Dear John (‘s cigarettes)

Dear Cigarettes,

I’m sorry, but I think we both knew this was a long time coming.   Only now I’ve been brave enough to voice it out loud, we need to end this.   We’ve had our fun together but recently I fear we have drifted too far apart.   The spark has gone, no longer to I get that buzzing feeling in your surprisingly cold embrace.   We had some great times, when it was just us after a meal and a glass of wine in hand but it’s over, and I think you know why.

It wasn’t your taste or smell, no they grew on me like a fungal infection.   No, it was our morning smoke.   You lured me in with the ideal of a Parisian artistic lifestyle, cigarette in one hand, black coffee in the other as I lie lavishly in the morning sun.   Allowing it to skin my skin as I marvel at inspirational architecture from behind sunglassed eyes and judging passers by to be the uneducated philistines, that I knew them to be.

The reality of course being a far cry from such dreams.   Standing in the rain soaked streets of Cessnock, holding the sippy cup you’ve commandeered as a mug over you, shielding you from the worst of the rain.   Feeling moisture seem down the back of my neck leaving my skin cold and damp as I furiously try to light you with a lighter that has clearly forgotten its purpose in life and decided that it now wants to scrape the skin off thrumbs forever more.   Meanwhile I sip lukewarm “instant coffee”, which I have come to notice isn’t particularly instant, or for that matter coffee.   A quick glance and all I notice to marvel at is the industrial refuse bin and the wanton abandonment of garbage surrounding it.   At this point all I can really do is judge myself as I suddenly realise I have to make a very prompt and important choice between possibly not finishing my cigarette or leaving an awkward brown stain on my trousers.

That last bit probably isn’t your fault admittedly, but fuck you anyway.

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Today’s Thoughts

Some days are worse than others.

Often I feel a need to create. To create anything, a sketch, a poem, a note. What it is does not matter. Simply the need. It is always there with me. Sometimes just a gentle scratch on the roof of my mouth, but I’m not always so fortunate, it is not always so subtle. Like a frozen stab of pain I can feel it in my mind. A compulsion.

I know it’s source, the “why?” but this knowledge does nought to help. I create so that I do not destroy. This is the same feeling I have carried for many years, only now my approached has differed. Only now do I struggle against it, and a struggle it is. The old way was easy, cloud out this feeling with the soothing mist of distilled alcohol and homegrown weed. Senses dulled and feelings abandoned. That alien thought, that alien emotion silenced more. I lived in a haven of self medication, of forgotten food and accumulated filth. It’s a well known story, we all know how it can end.
But I was given another chance, a chance to create and not destroy.

Some days are better than others.

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The Fashionist Manifesto

Here’s another thing I hate about Capitalism. Fashion.

Not the high end, Paris and Milan elitism, that goes without saying. A bunch of jumped up, self important arseholes whose only talent is convincing the inbred upper class that they actually need them. No, like I said, that goes without saying.

What I mean when I say “fashion” is the clothes you buy from the high street, or in my decadent case ASDA. You wear them for a couple of years then all of a sudden some wee douchecanoe will walk up to you and calmly tell you “You can’t wear that, it’s not in fashion.”

And even then, with that thin, smug smile painted across their moisturised face, they will expect you to thank them. To thank them for their asshattery, as if they have just done you a colossal favour. Personally, at that point, the biggest favour they could do me would be to quickly and, more importantly, quietly remove themselves from the gene pool.

Harsh? Probably.
Too far? Definitely.

But to come back from my tangent about “Aggressive Darwinism”, the whole moronic idea of “fashion” is made up. It doesn’t exist, just a shadow on a wall created by shops to sell you almost the exact same thing you bought last year, only this time less buttons or fractionally less cloth along the front. For a higher price though of course.

Why? Because it’s in fucking “fashion”

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When I Rule The World…

…and rule the world I shall. The following rules shall be enacted.

1) If you add “dot com” to the end of the phrase “I’m confused” not only are people within earshot allowed to extinguish your existence, it will be their “Civic Duty” to do so.
2) All computers, smart phones and tablets will be installed with a springed boxing glove to be unleashed in cases of a user making a fool out of themselves online.
3) Instead of that tedious buzzing, all alarm clocks will simply shout out the last thing you posted to Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform whilst intoxicated.
4) If you share a page, spread spam, CLICK TO WIN!, 10000000000 LIKES OR THIS CUTE PUPPY WILL BE PUT IN A MEAT GRINDER AND FIRED OVER LAKE MICHIGAN, any of that shit you forfeit the internet until such times as you learn to behave.
5) Quoting “YOLO” or “Swag” will be punishable by catapult into the North Sea
6) If you miraculously survive the North Sea, you will be buried in peat. Probably, but not exclusively in Shetland.
7) It’s spelt “whisky”
8) Some people are different, deal with it. Failure to do so will be dealt with in a remarkably similar way to “YOLO”
9) I wanted a nice round 10 rules, so from now on Wednesday will have 23.975 hours in it’s day
10) If you complain about any of these rules there will be a line you can join to do so. The line will not move.

