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bobzilla76 [userpic]

I Wanna Do Real Bad Things To You

July 3rd, 2010 (05:55 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

I need a kick to get writing again otherwise my dyslexic brain is going to turn into a walnut.

A lot of folk have been writing about their favourite song recently and whilst most have struggled to pick one through all the years a handful are in the same boat as myself. My musical tastes change every day and my collection can only be described as eclectic at best. Generally my favourite song is the track that I listen to most but as with everything it’s the context that’s important.

Five years ago I went to the Download Festival and I stood and listened to Velvet Revolver cover Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. It was a warm sunny night and it capped a great day off and even now on evenings like that the song jumps to the front of my head. That isn’t my favourite song of the moment however.

I’ve only recently became a fan of True Blood but the shows theme tune by Jace Everett fits it perfectly. Unfortunately I need to have the opening credits played along side it though as it just doesn’t hit the same chords without it.

Am I the only one that links music to visual cues?

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

Wordless Wednesday

June 30th, 2010 (09:16 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

Greer eating a smore

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

The One Where The Sandlans Go To France

June 26th, 2010 (11:46 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

For the following I make no apologies. As with all holiday posts your going to get bored unless your me within the first paragraph or so!

Sunday 13th June 2010. The beginning of the end maybe? We were due to leave at 8pm that night and I don’t think we’ve every came close to hitting our leaving deadlines on any of our trips never mind our holidays. Before we left I had a two hour driving lesson, a birthday party to attend, clothes shopping to sort out as well as actually packing our bags. When I say we managed to get be out the door by 10pm and that we were doing really well I mean it!

Vonnie managed to get through most of the drive with no sleep and so we made it to Portsmouth just in time to park up and get a little rest before checking in and boarding the ferry. I’m still trying to work out whether the six hour ferry crossing was a wise thing. All that time trapped on a boat trying to keep the kids entertained? It would have been a breeze if it wasn’t for the fact the boat had something like six school trips on board. I’ve never seen so many kids running wild without adult supervision.

A quick ‘detour’ through Caen, and by that I mean I can’t read French road maps and so rather than get us onto the ring road and straight onto the motorway we ended up getting lost driving around the town centre, and we were on track. We arrived late afternoon which meant we had been on the go with virtually no sleep for 32 hours by this point. I think I ended up going for something like 40 hours without a single minute of sleep and felt fine.

Tuesday was our first real day here and so we spend it revisiting the supermarket after I’d almost ran screaming from it in a sleep-deprived panic after being unable to read a single product label in the dairy aisle. This time though we ended up spending stupid amounts of money on BBQ-able meat without being sure the BBQ provided for us is actually capable of staying warm long enough to cook the meat through. The afternoon was spent throwing ourselves down waters hoots at the camp sites indoor water fun pool type place. We would be burnt to shreds if this place wasn’t indoors but i get the feeling we’re going to have to get photographic proof or folk back home are going to thing the weather was just rubbish going by the lack of serious tans we’ve got going on.

Wednesday was mostly spent the same way except that myself and the boys didn’t go to the supermarket and we went to the park in the morning. This whole ‘No Swimming Shorts in the pool’ thing really got to me. It’s actually an offence that can see you thrown off the camp site so we were chancing it with the boys but I ended up having to get a set of proper speedo style swimming shorts. I have to say though that on the first day I kept stopping when I went down the slides when I was wearing my normal swimming shorts but with the speedos it was as if I was an Olympic water luge competitor or something given the speed I was getting up to! I know you don’t really need or want a picture of me wearing speedos in your head but I had to put that out there.

It was just past 10pm and everyone was asleep or in bed. I’d not long finished watching the most recent episode of Dr Who with the boys and I’d settled down for a few beers to watch episode six of Luther. My first handful of crisps seen me lose a chunk of tooth the size of a mini-D6. I wasn’t in pain or anything like that but that may be because of the tequila and lime flavoured beer I’d just drank.

Thursday was supposed to be a trip to the local beach and then a drive out to Mont St Michel but it ended up being another day with the kids running around the park and taking them to the swimming pools. They loved the two inflatable bouncy castles until Findlay decided doing a dismount from the space rocket on one of them and landing on his neck was the best idea in the world. Five minutes of tears was how long it lasted but I think it was more a fright that he got than the actual pain that caused it.

