I don’t want to eat cockroaches. Just, no. And yet! A story popped up this week of cockroach farms in China housing a billion cockroaches which consume restaurant food waste, are then ground up and used as high-protein animal feed. Those familiar with the film Snowpiercer will be acquainted with the jellified nutrient bars of the future for human consumption, and I realise it’s feasible and probably quite practicable, but I want to opt out. Give me almost anything else. Except olives, can’t do olives. Or coffee, that smells. All the stuff of nightmares in Chez Reed.
I’ve been reading a few things this past fortnight, an eclectic mix of meditation, overt drug use, classic literature and social inequality. Calm no matter what by Paul Wilson welcomed daily meditation back into my life and Bronte’s Wuthering Heights so far offers a maudlin, frustrating affair of ‘he said, she said’. I suppose there’s something in the writing that makes one so emotionally intertwined with the novel, even if it’s with vehement wish that all the characters die suddenly in some kind of caustic olive-coffee-cockroach timebomb. Thinking I was going to need a ‘fix’ to get me through the book, this has been quashed by William S Burroughs Junky scaring away any scintilla of interest, especially as the audacious 1950’s novel is based on real-life-experience by the Naked Lunch author. Who knew that if junkies blow their arm veins, they can often find success injecting between the toes? Ouch!
However, on a lighter and less toe-curling note, the book on social inequality is a tour de force of ‘wow’. The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better is ridiculously good. There are many, many charts, but these are simple to understand and use United Nations statistics, rather than a dartboard and the Trumpian guidebook to horseshit. An excerpt: If a country does badly on health, you can predict with some confidence that it will also imprison a larger proportion of the population, have more teenage pregnancies, lower literacy scores, more obesity and worse mental health scores. Additionally, more equal societies have a greater sense of public responsibility and trust, recycle more, produce less carbon emissions and have less homicides. And if that wasn’t enough, more equal societies work less hours per week. Convinced yet? Read this book, it’s amazing.
Surprisingly Australia and New Zealand often come out middling to bad, the UK is awful, and the USA are setting records in being reprehensible. They’re so terrible they should, and often are, held in contempt. The Scandewegians and Japan are far ahead, showing that if you invest in universal healthcare, good education and fundamentally a more equal society, it is beneficial to the entire country not just those less well off. A rising tide of equality, basically. Who would have thought that short-termism and constant tax-cuts to service the rich and fuck the unknowing poor into a coma would benefit society?
In other news, as Australia waltzes out of winter with a spring in its step, protests against wearing a mask happen every weekend, raising much needed coffers to pay back country debt. Get out their people, protest like your life depends upon it! Which it doesn’t, it’s the antithesis of that. Meanwhile across the rather large pond, American jurist, equal rights campaigner and all around good-egg Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away this week, finally succumbing on her fifth battle with cancer. Talk about tenacious! With her avarice for life in mind, I shall get outside into the sunshine. Since my hair is long and I’m wearing a mask and glasses, I’m entirely dependent upon the bridge of my nose to soak up as much Vitamin D and energy as it can. Otherwise I may have to look at those protein and health shakes to make up the shortfall, which have very recently become far less appealing.
They key to pulling chicks when a teenager was to have an ugly friend, apparently, or preferably friends. The theory was to shine amongst the throng: surround yourself with a bunch of greasy-haired, drooling baboons (teenagers, basically) that additionally talked of warlocks and smelt like a fetid badger had sex with a durian fruit, and you were positively magnetic. Maybe it was the liberal application of Lynx ‘Old Sox.’ It never worked for me of course, but my friends seemed to be fighting the ladies off, sometimes it got so bad that me and my warlock buddies had to intervene. We were never thanked.
I think in that little microcosm of pubescent life lays a simple message: others can have it worse. Some poor bastard out there renders your own problems infinitesimal. Yeah ok, you may have the fashion-sense of someone that got dressed in a typhoon, in the dark, and lost a bet, from the 1970’s, but somewhere is an equally challenged chap with dandruff like snowflakes and a club-foot the size of a watermelon. But still, this feeling that someone else has it worse still pervades, even during the face of Stage 4 lockdown extension until the end of September or October. The hope is they’re still talking about 2020.
