Sunday, September 24, 2006

Start typing...

"Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes, by Stephen King"Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes, by Stephen King

Honest. Clever. Simple.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Off to Brighton...

Will be heading off to Brighton next week to begin our family holiday in Rye. So I thought I'd add my favourite photo from my last trip to Brighton Pier.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I have a huge desire to write something tonight but for the life of me have no idea as what to talk about. If I was to be brutally honest, life is in a bit of a stalemate at the moment and has been for quite some time now. Urges to change parts of my life since returning from Australia, setting new goals in motion have been met with irritating and unnecessary hurdles. I might as well be made of rubber and relentlessly throw myself against a big brick wall. I am terribly impatient, not one of my more redeeming qualities, I admit. If I looked back over the past seven months, there are things I should be proud of like taking part in Anything Goes, other things have more than niggled though, like securing a higher paid job in order to save towards Australia. This has been like forcing an elephant up a staircase. With just your index finger. I've been beaten down at every available moment by the industry I 'love', I find myself having advanced forward the length of a gnat's cock which is pitifully frustrating and a little draining to say the least. I know I'm not alone in thinking this about my job and it's far from being a original insight in this day and age, I'm just not convinced it should be this hard that's all. I wish I was more gutsy (and richer) to just go 'Fuck it. Why not.' and just go and face whatever consequences are out there. Alas, I am far too responsible and I'm sure my bank would have something to say about it too (although they would probably ask me for my postcode and third and last digits of my password before giving me their opinion).

On a change of subject, you may have remembered me talking about a party I went to in Clapham two weeks ago. I met a man. As you do. He was a very charming man. A very sexy man. I took a shine to him. I tried my hardest to remain cool and in control. I managed to escape, unscathed, with number of said man inside phone. A small victory for a small man with big confidence issues. You maybe wondering what's happened since then. Well, that was two weeks ago and very little has happened since. Okay, we have conversed on email and text briefly, (my two most loathed forms of communications when it comes to getting know someone new) things are progressing very slowly and time has cast its shadow of doubt over how 'into' me he really is. I must march forward with a smile though, be determined not to freak out and say something inappropriate or off-putting in his presence as I might as well start reaching through prison bars of my padded 'single' cell, gurning the words 'Please Love Me!' at anyone who happens to walk past. It's wonderfully attractive image and becoming of a young man my age, I know, although I sometimes think we should embrace these images of honesty that flash inside our heads. They make me laugh and tend to slap a bit of sense into my overly romanticised head.

I trundle on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ta Dah, it's wicked!

On my way home on Saturday night, and saw this poster site with the two favourite things I am looking forward to spending my hard-earned cash on next week. So much for saving money this month.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

An Open or Closed Book...

I have been criticised by some, that I have been quite open and candid on this blog. Have I? I'm not sure. It does make you ask questions, I suppose. I'm aware there is an element of risk, but on the otherhand, if you're not personal and intimate enough in a journal, it becomes dry and unreadable. There is the 'exposure' factor, that anyone could read your daily thoughts and use them against you, to judge you perhaps, but I'm finding it therapeutic in a way. Almost exhilarating, like pressing your foot down on the accelerator, when you know you're past the speed limit. It forces you to analyse your actions, your attitude, observe lifes bumps and grinds or jiggles of fun from another angle. I want people to know they're not alone in their neuroses and expectation of what life brings. We all desire a decent amount of happiness and luck once in a while as we go through daily dilemmas, it's what keeps life compelling and thought-provoking. I don't want to join the ranks of those bloggers who put up photographs of their cats, their collection of plastic buttons or men they they'd like to shag, but don't have the time to as they spend 24 hours a day scanning the internet for porn. I love the undiluted pleasure of writing. Those dormant creative muscles, being forced to warm up and stretch their literary legs a bit. Remembering that there are numerous words to be found and used to describe one's life, more so, than the proverbial terms of 'nice', 'boring' and 'okay'. One of my close friends, who is a far greater writer than myself, exclaimed that she couldn't write about her life as it would be a bit dull, I don't believe her. We all have stories to tell and within them, we find allegories, lessons to be shared and jokes to pass on.

Through this reflection, we find our potential, our boundaries, our lust that drives us forward and sometimes mad. The disgraced author James Frey said in this weeks Guardian interview, that we live in a fast world, we think fast and everything has to happen now. Not a new observation I know, but not enough of us do take the time out to reflect, to stop, sit back and breathe in what has just happened to us. The paranoia of the 'now' grasps many of us by the throat and usually its our own hands which are strangling us. Will we be the generation that had everything available to them, but never took the time to stop and truly embrace it? We constantly look for future happiness and never think about whether it's in the palm of hand already or literally round the corner from us all along. I will stop this diatribe now, in fear I will come across as bleak or morbid, which I'm not - just having a very profound moment that's all. I do think it is important to take stock and cherish what we have though. I whinged about being nice and so dependable a few weeks ago, as it never seems to get me anywhere. Only to receive a letter the next day from my dearest godmother in hospital, who wrote me a simple line of praise saying, 'I love you for many things - one very special one being your constancy'.

