Tuesday, December 13, 2005


As you can see, I just managed to get up in time to take some photos on the doorstep before the light went down. I was very happy with the results, and have some more lined up but maybe not till the days get longer.
The furniture arrived today next door, so the people can't be that far behind. I had to move in a few days before that as it was in storage, and had to use a sleeping bag on the floor as I had to be near where I worked. I still have a few boxes I didn't unpack in the garage (ten years and counting) though if it didn't leak it wouldn't be so bad...
I've moved to 5 different places on my own, and not one time did either next door neighbour come and say hello, as I would always do. Miserable bastards, and typical bloody London (plus one Oxford).
My grandma's new TV is fantastic, with built in DVD player (not that anyone really needs that), and after a couple of hours got the video and digibox running. The digibox needed totally rerouting, as it refused to see it with the fly lead connection so I used the scart, and then there was no signal. I realised a reset was the last option, and luckily it had jammed internally (as all the buttons still worked) and it all popped up, thank goodness. Everything looks far better on the new set now.

I've realised the art of both writing and photography is making the ordinary interesting. 90% plus of life is ordinary, and if employed to do a regular column have to write whether anything interesting's happened or not. I still and always will believe the news ought to be flexible and only mention items worth reporting and show cartoons for the rest of the time, rather than boring us (well, me at least)with padding which serves to depress and annoy. OK, of course we all feel sorry for humanity suffering wherever it is, but detailed reports of train and coach crashes in India or Kazakhstan, or every fucking bomb that goes off in Iraq, identical to the fine detail we had for about 20 years in Northern Ireland and now have to get from an even less relevant area to England. If two people were injured by a bomb in the Shankill Road put it on the local news for Christ's sake, people in England, unless they are related to people there not only don't care, but if they do, shouldn't. It's a private fight and one we would only understand by a long stay there, and many of the locals aren't aware the IRA, like many other terrorist gangs, are actually just organised criminals like the mafia and have few if any true political motives. That's a tangent though, as my main point I've said for years is news should fit the people listening to it. If a church hall is vandalised in Cambridge, it goes out on Fenland focus, or whatever they have up there. It doesn't appear on the national news. So why the bleeding bloody hell do fights and disasters in every cockamamy village on earth make the national news six days a week out of seven as so little locally has happened? It means we become immunised to so much news as after a short time of one irrelevant tale after another all but the most serious anoraks will mentally switch off, and then stop caring about most of the news altogether as I did long ago.

Not pointing fingers, as I have far less mainstream interests myself, but an alternative but no more useful consequence is an unhealthy fascination with these minutiae. For instance many internet forums are packed with affluent westerners theorising on political matters in flyblown countries they'd hardly ever visit, yet become so hooked on every minor twist and turn in the Balkan states or Central Africa they eagerly await every report from correspondents surrounded by flying artillery in the background, or goats in the foreground, as if it makes a fucking difference to their own lives! It doesn't! The crashes in my own country don't affect me, a bomb attack in my own city only affects those in it or who know people who are. We can't avoid these situations, as the Israelis know only too well, so like they do, everyone else shouldn't see a bomb and hide indoors indefinitely. But again, that's another tangent. News is personal. That's the beauty of blogging. Millions of channels and something for everyone. I said I'll mention news which gets in my way, or (very rarely) improves my life, but because it's part of my life. Not selfish, just realistic. Well, that lecture's over, but next time the news is on make a log of all the stories that actually make a difference to you, and then add any that were a surprise. I can now see why so many people drift off into celebrity clothes and affairs. Just as irrelevant but at least more personal.

Tomorrow is free (hooray!), I hope I'm up in time to take some serious photos, but if not, big deal, the places will still be there in 2006. And a big thank you to all my readers. I had, in the first week of counting, an average of 90 hits a day, which unless a naughty boy or girl was clicking a mouse in jest (which is not clever or funny, and can be filtered out) was a pretty good showing. I am also off to the chemist (now now, don't titter) to see if they can take a few of my tree photos and blow them up to about 10 by 8 for the wall. I see another exhibition coming.

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