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The Complete Gentleman, Issue #007
August 17, 2015
Hello

At this time of year many have been, are on, or are going on an annual vacation. This is often the chance to relax (or at least do something different) and can lead to moments of reflection. This can be an opportunity a busy and hectic life does not always provide for, so try to make best use of it. A favorite poem that resonates deeply with this, and is a constant reminder when back in the day-to-day grind to stop and reflect, is “Leisure” by William Davies.

This poem is certainly a call to enjoy the beauty of nature and people around us, although this is not the main highlight of this newsletter from The Complete Gentleman. The theme this month is to make time to think about your life, it’s direction (or possible lack there of) and to take steps. Sometimes we return from a vacation with a realization of the need to take a different approach in our lives and often we have thoughts, which just dissolve away, as we harness ourselves back into the responsibilities we left behind.

Depression

Returning from vacation can bring us down to earth with a bump, as reality takes over once again. I’m reminded of this quote: “I'm currently in the middle of a depression. I couldn't really tell you what set it off, but I think it stems from my cowardice, which confronts me at every turn” by Ann Frank . We might be in an impossible situation but frequently it’s the fear of acting, and the ripples it may have in our lives, that stops us from doing what we really want to do. It doesn’t matter about creating a plan or a to-do-list; it doesn’t matter about gaining consent from others; or from having enough money. What matters is the desire and will to do it, no matter how small or large the task is. An old mentor of mine truly summed this up with a phrase he frequently shared: If you really want to do something, you’ll do it.”

Envy

I am still working towards my first published book and it is with some degree of envy a fellow Gin reviewer has got there before me. Aaron Knoll of The Gin Is In, on 17th September launches his first fully fledged book: “Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival in 300 Distillations.” Here is someone who has been working steadily towards switching from one career, to become a full-time writer. Any tinge of envy I have melts away into a feeling of immense satisfaction in seeing this becoming a reality for him. I hope you can join me in supporting this by purchasing a copy - an Amazon advert for the book can be found on either side of each page on the TCG website. Be encouraged to do what you want to do, it can work, and a little envy might help motivate too!

Time

Making time to think is important, as Aristotle said: “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival”. Having a hobby like working with wood, playing a musical instrument or tinkering with cars can provide a “reset” button for the mind. While doing these things can also generate time to think and are perhaps more enjoyable then an “Eagle’s Breakfast” (a term applied to the morning routine of sitting on the toilet and looking around/staring into space). At work it is generally thought the lower your status in a company the less you are paid to think. However, having a more repetitive job gives you more time to think (so why not make use of it), while being the boss often means you have little time available to you (so delegate more so you can do more of what you need to i.e. analyze, think and decide).

My Time

I too have had some time off and managed to make a few posts to the website. This includes a full description of the Distilled Dry Gin category and the addition of reviews for: Brandons Gin ; Cotswolds Dry Gin ; Ivy City Gin ; NB Gin ; and Old Hollywood Ginn.

I’ll finish with a script excerpt from the British comedy show “Blackadder”, released during the 1980’s, staring Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder) and Tony Robinson (Baldrick):

Blackadder: What do you think? Try to have a thought of your own; thinking is so important. What do you think?

Baldrick: I think thinking is so important, my Lord.

So, Gentlemen, a toast: “To thinking and acting.”

My warmest regards,

David “Woody” Schofield, President and Founder, The Complete Gentleman LLC.

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