Travelling has always given me perspective, as too has just seeing other people. I used to take solace in others: I mean, look at that guy with teeth like broken picket-fence, and that girl with the nose the size of a potato! And then just when you think the world can’t teach you anything, another lesson: apparently, it’s considered rude to say all this in front of said misfits, pointing and staring like they’re behind glass at a zoo. But now all these people fit perfectly into life. No longer can I holler across the road, “oiii, teeeethhhhh!!!” when 90% of their face is covered in hair or a mask. In future copies of Playgirl, they’ll just show a mouth, and people will be swooning in the aisles. “Oh my goodness”, women will quiver, touching imaginary pearls to their chest. “I saw that man’s upper lip, the shame!”
I just finished Bill Bryson’s The Body, and along with Malcolm Gladwell’s superb The Tipping Point, it presciently calls out the danger of an oncoming flu. We were warned and it was all right in front of us, just like our masks. It’s with some succour that if a future goddess had come back to warn us, all we’d have heard from behind her mask anyway would have been, ‘fnufff n fnuefff feefffffufff’, which is some pretty racy stuff if you’re a warlock.
Although most of Sunday will be spent yelling ‘Wakanda Forever!’ as I trudge about the house, dedicating yourself whole-heartedly to one thing for your entire life is just weird. Yet there is great pressure on ‘the youth’ to find their purpose in life, to join companies and ‘make a difference’ before you’ve even found your desk. It’s what they are continually spoon fed. What is the meaning of your life? You’ve just completed your degree, what will you apply yourself to for the next fifty years? Kerrrriiiiisssttttt! (Note: if it is Christ, that’s fine too).
Einstein, one of the greatest minds in humanity, studied physics but couldn’t hold down a job (the putz!) so became a patent clerk for seven years, following his scientific interests outside of that. He wrote theoretical papers (that seems a dichotomy!), gained a PhD and taught theoretical physics. Visiting the US in 1933, he stayed to avoid Hitler’s iron-grip, wrote to Roosevelt about the potential for nuclear war, got involved in the Manhattan Project, published numerous more scientific papers, championed Zionist causes, and yet his biggest joy in life was actually music. This from a man that couldn’t even count.
Beyonce is a singer of which I know nothing (wait . . . all the single ladies . . . oh-oh-oooohhh!!), yet she is probably one of the most influential artists in history. From starting out as a songstress and quickly becoming one of the biggest-selling female groups of all time, she is a writer, producer, film-maker, dancer, founded her own entertainment company, has her own fashion chain and music streaming service, and has become involved in numerous philanthropic charities. Her proudest moment in life is being a mother.
Elon Musk followed his father into engineering (Errol was a pilot, sailor, consultant, property developer and engineer), studied physics and economics, then became a developer. Elon’s first company was creating internet city-guides, then he started a financial payment system which later developed into PayPal, giving him money to explore his passion for space exploration, founding SpaceX. In the last ten years he’s started companies in electric cars, solar power, underground tunnelling, the hyperloop and combining his love of artificial intelligence with directly interfacing to the brain – of which he announced a breakthrough yesterday. One of those is an achievement for a lifetime, to accomplish all of them is mental. I have no idea what Elon’s love is, although being a complete twat on occasion to British divers is fairly high up there.
Each one of the above examples though starts out on one arc and diverges massively. To quote psychologist, author and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning, the meaning of life is searching for your meaning of life. It won’t be the same now as it will be in twenty years, nor even in five years, maybe not even this week. Today? Well, that’s already decided.
If there was one piece of advice I could give, it would be to take more risks: try different things; be curious; spread your net far and wide, as eventually you’ll find one or many things that will ignite your soul. Perhaps start with this basic premise from another black icon, Will Smith: “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time”.
It’s quite something to start off a blog exclaiming how incredible I am, but there you go. Sometimes you have to just hold your hands up . . . and then simply marvel at how that happens: signals travelling millionths of a second from your brain down the spine, through shoulders to your arms, translating into actions where muscles, tendons and bones all seamlessly combine to perform the action. If you still have your hands up, maybe take the chance to sing ‘oooooh-ohh-oh, oh-oh-oooooh-oh . . . all the single ladies . . .’ whilst you’re there? No? Just a thought.
