Sunday, 29 May 2011

Proud to be a little bit reluctant

It's been a hot minute since a non-fiction blogpost has graced Kreative Anythingz (I'm well aware that I just referred to my site as an entity). My diary has become home to my thoughts/feelings, rantings and stuff that makes my world go round, and blogging about it as well; felt a tad repetitive. [Disclaimer]

Every so often the thoughts feelings, rantings spill out and end up here. What's eating Gilbert Grape today eh?
"The importance people put on things that hold little or no value in the grander scheme of things." That's what!

Let me begin: A lot has happened over the last two months, so much randomness that some people would have booked a one way to ticket to, Nowhere, just to get a little perspective - I'm yet to receive my boarding pass. I am usually quite frequent with social networking, status updates etc ... but recently I just haven't felt like saying what's on my mind - it's on my mind, so maybe it should stay there sometimes - you know? Shake things up a little, hey?!

My lack of exposure has been noted and several people have contacted me asking if I'm okay, I haven't been on FB, BBM, Twitter, yada yada. My answer is, “... yes I’m cool,” but what I really want to say is: "My existence isn't determined by the amount of keystrokes I make within the world-wide-web." Most of these people have my number but the ability to pick up the phone has become increasingly difficult over the last seven years, apparently. I'm pretty sure I have no idea what certain friends sound like anymore and the blame isn't one sided either, I'm at fault to, but for different reasons - I just don't want to call/text period. Colour me unsociable but I find short breaks from social media (which I'll refer to as 'SM' from now on) and people in general, therapeutic and thus helps me to focus on important things, or completing tasks without my phone beeping/vibrating 24/7.

A friend said to me several months ago: "Wow, you really use all the functions on your BlackBerry." She said this because I utilise the calendar, notepad, task manager; I have several emails split evenly between 'work' and 'personal', I know all the useful shortcuts and write most of my fiction on the move if I have time during the day. The settings I use are basic factory stuff plus a minor display tweak which still looks like the old factory setting but I can tell the difference (this is a pimp-your-phone-free-zone and I love it).

I probably sound really boring but that's me. I'm the guy that buys a pair of shoes, likes them, and buys the exact same pair a few weeks later. What's the point in getting something different when what you already have is really comfortable as well as functional? I may lose brownie points for saying that but who cares? I don't.

I think the only pang of guilt I’m experiencing right now is that I use Facebook to know when certain birthdays are and since I haven’t logged in for several days I’m pretty sure I’ve missed a few. Failing that, I’m absolutely certain everyone is saying the same things they were saying the last time I was on it. I really should log in and catch up with ... nah – scratch that, maybe another day.

I hopeful that people will read this and think I'm talking/referring in some way to them. My only piece of advice is: Not everything is about you.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Kreative Randomnezz: Marian

They say the best things – yada, yada, yada! I’m sorry for keeping people waiting but sometimes it’s good to take a minute or two to get something done. This is just one of those times. Plus I’ve had quite an emotional week and took some time away from everything ‘network related’.
This is another Facebook prompt from another Facebook friend ………….

The prompt is: Common sense would have told you that. It came from Rosalind Ming and might not be what she expected to read, but it’s where the sentence took me and I couldn’t control the genre of the piece.

Let’s see how I got on below …


Dr Marian Noel looked out on the desolation and ruins a few feet from her laboratory window. Apart from a few sections of the once titanic facility, all that was left were the armoury and science block where she stood on the 15th floor.  
Taking off her white rimmed oval glasses the sharpness of what her spectacles delivered became dull, hazy; maybe this was a good thing? She thought. Her eyes immediately began to sting with the strain and she placed the glasses back on, bringing back the vision she could do without.
A lot of the destruction was her fault. Knowing that there was a window of time where all of this could have been prevented made her feel several times worse than knowing so many lives were snuffed out on her watch.

