Monday, November 30, 2009

Adventures in Blogland

Just over a year ago I started bloggaging, taking my first tentative, shaky steps into the murky, surreal woodland that is the blogoshpere, like Bambi exploring Kenya. This is a woodland that would make Tolkien shudder with the ethereal strangeness that abounds. Where creatures of the night live side by side with rainbow-hued optimists, where hardcore nookie fanatics cross paths with knitting enthusiasts, where rampant daily contributors brush shoulders with occasional nibblers.

The world of the blog is varied. Hot and humid one moment, just a short few steps away and you're in a temperate zone utterly suited to your tastes, and then a quick reconnaissance in another direction and the temperature drops, leaving you unable to decide whether you should stay and explore or scurry back to more comfortable environs.

It was a strange experience in those early, embryonic days.

You make a little camp in that woodland with no maps, no native guide, no bushcraft skills other than your inherent foraging abilities which may or may not be up to the task. You choose a name for your blog. You take about five seconds because you have to put something on the sign, and it's not as though it's going to be a permanent fixture in your life for the foreseeable future is it? You'll probably be deleting it in a day or two anyway.

So, you've named your blog. Job done. You're now ready to get posting! Let the creative juices pour forth!

Er . . .

What to put on it? You try and recall what they taught you about blogging when you were at school in the eighties, but the lessons on blogs must have been boring because you can't remember anything. It's like home economics where you vaguely recall coming home with a chocolate refrigerator cake that one time, but have no actual memory of the lesson. Or the teacher. Or the classroom.

You need ideas.

You sneak through the woodland and peer at other peoples set-ups through the (sometimes quite literal) bushes. What are they like? Are they interesting? Have they got any advice? Would they share it with you? Some sites are actually designed to help you with blogging, which is lucky. You creep up to them and, when no-one is around, snatch a few nuggets of information and then scurry back into the undergrowth to unpeel the nutty loot you've nicked.

You discover that the subjects covered by blogs can be encompassed in just one simple word, which should make things easy.

Unfortunately that word is 'everything'.

You search some professional sites for more info and they obligingly give it up for your perusal.

You need a topic, apparently. You need to sell stuff. You must categorise your blog, so people know what to expect, so like-minded explorers can find you amongst the chaotic ecosystem that is the blogland. It's all about planning what you do, then doing what you plan. It's dynamic. It's proactive. It's about taking incentivisation out of the box so you can action it to the next level. Their blogs are all stainless steel and black marble and healthy looking plastic plants.

You have no idea what they are talking about, and slink back to your little blog camp, which is made from metaphorical driftwood, some randomly placed moss and a shell.

You come to the conclusion that, to be a successful blogger, you must be incredibly organised with an innate sense of direction and a iron-clad self image.


You search a bit more and, happily, discover that there is a sub-division of blogs which appeals to you.

You shall class yourself as "miscellaneous"!

Now you've got an idea, you set out your stall and hang up some of your wares for other people wandering the trails to have a look at. You try and keep them as fresh as you can, and see what comes blundering past. You smile coquettishly and bat your eyelids in a 'come hither' fashion.

The blogging begins.

Flash forward one year with wavy cinematographic time-travel lines and sound effects that go "scuddly doo scuddly doo scuddly doo!".

Name of blog: Still the same.
Category of blog: Still miscellaneous.
Stuff in blog: Still just your witterings.
Plans for the future: Er . . . carry on regardless.

The other critters in the woodland have turned out to be, not only approachable, but outright friendly and supportive, and there exists, depsite huge variations in form and function, more uniting similarities than differences. I'm not saying there aren't bloggers out there who are beyond liking or even understanding, but if you come in and look around, maybe make a bit of an effort, you will without doubt find someone who shares your interests, or your sense of humour, or your hatred of ginger and fingerless gloves. Or bobble hats. Or the French.

So, here I am, still at it. I was thinking of getting an ID card with "BLOGGER" written on it so that, when I inevitably get caught taking a photo in a public convenience I've got a vague excuse legitimate reason.

Bloggers tell it like it is. Or at least like they think it is, and because history is written by humans and doesn't depend at all on nebulous concepts like "facts" and "truth", this amounts to the same thing.

As Socrates said when he wrote Spiderman, with this great power comes great responsibility. Blogging has an effect on society, very much like walking through a crowded shopping mall whilst wind-milling full nappies at arms length and shouting "LISTEN TO ME!" at the top of your shrill, shrill voice.

