FAQ: Potential Wish List Problems #1 – It’s all me, me, me, me, me!

Me Me Me!

It’s no fun growing up with brothers and sisters. Life is a constant battle for supremacy. And whilst being the eldest, or the tallest, or the strongest, should give you the competitive edge amongst your siblings, there’s always a parent hovering in the background who’s just one squabble away from wading in and levelling the playing field with a clip round the ear and comments such as:

“Wait your turn,” or

“Be nice to your sister,” or

“How many times have I told you to share?!”

You can appeal, of course – I often did – but this was usually met with:

“Peter – not everything’s about you,” or

“If you can’t play nicely then I’ll take it away,” or

“I want, I want, I want – that’s all I ever hear!”

It seems that no sooner have we been encouraged to ‘think for ourselves’ and ‘decide what we want in life’ than someone, maybe the same someone, tells us that we’re being self centred or selfish. ‘Putting others first,’ so they say, is the true path to enlightenment.

Now I’m not going to tell you that our parents were wrong – not entirely – but a few of us (and I include myself in this) had this concept of putting others first beaten into us so effectively that we’ve all but lost the ability to consider our own needs, and to do so can often fill us with feelings of guilt. That’s not good.

What our parents should have told us was this:

 Taking into consideration our own wants,
to the exclusion of everyone else,
is wrong.

The middle line of that sentence is crucial! Without it, you’re effectively telling yourself that everyone else is more important than you – and whilst there will be those of you who actually believe that, it’s simply not true.

Here’s another thing your parents should have told you:

Taking into consideration everyone else,
to the exclusion of yourself,
is utterly, utterly wrong.

No good can come of thinking of others to the exclusion of yourself. You will end up searching the internet, reading blog posts on how to become happier.

However, these can be incredibly hard concepts to grasp. From the workshops I’ve found that Mum’s especially are often hard-wired to put their own needs or wants on the backburner, or to dismiss them completely. So even if you finally manage to get your logical brain to say, “Oh yes, I see now – I need to strike a balance” – your inner child will continue to follow the put-everyone-else-first rule in the hope that one day that it’ll magically start working for you.

It won’t.

And sadly, undoing this level of brainwashing takes more than a couple of pages on a blog like this.

All that said, there are a few things you could try:

Firstly, there’s therapy. And I’m not kidding. It really is the only way to free yourself from this noble, but none the less destructive, behaviour. A word of warning; therapy is like embarking on a long personal journey through your own psyche for which you really need a qualified and experienced guide. Finding a therapist that works for you can be a challenge. This isn’t a reason not to try therapy, just try, if you can, to see a therapist who someone you trust can recommend.

Secondly, you could leave yourself notes around your house or office to remind you of the two facts above. Will it work? Maybe. It’s a low tech solution that won’t remedy the underlying problem, but sometimes a sticking plaster is all that’s necessary to enable us to continue on in life.

Lastly, you could strike a compromise with yourself. Accept the fact that there are other people in your life and incorporate them into your Wish List. Grab a piece of paper and instead of starting your wishes with the words “I want”, try starting a few with “we want” and see where that gets you.

For instance:

“We want to travel the world.”

“My mother and I live in a wonderful house, near the sea.”

“I am learning to play the guitar, with the support of …”

Good luck.

FAQ: The difference between Wish Lists and Now Lists

The Now List Department. Diligently working on things you'd like to do before you die.
The Now List Department. Diligently working on things you’d like to do before you die.

Plenty of people have asked me to explain the difference between your Now List and your Wish List and whether it’s ok if something makes both lists.

The short answer is it doesn’t matter. If you want to put something on both lists and that makes sense to you, go right ahead. What goes on which list is far less important than understanding how each list works and why.

Imagine you head up a corporation with two groups of people at your disposal. Over there, in the factory building, you have your Now List Department, whereas over here, on the fourteenth floor of your corporate headquarters you have the Wish List & Goal Division.

The Now List folks will diligently work through anything and everything you give them, albeit at their own methodical pace, trying to get as many things done before – well, before the whistle blows and they rush home to their families.

The Wish List & Goals Department. The seat of ultimate power.

The Wish & Goals operatives, on the other hand, will consider any request you throw at them, but until it’s passed rigorous internal scrutiny to see whether it should be adopted as one of your corporation’s three goals, won’t do very much with it. When it is a goal however, they’ll assign a deadline, introduce rewards and penalties, create a poster campaign, organise affirmation sessions, work overtime, and generally throw every resource they have at it.

