Category Archives: Blogging

Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

Christmas for adults is different to Christmas for Kids. Kids get all the anticipation and excitement, while adults just get the expense and the logistics to think about. I miss the excitement I use to feel as a child when it was Christmas, so I wondered what a letter written by an adult in that situation to Santa would look like.

This is what I came up with:

 

Dear Santa,

You probably weren’t expecting this letter from me after all this time, and to be honest I almost didn’t write it.

I say “write”, but as you can clearly see that this letter has been typed. You’ll have to excuse the company letterhead; the decision to contact you overcame me late at work one night. I hope this letter reaches you – using company printers for non-company purposes is a sackable offence.

It should reach you, I sent it in the traditional way – sealed the envelope, and then burnt it on the fireplace so that the ashes could go up the chimney for you to read. Actually, that isn’t exactly what happened. We don’t have a real fireplace, and when I tried to burnt the letter on our “fire-effect” gas fire, the corners just melted a little. In the end, I had to put it under the grill – but I did sprinkle the ashes out of the upstairs window closest to our false chimney.

By the way, you might find some melted cheese mixed in with this letter – we had cheese on toast the night before, and I forgot to wash the grill pan. I hope you can still make sense of it?

Anyway, let me get to the point: the reason I am writing to you Santa, is not for a train set, or a new bike (although an Xbox and a two-hour window each day without interruption to play it, would be awesome) or any gift at all; what this 46-year-old man would really, really like for Christmas is this:

I want the excitement of Christmas back.

I love Christmas, I always have – but as an adult I don’t feel the same excitement I did as a child. As a child, the excitement at Christmas you feel overrides everything else – the need to eat, sleep, pee, and sometimes, even breathe. Now, as an adult – the responsibilities put upon us (including those put on by ourselves) has dulled the excitement felt. Of course, as parents we look forward to seeing our children open their presents but the excitement we feel is diluted compared to the children themselves. It’s like third-party excitement, or diet excitement.

As we get older, we let life wear away at us. We get more responsibility, and attribute more importance to things like earning money, and so events like Christmas lose their magic, and just become a huge to-do list: have we got all the presents, have we ordered enough food and drink (even though we end up eating mince pies until March), when should we put up the Christmas decorations, who should we send cards to this year (only those who sent cards to us last year). It’s just chore, after chore, after chore.

I miss getting excited about Christmas – I mean really excited. I miss not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve. I still can’t sleep on Christmas Eve – but it’s because half the night the kids (who are high on excitement and sugar) are giggling incessantly, and then the other half of the night they are coming into our bedroom every 10 minutes asking if it’s time to get up yet.

I’m worried, Santa – worried that Christmas will be come just another day, just like my birthday. You can’t get excited about a birthday when you know that all you are going to get is socks, a nasal hair trimmer, and some “deep heat” pain relief gel.

Maybe this isn’t just about Christmas; maybe this is about life in general. Perhaps this letter is the manifestation of some deep-seated regret about all the chances I didn’t take, or all the decisions I made that I wasn’t sure about. Maybe it’s a wake-up call for me to look at my life and make some changes. Or maybe it’s those four boxes of chocolate liqueurs kicking in.

Whatever it is about, I hope that you will read this letter, and find a way to get me what I want for Christmas. I’m fairly sure that I’m on your “good” list – I have been a good boy this year, after all. Alright, I have been looking at Jenny from Human Resources when she is stood by the water cooler – but she is HOT!. I hope she is on your naughty list……

It’s the excitement of Christmas I miss Santa. I hope you will leave it under the tree for me.

Yours hopefully,

Laurence (aged 46 1/2)

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Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

Aah, the innocence of youth……….

Tonight, I came into the living room and found a conversation in full flow between my stepson and my fiancée. My stepson was in a state of shock, after discovering that my fiancée knew  both who Stormzy was, AND that he was a Grime artist.

(He is a Grime artist, isn’t he? I hope he is – ‘cos if he’s not, I’m going to look like a right tit.)