I spent the week reading Bill Bryson’s The Body – A Guide for Occupant, a tour de force of self-admiration. We are evolutionary wonder machines, true forces of nature. Every few pages inherently ends up in me messaging someone (usually an unsuspecting Regi) with another fascinating piece of knowledge. The genetic codes spanning millennia, the choices our ancestors made for you to even exist are ridiculous - for a glimpse of that, you can’t go wrong with Stephen Baxter’s Evolution. Through this evolutionary process we walk upright, communicate, developed opposable thumbs, have developed acute senses to interpret the world around us, can anticipate seconds or years in advance, can learn and adapt, sing and dance (oooooh-ohh-oh, oh-oh-oooooh-oh . . .), all controlled by using our big brains. To draw from the unparalleled Bill Bryson, everything you know about the world is from an organ that has never seen the light of day. Astonishingly, sitting quietly doing nothing i.e. everyone in lockdown, your brain churns through more information in thirty seconds than the Hubble Telescope can process in thirty years. It’s estimated the human brain is capable of holding two hundred exabytes of information, or looking at it another way, ‘the entire digital content of today’s world’. Makes you feel pretty damned silly though when you misplace your keys, doesn’t it?
Take another look at that jellified, pink body of yours, even that pot belly. You’re a goddamn disgrace! But also, you’re staring at probably the most biologically advanced species in the entire universe. When I was a kid, I was often shocked visiting friends’ houses – all right, all right, friend, imaginary – that their parents didn’t discuss the past 13.8 billion years and how we came to now. My Dad did, and does, constantly mention the infinitesimally small chances of alien life. Evolution takes time, and the universe is still young. For example, if you stretch your arms out wide (lots of exercise today!), let’s imagine your arm-span is the timeline from the birth of the universe on your left middle-finger to when all stars in the universe die on your right. Now, if the Big Bang started on the left, at the tip of the nail, how far do you think the universe has aged in that time i.e. where are we now? The answer is we’re about a width of a very slender human hair along. We may not only be force of nature, but freaks too. Some more than others.
I haphazardly picked up the Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo in the last fortnight, not expecting much, but came out with a whole new perspective. To found one multi-million-dollar company is enough for a lifetime, to manage it thrice (Pixar, Next and Apple) is alien. His sheer drive and leadership were simply astonishing. Could he have changed his clothes more? Probably. With his apparent adversity to washing, perhaps he was more of a ‘actually, you can leave your hands down’ kind of guy.
What am I listening to? ‘Science Vs’ Podcasts hosted by some insightful and funny women from America and Australia. The episodes on 5G and Sleep are excellent, only run for half an hour, and have enough bad jokes to make me guffaw as I get my steps in.
What am I reading? Bill’s book is a chunky one, that’ll keep me going a while
What has piqued my interest? 5G use-cases and how this could transform our world. A US $4.3 trillion industry awaits.
I refuse to turn 40. Not having it. Nope, no way, fu** off, blah blah blah!!! I’m not approaching my third-of-the-way-life crisis or anything like that, am more than comfortable with the miles on the clock, just that I refuse for this to be it in terms of celebrating in lockdown where I can’t go to a café or a restaurant, see friends (look at me, plural!!), walk outside past 8pm or actually be outside for more than an hour. I shall celebrate this properly at a later date. Still accepting cake, cards and well wishes though!
I just picked up The Body, which sounds far more ominous than intended. However, only a few pages in and I’m basking in the literate glow of Bill Bryson’s latest book, finding fascination from within. After finishing Stephen Fry’s book on Greek Mythology, Mythos, during the week, it’ll be a nice little introspective adventure with Bryon’s usual revelry. In the backlog is Richard Layard’s Happiness and The Spirit Level: Why more Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better (lot of graphs!) by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
To blow minds this week, I bored my team at work with a few facts about the magical number 40. Prepare yourselves, as it is assuredly fascinating i.e. using my week of HelloFresh cooking as a backdrop, let’s say it’s a sauté of tedium, a dash of tiresome with just a little drizzle of interest. To start, you nap for forty-winks, there is the Top-40 music charts in the UK and you work a forty-hour week (pardon me, ‘work’). Forty is the only number in English whose letters appear in alphabetical order, which is nice as it’s always been a worry for my OCD, and for those that can never remember the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion, you can draw comfort that both are the same at 40 below i.e. brisk. In religion, forty is often short-hand for ‘a long time’: Jesus fasted for forty days; the flood lasted forty days and nights; Abraham and his people wandered for forty years. UB40 was a band in the UK that made listening to records feel like a long time, and when read aloud, I do be forty, so that’s good too.
