Monday, 8 November 2010

7 Months in the Blogging Wilderness (or How Easyjet Failed to Kill Me...This Time)

I am really embarrassed. That is the only way to describe the feeling I have right now regarding my blog. Despite an eagerness to find a valid excuse or someone to take the blame for my action (or more appropriately, lack of action) the reality is I have no one to blame but myself. Although for the next 80 words I will try to lump the blame on to my brother. He won’t mind, firstly because he has broad shoulders and can take it but more importantly he’ll never read this blog so there’ll be no come back.

Let me take you back to the start of the year. I had set myself the challenge of writing one blog a week for an entire year. In addition to that challenge I had decided to give up playing the Xbox for Lent (no doubt encouraged by my blog writing progress). It was all going brilliantly when in the midst of my celebratory smugness, I was too busy high-fiving myself to notice the massive hole I was about to fall in.

Smack bang in the middle of Lent my calendar informed me that my brother was coming to stay. I knew that this was going to be a challenge resisting the urge to play the Xbox when he was around due to our innate need to compete against each other (I believe it is written in to our DNA). It also turns out that playing Xbox is one of the only things I am actually better than my brother at. So under normal circumstances it is vitally important to seize every opportunity to redress the balance and notch up a much needed win for the home team. Irrespective of these factors I was fairly confident that I would be able to resist the urge to play, after all I’m on a journey of discovery; a deeply spiritual sojourn; a divine path that surpasses any petty sibling rivalry. Here’s how I remember the conversation going:

Me: Hi Bro, hows it going? Great to see you

Brother: Going good. It’s great to be over again. Fancy a game of FIFA on the Xbox

Me: Okay

What can I say? On the back of that decision everything spiralled out of control. Guilt, which is so often seen hand-in-hand with Failure, punch me square in the gut. It took the wind away from me. From the moment I picked up that Xbox controller I was against the ropes. It wasn’t a Rocky moment where despite being pummelled for an hour I would rise with a killer uppercut and finish arms raised in victory. It was Mike Tyson (in his prime) vs. Mr Muscle (without any of his sprays). One punch and I was on the canvas. In the space of 5 days I had broken both Lent and my New Year's Resolution!

So the reason I didn’t write the blog that week was guilt, the reason I didn’t write the blog the week after that was shame and every other week after that it was embarrassment. It is silly how we let guilt and shame tie us up in knots. How something so small can grow into something so all-consuming and cumbersome.

So here I am today facing my shame, fear and embarrassment saying sorry to anyone who will listen in the hope that I can reclaim my therapeutic blog which I have really missed (everyone needs to vent once in a while). Thanks to everyone in the last 10 days who seemingly simultaneously mentioned the blog to me in one way or another, encouraging me to just get over myself and start writing again.

Oh, and Easyjet didn’t kill me as my last post may have suggested. Don’t you just hate a cliff-hanger ending.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

My chains are gone

I’ve been set free

My God My Saviour has ransomed me

And like a flood, His mercy reigns

Unending love, amazing grace

Friday, 26 February 2010

Slapping the Gift Horse in the Mouth (or How The World and His Dog Will Eventually Have His Day)

I am currently sitting in Belfast International Airport waiting for my flight to Edinburgh. From the moment this weekend away was suggested to me I just knew it could only end in disaster – only time will tell how disastrous.

It all goes back to Christmas. Despite the World and his Dog being against us we manage to fight our way through the snowy motorways on Christmas Eve to my mum’s house on the north side of Edinburgh. It was like driving through a montage of picturesque Christmas card scenes with children walking up the snow drenched hills pulling sledges behind them, families of fern trees huddled together glistening proudly in their new white winter coats, emergency service vehicles pulling battered people carriers out of roadside hedges (okay the last one you probably won’t find on a Christmas card).

Despite the warnings on the radio to not drive unless you had to (who listens to them anyway – certainly not the family now in the hedge) we arrived late on Christmas Eve. The following morning arrived with an excitement level I hadn’t experienced for many years – mainly thanks to my 2 year old son, who for weeks had been singing Santa Claus is coming to town to now realise his singing dreams had come true (it was also his birthday – a fact he isn’t so aware of at the moment but I’m sure in the years to come he will hate with every feigned smile as he accepts another present that is “for your Christmas AND Birthday”)

Anyway, during our usual exchange of gifts my brother presented me with a card. I had been forewarned that this gift was an ‘experience’ rather than a traditional physical gift. The vagueness of it all added to the excitement. As I began to force open the envelope I could feel the eyes of everyone in the room fix on me. Out the corner of my eye I even saw a faint smile appear in the corner of my brothers lips. I pulled out the card and everyone leaned in close to capture the joyous moment as the details of this mystifying gift were revealed.

