Irony, far from being an impulse to remove creases from things, is one of life’s little blessings. It can make us laugh and smile; many sitcoms could not exist without it, and for the most part it’s fairly harmless. Sure, Dyslexia is difficult to spell and stutter has 3 Ts in it, but even the fact that Ben Affleck chose actor for a profession is nothing more than a mild annoyance in the annals of irony. Sometimes though, irony wakes up on the wrong side of bed and decides, in a very Carrie kind of way, that we will all pay dearly for daring to laugh at it.
A couple of days ago, while astronomers were watching the skies and marvelling at how closely the Earth had been missed by Asteroid 2012 DA14, a different rock, measuring approximately 15 metres across and weighing around 7,000 metric tonnes, entered the atmosphere and exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Now, I firmly believe astronomers’ claims that one big rock had absolutely nothing to do with the other – the shattered teeth of anyone who has ever dared to suggest to me that the Apollo Moon landings were faked should be testimony enough that I have very little patience with conspiracy theory, or the paranoid, squishy-minded ignorance of the groupies who wear its t-shirts – but I shudder to think of the tsunami of drool that a coincidence of this magnitude must surely have caused at the headquarters of Lone Gunmen. Other than a shadowy association of Masonic, Russian glaziers, or a highly organised union of reinforced umbrella manufacturers (I figured an Enemy Mine reference just there might be a little too obscure even for this blog, but here is a link to my favourite “Zirky proof” scene anyway) I struggle to think who might benefit from such a conspiracy, but the odds of the closest asteroid miss in living memory coming just hours after the most catastrophic meteor strike in over 100 years would have made an overnight Howard Hughes out of even the poorest gambler.
Coming on the heels of my December post (which was rather scathing in its mockery of apocalyptic prophecy), and taken together with a rather nasty bout of Glandular Fever, which confined me to a bed for the better part of January, it would be tempting to think that the universe was giving me a hefty kick in the hairier parts of my complacency… but that would assume a level of importance that I fear I could not even achieve if the constellations rearranged themselves above my head, to read “There he is! Get him!” And, while I’m sure a more narcissistic blogger would have run straight out into the morning air, waved their fist at the skies and yelled “You missed!”, I need only WordPress to remind me of my significance; which, judging by my latest blog statistics, is roughly equivalent to that of a quality control inspector at a factory that makes novelty vomit.*
And that breathtakingly clumsy segue brings me tumbling like a tripped rhinoceros into the subject of blog re-design:
I have done this several times before but, if your life is empty enough, you may have noticed that this time I’m taking it slightly more seriously. There are a few reasons for this, chief among which is employment, or more precisely a lack of it. After 5 months of job-hunting in Sweden, it has become fairly clear that it would be easier to make money panning for gold in the sewers beneath the renal ward of my local hospital than it is to convince Stockholm business owners to employ an unpublished English writer to sweep their floors, let alone write for them. To that end, my impending wife, and our flat-mate have been helping me to refine a few things; including the way I define myself, and the way I present myself on the internet. I have started with a logo, and a mascot; both of which I have been threatening to design for the last 2 years. I will (I hope) then move on to designing an actual working website, once I have finally worked out what service I am planning to offer to the
poor suc lovely people I will be privileged to call my clients. Having been forced, in the loveliest possible way, by my flat-mate, to write down a list of the 10 things that interest me most in terms of employment and hobbies, the one word that seemed to tie all my interests together was “storyteller”. The most revelatory thing about this discovery was that it should have been no revelation at all, considering I have been describing myself as such for as long as I can remember… but we all lose sight of things from time to time, even if some of us are a great deal more Mr. Magoo in that department than others.
Expect a few more design changes over the coming weeks, as I have not yet finished with my designs for the blog. Ideally I would have waited until things were finished to publish a new blog post, but today is exactly 2 years to the day since my first post, and to ignore the earth-shattering significance of such an event would obviously be a crime.
…that and the meteor thing.
