Incredibly minor irritations

There are times when you read something when the only logical thing to feel is outrage, or disgust, or some other equally appropriate strong reaction. However there are other times when the thing isn’t big or significant in the grand scheme of things, but it makes you physically make the same movement as you would if a large drip of cold water had just gone down the back of your neck. These are the very minor personal irritations and I need to get one off my chest. Continue reading

When in doubt, be prompted

Pleased to Meet You

(I have/had no intention of using any prompts for this blog but saw this one go past and thought of the two characters I’d do – then couldn’t see anybody else who had. I haven’t done it very well as I only gave it half an hour so apologies!)


The phone still wasn’t ringing. It hadn’t rung for days. It saw some action when the fly that has been living in the office for the last week landed on it. I didn’t have the heart to finish him off with the newspaper, he was the closest thing to a client I’ve had in weeks. Perhaps if he stays around it will turn out he’s being blackmailed or has buried a body and then I’ll have a case. Until then he can keep walking up and the down the window and generally having a lot more to do than me. That day I needed a change of scene even more than I needed a whiskey. Nobody needed me here at the moment, but if I got to some other town I could change my luck. The fly can answer the phone while I’m gone. I don’t think he’ll be overworked. Continue reading

And the most dangerous weapon…ignorance.

My intention with this blog was to force myself to write something at least every week, figuring that if nothing leapt to mind I could put my current affairs hat on and pretend (as pretending in the closest I will ever get) to be a columnist with a deadline looming – who has to go through the news of the week and build a piece around something, even if nothing has provoked any particularly strong feelings that week. Continue reading

So, this is a thing…

New Year’s Resolutions come in all shapes and size. Many of them include, in some form or another, taking more exercise. Our resolution maker sits on the sofa, post Christmas splurge, deciding that the turning of the year is finally going to be the catalyst that makes them succeed at the thing they have attempted to do six times already in the preceding 365 days (or 366, depending on the year in question). Acting on this new found determination, they set off for a run.

Some of them will break through the wall of the first few runs, where the sheer physical distress of it all makes them wonder why they are doing this without actually being chased by a bear. Some of them will do even better than that, and become serial marathon runners. Some of them will go out once, realise how painful being unfit actually is, and never go again.

You’ll have to stick with me on this, I love an analogy and this particular one is having every last drop of use squeezed out of it. The first thing to make clear is this is not a blog about running. I mention running merely as an example. There are incredibly gifted runners for whom running very fast or running long distances comes very naturally, with the training they do simply polishing and improving a natural talent. There are those who can just about run for a bus, and would no more think of going for a run through choice than of jumping off a roof. And there are those who are reasonable, who have a modicum of ability, and who with practice get better and better until they are running marathons in reasonable times.

I am hoping that it’s the same with writing. I have a modicum of ability, and at times have been told I really can do it (probably the equivalent, in our analogy, of being picked for the school running team with some genuinely talented people). However, I know I don’t do it enough, and will never be reasonable at it if I don’t practice. I have never blogged in my life, or even read many – so why on earth I have decided that this in an appropriate medium I’m not entirely sure. I think it’s the help of the pressure that I am putting a thing out there, which may be the only way my writing is ever read by anybody else. It’s the difference between going for a run down the street, or on the treadmill in the front room. The latter is safer – you can fail privately. On the street, people will notice that you have turned purple and are propping yourself up on a road sign while puffing like a steam engine. I think that is why I am here, so I know that whatever I’ve written – however good, bad, indifferent it is, I ultimately have the hit the publish button; rather than saving onto a hard drive only I will ever see. Nobody will read this blog today, or maybe ever. But equally maybe one day I’ll have written enough posts to know that I’m writing something that I’m brave enough to share.

There won’t be anything significant; you won’t learn any recipes, follow a journey, or gain massive insight into current affairs. You will get my thoughts that are too long for twitter and too pointless to waste on a conversation with colleagues in the pub. Go read a decent columnist for a good version of those thoughts (even better, buy a book of them – Alan Coren, Chocolate & Cuckoo Clocks for one). But it’s all stretching, loosening up and then hopefully building those writing muscles.

And I still don’t know if New Year’s Resolutions has an apostrophe. And now I’m hitting publish. Shit.