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Wow. So, what’s it been? Two and a half, nearly three years? Fairly certain my last blog post was in or around the summer of 2012. Any unfortunate soul that stumbled across, decided that they need some masochistic glorification in their life, and actually read my blog, must’ve thought that had I died; went into a witness protection programme; or just lost faith in my abilities and chose a new walk of life. Well, the latter I can confirm is true. The second point, I’m not allowed to comment more upon. And the first? I’m still working on the whole resurrection thing, but so far, no good.

So what’s happened with me, and what’s going to be happening with my blog? I’ll attempt to mount and divulge¬†those two parts in, I suppose, two parts.

Last I was scribbling my inane ramblings, I was an English literature student in Bristol on line for scraping a pass in my degree, with an ambition for writing for a living in the employment realm of journalism. That genuinely was the plan. It didn’t turn out that way. I actually graduated with a 2:1 (for my American chums: one below the top grade). I’m still mounting enquiries into how that happened. I then started a career in writing and journalism, and sincerely got some stuff published. I worked at one or two institutions (the highlight being Front magazine: an alternative men’s lifestyle magazine in London with perks of meeting my favourite bands and gorgeous women), but it didn’t last long.

There are a couple of reasons for me ceasing my premature ambitions. The main one was, regrettably and predictably, security and money. I met practitioners in the role that I aspired to, earning nowhere near enough to sustain an existence in London and forced to working second and third jobs. There is a higher earning potential, but it involves relinquishing the love of writing, and entering more of the bureaucracy: something that I’m not interested in. Unless you’re highly gifted and get noticed, and I’m not of the view that I had that, that’s the way to survive by what I experienced.

So I needed something safer (so rock ‘n’ roll and boheme – I’m sorry Mr Kerouac! ūüė¶ expect a lot of this post- rebellious lamentation of my succumbing to the ‘man’. It’s been a tough adjustment and I’m wholeheartedly not there yet and quietly still vehemently against it), and something that would still intellectually challenge and stimulate me and that I took enjoyment in.

Boom! Here I am, and somehow nearly a qualified lawyer. I know, right? Ridiculous. And slightly disingenuous to everything I’ve historically preached. But there we go. I had to do a three year law degree in nine months, law school, and somehow secure a two-year training contract (again, for those non-acquainted with the legal profession, an apprentice-esq position, which yields itself to around 1 in¬†every 150 graduates) to qualify. I’m currently on the latter, in my second 6 month ‘seat’ working in Commercial Property and Corporate law, with a commute getting me in the office at 8am and leaving at 7pm. I’m not here to brag or bore anyone, I just wanted you to know how hard I’m working.

The second point is more lifestyle focussed.

I moved home (not cool) as that’s where the job is. I also lost a crazy amount of weight (36″ waist to 28″), did CrossFit, got a six-pack, and stopped CF and put half back on again. It wasn’t sustainable, or enjoyable. And now I’m working to get to a happy medium. I would think I’ll be posting about the odd health issue now and then, but be sured it’ll be anthropologically focussed rather than the generic boring waffle we’re used to across social media.

I also got engaged: mega- boom! Not even that: holy shit! As if someone agreed to put up with me for the rest of our lives? Pity the fuel, that she’ll need to progress. I hope someone gets that.

So here we are. I’ve gone from a porky, disorganised, self-sabotaging renegade (I’m not sure if that’s self-deprecating or insufferably arrogant), to a creatively tattooed, work conscious lawyer (ditto again). I suppose the point of my this post is as follows:

1. I’ve been meaning to get back on here and on track for a while. I currently do legal blog writing, but it’s not quite the same and I don’t intend to do it on here. However, I do think it helps giving me another string to my bow of ponderings.

2. I didn’t think I could just post again after such a long absence without an explanation, despite the glaring fact that I doubt many actually reading this.

