Glitter mops and fashion

This is largely the tale of how a love of Korean sauces helped me realise that it’s ok not to conform to fashion. I was looking through some slow cooker recipes the other day trying to decide what to make for dinner. I ended up picking a recipe for Balsamic Chicken and added the ingredients to my shopping list ahead of my visit to the nearby behemoth that is our 24hr Tesco. I don’t actually go to a store to do grocery shopping all that often these days, not because I don’t enjoy it – how else would I have discovered the Korean beef sauce that I could happily live on for months – but precisely because I enjoy it …

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Sunday Mornings

Late last year I met a friend in the pub for a celebratory ‘end of week’ catchup. We got our bitching about colleagues and various crappy work issues dealt with whilst the post work crowds rolled in, but as they started to head home to loved ones, or headed off for a night out on the town, we moved on to other topics; specifically Sunday mornings and just how much they can suck. As a child, Sunday mornings were largely about going to church. Dressed in my best Sunday clothes, hair slicked down to look presentable, I was shipped off to Sunday School before attending the morning service. Sometimes the Sunday School kids would sit together upstairs and try not …

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Hello 2018

I don’t do resolutions, but I do have a few things I want to focus on next year. These are things that I’ll try, they aren’t goals, they are just things to have in mind at the start of the year. Some will stick, some won’t, and that’s all part of the fun. Fundamentally I refuse to shape my life based on one day, but as one year ends and another begins, I can’t help but pause and take stock. Material stuff I’m pretty happy with my home, although I definitely need to have another clear-out of my clothes as I am still changing shape/losing weight, which is a good problem to have. Aside from that, it’s upgrades rather than …

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These solipsistic moods

I don’t tend to post reading advice but this is a massively introspective piece about (fundamentally) my mental health. I process things by writing, I find more connections that way and I thought I’d share this particular set of thoughts. It’s based on various journal entries, collated and polished for publishing (I don’t write like this in my journal) and shared with a mind to others who may find the following 3000-odd words interesting or useful. YMMV, obvs. “Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone” Madonna Nary a truer word has been spoken, life truly is a mystery at times and, between you and me, I’ve given up trying to figure it out. To be accurate, I have been …

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Product delights

I don’t think it’ll come as any surprise that I take great delight in finding small improvements in the items I own, especially as I’ve written about this before. I’m always curious about this kind of thing, where design meets functionality, and the benefits it can bring. That said, most of the time when it comes to finding simpler things I end up replacing something I currently use with a newer, better, item and that usually means accepting a compromise of some soft. The balance is finding where that compromise will give me better form or function, over the aesthetical elements of the item. It’s not often you find something that hits both (design aesthetics are a very personal thing …

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44

44 is a tribonacci number, an octahedral number and the number of derangements of 5 items. Since the greatest prime factor of 442 + 1 = 1937 is 149 and thus more than 44 twice, 44 is a Størmer number. 44 is the number of candles in a box of Hanukkah candles. “Forty-Four” or “44 Blues” is a blues standard whose origins have been traced back to early 1920s Louisiana.[1] However, it was Roosevelt Sykes, who provided the lyrics and first recorded it in 1929, that helped popularize the song. “Forty-Four,” through numerous adaptations and recordings, remains in the blues lexicon eighty years later. Angel Number 44 is thought to be directly related to our passions. It tends to deal …

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Thanking myself

It feels a bit like I’ve dropped through a trapdoor into a different world. Or I’m that guy in a movie, standing still in the middle of a busy street, the world moving around me in a fast forward blur. From detached to detached, pole to pole, I have walked. Finding my way and working towards being able to be here, to be now. Sometimes at least. Most times I hope. This is not a permanent residency I know but now I’ve been here I know the way, and the more I visit, the more familiar the path will become. Self-revelation always makes me ‘prose’. Self-compassion always alluded me. I had no idea. Literally none. Every day I was failing. …

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Do something new

It’s a slow slow process, changing your behaviours. Especially given that I’ve honed mine with decades of practice, all driven by a set of internal rules that have governed every waking second since I was a child. It takes time, but it is happening. Slowly. A lot of the focus of my counselling has been on self-compassion. Letting myself fail, not predicting the outcome of things in advance, stepping back when I’m under stress, and learning how to live in the moment. I’ve been able to identify various mechanisms that I have in place which, when flight or fight is triggered, can lead to “not good things”. For me it these “not good things” tend not to be displayed quickly …

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My Glastonbury FOMOing

I hadn’t really thought on it but as last weekend approached, and I chatted to people I knew who were going, I realised how much FOMO I was feeling with not going to Glastonbury this year. Add in three of my favourite bands playing (one of which was a surprise addition) and the FOMO was strong with this one! Ohh and then ALL the sunshine whereas last year we had ALL the rain… pfffttttt! Trying to explain why Glastonbury is such a wonderful experience, especially to those who haven’t been before, is tricky. Yes it’s massive, yes if it rains it kinda sucks to be sodden all day long, yes I have seen many of the bands already, yes you …

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On Meditating

Picture the scene; A cloud strewn mountain, a clearing with a lone tree under which a monk sits crossed legged, hands raised with middle finger touching thumbs in a circle, possibly chanting. An ancient ritualistic image, a mystical person channelling his inner … summat or other. This is meditation. Picture another scene; a grey drizzle in Glasgow, a large room with the faint buzz from fluorescent lights overhead, people sitting in chairs, hands in laps, no chanting. This is meditation? At the start of the year I started attending 30 minute guided meditation classes after work. A friend of mine had been going for a while and it’s been something I’d been meaning to try so I was excited to …

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