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the other land of oz

Insomnia

My head settles into the pillow, the duvet forms itself around me, my body finds its familiar groove in the mattress beneath me and I close my eyes.

My breathing is slow, rhythmic. I feel the muted whump whump as my heart beats behind my eyes, in my temples, in my chest. I find the feeling comforting and disconcerting. It fascinates and terrifies in equal measure.

Shapeless forms swirl behind my eyelids; phantoms that drift and coalesce and join and break and rejoin. I try to follow them in that strange space that is everything and nothing, which seems so impossibly vast and yet can’t be as it’s behind my eyes, inside my head.

Images flash. Thoughts whirl. Voices echo. Each image or thought or voice is there for the briefest of moments, to be replaced instantly by another and another and another. I try to latch onto one, try to hold it and expand it and study it and make sense of it but I can’t. They’re like snowflakes, there and then gone too soon.

I’m so very tired.

Morpheus, for whatever reason, does not bestow upon me his gift; there are no dreams for me this night, like so many others before.

I open my eyes and stare. The streetlight’s orange glare shines through my window, through the blind that keeps prying eyes at bay, and casts angular shadows across the ceiling. How often have I seen this sight? How often have I laid here staring up at the shapes and patterns made by the shadows? The bumps and forms of the ceiling as familiar to me as the lines on my hand.

Someone walks past the house – their footfalls loud in the quiet and the still. I wonder where they have been and where they are going. I wonder about their life and if they are happy. I wonder if Morpheus will be visiting them tonight and feel stupidly envious.

I listen for as long as I can before once again silence descends. The only sound now is my breathing. I try to concentrate on that. Try to clear my head of the infinitesimal thoughts that scratch and itch and threaten to spill but never do. But to no avail. Despite my efforts, or maybe because of them, the thoughts remain while my lungs continue to do what it is they are designed to do. No amount of concentration is going to change that. I know this for fact because I have tried so many times before. Yet despite the futility of it, it’s a technique I try again because maybe, just maybe.

I shift my weight and rearrange my legs, the duvet rustling as I move. I am so very aware of my body – its weight, the sensations of the cotton against my skin, the way the material envelops me and keeps me warm. One arm resting across my chest, the other laying straight by my side. My fingertips feeling chest hair and duvet simultaneously and for a fleeting moment I marvel at how this is possible and then the thought is lost.

How much time has passed? I want to look at the clock on the bedside table, knowing full well I won’t like what I see when I read the blue neon display. During these endless nights the very nature of time seems to become elastic, stretching a minute into something… more. A unit of time as yet unnamed which exists solely to torment and to torture.

Not really knowing how I know, the cat has silently entered my room. With a reassuring mewl he jumps onto the bed and makes his way to my chest. He pushes his head into my hand, instinctively knowing there’s no way I won’t reciprocate. His fur is thick and soft and not unpleasant. He purrs and I welcome his distraction.

For a while we remain like this. The weight of his body on top of mine is somehow comforting; the purring rhythmic and soothing.

His eyes are closed and his purring is now long and deep and I know it won’t be long before he is asleep. Sure enough, he sits up, yawns and finds his familiar spot next to me, in the crook of my arm. He curls himself up tight, in between the space my arm and my body make, and allows himself to settle. I feel the heat of his body against my arm and welcome it.

I wonder if he will dream.

And thus we remain. One of us already in Morpheus’ sweet embrace, one of us not.

But I know he will come for me too, eventually.

I hope.

sandman1
Sandman by Dave McKean

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Now

TimeTravel

According to Albert Einstein the only reason for time

is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.

Which does kinda make sense when you think about it. But (and oh my god I can’t believe I’m about to argue with one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century), the very concept of time is a very human one. Birds don’t measure time, neither do trees or shrimp or elephants or fleas or dandelions or… You get my point. Yes they may do things at certain times of the year, but only because we have observed the patterns over the millennia and assigned words to help us understand.