3. It’s inevitable that the nature of my posts will change; my contention is that this would happen naturally (and here we are back to essentialism vs social constructivism: I told you my philosophical/English degree related posts weren’t through with – I’m still cool. HONEST!)¬†¬†in a three year absence, but considering my alteration in life direction, this is even more likely. I anticipate less poems (if they ever qualified as much), and more ponderings. Sure, legal stuff may intrude: it’s my job, and has been my mind-set for nearly three years. However, this is not my ambition with this blog. I want it to continue to and nurture the facet of me that it manifested from. I intend that to continue. It’ll just be, different. And let’s face it: it couldn’t get much worse.

So here I am. If any of my old discipl…ahem, followers, are still out there and read this – comment and say hi! Let’s see what happens with this. I won’t be the prolific poster I was before, thanks to the obsessive job, but I intend to use this space to exorcise my creative demons which, despite being utilised in some areas of my work, perhaps are being ignored. To our mutual benefit I suspect.

So, as the title articulates: my apologies. But, I’m back.

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Morning all, or Good Afternoon, Good Evening and Goodnight to those of not on my island.

I haven’t posted anything for quite sometime I realise and for this, I apologise. I assure you that I’m not dead, not yet at least (each day is a blessing with the type of life I lead) but nearing the end of my three years of University¬†education. Basically, that means I have about a month to do all the work I should have done over the past three years.¬†Remaining¬†are three assignments of around 4000 words, an exam and a dissertation of around 14,000 words. Sounds like fun? I’m literally lactating with joy it’s so much fun.

Anyway, enough of my moaning. That is why I have not posted anything for yonks, poor excuse I know. But, I have something pretty cool brewing (and it’s not the¬†remnants of my breakfast) to put on here, but it is tied in with my degree, so it’ll be finished in a month or so, but watch this space. It’s the most challenging and advanced creative writing I’ve done so far. If you’ve read any Angela Carter (especially The Bloody Chamber that takes fairy tales and warps them beyond recognition) then this will be less shocking. The title of the essay companion that goes with it is: Little Dead Riding Hood: An Exploration into the Gothic Conventions Within the Traditional Fairy Tale. So that is to come. I also have a firework of a ghost story in the works. Just realised how much I’ve built it all up now, mistake. Scratch that, it all sucks OK? So don’t expect much at all (this way when you read them you’ll be pleasantly surprised).

Until then, I shall put up the odd bits and bobs as they stumble through my brain and onto my keyboard but don’t expect too much (not that you ever should really).

For now I shall leave you with this thought, if the duck that doth tell the trout that he serves himself alone, who doth the lilypad serve?

Image

Adieu, Chin Chin and Ta Ta for now,

Dormouse.

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So I sit a module in University (when I attend) called Gender, Sexuality and Writing. Sounds like fun right? Half right I suppose. It is indeed filled with interest and probing, (no pun intended) questions and ideas.

As one may envisage, much of the discussion is generated from the oppression of women over the centuries, feminist criticism and general damning of those with Y in their¬†chromosome’s construction. Still sounding like fun? Well, I thought there must be other chaps out there besides myself that would also be on this course and I was correct. Gazing around the lecture hall I can in fact pick out three other guys, out of around seventy odd. And, surprise surprise, none of those chaps happen to inhabit my seminars. So these happy one hour sessions include fifteen people; fourteen of the female persuasion, and me.¬†Definitely¬†still sounding like fun isn’t it?

At the beginning of academic year I found myself to be worrying about the end state of self-esteem and my genitals after enough of these sessions. I mean surely, me sitting there, discussing the damnation of the male race would make most men want to chop their general and two colonels? Either that or I had strongly anticipated some sort of sacrificial castration eventuating at one stage or another. However, I have found it to be one the highlights of my week.

One or two here may know me in ‘real’ life. I am an¬†antagonizing and irritating (though of course simultaneously witty, charming and modest)¬†degenerate. But a degenerate blessed with the skill of being able to argue extremely proficiently about any given topic and generally tie people in knots. This aids me in great lengths within these heavenly hours, as I am forced to defend the male race alone (the tutor is also a fervently furious feminist) as feel I ought to.

