Monday, 29 August 2016

Eat, sleep, repeat, bored.

When I was a wee kid, my parents took me to Linton zoo. It wasn't far to travel, it wasn't particularly expensive at the time, and as it turned out I enjoyed the experience.
On the strength of this I was taken again the following year. And the year after that. And the same again the next year and so on until I was old enough to rebel against doing the same shit over and over again.
At that time it was a similar story with camping holidays. Forget any notions of spending a few nights under canvas in the glory of the lake district - oh no. Due to a lack of funds and an even more catastrophic shortage of imagination, for several years we went camping at Landbeach Marina Park, which was a staggering seven miles away from home as the crow flies.
The first time I was too young to know any different and was quite happy to spend the days playing on the adventure playground, looking for fish in the shallows of the lakes (read: old gravel pits) watching the water skiers, and maybe having the odd game of Space Invaders in the clubhouse.
But of course once wasn't enough, and it ended up as the go-to destination every year, with the only exception being when the parents decided to go all Edmund Hillary and dragged me off to the deepest reaches of lesser-explored Comberton (four and a half miles from home) to spend the weekend in a field where the most exciting attraction was a very small toilet block.
Fortunately Landbeach Marina Park was sold off and the land used to build a commercial research development, which has saved countless children from the same experience that I endured.

I think we all do this to varying degrees. You do something, you enjoy it and therefore want to do it again to revisit the same good feelings.
This is not always a bad thing of course - sex somehow manages to avoid becoming boring enough to not want to do it any more - but for many other things the novelty wears off very quickly.
Sometimes it's not even things you enjoy. I can be terribly clumsy and frequently end up leaking red stuff, whether it's from a sharp piece of metal at work or removing the skin off the end of my thumb with a cheese grater like I did yesterday. This sort of thing happens with alarming regularity and the fact that I never liked doing it in the first place should encourage me to be more careful, but so far it hasn't happened. The repetitive nature of this issue generates not boredom, but frustration.

Today we went to the Fenman Classic bike show in Wimbotsham which I first attended a few years ago when I still had the Yamaha FZR1000. The second time was when I had the BMW F650, and I was riding the Bandit 1200 the last time I went.
This year was the first time I've been without owning a motorcycle, and although lots of people turn up by car it does take something away from the experience when you're not rocking up on two wheels - and to be honest, the Beemer isn't built for driving on a farmers field like that provided by the organisers to serve as a car park.
I've enjoyed the experience of being at this show in the past, but this time it wasn't long before I'd had enough and was ready to go. I daresay part of the problem is that my motorcycle involvement is now in the past and as much as I still appreciate bikes, this kind of thing just makes me reflect on the past rather than enjoy the present, so to be honest I doubt I'll go again.

For several years now we've taken our holidays in North Yorkshire which we both love. It's nice to go to that region with the incredible scenery of the Dales and Moors national parks, and the more familiar we've become with it, the more comfortable it feels. Yet even this is beginning to feel a little tiresome, making us feel that perhaps we should broaden our horizons. We've talked about getting passports and trying holidays abroad, but although the idea has enormous appeal, the prospect of having to deal with airports and countries where English is not the first language somehow feels overwhelmingly scary.
Perhaps Scotland should be next. Baby steps and all that....

To keep everything fresh and exciting would mean constantly trying new things and going to new places, which although fine for the more adventurous people of the world is rather more difficult when you're about as outgoing as a hermit with one foot nailed to the floor.
Being such a person means that doing things you've done before gives you a sense of comfort, and the prospect of doing something different or going somewhere new brings on at best a major case of butterflies in the stomach and at worst a blunt refusal to do it.
This is what makes me a creature of habit which means that I'm usually quite happy doing the same things because they're within my comfort zone, but eventually I find that the repetition has made me bored shitless and I have to face up to the anxiety associated with doing something different.
Once I've done that and enjoyed the new thing I'll keep doing it until it becomes mundane and the cycle repeats.
I know what I'm like but I can't help it.