Engaged in Long Form

Throughout last year I tried to be a little more choosy with my content consumption and as a result, whilst I am definitely consuming more, it feels like what I am consuming better, more higher quality fare. Looking back at 2015, whilst the goals were laudable, I’ve gotten more from the process of deliberately making conscious choices than the I necessarily did from the actual content itself (leaving aside the discussion of how art feeds the soul); actively and consciously deciding how to spend my time rather than giving in and going for the cheap and easy option (not that cheap and easy are bad per se, sometimes we all need a day on the sofa, sitting in our dressing …

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I am Dolly Parton

This post is brought to you by the Dolly Parton song ‘Nine to Five’. You’re welcome (hey, it’s been stuck in my head for days now, just thought I’d share the joy). As I think I’ve mentioned, I got a new job late last year. I now work in a big office (well, two, actually) for a large business (no names!). It’s been quite a learning experiencing and a lot of change; it’s my first foray into the world of contracting, it’s a more defined role than I’ve had in years, and it’s in an environment which has a dress code, a clean desk policy, and which is about as far removed from the software company I used to work …

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The strongest art

The other night I watched Under the Skin. It’s a movie that has been on my radar for a while now after my interest was piqued when I heard it had been filmed in Glasgow, and when I read about some of the approaches to filming – members of the public were used without being aware they were being filmed (they were told later) – and saw that it was getting such mixed reviews, I knew I wanted to see it. Unashamedly ‘art house’ in approach, the reviews had some critics referring to it as a masterpiece and referencing Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey), whilst others panned it as indulgent, rambling and largely devoid of direction. Once I got passed …

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I want what I need

I want to read more. I want to write more. I want, I want, I want. Aside: When I was a kid, my Mum used to say “I want doesn’t get” in response to my ‘want’ tantrums. The phrase stuck with me as I grew older and I’ve always liked it; short, simple, perfectly to the point. The question is, do I need to do either of those things? Well, it turns out I just might. Over the festive break I spent some time revisiting my NaNoWriMo effort and enjoyed getting my head back into the world that my novel exists within, it felt exciting and – and this is probably going to sound odd – worthy. I’ve fought against my …

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Corpulent

The festive season is over, the last few chocolates have been scoffed (or taken into work), and soon it will be time to tentatively approach the bathroom scales and hope they don’t mock too hard. By now the detritus of the last few weeks has been recycled and dumped, presents received have already been pressed into action, or hidden away in a cupboard only to be the recipient of a puzzled discovery in late August; where the hell did I get this? Thoughts turn to the months that lie ahead, oh so many months, so much time with which we promise ourselves to do much. Plans are made, diets are started, gyms are joined, and the hope of new habits, …

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Apples don’t fall far

I recently met up with my very pregnant sister for lunch during which she recounted the story of a recent shopping trip. My parents are buying her a pram as a new baby present and so went along to check out the prams and, after a few stops, my sister, her partner, and my Mum all start to feel some shopping fatigue. But not my Dad as it turns out he was the most excited of them all about this purchase. This doesn’t surprise me at all. These days, prams are wonderful pieces of clever design allowing them to be multi-year, multi-use items; they are in every essence a clever gadget with lots of clever features. Designed to be operated …

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Winding Down

The end of year is approaching and thoughts turn to Christmas, Hogmanay and 2016. Every year the run up to Christmas feels the same; it always seems sudden, always a little too fraught, too full of worries that the gifts are good enough, that the days are fun enough, that the food is tasty enough and so on and so forth. Tis the season to worry? But no matter how hard we worry, no matter how much we plan, that perfect Christmas never quite comes to pass, does it? There’s always something you’ve overlooked, or something that doesn’t quite go right, waiting in the wings to show you up or disappoint you. Of course I’m old enough to know that this is …

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Create to win

I have no job at present. All the fish I had have died. I started Couch to 5K but my ITBS flared up so I can’t run. I’m behind on my reading challenge for the year. Just in case anyone was wondering why I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog, and other places, it’s because I’m failing. I predicted this would be a year for failing I just didn’t think it would be this kind. I like to keep busy, so not working isn’t the best for my mental health, neither is not being involved in anything creative so I’m pushing to fix that in a few ways, one of which being NaNoWriMo which starts in November. I know. …

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Taking stock

You know that thing where your brain grabs hold of something, an event, a thought, a desire or loathing, and then twists it and wrings it out and leaves it floating around in your brain as either the best thing ever or the worst thing in the world? Yeah? OK, so it’s usually the latter and as soon as it happens our little friend anxiety rocks up and is all ‘hey, you having a worry party? here, let me help!’. Because, as we all know, anxiety is a dick. Being made redundant is one of those life moments that I’ve experienced three times now, and I know that this time I’ve got a better handle on things, yet that doesn’t …

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Dream Vacation

As we roll into summer (finally!) I’ve been pondering what my dream vacation would be, thinking back over previous holidays both home and abroad, and then lottery-win-daydreaming about what my ultimate vacation would be like. It’s easy to roll out the 5-star, hell make it 6-star, experience as the greatest dream vacation. A car to pick us up and take us to the airport, no hanging around, waited on hand and foot, first-class seats-that-turn-into-beds on the flight, another car to whisk us to our hotel – our luggage would all be handled by someone else – and a room with large glass doors that opened on to an empty golden beach, palm trees, a beach side cocktail bar and warm …

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