Now before I continue further, I would like it to be made known that when it comes to my own personal opinion on feminism and all of that, I am rather asexual. I argue for both sides of the¬†equation¬†and want nothing short of equality, equally. However, there are just certain things that have been thrusted to my attention that I wanted to explore. I’d also like to make it crystal clear that when it comes to my historical and theoretical knowledge on these things I am, in the grand scheme, a perfect novice, so do not destroy me too thoroughly.

The module is named Gender, Sexuality and Writing, but as far as I’m concerned Gender and Sexuality means that we ought to discuss all genders and sexual orientations. This is sadly not the case for we touch briefly on male literature and homosexual writings but it seems to be there for formalities sake, to make room for the overwhelming feminist literature, lesbian writings etc. We studied for instance, H. Rider Haggard’s imperial romance She, a superb novel directed at men, discussing homosocial worlds and drawing on societies fears of and reacting to the emerging New Woman. This was the inclusion of looking at feminism from a male perspective, however, we were ushered to¬†criticize it in an attack against this way of thinking. It seems that feminist writers are allowed to attack men and the patriarchal society but when a male writer wishes to write anything that could be¬†construed to isolate women, or have women as femme fatales or negative roles of any kind, this is unacceptable and sexist.

It is one hundred percent clear and understandable to me why there is feminism, and frankly, I’m glad there is. I dread to think of life if we lived in the type of society we do today but with 19th century views towards the treatment of women and their rights. Emmeline Pankhurst was a heroine in my opinion and I could name you hundreds of female authors that depicted women struggling for equality whilst they too struggled with the same hypocrisy and torment, and I stand behind them well and truly. However, although women still do not have perhaps equal opportunities today, neither do men.

I’m aware of a few employers that are forced to hire women over men who are in fact are more qualified due to the lack of diversity and fear of law suits. Employers who are continuously taken for ride from female employees that exploit maternity leave. There are countless stories of women complaining about sexism and the lack of equality that are all taken extremely seriously (and so they should be) but you rarely hear the same complaints from men. Despite there being a good amount occurring in society.

Girls are now allowed to join Beavers, Cubs and Scouts but boys are not allowed to join Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. There even complaints emerging about men’s organisations grouping together to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer with events such as the ‘Movember’ scheme. The complaints stem from women stating that they too have lost close ones to prostate cancer. Well this is very true, but men are not allowed to contribute to breast cancer organisations and race for life events despite that they too have lost loved ones and that men can in fact also contract breast cancer.

I do not believe in set gender roles and all that rubbish and sexist views that women have had to confront since the beginning of time. I do however, believe that some feminists, need to take a break from attacking men and attempting to have everything that men have and allow women to have it too (whilst not allowing the process to be reversed) and come to realise that men and women are, in fact, different. On the majority, women are often more intelligent than men, so that should be reflected in them securing jobs over those that do not qualify as well. They are also often more apt at teaching younger years, and therefore it should be no big deal that more jobs are given to women to become primary school teachers. It also shouldn’t be a big deal that, on the majority, men tend to be larger and physically stronger than women. It is not always the case, but often this is the way. Therefore there should not be these day to day arguments over women feeling they are being oppressed because men are being allocated higher ranking roles in areas that require a higher physical demand. I decided to poke fun at this exact point within one of my seminars. The tutor had been doing her routinely damning of men and how women can do everything the same if not better which of course was a lovely hour to sit through. As we were leaving however, she was struggling to pick up the entirety of her files and papers. I strolled past and commented that I would of course offer to assist her, but that I wouldn’t want to undermine her femininity and oppress her in any way. I’m sure this comment contributed in my low marks of the next assignment.

