Friday, March 31, 2006

No comment!

Well, it's a new first for the arctic fox! Yesterday's posting elicited approximately zero (yes, that's right, zero!!) comments!

Now, someone mentioned to me that they had difficulty leaving a comment. Perhaps the problem is with blogger rather than with bloggers per se?

Nevertheless, it's a deflating experience.

Every cloud has a silver lining I reckon, and this cloud's lining comes in the shape of Friday afternoon. The weekend starts here. In fact the weekend starts right here, in the middle of this sentence, and stretches all the way through to Monday morning.

Blue skies indeed.

I think I may be going out for a drink or two tomorrow evening, and other than that, I don't have a single plan for the whole two days. Just the way I like it.

I've mentioned my love of John Shuttleworth's northern humour before, and I'm glad to say that he now has a new series on Radio 4. You can catch the first episode of John Shuttleworth's Open Mind - A series in which Sheffield's number one singer-songwriter investigates five unsolved phenomena. I suggest you head on over and check it out.

Perhaps this will be the weekend I finally get round to posting some photos of where I live now, and update my tune, and random shopping, and all those other little things I've been neglecting. You never know.... You just never know!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Let's go clubbing!

Grab your whacking sticks, and let's get bloody!

I went to a local pub last night for a couple of pints of the lovely Guinness.

In the pub, there are a couple of dusty artifacts adorning the walls. There's some sort of cow's head, a stuffed pheasant and a couple of stag antlers.

Times like this make me wonder about humans, about progress, about our inbuilt obsession with establishing ourselves at the top of a complex food chain. From fox hunting, to whaling, to big game safaris, we as a race have seemingly always felt it necessary to pit our wits and technology against the mightiest of endangered foes. This is surely what sets us apart from lesser species??

So, imagine my delight, at the news of the start of the annual seal clubbing season!!

Let's get back to basics, and preserve our fish stocks by grabbing the nearest piece of wood and whacking some harp seals.

Now, I may be slightly misinformed, but as I understand it, you're allowed to whack a harp seal three times with a stick, and if its eyes are closed, you can skin it. If its eyes aren't closed, then you're obliged to let it go....

I think cavemen and women probably had more compassion than is currently exerted amongst the ice floes!

In the last three years, a million seal pups have been ritually harvested in this way, but at least I can still buy fish in the shops!

I once had a computer program, which ran a nifty little graph, called "foxes and hares". The graph was to illustrate the natural pattern of population expansion and decline. Lots of hares, then the foxes eat like kings and multiply accordingly. When there are enough foxes, there isn't enough food, and the population starts to decline. The decline in fox population brings an increase in the hare population, and so ad infinitum.

And so, faced with this very fact, we are now manipulating, in a very graphic manner, yet another natural "resource". We are so superior, that we can actually "control" our own planet. But beware, there may yet be a sting in the tail. Imagine a herd of giant killer mutant king prawns besieging your town!! It could well happen!!

Grab your sticks.... We are shunning the concept of progress and regressing to our basic instincts. Destroy all monsters!

Makes me proud to be human

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Brighter and lighter!

Since we changed the clocks (put them forward one hour) last weekend, the nights are lighter for that bit longer.

The pyschological impact of this arrangement, is that my brain now thinks the days seem longer. I get home from work, and instead of it already turning to dusk, there's actually sunshine in the apartment.

I'm loving it.

I'm rapidly developing a new tidier, cleaner persona in this minimalist place. It's a change for the better from the cluttered, overcrowded life I have always lead. The problem I have now, is that all my clutter is only just behind me and is surely set to be following at some point!

I need to rationalise. I am damn sure I don't need all the belongings I have gathered over the years, and that in return simply gathers dust, and fills every available space around me. I am finding I actually LIKE space!! I like space, and light.

Thank heavens for spring.

The river outside the apartment's been at force ten for the last couple of days. Noisy, and forceful, and stained with the colour of the surrounding moorland. We've pretty much had two solid days of rain, and finally it's over, and the sun's come out.

