Thursday, 19 August 2010

Marvel Zombies

By Robert Kirkman.

Whilst this isn't the only book I have read since I last did one of these book bloglets. It is the most recent one beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. K.

Now I quite enjoy superhero movies and games. I have even read a couple of graphic novels. This however I found to be utterly terrible. Truly just the worst kind of thing. Maybe it's because, Shaun of the Dead aside I find zombies rather tedious topics.

This was just overly violent, gore splattered and totally uninteresting. The characters feel rather flat and stereotypical, the whole thing just feels poor.

There we go. A negative review. Next time, hopefully more positive. Also it will be a non alphabook.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Blow Hard (it's a joke)

Ok, I have set myself the aim of mastering an instrument to some degree of competence over the course of the next decade. Previous readers may remember that I had chosen the guitar for this purpose. Now, I've learnt a few chords on the guitar but there is something not very me about it. So I shall put that to one side for the moment and choose something more "me".

I am awkward and not very guitary, so I chose the instrument that best suits that character. The clarinet. I enjoy jazz, especially that of Benny Goodman, for which I have to thank my grandad. Therefore the jazzy sound of the clarinet seemed ideal. I managed to pick an ok starter one for £30 on eBay. I can now play a few notes and what have you. I am aiming to be able to read notes easier and play some simple pieces by October.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sheer ineptness

Right, I have ignored this blog for an age.

This is due to a number of factors. First I am inept. This has been established elsewhere on this blog. Secondly, I have been busy at Edinburgh festival and working. These two take up time.

I shall keep this one simple. I have put the A-Z thing on hold. I got annoyed with Rudyard Kipling. This was enough to make me pause and read some stuff I wanted to. These include, the Great Gatsby, some more Conan Doyle (aided by the brilliant Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss series).

I am also learning the clarinet (this shall be a mid-week blog topic).

I submitted a story to the Oxfam story writing competition, not heard anything yet. Apparently a judge is on holiday.

Not sure what else to say. Like I said, inept.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Who Murdered Chaucer?

By Terry Jones (The Terry Jones)

Yes, it is a book by the Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. However, that doesn't mean that this is a book that is utterly irreverent, silly and outright nonsense. Oh, no, Mr Jones and his co-authors instead take this book down a very interesting route.

Geoff (as I will call him) did just disappear around the year 1400 with no real explanation of where he went, no funeral, no will etc. For a man of his fame at this time it is highly unusual. So, Mr Jones et all follow the theory that he could possibly have been murdered. Now, this book isn't a simple, examine the evidence of who had the motive, means etc. It instead takes in a much wider scope. Looking at the political situation of the time, the whole nine yards as it were. This makes for very interesting reading as it teaches me some aspects of medieval history that I was largely unaware of.

Once the whole scene is set, the authors then don't go onto the suspects but do look at reasons WHY Chaucer could have been viewed as dangerous by the newly established Henry 4. (It seems that the A-level text of the Canterbury Tales is an incredibly shocking, salacious piece of work for its time).

They also don't argue solely for the murder line and do look at some interesting evidence that Chaucer MAY have lived past the year 1400, and also that he could easily have just taken a tumble off a ladder whilst white-washing. (they don't specify the white-washing part, I added that).

Now, they do suggest a candidate at the end of it all. Thereby not cheating the reader of a solution to this potential crime. I would reveal who it was but then you wouldn't have to read the book.

Overall, reading a piece of non-fiction has made a rather nice change to the otherwise fiction heavy challenge thus far. I rather enjoyed this book, the writing style was rather light but informative and not too heavy and dry in comparison to some non-fiction writers.

In other news, I am moving on from the guitar to the clarinet. A different instrument I know. Will blog more on it later in the week.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A Single Man

By Christopher Isherwood.

Now I know that you can see the words "Now A Major Motion Picture" atop the book in this photo. So you're probably thinking, oh he's seen the film and now wants to read the book. Well, I am afraid you are mistaken. Not seen the film, although after reading this book I am even more uncertain. I am of course curious to see if they have got the sheer emotion of it all transferred onto the screen. I sincerely hope that they do, because this book is quite simply wonderful.

Long time readers may remember me talking about my love for the likes of Bennett, Fitzgerald and Wodehouse and the sheer joy of their language and the characters they create. Well, Mr Isherwood can happily join their ranks. Some of the language he uses here is simply wonderful, utterly picturesque, maybe a little too so at times but the rest of it it is an utter joy to read.

Now I don't want to go giving the plot away, that's not my job, I am a not a blurb (as an edited line from the Prisoner goes). However sufficied to say it follows a lot of those universal themes that all good successful books do. When reading you really feel to connect with George despite the fact he is what a lot of us aren't. Unless, of course there are a number of you who are English professors living in 1960's America, who are gay, in their sixties and have recently lost a loved one. If you, hello and I hope you are well. Heck, that seems rude, so I hope those of you who don't fit into that very small category are also well.

The book itself clearly has some heavily autobiographical tones. That is very apparent to those who are aware of the basics of Isherwood and his life. However, you can feel really connected with the character. When George feels upset, you feel rather down yourself. The sense of isolation of being a single man who doesn't fit in with the world around him leaps out of the page and you find yourself feeling sorry for George. It also offers some interesting insight into one mans view of a world that was very different from the one I was born into.

As the book progresses and you get to know George more, you really do begin to like him more and more. Because it is all told from his perspective, a true first person, you get to see the world as he sees it. Feel the actions he feels.

The books is also about growing old, something that I really am yet to feel. The book really does take a very bleak approach on it all. An acceptance of death and a feeling that, rather than just a hey it happens. More a, it happens and it can be rather bally horrible. This makes you look at death and the whole aging process in a whole new light.

I'm not sure what else to say but read this and just revel in the sheer wonderfulness of how it is written.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Crocodile Tears

By Anthony Horowitz.

Another kids book, well I say kids, this is what some class as a young adult. Now, I came to the series fairly late on. I decided to give them a try after reading the Young Bond series and rather liking them, so I thought I would give what are considered to be a very good series of books a perusal.

I have to say I was very impressed. OK, so they are a very fantasy based concept, teen super spy. That is what makes it quite fun. Real escapism. They are very well written I have to say, now, the snob would add the dread words "for a kids book" to the end of that particular sentence. However I won't because I am not a snob. Now I am not saying that they are utterly brilliantly fantastically literature for all ages. However, they are written in a very clear, thrilling and yet in such a way that doesn't talk down to its audience. Which is what all good books aimed at younger readers intend to do.

