She Moves in Her Own Spaceman, Captain and the Hourglass

Don’t you hate it when some sparky new young thing sweeps their way into a position of authority and insists on ordering absolutely everything their own way? Such types have no respect whatsoever for the glorious sanctity of things the way they were. As agents of chaos, the changes they bring are more wide reaching than you could have possibly expected. You wish that your circumstances to revert to the wonderful old ways but once entropy has forced its way onto the field it’s next to impossible to wrest it back into its bottle.

Take this completely real example as proof if you don’t believe me. A certain company, organisation or even party (it wouldn’t do to give you too many explicit details, you might work to what I am referring and then we’ll all be in trouble. I might have even altered one or two key facts in order to get you off the scent of the real story) chose to bring in a newly minted manager rather than promoting from within.

Rather than adapting to the status quo as all good little worker bees should she wreaked havoc in the name of environment optimisation or whatever. She should have been able to respect the talent available to her in the existing pool of workforce she had access to. But no, she couldn’t cope with the NASA trained individuals and brought in her own rogue astronaut who’d never even been to space.

And that damn hourglass. What was wrong with the delicate system of timesheets and whatnot? Rather than clocking in and out whenever they wanted everyone now has to bow to the tide of shifting sands. The less said about the captain the better really, what with his wandering hands and terrible sense of humour. New really isn’t always better no matter what anyone might be trying to convince you of at the moment.

Song choices courtesy of: The Kinks, The Killers and Laura Marling

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One Day the Revolution Will Be Ironic

Maybe ironic isn’t quite the right word to describe this particular set of events that will definitely take place in a future not so very far away from where we are at this moment in time. I’ll let you judge for yourself and run you through it. After which I don’t especially want to hear back regarding your thoughts about it. It’s time and past I let you think on your own, my little ducklings.

Consider where we are right now. The British public turned out to the polls last week and made a decision its now not entirely certain that it did in fact want to make. The major political parties have spun into all manner of panicky trouble, before too much longer we may well find ourselves saddled with yet another unelected figurehead in a prominent position of power. There’s no credible opposition and tiny splinter factions with loud voices and not all that much to say are getting far more attention than they deserve.

A little while down the line we’ll see the consequences of unshackling our grand old nation from the infected teat of Brussels or whatever rhetoric’s been spouted lately. Brand spanking new figures of authority will have been installed and effects will have been well and truly felt. A seed of an idea will have only just been planted. It will land on fertile soil and grow slowly but surely until one day it will blossom into a full blown revolution.

The people will rise up. The malcontents and the outcasts joined by students and radical thinkers. They’ll be joined by folks of all kinds until they form an irresistible mass. Their demands? Take away their liberty, their choices. They will insist that the vote be taken away. Some lovable figurehead, Stephen Fry perhaps, will be who they want to put in charge in order to make the difficult choices. Someone else to blame, someone else to decide how it all should be. Aren’t you looking forward to it?

Song choices courtesy of: Elbow, Grace Petrie and Alanis Morisette

Never Love Losing Bubble Wrap

If the mere thought of a virgin sheet of bubble wrap lying there all inviting and whatnot doesn’t get you all tingly and excited then there’s something deeply wrong going down. It might be that events of a serious nature have overtaken your life at this moment in time so that something so delightful and innocent as an afternoon spent popping packaging protection seems utterly frivolous. Either that or there’s something dead deep down inside you suddenly making itself known.

Why would anyone ever not get an incredible thrill out such a demonstration of the godlike power of destruction? And it makes such a fun noise. Seriously, if a bad day has happened to come your way for whatever flavour or reason then go and get yourself a hearty sheet of bubble wrap and see if you can’t make it all that much better. Of course if such behaviour happens to lead you into a fetish then I will be held in no way responsible. But, you know, whatever floats your boat.

As you grow up, the magic burstable material starts taking on all sorts of unfortunate connotations. It ensconces valuable payloads, it would be an egregious calamity if it were to fail and your bits of precious would be damaged, possible even beyond all hope of repair. Bubble wrap rears its surprisingly unwelcome head every time you have to move house.

So take just a little bit of time to rediscover the joy. You can take a moment before breathing a sigh of relief that you can at long last pack it away. If you’re reluctant to surrender your carefully cultivated adulthood you can always indulge in a big fat glass of wine while you do so but crack out that bubble wrap and squish it to your heart’s content.

Song choices courtesy of: Flogging Molly, MIKA, Frank Turner and Thomas Newman

It’s Not About Foreign Contaminant

Or it really shouldn’t be at the very least. There were plenty of people who took the time to weigh up the relative merits of each eventuality, made their decision and were mentally secure enough to stick with their convictions. There were also those who thought they’d take the opportunity to stick it to the man whilst relying on others to do the right thing for them. I’m sure they feel so happy that it all worked out.

But there’s a minority of the majority who feel that their views are suddenly vindicated by this unexpected result. A wave of nastiness has surged forth. Maybe it would have happened anyway or perhaps we’ve unleashed a drowsing monster revelling in its newfound freedom. People have let loose with xenophobic comments demonstrating their lack of understanding regarding the decision the country’s made. It was never about putting people on boats, trains or planes to send them ‘back where they came from.’

