Friday, November 21, 2014

A thought

When people say they are "laying in bed", it makes me wonder what they're laying. Eggs, maybe? What else could they lay? Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The poor shall inherit the earth...

but the rich will destroy that inheritance first. Well, what other conclusion can you come to, when the governments tax the aam aadmi (common people) for all sorts of "environmental reasons" until we squeak, and the rich get to pretty much do as they please? Take Richard Branson, for example - he was - and is - actually, seriously planning to send his fellow rich on what were essentially joy-rides into space... just because he and they could. How much more elitist could you get than that? And how could they ever justify such blatant, selfish exploitation of the earth's resources? It's not like Sir Richard is manufacturing his own fuel from scratch and therefore doesn't need to justify anything, is it? No, what he has the capacity to do is buy thousands and thousands of gallons of the stuff (or rather, the oilfields that provide the fuel and the refineries that process them), because he is obscenely rich. I've said this before - if the various governments really cared about the earth and its natural resources, they would put a stop to the private ownership by single individuals of aircraft and spaceships and supercars and the like, and make everybody use the same sort of transport to facilitate the most economical management of available resources. But that ain't gonna happen anytime soon, is it? Not while politicians can travel first class - or even private class - on public money without spending any of their own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Observing myself

I've been aware that of late, most of my posts on this blog seem to be snarky rants about things or people or situations or... so, pretty much anything, really. And yet I'm not really a morose or negative person at heart. I just wanted to make that clear, because my posts aren't really giving the impression of a mostly happy person, are they? The one thing I'm incurably cynical about is politicians and their self-serving greed, but that's really it - anything else that annoys me is forgotten once the source of annoyance is removed. 

And yet this blog brings out the ranty side of me, and I can't explain why I feel the need to record my irritability in this manner. I used to be funny with my outbursts - or at least I like to think I was funny - but now they're just outbursts, the kind of thing where if I was writing an old-fashioned Letter to the Editor, I'd sign myself off as "Pissed-Off in Shrewsbury" or "Disgusted in Market Drayton" or some such. Rants aren't fun unless they're funny, right?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my writing muscle is getting weaker and not receiving much nourishment; my ability to put words together in an amusing way is declining. I don't want to make the effort to be funny. I don't feel like putting forward my opinion on current events because it's going to change nothing while simply adding to the general babble online. I'd just rather read other people's writing than bother to put anything together in a coherent, cohesive manner, because it takes effort. So this is less a rant and more a ramble. I can't help wondering, though, if my writing mojo will... well, reconnect with its mojo. Watch this space along with me, won't you?

Monday, October 06, 2014

If you can't do with being outed as a troll...

... the best thing is to not BE a troll. I refer of course to Mrs Brenda Leyland who presumably killed herself after being outed as a troll who was saying nasty things to the McCanns. She may not have believed that Kate and Gerry McCann were innocent of their daughter's disappearance - that was entirely her right. But to say abusive things about them or to them, hiding behind the perceived anonymity of Twitter... well, I personally don't think that makes up any part of the right to freedom of speech. Mrs Leyland totally abused that freedom by trolling the McCanns anonymously. I only wish that all such cowardly, vicious trolls could be outed and shamed.

Everybody has nasty thoughts at one point or another, or even at many points (yes, me included *gasp* I know - unbelievable but true), but as long as those thoughts stay unexpressed, nobody's going to get hurt.

And not the least, I don't see why Martin Brunt should have to resign for doing his job. All he did was track her down and reveal her for the troll she was. He didn't hide behind anonymity and say vile things to her. I feel very sorry for Mrs Leyland's son, but I cannot find it in myself to forgive her... not once, but twice over. Once for being a cowardly troll, and again for being cowardly enough to take her own life instead of facing the music.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Tell me why

Who/what gave men the idea that skinny jeans are a good look on them? It's such an awful, awful, idiotically girly look. Not as bad as jeans drooping down the ass to display the underwear, but close enough. Close enough. As Snoopy would say: "Bleeeeagh"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A driving compulsion

Before I got my driving licence, I was the ultimate passenger, uncaring of my surroundings and blissfully unaware of anything that was relevant to the person in the driving seat. 

