Pep Rally (ola)

Nothing I can say can quite top off how inspirational this Sky Sports package from the end of the 2011/2012 Football (or soccer for my transatlantic readers) season.  Maybe it’s just because I am a big sports fan that I find this so inspirational (I suppose it also has a lot to do with the fact that what came after this was possibly the greatest comeback ever seen in the Premier League).  For the non-sports oriented though, this clip can simply be a motivational tool to always strive to be the best you can be, whatever occupation you pursue.  It’s about making every moment count.  It’s about making sure that you leave an impression! 

I don’t think I can say anything which matches this:


Seven Heavenly Words.

In no particular order, here are the only seven words we should ever need.

1. Why?

2. How? (1 and 2 are needed because people need to question more.  Critical thinking is a skill which is being utilised less and less.)

3. Equality

4. Love

5. Care

6. Yes

7. Hello

The only 7 words we ever need.

Morning Glories!

I admit, having been a student for the last three years that the hour of 6 am had become something of a fable, a mystery, something which I had read about, but never had quite experienced.  Honestly, I do kind of miss it.

There is something of a beauty to the early morning, a tranquility, allowing for self-reflection and offering a ‘calm before the storm’ as it were.  An ability to enjoy a moment of peace before diving headlong into the mayhem of the rat race, especially if, like me you live in the countryside.  

Admittedly this is only in the spring/summertime.  During the Winter, 6am is a cold and bleak hour, making the daily commute to work seem depressing.  But in the summertime, oh in the summertime.  Nothing can beat the feeling of stepping out to be bathed in the golden glow of the sun’s rays.  That brief window of the world in which all is still, the world becomes for that one brief moment your own paradise.  

Whilst I have unfortunately struggled to gain employment since finishing University (I don’t properly graduate until December for some reason).   But some day in the near future, I too relish the opportunity to indulge in the beauty and tranquility of the golden hour!

Breaking the Habit(s)

Honestly? I can’t think of too many,

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way shape or form perfect.  What I am saying however, is that I wouldn’t consider myself to have any of the ‘classically’ destructive habits which can dog certain people.  I have never used any recreational drugs (except alcohol of course), I don’t consider myself to be an alcoholic, I am able to go comfortably without a drink for a considerable amount of time.  I don’t have any issues with sex addiction etc.  

However, one habit I would dearly love to break is my habit of nervousness, of saying no, of intertia.  This comes about particularly as I’m currently floating about the job market, there have been several opportunities I didn’t go for which I wish I had.  Even back in the University days, I do have a list of regrets, jobs I didn’t apply for, society committee positions I wish I had gone for, even societies I wish I had joined.   I’ve always been a man who has perhaps been guilty of nerves and no self-confidence.  I wish I could break the habit of nerves hanging over me and just go for it more often, fear of failure is something which I must try and override in order to progress.  My problem is I take criticism and failure too much to heart.  I see it as almost a personal attack rather than the way it should be taken, as a lesson for the future.  If I don’t fail at anything, then evidently I have never tried anything.  If I can break the nerves which have a grip over me and promote my own ideas, I feel that it will be such a positive on my life.  

Cultural Pods to Tralfamadore.

It’s an interesting prompt this, if NASA were to send out a spaceship containing the best of modern culture, what would they take?

Literature for a start, for all intents and purposes (after all, ‘literature’, much like ‘culture’ is subjective) I’m using the guidelines for what I consider literature, which is a novel which deals with a larger theme or recounts a historical event.  As well as the classics, such as Shakespeare and many of the other Reniassance works, (which I would send to show the ‘positive’ facets of humanity, our ability to create) I would send novels which dealt with the issues such as racism, war, genocide, the Holocaust etc.  Hopefully to try and prevent them from falling into the same shameful habits that we as humans fell into.  (Despite the title, I probably wouldn’t send up much Vonnegut.  I’d send stuff up like ‘Catch-22’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn’ etc.)