Now, this book is the EIGHTH in the series. Now, many books do struggle with maintaining the series over such a long period. The James Bond series dipped around book 4 as did the Young Bond, they did however pick up again. This series did have that point and that was a couple of books ago. However this book really is a return to form. It is a good, page turning thrilling read. However it isn't all action, the book also educates. It for example has given me some rather useful little facts about GM crops and poisonous creatures. Whilst I wouldn't claim to be an expert on these, I now know more than I did.

Overall, you can feel that the series is beginning to wind down. There is in fact only one book left for Alex and then another one following another character to come. You really do get this feeling as you read the book. Characters do seem to be changing and the whole thing feels to be growing as a series. Definitely a nice little book.

Friday, 2 July 2010



I am a great pile of idiocy mixed with a sheer ammount of dopiness. Remember the writing competition I was going to enter? I spent the past week or so editing it. Went to email it today, thinking I was well within the deadline. WRONG! UTTERLY WRONG! As wrong as a penguin skateboarding to McDonalds.

I have now got a story that I was moderately happy with and can't send it off. I am an utter foolish fool. However. All is not lost. I shall instead post it on here at a later date.

Coming tomorrow a review of my H book.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Carter Beats The Devil

By Glen David Gold

This is my thirtieth post. The big 3-0. Not sure what else to say but, crikey!

That bit of useless trivia aside, I shall now move on to what this current blogule is actually about. The book pictured opposite. My letter, G. He, like F. Scott Fitzgerald is a brilliant example of the letter he represents as both his first and surname begins with the letter in question.

Now this book is primarily about a magician, automatically a winner for me, I used to love magic when I was a kid. I still do to some extent and have recently got a couple of magic books out of the library to learn some basic close up magic. I also love the brilliant TV series Jonathan Creek. It is also set in a period I like, the 1920's so already it is on to a winner.

However the book isn't purely about a magician in the Golden Age of magic. It is also a good thriller. Set against a backdrop of suspect assasination, we are treated to what can only be described as a real rollercoaster thriller.

This book is really, truly great stuff, the kind of thing I would ideally like to myself. It is funny, clever and a real page turning book.

Some twists are obvious I must say, however this aside, there are some real puzzles that make you think. Overall this is one of my favourite books I have read so far, to be honest, they all pretty good, I may have to set out to read something particularly bad to balance it all out.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The First Cut is The Deepest

OK, RIDICULOUS blogule title I know. Bear with me though. It shall become clear once I explain what it's all about (Willis).

As mentioned in many places on this little page of utter irreverent twaddle, that I inflict on you all (for which I am truly sorry). I want to be a writer. Now I am currently in the midst of entering a short story competition and will be sending off my story by the end of the week. It's already written but, alas, and indeed alack, I have to edit it. I am currently over 200 words over the imposed word limit of 2,000. Those of you who are sure how this mathematics lark works will realise that this is of course, TOO MANY WORDS. Which means I have to do something that I utterly dread, editing.

I utterly hate editing my own work, it means I have to read what I wrote. Now, I know you think, well if you hate reading your stuff, it must be terrible so give up writing. Well I say, SILENCE DETRACTORS! I know what I write is good but what I hate is reading it and realising how stupid some bits now sound.

Basically I am extremely over-active with the old delete key. It is really my friend in these situations. I start deleting loads of bits and soon I'm back within the word limit, by 2000 words. Not good. I am by far and a way my own worst critic. Something that I imagine most writers are.

Anyway, I am going to try and edit this, just removing lines I feel are superfluous and then see where that takes me. Then add info to make the story more cohesive. Then re-edit it.

So, what do I do? Do I just keep on like this until I stop criticising everything I write? Do I just give in? Do I no longer edit myself and hire an imp?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Rich Boy

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

OK, a much quicker turnaround for a post this time. As all good followers of the alphabet will know, after my previous post, which was about the letter E I would of course next be posting about the letter F next.

So, as the more aggressive types say, "What the F?"

Well, the F is F. Scott Fitzgerald. Now, I have never read anything by this chap before so he is the first of the many NEW AUTHORS, who I have come across in the course of this challenge. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect in my reading of this collection of some of Fitzy's short stories.

They are each linked by the process of unobtainable love. A subject I personally wouldn't normally read books about. However, these books are set in a period I quite like, as evidenced by love of people such as Wodehouse. Now Fitzy presents this world in a very different way to how Pelham does. His world isn't always the eternal, humorous summer of Wodehouse. His is just as beautiful in the use of language and the situations seen. Different but in a good way.

The stories themselves are very good and feature the universal feel of love and chasing that unobtainable partner. These are themes that everyone can readily identify with. They aren't presented in an overly sentimental, cloying way that makes you want to slap those in love in a desperate bid to restore sense.

Instead Fitzgerald presents people as what they are. Human. Now, that may seem a somewhat redundant sentence but allow me to explain. I mean that they are simple, flawed and at the same time simple wonderfully beautiful and Fitzgerald really does present this in his writing. He makes everyone recognisable without making them a character type. You read what he writes and see the type of person that he describes clearly.

In summary, Fitzgerald is so far one of my favourites, along with Bond and Conan Doyle for his sheer representation of character and his use of language. I want to read more, even though the loveliness of the language is rather depressingly unobtainable for me just yet.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Bachae

By Euripides

Right! Yes! OK. Sorry, really, frightfully sorry about the sheer lack of a blog here. Basically I am useless. I just haven't bothered with one for the best part of a week due to sheer silliness and laziness. Needless to say, I am still here.

Ok. So whilst I have been away what have I done? Well, I started one book by a writer beginning with E and gave up. Yes, I gave up. Packed in. Couldn't be bothered with it. (It was George Elliot, in case you wondered). So instead I went out of my usual comfort zone and went totaly and utterly mad in my choice. I chose Euripides. The Ancient Greek playwright.

Now I don't usually read plays, let alone Greek ones, ancient or otherwise. So this was a somewhat bold choice for me.

Now, before I go on I need to get jokes out of the way.

What's a Greek Urn?
About 50 drachma (Euros) a week

Right, terrible humour aside. The book itself.

Hard going in places definitely. Keeping track of it all, with my limited knowledge of Greek mythology was hard. However it did teach me some very interesting stuff, so it was good in that respect. The one I read was a collection of four plays. Three of which I rather enjoyed. The other I found rather tedious.

