Saturday, 26 June 2010

Sunny weekend

Great weekend. Sun is shining. And I still haven't gotten off my arse and gone out.

Wasting my weekend away just like the rest of my life. What is it that sometimes sends me into the spiral of inadequacy, fear and doubt ? There are times when I really can only see what's wrong or miserable in my life.

I sit wishing for the evening, for tomorrow, for next week, next month.. wishing my life away. Is this depression or just laziness ? Something funny about having a low couple of days, with people asking if I'm okay at work, me saying 'no, I'm not' and then the conversation ending, saying, 'talk to me later' and then not contacting me later on. Just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean people aren't out to get you.

Actually, I don't think they are, I just think that some people chose to draw conclusions, that perhaps aren't favourable. Making a choice about how we see things, and what action we take when we do.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Fathers' Day

Fathers' day, such a great invention. Well, it is if you are a father. Another great weekend. Good times with my daughter. Achieved much this weekend, I feel like I have a life outside of work again... and I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow and make a difference. Rubbish. I'd really like to not go in, and spend time doing things that I really think are important.

Any how. Spent some time round my parents, what with wanting to wish my Dad a happy Fathers' day n all. My sister came round to perform her duty as a good daughter too. Couple of hours later, and my Mum showing us lots of family photos, it was obviously time to go when she asked 'you're not staying much longer are you, 'cause your Dad's getting tired'. Maybe he was, but am I being overly sensitive, but is that just a little bit rude and harsh ?

Still ho hum. Seen my parents more in the last four weeks than I have for the rest of the year. Probably means the next time I'll see them is my daughter's birthday, and then my youngest nephew's. Then it'll be Christmas. Unless of course I get involved when it's time for them to move to their new house.

I know this is coming across rather bitter, and I never wanted to use this blog as some form of psychotherapy jaunt. Thankfully the internet wasn't around when I was a teenager, or my diary would have been online. All three volumes of it.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

It has been an interesting day.

... well I think so. And because I think so, I'm going to tell you. I
won't know if you listen, or care. But I guess I will know if you don't
care all that much... I digressed again didn't I ?


After being a lazy git all week, and failing to clean my flat, that had
started to take on the air of a student residence I have really made
Saturday count. I've made it count in more ways than one. For your
enjoyment (or not as the case may be) I am going to list them now.

The lovely new microwave that my mum and dad had brought me for my
birthday, sadly, didn't work. So my dad helped me take it back to those
cheerful fellows at Tesco today. I know that their day to day work is
not the most entertaining thing to do for a living, but it would be nice
if the person doing all the work IE traipsing from one end of the
aircraft hanger style store to the other, to take the faulty microwave
to the 'correct' returns desk. They call them customer service desks, I
don't know why they bother. Really. I don't.

Is it too much to expect that having been put out, and disappointed by
their product, which cost just shy of £100, it wouldn't be too much to
ask that they were the ones doing the running around us. Not so much of
a sorry from the assistant as she battled with her company's exhaustive
returns policy. Why on earth do they need to ask you for you address,
enter it into the computer and then ask you to write it down anyway on
the return slip ? It's just stupid.

A quick trip back to mine, and unpacking the newly replaced microwave
confirmed that the new one did in fact... microwave. We took the old one
and the packaging for the new one to the tip. To be added to the pile of
electrical unwanteds. What a strange image of our society such places
create. That we love things like crazy for a really short amount of
time, and then we discard them like rubbish. The Victorians built things
to last. We build them to throw away.

Something unfamiliar happened, when my dad dropped me back at mine, he
stayed for a cup of coffee. I've known my dad for 38 years, and he's
never, ever stopped for a cup of coffee before. Never just hung round
for a chat. It's just not something we've ever done. Sure he's helped me
in loads of ways with household appliances, or DIY before now, and that
would involve some sort of conversation, but this, well, this was... a

I find that the fact I think that is an unfamiliar thing in my
relationship with my own father rather sad. It says lots of things about
how I relate to the man responsible for bringing me into the world, but
what it says, I don't like. I feel ashamed, embarrassed and cheated.
Cheated somehow of a better relationship. I can talk for ages about all
sorts of things, most of them utter rubbish with my mum, but
conversations with my dad, not so flowing.

Everyone else in my family, gives a hug, or a kiss on the cheek as a
farewell. I always feel a little awkward that my dad, shakes my hand. I
don't expect the kiss on the cheek, and he doesn't do it to affront me
in any way, it's just I can read how he feels awkward about it.

I want to be sure that my daughter never feels like that about me. But
how can I ? Be sure that is.

