Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Happy-Slapped by a Gastroenterologist

Welcome to the first blog entry of 2010. I wonder how many blogs this month have begun with variations on that introduction? I'll try to be more original in future - without resorting to the gratingly-zany wackiness of the Rowntrees Randoms advert. If I ever try and begin a banana with a random postman then you have my permission to pour custard on my cherry tomatoes. ...For anyone unfamiliar with the ad in question - who now thinks I'm still hung-over from New Years' - watch this codswallop:



Following a lovely Christmas with the newly-reconfigured family, nasty colds meant that many of us saw in the New Year with bugs that probably warrant their own X-file. I'm not a patient patient, and my cold was always much worse at night than during the day - leading to many a comparison between myself and one of the Gremlins (post midnight-snack.)

Being unwell on holidays really shouldn't be tolerated. In the same way the French protested against wheel clamping by injecting superglue into the lock of every contraption they happened across, Mother Nature should be forced to rethink; as each and any one of us shoves an Olbas inhalator up the nose of every passerby who sniffles within our reach.

My unseasonal malaise began just before Christmas, when I had to attend a routine check-up at the hospital. Due to a family history of Ulcerative Colitis (and a personal one come to that), I'm required to undergo cancer/abnormal-cell screening every couple of years. Now, it's never pleasant, but always necessary - and means letting a strange man get closer to me with a camera than even Paris Hilton would allow...

Honestly, people complain about CCTV, and "living in a Big Brother Orwellian State" but they haven't the faintest idea just how much of a liberty SnappySnaps and Co. actually take. Some things just ought not be captured on film; like any time Les Dennis or Keith Chegwin take their clothes off, or the inside of my remaining digestive tract. Colonoscopies are like clinical happy-slapping: inflicting pain on camera. Gregarious film critic Mark Kermode calls it "torture-porn" when they do so in movies, but I really don't think that what they do to me biannually is for anyone's gratification.

Ever since watching the BBC's season of charming Alan Bennett monologues, I can't help but read these more mundane of my ramblings in his distinctive kitchen-sink-drama voice. I have at least one acquaintance who finds Bennett inexorably dull, which probably lends itself better to the comparison than I have the right to seek in any other respect.

Due to a lack of inspiration - and indeed motivation - to write of late, I've found myself falling back in love with an old flame. What is the object of my re-ignited passion? ...Jewellery design.

Although as a dedicated logophile words will always be my first love, I must admit to several illicit affairs with various aspects of colour, shape and form. From a pre-pubescent love of photography, to an adolescent admiration for design, I have always enjoyed the creative process of weaving something that did not exist until I saw how it should be. All my writing stems from very similar origins, and my enjoyment of literary and fashionable pursuits have long jockeyed for position. Usually the two work reasonably well in tandem. I am flighty, and tire of projects easily, so when I become disillusioned with one outlet for my imagination, I've always been glad of the other to fall back on.

Writing is the one I could not live without - I'm far too opinionated and narcissistic not to have some journalistic outlet - but my eye for colour and unusual shapes means that design is very important to me too. It's a natural part of the way I interact with the world - I see it as an artist, albeit not one of any groundbreaking insight.

Professionally, there is very little opportunity to write at the moment, and apart from my usual poetic outlets, I've been lacking in productivity. Some poets can sit and write about any given subject 'on demand' - will themselves into a mindset where their talent is readily accessible. I, however, have never mastered that skill. While all creation - be it within science or the arts - is a somewhat magical affair, instead of being an alchemic recipe for new life and ideas, mine is far more of a New Age bastardization of Paganism. I don't mix all the ingredients and come up with something astonishing - I must just hang around on the second Tuesday of the full moon wearing red knickers, and wait for a word, or an idea to spark something into being. As the full moon this month was on a Wednesday and my red kecks were in the wash, no sparks flew. So back to jewellery design it is.

As the company I was involved with before have cut so many of its staff, I am not in the position I was previously of being able to design exquisitely expensive pieces and submit them to a workshop for manufacture. For a while at least, I will be back to making the items myself. Hopefully it will give me the chance to expand my silver and goldsmithing abilities, as I get back into manufacture as well as design. Gemmology is a subject I retain a highly-geeky knowledge of, and a return to jewellery design is an exciting prospect.

If and when I launch a few items online, it will be via an Etsy store, and I will announce the details and promotional codes here, so that those of you who suffer my ramblings have some form of compensation for so doing. So watch this space! ...Not literally. It could be a while, and if you just sit there watching then I'll end up being reported to Watchdog as the person responsible for your deaths - like the DJ who challenged his listeners to drink as much water as they could, and one of them died. While inciting such idiots to follow their natural instincts is not a crime I believe to be too heinous, nonetheless it's not the sort of publicity I really need!

So have a Happy New year, and don't have nightmares...

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