For example, think of a tree. Right now here in the northern hemisphere most of them are bare because it’s winter, but in a few months’ time they will blossom and we will know it’s spring. From that point we look forward to summer as the trees have full foliage and they begin to grow their fruit. Come the last quarter of the year, as the temperature drops, they begin to lose their leaves, any fruit is harvested and autumn is upon us. And the seasonal cycle begins anew.

How many references to time are there in that paragraph above? I count eleven. It would have been impossible for me to have written that paragraph without those references because our understanding of time is reliant upon the language we have assigned to it.

It’s really quite impossible to imagine our lives without the concept of time. It is so hard-wired into our collective consciousness that right from birth the very notions of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years are thrust upon us whether we want them or not. And we spend the rest of our lives from that moment on trying to catch up. What we’re catching up to is anyone’s guess, but there never seems to be enough time to get there.

And so here we are, the first day of 2014.

The Earth has successfully circled the sun and we’re at the beginning again. It took twelve months to get here. Fifty-two weeks. Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days. It’s like some big cosmic reset. Start again at zero and let’s see what happens this time. The conceit of course is that we are a year older, moving ever closer to that inevitable moment when our time stops.

Kinda depressing I know, and I apologise. I’m just trying to put things into some kind of perspective.

I have to admit that there’s a part of me that dreads the reset. I get so caught up in that whole looking-forward thing and that whole looking-back thing I kinda forget to enjoy the moment. The now. Instead of focussing on accomplishments and successes I look at the failures and all the things I haven’t achieved. Instead of looking forward with optimism my dread gets the better of me and I imagine a year of “failures” like the last one.

Ridiculous really. And not very healthy.

I think one of the hardest aspects of time is the notion of change. It is indeed inevitable. And change doesn’t really come any bigger than when the clock is set back to zero for another year. The anticipation of that change is what I think I react to the most. As much as I embrace it I do find myself worrying what form it will take. Will it be a big change? A small one? Will there be more than one? How affected will I be? My family? My friends? And that’s the other thing about time isn’t it? It goes by and we have absolutely no way of knowing what the future will bring. We really are at its mercy.

Those of you that don’t know me, I’m a bit of a Doctor Who fan. Last week the Christmas special said goodbye to the current Doctor and introduced the new one. His parting words included these:

Times change, and so must I. We all change when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives and that’s okay. That’s good. Gotta keep it moving. So long as you remember all the people that you used to be.

If I could go back in time I would visit certain moments of my life, bop myself on the head and say “NO!”. Unfortunately I’ve watched enough science fiction to know that any kind of shenanigans on the space/time continuum never end well. And besides, temporal paradoxes aside, who’s to say I wouldn’t make the same mistakes again anyway?

The first few seconds of this new year were spent in the company of my family as we ushered it in amidst hilarious attempts to light fireworks in the pouring rain. It was one of those moments in a family’s history that will be remembered forever. And it’s that, I think, that sums up the notion of time the best for me. All those moments that come together to make one glorious whole. They may not always be happy moments or sad moments or big ones or small ones, but they are the moments that make us who we are. They are the moments that tell our stories.

And maybe, just maybe, 2014 will be a year we look less at the clock and more at what’s happening in the now.

And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be happier for it.

Uncle

IMG_2935a

The above photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.

That’s yours truly with one of my nieces, Miss M.

We were on holiday in Croatia and we’d kinda got lost on the way to Dubrovnik’s Old Town. I could go into detail as to why we’re both looking kinda deranged but it was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments. Suffice it to say it involved a very tenuous link to a horror movie that we just thought was hilarious (the link, not the horror movie). So much so we had to take a silly photograph, nearly getting run over by a motorbike in the process, falling about laughing all the while.

Like I said, you had to be there.

I very much pride myself on the relationship I have with my nieces and nephews, and being ‘Uncle Oz’ means a lot to me. I know one of the main reasons is that I’m pretty certain I won’t be fathering any children myself. It’s not that I don’t want to – I like to think I’d make a great dad – it’s just that circumstances and a little smidgen of irony have conspired against me.

So I just use my sisters’ kids. The added bonus being I can give them back when I’m done.