My first indication that something was wrong was that the card had a Manchester United badge on the front. Having been an Arsenal fan for most of my adult life I gave out a little chuckle and thought This is just my brother playing one of his little practical jokes. I read the inside of the card and it said I’d be going to watch Manchester United play West Ham at Old Trafford. Well at this point I KNEW it was a practical joke.

I was aware that my brother was talking at me but I didn’t hear what he was saying. My entire brain function was trying to work out what the actual present could be – were there hidden clues within the text. Eventually, deciding that my brother wasn’t clever enough for that game, I looked up. The expression cast upon the gathered crowd was one of total confusion; to which my mother responded “Look, he’s speechless!!!”

I appreciate now that the first words you say after receiving a present are fairly important. Popular responses have included the classic lines: “Wow, that’s brilliant. You shouldn’t have” or “Wow, how did you know I’ve always wanted one of those” or even the simplistic chic of the timeless and at times much underated “Thank you!”

After much consideration I realise now that my dead-pan “Is this a joke?” response was never going to win any awards. I didn't want to seem ungrateful but I just couldn’t see what the present was. It’s Manchester United for crying out loud!!! One of the teams I despise most in the world (Second in fact, right behind Hibs).

Once the initial shock of the gift and my subsequent response had passed I was able to find out that yes we were going to the match but we’d be sitting with the player’s wives and injured players, we’d get to go into the player’s lounge maybe even down on to the pitch. Even I had to admit that it would be a pretty cool day out.

Anyway since that moment nothing has gone right. United managed to get into the Carling Cup Final meaning our match would be postponed. With the flights already booked my brother suggested watching Hearts take on Aberdeen in the Granite City instead (which excited me more than watching United, Hearts actually being my first footballing love). Now with 2 days to go before the match Northern Scotland receives a severe battering of snow grinding Aberdeenshire to a halt (I knew it was bad when the first thing I heard on the radio this morning was that 30 Schools in Aberdeenshire would be closed today). So it’s looking more and more likely that the game will be called off. At least I’d still get to spend the weekend with my family I foolishly thought to myself unaware that the World and his Dog I’d so sneakily avoided on Christmas Eve would be conspiring with even greater menace this weekend.

I’ve been at the airport for over an hour now (hence the longer than usual blog), and the notice board is still flashing those hateful words ’DELAYED - RELAX AND SHOP’ almost mockingly.

I should just call it quits, turn around and go home but why miss out on the ever-exciting adventure that is travelling with Easyjet! What else could possibly go wrong!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Lent: Cadburys vs the Xbox (or How the Melton Mowbury Pork Pie can Change Your Life)

“Oh, time is on my side, yes it is” – The Rolling Stones
Time may be on the side of the Rolling Stones but I can tell you it most certainly is not on my side!

I start my Monday mornings off by wishing it was Friday already and yet every Friday that comes around I wonder where the week has gone.

I’m often complaining about the lack of time I have. So I figured it was the right moment to sit down and assess where I’m spending most time and where I can maybe save a few minutes.

There are obviously certain areas of my life which are considered non-negotiable. For example work – I can’t work less hours, they’d have to pay me less and I have bills to pay and a family to provide for. Okay I can work less hours and not tell them I’m working less and just hope that no one notices. If anyone is familiar with my work you’ll know I might just get away with that for a while but certainly not forever – even my bosses aren’t that stupid (I’m so tempted to say something smart here but I’ll just leave it blank and let you come up with your own comment about the intelligence of your own employers...............................) .

I could easily shave several minutes off my daily routine if only I were willing to compromise on my personal hygiene. Brush my teeth every other day; don’t wash my hands after going to the toilet; take a shower only when people refuse to get in a lift with me! Simple
Here’s another idea, why not only eat food that doesn’t require cooked! Think of the hours you could save each week by only eating Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Quavers!

