Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The worm has turned!

Now I know I am gonna get some shit for this, and I am pretty sure someone will make up another sockpuppet account to make some mean and cruel comments about me. I mean, that's just par for the course right now. Accounts popping up with the same name, attacking people for things they have said in a space said person doesn't even seem to exist in. Strange, but expected.

One thing I have found amusing recently is the assumption by some, that anything I say must be about them. An air of self importance maybe? Even more amusing is the action and reactions of said person. Choosing to reply to tweets of mine and my other half, being snotty and sarcastic, knowing full well we are blocked from viewing them in the first place. Is that chicken-shit behaviour or just plain stupid? I will let you decide.

Twitter is one a great place for speaking your mind, getting things out there, and generally having a voice. Sadly it is also a place where a lot of shit goes on, and people with multiple accounts launch attacks on people, and then back themselves up, using sock puppet accounts.
There is a fine line between using a secondary account to view things, for example, to be able to read the tweets to and about you, posted by someone who has blocked you, but insists on talking about you and trying to damage your reputation, and using a second, third, and forth account to back yourself up in arguments on Twitter and on forums.

Recently when using a secondary account to respond to such a tweet, someone decided it would be fun to "fat shame" and comment on my weight, and having an account I use for my cycling and running stuff. Mocking the fact I am trying to improve my health. Of course, in regular fashion, that tweet was swiftly deleted in the usual snipey chicken-shit fashion.
Having something to say is one thing, saying it is something else. But if you really mean it, believe it, and want to be respected, say it, and leave it be. Don't delete or edit it to try and protect the fake "good reputation" you believe you have. That's just lame!

Of course, I have had my fair share of low moments on social media, stooping to new depths to try and get a point across. That said, everything I have ever said is still there. I allow people to have their opinions, and even when they use fake accounts or anon accounts to post replies on my blog, making personal comments about my mental health (cos we all know mental health is a laughing matter eh), I am happy to leave the comments there. It's quite simple, if you want to talk shit about me, go for it, but don't cry when it comes right back at you.

A bit like now. With the worm turning violently on such a person. Threatening legal action for defamation, quoting libel law, as if anyone actually gives a shit about their reputation anyway. It is really quite hilarious how brave someone can be from afar. Levels of self importance climbing to dizzy new heights, acting as if they are not to be messed with.
It is sad though that others are dragged into the who mess, people being called to take sides, rushing to the defence of someone they think they know, all the while having no idea what sort of person they are defending or speaking up for.

It is quite ironic to be on the receiving end of treatment you are willing to dish out yourself, only to be upset by it. What's good for the goose... and all that!
I am sure the whole matter will blow over, but one day, one day it won't. All the people who have suffered the abuse and threats of such people always rise up in the end. Then the truth will be out there for people to judge for themselves. Calling people liars, or suggesting their comments are libellous is all well and good, but it only works for so long. There is no smoke without fire, and right now it is hard to see through the smoke!

Right, I await the first comments, from people who don't follow me on Twitter or on here, yet somehow stumble across the blog, and feel the need to "attack" me. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Grab your popcorn

Take a seat and get comfortable, it's all systems go. Sock puppet accounts, spineless personal attacks, and some glaring errors of judgement, it's all happening.

Suspicions confirmed, bullshit'o'meter off the fuckin scale, and an all out offensive defence play.

We can all see it, well most of us anyway. There will always be those who blindly follow.

In the meantime, let's see if this latest power play works or not. The cloak of invisibility is completely down, and the level of dirty tricks, silly games, and utter lack of spine are turned up to 11.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Winter has come, and gone, and returned...

The weather really can't make its mind up at the moment can it. But for those times I am on the bikes, I am thankful for every extra day of warmth and dry weather we get. I was reminded only at the weekend that the weather can be quite mean at times! A sportive in Cirencester in nasty rain, and rather cooler temperatures than we have had recently.

