The Highs and Woes of 2012

Another year is coming to a close, the older we all get the faster time seems to go by. It’s like it’s on double speed and as much as we may prefer it to slow down considerably, it just builds up momentum until another period of time has vanished into the no longer future.

This year:

I suffered from depression.
I learnt to live with medication and then I was allowed to finish taking it.
I bought a bicycle.
I exercised; not just walking to and from buses, but rode miles and miles, swam just as far and even visited a proper gym.
I joined an archery club, bought a bow and then stopped going.
I got a tattoo.
I placed a bet in a betting shop.
I completed several things on my list of things to do before I die.
I started the year unemployed and I’ve ended it that way too.
I had two temporary jobs, though, which were so very different from each other (one with teenagers, the other in retail).
I realised that working with children and young adults was becoming harder and harder to do.
I reached five years service with the Scout Association…and I left my position as a leader.
I watched a little girl (my friend’s daughter) grow from just a few weeks old into a one year old.
I took up knitting.
I baked many, many, many cakes.
I took two holidays (aka vacations); to Cornwall, UK and Narbonne, France.
I met the Katys.
I somehow lost one of the Katys and am still not sure why.
I visited the set of Skins.
I made mistakes which still haunt me because I don’t handle doing the wrong thing well.
I had counselling.
I realised I was gay.
I found out my cousin was gay.
I came out to my parents.
I wrote many stories, and yet feel like I accomplished nothing.
I became so frustrated with writers block (probably caused by my depression medication).
I gave up temporary work because I didn’t want to take an opportunity someone else would appreciate more.
I celebrated Christmas in my own home for the first time in my 25 years.

It’s been a year full of experience. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I’ve felt very numb. I’ve visited places, fell in love with places which I didn’t expect to become so special so quickly. I’ve loved and lost (though not through death) many people and grieved for those I hoped would come back but didn’t. I’ve been so far up that I couldn’t see for all of the clouds and so far down that the dirt blocked my view.

I can’t even begin to explain some of the feelings I’ve felt this year, I don’t expect anybody to understand it all. All I know is that I have reasons to not want this year to end, but twice as many to hope that I get better luck in 2013.

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Opinions and where to find them

I have opinions.

 

That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Most people have some form of opinions, even if it’s merely that they don’t have opinions on lots of issues.

 

Sometimes I feel like I have too many, or they’re too controversial.

 

Do you ever wish you could just spill your guts and screw the consequences? That’s how I feel frequently because there are things I have opinions on which I’d love to blog about or talk about. But will I? Probably not.

 

Certain issues in society seem to provoke such intense reactions from the general public that it’s very hard to see things differently to the majority, does that make it wrong? No. The majority wouldn’t see it like that though. So that’s why I don’t bother to blog about some of the things that really grind my gears.

 

And sometimes I just don’t want to have to deal with the fall out and the lack of understanding of both sides of the argument. I get where people are coming from and I respect their view, but the chance of many people respecting mine appears to be slim. I guess that’s just the nature of controversial issues.

 

It’s not like the ‘issues’ are that bad, my opinions are only things that other people may be thinking…so if you want an opinion from me, you’ll have to cut open my brain, or something.

The price of greatness is responsibility.

My last blog, in response to lilmisskaty’s, was about how much things have changed over the last century.

But with greatness, responsibility sits beside it vying for attention. Something which I believe has been lost, to an extent.

With new inventions and progression we have created electric can openers, drive thrus, sat nav and the like. Fantastic inventions designed to make life easier.

But with making life easier comes the inevitable; laziness.

How many of these companies who invent ‘amazing’, ‘innovative’ products realise that they’re contributing to the laziness of others?

Automatic vaccum cleaners, you don’t need to push, you don’t need to move, you don’t even need to stand up. Instead you can carry on with whatever task you were doing before, whilst the floor is being vaccumed beneath your feet.

Drive thru ATMs and Starbucks are few and far between in the UK, but they do exist and well, they mean you don’t even need to get out of your car to do basic tasks that people do every single day.

