The following posts have no fixed theme or style, but I hope you enjoy reading them!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Advice #44

On an icy day like today, be sure to wear sensible footwear when you go outside

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Advice #43

Button up your overcoat

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Collective Forgetfulness

The common cold is a horrific, terrible disease, forcing perfectly respectable people to lose their dignity into a pile of snotty tissues, sipping gingerly on a lemsip and wincing every time they have to swallow. For days at a time they become incapable of doing anything at all. Conversations become blocked by coughing fits and people failing to understand that there are certain words that are impossible to say with a blocked nose. Every hour brings a new symptom, whether it's a headache, blocked sinuses, a tickly cough: I can think of about another ten but I'm not here to write a list. Let's face it, we have all been in situations where we'd be much better off being back in bed, because there is nothing to be gained from being outside it.

But we all feel obliged to pretend that there is nothing wrong. Why?

Because we have all forgotten. I have a cold right now. And yet I, too, am already forgetting how nasty colds are, and I will once again laugh in the faces of people who claim to have "man-flu"

Three or four days into your average cold, it has whittled itself down to one or two symptoms that are a slight inconvenience and no more. Enough to carry tissues with you everywhere, or to have a bottle of cough medicine by your side, but no more. When you think of a cold, this is probably the stage you remember, because this is the stage that lasts weeks or months. It gets incredibly frustrating, but you can look back on your cold with a rosy glow that you could almost call nostalgia. Colds drag on and on with virtually nothing to mark it out from normal life, except a gentle reminder in the form of a sneeze every now and again, and that's no trouble at all!

But you have forgotten those first few painful days. DO NOT FORGET. There are so many victims out there, who are waiting for someone to tell them that they understand. Because the rest of the people in the world have forgotten already, and remember the good times that follow. Feel pity on those poor victims, who are pressurised into leaving their beds by a society that only remembers the second half of the common cold. Stand up for them by remembering.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Keeping yourself in suspense

Once you click "Poke" on facebook, you can leave up the pop-up saying "You are about to poke..." for as long as you like

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The kitchen and Why I don't fit in

I just don't understand that when a person goes into a kitchen, they automatically go and nibble whatever's there.

They don't care what it is because it could equally be a pile of chopped vegetables, some raw cookie dough, nuts or grated cheese. They don't care how much it is, because they just pick up/tear off around a finger-full (or 10% of the remainder, whichever is less) and eat it. The only rules are not to finish what is there, and not to eat anything poisonous like raw meat.

If they stay in the kitchen for more than five or ten minutes, they will repeat the process. Why?

It could be straight after a meal so it's not because they are hungry
It could be straight before a meal, so it's not because they are worried that it's a long time before they will get the chance to eat again.
It could be a carrot, so it's not because they wonder what it tastes like.

Why do they do it? It drives me nuts, not because we will run out of food (although if we will, I'll be angry), but because I will have to think through whether losing this amount of food is likely to make us run out. It also drives me nuts because I don't understand them and feel left out of this communion-like event. I'm not at one with the food and to imitate would be wrong.

Yes I'm sorry, I am crazy, and I'm not a chef so I'm probably wrong. But maybe someone out there will read this and think "yes, me too!"

Monday, 20 September 2010

Profound statement

I don't wanna invent no revolutionary sandwich, I just want better bread
- courtesy of Mr X

Monday, 21 June 2010

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Saturday, 12 June 2010

They asked for consultation...

And that was all I gave them. But I have wanted for a long time to write a bit about the election.

People have written masses and masses about the parties and the coalition and how the election happened as it was coming up, but I didn't vote for a party, I voted for the policies. Unfortunately my manifesto would never be the manifesto of the ruling party, but I feel very strongly about certain things and wanted to put them down somewhere

The last two posts are two of those points. In addition, I wanted a government that dealt with our high levels national debt by tax increases as much as by service cuts. And I wanted a government that would really put environmental issues at the top of the agenda.

