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.

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Christmas Present

Hello, dear readers!

I don’t know if it’s just me. I’m not sure if it’s my ever-advancing years lending me a fresh perspective on time and its relative passage. Whatever it is, this crazy and increasingly unprecedented year has flown by.

There’s a saying around these parts, oft used when someone is feeling a little down over some setback or other. “Be reet.” We’ll say in our broadest Yorkshire twang. “Soon be Christmas.” And do you know what? It will.

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Snoozefest!

Hello, dear readers!

Multiple Sclerosis is a curious condition. Some days it can feel as if there’s nothing wrong with me. Some days I have energy, motivation, and the actual ability to do stuff. Alright, it will probably mean that I pay for it somewhere along the line, but those days, rare though they may become, exist.

Other days are a write-off from the moment I open my eyes. Days where my collection of spoons (see the link for an explanation of spoon theory), is already depleted. It’s a part of living with this disease, but there are still things under my control, I can use to soften the blow of the fatigue I can feel pulling me away from the blog even now. Rest. The proper apportioning of the day’s duties. Maybe the odd gallon of coffee. All of these, small as they may seem, help.

Possibly most important is something I have a somewhat spotty recent history with, and that something is sleep.

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Lady In Waiting

Hello, dear readers!

There’s been a lot of waiting around of late. COVID-19 has given us the seeming contradiction of an ever-changing world in which nothing much seems to happen. Possibly due to this, or perhaps some strange sympathetic phenomenon riding alongside it. I’ve found similar echoes popping up in real life.

This week has provided some particularly fine examples, and it is upon these I’d like to pour forth.

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Family Fortunes

Hello, dear readers!

I will preface today’s offering with an admission. Today is yet another one of those MS-tired days, the ones where I wake up exhausted and the day goes downhill from there. If you’ve ever heard of spoon theory (and please follow that link if you haven’t. It’s both fascinating and very informative), then It’s a day the cutlery started disappearing with hideous alacrity, leaving me short on energy, concentration, and patience.

I’m telling you this in case today’s blog post makes even less sense than normal. If you find misspellings, odd word choices, and punctuation that looks like it’s been applied with a shotgun, it’s not my fault, it’s my disease (this time).

All of which brings me nicely to the main thrust of today’s post. The thorny issue of health.

Wednesday 21 October 2020

Wheels Within Wheels.

Hello, dear readers!

I have a habit of reviewing the topics I’ve visited of late. It helps prevent repetition which, especially in these days of staying in and doing nothing, is a distinct danger.

There are times, however, when fate keeps dealing out the same hand. Patterns emerge. The circle of life returns to the same point, ready to begin again. Of late, that cyclical nature has become apparent and ironically, it’s thrown up the thorny subject of wheels.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

The Heat Is On!

Hello, dear readers!

There is a phrase, originally coined in French by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (I had to look it up) which loosely translates as ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’. I think it’s a phrase which sums this year up nicely.

2020 has been a year of many changes. Different rules. Different emotions. Differing values. All have combined in an ever changing landscape which leaves this onlooker dizzy. It’s also been a year of frustrations. Stagnation. Opportunities to go out, explore, and socialise a rare and valuable commodity.

Yes, 2020 has been a strange dichotomy of a year. Thankfully, it seems to be crawling to a close.

Wednesday 7 October 2020

A Titch In Time

Hello, dear readers!

Today I feel old.

Admittedly, this may be because I am a little more advanced in years than I was, but today I feel every one of my forty-six years.

There are reasons for this. Of course there is. Big reasons. Valid reasons. There’s the current world situation, which I think has started (started?) to be a drain on everyone. There’s my pernicious Anemia which, thanks to an outstanding case of personal negligence and an injection I should have had two weeks ago, means my energy levels are somewhere in the region of a three-toed sloth on a go slow.

Neither of those are the real reason, though. No, the real reason is a big birthday. A landmark birthday. And it wasn’t even mine.