Image may contain: shoes

As the darker evenings draw in, the commute changes drastically, the clothing and bike set up also change, as does the speed and urgency of the ride.
I have already noticed that my desire to get home quickly (ish) has been replaced by the want to get home in one piece. Watching others around me acting like nothing has changed. Not using lights or any extra caution on their rides.

It is this time of year that I spend most of my time, be it on the bike on in the car, cringing at the lack of attention which some road users demonstrate. We all make mistakes, there is no doubt about that, but some seem not to care about their own actions and responsibilities, and worry only about those of others. Who should have been watching out for them etc.

I learned a lesson at the weekend, and that was regarding tyre choice. My long time misconceptions of what tyres are best for each season were laid to rest. 65 miles through huge puddles, down long wet downhill sections at speed (brakes are another story all together), and through muddy tracks along the country lanes, I was hugely impressed by the grip from the Continental Gatorskins I had on the bike. I have always worried about the lack of tread (too much time spent in a car I guess), however now, I am enlightened.

The weather was also a great test for the various lights and tech attached to the bike, with only one light falling foul to the water ingress. That was a freebie anyway, so no heartbreak there. The new Knog + lights I bought recently had a great test for not only their water proofing, but their mounts too. I am pleased to report that the magnetic mounts held out perfectly on the very rough surfaces of the ride.

All I need now are my new riding shoes/ boots from Tredz, which are due "any time now" and a decent pair of water repellent cycling tights. Legs are indeed waterproof, but on the longer rides, a little comfort would be lovely. Maybe bib shorts were not the best choice of clothing for a long ride in the wet.

Here's to everyone having a safe and comfortable winter on their bikes. Stay safe people, and take your own safety seriously, don't rely on others to take care of it for you.

Me, me, me, me !!

Yes, I know the blog is a bit self centred, but by its very nature as being a personal blog, and given its name is "A day in the life of...." I would have thought it was a bit obvious from the offset that it's going to be about, well........me!

Obviously it is not to everyones taste, and my opinions don't always sit to well with some. But you see, that is the beauty of it, it's mine, so I can say what I feel, without ever feeling I am speaking for a majority, or on behalf of a group or an organisation.

Recently my opinions seem to really have ruffled some feathers, and it was pointed out to me that I was anti progress, anti new neighbours, pro chain, and a number of other things which I didn't quite grasp what the point of the comments were.

All the while, I support openly the new businesses opening in the area, seemingly somewhat more than some people are. Always great to see new businesses popping up, but some of the comments and attitude that people have towards them only bolster my earlier comments some people. Obviously, such people will disagree with me, and who knows, maybe even call me names again *sob sob* lol

It never fails to amuse me how some people feel they have the right to launch a personal attack on someone they know nothing about, have never met, and most of the time, have completely misunderstood or misinterpreted in the first place. Sure it gets to me, I am a delicate little flower when it comes to things like that, over thinker, and anxiety sufferer. Who knows, maybe people get off on having a pop at someone they know will take it badly.

So, just to clarify... This blog is my own, generally about me and my opinions, and will vary on topic as and when I see fit. Hope this clears up any confusion.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We are go for throttle back!

Been a heck of a year so far. Set myself some cycling goals late last year. Distances, achievements, frequency. With hindsight, probably a little over ambitious if I do say so myself. But all the same, I was determined to give it a go.

I have learned a lot about cycling, commuting, and myself since then, so thought I would take a look back and reflect at what I thought was possible, compared to what turned out to be reality.

In late 2017 I said the following were my goals for 2018

 4,500 is the goal I'm looking at I think. Maingoals are improving my climbing, getting out more, and smooth endurance rides.
Elevation would be nice to get 150 next year especially with chasing the 100 Climbs list.
All in all, my main goal is to be consistent in all I do.

On and positives from this year. I can achieve great things if I commit fully.

I know I have made other comments, suggesting I wanted a Fondo a month, every month. Four 100 mile rides in the year (having never done any before), as many Sportives as I could fit in to name a few.