So then, let’s take that wish you had earlier to ‘climb Mount Kilimanjaro’. Which group of your people do you want to give that to?

FAQ: Potential Boxing Day Problem #3 – Boxing Days if you’re a parent

Reader Jane dropped me a line:

“I think I’ve figured out something that may help in terms of ‘how Mums can do a boxing day’. You may need to relax the ‘rules’. The thing is, there is always so much to do around the house and for the kids/husband/etc.

“If I had planned a bit more beforehand (e.g. booked a massage, picked a film to go and see, arranged a friend to meet for lunch, booked a table to eat alone, etc) then I might have had more of a successful BD. However, because (the rules state) you’re not ‘allowed’ to think about what you’re doing in advance, I ended up doing a whole load of chores and things that needed doing around the house. Which was fine, but not really the rest a 36 week pregnant woman with a one year old needed!

“I suggest that childcare is arranged, even if it’s just for half a day with Grandparents, and then you allow Mums to book one thing to do (or plan one thing to do) outside of the house. This would remove the temptation to go ahead and get on with chores, etc.

“A Mum’s (and I’m sure a Dad’s!) lot is a busy one and there is, like I say, always so much to do that it’s hard to put oneself first, especially if you have that rare commodity of free time. The first thing that comes to mind is something along the lines of ‘thank goodness! Now I can get that big pile of ironing done, weed the garden, cook for the freezer, etc.”

My gut reaction to Jane’s email was to point out that there’s a huge difference between pre-planning (what you’re going to do on Boxing Day) and preparing (doing whatever’s necessary so that a Boxing Day is possible). Pre-planning is bad. Preparing on the other hand, is very very good. Necessary even.

However, hot on the heels of Jane’s email, readers Kirsty and Alison contacted me with very similar thoughts! It seems it’s just too darn difficult to be spontaneous on a Boxing Day if you’re a Mum – other stuff always gets in the way. Clearly I’m out of my depth here.

So I called in the Big Guns and emailed Keris Stainton –  author, journalist, fan of this book and (most importantly) Busy Mum of two. I put the Busy Mum vs Boxing Day conundrum to her, reserved several pages in the book for her words of wisdom, and waited. If anyone would know the answer it would be Keris. Why, she’d probably end up writing a blog post or an article about it. Fabulous!

Three weeks later (I told you she was busy) I got her  response.

She was, to use her own words ‘flummoxed’ – unable to see how being a busy parent is so different from being a busy anything else. She went on to say:

If the FIRST thing you think of when you get up on Boxing Day is ‘thank goodness – Now I can get that big pile of ironing done, weed the garden, cook for the freezer, etc.’ then, well, you REALLY need a Boxing Day!

If any of this rings true for you then let me just say this; “go for it”. And if ‘going for it’ means you need to have one thing pre-arranged, or you have to have a rule that says Boxing Day takes place Off-site, or you limit Boxing Day to the hours between dropping the kids off and picking them back up again, or Boxing Day is something you do with another Busy Parent – if that ‘fixes’ Boxing Day and makes it work for you – then you have my blessing! I am not going to stand in your way. I’m just pleased that you’re finally taking time out for yourself.

If you’re a parent and have any thoughts on the challenges of Boxing Day, feel free to share them in the comments box below or on the facebook page.

FAQ: Potential Boxing Day Problem #2 – Not knowing what to do

damien_canderle_gremlins2

Ideally here’s how Boxing Day should work: You wake up, you ask yourself what you fancy doing at that precise moment, then you go and do that thing. And when you’ve done that, or you’ve had enough of whatever it is, you go do something else. Easy?

Not necessarily.

Once you’ve decided (in advance) when your Boxing Day will be, Gremlins immediately take up residence under your bed, ready to thwart you.

The first gremlin is ‘your usual daily routine’. Unless you begin Boxing Day right away it’s incredibly easy to start the day pretty much as every other and before you know it you’re checking emails, opening post and oh, the laundry basket’s looking a little full I’ll just put on a load of washing.

The second is a ‘general lack of inspiration’. There you are. Sitting in bed. Ready for the Boxing Day euphoria to kick in just as soon as you can decide what it is that you’d like to do… and you just can’t think of anything.

I’ve been there.