On Friday we did the dummy run through to St Malo to find out how to get to the ferry terminal and just how long it would take us. On paper I think we worked it out that it should take us something like 50 minutes as it was about 100km away and most of it was on 130km roads. I’m sure we were still driving about 2 hours later though! We clocked the aquarium on the way into town and decided to get somewhere to sit in and eat lunch. A choice of a million sea front restaurants was before us and we chose a pizza place in a small shopping mall inland. Despite the staff barely being able to speak English and our own french not being being up to scratch we managed to get some food and get a laugh from the staff. The pizzas the kids had we’re fantastic. They had been shaped into a face with the veg being the eyes, nose and mouth and the kids loved them. I on the other hand went for the calzone. Vonnie pointed out that I might have missed the fact it had egg in it but I thought nothing of it. I then cut into it to find they had basically cracked a raw egg over the insides and the cooking process melted the cheese and heated the meat up but the egg was still raw. Tasted damn good though.

Back at the aquarium we wandered around the various displays feeling a little spoiled after our trip to the one in Bologne two years ago. The place is nice and looks really good but as we came to the end of the displays we remembered something the ticket clerk mentioned in passing. There was apparently a submarine ride included in the cost of the ticket. The aquarium was inland so I couldn’t work out how that one worked but sure enough right at the end was the entrance to the Nautibus ride. I still chuckle at that name like I’m a big kid. Naughty Bus. Anyway it wasn’t so much a submarine ride as a giant walk in barrel that you climb into. It’s taken round a route in a pool that has various other tanks looking into it and with it being water on both sides it looks as if the glass isn’t really there. It was a great way to spice up what might have been only an ordinary display if you were to just walk past it in the main building.

We stopped off in Mont St Michel on the way home and like most picture postcard resorts it doesn’t live up to it’s appearance. I should have learned my lesson visiting Carcasonne all those years ago but I didn’t. Everything costs a fortune but added to that your surrounded by a smell i can only describe as centuries of poo and Dettol. And if you want to learn anything about the place you need to fork out even more money. It was nice to visit it though.

Saturday was spent packing and going around the local supermarket seeing who could buy the strangest thing to buy for themselves. The kids bought books in French that they can’t read, Vonnie bought a plant pot and I bought a light azada for the garden. That was going to be fun if customs decided to have a wee look in our car.

Early doors on Sunday we left just in time to make it to St Malo. Despite never actually finding the ferry terminal on the dummy run we got there just as the queue started. This time it was an eight hour crossing but the weather was fantastic and there was no school buses full of kids! Two hours in the car in France and eight hours in the boat and the kids were fine. Fifteen minutes on English soil and Erica was sick all over the back of the car. We still had 8 hours of driving to go at this point but we got home safely in the end.

We didn’t know it until we got there but we really needed that holiday. Not having to be anywhere or do anything by a set time was great. We never really woke up before 10am though and almost everyone except for myself was asleep for 10pm. A well earned rest is what I think you’d call it.

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

Inaction Is A Weapon Of Mass Destruction

June 1st, 2010 (12:34 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

Back in March 2008 I wrote this post for another blog I had going at the time.

It’s been something that’s been going on for a long time in my mind. At what point do you shatter your child’s rose tinted view of the world and introduce them to the harsh reality?

Since the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh 2005 when I took my step-son along for the day I’ve been trying to work out just how to get it across to them. You don’t want to sound like a parent from the 70’s trying to get their family to eat all their food by saying, “There is little brown babies in Africa that would love to have a dinner like that.” My wife and I have tried to explain it to our eldest but whilst he seems to understand at the time it goes right out his mind two minutes later when Ben 10 comes on the TV.


Creative Commons License photo credit: hdptcar

I was listening to Faithless – Mass Destruction the other day and it got me thinking again. There is a fine line between knowing about the world around us and having the harsh realities forced upon you at an early age. I usually find it difficult explaining to children why I work where I work. Without going into to much detail I’m involved in the administration side of the UK Government’s aid program. This means I usually end up trying to tell the kids about the Millennium Development Goals and whilst they usually take in what I say they almost always without fail ask that one question that all parents fear, “Why?” In this case it’s a perfectly valid question but how on earth do you answer it without cracking the shield that all children should have that lets them play in their own wee world unaffected by the troubles around them. And at what age is it reasonable to actually encourage children to get involved. From a personal view I was involved with CND from a very young age thanks to my Grandfather and several other relatives being very involved with them as well as growing up with Live Aid and Comic Relief but I know many that until very recently didn’t even know about the threat of famine every year around the world and were gobsmacked that the UK sent aid packages to the USA after  Hurricane Katrina.

