Sunday, June 29, 2008

Don't diss the daughter

Click on the image for a larger version


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Online Scrabble

Ah, would you look at that: I’ll get the triple word score in the corner and catch that word coming down. 53 points. Nice.

Oh nuts. I’m playing Rogan.

I’m going to have to find a different word.

Arrrrgghh, there isn’t anything else which gives me anything like that amount of points. And he’s currently 30 points ahead of me.

He's 13; he's heard it all before. He hears it on TV, not to mention in the playground all the time. I mean, I even hear it freely bandied about by the kids at the primary school gates when I collect Meg.

Yeah, but Maggie wouldn’t be happy if I started using that word in a Scrabble game with him.

He probably wouldn’t tell her. It could be one of those secret father-son bonding things…

Oh, but what if he did?

Just stop it right now. I can’t put that word down.

Remember, it’s only a game.

But it’s 53 points!

Nuts, nuts, nuts. Sometimes this attempt at responsible parenting is a real pain.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bird in the living room

It seems the best way to get a bird out of the living room is to let it hurl itself headlong into the window and stun itself.


Then you can pick up said bird and take it back out into the garden.

Of course I wasn’t immediately aware of this method. First I had to go through a voyage of discovery and learn birds don’t like you approaching them hands outstretched; living room furniture is not laid out in a way that is conducive to catching birds; you can never find a fishing net when you need one; a bucket doesn’t make a good net; and a bird is not averse to emptying its bowels when frightened.

Note: one flight into the window at full speed will only partially stun it, but not enough to allow you to pick it up before it’s flapped it’s way across the floor and hidden behind the TV. It takes the second crash before you are able to carefully lift the bird without fear of being flapped or pecked.

After half an hour sitting quietly under a bush the bird will recover enough to fly away.

Either that or the neighbour’s cat got it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

That time of year...

Hhhhhave... www... we... gggg... got... annnnotherrrr... bbb... bbbllll... blankkkkettt?

Nnnnnnoo... ppp... ppputt... annnnotherrrr... flflflflfleece... onnn.

Bbb... bbbbuuttttt... wwwwhy... ddd... dddd... ddddon’ttt... wwwweee... ppp... ppputt... ththththee... hhhhheeeeeaatingggg... bbb... bbback... onnnn?

Bbbbbb... bbbb... bbbeecauuse... ittttt’ssss... thththe... mmmiiddddllle... offff... jjjj... Juunnnne.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rogan is a Teenager

Yes folks, my wee baby boy turned 13 today.

In keeping with family tradition, I’ve been working away on Photoshop to create a personalised card for him. Last week we watched The Matrix together, which he really enjoyed, so that provided the inspiration for this year’s creation (for previous years, go to the archives and look up June 16th).

Click on the image for a larger version


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Father’s Day didn’t exist in our house when I was a child. Maybe it was around and my family didn’t buy into it, or maybe it’s a more recent retail opportunity. However you can be certain I exploit it for all it’s worth.

Yes, it’s Father’s Day on Sunday and don’t forget it kids. If you want to be sure I’ll still love you until my birthday- your next opportunity to show your love and devotion in 4 months time – you’d better do something to make me feel good about being a Dad.

Mind you, I no longer wear ties – not that I would ever have worn one with Homer Simpson on it anyway – and I prefer my socks plain. I didn’t like 80’s music back in the 80s and it certainly hasn’t improved with age so don’t even think about getting me any of those “Sounds of the New Romantics” CDs with “Don’t forget Father’s Day on the 15th June” stickers on. And a pack of blank DVDs – how dull and unimaginative. What do you mean your pocket money won’t stretch to the box set of “Dexter” Season One?

Yes, I did see the local beauty salon had a Father’s Day sticker in the window, next to some photos of rather unmasculine looking metrosexuals, but if you think for a single moment I would countenance the idea of a back, sac ‘n’ crack wax, then you need your head examined.

But wait, what’s this? Hand made cards from my children and grandchildren? Fond wishes and incredibly warm words from my stepchildren?

No, no, I’ve just got something in my eye, I’ll be fine in a moment…

Who’s the daddy!

Wot? No cake?

Monday, June 09, 2008

The deepest lie is the one that FEELS true

The most insidious aspect of Depression is that you KNOW it to be TRUE. You know in the way you feel it in your bones: the world is not worth living in or making the effort for in any way.

And when you are confronted with this TRUTH, this absolute certainty you are seeing the world as it REALLY is, you have the overwhelming sense the veil has been lifted. Therefore, any time you might have been happy in the past must have been an illusion. Clearly you were distracted, you were being naïve, the happiness was hollow and false and you were too stupid to see it for what it was.

And what this means is that you can NEVER be truly happy in the future. The best you can hope for is moments of distraction when you briefly forget the TRUTH of the world. So is it really worth making the effort for these brief respites in a false reality? Of course not.

You feel all the hollowness, all the grief, all the despair, all the deep, aching pain and you KNOW with every fibre of your being it is REAL and nothing else is.