So how have I done?
Well for starters, it is worth pointing out that it is early Oct at the moment, so still two and a half months left in the year. That is actually the whole point of this post.
From the offset, little did I know, I was slightly over reaching what reality would allow for. Getting lots of climbs done was a lovely goal, and I started out with good intentions, however the year was just not that great for allowing many to happen. A little disappointing, but something that can be revisited at any time with some careful ride planning. Not to mention my physical condition at the start of the year was somewhat short of what was needed to really tackle some of the hills, as I soon found out.

Four centuries, well, that could still happen, if I really put my mind to it. However, I am not entirely sure I want to. Well I WANT to, but the sensible part of me says one more at the most. Given the weather, ride buddy availability, and the levels of enthusiasm left. I want to enjoy as much of each ride as I can, not do it for the sake of proving something. I have done too much of that already. So currently I have two under my belt, and one more possibly on the cusp. Three out of four will do me fine, two out of four, I will survive with that.

Frequency. Well in the early part of the year, 49 days straight with no rest days. Commuting and just getting out there, that in itself was an achievement, albeit a bit of a silly one. But hey, no pain, no gain eh! I have managed to commute most days of the year so far, even in the coldest parts of Jan and Feb, I was still managing to get the miles in, and that has continued. I have had two noticeable breaks from riding, one health induced, the other I chose as I just wanted some time off the bikes. Other than that, my mileage has been pretty regular throughout the year.

Speaking of mileage, my goal was a mildly ambitious 4,250 for the year. Given my total for 2017 was in the low to mid 3,000, I thought 4,250 was a nice step up. However, I seem to have achieved that in a much shorter time than I expected. I have not extended my goal though, as it seems that I would just be pushing myself a bit too much, and for no reason. I set a good goal, and achieved it, anything after is a bonus, not a stretch goal. Currently around the 5,500 mile mark, there are a couple of numbers I have in the back of my mind to reach, but I am not going to commit to them in any way.

Mini goals have been my motivation, my drive, and also my worst enemy so far this year. Statistical numbers, creating targets to reach. Longest ride, longest distance in a month and a week, beating where I was a year before, power, elevation. Wherever I look, there is a mini goal waving at me, trying to tempt me to push harder and harder. And that is where the throttle comes into it...

It's time to throttle back a bit. Ease up on the pressure on myself to achieve, stop trying to prove anything to myself or anyone else. In the midst of all this riding, I have also returned to running, getting 10k fit. It was around that point I started to realise that I was maybe pushing a little too hard. 10k run before work, then commuting to and from work via the longest route practical (10-11 mile rather than 4.2 miles which is the shortest route) 100-180 mile weeks, plus the running. It was only a matter of time before I injured myself. Which.................didn't happen!! Amazing I know (will probably sprain my wrist writing the rest of this blog!)

After 282 days of pushing myself, I have finally decided, the last 83 days of the year will be "no pressure". That is not to say I won't be giving it my best, it just means I won't be pushing close to self destruction. My aim, is to stop setting more and more mini goals. Keep the ones I have in mind right there, and allow myself a little freedom, away from the pressure of must ride, must ride. That said, I have a sportive this weekend coming lol! But that is just for kicks, no pressure, back to enjoying the riding, and reaping the rewards.

From here on in, I want to get a mix of riding and running in over a regular period. Rest where needed, enjoy a day off here and there, and let my body recover a bit. It has seen big changes over this past 10 months. If it was not for the tattoos I would not recognise my legs anymore.
Next year, I want to start fresh, no mileage goals, no targets for riding, other than enjoy myself, and continue being a regular commuter. I want to turn my attention to the other 2/3rds of my body mass, and give that a bit of love too. With a fresh and healthy ethos in mind. Consistency over effort levels, all over rather than just legs, and for me, not for my ego and others.

Floor and core work is key, yoga will return, and getting a little trimmer, while still enjoying life is the key. Weight, just a number, only relevant when calculating my watts per kg on the bike. Well being is the primary goal, feeling good is what I want.