Sister Act
From time to time, I may have mentioned my family in these poor scribblings. I know my wife, Tina, is a frequent flier, and my mum and dad have both featured from time to time. I don’t think I’ve mentioned my sisters much, though. It’s an oversight I’d like to correct.




I have two sisters, both younger than myself. There’s Janine, two years my junior, and Leanne, who, as of today, is six years younger than your esteemed blogger. Janine will no doubt get her moment in the sun in a future post, but as you may have guessed today is Leanne’s birthday and as it’s a biggie, it is she that get’s the spotlight.

Memory Lane
Leanne is one of the few people I can honestly say I’ve known all their lives. In fact, one of my earliest coherent memories is going with my dad to visit mum and my brand new sister in hospital. When I say I can remember, I have a very clear recollection of the hospital, and my somewhat exhausted looking mother. The wrapped up pink thing? Well, I’m not sure that got my full attention. It wasn’t an action man, or an ice-cream. It can’t have been that important.

Again, I’m not one for the early memories (or the late memories. Or what I had for tea two nights back). I can remember Leanne as a chubby little thing who earned the nickname ‘Titch’ growing into a tall skinny thing we still called ‘Titch’. I can remember the feeling of being slightly outnumbered by the women in the family. I can remember my sister’s bedroom being completely off limits while mine (along with my all my stuff) was fair game (and yes, I do still resent that). I remember books I’d read becoming books Leanne was reading (we, along with my mum, were always the readers of the family).



As we all navigated our teen years, I remember the enthusiastic, possibly inebriated, and not-at-all-embarrassing-in-front-of-your-mates shouts of ‘buy me a drink, Mark. Buy me a drink’. Oh yes, I remember those well. They do say repetition aids the memory though, don’t they? As we got older, I remember the Corned Beef Hash Leanne made me that was missing the Corned Beef.

Take The Cake
These days we’re all older and potentially wiser (it wouldn’t be difficult). Leanne has two kids of her own to embarrass and be embarrassed by, and a loving partner (hi Darren) to stand by her. We might live twelve miles apart these days rather than on each other’s doorsteps. We still take the time out to meet up for family events, the increasing number of birthdays, the odd meal… or at least we used to.

Covid, and my self isolation from it, means I haven’t seen either of my sisters, my nephews, or my nieces in months. In that time, birthdays and anniversaries have slid by, but this one I’m feeling. Like I said, this one’s a biggie, a landmark in any person’s life, and it feels like I should be in the family's midst, sharing food (Cake), conversation, and laughter. It feels like this one shouldn’t be sliding by. It feels like Covid has taken the day away from us.



Mark Time
So yes, I know it’s not my birthday, but it still makes me feel old. Not just because my littlest sister is forty (although that has a huge amount to do with it) but because time seems lost. Spent without being marked. I think we all get the feeling time is moving too fast as we age. This year I think we all appreciate that lost time more. 

Happy Birthday, out Titch

Until next time...


Wednesday 30 September 2020

Park & Ride

Hello, dear readers!

Today is a tired-y day.

This is the name I give to the days when I wake up feeling exhausted and go gradually downhill from there. It’s something I’m sure many people with a chronic illness will be familiar with and I’m mentioning it not because that’s the subject of today’s post, but in case you find my normal, somewhat questionable, standards have taken a free-diving-pot holing-limbo dance of a descent into the hellish depths of uninspired gibberish.

Of course you’d be able to tell the difference!

As for the actual subject of today’s offering, well, that’s all to do with a single hour in the fresh air and the drama which preceded it.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

An Uneven Keel

Hello, dear readers!

There’s a lot to be said for the uninteresting life.

That may sound a little strange coming from someone who’s been relatively vocal regarding these days of self isolation and the scarcity of things to blog about. I mean, surely, you might say, it is life’s ups and downs that lend it colour, contrast (and possibly other knobs you can twiddle on your telly). Surely it’s that variety which makes life worth living. It’s a sentiment I would have been more than happy to agree with, even in these more challenging times.

Right up until the day one of the wheels fell off my wheelchair.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Question Time

Hello, dear readers!

