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.

James Complains About Not Having Written Anything

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It’s the first Monday in September and like many teachers I’m obliged to go back to work after a six-week hiatus.

Obviously, I expect very little sympathy from the non-teachers out there. Clearly, it’s hard, if you don’t get six weeks off, to sympathise with anyone who hasn’t had to go to work for the best part of the summer (I mean it was definitely the best part of my summer anyway).

Fortunately, I know there are quite lot of teachers who read this blog.

So, it’s perfectly fine for me to have a moan about having to go back into work.

And regular readers of these pages will know I’m not a huge fan of the whole work thing anyway.

I’d much rather sit around in my pants all day watching box-sets and eating ice-cream.

But there are bills to pay.

And no-one is prepared to pay me to sit around all day watching box-sets and eating ice-cream.

So, to work I must go.

And to be fair, the education profession does allow me numerous holidays throughout the year when I can sit around watching box-sets and eating ice-cream.

Obviously, I don’t spend all my holiday time doing that. Mrs Proclaims tends to frown upon that kind of behaviour.

Also, it’s apparently not good for your health to spend most of the day sedentary whilst consuming large volumes of frozen sugar and fat.

Anyway, after a six-week break in which I haven’t exclusively sat around watching box-sets and eating ice-cream, I’m back to work today.

Normally I’d be dreading it.

And today is no exception

But it’ll be fine. I’ll struggle through the first few hours, as I remember that I’m contractually obliged to do stuff and not all of that stuff will be interesting, or even worthwhile. Some of it will, frankly, be a complete waste of time. At first, I’ll want to resist, but eventually I’ll settle back into the same, slightly numb, reluctant acceptance that this is my life until Christmas.

And that’s fine, because they pay me just about enough to meet my mortgage commitments, pay my utility bills, and do all the other essential things I need to do to exist.

Like eat.

And pay my Netflix subscription.

So, while it’s fair to say I’m reluctant about going back to work today, I do understand why I have to do so, and on balance, I can’t complain too much about having to work when I’ve just had six weeks off.

But the trouble with having to work is that it tends to get in the way of blogging.

It’s hard to maintain a blogging schedule and do all the stuff I need to get done in work.

Sometimes I manage it, but there are often times when I go missing from the blogosphere for weeks, even months, on end because I’ve got too much to get done in work.

So you’d think, with six weeks off, and an unstated but implicit understanding with my lovely wife that I would not spend all of that time sitting around in my pants watching box-sets and eating ice-cream, that I might’ve had time to pen a few missives for this blog.

To get me ahead of schedule.

You’d think I’d have at least written today’s post in advance of today.

And although I did technically write this last night, it was so close to midnight as to barely count.

And I certainly haven’t written anything else in preparation for the coming weeks.

I meant to get ahead during my time off.

But I didn’t.

So, this could feasibly be the last thing I post for a while

Which, when you consider the quality of this post alone, would clearly be a tragedy for all humanity.

So let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that I churn out another one of these soon.

The Elephant In The Room

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Hello people of the blogosphere. I’m back after something of an unplanned hiatus from the world of blogging. I wasn’t sure what to write about for this post – on the one hand my first post in a while ought to be a spectacular affair, both witty and profound, irreverent yet informative, offering reassurances to my regular readers that I’ve not lost any of my trademark humour while ensuring any new readers who happen upon my blog might want to stick around and read more of my ramblings.

On the other hand, sometimes you can put a bit too much pressure on yourself, and when you’re out of practice, sometimes it’s better just to post something – anything – even if it’s a bit rubbish just to ‘get back on the blogging horse’ so to speak.

I’ve got a few posts in the works, some of which will see the light of day on these very pages soon, but for this post I’d thought that the best thing I could do was to address the elephant in the room.

Because it’s not often you see an elephant in your front room. Continue reading The Elephant In The Room

James Attains!

James Proclaims (4)

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Hello people who read my posts. Today is a very exciting day for two reasons, both of which pertain to this very blog.

Firstly, it’s an exciting day because today is my two year blogiversary.

That’s right it’s been two whole years since a slightly younger, slightly greener (in the metaphorical sense of lacking experience rather than literal sense of actually being the colour green) version of me sat at this very desk and typed the first ever post that appeared on ‘James Proclaims’.

Except that isn’t entirely true because the first post on that I published, on this day, twenty-four months ago, was actually just a rehash of a ‘first post’ I’d written for a different, now defunct blog.  Continue reading James Attains!

