Supplemental Timelessness Levitating Steeply

Having looked back at my last few blogs, I have come to notice that they all have one thing in common. They are, on the whole, unexciting and mundane. I was leaving my blogs to the last-minute and didn’t allow myself time to think of an imaginative or quirky topic to write about, so, I was having to try to find something interesting about my week. It was a bit like suddenly finding more homework to do on Sunday night and when you manage to hand in a slapdash attempt, you are already wincing as the teacher takes it. Ok, that last sentence tells a thousand stories. Yes, I was well-behaved at school (despite some minor incidents) and yes, I did do my homework on time. Anyway, I flicked through a book about creative writing when meandering around Waterstones one afternoon and remembered that I was going to use my blog to write creatively.  Several short hours and even shorter drinks later, I decided that it would be an idea worthy of Einstein (or any other genii) to select some random words and try to create a worthy blog about them. Before I jumped completely blindly into the abyss, I grabbed a friend to drag down with me. So, Jo (http://thatjoeden.wordpress.com) and myself are going to give this a go.

My first step was to find a way to select these random words. I decided that a noun, an adjective, a verb and an adverb would allow sufficient room for maneuver, but how was I to select these words? Surely someone out there must have written some kind of computer programme for just this occasion. Indeed, after a quick (0.24 seconds) search on Google, I found myself with a random word generator. Now, it is slightly dubious and I’m not too sure that the person who created it understood what verbs and nouns were, as demonstrated by my word selection.

To ensure that there was no cheating involved, Jo picked words and then swapped. So, I gave her Enraptured Mackintosh Reassembled Cynically. Now I did not cheat in any way to select those words, but they do seem slightly ironic when you consider that she works for an Apple company and we selected these on the night of the release of the already infamous iPad. She is demanding a reshuffle and I guess that by the time you read this, you will know just how lenient I decide to be. (I have indeed swapped Mackintosh for Ministry. How kind I am.)

Before you start thinking that I must have been given a better selection than her, mine was also dogged with a slight controversy. Jo selected Supplemental Timelessness Levitating Steeply. Yes, I agree that mine will be easier to avoid writing about work; we don’t tend to believe in levitation as a diagnostic tool in the veterinary world. However, before I even begin to think about what I could write, I am going to hold a straw poll. Who here thinks that “Timelessness” is a noun? As I hear the lispy echo throwing itself around the room and the wind whistling around the tumbleweed in one of times oldest metaphors, I hope that I am not alone in thinking that timelessness is not particularly accurately described as a noun. Maybe I am a pedant but I like to think of a noun in the simplest sense; a noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place or thing. I do appreciate that a noun can also be used in regards to abstract ideas or concepts, and if I try really hard, I can just about imagine timelessness as a concept.

Unfortunately, I’ve procrastinated long enough and now it is time for the difficult bit – I’ve got to discuss supplemental timelessness levitating steeply. As far as I can see, I have two options here. I could write a nice little story about a witch who went as far as she could to the side of the world and threw her shoe over the edge into space. It floated in the air and never seemed to move. It was both levitating (and getting higher by the second) and timeless as no matter how long she waited, it would not disappear into the ether. But I can’t, for the life of me, come up with anything more convincing than what I have just written. So it looks like I might have to take a deep breathe and have a stab at the more challenging option. Before I begin, please leave your beliefs at the door because everything that follows will probably be wildly inaccurate, but I can promise that it will incorporate “supplemental timelessness levitating steeply”. Here goes…

As a young child, I was not christened and although my Nan was very religious, it was never really incorporated into my life. If she came round for Sunday lunch, we would say grace and at Christmas time I would enthusiastically recreate the nativity scene, placing the donkey and the asses around the set with much gusto. That is about as far as my religious background goes. Although I didn’t go to a Catholic or C of E primary school, there was a slight religious undercurrent. Each year, we would go to one of the local churches for a Christmas Mass, we sang hymns and we would have Reverend Bull come in once a month to host assembly. My lasting memories were 100 kids warbling along to Mrs Hodgekins at the piano playing “He’s got the whole wide world in his hands” and Reverend Bull holding a can of Pedigree Chum (which actually had sweets inside) and finding out who trusted him enough to eat it. I think the moral of the story was that appearances could be deceptive. So, I am probably a typical example of a lot of people my age – I have grown up being taught a little about religion and it was always present (but hiding behind all the curly wurlies, shag bands and my little ponies). I have not had enough involvement with religion to be an atheist. Having said that, I can only recall going into a church once in the last seven years and that was for a friend’s funeral. In a twist of fate, saying goodbye to Alex reunited me with Reverend Bull and this transported me back to my childhood. Listening to him with my moderately adult ears, I couldn’t help but feel cynical about the whole thing. I found listening to the Reverend telling us that Alex had lost his light and had slipped from the path of righteousness a little hard to swallow. Whatever Alex did or didn’t do, he never stopped being one of the kindest, most selfless people I have known. I found it very hard to listen to a virtual stranger telling the congregation about him in this light. I desperately wanted to tell everyone not to listen and to remember the Alex they knew and loved.

