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Friday, 3 January 2014

Back in Black......and White

It’s difficult to write nowadays.

There are that many outlets for social media that it’s hard to pass a day without knowing what everyone in the world is thinking. As soon as an opinion is spawned or thought sparks in to life it’s normally there in text for us all to see and be made aware of. I’m not one to Tweet. I rarely have a Facebook status that exhibits my inner most thoughts or outpouring of my joy/dismay at any recent news story. This year I even opted out of a generic “Happy New Year to all” post. My problem with all of this is that really, it’s all a bit predictable and boring.

I am of course delighted to see any friends getting married, engaged, having kids, getting a dog…….even a cat….maybe…..but the rest of it – I’m hungry, tired, fed up with a colleague, annoyed at the sky, frustrated by the rain or any of the rest of it - let’s be honest none of us are really that interested in be it from me or anyone else.

The other issue that I have is that really it makes it hard to write anything fresh. Having been a frequent writer and blogger it all of a sudden got a little bit difficult – what can you say about any event, small or large, that’s not already instantly been written about a thousand times in varying degrees of inane musings? Before you even start to put a piece together any research is muddied and clouded by a tidal wave of information, mostly horrendously un-factual and ill-informed but all burying the detail in a torrent of, well, crap.

So there are a few options left. Either be blooming quick off the mark and become a journalist, beat everyone to the punch and all that. Sadly I feel it may be a little late in the day to engineer that career change from, well, engineering. The other options are to get back in to the creative stuff, which I love and will do at some point, or find other more obsolete things to ponder. Things that are personal but, maybe, may be of enough interest to garner and, hopefully, entertain an audience. We’ll see.

In earnest I suppose this is one of those posts. Something that I doubt will honestly be of vast interest to anyone but it had to start somewhere. Essentially – I am writing…….again! I should’ve just sent a Tweet…….

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Olympian’s Spirit


Four years isn’t all I’ve had to train, almost ten years I have abstained from bars and fatty fast food chains to snatch those PB busting gains.

Now London 2012 does call, a beacon in the urban sprawl, I must not stop - I can not stall, if I’m to go and give my all.

No watching from my TV screen, I’m at the greatest show I’ve seen, its opening night - this feels obscene with Bond and our sky-diving Queen.

Off to the village then to rest, to mentally prepare to test myself against the worldwide best, adorned with my own GB vest.

The thumping of my aching feet, to simply win the opening heat, it’s already my greatest feat, but victory would taste so sweet.

And now my heart won’t cease to pound as I pace up and down the ground, no respite peace or quiet found between the first and second round.

But to my mother’s own relief and shock of the athletics chief I’m in the pre-final de-brief, somehow, against all true belief.

Get set, waiting for starter's gun, a spring about to be un-sprung then run and run and run and run, flash, wait – could I have really won?

I’m trying hard to fight back tears, it’s what I’d waited all these years for beating all those shocks and fears and tonight, believe me, there’ll be some beers.

For whilst I could not match the pace I’ll take silver and second place and smile’s upon the nation’s face – then I’ll be back, just watch this space.

So to all you kids who’re at the start, but want to win let me impart you don’t need wealth, there’s no dark art – you too can win if you’ve the heart.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Banana Splits


Ok so it's been a while. Not just writing but also posting. I've been working on a few things but slowly....and mostly weekly newsletters and match reports for the cricket clubs! I have finally found some time to contribute to the Weekend Writing Challenge and took - banana skin as the topic for this week! Here is my 'bit'.

How had it come to this? A rain soaked summer had left his Prospero postponed and his Demetrius drenched whilst in July two of the Merry Wives of Windsor had been washed away! Daniel’s outdoor Shakespeare season was an unmitigated disaster but nothing compared to this. With bills to pay and plays cancelled left right and centre he was delighted that the agency had come up with an acting job. Then to find out it was not only acting but television, well, he dared to dream – could this be the big time? What he hadn’t envisaged was stomping around a sweltering studio as a singing, dancing banana surrounded by babbling foam-headed children’s TV characters and quite possibly the nation’s worst behaved six year olds.

‘Let me just get this right’ Daniel panted, ‘after I finished the song, you want me to try the splits?’

‘Pretty much Danny boy. Oh this time give it more spajazzle will you?’ enthused the director. The fact the director looked like he was just out of nappies riled Daniel just slightly less than being called “Danny boy” and slightly more than his propensity to invent words in every other sentence. Apparently “spajazzle” was a mixture of sparkle and jazz. Daniel fought the urge to tell the obnoxious chap to “pizoffle” and returned to his mark.

By the fourteenth take things were getting not only ridiculous but outrageously hot. When his head emerged, red faced and saturated in sweat he was hardly recognisable compared to his Malvolio last year in Hyde Park.

‘Just focus on the money, focus on the money’ he chanted under his breath, casting his mind back to the cluster of red topped bills scattered across the kitchen worktop. ‘It’s all about the money, money, money’ he deliriously sang.

‘Right we’re nearly there’ interrupted enthused Vince the writer, a veteran of such hits as “The Bumbles in Toyworld” and the irritatingly infantile “Gagoo Gogaa”. It was no wonder people derided the hopes for our species mused Daniel. ‘Just one more go eh Francis?’ The director nodded and attempted to organise the chaos.

‘Okay okay places people. Can we get those kids the fruit again please?’ it was like watching a man herding cats and provided welcome amusement as well as a rest of Daniel as he looked on from the wings. ‘James take that peach out of your pocket, thank you. Will someone please ask Michelle to stop crying and play nicely? Get her the kitten again if you have to, excellent. Henrietta, what’ve you done with your banana? No darling your banana that’s your leg. The banana sweetie? No? Never mind, a new banana here please someone.’

Exhausted Daniel trudged back to his mark before taking a lung full of air and donning the head of his tortuous costume. As he waited for his big moment he swallowed down the burgeoning rage not to mention his pride, quelled the irritation at the inane lyrics and annoying tune and prepared to burst on to stage to deliver the closing verse.  Daniel struggled to stay in character; he was a serious method actor after all, as the brats adorned with fake, gap-sprinkled grins and bright eyes, fuelled by a constant conveyor belt of chocolate and e-number laden fizzy pop raced about belting out the song. Finally his moment arrived and he skipped onto stage, front and centre, bursting into a frenzied wail.

‘Apples peaches pears and strawb’rries if you want to thrive.
And don’t forget bananas ‘cause then you’ve got five.
So now we’re fit and healthy we can go out to play,
Singing our Fruity Booty song the Fruity Booty way!’

As Daniel flung his arms out with as energetic a set of jazz-hands as ever seen in children’s television he strode forward. Unbeknownst to him Henrietta’s banana, or rather the leftover end and skin, had re-emerged at the most inconvenient time.

Despite the extra £500 paid to him for not only managing the splits but also an impromptu high-note that really “sold the whole meaning of the song” and his “commitment to the Fruity Booty Bunch” Daniel couldn’t help but feel rather sick. As he hobbled home, tears still trickling from his eyes, there was a feeling in the pit of his stomach that he had in some way sold out on his chosen career path and, perhaps, it was time to look for something a little more sedate until the autumn castings came about.