According to my stepson (who is 13 years old), my fiancée and I had no right knowing who Stormzy is, because we are A) Old, and B) wrinkly. My young ward continued to lessen the number of Christmas presents he was going to receive, by saying that we only listened to music on those (and I quote) “flat, black things”. This caused some degree of confusion for several minutes, until we realised he meant records. The confusion was extended somewhat because he said that these flat black things were purchased in packets.

I’m not aware of ever going into HMV or Woolworths (ask your parents, kids) and asking for a packet of records. I never smoked, so never got a packets of cigarettes – and wasn’t as attractive to the opposite sex as I am now, so never asked for a packet of three. In fact I once had a condom in my wallet so long, that it went out of date. Ironically, there was no warning on the packet that said “best before end”…….

Needless to say, we put Barnaby straight on a few things (about our knowledge of modern music – not the lack of sex in my younger days), and he now knows that we are down wiv da kids.

Bruv.

 

Good evening, and welcome my blog.

Last Sunday, I was waiting for Blue Planet II to start, and had a 45 minutes to wait. I decided to try and write a poem in that time.

I failed.

But what I did do, was inadvetently record the struggle that so often happens to me when I am trying to think up a poem.

This is a glimpse into that struggle.

Waiting for David

It’s 7:15pm on Sunday night. I’ve got 45 minutes – not a second more. 45 minutes to write a poem, 45 minutes to conceive and craft a worthy piece.

And why the urgency? Blue Planet II is on at 8 O’clock, and I don’t want to miss that- oh no. You just don’t miss the Attenborough.
For once, I’m in pretty good shape – it’s been a good day in terms of jobs done. But it’s not been perfect – no banjo practise today, and I’m still waiting for that egg to cool down. Slave to an egg, that’s me.

Perhaps that is what I should write about: waiting to make egg mayo sandwiches. I know it doesn’t sound exciting – but you never know, there could be a whole niche market of sandwich filling based poetry, just waiting to be conquered. For all I know, “Ode to Coronation Chicken” Might just be my break into the big time.

I love David Attenborough. I bloody love him.; he is an institution, a national treasure, and the Icon of my lifetime. He’s always been there, like a comfort blanket, giving me a warm feeling of security, but not dribbled on, or stained by rusks. David Attenborough could present a programme about wardrobes, and I’d watch it. In fact, it’s a little known fact thar he doesn’t just do programmes about nature;

I once saw him present a programme that explained how the Titanic was put together, and I can honestly say, it was riveting.

7:30pm – fifteen minutes gone, wasted, evaporated. I haven’t got a clue what to write about. I’m still thinking about Blue Planet II. Maybe that is what I should write about, the life in our oceans: the sharks, fish, octopi etc. I could even write about crabs – who wouldn’t want to hear about crabs?

I’m suddenly reminded of a blind date I once had…………..

Hang on – the cat has just come in, and is now crunching his dinner. His cat food stinks – it’s meant to be biscuits flavoured with Tuna and Salmon, but I doubt that there is any actual fish content in that food at all. The cat obviously thinks the same, as he has just walked out again.

Come on, I need to write something – time is getting on.

You see, I set myself this goal of writing a poem on a Sunday night, so that I would have time to review it mid-week before publishing it on the Friday. The trouble is, it’s hard to review something that hasn’t actually been written. Actually, that isn’t true –  it isn’t hard,  it’s easy: You just say “nothing that needs changing here”.

I notice my socks: they are red – but not bright red; they’re more the type of red colour that white socks would go if you were to bleed heavily into them.

 

Dear God, I’m rambling now; going on about bloody socks – in both senses of the word! I can hear David Attenborough narrating this scene in my head, as if I was the subject of a nature programme:

“Here we see the would-be poet, sitting in a quiet corner of his habitat. He rocks back and forth, staring at his bloodied feet. In his left hand, a pen; in his right, a notebook. His teeth are clenched tightly together in frustration, as he desperately tries to think of something to write about. As mating displays go, this surely must be nature’s poorest. None of the females are coming anywhere near.”

