Supernatural Indifference

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Today is All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as it known in some circles. It’s a day which fill me with terror.

Though it is not a phobia of phantoms, a horror of harpies or a dread of Dracula that fills me with fear.

I have no worries about witches, warlocks or werewolves, no stress over spirits and spectres and certainly no unease over the undead.

But I dislike the 31st of October for several reasons.

The first reason is the ridiculous pretence that Halloween is a holiday. It is not a holiday. I had to go to work today.

Secondly, I’m bothered by the perplexing notion that because ‘it’s Halloween’ children wearing masks can knock on my door and ask for sweets on the basis that failure to provide them with sweets will result in some kind of ‘trick’ being played upon me. Why does Halloween suddenly legalise blackmail? Normally I avoid this issue by switching off all the lights and refusing to answer the door. I would rather sit in the dark all night than fall victim to this outrageous extortion.

Also, there are no sweets here.

I mean there were sweets here, but I got hungry.

Alas today I have made the foolish error of ordering my grocery delivery for this evening, which means I can hardly ignore the doorbell all night. But I will be most disappointed if, upon opening the door, I am not greeted with an array of essential foodstuffs and am instead greeted by small people covered in sheets demanding treats.

My third reason for disliking Halloween is because it’s the last day of it not being November, before I have to tolerate 30 days of it being November.

November is a dreadful month.

January is also an awful month.

To be honest I only tolerate December because of Christmas.

Ah Christmas – now there’s a holiday. Two glorious weeks off work, fabulously festive food, and people even buy me presents.

Of course, I’m also expected to buy them presents but no holiday is perfect.

Cookie Cravings

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Dear Internet, please stop showing me
All the stuff I could acquire
It’s not that I don’t want it
For you know that I aspire

To wear those funky trainers
And play with that new phone
But I’m sure I can’t afford
All these things I’d like to own

And while I do agree
That that discount is obscene
I’m certain I don’t need
A Karaoke Machine

And while I’m sorely tempted
To spend my hard-earned cash
To buy a robot vacuum
Does seem a little rash

I know it would be easy
It’s just one click to pay
But I should really save my money
For a rainy day

And no that doesn’t mean
I need a brand-new coat
Although that is rather fetching
The blue one gets my vote

But no, I must resist
I don’t need extra stuff
When it comes to useless junk
I already own more than enough

Oh Internet, I really hope
We can get past this blip
But you can keep your cookies
I prefer mine with chocolate chips

A Taxonomy of Chocolate Bars

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If you’ve clicked on this expecting a well-thought out classification of all the different chocolate bars available in the UK then you’ll be sadly disappointed.

Also, what is wrong with you?

Seriously, who needs to know about chocolate bars to that extent?

I mean I am reasonably well-versed in chocolate. I’m certainly no expert, but I know my Double Deckers from my Lion Bars and my Twirls from my Twix.

But this post isn’t really about chocolate bars.

Although if you’re in the mood for one you could do worse than any of the above.

But really this post is, as with all my posts, about not very much at all.

Normally I have no difficulty coming up with creative ways of writing about nothing, but recently I’ve been struggling.

Today I had a particularly bad bout of writer’s block

Indeed I have been sitting on my sofa for the best part of an hour starting, and subsequently deleting, various attempts at a blog post.

And even by the particularly low standards I set for myself, I was coming up with nothing that I considered acceptable for these prestigious pages.

And then Mrs Proclaims appeared.

I mean she came down the stairs, she didn’t magically appear in front of me like a genie.

Or someone off of Star Trek.

Upon her entering the room, I implored her to give me an idea to write about.

She looked at me suspiciously, as if having walked into a trap.

And rightly so, for I am not known to solicit suggestions when it comes to content for this blog and I can be more than a little ungracious when unsolicited suggestions are made. (This a particularly blog-specific failing on my part and should in no way be used to judge me in other areas of my life and is certainly no reflection on the state of my marriage…)

“I mean it,” I said in an attempt at reassurance, “I really can’t think of anything.”

Still with a slight sense of mistrust she pondered the situation for a moment.

“Why don’t you write a Taxonomy of Chocolate Bars?” she suggested.

I congratulated her on her brilliance and she returned to the upper rooms of our abode feeling pleased with herself.

Obviously I haven’t written a taxonomy of chocolate bars.

It’s too varied and controversial a topic for me to be able to do it justice.

But I did think it would make a good title.

And I have just eaten a chocolate bar.

It was a Lion Bar if you must know.

I’d have preferred a Double Decker, but we didn’t have any of those in the cupboard and the nearest shop is all the way across the road.

We did have Wagon Wheels in the cupboard.

I’m not sure if they count as chocolate bars, because of their shape.

If only someone had written a thorough and complete taxonomy of chocolate bars so I could find out.

Something About Nothing

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A few weeks ago, in order to maintain a regular blogging schedule, I committed to regularly writing short posts about ‘not very much’, instead of longer posts that pretend to be about ‘something’ but aren’t really about anything.

Since making that pledge, I have written anything much.

So the plan didn’t work.

And now I’m reduced once again to writing about how I’ve failed to produce any meaningful content for this blog, aside from a couple of poems, one of which was a Haiku that I wrote ages ago and the one I posted yesterday, which was about Bovril.

Bovril!

Who writes poetry about Bovril?

Anyway, I’m really just posting this as confirmation that I am still alive.

I have just been occupied with lots of stuff lately.

Some of that stuff is work related and it genuinely makes me sad that I have to spend good blogging time working on paperwork that no-one is ever going to read but nonetheless needs to be completed so that I can answer honestly when people ask me if I’ve done it.

I’m not above answering dishonestly about completing paperwork and I have employed that strategy many times in my life to get people off my back, but it generally is prudent to complete it anyway, at some point, because even though most of the time no-one bothers to read it, it only takes one excessively keen and enquiring person to start probing for the whole house of cards to come tumbling down.

I feel there are some of these overzealous vultures circling at the moment so I’m being particularly careful to “dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s” in my professional life.

However, all work and no play would make James a dull boy so I have also been quite busy filling potential blogging time with other fun stuff.

I could write about that fun stuff here.

But I won’t.

Because that might create the illusion that I lead a vaguely fulfilling existence.

Which might even be the truth if I really think about it.

But I think a sense of satisfaction with my lot in life would be setting entirely the wrong tone for my blog.

The Infallible Power Of Bovril

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I like a cup of coffee
I enjoy a mug of tea
But a thermos filled with Bovril
Is really not for me

It’s not that I’m picky
But I can’t help but think
That salty extract of beef
Probably shouldn’t be a drink

I’m really not that fussy
About what I choose to eat
But I can’t get on board
With the idea of drinking meat

I suppose I’m less opposed
To Bovril as a spread
But if I have the option
I’d choose Marmite instead

Still in these times of Brexit
And negotiations going wrong
The UK should come together
And join in stoic song

For we may lose our household staples
If we can’t strike a deal
But we’ll have Bovril forever
(No matter how that makes us feel)

 

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