Well, I'm finally getting mail at my new address, and guess what... Lots of bills are arriving. There's just no escaping the negative side of the balance sheet!! Work, eat, sleep, pay bills, wonder where it all went, go back to work.... The never ending rat race. Doesn't matter how hard I work or how much I earn, I always manage to live beyond my means!!

I still didn't get chance to visit all your blogs, and I know I keep promising to do so, but I just don't seem to get enough damn time. One day, one day soon, you will know I have been there, and marked my territory, like only a fox could!!

Post post update update: Due to my circumstances, I haven't got the computer here that contains all the stuff I need to change the tune on my blog, or to update my voting booth. Soon, I will revamp, and you won't have to put up with the pixies and my mood-o-meter any more!!

Joy!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bad fox.

I've been a bit neglectful of the old blog world lately, and I'm here to let you know that I am going to pick myself up and get back into it.

Lots of changes are happening to the old fox, and to be fair, I am preoccupied with my own existence.

I've finally got my broadband installed in my new lair. I've got a phone, and a zillion crappy channels to choose from. Distractions are coming thick and fast. I even managed a quick game on Pogo this weekend, but it was in all fairness a half-hearted attempt.

Paperwork has already started arriving in my new apartment, and already I've found a suitable cupboard to hide it all in. Old habits die hard! I am going to take it all to work today and to try and deal with it. I must improve my throughput in this area.

The river that runs under me is full and soil stained. There's been quite a bit of rain in the hills, and the resulting white noise explosion from the frothy weir is already finding its way into my head. It sounds pretty much like an air conditioning unit in the room. It's a homely sound to me now.

Tonight I'm going shopping for more bedding and towels, and all the things that make the home more comfortable.

I have a webpage to share. It's been such a long time since I actually posted any links on here. I need to stop wallowing in my own inner turmoil and start lightening up again. My blog used to be funny.... Now it's just miserable, and that was NEVER my intention. So, here's a cool blog.

I have a couple of random shopping photos to add this week at some point too.... So there's something to look forward to.

I'm tired, and I have to go to work.... It's not the best start you could imagine to a Monday morning.

On the plus side - We changed the clocks this weekend, and as such, the evenings will be lighter. We are now officially running on British Summer Time!! Hooray!! I am looking forward to the trees coming into leaf.

Ok, time to slurp down the rest of my coffee and to get my arse into gear, and to attack this day with vigour.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Perhaps...

Perhaps I gave the wrong impression yesterday?

I am not unhappy with things. I am facing personal challenges, and this is a good thing.

The temporary glitches that have come with moving house are just teething problems. I managed to get the phone hooked up yesterday, and it's all working fine now.

Ade, my co-worker, who will be sharing the apartment during the week, has moved in, and he is loving it there too.

I think I've identified my strange ducks, and they're possibly "ruddy ducks".

This morning (at about 7am) I strolled up to the lake, and watched a heron and a few ducks. Really nice and relaxed.

I'm in a really positive frame of mind. The Guinness stash is gradually being consumed, and I am managing to utilise my mobile phone (in the correct manner) as an organiser, to create shopping lists, and generally take control of my own life.

The new fox is finally starting to emerge.

My only gripe thus far, is that the kitchen is the coldest place on earth!! Not sure if I mentioned this before, but there's no heating in there, and the river runs directly beneath. It's a shame, because I love cooking, and in all honesty, a cold kitchen in winter, is not a good kitchen, nor one where I wish to be for any longer than is totally necessary.

I will be extremely happy when I've got broadband installed. Four days and counting!!

I miss you all!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Isolation...

The fox retreats to his burrow 'neath the hill.

Completely and utterly void of communication with the outside world.

In a valley surrounded by rushing water, lakes, trees, bullrushes, and lots of strange coloured ducks!

It's good, but I miss my phone, and I miss my internet, and I miss my cosy Sky+ box!!

I've moved my first console in. I've bought vases and fresh flowers. I've bought cleaning equipment and consumables. I still haven't played a video game, as I need to focus on more productive tasks.

I need to learn how to iron a shirt!!

I'm learning to live with my own company. Loneliness has always been a problem for me, no, more than a problem, a deep rooted fear. I now have to stare it in the face and tackle it headlong. It's an uphill struggle, and not one that I expect to be remotely enjoyable, but essential nevertheless.

