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Be more Jim

A horse drawn milk float from the 1950's

This week I'm taking inspiration from Jim who is a 97-year-old that lives in the care home I visit. He’s also one of the most creative people I know. He’s almost blind but constantly thinking up new schemes. His latest is to acquire a horse and cart. In his younger days, he worked as a milkman. At Christmas, when they would all indulge a bit too much, the horses would just follow their well-worn paths, making the rounds on their own. Jim's plan: a horse could take him to all his favourite places, without relying on his limited eyesight. (Unfortunately, the photo above isn't actually of Jim but it's the kind of cart he described. Credit to the anonymous photographer for capturing a great shot!)

Jim has also concocted a brilliant strategy to outsmart my dad in their weekly quiz sessions. He wants to have the questions tapped out in Morse code. He claims he can still translate 32 words a minute which is one of his favourite war stories!

He even has a plan to fix the ant problem in the garden… get an aardvark. When I asked him where he was going to get one from, he nonchalantly replied, "Africa, obviously!" and wheeled off.

So, why am I trying to be more like Jim? Firstly, he’s not phased by seemingly insurmountable problems. He thinks about things from a completely different perspective. He’s always MacGyvering something and some of the ideas are genius. Even if the carers sometimes disagree! And, if he smashes into the door frame as he exits stage right, he just brushes off the flakes of paint and styles it out.

This week my designs will be a little bolder. I’ll be trying to look at things from a different perspective rather than just relying on the tried and tested.

Anyone else find inspiration in the most unexpected places?


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