7:48pm – Twelve minutes to go. No poem in sight.

I’ve got two other pairs of socks; One set is purple and they make my feet look horribly bruised – as if they were smashed in retribution in a mob vendetta. The other set are grey, and give the impression that I have really bad circulation – which is ironic, because I do. Some days, I cannot tell if I am wearing socks or not.

Oh dear lord, more sock ranting – shut up man! You can’t write a poem about your socks!

 

The children are exchanging insults in a relaxed, almost musical manner in the living room. “You’re a Pooooooooo!!!”, flutters tunefully down the hall to the room I am in. Even with that gem on a plate, my mind refuses to pick it up and run with it.

Mind you, it is a poo – so I do understand to an extent.

I wouldn’t run with a poo – or scissors for that matter. But if I picked up the poo with the scissors, would that be okay? Could I still run? Or would they cancel each other out?

It’s 8pm – Blue Planet II is starting. I haven’t written my poem.

David has come to save me.

From myself.

 

 

 

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

Last night I was fortunate enough to go once again the Earthouse – a re-creation of an Iron-age roundhouse, built based on floor plans of an actual Iron-age round house found at an archaeological site. The Earthhouse is – apparently – England’s only purpose-built structure for the telling of stories. And it was for that reason, that I and my fiancée were there  – to hear the last in this year’s season of “Stories for Grown Ups”.

The story we listened to, was ‘Frankenstein’, which was originally written by Mary Shelley, two hundred years ago – when she was just eighteen years old. Last night, as at every time these stories are told, the story tellers are from a company called “The Crick-Crack Club”,  a charitable company who have been telling stories in places around the country since 1987. They have told over two thousand stories in these thirty years, and if the size of the audiences they play too have been consistent with the three hundred and fifty people who listened last night, that means that around seven hundred thousand people have been captivated  by the stories told to them.

And captivated is exactly the right word; last night’s tale was told by one man, supported by a woman who played music to add emphasis or atmosphere. These two performers plied their craft around the centrepiece of the Earthouse, it roaring open fire. With only lanterns on the pillars of the Earthouse, as the man told Shelley’s masterpiece, the light of the fire danced across his face as he spoke. At times, the light reflected from his eyes, and at others, as he moved around he was just a silhouette. All of this, combined with the story itself had the listener transfixed.

Although I really enjoyed the story – and indeed, am now keen to read the original book – there was one moment in the tale that caused my brow to furrow. What caused the furrowing was nothing to do with the tale itself, but more a couple of words, the way they were said, and the audience reaction to them.

In the tale, the scientist was travelling to a city with his brother – the artist, who was a fan of all arts (music, theatre etc.). The scientist had arranged lodgings for his brother in the city for a month, while he (the scientist) had to go on to take care of some business. The scientist told his brother that there was lots of things he would like that he could go to entertain himself with in the city – Art galleries, concerts, theatre, Opera, and……poetry readings.

As the story-teller said the words “poetry readings”, he rolled his eyes – and the audience half laughed, half groaned in agreement. This caused my brow to furrow because it bothered me to think that poetry still has a stigma attached to it – that it is dull and boring, and doesn’t have a place in modern society. I admit that my reaction was a personal one because I write poetry, and the reaction I witnessed made me wonder if I might be wasting my time in writing my poems on this blog, if there really isn’t the interest out there.

But then I had another thought: (I know! two thoughts in quick succession!) I’m not wasting my time writing my poems, because my poems are nothing like what most people think of when they think about Poetry. Even in the circle of poets that I have I come to meet through the writing groups and the spoken word events I attend, I would say that no-one writes poetry like I do. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who write funny poems – but they more subtly funny than mine. I go for more blatant comedy.

I think poetry is seen as stuffy and difficult to connect with, which is why people ‘switch off’ when poetry is mentioned. Some of the people who write poetry and perform at the spoken word event I go to are so skilful in the use of words and the imagery they create,  but I find it hard to connect with their poem. I choose to write about life, and real events, and the style in which I write is the style of poetry that I myself would like to read. I share my poetry on my blog, because A) I like to make people smile, and I think (some) people do like what I write, and B) I would like to develop my identity as a poet and hopefully have work published – in magazines first of all, and then one day a book of my poems.