The lab had no edges or corners and its shape made it ideal for several teams of scientists to work in clusters without running into each other. The layout made her feel dizzy for the first time since working in the sci-block for 12 years. The white and grey sphere of a room felt lonely in the way a hospital would if you woke up on a ward to find you were the last person on Earth.
Dr Noel looked down at her lab coat, the blood was still there, and it wasn’t hers.
The workstation she usually occupied was covered with inconsistent results and failed clinical trials printed out, for her own personal torment. She had persisted in light of the glaring facts, the multitude of reasons not to advance, and she had done so knowingly.
Pushing the boundaries of science was something regularly done in the sci-block but not by her, she was the careful one, the one who towed the line, kept to the rules. Got teased about her OCD when it came to discussions on quarantine procedure and yet, the blood on her lab coat was still there.
A coffee stain reminded her how powerful the blast was. She resisted the urge to clean it off. The cup had been a few feet away but its contents had leapt out and splashed over the screen positioned nearby. That was the only thing she’d seen before losing consciousness, a perfect stream of black/brown steaming liquid flying in mid air and stopping for the briefest of moments then continuing on its predetermined arc.
What bothered her almost as much as the whole debacle being avoided was the moment where time appeared to pause and then as though it hadn’t … carry on.

No one else was in the lab, an eerie silence loud enough for her to worry filled her ears. Where had the blood come from? Where was the rest of the science team? Dr Jerrod, and his group, Major Dunkley and his personnel that doubled as an elite group of soldiers as well as scientists, an often arrogant group of individuals acquired as a security team by the E.D.G.E Corporation.

Dr Noel pushed stray bits of paper off her workstation, they appeared to move a fraction slower than they should have but she failed to notice and began tapping on the keyboard until the on-screen display changed and what appeared like random code flicked across at high speed, her eyes keeping pace with strand by strand of letters, numbers and symbols until she found what she was looking for and hit the space-bar. The strands stopped abruptly like a kid running down a corridor that’d suddenly been told off by a teacher. Noel pushed her glasses further up her nose and gazed at the obvious discrepancy in the format of the encoded set of instructions. It would have taken moments to rectify, seconds to change and would have spared so much destruction had she not completely missed it. Not missed, she thought – totally glazed over like it was unnecessary.
Her actions had proven fatal, but for who? All she knew was everyone in the lab had disappeared, fled, died, vanished; who knew? Most of the city had been levelled and somewhere along the line someone had been injured inside the lab but it wasn’t her, that - she did know.

A sensation she wasn’t prepared for cradled her in its embrace. The computer screen blurred for a moment even though her specs sat neatly on her face and a noise like a massive generator filled the spherical space she was occupying. The stain on her lab coat began to grow as the sound got louder. Voices could be heard as though they were in the room with her. A dizzying feeling gripped, took hold. She leaned back in the chair trying to figure out what was happening.
The noises got louder, closer.

Labs were built for various reasons often unbeknownst to the people that worked in them and this one began to spin, slowly at first then kicked itself up a few gears until the walls became a blur of grey and white. The centre of the room remained still. Dr Noel lost consciousness.

"She's back!" Major Dunkley said to Dr Jerrod. Both men looked at their colleague suspiciously, having materialised right in front of them.
"Is she d- ?" Asked Jerrod as Major Dunkley cut in.
"Well her wound looks fatal. It must have happened when she set off the device and vanished."
"Where did she go?"
"I'm the head chief of security, I also do a bit of thinking but you're the smarter one here, Dr Jerrod. Hazard a guess?
"It looks as though she ordered the mainframe to shunt 200% more power down the spatial conduit, see the break in the code there and there?” The doctor said pointing at Noels workstation. "That's why she appeared to vanish, although she didn't go anywhere if you can think four dimensionally?"
"She ripped a hole in time?!"
"Theoretically yes but, more of a cut than a rip. Her equations were precise enough for it to be smooth sailing, that is, apart from these two strands here and here. The event was localised to three inches either side of where she is now."
Major Dunkley looked closer at the sequence Dr Jerrod was referring to and, not a man 'engendered' to being surprised and showing it, he sucked in a breath of air as his brain did the math.
“If this formula anything to go by, wherever she went, she disturbed not only the timeline but may have destabilised gravity within a 300 mile radius.”
Dr Jerrod had been working out the results as Dunkley verbally put it all together. He surmised that the nuclear reactors some 150 miles away must have been damaged with such a sudden gravitational shift and caused a massive explosion, maybe minutes in their future. Dr Noel had suffered an injury in the process. He lifted her lab coat and found a small piece of shrapnel sticking out of her upper abdomen. On further inspection it wasn’t a small piece but part of a longer pipe that hadn’t completely gone through and left an imprinted bruise at the base of her spine.