My favourite of all though, given the pandemic, is when the bubonic plague gripped Europe during the Middle Ages, ships would be isolated in harbor for forty days before passengers could go ashore. The Italian word for forty is quaranta, hence quarantine. Mind blown, or what? Oh, come on, are you made of stone!? Will look that up in Bill’s book and see if within the composition of the body, ‘stone = XX%’ appears.
In times when people are cursing their misfortune during the pandemic, I am absolutely counting my blessings. Regi asked me yesterday what my highlight would be of my forty years (apart from meeting her) and I’d have to say it’s the love and support from my family and friends, the countless people I’ve met over the years, from all walks of life, a kaleidoscope of cultures, beliefs and backgrounds. I am truly blessed. Thank you for your friendship, it means a great deal more than you probably realise.
Much love, take care, happy quaranta!
It’s very easy to become distracted, to forget how immensely good we’ve had it, and still have it. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend bouncing around a flat on your own for five weeks – naked Thursday gets repetitive when it’s daily - it has given rise to lucid yet outlandish, preposterous, exciting dreams. For example, this one time, I was going to the cinema, the smell of the salted popcorn wafting through the foyer, a delicious five-gallon drum of icy coke in my hand and some Snake lollies in the other, the air of expectation and electricity amongst the throng walking to the theatre, the audience quietening as the curtain lifted on the screen . . . and then the film began, and we all watched it, and had a nice time. Outrageous! Then someone coughs, and we collectively lose our shit.
There are many positives to lockdown though, and I’ve had to re-read old blog-posts and talk to friends and family to sometimes recapture that. I’m reading continually and deeply, without distraction, I’m writing a great deal (just finished the first draft of the second book, hit me up if you want to do some proof-reading!), working on a business idea with a friend, getting together some material for a magazine submission on an old motorcycle trip, fixing new spotlights to a motorcycle I can’t take out (ermmm . . .), submitting images into a monthly photography competitions, listening to audiobooks when trying to get my 10k steps in before the 8pm curfew, and occasionally exercising to keep my body, hewn from biscuits and coke, in prime shape. And that prime shape is round. Less barrel-chested, more biscuit-barrelled.
Reminiscing on David Schwartz tome, The Magic Of Thinking Big, the core message is that you’re a product of the environment you choose for yourself. I like that. The environment you choose for yourself. There is one term from the book I have used continually: psychological sunshine. Pack your environment with positivity to stimulate your mental health, enhance your down-time and make the most of the moments with those you love. Because tomorrow, who knows what the day will bring? Naked Thursday again, probably.
What am I reading? Stephen Fry’s Mythos on Greek Mythology
What am I listening to? The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo on BorrowBox, and also Rage Against the Machine’s Battle of Los Angeles. All hell can’t stop us now.
I’ve taken to snoozing for this long weekend. It’s been blissful. There’s nothing like taking an afternoon nap, basking in the sunshine, daydreaming, and waking up screaming realising you’re still trapped in 2020. To think it all started so well, celebrating the new year. We celebrated it, the fools! The excellent Graham Green’s Brighton Rock was finished this week and I picked up my Dad’s book he sent over on the Wall of Death, a tome on the rectum clenching dare-devilry involved when hurtling around a circular wall on a gravity-defying motorbike. Part of me wonders whether I’d have the chutzpah to jump on as a passenger, and I think I would, yet this comes from the same man that found the tea-cups at Disneyland pretty racy. Six Thinking Hats, the intended book this week, hat to wait. Arf.
With mandatory mask-wearing rife in various countries, it’s fascinating that clothing with no affiliation to politics, sex, religion or gender cause such angst, yet when protestors are arrested in Portland by secret police, barely anything is mentioned. This is the first sign that as a society we’re completely screwed since all those other signs. Meanwhile, in Australia, to illustrate our peoples readiness for discussing complex mental labours on the world’s stage, a woman filming herself blagging through a security checkpoint set up to reduce COVID spread will get a visit from State Police, and the hottest topic of the week is Coon cheese being rebadged. Named after its American creator, patenting a method for fast maturation of cheese called the Cooning method in early nineteen something or other, never let it be said that Australia isn’t ready for a politically mature conversation.
