Sunday, 26 June 2011

Music defiinitely fuels me

Yet again I'm blogging music, this time it's a song I'm totally in love with and it resonates within me because currently I'm missing my girlfriend who I haven't seen since last Sunday. "A week?!" I hear you say.
When you're in love that feels like an eternity.

I think it's a night writing to Michael Buble for moi ...

Friday, 24 June 2011

Music to sweat to ...

I'm loving the way someone has edited this visual mix of Derrick Rose alongside my workout track of the moment 'All The Above' Maino ft T-Pain.
I could damn near kill myself working out to this track. It gets me amped and I don't realise I'm pushing myself as hard as I am until I'm done and begin to cool down.

My aim is to get my hands on an Ipod Nano, some small earphones and a strap to hold it onto my arm so I can dribble and shoot without being hindered by loose wires coming out of my pockets. DID SOMEONE SAY AMAZON WISHLIST?

Anyhoo, here's the track I'm talking about ... Can you see yourself doing something awesome too?!

Oh dear ... creative licence revoked.

Undoubtedly they'll be more, but this has to be one of the most pretentious videos I've seen in a long time. The bit where Chris Brown apparently jumps across a chasm to get to his girl is the part where I threw up in my mouth several times within a matter of seconds.
Call me a grumpy old fart but I gotta draw the line at big boots and skinny jeans and risk getting called a 'hater'. So ... bring on the ill-thought-through verbal attacks because; if the desire not to wear clothes that make me look like a reject from the original series of Star Trek is my life long mission, then I'm a MASSIVE hater.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Back on the Ink!

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WHOA! It's been that long already?!

In reference to the Indie Ink Challenge, I haven't joined in with that raucous bunch of writers who I’ve grown to admire and miss since not signing up since the first week of May. Ok, so a month has gone by and I’ve had a break from posting my work online (which means I’ve been writing in secret) and I feel like I need to be surrounded by amazing talent once again and the easiest way to do that from the comfort of my desk is via the, CHALLENGE!

That said I have kept up with 'writings' from a few ‘Inkers’ out there but not as intensely as I would if I was in the fray myself, so I’m back! I signed up this morning and will be looking out for the usual prompts emails from the website editors.

Why would I blog about something I’m going to do like a redundant Facebook status update?! Because I’m excited, especially about writing spontaneously and being pushed to stretch my powers of creativity.
I think a month without the II-Challenge is long enough!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Blog gaps

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The gap between blogs May/June isn’t down to breaking the base of several metacarpals or damaging capitates, it’s not because the world suddenly ended and I’ve come back from the future to devise a way to tell everyone why in one fell swoop whilst at the same time prevent it from happening – I’m not dazed or depressed, worried or confused, going through an early mid-life crisis, addicted to internet shopping or denouncing the benefits of using words because they get in the way of actions – nooope! None of the above.

Getting involved in a personal project and taking time out to immerse myself within it has taken me away from blogging. When I say personal project I’m not talking primarily about writing either. It encompasses so much more that I can’t begin to express it and the only other person who is aware, although not completely, is my HoneyChops (loosely translated means ‘girlfriend’ but sounds more like a tasty meal, which works too).

All that aside, I have missed blogging as well as joining in with the collective at Indie Ink. The upside to writing under the II banner is that it keeps you writing, keeps you pushing to be creative and allows you to sample work from other writers. People give their opinions on your work and you can comment on theirs and it’s a nice arena to go absolutely crazy to play around in. So … I just convinced myself to go back to it soon. Sometimes I don’t need to talk myself into something, I can always write myself into it instead.

In relation to the II-Challenge I have only been following two other writers although there are usually over thirty or so to choose from. If I had the extra time to read the rest I would, and that’s not to say that the two I follow are any better than everyone else but, I like the way their pieces flow, so I find myself on their blogs reading their work. The two I’m referring to are Jan/Janani and Lisa aka RandomGirl.

I paused for about ten minutes after the last full-stop to read several other blog entries from other IndieInkers, it just felt right, at the time.

You could say I’m back in my blogging seat but I can’t officially say that I’ll be staying here and I’m not trying to say that I’m taking down my blog or moving to pastures green, I’m just saying that every now and then I’ll call “cut” and take a small break, just not a three week long hiatus.

I just read all of that back to myself and it sounds like I’m addressing followers to my blog numbering in the hundreds, thousands – the reality is 16, but there’s a lot to love about reality.

It's not about how you got here ...

Working, especially at a job or career you don't love doesn't leave you with that wholesome feel-good vibe that normally comes from doing something enriching extrinsic or intrinsically. Take note that if you define what you do as a career and you don't like it, then honey, it isn't a career.