There are many charities around the world involved with poverty/post conflict relief that are sometimes aimed at children. Comic Relief and Sport Relief in the UK are two of the larger ones with things like Children in Need following closely behind them. Their attitude to showing the kids where the money will go is quite a harsh one and I think it is this particular point that I find the hardest to deal with. On one hand I want my children to be care free and enjoy their childhood but at the same time I want to impress upon them the importance of helping others if you can who are in situations far worse than their own.

How do you deal with this issue?

With the shops ideals being all about helping yourself and the political side of me wanting to ‘make a difference for others’ I came right back to this issue. Should kids be left to be kids for as long as possible or should the reality of the world have an impact on them. Findlay has started watching Newsround on CBBC whenever he can. I love Newsround although I think it’s changed considerably since John Craven presented it all those years ago. They still give a very brief look at things like the current oil spill off the East coast of the USA or various problems in Africa or Asia but, and possibly rightfully so, it still keeps the bloodshed and extreme reality out of their view.

On one hand the kids are playing video games and seeing far more violence in cartoons than I seen as a child and I was an ardent fan of Tom and Jerry or The Roadrunner cartoons. On the other there are now TV channels where the kids will never see any violence at all…ever. Which do you promote? I guess I’m still just in shock at a local kid of maybe five years old threatening to smash my then three year old sons head off a wall and stomp on him like he seen on the TV.

Anyway…less looking in and more looking out. I’ve got work to do :)

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

I Quit My Job 5 Months Ago And What Do I Have To Show For It?

May 29th, 2010 (03:08 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

Other than spending a lot of quality time with my family I have to say not a whole hell of a lot. Well straight off that’s a lie but sometimes I do wake up in the morning thinking that.

Just over a month ago our chickens were lost in a fox incident and after several years of them wrecking out garden we decided that until we had tidied up the place and got it back on it’s feet we wouldn’t get any more. We worked hard on the garden. We had four years of detritus sitting along one wall of our garden and by that I mean enough lumber to build a 20′ fence, old garden toys, two old chicken coops, 12′ of hedge that was chainsawed to the the ground last summer and various bits that we’d just never managed to get sent to the dump. It was a mess and with the addition of the chickens destroying out grass you only need to look on Google Maps to see that Princess Buttercup would have been worried if she had to walk into it.

Anyway as I say we’ve worked hard. The current chicken coop has been moved to a more suitable location in the garden with a paving stone floor and woodchip coating, the shed that sat all winter unbuilt under a tarp at my back door has been built, we’ve dug a flowerbed at the bottom of the garden and filled it with plenty of green things just waiting for the colour to arrive, our veg is thriving this year without hens to eat any green thing as it pokes out from the dirt and almost all that rubbish has been sent to the dump or put somewhere better for storage. It actually looks like a garden since almost the first few weeks since we moved into this house. Oh and we picked up three new chickens yesterday which are settling in fine to their new home.

Vonnie also found her old dog on Gumtree the other day so she’s came to live with us as well.

Things are moving along slowly but surely with the business. We should hopefully hear next week if out dream shop is ours or not. The landlord lives in Palm Springs so communication can be slow at times but he’s looking over all the applicants this weekend apparently so hopefully we’ll get some good news next week. Vonnie and Jennie have been running sewing classes over the last few weeks to test out some of the tutorials and that side of things seems to be going swimmingly.

The Life Craft

The big news though is that our online shop went live a couple of days ago. We don’t have all our stock yet as we are waiting on shipments from the US and a few other lines won’t be stocked until we get a physical shop so bear with us but it’s out there. Now we just need to get our name in front of a lot more people and things should hopefully start to pick up!

Now that the shop has launched I thought I might have a bit more free time for things like blogging and general personal time but the list for post-launch is even bigger than pre-launch so maybe I’ll see you guys sometime next year!

