bookmark_borderGetting into the groove

This blog is starting to feel like just that, a personal blog, again.

That’s good, in that I seem to be getting some sort of writing routine back (even if it’s still somewhat sporadic) and bad in that I seem to be treating it more like a diary.

Anyway, it’s my blog, I can do what I want.

One thing that I definitely need to focus on is getting into a routine. Tonight, finally, I have an induction at a gym. I deliberately chose one close to work, that opens at 7am, to force myself to get up and hit the gym in the morning (with the fallback of going in the evening). It’s not that far from my flat, about 15-20 minute drive, but as my weekends are looking busy already then I’ll likely, mostly, be going during the week anyway.

That’s the plan at least.

I’m also considering buying a Wii, and Wii Fit, as I did enjoy using it and it was definitely helping with my flexibility (cardio stuff is better at the gym), although I do need to buy a new camera as I’m going to be signing up for a photography class which starts in January…

Hmmmmm, I think I need a new credit card.


He hurries in from the cold,shakes his overcoat from his shoulders and hangs it, then his hat, on the bentwood coat stand.

He warms his hands on the radiator, crosses the living room to the hi-fi. Bending down he flick-flacks quickly through the LPs, and in practised movement slides an album from its sleeve and onto the deck. The familiar static clunk as he drops the needle.

To the kitchen now. A glug of deep red wine, a solid slab of cheese, a torn chunk of bread and back to his chair. He uses the plate to clear space on the low table at his side, glasses and dishes from previous evenings clink as they slide across the grain. A trumpet burbles mournfully in the background.

He lifts the glass to his mouth and slowly he savours the first mouthful, leaning back, eyes half-closed. He sits that way for a moment, letting the music wash over him as the headlights from the road slide across the walls, people making their own ways to whatever they call home. He pushes away memories of a time long gone, the noise and fear of his childhood. He wonders which passersby will end the evening beaten, which will resume their comatosed state, so accepting of their lives, habitual and routine, no matter how obscure it may be to others.

He takes his time eating, more wine to wash it down. Repeat until sated. Or at least until no longer hungry. Or at the very least until you’ve lined the stomach, he thinks.

His glass empty, he returns to the kitchen picks up the bottle of wine and returns to his chair. He moves with a slow grace now, but soon he will be just another stumbling, lurching fool. The smile of such forethought is quickly banished from his face by those all too familiar guilts. He is better than this, he is more than this, yet this is all he knows.

He slumps down into the chair once more, takes another thirsty mouthful of wine and thinks of tomorrow. He has plans, he always has plans. The when and where, the how and why, are already mapped out in his head in fine detail. The t of the what has been crossed, the ifs i dotted.

The record jumps.

Snapped from his thoughts he sits up, glaring at the record player.

The record jumps again.

In one fluid and sober movement he is up from his seat, the glass is placed to one side and he delicately plucks the needle from the vinyl. He looks down, horrified, at the deep dark scratch on the surface. He studies it closely, as if he can stare it out of existence, render the vinyl back to its previous, perfect, form. He crouches down to observe the light bouncing of the surface, he puzzles over how this has happened. Has someone been here? No, more likely the drunken fumblings of a previous night. With a resigned shake of his head he stands, picks up the glass and toasts the fallen soldier, all the while hoping Sam will have a good copy stored away somewhere in the back of his shop.

With a sigh he lifts the vinyl from the platter, a broken relic, useless to him now. He slides it back into its sleeve and casts it aside before realising he isn’t sure what to do next. He is out of his routine.

It is from such a small moment that endless possibilities bloom. He looks around at his threadbare furniture, the marked and pitted floorboards, the dull light through grimed windows. How did it get to this? Why didn’t he notice?

He stands in contemplation of what to do next.

bookmark_borderISTC website

My plan for the early part of next week is to start making updates to content on the ISTC website.

However, like all plans, it’s already had a curveball thrown at it in that the website was built using DreamWeaver a tool I am neither familiar with, nor fond of. Regardless, I’ll muddle through.

It’s an odd thing, taking over something that someone else has worked on for so long and I’m treading carefully at the moment. Thankfully there are several people who’ve said they’ll help out and, as we roll into 2011, I’m hoping the website will be in a much better place, serving both members and new visitors alike.

Looking around at other professional organisation websites, there are many examples and ideas we can look at and take inspiration from, and one key aim will be to allow people to update content quickly and easily and, once that is in place, we can look to integrate some of the community aspects that have been discussed previously (a year ago, how time flies!).

It won’t be a quick job, but I’m setting myself fairly aggressive targets to get the work done. Updated content by the end of the month, and an updated back-end to the website by the end of January.

bookmark_borderRandom thought of the day

I was at the Skunk Anansie gig last night and there were a lot of tattoos on display. A lot of them on women including one full lower arm piece. It got me thinking.

To have a large piece of ink on display, pretty much all the time, takes an attitude and lifestyle but which came first?

Was the “I don’t care what anyone thinks” attitude always there? Or was the tattoo part of gaining that attitude? Doubtless it was somewhere in-between but is there something there about being able to develop a mindset that maybe is sometimes hidden? A way of making a bold decision to make (force?) a change in your personality?

I think that it can take big events for some people to re-focus on themselves and take a step closer to who they want to be, and whilst it wasn’t the original reason behind my first tattoo, it’s certainly a lot closer tied to my thinking this time around.

Or maybe I’m just too old to care anymore.

Don’t answer that.


Just been checking my calendar.

    12th Nov – Tonight, out for food and drinks.

    13th Nov – Tomorrow, hand in registration form at new doctor, go discuss idea for next tattoo with artist.

    14th Nov – Sunday, early start at IKEA, then the building of various pieces of furniture whilst watching F1.

    15th Nov – Monday evening, Skunk Anansie at the O2 Academy.

    16th Nov – Tuesday evening, Kele at the Arches.

    17th Nov – Wednesday evening, start work for website design for client.

    18th Nov – Thursday evening, gym induction (tbc).

    19th Nov – Friday evening, pizza and movie night (the first, of many?).

    20th Nov – Saturday, out for lunch/drinks/munchies.

    21st Nov – Sunday evening, Caribou, Four Tet, Nathan Fake, James Holden at the ABC.

In other words, whilst I am pretty busy next week, I’m not going to short of things to blog about.

You have been warned.