I've fallen into the category filled with people that would prefer not to go work. It's not because I have a terrible job, it's not a career but, what I do affects communities and when it's good it's really great. Lately it's been thoroughly uneventful. If you've been following the news lately you'll know that cuts job cuts are being made, people are losing their jobs and services designed for parents and children are disappearing.

I'm faced with a choice as the situation has hit me square on.

The last few months have been 'different'. I've written about this in earlier blogs so if you've read them then you know what I'm talking about (no links have been provided for aesthetic reasons).

I'm both scared and excited about the future which is completely uncertain. There are no guarantees financially, and where I'd usually have contingencies up to the ying yang I'm uncharacteristically unprepared.
It might appear that this blog is being written from a well of anxiety and if people know me to be happier by contrast then I submit my two page apology now ... I'm okay - really I am, kinda. I'm dangling by my shoestrings and it's a whole new experience but until you've been to the edge and taken a peek at purgatory I think it's impossible to make life changing decisions and I mean LIFE CHANGING.

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Greetings! Yet another opportunity for some fiction provided by, Sally Laine of the Facebook ‘Laines’. I think they’re a rich family possibly responsible for some of the major breakthroughs in 1950s British aviation, but I could be way off the mark, you’d have to ask her yourself.

Anyhooob! Sally’s writing prompt is: Does happiness always come at a price?

I have no idea what I’m going to do with this one and I’m writing this brief introduction you’re reading now prior to writing the story, so I’m literally ‘free-writing’ right now (not Automatic writing), Google it if you’re a little confused.

So ... here goes:



Monday morning queues are usually something that Brian tended to avoid. For obvious reasons he made a concerted effort to steer clear of them completely, in case during the process of waiting he lost the last remaining echoes of his sanity. He was still in possession of the little portion of patience that kept him on from crossing that thin line called, crazy; but the imaginary rope used keep him at bay had become a frayed line of thread.  

“Next please.”  

Brian’s eyebrow twitched involuntarily as he let the bank clerk’s voice repeat over and over in his head. The ‘Next please’ to signify it being his turn wasn’t about to happen anytime soon. The bald headed man in front of him had held his interest for less than a minute, his tattoos – detailed and intricate and inked onto his smooth dome – made for light reading mixed with pictures, kind of like a children’s book without any edges.  

“Next please.”  

That call was slightly quicker than the last but the old lady at the front of the queue moved with a great deal of difficulty. Several people behind her shifted uncomfortably as they assumed she was not only mostly immobile but also partially deaf and with any luck, suffering with glaucoma. Everyone’s suspicions were confirmed the moment she was asked: “Morning madam, how can I help you?”
The old lady craned her unusually long skinny neck toward the holes in the glass divider and placed a freckled ear against it.  

“Sorry Deary, can you say that again please?” 

A low murmur filled the bank foyer. Brian pursed his lips and wrung his hands together to stop the primal scream that was making its way along his vocal chords. Instead he compressed it into a sigh, felt a bead of sweat run down his back and clenched his fists by his sides.
The old lady still hadn’t explained what she’d come to the bank for but the young girl behind the glass seemed well trained and apparently, extra patient. If Brian was a volcano he would have erupted and wiped out an entire village by now.  

“Are you okay?” Someone behind Brian asked. 

He turned enough to see it was a woman about the same age as his ex-girlfriend. She even looked like her, long brown hair, light brown eyes and make-up erring on the side of ‘too much’. He imagined strangling her first, then changed it to throwing a bucket of water over her face to clean off the excess paintwork. When he came back to reality he realised he’d been staring a little too long and turned around but not before tilting his head left to right in the universal ‘I’m so so’ reply developed for people that chose not to use their words. 
She smiled showing the same kind of teeth his ex has then pulled her phone out of a bag and started texting someone, probably someone with as much make-up as she had on currently. 

Brian looked back at the occupied clerks and mentally made a note to try not to be rude when it was his turn. The last clerk, a round middle aged woman looked a little like his ex’s mum, he would make doubly sure he was not rude to her, but that, if it happened, would be very difficult. He could feel something like a headache working its way around his skull, picking up where it’d left off a few days before. His right eye began to twitch and the left one started to sting. Only a massive amount of concentration and the subtle breathing techniques the doctor had taught him were preventing his mental dams from bursting. 

