Monday, 1 September 2014

Time Out

Right now, I'm having a time out. Granted, its only because the person I'm time outing from is on holiday, but that's missing the point. Sometimes a relationship can be so good that you miss the little warning signs. Spending time with someone who makes you happy feels good and you want to spend more and more time with them. Before you know it, there's not a day goes by that you haven't met, talked or emailed each other.

Then you realize that this is more than just being friends. And that's when you need the time out.

That's when reality hits.

That's when you have to take a breath. Make a choice, and know that whatever you choose, nothing will be the same from this point forward.


Do you know how much I love you?
do you even care that I'm losing sleep
because of you. 
do you know that I dream of you
too much thinking about you.
if there are things I'm not 
supposed to do, I guess obsessing
about you would be one of those.
do you know that I have fallen
out of love with my wife 
because of you. 
do you know that I dream of you

too many thoughts of you.
if there were just two things my 
brain was allowed to think, thinking
about you would be one of those.

Jamie Lloyd
Sept 2014

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Fast Writing

So my writing buddies and I thought it would be a good idea to try fast writing. You know, you think of a topic for 3 minutes, outline it for another 3 and then blast as much down on the page as you can in the remaining 10 minutes. We spent the first 2 minutes making coffee; the next 7 looking for the packet of biscuits David was certain he'd brought; and the remaining 6 minutes arguing about who forgot to switch the coffee machine on at the socket and where the hell were the mugs?

Duly fuelled, we decided that our approach needed a little work.

It's amazing how much procrastination actually occurs when you put a bunch of writers in the same room. We improved our coffee making skills though - no longer will they laugh when I degas the coffee before switching on the machine!

Ad yes, we found the biscuits. On top of the refrigerator, because that's where you leave stuff, right?

And the fast writing? We ran out of time.....

Monday, 20 January 2014

Hmm, so..

kinda wrote myself into a corner and now trying to figure a way out. My short story is currently languishing in the "to sort" pile. This pile is probably the largest of all, which is saying something. The "this might make a good story" pile is a close second. Although when I think about it the "here's one I started earlier" pile, probably dwarfs these two by some considerable measure.

The fact is I love to write and the number of stories that line up in my brain, fighting for their right to be told, has the ability to turn me insane. The truth is although I love to write, I have to write.


Back to the notebooks. One more rewrite, one more time.

There's this girl. This woman. Her name is Sally. And I think I'm falling in love with her.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Another Year

Hard to believe that we are more than halfway through another year. This year has been a tough one, and I've not felt like writing. Luckily, my partner and I have emerged from the other side of all the health scares stronger and more determined than ever. When you think the time you have together may be slipping away, it makes you refocus.

Over the last 8 months I've managed to put on a lot of extra pounds - mostly around my middle. So, part of my refocus is now on shedding the excess baggage and enjoying life to the full. I've struggled with my weight over the years since I gave up team sports. While we hillwalked and biked, it kept in check but each year I'd add a kilo or so to my tally. When our old dog got that he couldn't walk the hills any more, we slowed down too, from 1 hill a month to 2 or 3 a year. This last year with the puppy, there has been a sum total of zero hills. The sum total of all of this - I weigh way more kilos than I should. 82.6Kg to be precise - that's 182lbs, about 40lbs heavier than I should be (about 18 kilos).

I've done the diets, starved myself of this and that, exercised frantically, all to no avail. Oh sure, I'd lose a kilo or two and be very proud of myself. Then I'd lose heart and before you know it I've put the two kilos back on and some. So this time, this time there's no diet. This time, I'm just going to meditate and think myself thin. I know what you're thinking. No way.

Well, I've been thinking myself thin for just over a week and those 82.6Kg are 1.2kg less than when I started. I know, not much, but already my other half is commenting on my face being thinner and my love handles have shrunk - noticeably so. I have more energy and I'm doing stuff around the house instead of sitting watching TV. At night I'm visualizing myself thinner, fitter and much more energetic. I'm drinking more water and eating nuts and seeds instead of potato chips. I'm having almonds instead of peanuts, fruit instead of cakes and cookies. I have a picture inside my head of the me I want to be.

I talked to a few people about visualization. They told me it was difficult to begin with but I'm not finding that to be the case. Maybe being a writer is an advantage as I regularly visualize the story I'm trying to tell, and the characters, to get a feel for what they look like, think or do. Visualizing myself really wasn't a big jump.

Will it work long term? Who knows, but I've just got myself a copy of Jon Gabriel's book and I'm going to listen to his visualization tonite. I'm going to keep doing this at least until Christmas, that's a fair shot.

And, big statement!, I'm going to update this blog regularly to let you know how I'm going. Just you watch....

