I’m awesome, you’re awesome, we’re all awesome. Equally, we’re pretty awful at times. We all make mistakes, carry guilt, have regrets – often for things that have been forgotten by everyone else – and, basically, are human.

Social media is a place where mistakes are amplified. Minor infractions seem to get the same (or more) attention as major ones. Twitter in particular is a weird place, swinging from amazing to awful depending on your interests. I’ve always said it’s a great demonstration of what the world would be like if humans were telepathic.

Its also massive distracting, in more ways than one. For example, I’ve spent most of the time allocated to writing this blog setting up WordPress to automatically publish to Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn.

So, I hope you enjoy this in some way. This week, I’m talking about music, lockdown (again, but briefly), my progress since restarting my dedicated writing days, and Chinese food.

Music is my first love

Music playlists have become a massive part of my writing routine. Whether I’m hammering out content ideas for MakeUseOf, following the strict templates of Linux Format, or producing work for one of my own projects, audible distractions are vital. This need has increased considerably during lockdown.

I generally veer between three genres: blues music, classic rock, and idiosyncratic female vocalists. For example, already today I’ve listened to Katie Melua, Charley Patton, and right now I’m admiring Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds (specifically Justin Hayward’s  Forever Autumn – “oohlah”).

Cancelling out the chaos is the only alternative to the peace and quiet I used to enjoy, before the “dark times.”

(Although… it’s strange, isn’t it? We’re prevented from eating out, going on holiday, and getting our hair cut or styled, yet shopping for groceries is okay, driving appears to be acceptable again, and schools are open. It’s almost as if none of it makes any logical sense, but that couldn’t be the case, could it?)

Use a torch

I don’t know if it really has been all that dark. Different, certainly, and undeniably a challenge for most. Perhaps when you come to terms with the fact – and it is a fact – that government has no particular interest in you beyond how much you pay in tax and how much you cost, you stop being surprised by “baffling” policies.

Whatever the case, music has provided a beat throughout all of my contributions, online and off, in the past 12 months. I’ve also begun working on a playlist to keep me “on topic” for a new Riding Officer script.

I think I’ll close with a recap of what I planned to do last Friday, and what I actually achieved.

  • Personal blog: yes, you’ve probably seen the link to it above
  • The Riding Officer development: – new plot ideas worked out
  • Assess Only Planet, work out schedule for completion: didn’t quite work out as planned. Ended up writing a new page then realising all the images had been lost, so spent and hour digging them out of the archives.
  • Assess Spoof Kids’ Book, work out schedule for completion: ran out of time, see above
  • Write monologue: again, time was against me


Overall, for the first day of getting my personal projects together, I’m pretty satisfied with how last week’s “Day of Writing” (like I have others?) went. This week, I’m attempting a similar timetable, although I’ve been slightly distracted with some trainee submission editing at MUO.

I’ll sign off with this little snippet. A few days ago, bored in the kitchen but with some meat and veggies to cook or throw, I made my parents a chow mein.

This put me in mind of a joke by my son, Bruce, really just a punchline: Prince Chow Mein.

Yes, I borrowed my son’s joke.

Since then, I’ve helped him to create a better set-up for the punch and he’s used it in a joke competition at school this week for Red Nose Day. Better still, he got the most votes in his class for it, and it’s going to a wider vote for the school and parents!

Image by nile from Pixabay