Category Archives: blogs

Death is not “unfortunate”

Meet Siri - more on her below.

Meet Siri – more on her below.

Writing about something that’s both intensely personal and universally shared should be a gift, right?

So today’s topic is bereavement.

Not so simple, huh?

Phil Adams is worth reading. His wife Rachel died. There’s an excerpt below, but you should definitely click on the title and go to the full piece, which is called…

My wife’s death was not unfortunate.

Time hasn’t healed but it has enabled me to put a lid on things around other people.

The struggle, bizarrely, has been telling it straight to a bunch of complete strangers. Resisting the temptation to sugar the pill with vacuous, inappropriate platitudes.

Hello, my name is Philip Adams. My wife and I have a joint policy with you. Unfortunately she died at the end of March…

Unfortunately?

Where did that come from?

What possessed me to say that?

Unfortunately is what I say to a client when I can’t make a meeting.

It has no place in a conversation about the death of my wife. Continue reading

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And the award goes to…

Versatile Blogger Award

It’s official. This blog is  super awesome. How do I know? Because of these two awards.

Laurie nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger Award.” Thank you lovely Laurie from Ten Minute Missive.

And the dashing Duck of Indeed nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog Award.” Thank you Duck.

The rules of both awards are the same:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers. (See list at the bottom.)
  2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination. (Working on it.)
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself. (See below.)
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (I’ve done that above.)
  5. Add the award picture to your blog. (Done. – You’ll find the code for the award images at the bottom of this post.)

One Lovely Blog Award

If you’re one of the superlative blogs listed below – you have to go through this same rigmarole described above on your own blog to comfirm the award – or in this case – double award. (Sounds like a Readers Digest Exclusive Offer.)

Seven random revelations about me that have some truth to them – the short version is in bold:

  1. The tastiest drink I found was at a roadside cafe in northern Venezuela after being dropped off while hitching through the the littoral forest. Freshly squeezed passion fruit juice.
  2. I had to kneel on the road to get a lift out of Ballymena.
  3. I used to pick up the smelliest, dirtiest, wettest looking hitchhikers in Ireland – usually old farmers – because I thought nobody else would.
  4. The Gardai (police south of the Irish border) stopped to reprimand me for hitching on the motorway – and then kindly gave me a lift to the end of it.
  5. Perhaps the scariest road ride I had was against oncoming traffic and on the opposite hard shoulder on a busy road in Jamaica, as the driver of the minibus in which I was holding on wide-eyed, diced with a speeding car of armed men. Having a priest sitting beside me was no comfort. He was too thin to offer much in the way of cushioning.
  6. My first car was a (“You can’t wine and dine here in an auld“) Morris Minor which “used to be black as me father’s hat” till I sprayed it a rich bright candy yellow. The chrome became matt black. It had lovely wide wheels. It was a beautiful sight.
  7. Then one of the lovely wide wheels fell off…  I watched it bounce up the road away from me as the car slunk and tipped to a halt. (Luckily the engine of the motorbike I had been towing had just turned over, so I nipped on the back and we chased down the escaping car wheel. And off we went again Continue reading

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Cool Dog 100k

Cool Dog – Alfie – Deptford, London

COOL DOG is here to mark a small Blackwatertown landmark. You – dear readers – have visited this blog 100,000 times and brought the comment total above 5,000.

Thank you.

You’re as cool (if not even cooler) than Cool Dog.

Meanwhile, thank you also to anyone who has downloaded a copy of my ebook The Obituarist. I don’t know who you all are – but I’d love to hear so that I can thank you personally – so let me know if you do – email me at paulwaters99 AT hotmail.com

But I can thank Michael J Lawrence (author of The Aphrodite Conspiracy) for this review:

Got absolutely no work done that afternoon as I opened the first page and the story just kept me engaged until I finished it. Tally ho chaps, bandits at twelve o’clock. A ripping yarn! Continue reading

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The art of Muslim flirting

She’s definitely winking. Picture from a post about Muslim TV sex counseller Heba Kotb on a different blog. (Warning – Some of the comments are graphic. But you’ll be quite safe on Nadia’s blog.)

The art of Muslim flirting. Such a great title. Sounds better than – here’s a round up of interesting blog things. Which is what this really is.

But it begins with Muslims flirting. Nadia El-Awady reveals all here and gives some top tips. Don’t be creepy, but do try arm wrestling Continue reading

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Bread and Wellies

For your entertainment and enlightenment, check these out.

1. The Adventures of an Unfit Mother.

It’s up for a big British blogging award. It’s great fun – lighthearted and witty and warm. And you can help transport Emma, who writes it, all the way from little Glenavy village in County Antrim, north east of Ireland, all the way to Big London for the finals of the 2012 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards. All you have to do is go here and vote for Adventures of an Unfit Mother in the MAD Family Life Category. I did it and immediately my hair looked more glossy, my stride longer and my teeth more sparkling. Why don’t you try it? (Hair toss. Smile. Gleam.)

2. Bread

Jonathan Kent – using his loaf to accomplish a much needed facelift.

You think you know about bread? Ha! Think again Continue reading

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Time to get serious

Time to get serious. And uplifting.

