Tag Archives: misery

Thoughts on Watching TV

I just spent an hour messing about with thoughts and coming to no real conclusion. At that point I thought I’d give myself a deadline of 20 minutes. In that take I have to write something and do all the tags and stuff so I can post before midnight. point.

\it’s a useful target and cuts out all the woolly thinking. What happened was that I watched a TV programme about social media. It was a poor programme in many respects but did give me a few things to think about, including the mixed messages being sent by a presenter who drifted from one thing to another without any real thread to it. I cancelled Facebook years ago and felt better for it. I don’t use Twitter, except to announce new posts, though I’ve had  a message coming up recently that indicates that might not be happening. I’m not really bothered and haven’t followed it up. WP, I regard as writing practice rather than social media, and that’s my lot.

The most interesting bits were the rage/jealously segments. It seems that one Tik-Tok user had his car and house burned by people who took exception to his posts. I really can’tb understand why he became so popular, but I definitely don’t understand why someone would set fire to his car. I think it’s all down to the modern desire for fairness and equality. It breeds envy. Instead of looking at a successful person and finding out how they made their success, people just moan that it’s unfair.

Life, as I was always told, is unfair. But it’s also what you make it, and if you want to make it a place of misery and envy then you are free to make that choice. It’s just that no matter how bad my life becomes, I’d rather use my time to enjoy it than moan that other people have been luckier than me, and don’t deserve their success. Strangely, the people who moan most also seem to be the ones with the least talent and work ethic. I wonder if there could be a link . . .

I’m now going to use the title of this post for a poem. Looks like I’m back in the game.


A Postscript and a Day of Disappointment

I’m in the doghouse after yesterday’s post. Julia is not happy with me for revealing details of my abysmal standards of nasal etiquette – “letting the whole world know you’re full of unpleasant habits” as she put it.

This is a complete over-reaction because I have, at best, let a couple of dozen people know. And by the law of averages there are probably one or two who aren’t averse to a spot of clandestine nasal probing. It’s also likely, after reading several posts that those two dozen readers aren’t really under any illusions about my lack of social graces.


Sutton on Sea

She’s definitely wrong about one thing though – I have plenty of room for new unpleasant habits.

I also have plenty of room in my wallet. The garage rang today – my deflating tyre is not merely unseated, the sidewall is damaged and I have to buy a new one. I haven’t had it that long, and was planning on it lasting a good while longer.

There is a small grey cloud hanging over my head as I write this.

We had a policeman call this morning. He was returning the flash drive we had let them have with CCTV footage of the robbery on. It was contained in three plastic bags – one for travel to the station and storage, one for travel back to the shop and one I’m not sure about. That’s a lot of plastic in a world which is generally trying to cut back.

They can, as we already knew, do nothing to catch the robbers. This isn’t CSI and the science does not quite work like it does on TV. And, to be honest, the police don’t work like they do on TV. Nobody, as far as I know, tried tracing the getaway car on traffic cameras, because robbery from a closed shop isn’t a priority.

A bit like filling in potholes in Lincolnshire.


Dogs at Sutton on Sea

One of Those Nights

I’m just recovering from one of those nights.

At this point I pause, wondering if anyone else actually suffers from this sort of night, or if I’m about to reveal too much about my life.

So, here goes.

I woke around 5am, which I consider early. At that time of the morning, even when it’s clear that sleep isn’t an option, I tend to stay in bed. Or, to be more accurate, at that time in the morning I tend to get up, take a trip to the bathroom, reflect on my age, and then go back to bed.

We need a new mattress, but I’m trying to last until winter before buying a new one. It’s psychological – winter is the time to think f sleep, spring should be the time to think of skipping through meadows of wild flowers.

Awake, bad back, semi-darkness, and the doubts begin to creep in.

How is Number One son doing in his new job in Malta? How is Number Two son doing in his Finals, and is his plan to work in Canada a good one? Are three part-time jobs providing the life we want? Am I going to die of a heart attack before I sort my affairs out?* (Business affairs, that is, I’m not much in favour of infidelity and, to be frank, even if I was, I don’t have the energy these days). What have I done with my life? Where has it all gone? What did I do wrong? Could I have spent my money better? Why can’t I budget properly? Where did all this clutter come from?

