Thursday, 27 June 2013

A nice little distraction...

I have sat here for the best part of an hour today determined to write something for this blog but with lacking inspiration.

As I sat here with open computer and twiddling thumbs (which, by the way, really hurts) I had the telly box on. The wee bairn was upstairs with mother bairn so I had full remote rights and wanting something that wouldn't distract me from my procrastinating I turned on the tennis.

As those of you in the know may be aware there is currently a little known tennis championship called Wimbledon being staged in our very own London. The British, as I am sure you are aware, are well known champions of tennis boasting both the current Olympic champion, two Olympic silver medallists, the US Open champion, a reigning Wimbledon doubles champion and the reigning junior French and US Open champions.

With this deep sporting pedigree in tennis it will be something of a surprise to find that only one British player has reached the third round of the singles competition in either the men's or the women's draw. Andy Murray- who has seen his route to the final made easier by shock defeats to Roger Federer (17 Grand Slams), Rafa Nadal (11 Grand Slams) and the injuries to Cilic, Tsonga and others. Four days ago he had a daunting, almost impossible run to the final.  At the time of writing this is reflected by Murray now being 1/4 on to reach the final and 6/4 to win Wimbledon outright when there are still 32 players in the tournament.

The spate of injuries has been a great concern to many, with the arm injuries suffered by Darcis and Llodra being blamed on the grass and the wide array of other injuries being blamed on the high workload of players these days.

With that being the case I find it a little strange that the players who have played the most matches this year have all escaped uninjured on the grass. And I remember grass from my childhood and I am pretty sure I would rather play sport on grass than on clay or on the other option- the Hardcourt (the clue as to why is in the title).

Which lead me to believe that a lot of players were happy with the £30+ they get as second round losers and decided to have the rest of the fortnight off.

At this point it occurred to me that the tennis had managed to get through my steely barriers and what was meant to be a long period of procrastination turned instead to a second rate blog. Damn you telly box, damn you sporting world and damn you generally!!!!!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Second shortest poem I ever wrote....

I have decided to start posting a few of the poems and the short stories I have wrote over the years which I either aren't entirely happy with (and therefore haven't deemed fit for human consumption) or which I have just forgotten about.

I have decided to start with the second shortest poem I wrote back in my very productive poetry period (productive meaning quantity...the quality is debatable). This is actually a poem I am reasonably happy with even if I didn't exactly achieve the aim I started with which was to write a Haiku about environmentalism. Nevertheless, within the constraints of the form that I gave myself (and where I somewhat missed the point...I enjoyed the rather common misconception that Haiku's took the form of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables).

I hope you enjoy this, it may prepare you for some of the more clumsy attempts which are to follow.

It is rather pretentiously entitled either The Future? or The Future is Now.

The Future? (or The Future is Now)

Look at the sky die,
Listen to the birds cry, cry,
Smell the flowers sigh.
A rather lovely picture from

Monday, 24 June 2013

Note to self: Sometimes you can be productive without realising it

I promised myself that I would start writing a little something, no matter how short, every day with the intention of getting the old writing muscles exercised ready for a period of intense writing over the summer (whenever that starts).

I was a little surprised this morning when I woke up ready to get a lot done and noticed that I haven't produced a blog post, or a news post for another side project of mine (I will be linking it to this blog at some point, just getting it going) since last Tuesday.

My promise lasted all of two days.

But then I went through my digital history since last Tuesday and since then I have submitted five short articles which I expect to get paid actual money (a pittance, but a pittance is better than gratis).

I have also created two articles for associates of mine which have been published and worked on a short story and a poetry collection that I am hoping to have ready for publication before the end of this year. So all in all it is not a total loss.

I have to remember that not all writing will be on the forums I prefer, some will be drudgery for the pennies and some will be drudgery for potential future pennies. But all writing is experience at writing and is to be celebrated in the lifelong learning curve.

So in honour of that I intend to publish a short poem that I wrote onto this site later this evening. Keep your eyes open peeps.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Happy birthday to the eldest product of my loins

Say in the knowledge that she won't read this I wish to wish  my eldest daughter a very happy 14th birthday.

I know what you are thinking, how can a debonair 21 year old such as me have a 14 year old birthday. The answer is simple. I have been 21 for almost 15 years.

Worry not, I have no intention of giving up the secrets of the philosophers stone which I purloined from my good friend Nicolas Flamel shortly before he sadly passed away.

Happy birthday Niamh...

Monday, 17 June 2013

Every Day is Fathers Day (and it rocks).

So yesterday was fathers day, a day designed to make fathers feel slightly guilty about not being better dads.

I was afforded the luxury of getting up early with the wee bairn and doing my own breakfast and looking after him and his cousin while my partner went and spent the day out treating her father. Treats which included going out for breakfast with him at his expense and taking him to the cinemas to watch a film they both wanted to see at my expense.

I aren't complaining, my youngest wee bairn is only four years old and there is no way I can expect him to be looking after me. His cousin is the same age.  They spent six hours doing what four year olds do, that is to say playing loudly, arguing loudly, crying loudly and for the sake of variation making demands. Usually loudly. My day was spent facilitating and playing with a small element of feeding and consoling thrown in.

Then, in the early evening, my partner returned home so I took my youngest wee bairn over to see his siblings who live with the ex (his cousin had been picked up by my brother by now, she didn't just get ignored. least not very much).

They are a touch older, all being over ten years old. They had gotten me several gifts, which I found very touching. We spent some time playing, I helped my youngest daughter with her homework and then we watched an old episode of Doctor Who before I was sent home.

When I returned home I turned my mind to work and for a brief period my thoughts weren't on my children- but during my...ahem...research...I happened to go on a popular social media site and saw it was full of posts from fathers saying how great a day their children (or partners) had made for them, the special efforts that had been made to make this day extra special for the fathers.

The other stream was of people making acerbic comments about stay-away dads and former partners (and these I felt really sorry for, because they are entirely missing the joys of being a dad).

It got me thinking have I missed something? Should I have demanded royal treatment for the day? Should I feel aggrieved that nobody had bought me roast dinner in bed and tucked me in and told me a bedtime story?

And the answer is of course not. The joys of being a father isn't one day of being spoiled, it is the time every day that you are with your children being a parent. Playing with them, cuddling them when they fall over, helping them with their homework, these are the things that make being a father special.

For me every day is fathers day...and it rocks.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

History is a romance...

The other half is currently watching "The White Queen", based on the Phillipa Gregory novel of the same name.

I have not had the misfortune of reading the book and the fifty minutes or so of this I have been able to hear while working have convinced me to stay well clear of reading it in the future.

I can appreciate that narrative necessity allows for the embellishment to the known histories, yet the tensions that are created with her family are too trivial to hang a novel on and the character of Elizabeth Woodville, after a promising start of seeking out the new king to claim her rights, turns into a weak character who is dependant on the men around her and on her mother.

Of course, the novel may be better. Novels typically have more depth and subtlety than television adaptations. It could also be the case that the story is supposed to follow her growth into a woman of strength, a character worth watching and a variant of the classic quest. A journey of self discovery is a valid story but I don't feel that there is any self-discovery here.

It could be the case that the narrative is focused on how she overcomes the obstacles of the court in accepting her as the rightful queen, but that story in itself is far too shallow to make for interesting reading.

I am not having a dig at Phillipa Gregory, I have not read her stories but I know they are valued by many. But from this adaptation of her novel it certainly seems that "The White Queen" is only a shallow stream where it could have been a raging river of a story.