Japan - by Steve McCurry

The wonderful and striking photographs are by Steve McCurry, from his recent Finding The Sublime post. You should definitely click over there to see them all. Steve has popped up here before with his work in Afghanistan.

For an insight into London (or any?) gang culture, read gang intervention worker Emeka Egbuonu’s post – Are you willing to KILL? When asked that question by Emeka, the smallest member of the group answered:

We are in too deep. I have enemies who probably will not hesitate to kill me if they saw me slipping (caught off guard). That is why I am always prepared for whatever the occasion and if that means dropping a body in the process then so be it.

The good news is Continue reading

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Surprise as parent wins wet t-shirt contest

Hee hee – it’s great isn’t it? Whatever you were hoping for can’t be any better than this pic.

It’s catch up time with some of the strong things other people are up to.

Ras Jacobson from the Lessons for Teachers and Twits blog (for which I once revealed a shocking piece of personal history* via here) accidentally stumbles on to someone in trouble in webland. Very challenging and involves annorexia. Have a look here to see how she handles it.

Noble Cause Corruption (a police officer posting anonymously) is Continue reading

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Huh! Kids those days…

Young people theose days… Out of control… No respect… Not like when I was a lad/lass… And here’s the evidence!

Your roving reporter met* a specially selected cross section of the population** who shared their own experience and opinions from the sharp end.

  1. “We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They hang around pubs and have no self control.”
  2. “When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of our elders, but young people today are disrespectful and out of control.”
  3. “What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets… Their morals are decaying.”
  4. “The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behaviour and dress.” 

I blame the parents – the great great great great great …etc… grandparents, that is.

So what’s with this sudden display of concern for society going to hell in a handcart? Just a pretext really, to show you these clever drawings by Hark, a vagrant – and her lovely, clever, zany blog and book. History as it really/never was.

Continue reading

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Teachers: The good, the bad and the naughty

Who has been the most influential person in your life outside your family? Probably a teacher. Whether you tend towards the Pink Floyd attitude or the opposite Abba extreme, teachers have been there opening doors, moulding, revealing and empowering – or in some cases, failing to do so and missing opportunities. Luckily for me, mine have mostly been in the first camp.

But I have encountered some dodgy ones. The problem with teachers is – it’s not always immediately clear who is a good ‘un and who who is a bad ‘un – because it’s not about niceness. I’ve been telling tales about what happened inside classroom over at the prestigious (how I love using that word), thought-provoking and entertaining Lessons from Teachers and Twits blog. Ahem, no prizes for guessing which category I belong in. The answer of course is – both, on occasion.

Teachers and Twits is run by RasJ in the picture. I can’t imagine anyone skipping her class. (Hope I don’t pull standards down too far.) Anyway – you’re welcome to have a look and issue me with suspension, expulsion or a gold star over at Teachers and Twits. And you’re also welcome to share your own teaching or being taught stories back here.

Oi! Pay attention at the back there! It’s your own Continue reading

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Filed under blogs, Guest Posts, Influences, My Writing

Parachute sex and molten lava cakes

High time I took a break from my self-absorption (thanks Maxi) and shared some moving, joyous and simply bizarre goodies from elsewhere.

Parachute sex & frisky turtles from SamHenry. She usually keeps a beady eye on US politics and economics, but amorous airborne antics are distracting her. It’s a funny news story, played straight for more laughs. And then there are the turtles – very very… intrusive? C’mon, if you were a turtle, or even if you weren’t, would you want someone filming your orgasm face?

The Secret of Molten Lava from Kristina at Ten Minute Missive. Firstly, you get a nom-nom recipe for molten lava cakes – the result of a happy accident. Secondly, you get a brave, honest, moving and enlightening account of coping with depression. It’s better than I’ve made that sound.

Two books to read (& even buy) by Gerard Butler Brennan at CrimeSceneNI. As well as being top bloke and providing a thriving online forum for the new wave of Northern Irish thriller writers (and some from south of the border, Scotland and the USA), Gerard also has Wee Rockets published as an e-book and The Point out in paperback. Oh, and if you want to hear and see him blethering on in person, he’ll be on a panel at Derry Central Library on Tuesday (Oct 18th) talking about the Booker Prize winner as the award is announced.

Still looking for something new and noirish to read – let Sean Patrick Reardon guide you. Don’t let the hat put you off. He writes himself – he’s the author of Mindjacker – but he also consistently links to other interesting new writers – lots in the USA, with a bias towards crime and mystery.

Póló falls foul of the tourism propaganda police in Dublin. Sure, tourist boards aim to put forward an appealing face of wherever they’re promoting. But when they announce a flickr forum and claim to welcome everyone to contribute with the sole proviso that the picture content is related to Dublin, should that bar the the inclusion of beggars? Should only the glitzy primped preened and sanitized version of the city by shown? Should Póló’s images be banned from next year’s tourism calendar? See for yourself here.

And finally…Liverpool Salad and Sheffield Panino. Add a foreign placename and a dish or phenomenon suddenly sounds exotically appealing. Wonder how well that would work if you were to encounter English placenames used in the same way abroad? Journo and travel writer Rudy Noriega did in Palermo, and reveals all at his Gullible’s Travels blog. Made me smile anyway.

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