Internet shopping has become both a slice of brilliance in life and also a massive hindrance for the high street and small businesses. We all like a good deal, 99p (or 99c) books on Amazon, eBay, it’s all so useful. We can sell our old items, we can buy new items, we can buy second hand items. Whatever you need, you can find it online. You can’t even find everything you need in a town centre anymore, yet on the internet, there it is. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home and you can buy things through your mobile internet on the go. You don’t even need to go to your shopping basket on some websites anymore, you can merely click ‘one-click payment’ and the money is taken from your bank.

eBooks and game downloads work in the same way, if you own a Kindle then you just have to click buy now and the book is there for you to read. No longer do you even need to wait for a physical book or game to arrive on your doorstep.

Microwave meals are quick and easy, you don’t need to spend twenty minutes chopping up vegetables and cooking meat, you merely put a plastic, frozen container into a metal box and press start. A few minutes later, the food is there waiting for you to eat it.

In a time where obesity is a real problem, growing waistlines and inactivity, why are we so adamant that we need more and more products designed to make life ‘easier’?

Isn’t the opposite happening? These easier options are making life harder for those who no longer go outside to play tennis (opting instead for the Wii sports game and so getting less physical exercise), for families who are all considered obese (thanks to fast food and microwave meals, over home cooked, healthy options) and even cars themselves have become nothing more than transportation from A to B, even if A to B is a ten minute walk away.

Don’t get me wrong, I love many technological advances. I live and breathe computers, iPads and Twitter for mobile. That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the other side of the coin, the flip side to the greatest inventions the world has ever seen.

The fact sat navs exist is fantastic, but at what expense? Some people have no idea how to use a map or have no sense of direction because they rely heavily on that little box with the annoying voice.

Supermarket deliveries are great if you’re ordering for sixty people (which happened to me over the summer), but for the family of four, it means that families aren’t getting that exercise of walking around the supermarket, children don’t get the chance to learn how to navigate around a large store and you don’t get to have a natter with an old friend/acquaintance as you bump into each other in aisle four.

Companies aren’t being held responsible for their actions, instead we are accepting more and more items designed for laziness. We want the latest technologies as soon as they come out and we’re not willing to wait to purchase them, pre-ordering helps with that. Nor do we even need to go to the bank to check that we can afford them, just hop online, transfer money between accounts and bam, the item will be with you in 3-5 working days.

I hope that one day the world will take a step backwards, embrace new technology, but enjoy them on the side of physical activities and getting out of the house. Otherwise, we might as we live in a pod with internet, television and fast food that appears whenever we feel hungry. Or those chairs in Wall-E where people who are overweight and obese merely press a button and they’re served all that they desire.

Title is a quote from Winston Churchill.

Dear The King of London (formerly known as his right honourable David Cameron, but let’s face it, you’re not honourable in the slightest)

Dear The King of London (formerly known as his right honourable David Cameron, but let’s face it, you’re not honourable in the slightest)

Did you know that your country (That’s the UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND not the South East of England) is struggling? No? I didn’t think so.

You’re so caught up in Olympic Fever and looking after your rich friends that you can’t even see what is going on just above your head. Your country needs you, no I’m not talking about a war (though I’d be happy for anyone from north of Watford Gap to fight to take back control), I’m talking about this North/South divide. Yes, it’s real. It’s real and you don’t care about it. In fact, it’s not even North/South anymore, it’s the South East surrounded by a few little places along the South coast. As soon as you hit Devon, it’s like being in another country.

Did you know that the empty shop rate is higher in the North than it is elsewhere? Well, guess what, it is. And did you know that you’ve chosen high streets in the SOUTH EAST to receive money to help their high streets? Erm, what help do they need?

You’ve given some money to somewhere in Devon to help them with car parking and you’ve given some money to Liverpool to help with mentoring young people in business. But what good will that do for the rest of this country? Yes, it’s a country, it’s four countries in one…not four countries and a capital city that is the only country you know exists.

So, Dave, can I call you Dave? Probably not, but I will anyway. I’m sick of this North/South divide, this ‘London is the centre of the universe’, it’s not. For more people in this country it is a bane on our existence and only ceases to make life harder for those elsewhere.

How about you drill a hole around the edges of the South East and sail off into the sea? Or better still, hand the North and West over to Scotland and Wales (let’s face it, we’re another year with the Tories away from hating the so called ‘English’ as much as they do). I’d rather seek Independence with the rest of this so called UNITED KINGDOM and rename ourselves into an Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman and Welshman joke.