The environment seems to have dropped off the radar. We can't built wind farms because there are too many opponents to having them near where they live. The government has already introduced multiple bins for segregating our waste. But is that really all we wanted from the government? I want to see them tackling power generation, transport, pesticides, over-use of fertiliser, consumerism, industry, home improvements (solar powered water heating, insulation, etc) and developments to technology. Discussion of the environment has fizzled to nothing recently. Maybe it's because I don't have many friends who worry about it, or because I live in the wrong part of the country (I know it's sounds silly), but the problems have not gone away.

None of the parties would have offered me all of these things on education, national debt, finance and the environment, but perhaps the lib dems share at least some of my ideals so if they are in the coalition then I can't be too disappointed. I can only hope that by the next election there will be a party who really fits what I want from the government

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

They asked for consultation...

ON EDUCATION, I sent the government the following:
The previous government succeeded in many areas, but in my view it failed on schools. There are four major problems that I see, from talking to teachers around the country (I have a lot of friends and family who are teachers). In no particular order:
1) Exams are getting easier. We need to keep the same standards, and I believe the best way to do it is to sign up to an international programme like IGCSEs and International Baccalaureate
2) Parents do not support teachers. They question the teacher's judgement and do not allow teachers to put children in detention, for example. I'm not sure how you can solve this problem, but it is a big problem and needs to be tackled somehow.
3) Class sizes are too large. Schools need new investment, because they have suffered under previous governments when there were significant cuts in school budgets.
4) There are too many initiatives. Teachers are intelligent people who want to be enthusiastic and creative rather than sticking to rigid guidelines and curricula.

I'm glad to see that your programme mentions some of my points. However, I would like to see these being the priorities rather than the side-notes. Please do not make education a major area for cuts.

We'll see what they make of it. If you would like to add your opinions, go to, or put them in the comments here of course!

They asked for consultation...

so I told the government this about DEFENCE:
We need to give the armed forces whatever they need to finish the job in Afghanistan, and we need enough of an army to defend the country.

But we don't need a nuclear deterrent because it doesn't help us and only legitimises other countries building nuclear weapons. We need to show that we are serious about nuclear disarmament rather than spending billions making new weapons.

The problem with our armed forces is that they are not used for defending our country, just meddling in other countries' affairs and making the problems in those countries worse rather than better. Wars kill people, and they kill a lot more civilians than those in either army. I find it much more tragic that an Iraqi civilian dies than a British soldier because it is part of the soldier's job to put his life at risk but the Iraqi civilian is caught up in a war he has not caused. If we need our armed forces purely to defend the country, I believe our defence budget can be significantly cut, but ultimately there are people who are better qualified to make that decision than I am.

Finally, we should only be calling soldiers "Our heroes" if we start recognising all the other heroes in our society - social workers, carers, police, teachers, doctors, nurses. They are all heroes as much as the average soldier, who is in the army because the lifestyle suits the life they want to lead and not because of a sense of duty to the country.

Why do I not think that I'm going to change the government's mind?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


I got spaghetti on my tie
My tie was fine, if a little browner
Than Before
Damn the pasta
The Rasta said "betcha don't make longer thinner pasta
Than me"

Shoulda made gnocchi

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Question #11

Ramesh and Teresa are playing a game. They must throw two unbiased dice, 'A' and 'B'. They then draw a rectangle based on the values that the dice land on. One side has a length (in cm) of (A+B) and the other side has a length (in cm) of (A-B). The winner is the person with the largest rectangle.

a) What is the chance that Ramesh will win the game?
b) How large is the largest possible rectangle?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Match-fixing in snooker

You may or may not have heard last weekend that one of the world's top snooker players, John Higgins, agreed to lose frames for a sum of money (around a quarter of a million pounds) as exposed by this article. Of course, he has tried to clear his name, claiming that he was tricked, and saying how hurt he has been by the claims. The governing body had no choice but to suspend him from the sport until the investigations were carried out. It's a very regrettable situation and I hope that he is found to be innocent.

