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Hello

24 May 2009

This is a personal mumbling blog mumbled by me for me; if you’ve come across it by accident I doubt you’ll find it very interesting.

It isn’t private and you’re welcome to read it, but time is the most precious thing we have and I’d hate you to waste yours, whoever you are.

Who are you anyway?

So, where do you start these things?

It’s like setting off on , although that’s only a little blank box for 140 characters, but with an empty screen in front of you it feels as though there’s an infinite sheet of sullen blank white paper glowering up at you, taunting you to say something, with a sarcastic smirk at every false start. Why does blank paper (or its digital equivalent) smirk anyway; and can you anthropomorphise an inanimate object?

Why am I starting this blog? (I’m talking to myself now) I’ll just be rambling, well, mumbling, probably resorting to asinine remarks and excessive punning. I suppose it’s not going to harm anyone, and you (now I’m talking to you and assuming you’re still there, otherwise this bracketed sentence in has been a complete waste of digit activity) can always click ‘close tab’.

Maybe it’ll put my thoughts in some sort of order?

Yes, now there’s a start; what I’m not going to do or write about.

I’m not going to:

  1. Divulge life changing secrets
  2. Reveal celebrity gossip
  3. Promise to vastly increase your online presence
  4. Sell anything
  5. Write startling prose and amusing anecdotes
  6. Compose pithy judgemental articles
  7. Write very much or often (it takes me a lot of time and effort to compose anything vaguely legible)
  8. Inspire anyone to… well, do anything.

As an avid reader and devourer of news and blogs, I know for a fact that almost everyone out there that can knock my scribblings into a cocked hat with a mere flick of a biro/keyboard (and where the hell does “knocked into a cocked hat” come from? – I looked it up; see comment).

So… what I am going to do or write about.

I’m going to:

  1. Blether on a bit without a particular destination in mind
  2. Use the spelling and grammar checker without pause (I have personally frustrating ‘word finding difficulties’ which I’ll also probably talk about)
  3. Write up some family history stuff (might be of some interest to relations?)
  4. Plagiarise (but only relevant things written by relatives who are either agreeable or dead)
  5. Veer off at a tangent quite frequently
  6. Record a few personal thoughts and attitudes
  7. Ooh, I know; write lots of lists (I find endless and boring lists irresistible; before PDAs I used to carry lots of reminder and ‘to do’ lists around with me)

I tend to think in images, so I find it quite difficult to turn thoughts into words. Perhaps just writing away will help me get used to verbalising the imagery in my head? I can always delete it.

Dear me. (Incidentally, that’s an exclamation and not the start of a self-addressed letter. Yes, I suppose I should have put an exclamation mark after it, rather than an explanation) Okay.

Dear me!

That’s far more successful.

By the way, I tend not to swear normally, at least not in the accepted fashion, although I don’t particularly object to the use of expletives. They’re so common that you don’t often notice, so although they’re not exactly an articulate demonstration of the use of language, it’s only a form of expression and isn’t likely to affect the rainforests, the ice caps or to increase famine in Africa. If swearing affects your sensibilities you probably need to start worrying about something that matters.

The expletives I use aren’t expressive enough to be called expletives. I often use ‘Good grief’ and ‘Dear me’. In speech I also tend to use ‘blimey’ and ‘crikey’ quite often, much to my own embarrassment. It’s just a product of my 1950s, relatively middle class and Methodist upbringing; does tend to make me sound a prat though. Or perhaps a “little old grey haired, hunchbacked, mumbling nerd” as Alice would say.

I assume you derive your initial speech patterns from parents, and mine never swore to my knowledge or memory, or only in the use of the frail expressions that I’ve been saddled with. The worst I can remember my father exclaiming when he was really, really angry was “Hell fire and damnation!” And he wasn’t even particularly religious; down to his upbringing again I expect.

“Ye gods and little fishes!” No particular reason for putting that really, it’s just that while I was thinking about my dad I remembered that was one of his exclamations.

Actually, I have been known to quietly curse ‘Bloody hell!’, but it has to be over something quite surprising or annoying; running out of chocolate at an inopportune moment for example.

Oh dear (there’s another feeble one), that reminds me of an even worse exclamation that I picked up from my mother. If she dropped something or tripped up, she would say “Oops a daisy”. Have you ever heard a more ridiculous curse; where on Earth does it come from? (Digressing a bit, but just had to look it up: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/ups-a-daisy.html) Of course this was ingrained in my speech as a boy and now if I let go of something or stumble I can’t stop myself uttering it. Prat comes to mind again, and it’s probably the reason a few people seem to think I might be gay.

Well, can’t be helped, you are what you are.

Now I can’t for the life of me remember why I typed “Dear me!”, except that it wasn’t the start of a self addressed letter.

This exercise is supposed to be a therapeutic and interesting process for me; if you’re still here at this point you must have an extremely low boredom threshold. Wait a minute; that should be high boredom threshold.

I have an incredibly high boredom threshold; I can stare at the detail on maps for hours on end, or play Civilization IV ad infinitum, or… perhaps that’s enough clarification.

Well, I’ve managed to traverse the top margin and dip my pen in the inky shallows of the infinite sheet of blank, sullen, glowering paper, so it’s a start.

The next blank page is glowering on the horizon though. That makes it sound like Chernobyl.

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2 Responses to Hello

  1. MumblingNerd says:

    Well, apparently the phrase “knocked into a cocked hat” (meaning debunk, render useless or unbelievable) is from the early 1800s and refers to a style of hat with the brim turned up on three sides (the three-cornered tricorne hat worn by officers in the American Revolution) giving it a distorted look.

  2. christine summerfield says:

    Hi Roy

    Have just found you – but no time to talk!!
    Mum, Edna, lost your address ages ago so if you could let me have it please she’ll be able to send you a card!

    Will be in touch.

    Chris

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