There was some good overall themes in the plays and they felt rather modern, despite their age. The trick with reading a play, to yourself is that you have to read it in the multiple voices in your head. This is quite easy if you can create voices and visualise characters in your head.

OK, so. Views? I rather liked it overall and may read some more plays as part of my project. Whether or not they will be Greek ones remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Last Bus to Woodstock

By Colin Dexter

Another book by a man who has two names that are first names. He joins a list of such luminaries that are too numerous to mention. He follows, what many see as a tough act to follow in the crime novel stakes. ACD may not have originated the detective genre but he typifies it oh so many ways.

He created the detective with silly first name and some kind of addiction coupled with the partner who asks all the questions we want to hear. Where the two differ is in their choice of narrator, for ACD, we have Watson, dear old Watson. For Col, we get a general third person type.

Now this difference is for me what makes the two so very different. As mentioned in my previous blogule, I love the use of Watson, he makes the Holmes books for me. His little biases and everything make the books that little more human. Reading this I felt more reviewed from the story. I never felt the way about Morse and Lewis the way I did about Holmes and Watson. I cared for the two Victorians, here I felt less love for the two characters. At times it was more frustration than affection. Morse just seemed too much of a clichéd old school detective. Hard drinking, slightly lecherous. Like Gene Hunt but without the one liners. So here, the detached nature of a third person narrator didn't sell the book for me.

This isn't to say that the book is terrible. Oh no far from it! Yes the book is flawed, it's a first novel, one expects it. The characters are still fairly rough. Anyway, these points aside. The book itself is quite good for a crime novel. Plenty of the usual twists and turns in the plot, which as everyone knows is how you do a crime novel. The scene setting that The Dex employs is nice and vivid, not being familiar with the area around Oxford I could picture it all well enough. So for imagery, plot and characters The Dex does well. Now for some people that may be enough but for me personally, there has to be some heart and I just didn't get it with this.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Valley of Fear.

By Arthur Conan Doyle (Sir)

OK, let's get this off the bat straight away. I quite simply love Sherlock Holmes and old Arthur come to think of it. So this is in some ways a love song for the two as well as a reflection on the whole book.

Now I have dipped in and out of the Holmes cannon at various points in my reading, err... "career". Can I call it a career? Yes I can dammit! So really I have often viewed him as a good comfort read, the literary equivalent of cake. If ever I'm stuck for something to read, I'll read a Holmes, whether short story of a full blown novel. They are my go to books when I am not feeling in the mood to be entertained by Terry Pratchett.

Yes, anyway, talk of comfort reading aside. What did I think of this particular side of the Conan Doyle canon? Well....

I really like the narrative style that ACD (good abbreviation?) uses. The use of Watson as a narrator, ever so slightly unreliable as he may be is a good one. He is the equivalent of the companion in Doctor Who. There to ask all the right questions. Without him to humanise Holmes and to explain how the man is how is, Holmes would be an entirely un-likeable swine. The way that the stories are themselves treated as stories being related to us as actual stories rather than just a record of events helps the feel of them. You don't feel to be suffering the "and then this happened" curse that can sometime be a trap that one falls into. Here Watson often uses some artistic license to give us some facts before they occur in the actual chronology of the book. His acknowledgement of these facts helps make the whole thing feel more like a story.

As I have already said, I view Holmes as a real comfort read. The methods of detection and their explanation and the sheer simple enjoyment of how the crime is easily revealed to a trained eye and mind is what makes it such jolly good fun. One can simply pick it up, read the story and not feel to have been overloaded with drama, shattering events or have a moral jammed down your throat. ACD doesn't preach, he just tells a story, plain and simple.

For me, the book was a nice light, not quite in the Paddington vein, which was about the sheer simplicity and enjoyment of the small things in life. Instead, whilst Holmes is about the small things and how they relate to the big things. Here the small things all make one nice glorious picture of enjoyment. A crime that can be solved and the game of getting there to be thrilled and savoured.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Blogday Friday

Ok, Friday = Hop Time. Terribly sorry I didn't blog last week, error on my part. However I will make up for it this week with slightly more blogs than before.

Upcoming we will have:

Conan Doyle reviews.
A MFWE possibly on Wilde or Pratchett. Heck there may even be two, on on each.
Stuff about sports (mostly fencing and my aims to do more sports)
Writing stuff

Ok, who has become my blog who I am now interested in this week?

Well, I cam across this nice little blog. It really is quite nice to look at and also, they are doing a similar challenge to myself. Re; the whole alphabet.... thing. The only diference is, they are FAR more consistent than myself. They are however taking the rather nice twist of looking at a book where the main character has a name beginning with a letter of the aforementioned letter list.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Writing to Reach You

Err, right so, yeah I haven't blogged for a week. Yes I know, remiss of me. I'm sorry. I have been meaning to do so for the best part of a week but one thing and another has meant I haven't. What a fool I have been.

I have used a Travis song for the title because, they are a little overlooked. Not brilliant but nice inoffensive nicenes. Much like David Gray. Also, that's what these posts are all about, I am writing these little blogules, to reach you, my audience. Not in an dodgy way you understand.

So, right, yes, where was I? Not sure why I'm asking you guys, you don't know what I was doing this for.

AH! Yes! First things first. I didn't win the script competition. Fingers are still crossed for the short story one though.

In writing news, as this is a blogule about writing I have decided. I have decided to write a short story for this competition. My plan is to write two stories, the first I have written and features a haunted bird room in a museum. The other is a sci-fi type one, not sure what it will be about. I'll get back to you on that one. The good news of this is, that whichever I don't submit, I will post here.

In other writing news, I am looking at going back to the novel I wrote last year and slightly altering its feel.

Finally two other orders of business.

  1. Later this week, I will post a review of the next author
  2. I am adding a new TYSIC aim. "To do more sports"

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Paddinton Helps Out


So, as promised here is my next A-Z review. The lucky book in question features a great fictional bear and all round good egg. Paddington is brilliant and quite simply one of my favourite childrens characters. He is a great role model because he always tries his best in any situation. This particular series of stories sees Paddington getting into his usual series of misadventures with the laundrette and cooking a meal.

For me this book is largely what reading is all about. It's about fun and the sheer enjoyment of literature, the joy of his mishaps and the polite way he tries to just be helpful. If you ever want to read one of those books that can just make you smile as you read it and just lighten your mood read Paddington.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Blogday Friday: Let's Blog!

