Tag Archives: blogging

Life? Don’t talk to me about life.


Life is like existing in an ocean, as flotsam and jetsam, at the mercy of currents and storms. Some people try to control their aimless drifting, but end up being battered about. Others are lucky and spend their lives in a quiet mill pond, away from most harm. Some drift into the company of good, some end in the company of ne’erdowells. I don’t think there’s any way of predicting how a life will turn out when you are always at the mercy of such powerful external agencies. All you can do is try to make the best of the hand you are dealt, and try to enjoy the ride.

I think I ought to start taking my own advice.

A short break


I know I don’t update every day of the week, being rather happier to do it in fits and starts as the mood takes me. I also don’t tend to give you chapter and verse on my comings and goings.

Not being someone blessed with a 3G phone for access all areas (for which read “I am too mean to pay for internet from my mobile devices when on the road”) when I go away I usually find I manage to drop off the internet radar until I get back home. I honestly don’t mind this, because I find I can be a bit obsessive compulsive about checking my email, Twitter and forum feeds. Having an enforced break is always a bonus, as it lets me recharge my mental health, so I can return hopefully refreshed and ready battle the world again.

Anyway, over this Easter weekend I am attending the York Model Railway Exhibition, held at the Racecourse in the city. I shall be playing trains for the benefit of the paying public for three days from Saturday. This means our select band of operators and the layout will be lugged up from Maidstone to York on Thursday 21 April. We’ll set the thing up on Good Friday, entertain the visitors over the following three days, and head home on Tuesday. Hopefully, that will leave a little time for sightseeing on part of Friday.

I visited York for a week’s holiday just over two years ago now, so it will be nice to revisit the city again. My mental map of the area might come in handy for tracking down suitable restaurants of an evening after the exhibition. 

Anyway, I’m off packing for an early start tomorrow. I’ll catch up with the world again on Wednesday. Play nicely while I’m away.

1956 Farthing Carving, or “Why it pays to carry a camera at all times”


via flickr.com

I had the opportunity to stroll around Maidstone, the county town of Kent, earlier today. My car was in the garage being attended to, so with an hour or so to spare, I wandered about.

I’ve lived in the Medway Towns for over 20 years, and spent a good deal of time in and around Maidstone. I’ve seen it change and evolve over those years, but parts of the town remain stubbornly unchanged.

Take, for example, the building that hosts this carved medallion representing a 1950s farthing coin. It’s a former bank, Barclays to be exact, dating from the late 1950s or early 1960s. As befitting a bank, it is adorned with various carvings representing commerce and trade, and at one end four large coins. Two are apparently coins dating from the reign of Charles I, while two presumably represent contemporary currency in circulation around the time of the building’s construction.

These bas relief sculptures, both the coins and the Barclays eagle motif, resist all attempts to hide the building’s former use, in spite of it having ceased to be a bank in the 1990s when the branch moved to a new building down the road. It’s now a cliché “trendy wine bar”, but it will always be a Barclays Bank to me.


I’ve been venting on my Facebook page for some time, but as I’ve now decided to give the Posterous thing a go, let’s see how it works.

Life has been hard at Snaptophobic Towers. My freelance work fell off a cliff during last year, thanks to those greedy bankers. I’ve been in and out of “proper work” since February, and I’ve picked up a bit of freelance design stuff again.

Only, I can’t do the design stuff any more.

In the olden days, a client would give me a brief, we’d chat around what they were after, and ideas would begin to form in my head. Very quickly, I’d have the kernel of some designs laid out and presented.

Now, since everyone with a PC and Microsoft Word is a designer (so they think), the joy has fled from my allotted task. I’m embroiled in a simple brochure web site and presentation folder design for a new client. I’ve known my contact for some years, and worked with her before. This should be a breeze.

Only it’s not.

I’m not enjoying this. It should be simple. I should be able to translate the simple ideas in my head into the digital forms needed, but they won’t make that transition.

Perhaps I’m making too much of this mental block. Worrying about worrying only makes things worse. Sadly, I find it too easy to be distracted at the moment—a sure sign things are not going swimmingly. See? I’m even finding it a distraction enough to blog about it.

It’s no good. I have to concentrate on getting this done. I need to break the log jam, and I need to make it work. What else can I do with my life otherwise?