Well I call them kids – the eldest is thirty-five and the youngest is seventeen. Yeah, there are BIG age gaps in my family. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just made things a little… different.

For instance, the three eldest – a brother and sister combo from one sis, and Miss M from another – are more like younger siblings. We all grew up together. We played together. We watched The Wizard of Oz nearly every day and my Commodore 64 was the most amazing thing. Ever.

If I think about the relationship I have with my uncles and aunts and compare it to the one I have with my own nieces and nephews there are some glaring differences. For one thing I don’t think I could have half any of the conversations with my uncles that I have with, well, any of my nieces and nephews. It just wouldn’t happen. From the language we use to the subject matter – if I ever repeated any of that stuff with the oldies I would be instantly shunned, branded disrespectful and written out of every will.

My sisters and I were brought up with a strong sense of family. At times this felt quite claustrophobic, particularly when we tried to go our own ways. But if I think back to my childhood and adolescence the one constant was always the knowledge that come what may, the family would always be there. And for my part, being the youngest out of four siblings meant that all my sisters had gotten married or left home by the time I was twelve – by that point I’d been ‘Uncle Oz’ for eight years.

In the years that have followed I’ve watched my nieces and nephews grow and mature into fine young men and women. There’s a musician and an artist, a computer boffin and a marketing guru, a shop manager and a media whizz and a… well, being the youngest, he hasn’t quite decided yet, but whatever it is I know he will excel. I’m immensely proud of all of them and it has been awesome watching them grow and become the people they are. (I’m also quite proud that all of my nephews have followed me in my nerdy footsteps, but that’s a post for another time).

Christmas is rapidly approaching, a time where the notion of family is particularly important and significant. For me anyway. Being the only one of my siblings without a family of my own I always feel like an extra unnecessary wheel. Which is really daft seeing as the last few years it has almost become a tradition that I spend Christmas with my sister (Miss M’s mum) and her family. I’m not entirely sure I’d want to spend it anywhere else to be honest. I actually don’t think they’d let me.

But that’s the great thing about having such close bonds. Being made to feel like you belong. Being made to feel special. Being loved and loving in return.

Keep being brilliant guys, and I’ll keep being Uncle Oz.

xox

Inadequate

inadequateNot the nicest of words is it?

According to the new OFTSED (Office for Standards in Education) framework my teaching, in less than a year, has gone from ‘good with outstanding features’ to ‘needs improvement’ to ‘inadequate’.

That really doesn’t make much sense to me.

I have been teaching for nearly twenty years. In those twenty years I have taught some truly rubbish lessons. I am my own worst critic and I know when things are not up to snuff. But similarly I have taught some absolutely brilliant lessons and generally my teaching has never been that bad. I’ve seen bad teaching and I know I’m nothing like that.

I’m not being conceited, I’m just stating what I know to be true. So to be told today that my teaching was inadequate came as a bit of a shock.

Before I go on I just want to state that this post is not aimed at anyone specifically. There may be some that will read this and think I have individuals in mind. That is the furthest thing from the truth. It is the education system itself I am criticizing and not the individuals who, through no fault of their own, have to implement it.

I understand why OFSTED exists, and I understand why there is a need for the quality control of teaching. What I don’t understand is why the system is so flawed that it leaves one feeling completely demoralised and deflated. Without wanting to sound melodramatic, how am I supposed to go back to work tomorrow knowing my teaching is considered inadequate?

Of course there is no doubt I will go back to work, and I know I’ll be supported by the amazing people I work with and I know I’ll carry on doing what it is I do. But somewhere there will be a file with my name on it, and in that file will be a record of today’s observation. And that record is permanent.

In this new era of performance-related pay that’s a very sobering thought.

I do find it rather interesting that performance-related pay came about at around the same time the new OFSTED framework was introduced. Fuel for thought, no?

I didn’t become a teacher to reach targets. I didn’t become a teacher so that I could deal with bureaucracy on a daily basis and jump through hoops to please politicians. I didn’t become a teacher so that I could tick boxes. I didn’t become a teacher so that I would have to compete with my colleagues.