Any way this week is the start of Lent. There were the usual discussions at work about what people were giving up. The usual suspects lined up, the unholy trinity: Cigarettes, Chocolate and Alcohol. Lent is traditionally a time for believers to prepare themselves through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial for Easter and the commemoration and celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ (thanks Wikipedia). But in our office it is just about giving up stuff. I had briefly contemplated giving up chocolate but I realised that my motives behind that would actually be to lose weight and I really wanted it to be about more than just a challenge. Was there something I could do to encourage my prayer life or time studying God’s word? Then out of the blue a colleague challenged me to give up playing my Xbox for Lent. I laughed at first and then realised what a brilliant idea that was. Okay I don’t play it that much - usually just at the weekends and occasionally during the week when the wife goes to bed early, and sometimes when I come home from work...okay I play it a fair bit.
So hopefully this will help ease my time problems. I hope to get through a few books (or as my mate said at least a shed load of pamphlets), pray more and spend some time in the quiet just listening. Who knows what I’ll hear.

p.s. instead of playing Xbox after work today I made Chocolate Chip Muffins!!! ROCK! Oh and yes I did shower today.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Reasons I Feel I’m Getting Old Part 1 (or How Being Showered With Beer is Losing Its Appeal)

This week I attended a gig at Mandela Hall in Belfast. It has been a long time since I’ve gone to a gig. My recent musical excursions have all been concerts. What’s the difference between a gig and a concert I hear you say? Well, concerts tend to be at seated venues with crowds whose main purpose for being there is to listen to music. Gigs take place in venues with sticky floors and poorly lit smelly rooms where the people come to drink lots of beer and generally stand tightly packed or jump around and scream the lyrics back at the artist.

The event on Tuesday was definitely a gig. The venue was Queens University Student Union, the artist – Jamie T. There were about 800 people packed into this little space - The majority of the people younger than me. I assumed my usual position in front of the sound desk (for two reasons the first is it’s usually the best sound and second, there’s a barrier to rest against). Doors opened at 7pm and I turned up about 9pm. I wasn’t interested in getting to the front of the stage or listening to the support act. I usually like watching the support act but as this week is so busy I decided to put my wee boy to bed before heading to the gig - it wasn’t a tough choice really : get a hug and kiss good night from my son or spend 2 hours listening to music I don’t know while all around me students get gradually more drunk and more stupid.

My favourite part of the gig is the minute right before the band come on stage – the lights are dipped and the crowd start to cheer in anticipation. I like to try and guess what song they’re going to start off with. Bands usually choose something familiar and crowd pleasing. If an artist gets the first song right they can do whatever they like for the next 3/4 songs. If they get it wrong it can take 3/4 songs to get the crowd back on side (a prime example of this was the last time I saw Counting Crows they started with the song Speedway which is a great song but a terrible opening song). Jamie T kicked off with The Man’s Machine – perfect start. The crowd went mental.

I’ve been going to gigs since I could memorise a fake date-of-birth but I’ve noticed a recent trend that really annoys me. This may just be a Northern Ireland thing - this may have always happened but I just hadn’t noticed it before. The phenomenon is the throwing of your drinks over the crowd. Why would you spend £3 on a pint only to throw £1.50 of it into the crowd? I felt sorry for those people at the front of the stage who took the brunt of the beer barrage.
I caught myself looking disapprovingly at some young man beside me who with his back to the stage nonchalantly tossed his beer over his head – not too dissimilar to Begby in Trainspotting. When we made eye contact the scorn on my furrowed face abruptly put an end to his smug chortling. I was beginning to feel like a school teacher who had taken his troublesome class on a fieldtrip.

In one break between songs, after the keyboard player had been hit clean in the face by one expertly pitched half-pint, Jamie T addressed the crowd. “We remember” he stated “when we would go to gigs and throw pints at the band...” I thought to myself, Here we go, he’s about to tell everyone off. “...we didn’t do it out of malice; it was just part of going to see bands. It was a sign of how much we were enjoying ourselves...”. Arms crossed over my chest I was confident of the scolding that was to follow and I even allowed myself a little smirk as I looked down on the unruly youth around me. “...well we want to say that it’s okay to throw things – in fact during this next song throw everything you’ve got!”


What followed could only be described the joyful anarchy of youth as beer, clothes, people and even mobile phones were thrown towards the stage. I couldn’t help but watch and laugh as I rounded my shoulders and lowered my head in anticipation of a bombardment from the balcony above me.

I would never knowingly volunteer to be showered with beer but I can’t help thinking that if I were 15 years younger I might just have been at the front of the stage, topless, sticky and hoarse from shouting at the bass player to throw my mobile phone back!!!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Living under Brian Blessed's Wings (or How the Geek in me wants out)

I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and try to convince myself that I am cool. I tussle my hair, I spray myself with a fragrance that advertisers have convinced me makes me attractive to animal vegetable and mineral, I wear clothes that highlight my positive features and hide the bumps, all designed by companies who’s logos I wear proudly emblazoned on my chest and butt. But even after all this effort I realise that I’m just in denial.