It's That Time Again (ITTA), not to be confused with It's That Man Again (ITMA), that was a radio shop. This ISN'T. It's my latest blogule. As it is Friday it's time for The Hop. The Hop is of course the section of the week where I don't talk about any of my current projects. Briefly though I have done my first A-Z review thing. I have read my second book for the project and that will be up tomorrow, with luck. I'm going to treat you a to a special piece of information, revealed here for the first time ever. THE NAMES OF THE NEXT THREE AUTHORS!!!
B. Michael Bond
C. Arthur Conan Doyle
D. Colin DexterEither on
Right, on with the Hop. This is the section of the week where I talk about another blog. Either one that I have discovered through the Hop or one I am already following before hand. This week, the accolade goes to Baja Greenawalt's Cozy Book Nook. The layout of the site is nice and the photo at the top is great. It's also got some great reviews and a bit about rhyming slang and has some a little about Australian history. Which is nice.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Sports, sports, sports etc

No prizes for guessing the subject of this blog. You know what, a quick thing. These bits are no longer called blogs. The word blog shall refer to the collected entity. These little bits are called blogules. Like it?

Anyway, this blog as the more lexically gifted amongst you may have deduced is about sports. As mentioned elsewhere, I love sports. Sports are brilliant, I watch just about all of them. Except golf and boxing, just don't get them whatsoever. The rest though are brilliant. Utterly incredibly brilliant.

I love to watch them a lot. For example as I am typing this I have recently finished watching the quite frankly brilliant Twenty 20 Semi final between England and Sri Lanka. Twenty20 is quite frankly brilliant, a real slog fest with added drama. Each and every ball is different, the whole game can change on a single delivery. I've seen this myself when I saw a Yorkshire v Durham game a couple of seasons ago. This game could have gone either way and when it came to the final ball, Durham needed a 6 to level, unfortunatley they got it but this didn't matter because the whole game had been so brilliant. It's my hope that when I'm older I can move somewhere and join a little village cricket team. It just seems such good fun.

From Twenty20 I've moved on to the Darts. Now most people are rather snobby when it comes to this sport, believing it to only be for lager swilling louts. IT ISN'T! Stephen Fry loves it, he is neither of these things. The sheer brilliance of darts lies in the sheer mathematics of these people. To work out what they need to score in such a short space of time is very impressive. I don't want to join a darts team.

Formula 1 continues this weekend in sunny Monaco. Fast cars, thrilling crashes, brilliant scenery. What more could you want? I wish I could do some pro-driving.

Now, football. I've already blogged my views on football. I really want to start playing more sports besides my weekly fencing, which I am still sitting out due to my elbow not being right. I enjoy playing football in friendly kick arounds and the occasional little game I played in fencing warm ups was good fun. I would ideally look to join a five-a-side team of people of a similar ability to me (mildly average with occasional skill). This may well become an aim of mine at a later date.

Until tomorrow and the next book blogger hop...

Monday, 10 May 2010

First ABC: Rememberance of The Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch

Here it is, the first in what will be my new series of regular(ish) updates about books what I am reading.

A as the more alphabetical amongst us know is the first letter of the English alphabet so it is obviously the place for me to start. The A in this instance is Aaranovitch.

So, the basics first. The book is a TV tie-in from the series that I collect. It's basically a novelisation of the TV episode of the same name. Now there are two schools of thought when it comes to TV adaptations, you either do a very bare bones type up of the script with some very straightforward and to be frank rather dull linking bits where people don't speak.


and this, thankfully is the option that Aaranovitch has taken. You take the script, maintaining the lines and events but you add an entire plethora of additional stuff to it, thus giving you something MORE than what you got with the original TV story.

Aaranovitch takes the daleks, previously just blobs in cases with nothing more interesting to say than "Exterminate" and things of that ilk and really adds something to them. Whilst I wouldn't say he gives them personalities, he gives them some real depth. The sense with which they refer to the Special Weapons Dalek (The Abomination as they call it) gives a real sense of internal racism and fear within an individual dalek faction. He also adds some additional character development notes that take the story and really flesh it out, making an other wise good Doctor Who tale and making it a really solid tale.

Throughout the story we keep getting undercurrents of the past that lead up to the events in the story, background information on some of the characters that never appeared in the televised version. All in all, this is really a very enjoyable book. Short but packs a lot of information.

The book makes you feel slightly more involved in the story because you get to experience a lot of internal thoughts of the characters.

As mentioned elsewhere. I am trying to improve my reviewing technique. So hopefully the next few will be a marked improvement on this.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Blogday Friday: Change My Dear...

OK, loverly people. I told you yesterday that I would have some exciting news.

Firstly, I have joined the rather lovely Book Blogger Hop. This exciting and rather awesome site is a great community you should visit its home.

However my own exciting news is the launch of the replacement for WAR. Those of you with cryptology degrees and eyes may have deduced that it was something to do with the alphabet. You would be 100% correct in such a deduction. Basically, as mentioned elsewhere in the blog I love reading and read lots. However I often find myself at the end of one book looking for another one to do. So whilst in a bookshop I hit upon the rather fun idea of an A to Z reading project.

Basically, this involves me reading a book by an author whose surname begins with each letter of the alphabet. Simple huh? 26 letters in the alphabet = 26 books. WRONG! That is merely the tip of a very funky iceberg. I intend to revisit each letter on several occasions. The more observant of you may have noticed that no author has just one letter in their surname, they have several. So this is the deal. Once I have read A-Z once I go back to the start and read an author with a DIFFERENT surname beginning with A and so on. I will then post the reviews here on this lovely blog with all the other usual stuff, MFEW, TYISC and the occasional WAR.

Ok, news out the way. Back to The Hop. It needs capitalising I think. Part of the bit with The Hop (capitals again) is that you get to discover a lot of other blogs about books. This will be the first of many I suggest to try.

I couldn't help but love the fact that this particualr blog has a feature about favourite bookmarks! I love bookmarks! They are brilliant, some are so wonderful creative and good to look at. Some are just so OTT with all the unnecessary stuff on them. They are quite simply lovely. They also help you keep your place in the book. Which can't be a bad thing. So, visit Entomology of a Bookworm and see some nice bookmarks and more.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Is it the end? Has the moment been prepared for?

OK, after yesterdays rather maudlin post full of apologies and the like I feel a second post is in order.