Here then are some top tips should you find yourself in a similar situation:

  1. Start Boxing Day from the moment you open your eyes – Try and break from your normal daily routine from the moment you wake up. A couple of times I’ve come downstairs and as I’ve reached for the milk in the fridge I’ve seen those eggs, sitting there, quietly doing nothing, and thought to myself – sod it – let’s cook breakfast. And other times, as I opened the cupboard to take out the Weetabix, I’ve noticed a kilo bag of oats and thought to myself, “You know, what I really fancy right now are flapjacks.”
  2. Perform the Boxing Day Dance – Flushed with the success of the first Boxing Day (which you’ll remember was an accident) I was quite excited when, having made an appointment with myself, it was time to have the second one. I was so excited that I danced round the flat in my dressing gown making up a silly Boxing Day song as I went, much to the bemusement of my cat. Strange thing is though, I’ve since found that if I’m having a Boxing Day which feels a little flat, a few bars of my Boxing Day song will be all I need to get the Boxing Day juices flowing. (No you can’t hear my Boxing Day song – make up your own!
  3. Do the first thing that comes to mind – Sometimes it’s difficult to decide what to do with your Boxing Day because you’re over thinking it. If you’re struggling to feel inspired, stop, and ask yourself “What do I want to do RIGHT NOW?” The thing that comes to mind, usually before you’ve even finished the sentence, is very possibly the thing you should do. It doesn’t matter how silly it may seem, or how simple – if it can be done, now, and you like the idea – do it!
  4. You can work – Working on Boxing Day is a completely legitimate exercise if that’s what you really want to do. And let’s broaden the definition of work to include any activity that you might not consider typically “fun”. Decorating, for instance. Balancing your cheque book. Filling out an application form. Don’t put yourself under pressure to fill your Boxing Day with “fun” activities. If it’s what you want to do (want to do – not need to do) then it’s a legitimate Boxing Day activity. For instance, I am writing this paragraph on Boxing Day! That’s the absolute truth, and I can honestly say that right now, given the moment, the opportunities available to me, and how I feel, writing this is what I really want to do.
  5. Make a list – Pre-planning Boxing Day is utterly forbidden, but if you’re a planner at heart (as I am), there’s nothing to say you can’t do a little brainstorming at the start of the day. If I don’t wake up and feel instantly inspired I often grab a piece of paper (rather than sit at my computer) and jot down ideas – things that I could do. I try and write my ideas all over the page and at weird angles so that it’s as un-list like as possible (otherwise I might be tempted to start at the top and work through the items). And then, when I’ve finished brainstorming, quite often I’ll toss the list to one side and do something entirely different.
  6. You can be dull – If you want to do nothing but sit on the sofa and watch TV, or go back to bed, or read a magazine cover to cover, or play computer games, that’s perfectly acceptable. If it’s been a while since your last Boxing Day (perhaps you had to postpone it) then maybe this is the first opportunity you’ve had in a while to rest. So do it. Rest. However, I encourage you to rest with gusto – if you want to go back to bed, put your PJs back on, close the curtains, put on some soothing music, maybe download some “ocean sounds” to your iPod, sprinkle lavender on your pillow – really go for it! If you want to watch TV, grab some snacks, then sit down and watch an entire season of Lost, or 24, or the Gilmore Girls, or Doctor Who, or whatever floats your boat.

Towards the back of the book, under the section ‘Putting It All Together’, you’ll find an example of what a typical Boxing Day looks like (for me).

 

FAQ: Potential Boxing Day Problem #1 – “Haven’t you re-invented Saturday?”

Postman-Pat

Not everybody is able to see how a Boxing Day might be a good thing. Some people – let’s call them ‘young people’ – tend to look at me blankly for a moment or two before asking me how a Boxing Day differs from, say, Saturday. Or Sunday. Or virtually any other day of the week when they’re not at college. Which seems to be most days.

Before I became the grumpy old sod you see before you now, Saturday’s were sacred and followed a very strict routine: I would roll out of bed around midday, and settle down with a bowl of cornflakes in front of ‘the chart show’ before considering whether I should wander down to the town centre to ‘mooch about’.

This relaxed state of affairs continued throughout my teens and twenties, and might have continued into my thirties if it hadn’t of been for the arrival of…

The postman.

If you’re in your early twenties you’ve probably yet to appreciate the sheer amount of admin that awaits you the moment you get a bank account, a loan, a credit card, a car, or move into a place of your own. Suddenly there’s a mountain of paperwork to be addressed, most of it hidden amongst an even bigger mountain of junk from people trying to sell you stuff. And whilst you can (as I did) leave this stuff on the side in the hopes that it’ll kind of sort itself out, I don’t recommend it. Handing over your money to these organisations is only part of the payment required – the remainder is due in time sorting out all manner of insurances, MOT certificates, and taxes of numerous flavours. And that’s assuming that you never miss a payment, your car never needs fixing, your boiler never packs up, and that the Gas Board doesn’t decide to change your supplier without your knowledge. If you manage to juggle all this nonsense without surrendering the occasional Saturday I take my hat off to you. Personally I’d developed a morbid fear of ‘post’ by the time I was thirty.

