Blogging As Creative Writing

The distinguishing isn’t about style but about subjects and blogs can be anything:

  • Creative (a fictional story written in parts as blog entries)
  • news reporting (even if it’s news about a party at your friend’s house),
  • academic (a teacher blogging ‘classes’ for benefit of students)
  • technical (tech blog with tips about solving problems, a blog which shows various techniques of some craft)
  • Journalism (review blogs, editorials/opinions)
  • …and even Legal (a corporation publishing statements through the corporate blog).

There are quite a few more I missed, but generally the Blog is a very versatile medium, and there are very few types of writing (if any) that wouldn’t work as a blog.

As for how the style you described is called (undisciplined and mostly inspiration-driven) I guess it would be Informal.

– S.F., Stackexchange

The above quote is the best I have found about Blogging as a form of Creative Writing (after a quick Google). The above describes all fields of blogging.

Do I live up to these standards?

Think of the above as an ‘Informal‘ guide for an informal past time. Not as contrite as my verse – not as forced as my prose. This semi-anonymous blog allows me to vent frustrations, bicker with myself and point out the folly of white socks all within one domain – it’s fricking ace!

Rewilding Britain

Rewilding Britain is a charity set up by people with a passion for nature. [They] believe rewilding provides hope for the future for people and nature. Through rewilding we can start to reverse centuries of ecological damage. We can re-establish natural processes, reconnect with nature and regain wonder for the natural world.

The above is what the website says about itself – and I am all for it! I have an interest and an academic background in Wildlife Conservation; so, I am bound to be interested.

Many years ago (around the turn of the millennium) I was fortunate enough to study BSc. Wildlife Conservation at Plymouth Uni. No big, I was pretty crap at it. However, the passion I hold for the diversity of eco-systems within Great Britain is still there.

“Rewilding Britain will help to bring the land and seas of this beautiful country back to life. I’m delighted that this is happening. It’s great news for wildlife and for people.”

– Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Yes there are better people for the job (I cannot watch a wildlife documentary without have PTSD flashbacks) but, surely, this very Blog article is the start of something? The more people that are made aware of the great work done by the small group of people who have dedicated their life towards a sustainable future then the more their message will be spread.

Imagine our natural habitats growing instead of shrinking. Where space for nature is expanding beyond small pockets of reserves. Imagine species diversifying and thriving, instead of declining. That’s rewilding.



My first attempt at embedding a panorama!

A Pick Me Up Talk

Yup – things can be tough for you. However, look at this photo …


There is something I wish to draw your attention to … This photo was taken as Usain Bolt smashed the World Record for the Mens’s 100m Sprint. He completely ripped it apart at Beijing in 2008 – setting a new record of 9.69 seconds.

9.69 seconds! I would struggle to fall to the floor in that time.

However, look at the photo – do you see his trailing leg in it. Notice anything? Yup, his shoe lace is undone,

The moral of this story is that you can do awesome things and still feel quite stupid.

Have a good Monday …

My Two Pence About Eleanor Hawkins’ Plight

I too visited Sabah and rubbed the tribes people up the wrong way – nearly lost my head for my trouble. I am really worried for the safety of this (slightly naive and trusting) lady. How will the superstitious people held in the prison she will be sent to respond to her (in their eyes) misdemeanour? In this blog article, I would like to add my two pennies worth into the melee surrounding events in Sabah recently. A place that summons both dread, joy & wonder within me when I mutter the syllables.

It is not for me to tell anybody what to do with their body. I am all in favour that some people wish to express themselves by communing with nature in their birthday suit – however, this is my blog and therefore my take on experience.

To quote the MailOnline (note: no back link is given – do not click through to make their site more accessible):

MailOnline reported yesterday [11th June 2015] that Hawkins, former head girl at Ockbrook School in Derbyshire, is being held at a “far softer” police central lockup in Kepayan due to a request by her lawyer Ronny Cham over fears for her safety.

What I wish to draw your attention to in the above quote is “…. over fears for her safety.” Continue reading

Chip Spice

Chip Spice, the spiced salt condiment has been part of the culinary landscape of Hull since 1979, when it was introduced by restaurant owner John Science at his innovative burger bar Yankee Burger. John took over the Pioneer Cafe on Jameson Street from his father, and set about transforming it into an American style fast food joint, one of the first of its kind not only in Hull, but the country. McDonald’s had only arrived in the UK in 1974, and hadn’t yet spread across the country.

Previously John had owned the infamous Gondola Club on Little Queen Street, off Jameson Street. Known for playing host to some of the biggest acts of the 60s and 70s, and closing in 1975 after riots caused by a performance by Hull’s avant-garde performance art rebels COUM Transmissions, in 1975.