With time on my hands (I mean, firkin hell, who doesn’t in Melbourne?!) I’ve looked to improve my Ingrish - it’s with considerable embarrassment it ain’t wot it ssh-ood bee. I remember learning about verbs and conjugation for the first time in French class when I was fourteen, and I certainly wasn’t alone in thinking, what the fu** is this merde? Ohhhh, the foundation of the language we use? Awesome. In fairness, English doesn’t help itself, take awe-some and awe-ful as a prime example of opposites with the same root. So, I’ve spent a few hours this week learning my adjectives, determiners and prepositions. Keen to test yourself out? See how you go here. Don’t even get me started with my uselessness in Latin, feci quod potui, faciant meliora potentes*, ammarite??!!
* I have done what I could; let those who can, do better.
Am not sure at what stage during lockdown you start bottling your own urine. Is it mandatory or is it just taking the piss? I’ve been working long hours this week, and when I start feeling the storm breaking on my little boat, I try to remain calm by simply breathing. And peeing. But mostly breathing. The BBC even reported about the practice in India, called pranayama. Everyone is breathing, check it out, kidz! Meditation often focuses on the breath, and there is an immense calm that extends from deep inhales and exhales. I would advise staying away from phones when you do this though. Let’s say receptions so far have been ‘mixed’
It also helps tackle my 3am insomnia. My mind occasionally drifts to the melancholic (or downright depressing) Exit Music from Radiohead when repeating my ‘mantra’, a phrase that whole-heartedly makes me want to kick myself in the balls. But there is something in the breathing, it seems to work for me. Other than when I dream of spiders, like I did this morning. A monstrous hairy bastard bigger than a bowl gently crawling over my hand, carefully moving up my wrist and forearm, then another arriving on my pillow, climbing onto my forehead. Then my spine tries to squirm its way out of my body and scamper down the hall along with my custard blood. Waking up in a cold sweat, all the ‘just breathe’-ing in the bloody world doesn’t get me back to sleep. For about three days.
Am not really interested in analysing my dreams. I mean, jesus, it’s a spider, they’re frightening aliens with eight eyes, of course I’m not going to sleep. According to Freud though this could mean that I feel trapped, and that could come from the fact I’m trapped. 4 weeks and 4 days to go. The situation could only get worse if lockdown was with an actual big spider, and he watched X-Factor or something. Think my mantra would quickly become, ‘just . . . fucking give up, stop breathing!’
Before lockdown, I’d been making plans for my 40th Birthday in mid-August, with my new motorbike being prepared for a ride up to Queensland’s famous Port Douglas, a haven of white-beaches being endlessly nudged by azure waves, the gentle swoosh rhythmically blanketing the soul in a swaddle of relaxation. With a lockdown pressing until at least August’s end, the chances of a Victorian being welcomed in the other states is about as appealing as underpants mad of broken glass. Roughly a four-thousand-kilometre trip, I may be waiting a while. Unless I can bribe the guards with three hundred and twelve bottles of pee (excellent for the garden) and hold my breath the whole way. As the legendary Wim Hof would say, fully-in!
What am I reading? Just finished Ian Banks’ disturbing The Wasp Factory, my first run at his fiction. I finished George Bernard Shaw’s excellent Pygmalion, and have Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats to come. Stephen Fry’s Mythos is lined up for from the library. Also about the passing of the incredible African-American campaigner John Lewis.
What am I listening to? Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, which is absolutely superb. And Exit Music
What am I thinking about? I wonder if Lonely Planet's Africa is any good? Also, umming and arring with a friend about a potential leadership venture. Will see what happens!
In Thoreau’s classic, Walden, the protagonist in 1850’s Massachusetts adopts simplistic living. It has set me fantasising about building my own house, tending crops, shaving with a big knife, living off woodchucks . . . <googles ‘woodchucks’, has second thoughts> . . . a life of solitude amongst the natural world! Then when you’re faced with six weeks alone during a Victorian lockdown you start having doubts, wondering when you’re going to next strike up a face-to-face conversation.
‘Wow! That is fascinating! So, what happens after you go to Unit 35?
‘I visit Unit 36’
‘Oh right, of course. Just like that eh? Amazing. What a life you lead! Then what?’
