We have finally cracked it. Harold Camping may have been wrong in his predictions for the end of the world, the Mayans have yet to be proven wrong and I too may have been slightly out in mine with the idea of a coming zombie apocalypse but we have finally worked out how the world really will come to an end. It is as follows:

For years people have said how there will eventually be an entire generation entirely dependant on technology, from the mass hysteria that came with the idea of a world-wide communication and financial meltdown resulting from a simple computer glitch that had actually been sorted years before, to the release of the iPad. We believe that generation is almost upon us. I consider myself proud to be of such an age that I can remember the days before the mass use of mobile phones, when computers had green screens and you didn’t even know what a fax was. We can reminisce about the fall of Betamax and the shocking rise in VHS,  the days when preschool entertainment contained characters that could actually speak english (all be it through a narrator/translator from time to time) instead of just their own name and involved nothing more than hideously over egged moral messages at the end of a washed out cartoon. We knew of Ray Mears and (theoretically) how to whittle an arrow, build a fire or even make a rudimentary shelter from leaves, branches and the thigh bones of all the deer you caught in your pit full of spikes (thank you Arnie). It is, of course, not us . No it is our children who will be the end of us all. By the time our children are fully grown the sickeningly good technology we have in development now will be old hat and we will be tuned out by our toddling grandchildren with the audio chip implanted in their heads at birth, which plays any kind of music directly into their brains (yet they’re still listening to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd because true quality will always stand the test of time). There will be no such thing as grass, pigs will have finally caught a break and evolved wings, taking a dump will cost you more than you paid for your first house and religion will be obsolete. I honestly had a conversation with someone recently who didn’t know what i meant when i said vinyl until i gave her a little prod in the right direction and then it all fell into place with an “Oh yeah, my grampy’s got loads of them.” This made me sad. Not sad for the musical world because one day my collection might be worth  a lot, not sad for her and her young and modern mind, but sad to the very depths of my soul for I had seen the beginning of the end, and there it was, stood before me with fake tan, Nike shoes and an iPod in its back pocket. This is where the theory really begins of course. One day, many many years from now (at least I hope) the following generations will have lost all semblance of humanity and all inter-personal relationships will be purely digital and looking someone in the eye will be almost impossible due to the fact that everyone will actually be cross-eyed from spending too long trying to hold a real life conversation whilst poking, tweeting at and tagging photos of the very same person on their iPhone. Of course corrective eye surgery will be readily available to everyone on the NHS but it will all be conducted though some kind of app and if you’re lucky you might not lose your signal halfway though. For the first time in history we are at a sort of evolutionary crossroads where survival of the fittest has not been shelved in favour of the new idea of survival of the savviest. If you aren’t fully IT capable within the next few years you may want to start picking your nursing home as I assure you it won’t be long until your beloved grandchildren send you packing. If you don’t own a smart phone that you upgrade every 12 months or any kind of apple product then, trust me, you won’t be far behind your parents. We are no longer evolving on a physical level and certainly not on an intellectual level either as Google replaces the need to ask questions and Wikipedia gently twists history even more in the direction of the victor. Technology means we no longer have to think for ourselves and certainly have no need to internally store information in our brains (no matter what science comes up with in the future, the human brain will ALWAYS be the pinacle of engineering), we have jumped from the ascent of man in all his glory to the possibility of working backwards in the future. My mother once told me that in the future we will no longer have opposable thumbs and instead we will develop some form of claw like appendage stuck to the side of our hands with which to text with maximum efficiency.  With life being conducted more and more online it is only a matter of time before social interaction of any kind is almost frowned upon. I know I too am guilty of these things. I have a Facebook account, email and online banking,  I publish these posts on the internet to try to spread my message and I even met “the Dude” on the internet but more than all of these things I am still human and crave physical interaction with my peers. Whilst I will continue to use the internet to the fullest and I will move with the times in terms of technological advances when they genuinely benefit my life I refuse to let it become the be-all and end-all. I will not bow to the peer pressure and go out and sell my granny to buy the newest iPhone just so that I can have it read my text messages to me (because of course we dont even need to be able to read anymore!). I will treasure my vinyl collection, I will display my favourite VHS tapes on the wall as a form of nostalgic art, I will meet my friends at the park and not in an online forum and I will only get a new phone when this one ceases to be.

