Friday, 30 September 2011

I still don't do Taxes

Inevitability has this way of making us remember it. Monday morning has an inevitability about it, and makes us grow strangely cold at various points on Sunday evening. Growing old/growing slower/not becoming a professional footballer are all inevitable, and every so often we're reminded - by younger, hipper (yes, exactly) and fitter friends, or by our bodies as they creak and moan at every movement. Manchester United winning is inevitable, and just something that we fans who actually live vaguely near the team we support will have to put up with.

Death, however, despite it being the most inevitable thing there is, has a tendency to be forgotten about.

Recently I seem to have been affected by death, but in a way that is slightly removed from myself. My neighbour died - I knew him to say hello to, but we weren't close. My sister-in-law's best friend's husband died. I don't think I had ever met him, but I know how sad this is for everyone involved. Even the normally chipper Matthew Paul Turner of Jesus Needs New PR is currently writing a series of pieces about a friend who died this weekend of a terminal illness.

I'm not a massive fan of death. It tends to ruin things, like families, and relationships and happiness. It's all pervading: there's an overwhelming sense of sadness, and when you escape the sadness for a moment, when you remember again, it hits you twice as hard between the eyes.

I remember my first real taste of death. I was about 13, and a friend's father had died. I didn't know him, and I hardly knew her. But the complete unfairness of it all was apparent to me. I sat on my chair in my room and cried. A lot. How could something so horrific and complete happen?

Somehow, we forget that death is inevitable. It may be that the progression of modern medicine has put the actuality of death so far into the future that we've forgotten the potency it possesses. It may be that the fear of death has taken hold and we try and push death as far away as possible. It may be the fact that life is usually quite long - whoever said life was short, they were wrong: it's the longest thing you'll ever do - that means that death is not often thought of when it can be avoided.

But death is inevitable.

It has been documented that I've been enjoying Harry Potter lately. The final book comes to an end when Harry - and if you haven't read/seen it yet, sucks to be you - approaches death willingly; not without fear, but with courage; and in willingly sacrificing himself, lives. The crucial difference between the character of Harry and Lord Voldemort is that Voldemort is looking to live forever - his life's work is to make himself immortal.

Yet, death is not something to fear. I struggle writing that sentence because it IS. It's horrible, painful, undignified and messy. It leaves gaping holes in hearts and rips lives apart.

But there is this hope that something greater than death is at work, and I cling to that hope like a drowning man, because otherwise, life is meaningless.

We were sons of insurrection, doomed to face the dark alone, 
'Till vicarious perfection, dearly won, was made our own. 
So where's your landslide, where's your victory? 
Tell me now, where's your sting? 
Unassailable you waited, the great enemy of man, 
'till your awful jaws were sated, and we were ransomed from your hand. 
Now that you have been disarmed, we will cross over unharmed.
Thrice, Major/Minor, 'Disarmed'

Not funny, but true

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Grammar Went To Plot

This is a brief excerpt from a genuine conversation I had, where the suggestion that wasps sleep at night was quickly denounced with the claim that they don't sleep, but in fact plot our downfall.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Cereal Monster

The worst bit was that it happened both times that I ate cereal today. And no, I'm not going to justify eating cereal twice, because I don't have to.

Going all graph on yo' ass...

This, of course, is a joke. I take no responsibility for you all going out, getting drunk, and singing loudly. I'm merely reporting the facts from my scientifically accurate survey made up in my head.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Two Hail Marys and a Picture Of The Day

Confession is an idea that fascinates me. It's so alien to me, as a confused Protestant/closet charismatic/trying follower of Jesus, that it has a certain aura about it.

In a recent conversation at a wedding, my rather outspoken and controversial friend Barney suggested that asking God for forgiveness every time we do something wrong is unbiblical. There's no precedent for it in the New Testament, but there is an understanding that the sacrifice of Jesus covers all sins - we are already forgiven, end of.

1 John claims that if we confess our sins, God will forgive us. It makes no mention of asking for forgiveness in order to be forgiven. And does 'God will forgive us' appertain to what will happen in that moment? What will happen at the end of time? What is happening outside of time now?

I don't rightly know the answers, and feel free to argue it out down below. However, I do know two things: I am a sinner, and I am forgiven. Somehow, those things work out, and God must take the credit.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


I think, considering I've only been doing this a week, that dreaming about the marginally funny things I could draw is a little optimistic. And a little odd too.