In the coming months I shall also return to my long abandoned YouTube channel. Whether that will be with an entirely new crew or with no crew at all remains to be seen but, since Richard and the former Sleepless Knight crew are separated from me by a considerable amount of land and water, and the length of string needed to connect tin-cans doesn’t bear thinking about, some changes are inevitable.
In other news, the date for my wedding is now set, and a pauper’s ceremony is less than my fiancée deserves, so if you feel like helping in any way at all… spreading the news about this blog and bringing me new readers (and hopefully writing jobs) would be a really good start. I am also planning to bring the wedding to the attention of the folks at WordPress, since this is where we met. It may do no good at all, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for a feature on Freshly Pressed, and I’m sure it couldn’t hurt if you guys put in a good word for me.
In the meantime, keep watching the skies and don’t bend over for the soap.
I’m going now.
*Sleepless Knight apologizes to anyone who actually does this job, and may have been offended by my arrogant assumption that this job is of no importance whatsoever. A job of little apparent significance is still better than no job at all. Please address all complaints to email@example.com
It’s time to say goodbye again, since the sun will have turned us all into smouldering piles of ash in 5 days from now.
I don’t want you to think that I’m not taking it seriously, I mean Armageddon is a very serious thing (even if it does have Owen Wilson in it), but by the time you reach your late 30s you have survived the end of the world so many times that unless all four horsemen dismount their frightful steeds and take turns kicking you in your happy place, it’s rather difficult to get nervous about yet another apocalypse. The briefest of scans through a handful of different websites tells me that, even by conservative estimates, the world has ended 47 times since I was born. An insecure man of a more spiritual persuasion than myself, might be inclined to take that personally, but I prefer to worry about more important things, like… why my favourite brand of hotdog disappeared from the shelves of my local ASDA… or what the hell is in Swedish DNA that could possibly account for the overwhelming popularity of Salt Liquorice in this country??
Anyway… returning to the end of the world (not a gigantic leap from Salt Liquorice, in my honest opinion): Harold Camping alone has predicted the end of life as we know it on no fewer than six occasions since 1994. Frankly, if this man told me it was raining outside I would not feel it necessary to wear a coat, but even he now seems to have given up doom-saying, and I hope you’ll join me in wishing him the very best of luck in all his future endeavours. Personally, I always try to err on the side of caution where Judgement Day is concerned. Having seen so many apocalypses pass without incident, you’re never likely to find me holed-up in a cellar, with a crossbow made from a crucifix, a hair elastic and a knitting needle; waiting to skewer the first looter whose desperation and blood-lust drives him to interrupt my bath-time… but it never hurts to get an extra loaf of bread in, or perhaps a carton of long-life milk. If it turns out to be one of those zombie apocalypses, beloved of so many movies and video games in recent years, my good friend, Kitty, has some words of wisdom concerning survival, which you might do well to commit to memory lest civilization should collapse around us at the end of the week.
As you’ve probably gathered by this point, I don’t put a great deal of stock in predictions of Doomsday. Had I believed prophecies of this kind in the past, I might have spent the Y2K period in a five-star hotel room, ordering prostitutes and room-service on my bank manager’s credit-card. Instead, I spent the first few minutes of the new millennium watching 2 dozen naked men in Elvis wigs walk into the freezing waters of the English Channel, at Bournemouth sea-front… The end of the world holds very little terror once you’ve seen that. However, if a Coronal Mass Ejection destroys the Earth’s magnetic field and melts off my face on Friday afternoon, feel free to stand around laughing at my short-sightedness. I will certainly be royally embarrassed by the whole episode.
If any of you are remotely interested in my whereabouts as you read this, I will be attending an exhibition in Stockholm; showcasing the photography of a couple of very talented young Swedes, from their round-the-world trip in 2010-2011. In the highly likely event that you are unable to attend, since I gave you no address, it will involve crossing the Baltic sea for many of you, and I only gave you about 2 hours notice… their work can be found on the following websites, here, here, and here.
