Posted on February 23, 2013

Boy did I jinx the hell out of my last posting.

The Amsterdam deal was a scam, we ended up cancelling and are now back to square one (#firstworldproblems is what you’d be quite justified in calling this issue but hey this is my venting space).

Still itching to go away somewhere (or indeed anywhere but here) as soon as possible; whether it’s a genuine lust for adventure that’s brewing within me, or simply an increasing despondence with where I live, or something else entirely, I’m really not sure. Maybe it’s all of the above.

I wonder if a “moral of the tale” can be drawn here – or if it’s simply a case of shutting up and moving on. I’ll probably just do that anyway. With a sulky face.

On Yer Bike

Posted on February 17, 2013

Dear reader (whose existence I am still somewhat doubting), some things have indeed been happening of late.

I continue to write daily, although usually in micro-doses which over the course of the year so far has probably barely amounted to a page – I. Need. Direction. Because. I. Suck. At. Creating. My. Own. Direction.

I’ve landed a paid gig creating quizzes for learners of English as a second language. The work has been a bit on the sporadic side, but it’s still something. Significant other has also landed a new job at an old workplace but in a new position. Things have progressed for both of us in that respect recently, just a matter of seeing if things continue to go swimmingly.

Having been generously bought a shiny new road bike, of course it would have been rude not to take it for a ride, so that we did today. It took some getting used to, to say the least, and there were a few definitely hairy moments, in which I came uncomfortably close to veering into the path of an oncoming car or lorry due to not being able to pull down on the brakes properly because my hands are just too tiny and I was skittish on my new bike… but that aside, it was good to be back out on the bike, and it was a rather nice day – but I’m not sure whether my beloved one would say the same thing, having not been able to take a more challenging uphill route and really get the old gears going. Sorry.

There’s the chance that we’ll be going to Amsterdam for a day in the near future. Yes, a day, and no, not for the reasons one might imagine  It should be an interesting excursion, if only to see just how much we can possibly fit in, and well worth writing about I’m sure.

But for now, a full recovery from the exertion of the day is on the agenda, along with a gamely attempt to keep up the momentum on what’s been going on.

Happy New Year. Yes I Know It’s Late.

Posted on January 15, 2013

I didn’t even bother to make any proper resolutions this time.

Either they fall apart quite spectacularly (leading me to regret ever announcing them,  like I had a chance of following through with any of them, in the first place) or indeed following them so ardently, and to the letter, that I end up turning myself into some kind of automaton gone into overdrive – which doesn’t really benefit anyone, least of all me…

Alternatively, I’ve just made an understated pledge (quietly) to just “get on”; that is, with whatever that comes my way, what simply won’t go away in the first place, and new things which latch themselves helpfully onto the back of the line.

Still being an unemployed graduate with far more free time than I deserve, I’ll at least try to return to this space every now and again and post something that differs a bit more from this one.

NaNoWriMo: An Autopsy

Posted on December 3, 2012

It’s been just over a month (well obviously) since I last posted on this page, outlining my earnest intentions of finally getting my shit together and writing THAT best-selling story.

Now I feel duty-bound to let you, dear reader – whose existence still comes into question – know how I got on.

In short… it was a short story. A novella even. But, quite emphatically, a far cry from the “epic masterpiece” which was evidently expected to be lurking inside every participant, judging by the excitable and hyperbole-happy home page, and ecstatic bragging of how awesomely high a word-count they’ve reached in so little time already.

If not skeptical, well not all the time, I was, admittedly, utterly green with envy; more than a lot of people, I always wished, and even slightly expected, for my inner wordsmith to come leaping out of somewhere buried deep within me and proudly onto the page (or the screen).

Also, of course, I had my fiance (who isn’t exactly unburdened with concerns of his own), egging me on to keep at it day in and day out, and not to be satisfied with the measly word-counts which I was about ready to concede to, after a good while wracking my poor under-equipped brain and coming up with little more than vague snippets of potential storyline.

The end result; it held together, but barely. I probably could have written something far more indepth and captivating, but I didn’t feel I could do any better at the time.

However, they say that it’s the whole “mind experiment” aspect of the competition that matters more than anything. I came up with… something. A something which I may well not have written, it’s likely, had Nanowrimo not been brought to my attention at such short notice.

For those who wrote an epic novel worthy of being rated alongside the Lord of the Rings trilogy; well done. Genuinely. For those who simply wrote for the hell of it, and used Nanowrimo as an excuse as good as any to ignore everything else in life under the  belief – or the delusion – that they can write a masterpiece, but didn’t even come close, but had fun writing anyway; again, well done.