I fully understand how traditional poetry could be seen as not relevant, but there is a beauty, and enjoyment in all poetry if you just give it a try. The responses I have received from people who have asked me to write poems for relatives of theirs has told me that people can get great enjoyment out of it. I have enjoyed listening to my fellow poets read their work at the spoken word events.

That being said, I appreciate that Poetry is not for everyone.

But it is also not the abomination that many assume it is.

 

 

Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

Ironically, this isn’t the blog I was going to present tonight. I say Ironically, because the blog I was thinking of posting had a very similar title – in that it was made up of individual, and not necessarily connected words.

However, it was not to be – so this blog post came to be.

Will we ever know what the other blog post might have said? who knows? You’re probably hoping me I guess, but in honesty the moment has passed. The blog that was created by the writhing combination of blank space, my keyboard, and the random thoughts that float through my brain, never made it to full term. It was, at best a title – destined never to reach its potential.

So here is the post I selected.

I hope you like it.

 

Rejected, Inspiration, Spontaneity, Resignation

Don’t you just hate it, when you big yourself up, and then don’t achieve what you boasted about?

I had an appointment to give blood today. I am very proud of the fact that I give blood, and make no bones about telling everyone when I am doing it. I had crowed loudly this morning on Facebook, and due to the fact that all my friends are amazing, I got lots of nice comments.

So I’m in Blandford (look it up on Google Maps) waiting to be called. I had to fill in the health questionnaire, and for the first time in ages had to answer “yes” to a couple of questions. Not questions about sexual relations – that car still has no engine. I basically said I had been to the hospital for an examination, and that I was waiting to see a doctor. Both of these related to the ongoing investigations into my suspiciously high pressured eyes, but couldn’t affect me giving blood.

Well, that’s what I thought. However, when the nurse called my name to run through the questionnaire and then test my blood, it transpired that because I didn’t know for definite that I didn’t have Glaucoma, they couldn’t risk taking my blood.

So I couldn’t donate. I was really disappointed.

As I walked back to my car I checked my phone. A reminder had popped up titled “Russell Birthday” for tomorrow. Russell is my Brother in Law, and I had forgotten it was his Birthday tomorrow.
I drove round to Tesco’s and perused their selection of cards. I couldn’t find one suitable so – knowing that I had to find a card, write it, address it, put a stamp on it AND get it in the post box before the 4pm last collection – I made an alternative choice.
I cannot say more than that, but I have apologised to my Sister in advance. I will explain all tomorrow.

I was late getting out of work tonight, as yet again I had to wait for a lorry. When I eventually made my way home, I popped into my local Co-op in search of something for tea. Technically I still had the vegetables and gravy/stock from my casserole – but I was a bit tired of that.
Luckily, my luck was in tonight as I found two pork chops reduced to £1.09. They had to be eaten today, and that suited me cos I had them for tea with the veg from my casserole. The purchase of the chops was a spur of the moment thing – as might be my trips to the loo tonight if they are actually past their best.

I’m not looking forward to the rest of this week. I’ve got a container tomorrow and Friday, and a big delivery Thursday. That means early starts (I’m in at 6am tomorrow) and long days. The thing is, it needs to be done, so although I’m not relishing the idea, I won’t shy away from it.

But that is tomorrow – tonight I’m watching Arsenal on Telly.

COME ON YOU ARSENAL!

 

 

Hello and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.

This week’s offering is one I submitted to an online writing group I recently joined. Each week we are given a topic to write a poem about, and each member can interpret that topic in his or her own way.

The topic of this poem is crazy……..

I hope you like it.

 

CRAZY

It’s so easy to be considered crazy;

Just talk to yourself out loud in the street.

OR go shopping without doing your hair or make-up

And take a bus ride in December with bare feet.