It gets noticed.

With this in mind, I manfully shoulder the burden of the blog, and bring important issues to the fore. Things the ordinary man in the basement might not notice.

For instance, I was in Sainsbury's recently and saw that the cafe had one of those wooden shields given out as prizes displayed proudly for all to see. I approached, expecting some sort of Jamie Oliver prize for best carrot and coriander soup, or an award for mopping up aisle three in record time. I snapped a pic:

Turns out it was for the Most Improved Department.

Is it just me or does that simply make you wonder what they were like before they improved? Especially when they seem simply average now?

All the little shields on it were blank as well, and even the fake silver scroll in the middle is bereft of congratulatory wordage, which begs the question of whether or not the shield is simply passed around the various departments in the supermarket in an attempt to boost morale, like giving everyone an "Employee of the Month" certificate at some point regardless of their abilities, even if their productivity is on a par with navel lint and they spell 'customer' with three Zs.

Or maybe it was simply stolen by the cafe supervisor to throw the Environmental Health Officers off the scent.

"Cockroaches? Well, that's impossible because we're the Most Improved Department I'll have you know. Got a shield and everything look. Now, do you want legs in your mulligatawny?"

This post is a
celebration of my one percent of a century of blogging, and reflects on the sorts of things I like to incorporate into this digital tome. Such blue-sky thinking is useful because it allows me to non-sequitur another picture I took into it.

One of my favourite topics is the out-of-context drawing from childrens books, which I am subjected to on a regular basis and so must amuse myself in other ways, as they tend to lack plot twists and surprises.

I've done it before, and I'll do it again. From a recent sojourn to our local library with my sprog:

Splat indeed.

You see? Bringing the important issues to life is the essence of the kernel at the heart of blogging.

No need to thank me. It's what I do.

I'm a blogger.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wet and not so wild

You may remember a post I did recently about cheering myself up with yellow things.

Yellow is good. Yellow is bright. Yellow is happy.

In that post I gave some examples of yellow things that are positive. Bananas, jaundice, Mr Custard.

Actually, not jaundice, unless you're positive for hepatitis. But definitely Mr Custard, the American Bullfrog at Slimbridge wildlife and wetland trust:

And yes, there may have been some labelling that Mr Custard might have drunk like a fish, hence his hue, but it was generally accepted that his yellowness was as a result of albinism, which isn't really his fault, no matter how you look at it.

We were there yesterday, and my son was relatively excited about seeing Mr Custard, saying "Want to see lellow prog!" three hundred and eleven times until we started to suspect that he might want to see the yellow frog.

Dutifully, we trudged towards the amphibian ghetto.

Imagine our distress when we were greeted by this sign:

Mr Custard had croaked.

And "retention of fluids"?

Looks like I was right about the . . . er . . . *makes drinky-drinky motion with hand*

My son was a little confused, but I think that, at two, he's ready for the "death talk".

It was going to happen soon anyway, what with my driving and the suicidal pheasants that abound round these parts, so I explained to him, in terms he could understand, that Mr Custard was no longer with us, and had gone to a better place. Possibly a heron's colon.

He got the message, and walked out with a new appreciation of life and it's adherent ephemerality.

"Lellow prog dead!" he announced as he strode past some other children, breaking them in easily for the sad news.

Luckily, Slimbridge has some other new American imports, which are proving to be a big attraction.


These are North American otters, and although we do have a British version (the Eurasian otter), Slimbridge has these for a couple of reasons. The main one is that they needed a home, and they had one going spare. The other is that the American species is bigger, brasher, louder, more boisterous, likes showing off and doesn't mind being watched by an audience:

Typical yanks.

Despite being brown, the second saddest colour* otters are the embodiment of joi de vivre, and just the tonic for getting over the sad demise of Mr Custard. And the two, apart from both being American, are closer ecologically than one might at first suspect.

Apparently, otters eat frogs on a regular basis, so it all demonstrated the great, crunchy, chewy wonder that is the cycle of life.

* the first being puce, because nothing good is ever puce.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Travel Ugh.

London! Home of Londoners! Birthplace of cockney chicken penang* and Her Majesty the Pearly Queen.