‘Well, I then deliver the post to Unit 37’
But one has to make hay whilst the sun shines behind those Melbourne clouds, and so winter-cleaning has started in earnest. A bottle jack for a car I don’t own, two deflated footballs, wires and cables for devices long broken, and fifteen thousand bottles of shampoo. The number of hotels I must have been in and snuck away with a small bottle, I’m surprised I even bathed in the damned place. If there’s a shampoo net deficit in the world, my bathroom cupboard has the answers. I have three large tubes of toothpaste and pretty sure I still only possess the single set of teeth. The kitchen remains a mystery. I opened the bottom draw and a tsunami of plastic bags fell out. In a cupboard I found three bottles of vanilla essence, despite not baking and never having once used vanilla essence – the latter clearly self-evident. Bags of bay leaves, they seem indestructible! And an emergency can of beetroot slices remains ready and available for that time when . . . back in the cupboard you go.
‘Give me a lever long enough and I shall move the world!’, chimed Archimedes – may I introduce you to the jar of treacle that has barnacled itself to a shelf? The treacle isn’t even opened, yet somehow contrived to sally out of the tub and just quietly sit in wait, patiently biding its time and harnessing itself to the cupboards. I contemplated just replacing the entire kitchen. I eventually had to use threats, expletives and a big knife to cleave it free.
The six weeks has already become five weeks and four days, so there are plenty of positives. I plan to be as productive as possible. I’ll finish the first draft of the second book, enter some photo competitions, continue to make tea on an industrial scale and take mooching around the flat to a professional level. Feeling under the weather this morning, I took a moment, got myself together and embarked on three noble errands to then find the Post Office is now closed on Saturdays, the market pop-up stall taking photos of your iris is abandoned, and the supermarket is too packed for me to get any vanilla essence. The sashaying rain was inevitable, really. Let me google ‘woodchucks’ just one more time.
The good news is that being constantly rejected by girls at school won’t last forever: you’ll get rejected by girls outside of school as well, unearthing new-worlds of awful. In fact, you’ll still be trying to figure out women twenty-five years later, but so is every man. Getting the shit bits done first: you will continue to take life too seriously; beat yourself up over things that don’t matter; and battle with self-loathing pretty much your entire life. I’ve got no good news on that front, but it does get easier.
Those same countless insecurities will push you far (geographically, anyway), and you will grow into one of life’s optimists. Up-beat, fortunate for everything he has, endlessly positive, eternally grateful. It might seem a long way off now, but you’ll get there. You’ll be surrounded by family and friends that love you. You will form friendships across cultural divides you can’t even imagine existed, can call on comrades across continents, yet still keep in touch with your school friends as you hoped you would in the tape-recordings you currently hate doing at Christmas. Trust your parents, you’ll like those cassettes later (but find a hard time locating any device that'll play them). Be more compassionate to your sister, she’s going through a rough spot, and yes, her musical tastes will remain bloody awful, but yours won’t improve much either.
Despite looking at your Dad and thinking, ‘will he ever get off that couch and stop reading!’ you’ll fall in love with the pastime. You’ll often find yourself perched in the corner of your couch with some tea within easy reach, flicking through books in silence, watching a sunrise bring life to a city far away from your homeland. In fact, like your parents, you be will be lucky in life, choosing a career you can do anywhere in the world. You will be one of the few that enjoys their work, thrives on making people better versions of themselves, championing the little guy or girl or person (it’s very politically correct in the future!) and showing compassion to life’s outsiders.
If I could give you any advice, it would be ‘don’t be afraid to fail.’ Most of the subjects you strive to learn at school don’t mean a bloody thing, so start failing early and relax more. You’re going to risk your life countless times in planes that don’t deserve to fly, jumping out of some, riding motorbikes and travelling to countries that you’ve never even heard of, all marched through with that boundless optimism we talked of earlier. You’ll write books, get published in a magazine, take millions of photos and have many loving relationships where you wake up in the morning and thank God you’re alive. However, I wish you believed in yourself, as it would have made getting here a might easier. You’re your own biggest detractor, but in spite of that you’ll do great. And if it doesn’t go amazingly, just move town or even country, you’ll find that pretty easy as it happens.
Listen to your parents and sister more, unless it’s about clothes or haircuts. In both cases, block your ears like Odysseus and the Sirens. If you can keep your eyes (and ears) open for when you burst your ear-drum that’d be good, as it’s still a mystery, and don’t listen to your mum saying, ‘well if you did that you’d know about it!’ In fact, take all advice with a pinch of salt. Anyone that says things can’t be done have probably never tried. It may turn you to alcohol, but drink as much of that as you like as you’ll barely touch a drop later in life, which is hard to imagine now. Oh, and don’t tell anyone where you buried the bodies, keep that a secret or there’ll be hell to pay.
Writing and writing...