Tag Archives: blogs

YOUR new year’s resolutions (‘cos I’m sick of setting them for myself)

From the excellent Hark! A vagrant.

From the excellent Hark! A vagrant.

In the biblical book of Matthew, we’re asked: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust/mote/speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log/beam/plank in your own eye?”

The answer is obvious, isn’t it? It’s easier. It’s always easier to give expert advice on other people’s problems than to sort out one’s own life.

Does that make me a hypocrite?

Well, according to the bible – yes. But let’s quickly skip over that and on to the part where what you’re about to read is actually gentle benevolence from which you all will benefit. So buckle up. Here is YOUR list of new year’s resolutions…

1. Feed your brain  – Subscribing to Brain Pickings – A library of cross-disciplinary interestingness and combinatorial creativity – where else will you learn about what is love or the sleep habits of great writers?

2. No limits just epiphanies – That’s a lyric from this song Best Day of My Life by American Authors.

3. Expand your musical tastes – Subscribe to the World Music blog.

4. Get more kooky clever funniness in your life from Hark! A Vagrant.

5. Or just a quick smile from I Know I Made You Smile. (And he’s got a book out too!)

Happy New Year

6. Trying looking at things differently – with the help of Variations on Normal  http://variationsonnormal.com/

7. Ask for me help – If you’re lucky you’ll get it from guys like these guys. I’ve been helping a small boy do something amazing and these guys helped a lot with the campaign…

Ramana in India

Grannymar and Fionn from Autistic and Proud and Emma and her adventures of an unfit mother and Polo in Ireland

Maxie and Laurie and Barbara by the sea in the USA

Icewolves of Europa and Life in the Slow Lane and Swazi at Chocolate is not the Only Fruit in Great Britain.

8. Make more effort to appreciate those other people who help you, who you might have temporarily forgotten. (OK, that’s aimed mainly at myself. No list is ever complete without it’s omissions. Or in other ways, no list is ever complete. Hmm… that’s sounds resonantly philosophical.)

9. Never be daunted. Something good might happen. Especially if you wait till the end.

10. Try to avoid the mother of all hangovers descending upon you – starting with tomorrow. Or more properly, tonight.

What’s that you say? Still not satisfied? Oh, you want to know what I’ll be doing 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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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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Why writers should NOT blog

I’ve been doing it all wrong. Or to be more precise – I’ve been doing it. All wrong. Continue reading

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And the Word was made flesh (and charming with it)…

On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. Wasn’t there a cartoon to that effect? (Oh yes. There it is.)

Same with internet dating. That six foot blond Viking type you met online may have been literally telling the truth. You only get to see that he’s also six feet wide when you meet face to face. Which is when you also notice that he smells like a Viking who hasn’t washed since they used to rule England. (True, happened to a mate of mate.)

Speaking of smelly Vikings – did you know they used week-old horse wee to kill bugs in their hair? Couldn’t afford combs. It was the amonia in the aged equine urine that turned their hair blonde. Does that make you feel differently about ABBA?

But the main point is this – how can you be sure that anything or anyone on the net is who they say they are?

Or if they even exist at all?

Well, I can now officially confirm that Padmum does exist.

Remember I asked if anyone wanted to come to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy with me. Padmum – or Padmini as I now call her – immediately put her hand up.

And she came. All the way from Chennai in India. Chennai! In India! With her daughter Nitila. That’s them in the picture. In the flesh Continue reading

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Blog inspiration

There are loads of good blogs out there. But these are a few I check in with pretty much every day.

Slugger O’Toole for (Northern) Irish politics. Mick Fealty is the main man behind it.

Cultural Snow by the prolific Tim Footman.  He’s just brought out a book summing up the past decade, The Noughties. He’s got another about Leonard Cohen coming out in October 2009 I think.

The Little Pinch of Salt is the up and down, here and there life and love of Annie.

In his blog Why That’s Delightful!, Graham Linehan waxes alternately whimsical and wrathful at the ways of the world. You never know when he’ll suddenly spark off a popular uprising – on the Scottish media and Dunblane survivors for instance, or his twitter campaign on the political football that the NHS has become in the United States. (You’ll remember Graham from Father Ted. Ah you will, you will, you will… Sorry.)

And Strange Maps is a by turns gentle and incisive exploration of the geography of the world and the mind, via unusual maps.

To all the above. Thanks for the inspiration. All eejitry here is, of course, my own fault.

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