Ask a silly question and you get a silly answer.

This is a truism I'm more than aware of, both in the asking and in the answering senses. In fact, it's not just silly questions that leave themselves open to being answered in kind, sometimes serious, fact-seeking, knowledge-hungry questions are treated to real humdingers of an answer, as any outtake video from Family Fortunes can attest.

Giving the wrong answer with conviction and certainty something yours truly is far from immune to as the host of the last quiz I attended can (and will) attest (both loudly and frequently). 

This week, however, the tables are turned. This week I'll be the one asking the questions.

Thursday 10 September 2020

Kicking Off

Hello, dear readers!

I don’t think it’s the most controversial of opinions to say 2020 isn’t a year which will feature in too many peoples personal highlight reels.

In fact, it might be more true to say the year, thus far, could be likened to a burning sixteen-wheeler containing nitro-glycerine, chemical waste, and human excrement speeding helplessly towards a children’s hospital with the stereo playing The Best of Michael BublĂ© (featuring Crazy Frog) at full blast. And that’s putting it mildly.

It has been a year of scant positivity. A year where I’ve had to take my thrills where I can find them. Luckily, this weekend sees the return of something which promises to bring at least something along those lines. This weekend sees the return of football.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Picnic

Hello, dear readers!

Modern life can be tough.

There’s so much to learn. Especially for neanderthal Luddites like myself. A whole new world of possibilities opened up by our growing understanding of our world and the universe it exists in. Technology’s relentless march continues unabated, bringing with it a life which is simpler and easier to navigate. A life in which the vexations of day-to-day living become smoothed as machines take them and computers take the stress out of the decisions we must make. Truly, it is a time beyond compare. A golden age.

Assuming you can get the things to work, of course.

Yes, you’re right. The topic of this week’s offering is, at least in part, technology.

Thursday 27 August 2020

Shut Eye

Hello, dear readers!

Sometimes life is all go.

Sometimes you don’t get a moment to yourself. Those little jobs, those deadlines. All of them crowd into your life and take over, leaving you spinning in a vortex of endless duty.

This is not one of those times.

Not that the days haven’t become a tad more taxing of late, or that I’m not feeling worn out by them because, well, they have, and I am.

And the culprit? Well, that would be my MS.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

A Matter of Mind

Hello, dear readers!

Sometimes it’s not all about me.

I know. It’s a little hard to get your head around, isn’t it? It’s true, though. There are a plethora of things happening in this great big universe of ours that have little to nothing to do with your friendly neighbourhood blogger, and this week, my personal blog will concentrate on just one one of those.

This week it really isn’t about me. It’s about my wife.

Thursday 13 August 2020

Birthday Presence

Hello, dear readers!

And welcome to a slightly delayed blog post!

There are reasons for the just over 24 hour delay to the usual posting schedule. Of course there are. Good reasons. Valid reasons. And only one of those reasons has anything to do with alcohol.

All right then, maybe two.

Let me explain.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Parklife

Hello, dear readers!

Yes, after last week’s slight aberration I am back in full, if slightly tired, force.

This week there is no hangover, no headache, no dry mouth, and no distended stomach from eating the body weight of Giant Haystacks in Italian food.

So with that clarity of thought established, what might I offer you for this week’s brand new and definitely not re-hashed offering? Well, that’s a walk in the park.

Yup, you guessed it, I’m being intentionally literal.

Wednesday 29 July 2020

In Sickness And In Health - Redux!

Hello, dear readers!

This week I thought I’d try something a little different.

This is partly due to a sparsity in subject matter, partly due to my usual blog day being overshadowed by yesterday’s 8th wedding anniversary, and mostly to do with drinking a little too much wine (and then a little more than that... and then a touch more) celebrating said anniversary.

So, in the interest of my aching head, and a fading ability to make any kind of sense, I thought I’d dig into the archives and present to you a previously written post, fully updated and checked for both spelling and grammar (he said, hopefully).