On the day when I look to the darkened sky and see the Tim Cook and Bill Gates standing arm in arm on a balcony of some sort of Death Star slowly rolling across the horizon and blocking out the sun I will know that the end truly is nigh and I will give up. But until then, I live in hope.

The message has finally gone out and our book is one step closer to becoming a reality. For those of you who aren’t accustomed to mine and the “Chief’s” (following our marathon stint in Prague at the start of the summer the “Dude” officially upgraded himself to the “Chief” and shall be known as such from now on) inane ramblings, we are trying to write a book based on a stupid conversation that happened many moons ago. The premise for this book is the contents of people’s pockets. It all started thanks to the idea that children, especially in cartoons have all manner of things in their pockets at any one time. The items usually only become clear whilst either they are pulling the pocket inside out to try to count out their pennies and find that a ball of lint, a button, an army man and sticky boiled sweet are not legal tender, or when mummy does the washing and the army man finds his way into the washing machine mechanism and causes a flood. I proclaimed that no normal person ever really has those things on their person and so the “Chief” challenged me and ordered I empty my pockets and prove it. To my utter dismay I found that I did, in fact, have a button in my pocket that i had accidentally pulled off my shirt a few days before. Needless to say he found my explanation rather lacking and my point was no longer valid. Somehow this began an even more inexplicable conversation about how the pocket contents of bo him and myself has come to be in such a place and what wonderful stories they may be able to tell. It descended further into madness with the introduction of a sombrero wearing worm named Edwardo who had lost his one and only biker boot in the “Chief’s” pocket and the tale of how he was sent to protect a small community of pigmies living deep in a South American jungle who live only on half chewed sweets and sleep on beds made of lint balls. There was a tiny piece of string in one of the “Chief’s” pockets that he informed me was the tiny lasso that was used by the sheriff who’s charged with keeping the pocket in order. We decided that this would make perfect toilet reading so we started collecting pocket contents from friends and then took it onto Facebook. The idea is to get it global and try to get entries from around the world with the idea of hopefully getting it published one day. We have so far written our own entries in full and I have written an introductory chapter and the rest is now up to you, dear readers. We want the same kind of stories as I described above so try to make them interesting. The trick is to not think too hard, just let the nonsense spill out and send it in!

The is also a secondary idea that we are working on but the concept may be slightly harder to grasp. The question this time is “What object or container of sentiment or emotion are you?” The two things don’t necessarily have to be connected but it tends to sound better if there is some sort of correlation, for example: a pushchair full of wasted youth or a coffin full of hope. This is more of an afterthought but feel free to join in with that too. Either that or using analogies to describe emotions, such as: the disappointment of a jewish mother looking at her child’s school report and finding out that he’s actually rubbish at maths.

Now I ask only that you send in your own entries if you’re up for a laugh and pass the message on. We are looking to get entries from all over the world to also try to see if where you live has any bearing on what may be lurking at the bottoms of pockets the world over and we might even stand a better chance of getting published one day!

Happy rummaging!

Had a bad week? I have. Once again I seem to have outdone myself on the accidental injury front. No, scratch that, these weren’t all neccessarily accidents. By this I mean that with a little extra concentration or maybe just sticking to the rules maybe these accidents and traumas could have been averted. I must begin my giving a little back story to help you understand. I have a problem with my jaw resulting from years of swinging my lower jaw whilst eating (yes, in much the same way as a cow) which may eventually result in having to have my jaw wired back into place to make it go straight. Now with this threat hanging over my head and the fact that it actually hurts to eat anything too hard or chewy, I am not really meant to over work my jaw too much. This being considered, why did I have to go and eat Haribo? On this particular occasion all was going swimmingly until I put a sour cherry in my mouth and bit down hard. That was when I heard the sound that everyone without private dental care will fear more than the taxman: TING.