So when someone says, just pull yourself together, snap out of it, go for a walk – that’ll cheer you up, all you can do is look at them with pity and contempt for their shallowness, their blindness to reality, their assumption that their veiled illusory world is somehow superior to yours.

Let’s face it, they are happier in their illusions. There is no point in dragging them into the TRUTH. You wouldn’t wish this feeling on your worst enemy, let alone your loved ones. Let them stay in the Garden of Eden – it’s only you who really sees it is nothing more than a patch of overgrown weeds and poisonous plants. They are better off not knowing the full reality of it. They are better off without you. That way you cannot INFECT them with the TRUTH and destroy their lives too.

This is what Depression feels like.

How on earth can you battle against that, when you KNOW it’s pointless, that you’ve lost before you even start?

My way has been to deny the TRUTH of ANY reality.

We are 3 (or 4) dimensional creatures living in an 11 (or more) dimensional universe. We exist for a few seconds within Billions of years. We are the smallest speck on the smallest speck in a universe full of trillions of trillions of stars and is billions of light years (or more) across.

Anyone claiming to KNOW the TRUTH is lying or delusional. There is no way we can possibly know the TRUTH about the universe and our existence in it. And if any multi-dimensional being tried to explain to us what it was about, it would be like us trying to explain quantum mechanics to a pubic louse. We are so small, we are so insignificant in the universe, TRUTH is impossible to grasp.

What we do deal with on an everyday level are “truths” (small letters, inverted commas); relative “truths”, convenient “truths”, accepted “truths” which help us to operate in the world, as we perceive it.

All “truths” are man made; all “truths” are human constructs; all “truths” filter our perceptions of reality.

Most of them are created not by one person, but by many: cultures, religions, political systems, relationships, sciences, games etc, all have a set of accepted rules which we abide by (or kick against) for the duration.

None of them have a monopoly on TRUTH. To assume that any are ABSOLUTE TRUTH is like saying football is more true than chess, or yellow is more true than wicker baskets.

So what does this tell me?

It tells me the idea my view of reality when I am Depressed is the TRUE one, is complete and utter bollocks. It is a lie. All it is, is a construct for the duration, which I accept as TRUE. It as a “truth”, not the TRUTH.

Don’t get me wrong, this understanding doesn’t stop me feeling everything associated with the condition, but what it does do is allow me to know it is lying to me: it is NOT the ONLY TRUTH, no matter how convincing it seems.

And this in turn allows me to understand there are other ways of perceiving and interacting with the world, which are just as valid.

It doesn’t HAVE to be this way. It IS worth taking the time and making the effort to try and find a way out, and keep going until you do. The notion that it isn’t - one of the cornerstones of Depression – is a lie.

In order to combat Depression, I have out-argued reality.

Not everyone’s route, admittedly, but it seems preferable to suicide.

There are other benefits to this approach too, the most notable one of which is you don’t have to accept other people’s constructs of who you are. You are in fact free to become who you wish to become.

But I’ll leave that one for another day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Blogger’s block or worsening CFS?

Nearly 3 years, over 50,000 visits and more than 360 posts since I began blogging, I find I’m struggling more than I ever have to write something worth reading.

I must admit I don’t visit as many blogs as frequently, the number of visitors to my ramblings has halved over the past year and several of my favourite bloggers have either stopped, become very sporadic or are on some kind of indefinite sabbatical.

Blogging is a strange activity. We begin with some idea of what we want out of it – perhaps to practice our writing skills, meet new people, dream of being discovered and offered a book deal, but then it becomes all too easy to fall into chit-chat between pals.

There’s no doubt I’ve made some extraordinarily wonderful friends and for them it becomes easy to write, “My son’s doing this, my wife’s doing that, isn’t the weather grim for the time of year, did you see that programme on TV last night…” etc. But it’s not the way I like to blog.

What I really love is to find a story, a conversation snippet, a window, a snapshot, a chuckle, a sudden moment of insight into the human condition. In other words, some kind of pay off for the reader.

I don’t take it for granted anyone reads this blog, in fact I can feel pitifully grateful. So if anyone is prepared to invest the time in reading what I have written, I feel they deserve at least some kind of reward for having done so. Otherwise I’ve just wasted several moments of their life.

Without doubt the bloggers I return to again and again, the ones I visit every day desperately hoping there’s something more from them, are the storytellers – Mary, Restaurant Gal, Sam, Pat and the like. When I read them I feel I have gained from doing so.

And this is what I aspire to do with these Ramblings.

But whether I’m blogged out or, as I suspect is more likely, with the CFS getting steadily worse my mind isn’t always as clear as it was, I’m aware it’s increasingly difficult to find the story, the insight, the payoff to create worthwhile blog posts.

Even this post, I’m not entirely sure what I’m trying to get across. Is it an apology or an explanation for why the quantity and perhaps quality of my posts is faltering (in which case, so much for the old adage never explain, never apologise)? But to whom? If it is for the reader, then this too is just chit-chat.

Upon reflection, this one’s just for me. I feel the need to write down what’s happening to me, whether anyone reads it or not.