I like London. It's different to the rest of the country, almost like a city state on it's own, surrounded by the moat of the M25 to keep invaders out by making them queue until they lose interest. London has so much going for it that a trip there justifies an entire blog post. Quite a long post at that, because one must bring these out of the way places to the attention of the general populace.

Feel free to skip through to the end, because there's a picture of a cockroach.

The goodladywife and I booked a four star hotel near to Hyde Park via an internet agency that specialises in last minute bookings. Can't remember it's name. It was pleasant enough, but I've never stayed in a hotel in London, and you don't get a huge amount for your money. Basically, a clean small room with an en suite and a kettle. Sort of the absolute basic you'd expect from any hotel really, but apparently this was construed to be worthy of four stars, which does make you wonder what you get in a three or two star establishment. Bed-bugs possibly.

It was perfectly acceptable for our needs though, and we settled in with a cup of tea, supped from a cup that all hotels everywhere seem to have, specially designed so you can't get your fingers through the handle, and end up pinching the cup between thumb and forefinger like an errant child's ear. This adds excitement to your beverage as you're fully aware, at any moment, the whole cup might rotate through 90 degrees and deposit scalding liquid onto your genitals.

Then, we went out.


Shining jewel of the South East. A beacon of civilisation in a turbulent world. A monument to ancient and modern urban accomplishment. Shops!

Two things let a man know that he is, for sure, in that city of cities. The first is the sudden barrage of different languages, from the melting pot that is London's cultural milieu. Every other person seems to speak a different lingo or has an exotic accent, and far from this being a Daily Mail reader's realised nightmare of uncontrolled immigration, in reality simply demonstrates what a world-spanning magnet the city is. I liked it.

The second sign is grey bogies.

A spot of nasal excavation will reveal that, after but 24 hours in London, one's nose goblins have gone from the usually healthy mix of oyster-like verdantness to a monochromatic rubbery sludge. This is a cause for concern because the grey bogey is very similar in concept to the green crisp, in that you're never sure whether it's safe to eat.


But I'm not here to write about boogers. I shall save that for another post. This one is all about our trip to the capital. The Capital of Eng-er-land.

Firstly, we indulged in a Thames-side walk, from Tower Bridge to the London Eye, a nice genteel stroll which was easy on the legs. I was quite surprised by just how pleasant it was. We took a number of detours to examine places we'd never bothered with before. St Katherine's Docks, for example, was a collection of expensive, yet slightly aging yachts suggesting that it was once a sort of inner city Monaco, where rich folks parked their gin-palaces for the fifty-one weeks of the year they weren't at sea. It was so close to the thronging crowds of Tower Bridge yet we only saw a couple of other people in the whole area:

Along the Thames are some great alleyways, mudflats, even hidden beaches with fishing cormorants and small yellow wagtails bobbing along the shoreline which came as a surprise. Not sure what I was expecting, but not pretty wildlife. Maybe a river ecosystem consisting of hairless cats and some sort of sub-human monkeys descended from feral chimbley sweeps.

At one point on the walk all that water took a toll on my physiology and I became the proud owner of a full bladder, so began to look around for a public loo. London suddenly became the Land That Bogs Forgot, which was a tad uncivilised. I considered giving the Golden Hinde a bit of a golden shower, but despite the absence of people making such an action possible, I could see lots of cameras keeping an eye on us for our own safety. With such omnipotent powers of observation being apparent, I declined to go au naturale, because the todger police would certainly have arrested me for possession before you could say urine retention.

Instead, we finally opted for a pub called the Mudlark, named after the street urchins who would comb the thameside barefoot with primitive metal detectors for a living, in the days before Crocs and child labour laws. About 1983 I think. If they could have seen into the future the urchins would no doubt have been pleased that, in their honour, I could have a decent local pint from a proper glass with a handle on it and everything, whilst mulling over what a rough life they had.

We went past a big tower in London, I forget what it was called, but it was essentially part of an enormous fortress that has been used as a safe house for royal types, a mint and a prison. Putting aside the initial considerations of housing the nation's wealth next to convicted felons, the place was very atmospheric, and that was just from the outside. I would have paid to go in but I'm extremely mean.

Traitor's Gate was particularly resonant with the clinging fug of unpleasant history:

I'm not sure why anyone would use Traitor's Gate. I mean, if you go in by that entrance, you're just giving yourself away really. Even if I was an actual traitor, I would've played it safe and used another door.