After my dad's very nice chat and coffee, I set about correcting the
dust and mess problem that was in serious danger of taking over the
flat. It always feels good to have the flat nice and clean. Something
about the combination of clean floors, the smell of Mr Sheen, and Bleach
that makes a house seem like a home. Well, okay, a home that has 'odour
de swimming pool' about it.

Went food shopping, so after not being happy that Tesco had deprived me
of a week's enjoyment of my new microwave birthday present. I protested
by giving them more money. Idiot.

With my completed washing airing nicely, it was time to go collect my
daughter, and then off to visit my Nan.

Taking of family relationships, I haven't seen my Nan in... well a long
time. You wouldn't think that we all live in the same city, my Parents,
my sister, my Nan and I. It had also been a long while since she had
seen my daughter, and if I can notice each week how much she is growing,
I am damn sure that my Nan can.

My Nan showed us both some lovely old family photos. Some of which she
found fascinating, some funny.

The only thing I haven't done yet is fix my bike's flat back tyre. But
right now I'm too tyred to do it....ahem. sorry, all of my jokes are
like that. They really are.

End of the week

End of another week. What the hell happened to that unstoppable sunshine from last weekend. Oh yeah, it turned out to be far too stoppable after all.


Fantastic birthday weekend it was. Had a great time. Went out with the guys from work last Friday, really pushing the boat out and going to a carvery. You can't go far wrong with a roast dinner now can you ? And a very nice roast dinner it was too, it just came accompanied with a mixture of bingo, quizzes and associated raffles, that it has to be said, did all seem rather fixed. Maybe that's just me being a sore loser. Or just that the bar staff seemed to win too many of the prizes.

Later on into the evening, Julie, one of the people I work with turned up, rather in a party mood, and keen to steal half my dinner. With the surprise arrival of an ex Tesco colleague, they convinced me to go with them to Hampshire Boulevard. My god. Weekend of my 38th birthday, and only my second time in a gay bar. It was a great night (no I didn't pull), and we ended up, with some other stragglers back at hers. There was no sleep to be had, and a long night of talking and drinking ensued.

A spark of gastronomical inspiration Julie's cousin, Paul declared a desire for a cooked breakfast. Julie, not having anything that could remotely be imagined to constitute such a meal, dispatched us off to get some. So, on the day before my birthday, there I was, helping to cook breakfast, for a bunch of lesbians. In a kitchen that maybe sees a lot less use than mine. Which is a hard won contest. Hard won indeed.

Saturday night, Steve, Lucy, Stuart and Ryan came down to have a curry... which ended up being a pizza. Not quite sure how the path of logic works with that one. We tried to play Ramses' Pyramid - The Lego board game, but all of us were far too sober to make any sense of the rules, that are aimed at 9 year olds. Instead, we settled on a 'light hearted' game of monopoly. Wow. How does a simple board game about capitalism induce such poor sportsmanship and.. well, temper tantrums in perfectly well adjusted adults ? I'm not sure, but once we'd got over Lucy chucking the towel (and the cards) in, or Steve moaning that Lucy and I were both being treated less harshly by our interpretation of the rules. Ryan, I think looked set to be on top, but was pipped at the post by Stuart, who had cannily rebounded from near bankruptcy.

Hotheaded 'debates' linked to what you should or should not say about people that look up to you, when others in the same situation are present aside, it was a great evening.

I was thinking that my birthday weekend couldn't get any better, and then, of course. The day itself. I had a fantastic day, and nearly cried when Chloe told me that she had brought the keyring she'd got me out of her own money. Bless. It was lovely, and she made my day. Went and played in the park with my sister and nephews. Great day, had a lot of fun. Topped off with another evening with my parents, who had invited me round for dinner again, and given me the present that I had asked for, a new microwave.

Whatever will the rest of this weekend have instore ? ....

Saturday, 5 June 2010

water fight, anyone ?

Tada !!!!!

End of another week. Hard work, but feeling good about achieving so much.

On an entirely much lighter note.... tells the fantastic news about a mass water fight in Hyde Park, in London, that was organised on facebook, and spilled out onto the streets, causing police to close Oxford Street. How will the press be reporting this in tomorrow's papers ? 'Facebook ruins High st ?'. The printed press do seem to hate social networking sites.

But still. A mass water fight. Cool. The sheer idea of 1500 having all that chaotic fun. Brilliant. Hoping of course that no one got hurt. Makes you wonder if it had been held in America, they would have had real guns instead of water pistols, and half the attendees would have shot each other.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The story(s) thus far.. and then some..

Despite a 5 hour work day that turned, with comparative ease into an 8
hour day I made it home early enough to give me time to burn some
dinner, and make it onto a train going west. GO WEST !!!

Off to Beaconland for the evening. I hadn't been to one of the sketch
show nights for quite some time, and with this one including some
discussion about submissions for stories to be used in the next two
seasons of The Adventures Of Stephen Brown, it was certainly worth
making the extra effort. I was not disappointed.