It was at this point that I knew something had gone badly wrong and my sweet munching days would be well and truly over for some considerable time. The ringing still in my ear and the throbbing under my eye socket growing in intensity I leapt to my feet and launched myself into the bathroom, uttering the words “Oh crap, oh crap” over and over again under my breath and through gritted teeth (gritted purely because I believed something was about to fall out)  as I ran past a stunned “Dude”.  On inspecting the damage I realised that I had in fact broken one of my teeth right down the middle from front to back. Of course I was more than a little worked up by this! I’ve been to the emergency dental unit at the hospital during the week but this was 2am on a saturday! Of course there went my saturday morning lie in as I now had to get up at quarter past stupid in the morning to try to find someone to fix it for me. As if this piss take of a wasted day wasn’t bad enough, I should have actually been at my Grandmothers surprise Birthday party. I had to stay home as I was looking after my sisters dog whilst she’s off sunning herself in skinny Florida and as my parents were going to Grammys I had to stay home with the mutt. So eventually I managed to taxi myself to the dental clinic only to be told that it was a gonner. Several injections of several different types of anesthetic later and I was numb from my eyes to my tits and it was time to give it a go. I wish they had maybe given me a tad more because whilst I couldn’t talk or control the drooling it still wasn’t quite numb enough in the general tooth area. He pressed on. I’ll spare you the gory details but it took somewhere in the region of 20 minutes and a lot of screaming to get the bugger out, along with knees in the chest for leverage and even the changing of the poor dental nurse (seriously, you need a stronger stomach love) but eventually it was over. I considered asking if I could keep all the dozen or so tiny pieces that had once been one of my premolars but by this point I was too annoyed at it to want to ever see it again (that and the fact that if I’d caught a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy that night I probably would have had her strung up by her own teeth or even gone a little “Marathon Man” on her ass). They cleaned me up, took my money off me and shoved me out the door. Now, I tend to have a bit of a reaction to dental anesthetics, especially when given mixed doses, and this time was no exception. I stumbled my way out of the building and into the overly bright sunshine and proceeded to collapse against a wall and tried to roll myself a cigarette. It took no less than 3 attempts with my shaky hands and numbed mouth but i got there in the end, but forgot about the fact that it is nearly impossible to actually smoke when, for all intents and purposes you are wearing someone elses face. The trooper that I am, I soldiered through and eventually managed to call myself a taxi and was proud of myself for only having to repeat my instructions to the woman on the other end of the phone twice. I sulked all the way home in the taxi and, to be honest, for most of the rest of the day.

This was, unfortunately, not the end of my tale of great woe. On the following Thursday, on returning from the shops with “The Dude” I somehow managed to slam my poor little thumb in the car door. Now this is something that I know almost everyone will do at least once in their lives, usually when children, but as a grown up you have to remain calm. It didn’t help that there were people walking up the street towards me so I couldn’t lose my cool. I didn’t even yelp but simply opened the door again and pulled my hand out. Now I feel I must explain a little something here: I am forever being told off by one person or another for not giving anything my full attention. The reason I managed to shut my hand in the door was because I was too preoccupied with tucking the wing mirror in to avoid having it kicked off again by one of the genius students who seem to feel that if they do it enough it may well become an Olympic sport. It was because of this simple lack of communication between left hand, right hand, brain and common sence that I was left with a mangled digit, a numb hand and a sick, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I announced to the “Dude” what I had done and, considering it was in fact very much an “I told you so” moment, he was surprisingly sympathetic. It wasn’t until I got in through the front door that the pain really hit me and my god was it bad. Within one minute the nail had gone bright blue and by the next morning a depressingly black line had begun to spread up from the cuticle. Luckily the next day I had an appointment with the nurse at my doctor’s surgery and whilst I was there I took the opportunity to flash my, by now, beautifully blackened digit to her and muster only the question: “What can I do about this”. Her reaction was quite impressive. considering she is a nurse, recoiling in horror at a finger smash injury confirmed to me that I may well have not been quite as lucky as I usually am and it dawned on me that I was going to have to go to A&E. She told me to get my ass down there straight away and get it drained and check to see that nothing was broken. I then had to call the “Dude” and inform him that I was going to have to have a second visit to an emergency unit in less than a week. He wasn’t best pleased. Luckily we were only there for about two hours and a xray showed there was nothing broken (silver linings and all that) but then i had to have the thing drained. The stupid nurse lied and said it wouldn’t hurt. I wasn’t best pleased. Eventually they bandaged up my poorly purple thumb, stuck me in a sling and sent me on my way as high as a kite. Thank you very much to the NHS. There were also a great deal of other accidents that week, including smashing my elbows and shoulders into door frames, nearly breaking a toe by rolling over it with a chair and a cracking bruise of my shin from smashing it into the edge of the low wall at the front of the house, punching myself int he face and even poking myself in the eye on more than one occasion. My biggest problem and bruise causer is the fact that I seem to be totally incapable of walking directly through a doorway. I decided to take the shortest path and enter diagonally which, 9 times out of 10, results in me banging or grating an elbow or shoulder against the frame. I can assure you now that this is something I plan on working on. I doubt I’ll actually be able to change but I’ll give it a go.

