I’m The Man (Technically).

First things first, I had better tell you that the idea for this post sprouted when I was listening to this song on the radio this morning.

If you haven’t heard it, go ahead and hit the play button, turn the volume up, and everything I am about to say will probably make a bit more sense.

One of my first posts was about growing up, and the fact that unfortunately there are no mile-stones, or certificates, or any kind of acknowledgement of any kind that you have become an adult. You simply wake up one day and realise that you have been an adult for a while now and you have no idea how it got this way.

Well, I was listening to that song this morning, and it got me thinking about what it is to be a man, or more specifically, ‘The Man‘. I should explain that I grew up without a Dad, or any form of consistent male role model, other than the father figures on TV I had no real way to find out who or what a ‘man’ was. I remember being about 6 and finding it really strange that other kids had men who lived in their house, I knew that people had Dads, but to see them living in the same house as them seemed a really alien concept. I’m not really sure what I thought happened to the men when Mums took their kids home, but I certainly didn’t think that they all lived in the same house.

This is why the feeling of being ‘The Man’ eludes me, I know I’m a man, at least I was the last time I checked. But watching TV and Movies, and using those lessons to tell me what a man should be, has taught me that every man has one thing that happens in their life, one moment of pure transition that turns them from boy to man. Like a Doctor Who regeneration of unadulterated testosterone that makes ladies undergarments peel away in red-hot lust. Sometimes it comes from loosing your virginity, other times its winning a football match, or beating an opponant in a drag race, or building your first fighting robot.

Everybody knows that the Robot Wars groupies are the wildest of all.

However it happens I have been told that it happens, to every man, everywhere. Except me.

Maybe it is because my fighting robot never made it past the ‘oh yeah that would be a cool idea’ stage, but I have never experienced that one edifying moment of pure manliness. I have had moments where I have felt manly, I have lit fires, climbed things and got stuck, put shelves up, had sex, drunk beer and even worked out once. But I still don’t feel like I scored the goal that won the season, or shot the paintball that turned the tides of the match, or stopped bullets in mid-air.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I don’t feel like ‘The Man’, and I don’t think I ever have, I feel like ‘a man’ (except for the boy who lives inside all men), and I’m not sure if this is because I haven’t reached the Doctor Who transition stage of my life. Or if it’s because, like growing up, you need hindsight to really appreciate the feeling of being ‘The Man’, or lastly if it’s because being ‘The Man’ is nothing more than a state of mind which one possesses.

Which ever one it is, I’m not sure I will ever have the answer untill it either happens, or I gain the hindsight to be able to look back and say, yeah, I’m The Man. Unfortunately, at the moment, I feel like a fraud when I sing along to this song, but one day I hope that I’ll be able to sing it with a big ‘ol smile on my face. And I’ll be able to go ahead and tell everybody, I’m The Man I’m The Man, I’m The Man.





Things People Never Tell You About Having Children: Part 2 (Blogging 101)

So, todays assignment for Blogging 101 is to expand on a comment I left on someone else’s blog yesterday, with a post today. I left a comment on the lovely Lydia Devadason’s blog regarding her post about her kids valiant attempts to break the bonds of their captivity and conquer the stairgates in their house (check out her post here http://lydiadevadason.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/safety-gates-siblings-and-stardust/). Her reply was that “there’s usually a small part of you that is slightly proud of these ingenious incidents – and we have a lot of those ‘don’t know whether to laugh or cry’ moments lol”, which has inspired me to write a bit more about ‘Things People Never Tell You About Having Children‘. Things like…

Kids Are Funny As Hell When They’re Learning To Talk.

Once you get past the screaming, and wailing, and blah blah blah-ing of your first baby, you will realise that they are suddenly forming words. Simple stuff like Mama, Dada, Juice, things like that start forming and eventually they will begin to form more complex sentence structure. The fun comes in when their ability to form a sentence over-takes their ability to form words. For example one of my daughters had trouble saying F’s and T’s so the number ‘fourteen’ became ‘whore-een’, which is about a 2 on the funny scale I’ll admit.

But the best example comes from my 2 year-old who, when she was leaving nursery the other day, accidentally bumped into a boy who was also leaving. Now, she loves stickers so she offered him one, trouble is, all her ‘st’ and ‘rs’ sounds come out as D’s. so she knocks the boy over, his mum picks him up, he turns to her and she said what sounded an awful lot like, “Oh, sorry d**khead!”