First a quick writing update. Long time readers will know that I entered a couple of writing opportunity things for Big Finish a while ago. Well I haven't heard anything yet BUT they are perilously close to announcing the fortunate winners. I'm no kidding when I say that my heart rate has shot up whilst listening to that bit of news I am so nervous about it. Apparently the audio entries are down to 12 finalists who will be sent off to the BBC for approval on the stories, checking they are not going to do anything like it soon. The short stories have been selected and are currently sat in an office somewhere at the BBC awaiting approval. Hopefully I will have some very positive news on all this soon. Fingers crossed!!

Alas the guitar has had to be put on hold for a week as I have sprained my elbow! Yes, slightly foolishly I have injured myself! Rather spectacularly done I may add. Basically I am a fencer and whilst leading a warm-up session at my local club I fell over. Not once but twice! The first time into a wall and the second on the floor. So my playing has to be put on hold whilst I recover.
Now, on with the news. I think WAR may be put on a back burner, too much aggression ain't good for you etc. However I am pleased to offer you a teaser for a new feature set to be announced tomorrow.

Below is a cryptic teaser.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Where's the WAR at?

This blog is short because it's an apology. Basically I'm apologising for the lack of a WAR blog, this being Wednesday my typical WAR day.

I haven't done one because basically I haven't listened to an album this week. I have been rather busy, mostly writing. I did have one planned. It was going to be a Bowie album, either "Hunky Dory" or "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars". In the end I went for Ziggy. Hunky just seemed too easy.

Also I'm not sure if I am enjoying the whole process of WAR. It feels more a somewhat pointless exercise de to my somewhat mediocre reviewing skills. I feel like I can't really contribute anything with the reviewing skills.

Maybe the WAR should end and instead I could do something different. Maybe change the focus of the blog? Axe WAR and stick just to writing and MFWE with the occasional OMPADC over the course of the ten years? Posting short stories written solely for you lovely visitors?

I don't really know if I'm being truly honest.

Friday, 30 April 2010

End of an era, well kinda...

OMPADC IS COMPLETE. To see the complete thing from beginning to end click here.

Now you've done looking at my attempts at photography, time for a review of what I have learnt from my OMPADC.

1) Taking a different photo a day is hard! Not so much the actual photo taking but the finding of a topic. Being only a temporary working type I am fairly sedentary and tend not to go anywhere to take a picture of something interesting. So in some respects, inspiration is difficult.

2) Actual photograph composition is a tricky subject. Getting something arranged to look good is a tricky process but I think I developed a little over the course of this project. Getting some things that look less like I've pointed the camera at something and clicked. One thing I did to make my photos better for any future projects was to buy a tripod. It was actually used the other day to photograph the Ian Dury album cover.

3) Black & White is AWESOME. I wish I could use it more but it is a nuisance and can only be applied retrospectively on my camera so means I have to get the ideal picture for it BEFORE I black & white.

4) I will do this again. Not sure when but some sunny.. Oh wait! That's Vera Lynn. I enjoyed doing it and I think, knowing what I do now hope to get a much better result.

And finally... a skateboarding otter. No, in seriousness. This blog is the recipient of an award! *dramatic fanfare* Oh yes! Well in recognition of this I am going to give you seven people who are winners of this award of awesome! In no particular order, no favouritism here, just an order.

1. Mark Watson
2. The Uneven Bookshelf
3. Learning to Read
4. Back of the Net
5. Running The Central Line
6. Howlie
7. Stuff About Cake...

Now I could tell you why I nominated them but I think you should iscover them for yourself. SPREAD THE BLOG LOVE!!

Also. If you are doing your own OMPADC. I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

WAR 1: New Boots And Panties: Ian Dury

The first album to receive the WAR treatment is the first album released by Ian Dury & the Blockheads, 'New Boots & Panties'. Now, selecting an album with this title may seem like some cynical effort to get more Google hits and in part you would be right. Well, in part youwould be right but also in another part, kinda wrong. I chose the album after a lot of deliberation and long consideration.

So, the review. I was originally going to do a track by track type thing but I struggled with that. Part of the reason I started this whole thing was to improve my reviewing technique. My previous technique was to say a general "yeah, it's all-right" possibly with an additional shrug of the shoulders and some kind of general statement about tracks and stuff.

This though is about to change, inspired in part by the reviews found here. I realised that what a review is tells you whether or not something is good and more importantly what it makes you FEEL. Now this blog isn't about to get all touchy feely on you all, I can see some of you heading towards the door of the blog at the mention of those words. Let me assure you I am neither touchy or feely, I'm just not that kind of chap.

RIGHT. Enough dithering on with the review!

New Boots features the trademark humour and realism that makes Dury famous. Songs such as Billericay Dickie and Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll all of which contain the fun inventive way with words that he has. Yes, at times he is coarse and earthy, opening one track with a string of obscenities and having songs about, seemingly one of his favourite topics, sex. Whilst largely swearing and it's ilk are largely the opposite of what I normally look for in music, the way Dury uses them is far less gratuitous and more importantly, humorous than in most rap songs. The album as a whole is a good mixture of styles ranging for some rather funky songs to more classical rock 'n' roll with 'Sweet Gene Vincent', Dury's homage to early rock star, Gene Vincent. It's this and songs about family, life and love that make the album so appealing. That Dury is able to mix them and deliver what is essentially poetry with music behind it is the real skill.

Recommended listening: Billericay Dickie or Sex & Drugs...

Well, that's the first review. Sorry it isn't longer, I'm new to this reviewing lark. Any pointers etc, please leave them below.

Monday, 26 April 2010

I Must Be Musical. I Own Over a Hundred CD's

OMPADC enters its final week. So here is the most recent stuff!

Now as the rather bad Green Wing paraphrasing for the title of this blog suggests this blog is all about music. Well.... I say it's ABOUT music. It's more a kind of precursor to later blogs about music.

I love music, hence why I want to learn an instrument to a competent degree. I also own as the blog title suggests, rather a lot of CD's. These have appeared in my OMPADC and I thought now was their chance to appear in the Blog.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce W.A.R! Not the shooty, killy, mass death horribleness. Rather the Weekly Album Review. Much nicer. Wouldn't you say?

Basically, I will listen to a different album, no other distractions and just sit there, listening to it and write a track by track review. Now this is the exciting part! What? I didn't say there was going to be an exciting part? Oh dear, I am sorry. Well, now you are on the edge of your seats. You lucky people get to chose an album for me to review! Yes that's right! I will open the floor up to you all to suggest an album for me to try for every third album that is to be reviewed.

So get the thinking caps on! Expect a review later this week ( Wednesday or Friday).