We ended up at the London Eye, a big ol' ferris wheel erected by some well-off carnies, presumably, and I had planned to go on it. In the end, I decided not to, for a number of reasons. The first was that it had gone dark in that selfish autumnal way that November has about it. The second was that there was still a big queue, and the third was that the damn thing didn't go very fast or even upside down. Disappointing.

An evening visit to Soho to sample an Indian restaurant called The Masala Zone was next on the itinerary, and that was just excellent. I've always liked Soho, but it seems to have changed since I was last here many years ago. A meander through shows that it's a lot less seedy than I remembered. Possibly a lot less interesting too. Presumably the internet has allowed men perverts to look at porn for free in the comfort of their own basements, so the dodgy cinemas have gone. There were lots of variations of trendy Anne Summers type shops, although I noted one was called "Trashy Lingerie" which got The Jules Seal Of Approval for Honest Advertising.

There was also one called "British Sex Shop" which was doing a brisk business in hessian condoms and posters showing both sexual positions**.

A final visit to a pub for lasties involved a live band and local ales, which was a pleasant end to the day.

The next morning we had a choice. Breakfast in the hotel for sixteen quid each, or a local cafe for a full English at £5.50. We opted for the latter, and were glad we did, because other than the strange lack of a possessive 's' on the sign, it was all good:

Sheila's had pictures of famous folk on the wall, like Woody Allen sitting on the steps reading (maybe a script? Or a hotel bill? Or the wife's school report?). You know a place is good when it's full of local workmen eating there and asking for tea and "free shaggers", which I was quite excited about until my phrase book translated this as three sugars.

We took a walk around the diamond district, which involved, well, some shops selling diamonds. Yep. Shops with all diamonds in them. Fascinating stuff. If you like glittery stones. I was more interested in the fact that, on the same road, was this innocuous building:

This was, apparently, where the Maxim machine gun was invented. It was conceived by Sir Hiram (and Fire 'em) Maxim who, according to my imagination, got fed up with his colleagues stealing his biscuits, and decided to exact efficient revenge.

Nearby we found a lovely old church on Ely Place, which is a small area owned by the crown and not subject to the everyday laws of the UK, let alone London, and officially even the police must get permission from the commissionaire to go in.

I discovered that the reason for such secrecy and security is to be found in the church. Like the Da Vinci Code, I found proof of a conspiracy about Jesus that predates not only the bible, or written history, but even the very existence of humanity itself.

You will almost certainly be aware from theology classes at school of the theory that God's chosen people were, in fact dinosaurs:

Obviously, if this were to be true, the Church would be in dire trouble, as it would undermine blah blah blah blah blah.

Well, anyway, I found evidence in an old stained glass window that it IS true. Beneath an image of Jesus is his original moniker:

Jesus was a goddamn C. rex!

I'm hoping Tom Hanks will play me in the unavoidably boring film that will ensue. Or maybe Jim Carrey.

After yet another great pint in a cool little pub in Clerkenwell Green, we aimed to have a look at the St John's crypt, but it was closed for refurbishment, which was a shame because it features in the aforementioned religion-shattering tome The Da Vinci Yarn, and I would no doubt have found more evidence for dinosaurs as the chosen people of the Lord.

It's a conspiracy I tells ya. The Illuminati are closing down tourist attractions to prevent me from finding out the devastating truth which might plunge the ancient secret organisations into a turmoil of blah blah blah blah blah.

I would fight them all the way but I can't be bothered.

Instead, we headed through Exchange Square and I took a pic of Liverpool Street Station, because I could:

After a tour of Spitalfield market, we headed back to the hotel for a rest and a shower before an evening meal in Covent garden.

Another day, another full English fry up at Sheila's, because we didn't want our blood to flow too easily through our arteries now, did we?

London in the week is surprisingly uncrowded. I was comparing my last visit here at the weekend when I took a pic of the Undertube, a sort of ride that goes through tunnels and stops every two hundred yards or or so. Then, it was like some sort of hellish dystopian nightmare of invaded personal space and scrunched up faces.

Now however, I was greeted with this:

I could watch the presumably deaf mice gambolling around the track in peace.

We decided we wanted some greenery, and headed up to Hampstead Heath for some fresh(ish) air. The open space was welcome, and the Heath proved amiable not just for cruising homosexuals getting on with what most men would like to do anyway, but for strolls, walks and bird spotting.

They had parakeets!


