You’re Not Alone

My mate Russ is back on Social media after he went away and did his own thing. When he came back, there was a comment on how easy it was to just reintegrate into the world he’d left behind. The fact this was a surprise to him got me thinking… how you see the world really is just one part of a larger, intractable whole. You can leave things, then come back to them, and it’s perfectly okay. If you’re a basically decent person, that’s how life is supposed to work. Russ is absolutely good people.

Then, this morning, I woke up to see someone in my Socials that I’d not clocked for a while. Their name had changed, just enough for me to remember who they used to be, which was someone who did some pretty horrendous stuff when previously active. The block came without a thought, and then it occurred to me to go look at who was following them. Just because I used to be in a fandom does not mean I’ll refollow everyone who decided to come back after absence. Some were distanced for a reason.

These are the perils of being digitally omnipotent.

There’s a lot of reasons why this .GIF is simultaneously brilliant and depressing, quite apart from the fact the guy who made this film has turned out to be a bit of a dick in old age. If I tell you not to touch something, most will ignore me, because I told you not to. You won’t assume it’s for your own good, that some things never stop being dangerous, to know for yourself is the only education that will stick… and that’s why I refuse to point out the bad people any more, and only support the good. I’m not living your life, that’s your job.

Most of this commentary falls on deaf ears, I realise, because only a few people are experiencing this version of Reality [TM]. When someone asked this week how I was managing to be so dedicated to my exercise goals, the reply was a reflex: the consequences if I don’t are unacceptable. You can complain you don’t want to, or there’s no desire as much as you like but really if it matters enough, you will find a way. If it transpires there is a mental health issue stopping that from taking place? Support exists.

Everything else comes down to your idea of what matters more.

From time to time people will reappear in my life and profess surprise that ‘ooh, you’re still here’ when she never left. I’ve owned this domain since the 1990’s, people. If you’d been paying even the most basic of attention it is not hard to seek me out, but most of you have forgotten how this works, because if you can’t locate me in a Facebook search, or I’m not on Instagram, I’m obviously dead. Honestly, if that’s the mindset we’re working with, its probably for the best you don’t have a clue.

I’m not here to pointlessly recollect on the point in your life where you were happiest either. That should be here, right now, every moment in the present. If that stuff’s not happening, then you really should be looking at the reasons why. Memory serves a vital function, and it is not to restrict your options. Going back to the time when things were great because right now they suck? Well, you can see the consequences of that all over the shop. We’re supposed to feel sorry for those people too because they made mistakes and are now trying to atone?

Some things you cannot ever forgive, and that’s that.

What you perceive is not the Truth, like Opinions are not Facts… all these things are being measured from a subjective standpoint that will never, EVER encompass everybody’s version of Reality. Once you grasp this, everything gets a fuck of a lot easier to cope with. Of course, some people will never do this: their Reality is the only one: give them enough power and everybody’s screwed. It’s why Government, increasingly, is not your enemy. Gaming companies are not your friends. That person vanished off the Socials last time for a reason.

Think more, whilst you still have the opportunity to do so objectively.

Beyond the Sea

Apologies for lateness, but I’m currently editing the most important thing (thus far) I have ever made. It’s odd, how you constantly end up moving goalposts for yourself like this… or not, if you’re the kind of person who sees life as an ever more complex set of scenarios which require an improvement in ability during each forward motion. I don’t mind challenges any more, I suspect because each time I get on a bike it’s a bit further forward down a road I’m never leaving.

Like it or not, this is the path I keep on riding.


Amazingly, I’m getting less stressed with failure as a result of this daily push to break personal bests and move momentum forward. The curve upwards is, undoubtedly, a bit lumpy but that’s true for everything I do right now. As long as forward remains the direction, everything else is fixable. People have been incredibly kind about the stuff that’s been late too, and with my last piece of outstanding work being finished tonight, I will briefly be up to date.

It won’t last long because next week the entire thing starts up again, but this time I’m better placed to organise what’s happening, what needs to be where and how it all gets delivered on time. It is a difficult ask sometimes to be that person, but undoubtedly the more you practice, the easier it becomes. For me at least, having those marks in the ground, on an app, in my head allows everything to find a decent level.


Like I said at the top, today’s work has added personal resonance. Whether it will be received well, be any good or enjoyed are all, I grasp now, largely irrelevant. I needed to make it, and when its done, it becomes the line in the ground on which everything else is judged by. Being able to self-motivate is still one of the hardest tasks I ever have to manage, but when it happens well, the results are spectacular.