Physically over the past year I have proven I can achieve things I want badly enough. Overcome pain and discomfort to reach the peak. If ever there was a time I proved to myself I am in control of my mind as well as my body, it has been this year. Sometimes to the detriment of my body, that has to stop.

So to everyone who is achieving all their goals, keep at it, I know I am! But look after yourself too. It is nice to keep the ego happy, but better to keep the body and mind happy too. Find the balance :)

Oh before I go, I have to say.... Mentally and physically, I have had my best year for wellbeing in years! The physical activity will have a lot to do with all of that, so I am keen to maintain that. Other than one mid year little hiccup, this has been an amazing year without a doubt, so thank you to everyone who has been a part of it.

SE23 - The great divide.

Not content with making sure people know there are two (apparently) distinctly different parts to the postcode that is SE23, a movement has now started to get part of the postcode, Honor Oak Park of course, re-zoned by TfL as Zone 2.

Cheaper fares, yaaaayyy!!
That is all it is about, honest. Nothing to do with the "oh I live in Zone 2" status statement, or drawing yet another line between "them and us". I have long whined on about the divide in SE23, and how important or over played it really is, however it seems that some will not be content until they make it into a whole new place. Maybe it should get its own postcode HOP1 or something? How about that?

While I admire the desire to get changes which benefit the many, I sometimes think the motives, and conversations they spawn are a little more telling.
For the residents of HOP, who bought their houses in Zone 3 pricing, result. A change of zone is sure to have an impact of sorts on the house prices. For those renting, well that is a different matter, they can no doubt expect their rent to rise next time their contract is up.
Parking, because of the close knit of side streets, with quite a few blocked roads, which HOP is made up of, parking is already a bit of a chore. Regularly discussed on local forums, parking outsides ones house is a bonus not a certainty. With some (to the annoyance of others) pave their gardens to get off street parking.
To imagine that other commuters will not be attracted to the area is nothing less than ignorant. For those between Forest Hill and HOP stations, the obvious choice would be to head towards HOP for the preferential travel pricing. Not to mention those who drive in from other areas and park near FH station. The obvious choice would be to head nearer HOP and travel to and from there.

Should HOP get re-zoned, how long before there is uproar and calls for residential parking zones to be extended through the streets?

Another unconsidered side effect is local businesses. many businesses get a fair bit of trade from commuters as they pass the shops on their way to and from work. Dartmouth Road is booming, London Road is getting a Costa, it's all going so well. Perry Vale shops also get a bit of passing trade from that end of the area.
Now take away all those people who could do their foot commute to HOP instead, or indeed park closer to HOP and walk through the back streets. All that passing trade for FH, gone.

The arguments being made about where is the centre of London, how randomly is was chosen, etc seems to ramble on a bit, but the quote below sheds a little light on the matter.

The centre of London is often given as the Charles I statue south of Trafalgar Square. It's a handy convention for measuring distances to and from London. But where is the geometric centre?
Back in 2010, we did a little experiment. We pasted a map of Greater London onto cardboard, cut out the map, and then tried to balance it on a pin-head. The balance point, also known as the centre of gravity, can be said to be the geometric centre of London. Turns out that Lambeth North tube station is the centre of the city


Interesting eh. It isn't a dart thrown at a dart board, or some cunning person from Forest Hill who wanted to persecute those who he envied as they lived in the modern Utopia known as Honor Oak Park. It was done eons ago, when mapping London's road networks etc was done, and those signs started to appear with how far it was to London. A central point was decided long before TfL came into existence.

Just before I wrap up this latest whine, I thought I would refer back once again to The Londonist. You see this whole re-zoning thing has been done before, the conversations had, and the points made. Read all about it in the comments section of this old post. It also has a somewhat more geographically accurate map of London and the zones too.

Til next time, I will carry on observing the threads of discussions on the internet, and watch with amazement as yet another thing which won't really impact me unfolds, and is decided. Something some other people who are not local enough, or involved should maybe consider doing too.  #JustSayin

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dear SE23.... Part 2.