However, this 'story' shows more about the state of the British media than it does the state of British snooker. A sport has been put into turmoil on the eve of the world championship final by a newspaper story.

The newspaper agreed to meet John Higgins in a secret location and intimidated him into agreeing to take a bribe. Of course you can't tell whether he really thought they were from the Russian mafia as he claimed, but both he and the newspaper had reasons to lie about what happened. And I happen to trust the man who is renowned for being one of the most friendly, trustworthy people in snooker above a newspaper that deliberately goes out to trick people!

Having intimidated a man and having the ammunition to ruin his career as well, News Of The World waited until the climax of the Snooker World Championship to release the story. It will make the most money for the newspaper but it damages the whole sport as well as John Higgins himself.

Newspapers like News Of The World should be closed down. They promote hate in the country, manipulate the public and ruin good people who they pick on at random. The majority of people in the country are unfortunately not educated in reading critically and forming their own opinions, and newspapers like this turn them into lemmings following the media blindly along, perhaps off a cliff...

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Slightly disturbing

... how long the hairdresser spent shaving the back of my neck when I had a haircut. Urgh!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Cycling less

I didn't actually cycle the morning after my last post on this topic, but I did cycle on Wednesday and Thursday, so I'm making progress. Don't tell ANYONE that I am this sad, but I have been keeping track of my morals and here's one in graphical form:

There are so many good excuses for not cycling... being tired, wind, having a broken bike, snow, being late, need to drive around during work hours, not remembering whether I'm going to need to drive around during work hours, rain, need to drive after work. And the list gets bigger the longer I have the car. I can have excuses every day!! This didn't happen before I had a car!

Friday, 30 April 2010

Question #10

Exactly how big is your hole? Mine's enormous, so I'm told.

I won't tell you who asked me this question, but it was completely out of the blue and it left me puzzled

Answers on a postcard

Monday, 26 April 2010

The End of Morals

Leaving University and moving to The North has done nothing good for my morals.

Particularly environmental ones. In the last year, I have started eating more meat, started printing e-mails, flown all round the world (particularly on my trip to America and Barbados) and bought a car.

I really bought the car with good intentions. I was only going to use it when cycling, walking, trains and buses weren't good enough to get where I wanted to go. In the end though, I have been using the car a lot of the time and have hardly cycled to work at all this year, getting worse and worse. Now I have got my bike fixed, I need to use it. But I'm not sure if I have the willpower. I suppose I'll find out tomorrow motning...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Stan and Ollie

It turns out that my friends are very talented...

Have a look at this!

This is an original sketch inspired by Laurel and Hardy that they did. They also request that as many people as possible join the Laurel and Hardy Fan club on Facebook. There are apparently more episodes to come. I can't wait!

Well done Brandon and Paul!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Advice #43

Do not sit on a sharp spike

[Sarah gave me this advice, she is so helpful!]


My Dad had a brilliant morning schedule. The alarm went off on the Teasmade across the room. This forced him out of bed because it meant he could have an early morning cup of tea and because he had to turn off the alarm (carrot and stick). Then he went back to bed and drank the tea with a Kitkat. When I was little and my sister was littler we used to go into his room and sit in his bed and eat a stick of Kitkat each and we had some orange squash. It was a brilliant way to start the day.

When I grow up I am going to do something similar.

And don't you dare tell me that I can't have these plans or that I'm already a grown-up because I will always have plans for when I become a grown-up and there is lots of time to become a grown-up and for these things to happen

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Question #9

When can you get this done by?
[A mean question without an easy answer]

Saturday, 20 February 2010

You are unique and special

You are unique, you are an individual. That’s what we are told from very early in our lives. I had a book about how amazing the world was. It was a fun cartoon book and at the end was the most memorable page. It said that the most amazing thing in the world was... YOU! And there was a big mirror in the middle of the page so you could see yourself and feel special and unique. I always found that the concept that I was special and unique was a slightly odd concept. After all, there are lots of people and they are special by being unique, but how many special people can there be? If one person is special, every person is, but if everyone is special then it devalues the concept of “special”. But I was young and my parents told me it was true and I didn’t like disagreeing with them because they were big and clever.