Now me and my Mrs gave that a 10 on the funny scale, the boys Mum wasn’t too happy, but what can you do? Hope that they start speaking properly sooner? Well that comes with its own perils because…

You Childs Questions Will Be Your Undoing.

Tell me what you see here.

I’m guessing you answered ‘a homeless person’, well you know what your child see’s? Questions, lots and lots of questions. Here is a pop quiz, let me see how you do. Imagine I am 5 years old, imagine I believe in Santa, and that my entire knowledge of how the world works comes exclusively from Peppa Pig.

  • Why is that man on the floor?
  • Why has he got all of his stuff in a trolley?
  • Why does he smell funny?
  • Why doesn’t he have any money?
  • Where is his house?
  • Why doesn’t he have a house
  • Why can’t he stay at our house?

Did you manage to answer the questions without showing the ugly reality of the world to a 5-year-old, while still trying to make sure that they see you as a nice person, or the kind of person that deserves to be a parent? Yeah, they love their questions, but not as much as they love morality. Especially when it comes to…

The Twisted Morality Of Kids TV.

My kids love watching their early morning TV, favourites include, Peppa Pig and Lazy Town but they especially love Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. If you haven’t got kids then the odds are good that you haven’t watched it. Basically its about two kids, one is an Elf (Ben) the other is a Fairy (Holly), they have a little pet Ladybird called Gaston and they have magical mis-adventures that usually gets resolved by Holly’s teacher Nanny Plum.

Normally it is all the usual crap they have been spouting at children for years ‘Get along with friends’, ‘Respect your elders’, ‘Dont eat glue’ that sort of stuff. But I was watching an episode a couple of weeks ago, and the moral lesson contained within it was ‘Its okay to lie so long as you only do it when you need to exploit someone.’

You see, Nanny Plum had been kidnapped by a Witch, who wouldn’t set her free, so Ben had to go to the King of the Fairies to see if he could help. And by jingo could he help, he know exactly what to do, he went down to see the Witch, and began flirting with her, paying her compliments, and making out that he needed Nanny Plum to cook his dinner for him (even though Nanny Plum was a notoriously bad chef). The Witch was so flattered by the King that she let Nanny Plum go, after this happens Ben says to the King something along the lines of “But you were lying, the witch wasn’t beautiful, she was very ugly, and Nanny Plum can’t even cook!”

To which the King replied “Well Ben, sometimes it’s okay to tell a little lie to make people feel better about themselves, and then they might be nicer to you.”

So yeah King, cheers for that, its okay to lie to people’s faces so long as it gets you what you want.

So there you have it, some more wisdom from a parent, again I could go on and on about this subject, so look out for a part three. All I ask is that you please, just, keep the questions to a minimum, I have had enough of those today and I don’t need any more. 🙂






Liebster Award


I have been nominated for a ‘Liebster Award, want to say a big thank you to http://heybetterme.com/ for the nomination, this is my first one, and so it will always be remembered fondly. 🙂

Here are the rules for those who are nominated and want to participate in the Liebster award process:

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog
  • Share 11 things about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Notify your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog

11 Things About Me.

1. I am terrified of spiders, but, I am trying to overcome that fear.

2. I always buy fair-trade coffee.

3. I once stayed awake for 72 hours straight.

4. Whenever I move to a new house or get a new job, I always start making a mental change of my ‘Zom-pocalypse Plan’

5. I am completely satisfied that I would know what to do in the event of a zom-pocalypse.

6. I only learned how to ride a bike when I was 16.

7. My proudest achievement to date is getting a short story published in an anthology.

8. I once got so scared of an asteroid hitting the earth that I declared my un-dying love for my best friend… We have never been happier.

9. I once jumped out of a moving Mini-Bus.

10. I have never broken a bone.

11. When I was younger a friend and I decided to start speaking ‘Jawa’… It was a very confusing 2 days.

My answers to Heybetterme’s questions.

1. Where are you from?

A. English blood, Welsh heart.

2. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

A. I quite fancy moving to America but I don’t really care where I live. People are important, not places.

3. What is something you have always wanted to do?

A. Write and publish a novel.

4. What do you do to relieve stress?

A. Listen to this song.

5. Where are you presently?

A. At home.

6. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A. Other than raising my kids so they have manners and scoring the girl of my dreams… Getting a short story published.