Noels workstation went blank.

“What’s happening?” Major Dunkley asked anxiously. A command prompt appeared on the screen reading: ‘Y/N’.
“I didn’t get a chance to complete the equation to reverse whatever she’d put into motion,” Jerrod said staring at the workstation, “I can’t be sure which command is the right one, yes or no.”
“We have to make a decision don’t we? So let’s make it, and hope we don’t make the same mistake she did.” Major Dunkley offered, the soldier in him speaking finally.

Dr Jerrod’s hand hovered over the keyboard just as Dr Noel regained consciousness and made the decision for them.

Saturday, 14 May 2011


If you're reading this I'm not dead, planning to die or have a death wish; I just felt like kicking the sentence off with - if you're reading this ... 
On Facebook the other night I put a status up saying: 

..'Maybe you've seen me posting blogs/shorts on FB ... cool. I need YOUR assistance. Give me a sentence/word - something that'll kick-off more stories and I'll blog them, tag you here, and credit you at my site 'Kreative Anythingz'. Thanks in advance.'..

This idea was inspired by the IndieInk weekly writing challenge that I have been taking part in since April. It's tons of fun and other writers giving you prompts for fiction/non-fiction really stretches my imagination - plus it's just a whole lot of fun. 
I'm calling this request I plan to put on Facebook at least once a month, Kreative Randomnezz. 

As promised to my Facebook friends I will tag & credit whoever gives me a prompt. The first has come from Remi LeBeau, he gave me a word, and that word was: Success ...

“They talk about it having a smell, about success having an undeniably exclusive aroma that makes the feeling of it satisfying, but the trick; as often many fall short, is first experiencing the smell, that sweet smell.” - Stefan Jeffrey (yes it's cool to quote yourself sometimes)

He woke up sniffing, cold, wet, hungry and angry. This wasn't the way things were supposed to be happening. He knew little about destiny and couldn't come to accept waking up behind an Indian restaurant covered in trash being part of his master plan. Who would?
His montage of trash and waste that he called a quilt tumbled away as he sat up bleary eyed, gazing at a harsh stain on the side of a large dustbin. There was a time when he would wake up to the sight of beautiful women in his bed, sometimes one either side of him, each resting a head on his broad chest, curling their legs around his to stay warm. Not even cats came near him now; he smelt rancid and knew it. An uncle had once said: "Boy, if you can smell yourself without making an effort it should prove effortless to smell good." 
Gary's hand squished itself into something warm and wet, the feeling was unbearably disgusting but he'd long ago lost the ability to make faces of annoyance in the blinding glare of things that would make the average person cringe. He was, by all definition, a complete tramp.
The backside of the restaurant was only used to toss out the trash. Staff there had become so adept at waste disposal they rarely looked at what they were doing, if they did it didn't matter, Gary was the human equivalent of a Where's Wally puzzle. Beneficial for him that on rare occasions they missed their target and this collection of errant garbage became, his home.

Feeling the pull of a new day, Gary got up, found his 10p Tesco's bag containing his life right now and stumbled out of his bed into the opening of the alleyway. Commuters, mums, children; they all avoided him giving wide berth to his pungent odour, screwing up their faces in that all too familiar scowl he didn't notice anymore.
The high street was a buzz of activity at 8.30am. The street vendors selling fruit, vegetables and other useful non food items were already shouting at the top of their lungs, coaxing in old ladies and the odd passerby who had no intention of stopping. Gary stepped past all of them, gradually feeling the old strength in his legs that he remembered when he wasn't sleeping in damp trash on chilly nights. His back felt considerably normal too; better than it had in a while. He noted mentally that last night he'd probably got the consistency of waste totally exact to the bend and shape of his spine, or it was a complete fluke and wouldn't last for more than an hour.
A path opened out in front of him. He never needed to weave though crowds they just moved out of his way.
Gary walked through the town centre unimpeded until the shops and commotion all around was replaced with flats, houses. One house in particular had its front door ajar. From inside the smell of a healthy fry-up wafted out on a slight breeze and blazed a path to Gary’s nose. Bacon and eggs stopped him in his tracks. Not eating anything freshly cooked for so long played on his mind. He stood still taking in more, trying to somehow convert what he was able to smell into tangible, edible treats. Failing, he noticed he was getting closer to the house, his legs moving on their own, on no orders issued from his brain.
From inside, the sound of dishes clinking together, water running and a radio kicking out a morning show could be heard.

