Should I, could I? …


Back in 2016, a few months before I retired I heard a rumour that my old school was going to have a reunion. This was to coincide with the ‘celebrations’ marking 50 years since the England football World Cupteam actually won the World Cup. I asked the school friend that I mentioned in my last post if he knew anything but he had not heard anything. I did a bit of Googling, but nothing about a reunion turned up. I did however see a name, linked with the school. The person, I’ll call him “Eric”, was not at the school for very long. He started at the same time, but after about 4 or 5 weeks he left. His father was an English teacher and had got a job in South Africa. As a consequence we did not have much to do with him. I remember him because he was the same size as me and had the same side parting hairstyle. He was on “Linked in” and I ended up sending him a message just out of curiosity. Turned out he is a University lecturer now, but in Australia. We messaged a couple of times, but he was more into Skype and Facetime video messaging which is something I avoid like the plague. As with a lot of these things, the messages dropped off and I only hear from him at Christmas and birthdays.

Then in March this year, out of the blue he emailed me with a pdf document. He had written his autobiography and thought I would like a copy to “…remind me of bygone times…” To be brutally honest, it was dire. I’m no writing guru, but I could have done it better Biowithout trying. Lots of sentences starting with ‘And then…’ or ‘The next day…’ or ‘After that…” For the son of an English teacher, it could not have been worse. But it got me thinking. Should I and could I do my own autobiography? It could not be any worse than “Eric’s” and I would not be publishing it. I wouldn’t want to do a ‘birth to now’ type, but I could concentrate on my work life. It then struck me that I could write it as a series of blog posts, taking say 5 years at a time and writing about the best bits.

So guess what? I’m going to give it a go. I need to work out some kind of time-line and highlight key points and dates before I start, but I think it may just work. So as the saying goes …

Watch

One word inspiration #writing101


When I saw todays topic, I groaned. I find it quite difficult writing to a prompt. I have tried many online creative writing courses that try to inspire ‘creativity’ by the use of prompts. All have failed up to press. I even had an app on my tablet that ‘produced’ a daily prompt. I just don’t get them. I will look at the prompt or prompts and can spend hours trying to build a story around those ideas, with no success. The few short stories that I have posted on here, and those that are buried deep within the hard drive of my laptop, have come from ideas that seem to happen.

I suppose that if there was one word that I could use, it would be ‘regret’. I have always wondered what I would have been, if only I had paid more attention to the English teachers I had at school. I know it’s probably more my fault, but back in the day teachers were different from what they are now. My first English teacher was a rather flamboyant character who I think may have modelled himself on the archetypal public school teacher. He always wore a suit, with a waistcoat, pinstripe trousers and a bow tie. He only needed a monocle and cigarette holder to complete the picture. The second one was more strict and rigid and made everything a chore. Some of us seemed to absorb very little and so now, I find things like punctuation difficult to get right (you may see that this is probably littered with incorrect commas.)

So yes, not taking English more seriously at school is a regret.

There …… did it!

(BTW this will be post 600 …. Yah!)

Too stupid for words?


I was scanning my Facebook for anything interesting and I saw this in a comment thread. The thread relates to a meeting held by one of the prospective leaders of the Labour Party. It doesn’t matter which prospective leader, but someone had mentioned that there were ‘thousands’ in attendance. When this was queried, the original writer explained that the room held three thousand and that it was completely full. Now for the best bit, and this is a direct snip from that thread.

3000Now, I don’t know the person, and I don’t know the level of their math(s) skills, but I think even an idiot would know the answer to that one.

It annoys me to think, that people that make a comment like that, are probably the same people that complain about migrants not being able to speak English. I should probabley call it “The Queens English” so as not to offend those that feel the lanuage is actually owned by Queen Elizabeth II.

Rant over!

So now what ….


     Well it’s been over a month since my last post, and I really think I need to put ‘fingers to keyboard’ if you’ll excuse the paraphrase. I suppose my last posting was more of a rant than anything else, but I still cannot get over the price of postage from Hong Kong. I have had another ‘bargain’ from the web. I like writing with a fountain pen. I have a couple of Parker pens, you know, the ones with the arrow pocket clip, but I wanted one that used real ink. I bought one from eBay (not mention the price, but it was cheap) and decided that I wanted blue/black ink. It reminded me of my schooldays. A quick trip at lunchtime to that high street stationers with the common English name, left me lost for words. Well words that can be said in polite company anyway !! A standard bottle of Quink ink (only the best) came in at a staggering £7.98. Even their own brand was only 49p cheaper. I could hear the internet calling me.  I now have a bottle of the said blue/black ink, at the more reasonable price of  £3.97.

