Friday 2 May 2014

Why Spring isn’t Just About Easter Egg Hunts.

We've said goodbye to April, which means the last of the Easter eggs have gone and you’ve realised life’s probably too short to waste on Spring-cleaning.  Nevertheless, whether it’s a challenge or a treat (or both), this is the time of year when lots of us start looking around for something new.  Here’s a handful of ideas to get you inspired…

A clear out where it counts: your contacts list.
Is your life any better for knowing the holiday destination of the HR assistant at the firm you were temping at two years ago?  If you’re feeling in the mood for at least doing some de-cluttering this Spring (if only as a gesture), your Facebook friends list is as good a place as any to get to work.  After your cull, pick out a couple of people who you actually like spending time with but who you haven’t seen in real life for a while; make use of the longer evenings and arrange an after-work catch-up. Streamlining your friend list makes Facebook less annoying.  Also, it’s a much less unpleasant job than clearing out the contents of your fridge salad tray.

A workout for your brain: Mandarin, Portuguese or Poker?
If you feel it’s time to stretch your cerebral muscles, a foreign language is always a good place to start.  It seems that in 2014 though, conversational Spanish or Italian is a little old-hat.  Learn Mandarin Chinese on the other hand and you’re in a very big club: there are 800 million speakers in China alone and Chinese is now seen as the most useful second language to speak right now according to YouGov.  Not only will getting to grips with it impress your friends, it can’t do your career prospects any harm either.

In a similar vein but perhaps easier to get to grips with, how about Portuguese?  It’s useful not only on the Algarve but also in Brazil – another massive emerging economy we’re likely to be hearing much more of over the next couple of years.

If you want a bit of mental stimulus but fun at the same time, think poker: (the real life rather than the online version).  The big trend over the last couple of years has been the emergence of poker meet-up forums across the country as well as pub-leagues.  There’s usually an all-comers welcome policy, fixed stakes (so it’s actually difficult to lose more than you bargained for) and tables graded on experience. See what’s on near you this Spring and take a look.

Thrill-seeking: it’s never been easier. 
Spring-related gift experiences are definitely the way forward.  Whether your coastal resort of choice is Brighton, Newquay or Blackpool, as the first nice weekend of the year arrives, a trip to the seaside is just what you need to dust the cobwebs away.  This Spring, don’t just get your toes wet: make it your mission to get on board a jetski or see what lies beneath with a scuba diving session.

Fancy some high-octane speed but would rather stay dry?  Why not take your car out onto Britain’s one and only formula one track?  Whether it’s a taster flying lesson, parachute jump or throwing a Ferrari around the track, getting your adrenaline pumping is one of the best ways of reminding yourself Spring has most definitely sprung!  

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