Leaving the Smoking Ruins

Finally made myself leave the house.

Told myself that it was going to be destroyed in 30 seconds with me in it if I didn’t leave.

Started the countdown.

30 ran

29 upstairs

28 to

27 get

26 my

25 coat

24 ran

23 downstairs

22 whilst

21 putting

20 my

19 coat

18 on

17 ran

16 to

15 back

14 door

13 pulled

12 left

11 boot

10 on

9 pulled

8 right

7 boot

6 on

5 grabbed

4 bag

3 put

2 alarm

1 on

0 boom!

Just managed to get out a bare microsecond before the blast ripped me apart.

It was raining and so, spotting the umbrella in the ruins by the back door, I grabbed it and put it up.

Then I locked the door and waked away.

A Life in the Day (22-23)

I’m writing this half an hour early because all I did for the first thirty minutes of this hour was read and have a cup of tea, and all I’m going to do in the second half-hour is brush my teeth and read. If something unexpected happens, like the house falling down, I’ll tell you in the morning.


A Life in the Day (21-22)

I washed the pots and did some tidying up and thought about life and the allure of distractions.

I started writing stories in 2015. Since then I’ve written loads of them, and plenty of other stuff besides. The reason I started on that course was to wean myself off of the distractions: movies, books, music etc.

It didn’t work.

Instead of taking time from my distractions and giving it to writing, I’ve taken time from other parts of my life and given it to writing. All the distractions are still here.

So, like I say, I washed the pots and, instead of perching a movie on the window-ledge, I thought about life.

Can’t say that I came to any particularly deep conclusions, but at least I didn’t distract myself from myself (if you know what I mean). One thing that I did conclude is that movies degrade my mind. They put me in a state where I don’t have to think, and they keep me in that state for hour after hour. It’s like turning off my mind. That can’t be good for me. Or anyone!

So I didn’t start watching another movie. I read an eBook instead. I figured out how to read my Kindle stuff in an internet browser (it’s quite easy; just search for ‘kindle in browser’ and it’s the top hit). Books are, so they say, different to movies in that they don’t turn off the thinking (as much). The mind is needed to visualise the scenes created by the words apparently.

So, yeah; not perfect, but at least I’m not being a total cabbage-case. And hey – I’m writing too!

On a totally different note – here’ a bubble that I discovered hiding underneath a pan on the counter-top:


A Life in the Day (20-21)

Day turns to night and I look up from this screen to see that shadows have crept into the world. All that’s left, now that the movie is done, is to wash the pots and have that cup of tea. Then perhaps I’ll stare at the wall (or the computer screen (which amounts to the same thing (in terms of what it represents))) for a couple more hours, before going to bed.

And then I type the word ‘solemn’ for the first time ever.

A Life in the Day (19-20)

The evening is the most uneventful time of my day. I sit and watch movies and eat snacks. This one is no exception.

The pots are still in the sink unwashed and my bum is still on the chair. The only thing that has changed is that my belly is now full of Doritos, a Nakd bar and grapes. I think that all I need now is a nice cup of tea to round it all off.

Oh, and the movie, Deception, is still playing. Surely the twist must come soon.

A Life in the Day (17-18)

By the time I got home I’d read a few more ePages of the eBook I’m reading (The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal‎)  and I was ready for dinner.

The rest of the hour was spent cutting up vegetables and putting them on a pizza that then went in the hot oven my legs are resting against right now as I type this on top of the cooker. Yeah, it’s not one of those internet-enabled cookers; the laptop is resting on top of it.

I listened to the Official UK Top 40 on BBC Radio One whilst doing this. There are some nice, poppy records about these days. Jiggling and humming along.

Scuse me while I finish skinning this iceberg lettuce so that I can finish the salad. Pizza is almost done. I can smell it.

Et voila, dinner’s ready to eat:

salad & pizza for dinner

A Life in the Day (16-17)

This hour was mostly about spending money. I visited Morrison’s and Sainsbury, two of the big supermarkets here in the UK.

I bought:

  • Pizza for dinner. Just a plain one so that I can load all my favourite toppings on when I get it home
  • Cashews for protein. Because someone just told me that protein is good for taking headaches away. A few handfuls have dulled it down again
  • Ginger for sheer laziness. I used to buy it in root form but the sheer effort of peeling and grating it was just too much for my lazy mind and so I buy it in frozen cubes. Let the machines do the work, right?
  • Dorito cheesy crisps for the taste. Enough said?
  • Dairy-free milk. Because they don’t treat the cows right.
  • Cream cleaner. Because the cream got dirty and it needs cleaning? No; the toilet gets dirty, you fool!

Still looking for an interesting photo. Bear with …

Saw an ambulance comiing and thought about standing in the road and taking a photo just before it hit me. Pros: it might make an interesting photo. Cons: it might hurt.