I wonder, where will this new direction drag me?

The Great Escape

Well, here we are at the start of a holiday that normally filled me with dread. Not this time around. Even the scheduled Monday dinner with the parents is not nearly as stressy in advance as was previously the case. We might actually be getting somewhere.

I have a lot of body issues right now. There’s a ton of stuff about being organised and on top of stuff to deal with. I finished Blaze last night and was shattered, then worked out I did harder work in the class before than where it should really have happened. Everything’s a bit arse about face, if truth be told, but the shoots of change are unmistakably there.


The journey right now is comfort: how to I find it, how to keep it, what matters most. Finding a style that suits me, being relaxed in my own skin. All you people who just be and don’t have to stress about stuff like this are unbelievably lucky. Really, you have no idea how amazing this is. ‘Normal’ is often a foreign country, full of people speaking and talking a completely different language.

Finding the comfortable spaces has been ignored for far too long.


I am not proud of a lot of what has happened in my life. Often, what is talked about is edited highlights for a reason. Finding the words to describe what I was before this moment is painful and difficult, but they are coming. Yesterday, I found some new ones.

Growth is the hardest thing that will ever happen to you. It is no wonder that so many people actively resist or reject those calling on them to alter their outlooks. To embrace change is also painful and difficult, but it must be done.

I am only prepared to offer so much, however. I will strongly resist anyone who attempts to manipulate for their own agenda, or who feels desire to push me in a direction that isn’t positive; placing love before hate must always be the default.


Perception is the name of the short story that I’ll be entering for the contest a week was spent sweating over. It is speculative fiction, with a twist, written from a standpoint of confidence that has remained singularly unerring in the face of considerable trauma.

I’ve entered my mental health short story this morning. It really doesn’t matter what happens, I wanted to tell the story regardless of it’s final destination. It’s job was to be written, and then read by the person who it was really about.

Now that’s done, its work’s done too.

Your life can be altered from vastly differing directions, through people you never previously thought held that possibility. Once you release emotional restraints that negativity and false perception present, any journey can become considerably simpler.


Today is the hardest for a while, but already that burden has been eased. I asked for help, and have received it. Grateful people take the time to do so, I won’t waste a single atom of that positivity.

Now, the real change begins.

You May Be Right

What if everything you’ve ever done has been leading to this point?

A lot of time is spent contemplating our navels, like it or not. Imagination and role play as children allow vital opportunities to escape beyond the confines of self and stare forward to the future, with all the myriad of possibilities it presents. However, telling kids they’ll have it all sussed out by the time they reach eighteen and need to plan for a career is the biggest joke in the history of mankind (apart from the whole ‘everybody is equal’ thing, obviously ^^) Sometimes, it takes a bit longer to arrive at your chosen destination.

For some of us, a lot longer is needed to allow reality to finally register as significant.


My favourite metaphor right now when trying to explain to people how I’m coping mentally with everything comes from the cartoon my kids loved as toddlers, and still enjoy now. There’s an episode of Spongebob Squartepants where he’s forced to help his frenemy Squidward Tentacles convince his snobby friend he owns an expensive restaurant. The titular sponge is forced to throw out of his head all the stuff that won’t help him focus on fine dining and breathing,Β and inside his sponge brain hundreds of tiny Spongebobs run around in anxiety and terror, shredding files full of memories of anything that’s not relevant to the task in hand.

For a long time, that was how it felt for me: ignore the bad stuff, don’t worry about the expectations of others and simply focus on what matters, which right now is cycling and writing… except, of course, this kind of approach is fatally flawed. Then you have nowhere else to send the stress, because all the other places it could have been siphoned off too are ignored. This weekend needs to be one where I don’t fixate on what could go wrong, and do my best to mentally relax, whilst simultaneously keeping up the training. I think there’s a Velo Park trip possible on Sunday too, which (if true) I’m already looking forward to.

It’s not going away, I can’t bottle and not do this. I have sponsors and a charity that is relying on to get the job done. The eternal questions of the Universe will have to wait, but they’ll help find the right mental balance going forward.

Time to get serious.

Hunting High and Low


Everybody wants to be inspired. It’s what Social media is perfect for. This morning, when I woke up, the first thing I saw was a video about an 80 year old Chinese guy who’s making a name for himself as a catwalk model. The Tweet’s no longer available, I assume because the company hijacking the inspirational message didn’t own the copyright. If that’s not a metaphor for life right now, I don’t know what is.

