Fancy An Interesting Hobby? Try Head Over Heels

head over heels meetups

Head Over Heels is such an easy, simple idea. Just meet with friends for mini TED talks about anything OTHER than your love life. Set one up today!

It was Cath who came up with the idea, and it was such a good idea. The good idea happened like this: We are four friends – Cath, Sarah, Tiu and myself – who can’t meet that often because we live in different towns and what-have-you. So Cath suggested we meet somewhere convenient, and instead of talking about love/health/money (urgh, please NO, there’s only so many times you can DO that) we would each bring an interesting topic to discuss instead.

This turned into a regular event.

We called it Head Over Heels.

It has a name now. That means it’s real. Head Over Heels.

head over heels meets

Hector the guinea pig presides over our most recent meeting… looking real enough to draw startled looks from passers-by

This weekend we just had our tenth meeting. YAY! ANNIVERSARY!

Would you like to hear about how to set up your own Head Over Heels meeting with your friends? It’s ever so easy to do, and you will feel fresh and positive afterwards and Think New Thoughts. Anyway, this is how we do it.

How to Head Over Heels

1. First, we arrange to meet in a nice place we can all get to. The place must be cosy and comfortable and somewhere where you can hear yourselves talk. After all, you’ll probably all be talking for 3-4 hours, so you might as well hear what everyone’s got to say.

2. Each person turns up with a topic that they want to chat about for a little bit (this usually takes less than 5 minutes and it’s very relaxed, because you’re just being yourself and chatting with friends).

3. Once you’ve run out of things you want to say about your topic, everyone else joins in with what they think.

The topics can cover anything at all, but the ONLY Head Over Heels rule is they CANNOT be directly about your love life or any of the things you normally end up talking about with friends, BECAUSE THERE ARE OTHER THINGS TO TALK ABOUT YO and also these are your friends so you’ve heard it all before. This is meant to be a release from thinking about those things in the same old way.

So… we’ve talked about anti-homeless spikes, and how a blog post from an ex homeless outreach worker explaining their benefits was illuminating in revealing how life-threatening it is for the homeless to stay out in all weather at night. However, we agreed the money would have been better spent in making hostels more plentiful (and also somewhere the homeless would feel safer turning to than fleeing from). We have also explored dubious experiments to teach dolphins english in the sixties. These dubious experiments resulted in (A) dolphin suicide and (B) dolphins not learning to speak english. We agreed that Peter is a really good name for a dolphin, but mostly that one ended up a discussion on animal welfare. We have talked about introversion checklists and experiments where babies respond more strongly to a ‘beautiful’ woman’s face and… oh, all sorts of things.

Actually, our topics have often been sort-of to do with life choices, sometimes, but we’ve done it in a roundabout way so that everyone can think and say something new. It is really helpful. And also very interesting, in an “ah, so this is being a human being is it, wow how messy” way. The sneakily-about-love topics are more about “how does love make you who you are?” and less about who phoned who and what the text message said and is signing off ‘xxxxxx’ more or less sincere than no kisses at all.

What I Love About Head Over Heels:

I always look forward to Head Over Heels events. I get to meet friends I wouldn’t otherwise see as often as I’d like to. We talk about spikes for the homeless and blobfish and poetry and art. Good things worth talking about with your friends. And we all get to have a say, in a safe place, so it’s nice if you’re someone who can feel a bit shy. And we get to talk about Big Things and Little Things. And I always come away feeling inspired and different.

Another thing I love about Head Over Heels is that it’s not about being clever and showing off. You’re not putting on a show, you’re just having a chat. It’s easy. It’s nice. It’s useful. It’s worth having a go.

Our little group of 4 means we take about 3-4 hours, it’s good doing with a smallish number of people, I think. It’s also good doing with friends. Sure, you can do it with people you don’t know, and there are a million other wonderful events doing just that. Doing it with people you know makes it feel a bit special. Why not set up your own Head Over Heels and see how it goes?

If you put on your own Head Over Heels and you’d like to share, please tell @mookychick! Just email [email protected] and we’ll publish a blog about your meeting, or tweet us with #headoverheels

head over heels meets

Tiu talks about crap art… and brings along some greetings card paper cut art that is clearly not crap