bookmark_borderFat, fat, fattie

I’m overweight. I know I’m overweight, I know what I need to do to lose weight but I remain, stubbornly and without willpower, overweight. I don’t like the fact any more than you probably like thinking about it but those are the facts as they stand at the moment, laydees and gennelmenn.

I am fat.

Looking around me I see that there are other fat people too. I know I’m not alone, just as I know that whilst I may be fat, I’m actually quite happy. Sure it annoys me that the person I see in the mirror doesn’t match my mental self-image (ONE day someone with a swimmer’s body will stare back… yeah right..) but I’ve long since made my peace with how I look.

I can’t speak for others on this issue, but I know that being overweight isn’t just a matter of being too lazy to exercise and too weak to have enough self control (they are factors, don’t get me wrong). Some people genuinely do have physiological and psychological factors that affect their weight.

I don’t. I’m just fat. Like most of the other fatties out there.

So, given that there is a reasonable percentage of fat people out there (and only now, dear reader, am I finally warming to the reason behind this post) why is it so hard to buy clothes.

I just typed “so hard to big clothes…”, not quite freudian but close, no?

I’ve mentioned before that I’m picky. The phrase I tend to use is that “I know what I like” or more accurately I’d flip that around and echo what someone, who was probably famous for his wit and candour, once said “No, not that, that’s fuckin’ hideous”.

I don’t actually mind that in some shops I’m an XL, in others an XXL for, unless I’m buying a cheap shirt (for work) from Primark or Asda, I always try the clothes on in the shop first.

And so it was on Thursday night I found myself coveting a rather nice shirt in River Island. I’d already been in most of the usual high-street haunts to be confronted only with dark shirts with garish stripes (which are increasingly common and thus, increasingly against my thinking (yes I’m a snob, bite me)), or high-contrast checked ‘slim fit’ style shirts, with buttons and flaps and… ohh fuck that I’m not 17. I get the style, the fashion, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not me.

Of course River Island didn’t have the shirt in XL. I tried on the L to no avail (it buttoned but would require the abstaining from any form of seated activity whatsoever) and was a bit miffed.

Across the road (technically across the concourse I guess as we were in Silverburn shopping centre – a place with an excellent parking system which I’ll tell you about another time) to Suits You and once again I locate another shirt which I would deem worthy of a place in my wardrobe and further to hang on my manly, but fat, frame.

Guess what. The XL didn’t fit and they didn’t have any XXL in stock. Of course they didn’t.

So, having tried 7 different shops, ranging from £15 to £50 and beyond, I found two shirts which I would have bought had but they had the right size.

This is why I don’t like shopping for clothes. Two and a bit hours (not counting stopping off at a second River Island on the way home, same result) of being constantly reminded that I’m fat. It’s really not very nice.

And what I still don’t get is why there is NEVER enough stock of these sizes. If I was an L, M, S, or even (in one store) an XS, I am spoilt for choice (fashion decisions aside). But not so the XL and above.

I’m waffling now so I’ll close with another quote that was once, possibly, uttered by someone famous (possibly the Queen) after yet another day of disappointment on the polo field.


bookmark_borderWriter River

The unstoppable Tom Johnson has cranked out a new Digg-style website aimed at collating the best blog posts and articles about technical communications, as voted for by registered users (that’s you!). It’s a great idea, and I really hope it takes off (whilst secretly hoping that at least ONE of my posts makes the front page one day!). is a social news site for technical communicators, which means you can both submit and vote on news stories. When you submit stories, they initially appear on the Upcoming Stories tab. After a story receives 5 votes, it moves to the Front Page Stories tab.

Go and check it out, get registered and start submitting.

bookmark_borderSwampy 2006

Bloody hell, I WON ONE!
You are now reading, OFFICIALLY, the Best Manly Blog of last year! Go me! According to Timbo: “He’s a man, which is a good start. He’s Scottish, and as we all know all Scottish people are tough and therefore manly. He knows lots of technical things about Interweb thingy stuff and probably trucks and tanks. He runs, which is something only men are really any good at. See, very manly.”

bookmark_border25 Tracks

No, it’s not a meme (although I think there is one).

Let’s say that you could download, for free, 25 tracks of music. And, for the sake of completeness, let’s say that this opportunity was given to you by the lovely Lisa of Rullsenberg Rules and that the tracks must be available from which has a huge range covering most genre.