People call me inspiring, but the truth is that I’m just being selfish. This is me, doing the stuff I’ve always wanted to do but previously wasn’t possible. It is, like it or not,Β  putting myself first: health (both mental and physical) needed to be addressed before I got too set in my ways and age made progress at the rate I wanted impossible. From the outside, stories sometimes appear lit differently than is true viewed from within. Society dictates that when we are presented with a question, there is often only one answer. That’s science’s fault, to a point: when empirical evidence exists to explain just about everything, trying to pretend its magic or just luck doesn’t really work as a reason.Β That’s why (despite on certain days it appearing otherwise) this is no longer the Dark Ages.

Except, in the last decade, Science itself is facing up to the reality that what has remained as ‘the truth’ for centuries is now being challenged by our own ability to combine technology and reasoning. Some very well-cherished standards from greats like Einstein are coming close to being reassessed, and once you start poking the established world… well, that’s how wars start. Don’t forget that science (atomic theory) became a weapon that kickstarted a period of societal uncertainty that lasted for decades. Challenging existence itself is a big deal. You could argue that pretty much every religion on the planet did just that too at inception… but I’m getting away from the point I want to make. Me, over here, being selfish is as much a seismic alteration in my own mind as any change to gravitational theory. No, I won’t be remembered for centuries to come, but the decisions I make now could assist the next generation of my family to do just that.

This morning, I found myself wondering why so many carry an unswaying belief there’s just one ‘answer’ that works for them.


This all started as I poured pomegranate into my porridge, which has been my way of stoking up on a reliable sugar fix for a day without it. Then I began to think about dieting: so many people offered me alternatives when I began this journey: some worked, but at least one may well have contributed to the failure of my gallbladder. Some swear by Weight Watchers, others need supplements coming out of their ears… the approaches to getting thinner are almost as varied as the people who try and sell them as the ‘answer.’ Except, in the end, that magic formula can’t be written on a blackboard. It becomes totally unique to you. Mine involves only the minimum of sugar and carbs, daily exercise and an inordinate amount of stretching. Oddly, the stretching has become almost as important as the exercise, as this is where I think about what is happening to me.

The exercise bit is great fun and very enlightening when I have my trainer to help. However, when I’m alone it is hard and I want to stop. My balloon is burst by the realisation that if you want ANYTHING that’s both sustainable and fulfilling, it has to take time. Instant results grant no satisfaction, which I’d argue is true with absolutely everything. Some days you wish it would all just happen, but when that is the case the consequences are normally too terrible to speak of. Once you grasp the inevitability of fighting chaos, then you need distraction. I distract myself all the time when I’m working out, and pretend its not happening. That helps time pass faster. It is why they put TV’s into running machines. Once you’re able to grasp that you’re using a machine not to pretend its a sofa? Then you make progress.


A lot of people have come together to help me produce my redemptive path. When people ask for advice, therefore, I always feel like a fraud. I cannot give you the answers. People make millions from self-help tours, inspirational speaking and book/DVDs on how to get fit, be happier, live longer and they’re all selling their own story. Just because it worked for them does not mean it will work for you, yet for years I bought into this belief that somehow, someone could magically make me what I am now. The only person capable of doing that? Me. Take away your magic crystals and downward dogs and seated rows, none of it actually matters one iota unless I DECIDE SHIT IS GOING TO CHANGE. That has been a fundamental shift for me, too. I wasn’t ready for it in my youth, certainly not prepared after the birth of two kids. Only now am I properly receptive, and that’s the key.

If you don’t feel you need to change, how will it ever happen?


The other key here is fear. Knowing members of your family have passed in their 50’s is a great motivator. Understanding that hormonal changes can potentially produce brittle bones and impede physical exertion… that asthma could cripple progress in the winter months… all of these eat at a rational mind that says you’ll live longer if you just do nothing. Except, I won’t live a satisfying life. My depression will consume everything and… no, not going there any more. I refuse to allow other people to dictate my life. I can manage asthma with exercise, can hold back the effects of ageing with it too. I am a time traveller: I have the body of a 38 year old woman and am almost 51. The mental benefits of long term exposure to endorphins is enough to convince I’m not stopping now. This, quite frankly, is the best my life has ever been.