I’m also not saying for a minute, that women now have equality and that the examples listed above are the indication of that now we men are oppressed. That would be silly. Women still struggle daily, but the point I’m making is that now, so do men. It’s very hard to conform to¬†societies wishes. Heterosexual men are now required to be sensitive to women’s needs and allow them to be their own person and pursue their own lives. But, we are also still needed to be protective, decisive, confident and often things that completely contradict the first set of requirements. Many of us are plodding through life, with our heads continuously looking over our shoulders, terrified of our own shadows and attempting not to be sexist.

To be honest this post probably doesn’t make much sense, and I’ve most likely managed to offend some people. For this, I apologise. Alike to all of my posts, this one was not planned or thought out, I simply write as if I were speaking. I’m sure if I had thought more or taken more time over it I may have been able to come up with a more fluid and well balanced argument. I have not though.

Therefore, I’m sure that it is accurate to assume, that due to men having it rather easy over the centuries, and women being horrendously oppressed over the centuries, that it is man’s time to suffer. But if that is true, then think about all we’ve done to earth and the animal kingdom. Trust me, it won’t matter what gender you are; when that day comes, we’re all screwed. There’s nothing I want more than for things to be equal between men and women, but unfortunately, I just don’t think it’ll ever happen. That’s because we are in fact different. And these differences aren’t always a bad thing. Who says it’s a bad thing for a man to be the one to drop down on one knee and propose? Or a woman to be the one who is proposed to? After all, the differences we have, often complement each other extremely well and result in grand things. In the words of Rodney King and Mars Attacks: “Can’t we all just get along?”

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Underneath Reason

Something underneath reason,

To look no further  offers us a paradox.

How can one locate that,

Which has no location?

We’ve not had tools given to us to dig,

Are we ushered in the morning of life,

Not to pursue?

That which is underneath reason.

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So something very strange has happened. I’ve been nominated for The Versatile Blogger award which, subsequently, means I’ve won it. I now envisage your expression. It depicts the emotion of complete lack of understanding, mixed with the feeling of when you have trapped wind. Similar to being informed that if you jumped off St¬†Paul’s¬†Cathedral you would fall up into the solid orange ocean. Exactly.

But nominated I have been, and very touched I am too (even if it does turn out to be an awkward misunderstanding) and it is all thanks to the genius blog that is Short and Fun. Now I do not want you to think that just because of the obvious insanity that led this blog’s author to nominate me for this award that the blog is nothing short of awesome. That is not what I want you to think for this blog really is great fun to read. I am a picky one, and can get extremely bored with blogs but if there is a blog who deserves this award it is this one, and I strongly urge you to check it out.

Now one could hope that one could jovially accept this award and waddle off into the cyberspace distance without a care in the world. One’s hope would not be a wise one. It is in fact¬†protocol to do a couple of things so as this wonderful award may continue to bring inspiring and exciting blogs to our attention and keep them flying through wordpress.

1. heretherebespiders

By far one of my favourite blogs out there. And extremely versatile. Love the animal drawings and the posts whether long or short will ensnare you as they have done me. Based in Ireland: what more could you want?

2. imogenandtonic

A new one to wordpress but definitely one worthy of a mention. Wonderfully written and both witty and thought provoking as well as heart warming.

3. imonthebandwagon

A nice and unique idea and one that I have had much fun keeping up to date with. As long as you can deal with the knowledge that you’ll probably never find out who the band is, then you’ll love it.

4. Ashley Jillian

Great wit displayed in this, makes me laugh every time I read it, and nicely regular posts!

5. Nightly Sky

Really impressive stuff here, emotive and awe inspiring. Definitely one to watch.

6. The Tousled Apostle 

So talented and extremely varied. The way this blog is set out also makes me cringe when I look at the decor of my own and the time I spend on my posts!

7. Alma Segeholm

Really mesmerising stuff on here, used to be some great thoughts put down too, hope we see some more of them resurfacing.

8. F. H. Hakansson

This stuff will leave you thinking for hours, but not in an unpleasant way. So much different elements that can be drawn from it.

