Frisk #181

Sweet Enola Gay, it’s Frisk #181! The Volkswagen Type 181 (sold as ‘Kurierwagen’ in West Germany and ‘Trekker’ in the UK) enjoyed the dubious pleasure of being called simply ‘Thing’ in the United States market. It was actually possible to go into a VW dealership in the 1970s and ask for a Thing. ‘What are you interested in, sir - the Beetle, the bay-window camper, the notchback Type 3?’ ‘Nah, I’ll just have that Thing.’ Imaginative.


Forest School
Kids are more tech-savvy than their parents. This is a perennial constant that’s been embarrassing mums and dads from time immemorial; you encourage them to learn about things that’ll help them in future life, and they immediately understand them much better than you ever could and call you a saddo. Nature, innit?
There is, of course, a keen awareness among older generations that the kids of today aren’t getting as much sun as they did when they were nippers; the average 5-15 year old (admittedly quite a broad age group) spends 15 hours a week online, with 64% playing outside only once a week or less. The balance, then, is to give them a firm technological grounding and make sure they’re set up for a nerd-oriented future, while also ensuring they know that bees exist and not to eat acorns. So Hackney Forest School makes a point of sending the kids out into the woods on a regular basis to climb trees, hunt for millipedes and roast marshmallows over bonfires. It’s like an Enid Blyton novel, but with the occasional iPad thrown in.

Healthy fast food
There’s a timeworn perception of suburban America being the heartland of fast food culture; families fuelled exclusively by sweaty burgers, gloopy pizzas and messy tacos. To be fair, there is a kernel of truth in this, as the average American household breezes through $1,200 in fast food expenditure every year; nowadays, however, it’s not just about the lard. Eateries are responding to consumer demands for healthier options and evolving their menus, while chains with a healthier focus are popping up all the time. Fast-casual outlets such as Urban Plates, Yalla Mediterranean and Mainland Poke are feeding into a more aware and switched-on audience that wants authentic, sustainable and/or locally-sourced food, so that the Friday night takeaway doesn’t have to lead to Saturday morning remorse. The lifestyle doesn’t have to change, just the building blocks.

Britain is a nation of ditherers. Sad but true, we’re defined by indecision. According to a recent study, we’re stymied on a daily basis by fourteen small decisions, on average, from what to wear to what to have for lunch, and over the course of each week we spend seven-and-a-half hours trying to make our minds up about things. Over a lifetime, that adds up to two years and nine months. Which is quite a lot.
One of the key reasons cited for dithering is ‘too much choice’. Maybe we’re overthinking things. Perhaps it’d be better just to choose stuff immediately at random without giving it any thought – you might end up wearing your pyjamas to work or eating Oxo cubes for lunch, but think of all the time you’ll save.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

21st June 2017