Same with film, TV and music.  I’d be sure to send them films which essentially document our history as a race in an attempt to prevent them from making the same hideous mistakes that we as a species have made.  I would even send up some of our finest satirical works, as they hold up a mirror to our society, especially our worst and most reactionary features.

I would also ensure that records of our greatest scientific achievements are sent up there along with our finest works of art.  As an antithesis to the above if you like, demonstrating the good we have done.  The advancements we have made as a species, the way in which we have improved the lives of many.

The picture of the modern world I want to send to the aliens is one which allows them to see the best of our culture whilst simultaneously trying to prevent them slipping into the worst of our habits.  After all, those who do not remember the past, are doomed to repeat it, and I wouldn’t want the target aliens to repeat the very worst acts of human history.


Mid-season shift

Brace yourselves.  Winter is coming…

Right, now we have that meme-y cliche out of the way, I absolutely love winter! Probably because I still retain a child-like love of Christmas, possibly the best holiday of the year.  Halloween is no fun if you’re not a kid or can’t go out in costume on the drink.  Bonfire night is always OK, but never anything to be celebrated, but Christmas is always, always good fun! Whether it’s simply because it satiates my greed for the year or whether it’s down to a love of family, I’m never sure, but I definitely love winter!

My love of winter could be down to excellent childhood memories of the season! Starring in the school Christmas play (my turn as KIng Herod has surely gone down in legend!), to going down to my grans to go acorn hunting, to even something as simple as an annual taste of chocolate-orange cheesecake, there’s always been something about Winter which makes me a very happy man.   It’s just a brilliant, brilliant season.  A season in which people seem to be a lot happier and more relaxed, unless of course that’s just that’s just how my experience of the season has played out. 

Totally addicted to bass (and 999 other things…)

I was recently disturbed to learn that over the course of owning the PC game Football Manager 2012, I have accrued something like 310 hours playing it.  310 hours of my life I could have spent doing something more useful, surely.  Before now I’d probably have said no to be honest, for a start I’ve had the game for nearly two years, which averages about an hour or less per day.  Secondly, when I played the game, it was usually during University holidays, where I didn’t really have much more productive to do (because whenever I had more important things to do like read, research or write, I generally did those things first).  Even now I’m on the eternal quest for employment, I will first make sure I have applications waiting or being processed before I settle in to shape the fortunes of Newcastle United (from Gateshead to Newcastle in two years? career progression you can only dream of in the real world 😦 ) 310 hours sounds a lot, until you sit and realise that it’s merely an accumulation of all the spare hours I have had (which I probably should have spent reading instead, but hey ho).

A more serious addiction which I suffered with was similar to what somebody else posted which was chatroom addiction.  That was the worst, spending almost a year of my life, when I was in Sixth Form as well mind you, where I would sometimes sneak into a spare toilet at break-time and sit and snatch a few private moments with people I never have and never would met/meet.  That was probably the worst addiction I’ve actually ever had in my life.  

Fortunately I don’t have any serious addiction issues to deal with

I only smoke sporadically (like twice in my lifetime, both times I was quite drunk at the time.

I don’t use any drugs (A few of my housemates did, and to be honest when I had that trip to Amsterdam I wish I had partaken, but I just would rather stay in my ‘comfort zone’ of alcohol, I am ridiculously sensible…)

I admit to drinking heavily, but that is on occasion, even when I was at University.  I probably acknowledge, thinking about it that I did go out and drink a few times a week.  But few of those times were serious ‘sessions’.  Monday quiz would be accompanied by a pint or two.  Thursday was Real Ale society meeting night, which included a few pints of ale (and going out afterwards, after society finished).  Yet despite this I wouldn’t say there was an addiction, mainly because I knew that work would always come first, that I could not go out for a few weeks to stay in the library and get cracking on with some of my essays.  I also know that I can comfortably go without touching alcohol for a long time, and I do try to maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle inbetween drinking sessions.