It’s time to confess. Many of my friends may already have known this fact but were too polite to say anything to me. I think that I may be a bit of a geek. Not the cool skinny geeks you see on American teen dramas who all do extreme sports but the slightly overweight, sci-fi and computer loving geeks.

The light bulb was dramatically turned on when I realised that my son, who has only just turned 2, is already way cooler than me. He has developed this brilliant swagger (okay it may be because he can’t walk properly yet but it still looks like he should be followed by a gang).

I have tried to disguise the geek in me. One such attempt was my desire to become a rock star which, as previous blogs have explained, ended in failure. I have even tried my hand at sports. However with football, by far my favourite sport, I am at a push, pretty average. Despite my rugby build I was never a fan of the cauliflower ears and flat noses I assumed were a compulsory part of the game. I do have a couple of trophies from my sporting heyday (primary school) but they were for badminton which let’s face it is pretty much a sport for geeks. It’s hardly the rough and tumble contact sport that is rugby. Or the dangerous blood sport of boxing (although I did pull a hammy once over stretching!!).

I am coming to terms with Geekhood. However there are still several issues which have the Geek fraternity hesitant about welcoming me under their Hawkmen’s wing*.

1. I don’t really like Star Wars
2. I don’t know how to build a website or know how to hack into anyone else’s computer
3. I don’t own a miniature figurine of any superhero/action hero
4. And I have never bought a graphic novel (that’s a comic book for grownups!)
5. I have never played World of Warcraft or been tempted to go on Second Life
6. And possibly most damning is that I have never watched the original Star Trek with Shatner and Co or my inability to speak a word of Klingon.

So that leaves me out in the wilderness! So until I am claimed by one group or the other I shall just light up my Xbox and play another game of FIFA 10 dreaming of the day I’ll be able to play football like Fabregas. Live long and prosper – if you can be bothered!

*Hawkmen appeared in the film Flash Gordon - Brian Blessed with wings, genius!!!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Review of an Unposted Blog (or How to Hold Your Electronic Tongue)

Well that’s another week finished, let the weekend begin. I have just finished work for the week and I’m on my way home on the train feeling quite pleased that I will not have to return to Belfast until Monday (plus we’ve been paid!!!).

On my way to work this morning my spirits were not as high flying as they are now. In fact I’ve just reread the blog which I wrote this morning and I realise I was in a pretty foul disposition. It begins with a comment about feeling run down this week and feeling the pressure of having multiple responsibilities pulling at me. Although downbeat, the opening couple of paragraphs did not suggest any underlying instability. But, that was just the prologue!

What followed was an incoherent ramble about the importance of time keeping and the lack of respect shown by those who are constantly late for things – my rant mainly being aimed at the worship team. The thing was I was late to practise myself last night but even the reality of that didn’t deter the necessity I felt to vent my wrath. It got so bad at one point I thought it was going to end with “A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!!!!”

It’s amazing how in the space of 8 hours, an Ulster Fry, some orange juice with bits in and a rather easy day at work later my view of the world can be so different. Yes I have had a rather busy week; yes I am still frustrated by poor timekeeping but does it warrant the response I generated this morning.

There are two things I have learned from this episode. Firstly, I am not a morning person (especially pre-breakfast) . Secondly I am becoming more aware of how quick we are at times to speak. Here’s a couple of verses from proverbs:

Proverbs 12:18-19
18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Proverbs 15:2
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

My rant this morning would not have brought any healing. It was anything but wise. It wouldn’t be too harsh to call it folly. I’m just grateful that I don’t have internet access on the train or I may have just posted it this morning!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Death of a Salesman (or How the Vegetarian Vultures are Circling)

I walked into Wesley Owen Books in Belfast this week and it was busier than I have ever seen it at lunch time. It didn’t take long for me to realise why. The big red signs in the windows told me everything I needed to know:


Nothing brings out the masses like a closing down sale – and not one of those fake ‘closing down for refurbishment’ sales – a proper ‘we can’t take any of this stuff with us’ sales.

There was a total contrast of emotions on display in the store. One local preacher had accumulated a pile of books almost as big as himself, a smile across his face which read ‘This is the greatest day of my life but I must try and show some reserve’. While the cashier had the biggest fake smile I have ever seen. You just know that inside it feels like he’s lying on his back while the vultures feed on his insides.

