I think I need a break.

I was in the happy position of having sweet fuck all to do today except cut the grass.  I had to wait until late afternoon though for the rain to start so I had an excuse not to.  It's pissing down now so grass cutting is firmly off the agenda.

So here I was doing nothing and wondering what all the things were that I never had time to do, and the thought crossed my mnd that there was a website that needed to be redesigned because, to put it bluntly, the existing site is shite.

I used to be quite good at designing sites.  I was sort of good enough to teach the subject and designed some sites for some pretty big organisations in my time.  But now I can't.

I didn't know there was some kind of Statute of Limitations or a weird Expiry Date on design abilities but apparently there is.  I now can't design my way out of a paper bag.  Any modicum of design ability [which wasn’t that plentiful even in the past] seems to have evaporated into the Autumn mists.  I am bereft of design.  I swear that if I got a pencil, a ruler and a sheet of bank paper I wouldn't even be able to draw a single straight line.

So I have been sitting here looking at what can only be described as a fucking mess on the screen that wouldn't even be up to the mark on Geocities.  I am amazed at my abilities to produce something that is actually worse than the current crap version, and I didn't think that was possible.  Obviously I have hidden talents.

So I keep scrapping it and staring at a blank page.

And staring at a blank page reminds me of the book Herself keeps nagging me to write.

So I thought I might as well switch to this site and stare at a blank page here.

Except it isn't blank any more.



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Firing blanks — 26 Comments

  1. There is no need to design you way out of a paperbag Grandad. Paper bags are for bursting with a loud shocking bang, especially when children – nieces, nephews and grandchildren – are around. I rather like the cinemascope vista of the Wicklow hills at the top of the page, so leave well alone. As for content, well how about the occasional quiz and sham intelligence test? Just to keep us on our toes.

    • Ah no.  Not this site.  I'm happy enough with this one especially after a the abuse I got in the past when I did change it.

      Quizzes are tricky as people can easily look up answers on the Interweb.  I did once try tests [i.e. What's the next letter in the sequence O T T F F?] and lost all but two of my readers.  I'm back up to ten now and I don't want to run the risk……. 

  2. My suggestion to you, GD, is to source some really good dope, roll (and smoke) a big fat spliff and then bring up that blank page again. I'm sure you will find inspiration in the very blankness of the page. Ideas will march across it like model armies; colours will swirl like psychedelic acid trips; fonts will manifest in a veritable multiplicity of form to a degree that you won't know where to start, there being such a plethora of choices.

    And even if they don't, it's a very agreeable way to do nothing of an afternoon. Better than mowing the lawn, and that's for sure.

    • The only small problem with that idea is that I wouldn't get anything done – I'd be much too busy watching the show.  Tripping along merrily on dope is indeed better than mowing the lawn, but it's also much better than writing.

  3. There's nothing like the dear old Branford Magazine format to keep you awake at night!

    (I’m thinking about not returning from France)

    • Do NOT talk to me about Branford Magazine!  It's one of the greatest scourges sent to try us. 

      Is there room for two more [and a dog] over there?

  4. Can I pick your brains, Grandad. The scroll down key on my laptop is not working properly. When I press it, nothing happens for some seconds, and then, suddenly, the text on the screen with move up a bit and stop. If I hold the key down longer, the text zips up and continues to go up when I take my finger off the key for a second or two. If have then to scroll down again.I scraped fluff from under the key, which did not help, and then I took the key cover off altogether and made sure that everything was clean. That did not help either.
    Any ideas?

    • Did you ever spill tea/coffee/whiskey/beer/vodka/gin/Coke/Pepsi on it?  It sounds to me like there is a bit of stickiness there which would ony be shifted with a good wash.  Have you tried putting the laptop through the washing machine or dishwasher?  Worth a try?

  5. My tip is hold a blank sheet of paper with one hand at the end of your nose and stare at it without blinking until you see words appear.

    Its just worked for me , I got Donald Trump, cat food and garden hose and something in french "tournevis"




    • Hmmmm……  Did you read Nisakiman's comment above?  It looks to me like you have a pretty good stash there.  Any chance you could send me some?

  6. Ted Hughes, “The Thought-Fox”:

    I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
    Something else is alive
    Beside the clock’s loneliness
    And this blank page where my fingers move.

    Through the window I see no star:
    Something more near
    though deeper within darkness
    Is entering the loneliness:

    Cold, delicately as the dark snow
    A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
    Two eyes serve a movement, that now
    And again now, and now, and now

    Sets neat prints into the snow
    Between trees, and warily a lame
    Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
    Of a body that is bold to come

    Across clearings, an eye,
    A widening deepening greenness,
    Brilliantly, concentratedly,
    Coming about its own business

    Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox,
    It enters the dark hole of the head.
    The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
    The page is printed.

    • Ah here now!  This is getting too close to culture for this site which is world renowned for lack of same.  Usually the only poetry that graces these pages in in the form of crude limericks.

      Ted Hughes sounds like he could do with some of Bill Sticker's stash too?


              • Tortured, lonely, handsome bard

                Whose quest for Muse doth prove so hard

                Pitch black of night seems so erasing

                O’ hope beyond the double glazing


                But wait! two lights in yonder bed

                Mark Reynard’s eyes a glowing red

                Hold fast you noble vixen’s son

                Behold my trusty twelve bore gun



                Piece of piss, eh?

            • Heh! 'Hoist' and 'petard' come to mind, Prog! 🙂

              Not that I'm a poet, either. I'm more in the 'limerick' category that is GD's preferred genre. However, I tend to agree with your opinion of Mr Hughes' offerings.

              Some poetry I really like. Hilaire Belloc wrote some great cautionary tales in verse. At the age of five, I could recite:

              "There was a boy whose name was Jim

              His friends were very fond of him"…etc etc

              It's a very long poem, but I liked it, so I remembered it.

              "Now just imagine how it feels

              When first your toes, and then your heels

              Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.

              No wonder Jim detested it!

              No wonder that he shouted "Hi!"

              The honest keeper heard his cry…

              Ah, the memories come flooding back.

              He wrote a lot of poems – I have a fat book full of them.

              TS Eliot also wrote some powerful stuff which I quite like.

              But I'm not really a big fan of poetry. Just stuff that moves me. And some of it does.

              • There was a young belle of Natchez
                Whose garments were always in patchez.
                When comment arose
                On the state of her clothes,
                She drawled, When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez!

              • I test my bath before I sit,
                And I'm always moved to wonderment
                That what chills the finger not a bit
                Is so frigid upon the fundament.

  7. All I have been getting all day is  Workforce who won the 2010 Epsom derby and carrots.

    Its days like these I leave the blog alone and do some Metal Detecting.

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