From voodoo to woo-woo

Voodoo dollWoo-woo:
adj. concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritualism; other than rational or scientific; mysterious; new agey. Also n., a person who has mystical or new age beliefs.

OK, that’s a dictionary definition of the term Woo-woo (or simply Woo) but what’s it all about and is it contagious?

Woo has been with us in one form or another for a very long time. Ever since the first snake-oil salesman showed up claiming to cure your herpes/headache/hemorrhoids with a bottle of his magic tonic (Today only – buy one get one free!) there have always been those only too happy to provide the ‘solution’ for certain basic human needs and desires, for a price. What desires are those I hear a throng of at least four voices enquire earnestly? Well I’d say it mainly comes down to our craving for easy answers or instant cures for what ails us.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Time flies

Clock pictureTime, mysterious and intangible, is always flying. It might have started at a gentle stroll, but as as you get older it’s taking the Bullet Train and the scenery is starting to look blurry. Or maybe I just need to change my glasses prescription.

It seems like only last week I was getting rid of the stabilisers on the bike, whizzing joyfully round the garden as everyone cheered and waved. Actually it was only last week, and perhaps they weren’t so much cheering and waving as shouting ‘Get the f**k out of our garden you arsehole!’ while shaking their fists. My neighbours have no sense of humour, but I gave their kid his bike back and left them to it. Bloody spoilsports. Continue reading

Last of the summer shorts

Short shortsThere are a number of formats for short and ultra-short fiction online. A while back I decided to experiment with ‘my own’ format – fifty-word fiction. I quickly discovered this is not a new format at all (big surprise) and has been around for quite a while.

I wrote these as exercises, curious to see what could be achieved in so few words. Some might potentially blossom into fully-fledged short stories. It was certainly a challenging and quite enjoyable exercise, less daunting than delivering several thousands of words strung together with some vague degree of coherence. Continue reading

A few of my favourite things

KittenRaindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

So sang Julie Andrews in the smash hit film Revenge of the Surfboarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls. Or was it The Sound of Music? I always get those two mixed up. Anyway I thought I would share with you some of my own favourite things. Not all the weird, kinky or illegal ones, but just a few that make me happy. Continue reading

Captured by a Viking

Viking shipThey say in life we all have to make sacrifices. As a kid I may have taken this advice a little too literally, when I whacked my brother Damon over the head with a hammer. I don’t remember exactly, but I might have been attempting to offer him up as a sacrifice to the Norse god Thor, a character I knew well from his exciting Marvel comic adventures.

Of course it’s equally plausible I was mimicking my Dad, a man of almost legendary carpentry skills, and simply trying to reshape my brother’s head into a more aesthetically pleasing form. Needless to say he was not impressed by my unsanctioned DIY efforts and many tears were shed. Fortunately there were few lasting ill-effects, although during thunderstorms he does develop a lisp and a terrible craving for walnuts.

Continue reading

The underwhelming adventures of Procrastination Man

Computer user in dark roomIt is close to midnight and the only sound to be heard in the secret HQ of the mysterious figure known as Procrastination Man, is the steady clatter of fingers on a computer keyboard.

His secret Fortress of Ineptitude, as one wag had christened it, is actually a grubby one-bedroom apartment near the sewage treatment plant.

Sitting in near darkness, as most of the old light bulbs need replacing, he is lit only by the soft glow of an ancient and battered PC monitor. Once again he finds himself locked in a tense battle of wits with his nemesis, a notorious internet troll. The troll’s risible claims of a faked moon landing, Mars missions and various other ‘Illuminati conspiracies’ have set the Facebook group’s membership spinning into a maelstrom of argument, put-downs and amusing memes.

Continue reading

Perfectly imperfect

Hard-to-Handle-CupWe all know sleep is important, but I’ve always been a bit of a ‘night owl’, never one for following the early to bed, early to rise mantra. But all those hours spent sitting in a tree in the forest can take their toll.. (I complained to my doctor about my nocturnal struggles, but he didn’t give two hoots). Like all neurotics I worry about my health and the long-term effects of all the lost sleep, but in the immortal words of Popeye, ‘I yam what I yam’, and accept that not all brains are wired the same way.

Many notable figures from history burned the midnight oil, while others swore by an early start, rising with the larks and achieving greatness while the world still drooled on its collective pillow. It’s a question of balance I suspect, finding what works without causing chaos and disaster for yourself and those around you. If you’re an airline pilot or a surgeon, starting your working day groggy, sleep-deprived and ‘out of sorts’ can have some major repercussions. Whereas if you are tasked with guarding the Mesopotamian spoon collection at the national museum for ancient cutlery, maybe not so much.

Continue reading