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Author! Author! 2: P.G. Wodehouse

Lets get the shameless plugging out of the way first. OMPADC is here.

Now that the shameless self promotion is out of the way. Let us move on to more serious matters. Namely the next name to join Alan Bennett in MFWE (for those who don't remember, this stands for My Favourite Writers Ever).

The next name to join this list (yes it is a list now there is more than one person, I asked someone) is the delightfully named Pelham Grenville Wodehouse or P.G. to his friends. Although, many would think this would lead to confusion with tea makers P.G. Tips it doesn't, Mr Wodehouse was never pyramid shaped nor advertised by chimpanzees. At least, not to my knowledge.

"The Aberdeen terrier gave me an unpleasant look and said something under his breath in Gaelic"

Wodehouse is perhaps best known for his series of books featuring errant foppish fool Bertie Wooster and his personal gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves. It was reading these that first put me on to Wodehouse's writing. To me, old Pelham, is one of the finest and funniest comic writers of the 20th Century. Many comedy types, including the wonderful Stephen Fry (more on him at a later date) and his equally good friend Hugh Laurie (both of whom have appeared in an adaptation of the man's work) have cited the works as being lifesaving and as containing some of the greatest examples of comic literature.

One of these is the brilliant sequence at the Market Snodsbury Prize giving with an inebriated Gussie Fink-Nottle giving prizes to schoolboys and throwing various accusations of cheating around. Something that really has to be read to be fully appreciated. I strongly urge anyone who hasn't done so already to do read it. Failing that you should also see the brilliant Fry & Laurie (told you they would reappear) staring adaptation of the Jeeves & Wooster books.

However P.G. didn't just do Jeeves & Wooster he had a whole variety of other characters, which would occasionally crop up or be at the very least be mentioned in each others books. These are no less funny than the Jeeves series and are also good for a laugh.

I have recently started reading the Jerome K Jerome book "Three Men In A Boat" a book that many claim to be a precursor to the Wodehouse style. Personally I find this to be a lot less accessible than Wodehouse, for a full review go here.

Wodehouse critics often claim that he can't be that great a writer due to the lack of different plots across the 70+ he wrote. To a certain extent that is a largely true statement. However it is all irrelevant because what he does is write these plots and build incredible layers of intricacies and details around the plots. This creates such high levels of farce to make the book so enjoyable that you don't notice. They are simply blissfull, light reading. Which is sometimes all one can really ask for in this world.

Before this goes on much longer I shall finish and advise you to take some time to read Wodehouse. If you want to have a book of pure enjoyment, read some Wodehouse.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Halfway to OMPADC Success and Writing stuff too

The other day I passed the halfway point in the OMPADC that I set out on 17 days ago. This blog was meant to happen yesterday but unfortunately it didn't. Firstly here is OMPADC thus far. I have yet to take today's photo. Not sure what to do yet.

I did consider blogging about the photos of OMPADC and what it has taught me about photography and the art of finding something to photograph each and every day. This however struck me as an end of project thing. A retrospective.

I think I will instead give a minor blog on the whole writing side of my TYSIC.

I have decided to put my kids book idea on hold as I currently can't get it started to a satisfactory degree. I will return to it eventually, maybe at some point over this ten year period. Instead my focus has shifted to the writing of a series of short stories. I have the title of 'Pink Lemonade & Other Short Stories' in mind for it. The feel is something of a P.G. Wodehouse type story of upper class twits and the amusing scrapes they get into. It will involve me doing some research into the period just to get the language and some basic facts straightened out.

This is something I am rather looking forward to as I rather enjoy researching as it gives my mind some kind of focus. My mind really does lack focus and that has a knock on effect on my writing, leading to many things remaining unfinished.

I'm thinking of making it a series of 4, maybe 5 short stories featuring a number of different twits. Writing this means I get to write to my strenghs too. Writing a number of short things, that are amusing and most importantly light and fluffy. I am by no stretch of the imagination one for writing deep thoughtful pieces. Largely because I am not an especially deep and thoughtful person.

More on this later in the week. TTFN till then.

P.S. In case you don't know, TTFN stands for Ta Ta For Now.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Up-to-date Update.

I will leave the posting of my OMPADC until later in the week for when I have some additional photos to be worthy of telling all you lovely people. How are you all by the way?

Instead I thought I would give a rundown of my aims and how far I am in achieving them:

Get myself published

Well, I'm not published yet, but I have submitted two things to Big Finish, which, whilst not published will, if successful become produced as either a play or a short story read by an actor. That's a start. I also have an idea for a short story to send to a magazine. I also have a title and setting for my next long story. 1920's England and the title 'Pink Lemonade'. It may be a P.G. Wodehouse type story.

Learn to Drive

On a backburner until I am fully employed.

Visit a major sporting event (world cup, Olympics, European Championship)

I've started researching tickets for both Euro 2012 and the Olympics.

Attain an MA in Museum related stuff

Doing museum work to build up some experience to help in applications. Also looking at the courses on offer.

Learn a musical instrument to a competent degree

I have learnt numerous chords. I have also practiced switching between said chords and learnt to VERY basically accompany some songs.

All in all not bad. Sorry it is such a dull listie blog. Next time will be better.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Author! Author! #1 Alan Bennett

Firstly, let's get all the shameless stuff out of the way first. OMPADC is updated. Please check

Now the plug is out of the way. On with the blog. I may have mentioned I want to be a published author. A consequence of this is I read a lot. Can't help it, always have, probably always will. Therefore I have come across a number of writers whose work I always enjoy and often seek out. So, let me introduce you to ANOTHER acronym! That's right, I can't get enough of the little bleeders ( like brackets). This acronym is MFWE. Short for My Favourite Writers Ever. This will be a semi-regular feature where I discuss my favourite writers ever (odd considering the title). This will be a non-chronological run-down of the authors I like enough to place on my list.

"How do I define history? It's just one fuckin' thing after another"

First up, I thought I would go for quintessential northern and all rounder, nice person. Alan Bennett. Now I came to Alan's work quite recently. I was aware of him, his voice being familiar to me through some form of innate cultural awareness. I saw the film version of Alan's play, The History Boys and fell in love with his writing style straight away. It was funny, interesting, the characters all developed, it raised some good points and it was all very entertaining. Now some say that it isn't his best work, calling it tired, dated, cliched and a variety of other phrases. It didn't seem to be any of these things to me. I could quote reams of it here, but that wouldn't be doing the whole thing justice. I have however quoted one line from it at the top of this paragraph.

