Q: When is a blog not a blog? A: When it’s like this…

With Ben home for half term the week has just flown by, and I find myself today, my usual blogging day, with nothing to offer up and no time to write anything. I thought about posting a short story or something else that’s sitting unused on my hard drive, then realised that while not writing anything specific I have sent a few PM’s and posted comments on social networking sites that turned into almost blogs. Combining cheek, arrogance and laziness in equal measure, I’m going to copy and paste them below in lieu of a proper blog. Normal service will be resumed next week when Ben has gone back to skool. Probably.

The first copy/paste is a comment I posted on a friend’s blog, addressing the whole issue of social networking and blogging. I’ve included it in this patchwork of social networking remnants to highlight my own hypocrisy and general wankiness. Feel free to cast the first stone if you are without sin 😉:

I think the “desire to then show everyone your life” is in many ways a manufactured phenomenon – that “fifteen minutes of fame” that Andy Warhol spoke of. I think he envisaged a future where art and leisure merged and the palette became broad enough to appeal to and offer access for all.

What he didn’t envision was the technology that made stream of consciousness noodling and the exchange of pointless personal trivia “entertainment”, and that’s the huge negative of all this wonderful technology that’s now available to us. We each of us have at our fingertips, in one handy, pocket-size package, the equivalent of a major lending library of information and reference material, and the collective wisdom of every great thinker since time began. Press ‘send’ and we have our own personal printing presses – powerful beyond the realms of Gutenberg’s wildest imagination…

Nowt wrong whatsoever, I guess, with social networking, or with the exchange of pointless personal trivia and inconsequential prattle, but I wonder if we’d have the body of great literature, art, etc etc available for us to plunder if Facebook and Twitter and the mobile phones supporting them had been invented 2000 years ago?

Had Shakespeare, for example, been seduced by an i-phone 5 would he have ever got around to writing ‘To be or not to be’, or would he have been content with just telling the world about the delicious Panini he’d had for lunch (lol)?

Yes.. lovely… with red onion marmalade…

And as for that great printing press “Kindle”; will it ever deliver a Ulysses or Don Quixote, or will Fifty Shades go down in history as its crowning glory?

[NB: I’ve copy pasted this comment and will probably use as the first part of one of my own epic blogs at some point. It might be more Yootha Joyce than James Joyce, but it’s the best this bear of very little brain can produce, and I’m certainly not going to give up on my fifteen minutes for anything as trivial as “principles” or some outmoded and elitist claptrap like “artistic integrity”!]


The second bit of internet waffle is a PM message to a friend whose work schedule has kept them very busy. That explains the opening sentence:

I’ve been very busy myself what with half term etc…

Have just landed now in my bedroom as Lewis has arrived for Halloween sleepover and front room has been commandeered for zombie shooting. I will hole up here until about sixish, then go and cook them monster portions of Pizza and Spicy Wedges, which they will wash down with copious quantities of Sprite (Ben) and Dr Pepper (Lewis) before eating half each of a six portion cheesecake. I may try to interest them in a small side salad with the pizza and spuds, but suspect there will only be one taker (Ben). I will cook my dinner after that – a grilled chop and some low carb vegetables. Oh JOY!

After dinner we will watch some horror films. The boys have a dustbin sized bag of popcorn and a bucket sized bag of Tortilla Chips to share. I will be quite content with a rare midweek trip to the winebox. 🙂 Nom Nom… I may let them have a thimbleful each too, just to make sure they sleep well tonight and don’t have me up until 3am like last year. That said, I blame Jian for the 3am bit, which is why he wasn’t invited again this year.

Joy of Joys – I managed to fix my Sansa Fuze Mp3 player! I thought if I was gonna junk it I might as well see if a fiddle with its internals could re-animate it, and just in time for Halloween I can yell, à la Colin Clive in James Whale’s “Frankenstein” (or perhaps as paraphrased by Magnus Pyke on Thomas Dolby’s “She blinded me with science”, if 80’s synthpop floats your boat more than classic B&W horror flicks); “IT’S ALIVE!”