What would YOU download?

And yes, if I get 25 tracks from you lot, I’ll download them and.. well… something else might happen.

So, ONE TRACK PER PERSON please, and I’ll try and confirm if it’s available. The trial runs out in 14 days, but you’ll all lose interest WAY before then, so have at it!

P.S. I’m not sure but if you want to participate, I think it’s better if someone recommends you, and as Lisa was generous enough to do that for me she might do it for you too..

P.P.S. Check my page if you want some ideas of what I LIKE, not that that will sway any of you, I’m sure…


… I will mostly be meeting met “BritBlog” Mark (he’s organising a blogmeet dahn sarf by the way). It was Be good to finally meet him having exchanged so many, and some heated, emails in the past year or so.

We chatted about this and that but mainly, obviously, the plans for the merger of Scottish Blogs and Britblog. Over the past couple of months since the first announcement we’ve been round the house with the design and now we both agree that we’ve got a good model to take forward. We’ll issue an update soon, but I have to admit that I’m getting a little excited about things.

Mark’s a great guy, very self-effacing and I think meeting face-to-face will make a big difference from here onwards. You get so much more from body language than you can ever expect to be conveyed in email or IM conversations.

But you all know that right. It’s the same for blogs.

Anyway, I’m hoping to ramp up my involvement very soon, just need to get ONE LINE of PHP to work and I can knock a certain site on the head. It’s missing some features that I’d wanted to implement but time constraints mean I’m just glad to hit the 80% mark (well maybe closer to 90%) and I can leave the remaining “nice to have” items for another time (possibly in the autumn).

I also need to follow up with a few people who I emailed several weeks ago on various topics. If you’ve been waiting for me to get in touch then stand by your PC…

So, I’ll leave you with that Tammy Wynette chiclete de ouvido crawling into your brain shall I?

Ohhh a Sing-a-long!

Sometimes its hard to be a system
Giving all your love to just one file
You’ll have bad times
And it’ll have good times
Doing things that you don’t understand

But if you love it you’ll forgive it
Even though it’s hard to understand
And if you love it
Ohhhh be proud of it
‘Cause after all he’s just a computer..

[do de do de doooo]

Stand by your peeceeeee
Give it two arms to cling to
And something warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely

Stand by your peecceeeeee
And tell the world you love it
Keep giving all the love you caaaaaaaan


bookmark_borderStuck in draft

I seem to have a mental block at the moment, so I thought I’d “blog” about it with the hopes that it would break and release me from my “draft post” hell.

You see there are a lot of posts that I start, but never finish. They range from thoughts on the gender split in blogging, to the proposed M74 extension (Glasgow residents take note), my continuing dalliance with the River Clyde, how boring I am, and a couple of meme-like things that I can’t be arsed finishing.

That’s surely a sign that I have bloggers block, not even a meme or two can help me, woe is me indeed (if the was something important enough to inspire woe but it’s not so please don’t feel sorry for me, I have a good life, on the whole, and this little site is increasingly less/more of it).

So I’ve been doing what I normally do when this kind of malaise strikes. Re-design time! Haha. Kidding. Sort of…

Anyway, a couple of things to clear up.

1. As AnnMarie rightly points out, there has been a lot of USA bashing recently, and as is now being demonstrated the people of America ARE helping each other now that they are able to. From my previous post I’d like to clarify that, as was oft heard in my school days, “there’s always one that spoils it for the rest”. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina is what should be focussed on, helping people piece together their lives is THE most important thing. Let’s keep the political ramifications for later (but let’s also agree that they shouldn’t MUSTN’T be forgotten).

2. Er… dammit. I’ve forgotten already. Ohh hang on, just remembered. I’d just like to say that this is not a “please convince me that I’m worthy” post, I’m not looking for sympathy, in fact I’d ask you all to forego any “don’t worry, I get that too” panderings and instead tell it like it is. Go on, be honest, name ONE thing about this site, or what I post on it, that really REALLY annoys you. C’mon you bunch of cowards, come and have a go if you think your hard enough!

And finally I’d just like to say that my new Sennheiser PX100 headphones are the dog’s nads. Especially when PJ Harvey is pounding my eardrums.