Of course you might, as many people do, assume that there’s strength in numbers, and choose to combine forces with another. And whilst there are most definitely perks to giving up your single life it’s only a matter of time before your entire weekend is given over to ferrying the kids around, climbing a ladder with a paintbrush in your hand, or wandering the aisles of Ikea trying to find the damn exit.

When that happens, you might consider booking yourself a Boxing Day.

FAQ

Friend and fellow Author Della Galton (with whom I’m currently writing another book – more about that over on faqpeterjonesauthor.com) suggested that this blog could do with a Frequently Asked Questions section. A kind of Survival Guide for anyone trying out the ideas in the book.

This seems like a fabulous idea. So starting this Friday, and continuing for as long as I can keep it going, I’ll be discussing various problems that some readers have faced whilst trying to do everything, and be happy – as well as what they, you, we, can do about it. And if you have any thoughts of your own you can post them in the comments section below.

This Friday we’ll be kicking off with the first of many posts about Potential Boxing Day Problems, and cover Now Lists, Wish Lists, Goals and Diaries in due course

And remember, you can get these blog posts sent to you by entering your email in the box up there in the right hand corner, and clicking subscribe. It’s totally free, and you won’t get anything other than blog updates.

What Do You Want – Right Now?

genieIf you’ve read How To Do Everything and Be Happy (and may I take this opportunity to say thanks for doing so, and I sincerely hope you found it useful) you’ll know that much of the book concentrates on getting you to make a Wish List. Put simply, a list of things you want in your life, or want your life to be like.

Making a Wish Lists is very important. It’s how I kick off the whole second half of the How To Do Everything and Be Happy workshop, and when pushed by Dave Monk (from BBC Essex) I said that ‘figuring out what you want’ was the one thing that you could do right now, that would have the biggest, most positive impact on your life.

I know. If ever there was a moment when I started to sound a little too evangelical – some might say ‘scary’ – that was it.

But humour me for a second. Take a break from whatever you were supposed to be doing and think instead about what you want, right this second.

It could be that you want me to stop waffling on and get on with the part where I tell you how to get your wishes granted. It could be that you want someone to bring you a toasted cheese sandwich and a cup of tea. Or it could be that you simply want the sun to come out again – dammit!

Knowing what you want in any given moment is, I’ve discovered, a hugely underrated skill.

Have you ever had days when you start with a pretty clear idea of what the next few hours have in store for you, only to discover that the universe has other plans? The phone starts to ring, your email inbox starts to fill up, now there’s someone at the door – everybody either wants you to do something, wants to tell you something, wants your opinion on something, wants to sell you something.

If, like me, you live and die by your to-do list you find yourself adding more items than you’re checking off. By mid-afternoon you’ve done nothing but answer the phone and talk to people. Your desk is a sea of post-it notes. You can no longer see the top of your inbox. You’re drowning.

Or perhaps you’re having a day that’s the total opposite. The phone isn’t ringing. There aren’t any emails. There are only two items on your to-do list. Neither of them are very inspiring. You feel like your brain’s made of porridge.

Both these situations can be fixed by asking yourself one simple question:

WHAT DO YOU WANT?
RIGHT NOW?

Your initial answer, of course, will probably be something like “I want it to stop” – either the chaos, or the boredom – but you need to dig a little deeper than that. Try and get to the bottom of what would make a difference, either at that moment, or in the near future.

For instance, on your chaotic day simply knowing what it is you most want allows you to prioritise all the stuff coming ‘in’. If the stuff relates to whatever it is you want, prioritise it; if it doesn’t, chuck it on the backburner. Pretty soon you’re like a ninja: sword-wielding bad guys might be coming at you from every angle, but you’re only paying attention to those that present you with an opportunity.

On those ‘boring’ days, however, you can take your thinking about what you want to a whole new level. You can write things down. You can make lists. You can toss ideas about. You’re like a ninja in training – mentally preparing yourself. It’ll only be a matter of time before you realise one of the ideas you’re toying with is something you can do, right now, on this boring day.

Next time you find yourself drowning in work, or plodding along with no real purpose, stop, and ask yourself what it is that you want.

Right now.