The end of Wesley Owen is really sad for me. They were my first employer (if you don’t include my paper round). After being rejected by every college/Uni I applied to, I realised I needed to find some work. I applied for the usual supermarket / shops but got nothing. My life changed however when I wondered into Wesley Owen on George Street in Edinburgh and they offered me 2 weeks work pricing Christmas Cards in their dark basement. Being young and enthusiastic I finished the work in under a week - looking back now I realise I could easily have done myself out of a week’s pay. Anyway impressed by work ethic (or more likely feeling sorry for me) they honoured the 2 week contract and trained me up on tills and working on the shop floor. With the 2 weeks came to the end they asked if I’d mind staying on for the Christmas period. Having nothing else in place (having been rejected by HMV – my then dream job) I said yes. Almost seven years later I left Wesley Owen, I was Deputy Manager, married and extremely grateful for everything I had learned during my time there.

David Hamilton taught me about humility and grace, Graeme Campbell inspired a love for classic literature, Anne taught me that anything is possible, Joy showed patience and taught me that it is better to give than to receive and possibly the most important lesson I ever learned in Wesley Owen was when Bruce taught me how to correctly wrap parcels (a talent I now use every birthday/ Christmas).

So on Tuesday I passed the cashier my big pile of books and CDs with a tear in my eye - like a wannabe vegetarian vulture not really wanting to pick at the carcass but just unable to resist.

Friday, 15 January 2010

The Things I’ve Learned This Week (or How Santa is Refusing to Leave Town)

1. Gritted roads are great for freedom of travel not so good for the lives of bikes.

I ventured back on to the roads this week with my trusty two-wheeled stead after the onslaught of snow had dissipated. It was nice not to have to walk to the train station - only because cycling is faster and 10 mins longer in bed is as precious to me as gold. But after a couple of days I realised that my usually smooth ride had become a little jerky and my little bike was struggling to change gears with ease. At this time of year all of my cycling takes place in the dark – its dark when I go to work, dark when I get back - so I hadn’t noticed that my trusty friend was totally rusty. I’m no good with bike maintenance and a little lazy so I may ignore the problem until I have to take him out the back and put the old boy down.


2. Church Boilers are Expensive

This week’s band practise was cancelled due to the boiler exploding** at church. Expensive business replacing boilers

3. People will Steal Just About Anything

Someone stole our wheelie bin this week. Scum*

4. James Cameron Knows a Thing or Two About Making Movies

It is no exaggeration to say that this week’s viewing of Avatar in 3D was by far the greatest cinematic experience of my life. Okay the film has its problems, mainly the lead actor’s dodgy American accent that was Australian more than it was Yank. Also its not the most original story it’s been told many times before. But none of that is important at all.

What is important is the way the story is told. James Cameron who apparently has been cultivating this idea for years waited patiently for the technology to catch up with his vision. Was it worth the wait? YEAH BABY!!! I sat with my mouth open for the majority of the film. The visuals are stunning and what Cameron has managed to achieve with the 3D technology surpasses all that has gone before. He never feels the need to revert to the old cheap trick of things sticking out of the screen at you (for a comedy reference of this find Friday 13th in 3D where the guy is killed by a pitch fork. Hilarious!). EVERY scene has depth. You feel that you are in the middle of the action.

Cameron who may have lost his throne in recent years to Peter Jackson has taken back his crown by force with the rise of his rampaging blue army.

The King is dead, long live the King!!!

5. Santa is Refusing to Leave Town

In December we were struck with a really cute idea – why not teach our nearly 2 year old son a few Christmas songs. On car journeys hearing him belt out “You better watch out...Santa Claus is coming to town” was very amusing. So amusing both my wife and I would double over laughing. Encouraged by the positive response it fast became his favourite song. Well its several weeks after Christmas now and Santa is refusing to leave. Mid January trying to explain to my son that his favourite song is now not appropriate as Santa has gone home to the North Pole and will not be back until next year is falling on deaf ears.

Albums I’m Currently Listening to: The Swell Season – Strict Joy / The Dead Weather – Horehound

Books I am Currently Reading : Brennan Manning – The Ragamuffin Gospel / David Simon & Edward Burns – The Corner: A Year In The Life Of An Inner-city Neighbourhood

* I use the word Scum with christian love...obviously!
**Boiler may not have actually exploded but that sounds way more dramatic than just breaking down

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Anything Can Happen on a Snow-Day!!!