He’d come to the bank before work to sort out something important, something that would determine the course of the rest of his life. Anxious not to be late, anxious that the doctor had diagnosed him with mild depression, anxious that his bag was very heavy, anxious that he was anxious; Brian didn’t appreciate all the clerks suddenly apologising to their customers before pulling down their blinds that read, ‘Closed’. The entire queue as one vocalised their disgust at the sudden turn of events as what appeared like a manager or supervisor stepped out into the body of the bank and walked towards the queue. Just before he was about to speak an alarm went off. 

“I am terribly sorry everyone, but the bank is being closed for several minutes while an engineer resets our security systems. In order to do this we need everyone to vacate the premises and wait outside. I have cards with numbers on them so when we open again everyone will be seen in the order they are currently waiting. Again, I apologise for the inconvenience.” 

Although it was an inconvenience most of the queues inhabitants took their numbers and reluctantly made their way to the exit. When the manager got to Brian he looked at the outstretched hand, the number ‘23’ written on it, and as he did; the little cogs in his brain jammed and halted. The stress of trying to make them start up again was too painful and in a last ditch effort to reboot the system, one of the cogs broke in half. The dam collapsed.

Brian put his hand into his bag and pulled out what appeared to be a remote trigger. The manager stepped back at the sight of Brian’s sweaty face and the black thing that could have been an old mobile phone with a big red button attached, in his hand. The people that had received their tickets – the ones that were savvy enough to notice a bad situation get worse – walked a little bit faster past Brian and the manager who remained frozen to the spot, neither of them saying a word, Brian had said more than enough. “Lock the doors please?” Brian asked. The manager noted the wave of calm in Brian’s voice which made him more scared than when he’d seen what he was holding.
Brian turned around and addressed everyone still in the foyer. “Could everyone please stay where they are? I’m asking nicely but I don’t actually have to.” 

The old lady hadn’t heard much apart from a faint ringing noise on the edge of hearing, so she was still trying to figure out why the lovely little girl had closed the blinds down on her, which she thought was very rude considering she’d not even been told why.  

Brian turned to face the people still in the bank edging closer to the exit and placed his thumb on the red button. Like lemmings they all froze and a beautiful silence poured from them. “Lock the doors.” Brian told the manager. 
As he was instructed the manager pulled out a set of keys and when the automatic door slid shut he disabled and locked it, top and bottom. Without being told he dropped the keys and slid them to Brian. The jingle of keys against the hard floor broke everyone out of their individual nightmares and a few of them began praying. 
Unsure of what to do next Brian told everyone to stand against the doors and windows looking out onto the high street. He deposited the keys into his pockets and breathed through the chakra located in his forehead. It didn’t make him feel any better. 

Brian took the heavy bag off his shoulder, zipped it up and slid it to where the other customers were standing. “I wouldn’t touch that if I were any of you.” He said, with a complete measure of intimidating calm. The bag stopped a few feet from where they were standing. One very tall man fell to his knees and began sobbing like a child. No comfort came from the other customers who were trying to put as much distance between them and the bag which meant pushing themselves even harder onto the glass separating them from the street and freedom. 

It was a bold move for something so straight forward. The money was a means to an end and he only wanted enough to get the job done, get a little piece-of-mind and put an end to all the speculating. The fact that he was now in a bank trying to think like a hostage taker was purely down to acute (not mild as the doctor had said) depression. Things would feel a lot better once he had the cash. Going about it this way was stupid, silly – he knew that – but the clock ticking on the wall nearby, the girl on the phone, the old lady, the smell of the really tall man’s sweat and the lack of fresh air had done their job and gently sent him sailing into an abyss of his own making. 

Brian hadn’t hated his ex, even when she cheated on him several months ago, stole his car and locked him out of his own house. They were all things that could be dealt with regardless of the pressure he was under, but finding out he might be a dad and knowing for sure, was the only thing keeping him going.
The paternity test wasn’t as expensive as he’d thought and he’d done his research online, found a company he could use and noted the cost attached. After being refused ‘online banking’ the only other way was to transfer the money into his dads account and get him to pay for it. That was all. That was why he’d tried to endure the Monday morning queue at the bank, endure the people and the waiting. It was too much.

Standing in the middle of the foyer with a remote detonator gave him carte blanche over everything and everyone present. “Hey you!” Brian motioned to the manager, “Get one of the tellers hiding out back to open up and help me, please?” He finished politely but mildly agitated. The manager walked over to the door he’d come out of earlier and knocked it several times. It didn’t open. “Try again.” Said Brian.

“It’s me, David. Open the door, please.” He pleaded. David noted that the three seconds prior to the door opening were the single longest moments of his life as well as the few drops of pee that wet his underpants as he stood waiting.