Then I got my licence... and now, when I'm the passenger instead of the driver, I find it utterly impossible to be my former careless, unheeding self. For instance, at T-junctions when we're waiting to turn right, I simply can NOT stop myself from looking left to see if there are any approaching vehicles, and then to the right again - in textbook fashion, exactly as stipulated in the Highway Code. Except, of course, I'm not driving, so it doesn't matter a jot what I do. 

I've tried to deliberately not bother to see what's coming, to leave it to my chauffeur (usually Pete) to watch out for traffic - but no, my head turns automatically to the left. It's like synchronised swimming, only in my case I guess you can call it synchronised looking! That instinct is just too strong to ignore, and I guess I have my driving instructor to thank for it. So, nearly 10 years on, here's to you, Mr John Thornton. You were the best.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Is there an official term for "unreasonable dislike of certain words"?

One of the least pleasant-sounding words in the English language is probably "gubbins" - British slang for "miscellaneous items". A for-instance would be "Here's the rest of the gubbins to go in the file". 

It's probably just me, because a good part of the unreasonable dislike I feel for the word originates from a very reasonable dislike of the person who uses it all the time. Whatever, that word just sets my teeth on edge. Today my teeth actually squeaked from the force with which they came together... or maybe that was due to the orange I'd just eaten. 

That orange, however, only accounts for the squeak, not the irritation.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Extreme enunciation irritation

Do you think that the prats (updated to add: BBC newsreaders in particular) who pronounce the word "sexual" as "Seksual", also pronounce "usual" as "U-sual"? And "sensual" as "sens-yual" and so on. If they don't, they bleddy well should, just to be consistent in their extreme annoyingness (to coin a word?).

One of my pettest of peeves, I think. 

"Sek-sual" indeed. Effing idiots. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

I’m a reading person, not a book person

And this epiphany came about thanks to Shruthi Rao.

(Aside: If you haven’t read her blog, do click on the link – she’s a fine writer and you won't regret it - especially if you're trying to raise a child, because she's a mom to emulate. If you HAVE read her blog, you know what I’m talking about.)

I used to be a book person, as in wanting to own every book I read (except the really unbearably bad ones). My dream is still to own a house that has a room whose walls are covered in shelving stuffed with books – but I’d be choosy about those books. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always the reading that has been important to me, not the owning (I’ve never bought a coffee-table book in my life, for instance)... but over the years the owning has taken much more of a back seat. That said, I do have a Kindle, so I do most of my buying off Amazon nowadays, and mainly books that are on offer.

So, anyway, wanting to own books is not a bad thing, but it is an impractical want for a voracious reader - unless that reader is lucky enough to own a very large mansion with plenty of storage. Not being that reader, rather than buy books, I borrow them from my local library and return them when I’m done. Actually, come to think of it, that’s pretty much how I feel about kids – I love ‘em and love playing with ‘em, but I don’t really want to own any... I like to return ‘em to wherever I borrowed them from. Nice analogy, don’t you think?

I’ve also discovered that I don’t really like huge chain bookstores, especially those that have diversified into other things like stationery, toys, gifts and so on which are also sold on the premises. I guess it’s their size that also puts me off – when I’m faced with too many books in a single location that’s the size of a football field, I kind of mentally come to a halt because of having too much choice. To put it another way, I don’t like large chunks of anything – books, vegetables, fruit, whatever. They have to come in manageable portions.

Libraries don’t seem to have that effect on me, possibly because I’m not under pressure to choose just one or two books from the huge selection available. Another reason is that if the book I choose from a library turn out to be boring or badly written, I can simply return them and take something else instead. That option, while possibly available at bookstores, is not exercisable if the books are found to be in a less than pristine condition on being brought back.

So, the only bookshops that I like nowadays are the small independent ones, particularly the second-hand bookstores that specialise in old books. Again, I’m not a collector of antique books – I can’t afford them, and anyway I wouldn’t want to own one just for the sake of owning it, much the same as I feel about coffee-table books. I just happen to adore looking at out-of-print books, the old fashioned bindings, the gold-edged pages, the dated writing style, the contents – I almost don’t care what the books are about, I just browse them anyway. Also, the pleasure that’s to be had from walking around tiny shops in old buildings (and by that I mean hundreds of years old) with creaking wooden floors, exploring the dusty old books stacked on the groaning shelves – well, while I don’t want to sound like a snob (while being one) I would still say that perhaps it’s not for everybody. I’m just glad there are good bookshops in and around Shrewsbury, and I’m aware of how lucky I am.