The door opened silently. He wasn’t aware it was his hand that had pushed it open. Mesmerised by the aroma of a home cooked breakfast, Gary found himself in an impressive hallway. The walls boasted a beautiful shade of magnolia bordered by a dark pine skirting board with enigmatic patterns carved into them. At intervals framed pictures hung, one or two pictures of flowers, and an old couple still in touch with their good looks despite their advanced years.
The smell pushed Gary deeper down the hallway. Light poured in from the other end and the sound of someone, possibly a man, whistling; broke Gary’s aroma induced reverie. He realised where he was, what he was doing, and began to panic. He was too far into the house to get out before anyone coming out of the kitchen; at what used to be the far end of the hallway.

He froze.

His heart beat several steps faster than needed. Sweat made its way out of his pores and added a thin film of moisture to his already clammy skin.

The whistling stopped.

The light that bathed the hallway vanished. Gary was face to face with a young man holding a metal spatula. The man’s face didn’t change in the slightest. He didn’t flinch, turn up his nose or move away. They stared at each other for what Gary thought was a long time. He dropped his Tesco’s bag breaking the silence.

“I can help you.” The man offered.
Gary had heard: Can I help you? He backed away. The young man stepped forward, his face a picture of concern.
“Wait, don’t go.” There was something in the way he spoke that made Gary stop. He wasn’t scared or angry that a strange tramp was standing in his hallway, he appeared genuinely concerned. He really wanted to help.
Gary felt uneasy about several things, and wondered if the man lacked the sense of smell.
Another moment of silence allowed both men to look each other over. Gary noticed the salt and pepper hair, strong facial features and soft eyes of someone possibly in their mid twenties, but the eyes told a different story. What they gave away was that this person was at least ten years older, and seemed to possess surprising compassion for a trespasser in their home.

Slowly Gary calmed down. The man shifted, tilting his head toward the kitchen. “Are you hungry?” He asked.
Gary nearly fumbled the words leaving his mouth, his voice raspy for having not used it in a while. “Erm yes.”
“Come, eat with me,” the man beckoned, “I’ve just cooked, I have enough for two.”
At first Gary couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It was the eyes that reassured him gave him that feeling this surprising person was being, sincere. He slowly followed as the man turned and headed back to the kitchen.

Steam kicked up from a pot on a hob, the kitchen was big enough to house a centre island. It looked like something out of a brochure. If not for the range of food already on the counter and a tea cloth tossed idly to one side, the room was immaculate.

“Please sit.” Again the eyes.
Gary found a stool at the centre island and sat struggling to resist picking at the stray bits of chopped fruit on a large plate. “Why have you- ?”
“Please, accept my hospitality and enjoy this meal I’ve prepared, we can talk later. Ok?” The man cut in.
Gary nodded and looked at the plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, beans and toast that had been placed in front of him. For a second or two he sat with the fork the man passed to him and drank the smell of the food in for one last time before tucking in.

Christmas morning ... the start of a summer holiday! That’s what the first few bites felt like. Through the dirt and grime on his face, Gary let loose a yellow toothed smile. His host smiled back, tucking into his plate of treats. Both men sat quietly regarding each other casually over breakfast. Gary had seconds.

The plates were cleared away but Gary felt as though he needed to return the favour if possible. When his host got up to pour drinks, Gary jumped up and brought the dirty dishes to the sink and began washing up.