I really should get a hobby. Like, I dunno, blogging.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


The weird thing is, I'm completely against the changes. I suspect, if I had my way, I'd probably take Facebook back to about 2009 and simpler times. Is it possible to have an opinion regarding the changes on Facebook, AND be a Luddite at the same time? If so, I am.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Well, I guess this is growing up...

Growing up is slightly odd, particularly when you have a memory like mine. I walk down certain roads, and recognise houses of acquaintances I once knew in primary school, or places that I spent many childhood hours doing nothing in particular.

I'm now 23, and I still don't quite feel like I fit the bill of a 23 year old. There's something a little unsettling about coming back to the house you grew up in. Everything has changed, and nothing has changed, just like the woods. It's still the same woods as 15 years ago, and I recognise trees and hideouts like it was yesterday. But it's not the same. Everything has moved on.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Some friends and stuff...

You may have spotted that I'm doing daily pictures. This is down to a lovely friend of mine, called Miriam who actually draws pretty things daily; and my own stubbornness. I definitely doubted if I could do it. Admittedly I've done less than a week. But that's about as regular as you can get around here. I'll write some stuff soon, too.


I would also strongly recommend you go over to The General Dance for thoughts much cleverer than mine. Also, Tim has just finished his MA, to much general applause and admiration, so it's entirely fitting to ask him when he's going to write his PhD. He REALLY likes that.* 

*He doesn't.


A minor piece of admin: I've changed the comments to moderated. It's not because I think I'm about to get a stream of vitriol, but because I'm getting a bit of spam. So, keep on commenting! However, I will only let the nice ones through. I am entirely bribable. 


This doesn't really need an explanation... 

Strawberry Jam

You may think this disproportionate. However, you don't know how much I like strawberry jam.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Some cider inside her insides...

Sorry for the wonky. I'm really tired...

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Harry Potter and the Pinnacle of Evil

These last two months, I have read every Harry Potter book, listened to Stephen Fry reading most of the books, and seen the first four films. Rather boringly, I've not backslidden once.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Picture of the Day

This is a picture about my day. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

It's like magic...

I painted one of my walls with blackboard paint the other day. The lovely Miriam (she of incredibly good art and sultry ginger hair) suggested a draw a picture a day.

This is my first offering.

Review: 31 Days to Find Your Blogging Mojo

Bryan Allain is, according to his own estimation, a 'Humor Writer, Blogging Coach, [and] Mammal'. I asked very sweetly if I could review his new book, 31 Days to Find Your Blogging Mojo, which, wins plus points for using the word 'mojo' in the title, and almost loses them again by being quite long-winded to say.

The basic essence of the book is that Bryan reckons 31 days of consistent effort on a blog - thinking creatively, editing, changing, and focussing your writing, will 'create lasting change'. The book is split into 31 chapters of a couple of pages each, every chapter taking a subject and expounding upon its importance to your blog. Not only that, Bryan then suggests an action (Today's Mojo Action) which helps focus the subject into practical suggestions to help you find your 'Blogging Mojo.'

There are pros and cons to the book. The most obvious thing to say is a positive: it's really very helpful. Having read the book quite quickly over two days, there's a lot that I'm sure I'll go back and read, digesting and responding to the action points. One could argue that what he has said is nothing new - you could pick up his suggestions from elsewhere, by being astute and reading blogs - but the crucial things here are the facts that a) it all comes together in one book, and b) the presentation. Bryan writes in a very colloquial style: easy to read and understand. I don't particularly find his brand of humour hilarious - part of me wonders if the humour in the book doesn't translate particularly well to the British psyche - but that doesn't stop how he writes being enjoyable to read, and simple to comprehend. Unfortunately, between chapters/days, Bryan inserts some of his humour material from his blog; unrelated and often odd. This jars a bit, and feels a little like filler. However, that aside, the actual material for the book sits well together, and genuinely feels like you're making a progression.

I guess the crucial question is this: would I change my blog after reading this book? Yes, I would. And I would recommend that you read it, and change your blog too. Or start a blog. This book is ideal for all levels of bloggers, beginners or old hands.

If you really want to blog to the best of your ability, but aren't quite sure how, this book is a great buy.

Find it at, or as an e-book for Kindle from Amazon.