If you can’t beat them

After a year wandering through the internet wilderness, I’ve returned to WordPress, paid for an account, sat down heavily in the corner, and let out a huge sigh.

I’m done trying.

I’m settling for the easiest way out, and the most trustworthy place to just write, post, and not have to think about anything else.

Along the way I’ve tried out both Medium and Substack. Medium is full of people mansplaining how to make money on Medium (a story that gets old really quickly), and Substack is full of journalists hoping to monetise. I had hoped it might be more.

As you may have read yesterday, Tumblr deleted my account. I’m not sad about losing content – more the friendships and connections I have no way of recovering. I sent out a few private messages on Facebook this morning, but they were a small part of a once huge community.


I’ve paid for WordPress – for the next year at least. I’ve transferred my domain name back. They’re busy wiring up certificates and whatever else while I’m writing this – it could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. If you’re reading this, it’s already happened.

In other news, I had something of a nothing day today. I spent the morning doing chores before everybody else got up, the afternoon helping my youngest daughter find her bedroom floor, then cooked dinner, washed up after dinner, and am now up to my eyeballs in this blog re-engineering idiocy.

There’s a bottle of prosecco in the fridge with my name on it, but it’s already too late to open it. Fizzy wine should be accompanied by friends, stories, and laughter.

Right. I’m going to sign off for the night. If you receive this in an email, you’re already subscribed – not need to worry (not that you were worrying, but still…)

I’ll shut up now. I’m tired.


The Coffee Shop Intervention Requirement

Several days have slipped past since I wrote anything of consequence. Once again I find myself sitting in the dark of the junk room, propped in front of the computer – tapping into the keyboard. The clock is ticking towards midnight again.

We’re one day away from a four day weekend – the easter weekend – which hadn’t occurred to me at all until the rest of the household started making various “death by chocolate” creations in the kitchen (and leaving me the washing up).

(an hour passes while I get sucked into an internet rabbit hole)

How the hell does this always happen?

(you can’t hear me sigh – I just sighed)

I had all sorts of ideas earlier – things I might write about. Somehow that all went sideways as soon as I started writing. I end up catching myself – a voice whispers “nobody’s interested in any of that”. It’s always the introspective stuff. The good stuff.

I don’t know. I just feel like I’m on a bit of a hamster wheel at the moment. Each day is groundhog day. I need to do an intervention on myself – go out for lunch with a friend – a walk in the woods – anything really.

I am my own worst enemy though – I’ll get up tomorrow, start doing chores, then become consumed with work, and before I know it, the day will have gone, and I’ll have spent yet another day in the junk room.

Who want’s to go for coffee tomorrow?



I just wrote a somewhat awkward “goodbye” message over at Substack, where I had been experimenting with writing personal blog posts for the last several months (not for the first time).

I changed my mind…

I’m returning to WordPress, but still not quite letting go of Tumblr, because I have too many memories wrapped up in it. Too many echoes of forgotten friendships to quite close the lid on it entirely.

You might not have even noticed I wasn’t “here” for the past little while, unless you read my about page, where I confessed my sins. I’m thinking that if I don’t try to be everywhere, I might have more of a chance at being somewhere. Hopefully that makes a little bit of sense?

I might choose a different theme for the blog though – it’s look and feel. We’ll see.


First day back at work today after a few days away. It’s been quiet so far – which is good, I suppose. Lots of coffee has been consumed. Several hot cross buns no longer exist.

Since returning from the coast yesterday evening, in between working I’ve been on something of a chore marathon around the house. It doesn’t look like I’ve achieved very much, but I feel better for having at least tried.

I may have volunteered to make dinner this evening. I forgot all about it until I started writing this. You can’t see me sighing, can you.


Watching for the Keymaster

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in the various projects you’re involved in – but also realise that you started each project? I suppose you could say I’m terrible at saying no to myself.

I was supposed to go for a run this morning – to begin getting some miles under my belt ahead of a charity fun run in December. I woke up with the alarm clock at 7am, and then fell asleep for another twenty minutes (and had a weird dream – I seem to be having a lot of weird dreams recently).