So, here we go, a blast from the past, delivered straight to your door. Everything from here on in is brand new and three years old.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Ups and Downs

Hello, dear readers!

Perspective is a wonderful thing.

It can be easy, sometimes far too easy, to get caught up in life’s moments. Moments which can provide soaring highs and plum subterranean depths of searing emotion, the true worth of these moments however, can often only be found in retrospect.

This week, life has thrown up two such examples of the above and they really couldn’t be any more different.

We’ll start with football.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

I've Got A Theory

Hello, dear readers!

I have a problem.

Yes, I know this is not the biggest of revelations (well, the fact I used the singular might be). It is true, though. In these Covid days it’s not a big problem, In fact it shrinks in comparison to some of the horrors and hardships people are going through but it’s there, and like a piece of grit in the sandwich of life, it irks me.

My problem is such. As a blogger, I look for something to write about every week. As my blog is a personal one I try to make this experiential. A taste of the trials and victories in my life.

Of late, however, my life has constricted. Covid-19 has meant that the limited social interactions I force myself into have all but disappeared. Lockdown has robbed me of stories regarding family, friends, appointments, and meetings. The advent of Covid means that often, when I’m looking for something to write about, there is only one subject that presents itself. There is but one game in town. Luckily, however, the game has myriad aspects held within it, and sometimes those aspects lead on to other avenues.

Today I’d like to take a trip down just such an avenue.

Wednesday 8 July 2020

An Open Door

Hello, dear readers!

There is a saying, one as old as some particularly old hills and wise as the wisdom teeth of an owl. A saying which has been handed down from generation to generation in order to be handed out, free of charge, when life has taken one of its trademark cruel turns and the recipient is filled with despair at another lost opportunity.

As one door closes, another one opens.

And yes, you’ve guessed it. Doors, and their operation, does indeed form the backbone of today’s post.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

The Dog And Lockdown

Hello, dear readers!

And so, the end is near. or so the song would have you believe. Personally, I’m not so sure and I’m not sure there're any curtains, final or otherwise, to face either.

I am, of course, talking about the one topic which has taken over all of our lives in the last four months. The advent of Covid-19 and its rapid and unrelenting progress through the world.

This disease has killed at least 43 and possibly closer to 65 thousand people in this little island alone. It has taken friends, family and neighbours away from us and made life almost unrecognisable from this time last year. For the vast majority of us it has meant an unprecedented global emergency, unseen in our lives.

Still, not to worry. At least the pubs are opening.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Hot Stuff

Hello, dear readers!

I’m going to keep it short and sweet today. Partly because of a complete lack of inspiration, but mainly because I’m currently feeling a little like a cross between a pint of ice cream in a steam room and The Wicked Witch of the West after a nice hot shower.

Yes, that’s right. After a brief showing a few weeks back, the great British summer has arrived once more. This time, apparently, it may stick around right up to the weekend before giving way to some increasingly seasonal rain.

It’s going to mean a small window in which it may be possible to get some much-needed work done.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Home And Away

Hello, dear readers!

Absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder. If that is indeed the case then I have to say that, after over three months of strict lockdown, there’s an awful lot of people who must absolutely adore me.

Not that people don’t naturally adore me, you understand. I am, after all, an absolute delight of a man. I just feel my enforced opting out of anything close to a social life for the bulk of this year must have elevated me to an almost god-like figure of enduring, all-encompassing love.

No?

Well, not to worry. You see, prison security has started to relax, and this week I made a break for it!

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Black And White

Hello, dear readers!

And welcome to the first blog of the new regime.

Yes, as I mentioned on Sunday, this will be the new day and time for all your bloggy needs Every Wednesday (checks calendar) at 6pm BST (Checks watch). The reason for this uprooting and replanting are made clear in my last post which you may find here.

All that being said, we do still have a blog to navigate, so why don’t we do that?

Sunday 7 June 2020

All Change

Hello, dear readers!

A change is as good as a break, or so they say. Personally, I think I’d prefer the break, but then who am I to argue with the great ‘they’?

Anyhow, a change it is a-comin.