I became a teacher because I wanted to educate children and young people.

I have remained a teacher because it is something I know I am good at.

Four years ago I qualified as an Art Psychotherapist. Because of the recession and government cutbacks in psychological services, Art Therapy jobs were very few and far between. Somehow I ended up in Singapore teaching art and literacy and providing Art Therapy. After two years I came back to the UK but despite my best efforts I was still unable to secure Art Therapy work. And so I fell back on what I all ready knew, the result of which being I am now teaching in a special needs school. The added bonus is that I have been given one a day a week to provide Art Therapy. The best of both worlds.

I was only away from the UK education system for a couple of years, but it’s fair to say it changed drastically in that short space of time. I’m really not sure I can keep up. Or that I want to. And that makes me sad. And it makes me angry.

I fail to understand how a twenty minute lesson observation determines my teaching is inadequate. Despite having had feedback and told how and why that determination was reached, I have thought about it and gone over it in my mind and I just don’t get it. All the educational jargon in the world will not make it any clearer.

My teaching does not lack quality. My teaching is not insufficient for its purpose.

Inadequate is successive governments systematically changing the education system in this country to the point where teachers feel they can no longer teach.

Inadequate is a government bombarding teachers with so much paperwork it detracts from the very thing they are trained to do.

Inadequate is a government that insists on using a divisive and demoralising system to rate how well a teacher is performing.

Inadequate is a government that insists on spending millions of pounds on wars overseas when schools are crying out for resources.

Inadequate is a government that has completely lost sight of what education actually is.

Inadequate is a government that refuses to see the value of teaching assistants and refuses to pay them accordingly.

Inadequate is an education system that is only interested in results.

Inadequate are politicians who have no idea what it means to teach.

Inadequate is not me.

Narnia

tltwatw

You know how sometimes someone comes into your life and there is that instant click and you feel like you’ve known them forever? There’s nothing specific, nothing glaringly obvious, and yet you just get on with that person and know that it’s gonna be a friendship that – come what may – will stand the test of time.

That’s how I feel about Mrs Beaver.

Now Mrs Beaver and I met each other when I lived and worked in Singapore a few years ago. Without wanting to sound like a sycophantic creep, if it wasn’t for Mrs Beaver I think I probably would have lost my mind over there. Not gonna go into specifics but our boss was somewhat… um… challenged when it came to being a boss. Which was kinda unfortunate and really quite disappointing.

However, with this common shared  disappointment Mrs Beaver and I developed a relationship that was as much a way of surviving as it was a genuine love and respect of the other.

Plus the absolute stupidity of the pair of us as we tried to outdo the other with our antics. Coconut shells as horses hooves spring to mind. As does forming a conga line and singing ‘Love Train’.

Our offices were both in the same corridor. Well mine was an office. Mrs B’s was more of a wardrobe. Hence the Narnia analogies and how she became Mrs Beaver and I became Mr Tumnus. There was also a Lady Macbeth, but the least said about her the better.

Narnia and anything magical or sparkly or just downright silly became our thing.

Now when we weren’t being the stalwart and professional educators that we were, Mrs B and I would often be found in each other’s offices (though really, it has to be said, we were mostly in mine ‘cos Mrs B’s really wasn’t big enough for her, never mind the both of us) eating Digestive biscuits and putting the world to rights. We would sometimes be joined by Miss T or Queen Bee, but most people kept away because quite frankly I think they thought we were mad.

Mrs B and I had many shared experiences during my Singapore adventure, but the best one has to be the drama production we were both in. For lots of reasons that was a testing time for the both of us. Mine was down to mostly a case of mistaken gay identity which could have proved so cringe-worthingly embarrassing I’m even too aghast – even now – to go into details. Suffice it to say that Mrs B and I helped each other through very different but very difficult times and it was this moment in our relationship that things really cemented.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

People come and go from our lives all the time. Some of them are there briefly, and some are there for the long haul. Whatever length of time they’re there for, they’re in our lives for a reason. We learn from them. We learn about ourselves through them. To quote Mrs B, they become part of our story.