“Hey, no need ... please.”
The tone in the man’s voice was polite enough to make Gary stop.
“Go upstairs. Third door on the left is the bathroom. There are towels on a shelf, take a shower. In the adjoining room is a set of clippers/razors, cut your hair and have a shave. Across the hall is a closet, you look about my size and build, take whatever clothes you like. When you’re done, come back down here and we’ll talk.
Gary couldn’t believe his ears. Why was this stranger being so generous? He couldn’t regard him with suspicion, he was effortlessly sincere.

A little shocked and mostly confused, Gary said nothing in case his host change his mind and left the kitchen through the door the man had motioned to. It wasn’t the same one he’d came in, which gave a clue to just how big the house really was. Outside it seemed like a smaller property.
A spiral staircase was situated on the other side of a plush living room that Gary barely paused to take in. The thought of taking a shower was a greater pull than the soft throw pillows, immense sofa and shimmering large flat screen TV.

The shower had a stone granite feel to it, like having a cleanse under a waterfall. It was divine and surreal all at once. It took a while before Gary felt clean. He’d lathered himself up with shower gel and rinsed more times than he could count. Thick layers of dirt ran down the drain, layers and layers of humiliation and pain. There was something pleasantly cathartic about washing that Gary wanted to cherish. He spent over an hour letting the warm jets caress his skin, applying soap and gel frequently.

In the adjoining room after Gary towelled himself off, he found the tools his host had mentioned. Looking in the mirror he fought to remember how his hair once looked and cut it as close to that style as he could manage. His face, a tangled mess of hair took a bit longer. He wanted to get it right, after a while he did. Choosing a smaller, sharper clipper, Gary lined up the edges of his beard framing his lips and chin in a short smooth style that looked sharp.

Gazing at his new reflection in the mirror he began to get a sense of the man he used to be, but he felt different, broken.
His face was still handsome, he’d not seen it for several years but it was a face worth looking at. His eyes had lost some of their sparkle, but as he stood there taking in the view, a glimmer of what used to be; could be seen on the horizon of his pupils.

Across the hall was a closet which was really a long, wide corridor full of clothes neatly hung, colour coded and laid out beginning casual, colourful, turning smart; then ending with some of the most expensive suits he’d ever seen. Gary back tracked and thought about going with the casual look and realised he may never get another chance and walked forwards selecting a single breasted Alexander Amosu, he’d heard the suit was threaded with 18 karat gold, the buttons - paved and set with diamonds; was proof of its £70,000 price tag. On a shelf above all the clothes was the widest range of shoes and trainers Gary had ever seen. He chose a pair of Berluti's to complement his suit and found an Eton shirt to round off the look. When he was dressed and back downstairs, his host met him in the living room with a satisfied smile on his face.

They sat and started talking. At first the conversation was about Gary and how he’d come to be in his current situation, then his host talked about what he did for a living and some of the philosophies his father had taught him that he holds true to, in life and business. Gary listened intently, recognising some of the things he was hearing as information he’d known once, only, not from the perspective his new friend was describing them.
Soon it all began to make sense and the more Gary listened the more he was inspired. Before long Gary had taken off his jacket and they sat in front of a laptop studying trends on the stock market, reading news articles and watching the way money moved around the various trading centres across the globe.

Gary learnt his hosts name was Tom, he was 26 and his father had taught him to trade when he was very young. He knew how to look at graphs/spreadsheets and predict which direction stocks were heading, and 90% of the time he was right. He’d owned a consultancy but got tired of being tied to a building by day so he traded from home, often for fun. It was his dreams that he chose to place ahead of work and the pictures on his laptop’s screensaver were evidence that he’d been doing a lot of dreaming. In one picture Gary was sure Tom was standing underneath the aurora borealis, wrapped up in warm gear, with a massive grin.

That was what it meant. Gary didn’t know what it smelled like until now.
It smelled of clean sheets, good food and nice surroundings. It also smelled like the love and trust a father has in a sons abilities and Tom’s wife and children that walked into the house as Gary closed the laptop.

“Thanks for reading – I don’t usually talk after a post but I really enjoyed writing this. I loved trying to tie in the sense of smells, linking them to attitudes and ultimately the premise of the story. I want to thank my Facebook friend Remi for giving me the opportunity to write this. I hope he likes where I went with it.”