Hopefully my phone gets connected today, and I might have found a most unique spot where my mobile phone gets a signal (there's actually about a square foot in the very middle of my bed) which means I might at least regain some element of access to human beings again.

I've signed up for Sky TV at the new address with a squillion channels - The standard four channels just isn't enough!!

I've got music, and a laptop, and two blocks of cheese. There's a few bottles of Guinness in the fridge. I've got bubble bath and a roof over my head, and it's made of oak! (I think)

The whole thing's taking a few days, but it's finally taking some sort of shape.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Head down....

... Tail in the air....

I am a cautious fox.

Trying not to rock any boats. Trying not to say too much.

In short, I am trying not to jinx the potential offer of a new roof over my head, which could possibly be happening tomorrow.

So, what CAN I actually tell you about, without causing unholy circumstance to surround me?

I can tell you that I am one busy fox at work.

I can tell you that I have never spent so much time visiting people and generally being out of the house.

I'm a relative hermit in my own home, when I am there.

I live in the kitchen, bathed in the incandescent glow of my laptop.

I am chatting to everyone I know on messenger, sometimes quite frantically.

I am listening to a LOT of music... Music is a funny old beast when you feel emotional. Every tune, every lyric, has a new, sharper poignancy, that seems to surgically snip away the heart strings. It's funny how music does this. Generally it languishes there, unnoticed to the greater part. But in troubled times, you notice so much more in those same, dog-eared, flea-bitten pieces of vinyl, plastic, and ferrous oxide.

Isn't life funny... And cruel.... And gloriously painful.

Speaking of which.... I saw a little piece of television the other night that made me watch, with my eyes half closed. A programme about body modification and human art, called "The human canvas". Damn, you know the sort of thing - dudes, hanging themselves up with fish-hooks through their knees, and scarification, and branding and stuff. Looked painful. Why did I watch it? Well, the programme went on to explain that seeing people do it to themselves releases the same endorphins that the perpetrators themselves derive from such torturous activities... Weird huh?

Ok, well, I am drinking my coffee, and then heading off to work. I have a well busy day today!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I get knocked down...

Bloody estate agents... They've only gone and moved me back to Friday for a moving in date... The significance of the full moon is lost on these morons!!

I think Michelle's finally stopped talking to me.

The paperwork I've been meaning to do for so long, is once again piling high.

Work is tough at the minute... There's so much of it!!

It's raining... And raining... And raining on the fox's parade!!

I am gonna keep any update tonight as short and sweet as I can, before I drag myself back down into the pit of despair!!

Think positive fox... Think positive....

Must attack mountain of paper!!

No doubt my good intentions will turn to naught again and I will end up listening to some miserable songs and sobbing into my coffee within half an hour.

Sometimes, even though there's sunshine and lollipops just around the corner, it's still hard to hold your head above the waterline.

Ok, enough wallowing.... All is good.... It's a fookin' full moon and I am gonna party like it's nineteen ninety nine... Party on filing cabinet!!

Sorry, I haven't visited many blogs recently... Normal service will be resumed as soon as someone throws me a lifebelt!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Moo... Moo... Moving on...

The pace is hotting up... The fox is on the move.

The luxury executive apartment, in an old mill, with its three acre private lake, patio, garden, gym, sauna, steam room, and swimming pool, is finally happening.

It's the first of many building blocks that need to be neatly fitted together.

Finally, the actions and decisions that have been so bloody hard to make, are coming together.

I move in on Wednesday this week, and there are just a few formalities to observe inbetween now and then.

One of the things that I have discovered recently, is that I hate it when things in my life are dependant upon events outside of my control.

The estate agent has been none too helpful, and I've been pushing and pushing to place the foundation stone of my change.

I see more changes in the not too distant future, but this apartment HAS to happen first... And there it is... My new discovery. I hate putting building blocks together, because the bricks that are more interesting are dependant on those sturdy buggers being planted first. It's like being paused on a precipice!!

I'm so damn impetuous, and I've always took more pleasure out of knocking towers over, than I have in building them in the first place.