It was a horribly effective tack for the Leave campaign to employ. You only have to look back to the previous century to find all manner of terrifying examples of the consequences of using ethnically motivated methods of scapegoat branding. How dare those dirty foreigners presume to breathe the same air as we gloriously British, we blessed folk who are at long last poised to take hold of our just desserts?

Never mind the fact that there’s no such thing as historically authentically British. We actually used to get invaded all the time with force and pointy objects. They never had to apply for visas or make their way through customs. Our language, culture and history are a melting pot of a whole mess of other cultures. If you can’t muster the grace to welcome another member of the human race based solely on the colour of their skin or where their parents’ genitals met then you don’t deserve a say in the decision. You might be disappointed in the results of this referendum if all you based your choice on was immigration.

Song choices courtesy of: Scouting for Girls and Thomas Newman

A Thousand Things That I Have Done Forever

Habits once formed can be extremely difficult to break. You start out thinking that it’s something completely and utterly innocent and innocuous. Of course you might know that it’s something less than brilliant but the lure is too great anyway. Or you’re simply the sort of person who matters all manner of self restraint. Definitely not talking about me there, obviously not.

Whether it’s nose picking, elbow licking, cigarette smoking or something I can twist into a brutal facsimile of a rhyme we’re all subject to habits we very much wish we weren’t. Of course you might think of your little quirks as something rather kooky and adorable but I’m fairly certain it won’t take you too long to find someone who’ll tell you in blistering detail the precise ways you manage to drive them up the wall on an incredibly regular basis.

How can you divorce yourself from these behaviours once they’ve managed to become ingrained in your psyche? Is it possible or even desirable to train yourself out of them? Indeed, if this is a world you have to distinctly change who you are in order to fit in with then is it somewhere you’re really fussed about existing in? Once you come up with a suitable alternative I’m sure we can look at drawing up other plans but for the time being let go ahead and fix you.

One thing you can have a go at is to inspiring an unfortunate habit in someone else. Confide in them about the habit you wish to change and get them to correct you every time you weaken. Or cause you some variety of pain. Eventually you’ll find that you’ll go to surprising lengths in order to avoid people getting up in your faces and letting you know you’re not coming up to scratch. So what if you have a penchant for nostril mining, who’s it hurting?

Song choices courtesy of: Christina Perri, The Killers and Vertical Horizon

We Almost Had a Riddle Falcon

Not wanting to be the sort of person who brags about her relationship or anything like that (sure, it’s hardly as if I’ve had all that much to write home about previously but let’s not let semantics come between buddies like us) but I think you can pretty sure it’s love when you’ve reached the point of being able to talk comfortably about the hypothetical pets you’ll definitely own one day. But don’t quote me on that, it’s hardly as if I’m touting myself as some sort of expert.

To be sure, I’ve not yet introduced the riddle falcon into the general conversation but I’m working up to it. We’re already signed up for an otter that will very merrily splash about in the bath. In the garden you’ll be able to find the little donkey so very well cared for it will practically radiate contentedness as opposed to that heartbreakingly mournful aura they usually project. I also may or may not be warming to the idea of a house horse.

So what precisely is a riddle falcon then? What qualities does it possess that separates it from your normal common or garden falcon? Is it a bird smug with its own cleverness having read up on its Egyptian mythology and made the decision to model itself on the noble Sphinx? Perhaps they’re a remnant of a bygone era when wizards employed them to guard the entrances to their secret workshops.

Why would I even want one? Just take a moment or two to think about that question. Would you really not be interested in an ornithological companion who’d periodically pose interesting questions? Maybe you have a point though and there are more exciting pets out there. A dragon, of course I want a dragon to scorch the streets of King’s Landing and keep me warm at night. Or a dog. I’d really like a dog.

Song choices courtesy of: Emmy the Great, Five for Fighting and John Williams

Chasing Down What I Wanted

Part of the whole reason I embarked on a brand new format was to avoid the relentless Brexit onslaught that was bound to come as part and parcel of the news all throughout the month of June. I was sick of the endless self-serving politicking and not much has changed even though the vote’s over. But obviously I have to take a moment or two to record what’s occurred as it’s a momentous and terrifying point in our collective history. Perhaps the most sickening thing of all is the amount of screen time that ‘braying donkey’ Nigel Farage has been granted.

I didn’t want any of this. I didn’t want us to pull away from the least bad of the few options open to us. I didn’t want people to make snap judgements based on inflaming arguments with little to no basis in fact (the infamous £350 million claim is spurious to say the least and has obviously already been retracted once interested parties got their way). I didn’t especially want Cameron to resign, he’s a far better alternative to Prime Minister Boris (an eventually I want to happen about as much as President Trump – seriously, how possible would it be to go and live on the moon).

So, heart sore and weary as I am, what do I do with the proof that the British public seriously cannot be trusted with democracy anymore? After the last General Election I learned to live with a decision that was so counter to my own opinions. But this is so different, so unfortunately irreversible. I could try to suck it up and move on. I could contemplate going to live in Scotland. There’s another option of course, I could go to the British public with my very well thought out solution that will no doubt satisfy absolutely everyone. How about best of three?

Song choices courtesy of: Michael Giacchino and Evan Olson