For the rest of you, if the short-sightedness of Mayan calendar makers has compelled you to stay at home in the run up to Christmas, you might want to spend just a few of your remaining hours glancing at Amazon.com, just in case your nephew is still very much alive, and demanding to know where his copy of FIFA 13 is, come the morning of the 25th. And, since my customary farewell might seem somewhat trivial counsel in the darkness of the approaching storm, I will forego references to soap, and simply say: Remain Indoors! Try to keep warm, and if the pale glow of a computer screen offers some comfort in the days ahead, try to make sure that my blog is the last thing you are looking at before the fury of our mighty star burns it permanently into your retinas.
Last year I wrote about receiving a tweet from a robot aboard the International Space Station. Why? WHY? Are you kidding me? Because it’s cool!!
Anyway… it seemed as though the space age had arrived without anyone really noticing. I imagine that’s usually the way. We look back on the Italian Renaissance now with a sense of awe and wonder, feelings of romanticism, teenage mutant ninja turtles, perhaps even the Assassin’s Creed series if you’re fond of video games, but its arrival probably meant nothing more for the layman than an increase in marble sales. Likewise, the Bronze Age probably wasn’t marked on the calendar as anything much more exciting than: “TUESDAY – 1,314,000 shopping days till Christmas.”
We haven’t colonized planets yet, and though most of us born before 1986 firmly believed we would be visiting Proxima Centauri for a burger by the time we were in our 40s, by the year 2010 we weren’t even as far advanced as Arthur C. Clarke promised we would be… unless you count peaceful relations between the US and Russia, in which case, Mr. Clarke was either a pessimistic relic of the cold war or a chilling prophet of impending doom who simply got the dates wrong and failed to mention that the two nations might be friends for a bit first. We don’t even have skies full of flying cars yet, but I do still get very excited about new developments outside our planet, as anyone who has read more than one of my posts will probably be aware, and, as I write this post, it has been exactly one year since the Mars rover “Curiosity” launched.
NASA’s Curiosity rover is a pretty amazing tool: Armed with a laser that can vaporize rocks from 30 feet away (for the purposes of analysis… not to “Disassemble Martians Stephanieeeee!”), this extra-terrestrial vehicle is the size of a small family car and can make it over even the most rugged Martian terrain. On November 20th, the Curiosity team announced that the magic Johnny-Five-alike rover had made some sort of discovery, described by Curiosity chief scientist, John Grotzinger, as being “One for the history books”, but that we would have to wait until 3-7 December – during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco – to find out exactly what this world altering discovery is.
Now… my younger readers (pause for laughter) may not yet have discovered this, but it has been my experience that events like these are fraught with disappointment for us laypersons, largely as a result of exaggeration or overstatement on the part of very excitable scientists. I’m sure that the discovery of strawberry flavoured permafrost, for example, would have tremendous implications for the geologist community, but what would it really mean for those of us who do not so regularly indulge in Woolly Mammoth Ice-Lollies? I mean I am a very excitable chap as chaps go (see opening paragraphs) but even I have an excitement threshold, and the discovery of a new kind of dust, whatever it might mean for vacuum-cleaner sales on future Martian colonies, is probably below it.
Having said all that, if the soothing tones of David Essex failed to convince you that “The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one!” then I urge you to keep an ear to the ground (or TV, radio, computer, smart-phone… whatever works for you) around December 3rd for confirmation that you can indeed invest heavily in CBS records, and then sit back and watch your bank account as sales of Jeff Wayne’s: War of the Worlds go through the roof on a scale not even old H.G. himself could have predicted. If life is discovered on Mars we will raise a glass to both Mr. Wells, and Mr. Welles (Damaging the credibility of Martian discoveries since 1938), perhaps even have a drink to Richard Burton. If you’re not following any of this, don’t worry, it just means you’re not as sad as I am. If you can tell me what Jeff Wayne, Richard Burton, H.G. Wells & Orson Welles have in common… congratulations, you are every bit as much of a geek as I have come to expect from either one of the people who read this blog on a regular basis.