It's been a pretty useful lesson... Patience!!

Limbo... That's the phrase that best describes the time between these building blocks.

The winds of change are truly gathering pace now..... The day of the fox is almost upon us.... Prepare yourselves for the shockwaves.

Looking forward, eyes open, stomach hungry.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Snow joke....

Woke up this mornin' and the world is shrouded under a proverbial blanket of snow.

It's a clean, virginal covering. The light that reflects through the kitchen windows is crisp and sharp. The usual ambient background sounds are all but dead by this sparkling sheet.

The snow's still falling.

It's almost like some sort of metaphorical weather.

I feel a kinship with the world this morning.

I'm in a cleaner, brighter place in my head, and the annoying questions and doubts have been silenced by the snowy white blanket of my actions and decisions.

I really have managed to change. It's a new start for the world, and it's a new start for the fox.

I must get out, and put some bird food down this morning... The little birds in the garden look confused, cold, and hungry.

At this point, I'd like to say a big, fox style thanks to readers and commenters, who, over the past month or so (my darkest time) have lent their support and advice with reckless abandon.

I am off to feed those little birds!!

Spice - The ice cream was actually Phish Food, and the shirt, at that point was a lovely bright green - nice combo!! There was, however, a scoop of Cherry Garcia, and a Chunky Monkey too but I managed to shovel them down without issue!

Anonymous - You're so effing right, it's untrue!! (to the world you are a person,but to a person you may be the world!) - It's comments like this that make me feel all warm and fuzzy about what the future might bring!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

For FoX sake...

For the sake of "the fox", I've been on quite a journey.

I don't even know who the fox is anymore!!

Rebuilding yourself is an interesting experience. I am finding new things out about myself every day.

My own actions/decisions are actually doing me good!! It could have all gone so wrong.

In some respects, I am regressing... Musically, I am rediscovering all the great old stuff that I used to listen to, that has long been lost.

In some respects, new things are coming into my life. I've smartened up my act a bit. I am making much more of a conscientious effort at work. I am taking an active role in my personal appearance (something that's been long overdue).

I can't remember the last time I had sex or played a video game!!

Even my blog's become a boring introspective tide of feeling and emotion. The new found freedom to completely and truthfully express myself is one which I fully embrace. Feelings are good!!

I seem to remember that I used to explore the things that made me mad... And random topics like shopping!!

These days, I'm happier to explore the newfound feelings of youthful exuberance that only a shirt with a hint of pink can bring.

Of course there are still dark aspects to my life... Bad things, painful things, and downright scary things... But it's all in balance.

I went to see "The Hills Have Eyes" - the new remake - last evening. To be honest, it wasn't that good a film the first time around, and the rehash isn't the best film I have ever seen, but it provided for a perfectly pleasant experience. I particularly loved the "old school" horror cliches that reminded me so much of why I love horror and splatter movies. I jumped a few times, slopped ice cream down myself, and laughed quite a lot!!

If pickaxes be the food of gore, then stick it through someone's head!!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

More scabby septum....

My poor nose is going to collapse. I look back on my reckless youth and wish I'd paid more attention to the signs.....

Life's going mad!!

I have single handedly managed to completely tip my entire existence on its head in the short space of two weeks. I no longer know who, or what I am.

I have deconstructed the fox, and begun to rebuild from the ground up.

Although the changes are big, and painful, and sweeping, I can't honestly say at this point that it's the wrong decision. The process of regrowth and construction is quite illuminating.

Let's, for argument's sake, call it a spring cleaning of life.

The changes are far too big and raw to mention here... In time, all will be revealed, but I simply wanted to let you all know that I am alive.

I've walked in the snow. I've walked in the sun. I've walked in the rain. I ended up smelling like a wet dog!! Valuable lesson.

I'm putting my current mindset down to mid-life crisis and winter blues... It's not an excuse, it's part of the modern human condition. I am a sixties kid, and a fekked up 21st century dweller. What the hell do you expect?? Plain sailing??

I am still questioning EVERYTHING, and occasionally having brainstorm/revelation/crisis (delete as applicable).

