Snip snip

I need a haircut. It’s starting to look messy, so on Saturday afternoon my niece is coming over to cut my hair. She’s a proper hairdresser and everything so I might get her to style it, colour it, or just put in some highlights, well, maybe lowlights… hmmmm not sure. Most likely I’ll just ask for a “number 2” round the back and sides, a trim at the front, and a “tidy up” on top. Thankfully she’s also done a course in barbering for which I modelled a couple of times. It was quite interesting getting your hair cut whilst a tutor advises on how to tell the hairline, and how best to get an even finish, quite educational. Although …

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Book Lull

Teetering tall and shamed, the pile remains dust covered and untouched. A reminder of best efforts and failed endeavours, a totem of willing words, waiting to be uncovered. And my parents added another two books to the top of it last week. Gah!! I dare not count them for, not only would the number be high, it is likely that the number has almost doubled since the last time I checked (19). Most of the time this doesn’t bother me but every now and then I get a huge pang of guilt and promise that I’ll lock myself away with a good book or two and not come out until I’m done (or until someone else needs the loo). Last …

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Healing the Curse of Knowledge

Last year I read the book Made to Stick, in which the phrase “The Curse of Knowledge” makes an appearance. The authors of the book will be delighted to know that the phrase stuck in my head and I can be heard applying it in all sorts of scenarios. The principle is quite simple: Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. Our knowledge has “cursed” us. And it becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others, because we can’t readily re-create our listeners’ state of mind. Made to Stick For example, during the course of an average week I will have several conversations with people who have …

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Not Watching the Watchmen?

We didn’t watch the Watchmen at the weekend, we talked about it but couldn’t be arsed. And I think I’m quite glad. I’m not sure though. The internets are rife with reviews of this movie. Most of the ones that fall into my view are written by fans of the graphical novel and are quite strident in their opinions. “Fans” is, of course, short for “fanatics” which should give a better idea of where most of these reviews seem aimed. Many point out the omissions, the inconsistencies and generally the fact that the movie misses the nuances the graphical novel handles so well. To which I say, “Well DUH”. No offence but it’s a bit like saying that the way …

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Rebuilding the man

Slowly he breaks down, carefully deconstructed. The sum of these parts he is not, nor is he whole without them. He is apart and  incomplete, still searching for something unknown and out of reach. He is content and sated for now, happy with what he has, disillusionment hovering out of sight. Childlike he studies each piece, wonder creases his face as he tumbles the shapes between his fingers, marvelling at curves and crevices, skin catching on ripped edges. Gently he places them back down, carefully, orderly and correct. Each piece tells a story, some laugh merrily, others are inconsolable behind heaves and sobs. Some shriek and wail, others tra-la-la to an unknown tune with a familiar chorus. Some lie dormant …

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CTRL + Z

There is no undo button in life. In a way that is a very good thing because the one constant about life is that “it goes on”. And it does. And it always will. On the other hand it would be nice to be able to undo now and then. Not everyday, I don’t mean when you’ve spilled coffee down your shirt, or want to undo the eating of that double chocolate muffin, but it would be great if you had a few “life undo” tokens available, wouldn’t it? So let’s say you have one a month. You can only use one per month, you can’t use two then go without the next month, and if you don’t use it, …

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Flipping point?

You may, or may not, have heard the phrase ‘Tipping Point’ used to signify “the moment when something previously unique becomes common“. Made popular, although not created by, Malcolm Gladwell, it can be applied most recently to the explosion of people using Twitter, and previously to such web applications/social networking websites, as Facebook. Which, rather nicely (gee, it’s almost like I planned it!) brings me to my topic. Namely, Facebook and is it starting to tip away from ‘common’ towards something else. I’m not quite sure where Facebook is tipping towards but there does seem to be the beginnings of a swell, a murmuring of discontent as Facebook continues to grow and tries to adapt itself accordingly. Basically, on a …

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Tattoo

The slow drag of the needle across skin is a primitive sort of pain, one you can relax into, one which ebbs and flows as nerves are uncovered, one you can surf through highs and lows. My first two tattoos, as I’ve mentioned already, were not borne from any particular event nor as part of a fad or fashion. I got them to challenge perceptions of who I am and, to this day, I still have a fascination with them. The act of having ink etched into your skin, creating a permanent piece of art is at once terrifying yet utterly intoxicating. It’s hard to explain to people but a worthwhile conversation to have for the reaction you get when …

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