It doesn’t help that I’ve been playing the “stay up late to avoid tomorrow” game – although the game seems to have transformed into “stay up late to do more things today”. I need to just stop. Slow down. Step back. An acquaintance who has been witness to one of the online projects I’ve been tinkering with asked “do you ever sleep?” – another friend chipped in with “he’s a robot”.


Today I’m going out for lunch. A group of us from work are gathering at a pub within walking distance of my house. It will be nice to see some of my co-workers – working from home is great, but it’s also a bit like a fish-bowl most days (a fish bowl that also contains laundry, washing up, and tidying up after the rest of the house guests).

Time is marching on. I should fire up my work laptop.

Did you see that Elon is going ahead with the acquisition of Twitter? Do you have a Twitter account? Are you now part of the angry mob with pitchforks? I will admit to not quite understanding what the big issue is – you know, apart from him wanting to open the gates of the underworld. If I see Rick Moranis stumbling around the internet in search of Sigourney Weaver, I’ll know exactly how it’s playing out.


Spread Thinly

How is it Thursday already? Where do the days go? It feels like my feet haven’t touched the ground all week. Take today as an example – somehow I’ve filled and emptied the dishwasher, thrown three loads of clothes through the washing machine and hung them out to dry, sprayed the bedroom, stairs, and living room with flea spray (never get cats), hoovered all over, picked up after everybody, AND got on with work.

And it’s only just after lunchtime.

I’m taking half an hour off from everything to write this, and listen to some music. I use my phone with a bluetooth speaker in the study that my cousin gave me. I have a free spotify subscription, and choose random playlists each day.

I only have one curated playlist of my own – that I compiled with the help of an old friend – filled with 70s, 80s and 90s classics. Whenever I listen to it I think of them now – and wonder how they are.


Time to go grab a glass of water. Now the weather is getting warmer, it doesn’t do to stay sitting at the desk for too long – and apparently water intake is the best way to avoid my feet swelling up (it happened last year). I imagine the gallons of coffee I drink can’t help either.

I’ll writing again when I get a chance.


A few words

It’s been a few days since I last polluted the internet with any thoughts. I think the biggest surprise to me is that I haven’t really missed writing. I thought I would.

Life continues to be quiet.

Saying that, we have been invited out to visit neighbours for dinner this evening – a reunion of sorts of school parents – our children progressed through junior school together. It’s going to be fun.

While sitting out on the green with neighbours a few of weeks ago – an excuse we all used to use to grab a drink with each other – the conversation turned to what we had all been doing over the past year or so. Guilty admission followed guilty admission. Nobody had really done anything. Nothing has become the new normal.

I kept quiet about descending into my own Abed Nadir world of pretend aeroplanes (Community reference – we’ve been binge-watching it at home recently).

Actually – while mentioning Community – perhaps you can clear this up for me. In the middle of the LEGO Movie, Emmet names a number of cats that cross his path. The final cat has a deep voice, and is introduced as “Jeff”. I’m pretty sure it’s Joel McHale, “Jeff Winger” from Community. I wonder if anybody has ever jumped down the internet rabbit hole to find that one out?

Anyway. We need to go soon, so I should stop writing. Maybe I’ll just pause here, and write more when I get home…

(and entire evening passes)

It’s now 11am on Sunday morning. I’ve already cut the lawn.

Last night was fun. It’s easy to become stuck in an insular world of work, chores, errands and so on – before you know it, you haven’t seen friends for months or even years.

The evening whistled by. We laughed, told stories, reminisced about the past, and looked forward to the future together. Our children are all growing up. While we are of course apprehensive for them, we’re also adjusting to a new normal of our own – our lives are changing too.

We got home just before our daughters, who returned from the pub where Miss 18 had worked until closing time.

