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This is bizarre.

And before I start the meat of this post I would like to say that I am not a believer in alien abduction, so whatever theories may arise should not touch on this arrant nonsense.

I woke up this morning missing some skin on my face.   I only realised this when I touched my cheek accidentally while installing a contact lens and found it was sore.   Looking closer there is a patch of missing skin about the size of the nail on my little ("pinky") finger.   The edge is clearly visible, and probably no more than a layer or two is missing, but the edges are as sore as you would expect.

The patch is perfectly triangular, with the apex pointing up toward my eye.

I have no idea how this could have occurred and while it is a trivial little thing in context,  the nonsensicality of it is annoying me.

Could I have accidentally done it myself as I slept?   Quite possibly - I have sharp thumbnails for instance and have occasionally lacerated myself in minor ways.   But I'd have woken up.   And I doubt it would have resulted in such a neat and geometric result.

Answers on a postcard please, for I have no damned clue. 
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I recall three separate stories told to me at school when I was a very young Finn.

Whack the Duck )

The next two stories were told to me a couple of years later and were delivered to me by an excellent teacher, the headmaster of my Middle School.  He had a real knack for story telling in ways that always made you think in new ways, and has shaped my own perceptions in ways that have never left me.

I had the pleasure of meeting him again a year or so ago at an open day at the school when it was due to be demolished (and relocated to another site, they weren't razing it to the ground and sewing the land with salt or anything) and I was amused and pleased to note that several former pupils were taking the time to greet him and all said the same thing - they remembered his stories above everything else.   A good teacher can have such an effect on a life, they are worth their weight in gold.   

Soldier, Scientist, Sausages )

Forgive the politically incorrect language in this next extract.  It was the way the story was told and the intention was not to be offensive to any race, it was simply the terminology of schoolchildren.  And it was not a story as such, but rather a puzzle in story form delivered during one Friday assembly.

Cowboys and Indians )
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Yesterday's superabundance of energy and motivation has crashed hard.  The lack of sleep I had on Saturday night coupled with another late night yesterday have combined in a nasty pincer movement to knock me for six (that is a cricketing metaphor, what can I say?  My British roots are showing.  I'll be taking afternoon tea next) and I barely managed to drive to work before sitting numbly at my desk wondering what the black symbols on the screen in front of me meant.


Still, caffeine helps of course and the disruption in our office (we are having new windows installed and some other building work done) is giving Finn scope for ample amusement and stimulation, not to mention allowing the lack of focus to go unnoticed.   In the meantime I shall continue to provide my clients with astonishing levels of professional advice (on autopilot, honestly I sometimes think I could do the job in my sleep) and get some roleplaying done.

As an additional update I did some more work on Tam Lin last week and estimate I have about half of it done now.   I love the story and hate it in equal measure now, but I'm damned if I will give up before it is done.   Though I am half tempted to let the faerie queen keep him after all given how much he has been annoying me of late.  Janet deserves better anyway.


May. 17th, 2009 10:43 am
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Didn't get much sleep last night at all, I was rather a grumpy Finn I'm afraid.  Paradoxically I've woken up full of energy and a bizarre sort of clarity that is almost certainly a short lived altered state that will fade away soon into my usual scowling lethargy.

However until it does I intend to make the most of it.  I've already worked like a maniac this morning, clearing, sorting and throwing things out and the place is already looking better.  I will carry on till I drop I think and get the most out of this strange mood before it dissipates.

I hope it dissipates.

If this becomes a permanent thing then it could be a poor look out for the world.

Perhaps I shall go into politics.. 
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I haven't updated for a while, but finally have some things to comment on...


So here we go... )


Apr. 17th, 2009 08:27 am
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Some people find the music from music-boxes to be a little eerie, almost sinister.   I suppose I do too, but I like it.  The slightly tinny brittle metallic notes, just a little too mechanical and ordered to pass as real music, lacking any life but the near semblance of it.