This weekend I spent a couple of days with Mrs B as she’s over here in the UK sorting out some personal stuff. She’s staying in her dad’s old place with two of her children. Whenever I go to visit – which is whenever she’s here – I am instantly at ease. It is a credit to her and her children that they make me feel like a member of the family. We talk. We laugh. We drink Lambrini and pear cider. We get ever so silly.

And I love it.

Now there is something very special about Mrs B’s dad’s house, and in particular the garden. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. It is one of those places that always lifts my spirits. I am always content there. It might be because of the people. It might be because it’s not where I’m used to. It might be because of the amazing scenery. It might be because of the love and warmth I know has permeated its very fibre over the years.

Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s actually a combination of all of those things plus so much more that I can’t really put into words.

One thing Mrs B and I agree on though is that it’s very Narnian.

And while we have yet to see a talking lion or a wicked witch we have both shared many a moment in that garden, come rain or shine, just being content and silly and serious and downright loving each other’s company. And knowing that Narnia will always be with us, wherever we may be.

And for that I am very grateful.

tltwatw2

OOMPH

oomphOh shush.

Like it was ever gonna be in doubt that I would completely lose the oomph to maintain this blog.

The oomph has been seriously lacking these past few months. I have been oomph-less. There has been no oomph.

God I love that word.

OOMPH.

Right, now I have that out of my system, hello! Man it actually feels so good to be back. I have missed this, not gonna lie.

You know that feeling when you lose touch with a friend and the longer you leave it the more embarrassed you feel, and the more embarrassed you feel the more you put it to the back of your mind ‘cos dealing with it would be too cringe-worthy? But then when you do eventually get in touch with that friend (yes, it’s a long analogy but please bear with me) you realise that there really was nothing to feel embarrassed about in the first place?

Yeah, that’s kinda what it’s been like for me and this blog.

I have absolutely no idea what has spurred me to sit down and start writing again. In fact, I had planned to spend this evening in front of the telly eating my own body weight in Milkybar Giant Buttons (they are SO good!) and then going to bed feeling bitterly disappointed in myself and promising I would never do it again but knowing full well I will.

Maybe it’s just the right time for me to put pen to paper – or in this case, finger to keyboard – again.

Without wanting to get all existential I do have a strong belief in everything happening for a reason, even if that everything is shitty and makes you want to run around screaming “WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WHY?!” as you reach for the next bag of Milkybar Giant Buttons. Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, there have been quite a few WTF?! moments like that over the last few months. Which is probably why I haven’t had much head-space for things like sitting down and writing.

But here I am.

Yay!

I’m not gonna make any sweeping promises about keeping up-to-date with the blog ‘cos frankly I would only be lying. But now that I’ve written this my creative juices are once again flowing, so you never know.

So I guess the oomph is back here at The Land of Oz. To be honest it never really went away. It was just laying dormant waiting for the right moment to kick back in. The filing cabinet in my brain marked “Things to Write About” is actually overflowing with ideas so maybe I’ve sprung a leak.

Which actually sounds kinda icky now I’m thinking about it.

So to take your mind off of that rather bizarre mental image, I shall bid you adieu (for now) with one of my favourite cat GIFs. ‘Cos one can never have too many cat GIFs.

The Best Cat GIF Post In The History Of Cat GIFs

Just a Jump to the Left

lips2

So I had an interview today.

It was for the job I’m all ready doing, plus a little extra in terms of role and responsibility as well as something quite new.

It was really quite a bizarre experience being interviewed by people I’ve worked with and gotten to know since November. One of them – my boss no less – saw me dressed last week as Frank N Furter from The Rocky Horror Show. We did the Time Warp together. And then suddenly there I was today sat in front of her all suited and booted and answering very professional questions in a very professional manner. Well I think my answers were professional. I won’t know until tomorrow afternoon.

My career seems to have taken a strange, but not altogether unpleasant, turn. I have high hopes for this job (if I get it) and can’t help but feel big things are on their way.

Finally.