I went from watching the History Boys, to catching, rather fortunately, the recent BBC Bennett season. This exposed me to more of Bennett's wonderful observations of simple human life. For me, this is what really made me appreciate just how good a writer he is. I always appreciate a writer who makes the minutiae of human life so interesting because I'm rather poor at the whole people thing. I have also recently got a copy of Bennett's play "Lady In the Van" (a play based on the man who lived in a van in his garden for 15 years), from my local library. I have only got a few pages in and really enjoy it. The characters are simple and the use of 2 versions of Bennett on stage to represent aspects of his character is a good touch. It features typical examples of Bennett's wry criticisms of life, his little one liner observations.

Another thing I really love about Bennett is his voice, it is brilliant for audiobooks. I recently got him reading The House At Pooh Corner from iTunes. It's brilliant, his characterisations of the members of the Pooh group are brilliant.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Literally an update!

Firstly, here is the link to my OMPADC as mentioned in the last blog. I will post it in every blog that I do for the remainder of the month for people to check.

On with the serious blogging.


I submitted my story and I have started to learn the chords to play Sesame Street.


I won't blog about the new Doctor Who. That could take me a while. Suffice to say, I enjoyed.

This blog instead shall be a bit more light hearted. I say light hearted, what I mean is, more a discussion wherein I talk, you read (or not, unlike a face to face conversation, you can just walk away).

As mentioned elsewhere, I simply love language. One of my favourite things is the humble bracket( ( & ) ) but this shall be a subject of a later blog. No, in this instance I shall be blogging about the word LITERALLY.

Now as you can see, I think it deserves both bold, capitals AND a colour. The word is brilliant simply because it is LITERALLY and I do mean it like that, misused. The guiltiest offenders are perhaps sports reporters and fools. One such example comes from Soccer Saturday ( for those not in the know, it features men sitting around watching football and reporting on it, whilst scores update). It is one of the most inexplicably entertaining shows on TV. The offender in this instance is Paul Merson, who, whilst reporting on Tottenham Hotspur vs Wolverhampton Wanderers said "Spurs will LITERALLY rip Wolves apart". Whilst this sentence is easily understood, it does conjure up an altogether more violent and disturbing image of football. An image I am sure that Arsene Wenger sees happening to his players all the time in "The Great Arsenal Conspiracy". Other misuses of the L word would include " We would LITERALLY laugh our heads off". There are many more, but they are so numerous, this blog would become a list with every few words being in bold red letters.

Now, I don't think people who misuse it should be shot, on the other hand, I love it because of the mental imagery it conjures up. Some people, I appreciate abuse it for a sense of hyperbole but for me it is a purely comical word. If anyone has an example, take note and think about the meaning it conjures up.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


The incomprehensible unpronounceable acronym at the top of this page stands for One Month Photo A Day Challenge.

My aim is to take a photograph a single, solitary photograph every day for the next 30 days of the month (April). I will take these photo on my camera and upload it the following day to a photo website (to which I will provide a link later).

My plan is to wait until this weekend to upload the first 3 photos of the month, ready for you people to check.

As an added incentive to myself, I will only take each photo once. No re-setting the shot if I don't get the image how I want.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Useful thing a tinfoil hat Ace.

Again I am late in posting, this is purely because of laziness. That and if I did post more often, this blog would become full of me waffling about absolutely nothing for a few lines. I know some of you may think that it is about that at any rate. To you naysayers I say, that you are probably right, thus making you less naysayers, more yaysayers. A word that sounds much more positive I think. Really, we should all be much more positive, that way things won't seem that bad.

So, what is this particular blog going to be about? What am I going to witter on about in the few words that I am going to lay before your eyes, which I am sure are very nice eyes. Will I talk about the Formula 1? Well yes I will for a little bit. Now I like Formula 1, there is something about the cars, in all their engineered glory, whizzing round the track at incredible speeds, roaring past spectators that I find really entertaining. The race this past weekend in Australia was a much better viewing spectacle than the one a fortnight ago in Bahrain. Which was less a race, more a procession of cars. The Australian GP had it all, overtaking, impressive crashes and a rather thrilling finish. Unfortunately Sebastian Vettel (nice young German driver) crashed out after a really impressive start due to some problems with his car. This is a shame because I rather like Vettel, he always comes across as nice and he's impressive to watch. In the end, Jenson Button won, which was nice because unlike Lewis Hamilton, Jenson tends to stay on the right side of Australian traffic police and he's not going out with a Pussycat Doll, so points to him for that.

As I reported in my last blog. I was writing a short story for the Doctor Who audio people at Big Finish. Well, the deadline was today and I managed to do it! Yaaay for me. I managed to write an entire 2,000 words for the story I eventually submitted around 1am. I had originally got a story that I had been sitting on for a while about a hospital with aliens in the basement, in fact the title of this blog is a quote from it. However when I came back to it to give the story a final read through, I didn't like it, so I abandoned it. In it's place I speedily wrote one about a radio. This I was much happier with.

However, this blog isn't about me being happy with my work. It is about my major problem in the writing stakes. Namely, the problem of editing. Now I love writing, putting words onto paper and creating these worlds is a real joy. I enjoy coming up with lots of different ideas and running with them, putting them into a story. However, despite all these ideas, all these wonderful worlds and beautiful words, I can't stand what it is I write. I read the words of any story I have written and just start hitting the delete key like a man possessed by the ghost of some rabid editor. Whole waves of text fall victim to the scythe that is the delete key. This is a problem that I will need to overcome if I wish to become a published writer. Otherwise I shall end up becoming my own worst enemy and never getting beyond a title.

In guitar news, I have been practising the chords for "Running to Stand Still" by U2.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

The hardest part

Well, it's been a while since last I blogged. This is because I have been busy and not really had much to say. I did promise that there would be a forthcoming blog on the Indian Premier League. This got cancelled when I watched some of it and it frustrated the life out of me. I love cricket as a sport and really enjoy the T20 version of the sport. However the version presented on ITV4 is so cut up by ad breaks and pointless moments as to make a mockery of the sport.

Rant over.

I have therefore decided to dedicate this blog instead to one of my other Nano aims, namely that of becoming a published author. The key part of becoming a published author is of course having something to write about, one doesn't become a published author by making a candle after all.

I have currently been developing a short story to enter into the opportunity offered by producers of audio adventures of my all time favourite TV show, Doctor Who. The company named Big Finish can be found here. The company have been running a competition to find some short stories for a new range of short story CD's they are looking to produce. I am in the process of writing three separate stories that I am going to then have to choose between to enter.

