I suppose some of you regulars may have started to wonder where I’d gone. The brutal truth is I just can’t write at the moment. I’m only pushing myself to write this because I feel I owe you for your loyalty over the past couple of years. This week, I experienced a bereavement that has utterly numbed me and completely killed the urge to compose. I can’t offer any sort of take on the remaining weeks of this vile, wretched year and the last thing I can face right now is the thought of having to relive it by reviewing it. Even if I tried, the end result would be so bilious and bleak that it’d make the last-but one post read like a jolly holiday brochure. You may have noticed a more cynical and pessimistic edge creeping into recent posts, anyway; I didn’t want this to become a permanent trend or a defining characteristic of a blog I’ve always tried to enliven with gallows humour as my hand is on my heart and my tongue is in my cheek.

Some might say carrying on regardless by churning out sardonic articles about something in the news every day could serve as a convenient distraction; to be honest, the most time an average post takes to write isn’t much more than a couple of hours, anyway, so it’s not as if the exercise is especially taxing. But if all you feel like doing is raging at the world in a relentless tide of negativity, it would quickly grate with the reader; besides, if that’s what the people are looking for, there’s always Alex Jones’ YT channel.

At the moment, anything I even attempted to write would just be too depressing, too despondent and, frankly, too much – not just for you, but me too. Away from online discourse, I’ve even broken a previously-unbroken habit of 13 years, that of writing a private diary entry every night before bedtime, because I can’t face documenting the day’s events anymore.

I won’t inflict any of this on you, so I’ll be taking a break for a bit. Right now, I definitely doubt I’ll add another post to 2017’s long list, and I can’t say with any degree of accuracy when normal service will be resumed. Bidding good riddance to 2017 implies 2018 will be welcomed with open arms, but I’m certainly not looking forward to 2018 because I simply can’t see it being an improvement on the twelve months we’ve just endured. As far as I’m concerned, it’ll probably be even worse. It’s hard to envisage anything remotely positive up ahead, which does somewhat reduce the likelihood of posts that might put a smile on your face. And I don’t want to dwell on how much I’m hurting because it could easily translate as self-pity, like ‘All By Myself’ on a bloody loop – the Celine Dion cover. Imagine that.

For two years on the Telegram and perhaps around the same amount of time on another (now-defunct) blog that I reckon most of you here can recall, I’ve been a busy bee and haven’t paused to catch my breath for more than two or three days at a time. In the end, I may find that two or three days more than that away from the blog might rekindle the compulsion to pick up where I left off and I could be back within a week; but I don’t feel that way today. I feel burnt out. Maybe a longer sabbatical than I’ve so far taken really will help to recharge my jaded batteries. Who knows? I’m not intending to call it a day completely. Even though it has brought me zilch financial riches, writing’s all I can really do and I generally can’t stop myself from doing it. With that in mind, I suppose it’s inevitable I’ll return as long as I feel I’m wanted.

For many, the majority of life is lived in a monochrome Kansas that is made tolerable by brief glimpses of Technicolor Oz. It should be the other way round, but it never seems to be, alas. Kicks in the teeth are commonplace, body blows par for the course. It sucks. And it doesn’t matter how hard you work and how many hours you put in, the rewards are usually conspicuous by their absence. When/if that rare moment of magic called happiness comes along, for God’s sake grab it, cherish it, and always remember just how precious it truly is; never take it for granted; it can be painfully transient, and when it’s gone it’ll rip your heart out.

I don’t think I’ll have another opportunity to say it, but thanks for your constant support, and have a good Christmas if you can. After all, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

© The Editor

25 thoughts on “TTFN

  1. It must be pretty bad to have cut you so deeply: you know there are souls out here who have grown to appreciate what you do and the sort of bloke you are, those same souls will be hurting with you and wishing you the relief which usually comes with the passage of time.

    Only a few days ago, we were wishing our pal Windsock a better 2018, sounds like you need to share those wishes yourself right now. If there’s anything to be gained by contact, e-mail me.

    Take the time out and hopefully, when it is right again, bring back to your appreciative audience that familiarly caring but sideways take on the world. You’re wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mudplugger has expressed exactly what I wish to say to you, far better than I could myself. Look after yourself, and I hope you will feel able to return when the time is right.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Look after yourself and grieve as is appropriate to you. This blog should not be a chore for you, but a release. Until it can be that, you should put it away until you think it can serve a useful purpose to you again. We’ll all be here when you get back… maybe more battered and bruised, but gritting our teeth and finding amusement and satisfaction in unexpected places. Until then, take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your loss, Pet…

    I used to be quite obsessed with Scott Walker’s albums, in particular the perfect beginning/end of the first one; from the over-the-top opening crescendo of Mathilde to the last furious few seconds of Amsterdam –
    there’s a design for life hidden in there somewhere… perhaps.