Anyway… whether Curiosity has discovered the building blocks of life in the Martian dust, or simply a red rock that resembles the face of Jesus… remember that you heard it here first, and don’t bend over for the soap.
I’m going now!
The ironic thing about Narcissism, it occurs to me, is that if Narcissus was loved by more people he would probably not have been able to sit, staring into a puddle at his own reflection until he dropped dead. No; his friends would have wondered where he got to.
“Where have you been?” is a question I often wish more people would ask me, but when yelling into the next room is all that’s necessary to let all your friends know where you are, it’s rarely a question that pops up. However, in case anyone is wondering, I have been in Stockholm. I am still in Stockholm. By the time you read this, I will have been living in Sweden for 2 months. I know this because by the time I wrote this I had been in living in Sweden for 2 months. Such is my motivation for writing blog posts at the moment.
I almost wrote a blog post last month, whilst waiting for Amki at Stockholm University, but when you sit writing with a fountain pen, on actual paper, amid students at a large university, people look at you as though you should be wearing a loincloth and picking sabre-toothed tiger out of your teeth with a flint axe. I also almost wrote a blog post on the day before I left Lincoln, explaining about the many addresses I have had, and how this apartment in Stockholm is my 27th… but nothing came of that, for reasons I will not go into right now, so Lincoln never got a tearful goodbye. Then I nearly wrote a blog post after attending Richard’s wedding a couple of weeks ago (Oh… by the way… Richard got married a couple of weeks ago), but I got busy with other trivial little things like looking for a job and… well… making tea and stuff.
Frankly, it’s a little weird writing blog posts at the moment. You see, shortly after I wrote my first ever blog post, I met another new blogger who lived (at the time) on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. A few months later we became more than just friends, and since those days a great many of my posts have been about The Swedish Flowerpot and the difficulties of our long-distance relationship… The thing is, that now I live with her, in Sweden, and she is stood beside me, dancing and writing an email at the same time (Yes, she is awesome). Living here has all become very normal for me by now but, for reasons I can’t adequately explain without the help of a psychotherapist, it all gets just a little surreal when I start writing a blog post whilst sitting beside her. So, here is my solution:
I will continue from exactly where I left off, right before I began falling in love with the beautiful Swede. Now, unfortunately that is rather hard to narrow down; I can’t begin in the middle of a sentence or say I will start from 3.17pm, November 20th, 2011… because love isn’t like that, but I’m pretty sure I left off about… here:
“…novel was eventually rejected by the lovely Victoria Marini, but we thank her for taking the time to read it and will soon start submitting it, once again, to British agents (I can’t help but hear the Bond theme whenever I say this now).”
Yes folks, it’s that time again, and this time I really mean it. I got sidetracked for a year or so but I’m getting back on course again, and it starts with submitting the novel to new and improved literary agents (with enhanced colour protection and summer-berry scent). If any of them show the slightest interest in my work they may well take a look at this blog so please be on your best behaviour on the off-chance that we are being watched from the timeless worlds of space (sorry… went for a Burton there). Let the rejection letters come! Keep your elbows off the table, don’t lick your knife, don’t stare into a puddle so long that you turn into some variety of daffodil, and don’t… whatever you do… under any circumstances… bend over for the soap!
I’m back, baby!
Picture the scene: You’re sitting in a shopping-centre food court, enjoying a coffee which has cost you everything you earned yesterday, and there’s a small child – say 4 or 5 years old – running around the tables. His mother sits close by wearing a thousand-yard stare as she tunes out the screams of her child which blow back the hair of the closer diners and cause even the guy listening to his iPod on full blast to look around for the fire-exit. You ignore the impact tremors rippling through your coffee as you watch this hapless kiddie running at full steam toward the swags of 3-foot high chain which separate the diners from the shoppers. You are a good person, but your parental good-will extends no further than a slight wince as you watch the poor little child wheeled-over by the chain, like a seven stone weakling being clothes-lined by a seven foot WWF champion, and you return to your expensive beverage.
