Saturday, 20 July 2013

Multi-tasking (research, walking, and a family day out)

Efficiency tip number four: multi-tasking.

A literary example: just after Robinson Crusoe gets shipwrecked, he goes to check out the ship for supplies. Because he doesn't have much time, he eats the ships' biscuit he salvages as he walks around the ship looking for other supplies. Eating while you walk: multi-tasking. So if I eat chips while walking home from the pub, that's not an unhealthy waste of money: that's just efficiency.

Another example: a fascinating day out with your dad, combined with a bit of a walk, and a bit of research for a story thrown in for good measure. That's three important things (family, exercise, learning) rolled into one!

For reasons of health & safety and because we might've been trespassing, I won't say where these photographs were taken. The first couple show our discovery of an entrance to a World War 2 underground ammunition bunker, a few months ago in the winter. We didn't have torches. The others show our second visit, slightly more prepared, with torches. As can be seen from the photographs, we weren't the first to find it: it's clearly always been a hang-out for youngsters. In addition to graffiti and cider cans, we found some abandoned machinery, the original rails still in place, a series of offices, and a very, very long tunnel. The darkness was incredible. Once we reached the bottom of the stairs and turned into the series of offices, there was next to no daylight getting in. By the time we reached the switching area for the carriages, it was pitch-black without torchlight. If you were to stand in the tunnel and turn off your torches, it was impossible to say which way was forward and which back.

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