 

If you go up and say hello to a stranger

And just start to pass the time of day,

Do it with a fixed smile on your face

And then watch them edge slowly away.

 

You could pretend that you are hearing voices

Whilst sat in the dentist’s chair.

Or look at people eating in restaurants –

Stand outside the window and stare.

 

People are too ready to believe that you’re loopy;

You’ll convince them with the slightest of grins.

But the craziest thing about the world today

Is people’s desperation to fit in.

 

Good evening, and welcome to my blog.

As the great J.R. Tolkien wrote, to close his world-famous trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” – ‘Well, I’m back.’

Back from where? You may well ask – but fear not, if you don’t ask I shall tell you anyway. I’m back from Edinburgh, arguably the greatest city in the united kingdom.

Now, before you enquire as to whether this blog has a complaints procedure (it does: Bite me.), I am well aware that all of the other great cities that pepper our landscape like the droppings from the good lord’s own glorious seagull, will say that they are the greatest city – and that is all well and good. This blog, and the sentiments contained within it, are all my opinion. You do not have to agree with what I write; just as long as you subscribe to my blog and like it and share it with all of your friends, you can disagree to your heart’s content.

I have been to Edinburgh before, but only briefly; I passed through it once on a journey to the Highlands of Scotland, and another time I travelled to Edinburgh and back in a day to take a birthday present to a friend. I went by train on that occasion, and whenever people hear that, they ask my why I didn’t take a plane to my friend? The answer is simple: I don’t know that she likes planes, and I didn’t have enough wrapping paper.

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Panoramic view from Edinburgh Castle

 

This time I stayed in Edinburgh for 8 days, and I took my Fiancée and two children along with me. They had not been to Scotland before and I was sure they would love it as much as I did.

Sadly, their first impression of Scotland was not a good one. After and 9 1/2 hour train journey from Dorset, we arrived at Edinburgh Waverley Station tired, and hungry. All of us were laden with baggage – none more than me, who has been married before. Seriously though, I was carrying the two large hold-alls with most of our stuff, and my arms felt like I had just beaten a Wookie at space chess. There was a lift down to the way out and we, along with several other weary travellers plodded towards it. As we waited for the doors to open, I became aware of a small, frail and wizened old lady slowly shuffling up next to me. She was almost bent double, and had a walking stick with wobbled frighteningly as she took each aged step. As the doors of the lift opened however, this frail old lady fixed me with an evil glare and said in a nasty voice, ‘I have priority!’ before shooting forward into the lift faster than Usain Bolt shot out of a cannon! She was in that lift in the blink of an eye, and cared not who she knocked over in getting there. I can only assume that she was in a hurry to get back to her house of Sweets before Hansel and Gretal walked by.

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Stunning View of the Castle

 

I’m pleased to say that this old lady was very much the exception to the rule when it comes to the people of Edinburgh; from the shopkeepers (none of whom appeared to be Scottish, bizarrely) to the staff on hand at the various tourist attractions and sites, everyone was friendly and polite and really welcoming.

We saw lots of stuff in the short time we were there: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, Dynamic Earth, Camera Obscura, Greyfriars Bobby, Arthur’s Seat, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Museum of Scotland and ate out a lovely restaurants. The weather was gorgeous too – blue skies, warm (well – not freezing cold), and it was really lovely to be there.

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Edinburgh Castle

 

I love Edinburgh. The reasons for this are many; its buildings and architecture, its history, the fact that it is (for me anyway) the gateway to Scotland and the many wonders within, the many happy memories I have associated with this place (my mum’s best friend lives here and has sent me £10 for my Birthday every years since I was about ten).

As if that wasn’t enough, during my time up here I managed to meet up with my best friend and his wife, who live about an hour away from Edinburgh, and whom I hadn’t seen in six years. I also managed a brief catch up with a former work colleague who moved here in 2004 who I get to see once every six to eight years, if time and life allows.

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If in doubt, have a MASSIVE pudding!!

 

Edinburgh is a very special place for me. I was so glad to be able to spend time here – and be able to bring my special people to see it.

What a fabulous time we had!