Don’t tell me no

In which I accept your challenge.

Other than riding my bike up the street the wrong way I’m a very good boy. I try to stay out of trouble for a number of reasons, like it is a cramp on my lifestyle to be in prison and I’d have to explain why I’m entangled with the Po-Po to my family. Neither of these are particularly attractive options.

As a result I try not to break the rules, I’m scared of being caught and of the consequences. Instead I prefer to push against the boundaries of bureaucracy and see how far I can bend them to my will. I am much happier to teeter along the edge of genius and failure.

The other option is to find the loophole in the rules and exploit them. I subscribe to Alexander the Great’s Gordian knot solution, if the laws of the game are ill-defined then use that to your ability.

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Toys in the attic

In which I find a treasure trove of Lego and wooden trains.

The advantage of living in a house is that I now own an attic. I had to find out if I have a loft or an attic, apparently a loft is an open area, and an attic is enclosed and generally not inhabitable. As it requires the use of two lengths of ladder, squeezing through the hatch, and then dodging all the roof beams I am fairly sure we have an attic.

What is pretty clear are the uses most people have for this roof space. It becomes a general dumping ground for all the pieces of your life that you know you should through but don’t have the heart to get rid of. There may be a twelve key Casio keyboard with 12 beat settings but what if I need to play Ode to Joy to someone, and you never know when you’ll need an old (but broken) suitcase, and the Christmas decorations…foil shapes will come back into style.

Grandma G’s attic is like a mini-Toys ‘backwards R’ Us. Brown boxes filled with the toys me and my sisters used to play with waiting to be used by a new generation. There is a wooden train set made by my grandfather waiting to be rescued from beneath a Christmas tree (one of those fancy modern ones, I have the family heirloom tree up in my attic). We could bring down a box a year and still have enough to last us till they are teenagers.

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Well done for doing your job

In which I refuse to compete for a plaque.

Every month the company I work for run a company wide recognition scheme, it is open to all individuals and is a similar programme to those I have experienced in other places of work. The greatest part about this recognition scheme is how every wins every month. No matter how good or poor you are you win a prize, and that prize is handily deposited into your bank account and you receive a certificate with details of how much you won.

This is the recognition I need for my job, this little donation to helping me keep my way of life is the reward I get for dedicating 35 hours a week to the needs of a company. I do this for you and what you do allows me to spend weekends with Mrs G or buy pretty things for the Feliciraptor. It is a perfect arrangement. What disturbs the waters is when “Recognition Schemes” come into play.

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Being sick

In which I wallow in my own sympathy.

SARS, ebola, a serious case of missing legs. Growing up these were still not valid reasons to miss a day of school. Only once I lost the capacity to see, hear and write (and it had to be a compete set) could I think about staying home sick.

As an adult it’s a bit easier to self-diagnose the risk of going to work while incapacitated, perhaps because Mother G won’t have to look after me sitting feeling all sorry for myself. After a number of years of living alone I have been able to cope with not feeling great by just sitting sullenly in front of the TV. Should I allow others to take care of me, when I prefer to soldier on alone?

I don’t like feeling unwell. I have a certain dislike to the sensation that my fragile mortality is being tested by external causes. The fact that I can be brought low by a few single cell organisms makes me feel that my impending doom is ever nearer. Being a typical man who has suffered (yes SUFFERED) through the masculine strain of Orthomyxoviruses I would rather just sit and wait an illness out.

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2017 – In review

Considering it has been a whole twelve months since I last posted here not a lot has changed in the world. We still seem to be looking forward to another year that isn’t as bad as the one before it. If anything 2017 has made 2016 look like the George W. Bush of years.

It has also been a year where my creative juices seemed to have been on hold and resulted in the grand total of one post (this being it) for 365 days worth of time. As is tradition though, I couldn’t let the end of the year pass without a review and plan for the next (hopefully!) twelve months. Continue reading “2017 – In review”

2016 – In review

Let’s be honest, who is going to miss this year. By all known metrics this has been something of a disaster of a time period. None of those shows that look at past decades are likely to linger on 2016, it is unlikely anyone will ever go “You know what was a good year? 2016”.

So as the final moments slip away like another beloved celebrity it’s time to have a look back at what I wanted to achieve this year and despair as I find  out that my to-do list was hacked by the Russians.

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A Good Samaritan

In which I believe that kindness is in everyone of use as it’s out nature.

I think to dispel the myth that I’m an anti-social grump who hates the public I should add that I am capable of my own acts of kindness. I’m a bit like Scrooge or The Grinch, with the exception that I can be kind all year round and I don’t need to be scared into being nice.

Santa with boy
You best be good…or else!

I very much believe that kindness is not hard wired into humans because of some religious text or threat of eternal damnation, but is actually an intrinsic part of our nature. Helping others helps us and being kind is actually an evolution benefit. I came to this realisation thanks to a man from the Salvation Army.
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Turning American I really think so

In which I drop my u’s and take up soccer.

George Bernard Shaw once said: ‘England and America are two countries divided by a common language’, and it’s not hard to see why. As soon as you talk to anyone in England about America they will generally snort and say “yeah, they call football soccer” with a heavy emphasis on the ‘o’. This ignores the fact they picked up the name from the right hand side of the Atlantic in the first place. (It comes from the Association part of Association Football).

For us in Britain dealing with Americanisms is very easy as we have a constant stream of programmes and movies that are in Lingua America, so we can readily link sidewalks, fall and the always humourous fanny pack, with their English cousins. It’s not the words that form the major difference however, it’s how those words are used that forms the major part of our language confusions.

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I can see clearer now

In which the worst thing to happen to me becomes the best.

I’m currently sorting through my old paperwork and in amongst the details of my mortgage and tax statements I have invoices for old cars and instructions for TVs that I no longer have. Yet I also rediscovered one of the most important letters I have ever received, my termination of employment from a certain opticians*.

It would seem odd to be happy to find a letter that says you are no longer wanted, and at the time there was some bitterness about it, but like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park life found a way and I now realise it was one of the best things ever to happen to me. This isn’t one of those thoughts I have while crying into a glass of scotch trying to convince myself it was good, but a genuine belief that being discarded by them gave me a helping hand to have  a better life. I owe them a certain amount of thanks for how my life has turned out since then.

They have also given me a benchmark for how bad life can be, and it allows me to see the same in others. No job is worth your mental health and as the opposite of the saying goes, what goes down must come up. Even when I start to feel a low in life coming on I remember that the important thing is to bounce.
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Bigger is not better

In which I tackle society’s attitude towards the petite man.

Short men make better husbands, and make up in wisdom what they lack in stature – BBC News Article

Not that this is news to me, I could have told them with all my 5’2″ frame that being on the left of the height curve means I’m at the top of the bell for being awesome. The only problem with being an amazing short spouse is getting there in the first place.

Height is the most lied about attribute on dating profiles. I can tell you in one word why the individuals who use matchmaking sites tell fibs.

Vanity.

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