I recently joined a number of blogging groups on Facebook. My own blog isn’t commercial or filled with affiliate links, so joining those groups wasn’t flagrant self-promotion (!) but was simply a desire to get better at blogging. To see the efforts of others, to share, to advise. To receive advice and feedback, and invite opinion on topics covered in blog articles if I choose to share them with this now wider audience. One thing that leapt out at me however, as part of an exercise on one group when we all invited to share a link to a post and comment on / share links shared by others: Spelling, grammar and punctuation!
“Blogging forces you to teach yourself what you don’t know and to articulate what you do…you are forced to organise your thoughts…”
Michael B Fishbein, The Huffington Post 2014
For some time now, I’ve had it in my mind to write a blog post about why one could or should write a blog. That’s not because I feel some sort of urge to magnanimously share information, nor is it to impose my opinion on that subject on others. It’s not even because I’ve been asked by several people, each for their own reasons (and with varying degrees of hostility!), why I do it. Blogs are all so different; general news blogs, tech reviews, fans of a movie / TV show, cooks sharing recipes, even attempts to influence government policy and campaign on particular issues. The list is endless! Equally so, there are a variety of reasons one could cite for writing them, and the benefits for both writer and reader.
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, life is indeed like a box of chocolates – we don’t know what we’re going to get. It is full of variety, the human factor being the ultimate randomiser. In theory therefore, we should be prepared for this variety, good or bad. That doesn’t alter the fact that things happening which are unexpected, or that do not fit into some form of perceived “norm”, feel downright odd or just plain upsetting!
It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”
[I saw hate in a graveyard — Stephen Fry, The Guardian, 5 June 2005]
I recall reading that Stephen Fry quote for the first time (quite recently, despite it’s age) and smiling. The man almost always makes me smile whenever I read or see one of his erudite quips. There’s a degree of envy on my part I think, about the particularly articulate nature of his intelligence and humour.
I was an adult when Bill came into my mum’s life in the early / mid 90’s. They were together for a short while, each travelling between Yeovil and Bristol before getting engaged and then married. Their getting together was the catalyst for me truly moving on with my own life after what had gone on before;
A family’s festive season often involves children, laughter, food, gifts and family gatherings etc. Our household was no exception, although children getting older gave it a different flavour this year; Changes due to the passing of time, like the milestones of leaving for university and being old enough for part-time jobs amongst other things, made the difference more noticeable this year. With Imogen being just 10 and still faintly clinging to the Santa myth for what is almost certainly the last time, as well as our young nephew Alex being here too, some childhood innocence about the occasion remained however!
I’ve looked after Yatton RFCs website for several years, and whilst still coaching was also junior chairman 2014 – 2016. Four seasons ago, I received an email addressed to me in both of those capacities from a very earnest sounding young man named George Haynes. He wanted to know if we had a colts team, as although he didn’t live in the area he visited it often, and he wanted to get back into playing rugby following some time out through injury. I put George in touch with then colts coach Mike Patch, and after playing with the colts George soon integrated into the 2nd / 3rd XVs as a senior player in the following seasons, during which we became good friends. A mutual friend and teammate once warned me not to stand by George at a bar, as he’d “…bankrupt himself buying you drinks because he’s such a nice bloke.”
(a.k.a An ode to my rugby playing career…)
Late 1970’s South Africa – a beautiful country, but with questionable politics. We’d moved there when I was only five years old due to my dad’s job. A country where Rugby Union was almost a religion, and young (white) boys indoctrinated very early on. With a dad keen on rugby too, it was no wonder that I soon found myself with a rugby ball in my hands.