Hello, and welcome to my blog.
I hope each of you reading this are well, and I hope that life is treating you well wherever you are.
Where are you? I’ve often wondered where those people who read my blog come from. The analytical part of this WordPress blog will tell me the country that my blog traffic comes from – but that doesn’t tell me where in those countries you are. Now please don’t be suspicious – there is nothing to worry about; I’m not going to start stalking you – for starters, I just simply wouldn’t have the time to get round and stalk you all on a consistent basis, it just would not be possible given the geography involved. The only way that would work would be with one of two options. The first option would be that you, my blog followers got together and appoint a designated “spokesperson” who would represent the thoughts and feelings of all my blog followers. If that was the case, I could just stalk the spokesperson and they could feed back the experience to you all. The second option is that all of you, move to the same location – for example Waco, Texas – and then I can just go to that one location at stalk each of you at my leisure. I appreciate that the stalking may be a little unnerving, but at least you’ll have a close network of support.
But all of this is hypothetical anyway, because I’m not going to stalk you. However, I am curious as to where you all are checking my blog from, so could I ask you a favour? Could you leave me a comment on this blog post, just giving the name of the place where you live, and the country you are in. If you are uncomfortable stating the country, then just your town will be fine – I’ll just google it to get an idea of where in the world you are. I’m curious as to how far “W is for Duck” has reached, and if it hasn’t reached very far then I need to up my marketing game.
Right, on with this blog post, which is the familiar mish-mash of thoughts, experiences, and ideas that occur to me.
I have discovered a few things in the past few days. The first thing that I discovered that there is a spurious correlation between the amount of cheese purchased per capita in America, and the number of deaths that occurred as a result of people getting tangled in their bed sheets. In 2004 on average, 31.5 lbs of cheese were purchased per capita (per individual / person), and the number of deaths attributed to bed sheet entanglement was close to 700. In 2009, these figures increased to just under 33lbs, and approximately 750 deaths. This information, along with a host of other weird correlations can be found on a website called tylervigen.com. Did you know that there is also a correlation between the number of people who have drowned by falling into a pool, and the number of films that year that Nicholas Cage has appeared in?
Coincidence? You decide…….
If you could see me now, you would find yourself attracted to me, because I have recently had my monthly beard trim and treatment. But as you can’t see me, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Anyway, I was in the barber’s chair with my head wrapped in a hot towel before my cut-throat razor shave began and I was relaxed, and in a world of my own. I was aware that there was another client having a treatment two chairs along from me, and I was aware that he was having a conversation with his Barber, but I wasn’t really paying attention. Which is why my auditory system decided to tune in to the other conversation for just enough time for me to hear and register this phrase:
“It was a good night – but my girlfriend got my nan drunk”
Now, to some people having their grandmother drunk (smashed, hammered, pissed, w*nkered, off her face, off her head, off her t*ts, and several other ways of saying it) might be a normal occurrence. Its not to me, nor is the fact that someone young enough to be the old lady’s granddaughter was complicit in getting the older person inebriated. But like I said, I was unable to hear the rest of the conversation, and therefore missed out on hearing any possible explanation. And as I did not know the person in the other chair, I felt that a muffled “WTF!?” coming from me was inappropriate. However, I was left with many questions….oh so many questions.
On Tuesday 10th April it is my Birthday. I will not divulge my age – not because I am afraid to do so, but because the propaganda machine that runs the world and keeps us all scared has drilled into my psyche the dangers of identity theft, and how cyber criminals can find out stuff about you in many clever ways. So, giving out both my date of birth and the year I was born (via my age) is a security risk. Who knows how many dodgy people are out there just waiting to assume the identity of an overweight man with a beard, a weak sphincter and a low credit rating? What I will say, is that my age in numbers is just a little higher than my waist measurement, and both of those factors make me very depressed. Each of them individually would have a good crack at wiping the smile off my face.
I haven’t reached a milestone birthday yet, but it’s creeping closer. And what can I tell you about life for me right now? Well, I’ve spent two-thirds of my life without my mum, who died when I was only one third in. I’ve also spent also half my life without my dad, who also passed away. I still have no clue as to what I want to do for a career. What I do know is that I want to be happy in what I do – and by happy, I mean fulfilled. In every place I have worked, including my current employer, I love the people I work with. That has been a fortunate constant in my life. The fact that I met my best friend at work, and we this year celebrate 30 years of friendship (he likes me) is testament to that. In terms of me liking myself – we’re not their yet. It’s getting better, and the work I do with my counsellor is helping massively with that. I am firmly of the belief that as I get older, I get better as a person, and then when I reach 99 years old I will be amazing. But in terms of self-belief and recognising my own worth and stuff like that (like being able to accept praise and compliments), I’m only just sitting down at the table opposite myself, to start discussions about how I’m actually alright, and not crap at everything and have worth and value and all of that. The great thing is, that just stepping into the room and approaching the table has been a MASSIVE achievement for me, and knowing that I have come this far, means that the rest of the journey is within my power. What else is great is the love and support that I have from my family and my friends, I am very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.
One other thing about life for me now is that I’m trying to make small but significant changes to my use of my time. To that end, I (and my fiancée, and our children – much to their delight) have reduced the amount of time spent looking at the internet via our smart phone, tablet or computer. By the way, you know that APPLE advert where that girl is going around town taking pictures on her tablet/laptop thing, and then is lying on the ground in her garden using it when her neighbour asks her what she is doing? Every time I see her say “what’s a computer?” I just want to kick her in the face. I’m sorry, but I hate that advert, and I get so frustrated by it. In my mind, I see a long queue of people behind me waiting to beat the crapola out of that girl, each of us holding something that might be meaningless to her, but means something to my generation – a computer, a floppy disk, a Soda Stream, a cassette, a Littlewoods catalogue, a corded telephone with a round dial that took seven minutes to dial 999, stuff that middle aged people had growing up that lasted – not today’s throw away society where today’s fidget spinner is tomorrow’s Watch Phone. If you’ve ever seen that scene in “Airplane” where people are queuing up to calm that hysterical woman, you’ll know what I mean.
So, I am cutting down my use of devices, and so far – although it has been a struggle – I’m really liking it. It’s made me realise just how much time I waste looking at my phone (usually on Social Media). Now I’ve started putting down, I’ve been much better at picking up other stuff, like my Banjo; I’ve managed to practice almost every day for the past week and a half and am already seeing improvements. I also have more time to write my poetry and think up blog topics and have got around to some of those jobs that I have been putting off for far too long. Gardening is one of them. I hate gardening, but even so I got out for twenty minutes or so. I think it would be fair to say that I have been addicted to looking at my phone / tablet for far too long, but it is only since I have gone ‘cold turkey’ that I have realised just how much time it was sucking out of my life. Don’t get me wrong: the urge to look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or play games is still very strong. But I recognise the dangers and the harm involved. That being said, I do need to find a way to be able to continue to use Social Media to promote my blog and my poetry, so a balance needs to be found. But for now, let’s continue with having more time for better stuff.
Well, that’s it for this blog post. The next time you hear from me I will be older and (hopefully) wiser. Like I said at the start of this post, leave me a comment saying where you are from, I’d love to know where in the world you guys are!
And as always, thanks for reading this. x