Wednesday, 29 February 2012

1 week in... what's changed ?

Here I am, a week into my facebook and live TV free phase of abstinence, and I have to say that I haven't felt any pain for giving either of them up. 

What I do feel is that I have had a lot more time and energy for doing productive and creative things. Even with my recent increase in hours at work, I've still felt good. Less than 6 hours sleep a night hasn't dented my enthusiasm for wanting to film and edit my vlog. Evidence of which you can see on this very blog. 

Facebook did send me an email, bless them, like a really insecure and needy girlfriend they sent me this the other day :-

Hi Simon,
Here's some activity you may have missed on Facebook.
1 friend request
1 message
14 notifications

There was moment of wobble the day after, when I considered just who the friend request might actually be from. Curiosity. Intrigue, mystery. 

Then of course I came to the conclusion, that surely I actually know this person in the real world, and if they want to talk to me they can ? Unless of course they are so insulted by my apparent denial of their friendship request that they have snubbed me in reality as some form of digital revenge. 

That may be the case, and if so, perhaps I am better off without such a friend ? They would not be able to see the facebook status updates I had made prior to my 'departure' about the period of abstinence, as my privacy settings prevent people that are not my friends from seeing my facebook updates. 

I am sure they, and I will get over this small issue. 

Otherwise I can honestly say that I do not miss it at all, I have gotten very quickly used to not checking facebook every five bloody minutes. I certainly don't miss the constant updates or requests concerning people's farms or mafia gangs. Again like a version of Sim City, but a lot more annoying. 

One habit that I have formed this week, is that I go outside every lunch break, (really important when you work cooped up in the in artificial environment of an office), I actually have my lunch at my desk before I go to lunch. In doing so I have my whole hour (or just under) to sit in the open air, just by myself. More often than not I have taken the opportunity to sit and write. This has been invaluable working on the story background and development for The Adventures Of Stephen Brown. I'm quite pleased with how that's progressing,  

I have rarely turned on the TV this week at all. Tonight, I put it on to watch Skins, and that was it. Then it went off. No drifting through channels of mindless shit. No wasting away my evening on stuff I don't really want to see. 

So although I got out of work an hour late today, and it was the strangest and perhaps less fulfilling day, it has had its compensations. My boss is letting me finish an hour early tomorrow to make up for it. This means that I finish at 4 tomorrow ! Yay !!! 

And 4:30 Friday, Friday, oh you are so close, I can almost smell the weekend. Hannah is coming round for some eats and a DVD. We'll see what we watch, and if I get to cry or not. 

Anyhoo, after feeling so energised and alert, and awake.. now, I'm not. So bed for me it is. 

Monday, 27 February 2012

From the bedroom (again).. with disgruntled cat looking on

Filmed with my wildfire S, and the camera flash to illuminate things. Midnight giving me evils.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Beard be gone !

I woke up today at 7:30. 7    30... I can't shout it when I'm typing, no capitals like you can with letters.. oh, hang on...


Yup, I think that gets it across. I've had a full and moderately useful day. I've vacuumed the flat (would do a full clean, but to be honest, It's only been a week and the place doesn't get THAT dirty) - I know rock and roll. Rock and roll. I've then spent a considerable amount of my time trying to get together another Midnight and Twilight video, and instead have again farted out this little 'creation'

Well, that was a close shave, wasn't it. No. Not at all. Terrible joke. Even by my standards.

I have watched some TV today, but nothing live. I've watched New Girl, Skins, Inside Men (this week and last week), Question Time and This Week. Wow. It's only by typing that all in, that I understand why I haven't gotten more done. Still. I feel a not entirely wasteful use of my day off. After all, I've had a nice long soak in a bath too.

I don't feel so bad now.

One thing that I didn't do, but that I guess I should have was arranged to meet up with the girl that I'd cancelled on meeting on Thursday. The thing is, I really get scared of going out places, meeting people, especially when I get the idea that they have feelings, that I seem destined to squash. Not being someone that likes trampling on anyone's feelings, or their tulips for that matter, I've done the next best thing and cowed away from setting anything up meeting wise. Way to go. .

She does seem to have this idealised impression of me, as this fantastically brilliant person, which although terribly flattering, is pretty much guaranteed to lead to disappointment.

The Queen song, 'Somebody to love' is one of my all time favourites. You can't beat a bit of Queen, especially when cleaning. I've come to a bit of conclusion recently, and that comes from realising that there are people that I know, that may perhaps like me enough (or be able to put up with me enough) to want something more than friendship. So, I'm definitely not going (again) through a phase of 'nobody loves me, nobody cares...' What I've realised is this. That actually, the thing stopping me for finding that sort of companionship, love, if you like isn't choosing a partner, (girl, boy, whatever), it's actually me not being able to reach out with my feelings.

