Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Financial, Health, Work, Writing

Long Time No Write!

So this month is turning into a nightmare – writing wise – and in other ways. This has largely been down to the fact that I have felt ill for most of it. Running a high temperature and feverish. I can’t afford to take any time off sick and have been crawling into work, making it back home and straight into bed most nights.

All this has had a detrimental effect of our youngest’s autism and he has been a handful, to say the least – in turn, this has had a knock-on effect on our eldest.

To make matter worse – my car has been out of service. It has taken three garages to work out what it was and fix it. I started off using public transport at first but when the Bus broke down it just about finished me off. I ended up having to hire a car. So much money down the drain.

I was feeling a little better over the last few days but of course, there’s so much to do now to catch up. One of those things was to tighten the security on all the kids’ devices. That’s when I discovered that the Microsoft account on my eldest was not working. He could not log into anything – for example, One Drive as it was asking for a parent’s permission. Ok, I followed the steps but this did not work as it was insisting on a US based credit card. It proved impossible to do what they were asking. So I contacted Microsoft, who didn’t believe me. I spent 4 hours going around and around in circles. It appears that when setting up his account originally I must have set it to US. by mistake. Simple – they said  – get him to log in and reset the region. He can’t log in!

ME: He can’t log in without my permission!

THEM: OK you give him permission. I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you.

ME: I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you!

THEM: Just enter your credit card details at this link.

ME: The link I told you insists on a US. based credit card so I can’t complete it.

THEM: Ah, that would be because his region is incorrect. Get him to log in and change the region.

ME: @#@!ing hell! He can’t LOG IN!!!!

Four hours! Four hours of this before they admitted it can’t be done. Then they asked me to Fax them his details. Fax! FAX! Is the Microsoft help department still living in the 80’s! I can’t remember the last time I even saw a fax machine. I certainly don’t have access to one.

Starting to feel the mania creeping in!

Anyway, there was one bit of good news amongst all this garbage. I should be ecstatic and singing about it but all the rest has just left me feeling so drained I haven’t really had time to think about it properly.

I have got a new job! Accepted the offer and last week handed my notice in. It’s going to be a big change. Been in the same job for 10 years – time to blast away some cobwebs!

Posted in Financial, General, Politics, Television, Writing

The Strangulation of the Great

By Scott Bailey

So I was daydreaming in the bath – thinking about a book I read long ago – a biography of a famous 19th-century explorer and how he could be seen as representing men as a whole – but that’s a whole other post that will be coming soon.

Anyway – in the wandering way of my mind this lead me to thinking about how men have become demonised in the media generally. We are seen as stupid or beasts or slovenly – I could go on. But then, I thought women get it just as bad and then there’s ethnic minorities, the poor, immigrants – the list goes on. And on.

Maybe it’s just rich white people who get off lightly – but even as you read this what are you thinking? Of those Etonian brothers who keep their friend rich via nepotism and corruption while sneering at the poor? The rich wives from Chelsea with their lap dogs and expensive handbags and no clue about the real world?

See even they are demonised.

Why?

Who by  – that’s an easier question. The media. And we all know that the media is run by those in power. I am no conspiracy theory nut – I don’t believe that there’s a tightly organised elite pulling the strings. Rather I think it’s like a self-sustaining system which lifts the people it needs to maintain its stability into positions of power. But whatever the reason – the media is the tool of that system.

So again why? Why demonise every single sector of society?

Control. If you cannot be proud of where you came from how can you rise to greatness? Great people can threaten the order of things, they can lead people out of their everyday drudgery and tedium. Out of wage slavery and obedience.

So greatness is stifled. In the modern garden of the world, the land is left to weeds and overgrowth. Anything that rises above the weed line is quickly cut down or sprayed with toxins until it wilts.

In such a barren and ill-tended garden, how can we expect flowers? How can we have anything more than poor harvests?

We should tend our garden better.

Posted in Adoption, Family, Financial, General, Health, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Forgetting it all for the weekend

So it seems the moment I signed up for NaNoWriMo the pressure from all sides of my life takes off like a rocket.

Work has become more and more stressful. To the point of the web site having major problems last thing Friday night. At this point I was so sick with stress I decided it would have to wait until Monday morning. I walked out and decided to try to forget everything for the weekend.

This was not easy, as I said work stress is building up and up, relentlessly. Getting tired of it now.