Okay, that photo is not going to get into National Geographic, but take my word for it. It was a wild ring-necked parakeet sitting in a tree. Since their successful bid for independence a few years ago, they have expanded into large numbers, called herds by people who don't know what a flock is. Although they're a common, noisy sight in various areas of the south east of England these days, I was quite chuffed to see them for myself.

We visited a pub in Hampstead that was very posh. Too posh to clean out it's beer pipes, judging by the vinegary tang of the ale, although this was the only bad pint I had in London out of over two hundred.***

The rest of the day went by with a quick visit to Camden to look at the market, a mecca for goths (if that's the right word) and just the place to go if you want to buy a sheepskin jacket for ten pounds made, judging by the quality, from some poor creature with five legs and terminal scabies.

Tattoo studios advertised their wares on signs carried by . . . er . . . well, people I suppose, using the term in it's loosest possible sense. Strange, multi-hued mullet-wearing pseudo-goths tried to persuade us to nip in for a quick tattoo, as if it might be something one should do on an impulse.

"Actually, you know you're right. Can I have a tattoo of Jesus cuddling a baby tyrannosaur across my abdomen please? Eight quid? Great."

Anyway, I like to be different, which is why I'm British but haven't got a tattoo.

Time to head for home. We had an hour to kill before our train and were hungry, so the time limit ruled out a relaxing meal in a proper restaurant. For this reason, we headed for the station and, en route, stopped for what might be called a meal at Burger King. Happily, when I checked the menu, I discovered they sold burgers, so I had one.

Whilst in the loo, I did a spot more wildlife spotting, and managed to get a nice shot of a German cockroach nymph, which was harder than it might seem as it was practising it's scurrying:

There were about ten of the buggers in there, which made me glad I'd eaten first, because if I'd seen them before my meal I wouldn't have had seconds. Possibly. The missus wasn't too pleased though, as I showed her this photo on my phone whilst she was halfway through her spicy beanburger.

I told the manager about them and, in grateful appreciation, he offered me his thanks by nodding and muttering "Cheers mate". Reward indeed.

Still, a happy ending ensued because I got to finish off the wife's beanburger.

The train was only a few minutes late, which in the UK is officially classed as early, and we wended our weary way back to bumpkin land.

My verdict on London?

We enjoyed it. Because we didn't have much in the way of money, we concentrated on walks with free things like history and architecture, which is what London is all about really. The people were friendly, which I wasn't expecting for some reason, but most of all, when all's said and done, at the end of the day and with hand on heart, the pubs were good.


* Rhyming slang

** (1) Man on top of lady. (2) Man wearing hat on top of lady.

*** C'mon, I was there for three days.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just nipping out

The call of life and it's adherent duties leaves me with limited time to blog up.

Apparently, it's all about priorities, and context, where I must go to work, feed my family and interact with humans in the arguably "real" world.

There is also The Missus's rather good point that she would prefer me not to become a pasty blue wraith whose only colour comes from basking in the ethereal glow of the VDU.

In order to prevent me becoming like one of those transparent fish that lives in caves (a cruel irony of nature because they have no eyes and so can't see all the cool gubbins pulsating away under their skin there), we're going on a city break for a few days.

We've done some pretty decent cities in the past, from Reykjavik to Amsterdam, Prague to Paris, in the days when we actually had some of that stuff called unspent cash you get from being a dual income couple with no dependants.

Now, however, we must fool the bank and credit company into funding any such trip, which means we must be a little less ambitious, and stay closer to home.

There is a city on the the South East coast of England which we're going to nip to on the train. It's called London-On-Thames I believe, and has some decent shops and cafes and things, so we thought it would be worth a trip.

Also, a ukulele shop.

I'm obviously not going all the way to a vague town with a big stream just to go to a ukulele shop, because that would just be silly.

There's also a bookshop.

So, I'm off for a bit, and thought I'd post a quickie for the record, and I will shift my rear end out of neutral when I return and get back to reading stroke commenting stroke stroking on all your blogs.

You have been warned.

In the meantime, I shall wish you all good health by raising a glass of toxic liquid in salutation to you:

That was the last drop of pure, unadulterated wonderfulness from a bottle of Talisker Distiller's choice.

You see, that's how much I like you.