This Sunday eve will be the last I post this esteemed blog, a sad occasion for at least some concerned. No stop laughing, it is.

Monday 1 June 2020

While The Sun Shines

Hello, dear readers!

And welcome to the post that very nearly wasn’t.

This isn’t because of any health concerns, Covid based or otherwise. It’s not due to a sudden outbreak of activity either, as I remain almost dressed up with nowhere to go (I’m wearing pants. Be grateful).

No, the reason for the close call is far more mundane, and will form one of the threads I’d like to pull on in this week’s offering.

It has, you see, been sunny.

Sunday 24 May 2020

The Whole Tooth

Hello, dear readers!

I am, as you may know, a blogger of a certain age. An age some may refer to as ‘middle’ (a little limiting, if I’m honest. I mean, I may wish to live to be older than 90). It is an age which is rightly known for carry with it a collection of aches, pains and other such complaints, and today’s blog will feature one such complaint, namely that of the tooth.

It is a horrible pain. A debilitating, ever present, nagging pain which can lead to sleepless nights and stress filled days.

Fortunately, it’s not me that’s been suffering from it.

Sunday 17 May 2020

Little Wins

Hello, dear readers!

You know, I think most things have a good and a bad side to them. For every sunny day, there’s a cold, dark night. For every nagging pain, there’s a moment of blessed relief. For every delicious roast dinner, a bowl of sprouts.

Of course, in these days of pandemics and politics the light can sometimes appear to be eclipsed by the shade. It can take something tiny, something trivial, to rescue that contrast, and this week saw just such a triviality raise its tiny head.

Allow me to elucidate.

Sunday 10 May 2020

Mixed Messages

Hello dear readers!

Today, you join a blogger on tenterhooks.

Sunday, is, was, and usually will be blog day. It is one of the cornerstones of my week, something I plan around, in fact I'd go so far as to say it's one of the weeks highlights.

This week however there is another event which is taking some of my attention away from this fixture, an event which is due in just over half an hour from time of typing. Boris Johnson's message to the country!

It's something which I have decidedly mixed feelings about, and here's why.

Monday 4 May 2020

Supermarket Weep

Hello Dear readers!

Today, right now in fact, you join an exasperated and annoyed seated person.
Why so? You might ask. What could have possibly made such an even-tempered (HA!) and urbane (double HA!) individual lose the proverbial tatty bit of cloth.

Allow me to rant.

Sunday 26 April 2020

Busy Doing Nothing

Hello, dear readers!

And welcome to the blog that very nearly didn’t happen.

Not because I didn’t want it to you understand, and not because of any time constraints or unexpected events overtaking me. No, in fact it’s more or less the opposite. Nothing, you see, has happened.

There have been no moments of personal crisis. No tidings, glad or otherwise. No hatches, matches, dispatches. No birthdays or anniversaries to forget. In fact this week, perhaps more than any since lockdown commenced, has been a total blank.

And perversely enough, that’s what today’s blog is all about.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Submission Improbable


Hello dear readers!

Yes, it's blog time again. Once more we will dive into the preceding week and explore the fun and frolics it's held. Of course as this is week far-too-many of lock-down that may mean this particular post ends in a couple of sentence's time.

Having said that, this week has not been completely devoid of incident, a lot of it to do with my continued efforts to write.

So, shall we?

Sunday 12 April 2020

One Hand Clapping

Hello dear readers!

And a happy Easter to one and all.

Now, I'm not a huge one for Easter. I'm apparently 'too old' for Easter Eggs (yeah I don't get it either), and not being of the religious bent, the whole resurrection thing doesn't hold much of an import for me either.

It does mean that my Facebook feed seems to be stuck on repeat, however, with variations on the theme of white fluffy clouds in blue skies, and the words 'He is risen' written in cursive script with an impressive amount of drop-shadow appearing like a particularly religious rash. It does make a change to the posts either endorsing or condemning the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, however.

And it's a heady cocktail of these two things which form the backbone of today's post.

