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 Early Hours

The clock ticked past midnight over an hour ago. I’m sitting in the dark of the junk room on my own – the rest of the house fell into silence some time ago after everybody else went to bed.

I busied myself for a time with picking up after the rest of the family – putting things away, filling the dishwasher, the usual chores.

Life feels so much like a treadmill at the moment – like a continual procession of doing the right thing for the right people at the right time. It all feels like such a performance.

What is it we tell ourselves to wallpaper over it all? Tomorrow is another day? Something like that? Every day is another day though, isn’t it – another day filled with much the same.

We repeat trite phrases to ourselves about becoming the change we wish to see, or living in the moment. Those sentiments always seem to ignore the silent majority that have to deal with the carnage and chaos caused by those that make decisions and plans.

It would be wonderful though, wouldn’t it – to ignore all the pre-conditions and chase a dream – no matter how small. Just for a few moments.

Perhaps the smallest of decisions are sometimes portents. Small favors. Kindnesses. Reaching out to a friend to ask about their day. Stopping to listen. Giving time.

Perhaps the universe knows. Perhaps we do too – if we’re honest with ourselves. Perhaps we need to drop the daily act from time to time and ask ourselves what we’re really doing – what we’re really saying.


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?


Twenty to Midnight

As the title suggests, the clock is whirling inexorably toward midnight once again. I’m sitting in the dark of the junk room, watching a pretend aeroplane whistle across a pretend sky – headed for Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s relaxing, in a strange sort of way.

Work is going well at the moment – although all-consuming in a very non-relaxing way. While software development is fulfilling, it is also draining. The amount of concentration, effort, and mental gymnastics needed to bring projects to fruition is often enormous. It takes it out of you.

Life at home continues as it always has – putting one foot in front of the other. Just as I thought I might be getting ahead of the bank a little, the washing machine started to fail. That will wipe out the meagre savings we had made in recent months. We never seem to get far away from zero.

I woke up this morning having pulled a muscle in my back. I did it yesterday – although I’m not entirely sure how. I’ve been taking ibuprofen throughout the day, which has helped. I swear… my body is starting to fall to pieces. I put it down to working from home. I went from cycling miles every day to not cycling anywhere at all – and it’s having an effect. I really DO need to start doing something regularly. I’ve begun running from time to time, but never seem to stick at it any more. I am succeeding in losing weight though. A kilogram or so per week. Slow and steady.

Anyway – my pretend aeroplane is about to land. I need to go “do my job” in the flight deck.


Too Tired to Think

I’m not entirely sure where the last few days have gone. In-between chores, work, running, writing, more chores, more running, more work, more writing, and endlessly putting things away, two entire days have vanished.

I suppose the biggest news this week is that my other half is changing job. After something like 12 years working as “the lady in the office” at an infant school, she handed her notice in this morning. She starts her new job in about five weeks – working for a movie production company a few miles away. It’s all very exciting.

I’m still doing the same job I’ve been doing forever – magicking bits and pieces of website and intranet out of nowhere for corporate behemoths. It’s funny – when the writing comes easily I think “I could do this for a living”, but I only really play at writing. Nobody would want to pay me to empty my head each day – or at least, I don’t think they would. That said, I joined Medium a year or so ago, and tried out their partner programme – and made bank pretty quickly.


It’s getting late.

I thought I should at least write a few words before collapsing onto the sofa in front of some ridiculous movie or TV show. Whenever I miss a day on the blog it starts to eat away at me like a fungus. Actually – that’s not a very good analogy, is it – fungus grows on things – it doesn’t eat them.

I’m too tired to think any more.

Oh – I went for another run this morning. I’m glad I did it, but still shocked how unfit I have become. I used to be able to run 5 kilometres a couple of times a week. It’s going to take a while to get back to that.


In the Dark

Did you know that if you install the “Dark Reader” extension into your web browser, you can write in “Dark Mode” in the WordPress editor? Well you do now.

Technically it’s already Sunday morning, but I’m still up – bathed in the light of an old angle-poise lamp in the junk room. There is no music playing. There is no sound of teenagers crashing around the house somewhere else. There is just the sound of my fingers on the keyboard.

I cut the grass today. While it might sound like a remarkably mundane thing to announce – hardly noteworthy in the grand scheme of things – it was at least something. I achieved something.

Tomorrow will be spent on the touchline of rugby pitches for the last time this season – or at least until the summer touch-rugby tournament starts.

On Monday I will find myself back in this seat, sitting in front of this same computer, pretending to know what I’m doing once more, and talking a good game in conference calls.

It’s easy to sound like you know what you’re doing. I meet people that talk a good game all the time. It’s more difficult to pull those same people’s projects out of the fire and drag them over the finish line. I know – I’ve done it.


Time to sleep.


Tiredness Abounds

We went to watch our middle daughter play rugby, and to help out with some of the jobs involved in making a rugby match happen. For me, this comprised standing at the entrance of an overflow car park in a reflective orange tabard for an hour – in bitter cold and driving rain. My youngest daughter came with me and entertained in ways only she knows.

Oh, the fun we had counting cars into and out of the car park while trying to keep track of how full it had become. Who needs expensive video game machines to while away an hour?

After refuelling in the clubhouse, courtesy of a cup of tea in a paper cup and a sausage sandwich, we headed back out into the rain and watched the game – keeping the official match score sheet along the way.

Once the match finished – after having spent the better part of three hours in the rain, which had now seeped through coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, trousers and underwear – we helped with the clear-up too.

Something struck me while wandering back to our car. There were 18 kids in the team today. Potentially 36 parents. Less than a quarter of that number turned up, and of those only myself, my other half, and another mum helped with anything. Between us we set the pitch up, staffed the car parks, kept score, helped cook food for the players, and took the pitch back down. It didn’t occur to anybody else to help.

I thought many hands were supposed to make light work.

After getting home we stripped off the wet clothes and dug out fresh, warm, dry clothes before collapsing on the sofa with hot drinks. The washing machine has been running ever since.

We finally ate this evening at 8pm. Washing up was done by 9pm. Sunday has gone, and we’re all tired.

Somebody asked me earlier if I might be watching the “Superbowl”. I’ll be amazed if I’m still awake in half an hour, let alone the early hours of tomorrow morning.