Nowadays I feel like a mushy average of people I know, a product of my surroundings and situation, and of the people who I know. If I’m unique, it’s not in a very satisfying way! I change depending on my circumstances at any given moment. I’m possibly still unique at any given moment, but every moment is a unique point and by the definitions of my childhood, I was special and unique ten minutes ago, but I’m differently special and unique now. Now everyone is unique and special at every moment and there are an infinite number of different special people stretching round the world and back in time. The concept of “special” is getting less and less comforting.

As a child I was also told that as a person, I have a soul that lasts forever, and that is the essence of who I am that never changes. But I know I do change. The only solution is to change a small enough amount that I am still recognisable as myself. Even over a very long period, you have to stay constant because otherwise you get confused about your identity. If I remember back to what I did in the past and cannot understand the thought process behind making a decision then I have changed too much.

With all of these thoughts in mind, and being a product of my upbringing, I always aspire to be unique and constant. In the same way as an English student could read a book and tell you it’s a parable of women’s liberation or something, you could look at large chunks of my life and describe them as a conflict between trying to be unique and trying to be constant. To be unique you have to stay ahead of the game. You can’t be predictable, you have to build enough experiences and explore enough alleys that when you meet a new person, they will find you interesting, unique and special. But that doesn’t lend itself to constancy. Why do people give you such contradictions to live your life by?!

I am often told that I am fairly constant but when I was told before Christmas that I had turned into a different person, I saved the text message and it stuck in my head. It’s one of the most disturbing text messages I have ever received. I’m sure the sender had no idea how much it would affect me. To change enough to be a different person is a scary thought indeed.

Why do I desire these things so strongly? Is it a desire found only in me, in other people with the same class background and things, is it a social construct, or is it a natural instinct that has evolved for a purpose?

I want to be constant and I want to be an individual. Does anyone else, or am I unique in that?

Monday, 1 February 2010

Amusement leading into a rambling discussion of everything - if I'd done a post on each topic I could have spun it out for months

Strip pooh-sticks

Go to xkcd now! That's the amusement bit over with.

I'd almost forgotten how good it feels to be in this good a mood. I don't want to assume I'm over my bad patch because I was feeling pretty awful on Friday, but I feel good now, and that's splendid!

And the winners of the prize for cheering me up include but are not limited to: Jim & Gary from work, Lara, James, my sister Roz, Jen, and Jo; none of whom know each other except Jim & Gary

And I really don't think there is anyone who knows more than two or three of that list, how cool is that?! I feel special by being a unique cultural link between cool people. I've often thought that. The point where a person really grows up is when they have a unique group of friends that nobody else could possibly know. It's not the only definition of growing up, but it's one I like.

It's one of thoughts I have when I sit in a car at night, watching the world go by and the night sky dangle above us, over everyone. People tie each other together and we all look at the same stars blah blah blah you get the idea. I'll talk about night-driving in another post because it's wonderful and I want to take the time to write about it properly.

And the thing that cheered me up more than anything is compliments from people. One or two compliments can be passed off as someone just being nice but not truthful, and indeed you could keep going in blocking the compliments away and pretending that they didn't happen, but after a point you just let one soak in and you feel special. I make a resolution here and now to make compliments - really nice meaningful ones. Like Jim saying I'm doing a good job, or Lara saying I'm a role-model in positive thinking (I don't feel like one recently!), or Jen saying she was excited to see me, or James saying he wants to organise a night out and make sure I can come. They're all things that make me feel valued. So there we go, after all those resolutions at new year, I've got a new one. You should do it too.
Value other people, and tell them that you do

It needs doing. Like cleaning the bathroom. Well, it doesn't as much as it used to, when I was embarrassed to have guests because of the state of it (the bathroom that is). Jo would not have been impressed. I hope her boyfriend Chris didn't tell her when he came to visit a few months ago. It really is worth doing, I felt so much better for having a clean bathroom without hairs all over it and things.

