Mr. Feeny was one of the best teachers I ever had.
Chance of rain they said.
1. push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.
2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.
3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.
4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else.
5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.
6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.
7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.
8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.
9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.
10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.
11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.
12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.
14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.
15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.
16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.
The DOUBLE REVERSE FOUR-IN-HAND using a P JOHNSON Black Grenadine.
1. Put the tie around the neck, underside facing up and then the first move is to pass the large blade under the small blade (hence ‘REVERSE’), that way when it’s wrapped around the small blade it is brought back to it’s front side facing out.
2. Wrap the large blade around twice (hence ‘DOUBLE’). You can use your fingers to hold the two loops that you’ve created open if you find it easier.
3. Then pass the large blade, tip first through the two loops you’ve created. It might require a bit of adjustment as you pull it through. It also work best when you achieve one or two small folds or furrows feeding into the knot.
4. Tighten the knot. When doing so you’ll need to tease the outer loop down a bit as you go, otherwise it will pull awkwardly. It needs to be tightened pretty firmly to reduce its size and to recover enough length. Bingo.
It’ll create varied looks and some subtle asymmetry and allows the knot to have good three-dimensionality and flourish on the neck. It exposes some of the smaller blade and looks natural and shows off the quality of the tie.
It takes some practice and works best if you start with a generous amount of the large blade. Everyone will tie it differently and that is a great thing, it’s a malleable knot in this sense. Not for everyone perhaps but it tends to work with plenty of collars and face shapes and works beautifully on knitted ties, soaking up some excess length.
Ties are designed to (hopefully) be beautiful things and need knots that best show their inherent qualities. It’s just a piece of silk (or other cloth) folded with some inlay and is fundamentality their to divide and decorate the chest and complete and harmonise/set-off an outfit. So if the knot is too mute or dull the outfit will collapse with it. Different knots say different things and need ultimately to be an extension of the wearers character, like all clothing.