Monday, 9 May 2011


Greetings all! It's yet another week, another IndieInk, another chance to get challenged and spend the next few days reading awesome pieces from you IndieInkers!

This week my challenge is from Sir, you can find the response to his challenge: HERE. I challenged My Plaid Pants, you can find her response: HERE.

If you've read my previous challenge responses you'll know I love me some good old fiction. This week, as
per Sir's challenge I'm putting fiction to one side. The specifics to Sir's challenge are at the end of this post.
Also, killing two birds with one stone, I’m taking a prompt given to me by Destina Somerville (a Facebook friend of mine) and mixing it with IndieInk. Hopefully I’m able to please both Destina and Sir in one fell swoop.
Details of what Destina prompted are at the end of the post as well.

Ok here goes ...

Pic from:

Jim Rohn once said: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

I lack interest in being motivated to be in the situations that form the basis of what I’m about to tell you, or the inclination to make them a habit, yet there are some things that are out of my hands.

Twenty one years ago I was this adventurous kid from the south east of London. School would be out for summer and I’d be the first knucklehead riding his bike down steep hills with no brakes or throwing myself downhill, all; my way of practicing to be a stuntman when I got older.

I had two older brothers and being the youngest I was often the focus of various physical experiments, like; how far can you bend an elbow in the other direction before it breaks or nope this isn’t high enough to jump off, go higher! Yep, those were the good old days when I would hit something and bounce off, up, or over without much damage.

I was into kung fu films back then. I thought I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for the longest time or at least a standard ninja. Dad used to lay out newspapers on the floor and get me to walk on them without making a sound. It was hard but I cracked it one afternoon and tapped him on the back when he’d failed to turn around not hearing me coming. I was so good at moving silently on regular surfaces after that, it became quite annoying for anyone visiting the house, as:

1.      I was really good at hiding in plain sight and ...
2.      ... you never heard me coming,
3.      I would step/crawl out of a hiding place, unnoticed, and be in the middle of the room (don’t ask).

One evening my brother (the slightly older one, not the oldest) was play fighting with me after watching a really good Jackie Chan movie. Following the movie was the original version of The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe (yeah, I’m that old). We carried on with our screams of “Kee yah” “Hiiieeeyaah” for much of the evening, my oldest brother looking on rolling his eyes occasionally.

It all stopped rather abruptly.
I jumped in the air and did my impression of a Moon Kick (if you’ve ever played Street-Fighter as the Guile character you’d know how awesome that looks). Well, mine didn’t pan out so well. I ended up landing on my head. Straight on my head.
Dazed and disorientated my brothers helped me onto the sofa where I sat slumped to one side unable to get a grip on the given situation.
Knowing that something was really wrong, my brothers called my parents from upstairs who promptly called an ambulance. I only know this because I was told this. What I remember was; feeling like I was laid on a moving bed, something with wheels, feeling blasts of cool air then hearing voices and a loud piercing noise.

My heart stopped that evening en-route to hospital for several minutes. The paramedics fought to bring me back and won eventually.
I woke up two days later, groggy, mostly naked and sore. I chalked that up as something I didn’t need to do, ever again.

That was the closest I’ve been to the brilliant white glow, which isn’t actually brilliant or white. I didn’t see anything; I didn’t float above myself, have a brief conversation with Attila the Hun or discover the cure for cancer only to forget when I woke up. I was just cold and it was dark, kinda like sleeping outside and not dreaming all night.

That was the first and hopefully the last time the universe would play marbles with my destiny.


Fast forward to March 14th 2011.
Now, as some people who are reading this already know as I’ve blogged about my brother (you know, the one that loved kung fu as much as I did) passing away that Monday evening. It was the kind of shock to the system that knocks the wind out of you, dusts you off then does it again for good measure.
My granny passed away in 2009 to cancer, my brother to lupus and multi-organ failure.
The whole evening I sat with him after getting to the ICU. He was still warm, I held him – tried to pass my body heat and keep him warm for as long as I could. I failed as much as I succeeded and before long the reality of what was happening began to sink in.

He lived thrived the way he wanted, which wasn’t always great but he was happiest when he accomplished something his body told or forced him not to do. He was one of those guys that pushed the envelope, got kicked in the nuts by life and counter attacked with a massive SCREW YOU and did what he was warned not to do anyway! He was a flippin’ hero.