This week I did something I have never done before. The act made me feel a little guilty, slightly scared and very childish, but it did make me laugh my head off.

We had experience a significant dusting of snow in Portadown at the weekend. Not so much that we were forced to abandon cars at the side of the road and seek shelter in the nearest department store but enough for the kids to make snowmen and for the council to regret not buying enough grit for the roads.

I have to admit when I see snow I get quite giddy. My brother and I have an on-going competition about who has the most snow (let’s be honest me and my brother have competitions about everything – this is just an additional one involving snow. Other brotherly competitions include ‘Best Round of Golf’, ‘Biggest Tv’, ‘Laziest Day at Work’ and my personal favourite ‘Latest Gadget’). Because he lives in Edinburgh he more often than not beats me on the snow front. How am I supposed to compete with tales of his work grounding to a halt to head out and have a big 2 day snowball fight? This is no ordinary fight – my brother having been trained by Her Majesty’s Forces feels the need to employ special tactics – namely filling his van with dozens of snowballs and driving round the site while his partner hangs out the side door lobbing snow grenades at fellow conflict colleagues.

I hear a lot of mumbling and moaning about the bad weather (a lot of it I must add from the wife) but I think you have to just learn to embrace it. Don your woolly jumpers, hats, scarves and gloves – find an untouched plot of freshly fallen snow and just fall into its heavenly arms and make the best snow angel you’ve ever made. When was the last time you made a snowman? I’m telling you that you don’t need kids to make a snowman. Let the inner child out. Throw a snowball at a loved one – nothing says I love you more at this season than a tightly packed ball of snow on the head!

Here’s another thing that as an adult you can do. Now before I divulge what took place on Monday I want to stress that although my inner child was released it was still very much under the adult supervision of my subconscious. Also that the opportunity that opened up for me may never happen for you. You could wait a lifetime for such the chance. For me, on Monday morning, the planets aligned and a small window into another world was opened for the briefest time. I was fortunate enough to see it and stupid enough to leap towards it.

When driving home on Monday morning from having dropped off my son at nursery, for unknown reasons I took a longer road home. I was meandering through the now white streets, enjoying with all my senses the beautiful winter scene, when out of the corner of my eye I passed a sight so wonderful that I was forced to stop and reverse the car to see if my eyes had indeed been playing tricks on me (like the snow version of the oasis mirage in the desert). Between the terraced houses lay before me a foreign world so magical a tear formed in the corner of my eye. It was an empty car park, untouched be foot or car. I couldn’t have been more excited if I’d discovered the door to Narnia itself.

What followed was ten minutes of pure unadulterated man-fun. By the time I had finished, this unspoilt land was well and truly... spoilt!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Self-Discipline - The Impossible Made Possible (or How 53 Posts Changed My Life)

Here’s my challenge for the New Year (oh Happy New Year everybody) – To write one blog per week for the entire year! That’s 53 posts (if you include tonight’s).

I know at this point the serious bloggers among you are laughing. Let’s face it some of you can rack up 52 posts in a week, but I’m not like you. I lack the one key element that all professional bloggers have in abundance – Self-discipline.

For years I have dismissed its importance, proudly stating that I am but an artistic soul and therefore self-discipline is not within my nature. But frankly that’s just bollocks (pardon my tone – but I felt the situation warranted it). You see what I am can I put it? Lazy. It’s nothing fancier than that. I may try and call it something flash like ‘My Vagabond Heart’ or ‘My Fantasist Psyche’ but really I’m just lazy - ‘The Sultan of Shortcuts’, ‘The King of the Quick and Easy’ ‘The Lord of the Lethargic’. I think you get my point.

So what can posting one blog a week prove? Well by doing this I prove to myself (and to you) that I can set my mind to do something and most importantly see it through to its conclusion (which in this case is my 53rd post on 31st December 2010).

The rules are simple. One post a week – to be online no later than the Friday of that week. It must be longer than 25 words. Simple. Please feel free to send me any encouragement throughout the year – likewise any guesses as to when it will all unravel like an old woolly jumper with a loose thread will also spur me on.
Here’s to the next 52 weeks – let’s hope it is eventful and action-packed otherwise this could be the most boring exercise in history.

(Please note that I have selected the lazier option – back in July 2008 my friend had completed his challenge of writing a blog everyday for a year!!! You can read his years thoughts here