Wednesday 20 December 2023

Screen Share

 Hello, dear reader! 

You join me in the less than comfortable position of writing to you, not from my customary seat on the couch, but from the confines of my wheelchair.

The reason for this? I hear you ask.

Well, it’s a matter of timing and of technology. A matter of disaster and finance. A matter, in fact, of one very not well laptop.

I say not well, but obviously the thing is working well enough for me to jot down these few lines of half thought out prose (go on, admit it, that’s a half more than you suspected). No, the problem isn’t in its processing power, it’s memory or any of its programmes, apps, or packages,

It’s in the fact the screen which seems to have exploded.

Wednesday 13 December 2023

A waiting Game

Hello, dear reader!

I thought it was about time that I showed up on this blog again …. Often I am referred to by my other half ….. But sometimes it's nice to share my thoughts and perspectives on things occasionally.

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Full Stop

Hello, dear reader!

Don’t worry, this week’s offering will be less preachy, less sci-fi based, in fact, pretty much less everything.

Because this week I have mainly been doing a lot of nothing at all, and, of course, as with everything, there’s a reason for that.

In fact, there’s two.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Time And Space

Hello, dear reader!

I’d like to travel with you on a journey. A journey through time and space!

Which, if you think about it, is every journey. I mean, that’s the point, yeah? You start off somewhere, you end up somewhere else and it takes a certain portion of the moon's passage around the earth and the earth’s passage around the sun (handy constructs for the passage of time) to get there.

But that’s not the kind of time and space I’m talking about. I mean the more theoretical kind, the imaginative kind. I’m talking about Doctor Who.

And having lost a good chunk of my potential audience I’ll explain a bit further why.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Hold It!

Hello, dear reader!

This will be a short one.

I know. I’ve said that in the past. This time, however, I say it from necessity, and I mean it.

The reasons are twofold.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

A Matter Of Wheel Importance

Hello, dear reader!

There are certain things in life which seem constant companions. Death and taxes is probably the most oft quoted of these inescapable facts of life, but there are others and, depending on who you are, your inescapable facts could be completely different to mine.

For instance, money might be more or less of an issue in your life than mine, as could health, or relationships, or, well quite frankly a million other concerns, annoyances, and considerations that seem baked into our existence.

For me, at this precise moment in time, my inescapable fact appears to be a less than robust wheelchair.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

A Tale Of Two Sarahs

Hello, dear reader!

And welcome to the past.

Well, my own personal past, anyway. You see, as a happily married man, I’m used to living alongside another human being. I’m used to making room for another set of sensibilities, taking into account the habits, foibles, and, dare we say it, eccentricities of another living, breathing human being.

And tomorrow, for a sliver shy of 48 long hours, all that will be gone.

Wednesday 1 November 2023


Hello, dear reader!

Did you ever see one of those films where ‘modern’ technology takes on a life of its own and goes on some kind of killing spree?

I’m talking Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Christine, The Matrix, AI, Unfriended, and, of course, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace.

All these films along with countless books and T.V. shows deal with the theme. Are we too reliant on technology? Are we pushing it too far (I need to find a Chat GPT slasher. I’m sure it exists)? What happens when it all goes wrong?

This weekend—The weekend before Halloween (5: The Revenge of Michael Myers)—That question was finally answered.

In the interests of mental health and peace of your eternal soul, I should warn you that what follows is an ordeal beyond imagination. A tale of suffering without end. A tale fraught with a subtle, psychological horror that will stay with you long after you have closed down the laptop and gone to your bed.

You see, this weekend, the internet went down.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Job For The Girl

Hello, dear reader!

This one won’t be original.

I know that’s a massive shock to the literal some (or more) of you who have come to expect thoughtful wit and endless variety from this blog and have only regularly been disappointed, but to tell the truth, at the moment, there’s only one game in town.

You see, as my Wúnderwifey, Tina, outlined in her blog post (which you can read HERE), last week saw her successfully navigate an interview to work in the NHS.

And I couldn’t be prouder.

So, this week, you gain a different perspective on this new and exciting chapter in our (but mainly Tina’s) life. Aren’t you just the lucky ones?