Oh, yeah, the puppy. Murph would definitely approve of the highly energetic and delightfully madcap Oscar. Black lab through and through - he got into the food bin last night, luckily its tall and so he couldn't really reach. We've started the training walks and hopefully this September we'll do a small hill walk with him (all the more reason to lose those extra pounds!). He loves chasing balls down the beach, something poor old Murph never really got the hang of. This time, I'm glad we chose a puppy who gets to have a great life from the very start. Oscar doesn't wonder if he's loved, he takes it for-granted!

Monday, 11 June 2012

2 months on

So, two months since the mighty Murph shrugged off his mortal coil and headed towards that great puppy playground in the sky. The wife and I have been missing his dogness. There's just this big black lab hole in our lives, and our home. It's time to bite the bullet and find a new doggy maestro to share our life with.

Murph was a rescue dog. Three years old when we got him, it took him a long time to truly trust that we weren't sending him back. Though once he got the hang of this lovin' stuff he was, what one might term, demanding. We loved him for it. The thump of his very hard head into your knees was the sign for "I need an ear scratch"; lying in front of the couch on his back said "come on, time to play, scratch my tummy"; and grabbing his bowl in his mouth and knocking it on the floor was the sign for "chocolate please, the bowl's empty".

We regretted not having those first three years of his life, and saddened that he took another 3 to truly be himself. We want every second of the next dog's life. Its screwups will be ours, and hopefully they'll be the fun wacky kind. Not the sort that made Murph hit the deck first time I picked up a stick to throw for him. I swear, if I had ever met his previous owners, I would have known what to do with that stick.

So we're puppy hunting. We're close too. Meeting breeders who hopefully will like us and say "yes, of course you can have one of our puppies". We've passed the first stage, the questionnaire and a photo of your garden. We probably sent too many. But now we're off to meet our preferred breeder. So exciting.

I'm sure Murph would approve.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Ramblings from the desktop

It's been a busy month, what with holidays, the parents, the puppy hunt, writing and the day job. I'm not quite sure how we fitted it all in.  We had a great time hill climbing in Perthshire, the views from Rannoch Moor are stunning. Looking out across the desolation of the moor to mountain range after mountain range is pretty awesome. The Grey Corries were covered with snow, Ben Nevis even deigned to keep out of the clouds for just long enough to be identified.

Yesterday, the parents returned home and we had the house to ourselves again. It was quiet, so we switched the telly on to drown out the silence. Puppies have been born and we'll be heading off soon to see more than we can afford! Excitement is high but, inevitably, it's tinged with an element of sadness as there's no Murph to share it all with.

I'm beginning to get hooked on Twitter (@Jamie_AC). There are some fantastic people sharing elements of themselves with the world in general. I've been following a few well-known faces and the way in which they interact with those of us who muscle in on their conversations, is pretty impressive. Alison Moyet, Clare Balding, Val McDermid and Heather Peace have all been added to my "respect due" list. And Denise Warner is just plain funny.

What's really struck me though, on Twitter in general, is the debate on "same-sex marriage". (Why, BTW, do we have to call it "same-sex"? I just ask because we don't talk about "different-sex" marriage, or did I miss that post.) Now I'm all for extension of marriage beyond the, ahem, "different-sex" variety. Where I have a problem, is when churches try to claim marriage as their own private party. Personally, I'm not the religious go-to-church type and quite frankly I don't care if churches don't want to marry me to my sweetheart. But, I pay my taxes just like everybody else. Okay, so not everybody else,  I'm not rich enough to avoid paying taxes... Back to my point, and yes I do have one. Civil marriage shouldn't be subject to religious bias. Civil marriage is a commitment that brings with it certain rights and privileges as part of our [civil] society. As such it should not be restricted to one select group, but should be for those couples, irrespective of gender combinations, who are over the legal age to choose to commit themselves to their partner. My view of marriage is that it's up to churches and their congregations to decide on the rules for religious marriages; and up to the state to decide on the rule for civil marriages. The state has to treat all of its citizens in an equal and fair way, and yes, that means making choices that help minority groups. I have a view too on just how minority gay/lesbian/bisexual actually isn't, but I'll leave that for another day!

So back to the marriage thing. If a church bans (ok I'll use it) same-sex marriages from its roster, then it should not be allowed to carry out the civil part of the ceremony. If they allow same-sex marriages then they can do the whole shebang. My other view, is also simple. If the state does not permit same sex marriages then it should give up on the whole civil marriage thing; introduce civil partnership for all and leave the marriage stuff to the churches (with the same proviso on the civil element). Sorted.

Now, about world peace.....