7. What is something you cannot do without?

A. Music/Tea

8. What is your favorite childhood memory.

A. The beach party my Mum threw for my 7th birthday.

9. What is your favorite book/movie?

A. Fav book, 1984… Fav Movie, Casshern.

10. Sugar or Salt?

A. Salt

11. In one sentence, talk about your blog.

A. My blog is full of TV reviews and my views on stuff.

Blogs I nominate.

Questions for my nominees.

1. If you could have one of these things which would you want out of; Money, Power, Fame.

2. If you could go back in time to when you were 13 and re-live your life, knowing what you know now. Would you?

3. What is your favourite joke?

4. Using only the numbers, 2,3,4,5 and the symbols + and = can you make a ‘true equation’ without google?

5. Put iTunes on shuffle. What are the next 5 songs that get played?

6. If you could invite anyone (living or dead) to a fantasy dinner party which 5 people would you pick?

7. If you could pick one thing to happen in your future, what would it be?

8. Quick, a zombie smashes into your house, you have 3 seconds to grab the object closest to you. What is that object?

9. What one moral issue can you honestly say you would never bend on? (For instance, not eating meat for a vegetarian.)

10. Fight or Flight?

11. What is the best story you have regarding a life event?

Please comment with a link to your blog post so I can see your answers to these questions!

Reasons Why Believing In ‘The Illuminati’ Is More Dangerous Than They Are!

If you’ve spent more than an hour on YouTube looking at random videos then you’ve more than likely watched at least one video concerning the omnipresent force known by those who have ‘woken up’ as the NWO or the ‘New World Order‘. But if you haven’t, here is a quick overview of the all-powerful elite ‘ruling’ over us all. The NWO is supposedly being brought about by a group of super wealthy, white, christian figureheads who, behind the scenes, have been running our planet, and are responsible for everything, from the current financial crisis to alien cover-ups. Otherwise known as the Illuminati who may or may not be lizard people/aliens (the out of space kind not the illegal kind) they basically control everything from the media to your drinking water. (*) Well, I am about to call bulls**t on all the NWO conspiracy theories using nothing but a little logic. So here are some reasons why the NWO just doesn’t exist.

* I was going to post links, but, if you really want to delve into the insanity yourself, just go to YouTube and type in NWO/Illuminati and you can see it for yourself.

1 If They Are Planning World Domination Then They Are F**king Terrible At Their Job.

This is a very easy claim to make, for an example, just re-read the first sentence of this post, done it? Good. So this shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say “If your plans can be foiled by YOUTUBE you are f**king terrible at your job!”

Do you know the amount of people who get fired from work each year because of videos on Facebook? Neither do I, but a quick Google search brings up a ridiculous amount of examples of people losing jobs due to social media. Which goes to show, that if your plan to wipe out half of the world’s population or fake alien invasions or your moon base gets uncovered by YouTubers, you’re going to get fired. And with the amount of information about these plots doing the rounds it’s kind of hard to believe that ANYONE at ‘Super Secret Evil Corp.’ has actually managed to keep their job.

2 F**king Terrible Communication Leads To F**king Terrible Organisation.

A lot of the videos on YouTube allude to the fact that this conglomeration of some of the sharpest minds in business and world politics, actually communicate their plans via subliminal messaging in movies. From what I can gather, this is either to filter this information to the public so that when they (eventually) try to take over the world we will accept it a little easier.

The signs were there all along!

The other, less plausible and yet more prevalent, idea is that the ruling elite are using films, music videos, and TV shows to communicate their secret plans to each other.

Now, think about this for a minute, if you want to say, meet a friend down the pub a 9 and you want him to dress up like a pirate (not because its fancy dress just because you have been dying for a chance to call him a ‘Lily livered land lubber’ since your ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ marathon.)

Is it easier to just text him and say ‘Meet you down the Kings at 9, its pirate thursday, dress up, we all are, be a right laugh.’ Or should you plan out his journey throughout the day and hire a group of actors to dress as pirates and intersect him as he passes through town while holding the number 9, and then pay his work mates to keep calling him ‘King’ all day while mentioning how thirsty they are in the hope that he will just work out what your intentions are?