I feel a Star Wars quote coming.

I'd quite comfortably sit inside my shell, or prison, and drift along in my mundane existence, pacing out another 40 or so, years on the planet until I've finally had enough and die.

But what is it that I am so bloody afraid of ? I don't actually think I'm afraid of hurting my feelings, being hurt by someone else, in some ways, I'd actually need that - I need the pain to remind me that I am actually alive. God, I'm starting to sound all Emo now. Hang on while I just go get my eye-liner.

I do honestly think that I am afraid of hurting other people's feelings. Of letting them down, if I decide that they aren't the person I want, or need. I can intellectualise all these things, and come up with cast iron ways to justify to myself that doing nothing is the right thing to do.

There are people that I find attractive, and people that I find interesting, (and yes, some are even both !) and I don't mean that to come across in an egotistical, arrogant or snobby way. There's more to some people than others, and those with 'something' about them it's uplifting to spend time with as you peel back the layers and discover more and more about their lives and what makes them tick. I certainly don't think that I'm interesting, for starters, I never bloody do anything of interest.... yet I seem to desire to share that with the rest of the world through my blogging and vlogging. Vanity publishing doesn't even come close now does it ?

I don't know how to create, or better still, allow a situation to develop from acquaintance, friendship into something more. I've put too much thought into it, come up with all the reasons why I shouldn't do a thing, and obliterated all the reasons why I should do it.

Food for thought there. I'm glad I could thrash that out with you. If this doesn't make sense to you, it does (kind of) to me. Thanks for listening/watching/reading.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Don't be an idiot

On the way to work Thursday morning, I hurt myself coming down the stairs on the 700 bus. In my eagerness to get off the bus, I'd decided to try and come down the stairs at precisely the moment that the bus pulled away from a set of traffic lights.

Thankfully I was holding on, otherwise I would have fallen down the stairs. As it was at one point I was suspended in mid air, with my feet hanging free, with my hands supporting my weight. Good job I wasn't holding onto my kindle or phone at that point, as not only would they have gone flying, but I would have too, into the not very friendly looking metal bar at the bottom of the stairwell. Idiot.

It being the cat's birthdays I celebrated it with them by buying some treat sticks for them, which they did seem to enjoy, and getting some slightly different food, which they seemed to appreciate. Anyway, I made a short video to explain all that, but having just read this, you may think that watching it will be a waste of your time. You may be right. But anyway, here's the video.....

I also took some footage whilst I was cleaning the cat litter tray, which I was going to edit into something like the talking animals type video of The Dumb, The Unwilling, and the Washing Machine... That I will leave to another day to edit. Laters.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

2nd day....

It would seem ironic, that someone who posts vlogs that they, like everyone else, cringes at the sight of footage of themselves on screen. But it's true. More so when I'm acting.

Tonight I completed my review for this month's Venturer Magazine, for members of Beacon. This month's task was to pass comment on 'Questions and Questionings' a story for the Ninth Man series. Sometimes, this may feel less enjoyable than others. This month was one of the times that it's an absolute joy turning over my evening to it.

I feel a little guilty that I haven't made a new video myself tonight. Last night's offering was quite fun to do, and did rather come inspired out of the lack of any decent footage more than anything else.

Still. My second day without facebook, has passed without me missing it at all. I am getting (getting ?) a bit sad and vacuuming every day at the moment. I thought that cats were supposed to malt in spring or summer, not when it's still quite obviously in the middle of bloody winter. Either that, or they are managing to pull about 3% of their fur off each other every day whilst I'm out. They do look at me (the cats) like I'm mad most of the time, but when I again bring out the vacuum cleaner, which they usually run from, but can't resist the temptation to sit at a safe distance watching me giving me a 'why are you bothering with that ?' look.

With tonight also marking the end of one pay-month and the start of another, I am trying to restrain myself to not take freshly charged debit card in hand tomorrow and 'let lose'. It means that I will finally have some money, that means I can meet up with someone. Someone, who come to think of it has been suspiciously quiet text wise today. Hmmmm.

I also want to meet up with another friend who I haven't seen for quite some considerable time. He even offered to supply drink (and I get the next), but that would be too easy an offer to take, and knowing me, I would forget to return the favour. It's one thing being a friend that you don't hear from for ages, and quite another that drinks your vodka and never buys a round.

So, this does open out the possibilities for me to, well have real interactions with people in the real world (IRL as the kids are saying it). This is a good thing. Yes ? A coincidence that these events are both pending to occur during my facebook-free time.