9. Thaino’s Blog

This is one I came across from my nominator’s page a month or so ago and am really enjoying what I read. I don’t find many that when I find them, I look back through all of their archives regularly, but this is one of them.

10. oohgioia

I’ve only recently been reading Heather’s blog but it’s definitely becoming a¬†memorable one. I love blogs on life and its ways and this one gives me what I want!

11. pushbuttonreceivebacon

Literally the coolest doodles around that should definitely be somewhere where every one can enjoy them. Replacing the Apple logo or something.

12. squarerootofzero

Again, such cool cartoons. So weird yet I’ve been checking this blog constantly for new posts.

13. Southern Musings

Really accessible and enjoyable poetry. Anyone who enjoys reading poetry or is attempting (badly in my case) to write it, would be well advised to check it out.

14. Reclusewritings

Brian Looney has talent that I’ve never seen before. Can’t get enough from his page, I haven’t come across anything I don’t like yet, despite only following it for a week or two.

15. Zooky World

I love cartoons, and similar to some of the others I’ve mentioned on here, these have great cartoons, scribbles, poems and thoughts. A real pleasure to peruse.

.

OK, so now those well deserved bloggers have been cordially¬†acknowledged, I apparently now am required to divulge seven facts about myself. I’m rather uninteresting but I’ll give it a whirl!

1. I have a innate and bizarre abhorrence of cotton wool. The stuff literally makes me want to kill myself and everyone around me.

2. I once cut the whole forefront of my little finger off in a glass panel of a door. It wasn’t much fun to be honest.

3. I did a pier to pier swim in the sea for the British Heart Foundation once, and fell over when I got out of the water due to my legs having not been used for walking for a while.

4. I have been diagnosed with different mental conditions, the most amusing being one that causes me to have absolutely zero spacial awareness and hand eye¬†coordination. Guess that’s why I can juggle with numerous clubs (and most other things) and play the drums. Nice one ‘specialist’.

5. I can play the William Tell Overture on my adam’s apple.

6. I had a black labarador called Dylan that I loved a stupid amount who died of Septicemia when he was 4 years old.

7. I have never had chicken pox.

Thanks for reading and sorry for rambling!

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Thought it might be time to get some things of a more visual nature on here for purposes of versatility. I do use the term photography very loosely, I love taking photos, but don’t really know anything about taking them so much. I can use an analog camera and develop prints but haven’t done for some time. The photographs I upload on here are taken with a Sony Alpha A290, and occasionally I use Photoshop to retouch them a bit, but rarely. If I think it’s cool, I’ll snap a picture of it, that tends to be how this eventuates.

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On July 10th 2011, I decided that after six years of breathing those¬†fantastically¬†fatal fumes that cigarettes impart on us, enough was enough. So on July 11th I went into work and passed my tobacco, papers, filters and lighter to a colleague (who wasn’t planning on condemning himself to misery) to finish off. There have been a numerous¬†scenarios wherein I have been half way through a cigarette and thought, “yep, this isn’t for me anymore, going to quit *inhale* definitely going to quit now, *exhale* probably after I finish this pack.”

However, this is useless. The nerve is gone by that point. I’m a firm believer and partaker in¬†spontaneity, explains a lot of my tattoos. But I decided,¬†one¬†night, that quitting was the way forward.

Now I have never attempted to quit before in my 6 wonderful years of addiction, the prior expression being the¬†simplest explanation; I love it. I have never¬†particularly cared about it being bad for my health (despite my being an asthmatic and having a doctor’s examination informing me of the early signs of¬†emphysema) I have wanted to revel in life for as long is given to me.¬†Consistently maintained the ideological values of not wanting to live a long life of regret and merely a short one of excess I suppose, most of my lifestyle has added up to that, doing as much of anything that I enjoy despite it being harmful to me and others. This is certainly one reason I ceased; excess. One only needs to read The Picture of Dorian Gray¬†to understand¬†that the whole ‘New Hedonism’, or simply Hedonism for that matter, is not good, and that vices lead to bad things. Despite Wilde being the author, Aristotle quotes this best by¬†concurring¬†that excess is the ‘vice of the soul’. And if these two guys thought as much (hypocrite that the prior is in this case) it must be right. But this was certainly not all. This is, painfully and inevitably, the part where we mention a girl.