Yeah, I think I know the answer, but lets not forget, these are not little plans like going to the pub. This is world domination they are planning, you know, the kind of thing that might need a little explanation or you know, planning. I’m pretty sure that even Kim Jong-Un has some sort of plan, even if it is scrawled on a napkin with only two stages.

1. Make everyone get this super cool haircut. 2. Nuke everything.

3 Their Belief Structure Makes A Global Take Over A F**king Terrible Idea.

At the risk of beginning a theological debate here, I want you to take your personal beliefs out of this, and just see God as a theoretical being untill the end of this section.

Cool, right, after watching a few videos about the Illuminati/NWO it should become clear that IF the Illuminati aren’t aliens and are in fact real humans with hands and feet and spleens, then they are most certainly Satanists.

Now, this is why I said to take out your beliefs for a second. In order to believe in a real Satan that has the power to actively affect the course of human history, and a real hell in which you will most certainly spend eternity, how is that a good idea? Surely, if you have risen in the ranks to become a world leader or a business mogul, you HAVE to be smarter than these kids!

It’s not hard is it, I mean, if you believe in a REAL Satan, and a REAL Hell then you MUST believe in a REAL God and a REAL Heaven. Now Satan represents the first marshmallow, you can have a reward now but get nothing later, but God represents the second marshmallow, the reward for ‘good’ behaviour. As an adult, you learn to control impulses with logic, and there is no way you could become an important figure-head without being able to control impulses like, world domination and such.

But the reason why this is a REALLY f**king terrible idea, is that, don’t forget, they are trying to take over the world, a world in which only 31.5% of people are Christian. So that means that you have NO contacts in any country in which the main religion is, say, that little lesser known religion ISLAM! See if you don’t believe in a Christian God, you DON’T belive in a ‘Christian’ Lucifer, therefore you would not worship him. Make sense? And I don’t know about you, but when I play ‘Risk‘ I always find that it’s a lot easier to win when I have a lot of eggs in a lot of baskets, if I can help it, I will try not to alienate 68.5% of the board before I even start.

The Reason Why The Idea Of An NWO Is So Dangerous.

So we finally come to the reason why the idea of a ruling elite sitting on mountains of cash, setting fire to kittens and rubbing their hands on the warm afterglow of your torched happiness is really more dangerous than any of YouTube’s world domination scenarios.

You see the problem  with these kinds of ideas is that they are emotionally loaded with ideals of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’, and the words ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are themselves emotionally charged words. But they also have the effect of caricaturing the people you attach those words to.

Once you have brought your emotions in on any thought process, then your judgement becomes clouded, which is the reason good salesmen will make you fall in love with an idea rather than a product. The idea of the Illuminati and the NWO clouds the fact that, in the UK for example, we have corrupt politicians stealing from tax money, people with disabilities being allowed to die in their homes, and companies more interested in destroying the planet, than helping it.

But its much easier to fight an idea with an idea than it is to fight real problems with real action, so we have a situation where people are too busy trying to suss out whether its aliens or lizard people ruling over us, rather than actually doing something about the pressing societal problems that face everyone.

And that’s why the NWO is dangerous, because there is no NWO, just an idea, of elitists trying to dominate the world, created by people who are too scared to stand up and actually try to change it.

How to: Make 4 Litres Of Booze For Under A Fiver Using No Equipment!

So as I’m sure (most) of you wonderful people are aware, I am doing the Blogging 101 challenge, and today’s assignment is to post something I usually wouldn’t. So I thought to myself ‘What the hell can I possibly post that I don’t already do?’ I can cook up a half-decent Chilli, but I haven’t used a recipe book, in, ever, so I have no hope in hell of creating one for you guys.
I could post some of my stories, but, I’m very self-conscious about that stuff, so I’m not ready to thrust those into the ether.
So, I poured myself a mug of homebrew, and ‘ding’ went the light bulb above my head.

So here it is, my ‘how to guide’ for making dirt cheap booze with NO equipment.

**Just a little disclaimer, before doing this you need to check the legality of home brewing alcohol in your country, if it’s banned by law where you live please don’t continue reading. Also, although I will give you my methods for filtering nasties from your brew, I can’t guarantee that this method is 100% effective, all I can say is that I haven’t experienced any problems, but that is not to say that you won’t.