    Not sure how you’ve managed to keep up the work rate to be honest but then I’m a lazy sod, so much respect and thanks for providing a refuge for rational thought. Take care of yourself until you feel like taking aim again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Take care mate. All I can add is to tell other readers I do know what happened, and it is a terrible blow to a kind, gentle, sensitive man.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you might find this amusing:

        I reached 60 last week… still in considerable distress from the cancers but keeping on, and had some celebrations. I was inundated with Bowie memorabilia from people who must see that my fascination with him was a defining characteristic. So now I have a Bowie chopping board (engraved with “Put on your apron and dice the stews”) and a Bowie album cover fleece blanket in which to warm my aging bones. To be honest, I veered between feeling touched and aghast.

        The thing that will keep me going is tickets to see The League of Gentleman live later this year.

        I hope you are finding things to keenly anticipate too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s genuinely great to hear, er…that you reached 60, not that a thing such as a Bowie chopping board exists! Sorry to say I have nothing to keenly anticipate, alas. Nothing at all.


      3. It seems that Windsock and I at least share a birth-sign, although I’ve had mine for a few years longer. Despite those few years longer, I still find things to anticipate keenly, for example, ‘tomorrow’ for whatever tomorrow brings.

        You guys may have your different troubles right now but please take strength from those, both near and far, who are rooting for you. But be aware that, when you come out the other side, we’ll probably claim the credit – something else that I anticipate keenly.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Windsock reporting in:

        Latest scans of lower end show “no sign of disease”, but I’ll await confirmation by way of a biopsy in May. Blood farting and incontinence persist. I’d make a great date…

        Facially (and arm, from whence replacement face was taken): Ow, bloody bloody bloody ow. A further operation to relieve pain and possibly enhance the aesthetics, by injecting my sparse stomach fat into the area around my circular scar, is mooted. Awaiting pain clinic referral.

        My desire to shove two fingers up to this government grows stronger every day.

        I am actually engaging more with friends and activities.

        Conclusions: hopeful.

        Windsock out.

        And thank you for asking. I really appreciate it. I wish Pet was on the mend too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Windsock – good to know you’re battling through, it sounds like you’ve been through the mill but the spirit’s still there: stay spiky.
        As an old Asia-hand foreign correspondent once remarked, “Happiness is a dry fart” – I wish you happiness.

        Same goes for Petunia, obviously (but probably lacking the flatulence factor).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “stay spiky”… like I have a choice?

        My radiotherapy consultant told me many people “lose themselves” during the 6 week process. I decided to become “more windsock”. Now I have lost so much weight, I can fit into the outrageous clothes from 20/30 years ago. It turns heads, but now I have the motivation to try to change the world (again), so what do I care? It’s almost like I’m 60, I have had two cancers and AIDS, I feel like “what next, universe” (there’s always something). Possibly a dangerous attitude, and on reading it back, it seems a little smug and self-congratulatory. It’s not meant to be… just one person’s travels through cancer. I know there aew many brave people out there who use different tactics.

        On dry farts… I remember those! Farting with confidence: a long lost luxury.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. When you’ve come through all that (with no doubt a lot that you’ve not told us), you’re allowed a measure of self-congratulation: smug doesn’t come into it.
        Everyone handles their difficulties differently, you do it your way and that’s the right way. And when you come out the other side, that’s another big notch on life’s bedpost: then you bank it and move on.

        Whatever your universe throws at you next, there’s folk out here wishing you well and ever-ready to resume spiky debate on the one or two issues where we differ (OK, maybe it’s more than one or two, but who’s counting?).
        Stay well, friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Speaking as a person that has spent a comparatively large % of my social life in night clubs (and like Edith Piaf, I regret none of it), the news that ABBA are apparently going on tour cheered me up no end. I’m probably the youngest commenter on this blog, but I’m old enough to remember this being in the charts.

    ^ That one, ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ and others….

    1979 was an important year, for me. And not because of the Pope’s visit. I was six, and the music was great.

    Do you guys and gals know that Brian Eno insists that pop music is superior to classical music, and claims that he can prove it? He has some complicated theory to explain that (well, that’s Eno) but I’m not entirely sure that he’s wrong.

    ‘The truth is, comfort kills
    And you don’t need that car’

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