Monthly Archives: November 2005

This and that…and of course the other

Should be in bed as I still haven’t recovered from that two and a half hours sleep on Sunday night/Monday morning but have been dragged into admin. stuff with Etina, making me a bit more focused and active generally.

I had a snooze between six and seven this evening and that scared the hell out of me as I’ve been making fun of people my age and slightly older for a few years now regarding their little afternoon naps. Am I becoming them? I was told that as a new father I would take any chance I could get for forty winks but I didn’t think I would be craving those moments now, four months before the child is born…eek!

Had a call from a friend tonight and it made me realise what great friends I have with their concerns and best wishes for all that is going on. I really appreciate what I have and count my blessings that I am one of the lucky ones in terms of relationship/family/friends.

Deadline in twenty minutes for the top five albums of the year. I think I have made my decision about them all (well I haven’t got a lot of time) but am very confident about the winner this year (as I was last year) and that is the main thing. You lot will of course find out what that particular album is 31st December this year.

Etina is in the study, grumbling about filling yet more floppies with the admin. work of the evening and I believe that is my cue to turn in and read one of my short stories before a (hopefully) restful sleep.

The blessed world of broadband

For the first time in many months I find myself sat in front of a computer, enjoying its dial-up connection and wondering why I don’t appreciate my broadband connection (even when I’m on wireless) more at home.

It is amazing how we adapt to each new stage in technology and find it impossible to deal with what we once thought was top of the range. I remember my beloved Spectrum 48K, when I had to wait around 12 minutes for a computer game to load – this is where the kids of the 80’s learned the joys of making cups of tea and coffee waiting for the game – and when if I pressed a button on the keyboard I was happy if it responded sometime that minute.

Now we want the job done before we have taken our finger off the mouse button (well that goes for me anyway) and become infuriated when things don’t go as they should.

It’s scary that we have come up with so many labour-saving devices yet have even less time than our parents and grandparents did. We now need both parents to work instead of the one that was sufficient before and we seem to be spinning into a downward spiral of commercialism, materialism and all manner of isms that are just not good for us.

Glancing over this text I confirm to myself that I am incredibly tired and I am just wondering what the students who are about to face me in half an hour or so are going to think…maybe a big plus that this is the last lesson.

Thanks for positive words about my mum by the way, I very much appreciate them and I will make sure to pass them on when I next speak to her.

“All you see are zeros and ones” Masterfade – Andrew Bird


Not in the best of moods, leave home in around ten minutes and am back ten hours later. Not working all that time but am clever enough to book in students in the morning when I then have a four hour break until a group that I teach for the last time tonight (hooray…oops).

Last night did not get better until much later and it was around 04.00 the last time I looked at the clock; needless to say when the alarm went off at 06.30 I was non compus mentus…still in that condition somewhat.

Read a little gothic horror in a fantasy setting and have just found out that I have won another four of them on the blessed church of eBay; am considering turning my much thought about fantasy trilogy into a fantasy/gothic horror scenario instead…ooh scary…;-)

Ok am off now…


Up in five hours; shouldn’t I really be in bed?

An easy question to answer and I’m only here tapping (or rather punching) keys as I can’t sleep. Insomnia is an affliction I have suffered less and less as years have flown by but yet still rears its malevolent head now and then to keep me on the edge of my slumber.

Thinking of mum and food deprivation are the culprits this evening and I wish I’d had that bowl of semolina that I promised myself as an evening treat. Hard to think that a food with so many negative connotations within English culture is so so good…;-)

Spoke to mum today, hence being here now, and she is down (as to be expected). She thought she’d fought the cancer and is now pondering over life as a cancer sufferer once more. We have not always seen eye-to-eye my mother and I, yet I have always seen her as a very strong individual, in both body and mind and it’s hard to get a grip on the illness and the effect it is having (especially sitting 1,200 kilometres away – yes I checked that on the net).

I called her to tell her both me and Etina are coming to see her and spend our last Christmas as non-parents with her. She was emotional, worried about the baby in flight (we are in the second trimester and so I am not overly concerned) and very happy. I know we will be well received in my hometown this yuletide and I think we made the right decision.

I have tried to follow a healthy route and eaten yoghurt and so now is the time for stage two of mission: sleep. Wish me luck!

I’m on a roll

Well second time today, aren’t I productive? Think I’m gonna stay with LJ as I like the atmosphere in here (and it helped getting a comment advising me to stay too)!

This weekend involves lots of listening to music due to Wednesday (30th) being the deadline for potentials for album of the year. I changed the deadline from 31st December till 30th November as I need time to go through everything and make the choices needed for the all-important top five albums of 2005.