Thursday 19 October 2023

Return To Work

Hello, dear reader!

So …. Apparently it's all change in the Rankin household, and it's my turn to write the blog—because rumour has it that I have had some good news this week. Are you sufficiently intrigued—then read on.

As some of you avid readers will be aware, I suffered quite a significant mental breakdown in 2021, which unfortunately resulted in me having to give up my job as a clinical support worker. I couldn't look after myself, never mind attempting to look after someone else! 2021 was ‘covid year’, and I had managed to work through some of the pandemic, keeping my client and myself covid free.

But then I broke in a way I never thought I would ever recover from. It was as if every trauma I had ever suffered, every difficulty, every pain, had all merged together in a hopeless yukky bleurghhhh. I was hardly functioning, and it took lots of effort from all who supported me to keep me from …. Well, I don't even want to think about what could have happened.

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Dog Days

Hello, dear reader!

These are worrisome times.

Amongst the grey days, and lengthening nights a degree of anxiety has entered the Rankin household regarding the health and wellbeing of one of its members. Namely, Bonnie Rankin.

The dog.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Driving Force

Hello, dear reader!

I’ve been watching the odd snippet of the Conservative Party Conference and the reactions to the same this week. The rampant, self serving ableism, transgenderism, racism, and regionalism made a change from slapping myself around the head with my own orthotic boot, while providing the same masochistic thrill, blinding headache, and loss of intelligence and, as a bonus, left me with a piquant and enduring aftertaste of my own vomit, to boot.

And of course, one of the many headlines buried by the mainstream media about the conference have to do with transport—namely the HS2 sunken cost debacle which seems to have come uncoupled somewhere not all that far north of The Watford Gap—But that isn’t the transport I want to write about today.

No, today I want to discuss ambulances.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

The Other, Other Shoe

Hello, dear reader!

It wasn’t Covid!

No, the nasty little bug I mentioned last week, the one that laid out both myself and my quite frankly amazing wife, Tina was, it turned out, just that. A bug.

We tested ourselves on Friday, prior to making a decision as to whether to attend the meal we were supposed to be going to or not, and received the all clear

This meant that the shindig, a date at a local(ish) Thai restaurant with some of the people from Tina’s Friday morning therapy group, could go ahead as planned, and I for one was very glad it could.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Fall Sick

Hello, dear reader!

Now this really will be a short one.

The weather has turned. There’s a chill in the air, and the rain it raineth on pretty much everything that dares venture outside. In short, it’s autumnal out there, and, as might seem fitting, with the bad weather has come the dreaded lurgy.

Wednesday 13 September 2023

A Smoggy Blog

Hello, dear reader!

So, My husband thought it would be good for me if I chatted to you all this week, I agreed ….. So here goes.

Today is a non-day …. A recovery day…. A catch-up-on-energy type day, simply because the last 5 days have been particularly busy both physically and mentally.

Wednesday 6 September 2023

On Form

Hello, dear reader!

It’s over. It’s done. It’s finally done.

Yes, after almost a week of writing, rewriting, editing, and re-editing the most important document of both mine, and most definitely Tina (my perpetually perfect wife)’s lives.

And, really, it doesn’t have all that much to do with me, either.

Wednesday 30 August 2023

The New Regime

Hello, dear reader!.....

So, you may remember that, around five weeks ago, I made a commitment to try something designed to help me lose some of the middle-age spread, which is spreading a bit too far and a bit too fast.

Emphasis on the last word.

Because, you see, I’ve been giving intermittent fasting a good go, and today, I’d like to share how that has been going.

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Book Clubbed

Hello, dear reader!.....

After the no doubt extremely welcome ‘guest’ post by my sainted Mrs, Tina, last week, I’m afraid you are, once more, stuck with the plodding thoughts of your friendly neighbourhood seated person.

But never mind, eh?

Now, the last week or so has carried less import for me than Tina’s. It’s been one of those where I’ve not really done a whole lot at all, in fact, and it's one of the things I haven’t done that I want to pour forth on today.

Confused? You will be!

