Adventures in weight loss

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I’d let myself go. I did not seek confirmation, but found, for example, the act of kneeling down to tie one’s shoelace was now conducted with the care of a bomb disposal expert, for fear of ‘exploding’ my jeans along the seam of my oceanic behind, showering innocent bystanders in the visual shrapnel of my flab flying out of its cramped casing. Scars that no measure of time would heal.

And so it was that after several months of standing in front of a mirror fat-shaming myself and pity-eating, I decided to do something about it. I ended up in…

Tennis, Pigeon

In an empty office unit in pigshit London, I sit facing a wall of monitors, clacking my keyboard noisily under heavy eyebrows and heavier eyelids.

The unit is not as empty as I have suggested, or as I would like. It has been overrun by hipsters whose very faces bring forth bile and contempt in my soul. Even today I try to tell myself that I am not, was not ever, really angry at them. But reader, I was.

Fixed gear bicycles rest in the kitchen corner, next to the chesterfield. Ethically sourced beanies sit atop black rim spectacled…

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I stepped off the train at the mainline in the dark and the drizzle and the crowds of other commuters puffed up in their winter clothes.

A delay in the departure of my train meant that my connection had already left and I had the unhappy prospect of half an hour standing on the platform trying to keep warm and dry.

It emptied out and then another late running service arrived and myriad commuters spilled out onto the platform, turning left to head towards the stairs and the exit.

I stood in the middle of the platform butted up against…

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Photo by Torben Bühl from Pexels

Let me invite you into a memory from the very start of this year. It was the first week of January. I had a cold and I tucked my hands deep into a decade old coat I’d bought at a now defunct global fashion outlet, back when I’d first started dating my wife.

Every five seconds I’d dutifully bring a tissue up to my nose and then shield my face from the blizzard slipstream of trucks passing me by on the main road.

A routine, once it has been done a thousand times, becomes a habit and the difference between…

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This isn’t Antalya…but who cares…also: Photo by Ahmet Polat from Pexels

Berat greeted us by the black executive saloon and the man kissed me on both cheeks, his stubble meeting mine twice in a move that I can confidently tell you is preternatural for those of a heterosexual disposition.

But this is Antalya, Turkey, and Berat is married to my wife’s friend from university and all of us are headed down to where the large, square-cut paving stones meet the gentle splash of the Aegean.

We make a stop at a place located down a dimly-lit, cobbled street. …

Why Does It Always Rain On Me? Travis

I am sitting in a bar with a group of people, and I am not having a good time.

What’s wrong with me? Why does everyone else like this?

I can’t hear them, they can’t hear me. This doesn’t seem like a normal thing to do for fun.

This place does have live music though, and a guy is standing up on a low-stage six feet away, singing ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’ by Travis, over the din. It is a nice song from my long-ago youth, touched by melancholy, but also kind of sweet and up-lifting.

Changing the world one marble at a time

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Photo by Anthony from Pexels

Yesterday, my son came home from school with an achievement sticker on his chest that read:

Today, I have been a risk taker superhero!

I paused when I saw it. I was aware that the school of which he is currently an unwilling attendee, has implemented a reward system based on the attainment of stickers and marbles.

From what I can gather, the stickers are for education-based trying, and the marbles are for altruism.

When I was at school a long time ago, I remember getting stickers and in one notable year there was a system of dried kidney beans…

Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens

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Photo by Andre Moura from Pexels

I am sure I have written of my monstrous exploits involving accosting a blind kid and inviting him along with another poor young lady to an abandoned bar in a satellite town not far from where I was living at the time. It was another in a long series of misguided attempts to be somebody, or to figure out who I was or could be.

Who I was back then and perhaps even now, is a follower. Not your average social media follower (I don’t think social media was a thing back then, but perhaps it was), but somebody who…

Ladder Of Success, Skeeter Davis

Two ladders lean up against my neighbour’s house, a sure sign of his industry that throws an unwelcome spotlight on my sloth. One ladder, okay, but two? I gaze up resentfully and think: what ambition!

I have not had a single moment of enthusiasm or vision in the home improvement department this year. I have instead watched over the summer as he has gone up and down the ladder. …

A few things I’ve more or less successfully avoided

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Photo by Salo Al from Pexels

I have oft been found lugubrious in the past few weeks, mulling over professional relationships past. People who decided to embark on degrees in Communication or English Literature or Media Studies are the ones who would most often drift in and out of my life. They came out on the other side of higher education as rough cut-outs of recognisable characters.

Our lives had been dictated to us by popular culture, and we didn’t understand that popular culture just sells us the lie. Real life isn’t like that.

You turn up to imagined fanfare, of horns and trumpets sounding off…

Jon Scott

Just another confused soul. Occasional scribbler of things. All views my own.

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