Yours Never Sincerely,

An Angry Northerner Who Is Considering Becoming Scottish

The Age of Celebrity

The age of celebrity frustrates me in many ways, not least the amount of pointless rubbish we are subjected to, as consumers. Every day I browse a website (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk) and every day I find myself getting more and more irate over various ‘articles’.

I enjoy browsing Digital Spy, for the most part it’s one of my favourite websites, which is why I visit every day. I like to find out what’s going on in the world – perhaps I am to blame in some respect for that – I especially like to find out any news about the soaps, despite not watching some of them. My favourite section is probably the ‘Odd’ articles that crop up every few hours. For example, the house crashing into a car or a road in China being blocked by 5000 ducks (check it out, it’s hilarious).

Unfortunately, in the middle of the information I seek to find I am also forced to read headlines about reality television shows (which for some reason are almost always covering not only the reality TV section but also the TV section itself, like there’s nothing else on), not to mention the most pointless pieces of so called news you will ever find.

Exhibit A: EXCLUSIVE: Cheryl Cole has an opinion (*headline is not accurate but the real headline does use the word exclusive).

Shock horror. Cheryl Cole thinks something should happen. I’d love to win the lottery or be given enough money to build my own house. Does that mean it’s news? No. First and foremost, the aforementioned article is merely Cheryl Cole saying she’d like to see Girls Aloud’s music turned into a jukebox musical (my opinions on those shall be saved for another day, they are on the negative side though). Nobody has approached her or the other girls about doing so. So where is the story?! Erm, there isn’t one. She simply said it would be nice.

Yes, Cheryl, maybe that would be nice for you. You know what would be nice for me? Never having to read about you ever again. Please go get a job doing something out of the spotlight. Is that likely to happen any time soon? About as likely as a Girls Aloud musical being announced next week…

Exhibit B: Kim Kardashian’s boyfriend isn’t an idiot! That’s right, you’ve heard it here first…her boyfriend knows everything about her. I don’t know how many of you placed a bet that had they been asked to appear on Mr and Mrs they would lose miserably, because I sure as hell considered making it my mission in life to make sure all celebrities are in relationships with people who know everything about them. Oh no, wait…

Exhibit C: Frankie Cocozza to pretend to be Justin Bieber at Glastonbury. I know, I know, that’s nonsense, right? Well, guess what? He CUT HIS HAIR. OMG. Shock horror. What is happening in this world? Aside from the fact that I would like to ask who he even is…yes, I know he was in some reality talent singing show…but who is he? He was kicked off. He’s a druggie. And why is he still in the media spotlight? Can someone please enlighten me? Oh and his new haircut is identical to Justin Bieber…would be like to know that? He’d probably hate that comparison. But there you go.

The Broadway show of Sister Act being closed is news, this will affect many people who may have been yet to see it but had hoped to do so (the website also has an American side, so it is probably most relatable to them). News of an ex-Doctor Who actor dying is sad and fans of the show would naturally like to be informed of such a fact. Even informing us viewing figures for various television shows is informative and useful for those following their favourite show hoping that it will survive the chop.

The exhibits above? Not so much.

The way people can become famous for, well, nothing, is something which is a rather absurd concept to me. I don’t want to be famous, nor do I ever have any intention of being so. I don’t want a fifteen minutes of fame…especially because fifteen minutes these days turns into a presenting career and your own reality television show about how difficult your life is juggling your family and your job whilst taking drugs behind closed doors.

What is so wonderful about that?!

*yes, I know not all celebrities are like this, but there are so many who just aren’t famous for anything, what even is the purpose of them being on television?! I’d like an answer, really…because I’m confused why this is so normal these days.

An Open Letter to Someone Who May Never Read This

I want you to know that I’m angry.

I’m angry because you left without much explanation and you didn’t even say goodbye.

You said you’d keep in contact. But you didn’t.

You told me you’d never do that, you said you’d always find a way to contact me and you haven’t.

I’m angry because you know how much you mean to me, you know how much I rely on you being a part of my life. You know all of that and yet you still left.

I know there are reasons why and I fully understand the potential reasons why, but I always make excuses for other people’s actions. None of that stops me from being hurt and angry by this.

I just needed you to know that I’m angry at you for doing everything you said you wouldn’t do.

I feel let down because I thought I meant more to you than this.

And most of all I miss you more every single day that not you’re in it.

But I’m still angry that this is what our time together has come to.