Wednesday 16 August 2023

It's Not Where You Start, It's Where You Finish

Hello, dear reader!.....

Not sure whether you are lucky or not …. But I promised my husband that I would chat to you today, and I always try to make good of my promises.

As it happens, I do have some news to share. So here goes ………….

I often think in song, so today is no exception, the perfect song for today would be

‘It's not where you start, it's where you finish ‘

Wednesday 9 August 2023

The Thrill Of The Known (pt 2)

Hello, dear reader!

And welcome to part two of the great exploration.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here's a hand-dandy link to part one of the trip myself and my ever-amazing wife, Tina, took to my native Leeds, the decision to go there, and the drunken carnivore's delight of an anniversary meal we enjoyed on our first night.

Read it? Good. Then, let us continue.

Wednesday 2 August 2023

The Thrill Of The Known (pt 1)

Hello, dear reader!

And so, the wanderer returns…

Yes, as I mentioned in the last blog post, last week I was just a tad too busy enjoying myself to write anything, but never mind, because that business has supplied the subject matter for this week’s offering.

So, you may ask, what was I doing this time last week?

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Fast Times

Hello, dear reader!

And welcome to fad central!

Yes, once again we have got to that time of the year, when, frustrated by the pounds i’m so efficiently storing around my midriff, I try something, anything, to rid myself of the maybe-slightly-over-middle-age spread.

Apart from a sustainable diet and exercise program, of course. I mean, let’s not go crazy here.

So, you may well ask, what’s the fad-of-the-day this time? Well, let me explain.

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Women Drivers!

Hello, dear reader!

You know that old saying about buses? Well that’s happened to me this week.

Not that any actual buses were involved, you understand, or that there’s been much waiting on my part (so there goes the analogy), but two astoundingly similar pieces of news reached these old ears, and with them, two reasons for celebration.

Oh, and neither of them had anything, directly, to do with me.

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Sunday Besties

Hello, dear reader!

And it’s back to me.

Yes, after my always amazing wife, Tina took the writing reins last week (see here), this week. you have the dubious pleasure of Mr. Rankin’s rantings and ravings to ‘enjoy’—and, this week, there’s actually quite a lot to discuss.

So, shall we?

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Mission: Declutter

Hello, dear reader!

It’s actually me again - the lovely wifey.

The last few weeks have been busy in the Rankin household - and for once, I have actually coped with the said business pretty well. After our garden clear-out, and 6 spanking brand new windows, our house looks completely different, and it feels different too. Let me explain.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

A Window On The World

Hello, dear reader!

And it’s all go at the Rankin household.

Yes, very much like the proverbial buses, you wait around for ages and two busy days come along at once.

Which is nice.

Some of you poor, long suffering souls will recall that, a couple of weeks ago, I was bemoaning the lack of subject matter upon which to write, but this week the opposite is in effect. This week, I have subject matter aplenty, the corollary being that as a result I’m slightly lacking in the mental reserves to do it much justice. A swings and roundabouts type situation which is increasingly usual.

But what, you may ask, is this explosion of activity?

Well, let me explain…

Wednesday 14 June 2023

The Worst Seats In The House

Hello, dear reader!

Hot enough for you?

Yes, it would appear that summer has landed. Those few brief weeks of actual decent weather we, in these British Isles, tend to celebrate by complaining how hot it is.

And so, before the day becomes too melt-y, I’m taking advantage of the relatively early morn, a nice breeze, a pot of coffee, and a comfy seat on the couch to put down a few words of mild complaint.

Because, not all seats are quite as comfy.

Wednesday 7 June 2023

Moth Balls

Hello, dear reader!

I’ve said it before. No doubt I’ll say it again. This time, however, I really do mean it.

It’s going to be a short one today.

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Passion Merchant

Hello, dear reader!

We all, I think, have a list of priorities. There are things that matter to us, some a little more than others, and, probably without much in the way of conscious thought, we arrange those things into neat little tiers.

Now, for a lot, if not most, of us, the higher tiers will be filled with the health and wellbeing of those we love. Families, friends, partners, and quite rightly so.

