Friday, March 19, 2010

"I know Saint Peter won't call my name"

Hi folks,

The old song line - 24 little hours - rings true once again. A good night's kip and a walk in the refreshing Spring weather has helped lift a small weight from my shoulders. Nothing serious I hasten to add, just the welcome return of a slight smile instead of the troubled brow.

So, in the words of a barman talking to a horse: why the long face? :)

Iffy jokes aside, the last few days have been a bit frantic. I had a dose of flu... proper in-bed-hot-and-cold-shivery-flu... not the man flu that we blokes normally get. As in, sssh, don't tell the wife... a cold :) I was okay after about two days of resting up. I could have dosed myself up and go in to work, but really, that would just be presenteeism. I really don't think I'd have been up to scratch and worst case, I'd have been infecting the my co-workers. Besides, I got to beta test the new remote access system the night before I went back. Not a total loss then :)

Minor illness over with, the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and I got on with the packing. We're both off to foreign climes for a wedding. Not ours, we've done that... although I think a blessing would be nice. Hmmm. Where was I? Oh yes, packing. That's done and all that remains now is the flight. I must say - otherwise this'll be a short blog post :) - that I'm less of a fan of travel that I used to be. All the rushing around, the cramped leg room and the duration of a long flight don't exactly install me with good vides. That said, I've not seen my mate for a while - can you count Facebook or Skype chats? - and he's a good friend. I feel it would be poor of me not to make the effort and go. Plus there'll be lots of cake :D

Little Miss and Wee Man are not coming with us. They're staying with family back here and I think that's at the heart of it. It's been so long since I've travel alone, or with just Mrs J, that I know I'll miss them. I did when I travelled with work to a conference a year or so ago. The bright side in that was that Mrs Jones was still at home, so they had Mum for cuddles and stories. Yes, I know Granny & Grandad will cuddle and read, but I wonder if it's a pang of loss knowing I won't.

There is also.... a tiny whisper of fear in the back of my head. The fear is this: what if we don't come back? There I've said it. The rational Spock-like part of me says - and maybe even *knows* - that flights are statistically far safer than driving... and just don't go there with the odds on being a biker. :)

But I'm not 100% rational: never have been, never will be. My worry is that if something really bad was to happen, my kids won't have us around. Maybe this sounds nuts, but it's not my death I'm worried about. I've had a few laughs, had some great times, met some good people and met a lovely lady, Mrs J. Sure, I'm not ready to leap up for Carousel - although I'm certainly old enough! :) - but I don't think I fear it. Death that is.

Larks, this is proving to me a laugh-a-minute chuckleathon isn't it? :) Funny, I don't have a Faith. I just don't get the latter. I have friends and family who do, but to me it just doesn't click in my head or in my heart. The romantic in me wants to believe there is something after death, but the cynic in me argues that that's just something we tell ourselves when the pain of loss is too great. What I will say is this: if there is nothing afterwards, it's what you do now that matters. Look after the people who are important to you. :)

(Ed: Other fortune cookie cod spirtuality is also available. :P )

Ooo, cod fortune cookie. Yuk! :)

Talking of things not clicking, I don't get Coldplay either and I've used on of their lyrics for today's post. I'm not going to diss them because with my musical taste, it's best not to get into a snob fight over which band is better. Plus I do like that particular track. If there is a God, I'm very sure He - or She possibly - has a very good sense of humour.

So you don't like that artist, eh Jones? Zzaapp Heh. Laugh that one off while you're blogging. :D

See you in two weeks.... fingers crossed ;)

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Viva La Vida by Coldplay ]

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Yes the universal's here,
Here for everyone..."

Hi folks,

Crikey. Where to start? It's been one of those odd few days were both nothing and everything seems to have happened. Does that make it a quantum effect or more that I'm just confused? Let's move on! :)

It was time for a meeting with the Chameleons Group t'other night. The Centre's doors have been changed as part of the renovation work and for a short time, we were locked out. Luckily some of the Centre's other tenants were kind enough to let us in... at least they did when I knocked loudly on the fire escape door. Maybe we need a key for the group? Something to email the site managers over I guess. Following on from the theme with bright tights, I wore my new skater dress. Shorter than I'd normally wear, yes, but very comfy. Plus, you've got to push against your comfort zone sometimes :)

Rumour had it that we were due a visit from a local branch of Hot Hair. But, for whatever reason, that didn't come to pass. Instead we had a pleasant evening of chat. Swapped a few silly stories and generally had a very good time. Perhaps not the pounding high energy discotastic nights of other times, but after a busy week, I was glad of a sit down and to catch up with friends really.