Are all estate agents a worthless bunch of semi-qualified legal misfits, with no sense of humour, or compassion?? (don't answer... I think it's a rhetorical question).

I wish spring would sprung!!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Express yourself...

I've always been brought up to express myself. The truth will out, so why wait??

I have an innate requirement to be able to speak freely and openly. So how did I end up in a relationship where we are sitting two floors apart leading separate lives?

Life's just too short to hide feelings and emotions. Admittedly, I'll be the first to say, mine may not be the most attractive to be wearing on my sleeve, but that's where they are and that's where they will always be.

I'm a "lad" from a northern industrial town, where the usual bunch of Friday night lager binge drinkers wouldn't know a feeling unless it came in the shape of a truncheon round the back of the head, or a can of pepper spray in the eyes.

I don't really fit in.

I'm not uncomfortable in my isolation from your average Huddersfield Joe's little world.

It does lead me to wonder where I "fit" into the scheme of things. I am pretty sure that most people occasionally have these crises, but it doesn't make it any easier to find the answer.

Perhaps it's these crises, and their subsequent unraveling, that set us apart from work-a-day-drink-a-beer Joe?

Question EVERYTHING!

I'm trying hard to turn my life upside down, and believe me the changes are happening....

For too long, this caterpillar has munched on cabbage leaves. Right now, I'm entering chrysalis stage, and before long, I'm gonna either be a dainty, nectar drinking butterfly, or the biggest, baddest, deaths head hawk moth!!

Watch and learn.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Fox rubs his bleary eyes....

One rarely has much call to criticise a weekend. This is DEFINITELY an exception to the rule.

Apart from "nipping out" to attend to the odd errand.... I've been up to my sodding eyeballs in two month's paperwork!!

I hate paperwork at the best of times.

I'm still sitting here surrounded by a mountain of filing and postal duties that require attention, but the bulk of the data is winging its way across cyberspace to my accountant's inbox as we speak.

This weekend, we've had snow, we've had sunshine, lovely crisp weather. It makes me want to be out and about, running across the hills, but the two hundred cigarettes I have smoked this weekend have kind of put paid to that idea.

I'm under stress.

It's needless, unwarranted stress, I admit. I guess some people aren't happy unless they have something to moan about. I am praying that I'm not that sort.

This weekend has made me realise just how much I need my own space.

The fact that I still haven't moved out is very much at the forefront of my mind. It really can't come soon enough.

The atmosphere in the house, although not unpleasant or uncomfortable, just feels sterile. I guess it's doing neither of us any favours to be around each other. The fact that we manage to communicate better over email and text message is ultimately more than I can bear. It's sad but it's true, after seventeen years, you'd think a little civil conversation wouldn't be too much to ask. Perhaps it is?

And so... It's Sunday night... The weekend's almost over.... With hand on heart, I am thankful I have a job to go to in the morning.

Apologies to all you bloggers out there who must be thinking (as I haven't crawled through your spaces for so long) I am dead...... I am only dead from the neck up!!

Anyone seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind????

Friday, March 03, 2006

Too busy for words....

A rare occurrence.... I've actually managed to get through so much work this week, that I have the brief luxury of getting to type a blog while I am at work.

Believe me, it's the calm before the storm, and before you know it, I will be up to my eyes in work again.

Speak of the devil - I've just received more work!! It'll have to wait!!

The last few weeks have been the most crazy roller-coaster ride. I'm desperately trying to look forward. I need a line to be drawn, and to make some measured progress.

On a brighter note, I think we have been accepted for the new apartment (despite my earlier fears that it was all going wrong).

Space.... It's just around the corner!

New beginnings on the horizon.

Since making the decision to move out, it's been tough on both myself and Michelle. It's doing us no favours at the moment while we are still under the same roof.

Trying not to make waves, but not succeeding.

The sunshine, this past week, and the frosty mornings are a joy to behold. Time moves on. People move on. Life goes on. Sun comes up... sun goes down.

I'm in fully philosophical mood!

The spring equinox is just around the corner... equal day and night... a perfect balance. Something I've been striving to find.

At times like this, I am reminded of the saying: "change is the only constant in life".