Outside The Comfort Zone

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It finally happened, after nearly three months of following a fairly consistent blogging schedule (longer posts on Monday, approximations of poetry on Wednesdays and a slightly rubbish doodle on Fridays) I’ve managed to fall behind.

I’m not worried, I regularly disappeared for weeks on end in 2016 and, nearly three full months in, 2017 is already looking like a significantly better blogging year. Not necessarily a better year in any other respect, although 2016 is oft much maligned as the ‘worst year ever’ and certainly Brexit and Trump made it a pretty bad year politically and lots of celebrities dying made it bad year for people who like celebrities, and I wouldn’t say 2016 was a vintage year for me personally because it wasn’t, but I’d be hard-pressed to say that it was manifestly worse than 2015 in that respect. So far 2017, while seemingly better on the ‘celebrities dying’ front (as far as I’m aware), is still suffering from the ridiculousness of Donald over there and the imminent triggering of Article 50 over here. On a personal level, there is much to be optimistic about but little in the way of the ‘realisation’ of any of that, so, while 2017 has not been significantly worse than 2015 or 2016, I’m not sure I could claim it’s been much better. But it’s early days and there’s the potential for some personal growth in the next few months.

But the last few weeks have been arduous and I’ve been maintaining a blogging schedule that is reasonably consistent against the backdrop of a job that is, at times, more than a little challenging. I like a challenge, I don’t want to be bored at work, but ‘challenging’ can be synonymous with ‘time-consuming’.

So missing a couple of scheduled blog posts is not the end of the world. Continue reading Outside The Comfort Zone

Introducing ‘Artist’s Corner’

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Last week I was lamenting the fact that I actively got worse at blogging in 2016 when compared to 2015.

And although I rather churlishly claimed in that post that I was going to endeavour to be even worse in 2017, in actual fact I’d like to be a bit better.

Or, you know, more popular.

And having examined my ‘stats’ with a fine-tooth comb (that I bought off a dentist for a very reasonable price) I realised that 2015 was more successful than 2016 because I produced a lot more content.

Simple as that.

In the just-under eight months I blogged in 2015 I produced 153 posts, whereas a whole twelve months of blogging in 2016 yielded just 104 posts.

It was all about quantity and very little to do with quality.

I was clearly a man possessed in 2015, churning out all kinds of second-rate bunkum.

Did I really just use the word ‘bunkum’? What is wrong with me? Continue reading Introducing ‘Artist’s Corner’

My 2016 Blog Report

James Proclaims (4)

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This time last year I got my first ever annual blog report from WordPress. I didn’t ask for it but they sent it anyway. And actually it was pretty cool. It didn’t tell me anything earth shattering that I didn’t already know. I was eight months into my blogging journey at that point and I was pretty obsessed with my blog’s stats. Nonetheless it was nice having it all on one report – and because other bloggers were posting links to their blog reports I could compare my blog stats with others and laugh sneeringly or bow my head in shame depending on how they matched up to mine.

It was like being back in school.

Except not at all like that really. Continue reading My 2016 Blog Report

The Night Knight Rises

James Proclaims (4)

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It’s been something like six and half weeks since I last blogged.

Which is quite a long time.

The longest I’ve ever gone AWOL from this blog before was around three weeks.
Weirdly it was around this time last year.

October, as it turns out, is not a strong blogging month for me.

I could offer some rubbish excuse about how I’ve been really busy and there’s been lot of pressure at work and I’ve also been busy working on my MA. But that would be based on the assumption that anyone reading this cares about the dull realities of my everyday life.

Which maybe people do. Continue reading The Night Knight Rises

Beware Of The Kangadog

James Proclaims (4)

I haven’t blogged for ten days or so. It’s not been for a lack of inspiration but I’ve been quite busy for the last week and I haven’t had time to write any of my staggeringly brilliant ideas down.

I haven’t even had time for my ‘trademark’ bad poetry. Continue reading Beware Of The Kangadog

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

James Proclaims (4)

linux-161107_640 It’s my Blogiversary

Or should it be blogoversary?

A google search suggests that either spelling is an acceptable way of describing the anniversary of the inception of a blog.

Most of the blogs I read seem to go with ‘blogiversary’.

So I’ll go with that too.

Today it is exactly a year since I posted for the first time on ‘James Proclaims’.

I’d started blogs before but truthfully they most petered out after a few weeks. I had no reason to think this attempt would be any different a year ago.

But it is. It’s lasted a year (a leap year to boot). And not just a year of me occasionally remembering that I have a blog and posting intermittent ramblings every few months. Continue reading Happy Blogiversary To Me!