Self described regular irregular Rebecca popped in to say hello. During a chat in the kitchen about childhood camping holiday, she glibly asked the IT contingent, what did we do before the Internet? Well, for one, I read a lot more and I think I watched more TV back then. Now I seem to write more, read a little bit less and skip on the telly watching.

Talking of the t'interwebs, the BBC are doing a piece on the Net and how it affects our lives. I think I may have mentioned this previously. Maybe I need Google for my brain or something :) Anyways, there's been a few reports and shows about the history of the web and whatnot. There's also a few on-line articles about the growth and - for me at least - the social effects of it. Just last week there was a news item about how important people felt Internet access was.

A recent article also listed how important people consider Internet access to be. Indeed, it's become a necessity for many. To be honest, while I think I could stop using it for a while, it would leave a very large whole in my life and to an extent, my identity. With WiFi and Mrs Jones's laptop, we have so much information within our grasp. Stuck on an actor's name? IMDB; wondering about a recipe? Google; etc. Mentioning WiFi, it seems whole cities are contemplating the idea of a public network. Sure, we'll still have to pay for high speed links, but for everyday access, I think this will really drive change hard.

It seems that for all the technology that's not at our fingertips, we use it for one key thing: communication. To state the obvious, I guess we're just a social bunch when it comes down to it. Perhaps it is somewhat ironic that people can be so connected and yet feel lonely at times. Equally, and coming back to last night's meeting of like minded souls, on-line friendship is one thing, but actually meeting and having friends in the real world feels more rewarding. Don't get me wrong, I do like an email, blog comment or Facebook update to see how friends and family are getting on.... I just don't think I'd want to live in a bubble (so to speak) where that was my only means of communication. I guess I'm lucky in that regard. Sure, I'm not 100% out, but neither am I completely stuck in the closet either.

It's funny in that I'm friends we people I've never met in the real world. I exchange emails, as no doubt you do too, with individuals I'm unlikely to ever meet. Yet I know them as well as I do my friends in real life. Modern life eh?

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: The Universal by Blur ]

Friday, March 05, 2010

Run fast for your mother,
run fast for your father,"

Hey all,

There are times, as a blogger, when the well runs a little dry. It's not that you've got the curse of writer's block - although I guess you'd have to be a writer to qualify for that ;) No, instead, and at least for me, there's this fog. A dull grey nebulous sensation of uninspiring meh. I know that's not a word, but just go with me on this for a mo, okay? :)

I guess, there's nothing I have to get off my chest. No tales to share or point to make. But, and to be honest with you, I feel that that's laziness on my part. You make the time, dear reader, to subscribe to these mostly one sided chats of mine - well some of you - and those that do, some of you are kind enough to comment as well. For that, I'm thankful. At least it's not me typing into the void. :)

So with my prattling out of the way, what shall we talk about? The truth of it is that I didn't have anything tucked up my sleeve. Nothing I'd stashed for a rainy day - or perhaps more accurately - a dry day as I've alluded to.

With all that said, I've just switched off the telly after watching the programme on Eddie Izzard's marathon running for Sport Relief. It was that programme that turned the creative cogs in my head. As he ran on, so my emotions and spirits were raised. He ran these marathons for Sport Relief last year and while I read a little about it, I think the support/production crew have really managed to capture the essence of it. I found it inspiring that he'd done it. Regular readers will know I just don't 'get' sport. But with someone like Eddie, someone more renown for other talents, the fact that he just threw himself into it was very impressive.

There are personal moments to the journey too. The visit to his old house where his mum passed away was very touching. As much as we read or see of idiots out and about, the Great British Public loves to surprise you. Some made the effort to run with him, to talk and to try and raise his morale. Just jogging along side and offering a little help. Sometimes, I wonder if that's all it comes down to. Being their for people and helping when they need it.

For those of you who've just beamed down to this planet - oh, and welcome, by the way :) - Eddie's also famous for being a comedian... and a trans one at that. An 'action transvestite' he said in the programme. I can't say I follow his comedy per say, but what I've seen I've enjoyed. In terms of the trans elements, I know not everyone is comfortable with the idea that one person can speak for us all. How could that be true? My feelings are not his and your feelings are not mine. Sure, we share this quirk of genetics that makes us dabble in the pink arts, but we are all people in our own right. So too is Mr Izzard. I think with the media, there's a risk that you could be pigeon-holed as being the 'tranny comedian' but somehow he's managed - at least in my eyes - to duck that noose and just do his own thing.

Good luck to him I say and I'll be putting a few quid in the coffers of Sport Relief for his efforts.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine ]