General ignorance.

There seems to be a trend for people to act stupid. I base this on the people I come into contact with on a day to day basis, my work colleagues. It amazes me some of the basic points of spelling & grammar, history, science and geography that people I work with have absolutely no comprehension of. The worrying thing is that they were at school at the same time as me, they studied the curriculum I did and it annoys me that I worked hard, learnt something and ended up in a job with people who couldn’t tell me who the Prime Minister is, or the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’.

It goes beyond playing up to it though, it’s very worrying that my generation will one day have children and will answer questions for them when they reach that delightfully inquisitive age and the majority won’t have an answer because they’re just as confused as their toddler. We have bastardised the English language enough, where will that end? Maybe there’s something wrong with me, maybe it’s only because I’m aware, because I’m not so fucking bubbly and ignorant that these things jar me, they certainly don’t seem bothered about it. When I explain something to them I’ll get cries of ‘shuuuut uuuuup!’ which apparently doesn’t mean shut up at all, it means ‘I’m amazed by your teachings, please elaborate’.

I guess it boils down to the question; do people think they get something out of being lost? Of not understanding the world around them? Or do they think it’s cute?

Trains – a flash fiction piece.

He lifted his knees and rolled through ninety degrees in the chair to let the woman by. Why she insisted on taking the window seat he would never understand. It would be a much better system if everyone sat in the order they were due to depart from the train he concluded to himself. He returned to his normal position and readjusted the book he had been reading before she awkwardly passed by. He couldn’t switch off from it though. He’d suffered for forty five minutes with people bashing his knees as they passed, and swinging bags in his face but it should have all been her fate. If his system were in operation she would have suffered at the hands of the commuters.

He realised then that he was deviating, and what really mattered was that he hated his job.

I am not a lizard.

This post is going to be in keeping with the English attitude to obsessively talk about the weather, the reason for this? I can’t stand the heat.

I know it’s a terrible thing to harp on about but I definitely prefer it when it is cold, you can always warm up if you’re cold, it’s a lot harder to cool down.

My bedroom is easily the hottest room in the house, a matter made somewhat worse since the installation of cavity wall insulation in the last couple of years. I can’t even think in there, it’s ruining my precious sleep and all of my stringed instruments keep slipping out of tune.

I also never feel particularly comfortable in summer clothes, it feels fake, like I’m trying to pretend I’m a part of it.

I’m being silly I know, but I just don’t operate well in this level of humidity.

Written.

Finally managed to get my redraft done. I’m fairly set on not changing too much now. I’ve emailed the 174 page document to a few friends who have kindly agreed to read it before I start sending it off to publishers and literary agents but I think it’s finished. I’m already well on the way with the follow up, the plan being that I won’t struggle with ‘the difficult second novel’ if I’ve already written it when the first one is published.

It’s nice to know that I’m through with something that I’ve been working on for just under a year, that I have actually managed it, achieved a goal etc. Now it’s on others to see the next step along, I have very little power, just got to hope that someone sees the potential in the story, it’s going to take a lot but I want it most of all.

Tattoo No. 4.

Woke up this morning glued to my bed by the tattoo I’ve now got along the back of my rib cage, it’s the outline of a puzzle piece, based on the Biffy Clyro album cover and Simon Neil’s tattoo. It’s my forth tattoo and getting inked is never a decision I take to lightly. I give myself at least a year on an idea before I would ever get it adorned. My reasons for this are pretty obvious, I don’t want to be stuck with a passing fancy for the rest of my days.

My tattoos are very personal to me. The first one I got was the lyrics to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven across the right hand side of my chest – To be a rock and not to roll. To me it symbolises keeping up your own reasoning, finding your own path, it’s something that I have always felt, that I couldn’t just fit in, that I wanted to do things on my own terms and I was twenty before I got that one done. I remember the tattooist (at Woody’s, High Wycombe) advising me against getting it on my chest because it would hurt but it’s the least painful one I’ve had.

The second tattoo I got was a bit of a rebel move. My mum decided that she wanted to move out, and I’ve since come to terms with that but I wanted some way of depicting the fact that it was going to just be me, my dad and my brothers so got The Cure lyric ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ on a scroll over a heart. I think of it as being a note for us to stick together, and I am very lucky that we are all in it together.

In the last year I lost both grandparents on my mothers side and a very close friend and I wanted to get a tattoo that made me feel that there was a reason for it. I have ‘My body is a cage’ tattooed on my right arm for that. All three of them died because their bodies were plagued by something and I like the idea that they are free of that now, that being in this life was holding them back, and that they are better and happier wherever they are now.

The most recent one to me symbolises the way I think about myself, that I am always looking for that last piece, and improving myself to try and get it, to be complete, to achieve everything I ever dreamed of. Maybe when i get there I’ll mark that as well.

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Mancrush Friday – Jeff Buckley

I’m currently reading Dream Brother and as such I feel I need to make it clear that my mancrush on Jeff has very little to do with his physical appearance, because the book states in no uncertain terms that he hated being viewed as a pin up or a sex symbol. What I love about him is his absolute passion for music, his sense of humour and his gift.

I first got into Jeff Buckley because a girl I fancied was really into Jeff Buckley and to my lesser mind I felt the best way of ensuring she thought I was worthy of her was to just like all of the things that she liked. As is often the way my love for the artist has stayed whereas the girl has drifted off into the ether, I thank her wherever she is for introducing me to Jeff’s work.

I suppose most people know Jeff for his cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which was thrown into the spotlight in December 2008 as real music fans campaigned for it to be Christmas number one over that years X-Factor winner whose name has long since disappeared into the mists of time. What you should know about Buckley is that his version of Hallelujah is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve spent the last seven years collecting bootlegs and live albums and he really has something for everyone. At points some it gets awkward or self indulgent (particularly live vocal solos) but there’s something quaint in that, nobody else has/had the audacity or the voice to try it. The way he composed his songs, the haunting melodies, the soaring vocals, it’s just really something to behold and embrace.

Jeff was prominent when the world was just turning away from grunge and looking for the new thing and as much as he thought it was what he wanted he became a victim of his own success, being hounded by the press and fans of his father (cult folk singer Tim Buckley) to the point that when he could have made an incredible second album he felt put upon by everyone at his record company who were demanding hits from him when all he wanted to do was thrash about and make noise with his friends. Throughout his brief career and indeed brief life he stuck to his guns, held his integrity high and did what he wanted and that’s a beautiful character trait.