One last very important point, there is always an issue regarding home brewing, that being, your alcohol intake can exceed medically recommended levels quite easily, if you feel that you are drinking too much or for the wrong reasons then please go to this website or speak to a doctor to find out what you can do to regain control. Trust me when I say that there is NO shame in it!**

Right, now that’s done, here is what you will need.

  • 5 Ltr bottle of water – £1.10
  • 2 Ltrs Juice (Whatever flavour you want, personally I like Berry 5 Alive the best, whatever you use, make sure the juice has NO preservatives in it as this will kill the yeast.) – £2
  • 500g Sugar (500g will make approx 7% strength alcohol, for a higher percentage use 1 kg which will make approx 20%) – £0.65
  • Wine Yeast + Nutrients to make 5 Ltrs (Can be bought from your local homebrew shop/Wilkinsons) – £1.20
  • Cordial – £1

Optional equipment. (You don’t need this but I find it is better to have it.)

  • 5 Ltr Demijohn (you can get plastic ones for about £2, or glass ones for about £7)
  • Airlock (£0.84p)
  • Sanitizing powder (£3)
  • Funnel (£1.20)

*All prices are approximate, I have linked where I can.

First off, (If applicable, sanitize all your equipment thoroughly) clean off your work surface then pour out about 2.5 Ltrs of water from your bottle (this will leave enough room for the fermentation process), next grab a saucepan and pour out a further 1 Ltr into it. Put it on the hob and once it has started to heat up add the sugar untill it has all dissolved (You don’t need to boil it, I just find that a little heat speeds up the process).

Once the sugar has dissolved pour it back into the bottle and add the juice. Give it a little mix and next add the yeast & nutrients, (From my homebrew shop I can only buy yeast to make up 25 Ltrs so what I do is empty the packet into a jar and estimate about a 1/5 of the contents, if it’s a little over or a little under it doesn’t matter too much.)

Once all that is done, (*) replace the cap and give it a gentle shake to get things mixed up, but don’t take to long about this as once the yeast begins to work it will release CO2 and you will end up with a gooey mess all over the place. Once you have finished giving it a shake, loosen the cap enough to allow the gas to be released and leave it in a warmish place (Perfect temperature for brewing is between 18- 25C) for about a week, or untill it has stopped bubbling.

* For those of you with a demijohn and airlock place the bung in tight, fill up the airlock with a little water and push it into the bung untill you are sure it is air tight.

Once everything has stopped bubbling, you should be left with a sediment at the bottom of the jar, and sweet, sweet ethyl alcohol in the rest of the jar. It is now ready to drink, all you have to do is siphon or pour the contents into bottles/glasses/your cake hole, just make sure to leave the sediment in the demijohn/bottle (it’s not harmful as far as I am aware but it doesn’t taste very nice).

Now, I know I said you didn’t need equipment for this, but I do recommend investing in a water purifier to filter any potential nasties from your homebrew. I just use a run of the mill Britta water filter for this. Alternatively you can buy ‘activated carbon‘ from your homebrew shop. This needs to be added to your brew before it leaves the demijohn/bottle and allowed to settle before siphoning (although you should expect to lose at least a litre from your final product, in my experience anyway).

Your final product, after filtering, will have lost some of its juicy flavour, which is where your cordial comes in (I like to use summer fruits as it matches the Berry 5 Alive), just add a bit to taste to your brew to take the edge off.

And there you have it, quick, equipment free booze, feel free to thank me in the comments or, of course, if you have any questions as to the method or anything else, just let me know and I’ll answer you as best as I can.



Things People Never Tell You About Having Children

Some of you who read this will already be parents, others will be expecting, and some will be thinking about bringing another little miracle into the world. Those in the first group will already know what I am going to write about, the other two groups however, read on, because what I am going to tell you comes from the experience of raising 3 kids. And let me tell you, there isn’t a parenting book, class, or forum that will tell you about the random things that crop up when dragging kids into adulthood.

