Monday, 27 January 2014

Who Am I?

Who am I?

I think at least 100% of us have asked ourselves that question at least once or ten thousand times in our lives, but maybe not in the same form. It could have been what do I like, or what makes me feel things. Am I loud? Is a size 12 really too big? Can I do more? Am I happy? What makes me sad? Am I special? 

Who am I?

For many, the answers to those questions would be “No you’re not loud enough, which is why you are never heard,” “Yes, of course it is too big. If elephants wore clothes, they would start at size 12,” and as a result of the previous two answers, “No, you are not special; it is you that makes you sad.”

The world propagandises extroversion: the consumer economy depends upon it, the forming of social and romantic relations depend on it...or so we’re told. But how many times have you went to a retail store to buy something you needed, like pants or a bra, or a reallllly nice dress, and wanted to look at the clothes on your own, assess them and make your own decision? How much do you loathe it when a shiny shop assistant appears and reels off a million reasons for you to buy something you weren’t even looking at, and out of politeness, or the urgency to get them the fuck away from you, do you buy it? And how many of you feel boring and uncomfortable when you’re with people who are boring and discomforting, only interested in being loud and self-appraising at you? And how often do you come away from these meetings thinking “I must be the boring one.”

Who am I?

Contemporary society places a greater value on talking than thinking, on saying than speaking, on regurgitation than self-expression. And it’s not the fault of the plagiariser, no, we are all exactly the same as everybody else. We are all tuned into the same radio station that disallows you to be the real you, the one that’s buried underneath, at the core of the Russian-doll.

Who am I?

How the hell would we know when we’re subliminally told NOT to break the mould? When we do, our money trees certainly don’t grow (unless we're Bill Gates).

Who am I?

This cannot be answered by reading a self-help book. A self-help book is designed to alleviate the depression and anxiety the denial of the self has caused. The only thing you can get from a self-help book is instructions on how to be a different, more marketable self.

Who am I?

You won’t find out by getting thinner.

Who am I?

A billion dollars doesn’t necessarily make you a winner (although it kinda does).

Who am I?

Are you a free-thinker?

Who am I?

Do you wear a jacket in winter? If not, you probably should, that’s just common sense. But never embitter your mind with nonsense. Who am I can only be answered when you know who you aren’t. If you’re not the person your friends want you to be, they’re the wrong friends. Unless you’re an asshole, in which case, you should probably read some kind of self-help book. Never underestimate the word kind. Never eradicate your own mind and replace it with nickels and dimes.

You’re worth so much more than that, whoever you are.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Pocket Watch

It was a Saturday, and we all know what that means. Exhibition after invariable exhibition when all I wanted to do was nosedive head first into Dorian Gray in the library. And before I could present my symptoms of an unhealthily warm forehead, a cough that without rest, could definitely develop into the whooping cough and plead that “I am just not well, mother!” we had already arrived.

After enduring about as much boredom as I could, I managed to escape my mother’s tentacles and darted from floor to floor of the gallery, hiding behind statue and pillar whenever adults came into view. In my waistcoat pocket resided my pocket watch engraved with the initials V.A. which I often traced with my index finger when feeling lonely.

I had never been given a genuine explanation, you see, I had merely accepted the fact that the only parent I would ever have was the personification of neurosis that brought me here. I learned not to ask questions. But one day when lucid, my mother entered my room and, sitting beside me, presented this pocket watch. With difficulty she articulated, “Colin, I have something for you. It was your…your fathers”, and that was all that was offered. And I think the 12 year-old Colin knew that this watch wasn’t compensating in some miraculous way for the absence of a father, but it consoled him and consolation was more than was offered by anybody else. But as I knew not a thing about him, I was left to dream up my own portrayals of my father, which usually took the form of some dissatisfied-with-civilisation type of character, predestined to conquer never before conquered planets having developed his own unparalleled spacecraft. I envisioned him transporting sections of the Pacific Ocean (though I wasn’t sure how) across to planet Feradica, the integral resource for cultivation.

What I also inferred was that somehow, amidst collecting some of the Pacific and packing enough pairs of socks, my father had accidentally taken with him the magic missing link to this pocket watch. As, for reasons unknown and despite innumerable battery changes, I had not observed one tick in the seven years it had been in my possession. And still, it was as attached to me as a blanky is to a three year-old. Perhaps in the haze of frantic packing he forgot to pack me, for which I’m sure he has never forgiven himself.