The Joy of Facebook

likeusonfacebook

So hey. How you been?

Sorry I haven’t been about, things have been – well you know – busy.

Busy, busy.

Truth is, much as I love updating this blog – and I promise to try harder in the future – it isn’t always possible. Not if I want to do it properly. Which of course I do.

What is possible however – and turning out to be an almost daily event – is posting the odd quip to the facebook page. Facebook is just perfect for sharing stuff that I usually wouldn’t consider worthy of a blog post. More than that though, what often starts as a passing remark sometimes erupts into a full blown discussion, which for me at least, is great fun, and makes me feel marginally less isolated, sitting as I do, at this desk, day after day, with only my cat for company {sniff, sniff} (Are you feeling sorry for me yet?)

So here’s an idea – if you’re on facebook why not pop along to this book’s facebook page, www.facebook.com/howtodoeverythingandbehappy, and click the LIKE button (up there at the top).

Your ‘friends’ will be able to see that you’re a fan of the book, and you’ll see any comments from other readers in your feed, as well as a daily post from myself. Nothing too intrusive I promise.

And if you suddenly feel the urge, feel free to post a comment or two yourself, or share a photo of you reading your book. That would be fun.

Five ways to Beat the Blues

bluesSo how are you? I mean – how are you feeling? Stressed? Constantly tired? A little achey perhaps. As I write this now it’s Monday morning, and though we’ve finally entered March with Spring just round the corner, nobody seems to have told the weather. On days like today, it’s hard to feel particularly chipper.

What follows are five bullet proof layers partly inspired by my friend Agent Sparkles who created a 13 point beat-the-blues survival guide after a difficult period in her life struggling with depression. You can find her list, unedited and in its entirety, here – for now however, here are five items that really work for me, and should provide you with some much needed defence against the blues.

Bullet Proof Layer 1 – Put Your Pants On!

Every morning, before 9am, and regardless of what day of the week it is and whether you have any plans – get out of bed.

Get up, have a shower, get dressed, put on decent clothes. Do your make up, do your hair, shave your legs – or whatever your personal equivalent may be. This sends a strong message to your psyche that you’re ready to face the day.

This is doubly important for people who work from home.

Bullet Proof Layer 2 – Eat Properly

After millions of years of shovelling food into our mouths it seems like we’re only just beginning to realise that the old saying “you are what you eat” is actually true. Every single cell, every hair, every flake of dandruff, every tear, every bead of sweat, every inch of skin, muscle and bone, all of it was constructed by your body from something you (or your mother) ate.

This includes your brain.

If you have a habit of eating rubbish on a daily basis you’ll end up with a brain that’s not as able to cope with the stresses or strains of everyday life. That melon-sized lump of grey matter in your skull really is less efficient if it’s been constructed out of crisps, burgers and chocolate bars!
Fortunately this is very easy to fix. Whilst cultivating a ‘better diet’ (i.e. lots of fresh fruit and vegetables whilst avoiding processed foods wherever possible) is just good sense, there are specific foods that are good for your brain.

Omega 3 fatty acids, for instance, directly affect your brain’s ability to cope with stress, depression, concentration and memory. Study after study has shown that an increase of Omega 3 in your diet can make a huge, measurable difference to how you feel.

So where can you get your Omega 3? Flax seeds and walnuts are a good source, though you’ve got to eat a lot to notice a difference (crush them up beforehand to reduce the chances of them passing straight through you). A better source is oily fish (such as mackerel and salmon) because the fish has actually done much of the work, converting the fats into a form ready for your body to digest.

If you haven’t got the time to start grilling fish once or twice a week there’s always supplements. It’s worth mentioning that there’s research to suggest that you absorb far more Omega 3 from food than from supplements, but from personal experience I’ve found supplements to be an acceptable alternative – but remember, they’re supplements, not meal alternatives. Nothing beats a balanced diet of three proper meals a day with plenty of fruit and veg.

Bullet Proof Layer 3 – Sleepasleep

Almost everyone who came back to me with their list of External Forces sited tiredness or sleep deprivation as a cause of unhappiness. Which isn’t surprising really. It’s a rare person who can keep a positive upbeat attitude when they’re walking around like a zombie.

So – go to bed at a reasonable hour, and go to sleep. This means if you’re aiming to get up at 8am you probably need to be lying down, ready to sleep, by eleven.
If you’re struggling with insomnia then an excellent book on the subject (written by a sleep doctor) is “Tired But Wired: How to Overcome Sleep Problems ” by Nerina Ramlakhan (ISBN-13: 978-0285638778)

Bullet Proof Layer 4 – Daylight

First, the basics. Having got up in the morning (bullet proof layer 1) – open the curtains. A lack of sunshine can really drag you down. But do you know why?