Things like…


Unless you are some kind of spectacular moron then you will be aware that poo and babies go together like booze and hangovers, changing nappies is a disgusting, smelly, and necessary part of the experience. It’s not the poo that’s the problem though , it’s the total indifference you end up feeling about it. You never get used to the smell, ever, but the sight of it becomes so normal you forget what life was like before you were surrounded by faeces. For example, the other day I had to change a dirty nappy, and I realised that a bit of poo had gotten onto the floor, and my hand. So I shrugged, grabbed a wet wipe, cleaned my hand, and picked it up off the floor. I think most parents would say in response, ‘So what’s the big deal?’

Well I’ll tell you what the big deal is. Before I had kids, if I walked into a room and saw that there was poo on the floor, I would literally hold a Spanish Inquisition style round up of my friends, take DNA samples, and find the miscreant who took the offending dump! I would go full CSI on their ass! There is no way in hell I would have shrugged and got on with cleaning it up.

But there does come a point when you realise that kids are totally gross, honestly, they spit, drool, vomit, puke, snot, and wee over EVERYTHING! I can’t remember the last time my sofa wasn’t covered in damp patches of bodily fluid. But if you thought that was as bad as it gets, just wait because…

Kids Are Suicidal Idiots!

Kids are stupid, we all know this, if they weren’t then we wouldn’t need schools. Sometimes their idiocy can be used to your advantage, for example, if I tell my daughter to get into her pyjama’s and she doesn’t want to, she’ll have a tantrum and all hell will break loose. If however, I ask her to get into her, ‘Super Special Magic Princess Pirate Pyjamas’, then she does her Superman impression and in the blink of an eye she is changed and ready for bed.

Other times though, this idiocy manifests itself as a masochistic desire to kill herself in weird and wonderful ways. You can idiot proof your house to the point that everything is covered in bubble wrap, every plug socket is covered, and the only sharp things in the room are in my wardrobe.

But if you turn your back for more than ten seconds, they manage to find rusty nails to poke into their eyes, or a bottles of weedkiller to drink or are fashioning nooses from your comedy, singing ties. It’s like they get fed up with all this breathing nonsense you keep insisting they do and without having a viable way to re-enter the womb, they just decide to off themselves. But it’s not like this idiocy is even confined to children because…

People Will Assume They Can Talk To Your Kids Regardless Of The Situation!

9 times out of 10 I have no problem with people talking to my kids, in fact I encourage it, I think it’s good to push your kids to interact with people so that they learn social skills and that they shouldn’t be afraid of everybody that they meet. Obviously this is done under my supervision, and I am never going to encourage them to chat to the person that owns this van.

The problem is that some people decide it’s ok to chat to my kids even if their interaction is clearly not welcome. Like the other day, I was travelling on a bus with my girls, as it was a 2 hour trip me and my Mrs decided that they should have a nap. So we attempted to get our 2-year-old off to sleep when suddenly an older gentlemen started waving, smiling, and playing games with her. We smiled politely, and let it go.

Then 15 minutes later he was still at it, so we hinted that she was tired, and that we wanted to her to get some sleep.

After another 15 minutes we moved her away, and he continued.

Again, and again, and again.

After an hour of this, my Mrs snapped and said, “Look can you stop, we are trying to get her to sleep!”

The gentleman was obviously put out by this, but, he did eventually stop. What was annoying though, is that he made us feel like we were being a**eholes for asking him to leave our daughter alone. So those are your options, put up with strangers interacting with your kids whenever they feel like it, or, look like an a**ehole when you ask them to stop. But if you think you can just keep your kids closed off to stop this unwanted interaction you soon realise that…

At Some Point Your Going To Have To Let Go!

I see some parents down at the park when I take my kids, and they are hovering over them, making sure their little idiots don’t leap off the highest part of the climbing frame or run in front of a moving swing. To be honest I was like this with my first, and I understand that sometimes it’s because parents separate, so it’s the only time they can really connect with their child. But what I’m talking about is the ‘Helicopter Parent’, the type of parent so terrified of their child ‘breaking’ that they watch their every move.

This type of parenting has got its merits, at least you know that your child will always be ‘safe’, but I find that the child loses something in the process. I have come to the conclusion that a kid needs to learn the limits of their body, be left to interact with other kids without my involvement, and occasionally, take a leap of faith to find out whether they can do something that scares them. Which unfortunately means getting hurt from time to time.

