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Back in the heady 90’s when Microsoft released Windows95™, the internet world was filled with hope. Your ISP provided everything you needed; email as well as a dial-up phone number. The lucky few had state of the art ISDN connections running at 128Kbps, around 2,500 times slower than the fibre we use today.

It was a time when everything was possible, and fertile minds continuously brought new ideas and products. Malware had yet to be invented and law enforcement still needed a warrant (in theory) to listen in to a phone line.

Fast forward to today and the internet has…


Source: Image by Madeinitaly

We live in an inverted world. Reality used to make things happen on computers, whereas now the digital world often initiates concrete events.

Standing outside I use a smartphone to check the weather.

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

With this in mind, most look on in horror as abuses of personal information leak into the public domain. Like waking up one day and realising it’s winter, we suddenly get it that corporate DigiBiz has been deceptive all along.

Quarterly reporting generates extremes of behaviour at times, particularly in the already hyper-competitive tech world. Thus, in secret, behind corporate locked doors, plausible deniability became a major…


Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

Three months ago today, I settled in here, among the cobwebs in the sunny corner behind the bed, with a thermos of tea, a pile of books, and the wise old Internet. Avoiding the world to make space, head space, to learn.

As novice writers we have limited choices for improvement. It’s easy enough to jump in at the deep end and learn lessons from making mistakes. Emulating those who understand their character arc from their pinch point by ‘having a go’ has immense value. Not to be sniffed at.

After all, how many politicians have an MA in Running…


The 40 things I like best…

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Ah, a challenge, and who could resist it. Talking about myself shouldn’t be too hard, or so I thought.

But just try it. You might discover some quandaries unless you’re one of life’s buccaneers who swings into battle with a cutlass between your teeth.

Forty seems a lot. Where in my list will riveting morph into Tweeting? And, how can I leave out the ever so friendly supermarket loyalty scheme? Ah, feel their disappointment.

So, for better or worse, here’s my forty in no particular order.

1) Owning my time
2) Being home with family
3)…


How to Escape the Gloom and Find Your Motivation

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For three weeks I’ve been trying to get started. But, like a tired old engine, the starter cranks, the engine sputters, then dies.

In the blink of an eye hope spikes, the new story appearing through mental fog, only to retreat into the swirl.

At the back of the line is real life, waiting.

Waiting to slap a dollop of chores on my plate. Unmissable chores, not in the sense of a much-anticipated movie, no, unmissable in the sense of a tax audit.

How easily ennui builds in cold winter months. …


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Today’s the day.

Time to get back into the world after almost two weeks off for Christmas. It’s painful though. We adapt with ease to our lives of idleness. Small chores, like unloading the dishwasher, soon become the melodrama du jour. Genuine effort becomes intolerable.

Now though, it’s time to peel my eyes away from the computer and leave my haven for the harsh reality of Stuff To Do.

The Haven

My study is twilit by design, and for good reason. It’s a place of peace and quiet, down a tiny side corridor off the backbone of our home. …


Are you letting the past hijack your soul?

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One December a few days before Christmas, I set out to drive 140 miles across England. The weather was chilly and dry as I set off. This was long before mobile phones and even before the internet. Weather reports came after the 6pm TV news or in a printed newspaper. So I set off expecting the weather to be the same all the way, like it usually was.

This time the trip was in a Citroen GS Club estate bought secondhand only a few days before. Its jolly bright yellow paint and air-cooled engine gave it the character I sought…


The Moment You Hit Publish

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Do you feel it too? The post-post feeling, that is.

It’s a small high and sense of achievement that hits you just after you’ve clicked on “Publish”. The Victorian hunter posing, rifle over shoulder and a foot proudly planted on a trophy text.

Yes, this could surely be the one. The one that goes viral. A million claps, half a million followers, fame and fortune.

Shiny new friends instead of folk scoffing at my commas.

I Should Be SEO Lucky

And there’s the sense of accomplishment you get from tending your website with its pedantic details.

Like being a librarian, curating tags and easy-to-read URLs…


… to live longer and more healthily for less cash.

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You know how newness stands out? Pristine dust-free gadgets or a fresh-smelling book that crinkles when opened. Then gradually, they blend into the background, familiar and unnoticed.

Being vegan too, starts as a voyage of tentative discovery and soon becomes a well-trodden path, familiar and amiable.

Several years ago I found I’d got high cholesterol. I was a smoker, at the time, and a drinker with an on-off relationship with exercise.

The doc wheeled out the old “good fat / bad fat / more exercise” speech but that time something…


Launching into writing with gusto, balance wasn’t needed, or so I thought.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The newness and unfamiliarity came as a pleasing change. And with a supportive family, gratitude for the liberation and enjoyment was top of my mind, until recently.

Can anything be more gratifying than becoming your true self?

At one with myself and at peace after a life spent working, travelling and biting my tongue. Replacing castles built on sand and the fixed ideas of experience with the unlimited potential of an open mind and a free spirit.

In July all was good. Stumbling upon Medium was a good-fortune windfall. Our children on holiday, summery weather during summer, for once. …

SteveW

Writing about writing at https://happyseagull.com. Tech news and know-how at https://ulanua.com @ulanuatech

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