John was supplied with Chip Spice by Rod & Brenda Wilson, who owned the local Spice Blenders company. They had come across the idea of spiced salt and paprika based seasoning, while visiting the United States in the late 70s. They developed the concept at their small food seasoning company, which supplied meat and food seasoning to butchers and the food service industry both locally and nationally. The story goes that Spice Blenders supplied John Science with Chip Spice, and that he added his own never disclosed “secret ingredients” to the mix.

Anyone that grew-up in Hull during the 80s and early 90s has fond memories of the long Saturday afternoon queues at Yankee Burger, to get their hands on a bag of their fries, smothering in the golden condiment called American Chip Spice by Spice Blenders. The popularity of what became the Yankee Burger franchise, would see John opening his 50s inspired kitsch drive-through restaurant, on Hessle Road. Famous for having a pink Corvette perched on the roof, which didn’t actually land on the restaurant until 1993.

By 1991 another food seasoning company existed in Hull, Phoenix Select, which had developed and was producing its very own Chip Spice recipe, which was sold under the name Yankee Chip Spice. Rather than there being a “spice wars” in the city, they hoped to tap into the ever increasing demand in the market for the spice. As chip shops and take-away outlets around the city took to adding Chip Spice to their range of condiments they offered to their customers. So by 1992, there were two rival spice blends in the city. Via a local sundries supplier (Joynson’s on Anlaby Road) the Phoenix Chip Spice was distributed through-out Hull into chip shops, kebab houses and cafes. Although customers were rarely aware that they were consuming different versions of the spice in different food oulets, due to close similarity of taste.

Both recipes changed over time, as salt was reduced, due to “sodium legislation” and the ground celery was removed, due to its classification as an allergen. Phoenix Select was sold to a global American food company in 2013 and ceased trading in the city, and Yankee Chip Spice was discontinued as a product.

However American Chip Spice from Spice Blenders went on from strength to strength. Spice Blenders was sold to the DL group in the mid 2000’s and still manufactures seasonings in the city, the original American Chip Spice brand which is still going strong was kept by the Wilson family and is now manufactured (were the family resides) in the south west of England, it is sold in ASDA, Morrison’s and various other outlets mainly in and around Hull.

The above first got posted here – but the chip spice I was used to in Bev was a salty bugger.

On Anxiety

Because it is possible to create — creating one’s self, willing to be one’s self… — one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever.

Returning From A Return To Care

As folk who I know in meat-space will testify – I have been going through a patch of ill health recently. Not physical but mental ill-ease.

This has been a long standing problem and is the reason I have been unable to hold down a job for the, as I write, 15 years. However, a new twist has unfurled in the saga. I went to my GP in early March to tell the People That Care that I needed caring for – fair enough – I admit it, I was ill.

At two different locations and on two differing occasions, I have recently been assessed by very capable staff within Mental Health Services and have just returned home from the GP. It is about these two interactions that I wish to tell you about …

Both the CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) and GP stated that the symptoms I am exhibiting are not those of a psychosis.

What the GP said was that the symptoms I exhibit are more inline with Brain Damage.

This was actually a great relief to me.

For one split second it was as if the burden of the stigma about mental health was lifted. For one split second I was not mad – but it was a physical ailment. It was something that could be prodded (Brain) not gesticulated about (Mind). I had a load taken off my shoulders.

The guilt / stigma of ‘being mad’ has been an burden I have carried for most of my adult life. Could I finally be free of it?

Well, what caused this malady? It started in 2001: I think I was watching the network premier of The Big Lebowski on Channel 4 when I ingested the first of many doses of Larium, in preparation for a trip to South East Asia. After ingesting the anti-malaria tablet, Larium – to paraphrase The Lord Of Rings, when Bilbo is telling Fodo about his need to leave the shire – “I [felt] like a little butter spread over a lot of toast.” My mind then span out of control and I have been trying to steer it back on track since.

My symptoms / thoughts show themselves as interactive memories.

An example of this is: I try and remember my wedding, the start of my life with beloved wife, and I am presented with a bewildering array of untrue thoughts such as fights / name calling / dick-like behaviour by the guests. These thoughts manifest themselves as memories. My CPN told me that these are manifestations of my personality – either way (if they are or not (and I really hope that I do not come across the way they do)) engaging with these sub-sets of my psyche in the fashion prescribed (i.e. sub-sets of my personality) ….. well that method works. Am I treating brain damage with a method used to treat schizophrenia?

Either way I am still Special Andy. And that bugs me. I have no recollection of the the true nature of events since 2001.

My return from my return to care has left more questions than answers. However, this is just the return to care …