Smelling in stereo

Although we often think of the word “stereo” relating to music, what it actually means is “relating to a three dimensional effect”. We smell in stereo.

From my great new book:

“Though humans’ nostrils are only about two centimeters apart, this is sufficient for people to detect slight differences in the concentration of a scent cloud, and thus provides information about the scent’s location and source.”

Humans can be trained to track scents like dogs, and when they do, they zig zag across the trail, just like dogs, chasing the higher chemical concentrations to the smell’s source.

It makes me think that Perfume and deodorant are to scent what headphones are to music – giving our brains close proximity to the pleasant sensations….and all of it in stereo.

It blows my mind how much we take our senses for granted. Smell, sound, touch – all of them have a huge impact on our enjoyment, health and peace of mind.

So says my new book, and who am I to argue with that? 😉

Happy Friday chimps.

If you do nothing

If you do nothing then the ants and rats and algae will come. They start in the shadows, taking the grime and food and dirt that builds up around the edges. But the more they get away with it, the bolder they will get.

Soon your pool is green. Soon your house has an ant trail marching all the way into the kitchen and back to an underground nest. Soon the rats are so emboldened they find a way into your dustbins, your garage, your car.

Atrophy is the enemy. His best friends are algae, ants and rats. Fight back.

Room design

I change the set up of my house quite frequently. It’s not something I thought I would become interested in, but interior design can impact your health, your mood, your daily movement.

The latest casualty is our bedroom. There is a small flight of stairs leading into the room. It used to be that as soon as you walked down the three or four stairs, our bedside table got in your way, then our bed got in your way. You had to make a hard left turn to get anywhere else in the room.

Now the bed and table are the other side of the room, freeing up the entry. The “Flow” of the room (ha! I’m writing about “room flow”) is so much better now that you can walk down the stairs and just keep on going. If you like you can keep going all the way through the room, unimpeded to the garden. It’s amazing how much difference this one change has made.

I also rigged up a sweet Hifi system in the bedroom using an old amp with Denon speakers and a chromecast. Check out the photos on the @chimpwithcans Instagram page if you like.

I can just feel the different vibe in the room. There is a “flow” as you arrive, and the music makes you want to stay.

Happy work environment

A big, broad work desk. In a quiet and comfortable office. My ideal workspace is clear of clutter and has access to the net and electricity for the laptop. There’s light enough to see. It smells nice. I have art on the wall.

Setting up my office and desk multiplies out over months and years. Over time, being comfortable at work adds up to a career and my own personal health. In many corporates we are not given the option to customize our workspace, which is a shame. I’m very lucky to have an office at home which I can adjust.

Like anything, a work space is subject to atrophy and creeping chaos over time. Clutter builds up in the most annoying way. If the size of the desk is wrong, or the seating is bad, or the connectivity options are not there it can have a huge impact on what I can achieve on any given day. The balance needs to be maintained or else it will fall apart. Next time you sit down to work, have a run through your senses. What does it feel like, smell like, what can you hear? What can you see around you? (lets assume you eat somewhere else and leave taste for now!).

At one point, I had a bad work chair hurting my back, there was not enough light to see properly, and dead rats in my office roof were stinking the place out. I was one step away from a human rights violation in my own home!

A new roof, some lighting and an ergonomic chair means my big, broad work desk is far more inviting. I have art on the wall. I have music. I have electricity. I have the internet. Most satisfying.

Rehydrate…mate

My daughter once was hospitalized and became dehydrated from the sickness. Part of her recovery was to take rehydration formula. She got better, but we have bags of formula left in our house.

Like a teenager sneaking sips of his Dad’s whiskey, I have been pilfering the formula after my runs. I feel guilty, but I also feel great!

I’m going to have to invest in some man-sized rehydration packs because I am nearly out of my infants stash….which seems to be the good stuff.

If you feel groggy or tired or stiff, rehydrate…mate.

Match

Are you more of a corporate manager, or a children’s show presenter?

Do you have the time to enter an ultramarathon or are you better off focusing on the problems in front of you?

Will a holiday away actually be relaxing for you? Or should you rather sleep in at home?

Will you benefit from buying that new iPhone, or should you put the money into a savings account?

I think all of the options above are valid. They just need to match up with the rest of your life to avoid angst.

Fixing daughters

My kid is sick. Ear infection. With the first one we left it too late and her eardrum popped. Let’s not do that again.

The other cut her leg. Germolene is a disinfectant cream. To me it always sounds like the title for an Allman Brothers song “oh Germoleeeeeene” …But I digress.

I am learning that with the girls there is always something to fix. Sort of like my old Audi. It’s part of being at school and growing up.

They bounce back way better than the Audi though. Like little trampolines.

70% with control

I like to play squash. Probably the best advice I have been given is to only give 70% with each shot, and focus all that energy on cleanly hitting the ball. Do it properly at 70% rather than flying in and flailing around at 110% (which is my natural inclination!)

This is more than just a squash tactic. I am at my best when I am calmly dealing with what is in front of me. If I decide to go 110% and expend every ounce of energy in pursuit of one thing, i usually burn out pretty fast.

Life is a juggling act. Keep some energy in store. Keep your head and wits about you. Do things in the correct way.

 

Hospital

Disinfectant, needles, white lights, sickness. As much as we fear and dread going to the hospital, it’s actually a great place to be. A great place to lower the risk of something terrible happening.

My child needs help in the hospital and I’m lucky we have a good one within reach. I’m on my way to see her. Sitting in the Uber putting everything else in perspective.

Hospital hospital hospital – over and over in my head.