The gallery was one of those fabulous, multi-storied contemporary buildings, painted a pearl-white. It was filled with modern delights such as giant pieces of paper with what looked like unintentional paint-splashes smeared across them. There was no coherence to them and the descriptions given didn’t really allay your confusion. What I didn’t know then, I would understand with time. And so, reaching the first floor, I crept through the double doors, panning left and right before discreetly slipping up the stairs to the second floor. Gliding through the opening, with a spring-fuelled step, I was filled with surprise as I fell into a room that hosted a flavourful blend of masterpieces. Sullen yet soulful, I absorbed colour after lurid colour before noticing one particular contrasting figure.

Clad in ebony from boot to brow with pupils larger than the moon, the most bizarre character I had ever laid eyes on was kneeling on the ground before a flawless masterpiece. Odd? Definitely. Yet the notion of him kneeling before a painting bore no comparison to the impossibly enormous magnifying glass he was holding. He looked like he might have been handsome in his youth, an easy on the eyes demi-god that was met with dropping-jaws upon entering every room. But the bags that trailed beneath his eyes now cast shadows across his weathered facial features, and he was so still and alone in his task, whatever it was that I felt empathetic. Alone was served as a side-dish with my breakfast, lunch and dinner. I watched a while as the magnifying glass was moved by its owner, his eyes scrutinizing every grain of splendour, every speck of paint. The most surreal element was that there were at least thirty others in the room and most of them were adults, yet they appeared to evade this strangeness, or impossibly, they did not consider this strange at all. Perhaps this was considered as normal behaviour in the art world, but not to me. The 12 year-old Colin Benedict found this thoroughly intriguing and much more inviting than splashes of figureless paint. What ever could he be looking for? This was a question I needed answering.

I approached slowly, ensuring not to startle him and whispered, “What are you looking for?” This was ineffectual, as he did not move a millimetre. I reiterated. No change. I tried a third time before submitting. But this enigma was one so curious that I couldn’t withdraw my eyes from him. He had no bag with him that I could see, and seemingly, no pockets on his cloak to store money, or keys to a house he shared with another, or a picture of a loved one, no phone – nothing. Only the magnifying glass. And the strangeness, the peculiarity, the mystery, it was wonderful. Regardless of him being unwilling to respond, I knew I had to figure it out, so I turned to the painting.

The image before me was one I was very familiar with, for it was pasted on every billboard in the area, in every carriage of every train and every window of every cafe I had walked by in coming here. It was an encapsulation of freedom, or freedom as some knew it, excluding my 12 year-old self. It was an illustration of a multiplex of retail stores cluttered with dark soulless characters, their faces draped in apathy. Only, there was one face that rather contrasted the collection of ghouls. In the centre was a lady smiling, smothered in green and dressed as the statue of liberty.

What was peculiar- the 12 year-old Colin noticed- was the tablet she was holding. As opposed to saying ‘July 4, 1776’ in Roman Numerals, it read ‘Diet or Regular?’ But I didn’t really grasp it, or what this man was doing. And yet I needed to understand, something about this whole affair spoke to me. I was particularly interested in why the statue of liberty had six spikes in her crown where there are usually seven, and I wondered…could this be the reason for his strange behaviour? Was this a fake? I had to find out. And so, as confidently as possible, I began…


“There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you! Your mother has been worried sick”, the boyfriend Lawrence interjected. In my moment of absorption, I’d displaced the idea that they may have realised I had wandered off. But the only ‘guardian’ in view was Lawrence, so apparently my mother wasn’t worried enough to climb a few stairwells.

“I... I’m sorry, but I just need to-”

“You just need to come with me, boy!” I hated that he called me that. “We’re going to be late after your little disappearance”, he complained pulling me along.

Neck over shoulder, I watched as the figure that had captivated me became smaller and smaller, yet somehow the magnifying glass retained its enormity. I would return tomorrow. I had to. The several hours that followed were a blurry haze of paint and sculptures. Before I knew it, the day had passed. My mother came in my room, kissed me on the cheek, told me to be nicer to “Your new father”, and left. How could she impose such an important title so passively? Did she care about me at all? “New father”. This implied that I had the current presence of a father-figure that had replaced one I had before him. I could confirm neither.