So the other day, I seem to have upset some people by suggesting that the attitudes of people in the area were changing, and in my opinion, for the worse.
Comments about my last blog suggested my words were poison, I was caught in tribalism, and that I was unwilling to accept new people, businesses and buildings in the area.

Well, that was already a slight misrepresentation of what I had actually said. I have never said change is bad. I have however said that moving to an area which doesn't have all the boxes ticked, and them stomping your feet that they are not ticked, is a little weak, to say the least.

What I missed out from the initial blog was the outcry of disappointment when new businesses, not to the liking of some, make a proposal to open. There is a very clear message in some peoples comments that a similar business of a slightly more affluent nature would be welcomed. However as it is not the business they were hoping for, it can go to hell.

Example being the Aldi proposal in Bell Green. Opposed by some for genuine reasons, but for others, it just wasn't the retailer they wanted, so it should be opposed and blocked by any means necessary.

Today, a proposal has come to light which will see the redevelopment of a local business, and change it into a similar business, with a few storeys added to the height of the new building, and the inclusion of a 66 room hotel. God forbid !

Seeing some of the reactions, I get it. Concerns of daylight, being overlooked, and other such concerns. All understandable. However, once again, the air of snobbery and NIMBY raises it's ugly head, and the protests begin. Throwing up all sorts of reasons to oppose the proposal, some almost laughable in fact.

I don't live locally enough to the proposed site to really have a genuine opinion on it, not one which has any bearing on the matter. However, my general feeling towards it are much the same as the similar proposal nearby which is also a hotel and retail building, and that is, change is good.

Going back to my blog, and the comments made on it, this is exactly why the comments were "incorrect" so to speak. These are both pretty big changes to the area local to my house. They are no doubt going to have a number of impacts on the local roads, increased population of the area etc. I have no issues with that at all. However I bet that some of the people who said I was tribalised in my ways, are the same people who would object to these proposals.

Seeing two hotel companies willing to invest large sums into new businesses in the area is surely a good thing. Just because preferred retailers are not currently interested in moving into the area, surely seeing other businesses making their move is a positive for the area? Surely it shows that certain sectors feel there is room for growth, so the area has potential for now and the future. Is this not the exact thing I was told I was against, that I am supporting openly here?

So confusing!

So to clarify... I am all for change, I am all for the bettering of the area. More businesses, more jobs, more homes.. What I am against are people who  pick and choose based on certain criteria, and go out of their way to be obstructive, purely because its not the business they wanted. Independent pizza shops pop up all over the place, hurrah, Domino's planned. DOWN WITH DOMINO'S !!
New supermarket planned, is it M&S or Waitrose? No? SAY NO TO NEW SUPERMARKET!

Does it make more sense now. You either support development and growth, or you don't. If you are going to be vocal about your selective mindset, expect to be called out on it.
SE23 has celebrated independent coffee shops, and that is something to be proud of for sure. So why is a Costa such a bad thing? More choice for those who prefer the chain. NO! May those people be damned for their poor taste in coffee, you should drink REAL coffee!!

There are so many examples of this selective NIMBYism. Going back to hotels.. We want SE23 to grown, we want it to be more affluent, have better shopping options, venues for entertaining, and fine dining etc. However we don't want hotels. Hotels which bring more people to the area, increasing footfall, increasing demands on local businesses, and making the area somewhat more desirable to the exact businesses which would turn a NIMBY to a YIMBY in a heartbeat.
As I was told, see the bigger picture.

With the Overground now in SE23, things are changing for sure, after all it was after the announcement of it coming to the area that the development of some new buildings started, the house prices rose, and the area became "more desirable". With the first wave of growth and development done and settled, other changes locally and to the transport infrastructure once again put SE23 on the map. However this time (since the explosion of social media) the voices of opposition are loud.