I did cheekily set up my facebook account so that it repeats whatever I tweet, telling myself that the point of the exercise is for me to avoid facebook, not for people that 'friend' me on there to not have any idea what I'm doing. I haven't aimed this as 'quitting facebook' in any way, or with any pseudo sociological or political message or purpose. However, if I am pleased with the lack of facebook in my life, and the opportunities that brings, then I may well take more drastic action.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The dumb, the unwilling, and the washing machine...

So this is something I knocked up quickly with some footage I took on the camcorder tonight. I would have used some of the footage from my phone, but the lag between sound and image is so sucky on today's footage that it would be impossible to watch... so I've 'treated' you to this instead. x

I don't want your freedom.....

Day One...

But hang on, doesn't Lent start the day AFTER Shrove Tuesday, I may have over egged this a little. Over egged ? Pancake day ? Yes I did crack a joke, or is that yoke there...

Okay, so I've now slapped myself round the face. No more puns. (in today's blog). Today was a bit different, not just for the freedom from facebook, but because I went in much earlier to work than I have done for quite a while. A 9am start may not sound that early to some people, in fact to most people, but none the less, it was a big step for me. Prior to this, 10:30 was the recently earliest start. Being worried about oversleeping (as is my habit at the moment) meant that I didn't get to sleep until about 1:30-2:00am.

As indicated in my video last night, I did indeed get a torrent of comments from friends at the announcement I would be avoiding Facebook until further notice. A certain irony attached there, having to spend time explaining, on facebook, why it is that you want to spend time away from facebook. I know that some people have gone so far as to suspend or delete their accounts, but I didn't want to take that step just yet.

One of my friends text me later in the night (or morning as it was, but I was as described above very much wide awake), to let me know that after all the trouble I had gone to, to inform people that they could still keep up to date with my goings on via Twitter, that I had in fact, stupidly, mistyped the address for my Twitter account. Idiot. This now leaves me with the conundrum of going back onto facebook in order to correct this post. I am already in the process of uploading a corrected version of the video from yesterday. I guess that as Lent doesn't technically start till the day AFTER Shrove Tuesday (although, again I am not doing this for religious purposes, just for personal growth), then I'm in the clear. Right ?

The Eden Prescription
There is also the idea that I can set up for my facebook account to update its status with my tweets. I'm undecided if this constitutes and breach of the idea of the exercise. I, one the one hand will still not be looking on facebook, but my friends will still think that I am. Hmmm. Answers on a postcard please.

No. Not a postcard, I want to know what you think before the end of my abstinence. Post here is terrible.

So what I have I noticed so far today ? Well, I've noticed that I've actually finished reading the book I had on my Kindle. The Eden Prescription. By Ethan Evers. I have to say that at times I struggled to keep up with the science bits (never was any good at chemistry) and the sheer number of characters in it. When it gets going, it really gets going.

So finishing a book on my Kindle, isn't a new thing, but when you consider that last night I was about 88% through the book. By about 6pm this evening, I'd finished it. So, what next ? Well, I think I'm going to pretend to be all cultured and intellectual, and have a go at reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I did feel a little without something to occupy me at the bus stop this morning, as I arrived half asleep, but still before the bus did (which is certainly much better than arriving after the bus does). Normally I would have a browse through facebook. Today, I did not. Nor did I 'feel the need' to cop crafty looks at it whilst at work.

This evening I've vacuumed the flat (I think it's a daily chore now, I've set my standards so high), I went over and spent a bit of time, and had two cups of tea, with my parents, brought them up to date with the goings on in my life.

oooh, and I did some washing, which I must get out the machine...
The fact that I've been bothered to write a blog entry, sitting here listening to the radio, or the music on my computer, without even the barest temptation to turn on the TV, or keep flicking back and forth checking for those all important updates, leaves me feeling more... content, purposeful.

Monday, 20 February 2012

To facebook or not to facebook.... that is the question.

I've decided to test myself, and to give up Facebook, and live TV until Easter. I know this is traditionally usually referred to as Lent, (the marking of abstinence in the Christian calendar from Shrove Tuesday and Easter). I'm sticking a disclaimer right here, because I'm just using the timing as a motivational device. I am absolutely not religious (I'm an atheist), don't have a problem with other people being religious, it's just not for me.

I want to see what effect removing these two massive distractions (time sucks) have on my life, and how much more productive with my creativity I am as a result. I have (as you can tell) already been blogging and vlogging a lot more in the last week.

To that end, I will still be making videos and writing entries, but I will also be making sure that I get some 'more solid' writing done. In school we would have called it 'creative writing', I wouldn't be able to guess what the hell they call it now. It still means making stuff up.