     Anyone sick of Comic Relief yet? I don’t have a problem with the idea behind the on going project of Comic Relief. No, the problem I have, is the celebrity hijacking of the concept. The clue is in the title …. Comic !!!! I think it should be, like they keep saying on the TV, ‘Do something funny for money"’, which is a brilliant tagline. So why do we see, every week, on the CR dancing program, a jumped up bunch of kids called One Direction. It appears that these nonentities have done a video,in Africa, where they visit various places, and stand around looking shocked and distraught at the poverty and desolation, before flying back to the UK, probably business class, to earn another £100k peddling their drivel that passes for music. I say, take the money that is spent on that trip, and use that to help the needy in Africa. If the BBC think that the tearful expressions on some  overpaid ‘boy band’ is likely to make me put my hand in my pocket …….

Here endeth the second rant !

    What else has pissed me off ?? Maybe for another day then.

     I would like to revisit, part of the first line of this post “….it’s been over a month since my last post….”. I am sat here, whiskey to the left of my keyboard, thinking, why is this? The conclusion I have come to is one of three things: inspiration, motivation and laziness! I could also add ‘timing’, but that is for another day. Basically, writing wise, I’m lazy. I sit at the computer, every night, from around 10pm and what do I do? I go on Facebook or Twitter. I read online newspapers. I read other peoples blogs. What I should be doing is writing!!! But then the motivation kicks in. “What is the point?” I will say to myself. “Very few people read my stuff!” So with no motivation, any inspiration I may have, get trampled before I start. I recently subscribed to a magazine dedicated to writing. I, even more recently, cancelled that subscription. It did nothing for me. No motivation, no inspiration, nothing. I have to say, my creative spirit is wavering at the moment.

     Now, on a completely different track …… I have started knitting again! I bet that shook you! I have been a knitter for about 45 years. Maybe a little longer. I started, when I became fascinated with knitted baby clothes, and their prices. My mother told me it was ten times cheaper to knit a matinee coat (remember them anyone??) than to buy one. So she showed me how to start and some very very basic stiches, and off I went. About a week later I showed off with a pair of blue, double knit mittens. Granted, they were different sizes, with no way of actually making them stay on baby’s hand (no ribbon to tie them on with, as I did learn how to make a hole until the following week) but still it was a great achievement.

     Since then, I have knitted many baby clothes, a large angora bat-wing jumper, a beautiful cable stitched Shetland cardigan and many more things. And now I have started again. It is all the fault of a new weekly magazine that has two balls of wool on the cover. I’m into magazine 6, but I think it will be the last one. At £4.50 a week it has become too expensive, but it has been good to revitalise an interest, that I was quite good at.

     Well, that’s it for now, but I hope to start blogging a bit more often from now.

General Observations (Opinions)


     Another dismal result for England yesterday. A key qualifying game for Euro 2012, and we could only scrape a draw. Could I offer my perspective on the reason English football is so often so poor ?

     I think for part of the answer, we must look to the Premier League. I understand (not certain about this) that the percentage of non-English players in this league is at the upper side of 50% – 60%. Now, I have no issue, with foreign players in English teams, and no issue with the numbers. I think they bring a diversity to the game, that is much needed. However, this does not seem to be a two-way thing. How many English payers, play abroad ? Surprisingly very low, I believe. I think that could be a key factor here. It is often said, that the best way to learn another language is to live in that country. Maybe that is the same with football. Maybe the reason that international teams tend to be better than us, is that there are so many international players here, learning the English game. So that when they play us at international level, they know how we will play the game. English players do not have that advantage. It’s an opinion.


     And now onto Jim’ll Fix It !!! Sorry, that should be Britain’s Got Talent. Did anybody really think, that after to revelations on the web, that Ronan Parke would be allowed to win!!!!!  The thing with these ‘phone-in’ shows, is that the viewing public has no proof, that the results are genuine. Where are the number of votes for each artiste published ? Who has verified them ? Can the be challenged? Are they accurate and how many callers do not get through ? These are questions that should be answered. I thought it quite funny, when Michael McIntyre said that he had voted, then very very quickly explained that it was a joke !!

     Tonight, we have to look forward to ‘Pop Star to Opera Star’ (groan.) Maybe that should be called ‘Has Been Pop/Soul/Rock Singer Has A Stab At Singing A Classical Aria’ ????? Doesn’t quite trip of the tongue. Bt that is basically what the program is about. Is Simon ‘I never met him’ Cowell involved in this at all. Oh and by the way, much as I love Katherine Jenkins, she is not an opera singer, she is a classical singer … her words.

     I suppose the next big thing will be ‘Simon Says’, more popularly known as ‘X Factor’, or will it be ‘I’m Someone Who Wants To Be In The Limelight Again, Get Me Out Of Here’ !!!!! Oh for the days of real Saturday night entertainment.