Time will tell what comes next for the area, but again, to be clear, I welcome the changes. When the house next to mine was demolished, and changed from being a single family dwelling to SEVEN flats, I gulped and just carried on. When the same thing happened two doors further down, my reaction was the same. Local parking became a pain in the arse, the mannerisms of the new residents were very different to those of days gone by. Bins all over the place, bad parking, parties etc. Some of which is easy to suck it up, other bits just make you wish people would be a little respectful and try and include themselves in the neighbourhood. Alas, not so.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Dear SE23...

I have lived in you for 45 years, over 3/4 of my life now, and we have seen some great times together. Your streets have taught me many life lessons, as well as burned me at times (my own stupid fault). You are my home, the place I miss when I am away, and the views of your rooftops, especially the church that peeks out at the top of my road, are always a welcome sight.

I have lived elsewhere, I have visited many places, but have always felt most comfortable right back within your streets.

My childhood was spent exploring the local roads. Finding all those alleyways, and cul-de-sacs hidden away from the view of every day life. Absolute gems of architecture, which I have grown to respect with age, and of course the odd blot on the landscape.

From a young child, to a man now in his 40's, you have shown me the values of a home, rather than a place to live, and I hope as the years go by, we will continue to have a wonderful relationship.

But..... SE23, there is a problem. It's not me, it's not you...... IT'S THEM !!!
Who the hell are these entitled arseholes who have moved in? When did SE23 become full of pompous idiots who demand all their demands are met. We want this shop, we don't like this company, who are these people who have parties, it's too light, dark, grey, green..... Please, make them go away!

We were happy for so long. All the people who have spent their lives here with us, growing with the area, seeing businesses come and go. The Swiss Cottage, Woolworths, The Golden Griddle, the old petrol station on Waldram Park Road.... So many memories of days gone by, but all replaced by modern day businesses or building, most of which I welcome. Obviously, nothing is perfect, but as a whole, I love you SE23.

So back to those people. They are ruining what we have. The spillover from other local areas, reluctant to say they simply could not afford to live elsewhere, they tell us they are part of the "gentrification" of the area. The new breed, the start of a movement to bring the area up to date, and with the times.
For starters, some of these people need to understand what gentrification actually is. It is not modernisation, or a slight change in social wealth in an area. It is a bricks up redesign on an area for social development, and pushing out the existing people.
Let's get one thing straight here, we (the natives of the area) ain't going nowhere. Don't like us, don't like our ways? Simple, don't move here.

Recent years have seen people move to this lovely area, and start smear campaigns about loved locals, made snide comments to damage people and businesses which simply don't fit into their perfect little worlds, and started some sort of movement to turn the area into something it quite simply is not.
SE23, you are beautiful, filled with green spaces, tree lined streets, wide roads, and many lovely people and businesses, but a village, no! Quaint, nope! As for prime for gentrification.... Fuck right off!
I know you know I want what is best for you, I think I have gotten to know you pretty well over the years. So please, sell yourself more to the mainstream, lets see those building projects, the NIMBY arseholes are all crying about, happen. Bring on the chain stores like Costa to give the local independents a kick in the pants where needed. Domino's can't come soon enough, and lets see the good people of SE23 rise up and claim back what is theirs.

No more of this "I want it this way" bullshit. Talk of blocking cycle paths with concrete blocks, just in case mopeds ride through fire gates.... WTF !! What sort of nonsense is this? Who are these people who are moving in to this area? This is not the mindset of South London, this is people who think they live in South Kensington. Get a grip people!!

Now I love people, I love diversity, and I want this to work, I really do SE23. We can all live together in perfect harmony I am sure. We just need to be a bit more picky about some of the people moving in, and let them know where exactly they are moving in to. Streets are no uniquely lined with independent shops, simply because, well..... you are a town, not a village! Lidl and Aldi are popular because, well.... Most people shop with their budgets in mind, and don't let their precious egos get in the way. Good quality food, at affordable prices. Not the same food at over inflated prices, with premium price tags attached.