How do you suppose it is that you could see what was going to happen there but the child could not?
The answer is, quite simply, experience. When you have done something, or, more specifically in my case, done something wrong often enough, you learn to predict what is likely to go awry in a certain situation. I am not a mind-reader. I cannot predict the future. My advice is usually quite poor. I have simply screwed up often enough to be able to predict the exact moment when something is likely to go BOOM! and I have the scars to prove it.
In relationships, this can lead to insecurity and an unhealthy feeling that everything is going to go wrong, simply because it has done so many times before. But, as my better-half quite rightly points out “It only has to go right once.” and “If it hadn’t gone wrong so many times before, you wouldn’t be sitting in front of me now.” She’s usually right about the big stuff.
So… now I invite you to try and predict the outcome of a certain event using only what information I give you, and your own experience.
1. The Swedish Flowerpot and I had not seen one-another for over a month, and were desperate to spend every single second together that we could possibly squeeze out of my latest visit.
2. We had already screwed up the initial flight booking, leading to a lot of extra expense and the loss of almost a whole day with one-another.
3. We had agreed to meet at Stockholm central terminal rather than at the airport, because meeting at the airport would mean her having to be up at 5am.
4. I had, 2 months previously, taken her completely by surprise by collaborating with her friends and family to turn up in Sweden entirely unexpectedly.
5. She had missed the opportunity to turn up unexpectedly on my doorstep, exactly one week earlier.
6. The Flowerpot and I had already agreed that if I landed early I should run like hell once off the plane, in order to make the earlier flight-bus and so see one-another 30 minutes sooner.
7. Ryanair flights to Stockholm almost always land 15-20 minutes earlier than scheduled.
8. Skavsta is a very small airport with only two exits.
9. Amki is very good at hiding, and apparently very much better at lying than I had given her credit for.
10. She was really keen to surprise me.
11. I was really keen to make the earlier bus!
So… any guesses?
What actually happened was that I ended up waiting outside the flight-bus terminal in Stockholm, for my girlfriend, who lives in Stockholm, to arrive on a flight-bus from the airport!
Otherwise, my visit thus far has been almost without incident. Now… that’s a pretty goddamn big “almost”, but I am not going to explain in this post, for reasons which I hope will become obvious when an explanation is finally forthcoming.
Swedish mid-summer celebrations were interesting, fun, eye-opening, and ultimately life-changing. In the last few days I have had the chance to see where my sweetheart grew up… met a human-being who has less hair, and fewer days on Earth than most of the things growing in cups by Farnsworth’s kitchen sink… and to watch, with Swedes, from an Irish pub in Stockholm, as England were dismissed from Euro 2012 in what has become the usual fashion; a penalty shoot-out.
As Richard’s wedding draws closer and closer, I am forced to contemplate my speech, and the only other responsibility his bride-to-be has seen fit to trust me with: Turning up! Let it never be said that I don’t engender trust.
Other news will be along very shortly, but not until I think you guys can be trusted with the information. In the meantime, here’s a photo of what I am assured is a fairly typical Swedish mid-summer festival.
Until next time… take care, and don’t bend over for the soap.
It seems to me that, in general, people from England, the USA, Australia, New Zealand etc. don’t realise how lucky they are to have been born in an English speaking country. The evidence for this is clear enough in the peculiar belief, which so many of them seem to have, that communication with people from other countries is simply a matter of volume. I can’t count how many times I have witnessed English speakers attempting to break through language barriers by yelling.
Unfortunately, we have been raised in the belief that everyone speaks our language because, well… a great many of them do. It’s a wonderful thing that your native tongue is understood by such a large percentage of the world’s population, but it really has made us lazy. Almost every single person I have met in Sweden, for example, has asked me why I’m bothering to learn Swedish when everyone in Sweden speaks English. And, if I was planning to visit just once or maybe twice, perhaps I wouldn’t, but if you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time in another country, the very least you can do is learn to converse with its inhabitants in their own language, regardless of how well they speak yours.