But somewhere, possibly a few tiers down, there are those other loves. The ones we don’t always admit. Those personal obsessions, that mean nothing, or next to nothing to most other people, the ‘extra’ bits of life that go that one step beyond hobby or interest to become something more.

It’s one of those I’d like to talk about today.

Thursday 25 May 2023

Clean Bowled

Hello, dear reader!

It’s going to be a short one today, a quick read (stop cheering at the back). The reason for this unexpected brevity? Well, that has a little to do with cleanliness, a little to do with windows, and a little to do with crown green bowling.

Intrigued? Then read on.

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Grey Hair & A Creaking Back

Hello, dear reader!

So it seems it's my turn again …… you chose whether that's a good idea !!!!!

Today I want to ramble on about something that affects everyone, an inevitable part of life that often we all dread, yes you can get creams and treatments to delay it, and yes you have probably at one time wished you could slow it down. Have you guessed?—Today I want to ‘ chat’ about getting old.

Wednesday 3 May 2023

Coronation Chicken

Hello, dear reader!

Some weeks, it’s a chore to find something to write about.

I mean, my life isn’t all that interesting, and I’m not sure everyone wants to know about the new coffee I’ve treated myself to. A lot of weeks, that would be the only thing going on right now that might (might) be worth blogging about.

But not this week.

No, this week the topic of discussion is undeniable. There is, you see, a rather big event going down this coming weekend. One of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ deals. Because, this week, a new king is being crowned.

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Care Share

Hello, dear reader!

Those of you that have the dubious honour of following these inane ramblings will probably know that every now and then you are lucky enough to have your erstwhile seated person (me) take a back, uh, seat while his wife takes up the writing reins.

If not, and you’d care to familiarise yourself with the wonderful woman’s words you can look back to last week’s post, which, for convenience, you can find here.

The reason I mention it, and why it might be an idea to familiarise yourself with Tina (the wife in question), is that today’s post is all about her, or rather having the privilege of caring for her.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

The Cracked Cup

Hello, dear reader!

So, once again, you get the honour of a few words from the other half….. What a privilege! (Not that I am ever short of anything to say !!)

The past few weeks have seen a welcome change. For once in I don't know how many years I can see an improvement in my mental health. This brings about feelings of relief, renewed hope, but also feelings of fear. Let me attempt an explanation…

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Revenge Of The Mutant Guinea Pigs

Hello, dear reader!

It has been brought to my attention that, on occasion, I may be ploughing a familiar trough.

In other words, I might stray, every now and then into the repetitive and unoriginal when it comes to blogging subjects.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Story Time

Hello, dear reader!

It may come as something of a surprise to some of you, that I’m keen on writing.

I know it’s not always evident from these poor scribblings, but, every now and then, I am moved to put virtual pen to virtual paper and come up with a story, be it short, or somewhat more lengthy in nature, some of which I’m lucky enough to have had published.

And it’s only gone and happened again.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Bang Bang

Hello, dear reader!

Yes, abnormal service has been resumed.

After last week’s excellent guest post by Tina, my ever-amazing wifey, today see’s your friendly, neighbourhood seated person back in the writing seat.

But how to follow that?

Well, one thing does spring to mind, not that it was particularly pleasant.

Wednesday 22 March 2023

The Simple Act Of Decluttering

Hello, dear reader!

It's little me again !!!! …. The ever patient, ever loving wifey.

Apart from recovering from a nasty bout of Covid - which resulted in 5 days of no taste, very little smell and no hearing in my left ear - I am doing ok - thanks for asking !

My mind however, is a very different story at the moment. To put it simply (cos I understand the simple much better), my mind feels like a very full rubbish bin, in dire need of emptying and cleaning.

Wednesday 15 March 2023

An Apology

Hell dear readers!

Unfortunately, due to an outbreak of COVID19, the guest post, due to be written by my saintly wife, Tina is now delayed by one week. Sorry for any disappointment.

Until next time.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Traveling man

Hello, dear reader!

Now, this will be a short one.

