Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Gimmick

I was looking back over my 2006 blog Advent calendar which was pretty darned cool. I thought it might be nice to celebrate the season by another such gimmick but not sure what that should be. So I will do something but I'm not quite sure what it'll be.
In the meantime,I'm not sure it'll be this:
One Hundred Days to Make me a Better Person
Maybe you'll be making the pledge?

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

50,000 words in a month

Such a shame that I didn't see this earlier.
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

I think I'd like to try this in another month. March maybe. Or if I really have to, wait until next November. I think it's a cracking idea!



I've just noticed I've been doing this blog for 4 years, which is incredible!
I've also noticed that I've been blogging a lot more of late. I wonder why that is?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'

Mild uproar ensued this week after Kate Moss said the statement above in an interview although she continued that it 'You try and remember but it never works.' It seems harsh to me to criticise a woman who has made her fortune through her skinny frame for a comment that is as widely known as 'you can never be too rich or too thin.'
With appearance meaning so much in our society and such value put on being skinny, every mouthful counts. Would it have been better if Kate lied? Most super-skinny women say they eat loads but never seem to gain weight. Is that any more comfort for larger people or will they then be in search for the missing magic thing in their diet that will speed up their metabolism?
In my mind it is better to equate food in as energy out and any over-intake means fat deposits. It's just striking the balance of how important it is in the great scheme of things.
(Trying hard to resist the almond croissant in the bread bin!)

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Sunday, November 15, 2009


Thought I might share with you a poem I've written. Let me know what you think...

Adam's lament

When the wildcats roamed,
ferns canopied the stars,
heavy mist kissed naked
flesh, the mocking screams rang
hitting trees and changing course
in the dense forestation.

When predators stalked, the
beat of a thousand jeweled wings
cracked the custard air. Eyes
glittered in the swamp
and the gas stench
threatened to intoxicate.

When the apes stood to beat their chests
and bare their fangs, the steady
drip from sodden sky to leather leaf to fertile floor
drummed the pulse of death.

When hissing death
crackled through the dust,
when acid amphibians
bellowed, when electricity ripped
open a hole in the heavens
and showers daggered and drenched.
As prey became sustenance, the sound of bones
cracked and flesh ripped.
That's when I waited for you.

Helen Bouttell
November 2009

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

View Point

I was chairing a meeting yesterday and at the end I invited any other business (as you do in these sorts of meetings). A woman sitting next to me was very eager and leapt in quickly to say yes. She announced very breathlessly and dramatically, 'A local school has been judged to have discriminated against a disabled child.' She continued to say which school it was and how awful it was and how as a body of people we should write a strongly worded letter to the school to say how we condemn it for it's actions 'in this day and age'.
I knew that YMCA work in this school which put me in a compromising position and someone else attending the meeting said, 'I couldn't sign a letter to that effect because I've worked with the boy in question and I agree with the school.' Apparently I steered the meeting well through this item and requested that any agency that wanted to write could do so individually.
Further details about the case revealed that the boy in question's disability is ADHD and was excluded for violent behaviour.
I'm pretty sure based on the passions of the family and the lady who was at the meeting, that this will become a local news item.
It is good to have both sides of the story though...
I was also thinking about something else this morning. About someone, angry and grieving insisting that she has been insulted through a 'sloppily' written letter. Looked at another way, she's insulting the handwriting of a man with a disability.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Taking Responsibility

I was thinking about an article on the BBC news site this morning about why it seems to be OK to abuse fat people. It's a good, thought provoking article and I agree that our society is completely negative about people who weigh more 'than perhaps they ought' (because that's debatable too).
I was thinking about sin and taking responsibility this morning and I linked it with this article. Fat people scare 'us'- is this because they have no-one but themselves to 'blame' for their obesity? Think about it- the whole concept of sin is alien to our culture. Sin means owning up, saying 'I did wrong' but this is counter culture because no-one likes to take responsibility these days. 'It wasn't my fault', 'It wasn't me'. You can't say that if you're obese. Well actually you can try with 'I had a difficult childhood', 'My parents fed me all sorts of unhealthy things', 'It's the food manufacturers fault because of hidden sugars and aggressive advertising'. You can try to pass the buck but ultimately we are all responsible for what we put in our mouths and if that results in us being fat, then woe betide us. Every mouthful that's eaten is monitored and scorned, every shopping trolley scrutinised. Society can elevate themselves as superior at the expense of overweight people.
Does this remind anyone else of the Judaic pharisees? I was listening to an HTB podcast of the woman caught in adultery and thought this seems to me a direct parallel. There is no escaping the 'guilt'- the woman was caught in the act, the obese person carries their evidence with them daily. The analogy doesn't follow through as there is no Jesus figure in the modern day version but I think the hostility and venom that overweight people are shown is similar to the righteous anger of the mob in Biblical times.
I'm not quite sure what the answer is but I think weight-ism is the new barrier to oppressive overcome. Hopefully recognition of this will help.

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