Life is hard; especially when you go through it resisting the 'norm', in order to keep the faith, to retain a sense of identity and worth. It's so easy to take the simple, hassle-free route in life. Follow the herd. Get swept away by the current trend. I've always believed if doing the right thing was the easiest thing to do, then we'd all be wearing halos. Sometimes, you do lose the fight and it occasionally makes you want to give up your cause. Yet this obstinant determination does have its rewards. Especially, when the braver friends and strangers around you, notice what you do and what you believe in. I thank those and admire them for their resolve, especially my godmother Jean for recognising those qualities within me at a time I wanted to simply give up, while she faces much more unimaginable challenges.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Suppressing my Woody...

I don't blame this man personally. It's just the collection of analytical neuroses he represents. I have many Woody Allen instances, a characteristic that has almost become less of a trait of mine and more an hourly buzzing inside my head. So much so, my friends describe it as having one of my 'Woody Allen Moments'. This is me, to those who know me well. The apprehension of success in anything - whether it be work, love or whatever, comes under the gaze of this Jewish auteur sitting inside my head. As if he's mentally typing out another one of his 'not so good as Annie Hall but better than Match Point' scripts on a miniature typewriter inside my cranium. He comes into his own when it comes to men though, especially men who give me any form of attention which has the possibility of it going somewhere. This is when I analyse the communication between myself and the guy so much, it sucks all the joy and fun out of meeting them and it becomes a slowly collapsing souffle of a date or potential relationship. Sometimes, it doesn't even get that far. It goes almost like this:

"Hello, I'm Richard."
"Hi there, nice to meet you."

Cut to internal Allen voice:

"What does he mean by that? He must hate me, I'm fool, why couldn't I have been nonchalant and aloof like everybody else and just say 'Hi'! Whats the point of carrying on? It'll end in tears!"

Okay, that was an extreme - but you get my point. Back to the situation in hand. I should be enjoying the fact I have actually heard back from the guy I met on Saturday night - a reply to a text I promised to send him on Monday. It was a brief response, I admit and not as long as I would have liked, especially after the witty prose I put together in order to say, "Hi it's me. Remember me." Unfortunately, this has woken Mr Allen from the depths of my thoughts and I really don't want his input on this one. Despite Woody's presence, I have reminded myself that on the whole - it is good news. I should allow myself to relish this for a moment and bask in the glory of the minor achievement of 'first contact'. Woody is tapping my shoulder though. Woody is asking me to reread the text a hundred times and my initial text to him and ask "Why hasn't he agreed to seeing you again yet, why was it so short and vague?" I hate Woody at the moment as you can imagine, as I vowed to play it cool with this one. A guy I've met through coincidence, in person and without having to type a username and password first. Woody is the number one reason I am probably single and why men tend to run away from me, like children being invited into Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. So I have filed a mental restraining order on him. Not Michael Jackson. Woody. This is really hard, as Woody keeps pressing his haggard old face and thick spectacles against the glass wall of my conscience, mouthing words of defence and giving me sad, apologetic looks that the real Woody Allen probably makes for writing Melinda & Melinda. I keep wanting to take pity on him and let him back into my mind, I know full well if I do, he will damage this one chance of fun and adventure I'm having with a guy who made me laugh on Saturday night in a room full of drunk strangers. A man, who believe it or not, was funnier than me, who made me truly laugh and made me want to spend time getting to know him a bit more.

Woody must not win. Gut feelings must prevail.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"You're a 'Glass Half Full Man' aren't you?"