Because hairs make a man more manly, and beards even more so, but they also make a man more disgusting and make everything around him disgusting too, because hairs don't stay fixed in your chest, they come out sometimes! I know. I know it well

And all the stress will go away when I go to visit my sister in France on Wednesday, which will be phenomenal (he says fumbling for words and settling on 'phenomenal', reading from the sticker on his Queens of the Stone Age album he bought online having lost it a few years ago and then forgot how good QOTSA are). Remind me and I'll do my best to report back on France in a way that I failed after my holiday in America back in October. I'm not good at reporting on holidays or events, it seems a bit formal and hard to make it interesting reading.

But then, judging from this post, interesting reading is a bit hit-and-miss with me anyway. It's a bit of a splurge, but it sums up my mood, as long as it makes sense [proviso]. It's like a rant for someone in a good mood rather than a bad mood. Is there a word for that? There should be. Why is there a word for a streaming verbal torrent of complaints and abuse, but not one (that I can think of), for a tirade of joy? Cor: "tirade of joy", that's a more extravagant phrase than I meant, but I won't take it back now. You know what I was trying to say...

Anyway, I'm so hungry it's mental. So I'll stop rambling.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Advice #42

Be keener to be cleaner

Cleaning my house a bit really cheered me up tonight, because living in squalor is horrible. Uk

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


The biggest laugh I have laughed any time recently was heard when I was watching Gladiators on Saturday

In case you haven't seen it, I should explain that Gladiators is a TV programme in which "Contenders" win points by completing physical challenges and games against "Gladiators", who are the same every week. At the end, the challengers have to complete the "Eliminator", which is an assault course. The Contender who has done better in the preceding games gets a head-start in the Eliminator.

The Eliminator culminates in a run up a Travelator (like an escalator without steps that goes the wrong way) to reach the finish line. It is not guaranteed that Contenders will make it up the Travelator on the first attempt because it's very steep and they all try while they are very out of breath from the rest of the course. They often need to get their breath back before they get it right.

This time they were all doing so badly that they had to slow down the Travelator. Then the Contenders thought they might do better without shoes, so in the heat of the moment, where every second counts, both Contenders were fiddling with shoelaces and socks. But they still couldn't get up it. In the end they had to turn off the Travelator and crawl up it. Can it still be called the Travelator if it's not moving? These people are supposed to challenge the Gladiators and have incredible strength and endurance. Hilarious. It's not often I say this about TV (I dislike TV and a rant is bound to appear here at some point) but I really enjoyed it. If you have my sense of humour you'll love it too.

Moods again

A few people spoke to me about how bad my mood was in this post and to be quite honest, they had a right to be worried because I was worried myself.

Being in a bad mood for a long period makes you feel helpless. Being in such a bad mood that you can't enjoy anything and are crying several times in a day is scary. It's a complete loss of control. Perhaps it's my academic, thoughtful nature, but I am not used to being out of control of my emotions to such a large extent. I understand myself fairly well and if I'm in a bad mood I can say that I won't be in it forever and have a pretty good guess at what has upset me and what will cheer me up.

I'm scared of mental illness, perhaps more than physical disability, because it would knock my confidence entirely, exactly at the moment when I would need a bit of self-confidence to get me back on my feet. The idea that I could not reason properly is scary, and a change in personality is even scarier. A person whose personality changes may as well be a different person, and will certainly be treated as such. What I value in life is happiness, and mental health is a direct path to happiness, whereas physical health can only be an indirect path. After all, there are plenty of ill people who are happy, and healthy people who are unhappy.

