My New Year’s resolution this year is to spend less time blogging and more time writing ‘properly’ (which is in no way meant to imply that blogging isn’t proper writing – it’s just to differentiate between what my writing intentions are and what my actual output has mainly seemed to consist of over the past year or so). To date I have failed miserably, because I’ve hit a great big wall with ‘Writers’ Block’ spray-painted right the way across it, but I’m determined to smash right through that even if I have to spend the next six months just learning how to manoeuvre the wrecking ball. It might help if I had Miley Cyrus dangling off it in crop top and knickers, but I fear that might prove even more distracting if not downright inappropriate for a man of my advanced years…
Anyhoo, the long and the short of it is that rather than aiming to write a blog about nothing every week I plan to post only when and if I have something specific I want to get off my chest. I’ll also be bunging up occasional poems and stories in the prose & poetry sections as the fancy takes me. So enough new stuff, hopefully, to make it worthwhile for regular readers to check in, but not so much that I can use it to indulge myself in the procrastination, avoidance and denial to which I am most naturally inclined.
I still have a few blogs from the old site which need porting over, one of which follows. ‘Tis sad to relate that over the past two years the status quo has changed hardly at all, so references to the Mayan calendar and the end of the world aside… …
[orig published Thursday, 5 Jan 2012]
Oh well, that’s 2011 done and dusted – and what a roller-coaster of a year it’s been! Well, I say ‘roller-coaster year’ but in reality it was really just that bit in August when we were in Florida riding roller-coasters, and even that was much less roller-coasterish than I would have liked on account of the squitts and the vomiting that regular readers of my blog will remember me writing about in graphic detail after we returned to good ol’ blighty. New readers of my blog will be able to find it, should they so desire, by typing ‘what I did on my holidays’ into the search engine at the top of the page, which will reveal all five blogs detailing that ill-fated, squitty, vomitty summer sojourn.
So, two weeks in August aside, not so much a ‘roller-coaster year’ as a genteel stroll along the prom, prom prom (sans brass bands going ‘tiddly-om-pom-pom – I hate the noisy bastards and prefer the choons on my trusty MP3 thingy), which will do me very nicely, thank you, these days, having left my Kiss-Me-Quick (But-Fuck-Me- Slowly) trilby days behind years ago.
Actually, when I come to think about it, even ‘stroll along the prom’ is probably something of an exaggeration, as it suggests some sort of plan or purpose where in reality I’ve just been bibbling along in the same old way trying to avoid the dog-eggs and banana skins that life has placed in my path without attracting too much in the way of unnecessary negative attention from the rest of the planet. In that respect I’ve probably fared quite well, but on the downside I don’t think I’ve been as successful as I’d hoped in attracting a small measure of positive attention by relaunching myself via various social networking mediums after many years of single dadding, and the self-imposed social avoidance that role has enabled me to indulge myself in .
It’s difficult, really, because while ‘social’ is very much a double-edged sword for me I do realise that as my lovely son gets older I do need to create some sort of space and identity for myself that isn’t totally interconnected with him; undoubtedly for his benefit as much as, if not more than, my own. The problem is that this newfangled ‘social’, that involves computers and tweets and personal messages and lol’s and emoticons and stuff, is even less ME than the old-fashioned kind of social that involved copious amounts of alcohol (nom nom), late nights spent wobbling rhythmically in the darkest corners of some sleazy nightclub and cheesy chat up lines delivered in an increasingly desperate manner toward girls who were either way out of my league or far too dim to even get the punch-lines. Or both.
And to be honest, I didn’t actually mind that kind of social, really, in the days when I was young enough and pretty enough and slim enough to get away with it – I was actually sometimes quite good at it (and on the odd occasion bloody good at it), despite the fact that it wasn’t really me but just me pretending to be the me other people expected me to be – and if it was still an option I’d probably be up for some of that…
But of course, it isn’t an option; firstly because even the way that kind of social is done has changed so much that I wouldn’t really know where to start, and secondly – and most importantly – because I’m not young enough, or pretty enough or slim enough to get away with it anymore.
I almost said there that if I could turn the physical clock back now I’d be an old mind in a young body, but as I went to type it I realised it wasn’t true. I was an idiot then, and I’m just an older idiot now, and while that may in the past have seen me labelled an ‘inbetweener’ even that undesirable moniker has now been usurped by speccy, greasy faced E4/BBC3 yoofs to be applied to those between sixth-form and university rather than sad old bastards like me who are hovering somewhere between midlife crisis and the great gig in the sky. Can’t we have ANYTHING?
You hear all the time how forty is the new thirty and thirty is the new twenty, but the rules seem to change year by year and every time they do change I seem to be right in the middle of that troublesome demographic that still doesn’t quite fit in at either end of the scale.
Looking back to my own childhood, my dad, before he pissed off for good, was an old man. He wore green suits with shiny sleeves and arses, with waistbands on the trousers that would make Simon Cowell’s black comfort-fits look like hipsters. He smoked a pipe or the occasional cheroot, drank G&T and ‘groomed’ himself, if he bothered at all, with Brylcream and Old Spice. He would have been younger than I am now, and had probably been dressing that way for at least a decade before I was born.
Now admittedly, he was bald as a coot where I still have a lovely mane of hair and what little bit of comb over he did manage to retain was more salt than pepper where mine is still naturally ‘mousy’, and I’m certainly not wishing things were the way they were back then and that it was time for me to hang up my scruffy jeans and t-shirt, but I can’t help wondering if things were, well, a little bit easier back then. If they were, I know he didn’t appreciate it ‘cos even my own limited childhood memories of him cast him as a right miserable old git, but it may well be that I do him an injustice, and that in the snug of his local, nursing a G&T, or sitting on the end of Hasting’s pier with his rod in his hand and his fishing buddies at his side he was the life and soul of the party. And if that was the case, isn’t it better than sitting alone at a PC typing a whiny ‘blog’ just a few days into a brand New Year and bemoaning the fact that tweets and Facebook have killed the art of conversation?
Oh well – onward and upward. Happy 2012 people, and let’s hope the Mayans have got it as wrong as all those others who have been wrong so far.