Read more... )
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Last year, for about six months or more, I had a real problem with insomnia.  I'd get off to sleep but then wake up an hour or so later and be unable to get back to sleep again.   It gave me more time for writing and RP, but other than that I found it hard to see the inherent blessing in this state of affairs.

It seemed to have largely sorted itself out recently, and the insomnia is a typical byproduct of many depressive illnesses so I imagine the potions assigned to me by my friendly alchemist will be helping sort this out.

Last night however.. GAK.

I woke at about 2am, or just before, convinced I heard a baby crying somewhere in my house.  Once awake however I couldn't get back to sleep and after an hour or so of trying I reached for dear Emily, turned her on, and got online.  Where it seems I had a conversation with someone, though I barely remember anything other than having it.   I checked my chat archives however and I was spouting poetry, or what passes for it at 3am.  This is not a great sign, as it is typical of what I was doing last year; it seems my brain free-wheels somewhat at that time of the early morning and I'd really feel a lot more comfortable if I was a little more conscious of what I was doing.

Hey-ho, all part of life's rich tapestry I'm sure.

On a related note, I'm struggling to finish my Tam Lin, a lengthy poetic piece I've been working on for some time.  It seems I can churn out any amount of passable material at the drop of a hat, but having something that I want to actually be good... well that just puts the brakes on.  When I'm less tired I'll go back to it, maybe take a whole new look at the structure.

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This is a post that deals with Finn's current problems and the way they're being dealt with. It's painful and self revelatory, and I may not even have the guts to post it once it's typed (Though if you're reading this, I obviously did: Yay, me). If you have a low tolerance for self indulgent whining then feel free to ignore this post, otherwise

pull the damned thing off and have a look )
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[Error: unknown template qotd]I have no idea how old I was, but I remember it vividly and have always identified this as my earliest memory.  I was certainly quite a small Finn at the time, and probably devastatingly cute.

My mother was talking in the living room, to a friend of hers (I believe a neighbour) who had popped in to visit.  I remember walking downstairs and thinking at the time that I shouldn't be able to do that.  In hindsight I think the gate-thing on my bedroom door must have been left ajar.  And I remember that I really really wanted to eat an orange.

I have no idea why.

I got downstairs and turned right, into our living room.  My mother was talking away to this friend of hers.  It must have been a very involving conversation as neither seemed to notice me.  So I simply wandered through into the kitchen and helped myself to an orange from the fruitbowl in there.   I recall being frustrated that I couldn't peel it with my fingers so I just bit into the skin as I walked back into the living room.

Bitter.  I remember how bitter the orange-peel was, and as I came in the room I must have made some noise of dismay at the taste and my mother's friend was so startled she physically jerked and spilled her tea.  I think I got a telling off, because I can dimly remember protesting 'I just wanted an orange'.   As it turned out, I didn't.  The taste made me sick.  Never been that big a fan of them ever since...
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This is a true story, and it took place in the past, in Finn’s house. And this is how it began.

Finn returned home to his house one evening and opened the door as normal, and the inner door as normal and then he noticed something was wrong. At the time this story took place, Finn had three cats and they usually came to harass him at the door, wanting to be fed.

Shadow was the eldest, a proud and dignified matriarch who ruled over the other two cats with a paw of iron, and a glare that could cut through steel (Finn learned his glare from Shadow).

Smudge was the next youngest, and by far the biggest. He was a bold tom-cat who feared nothing except for the sky (he had once argued with the thunder and lost) and Shadow (but all creatures feared Shadow, so that was nothing for him to be ashamed of).

Smoke was the youngest of all, and the smallest. A creature of fluff and persistence. She fought with Smudge constantly, though he would hurl her gently around when she came close - but she would always win by simply coming back and back and back until Smudge let her grapple his throat and then walk away with her still clinging on.

And all three of them would only ever come together for one purpose. To wait at the door for Finn to return, and to demand to be fed. Smoke would wait at the door till he entered, and then she would race for the stairs down to the kitchen. Shadow would sit a little way off, but still close enough, and look Finn in the eyes to ensure he knew what was required of him. And Smudge would rub against his feet, deferring the demands for food until he had welcomed his friend home.