On top of that the pressure from our adoption is also growing – all the social workers and health visitors want a mass meeting with us – we are naturally stressing about this as we don’t know what it is about. The annoying this is that we feel we have made great strides in the last few weeks and the little one if definitely feeling settled, safe and his behaviour has improved dramatically. The problem is we don’t think they are seeing it.

And then there are financial strains, cars breaking down, things going wrong and family illnesses. All piling on and on.

So this weekend I though sod it all. Lets just concentrate on family time.

And we had a great time. On Saturday we took both boys to a local children’s centre and they had a great time. They found some bikes and played together lovely with them. Then Alexander went to one of his classmates birthday parties. It was in a cake shop, making cakes.

Although he could have stayed we decided that L would just cause chaos in such a small place with flour and eggs! So I took him down to the beach and we spent a great couple of hours together, the best behaved he has ever been. While Alexander had a great time making “Alien” fair cakes and eating marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain, L and I threw pebbles in the sea, raced the tide and sat an ate lollies while watching the boats. It was bliss.

On Sunday we went for a walk in the country side around the village. Again the kids were remarkably well-behaved, collecting leaves and twigs for a Halloween picture project mummy has planned.

I won’t say I wasn’t stressed – it was still there bubbling under but time with the kids and my wife has helped.

So despite all that – because of all that and to spite all that – I decided to plough ahead with NaNoWriMo. I uploaded the cover (see below) and synopsis. Using Scrivener I have made a very rough plan. Writing down some very rough scenes, mostly in order though a few may change. I think my next stage of planning will be to describe for each character how they change between each scene. So I get a little journey plan for each of them as a guide.

I still think there an extra dimension to my idea missing, but not going to worry about that at present. It will only be a first draft – I can add more to it later if I still think it needs it once i have finished.

Onwards

Cold Sanctuary

Cold Sanctuary by Scott Bailey

Synopsis:

Orphaned, wrenched from their home, can Gabriel look after his adopted brother? Can he find a voice to stand up for himself?

In an alien world, unwelcomed and lost, all they have is each other. They must endure a clash of cultures, adapting to a radically new life and dealing with deep-seated grief. Gabriel struggles to keep the promise to his parents to look after the brother he has waited for all his life whilst coming to terms with his new surroundings.

Can such a young mind take all the demands? And, when they are suddenly separated, can he find his brother again?

Their searches for answers, for each other and to fill the holes in their hearts leads them on paths of rebellion and revenge.

Posted in Family, Financial, General, Work

Goodbye Goldie

So we have just had one of the wettest weekends we have seen for ages – and of course it was a bank holiday. But we were determined to have fun and relax. Especially after I had a day of total crisis at work – the stress after-shocks of which I am still feeling.

Anyway, we still had our days out. Firstly we took the boys for along the river in Sandwich. Alexander had the rare chance to get on his scooter and scoot free. They both loved it. Unfortunately the fun was cut short when Alexander got badly stung by a stinging nettle. It only brushed him but his whole arm blistered – leading us to wonder if he has an allergy to then? Thankfully it went down again very quickly.

The next day we went to a steam rally. This was a mix of old steam engines, vintage cars and  – the only thing that interested the boys – fun fair rides. We were treated to the sight of Alexander and his little brother enjoying something together for once. L just looked up at him with a look of sheer pleasure and joy as they went around and around on the mini roundabout.

Maybe I am getting old but after paying to get in, paying for three or four rides and having a hot dog each for dinner we burnt through £50! What happened to cheap days out?

Then it chucked it down – we got out just in time. So we went around to visit Nanny Jean and Grandad Maurice. This was L’s first visit to any of our relatives – most have now met him but at our house. Nanny has a new large tropical fish tank which they were both entranced by.

The forecast for the next day was again for heavy rain. Once again were up early – relatively – and ready to go. I found us something to do but I knew if I said what it was it was unlikely to appeal to Rachel. So I declared it a mystery tour. I reasoned that the best place in the abysmal weather would be underground. So we went to Chislehurst Caves. And we had a fantastic time there – reminded us of our Holiday at Wookey Hole a few years ago. L was wide-eyed with wonder all the way through and Alexander thought it was a great adventure.

So it was back to work today and back to reality. Now have the extra project of seeking out a new hosting partner for our web app. The day was further spoilt by the loss of one of Alexander’s goldfish – Goldie. He was very brave about it, Helped me fish her out and bury her. He insisted he wanted a “cemerony” and made up his own prayer – which went like this.

“Oh God! My goldfish is dead. Amen!”

Short and to the point I suppose. I think we will get the reverberations of this in a few days when it sinks in more.

But overall it was a good weekend.