Whether it will stay fixed is another fishy kettle altogether, but for now I am as happy as a piglet in a paddling-pool full of poo, because I love my old Sansa very much and the new version just hasn’t got the same appeal. 🙂 Aren’t I a clever old sossidge?

Talking of low carb food (see para. 2) I found a recipe for a “bread” made with ground flax. It tastes twoterful (that’s twice as good as onederful!) and only a single carb per slice! Loads of fibre too, which is good if low carbing but a bit of a double-edged sword if one should overindulge 😉

And talking of music , as I was before getting sidetracked by low carb bread, I “trutt” myself to a couple of old pre-owned Beck CD’s after “random play” reminded me how much I like Odelay and Guero. The Information hasn’t arrived yet, but Midnite Vultures has and has kept me company this afternoon while confined to barracks. Support so far has been Auntie Aubrey’s 2nd excursion beyond the call of duty, and then I might play some Mum or NIN, depending on how fancy takes me. That said, I might reject palindromes altogether and stick on that new Mark Lanegan one again, because I’d kind of forgotten I bought it and it is brill! Do you like Beck?

Blimey it’s cold. I’m going to relent and put the heating on. If it was just me and Ben I’d say “put on a jumper”, but as Lewis wears a cardi in summer and is rarely seen without a coat on even indoors I wouldn’t want the poor little poppet getting a sniffle… So I’ll bow out now and fire up the old boiler (fnar fnar) and catch yer anon.

Picking up on one of the themes above, a Facebook friend posed the question “Why are English people celebrating Halloween?? Until approx thirty years ago we didn’t, you never saw pumpkins and whatnot-WE HAD NOVEMBER 5th -fireworks and making guys. I bet that nobody English and under thirty has even made a guy.” my reply read: 

I’m not (celebrating Halloween) If any kids knock on my door tonight I will politely explain “Sorry, there are no Americans living here.” If they try “tricking” me they will find I’m very fast on my feet for an old fat fucker!

That said, being a parent means I do have to compromise for my son. He has his “bestie” round for a sleepover and we will be watching horror films later. I have stocked up with a dustbin full of popcorn and a skip full of Doritos for them to share [N.B: Note the further exaggerated exaggeration], but fearing I would under cater in the “shit to eat while watching a film” department the bestie fetched up with a carrier bag full of Maltesers and Giant Dairy Milk Buttons…

On the plus side, if some really big trick or treaters show up demanding sweets with menaces I can give THEM the popcorn/Doritos with a clear conscience, knowing that son and bestie have had more than enough with the pizza and chips, cheesecake, maltesers and buttons, Sprite, and Dr Pepper. For anyone wondering, I’m having a grilled chop and green veg, though I will be making a welcome and rare midweek trip to the winebox for a glass or seven…


 Well, that’s it, a few snippets from a week’s worth of inconsequential waffle. If you enjoyed it, try following me on twitter/facebook. If you didn’t but usually enjoy my blogs I promise to try harder next week. If you didn’t and don’t enjoy reading my regular blogs then you’ll probably find it more rewarding to find a different blog to read, unless you’re are some sort of masochist, in which case feel free to carry on reading this one. Probably.

IN OTHER NEWS: As well as being half term, this week is also the lead-up to several of Ben’s GCSE exams. I have been helping him with his revision. Well I say helping, but truth be told I’m even more in the dark than he is, which is really saying something considering the stygian depths he finds himself stumbling through. To be fair, I’ve never for a moment claimed any kind of prowess in either maths or science and I was a rather infrequent visitor to skool at the best of times, but I never really realised just how thick I am in these departments until I glanced at his revision textbooks.

Perhaps I did know this stuff once and just forgot it all? I know I’m forgetting all sorts of stuff these days, like where I’ve left my 24 pairs of reading glasses and what I’ve gone into a room for (really worrying when it’s the toilet – I mean there are only two options and there should be other clues to give me a pointer), so why not the main characteristics of organisms in the chordata phylum? And as for algebra – that was one of the main reasons I stopped going to skool in the first place! So sadly for Ben it is a case of the blind leading the blind, though I hope he will take some small comfort from the fact that he is the last in a long line of dunces and a victim of his genes.


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