I’m confident in this assertion, because, right now, as I type, I’m exhausted. Not just tired. Not just weary


It’s not even that I’ve done a lot today, either. I mean, I made breakfast, and walked the dog a bit. Apart from that, though, it’s been a big of outer space-y shooting on the Xbox, and a bit of watching stuff on Youtube. So, you might very well ask, what’s with all the exhaustion

Well read on.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

The Big Question

Hello, dear reader!

And near miss number two.

Yes, once again, this week’s blog post is one that very nearly didn’t happen.

The reason for this is my continuing patchy health. My right hand is still kind of numb, making typing…interesting, and I’m not entirely sure about my right leg (due to my disability, I have limited sensation in my lower limbs, the less the lower you get, so feelings of numbness are hard to detect). Oh, and my right eye is still problematic, too, with focussing issues and the odd bout of item displacement (that’s things appearing slightly off in my field of vision, not just me losing stuff). It's, um, interesting, and led to one of my patented, half-yearly lifestyle changes.

Wednesday 22 February 2023

What Ails Me

Hello, dear reader!

I very nearly postponed today’s blog post.

The reason? I appear to be in the middle of an MS relapse.

Wednesday 15 February 2023

A Love Story

Hello, dear reader!

Love is in the air.

Well, it was yesterday, anyway. I think it probably still is today, too, although, to the best of my knowledge, there’s not a specific saint assigned to oversee it, so I think, for the purposes of this blog post, we’ll focus on the former

Ready? Let’s go.

Thursday 9 February 2023

All The Best

Hello, dear reader!

Evening all!

Yes, only 24 hours late it’s time for this week’s blog post!

The reason for this aberration will become clear as we progress, but it may or may not be directly influenced by lashing and lashings of alcoholic beverage (hint: It does).

So, with apologies for the tardiness, shall we begin?

Wednesday 1 February 2023

After The Funeral

Hello, dear reader!

Today’s offering is going to be a little different.

Usually, I churn out my blog post on the morning, or early afternoon, of the posting day (Every-ish Wednesday at 18:30 U.K. time). Today I’m splitting the writing in two, because there’s a rather important event I’m scheduled to attend mid-afternoon that I plan to write about.

I’m going to a funeral.

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Of Course

Hello, dear reader!

So, after last week’s most welcome intervention by Tina, the wonderful woman I am so proud to call my wife, I’m afraid once more you are stuck with another of my attempts at blogging. Sorry about that.

The truth is, that today, in a rather unusual twist, I know exactly what I’m writing about. It won’t be as momentous or heartfelt as last week, it won’t be of as much import, but it regards an event that will, with a little luck, be the one that serves as the most impactful of my own personal week.

You see, I’ve been a bad boy.

Wednesday 18 January 2023

The Booby Prize

Hello, dear reader!

So after a difficult and challenging week or so ….. I ( the wife ) have decided to write today’s blog. The other alternative was another Mark rant,and no one wants that again do they ???

You may well gather that I am sometimes brutally honest, so if that doesn’t appeal to you, then please do not read on !

My mum, my sister, my daughter, and myself all have one very obvious thing in common. No it's not our height, or our preferred flavour of crisps. The one common feature ( well 2 actually ) in the ladies of our maternal family side is that we are all quite blessed in the booby department!

Wednesday 11 January 2023

The Meat Of It

Hello, dear reader!

I don’t think it’s all that controversial to say these are difficult times we’re experiencing.

The winter months are firmly with us, bringing with them the cold, the damp, and the dark. Add in the fact that some of us are having to face harder and harder choices over things like heating, as the cost of living (And I marvel that life has a monetary value every time I write that horrible phrase) bites down harder and harder

Yes, these are indeed hard times. Something that makes the occasional treat all that much sweeter.

Wednesday 4 January 2023


Hello, dear reader!

Well, the last word of 2022 may well have gone to my endlessly amazing wife, tina, but it looks like the first word of 2023 will revert back to me—which is nice.

So, did we have a good Christmas? A happy New Year? Did Santa bring you all you wanted? Are you ready to face the coming twelve months? Are you hopeful? Determined? Ready?

I can honestly say the answer to at least some of those questions would be a resounding ‘yes!’, but then this is January, they pretty much always are, aren’t they?

This year, however, feels a little different—at least for me.