And then I descend to the smaller incidents and embarrassments, the times I said or did the wrong thing, the times when I couldn’t think of the witty reply that would have turned things round and made me feel better, the way that things went wrong on the farm.


If it is, I sympathise with you, but I’m glad to find I’m not alone.

If it isn’t, you are very lucky.

I’m going to post a few cheerful photos now and try a spot of optimism.

Is it working for you?

*The doctor seems to think I am.

A Poetry Sort of Day

My copy of The Poetry Review came through today. It was accompanied by a copy of Poetry News and seven glossy leaflets advertising poetry competitions.

It’s fair to say, from looking at this pile, and skimming Poetry News, that poetry is popular at the moment.

I fear, looking at the pile of paper, that the rise of poetry may be linked to a decline in tree stocks. This wouldn’t be so bad if they were all limericks and light verse but there is a lot of very earnest poetry about. To be fair, we wouldn’t appreciate the humorous stuff without the serious verse, but there’s an awful lot of it.

It seems that the Grenfell Towers fire has been a popular subject this year. Last year Donald Trump was a popular subject. I remember that last time I took a serious interest in poetry the 2004 Morecambe Bay tragedy supplied the subject for a lot of competition entries. Misery loves company, as they say, and it seems to love poetry too.

If I’m going to be a proper poet I may have to ditch the clerihews and get serious.

Meanwhile, I also got a copy of Don Paterson’s 40 Sonnets. It’s looking good so far (I just had a quick look at the first two), so that’s tonight’s reading sorted.


Lagging Behind, and Misery in Derbyshire

It’s Wednesday today and I’m still blogging about Monday.

Eventually we reached Carsington Water, where I discovered I had left my stick at home. Though I have a spare one in the car it is one of my Dad’s and is about two inches too short. It actually causes more problems than it solves and is only there for emergencies.

It was a handy excuse for not walking round and freezing. So we went to the shops. Julia spent the points off the RSPB loyalty card on crackers and cards and I poked through the books and bird food before deciding that I didn’t feel like spending money.  I never feel like spending money, but at Christmas I can at least get into the character of Ebeneezer Scrooge and claim I’m entering the spirit of Christmas.

We went into the Air Ambulance charity shop after that. It was a miserable experience.  They seemed to have taken delivery of a new consignment of stock, and most of it was stacked in front of the books so I couldn’t see the interesting books.  To make things worse, the staff member who was on duty seemed to go out of her way to obstruct Julia as she tried to look round. It takes a lot to wind Julia up but she wasn’t very pleased by the time she’d finished.

We like the air ambulance, and though the kids never needed it, we have been at events where other rugby players have been whisked off for treatment. We also like charity shops. Things are bad when I use the words “miserable experience” about a visit.

I was able to look at a cookery book – James Martin’s Great British Winter Cookbook. I won’t add a link as that might tempt someone to buy it. None of the recipes grabbed me, and one, Tomato and Cumin Soup, didn’t seem particularly British or wintery. I mean, where are all the winter tomatoes? In Spain.

Then we went for tea and cake. A day that features tea and cake can’t be all bad can it? And the restaurant is always good. I say “always”…

Julia liked her mince pie. I thought my raspberry and orange cake was a bit dry. And deficient in raspberries, though as I served myself I only had myself to blame. Then I started to think I detected the aftertaste of artificial sweetener. It may not have been, but it was definitely an unpleasant aftertaste.

To cheer things up I suggested a trip to the bookshop at Brierlow Bar.  I wasn’t expecting much, but as we were on the doorstep thought we might as well go.  To be fair, some of the book stock does seem to be improving, after a bit of a slump, as does the card stock. However, we bought cards and stationery and no books, which doesn’t look good for the future.

We couldn’t even eat cake as we are dieting and had already had our daily ration.

In my dreams of next year I see myself standing outside the shop with my nose pressed up against the window looking in at the bright lights. Inside, people enjoy tea and cake, buy expensive bird food and select books that I wouldn’t enjoy.

Sadly, I cannot participate and I gradually fade away like the ghost of readers past…

I will leave you with that picture.

The next post will be more cheery.