I am not your salvation, I do not have all the answers. Nobody does, except you. That’s why, when you are diagnosed with a mental illness, it is only one part of an extremely complex puzzle. Knowing what you are is, of course important, but no two people suffer depression in the same way. You can bond with a fellow sufferer over the means by which your condition overlaps, but pretending there is one answer for everybody is dangerous. Some will be totally receptive to your thoughts, some perhaps too much as to be swayed and influenced and that’s why I always get a bit nervous about pretending I am something I am not. The Universe will offer solutions to your problem, science can rationalise a lot of them to 1’s and 0’s but only you truly hold the answers. It is up to you to listen to your own voice, to accept your identity (faults and all) and set your own journey to redemption. This is why the real heroes in this world never need to tell others what to do.

They understand that the only real truth is that which you discover for yourself.

Every Day is like Sunday

Ah, Easter. This is the time in our house where chores get done, shit gets thrown away and long-overdue promises are finally fulfilled. Today therefore is a fairly typical day of Resurrection: the garden is now cleared of all the rubbish from last week, and we have a man scheduled to come properly remove the last two stubborn tree trunks and roots, so that’s a boatload of progress. Husband is recovered enough from his second bout of elective surgery to go ride a bike, and with the kids at my parents, I have the house to myself. As the end of the Easter break looms large, I find myself thinking about how much has changed in the last four months because, like it or not, I’m in a vastly different place YET AGAIN to where I was this time last year.


I love the life I have. It wasn’t awful before, but now there’s a measure of real control and confidence that simply didn’t exist previously. There’s been a couple of genuinely fuzzy days since last Thursday, I won’t lie, but coming out of the back of everything there remains an optimism that I don’t ever really remember owning. Having cast the die on the Patreon, I’m ready to order the Tier rewards to offer to people to sign up with, because I’m absolutely determined to make this entire venture as professional and polished as possible. That means four tiers of participation, from Casual to Hardcore (and yes they’ll be named after game styles because HEY I CAN IT IS MY PATREON) and a real excitement of what this could mean long term. I’m still quietly stunned that with the minimal amount of advertising the @InternetofWords Twitter account already has followers in double figures. That alone makes me think this whole amazing thing MIGHT JUST WORK.


Then, there has to be content, and there’s already lots of ideas on the table. I’m going to be consulting with some trusted people in the next week as to whether they think these ideas have merit long term, and which should be developed as a priority. Once that’s all in place, starting the beginning of May it is time to just dive in and work on as much as possible so when everything goes live in June we’re future proofed until the end of the year. I hope I’ll have some of you along for the journey, and the plan is to use CoPromote as a means to see if there’s new followers to pick up along the way. There’ll be other means to generate interest too, if it all works out. Only time will tell.

For now, it is time to enjoy a lazy Sunday for all it is worth.



That definition is over a decade old, but is still the best description I can find of what it feels like sometimes to live Online. It is the reason why I pick my friends with care, and don’t hang around in the same places too long. In fact, I’ve become a bit of a digital nomad when it comes to interacting with others. My homes are many and various, are as close to a constant as is possible but are only visited by those who know the way. The rest of the time I’m out here in the fields on the digital cargo bike, moving from place to place, trying not to cause too much trouble.


Lots of people seem to think they know what is wrong with Modern Society. Each of them is only seeing part of the equation however, as has been the case since man came out of the caves and realised next door’s dweller had already invented the hut. Avarice existed well before money was invented. That other caveman’s club is always pointier saying only got properly defined for humanity when that Moses geezer got fed up of his tribe’s incessant bickering over what was right and wrong, escaping for some peace and quiet to think up a mountain. With time to reflect, as he honed his stone tablet carving skills came revelation AND LO we were given 10 Simple Rules to Live your Existence By (and you won’t believe Number Seven!) or as the old folks liked to call them, Commandments.

The rest of humanity wouldn’t have been handed THAT definition of what made ancient society tick unless a bunch of storytellers had written it down (with numerous interpretations of what you couldn’t covet, just as happens on the Internet.) Then that guy had to be nailed to a plank for teaching it as a better way to exist before two centuries of modern history turned the whole package into a series of often questionable lifestyle choices. The biggest single issue for modern society, pundit types, is not how soulless kids are today or how fucking grumpy the older generation have become. It is refusing to accept that somehow, a Holy Grail remains somebody else’s cup to provide.

Humanity has always been the problem.