So where does “supplemental timelessness levitating steeply” fit into this I hear you cry? Well, religion teaches us that God created the world and unlike science, it cannot foresee an end. Science is constantly developing and educating us about how we are harming the planet and what we can do to stop this. In stark contrast, religion sees no such issue; once God had created the world it was there for us to play with. How does religion explain how the world even stays in the sky? For all they tell us, the earth may as well be levitating (and probably pretty darn steeply too). There is no talk of spinning around the sun or the axis, it just simply hangs there. Or does it float? This could become another half full/half empty debate. Only even less interesting. Anyhow, for the purpose of this debate, it levitates, floating in the sky held by a supernatural force.

Dictionary.com, which I realise is probably of dubious origins, defines supplemental as “added to furnish what is lacking or missing”. This is how I view religion. If we cannot explain something, religion normally has a good story, which seems to add up. It adds a sense of reassurance because people finally have an explanation for something; there is no worry about it being magical or unexplainable. Look at the beginning of the world; before science had an explanation for it, people still wanted to be able to rationalise and understand it. This is where religion seems to come in, it fills a void or furnishes something, which is lacking or missing if you will. If you were expecting me to use supplemental to describe timelessness you may have to think again! Ok, religion seems to fill and explain a never ending void in people’s lives. There will always be something that is unexplainable that needs an answer in order for people to understand it. Even more important than that, when there are great tragedies in the world and indeed smaller scaled, but equally painful, personal tragedies, religion can provide a crutch for so many people. It allows people to believe that those whose lives are cruelly taken from them have gone to a better place and I completely understand that. If religion gives you a greater purpose and explains about the meaning of your life, then that’s great.

I see religion as something that is rigid and unable to change whereas science is constantly welcoming and experimenting with new ideas. They try and get to the bottom of myths as opposed to clinging desperately to them. Worryingly, I found myself agreeing to nearly everything  in this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB_htqDCP-s). Although I wouldn’t scribe fancy that on my cock, even if I had one. I highly recommend you listening to this song of one Mr. Minchin. It’s a ten minute masterpiece. Right, rant over. I have nothing more to say about supplemental timelessness levitating steeply and quite frankly, I hope I never see it in that order again.

Compromise isn’t a dirty word, c**t is a dirty word.

Today I have made several discoveries.

Now, I’ll spare you the gory details but there was a slight fall out within the family this evening. It was all a bit traumatic and thus, I don’t really feel like blogging, but Project 52 awaits so here we are. So, I apologise for the melancholic nature and the brevity of the blog, but it’s probably better that way. There is nothing worse than washing your dirty laundry in public and all that.

Right, the apologies are all out of the way and I’ll get on with proceedings. By nature, I am hopelessly optimistic and therefore tell myself that you have to find something positive out of every experience. Without too much soul searching, I’ve discovered it. I understand that people won’t get on a hundred percent of the time, but it’s not too difficult to compromise. Noone can live in a vague sense of harmony without having to compromise now and then. I’m 22 and I have managed to figure that out, why can’t anyone else?

Another thing that I have discovered today is someone else’s blogspot. –> http://flackwellross.blogspot.com/ <– A family friend has gone on an extended holiday to Australia and her house sitter has taken it on himself to do a blog. I wasn’t expecting it to be entertaining, but it’s very, very funny. To be honest, I’m quite jealous. I don’t think I could have done something quite so effortlessly amusing. What will I take from this? Well, I’m not sure that I can start writing my blog in the style of my dog, but maybe I can learn that sometimes the simplest things are the funniest.