I’ve watched as I got stronger over the years and he got weaker, sicker. We would joke about having a fight and who would win. He thought he could take me, I guess he wouldn’t have given up if he’d tried though.
As tough as I thought I was I would still break every now and then.
The last few months of 2010 I developed a hernia. It went undiagnosed for quite some time and when I finally got under the knife; my hernia had become three, two inguinal, one umbilical. I got cut two weeks after my brother died, but during the op I began to aspirate and couldn’t breathe independently. I had fluid on my lungs and the surgeons managed to stabilise and finish up. This gave my mum a terrible scare. In her mind she was trying to bury one son and now, nearly lose another.
I woke up with tubes down my nose and throat, hooked to monitors with a belly the size of a beach ball. My brothers funeral was the same week I was in hospital, so it became a race to get better. I left the ICU and made it to a regular ward with 24 hours to spare. I left the hospital on that Friday morning in April and went straight to the church. I didn't know which pain was worse and by then I didn't really care, I just needed to be there. I got through the day on a cocktail of willpower and brief moments alone, pausing to regain my composure.

I must be touched by some rare cosmic luck, blessed, or not done here yet because that’s twice now; two separate occasions where I’ve been spared.
Without evoking wrath upon myself I’ll say ... two people very close to me have been taken and I’m still here. The reasons are unclear, but when those reasons present themselves I’m sure I’ll find the capacity to understand why. For now I’m here, left with memories and photos, echoes of their voices in my head and a list of things I need to do to make them proud.

This is a culmination of Sir prompting me to: “Write about a time when you refused to let circumstances beyond your control get the best of you.” And Destina giving me a word via Facebook: Blessings.

“Just a note to any INKERS reading this – this will be my last entry into the II-challenge for a few weeks. I’ve already spoken to Maren about it (because that’s the polite thing to do) and she was like: “That’s cool, come back when you’re ready.” Probably not the exact words she used but something to that effect.
“I love the Indie Ink Challenge and although I’ve only been involved for three weeks it’s been the most exciting and creative three weeks I’ve had in the longest time. Thank you all for being AWESOME, sharing your stories, poems and truth. As with some of my blogs I’ll leave you with a song ...”

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The legitimate shakedown

Pic from:
Thought I'd write a quick blog from my phone, at work, on the fly.
I haven't done this in a while because I'm so conscious about spelling and grammar sometimes and I often miss things when working off the CrackBerry.

In regards to a recent piece of work I did, I'm yet to be paid. The invoice went in sometime in March so you'd think payment would have been taken care of - nooooope.
Even though I can manage with the money I'd rather use the extra cash to soak up a few of my regular outgoings leaving me a cushion for the next few months *sigh*.

Now ... the same company want me to do more work for them. Please take into account that the first contract was based on a workshop I created and ran for them, so surely a little recognition in the form of £'s is due prior to any further labour.
Currently I have a month to complete the work of two people that usually three months is a minimum time frame for a consultation this big. I'll do it, probably hit the deadline, but as the story goes, not get a bonus from my employers, and the kicker is; I won't even ask for one.


I have plans of the grander nature and there's nothing like building a glowing CV to shake more cash out of a money tree.
I can say these things I hope ... my blog isn't comprehensively read by millions of people, so I can safely rant/vent and complain for a little while longer. Or at least I hope so.

I'm looking for a groovy way to end my blogs. As you can see I'm yet to discover one ...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

May the 4th be with you ...

Several people have noticed that I haven't blogged much about anything (I noticed as well that I used 'blogged' like it was a verb, an actual word in fact!). This online persona that isn't any different from the real me is slowly being diluted by online terminology. Soon I'll be infected by 'text-talk' and once that happens it's time to call it a day. All the training I did for the Copy-editing/Proofreading course in 2010 has taken a severe knock as I'm seeing more and more of my prose realxing into a state of permanent tranquility. Er, not good!

There have been two weeks worth of bank holidays and the nation has embraced all the time they've had off work. I know this from my FB Hompage with updates such as: "Whoo hoo! No work for a week." or "Yeah - the boss can shove it for a few days, I'm off to the garden!" and the list goes on ...