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

Five Questions x2

May 25th, 2010 (04:25 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

In an effort to break the monotony of working on the shop, tidying the house or working on the garden I thought I’d have a little go at this. Basically I’ve been asked five questions by people and as the game goes if you want me to ask you five questions then leave a comment and I’ll see what I can come up with for you.

From lirazelf@LJ
1) What was your first impression of von?
That depends on whether you want my first impressions of meeting her in person or online ;)
Online I’m sure we ended up getting into a ‘discussion’ about the Israel/Palestine debate but neither of us remember the exact conversation and neither of us can find it on Alt Nation. Maybe it didn’t happen?

In real life I thought she was a nutter. In a good way honestly! :)

I’d split up with my girlfriend a couple of months previously and we both attended the student/AN day at Scapegoats airsoft site. She spent the day in combat gear and wearing a face mask but still managed to make an impression on me with her rendition of The Star Spangled Banner whilst holding aloft the US flag we used as a base upside down with a rape alarm screaming along in time to the singing. It took a few months to get talking to her though what with her ending up going out with one of the other players for a few months after that.

2) You seem to be very good at making cake. When/how did you discover this talent?
I’d like to say that as I come from a family of chef’s that it was passed down in the blood or something but it’s more likely I’m just good at practical things. I’ve mentioned before that whilst I was at school any class that required reading or theory work I was useless at but what I don’t really talk about is that I was really good at practical or art work. Whilst I could draw or paint whatever was in front of me I couldn’t make stuff up. I received the merit in tech class every year I took the class because between my drafting skills and my woodwork/metalwork projects I was by far the best in my class.

What surprised most folk though was that every year I took Home Economics I received the merit as well. I couldn’t sew to save my life where as a few of the girls were on their way to a fashion degree years later but my cooking was far better that anyone elses. I was careless though, and I still am at times, and my teacher almost stripped the merit from me because although I’d baked the best sponge she’d eve seen in her class I hadn’t ran a knife around the tin before tipping it out and totally ruined it. It wasn’t until I bought my own flat that I started baking again though.

3) Are you still thinking about going back to uni?
The desire is still there but the practicalities after us both ending up without work at the same time has meant the reality of it probably means it won’t happen any time soon. I really REALLY want to do the Rural Land Management course at the SAC and although the first year can be done as a distance learning course, in fact I think that is the only way of doing it, I would still need to commute to Ayr for the rest of the course every day whilst dealing with family and shop stuff. It would also probably mean I would have to pass up a lot of job opportunities due to not being able to relocate the family . They’ve got something stupid like a 98% employment rate in the field for graduates of that course but most of them are for jobs up north or in the Lake District and Wales.

The other choice is to look into doing something that fits easier into our current life. Whether that is an OU course or night classes in whatever I don’t know but I will get back into doing something. Being a student was the happiest ‘working’ days of my life and by that I don’t mean I was in Jim’s Bar 24/7. In fact apart from freshers week and the occasion afternoon pizza/pint all I did was study or work. I miss learning or more specifically I miss learning with others.

4) What was your first gig?
Define gig?

I went to many band nights in local pubs when I hit pub going age and went to the Radio 1 roadshow as a kid aged around seven or eight in Morecombe but other than it being hosted my Tony Blackburn and having to climb a tree to see the stage I remember nothing. Our school had an annual rock concert with the pupils getting their bands to play 3-4 songs and the teachers throwing together a band as well.

The first actual gig that I had to buy a ticket for never actually happened. In ‘96-’97 I think Green Day were supposed to play in support of Dookie at the Barras and I was due to go with my brother and his mates but they had to cancel their tour after Mike went a bit nuts in Sweden or some other Scandinavian place. My brother took his ticket back and exchanged it and his friends for RATM tickets but forgot to get me one. Needless to say I haven’t forgiven him for that one. It took until The Prodigy played on Glasgow green as part of the double header with Primal Scream before I actually made it to a gig. Almost broke my leg when the crowd collapsed and and Maxim misjudged a roundhouse kick at the front of the crowd and wacked me in the chest and knocked the guy beside me at the barrier over. I loved it so much I went out the next day and bought tickets to the first five gigs I could find where I recognised the band name. I went to at least one gig a week after that until about 2002 I think.