My last glass, and I wanted to share it with you.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A New Leaf

Walking through a perfectly normal park I saw a leaf hovering, apparently unsupported, in direct contravention to the laws of gravity:

I meandered over, expecting it to drop as I did so, but it declined and, even as I got closer, it stayed resolutely stuck to the same bit of air like a blip in the matrix, only this time the blip was a leaf and the matrix was reality.


Reality or not, this leaf was in complete denial that there was a planet beneath it exerting a pull that should have dragged it to the ground. It was achieving something that even the cleverest, lightest human being could not achieve without the aid of some powerful rotors and a lot of fuel. It hung there with an insouciance that only a dead, floating oak leaf can achieve, almost mocking in its disdain for laws.

I mean honestly, if things like leaves aren't going to adhere to gravity, it makes you wonder why Isaac Newton invented it in the first place. I know, it's very handy for harvesting apples and, you know, stopping us falling of the Earth and that, but it can't be one rule for us and one for leaves. That would just lead to anarchy.

I should imagine.

I got closer, and the leaf refused to budge:

There was no wind to keep it up. It had obviously fallen from the trees behind, but halfway down had decided that it didn't want a future as worm-poo and humus, and would stay where it was, thank you very much.

Being of sound analytical mind and objective reductionist bent, I quickly formulated a hypothesis, tested it using common sense and everything I knew about floating leaves, and thus came up with an iron-clad theory about why the leaf could just float in the air when everything else around it had to plummet like Vanilla Ice's career.

It was like an epiphany. No. It was an epiphany! In a flash of intellectual insight, it came to me.

Magic done it.

People aren't that into believing in real magic anymore, which is a shame because here was some proper evidence. A leaf, hanging in the air. It was a wonder, no mistake, and I felt like telling everyone about it. Maybe shouting about it on street corners or going from door to door to tell them where they could see it for themselves, or if not that they could totally take my word for it because I saw it, so what more proof do they need?

Actually, that might be a problem. People have had too many emails from ousted Nigerian economic ministers recently to trust anyone these days.*

I know. Words. People trust words, even venerate them for no good reason. If I wrote about it people would become similarly enamoured with the idea of a leaf being held up by magic, and would come to the only appropriate conclusion that it must be the work of some supernatural force.

Perhaps a higher supernatural force.

I mean, we can't hold a leaf up in the air using just the power of our thoughts so anything, or anyone, that could must have a superior mind!

Maybe infinitely superior.

And if an infinitely superior mind can do something that requires such defiance of the universally accepted dogma that is modern physics, it stands to reason that it would find regulating the rest of our lives a doddle.

If I put this down, along with my conclusions, in a tome of some kind, surely some folk will realise that it is the truth. Actually, it might save a lot of time and effort for all involved if I just write it down as unassailable fact, and then it stops all the tedious arguing that people are wont to do.

I'm not being overly paternalistic when I say this, but it's just that I've already thought it all through, and come to what can only be described as the right conclusion, so what's the point in everybody else going through all that rigmarole, when they can just read, memorise and accept my own divinely-guided meditations? It's like I'm providing a service which stops people having to think for themselves.

The fact that all of this has come from such a simple thing as a floating leaf just strengthens the argument that this supernatural force is superior, in that it knew all it would take to show me how the universe works was to provide me with a simple sign.

All praise!

You there! You're not praising.

I'll remember that.

Now, although I have obviously been fortunate enough to receive the honour of the sign, I would be the first to concur that I am no better than anyone else. It's simply that I have been . . . what's the word . . . chosen?

Yes. Chosen.

Messiah is probably too strong a word, but I am also humble enough to know that if the crown fits . . .

Perhaps an altar, or some sort of large, suitably extravagant building could be constructed at the very site of the Miracle of the Floating Leaf. It's only a car park and recreation area for the local community centre, so it's not as though it benefits many people. A quick fund-raising bash should get me a enough, so I can get the place built and gold-cladded, maybe with a few mill on the side for expenses because after all, I'm not a charity, and what price ultimate truth eh?

A beautiful future awaited anyone who accepted my view of the universe. Not such a rosy outlook for the naysayers, but let's face it, they wouldn't be around for that much longer, and then the world would be in harmony.

Breathing deeply, flushed with potential, I took a respectful, closer look at the focal point of this imminent shift in humanity's future.

Turns out there was a strand of silk holding it up.

Bloody everyday nature, spoiling the imagined majesty of supernatural forces.

* Damn you, Honest Ngozi.