Having turned forty quite recently I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with the whole “So what now?” thing. I did a masters a few years ago in the hopes of changing career paths but was faced with – along with thousands of others – a job field suffering very badly from the recession and lord alone knows how many cutbacks. Luckily my original profession was one that I could fall back on, and that’s what I did. I eventually ended up in Singapore for a couple of years, but that’s a post for another time.

My line of work is one of those that means once you get to a certain age you become somewhat expensive. The younger fresh-out-of-the-box types become the more affordable option and unless you’re ensconced in a place of work you run the risk of being too pricey to employ elsewhere. It’s all about the fresh meat. Back in the day, before my masters, I never really worried about that stuff. But with the prospect of retirement being only twenty years away now (in theory anyway – the retirement age could be upped to ninety-five with the way things are going) I’ve been very aware that unless I do something soon to address the issue of my career I’m gonna have a very bleak future indeed.

Hence today’s interview.

And you know what? I actually feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be work-wise, and I haven’t felt like that for a very long time.

You never really know what life is gonna throw your way. A jump to the left perhaps. Or a step to the right. At the end of the day what will be, will be.

Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that. I’m glad I’ve found it again.

The Nitty-Gritty, or Lack Thereof

Creativity-2

Now that I’ve got myself back on the blogging horse my mind is racing with all sorts of things I could write. That’s always been my problem – too many ideas and not enough perceived time. I say that, but really it’s all about not enough get-up-and-go to put those thoughts into action. It’s more like get-up-and-meh. I’ll be the first to admit that procrastination and I are very good friends. I would even go as far as to say that sometimes I can be a bit of a lazy git.

Over the last couple of years I’ve found that writing is something I’m quite good at. That may sound like I’m tooting my own horn, and I suppose to some extent I am, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a little pride in one’s abilities. I just hope that “pride before a fall” thing doesn’t happen to me. And if it does, I hope it’s a soft landing.

Now I do have a couple of quite ambitious writing projects I’ve been working on for quite some time. The problem is I always seem to get to a certain point and then I get completely bogged down with ideas and semantics and grammar (I am the worst Grammar Nazi I know) and minutiae and before I know it the task in hand just seems so overwhelming that I leave it to sit untouched and unloved in the bowels of my laptop, only occasionally getting some attention from me. All the while more ideas and landscapes and characters and situations spring up in my mind and get added to the all ready burgeoning filing cabinet in the recesses of my brain.

It really is quite frustrating.

Interestingly, I am the same with attempting any kind of artwork, and in particular painting. Painting was always my first choice when it came to any kind of artistic creativity. But as with my writing projects the ideas just feel too big now, too ambitious.  It’s almost like I have a fear of failing, though failing what exactly I just don’t know. I guess that thing about being one’s own worst critic rings true for me. My problem is that I criticise before anything has actually been created, almost like I jump ahead of myself.

I’ve heard it said many times that the best way to write or paint is to do just that: write or paint. Just do it and see what happens. You would think my training as an Art Psychotherapist would hold me in good stead with this but I think just the opposite has happened. I’m too consumed with the process to actually get on with the nitty-gritty. I really can’t see the wood for the trees.

Now I don’t want to come across as some tortured artistic soul, ‘cos frankly that’s the furthest thing I could be. I’m just putting it out there really, thinking out loud if you like, with you Dear Reader as my sounding board.

One of the things I’d quite like to do with this new blog is share some fictional writing with you. Just some short little bursts to test the waters. I’ve seen it done on other blogs, and there’s one in particular that I’m a huge fan of. Check out MOSTLY NIGHTMARE when you get a chance. There is some amazingly quirky micro-writing on there by a very talented author. I think so anyway.

As for me, I’ll just carry on doing my thing on here. If there’s anyone out there that can give me some advice about overcoming my self-inflicted mental blocks I’d be very grateful.

Vincent Van Gogh:

If you hear a voice within you say “You cannot paint”, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

 

And Here We Are Again

japanesesexshop (1)
Dorothy? What have they done to you?!

Hello.

