So work was called off today due to the snow. I figured I might as well make the most of it so I went for a walk round the reservoir, into town and back along the canal. The snow drifts on the east side of the reservoir were so deep they swallowed my legs, and I could help but laugh as I struggled to get though them.
When I was about halfway round, I notced a robin watching me from a tree. He seemed pretty fearless and I was able to get really close and snap this great photo:
This wasn’t the only bird; there were about six of the little guys all sat in the trees around me, eyeing me inquisitively. Then, one of them flew right up to me and hovered in front of my face. Instinctively I held out a finger… and he landed right on it and started looking at me expectantly.
I couldn’t help but smile in wonder at what was going on. I had a robin perched on my finger while all around me robins and bluetits flitted between the trees. My friend tried pecking at my hand and then realised that I wasn’t particularly tasty.
I continued along the path and then realised that the birds were following me! A red-breasted escort, so to speak. I held out my hand for another little robin and on cue, he hopped onto my hand:
Despite the -4°C temperatures, I couldn’t help but feel a warm feeling spread right through my body. It really was a magical experience, and one that I will not soon forget.
If you’re at home due to the snow, take the opportunity to go exploring – you never know what joys await.
And just like that I
Was in Toronto with you.
We were all dressed up.
Yesterday I spent half a day washing my car. Now, to many of you that sounds liek a boring prospect. Indeed, to ME it sounds like a boring prospect. But here’s the thing: I wasn’t doing it on my own. I was doing it with my father.
Me and dad have had a strained relationship over the years. There’s times he was there for me, times he wasn’t. Times I later found out where he fought my corner but never told me. We had a LONG period where we barely spoke to each other. There were many times I vowed I’d never be like him.
But recently, we’ve been building bridges. He has helped me out a LOT with my house, dealing with the shit time at work, and he’s mellowed out a lot. And so any opportunity I get to spend some quality time with Dad, seems like a good thing to me.
He had this cleaning treatment for the car called “Diamond White”. It’s some chemical compound you apply to the car, wait half an hour, apply a different chemical compoud, wait an hour, then buff it up and it’s all shiny and supposedly you don’t have to wax your car for 5 years. We spent the morning applying this crap all over the car, talking about the news, my trip to Cuba, and all manner of other things. It was great.
At one point he gave me some metal polish so I could “get the chrome bits shiny as a diamond in a goat’s arse”. I told him it wasn’t chrome just plastic. “Just do it!” he said. Then he told me to do the wheels.
“The wheels aren’t chrome,” I said.
“I don’t give a shit, get them shiny, ” he replied. This should give you some insight into the sort of person my dad is. Still, I got those wheels shiny as hell. I’m glad he talked me into it.
After the car was gleaming brighter than the sun, Dad took me out for lunch in town. We talked about how much the place has changed over the past twenty years or so and shared travel stories. After that, he took me to a health food shop to buy me “some vegan goodies”.
It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Not just because my car was shining and I get some sweet seitan jerky. I realised that for all our faults, me and my dad are actually pretty similar.
And I’m pretty proud of that.
People baked mud into bricks and built
Towering edifices to impress their gods.
They made discoveries unravelling the mysteries of the universe.
People fought against injustice,
They took a stand for what they believed was right,
They banded together to help the weak.
They watched the walls fall.
They stood defiant in front of tanks and refused to move.
People worked on unimaginably complex problems and solved them.
They crossed the void between earth and the moon
To land on that distant world and return.
People felt joy at each other’s achievements,
They felt the warmth of love in their hearts
And they felt the sting of betrayal,
The heat of jealousy and the bile of rage.
People meant something once.
People accomplished so much
But none of it mattered.
None of it mattered.
None of it.
Hold me in those eyes,
Don’t drop me now.
Suspend me, pull me in
Closing slowly until…
Pull away, avoid contact;
I’m sorry – we’re both sorry.
It wasn’t supposed to happen.
Not like this.
No page from your imaginary script,
No cue from the director,
This is wrong.
So why do I find myself repeating that tired cliche?
Why do I see this same scene
Replayed before me every time I close my eyes?
If this was so wrong,
Why have I carried it with me for years?
Why does the memory still raise a smile?
And why am I unable to imagine
Anyone in your place?
Bird of ill omen?
Not today Mr. Magpie;
This day is my own
I’m dancing with your
Girlfriend, and there is not a
Damn thing you can do
Band practice cancelled.
Ten mile run to father’s house;
Day very well spent.
Maybe taking the
Redeye home wasn’t such a
Great idea. Oh well…
It probably comes as no surprise to anyone reading that I’m a pretty big fan of The Witcher. Although I’ve not read the books (I really should fix that), I love the computer games, and everything about them – the setting, the characters, the shades of grey in the decisions you have to make. And Triss Merrigold is pretty much my perfect woman. But I digress…
Anyway, my friend Nathan is also a massive Witcher fanboy. In fact way moreso than me. One of the reasons I love this guy is the fact that when he gets into something, he doesn’t do it by halves. Literally everything related to his current subject of focus must be obtained, devoured, investigated, learned, lived. That level of enthusiasm is completely energising to be around, and in all honesty, it’s helped me through many a rough patch over the past three years. Nathan’s enthusiasm is infectious, and I find myself more excited about anime, more interested in manga, more addicted to videogames than ever before, simply by hanging around with him. The world needs more people like this.
It was my birthday recently, and Nathan made me the most awesome gift. A “Witcher Starter Set”. It comprises a Witcher’s medallion, two Witcher’s potions (swallow and tawny owl) and bag full of orens. The medallion was purchased, but the rest were hand crafted. The wax seals on the potions are so well done, the whole thing is great. Nathan told me “the potions are technically drinkable, but it’s probably best if you don’t.”
These are EXACTLY the sorts of gifts I love to receive, and I’ve already had comments today about how much happier I seem than normal. Check out the picture below (taken at work, I’ll try and get some better photos when I get home)
I even received my first contract: hunt and kill the twisted “Gove” which has been skulking around Westminster!