My mind struggled to locate the off switch that evening, resulting in a solid two hours of sleep. But as I woke, I felt I was already going to be too late. That did not stop me. I pulled on my lucky red jumper and after promising that I would be home from “The library” by two, I took a forty minute tube ride before escaping the station. Hordes of militant shoppers, businessmen and -women interspersed with scatterings of snowflakes made for one hell of a challenging journey across town.

Fortunately I was tiny and drunk on adrenaline. I had just two hours remaining before mother would realise I had borrowed twenty-five pounds from her purse without consent, that the library books I was returning were in my room and that I had not taken Stevie for a walk, which I was riddled with guilt about. So I hastened, traversing the bridge. And suddenly I was at the entrance.

My heart’s thud escalated. How exciting. More exciting than anything I had ever done. I had travelled all the way across town – by myself! I survived it! And yet as I walked in, my motion slowed to the extent that I was almost immobile.

Was it not a little excessive, this whole thing? Why had I been so attracted to this man? Why did this quest hold such a great value that I just had to come back? The truth is I didn’t know. All I knew was that if I had tried to leave the gallery in that moment, I might probably have definitely spontaneously combusted. I pushed through the door and stumbled into what seemed like a much larger foyer than yesterday. Everything seemed so much bigger than when I had adults accompanying me. Perhaps I had miscalculated the spikes. And what if I was wrong? What if the man was just strange? These reservations hindered me in no respect whatsoever. Masses of people were buying tickets, and my curfew was fast approaching, so I had no choice but to find an alternative. At about this time, I conveniently noticed the single guard surveying the ground floor.

It was decided: as soon as his attention was deterred, I would make a break for the stairs. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. And then…somehow…my wish was granted. A lady in blue came into view. She asked the guard to take a photo of her with her family, which he probably shouldn’t have done. But he did. And I seized the opportunity. Ever so calmly, I headed straight for and then conquered the flight of stairs. The second level of stairs soon fell away behind me. I moved into the foyer and glancing to the left, my eyes immediately fell upon the man in black.

Gulping, I moved closer towards him, until I was directly next to him and opening my mouth, gesturing with my left hand, “I-“

“There you are you little rat! How dare you enter the gallery without having purchased a ticket? How did you ever get up here?”

The guard accused a boy in red at the other side of the gallery.

“I ought to throw you out!”

I turned and tugged on the man’s velvet jacket. He did not respond.

“Oh it wasn’t you was it? Well then who could it have been?” The guard patronised, before noticing in his peripheral vision, me…Colin Benedict.

“What do you think you are doing? Take your hand off my son!” The mother of the accused yelped.

“Oh dear, please do accept my apologies”. Turning, “It was you I saw”, he snarled rapidly marching towards me.
 “Uh oh”, I tugged some more, “Listen Mr, the reason I came here today is because I saw you studying this painting yesterday and, well, I noticed something peculiar and felt it would have been wrong not to tell you-”

“YOU! Come with me at once, you have much explaining to do!” He clutched my red jumper, splashes of snow falling onto and yet not discouraging his tight grasp.

The man in black turned, “Wait…please, just a moment.”

“Well do forgive me Mr. Alessandro, but this boy is nothing short of a common criminal”.

Ignoring him, the man in black asked me, “What did you notice boy?”

Raising my left hand, I pointed to the crown.

“Where there are six spikes, there should be seven. Forgive me”, looking at the guard, “but, I think this is a fake.”

“This is preposterous, not only do you commit a crime”, I thought this somewhat farfetched, “but now you are questioning the authenticity of this painting? Apologise to Mr Alessandro at once!”

He then proceeded in reeling off the company policy, and how I was going to be put away for a very, very long time, though I wasn’t sure where, for I was only twelve. And I only half heard what he was saying, as I was focused on Mr Alessandro who didn’t seem to hear a word of this. He lifted the magnifying glass and zoomed in on lady liberty. For what seemed like an eternity, he was fixated on the error. And then…quivering erupted throughout his entire body; every cell excited, every hair stood on end.  

This man I would later learn was, in fact, the artist, thus the original was like his own child, completely and absolutely recognisable to him. So many times he had attempted to convince Raymond Craven- the gallery owner- that this was not his work, to no avail. He was, unfortunately, telling Raymond what Raymond already knew.