I took the opportunity to cut away from writing and instead of sitting at the desk when I had moments to myself, I was calling/visiting people, or, making getting them to visit me.
I had some great days with my son in the sunshine, with the missus doing shopping and taking in the sunshine, and with both of them, er, taking in more sunshine. She bought me a pair of skates too! She's the best!

I can't actually wear them yet for obvious reasons - until then I look at them from time to time, longing for the day I get to put them to use.

I took the plunge and got Sky Digital back in the front room, so I'm all HD'd up, free movie channels and sports, plus my favourite channel right now, ESPN.


I plan to have a few nights at the 'crib' (the place where I live) watching the finals with friends/family or whoever wants to come, provided they supply their own snacks.

Did I mention my boiler has been fixed! If not - WHOOOP DEE DOO! I have running hot water again and will never take having it for granted ever again. Every time I feel it on my skin I take pressure off the fosset so there's more left over for everyone else (being me, the masked avenger and the missus).

Being back at work isn't as painful as I thought it would be. Even though everyone is being made redundant all around me, and I'm not safe either, I have a sense that whatever happens next will lead to something special.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Greetings Indie Inkers! It's another week/another swim through our creative juices. This week I challenged Miss Ash, you can find her response to my challenege at; Perilously Precocious

 I was challenged by none other than Joelyn who simply asked that I: Describe the feeling of sun on your skin...

It beats the alternative doesn’t it? Or the other alternative that no one ever contemplates because they’re focusing too much on the absence of it. 

I remember, it was Steve Martin that said: “The lack of sunshine is like, you know, night.”

That sentence stuck with me, longer than it should have.
Rather than remember some old quote from, Sun Tzo or The Dalai Lama, I was lumbered with the burden of remembering a quip from Steve Martin of all people, WTH!

WTH exactly ... Who do you know that attributes the absence of sunshine to it being night time? It’s more likely that someone says something about the temperature, isn’t it? That would be the logical step in any rational-thinking person’s head.

I can’t remember the first time I felt it, but I remember the last. It was a Friday, a foggy start that didn’t hold hope of getting any better. I had poked a bare leg out the front door to get an accurate gauge of what the weathermen were struggling to tell me on TV. They predicted rain; my leg predicted a break in the fog at exactly 9am.

When the first few streams of light broke the clouds at thirteen minutes before the hour, I had already showered and dressed in shorts, a t-shirt and a pair of sandals. The decking in the garden was already set up as well as the homemade lemonade I had cooling in the fridge. 

On the window sill in the kitchen, my pot of drooping mixed roses slowly craned upwards in a concerted effort to catch the rays teasing themselves through the window, my leg, told me to head outside and enjoy.

By 9.10am it was warm, pleasant.

I sat sipping a glass of the good stuff as freshly cut grass tickled my toes. Beads of heat trickled up my ankles, into my calves and up my legs. I felt the beginning of my very own photosynthesis; sunlight = warmth = energy = positivity = happiness. I sat there smiling-in the cosmic juices, letting each breath, each heartbeat oxygenate my blood, travel through my veins and filter more goodness in through my skin. 

Inside me, the lemonade trickled down my throat and met up at the nucleus of the symphony of synthesised sunbeams that were being pushed back to the surface, giving my skin a brilliant glow on the outside. 

I looked down nonchalantly; taking note of a butterfly that had just perched on my arm. It was a sensational feeling that I barely noticed because it felt like there were already a million tiny butterflies walking all over my body, fluttering their wings casually, out of sync with their steps, causing tiny currents of wind to caress my skin; soothing the feel of their tiny legs tickling me all over. 

Sitting in the sun, drinking in its goodness; jolted my mind to different places, situations I’d been in where my body felt this good, where I was at peace. Each location brought back a collection of other memories of activities/journeys/outings with friends, family, lovers – and each memory conjured up more ingredients for me to synthesise into happiness. 

I lay there on my favourite sun-lounger – ice cold lemonade; sweating ice cold water dripping off the glass onto my chest, my mind here, there and often elsewhere, with nothing but fond memories massaged by sunlight.