All living organisms have an internal biological clock (of sorts) called a circadian rhythm. This internal process regulates a number of bodily functions and for most people their ‘rhythm’ is approximately a twenty four hour cycle. Approximately.

And there’s the rub. Your cycle is only approximately the same length as a normal day. If it’s a little on the short or long side (which it easily could be) it’s possible for your circadian rhythm to become out of sync with your lifestyle, the effect of which is to leave you feeling like you’re suffering from permanent jet-lag (because essentially that’s exactly what jet-lag is). It’s not uncommon to experience insomnia, acute tiredness, lethargy, anxiety, even depression.

Fortunately your body has a ‘reset button’. If when you wake enough light reaches your eyes (or specifically a group of cells called ganglions) your circadian rhythm is reset.
Notice the if in that sentence. If you spend your days asleep, and your nights sitting in front of the TV or computer, your rhythm might actually fail to reset itself. For some people, one too many winter days has the same effect, and before you know it you feel as if you’re stumbling through life with a head full of porridge, boxing with one hand tied behind your back.

That’s not a good state to be in if you also have to deal with your evil boss, your interfering mother-in-law, that angry idiot from next door, or whoever it is that has the ability to press all your buttons – and if you’re not getting enough daylight those buttons are fully exposed and there for the pressing (commonly referred to as SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder). SAD can be reversed, without drugs, pretty much overnight. My personal therapy of choice is a ‘light box’ to take the place of sunshine).

Bullet Proof Layer 5 – Trust that ‘Things Will Get Better’

In the words of my favourite quote:

EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END.
IF IT’S NOT ALRIGHT,
IT’S NOT THE END.

Essex Book Festival (Come and meet me at Debden Library,13th March 2012, 7pm)

IMPORTANT! You’re currently in the archives! All sorts of exciting things have happened since this post was originally released, click here to read the latest posts.ebf-front-cover

It’s that time of year again – the run up to the annual Essex Book Festival; a month and a bit chock full of book related events featuring authors from all over the country at numerous venues in and around the county.

I’ve been to a number of events over the years, last year I went to see Sara Paretsky, and David Baddiel – both excellent – but this year will be especially interesting because at one event, on Tuesday the 13th March, I won’t be amongst the audience – I’ll be the one at the front!

Yes, you heard it here first, I’m one of the authors in this years festival talking about How To Do Everything and Be Happy. What better way to celebrate over 7,500 sales?

I’ll be honest with you, this feels a little weird. I’m still shocked when someone emails me to tell me they’ve read the book, or when I discover another review on amazon. A part of me is utterly convinced that the only people at Debden Libray on the 13th of March will be me, the head librarian, and some poor soul who’s been coerced into doing the refreshments. This being the case I’d like to extend a warm and very genuine (some might say slightly desperate) invitation to come along – it really would be absolutely lovely to see you. And your friend(s). Don’t do it for me, do it for the tea lady.

The way these things normally work is the author chats for a bit, then answers questions. This being the case let me just say that I’d be happy to answer anything – whether that be about the ideas in the book, writing & publishing, or my love of flapjacks. If you’ve read the book bring it along and I’ll scribble in the front for you. If you haven’t read the book, come anyway, there’ll be copies to buy on the night and did I mention there would be refreshments?

Title: Peter Jones talks about his book How to do Everything and Be Happy
Part of:
Essex Book Festival
When: 7pm, Tues 13th March 2012
Venue: Debden Library, c/o Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA
(click here for a map)
Tickets: £4, or £3 for concessions (under 18s, full-time students, registered unemployed and older people in receipt of state benefits)

HOW TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS

Bookings  can be made through the Mercury Theatre Box Office on 01206 573948 which is open Monday to Saturday 10am -8pm.

There are no booking charges made by the Mercury although there will be a charge for postage of £1 unless tickets are collected from the Mercury Theatre.

Please advise the Box Office if you have any access requirements when making a booking. Visitors with a disability are offered a free ticket for a companion. If you require a BLS interpreter, please advise the Box Office.
Refunds – The Festival cannot refund money or exchange tickets except if an event is cancelled, in which case return your tickets to the Box Office within 30 days for a full refund.

If you have a query about access or a general enquiry about the event please email hello@essexbookfestival.org.uk or ring 01245 347456.