When you ask a Scandinavian why everyone speaks English so well over there, their answer is invariably “Because we are taught it in school, from a very young age”. Well, English children are taught to speak French from a very young age, but even after 8 or 9 years of lessons most of us couldn’t politely order a grilled ham & cheese sandwich without being laughed at as we ask for a “Crok mi sure, silver plate!” in a perfect, and unflappable Yorkshire accent. We just don’t try hard enough, y’see. Why? Because we feel as though we don’t have to, and I think this needs to change.
Other countries change to accommodate such things. For example, I recently learned that everyone in Sweden drove on the left hand side of the road until precisely 4.50am on September 3rd 1967, when, despite strong opposition from the public, traffic everywhere in the country was directed over to the right side of the road and has stayed that way ever since. 360,000 road signs were changed overnight! Now there’s an example of how you get things done if I ever heard one.
It would be more important for English children to learn other languages in school if theirs was not spoken so widely elsewhere. We are a stubborn enough nation as it is, without others accommodating our bloody-mindedness. It may be true for example that we drive on the left-hand side of the road because it used to be necessary to keep our sword hand closest to our enemies as we passed them, but if the people of South-Central Los Angeles can drive on the right-hand side of the road I hardly see how the argument is relevant to the 21st century school run; no matter how many assault rifles a rural Brit may keep on their passenger seat.
I’m not suggesting people become fluent in Chamicuro simply because they’re honeymooning in a certain part of Peru for a week or anything like that, but you could at least learn a simple please and thank you in most places you visit. Finding a middle ground is certainly difficult, especially when your language program keeps trying to teach you phrases like “Det här djuret kommer från Australien. Det talar inte engelska”. In other words: “This animal comes from Australia. It does not speak English.” And Rosetta Stone does not simply stop at Kangaroos. It goes on to say that a Moose does not speak Swedish, and that a Panda does not speak Chinese.
Obviously it is rarely going to be of any use to tell the people of Sweden, or any other country, that their native animals cannot speak to them, unless you’re assuming all that country’s inhabitants are idiots; attempting to warn them that you might be; or auditioning for a part as Dr Dolittle. But the more you immerse yourself in a language, the easier it is going to be to learn it in the long run. And hey… If you tell the people of China that Pandas don’t speak Chinese, at the very least you should learn how to say “I’ll keep him here. You call an ambulance.” in Mandarin.
I didn’t really have very much to say to you in my own language today, as you might have gathered from the stimulating content of this post, but I’ll be back soon.
Next week I will once again be in my adopted city of Stockholm, but I will try my best to write about my experiences of Swedish midsummer festival, at which I will be learning to say things like “Erm… what do I do with this?” and “Look… I’m sorry about what happened in the football last week! Now please let me down from here!”
Until then, take care, keep learning those languages, and don’t bend over for the soap.
Making your peace with the world around you, and more particularly with the life you’ve led, is not always an easy thing to do. We all makes mistakes after all, and believe me when I tell you I’ve made more than my fair share already. I like to say that I don’t have regrets, but I’m not sure I’m being completely honest with myself. What I really mean when I say that is that I wouldn’t change anything, but it isn’t really the same thing. I wouldn’t change any of the decisions I’ve made along the way because to change even the smallest one of them would mean accepting a new life with unpredictable consequences. I wouldn’t have my daughter for example. I would almost certainly never have met the man who has become my most trusted friend in the world. And, given the almost impossibly unlikely chain of events that led to my meeting her, it’s a stone cold certainty that I would never have encountered the woman I love.
Not wanting to change any of the decisions you have made is an easy thing to say if you like where you are in your life at the moment, and that, at least for me, has become a bit of a contradiction these past few weeks. What happens for example, if one of the many thousands of decisions that led you to your current happiness is also responsible for your refusal to accept that same goddamn good fortune? It’s a puzzler innit?
Now try to bear with me here because I’m trying to explain, in my own twisted way, why I have been missing from this blog for a few weeks.
