Thursday, August 30, 2007

The death of summer

Have you ever been stabbed? No neither have I. However, recent events have got me thinking a lot about what it must be like. There's a lot that keeps me awake at night, nothing of which I would feel comfortable divulging on something as public as a blog, but getting stabbed, shot, randomly attacked, etc. are not things that enter my head in the twilight hours. But apparently it does happen, and probably I'm more likely to become a victim of that than most things I worry about.

Let me tell you a little story, if I may. I was recently lucky enough to spend a bit of time in Western Australia, and if you think that travelling to Orpington is like being at the end of the Earth you would have a heart attack just considering the complete isolation that's a way of life in WA. In fact, that quality is what completely endeared the place to me. It was like the Wild West without lawlessness, or people. Fantastic.

We were driving down the (1) highway to Perth (the only real city in the 1m sq miles of land, and a small one at that) when yours truly needed to relieve himself. So off I trot, in my flip flops (or 'thongs' in Aussie parlance) to the side of the road. Bushes above small marsupial height were in scarce supply but seeing as we'd seen a total of zero cars since we left the last roadhouse 10km up the road I wasn't too bothered.

Having done the deed I headed back to the car but managed to step on something that can only be described as 'spiky' on the way back. That's the only way I can describe it because at the time I thought nothing of it. Soft-English-boy-skin-targeting flora and fauna is de rigeur round these parts.

So into the car I got. And then my brain went to work.

I knew about all the terrible creatures that exist in the Australian wilderness that can cut your life unexpectedly short, but I couldn't correlate that with what I'd trodden on. Nevertheless, within a few minutes I felt my heart rate surge, I felt hotter than the 45C outside heat would account for. I felt decidedly faint, colour was draining from my body and my vision. I knew I was about to pass into unconsciousness. I did all I could to stay conscious and the good lady I was with turned the car around and headed back to the last roadhouse.

I was absolutely terrified. My mind was racing at a million miles an hour calculating what I could have potentially trodden on, what their effects might be and how long it would take until my body was totally overwhelmed by whatever poison it was that they'd introduced into my system.

I did nearly pass out in that car. I'm still amazed to this day that I didn't. It was the most scared that I'd been in my entire life.

We got back to the roadhouse where a lovely lady didn't think me an idiot tourist or any of that kinda crap and reassured me, looked at the contact point (I had removed something black and white and 'spiky' from it in the car) and generally made me feel pretty content that the reaper had moved on to easier catches, before we set off down the road again.

For days and weeks later I felt remarkably silly for what I'd been through, but the fact is, it unsettled me for a long time. When we got to the next roadhouse 200km away I was still feeling uneasy, even though I was provided with one of the most delicious chicken sandwiches I'd ever had in my life - and I couldn't eat the whole thing. The only thing that was really helping me through all this was my love of Coca Cola. I can hear you laugh now. But seriously, that is what I had at the first roadhouse and I kept sipping Coke all the way back to Geraldton. So there we go, Coke saved my life.

I never found out what it was that stabbed me in the foot, but frankly it could have been anything. What sticks with me is the inescapable feeling of total fear that life will be over. Now I know that we are all going to die, though I know it's not a popular thing to bring it up, but with all the stabbings and shootings going on right now I can't help thinking that some people just really don't get it.

I was prompted to write this post because of the recent stabbing of a chap in Northamptonshire who was looking out for a friend of his. I don't know all the details and I'm not going to quote a newspaper because I doubt they do either. But one thing he apparently said really stuck with me:

'Everything is going black and white'

That's what it's like before you pass out. But unfortunately he never came around again. Now how does this correlate with my ramblings earlier you might ask? Well, rather tenuously I might say. But I know that everyone is probably already trying to find out how his parents/the media/social services/the government/etc. have failed the perpetrator but there's only one thing I want to know. And this goes for all the other recent (mostly teen) murderers:

Knowing that a highly possibly outcome of their actions is the death of someone, the end of existence of an individual, why do they do it and how can they live with themselves for it?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sign up to Lovefilm

And net me a digital photo frame.

Link.

They are quite good though, in all fairness.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Have you heard?

They're bringing back Wispas...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mound


I went to Richmond Park at the weekend and I must say I'm quite impressed by it. If the deer, the nice views and scones with clotted cream weren't enough to win me over then King Henry VIII's Mound certainly did. It's basically a hill with an unrestricted view to St Pauls some 10 miles away. It's rather impressive and one of only a handful of protected views in the country.

I've been generally quite happy with what Ken's done as Mayor, but turns out he's managed to narrow the restricted area around it. What an arse.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Voter Registration

What's that, the website set up by the Government for voter registration online doesn't work? Surely not.



Oh right. Think I've already had my say on how the words 'Government' and 'IT' should never be put into the same sentence.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Basic Instructions

Ok this guy is an unknown but clearly has talent - Scott Adams of Dilbert fame has taken him under his wing to provide him with guidance on getting published. But literally check this out.

A great post about social networking

Behind the marketing hype what their actual use is for. Although the author seems a little confused about networking vs. social networking. I'm going to write more about this very soon...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This is what I got

And it's magnificent.

Well it is since I switched it for one without any dead pixels...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Teachers want return to dark ages

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/02/teacher_votes/

Bombshell

Headline in the Mirror today - "Political Bombshell". Front page news on how Brown is going to 'fix' the election by doing some stuff the public want, and then having the election. How is that a bombshell? How is that news even?

I got quite drunk yesterday and woke up with 5 Turkish lira in my pocket.

That's a bombshell.

And I saw a baby pigeon in Finsbury Park this morning.

That's a colossal bombshell.