I think you are worthy of the finest businesses which suit the needs of our area, I really do. However I also know you don't take it to heart when some brands choose not to open branches in your neighbourhood. Usually based on the demographic of the area, and the projected revenues. I think the only people with a problem with this are those who, just for a moment, realise they are not living in the suburban utopia they like to think they are. A momentary reality check, you live in South London, get over yourself you pompous idiot.

SE23, if it is OK with you, I want to renew our vows to one another, just as long as you promise this is just a glitch, and that the madness will end one day. Sure, lets move up the ranks of most desirable places to live, let's celebrate the wonderful area that you really are, but don't let them bully you into over stretching yourself. You are perfect just the way you are.

As a side note... Dear people of the area, if you have lived here over 10-15 years, I am sure you appreciate the area for all it has to offer. There are some great tight knit communities around the area, speaking from personal experience, I know in times of need my neighbours have my back, and we are as one.
If you have moved in over recent years, and are one of these who chooses not to get to know any of your neighbours, or take an immediate dislike to them, well, quite frankly, that is your problem. Please don't move to an area which is loaded with history, family legacies, and so much more, and immediately think that things should be done differently now that you have moved in.

It doesn't work like that, and if you don't like it, do one! Do your research, find out about an area, and neighbourhood, rather than moving in and suddenly expecting to become the head of the house. If you demand certain businesses, don't like the wildlife in an area broken into two districts, one with FOREST in the name and the other with PARK in it, don't move to it!

I am sick and tired of hearing the whining of the primadonnas, complaining that bin men are noisy, mopeds use the streets, their flat white is too milky, or that a frickin pizza place is daring to open locally to them! Get a grip of yourselves, or STFU, please!!

I could go on for ages about this, but can actually feel myself turning into a whining little NIMBY, so am going to go to the spa and have a green tea and meditate for a while....

Seriously though. If you are just moving in, or moved in recently, welcome to the area. Please take some time to get to know your neighbours, hell, just do a leaflet drop with some contact details, and a hi, you don't have to buy everyone hampers, or invite them over for canapes, (thats no how we do things around here!). SE23 is a fantastic area to live. Perfect, no, but it sure as hell doesn't need a Laurence Llewelyn Bowen   make over.... Maybe a little DIY SOS at best :)

I guess it is worth adding, for fairness and balance. There is nothing wrong with hoping for improvements to an area when you move in. Hell, there is no such place as the perfect area. I have no issue with that whatsoever. Nor do I have a problem with new people moving in. It's a free country, and I don't blame you for wanting to move into this lovely area.
The people I speak of a a tiny but very vocal minority, much like those who read this entry in its original form, and took immediate offence, and told me I was wrong, and my words were poison. See, THAT is the problem right there.... Not just an opinion, FACT, I was wrong.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Touching base.

I have written a few emotionally motivated blog entries recently, but less and less about myself. So, I thought I would change that today.

Hello, my name is Michael. This is my blog, and I would like to tell you a little about myself.

So where do I start? It has been quite a while since I stopped taking Citalopram for my depression. It feels great to be med free again, after what seemed like forever this time around. Of course, I am managing to keep myself busy with other activities to keep my brain balanced, and my mind occupied. That is not to say I have not had wobbles. It is actually pretty scary feeling a wobble, especially when you can recall so clearly where you end up if you fall.
The simplest of things can cause one, a small disagreement which causes you to question yourself, is enough to get things moving. Thankfully, I have regained my composure and stability before it was too late.

Cycling and running are really keeping me honest to myself. Requiring me to keep focused, and put energy into the activity is a great way to keep things going. With over 5,000 miles covered so far this year, I am pushing myself like I have never pushed before. To the point where I am having to call myself out at times and take a break, before I run myself into the ground. I already know that I will have to dial it back a little for next year, which may or may not cause a bit of a void for me. I am already thinking ahead to see what I can do to fill that.