You find yourself in the most uncomfortable of circumstances sometimes, in which there is no one to blame but yourself for being in that situation; as you have put these factors into motion, you have made the decision, you have forced yourself to go through with it. No one to berate and no one to curse. You verses a potential armada of affliction to wade through. I found myself on Saturday night, reliving this predicament as I walked to Colonel Henge's House Warming Party. I knew no one there, I didn't even really know him, having spoken only on the phone and online. It was to be our first introduction after a series of cancelled meetings. No longer a date, just friends, who happened to help each other out. I was keen to go, just to say thank you for putting me in touch with the Amateur Dramatics company I've just joined and to meet his friend, Dan whose also a member of Centre Stage. I walked down the street towards his house in trepidation, clutching my bottle of M&S Rose like a stress relieving device and tried to supress the anxious thoughts whirring round in my head. After arriving at the door and finding myself giving silent nods of recognition at two girls who had also rocked up for the party, I took deep stifled breaths and wondered if it was wasn't too late to just run down the stairs and escape into the ether of Clapham High St and head back home. I think Henge was surprised to see me, he was charming, funny, polite as he seemed on the phone and online but also far better looking than I imagined. A tad annoying, knowing it would probably make things even more strained for me. He welcomed me warmly and I may have been paranoid, swore he threw a shocked glance at his fellow housemate, as if they had assumed I wouldn't turn up at all. Still, I smiled and continued to put on the charm offensive and made my usual introductory jokes. A few sank faster than a tanker full of lead elephants, I continued however not to let this get to me. I then met his new boyfriend, Richard and wondered again, what the hell I was doing here with a bunch of happy, intimate strangers. These new forays are either a great choice to make or just 'hell on earth on a Saturday night' and I was beginning to think I had make a mistake coming but a few more people rocked up and and the flurry of 'hellos' eased the situation. Then I started chatting to a guy who like me, knew nobody except one of the hosts. I don't want to write too much more now, as what happened next was unexpected and essentially made my night, but to cut a potentially long and over analytical story short, (in case the fates are watching and want to continue their cruel torture) I met an incredibly, lovely guy. Really lovely. A naff description perhaps, but apart from not being willing to divulge anymore in case it doesn't go any further, he was simply lovely. We talked to each other all night and 'got on'. Was it anything more than just friendly banter? Who knows. I'm hoping it might be. We did swap numbers. So, we shall see if any comes of it or not.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is, as cliched as it sounds, is that you just never know. I hope Buddha is smiling affectionately now. I feel as though I deserve it.

Friday, September 08, 2006


This is a truck, in the woods behind my Aunt, Alex's house in West Virginia. I took this picture ages ago, it now hangs up above my television, reminding me of how much I loved spending time with Alex. An incredibly inspirational woman and I learnt a lot of life lessons, while I was with her. I will always be indebted to her for that.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


It's official. I am too nice. I join the ranks of Mother Theresa, Jesus and Dame Joan Plowright. Not normally seen as fault a few hundred years ago, it was probably even seen as a quality to be sought after, but now in this cynical, hard-edged, reality TV sludge of an age, it's not so cool. It's wrong. People don't want 'nice' anymore. Perhaps I am just slow on the mark. It's not sexy, or cute and apparently it won't help you get what you want. Over the last few years people have been telling me to not be so 'nice'. I ignored them. Actually, I find it incapable of being 'not nice'. Now people who hardly know me are telling me to not be so nice. Not their fault, they pick up on it. Alarm bells kick in, my conscience huddles into the air raid shelter of my thoughts. I find myself being nice to arseholes who let me down. Yes, what is that all about, indeed? Much like a hamster in a wheel, I can't seem to stop myself from being courteous and understanding, I just keep doing it instinctively. I have to get angry. Annoyed. Vexed. Pissed off a lot more. (And yes, I've been using my new Thesaurus.) If I can achieve the status of being called a 'Right C*nt', perhaps only then will things start going my way. Shame really, as nice is pretty well, 'nice' most of the time.

Friday, September 01, 2006

She'll never find it...

See, I'm having a cynical day today. I think the dog has run away as it's embarrassed by the fact their owner is called Babette. Or it's just a very, clever fly-poster for a new indie band.

Two Left Feet

I think too much. This is a well known fact amongst people who know me. My friend Becky describes it as when I have one of my 'Woody Allen' moments. It's just the way I am, I can't relax or enjoy myself half the time, as I'm ruminating over what could happen next, with a leaning towards the 'glass half empty' most of time. To most, I project a persona of enthusiasm and 'glass half full' but my close friends know I fret and fidget. Much like a graceful swan paddling furiously with his big webbed feet, so he doesn't get dragged into the current of the river.

I can't think for the life of me what to write about tonight. A cancelled date has thrown me into a bit of a melancholy this evening, well it wasn't a date, I was just looking forward to meeting someone new who I have a bit in common with thats all. I'd rather not project all woes onto my blog tonight though. I did have a great time yesterday at Centre Stage, doing the first dance rehearsal for the show. Bugger, there's a lot to learn. We had a new boy start called Charlie, but more about him later when there's something to tell. Needless to say, half of us melted like a tub of margarine left on window sill when he walked in. At 6ft 4", I think I'll just admire him from a distance for now. The photo is of my view from my bed. It's like having a live picture frame to think right through into infinity.

Or it could just be a Velux window.