There was something else of a minor mishap this morning, which I will now save to tomorrow's vlog. Spoilers sweatie, spoilers.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Womanly Chores

So a morning cleaning on Saturday. It's amazing how therapeutic a spot of cleaning can be. Sad that even with the speeded up 'chipmunk' footage you can still tell how out of tune I am.

Sadly I think the footage from my Wildfire S isn't quite up to the task. Think I'm going to have to start taking a camcorder around with me unless I get something like a flipcam.

My apologies for shooting it in my pyjamas... and I thought the gray t-shirt made me look slimmer... if that's slimmer, christ ! Maybe I need to give up the Wispa Bars ?

Still if only I could have taken some footage showing how nice the flat looked AFTER I cleaned it.... I'll make someone a lovely housewife.

Friday, 17 February 2012


For those amongst you that are, ahem, easily turn of and on-able.... After last night's video, I actually really do need to get my body used to sleeping, and waking at a reasonable time. To that end, I may have cut a few corners with the creative integrity of this video....


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

You have got to be kidding...

Two blog entries in as many days ? I know. 

Today I felt rather panicked by the idea of going into work again. Not as bad as it was the other week, but still I was noticeably flustered. Two different people had asked me if I was okay within 5 minutes of me entering the building today. I had the shortness of breath, slight light headedness thing going on. 

Having said that, my new boss made sure I was ok, but gave me some space so that I could get myself calmed down and onto some work. That's what I needed really, to be able to focus on something else and just get into my day. 

There wasn't really anything in particular that I could put the situation down to, apart from that it was the first Monday back, and that last week, being only three days didn't seem so daunting. This was something else, maybe, realising that I have the week ahead of me. The whole week, and nothing but the week. With me not working Saturdays at the moment, that means that I'm not getting a day off in the week. 

By the time I get through typing this up, it'll be February 14th. Valentines day. My god is it really a year ago since I made a fool of myself buying that girl.... Hang on, that came out wrong. I didn't buy the girl. I bought the girl some valentines gifts. Way to go awkward guy.... 

Anyway. You see, there's this girl... that I've met up with a couple of times. A nice, funny girl, that seems to really like me. My prowess at understanding how this sort of social interaction works makes Doctor Sheldon Cooper look like the in veritable party animal. I don't want to be the source of her hurt. I also don't want her to feel that I am creating the wrong impression about what I am about, or what I am looking to get out of us getting to know each other. I'm really over thinking this, but trying to under-think things is like telling a fish to swallow a little less water. 

I just can't imagine me being in a relationship, with anyone, boy or girl. It's become such an unlikely possibility that I haven't even considered it. Have I gotten so used to living on my own, that I'm prepared to stay that way ? Wow. You don't necessarily chose celibacy. Celibacy chooses you. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the romantic vision, the snuggling up on the sofa, looking dreamily into someone's eyes, letting them take care of you. Making them the purpose of your every waking moment. Being in the arms of someone strong and protective. 

I just can't see how that idol bears any correlation to my existence. See. Over-thinking.... my skill for Overkill, at the thinking game.

Monday, 13 February 2012


There but for the grace...

I've lost count how long it's been since I've typed an entry into my blog, and I guess that I'm proving just how lazy I am by not even checking my own blog to see when it was that I last submitted something. 

I have of late been writing with my pen in a book, which I think at some point I'll get round to scanning and uploading. Some enthusiastic use of Evernote. 

Today Chloe brought her friend Ella round with her. This is the first time that she's ever brought a friend round here. It's also the first time I've had to be responsible for someone else's child, well one that I wasn't related to. Chloe was somewhat more concerned with making sure that she got a present. She had wanted me to order a mouse-mat off ebay that had the image of a creeper from minecraft printed on it. This was £8. There'd been the whole thing of her Mum telling her that she wasn't going to spend so much money (when Chloe had spoken to me about it on the phone briefly when I was cooking dinner one night, so we hadn't really had a chance to talk about it properly. Emma had assumed that Chloe was playing us against each other, as this was going against what she'd told Chloe). As ever things somehow turn out to be more complicated than you can ever imagine them needing to be. Or at least they seem to do so in my life. 

Anyway. Long story. Shortened version. Chloe spent a more realistic amount of money buying young lad's valentines present. (It would be really cruel of me to blog his name). I've tried to point out to her that she's the girl, and that as the boy he should be the one rushing round trying to impress her.

I'd repeated this to Theresa at work, and she said that was unfair, and that I was setting her up to fail. There was now way in hell a boy in Portsmouth was going to be making that much of an effort.



Friday, 10 February 2012