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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mind over matter

Hello dear readers,

Well, I am definitely feeling on the upswing, more my old self and less a sentient, moving corpse with sensitive emotions and the tendancy to over-indulge in comfort foods and bad television.

It's all in the grey matter, you see.

I've been bothered for several days by a dripping shower head. It's really quite maddening and despite wrenching (and pleading) keeps up its endless din.

I realise I should employ a plumber, but a) they are costly, and b) I don't like people in my home.

The solution: I have convinced myself that the constant drip-drop-drip is actually the ticking of a grand and majestic grandfather clock, bestowed upon me by my beloved grandfather, who taught me how to fly-fish in the streams of Inverness and who smelled like cherry pipe tobacco.

All of this is complete bollocks, of course, including the fish, but it has transformed the annoying battering of water droplets on ceramic into the reassuring and comforting movement of finely crafted clock workings.

Mind over matter. I've transformed misery into joy. Now I'm off to bend a spoon.

Stay well,

Monday, March 26, 2012


Hello dear readers,

Well, I'm happy to report that I've had a positive encounter with a group of young, urban people. As many of you know, I haven't always been comfortable with teenagers, but have been working on giving them a chance to prove my prejudices wrong.

Yesterday I was wandering aimlessly about, window shopping, people watching, buying cheddar and apparently humming loudly to myself. You see, I often inhabit my own little world. It's empty and not much occurs, and the drapes are dingy, but the natives are nice and no one hassles me about rewearing the same trousers every day.

Anywho, I passed a group of young types hanging about and a female shouted, "Sh'boom, dance it out!"

Now, I was momentarily taken aback, and knew the encounter could go one of two ways, the most likely with me frowning, muttering about social values and stomping away.

Instead, I decided to oblige, and gave them a slight wiggle of the hips and a tip of my cap, thus leaving them in laughter. Had their thoughts been amplified, I believe the words, "You're alright, Geez" would have been heard.

And they would have been correct, for I am.

So, there you go. Despite media reports and occasional rioting, not all young people are out to stab you in the face. It's nice to know.

Housekeeping: I'm currently working on my fantasy dinner party. Right now, I've got Lee Mack and Michael Caine. The long-list is quite ... well, long, so the final guest list is proving difficult, never mind the food and what I'm going to wear. I may run heats in the days ahead and allow voting. Stay tuned.

Or better yet, make a suggestion in the comment section!

Stay well!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Award winner!

Hello dear readers,

Well, I'm pleased as punch to announce that my blog has received a Versatile Blogger Award nomination, which by the nature of the award, means it has won a Versatile Blogger Award!

Huzzah! I am legitimate.

Now as longtime readers will know, my blog did clean up at the inaugural Natesy Awards last year, taking top blogger, top pet in a blog (Linus) and a raft of other awards. But seeing as I was in charge of the jury, award selection, PR and the buying of the celebration dinner (Peking Duck, if I recall correctly), I fear it looks about as legitimate as a FIFA world cup selection panel.

Needless to say, given my lack of posts recently, I did not deem myself eligible for the Natesy's this year. But now that I've written two missives in a week and been recognised for my entertainment and education value, I may ressurect the prize. I may even open it to outsiders. Alert your networks and stay tuned!

Now, in keeping with VBA policy, I'd first like to thank Louise Broadbent for putting me forward. She is a longtime reader and often provides words of encouragement in my darkest hour (ie, most hours).

I'm obliged to nominate a list of bloggers worthy of the prize as well as tell you seven secrets about myself. Given that I've laid my life bare in these pages for years, that might take some digging, but let's have a go.

1) I recently neglected to flush the loo for three days to get a sense of what it would be like to live in a third-world country. This was done as research for my action-thriller genre novel Yet to Be Titled.*

*I don't recommend it; nor do I recommend living in a third-world country

2) I am overweight. I could spout some nonsense about being bigboned, husky, having gland issues, etc, but in reality, I am a gluttonous fat bastard with no self control.

3) I am generally a nice person, though often misunderstood.

4) I darn my socks. I don't need to darn my socks, I simply feel obliged to the planet to fix very minute holes instead of wasting reams of new fabric no doubt woven by a seven-year-old Bangladeshi lass.

5) Though I feel great affection toward him, I often regret allowing Linus into my life. He shows very little empathy and is regularly quite cold. We could be having a perfectly nice Sunday evening in watching telly, but he'll sit on his chair instead of my lap, despite numerous invitations. And given that I have allergies, this is doubly hurtful.*

*For new readers, Linus is my cat, not my life partner

6) I believe I *may have* coined the phrase 'lamb-burgers' decades ago, when I ground my own meat to make the dish. Now it is common parlance. I don't recall anyone else using the term back then. Who knows...

7) I've recently watched a bit of football in an attempt to fit in better in the workplace. I believe I did quite well approximately a month back commenting about how 'Spurs took it to United through the entire match, yet got shafted by some unfortunate goals'. No one even blinked an eye. Seamless conversation flow.

Now, as for bloggers I'd like to recognise:

Louise for her relentless pursuit of fiction http://louisebroadbentfiction.wordpress.com/

Emma for her relentless pursuit of meaning and diet strategies http://emmasimms.wordpress.com/

Bruce for his relentless pursuit of pedalling quickly http://blogorollo.wordpress.com/

Mark for his relentless pursuit of the photo that is worth 1000 words http://mrtmobile.blogspot.com

Sandy for his relentless pursuit of Scottish history and truly excellent hotel deals http://sandyschauffeur.blogspot.com

Jo for her relentless pursuit of comedy http://joblogden.blogspot.com

Manuel for his relentless pursuit of good customer service http://welldonefillet.com/

Now it's quite late, so I bid you all good night and pleasant dreams.

Stay well,