In other news, I’ve begun stripping away the results of recent tinkering – reducing the blog to it’s core at WordPress. Given my sphere of work there is always going to be a temptation to delve into the machinery of the internet, and lose sight of the reason I am here in the first place. While I might not agree with walled gardens, platforms, and “the man”, there are benefits to “just writing”, and taking advantage of platforms I don’t have to look after.


The remains of Sunday are stretched out ahead of me. Perhaps a cup of coffee might be a good first step.


Chore Days

Another day. Another few kilometres in the running bank. The schedule moved on to “Week 3” this morning. It’s so tempting to go further than the schedule dictates, but I’m only too aware of past injuries and how I caused them.

After scraping myself out of bed a little after 7am, I met my middle daughter in the kitchen – who had just returned from her own run. She’s starting the “Couch to 5K” too – only I’ll believe it when I see it. As with many teenagers she tends to be full of ideas that only get as far as doing something once or twice. Quite how she’s going to make it through seven or eight weeks of running every other day is anybody’s guess.

My run went well. I took a different route around town to mix it up – and of course ended up running in the road half the time. Why do some people think the entire pavement belongs to them? Why are they so thoughtless or ignorant? I really do wonder if I’m invisible sometimes.

After getting home I launched myself into the usual chores – emptying the dishwasher, filling the washing machine, and tidying up around the house. After that the lawn needed cutting. It never ends around here. While writing this I can hear that the washing machine has finished – guess who will be hanging it’s contents out in a moment.

It’s funny really – I look forward to the weekend, and invariably end up doing chores for most of it.


Turning a Corner

My other half is sitting up in bed today, eating porridge and drinking lemonade – a huge improvement on recent days. Apparently her body is staging a spirited fight-back against COVID19.

Somewhat miraculously, the rest of us remain symptom free.

I’m hoping she will be returning negative tests by Sunday at least – so she can watch the kids open their Easter eggs in person. Somehow I think it might be early next week though, given the experience of friends.

The last few days have been strange – knocking around the house, sleeping on the sofa, and doing the chores like a lonely automaton. If not for catching up with distant friends on the internet, I would probably be sporting questionable personal hygiene, growing a beard, and falling into the gravity well of daytime television.


Another hour, and the family will no doubt be asking about dinner. I wonder if I can point them towards the leftovers from yesterday’s “party food” dinner?



This morning a gas engineer arrived to do a service on our boiler. No sooner had he arrived, the boiler started throwing error codes – triggering the most amusing jobsworth description I’ve heard in some time – “I’m only here to service – not to diagnose faults” .

We realised that the boiler was behaving much like a portable television set from the 1970s – if you stayed away from it, it worked fine – if you so much as breathed near it, it acted up.

Towards the end of the engineer’s visit, he asked about seeing the radiators around the house – and probably saw my horror-struck expression. That would mean entering my teenage daughters bedrooms. Anybody with teenage girls will probably start laughing at this point – let’s just say that if you didn’t know a room belonged to a 14 to 18 year old girl, you might imagine the house had either been burgled, or that we had squatters staying in those rooms.

Suffice to say, Miss 16 in particular is in all sorts of trouble this evening for the state of her hell-hole bedroom, and the lies she had pedalled when asked if it was tidy.

Shortly after the engineer left, I joined a conference call with work – the second of the day – which I repeatedly had to leave to answer the door.

Why do random events stack up in such ridiculous ways? I’m struggling to remember a work meeting where somebody *didn’t* come to the door half-way through the call. I suppose it’s the same for everybody though – and having to leave mid-call usually raises a few smiles throughout those participating.

Most of the parcels were presents for my other half’s birthday next week. At least I’m doing better this year than the year I was working in Germany, stayed up half the night trying to pull a project out of the fire, and completely forgot. She was *not* happy.

In other news, I started watching season 2 of “Upload” last night – the comedy on Amazon Prime about a guy who’s consciousness is uploaded into a virtual world following his death. It’s become something of a late-night favourite.


Time to wind things up for the day. Somehow it’s already 6pm. Time for dinner, and a dive down the internet rabbit hole to see what friends have been up to today.