There have been some amazing albums this year and with my listening up in the realm of 160+ I really think this is a year I can justify my choices as I have made sure to listen to loads of stuff from all genres (except Rap and Country) and had a real mix between established artists and new stuff on the scene.

Listening to Arab Strap at the moment with their rather well put-together production ‘The Last Romance’. The Scottish accent really does come through in this album (which should impress Pete and Micke) and the mix between monologue tracks such as ‘Chat in Amsterdam, Winter 2003’ beaty tunes like ‘Don’t ask me to Dance’ to the downright dirty ‘Stink’, the album is a gem of the year. Where will it finish in 2005 though? Time will tell and the result will be on the website 31st December 2005.

The two highlights whilst I was off were that the gorgonzola and spaghetti was ace and that Burnley crushed Crewe 3-0. Come on you Clarets!!

Pete must be happy with his old Spurs doing the biz just now too!

Tales from the deep

Well the swim last night must have been successful as we went again this morning; that’s some chlorine intake for ya!

Not in a blaming mood today, not even myself as I felt that today has been a day to reassess the situation and decide if I am going to England soon to visit mum. I really want to but at the same time this would be the first trip without Etina (wife) and even though I could do it, it’s whether I want to that is a bigger consideration.

As Etina is now working at a high school full-time, time off outside school holidays is unheard of and pretty damn hard to get. Checking boat trips over to England for Christmas came up blank and so it is me flying alone or neither of us going.

Timing has been just great over the last few weeks I can say!

Getting a serious urge for some role-playing at the moment. I’ve always missed it when not playing but just at the mo it seems to be having a bigger draw than usual. Games are hard to come by over here in Sweden and I’m wondering how long it will be before I grow up…;-)

Pondering on switching over to Blogg as a journal alternative; I like LJ but it just seems that Blogg has a nicer, more eye-friendly look to it (yes I know, I’m the one that went for pink and purple text recently!). I’ve set up my Blogg but not yet written in it. I don’t fancy running two so well see.

Had nice responses on this one over the last couple of days so we’ll see.

Anyone been watching Battlestar Galactica (I mean the new one not the cheesy 70’s one)? I know you were listed as being Starbuck Pete but I wonder if you’d seen the series. Have to say I have been very impressed and have now seen up to the end of the second series. There are lots of positives with only minor negatives like the need to say ‘frack’ at every opportunity when it just sounds silly and a certain character called ‘Boomer’ who is so insipid I nearly fall asleep when she’s on screen!

Watch it, you might like it.

Watched Hex and really enjoyed aspects of it at the beginning of the first series. Now I think it’s mindless teenage pap and I hope they all die, no I really do!

Started The 4400 a couple of weeks ago and have watched the first two. The concept is so utterly brilliant but the episodes have been a bit slow and I really feel like it is going to fall on its arse soon. I hope not though as there is major potential there.

Pasta and Gorgonzola methinks now…:-)

God how I love cheese!!!

Burnley are beating Crewe 2-0. That boy Spicer is a bloody star!!

We are talking major radio silence here!

Looking at my last journal entry I was shocked to see that I have left this mission alone for a full six weeks or so now and even though I am well aware of the reasons why, I wish that my writing did not have to suffer so much.

Now that I’m back I feel that sense of struggle to put what I want to say on the pc and want to blame somebody for this. Who do I blame though, do I blame the film organisation for the fact that I couldn’t say no to a single thing before, during and after the festival that finished 9th October? Should I blame my birthday guests for me wanting to make sure that my 35th Birthday party was the best ever that I let the planning run my life for more than a couple of weeks?

Or maybe my unborn baby is to blame for being conceived by myself and my wife, making life more tiring and adding lots of new (fun) things to an otherwise scary schedule?

Or even better, why don’t I blame my mother for her re-emerging cancer, for the fact that I’ve been finding it very difficult to concentrate on things that really do need a fresh mind and focused thoughts?

Of course there is nobody I can blame in this situation but myself and everything surrounding me is just day-to-day things that many others also have in many different forms.

I have to say that I’m scared; I’m scared that my mother’s illness will take her before she gets to see her third grandchild (my sister has two wonderful children), a grandchild she has been waiting for for around 10 years now. I don’t blame myself for waiting to have a child as this is the perfect time in my life for our first child, it’s just the fact that my mother is so ill as our baby is ready to join the planet.

I have learned big lessons this year on the important things in life and my use of time, be it productive or otherwise and I’m hoping that the lessons learned are not going to be forgotten as quickly.

I shall sit back and listen to another half hour of the new Kate Bush album Aerial, which I have to say is surpassing my expectations, and then of for a relaxing swim with the wife.

I aim to be back with this journal – I just hope people are reading…;-)