Wednesday, 20 January 2021

The New World

Hello, dear readers!

Timing, as they say, is everything.

There are days when I sit down to write my blog with nothing big to write about, Times when all is quiet, not just on the western front, but every single point of the compass.

This is not one of those days.

In fact, with amazing synchronicity, this very day is one which may well signal real and, with luck, lasting change. Today was the Day Donald Trump left the White House.

Now, it may have escaped our attention, but I’m not actually American. I don’t live there, either. So why should I, a lowly Brit, care who the American President is?

It’s a fair question.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Query Time

Hello, dear readers!

Variety, they say, is the spice of life. I’m not sure which spice, exactly. Maybe it’s a good fruity chilli, or perhaps my all-time favourite, put it in everything I cook, go to, smoked paprika. I’m not sure, and it doesn’t really matter. The point is we all need a change of pace every now and then.

The reason I mention this is that I’ve noticed a definite theme emerging in these poor scribblings. A subject matter that reappears, again and again and again. Popping its head around the door of just about every post I’ve written in the last few months. For this post, I’ve sworn off that particular subject matter. I’m not going to mention what it is. That would be self-defeating. But It’s something which has affected us all since early last year and for many, redefined life as we know it. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions from there.

So here we go. A blog post, that’s not about that. A post which instead will head down the rabbit-hole of meta-commentary. Today I’d like to write about writing.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Lock & Key

Hello, dear readers!

And welcome to the first blog post of 2021!

Yup, it’s a brand new year. A year full of hope and possibility. A year we can leave behind the horror-show of 2020 and move on to a brighter, less restrictive future.

As soon as we move out of lockdown, that is.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Out With The Old

Hello, dear readers!

Well, that’s that. The tinsel is away, the turkey all gone (apart from some left over leftovers in the freezer) and Christmas is done and dusted for another year.

So what next?

Well, after the remainder of the chocolates, mince pies and stollen are defeated, not a lot. Oh, there are still the films of dubious quality to watch most every day, still the glut of football fixtures to wade through, and of course, there’s the tidying up to do (tomorrow). After that, though, well, we are left adrift in one of the strangest weeks of the year. Looking back at Christmas past and forward to the promise of a brand new year.

Ups & Downs
2020 has been a tumultuous, hair-raising rollercoaster ride of infections, restrictions, sickness and death. Covid came and changed our lives. That microscopic little bug forced us into huge and far-reaching changes to the way we go about our everyday existence and, as the announcement of tier adjustment and vaccine roll-out is being announced as I type, still going on today.



It’s the same old, same old. A never-ending story. A groundhog day scenario playing on endless repeat. And possibly a few other films to boot. A grim cycle. One that needs breaking. And the time could not be more right for that to happen.

Old Acquaintance
In two days’ time, we say goodbye to 2020 and welcome in the new year. It is a day which reaches back through history, as generation upon generation have looked forward to a brighter, better tomorrow. It is a festival of renewal. A time of hope. Of turning our backs on the past and facing the future. And given the year we are experiencing the sentiment could not be more apt.

All of this is not to say that tomorrow night, when the clock strikes twelve, Covid will disappear. The occasion will still need to be marked with a soupcon of restraint. As with Xmas, myself and Tina will be having a minimalistic celebration. As the three family rule which pertained to Xmas doesn’t apply to New Year celebrations, the cross-armed hand holding during Auld Lang Syne will be just myself and my wife, Tina. 



The Final Countdown
The only other attendees helping us bring in the new year will be The Doctor (Who, that is), Jools Holland and his Hootenanny, and a certain Jim Beam (They were out of Jack Daniels’ at the shop). In fact, given the cocktail kit and ingredient to mix up my own Old Fashioneds, Tina got me for Xmas Mr Beam might not last the first bong.

As you can imagine, with the addition of the aforementioned alcohol and the no doubt suitably distanced tunes on the telly, we’ll still have a right old time of it. Old acquaintance will definitely be forgot, possibly along with a decent portion of the night itself. 2021 will be ushered in with song, laughter, and good cheer. Three things which, with the help of the vaccines and a drop of empathy, community, and scientific literacy, will be more of a feature of the coming twelve months.



A New Hope
Hopefully, the vaccine roll-out is a success. Hopefully people get on board, and enough jabs are given to defeat the virus and get back to normal. Hopefully 2021 will be the year we get out and about again. The year we can get together. The year I can arrest and reverse my burgeoning waistline with exercise and more to do than sit on my bum and eat. Hopefully, the new year will be the beginning of the end and the start of a better life for all.

Hopefully.

Until 2021…

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

A Merry Little Christmas

Hello, dear readers!

And a merry, if slightly premature, Christmas to one and all!

Yes, it is indeed the season. That time of year we customarily spend weeks, if not months, preparing for and which will all too quickly become another memory. One more Xmas to add to the collection. One more day of eating too much, drinking too much, and spending too much. All of which are bound to give rise to some small regrets later down the line.

Yeah, you’re right. That was a touch cynical.

For some, Christmas is a magical time. A time of Santa, reindeer, the laughter of children, the gathering of friends and family and all the rest of it. There are even some, I’m led to believe, who hold the occasion to have some religious significance (and not just the various Christian sects, either).

This year, however; well this year is going to be a little different.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Getting The Needle

Hello, dear readers!

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet.

This is due to the fact that, as I type, my head has started to pound harder than a kettle drum being dropped down the stairs of the Empire State Building. Add in the growing achiness, the lack of energy, and the feeling that someone has tied an elastic band around my sinuses and, well, you get the picture.

And no, before you jump to any conclusions, I’m not unwell. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Ins & Outs

Hello, dear readers!

Because of COVID-19, and my own somewhat erratic immune system, 2020 has been a year spent close to home. It’s meant that life’s pleasure have had to be reappraised. Such delights as a visit to the folks, a meal out, spending time with friends and family, or even a trip to the pub have become rationed rarities. It’s meant other treat have crept in to replace them, and chief among these are those twin lovelies, food and booze.

Yup, I have indulged. In fact, I’ve over indulged. A fact to which my burgeoning waistline will gladly attest. And once Xmas is safely out of the way, I’ll need to find a way to lose a little weight. Hopefully, I can do this in a less dramatic fashion that my wife, Tina. 

Let me explain.