But on this particular night, there were no cats at the door. No demands. And this instantly made Finn uneasy.

Continued.. )
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 Following on from my rare moment of clarity, I’ve decided to face a problem that I’ve been avoiding for too long. I don’t want to get too self-absorbed, but there’s no point having a blog if I fill it with fluff and only fluff. Who knows, this unaccustomed self-revelatory behaviour may well be helpful in and of itself.

I’ve realised that I have a problem that needs resolving. I don’t think it’s a new thing (in fact I know it’s not, see below), but it is certainly worse now than before. And knowing the reason why doesn’t really make it go away. Though I only really noticed the problem when it momentarily seemed to go away …

I’m being cryptic without meaning to. Typical Finn behaviour when approaching something personal. Circle circle like a moth round a flame, but carefully avoiding the sizzle.

Okay, more bluntly then:

I’m pretty much an emotional cripple it seems. I only really noticed this in a way that made me realise the extent of the problem a couple of weeks ago when something nice and safe and distant upset me to the extent that I realised I was feeling upset… and then realised that I hadn’t really felt like that for months if not years. Then I realised that I hadn’t really felt particularly happy for months if not years.

My mother died a couple of years ago you see, in a not-particularly-pleasant way that was pretty hard to face. At about the same time the job I was in went belly-up and I had to work hard to secure things for as long as possible for my team-mates. It was a hard time and - I now realise- I got through it by locking everything down and running on cold efficiency.

Compounding the problem though is the fact that I’ve always been (forgive the boasting) a good observer of people, and a good communicator. I was able to give the impression of normality even as I became more and more disconnected from it. Only someone very close to me would be able to tell that it was all an act and, well, that wasn’t really a risk.

Apparently something like this happened before, when I was too young to remember it. I was very close to my grandfather it seems, when I was a toddler. And when he died I didn’t seem to be upset at all. But, so my parents told me, I just stopped hugging them. Stopped playing with other kids. Just kept to myself nice and calm and quiet. It may be eisegesis but it seems to me that this was the same behaviour then as now - withdrawal to avoid pain and risk.

Not healthy, not productive. I know that.

The next question is: what to do about it?

Well, steps are already being taken. But more on that later. All this honesty is tiring you know.

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 It doesn’t often happen that Finn gets hit with reality, but it hit me this morning.

I woke up in a bedroom that is still cluttered with boxes of old stuff - things from when I was a kid that I moved into my house after my mother died and her house had to be emptied. The things that my sister and I saved from her house were split between my sister’s house and mine - not in the sense of an inheritance, but just the things we didn’t want to throw out.

What that means in reality is that my house became full of stuff that I saved for nostalgia’s sake. Old books, boxes of toys, memorabilia. I’ve been sorting through it since then, but far too slowly. And this morning it hit home. I got out of bed, stumbled to the window between boxes and opened the curtains to let in the dim light and when I turned round.. well I was not happy with what I saw.

I need to clear things out and quickly, especially if I want to move house this year (which I do). Which means not only putting aside the time to do it, but also opening a few old emotional wounds and making some hard decisions about what to keep and what not to. Finn, being an emotional cripple, is not looking forward to this as he prefers to maintain the self-delusion of being cool and collected. This week has not been a good one for that, and I suspect that this sudden inrush of unexpected emotional stuff is not unconnected with the waking up to what’s going on around me. All part of the healing process, no doubt, well three cheers for that and a fanfare on the trumpet. I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you, but I don’t think I have the choice.

Downstairs then, and slightly less clutter, but only just. And then downstairs again, and again into my kitchen to feed Lady Smoke. And there, the glorious realisation that I have more cat food in my kitchen than I have human food.

Something is wrong here and needs fixing, and damn it I think I will have to actually do something about it.

Most unwelcome, and most unlike me.

I’m sure I will be a better person as a result, but I’m not sure who.


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