When I was 17 years old I did something that seemed like the right decision at the time. I won’t bore you with too many details… Suffice it to say that I left somewhere with a cheeky smile on my face at the thought of being a stranger in a strange new place. It appealed to me (laugh all you like, but I was a teenager and I stick by that excuse). A couple of years later a situation cropped up, which was not entirely my fault this time, and the same thing happened again. “I can do this!” I thought. “I’ve done it before… It’ll be fun!” and off I went. The next place was not to my liking at all and before long I did it again… and again… and again! I am now at my 26th address, living on someone’s sofa, with people much younger than myself.
Now if none of this seems relevant to my current situation perhaps that is unsurprising; it didn’t seem relevant to me until a few weeks ago, when I had cause to say something like “…because that’s who I am isn’t it? I’m the guy who wanders in and out of people’s lives and leaves no impression.” I kept a relatively calm expression on my face at the time (I hope), but at the moment I said it I instantly thought Shit! Is that right? Is that who I think I am these days?
You see the problem I’m having is that I am now happy. I love most of the people in my life. I love the lady in my life very much and, perhaps even stranger still, I love the people in her life. This has led me to a bout of misery because I seem to have got into a position where I more or less just expect it to end at any moment. It is that misery that has kept me from this blog for the last few weeks, and it’s time I grew up!
Still… there comes a time in every man’s life when he’s lying beneath a beech tree in England, trying in vain to read a Swedish newspaper, and he sees an elderly man walking down an otherwise deserted country lane, pushing a Yorkshire Terrier in a baby-buggy. The world grows silent for a moment, and time seems to stand still as all the swirling, tumultuous fragments of his life stop moving and go “Wha..?”.
These rare moments of clarity are the ones which make you laugh and smile, and remind you what a strange and wonderful place the world really is. And… if you’re quick and careful… you can use these precious seconds to creep up behind all the broken bits of your mind and club them over the head with a big, fat, sweaty lump of common sense! Then, when you have them all gagged and tied up in the same place, you can say “OK guys… I’ve let you run riot in here for a long, long time, and we’ve all had a lot of fun, but I really need to talk to you about something.”
Since I last wrote here, I’ve been interrogated by a bus-load of Finnish drunks – Escorted into hospital with kidney stones, by a man with a snapped wrist, who had only been discharged the day before (thanks Richie) – Stuck on the tarmac at Skavsta while Ryanair crew attempted to discover the identity of the passenger who wasn’t supposed to be aboard – Attended May bonfires and 80th birthday celebrations – Met more of Amki’s relatives than I have seen of my own in over 30 years (and just when I think I’ve met them all, 2 of them wait till I go home to give birth to another!) – I’ve been measured for a suit by a man who wouldn’t seem out of place in Royston Vasey… and had many more emotional and scary moments besides.
None of these things are excuses for my long absence. If I was going to make up an excuse it would almost certainly have had more lasers and exploding, psychic zombies, riding in on Great White Sharks. No… it is simply my usual, long-winded way of saying “I’m tired of this now”, and of getting, finally, to the hysterical irony that followed my recent revelation:
In order to break this juvenile habit, and make my current situation more stable… I have decided to make the biggest move yet, and travel to a stranger new place than ever before.
Talk about saving the best for last!
Yes… I suppose most of you saw this coming before I did, but I have now started looking for work across the water, in Sweden. None of this is certain of course… it depends on finding work there, which may take a long time, or it may not happen at all.
What it does mean is, that I may take the blog in a new direction, OR… I may simply make a new one. I’m still going to try getting the novel published, and I still hope to find a more workable theme for the YouTube channel, but at this point I’m thinking that either the channel or the blog, or both, will be heavily influenced by my attempts to get work in, and move to, another country.
So there you go. If I’ve given you anything new to think about, then… I’m sorry! Go back to your Sunday and forget about it. If you’ve had similar experiences, please share them; I’m sure I can’t be the only nomadic loony on WordPress.
For now though… It’s good to be back.
See you soon, and don’t bend over for the soap!