that intoxicating smell of steam, aftershave, perfume, and beer that I associate with a good concert) but it can’t taste good (syneasethics need not respond).

This lead us to think of things we find abject or repulsive and how our senses respond. My son came up with poo. Indeed, poo smells bad, we both imagined it would taste pretty bad too. I told him that it felt nasty as well (having had some experience of being pooed on by said child). It isn’t the most pleasant thing to look at (especially that poo that comes out of animal bottoms and onto the streets of Shrewsbury). But can it sound bad? I don’t find the sound of a poo plopping too unpleasant. My son argued, however, that ‘poorly poo’ doesn’t sound good. We decided then that vomit fitted the ‘repulsive to all the senses’ category even better. Yes, indeed, the sound, smell, taste, feel and sight of vomit is bad.

Look up 'poo' in google images and you will be amazed at what comes up

Look up ‘poo’ in google images and you will be amazed at what comes up

So we found two things that repulse all the senses. We couldn’t, however, think of anything that was pleasurable to all the senses.

Perhaps there is something nice that makes a pleasant sound as it cooks: bacon. But does bacon feel good? I’m not sure I enjoy holding a piece of bacon.

Do you like to hold this?

Do you like to hold this?

However, I like the idea that you can experience something with all the senses and it can either be completely pleasurable or completely repulsive. This is something I’d like to think about further for my future art projects since I am interested in the idea of people relating to art through senses other than sight. Other artists also have considered this, such as Ernesto Neto with his smelly installations and Rosalyn Driscoll and her flaky, ethereal sculptures.

Netto's smelly art

Neto’s smelly art

in the meantime, I will see if i can come up with something that is five-ways pleasurable. Watch this space.

Wear have all the hats gone?

I’m sitting here watching Turner, which is about the great artist J. M. W. Turner, and is set in The Past (at the turn of the nineteenth century of thereabouts). Just now a weird thought has popped into my head: why don’t we wear hats anymore, except at weddings and perhaps when it is really cold? Or of course when our heads are in danger of damage.Where have all the hats gone?

I am a bit of an exception because I wear hats. I love hats. I have lots of hats. I have a couple of bowler hats and lots of flat caps. I have a few wooly hats too. However, not many people share my enthusiasm for hats. Not many people wear hats these days. Why is that? When did the hat fall out of fashion? Or I should ask, when did hats stop being a part of our normal everyday attire?

Me in a hat

Me in a hat

Me in another hat (or is it the same hat?)

Me in another hat (or is it the same hat?)

According to that oracle of all knowledge, the Internet, hats fell out of  favour with the invention and popular use of the motor car. Once people stopped riding horses and started riding in cars, they had no need to keep their heads warm for any length of time. Perhaps the change is less clear-cut than that. Perhaps it just stopped being fashionable to wear a hat (and cheaper). Maybe, as the climate has warmed, we’ve felt less of a need for a warm head. Or, even perhaps, it is just one less thing to put on when we go out. We’re unlikely to sacrifice our pants and clothes, or our shoes or coat, or even our gloves, so the hat is the natural first casualty.

I’d like to see men walking around in top hats or bowlers again. I think they look very handsome. And surely those who feel concerned about being follicaly-challenged, with any worries about not being able to attract the opposite sex, would welcome the common wearing of hats again?


If only men dressed like this nowadays

If only men dressed like this nowadays

It is my ambition (one of my many ambitions) to get people wearing hats again. I wonder if I will succeed?