I’m not advocating irresponsible parenting here, obviously I won’t let my daughter do something that will cause permanent damage, or, you know, death or something. But if she falls over and scrapes her knee, it’s not the end of the world, and parenting like this has produced brave and strong girls, who will pick themselves up after a fall and try again with new knowledge about what they can and can’t do.

With all that said, it is still terrifying for me as a parent, allowing them to hurt themselves a little from time to time goes against every natural impulse, but I need to tell myself that I can either allow them to grow up strong and independent, or, I can smother them and have them growing up as the kid who doesn’t talk to class mates and eats paper in the corner.

It’s a no brainer really.

I apologise, I didn’t intend for this post to become Parenting 101, but trust me, I could go on and on about the stuff people don’t tell you about being a parent. Like the creepy way babies decide to stop breathing for up to 15 seconds for no other reason than to f**k with you. But I have gone WAY over the word limit I set myself already and my 3-year-old is trying to lick a battery…….

Kids! Who’d have them?





Why Am I Here?

Why am I here?

So, always one to take criticism constructively, I guess I had better actually be honest this time. (If you are unaware of what I am talking about, this is now revision No.5 of my assignment for Blogging 101) I am here to write, that is all.

My reasons are simple,it’s all I have ever known, it’s what I do, and it’s all I feel I am good at. A quote that springs to mind is in The Dark Knight, when The Joker says; “I’m like a dog chasing a car, I wouldn’t know what to do with it if I had it, I just do.” That’s kind of how I feel about writing, I know I want to do this, but I’m not sure how, so my only option is to chase that car, because, I just do, that’s why.

I have tried blogging before, I managed a very unsuccessful blog several years ago that was basically me rambling on for post after post about nonsense really. It didn’t get many views, but, it was a good experience, because, I just gave up on writing after that. I thought ‘Why am I doing this, live in the real world, you aren’t a writer and you never will be.’ So I focused on my ‘real’ job, and got, bored. Then about 6 months ago, I stumbled onto that old blog, I laughed at myself a little, and forgot about it again. Or at least I tried to, see the thing is, it seemed to stick in my head, I couldn’t get out of my mind how exciting it was to air my thoughts. Especially, when 6 months ago, upon viewing the blog, I had received, over 5 views!!!

Yeah, you can laugh at that, go on, I know you want to :).

But, you know, it was nice, people had heard my voice, and I wanted to have that feeling again. I have been in a writing group for over a year now, and they hear me reading my stories, but a group of 5/6 writers telling stories in a pub is never going to compare to the thrill of shoving my thoughts onto the web, naked and bare for all to see. So I thought to myself, ‘structure Charlie, you need some structure’.

Being a guy with the attention span of a gnat, structure is as rare as diamond farting jellyfish in my world. The 3 unfinished novels, 1 idea for a screenplay, an unfinished DIY table and a half painted canvas lay around my house as bitter testament to that. I am a guy with a lot of ideas and no concentration.

But, being someone who has a compulsion to write, I knew I had to write something. That’s when it hit me, I can write short articles, I can watch a TV show, and assuming I have an hour free, I can write 500 words saying what I liked or didn’t like. It’s not terribly informative, quite whimsical, and often pointless, but it’s mine.

And that is why I do this, because I have to, I have no other choice, and what I write and the way I write is really just a way for me to find a little space in the world where I can make my voice heard. It isn’t a loud voice, and you may not want to hear it, but, for me, just knowing it is heard at all is all I need to keep me happy.



My Mum Is A Christian… Deal With It!

My mum is a Christian, so is my brother, his wife, and so are all of my family (barring a few cousins here and there). I am, at best, an agnostic, I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of religions in the world, both dead and very much alive, and that they can’t all be the “one true religion heralding the one true God”. But I haven’t got a problem with belief in a higher power, in fact, I think that there are a lot of unexplained things that we puny humans can’t even hope to explain with our current knowledge base. But that is not why I am writing this.

As I said my mum is a Christian, she is also an artist who runs a working studio in her hometown (there is a link to her Facebook page here give her page a like and show her some support), and the guy who runs the shop opposite her studio has a real problem with one of these facts (can you guess which one?). He is an atheist, he has a belief structure that says there is no higher power, and that (apparently) anyone who believes there is one is a moron who needs to be expelled from his immediate vicinity with the same ferocity as one would shoo away an “I’ve survived on Guinness and KFC for 3 days” kind of fart (we’ve all been there).