You might remember me.

I used to ramble on here occasionally under a slightly different pseudonym. Unfortunately, thelandofozzie.com no longer exists. That domain name has been usurped by a Japanese company that, as far as I can gather, is using it to promote their line of sex toys. Or a chain of sex shops. Something like that. I guess Google Translate still has a ways to go before it truly masters the more subtle nuances of Japanese, but the gist is there. Click on this link if you don’t believe me.

Now why a Japanese company would want my old domain name is anyone’s guess. Maybe I was getting a lot more traffic than I thought, which is kinda cool but annoying at the same time. The reason why thelandofozzie.com is no longer mine is because… um… I kinda forgot to pay my yearly subscription to keep the name. In my defence this all happened at the same time as my big move back to the UK after two years in Singapore. To say I was a little preoccupied would be an understatement.

I do kinda find it bizarre that some keen eyed Japanese sex shop owner over in Tokyo or thereabouts just waited for the domain name to become available and pounced when he got the chance. Surely Japanese sex shop owners must have better things to do with their time.

You’ll notice my penchant for rambling hasn’t changed.

So yes, in a sudden moment of clarity I realised I actually missed the old writing. In fact, I realised I missed it quite a bit. Well I say moment of clarity. It was more my niece Miss Meemo asking why I hadn’t written for so long.

Why indeed. I guess there was just too much stuff going on in my head. New job. New (kind of) living situation. New (kind of) life. It’s only taken nine months but I’m finally starting to feel settled. And now that I’m feeling like that my creative juices are once more starting to flow. I may even go all out and start painting again. But that’s a post for another time.

So welcome, Dear Reader, to this new era at The Land of Oz. Those of you that remember the old one will have noticed things are a lot more toned down here. There will still be the same mindless drivel from me, just without all the bells and whistles. Having said that, bells and whistles may make an appearance from time to time.

I am me, after all.

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The Dystopian Nation of City-State

A cruel, futuristic vision created by science fiction authors James Courtney and Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills. ©2013-2016. All Rights Reserved. All writings available through Amazon.

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

you can observe a lot just by watching

thoughts and insights into the worlds of television and film

Robo♥beat

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, and VIDEO GAMES!

Awkward Laughter

Because most things in life are humorous, even when they shouldn't be

Part-Time Monster

I eat books for breakfast.

The Underground Writer

Observations simply stated.

Some Offense Intended

The Thoughts and Tribulations of a Socially Inept 20 Something.

adarkwhimsy

Writing and Artwork of Claire Waller

vandalpoet

a slow ,controlled exorcism....

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Break Room Stories

Service Industry Stories and More Since 2012

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

allaboutmanners

Just another WordPress.com site

tutorials4view

Watch free tutorials in Full HD (1080p) quality video tutorials, sorted by subjects, like: Photoshop, Gimp, Facebook, Torrents, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Viruses and malware removal ( like ask,com, vqo6, Babylon ) and more and more.. If you like our tutorials and guided, please SUBSCRIBE to out channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/ShaiSoft - tutorials4view.

joeseeberblog

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

The Neighborhood

society online's social conscious

Laura A. Diaz ____ Teach Write

TEACHER, AUTHOR, EDUblogger "I want to (read and) write books that unblock the traffic jam in everyone's mind." ~J. Updike

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

Street of Dreams

A literary blog of poet, playwright and essayist Rachael Stanford

TwistedSifter

The Best of the visual Web, sifted, sorted and summarized

Belief Blog

Spreading the Power of Belief

Berkeley Place

a little bit of BK in VA

Earth's Mightiest Blog

A panel a day from the world's best comic books

Just Kick The Can

All the fun in one place...

Shaking Hands with Savages

Indie. Passion. Art. Music.

The Film Guy

Film Reviews--Old & New

The Catwoman Chronicles

From secret origins, to this crooked little town, to the long road home...these are the Catwoman Chronicles.

By Odin's Beard

Comics updates weekly!

CineEdwin

Taking CineEdwin to another level...

allhorror

Just another WordPress.com site