Some really well developed stories under discussion. So with a great
idea about what's happening in the year(s) to come, and story
assignments handed out it's time to get down to do details.

I've come away with two scripts to complete, and I'm driven by some of
the responses by Neil & Chris, who are script editing the new seasons.
My two are in next year's season, and with them needed in some time
before September, gives me plenty of time to thrash them out, write
them, rewrite them....

It's strange, but whenever I go over to Beacon-Central (Locks-Heath) I
get this very homely feeling about it. It's just nicer, less built up
than the city, and well, quiet. Well it is until we get there.

Oh if it wasn't for the distance from my daughter, the transport
problems  get to work, oh and the cost, I'd probably move there. I may
have fed my inner workaholic today, but I do feel great that I got so
much done. I also feel great that work wasn't the only thing I did
today. This is so often the case. Funny how doing more leaves me feeling
that I have more energy, more fulfilled. The only way to feel great
about achieving things is to, well, achieve them. The only way to do
that is to get off your backside and put the time and effort in.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

who reviews the reviewers ?

As you may or may not know or be interested, one of the creative groups I am involved with is based in Southampton. Beacon. They produce, amongst three series, (currently) all of which I have written for. It's a completely voluntary group. Amateur Video production (which somehow sounds sordid whenever you tell anyone).

The group survives, in the same way that many others like it do. On the blood sweat and tears of a few very good people. Beacon is fortunate enough to have my good friend, Stephen Launay as it's head. His number two, Chris Wilkes is equally as much a 'must have' component as a video camera.

Anyhoo.  Tonight, I submitted my second review for the in-group magazine 'Venturer Magazine'. Now, I'm only just getting started on this reviewing lark. Barely warmed up. With a deadline looming - and me deciding to be uncharacteristically three days early, a thought occurs to me. It occurred to me AFTER I had hit the 'send' button on Evolution Email.

Who reviews the reviewers ?

Okay, that's not as dumb a question as it sounds. I know, of course that perhaps the most obvious answer is the readers, as if they don't like what the reviewer writes, they won't read their column in future. In the case of paid for press (don't get started on that subject, we'll have someone from SkyNews crying about how they can't make money from print media any more), they may not even buy the publication any more. With web media (blogs and the such like), an offended or disgruntled reader will avoid said blog or website, probably for quite some time, possibly indefinitely.

Sure there's an editor in something that other people produce, like the magazine. The writers as much as the readers rely on them to ensure that the world doesn't go to hell in a hand basket when the next issue hits the news stands.

Written words is just like spoken ones, except they're written down. Dummy.

Well, except no. They are not.

When I speak to someone in the street, the don't generally tell me that they don't like what I said, or how I phrased it, which words I used etc etc. They may well think it, but they wouldn't say it. People would consider that rude, and invasive to be that specific about how or what someone says. Speech writers know different. Speech writers, well the clue is in the name, they write speeches. Before the speech, comes the write. Before the page, comes the writer.

Editing, or feedback, or whatever you want to call it, is something that most people are more than a little weird about. As a manager in a call centre I spend much of my time letting people know about how x, y, or z went, and if it could have been done better. But, you know what. No one is perfect. To try, is great, as an ideal, but really, there is not any expectation that perfection should ever actually be reached. Is there ?

If there is, then maybe that's why I don't get bonuses or promoted.

I digress.

Writers chose, sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously to have their output, edited, reviewed. Whatever. I guess part of being a successful writer, is knowing which advice, edits or feedback to accept, and which to dismiss. If I figure out what's what, if I make a success as a writer, I'll let you know. I'll let you know by selling you a book to tell you how.

<slap> Dammit. Digression.

No one in their right mind (or even their write mind) would have someone sat on their shoulder, constantly telling them how speak differently, what to say, when, to whom, and how to say it. What pitch, what cadence. What voice.

When does feedback mean it's no longer YOUR voice.

This blog doesn't have an editor - hell most of the time, it doesn't have a blogger. You may wish that it did (have an editor). As a person, I work best when I am struggling to find the balance between two equal and opposing natures/qualities. There's a part of me that might sit there thinking 'I DON'T WANT to change what I've written. I liked it. Stuff them.' There's also the part that says, 'IDIOT. If you ever want people to like what you write, you have to learn how to do it better, and better is a journey. It's not a destination. You never get there.'

Better is to writing, what tomorrow is to schedules. Something you can think, plan and organise, but will never actually arrive at.

If they said at the airport :- 'Ladies and gentlemen, the plane now at gate 53, will leave, but it will never arrive at your destination.' No one would get on that plane.

No one would take that journey.