“Don’t go in, just tell one of them to go to their station and open up.” Brian was so preoccupied with getting the money transferred that he failed to notice the flashing blue lights outside or the sounds of a crowd building as the police cordoned off the area. He was focused on a single task, but not enough to realise that what he was doing was wrong and may have bad consequences. He needed to complete the task he’d come to do and no one was going to prevent him doing it. 

The walkie talkie in his hand that looked remarkably like a remote detonator of some kind beeped once and every person in the bank dived to the floor apart from the old lady who looked around in general bemusement.
Brian quickly turned the walkie talkie to it’s ‘off’ setting and kept his attention on the set of blinds slowly rising to reveal one of the clerks from before. As luck had it, it was the one that resembled his ex-girlfriend’s mother. This made him walk towards the glass window with the walkie talkie outstretched toward her threateningly. The woman reeled backwards in her chair, a vivid tapestry of fear plastered all over her face.
It wasn’t until this point that Brian began to sound like someone who’d done something like this before. “Get back to the fucking desk and make a transfer to this account!” Brian shouted, slamming a piece of paper from his trouser pocket onto the counter.

“Ca- can, can, you pass it through the s- slot please.” The woman stuttered and moved back to the desk. A few beads of sweat made her hair stick to her forehead just the way his ex’s mums hair did when she walked to the shops and back. Fat bitch, Brian thought.

He passed the paper to her and she began punching his request into her computer. 

“Erm, how much should I send, sir?”


The woman looked at him momentarily confused and remembered her current predicament. Through force of habit more than anything else she began to ask if he wanted anything else and stopped herself.

“Is it done?!” Brian asked, his finger trembling over the red button.

“YES, yes! It’s been transferred.” The woman blurted out fearfully. More sweat trickled down her forehead now and the young girl that was helping the old lady stepped out and put a reassuring hand on her colleagues shoulder. She looked up at the walkie talkie then at Brian with a mix of fear, compassion and disgust. Brian couldn’t help notice now he was closer that she looked a little like his ex’s sister who had helped in stealing his car. Sods Law, he thought. 

“Take your friend and naff off!” He said and turned to the rest of the foyer.
The manager was still standing with the door ajar in one hand and the other slightly covering his genital area as Brian walked towards the exit and for the first time noticed all the commotion outside. “This doesn’t look good.” He said more to himself, and stepped over a really long person who’d apparently passed out.
The people flattened against the doors parted and got flat on the floor without being asked, outside there was a semi circle of police cars and police covering the bank, scores of people behind looked on in amazement. Things like this didn’t happen much in their town and a few of the offices looked understandably scared. Brian couldn’t see a few faces, the ones perched behind open car doors who looked like they were looking down the length of their truncheons right at him.

Brian let the view wash over his eyes for a moment or two. He hadn’t planned to do what he did, or use the expensive walkie talkie he’d bought for his nephew to hold up a bank, but he’d gone in with one purpose and getting what he needed done meant piece-of-mind, piece-of-mind meant a little break from feeling depressed and experiencing some closure sometime soon meant; a little break from his personal demons that the doctors had recently told him were a manifestation of his apparent bipolar disorder. 

The blue lights didn’t matter; the crowds and the commotion meant nothing at all. The important thing was getting the job done, he was happy, and the means in Brian’s mind were justified.
Brian took his phone out and called his dad. “The money’s in your account.” He said on hearing the old man answer on the other end.

“I’ve already paid as I knew you were at the bank, and be a good lad and don’t forget to bring me back a copy of The Daily Mail would ya son?” 

Brian was about to say goodbye when he noticed a wisp of a crack in the glass door that hadn’t been there before. He ignored it and said goodbye but no words came out. Confused, he looked at the phone and it read that he was still connected and could hear his dad’s voice asking if he’d heard his request when another small crack appeared. This time he heard the glass fracture around the tiny hole.
A few police officers surged forward, they were holding more than truncheons but Brian couldn’t tell exactly what. When they got near, a lance of pain surged through his shoulder and hand. The walkie talkie had exploded taking a few of his fingers with it. His shoulder felt like it had been dislocated and cut off, but it still seemed to be intact. 

Brian fell to his knees and the pain subsided before the broken ends of his fingers touched the floor. Unable to support his weight he slumped forwards in a heap hitting his head on the glass in front of him. The inhabitants of the bank had been screaming; their cries muffled by the rush of blood and adrenalin as he tried to stay conscious. The last emotion he was able to latch onto was the feeling of short lived happiness; he hoped he’d feel that again soon.