Now why am I doing this? Well, unseen and non-existent questioner. I am doing it because I simply love to write. I enjoy the idea of creating a world and a series of events. It's the sheer joy of using the language to create this. Part of me also likes the idea of going into a bookshop and seeing my name on a shelf. That is of course the egotistical side of me which is called, for some reason, Kevin.

My ultimate aim really is to get myself published purely for the reasons state above, I don't care much if they become enormous massive Harry Potter style leviathans. It would be nice but I think unlikely. It would be nice to just know that people at least enjoyed reading them, which is I think a much nicer thing to get from reading.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Easy as A,E,D,G,C and other letters

A week has passed since the official launch of TYSIC. As frequent readers (or those who have simply scrolled back through the history) will know, I set myself the aim last week of becoming slightly better at the guitar. This task in theory should have been incredibly easy.

Previous attempts with a guitar have seen me learning one chord (A) and within the space of a few hours forgetting it. This all changed this week as I learnt not one chord but EIGHT. This, as most mathematicians will prove using a simple sum is an EIGHTFOLD increase. The chords I have now learnt are A,D,E,G,C and the minor chords for A,D and E. This has meant that I have now taken them from being mere letters of the alphabet (impressive as they are). They now MEAN something outside of their linguistic context.

Now I don't like picking favourites as it would be wrong to, plus it would hurt the other chords feelings. However, my personal favourite of these chords is G, I don't know why, there is just something about it. Eminor comes a close second.

Another thing that I have developed is switching between these chords, my switching is still rather clunky but there is definitely an improvement from how I was a few days ago.

The next step will be to actually learn how to play a song. I think something relatively simple would be best, no running before walking and other poolside rules.

Next time: A guitar update and also, some writing news.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Talking Football

As promised, aside from the usual updates of my adventures this is the first in a series of additional posts about other things that occur in the world. As the none too subtle picture there --->
indicates, this is a blog about one of my major passions, football.

Football (or as some call it soccer, for reasons known only unto linguists) is a great sport. It contains moments of drama, excitement and comedy. Granted this comedy is in the form of banners, chants and the occasional referee taking a tumble. Often times the sport is depicted as laddish and rather simplistic. At times it can be but it can also be a great leveller, on the pitch, all are equal. There is something about watching football, watching the skills and action of a match is really good.

Little bit over now on with the post. My chosen team is Liverpool but I also follow Huddersfield Town. These two teams are in completly different divisions, which means unless an unfortunate FA Cup tie occurs or both teams end up in the same division through disaster or sheer fortune than my loyalties aren't tried.

This weekend saw the continuation of what many see as the finest Cup in England, the FA. Cup. Over the years this tournament has seen more surprises than, well a very surprising thing. Similes in the comments section please. Rather unsurprisingly perhaps, Chelsea managed to outpace Stoke, Villa beat Reading (coming back from 2-0 down) and Fulham and Tottenham drew forcing a real play. The real surprise however was that Portsmouth managed to beat Birmingham City. Yes despite all their financial woes, Portsmouth managed to outclass Birmingham. This was a real moment of the cup at its best, it was sad that Portsmouth became the first Premiership team to go into administration but seeing them overcome all the troubles was really uplifting. One can only hope that they go on to the Final and win it but even achieving the final would be really good.

Next week, cricket and the IPL.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Commence. Beginning the beguine. Start.

The first day of TYSIC is here! My ten year journey starts today, the day got off to a good start as I saw a man with a long white beard smoking a pipe. I hasten to point out that the man was doing the smoking, not the beard. The days of smoking facial hair are long past I'm afraid. To many my spying of a be-bearded (a word I intend to use more often) man may not seem a good omen to some. Especially those suffering from pogonophobia. However to me it is. A bearded man, is a reassuring sight, one need only look at the list of famous beards to realise that this is true. Santa, Jesus, Brian Blessed, Henry VIII and Charles Darwin. To contrast this a famous pogonophobe is Margaret Thatcher and her reign saw mass strife in the country. That is however a political issue and this isn't the blog for such flights of fancy.

So what does one do now on the commencement of my TYSIC actually mean? It's ten years away from completion, surely a first week can't see an improvement already? Well, humble questioner it can! (of sorts). As mentioned in post number one, this idea is the brainchild of stand-up comedian, author and notoriously slender person Mark Watson. Mark has issued a challenge to his fellow TYSIC followers (yet to have a name chosen). This challenge is simple, take a step towards getting on with ones TYSIC.

Well looking, down my list I will go for my option to become at least competent in a musical instrument. I am afraid that I will be rather clichéd and go for the option of guitar. I have had a guitar situated in my room for years now and have never got round to learning it properly. I have tried to learn chords before now and whilst this has gone well, I have forgotten them by the following day. This is of course a problem if one is to learn an instrument. So I shall have to make a concentrated effort to set aside a few hours a day to practice chords. So by this time next week, I shall hopefully have learned a few chords. The ones I learn will be a surprise.

Now on to more interesting issues. This blog isn't just going to be about TYSIC, that would be rather dull and self indulgent, two things I hope I'm not. Every once in a while a more light hearted, opinion thing on various topics such as sports, literature and TV will appear. These will be much more light hearted in tone and presented in a different style to this.

Until then.

P.S. Please check out the people in my following blogs especially ben, becky, BigDawg and any of thers I have rather foolishly forgotten. Sorry to them

Monday, 1 March 2010

The start (an introduction)

Well, this is it. The start of easily the longest commitment in my life. Forget school, forget the degree. This is the proverbial IT (note the capitals, they are an intrinsic part of all this).

What is a TYSIC?

A TYSIC is an acronym. The letters stand for Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge.

What does this entail?

The concept was created by hilarious stand-up, environmental campaigner and sports fan Mark Watson. Who can be found here. Over the course of the next Ten Years I will be aiming to complete a series of goals that will hopefully improve myself as a person.

What are your goals?

My aims are:
  1. Get myself published
  2. Learn to Drive
  3. Visit a major sporting event (world cup, Olympics, European Championship)
  4. Attain an MA in Museum related stuff
  5. Learn a musical instrument to a competent degree
Hopefully this blog will see me stick to the challenge that I would otherwise forget about after the initial rush. The whole thing starts on March 4th.

Also the blog will see updates on other topics such as sport and anything else that takes my fancy.