Month: November 2011

Balanced

“Ying this” said Yang.

His name is Maudlin.

He can’t help it, he did not choose it, it was given to him.

He is drawn, like a vivid butterfly daubed with life, to the dark and raging volcano. Blinded and burnt as it approaches, seared wings fizzle and disappear until nothing is left. Life dies and is swallowed. Another carcass to feed the fire.

How dramatic, how fake, how very plastic. How very teenage angst. What a fool, what a coward, hiding once more.

But he loves it, the dark places, the hollows with their scratched and bloody walls, the tortured souls still roaming. Echoes of his life resonate, each noise taunting and prodding, ripping at skin with tattered claws. He pushes on, his blood oozing to the surface and adding to the stains on the floor.

The pain isn’t new, it’s the constant itch that he ignores, the softly beckoning voice that he pretends not to hear. Most of the time.

He knows how to get to this place, the path is wide and well-trodden, the signposts clear, freshly painted as ever. He chooses this path deliberately, knowing that once on it there is nothing but forward. Willingly he pretends to pause, pretends that once he has looked this way he has an alternative but he knows it not to be true. This path is chosen by glance and once seen, all other roads vanish, there is nowhere, only here.

Her name is Light.

She doesn’t know it, not yet. Occasionally she’ll turn and see the reflection, dazzling spots in her eyes. She will catch herself and wonder. Mostly she thinks she is darks and greys.

She questions everything, trusts slowly. Fear shimmers in her wake, a shadow of paranoia that is slow to loosen, that taps taps taps on her shoulder until she responds. She is learning to ignore it.

All the while she dazzles.

Like most she has scars, skin deep and raw. Some are healing, she is applying the plaster, taking the medicine, dealing with the pain, yet others remain to remind her she is perfectly flawed.

Translucent, blinding, and more powerful than any sun, she highlights every ripple, every ragged edge and subtle curve. She is learning this and more, learning that the very thing she rarely sees is what lets her see it all, that her brilliance only needs a lens, a clear view, to be the beacon she desires. The guiding light.

Together they are one. They cancel each other out. They amount to everything. Ironing irregular creases to mark their place.

She helps light the way. He knows which paths to avoid.

They are single. They are unified.

Exclusive.

Free.

Sent with Writer.

Highs and Lows

Well that was a pretty, damn epic weekend.

Friday night involved mulled cider, lipstick on boobs, and other nefarious goings on including realising it was time to go to bed because daylight was returning. It was one of those unexpectedly good evenings of making new friends, and probably involved a little more whisky than was sensible but everyone involved had a great time. Not sure I could handle doing that every weekend mind you… getting old … but as you are only as old as the woman you feel… well I’m a lot younger than most of you 😉

Saturday involved not enough sleep, hangovers, chocolate Santas, an afternoon snooze, and an evening with a Mr. Bill Bailey who was tear-inducingly funny as well as bloody talented. I won’t spoil any of the jokes, although some of the funniest moments was him reacting to the Glasgow audience, including an (I think) off the cuff story of a Glasgwegian friend of his trying to order a pint of lager in Holland, in typical Glasgwegian brogue delivered at 1000mph. The tour was called Dandelion Mind, worth catching it on DVD when it comes out (if it comes out).

And finally a lazy Sunday which involved a bit more sleep, and a wedding reception in Perth. It was the wedding of the daughter of my parents close friends (close enough that they are ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’ by name). So good to see the bride so happy, she deserves it, and she even gave us all a wee song. Shame we had to leave early but some of us had to be in work this morning.

But wait! Even though it’s now Monday, Kirsty and I have decided to extend the weekend to include tonight, which involves poetry delivered by a friend of my sisters. He’s bloody good and I’m really looking forward to hearing him deliver his own material.

Alas, amongst the highs came the sad news of Gary Speed. A young man (he was 42), who was successful, universally liked and whose suicide came as a real shock. The presumptions (I’ve not seen it confirmed anywhere and it’s almost beside the point…) is that he was suffering from depression.

Long time readers and close friends will know I too have had my share of ups and downs with the dreaded D word. I was going to write more about that, and I probably will. But not today.

Today is for focussing on the highs, finishing the weekend of awesome (as it will heretofore be known) and counting my blessings, for I have many.

On not blogging

A product release is imminent.

A trip to visit two customers in the US of A.

Ongoing complications with the new ISTC website (soon, soon!).

Planning for 2012, including a major restructure of our content.

Actual writing some documentation (a rare occurrence!).

Plus all the usual things that life is wont to throw at us.

Maybe look for me on Twitter instead?

Cooking of the slow variety

Having received a slow cooker for my birthday (rock ‘n’ roll!) I’ve been enjoying some tasty dishes, culled from a couple of recipe books aimed at said method of cooking. Meat based dishes are wonderfully tender, and full of flavour, soup based dishes are thick, wholesome and not laced with salt like most canned soups (speaking of which, erk!).

Last night was my first shot at using it without a recipe. I had some vegetables left over from other recipes and so decided on soup as a ‘foolproof’ offering.

Unless you are this fool, it seems.

Where did I go wrong? Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 ‘thumb’ of ginger
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Red Lentils
  • 1 pint of stock
  • Crushed Cumin
  • Pepper for seasoning
I wasn’t expecting anything amazing but it’s decidely… not quite right.
And I can’t put my finger on why not… the balance is obviously wrong, but how do I fix it?

Barbara

I don’t know Barbara and to be honest, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.

I only know Barbara because of her repeated attempts at posting comments on this blog. They have all been blocked as spam (because they are) but I have to admire her tenacity.

However, I don’t think Barbara is real. In fact, I’m certain of it.

You see, most spam comments take the form of a non-specific congratulatory or argumentative statement. They could be applied to every blog post ever posted.

But I think Barbara is broken because the other day, instead of the usual one sentence comment, she ‘posted’ this:

Hello, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

Hi, I just wanted to say, you’re wrong. Your point doesn’t make any sense.

What’s up, how’s it going? Just shared this post with a colleague, we had a good laugh.

Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

This text is invaluable. When can I find out more?

Very energetic article, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?

Incredible quest there. What happened after? Good luck!

So I’m pretty sure Barbara is a spam bot. And part of me is a little bit disappointed…

Getting around

Boston in the fall. Lovely, even though I only had a few hours to wander the streets and take the duck tour. Gorgeous place, friendly people, definitely one to revisit.  I was a little bit spoiled by the fact it was around 21C in glorious sunshine but, nevertheless, Boston has a charm that is almost European (understandably so). Winding streets, glorious parklands, and an air of history. Yes, I liked Boston very much indeed.

Chicago in the fall. Grey, cold and regimental. Whilst it was nice to have the opportunity to visit (I was visiting some of our customers in the US of A last week) I was less than impressed with Chicago. Again, the weather played a part but the city itself seemed very anonymous. Again, I only had a few hours to wander so without doubt I didn’t get the best of what it could offer but I won’t be hurrying back.

It’s been a hectic month. Between struggling to build a website (I’m a month behind schedule, which I hate), things at work being even more mental than normal (which is a good thing, we are TOO busy), and the last week of travel (London, Boston, Chicago in the same week), suffice to say I’m reeling a bit.

Hopefully the next couple of weeks will ease me into December nicely, and then onto 2012.