You have been warned

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Fairy Awful

I tried my hand at writing a childrens’ fairy tale, here is the result.
I’m going to apologise before you even start.

Once upon a time,
Over the hills and far away,

There was a girl, well a woman, but let’s just say girl it is more fitting with the genre. There was a girl who had magical powers, or to be more precise she had one magical power. That was to talk with fish, but only yellow fish, and only if they were in the mood to talk. It is a little known fact but fish are the most anti social of all animals. Some people think it is bears but they are wrong, bears are really friendly the problem is they don’t know how strong they are because they don’t like to go to gyms.

But this woman, sorry, this girl had this magic ability and often she would amaze people with the stories of fish. Like where the best place to swim was, what the most delicious seaweed tasted like and what to do if you encounter yellow water. Eventually though the people in her village grew bored and so she packed her things and off she went to have an adventure.

Before she left however, an old woman she never met before stopped her and gave our brave adventurer a wheel of cheese saying,
“Greetings fair lady, there is a cheese use it when you are in trouble for it is a most magic of cheese”

Thinking that was weird she shrugged and wandered off. She climbed mountains, she crossed rivers, swam lakes, walked miles and even hitched a lift from a kind elderly gentleman called Steve. But finally she realised she was completely lost. That was when 3 bandits jumped out and said “Grrrr”
That was all they said, but they made a crude drawing in the sand indicating that she should give them all her money. She told them she had no money but it was met with blank faces. So grabbing a stick she drew a sign saying she had none. Suddenly the bandits turned mean. They even grew villain moustaches which they twirled as they approached.

Quick as a flash she remembered the old woman’s words and she grabbed the cheese. Nothing happened. So she clubbed all three to death with it.

As it turned out she was only half a mile from home and those 3 bandits had been terrorising her village. When the villagers heard she was a hero, they welcomed her back, making her queen

And they all lived happily ever after.

Until the famine 7 years later, where the whole village starved.

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Voice of Reason


I have a strange relationship with my father. Well, I assume I do. Not having a control paternal relationship to compare against, I’m left to judge only by the reactions of friends. I have an unwavering respect for the man. The hand he was dealt in life, the hardships he has endured obviously moulded and shaped him into the person he has become. But, those are not my stories to tell.

Growing up, our interactions certainly raised eyebrows. From him casually slapping the back of my head,
   “That’s for whatever I haven’t caught you doing”
To his intimidating presence when he wished to make a point.

Of course all relationships change as they grow. One thing that has never changed, however, is his boyish loved for adventure. He walked into the kitchen this evening,
  “Greetings comrade, how goes the revolution?”
He’s enquiring about how my efforts to learn Russian, it’s coming on I inform him, slowly but I’m getting there. Without skipping a beat his face lights up, the tell tale sign he has thought of something he wants to share,
   “You know what you should do?”
I’m smiling already. I know him, I know his ideas. Even the serious ones.
   “Motorbike tour across the Russian Road of the Dead”
He’s serious.
   “Get your bike license first though, obviously”

Almost realising he ought to be the voice of reason he adds,
   “But bring bottled water if you go to Chernobyl”

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My Mad Fat Diary


It was with some trepidation that I sat down to watch “My Mad Fat Diary”. It had been well advertised on television, across Channel 4’s network, and with the inevitable six degrees of separation it meant that friends on Facebook had some involvement with its production. The result being a continuous stream of reminders appearing on my newsfeed. I knew it would be close to home, dealing with issues that I share, and I’d like to say the anxiety I had was because I wondered just how psychiatric in-patients would be treated. Would this be another “look at them, they’re different, isn’t that funny.”   The fear being baseless, I’ve always thought Channel 4 has had a history of dealing with difficult issues rather well (to their credit they gave warnings before the programme started and offered website links for help)

The real reason, however, was much simpler. I was just worried about the parallels it could draw with my own life. My own recovery and readjustment to life outside a psych unit.

Watching, it soon became apparent my fears of similarities were well founded, but contrary to what I had convinced myself, I found it engaging. Enthralling. I saw a character that was not just a work of fiction, a character I could connect with. That struggled with the same challenges I had, and still do. From issues with continuity of care, to self-image and even with the relationships that form between patients.

Rae, the main character and narrator of the programme never mentions her diagnosis. In a way she doesn’t have to. It’s told through her interactions, her relationships. What we are told, as the viewer, is her crutch. The way she would binge eat as a form of support when the world seemed too much to handle. Now, in recovery she no longer wants to continue the pattern, something I’m sure many of us with have stories of struggle. In my case, probably somewhat unsurprisingly being from Glasgow, it was drink.   Used to self-medicate, with the obvious, disastrous consequences.   But I could see myself in Rae as she tries to break habits forged by dark thoughts and bleak corners of the mind. She shows us that it’s not easy but far more importantly she show, it can be done. That there is hope.

The more I watched, the more I wanted to be with someone who hadn’t been hospitalised, who hadn’t a history of mental disorders.   Someone who didn’t have these experiences first hand. Would they identify as strongly? Would we laugh at the same jokes?

I don’t know where Rae’s story will go from here, but I do know I want to find out. Just as I discover mine.


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