Another thing that I have done to stay busy is my Snazy365 project on Instagram. (https://www.instagram.com/snazy365/)
A photo a day, for a year. Something to reflect the day, and to see if I can simply scroll back through them and recall that day from an image of one event. It has been fun, but all wraps up tomorrow on day 365! I am considering what I can do next, maybe a repeat, maybe something a bit stricter on rules. We shall see.

Other than that, work is the same, life is pretty good, and I am doing my best to be the best version of myself that I can be, without too much misery.

Tuvaaq is getting old and stiff now. Meanwhile Kallik is maturing into a lovely dog, calming down to a great extent, but still a little arsehole at times. After a long phase of sleeping outside at night, he is back inside. However has developed an annoying desire to go out at about 2am!
Then there is little madam Anya..... Well she has a long way to go before she fits my ideals. Some of her naughtiness is a little funny, while the rest is just sent to test us. She will get there, slowly but surely. I would not want it any other way.

So, that is about it really, I am still very much me. Annoying, opinionated, stubborn and a little arrogant at times. Life is good, can't say I would change anything right now.

It's not may fault....

A phrase which is becoming all too common in society these days. Regardless of the situation, the response is the same, it's not my fault, blame them!
The lack of ability to either see ones responsibility in a situation, let alone accept it, is getting quite worrying these days.

From the world stage, to personal experiences, all anyone seems to want to do is blame someone else for something that has happened, and rid themselves of any blame whatsoever.

I recently had a "popular" Twitter post, in which people felt the need to call me out on my opinions towards cyclists wearing hivis clothing. At no point did I suggest it should be made law, become a legal requirement, or say that anyone not wearing it deserved to be mowed down.
However the "blame someone else" brigade came out in force to be heard.

From posting a comparison of four tops I wear for cycling, and suggesting some were more visible than others, and it was wise to be seen, before I knew it I was being accused of faking the photos, suggesting drivers were within their rights to mow people down, and suggesting that it was a cyclists duty to make themselves visible, so motorists didn't have to look for them.

I won't get into the whole tweet right now, but all I can say is, all those people who felt that way, and had some sort of attitude that motorists are all arrogant and entitled, is simply trying to shift blame. The same people refuse to accept cyclists jump red lights, or if they do, they say its OK as they don't kill people.
Demanding data is provided in order to have a worthy "opinion", while ramming skewed data down your throat, to support the "its' not my fault" agenda.

The list goes on, but just using the anti motoring, (looney) pro cycling bunch as an example, their solutions are simple. Cyclists are NOT to blame, cyclists need do nothing else to make themselves safer, wearing helmets is pointless (data said so) hivis clothing also pointless (data said so)
All we need is more infrastructure. Which is great, yes, lets have more infrastructure.... but what about country lanes, what about smaller roads. There are 245,000 miles of roads in the UK.... Does there need to be infrastructure on every mile of it?

I was even scrutinised by a complete stranger, asked where I rode, when, how often, what my experiences were...... Relevant why? Oh I get it, to try and find a chink in my armour, to find an argument about me having a rationalised opinion, based on actual experience, rather than hearsay, or "data".

All to point out, it' not their fault.... It's someone elses.

The same applies in all walks of life, right up to the top of responsibility. Governments blame previous governments for weaknesses, short fallings, and events which led up to the current moment. However never look back far enough to the last time they were responsible, and say, oh actually, we could have set things up a bit better.

The problem is, the more wide spread this all becomes, the easier it becomes to just blame someone else, the harder it becomes to find the truth, the solutions, and learn from the event. And that is my worry here.

Quite frankly, the Twitter bullies, who are too ignorant, arrogant or blind to take some responsibility, well more power to them. At the end of the day, the only people who will suffer for those attitudes, are themselves.

Meanwhile, in society, in our communities, we have similar discussions taking place. Some of great importance, others of little consequence, but the outcome is still the same. People too set in their ways to accept there are options, too caught up in their own existence, to for one second consider others, and some people just hell bent on causing misery for others, regardless of the cost.

Take your heads out of your arses people, and take a look around you for once. Actually think your opinions through, consider your actions, and size up the consequences. Make a change!