Saw a whole bunch of autumn leaves and thought of taking a photo of them, but they looked a bit too dirty (no, not pornographic) so I didn’t.

Saw a plastic bag in a plastic bag and thought of taking a photo of them because plastic bags will be extinct soon; but they’re not yet, so I didn’t.

Walked over a railway bridge and thought of waiting for a train and taking a snap of it but it’s getting too cold to wait now and so I didn’t.

Though of taking a picture of the sound of the church bells ringing poignantly in the distance but then thought you’re a fool Robert and so didn’t.

Then my headache came back and so I stopped thinking so much (already) and posted the darn post without any photo.

A Life in the Day (15-16)

Here in the city, life is more crowded than at home. The Museum Gardens are snided (filled) with teenagers playing Abba and flinging hoops to each other. Obviously some of them are going other stuff too, otherwise the world would be a very odd place!

The pavements and roads around the shops throb and throng with people; enough to populate anyone’s novel. I often wish that I could stop and take photographs of everyone I find interesting to write about.

  • The woman with the bright red ringlets that look like they are made of plasticine
  • The three Nubian sisters that stride – so tall, proud and flawless of complexion
  • The guy who’s so flamboyantly gay
  • The Big Issue seller who sits on the ground and beseeches us to buy her wares with such imploration (us that a word?)
  • The bloke in boots, shorts, a t-shirt and a beanie-hat
  • The people who live on the streets.

All of them, just begging to be in a story. But here’s the thing: they already are. It’s called life!

Anyway, the reason I go into town, aside from the people-watching and the walk (got to get my 10,000 steps a day in) is to go to the church.

St Crux church has a forecourt, and in that forecourt is a charity jumble sale (apart from Sunday and Monday) and within that sale is a book stall where the paperbacks are fifty British pence.

That book stall is the reason that I have thousands (literally) of books in the attic, the study and the drawers in the office. I guess you could say I’m addicted.

After that I go for a pee. And then I take the following photo. I guess they dredged the River Foss.

A Life in the Day (14-15)

I’ve divided this hour into easily digestable sections for your reading consideration:

  • Writing – the first twenty minutes were spent writing A Life in the Day (13-14)
  • Brushing – my teeth for the second time of the day. Only once per section of my mouth instead of the usual two, though; mustn’t be too hard on the old gums
  • Walking – finally I got out of the house and started to walk into York city centre. I’ll tell you for why later
  • Weeding – must be to do with the budget cuts but York Council don’t seem to have allotted any money towards weeding the pavement and road edges so, just to do my bit, I kick weeds out of the edge of the road as I walk
  • Replying – I saw a comment on one of my posts and so I replied. Only took a few seconds.
  • Reading – I set off reading my book on the phone as I walked. Yes, I can read quite well whilst I walk and no, I don’t bump into things
  • River – I walked by the river Ouse. It’s flooded the paths again and so I had to do a little bit of wading too. Apart from that, all’s well.

A Life in the Day (13-14)

It’s so much easier to tell you about my hours when I have only just lived them. I sit down to type at 14:00hr, and at the end of this hour I can tell you not only what I did, but why I decided to do that.

Take, for example, the decision as to what to have for lunch. As you know, I had cheese on toast for breakfast. This meant that I didn’t want to have cheese again for lunch and imag24302574587285750823629.jpgso I had, instead, beans on toast! What a miracle of diversity I am! (Yeah, sarcasm.)

So, the beans had to be Heinz, naturally. And none of that reduced-sugar rubbish. I made the mistake of getting a six-pack of those and they were dire! The taste just wasn’t right and the aftertaste was awful. Actually, the best Heinz beans are those with the little sausages in. If only they would do a vegan version of those then I’d be in seventy-seventh heaven!

I made the mistake of putting a movie on while I ate. A mistake because I tend to like to finish things before I move on to the next thing, and finishing movies in the middle of the day is a terrible waste of light. I’d have read a book whilst eating, but this headache was still giving me gyp.

I’m happy to report that eating lunch has made my head feel much better, though. I don’t know whether it was the beans, the toast, the non-dairy spread, the two oranges (unlikely) or the crisps, but my money’s on the beans.

The movie was Deception, a 2014 offering about a conman who is about to get his comeuppance. It’s actually quite good. Well acted and just about convoluted enough to keep me guessing about who did what and why. I watched it while I washed the dishes too; I cleared a space on the kitchen window-ledge especially for the laptop. This very laptop that I’m typing on now.

And that’s about all I need to write for now. It’s quarter past two. Once I’ve taken or found a suitable photo then it’ll be twenty past, which gives me 40 minutes of life to live before my next fascinating instalment.

Until then …