I promise that I will write something that is interesting and amusing over the weekend to make up for this pathetic excuse for a blog. But for now, I can’t bring myself to be whimsical or entertaining. Still, I have done my project 52 blog, albeit at the last possible minute. I will replace this with something better tomorrow. That’s legal, right? It’s compromise. I have done what I have signed up for. I finished my weekly blog on the Friday of the week as promised, but I haven’t been able to do it well. But I know that I have to make amends, and amends I shall make.

Sugar and vice and all things nice

This week’s theme on Tumblr-52 is Vice.

I haven’t had that many opportunities for sugar, vice spice and all things nice this week. I have been so busy at work that it only just occured to me that it’s Friday and I haven’t been near my blog all week. It would be very sad to fail at Project 52 quite so early on. I have been ultra busy trying to organise the trip to Marrakech, for practically everybody at work, bar me and a few unfortunate others.  The last few days have passed in a blur of stress, swearing, cold sweat, speaking incredibly quickly and chewing Rennie tablets. By the way, I’m not really confused – I do appreciate that Rennie won’t help the stress, I’ve just been trying to pacify a sickness bug. It doesn’t do to be ill in the days immediately preceeding a meeting that you’ve been preparing for for months!

So, I’m really looking forward to letting my hair down this weekend. I’m off to Swindon (and not Sweden, as I wrote in an email this week) for a friend’s housewarming party. (She’s married and everything! I’m very proud of her immense grown-upness.) Then, I’m off to Devon to spend a few days with Shell and the kids. Back home Wednesday to see Jimmy Carr in Reading. Then on Thursday, I’ve got a job interview and then we’re off to the Natural History Museum for Rhys. And then Friday is a bit more relaxed – we’re going shopping. And that’s my weeks holiday. I think I’ll need to have a lie-down afterwards to try and recover! So the upcoming week should involve a little more vice than I’ve had of late; I’m bound to eat and drink too much for a start. But what constitutes a vice? Is it anything that we enjoy? It seems that various government departments would have us believe that most things we enjoy are vices. I measured an estimate of weekly alcohol intake and apparently I drink heavily. I will probably have 3 pints of cider in a week. And if I go out, I’ll have a couple that night. That is not binge drinking. You should see Wycombe at 3am on a Saturday morning. Then you’ll see binge drinking. I like chocolate and the way I see it, is that I don’t use drugs and I don’t drink heavily, so if I want a bar of chocolate, then damn it, I can have one. I always take the moral high road.

If we enjoy something, we are made to feel guilty about it. I don’t just mean drinking or having a fatty diet, but everywhere. At work, I’ve been creating a cartoon, which I’ve really enjoyed because I love the chance to be creative and do slightly offbeat things. But everyone has passed comment that I’m not working very hard when I’ve got my face 2 inches from the computer screen staring intensely at Photoshop, trying to get the camel to look a bit more camel-like. It was hard work, but because it was something a bit fun, noone could face the idea that I was still pulling my weight.

I try not to worry myself too much about what other people think as this is surely the basic framework for vice. If we thought what we were doing was truely sinful and bad, we would be so disgusted with ourselves that we wouldn’t do it. Yet we do. We constantly worry about what other people think. If we are less concerned with what other people think, we stay truer to ourselves and become more consistent as a person. However, even though I’m saying that, I still worrying about other people’s opinions. This blog seems to have got stuck permanently in italic and I don’t want to publish it like that because it looks silly. (Although maybe that’s just me being a pedant.) I watched some guys at work today looking through job application forms and instantly googling them to see if they were on facebook. That terrifies me.  I don’t think I’ve got anything online that compromises me, if you can see my facebook, I’m generally a fairly straightforward person.  Likewise I use twitter regularly, but I try and use it to be drole and witty.  This fails about 90% of the time, but at least I try.  I just hope that other people are willing to be accepting of me and not accept what they presume I am.  Take a little time and get to know someone, it’s a hundred times more accurate than judging someone on their facebook page.  This makes the matter of vice even scarier; if I don’t consider what I enjoy to be wrong, then how do I know which parts of me people will object to?! Perhaps I’ve given this too much thought.

Anyway, must dash. I’m off to the pub for dinner and drinks. I’m not being sinful. I’m just trying to rebalance myself after a week of working 12 hours a day. It all balances out in the end. As long as we only play once we’ve finished working, we’re going to be fine. It’s just when we forget to do the proper stuff first that we fall down.