The man in black took a step back and shaking his head, he smiled.

“It really is true what they say about the bigger picture. Did you come all the way down here to put me out of my misery boy?”
“Yeah, I guess.”

“What a decent young fellow! How could I ever thank you?”

I pondered. I had never wanted much, apart from my stupid pocket watch to work. And in this moment, I could think of nothing else.

“Well, for years I have been trying to get this to work. Is there any chance you could help me fix it?” I extended my hand and presented the watch.

His eyes were drawn…his gaze still…he looked at me in a way no one ever had before.


“How do you know my name? Who are you?”

He dropped the magnifying glass. “My name is Vincent. Vincent Alessandro.”

There was no need to trace the engraving ever again. And though I didn’t feel it reverberate, for the first time in seven years, the pocket watch ticked.

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Inspired by Jimi Hendrix- Castles Made of Sand.
Faces beg for answers…for a while. It usually happens when they’re glowing every colour of the spectrum: violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red; sometimes all at once. A child’s face is a prism of antidotes to eye-sores. A prism, like a man-made pyramid coloured by the sun, built by sun-reddened hands, some wrinkled, some as young as children’s hands. Children with fewer colours in their faces.

Questions asked become questions answered. Answers generate more questions, which generate more answers. Time passes. The question of “Who built the pyramids?” is answered. The questions become fewer, until the questioning process doesn’t make sense anymore.

Gradually, the colour stops emanating from faces. The pyramids wear with the winds of time, like faces. Cracks in the pavement are flooded with rain until they open up the Earth. A hand drops the remainder of his nicotine-crutch and watches as it is swallowed by the ground. Houses under siege of roaring waters trample castles made of sand and become marine automobiles.

A mocking bird hears dreams collecting, he reiterates them. Decides they’re his dreams too. He sings so hard his eyes close. He doesn’t see the tempest he is flying into.

The inevitability of dissatisfaction ensues. People rely on the sun, the moon, the rainbow to give colour back to them. And they do, because nature doesn’t disappoint: we do. We self-destruct, we devalue riches. We adorn what requires no adornment. And while a frown can redirect your path up a steep and oxygen-less hill, a smile sends you on a bike downhill, lasts much longer. Hope remains, despite statistics or unlikelihood of hope’s success. Colours return to faces, and as they do, they see the colours of others, projected, through layer upon layer of clouds brimming with tears and form rainbows.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Favourite Place

The distant lulls of moving traffic, the fluttering of paper cradling freshly lain flowers, stray hairs dancing before your irises pining for your attention. Windmills firing air in different directions, light leaving us slowly but unmistakeably, leaving us. This is my favourite place, a sanctuary that only I know about I’m sure. From here, I see everything: the smoke rising from wealthy chimneys, the white clusters of fluff adorning the farming plantation, transforming it into a gazing opportunity. Never a photo opportunity. Photos are 2D, always unbearably self-assured. You can’t feel your temperate drop when you look at a photograph or wince at the ache of your heels from the boots that carried you here. You can’t feel your mind getting lost in the open space, or the wind change. You cannot see the speckles of human-life conquering mountains in the distance- distant enough for one to mistake them for trees, yet close enough for you to know they are not. You cannot find yourself caving in to your tongue’s jealousy of the banquet your eyes are devouring, as you roll a cigarette. You cannot taste the sweet nicotine that appears to be boundless. You have to be fair to the senses and offer them equilibrium. Even the murmuration above are playing their part. 

There is solitude and open-access to however much oxygen you can withstand, never feeling gluttonous, only weightless. The azure of the lightest, softest blue falls into the arms of the white sky, holding each other with the knowledge that they cannot hold each other long before the breeze separates them forever, permanently, unless by chance the Universe’s elements’ allow them to come together again. Perhaps they might take pity on them, knowing that yin and yang just make sense, knowing their only purpose is to rendezvous eternally. Humanness imposes thoughts on the thickest most colourful air, vivid projections from your attention-seeking imagination and you find yourself seeing everything that matters. Past; present; future; impossible, all assembling and begging you to stay here, regardless of your numbing limbs, regardless of life’s demands and time throwing itself away from you. Here your internal is exhibited. Your inner-voice dominates. Here, you are the picture inside your head, but it is never permanent- it couldn’t be. Like the blending of blue and white, nothing so wonderful can be maintained for long, but you will always find it again. Seize it when you do. Hide the restrictive technology. Pick up your fleshed-out pen and pretty notepad with lined-pages. Express your everything and the mind will change you, as your body changes your mind.