After my little episode I feel like I am recovering. 2010 has been a reasonably good year for the first few weeks, but as you can guess, I have lost a bit of confidence and am not ready to put myself in difficult situations until I become more confident again. I'm happy but always looking around for signs that another metaphorical earthquake could hit and I could be unhappy again as I was before. I think I'm on the way out now and I'm feeling pretty good. Thanks for all y'all who got in contact and let me talk at you about my problems. It helped

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

New Year

I told Rachel at VerticalBlue that I would write about my New Year's resolutions. I only have to confess that I don't actually have any, because I didn't make any at New Year. I was too busy trying not to look into the past to look with any meaning into the future.

In any case, there's no point in writing New Year's resolutions, because it's a well-known fact that nobody ever keeps their New Year's resolutions. So I am making some now. Most resolutions get broken within the first week, so by skipping the first week I'm bound to succeed!

  • End 2010 happier than I started it. My December was pretty shocking, I'll be very disappointed if December 2010 is as bad as December 2009.

  • Learn to touch my toes. Try every day until I manage, and it'd better be in 2010 because this resolution thing is supposed to be yearly

  • Cycle to work 3 days per week on average minimum

  • Tidy your room and then keep it tidy by tidying it every day

  • Somehow escape the habit of stopping half way through a sentence and forgetting my words. Remember that the end of a sentence is just as important as the first half and that even if it is clear where my sentence is going, the listener still wants me to finish it, so I have to make the effort to finish it off. I don't know when I started doing this a lot, but I have been annoying myself by doing it every sentence, and it needs to stop!

I hope these work out. I think I've chosen a manageable amount of measurable goals, rather than vague ones or a ridiculous amount of goals that will not give me any free time at all. Will thinking of goals and putting them on the internet help me to succeed in improving my life? Will fulfilling goals make my life happier? It might help me understand the questions I was asking here

Sunday, 10 January 2010

War part 2

I said in part 1 that I felt that public opinion was moving away from my views but I didn't really back that up.

What I hear more and more often is that soldiers are being called "Our heroes in Afghanistan" and similar things. During Prime Minister's Questions on a Wednesday, the Prime Minister reads out the names of soldiers killed in action over the last week. Usually the leaders of the other parties repeat what has been said, just to get in on the act of looking supportive of the troops. Now we are holding enormous ceremonies in Wootton Bassett to honour our dead soldiers as heroes. People travel from all over the country and it is in all the newspapers.

I cannot emphasise enough that being a soldier does not make a person a hero.

Some of them probably are. Defending our country could make a person a hero, as could behaving honorably on a battlefield and saving someone's life.

But most people go into the army for reasons other than being a hero. It's a lifestyle choice more than anything.
1) Being a soldier is a well paid job for someone leaving school with few qualifications and not much of a career path laid out ahead of them
2) Being a soldier is a well paid job with very few expenses, so soldiers can save a large amount of money from the beginning of their careers, something that most people can't do
3) Being a soldier is a job for someone who wants to be outside, active and stay fit
4) Being a soldier has a lot of camaraderie attached and a great spirit between the soldiers. If you don't have many friends, this could be the place to start.
5) Being a soldier means you can leave a place where you grew up and come back with a reputation. Not all people have the freedom to move around when they want to.
6) The adrenaline of computer games and paintballing is fun. Whether it's more or less fun when the ammo is real and the dangers are greater I don't know because I haven't been there. Nobody who signs up knows what fighting with live ammo will be like, but they can only guess it'll be like paintballing but more intense.

Very few people have "serving the country" as their number one reason for joining the armed forces.

We never have similar ceremonies for our other heroes in society like police, nurses, doctors, immigration officers, social workers, carers. Let's face it, if a bin man died it would affect hundreds of people negatively because he provides a service that serves the country. There are red cross workers on the front line putting themselves in danger all the time to help victims on all sides, yet they are not recognised half as much as the soldiers who have caused the problems by being there.

I find war disgusting. I find that the way we unquestioningly call our soldiers heroes is misguided and the reaction to their death is out of proportion.