Deep and crisp and even

I hope that my blog title has succeeded in making you hum along to that slightly inane tune. That was the plan. If I have to be held hostage in my house because of the snow, I may as well try to inflict some pain on everyone else.

Since the snow has prevented me from going to work, I decided that today would be the day that I would take the first, brave step into the blogosphere. Although, as is always the case, because I planned to write today, I am not feeling terribly inspired. I’ll be very honest, this is where I suspected that my regular blogging would fall down. No, I don’t mean on January 6th when I had to take a snow day. What I mean is that when I feel inspired and want to write, I often don’t take full advantage of it, and then when I’m bored and twiddling my thumbs, I’m lacking in the all essential inspiration. All I can do then is procrastinate and avoid the issue. So, this is my first, slightly jarring step into writing through the wall. Obviously, when I think of what it actually is that I want to write about, or I have a little nugget of inspiration fall into my lap, I need to make a mental note of it. (Or get my ever-increasing backside into gear!)

An old school friend recommended that I joined Project 52 to make sure that I keep to my word and blog regularly. I’m not quite sure what it is that they will do if I miss a deadline, but I plan to wait until at least March to find out! No, I’m not already prophesying (or planning) my downfall and failure, I’m going on a weeks holiday in March. Project 52 sounds like a great idea; a community who all want that little something to make sure they do what they planned. Fifty two blogs a year; four blogs a month; one blog a week. Easy. Even I can manage that, can’t I? As an extra buffer, I have found a group who give their users themes each week to blog on. This weeks theme is momentum.

When I first saw that I was to write about momentum, I had a few ideas about starting 2010 and how I can see myself in a years time. Obviously in January 2011, I’d be a cycling fanatic having completed the London to Brighton no problems, I’d still have a job that I enjoyed and my life would be absolutely fantastic in every way. Of course, this isn’t a terribly exciting topic, but it would be quite fitting for Week One as part of Project 52. As it is, my bike remains in the garage untouched and I’m stuck unable to get into the office. So the pressure is really on the blogging to prove to my doubters that I am well-meaning and I do plan to get fit and get cycling etc.  Along with buggering up those slightly mundane plans, the snow has also stopped me from having a nice trip to the Comedy Store this evening. I know that in the scheme of things, this doesn’t sound too tragic until I tell you that I had already paid for the tickets and not got the money off any of the three people going with me. Bugger is something that I considered saying.

So as you can see, momentum seems a little ironic given the snow this week. Fresh on the ground, it looks beautiful, but it stops everything from working, and as soon as anyone tries to carry on as normal, it looks tainted, dirty and spoiled. I love the snow, but only in the right environment. In other words, a long way from home. I’d like to think that I managed to keep moving despite the snow. Afterall, I managed to complete my week one blog, despite a massage haemorrhage of ideas and inspiration. Now that my blog is out of the way, I can sit down and think of how I could have enjoyed the evening. All together now “when the snow lay round about…”

To Wii or not to Wii; that is the question

“To Wii or not to Wii; that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The remotes and nunchucks of outrageous fortune,

Or take arms against a Wii Balance board,

And by opposing end them? To end: to shutdown;

No more; and by a shutdown to say we end

The arm-ache and the thousand tired muscles

That Wii Fit is heir to, ’tis an achievement

Devoutly to be wish’d. To end, to shutdown;

To sleep: perchance to play: ay, there’s the rub;

For in that eternal shutdown what games may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

That makes calamity of a time limit…”

Now I appreciate that the children of 16th Century England did not have a Nintendo Wii to play with, but just imagine that in some freaky time travelling accident they find themselves with one. Would they actually play it? Just imagine explaining to someone, who has no grasp of our fast advancing technology, that they can create a character to look like them and simulate everyday sports, which require no costly equipment (such as jogging) in the comfort of their lounge. They would quite possibly think that we had fallen so far from our rocker that we had landed in Australia.

Having said that, put a Wii in the middle of a party and I guarantee that even the biggest technophobe will be queueing up to thrash around in a drunken attempt at Wii Boxing. In fact, I’m amazed that in the recent heavy snow we experienced that anyone went out sledging at all. Afterall, sitting in on some fake sledge in front of your television ducking and diving like a moron seems to hold a lot more fascination for our generation; why go outside when you can spend more on an inferior experience in your own living room?

