Being a Better Person

In my quest to become a better person I have taken feedback from those nearest and dearest to me and have, on the basis of that, found a path to become a better person. I’m going to share these learnings with you now so that you can be better too. Well, that is, you could if you had the same problems as me. Which you don’t. So you can just read about me instead. If you want.

So, here’s the thing: I like to eat chocolate, but it makes me into a person who is not myself (feedback #01: you’re not yourself). Because I wasn’t myself I just blamed the person giving the feedback and we parted acrimoniously to separate rooms in the house (she to the kitchen to get water and me to the couch to write something on Goodreads) and then subtly cold-shouldered each other for the rest of the evening in a way that made us seem ultra-polite but without warmth.

This morning, I felt more like myself and so I asked what I was like when I wasn’t myself. Here’s feedback #02:

  • You were rough,
  • You were loud,
  • You were non-responsive and
  • You were not listening.

I made a mental note and then asked ‘so, am I myself today?’ to which I received the reply ‘yes, you’re a pookielala’ (feedback #03). I know that I was being just as loud this morning (but in a jolly way), but I was probably a lot more responsive and less rough. I also demonstrated that I was listening (because if I wasn’t, then how could I have remembered enough to type this?) and so all was well this morning.

But here’s what’s going to happen next: I’m going to eat chocolate and endeavour to remain pookielalaish. I have all the information I need. I just need to be smooth (not rough), quiet (but not too quiet), responsive and I need to listen. This can totally work, but, all the same, wish me luck (just in case).

By the way, here’s what pookielala means (according to Google):

Go figure!


Did I ever tell you that I have this compulsive desire to kick pebbles back into drives?

I like to repatriate them. I like to move them back to their home and I do this all the time; unless I’ve got a new boots on on which case, well you know: you can’t really do that with new boots, can you.

So, I wait till my boots get older and then I kick again.

But, just recently, I thought well, wait a minute; what if these pebbles are trying to escape and what if I’m pushing them back to their prison, or compelling them back to some place where they are bullied and put down!

And I think about this and then I think no, don’t be stupid Robert, these are pebbles!

When You Don’t Give …

I don’t know why, when or how it started, but I have become very selfish.

There is a dark side to me that doesn’t want to give, help or communicate and it’s become very close to being the only part of me that’s active.

I sometimes think about reaching out to help others, but I hardly ever follow through. I amuse myself by thinking about writing letters, making phone calls or moving house to live near to people who probably don’t remember me, but I don’t.

People reach out to me, trying to bridge the gap between me and my isolation. I see their bridges and watch them for days, months and years thinking that I’ll feel like walking over them soon. But I don’t.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a phase I’m going through. But it’s lasting a long time. So long, in fact, that I doubt there will be anyone left at the end of it. But, for now, I like it like this. Tomorrow’s another day.

Care, Share & Inspire

I’ve been asked to do a Creative Writing session for the Janki Foundation. They are a group who work towards instilling values into the parts of the health care system that they come into contact with. The people have (or are retired from) jobs such as psychologists, doctors, therapists and as such are, as I perceive it, highly educated and savvy in the ways of life. I’m a little bit intimidated by the thought of bringing my type of irreverant humour to the table.

Here’s the information I’ve been given:

  • A Creative Writing session for the Janki Foundation lasting for one hour.
  • Audience: some are members of the Steering Group associated with JF projects.
  • It’s the 25th anniversary coming up, and the meeting is partly to discuss and plan for this (the theme will be Care, Share & Inspire).

Okay, I’m not intimidated. I’m a little terrified. I mean, what possible value can I bring to the lives of these people? What can I teach or show them that they don’t already know? What do I have to offer?

At this point, I could really start to psyche myself out. I only have to think about the one who laughs at my every pronouncement as if she’s been insulted/outraged/disgusted/amused (tick all the apply (they all do)) to get the shivers. Then there’s the one whose every sentence starts with a drawn out ‘well …’, as she’s going to refute what I just said with some deep learning from her decades of listening to mental incompetents from her black, leather psychotherapist charir. Then there’s the one who just looks at me down her nose.