I had on previous occasions uttered such sweet sentiments to my other half that I would “do anything” for her, no matter what it was. Would I jump in front of a car? Yes. This reminds of that total monstrosity that people call music in the form of I think it is Bruno Mars or some ‘man”s (I use that term very¬†loosely there) song ‘Grenade’. Makes me laugh, he’d catch a grenade for her, stop a knife attack, put himself in the way of an oncoming train, something about being shot in the head…what sort of life does this girl lead? This guy really needs to work out why people are throwing grenades at his girlfriend (girl, I know, I was as shocked as you are). But I digress.¬†Would I walk across burning coals? Yes. Would I, I don’t know something about flying to the moon or another one of those stupid cliche things that guys¬†conveniently promise to do as they’ll never have to prove it? Yes. But my girlfriend’s a bit smarter than your average bear. She didn’t ask for any of that pop music rubbish. “Would you quit smoking for me?”

I originally told her that when I said ‘anything’ that this had certain connotations and terms and conditions, and that if she read more into it than I perhaps had, then I was very sorry, but it was ultimately down to her own perception. Then I started to realise that I didn’t want to be that guy, and that as pathetic as it sounds, I really would do anything for her…EXCEPT THAT! She’d never bothered that¬†much about it before, it was my life after all, blah blah all of that justifying to yourself why you’re doing something wrong sort of stuff. Well, my stupid conscience got the better of me in the end. I’ll never forgive it.

It was, horrific. I would not advise it to anyone. I cannot properly describe the feeling, but what it most resembled to me, was that there were thousands of hands all over the inside of skin and they were scratching their dull nails over and over again. It was all I could think about. In fact, I was walking to work on that fateful day and thought it might be appropriate to look at the date on my phone so I could keep tract of the time. It was July 11th. I remember my exact thoughts of gazing at those little 1’s and remarking to myself how much they resembled little cigarettes. Oh dear, this was not going to be easy. I do remember however, after a couple of weeks, my sense of smell and¬†taste buds¬†becoming far more superior. I felt like Peter Parker waking and discovering his newly honed senses, however no matter how many times I’ve done the hand movements I’ve never managed to shoot webs out of my wrists. A sore subject.

But here we are, November 3rd now, yes it’s 1.39am so it’s the 3rd. Still going I suppose, not strong, but still going. It sucks, it really does. Writing this post has achieved one main result; I want a cigarette. But I will not go back to it, I know I won’t. Part of the reason I never attempted to quit before was for that reason, it was not going to be an attempt. I’m applying my abnormally stubborn nature of not giving in and mixing it with the thought that if I go back to it, I’ll be letting someone down who for one, is not myself (who I am quite accustomed to disappointing), but also is someone who I care more about than I do myself. And if we all truthfully ask ourselves, that is a very rare thing.

This is not a self-righteous doctrine to those who smoke, I’m no better than you. In fact, probably the contrary. This is not a message of warning and encouragement to quit, in fact quite the opposite. If you enjoy it, keep going, for me at least! Unless you 99.9% (you can never be totally for it) are positive you want to, then don’t put yourself through the self-esteem¬†crucifixion of consistent stabs at it and failure. You know smoking’s terrible for you, and you do it anyway, that should be enough for anyone.

My one sincere regret of quitting: I loved it, especially forming smoke rings, great fun. The regret is that I never managed to create the intricate smokey design of a ship, that Gandalf seemed so apt at producing, this is also, to say the least, a serverly sore subject.

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