Despite all of my criticisms, I find myself looking on Amazon and thinking “oh, £229 for whole lot including a balance board. Bargain!” Someone hit me. Please. Stop me from doing it. My half-hearted reasoning was that with a Wii Fit, I would get in great shape. Now even I can see that this has more flaws than our new Sainsburys multi-storey carpark. (Really? Ed.) For a start, the exercises on Wii Fit include Yoga and ‘gentle stretching’. I think I could manage that with the aid of a £9.99 fitness video. And as for the new fangled equipment required for that? A DVD player, which I could reliably buy from Tesco for circa £30. And secondly, it costs nothing to go for a good, old-fashioned run.

I’m desperate to cling to my principals, but the little child inside me (Stop it!) desperately wants one so that she can play like an idiot.  Whatever decision I make, I’m sure it’s the same as many people around the world. But just try and think ahead another four or five hundred years.  The school children of 2509 will be studying the ancient playwrights from way back in the 21st Century. Will the Wii be a big feature? Will teachers from the future have to explain what idiotic simpletons we were in the past. People have been fighting for our freedom for centuries, just so that we can chose to sit inside our house, doing nothing. I suspect that Shakespeare and many of the traditions from the past will outlive many of our modern fads and crazes.

In another forty years or so, teenagers might decide that communicating with their friends through myface, twatter or spacebook is just a bit naff when they could just talk to them. Miracles do happen. Meanwhile, I’m going to cling to the insincere and shallow digital formats where I can be as trivial and meaningless as I like, and no one will be bothered to criticise; they’ll all be staring blindly at their Wii instead.

Come in, pop the kettle on. Make yourselves comfy.

Hello, my name is Bryony. I am six and a half years old and a little taller than my dog, Ben. I like horses and dogs and playing with my friends. (Hmm… I suspect that recycling old work may let me down here.)

Well, not too much has changed in the intervening sixteen and a quarter years. I am still called Bryony, I still like horses, dogs and my friends. Thankfully, I have grown in the meantime and now stand at a staggering five foot six bearing down on my Border Terrier like a wayward leaf on an ant. (I think it’s worth noting at this point, that I wasn’t an incredibly stunted child, Ben was a German Shepherd and quite tall.)

I’m very pleased that by some strange, drunken accident that you have happened upon my blog. However you feel about it, this blog spot will benefit you. My intention is to share my slightly cynical views, which will (hopefully) be expressed in a dry and witty manner. If, by some miracle of miracles, this does happen, you’ve won. You’ve spent a few minutes reading something and hopefully it’s made you smile. If, on the other hand, you read it and think that it is the biggest metaphorical pile of turgid rubbish, you can smile safe in the knowledge that you are more talented, more witty and indeed, much more wonderful than I. Perhaps I should have a job in sales or marketing with the way that I’ve sold that to you. Probably best that I don’t.

I do find this part of any website rather self-indulgent; it makes me feel like I need to somehow overload you with a smug retelling of my CV and glorious social life. Well, after getting 16 grade A A Levels, I went to Cambridge University at the age of 16 and after graduating with a First, I moved straight into gag writing for the comic stars. Nope, I can’t do it. I sit in an average office casually forwarding “hilarious” emails to the people sitting next to me, but I can dream of great excesses and excitement.

I suspect that WordPress have more people signing up on January 1st than the rest of the year put together. Lemming-like, I have flocked mercilessly with the hoards. We queued up at 4am to get to the Boxing Day Next sale and then came straight here to jump on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon. I am, of course, offering very reasonable odds with Honest Dave (my totally trustworthy bookie) about just how many blogs I manage to complete before giving up and sinking back into the mediocrity of life.

I have so far managed to write an awful lot and tell you nothing about myself. Perhaps I will take to this blogging malarkey better than expected. My other New Year’s Resolution is to complete the London to Brighton (on a bike, not as friends helpfully suggested in a car) and if this goes successfully, I shall bore the proverbial knockers (knickers surely? Ed) off you about the exciting event. Obviously if I don’t manage to do this and it falls by the wayside, it’ll never be mentioned again. You get that? If you aren’t sure about the status of the ‘cycling thing’, don’t ask until I mention it!

Anyway, welcome. Come and have a little look around. Blow the dust off the old place and enjoy.