What got me annoyed, even more than the fact that this c**k hole thought he could have a pop at my mum, was that it’s not like my Mum’s studio has even a remotely Christian approach, the only Christian symbol came in the form of a painted fish that was 1 centimetre in size. It’s not like she tried to violate him with a bible while singing “All things bright and beautiful” is it?


And yet, for this gratuitous display of her belief structure he is holding a protest outside of her studio next week with the sole purpose of “offending” her. Trust me when I say, this woman dragged me up through my teens, there is not a huge amount that can “offend” her, if she hasn’t been there and done it, she watched my brother and I do it, and laughed with us the entire way.

I digress though, the point I am trying to make is that, yes, Christians who ram their belief down your throat and take pleasure in reminding you that you ‘re going to hell for all that f**king and drug abuse you love so much (don’t try to deny it we all know it’s true). They are a**e-holes, but then again. So are atheists who believe that people should be protested against  for the “crime” of having a belief system contradictory to theirs, if you are one of these atheists, then you are no better than the spunk buckets that make up the Westboro Baptist Church.

Whether you believe, and what you believe, is the same as whether you smoke, or drink, or eat, or f**k or decide to start a ferret farm in Venezuela. If it doesn’t affect anyone else negatively, it’s fine, it’s your problem. But if it does, then maybe you need to have a long look at yourself and ask the most important question you can ask “Am I being an a**e-hole”? And if the answer Is “yes”, you need to deal with it yourself, because your problems, like your beliefs are yours alone.

Why it’s Awkward Being Awkward

To those who are reading this, forgive me, but I’m  going to make a sweeping generalisation and assume, due to the fact that you are reading an obscure blog about TV reviews on the internet, that you are somewhat anti-social. Anti-social, shy, introverted, awkward, whatever you want to call it I hope that you understand what I go through when I try to interact with the rest of the human race.

Here is an example, the other day when I was at work, the guys I work with were telling jokes, I laughed with them and we all had a good time, right up until it became apparent that it was my turn to tell one. I won’t repeat it here, because, and this may come as a surprise, it was awful. But tell it I did, and I got all of two words in when my voice rose up two octaves, my hands became as clammy as a joggers underwear and I was able to stand as well as a tramp on meth’s. All of this because 3 guys, who I have worked with 5 days a week for 9 months, put the spotlight on me for 2 minutes and asked me to share a joke with them. It all went well by the way, they laughed, and I quit the situation as soon as possible to head back to my work area to shovel some more s**t away from prying eyes.

This is the reason I’m anti-social, because when presented with a situation, such as having to tell a joke, have a haircut, or, heaven forbid, talk to a stranger, my wit, charisma and ability to form a coherent sentence f**k off. Leaving me the rambling, nervous, clammy guy in the corner of a party who ends up turning potential compliments towards strangers into what looks like veiled aspersions about their drinking habits, sense of style or weight.

So I end up trying to avoid these situations all together, I refuse party invitations, I avoid going to places that are unfamiliar and I try to avoid spending prolonged periods of time in the company of strangers. But, weirdly enough, it turns out that if you avoid parties, avoid awkward small talk with acquaintances, and only see the people on your, short, contact list. People, ordinary well-adjusted people, will stop inviting you to parties, they will assume that you think you are too good to make small talk with them, and every so often your dwindling number of friends will be too busy to meet up with you, and then, BAM!

You realise you’re going to need to put on some trousers, comb your hair, and have a shave, because dude, you need to go out and meet people!

This happened to me when I moved to a new city, I woke up one day and realised I couldn’t call up those 5 trusted friends to go out and have a beer with, so, I resolved to make some friends. And do you know what, its hard, extroverts may not understand this, but it is really, really hard.

Firstly because you have to meet new people, secondly you must realise that you can talk coherently in front of anyone, because if you can do it with a close friend, you can do it with a stranger. Third, because you have to realise that good friendships take time, a long time, and most importantly that they need nurturing.

Which means, sucking it up and saying hello to people you often bump into on your daily routine, making small talk with strangers, telling jokes with workmates, and ultimately remembering that instead of avoiding awkward situations, you need to cultivate them to reap the rewards.