Thoughtful people

People we admire here at Thoughtful

molly flatt

How to cheat at work

When the itch to play doesn’t abate as you grow up.   Here’s how I used to play. Early in the morning, before anyone else was awake—or at least awake enough to pay me any attention—I would go downstairs and pull on a pair of wellies. In summer, I might not bother. In winter, I might drag a coat over my nightie,… Read more →

alistair hall

Q&A: Monster shopkeeper and designer Alistair Hall on the question of play

When he’s not running a general store for vampires, werewolves and zombies, Alistair Hall is creating award-winning design for the likes of Penguin Books and The National Trust at his studio We Made This. I asked the co-founder and art director of children’s literacy charity Ministry of Stories and its fantastical shop Hoxton Street Monster Supplies to share his thoughts on play.     How does the idea… Read more →

replay

Replay: What we can learn from the earliest forms of play

We need to get back to basics and take ‘frivolous’ play more seriously.   Every day, for anything from 30 minutes to an hour, at some point between lunch and dinnertime I’m forced to play. Waiting patiently for hours, until I’ve wrapped up important phone calls and made a big dent in the day’s work, my playmate isn’t fussy about… Read more →

run play

Run and play: The joy of jogging

Running is quiet. You run alone. You are free.   I used to run. When I was in school, it was the only sport I did, or could do. Other sports were loud, involving a conspiracy of rules, teammates, spectators and judges, all oppressive. I liked running for its simplicity. Running is quiet. You run alone. You are free. Your… Read more →

rubik's cure

Rubik’s cure: The healing power of play

A Rubik’s cube helps one boy fit all the pieces of his life together.   Our son Julian was born bright—he talked and walked early, put words together in new ways, but seemed to find the world a perplexing place. “Turn off the dark,” when he was afraid, “Turn on the heatiator,” when he was cold. He was clingy, wouldn’t… Read more →

well spent

Well spent: How to live a rich life in the age of uncertainty

For those with not much to spend, experiences are the way to spend it. Put down the knitting, the book and the broom It’s time for a holiday Life is a cabaret, old chum So come to the cabaret   I’ve always loved the film Cabaret. I’m grinning and singing along as a female drag queen covered in tattoos belts out… Read more →

holly tucker

Q&A: Holly Tucker MBE on the question of plenty

Too many high streets are characterised by big, bland boxes that pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap. Although physically there’s a lot there, they feel empty. It’s what Holly Tucker calls the “grey world of business.” And it’s why she founded online marketplace notonthehighstreet.com a decade ago and, just this year, Holly & Co—to shine a light on the… Read more →

exist strategy

An exist strategy: In business, small is beautiful too

Building for the long run beats racing for a quick exit.   In a picturesque valley, nestled in the southern alps of Japan’s Yamanashi prefecture, lies a traditional Japanese hot spring hotel, an onsen. It’s not big. There are fewer than 40 rooms. Unlike other typical onsens, which operate during certain hours, the baths at this onsen are open 24 hours… Read more →

small gesture

Small gesture, big impact: Why the little things we do for others mean a lot

Tiny acts of kindness are a mark of good taste.   It was a rainy spring evening in Toronto when I found myself knocking on an unfamiliar door to see a group of people I’d never met. Earlier that day, I’d quit my job. A few weeks before, a friend had told me about this group that meets once a week… Read more →

made by us

Made by us: Appreciating the human side of things

Designing unique objects with, and for, the homeless.   Terry can fill a room with his laugh. A furniture restorer and french polisher by trade, he’s never without his multi-coloured crocheted hat sitting slightly askew on his head. He’s a colourful character who’s had a colourful life. An East Londoner by way of the Scottish Highlands, as a youngster he… Read more →