Hand people rules, they ignore them. Tell them to worship your God and they’ll refuse. Tell them how to dress, off come the undercrackers as people protest. If you’re foolish and enslave, kill or repress them for being different you will feel revenge with the tenacity of a cornered beast, for that remains what we are. Please don’t tell me anyone is better than the Animal Kingdom that is farmed, killed and culled for our own notions of vanity and necessity. Mother Nature, who has existed here long before we crawled out of the ocean and even considered a cave, is ravaged by us with a brutality that demonstrates that most people don’t have a fucking clue what it means to live in harmony with anything. Everybody is the problem, even the Green warriors and the UN Special Ambassadors and the lovely old lady that gives you extra filling in your daily Subway because you’re a top lass yourself. Nobody gets off scot free from blame: there is no point in letting the women and children go first when you discover it was the 12 year old girl who hacked the wi-fi and then sent your boat into the rocks.

The next few years therefore is gonna get really tiring as everyone decides they get a swing at who to blame.


The nodding dog of Science cannot save us this time. It is probably too late for a lot of things, including the polar icecaps, unless some pretty major about faces take place. What can we do as a race to stop this assault upon the existence that has only very recently in planetary history terms been afforded to us? If it is sweet Fanny Adams, should I not as my mate suggested stop trying to express my anger and indignation and just focus on taking care of myself? Well, I COULD do that, but that’s how the planet got in such a fucking mess to begin with. Don’t worry about it, someone else will fix it. NO THEY WON’T. The only way change is going to happen is if you make it happen.

The only way to make a difference is to start caring, and so many people don’t.


Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if I say it enough times, people will listen. If enough of us volunteer, things get better. If enough people complain, stuff does change. What we absolutely, definitely and positively do NOT need is those of you who have already decided that this whole game’s already ruined for you before you even start playing. It’s already someone’s fault and they need to be blamed. Most importantly of all, when the World is burning around your ears, it won’t matter how many subtext messages you sent on Twitter or the number of shitty abusive DM’s you posted to diss that person on your Friends List who took the piss out of your outfit choice. What everybody needs now is a sense of proportion, and the understanding that at this rate of self-destruction, Humanity’s gonna be lucky if it makes it to the end of the Century.

Don’t take, people, Contribute. Don’t expect, be surprised.

Stop complaining somebody else is ruining your life and start living it for yourself.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

There are points in your life, I have discovered, when you know shit is going down.

Sometimes, like Thursday of last week, the signs are too obvious to ignore. Having traced back from that point now with a medical person it becomes apparent that I’d been suffering for some time, but kept ignoring the signs. It was simply easier to write off my lack of appetite, fatigue and pain as menopausal, without grasping there might be a larger significance. Now there is new knowledge, many things make sense. Sometimes however you can overthink stuff to the point where it loses all relevance or significance from the place you came from, and the balancing act to keep integrity intact… well, it’s tiring. This morning’s fatigue is only seven hours kip for a body that probably needs ten right now.


For everything else, you have to play it by ear. Today is one of those days: life is out of my hands, and yet I feel the need to try and wrest back some notion of control. Am I overthinking a particular set of circumstances or is my fatalist streak worth assuaging? I am, like it or not, a fateful optimist: I know that glass is half full, but am always thirsty. It would be lovely to think that everybody’s here to love each other and live together in harmony, but when I see how United Airways treat their passengers when a flight is oversold? Money is the problem in pretty much every situation, and when people want to save it, others suffer. I think this attitude at least softens the blow when everything does go south: of course, it doesn’t make things any better, but at least its not a surprise.


The biggest problem is that I care too much. I might say I let go of stuff but it is always a fight. My memory of injustice is seldom diminished, and after decades of being kept out of key conversations or decision making processes because I wasn’t a bloke, I should probably be angrier than I am. Keeping quiet for an easier life is nearly always the best resolution. I was incredibly lucky, I now grasp, at key junctions in my existence. I’ve invested wisely. I have a pension plan, and most importantly of all jointly own this home. However depressing a situation can look at one spot, there is always a better place to view, and ways to change your prognosis. Those who claim to serve God may love slamming doors in certain people’s faces, but by doing so they surrender control of the windows which inevitably open as balance.

Today, I stop tying myself in knots and simply wait it out.


In my gaming life, a lot is made of the notion of effort versus reward. Do you get more from offering a sweetener or beating your donkey, on any given day? Is it not more sensible to tie one to the other and never let your donkey get rewarded? Is there any point to effort if, expansion after expansion, you’re just forced to start effectively from scratch? This is the moment where the reminder is needed, that we are here for the journey and never the destination. Making to most of the moment, not overthinking, simply coping with what is handed to us and trying to enjoy that process when it happens. Honestly, that is what should matter above everything else. Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t change.

Just wait it out.