At the moment I feel like I am the only one.

War part 1

I have always been a bit of a pacifist, but public opinion is moving away from my views at a rate of knots and I find it a very worrying situation.

We are at war in Afghanistan and I understand the well-rehearsed arguments that once we are there we need to leave the country in a sensible and responsible way.

But let's be honest, since World War 2, no war has been waged that is in self-defence of British citizens. I know some people will argue with me about that but most places where there are wars today are places where the rich west has put its nose in and disrupted how the country works. Afghanistan and Iraq were both sites of previous wars in the last few decades. A lot of the problems in Africa are because white settlers arrived and forced black people to be second-class citizens. A lot more problems exist in Africa because white people decided the nation had to be split into countries, and chose boundaries that were fixed and not necessarily aligned with tribal boundaries. So even in the long term, war and meddling with other people's affairs is usually not justified.

It's even counter-productive, because wars abroad fire people up to be extremists and terrorist movements are bolstered.

In the short term war is even worse. People die, and every person who dies has a family and friends and acquaintances, hundreds of people whose life will be changed for the worse. Most of the people who die in conflicts are civilians. Anyone who has had someone close to them die will understand what I mean when I say that a premature death is a terrible terrible thing.

Civilians die, enemy soldiers die, our own troops die, and every death is a tragedy.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Advice #41

Don't drink and drive, you will spill your drink

Monday, 4 January 2010

Advice #40

Feed dogs dog food. They are apparently allergic to raisins/grapes, and maybe other things (I don't know, look it up). Dog food is meant for dogs. Dogs will eat human food even if it is not good for them. They could die. Watch out!

A friend of mine claims he killed a dog by a moment of negligence where a dog ate human food. Do not give dogs any food that is made for humans

Sunday, 3 January 2010


Everyone has their own idea of a place that is a model for every soulless, boring place in the country. The epitome of the crap town. Mine is Nuneaton. I have had to change trains there a few times and the town seems to be full of concrete, with discount shops (most of them closed even during the middle of the day) and little else. I'm pretty sure I found the town centre and that there's nothing in it but obviously I might have missed some of it so maybe I've got it all wrong.

I was in the train yesterday and the lights went out, sparking the excited British small-talk that can only happen when something has gone wrong. But one man stayed aloof. He was pale and bland-looking, and he looked horribly uncomfortable being on the same table as some Asian teenagers. Maybe he was scared he was going to get mugged. They seemed fine to me, we had a nice chat, but he looked awful. He was perched on the edge of his seat and he clutched his bag as if he was going to have to run away a moment's notice. I was really tempted to shout "BOO" at him and see what he did. So it was no surprise that he got off the train at.. wait for it... NUNEATON!! All of my prejudices have been confirmed!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Feeling Glum

I've been feeling awful for a while now. It got to the point where I just burst into tears without warning. I even had someone ask me if I had any symptoms of depression like tiredness or changes in eating patterns. I've actually been quite scared because I don't recognise the patterns as being how I am.

What I was going to say after my last post was that happiness seems to be a build up of good things happening. At that time I had been feeling down for a while but had had a really good week. After a week of really good things happening I felt generally better and my mood lifted. But soon after I fell right back into the hole of gloom and it's hard to get out.

I very rarely get down because of one thing. More often it's a build up of several things all coming together. My default state is to be happy and then things disturb that state, but I come back to happiness when that passes. But in the last few months it's been the opposite. I don't get really happy unless a few things build up and cheer me up. It's as if I have suddenly turned into a pessimist from being an optimist. My default state has been unhappy and then things disturb that.

Anyway, I cheered up on new year's eve so I hope that 2010 will be a good year. The days will be longer, I'll do some more exercise and I hope that good things will happen.

As we were told in virtually every assembly at secondary school (ages 11-14) - our headmistress must have been the most unimaginative lady in the universe -
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

...although I don't mean it in a religious context, it's more of a new year's resolution thing.