5) Is there any one thing that you absolutely, definitely, without doubt, Hate?
My inability to say something profound and interesting without fucking it up. My friends one night took issue with the nonsense I used to spout and I proclaimed in complete drunken honesty,”One of these days I’ll show you people. I’ll say something so profound and true it will stop you in your tracks and make you forget to breath as you realise how correct I am.” And as if by magic as that final word came out of my mouth I dropped my almost full bottle of beer all over my friends bedroom floor.

From Vonnie
1) Does it offend/bother you that the children go to church?
Not in the slightest. Whilst I didn’t go with my family as a child I did go with my school and the Anchor Boys. It wasn’t until I was old enough to realise what my own beliefs were that I stopped going. Yes it sometimes gets to me when they talk about God and angels but I like the fact that they know I don’t go and question my beliefs and they are only three and four years old. They’ll choose their faith or lack of in their own good time and we’re there to support them in until whatever choice they make and for every day after that.

2) If you could change any part of me (physically/mentally/verbally!) would you?
Honestly? I’d fix it so that you’d never have to deal with the problems you’ve had from PND and your joint/nerve pain ever again. You wouldn’t be you if I changed anything else.

3) Are you avoiding learning to drive because it is intimidating?
Learning to drive isn’t intimidating as such. I’m hugely terrified because no matter when I’ve been behind the wheel I’ve never felt as though I’ve been in control of the car. I always feel as though I’m half a second away from crashing and that it’s been only blind luck that I’ve lasted until now without hitting something. That and I’m very wary of spending that much money at a time where we need every spare penny going into the business and would only be comfortable going for more lessons once that initial stress of making sure we have enough cash to startup is gone.

4) Describe your perfect idyllic weekend.
Being under no pressure to get anything done. I couldn’t care less if the weather was good or bad as long no one in the house got stressed and none of the kids got worked up or had a tantrum. Seeing where the wind blew us and us all coming home with a smile on our faces would be good too. Our magical mystery tours down the west coast or to Millport are perfect examples.

5) Where do you see us in ten years?
Honestly? Trying to come to terms with our desire to not live in a large town/city but being able to be close enough to Glasgow to run the business. A large house with a bit of land where I spend more time pottering in the garden that doing anything constructive and you running several of your shops. By then almost all the kids would be at secondary school so we’d almost be free from their tyranny and iron rule and could start planning for our trip into old age and our ’slowly going nuts to wind the kids up’.

So like I say if you want to join in leave a comment and I’ll throw five questions at you.

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

Damn Kids! Or How A Dropped Lens Ruined My Day

May 1st, 2010 (10:53 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

With the trip up to Ben Ledi cancelled last weekend at the last minute I was determined to get out an about. I couldn’t think of many places to go that I hadn’t walked a thousand times before and a few people suggested various walks around Glasgow but at the end of the day I wanted something simple. I ended up walking from the bottom end of Victoria Road to the Peoples Palace (a quick stop there to see the video my Grandad is in) and then along the Clyde cyclepath. The idea was to follow the cycle path as far as I could and once I stopped for lunch I could wither turn back or work out some other way of getting back to the city centre. It didn’t work out that way.

Tiger

The walkway heads out towards the SECC from Glasgow Green. Over the last wee while they have been upgrading the riverside walkway from the Casino onwards and instead of my usual walk along dusty roads without sight of the water I strolled along the shiny path instead. Everything was going great until the Fire Brigade’s search and rescue boat went rushing past. It was only out for some practice so I thought I’d catch a shot of it as it flew back down the river but with my 50mm lens on my camera I wouldn’t get close enough to it so out came my 70-300mm lens. I’d just changed the lenses over and was admiring the sun shining on the Armadillo when a ball came out from nowhere (or the SECC car park if you want to get technical) hitting my shoulder and knocking my 50mm lens out of my hand. It hit the ground and fell into two pieces.

It wasn’t their fault really as they we’re on the other side of the road and I had seen them so was aware they were there. It didn’t stop me from shouting blue murder at them though. I spent the next 20 minutes sitting beside The Ferry trying to put it back together. I was that pissed off that despite only being about 45 minutes into my walk I gave up and headed back into the city centre to see if the guys at Merchant City Cameras would be able to save my day and fix it. It turns out that the parts cost more than the lens sells for at retail and they didn’t even attempt to put it back together. I gave up completely and jumped on the first bus home.

