Why I love Calvin and Hobbes

Many many years ago, a good friend loaned me a book of comics. It was a compilation of a daily cartoon strip about a young boy called Calvin and his pet (toy) tiger Hobbes. He assured me it was worth a read and he was right. I started re-reading them last night (perfect bathroom reading material) and have been reminded of why they resonated so much with me back then, and how they still do so today. Whimsy. Silliness. Pathos. As a cartoon strip, the key aim is to provide a level of humour. Early on Calvin & Hobbes was built around subtle word play and it hit my ‘comedy’ sweet spot, but over the years as the readership started …

Continue reading »

My Sad Captains

I’m a huge fan of Elbow. Partly for the melodies they weave and the sounds they create, but mostly because of the lyrics which are in turn funny, acidic, bold, soaring, and achingly beautiful. Guy Garvey is my favourite poet. Their songs, whether of sorrow, elated joy, or poignant recognition often strike a chord and I find myself moved far more strongly than I am with other bands. I don’t know if it’s because I’m of a similar age as the band and so the timely reflections on family and friends seem to ring truer than others, I don’t know if it’s a combination of the music and the moment, but at every single gig I’ve been at (seven and …

Continue reading »

Letting go

The title of my website is largely true. I’m aware of my flaws and foibles and, for the most part, I accept them and I’m happy within myself. However that doesn’t mean I’m not on the lookout for ways to be a happier me. I’ve discussed in the past how I’ve taken steps to remove ‘negativity’ and recently I’ve extend that to a more introspective practice; I’m trying to making peace with the things I can’t control, I’m learning that letting go isn’t as bad as I think it is. Bear with me, I realise this will sound very obvious; why would anyone in their ‘right’ mind get uptight, annoyed or upset at things they cannot control? Road rage is …

Continue reading »

Relationship Significance

Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month, the PMM bloggers will write about their views on one of them. Links to all posts can be found at www.polymeansmany.com. I have ridden the relationship escalator. I got engaged at 20, married at 21 and 13 years later got divorced. I got engaged because it’s what you did to show commitment, because my partner suggested that it was expected, and because I was happy to do so. Basically I got married because it’s what was expected by society/family. I didn’t really question any of this, it was all assumed to be just what happened and hey, I was happy so I just went with the flow. It was all …

Continue reading »

Podcasts

I’m way way behind the curve on podcasts and I’m laying the blame firmly on my parents and their use of radio. I grew up in a house where music was the backdrop to most activities – my first hearing of Appetite for Destruction? My Dad loaned the cassette from the library and I walked in as Welcome to the Jungle kicked off, epic! – so I never really had much of a view of things like the Shipping Forecast, radio plays and so on. I’m sure my parents did listen to ‘talk radio’ on occasion just not when I was around so I’ve always associated radio with music. I won’t bore you with tales of recording the Top 10 …

Continue reading »

Tackling Tasks

I have a terrible memory. I am aware of this flaw and rely heavily on a variety of systems to help me cope. The main things that help me remember to Get Shit Done is Google Calendar (should I be somewhere right now?) and a list of things I need to remember to do (what tasks should I be doing next?). I don’t follow any methodolgy for how I manage my to do list, I’ve read books, articles, and follow various productivity related blogs as I’m always happy to tweak my system but it’s important to note one thing, dear reader, before you continue; This is my system. It works for me. It may not work for you. Warning: I …

Continue reading »

What lies behind

She waits for the bus, her shopping trolley standing to attention at her side, the scuffed tartan material marking times past. She looks old, worn but upright. Head up, shoulders back, there is still some fight in there and she definitely, defiantly, isn’t finished with life just yet. Her face is set straight and stoic, a woman of her time, deep wrinkles betray a life of laughter long gone. As the leaves kick and hop along the gutter at her feet she pulls her long dark jacket around herself to block the winds sneaky fingers; she never feels warm these days, not properly. There is still a chill in the air on this dull March morning; long grey clouds scroll …

Continue reading »

Email

Like it or loathe it, email is a fundamental part of most people’s lives. Managing your email account can be time draining battling and I’ve flirted with a variety of strategies to get to where I am today which is, for me, a practical way to keep on top of my email inboxes. I have two email accounts. One for work. One for personal use. The latter includes different types of emails for different purposes; emails about websites I maintain, personal emails from family and friends, notifications from online accounts and everything else that tends to fall into most email inboxes every day. How I use email The ability to receive email on multiple devices is seen as a boon …

Continue reading »

Health, Fitness and Exercise

Trigger-alert: I am overweight, this post discusses my own issues and challenges with my diet, my self-image and my exercise regime. In my, seemingly eternal, battle to lose weight I was recently quite pleasantly surprised to hear that my resting heart rate is 64 bpm which despite my fears, suggestions that I’m actually fairly fit (and yes, I’m aware that it’s not that simple a ratio but as one of many indicators I’m taking it as a good sign, small victories and all that). Yet, despite that little boost to my ego, I’m still not happy with my health. I may be reasonably fit but that doesn’t hide the fact that I’m also overweight. Clinically, I am obese, a word …

Continue reading »

iOS Apps

I’ve not indulged in a tech/gadget post for a while, so forgive me (or don’t!). The ever changing merry go round I’ve mentioned before my strive for ‘better’. It’s a constant part of my life and, considering that I spend a lot of my life using my iPhone, that means I’m always on the look out for better ways to get things done. Here’s my current home screen: There is some notion to the arrangement of my iOS apps, although it’s the one thing I tweak quite often; ideally I’d be happy if there were an ‘auto-arrange by usage’ option as that’s how I try and group things on my home screen. That said, I do put some apps there …

Continue reading »