It’s Good News Week…

I gave my talk this morning at Tomatoes, to rapturous applause (well, some applause anyway); outlining why I had decided to give up Bad News for Lent.  First I did a bit of a ‘vox-pop’ asking people what they’re giving up; unsurprisingly their answers focussed on chocolate and sugar-based foods (one person even said they were giving up sugar in all its forms) though one person named caffeine and alcohol as their renunciation of choice.  So far, so predictable.  A late entry into the vox-pop was a child who claimed that they were giving up school for Lent – however the parents demurred, so we’ll have to see how that one pans out.  So.. having done the interviews I told them I was taking a different approach this year and giving up Bad News.  I talked about how much of it there is and how it brings me down, causes me to worry and feel depressed.  I ended the talk by saying my hope was that in giving up bad news I would make some room in my life for good news.

And thence to the bank where in spite of technical difficulties they printed out some statements for me so that I can complete the labyrinthine and frankly Kafka-esque process that is claiming Housing Benefit; and after that we hied us to Mountcastle Road to pick up a freecycled water filter.  This is something I’ve wanted for a while, though not having any spare cash, we haven’t bought one.

And so home.  This afternoon I shall be an International Woman at the Donkey.

Kirk out

PS Don’t forget if you want to comment you have to do so on here, not on Facebook.  This means you, Katherine Gilchrist!


I’m Struggling Here

Well, it’s day three of the Lenten ‘no bad news’ challenge, and I’m finding it a bit of a struggle.  I keep feeling the urge to go on Facebook or put radio 4 on: whilst there are some fun programmes on 4 extra they do tend to crop up again and again.  I’d heard today’s episode of Steptoe and Son twice already and then they repeated it this evening as well – just in case we hadn’t heard it the first two times.  Which I had.

On the other hand, my mood is an awful lot brighter for cutting out all the gloom; I no longer find myself despairing about the future of the world, worrying about my own future, feeling angry, frustrated and depressed by turns, all about situations I can’t change.  So that is good.

So, to report the kind of news I am allowed to listen to, I note the return of H2G2 from next week. If you don’t know what H2G2 is, then you must be a Vogon who doesn’t know where his towel is, that’s all I have to say.

Kirk out

PS And don’t forget – if you want to comment you have to do it on here, not on Facebook!  This means you, Katherine Gilchrist!


Oh, No! I Can’t Face It!

Once upon a time Mark was having an off-day in the kitchen.  Everything seemed to go wrong, and the final straw came when he dropped a plate on the floor.  He went into total drama-queen mode (never far away at the best of times) and screeched: ‘Oh, no!  I can’t face it!’  Everyone laughed their socks off, and now whenever someone (usually Mark, let’s be honest) has a hissy fit over something trivial we all chorus ‘Oh, no!  I can’t face it!’

But that wasn’t what I was going to write about.  Saturday is International Women’s Day and I shall be heading down to the Donkey for an afternoon of fun, feminism and flatulence (well, after a few pints anyway.)  I have no idea whether there will be a moment to read it but I have written a poem about ageing.  It’s called A Sorry State and in it a woman apologises to her male date for not being love’s young dream before realising that he is even older than her.  It’s a sort of companion-piece to the Lewis Carroll parody ‘To the Looking-Glass’, I guess.  And this is much on my mind at the moment; every day I am assaulted by the contrast between the picture of myself I have in my head (and on Facebook, to be honest) and the one I see in the mirror.  And not in a good way.  In the mirror I look older and – oh, horror – jowlier than I do in my head.  And that is not a happy experience.

So – back inside my head it is then… and onwards into Lent.  Today is the first day of that festival and, having had an epic failure with the vegan pancakes (gloopy and with too much baking powder) I am launching into forty days and nights without Bad News; ie without Facebook, theToday programme, newspapers etc.  So far so good; I’m listening to Radio 4 extra and reading Ian Rankin.

I’ll keep you posted.

And don’t forget – if you want to comment you’ll have to do it here and not on Facebook.

Kirk out