I think the bus made it to Fernhill before I gave up and thought I’d try and have another go at putting it back together and it clicked at the first attempt. It works and doesn’t fall apart when you hold it upside down which is always a bonus. The focus isn’t as sharp as it once was but it made me one happy bunny to see it working again!

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

Flying A Plane Is No Different Than Riding A Bicycle, Just A Lot Harder To Put Baseball Cards In The

April 18th, 2010 (10:11 pm)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

This Icelandic volcano is messing a lot of peoples lives about just now. I can understand why some people are getting a little peeved. I’m enjoying it though.

I live a not that far from Glasgow Airport and I can’t think of a time in recent years where I’ve been able to look in the sky and not see a passenger jet flying off to some far away land or the contrails of planes that have recently passed. We have helicopters flying overhead throughout the day as well. If it isn’t the rich folk flying about instead of using their cars it’s the police helicopter flying overhead following stolen cars or chasing down criminals.

It’s not like that any more. I spent 2 hours in my back garden rebuilding a small retaining wall and the only noise I could here was the occasional truck driving past on the main road. Usually there will be the sound of a plane coming into land at Glasgow every half hour or so. I like peace and tranquillity and this seems to be the closest I’m going to get to it in my home any time soon.

When I was walking up The Cobbler recently Alex commented on just how quiet it was. No cars and apart from the wind the only sound was that which we were making ourselves. The views are great, the company is always good and the fresh air is as refreshing as you can get but the reason I go is for that absence of man-made influences. Whether that’s the noise of cars driving passed or the tarmac covering the car park they are heading to I want to get away from it all. I can deal with the paths we sometimes use to walk on up the hill as a necessary evil. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I want to buy a croft in the north of Scotland. I doubt I’d be able to deal with the day to day running of a proper croft/farm because I know it’s all mud and hard work rather than the fairy tail of vegetable gardens digging and growing themselves. Given the chance to just live in a place miles from anyone outside my family would be my idea of heaven.

One day… I promise. One day I’ll have that home.

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

This Morning Feels A Little Empty

April 13th, 2010 (10:40 am)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

I have my routines. If you’ve read my blog over the last year you’ll probably know why but for those that don’t have a clue what I’m talking about 12 months ago I was diagnosed as being dyslexic. My memory sucks and I’m that easily distracted by bright shiny things you might as well call me Blackbird and be done with it. In order to help with this I have a very set routine I go through in the morning to get the day started well.

I get up, sort the kids breakfast out, last nights the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (part of my routine from before the dishwasher as I just never had time at night to do them before), put on a clothes wash, get my wife’s breakfast and then my own followed by topping up all the animals food dishes. I’d then get on with the day specific things which I won’t bore you with.

Around about this time yesterday I stepped into my backgarden to check on the chickens and hang up the wet clothes on the washing line and I found a garden full of feathers. We’d left the coop open last night which with the full benefit of hindsight was stupid but for almost the entirety of last year we’d done the same. Our garden is surrounded by 6′ high fencing on one side and an 8′+ wall on the other. The only way a predator could get in was through the hedge at the bottom of our garden but I fenced that up early last year and even our cats struggle to get over it.We’d only shut them in the run these last few weeks in order to get the give the garden a bit of respite as the plants started to grow again now that spring is here.

Ever single one of our hens was either lying dead on the ground or missing. The two largest hens were out in the open and looked to have been in a real fight file two off the smaller ones were under the hedge with the next largest blocking the entrance to their ’safe haven’. One chicken was completely missing which we assumed had been taken away for dinner. I scoured the garden looking for it but I couldn’t find anything so I went about clearing up the mess as best I could.

Mid afternoon I looked out my daughters window to see the missing chicken hobbling from the woodpile in the opposite corner of the garden. It was cut up and very shocked but I thought it might make it. I picked it up and put it in the shade of the coop but by the time Vonnie got home it was gone.

We’ve kept chickens for two years now and in the case of two of the hens we had we’d had them since they were chicks almost. It feels really strange to not have to go out and feed them this morning. It’s not like they were pets as such, only one of them actually had a name, but they made the garden. Yeah they could get noisy at times they made me want to be in the garde. Now it’s just a muddy lifeless hole that I’m not sure I want to be in.