Writing is rarely a bad thing. When it is, well that’s another story.


Posted on November 1, 2012

I have just signed up for National Novel Writing Month, taking place all the month of November, in the hope of giving myself the kick up the arse I’ve sorely been needing.

Already it is tempting to envisage my failure, but I am trying to counteract that with the optimistic idea that I can see it as part of a joint effort, or even a collaboration in the act of writing.

The story you may be able to see on the scribbling page of the site is probably as much of a tangible story-line that I’ve been able to create. I have a just-barely-tangible idea of what I would *like* to see on the page, but I’m really not sure where to take it: here, there or indeed anywhere.

I want to tell a historical but human story, but the *story* evades me. I’m sure it’s somewhere in the old weary noggin, but hopefully NaNoWriMo will help me to unearth the story and bring it onto the page.

Hopefully some more stuff will come out of me too.

Pre- vs. Post- Modern Culture

Posted on April 21, 2012

Oscar Wilde is truly awesome. Why can’t we have more people with the steady flow of wit and sharp observation of contemporary culture today?

I even wrote a poem on the subject as a tribute.


(Inspired during a trip to Dublin)

“An Apology to Mr Wilde”

Greetings Mr Wilde,

I believe you were expecting me

To drop by – or quite the opposite.

I can only say sorry

Things happen (the temptation to indulge my curiosity)

As they do in your town.

Your place of residence is open

To scholars and selected people only.

But I would like to give it a try.

I would rather listen to a word or phrase

Of your devising, than a whole conversation full of plagiarised pop culture

(if that is the right term for the mediocrity which is popular today).

But you were “not in”. Not to a passer-by like me anyway.

But an excuse – a good one, a better one.

I have none. I rarely have the words to say

Which capture the essence of what I really must say

Before the moment also passes by…

I will try again another time certainly.



Gym Bunny

Posted on April 21, 2012

I gave the gym another try today. I’m not long back and already I feel all the better for going. That feeling would probably be all the more justified if I weren’t nursing a Brother’s Pear Cider as I write this but hey!

Fitness is one of those concepts which doesn’t seem so scary in its pure word-form. “Fitness” – perhaps not the most exciting word but relatively innocuous, not likely to strike fear and loathing into the average gym-trying person.

However it is the context in which it is most frequently used which is likely to steer me reliably away from it. It inevitably brings to mind those glorious specimens who have achieved this Fitness standard, and who make it their personal mission to permeate the public with this epiphany they have chanced upon, worked towards, and now have the flawless and flab-free physique as proof of their endurance. However there are days – not an overwhelming number but enough to notably tarnish my fitness “reputation” – when I am convinced that “fun-run” has to be ultimate example of an oxy-moron…

“You Are Now Certified To Be…”

Posted on April 21, 2012

I got my TEFL certificate the other day. Proof of my having spent 60 hours (*cough* ahem *more like three*) learning how to become the exemplary good teacher and bestow my limited worldly wisdom to an as-yet-anonymous, and potentially quite intimidating, classroom full of foreign schoolchildren. Or adults, even.

Admittedly, much of it is learning by rote the best methods of teaching, which in itself is an important lesson for would-be teachers who would otherwise, albeit with the best intentions in their newfound calling, manage to scar the poor kiddies – or “adulties”, even – for life. Or at least put them off learning the English or indeed any other language.

Also admittedly, there is something of a slight sense of hypocrisy in upholding the importance and value of every language in the “global village” which the world is fast becoming, and then teaching the people who are charged to your temporary care, that actually, English is the way to go. That is, if you want to be acknowledged professionally, or at least have to deal with the vast number of tourists who refuse to shift from their own nicely bastardised version to learn a few helpful words or phrases of your own obscure language.

But it helps a lot of people, admittedly. And it’s not to say that they can’t ditch their home language and culture. It just means that they can speak English to your face, and laugh at you with their comrades in Japanese, or something.

I Suck At Writing

Posted on April 21, 2012

I suck at writing.

Might as well put it out there and come to terms with it.

You’d think that investing much of my life studying the writing of others I’d be able to produce a reasonable standard of my own. Problem is my mind does the equivalent of the “DUHHHHH” that can overtake one when most wanting to impress the notable person who has just walked into the room and bestowed their greeting upon little insignificant me.

But that doesn’t exactly stop me from trying.