Or I could just be myself, brilliance and all. I can, when I want to be, rather funny in an offbeat kind of a way. And I can thicken my skin on demand; at least for long enough to get me through sixty minutes. And I have a quick and inventive mind. I also have loads of books on how to write creatively. And I’ve done plenty of creative writing sessions before and got some really great feedback. People tend to like me, for whatever unfathomable reasons they have, and so I can use that to my advantage.

All I have to do now is figure out what to do for that hour. Here are some ideas I’ve thought of:

  • Have them relate a story by going around the room getting the next person to carry on (with a sentence or two) from the last person. I could write it down, but that would slow the pace somewhat so I wonder if anyone there knows shorthand (and would be willing to help). Of course, I could pick a suitable theme and set up preconditions for the story.
  • Suggest melding the things they know with principles from disciplines they (presumably) know little about (such as electrical engineering, astrophysics, woodworking or three-dimensional printing technology) and tell a story from that perspective. I’ve know this to inspire creative responses because it takes them out of their comfort zones and encourages them to be fresh. It can also inspire resistance, which, of course, I’ll overcome with humour.
  • Mess with their minds by telling half the room that it will be a very easy experience and telling the other half that it will be bone-crunchingly difficult. Doesn’t really solve what I want them to write, but it’ll be fun.
  • Imagine that you’re writing up a case-study and a supernatural being (angel/devil/alien/monster/prophet/deity) appears and offers to answer all their questions about life, the universe and everything. Write that conversation.
  • Put yourself on the couch and ask yourself all the questions you would ask a patient. Write that dialogue.
  • Write a letter to who you were in your last birth.
  • Another idea I have.
  • And something else I thought of.

There’s more, but it’s late and so I’ll have stop here. I’ll be required to add to this list before next weekend, though, because that’s when it all kicks off. Wish me luck. Yeah, I know; I won’t need it. Wish it anyway.

The Epicentre – York

If you don’t hear from York again except through a series of increasingly horrifying reports of a zombie plague spreading across the north of England, then this is where it started:

photograph of litter on the ground in York – former city of culture and light (now a zombie battlefield (maybe (hopefully not)))

Cat Services

Just thought of a great idea for a new business: Cat Services.

The idea is that people want somewhere warm and comfortable in their domicile to park their butt and read and eat crisps and/or chocolate

Cats naturally gravitate towards places that are warm, safe, comfortable and curious, so why not put these two things together!

I like it here

The idea is for people to hire a cat for a day and let it roam around looking for the best places to crash. Once that’s done, the cats on its way home and the customer is then free to take advantage of its illustrious advice.

Of course, there will be a small fee involved, enough to keep the cat in snacks and the business owner in… well, whatever they want!

Cat Services: how to be at home in your home.

You’re welcome. 😊

Unless you are Vegan

hidden crow

Come the Apocalypse

Crows will thrive.

They hide themselves

Even from photography.


Come hard times

Our bellies will bulge

With fat pigeon pies

And dandelion wine.


All nuisance things

Will become friends.

Not to come to dinner

But to have for tea.


Like something crawling underneath the skin around my eyes,

Never coming to the surface but always there;

Moving me.

To do.

You live in me.

Enliven me.

I had reasons to be with you that went beyond space and time.

I had every intention of setting things right when my feelings went away.


But I didn’t;

I couldn’t.

Why are you always there in my mind,

Even when I don’t want you to be?

What can I do to find your eyes on my face again?


Craving me.

I’d do you now.

Despite myself.

True to my word I never loved another the way I did you.

I never gave up on the way I felt about your arms around me.

Did I say felt?

I feel you.

I don’t want to close these lines and leave you on the outside.

But I’m always closing the door to you so why not lock it?

I’m lost to you anyway.

Ever again.

Time to sleep now.

Wake me up.