Sunday 29 March 2020

Pep Talk

Hello dear readers!

So how are we? I mean that not just as a way of opening this weeks offering, but as an actual, honest to whatever you want to be honest to, question. One you can answer in the comments if you like. How are you? Really?

You see, as I'm sure you're already more than aware, these are crazy days. Days where, if the deadly disease rampaging unchecked and uncheckable through our all too human world doesn't get you, the isolation just might.

It's a world which seems to be spiralling down, fragmenting, as we drift further, and further away from each other. Do we have to though? Well perhaps not. Let's see.

Sunday 22 March 2020

The Isolation Game

Hello dear readers!

Isn't it funny how the passage of time can pass by us in such a strange manner? I'm not talking about the way it tends to fly when you're having fun, or the way age lends us a fresh perspective which makes the 6 endless weeks of the school holidays pass by in an all-grown-up blur.

No, I'm talking about the way you can look back at something that seems like it was an age ago, and realise it was an age which lasted only a few weeks. I'm talking about how the orderly, plodding progress of such weeks can erupt into an ever-changing rush of current events.

I'm talking, of course, of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Monday 16 March 2020

First Site

Hello dear readers!


You join me tonight on the eve of a brave new era, a time of opportunity and hope in these days of panic buying and disease.

I am, of course, speaking from a completely personal point of view but personally I'm excited. and if you would be so kind as to read on, I'll tell you why.

Sunday 8 March 2020

Panic Stations

Hello dear readers!

The last few posts have been a little inward looking, dealing as they did with my nervous start to querying my book, and myself and my wife, Tina's break away to the lovely city of Durham.

I guess it's kind of a pre-requisite of a personal blog to be, well, personal. This week, however, I would like to spread my net a little wider. Actually, I'd like to spread it a lot wider. Globally, in fact. Because the time has come to tackle the thorny issue of Coronavirus.

Monday 2 March 2020

Escape To The County

Hello dear readers!

Today you join a refreshed and renewed blogger. A man rejuvenated, and very possibly a little heavier than when I last sat down to put fingers to keyboard.

Of course there is a particular reason for my relaxed, revitalised, and probably a lot of other words begging with 're' state of mind, and of course that reason may just be the subject of today's post.

So, shall we?

Sunday 23 February 2020

The Waiting Game

Hello dear readers!

I only went and did it!

Not as many times as I would have liked, but I did it, and you know what? It felt pretty good too. This week I'm going to do it again, and I think when I do, it will feel even better, because it won't be my first time. Next time I'll be more prepared Next time I'll know what I'm doing. Next time I'll be better at it.

I am, of course, talking about the process of querying my book (get your mind out of the gutter!). It's something I talked about last week, and this week... Well read on.

Sunday 16 February 2020

Query And Be Damned

Hello dear readers!

Every now and then we reach a crossroad in our lives. There comes a time when a decision needs to be made, one which might, perhaps, leave us feeling a little less secure, and a little more vulnerable to the vagaries of fate, and the opinions of others.

Of course, being a crossroads, this decision doesn't necessarily have to be made. It can be left for the future. Put off to tomorrow, or tomorrow's tomorrow, or maybe the day after that. A left turn can be made, and a detour taken that will delay such uncomfortable scrutiny. To stretch the analogy well beyond breaking point, two lefts, a sharp right, and six trips around a roundabout can be taken.

At some point, however, in order to move forward, one must... move forward. A route must be plotted straight through the intersection, to the land of the less sure.

This week, I'm headed straight there.

Sunday 9 February 2020

The Blog Is Back!

Hello dear readers!


I'm baa-aack!

Yes, just when you thought it was safe to peruse your favourite form of social media, I've gone and resurrected the blog.



It's been four long months since I last did this, so do please excuse any rustiness. There are, of course, a couple of reasons why it's been four long months. Good reasons. Valid reasons. As those reasons are going to contribute to today's long awaited post, however I won't go into too much detail until a little later, when we get to the nitty, and, if we're lucky, a little bit of the gritty.

Speaking of which...