Eight weeks until Christmas. Fuuuuucccccc%%%%%! Well at least I can see where the months have gone, with scattered clothes littering the apartment like a crime scene. Bed-Couch-Table. Repeat. With gyms closed and restrictions on exercise outdoors, the nation has pulled together, unanimously, to laugh at Melbourne. The mighty southern city, the only one suffering lockdown in Australia, has itself bonded in unity. We’re a steadfast, supportive team. That is, until the last few weeks when another suburb has another outbreak, delaying freedom again. Then it’s curses, hexes and foul-mouthed tirades all the way! <Am looking at you Northern Suburbs, you bunch of arsehats!>
For the first few weeks I was determined to continue my gym work. I then got injured – a sore right wrist, can you believe. You can complete the rest of that anecdote yourself. I then did nothing for two months. Well, I say nothing, I got fatter and developed lactose sensitivity. Ahh 2020, the gift that keeps on giving! Getting into it again, I’ve been out running. Ohhh the lamentations. I thought I was doing all right, the legs starting to find their stride, upping the pace. I felt I was really motoring! For about fifty metres. Then someone with a tiny gait barely breaking a sweat passed me, and I realised I’m an old man with grey hair, wheezing like I’d swallowed a broken accordion.
After spending months alone, seeing ladies and their Lycra clad bottoms has become shockingly attractive. Clearly their standards have lowered and defences tumbled, as occasionally, just sometimes, I get the eye. This never happens when I’m running - of course, I mean, I’m a fuc*ing fat cave goblin!!! - only when walking. I’m the first to admit there are a vast preponderance of other possibilities, like an astounding number of women with glass eyes. But it’s bizarre. At the moment, if ladies do have the misfortune to stare in my general direction, they would see overgrown hair, sunglasses and a mask. Generally, I’m wearing earphones, so that’s my good-looking, model-worthy ears out of the equation too. Which leaves my forehead. I didn’t think I had a particularly attractive forehead and yet clearly - clearly! - I’m wrong. I’ve effectively become better looking by covering 90% of my face. This is a minor revelation. If anything, I feel my face has been letting me down, performing a disservice to my forehead for years!
In my spare time when not writing the second book and gasping pathetically, I’ve taken up a Digital Photography course from Harvard. Some fantastic facts: yellow can be made from red and green, which is madness but true despite what they teach you about primary colours at school; all colours are made up of infinite additions/subtractions of red, green and blue, and when we look at a colour 90% of its brightness is actually green and red, which is handy as 98% of cones in our eyes are directed at red and green wavelengths; and lastly the reason why you never like photos of yourself is that you’re used to seeing your reverse image in the mirror. What everyone else sees is you normally. So, the theory is, if you take a photo of yourself and flip the image, this is how you really look. Amusingly, whilst you may prefer that image, the people that know you won’t. I have tried it, and it’s still not getting any more favourable. Maybe it needs more flips? 301? No. 302? Nope . . . it’s a workout in itself.
Facebook and Twitter, much-maligned platforms, are stuck. Stuck making millions, but stuck. The former I use to pretend I’m a good person, like everyone else, by remembering birthdays, but also, to post this blog and interact with Motorcycle and Landcruiser forums. I am not part of the Twitterati. It’s about as appealing as Chinese Opera, backed by a choir of mewing cats, whilst being punched in the happy-sacks repeatedly by a band of midgets mistaking my equipment for a piñata. Fascinatingly, both platforms have become the go-to for actual, real-life news, for millions of people. With more unfiltered opinions than ever, the channels have become culpable for spreading mis-information. This is . . . odd. They’ve inadvertently become the arbiter of facts.
Meanwhile, the people creating the bullshit seem to escape blame entirely. It’s not simply an education question, either. There have always been kooks and weirdos, and they are basically anyone that doesn’t share your enlightened, educated opinion. We talk of welcoming diversity, as long as everyone thinks the same as you. Otherwise we shout them down, decrying that these louts probably don’t even know the difference between a macaron and macaroon, the fu**ing morons!
We all have our own reality. For example, I refuse to accept it’s cold unless it’s snowing. For many of the lovely people in Australia, anything below twenty degrees warrants woollens. Then there is propaganda designed to spread fear or incite a reaction. Churchill openly lied about how well the Allies were doing to play-down any hysteria. Hitler was going to eat you. Russians were going to sterilise Americans (not all bad, then). Oh, and all religious texts. Should banners exist over every, ‘and the Lord said . . .’??
Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London, is a marvellous place. You can totter along any weekend, listening to someone fart their opinions to the masses. Usually I’m going to hell in one religion or another, but that’s tolerance for you. Yet if I don’t like what they preach, I move on. So do others. The same applies to media. I don’t watch television. I have one, technically, leftover from a housemate, but it’s from the age before digital. It gathers dust excellently. Most platforms and media outlets, unless independently wealthy or the BBC, exist from sponsorship, who are in turn depending on advertising to the masses. If you switch off, so do they.
Perhaps it’s a case of using your own judgement to work out the bullshit from facts, or alternative facts. Social media can be a force for good too, as this wonderful story attests. There are no lies here, no underhanded tactics, no effort to sway voters: an elderly couple struggling to provide for themselves. The reaction has been superb. And talking of people struggling with life, I’ve started Kerouac’s excellent On The Road. It’s amusing to see all the references to William Burroughs of Junky fame. Even to Kerouac, he’s a drug-addled step beyond.
Having already drunk my tea and read a little as per my Sunday morning tradition, I’ve just finished Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood, the results of clinical studies into how we form habits. It’s more than just self-control . . . apparently, I wasn’t really listening, was doing something else (hardy har). According to the book, the more self-control you have the more successful you will be in life: school grades will be better; you’ll eat healthier and more likely to be less obese; you’ll manage your money better; and have less arguments in relationships. But if you do anything regularly enough, it becomes a habit, whether good or bad for you. Like checking your phone one hundred times a day for the latest social media posts.
Have a lovely week! x
When they shine the light inside, I hope it’s using a bulb from a lighthouse. He’ll be lit up like a nuclear glowworm for a decade. As we’ve seemingly exclaimed a hundred times this year, what a week! There is no leadership race in the world like a US Presidential one. I have this awful feeling that the fat bastard is going to make a full recovery, sashaying out of the hospital, trumping that having COVID is no worse than watching X-Factor or The Block. So, still fairly horrific. Nothing more than a little brain scarring. How would we tell?
The upshot will be an election romp, claiming he was right all along. The flu, he’ll fart, was exaggerated from the beginning. “I had to get COVID myself to prove to everyone it’s overblown!” If a 74-year-old walking advert for hair-implants and chicken-nuggets can survive, then anyone can, ammarite!! The caveat is that they can be flown in a personal helicopter to the military-grade Walter Reed hospital, no relation, and access a billion-dollar medical team on a whim. Wonder if he’d feel the same if he had to access universal healthcare, rinsing his eyeballs with bleach.
As with the much-revered and respected British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, a bastion for decency and clear-thinking, no one would wish a leader imminent death. Only a real-bastard would crave such unpleasantness, with Democrats and Liberals the world-over quick to wish the President well. Seemingly, anyway. I mean, we should all stick to this principle, right? I certainly did when Boris was on death-row. Admittedly, I’ve been remarkably less affixed to the stance since. If they can treat others with such callous impunity, should we always adopt the high-ground? Is there an ethical, moralistic and ecclesiastic grey-area? According to Scott Adams’ Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter, we’ve already made up our minds, we just need to source ‘facts’ to suit our position.
Ever wanted to see a leaf super-highway up close? Well here you go! My wonderful new macros lens proving it's worth
Writing and writing...