In today’s Grauniad, or at least visible on the website today – I have yet to see a physical newspaper – there is an article about the Rev. Richard Coles. The Reverend Coles is now a Northamptonshire vicar, and sometime host of the current Home Truth’s replacement, and was once a member of the Communards. However, he is still best known to me from the Wildbeest Years – a Radio 4 sketch show from Dan Freedman and Nick Romero – where he played Robin Wood (the very camp leader of the Merry Men) with the catchphrase “What would you have me do? Live a lie”. For any other gluttons for punishment out there (and surely any readers of this drivel must be) I thoroughly recommend Dan and Nick’s work which still gains the occasional repeat on 4Xtra.
But to return to the plot, in today’s article the vicar of Finedon notes that he does much of his best thinking whilst out on his bike. Despite my more limited belief in the big guy (or gal) upstairs, I also do some of my best thinking a-wheel – and, yes, I know my best thinking may not seem that impressive in an absolute sense given my normal cognitive level. The solution to many a knotty problem has come to me whilst cycling around South Cambs. This effect does not seem to happen in a car or bus, though I do often achieve cognitive peaks during live chamber music concerts (for some reason, recorded music doesn’t provide the same boost to cogitation).
I think it is high time to get our political and business leaders out on a bicycle on a much more frequent basis – it can only help boost the rather low quality of the thinking (or its complete absence) that seems to characterise their activities. Perhaps they could also usefully provide more support to both cycling and live music (who ever had any useful thoughts at an airport? Other than to never go near an airport again): let’s get this country thinking its way out of recession!
I am about to head out for a thinking session myself – and it looks decidedly chilly out there. Yes, after a winter characterised by Joke Frost, it looks like serious frost will be nipping at my nose this morning – and, let’s face it, I have a lot of nose for it to nip at!