The cloudy start to this morning hasn’t improved my mood anyway after the last two days sunshine.

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bobzilla76 [userpic]

I Do It For Me, Myself and I

April 11th, 2010 (12:04 am)

Originally published at The Apochrypha. You can comment here or there.

Its better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self - Cyril Connolly

I spent the better part of last evening amalgamating various old blogs of mine into this one. Why did I put myself through that? Well considering that it took me the best part of an hour to upgrade to the latest version of Wordpress thanks to a dodgy plugin I thought I’d deleted months ago and the inability for my install to successfully import the blogs correctly at first I really did start to wonder myself.

Over the years I’ve picked subjects I’ve had an interest in and started various blogs to explore them. I never thought I’d get a following but after watching many writers, and for some I call them that out of sheer politeness, gain a loads of readers I wondered where I was going wrong. I tried the various circle jerk sites like Entrecard to get new readers and all I got was warnings from my web host about my traffic being to high for my package. If I was lucky I received a very veiled attempt at self promotion in the form of a comment designed from the start to make it look like they had actually read my post. I just didn’t get where these bloggers were getting their readership from.

When my RPG blog joined the RPG Bloggers Network it’s traffic didn’t so much as jump through the roof as gave me a slight boost but those that came to the site actually read my posts and I was very lucky in that a lot of people took the time to comment on my writing and I’ve got to know a lot of folk through it but at the end of the day this blog gets only a handful of visitors a day. It’s a personal blog so I don’t expect much but if I was to tell you that almost every day around 80% of my page views are for the Malteser Cake recipe I posted months ago you’ll see where my angst comes from.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I need validation or acceptance when I write but I certainly want someone to have read it. Over the years my writing has changed and it’s not just the spelling that has improved but I always feel that I’m always grasping for things to say. If I have an idea for something to write about I’ll then spend four hours struggling to put the words together. Whether that’s my dyslexia showing through I don’t know but it certainly shows with anything I rush. I joined in a conversation a friend of mine was having on Facebook today and no matter what I typed it felt as though I was digging a deeper hole with every sentence. For those curious it was a discussion on why people were being so upset about horses dying in the Grand National when loads of animals die every day for our needs and desires. He is a vegetarian and I’m a conscientious meat eater so we’re never going to agree on the basics but I found I really struggled to put together an argument for my view point. I know why I believe the things I do but could I get anything writing down other than, and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘I’ve got grindy teeth and choppy teeth so I’ll use them for what they are meant for’? Needless to say I don’t think I came out of that battle with to many hit points left. On a side note I need to learn more about basic punctuation I feel…

I just took a couple of minutes there to check if my wife had updated her blog before going to sleep and reread her latest post. I’ll hold my hands up and say that because it’s got a lot of crafty posts I tend not to click the links but this time I did. Can you guess what the first link was about? This exact same topic!

Everything I write is there for the general public to see. I don’t mark anything as private for my eyes only. Maybe I should do that? I don’t know. You only have to look at the varied and many categories in the sidebar to see just how far I wander at times. The only brand I’m pushing is me and aside from friends and family I don’t really see who would actually care about what I write. I love to write though.

My written English skill levels are always a major fear for me when I put something out there even if only a handful of people will actually ever see it. It’s not just my writing skills that are out to stop me actually writing though. In my days of writing for Wired’s Geekdad blog I enjoyed every second of it but seeing the level these guys take their hobbies to really intimidates me and so any time I come up with a topic to write about I end up dropping it as they would either be far more qualified to write it or already have. Why even try and write a smart blog post on something topical when someone else out there will be able to do it far better than I can. On here my answer would be that I’d try because in the grand scheme of things noone would see it. Add possibly a few hundred thousand readers and I’ll shrink back into my dark corner and let someone else give it a try.

For those that haven’t guessed yet this is one of my rambles that like my earlier discussion on Facebook isn’t actually going the way I originally intended. I’m grasping at a point but never quite getting there. I can almost guarantee I’ll wake up in four hours time in a eureka moment with a way to make this more structured, readable and to the point but that in itself completely misses the point of this post.

I’m getting a huge feeling of deja vu with this posts…

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