Monday, 15 October 2012

English Studies with Creative Writing: Second Year

Transformative Writing - Week 1
Source: Oppa Gangnam Style - Virginia University Flash-Mob 

Challenge: Imagine you are one of the dancers participating in the flash-mob. Write about the experience.

Thirty-five seconds. I’ve been listening to Gangnam style repeatedly for days, ensuring I have perfected his bizarre horse-riding dance move. Thirty seconds. Why on Earth did I agree to go first? Twenty-five seconds. Oh shit, I think that’s Lucy; please let it be Sophie or Abigail or anyone in the world but Lucy. Twenty seconds. There’s no way I’m doing it. If Mr. Gangnam Style himself was here, I wouldn’t. Ten seconds. When the music starts, I’m just going to casually walk away. Five seconds. I could say that I’ve forgotten how to ride an imaginary horse. Three seconds. She’s looking; oh shit she’s looking. Two seconds. That’s it, I’m going; I’m definitely going. One second. Oh Lucy will have to get over herself - it’s Gangnam Style!

Transformative Writing – Week 2: Vanitas Art

-      Objects: A compass or pocket watch; a crown; a globe; a skull with a missing jaw and missing teeth; red ribbon; magnifying glass; a page of writing (possibly a map); flowers; a table; a scarf; bubbles; a candle holder; holly leaves.

Skull – crowned death
Crown – bejewelled
Globe – glowing
Table – burdened 
Ribbon – twisted
Bubbles – light/free
Map/page – worn
Book - colossal

Challenge: Transform the source.  

There was so much darkness in the room, an eeriness that seeped in beneath my skin. The air inside was bound to the thick dust and completely starved of oxygen. I received the letter a week before, that fateful page that determined my coming here. 

The table was cluttered with the remnants of a life that had long since escaped this world. A jaw-less skull wearing a crown of hay sat in the centre, its front teeth biting into the book below it that resembled an encyclopaedia. Was this symbolic of his appetite for knowledge, an appetite so profound it existed even in death? Or did it represent how when one seeks absolute knowledge, he must fall? As my gaze brushed across the items I thought of an ordinary man that should have been a king; a pioneering force that thrived on nature, never satisfied until he had explored all that was explorable. I imagined him meandering in unmarked territory with only a compass as a companion; his veins brimming with wanderlust, his ink spilling from his pen. 

Maybe he was a man who saw through the falsehood of precious items like jewels and gold, how the men who wore them never deserved the power they entitled. Perhaps his treasure was bubbles. Maybe he admired their perfection, present in their fragility and their temporary existence. Or was he the treasure-hunter? The only item that inclined me to believe such a thing was the holly leaves; it was something about the sharpness of their edges. Who stole his jaw, and what did it mean to them? Was he so villainous that someone removed it while he was breathing, living, talking? Despite the scent of morbidity emanating from the skull, the left side seemed full, spirited; meaningful. The right side – cold, metallic and fragrant-less. Which was his life or was it all his? 

I didn't know. All I knew was whoever's life it was withered to a handful of items before me. I obeyed the words from the letter and painted my snapshot of this mystery-man, falling in and out of love with the several possible lives I coloured. 

My Vanitas

This ill-thought out assembly of a horde of my personals pretty much sums up my life. The funny thing is that when I came to create this, I realised that I didn’t have all that I wanted at hand. For instance, I couldn’t find my Paul Simon CD, my Jimi Hendrix T-Shirt is in the wash, there wasn’t enough room for friends and family on the blanket and Flint Lockwood was far too busy to bring his animated self to sit in for the picture. What was more surprising was what I did find and I didn’t think about. What you see before you is a snapshot of nostalgia for the most part, that begins with a poem from an ex-boyfriend, which is partially veiled by a scrap-book. The scrap-book, I discovered this afternoon in a forgotten drawer. The picture on the left is of my Year 4 class at Primary School, attached to a card from my teacher who was leaving. At the side of the photo, he has drawn a cartoon picture of himself holding a sign saying “I’ll Miss You”, which I can only assume is what triggered my response below:

Even as a bairn, my affection was won very easily. As you can see, there is some serious underlining going on. I’m not at all sure of its purpose; I only hope I can forgive my eight year-old self in spelling whole as hole. And as you can see by the beginning of this sentence, old habits never die. It’s not clear in the Vanitas image, but I’ve even written an annotation at the side of the photo stating, “This is Thomas and I fansy him”, which amused me. I wonder who I was pointing him out to. Perhaps I was writing it down just in case I forgot for a second. Either way, the whole thing cracked me up, particularly given that it was one of just three entries into a very exciting scrap-book. The following page contained a “Worker of the Week”, award from my next teacher because I had worked so terribly hard. The next page, I regret to say, is rather cringe-worthy and I shall refrain from uttering a single word about it. But, I couldn’t resist uploading the picture.                                                                                                       


I did have a comrade in this memorable moment of womanhood, but I didn't want to publicly humiliate her in an expose. It's not my most glamorous of moments. But hey, if you can make a thong work as a hair-band too, you’re just saving money really.

The next item that was a surprise was a piece of writing I did in year 11, where my teacher (who loathed me entirely mostly due to my voice and it's relentlessness, only on topics that weren't anything to do with English), told me that I had written such a serious piece for such a lively girl. "Write a book- you could do it!" How I wish I'd believed him at the time. It was really nice stumbling across this today, despite the fact that the piece I had written was kinda tosh. I was so glad to find it, because it's something I have always remembered and really meant something. So that earned a place on the bunny-rabbit blanket (a childhood treasure). 

Now I will take you over to the tennis racket laid on the left. That belongs to my Federer-loving, ace-serving pappi who has adored tennis forever and always. The comedy value is coming home to find him standing in the back room practising his serve over and over. Unfortunately, he has a bad knee due to being Mr. Sport himself and can't really play any more - apart from when he sporadically decides to wear-out my nephews on the court. But when he played, he had this spark about him just over the eyes. He lives for sport and every moment of watching him you could see it. I love that my dad loves tennis, and that means I love tennis and I will never understand why Andy Murray looks permanently miserable or Venus Williams grunts like a psychopath. 

Towards the back there is a photo of my brother Daniel and I on holiday in Italy. It was an enjoyably chaotic holiday, for we got to spend a handful of days in Milan, Bologna, Florence AND Verona; an absolutely dreamy two weeks that I wish I remembered better, or wrote about at the time, or something. I remember lots of "Ciao Bella" shouts, which would probably be much less frequent if I were to go there now. I remember swimming in the 'pool' at the front of the hotel, wondering why it was at the front of the hotel and not out the back, not contemplating that it might in fact be a water-feature that was pretty much a pool pretending to be a water-feature. The ice-cold water and blue-skin proved otherwise. It's a brilliant memory of having all the family together bonding over gilatto's and jelly-fish stings, that certain brother's offered to piss on (when in fact, you can just get some cream from the lifeguard on the beach. Needless to say, I got the cream).

The boots that are sitting at the back have been invaluable to me and kind of extraordinary. You see, I bought these boots about four years ago and they are still standing! Still standing despite the mountain climbs, trekking in the pouring rain and hail, despite walking over fire and liquid-lava. The last might not be true, but they be some good boots! And I love to walk everywhere, so the boots are not just a pair of boots but a record of all the places I have been in the last four years.

The guitar is a rather new purchase, but an instant love and addiction! But I regret to say I've done that thing us novices do, which is learned about ten chords and started making up my own songs. So long as I stick with them, I'll be dandy with a production of about five songs all containing various combinations of the same sounds. I'm not going to do that, I'm going to learn, learn and conquer the music scene (probably not), but at least add to it, maybe..? At least not take anything away from it. 

The tickets are from concerts. The train tickets are from visiting my friend Charlottie in Leeds when she went to University there. The gel seat is representative of cycling (I love cycling). The Princess Bride is my favourite film because who could be cooler than Inigo Montoya? Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the most wonderful book I have ever read and was a major inspiration to my writing. There's also a beer-mat signed by Dylan Moran who I completely idolise, because for all the nonsense he speaks, he makes more sense than most. Oh, and because he is fudging hilarious. The Easter Funnies poster is actually for a sketch-show I didn't participate in (I know, how terrible, taking credit for something I wasn't even involved in!) but I didn't have a copy of the poster from the show I did participate in. There is a broken violin bow from when I used to play, and might still had it not been broken (I swear it was my nephew). My lovely ma took me to violin lessons and stayed with me every time because the man had a high creep-factor, heck of a good teacher though! Aside from that, there is a leavers book, a small wooden chest with photos in and the first notebook I wrote in as an adult. This is my life - not completely, though by the length of this piece, you would think it was more! I wonder how you interpreted it. 

Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Apple

For Craig Cass...a most ardent hater of apples. 

Apple…the big apple…how do you like those apples? You know, you really are the apple of my eye. Does anyone object to this glorification of possibly the least exciting of fruits? Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady’s, they’re all just red and green sphere’s right? I mean, it was fairly abstract that of all things, an apple fell on Newton’s head. And whoever wrote the Bible and Snow White was clearly apple-deprived during their upbringing. It would be the same if someone was deprived of climbing trees; for we all know that’s how Tarzan happened. And if a child wanted to really impress a teacher, I think it would be more suitable to present them with an excerpt from Hamlet, or spell onomatopoeia, or shut the hell up and do work in class, than to present them with an apple. Surely, a pineapple is more exciting than an apple? It still includes the word apple, and though it’s a little harder to sink your teeth into, the citric euphoria is worth the struggle. It’s the quintessential object for the metaphor “don’t judge a book by its cover”, and other things. Yeah you could say the same for an apple, but my point is: it’s an apple. The creative genius Steve Jobs made an apple the symbol of his entire life’s work. Why? Because after working for some time in an apple orchard and indulging in a fruitarian diet, Jobs decided that it was worthy. And there was some truth to his justification. He said “An apple is not intimidating”, until you make it the metaphor for places like New York; “An apple is fun”, much like the red and green traffic lights battling against each other. And “apples are…spirited”, much like I’m sure, the object of your affection is. And is it a coincidence that one of the greatest bands of all time founded Apple Records? I don’t know. People just love apples. And as I’m writing this, it’s becoming more and more obvious why they do. Apples are simple, surprising – particularly when worms worm their way into them – and they remind us of the importance of simplicity. They represent the first letter in the alphabet, and if you think about it, that’s the first thing that children usually learn. Simplicity. The foundations. The basics. And you look at the apple long enough; it begins to resemble the world.


Monday, 25 June 2012

Some kind of diary-shaped thing.

So, I've had a revelation today and clearly, that is more worthy and contented than a blank-post might be. That's not necessarily true, but here are some words and stuff about some stuff I've been thinking. I have always been obsessed with music, strums, beats, whistles, noise - real sounds have always succeeded in arousing the hairs on my neck to the extent that they almost pull my skin off. But it is only recently that I have thought, "Hey, maybe I could do this". Stupid really, to be completely absorbed by something but never partake in it. But as it is always the present, I tend not to look at the previous present and resign in a sigh because I didn't use that present for this purpose. And I'll pretend I'm not worried about lost present's because the present is never invalid, never late and never negated. this present, I am calling guitar Teachers in the local area to see if they will be able to interpret the sounds formed by my scarred larynx (after screaming along to Californiacation last night, positively dying as Flea walked across the stage on his hands) and will my musical education. Those I have spoken to thus far clearly assume correctly that I have been to a concert and am thus instantly determined to achieve rock-star status; that fame and talent is merely a guitar lesson away. "Naive twat", screamed all of their thoughts in unison. This is regrettably a little accurate, save for the rock-star status desires. I don't want to be musical to be famous (though last night I did think, "Fuck I want to make music"), I want to play and sing for the sake of playing and singing. Over the past few years I have written songs, but songs without music are a tricky one, and usually an unlikely victory. The concern is that you may be singing your words to fit the instrumental of an existing artist's song. But I couldn't do nothing. And since I need to write more than anything and didn't have ten years worth of instrument-perfecting on my side, it was my only option. So I have words but no music. But I'm hoping that is going to rapidly change. Hoping, hoping and more importantly, dreaming that I'm better than say if you asked a hyena to play the cello. I'm being discriminatory there and not taking into consideration their possible potential with a cello. How the hell would I know if a hyena could play a cello or not? Maybe it's a hypothesis that should be tested. But yeah, next stop, guitar. And I sincerely hope it's the last stop I make.