Nearly a month later the nail on my still mangled thumb eventually began to come away a bit at a time until it got to the point where it was only being help on by a 3mm square patch of skin right at the tip and the strip of plaster I had to use to stop it flapping around. I joked with my mum about how I was probably going to catch it on something and rip it off so I’d best keep it taped up at all times. Congratulations on their way to me, of course, when just half an hour later (having forgotten to put the new plaster on after taking the old one off) I managed to do exactly that whilst pulling my slouching trousers up. Two things can be learnt from this: 1) always remember to redress your wounds and 2) WEAR A BELT!!

Now, over two months later it is finally on the mend I’m sure you’ll be relieved to hear and the new nail, whilst bumpy and uneven, is growing nicely. Of course every time I get out of the car now I close the door properly before even thinking about anything else. Maybe for once in my life I may have actually learnt something from this. We’ll see.

I’ve decided I shout try to blog more (like I used to) and rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it should be fun for me, entertaining for you and maybe let me share a little more of my own personal brand of wisdom. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way. (And maybe a cupcake or two!!)

And once again (with a rather big sigh) it starts. I am referring, of course, to the first snow of winter. It has arrived even earlier this year and it seems to everyone that the crazy freeze of february is just a distant memory. To me however, it is not. I’m sure the bruises I got from sliding ass over apex into a bus stop on the near polished glass surface of the pavement have only just gone down. Luckily last winter I only actually managed to cluster my way onto my face twice but I must admit I did it with style on both occasions. Unfortunately both of these instances were only 15 minutes, but a mere 50 yards apart. This is the time it took to pick myself up after aforementioned near magnetic attraction between my face and the side of the bus stop, dust myself off, make it look like i meant to do it and then catch my balance enough to continue along my way. The irony being that I was, in fact, on my way to catch a bus home and both of the injuries occurred because I was foolishly using my mobile phone to text the “Dude” to tell him how icy it was and that I had changed my mind and no longer wanted to go home after all! The second spill came at the end of the street and nearly resulted in me being propelled across the super slippery floor and under the wheels of a car (luckily waiting at the traffic lights!). Now my big problem with the cold and depressing weather is not the cold itself. Nor is it even the snow (unless it actually gets in the way of my life and gets me into trouble!). My problem is the street gritters. Now they’ll happily drive around in the dead of night spraying their cargo across the highways and byways of the UK, getting salt all over your car and sometimes even chipping windscreens and rusting your wheel arches away to nothing by the end of the week (not mine of course, I drive a Smart) but they seem to fail to get anywhere near anything resembling a pavement. I don’t particularly care if people decide to go out in their cars in such weather and slam into a lamp-post or letterbox, but I don’t like seeing little old ladies, just braving the cold and ice to get milk so they can warm up in their freezing houses with a nice cup of tea, slipping and sliding and cracking hips on the icy pavement. We all know that once the snow settles and people spend all day walking in it and turning it into a wonderful mix of sludge, mud and childs mittens, it only goes and freezes again over night. This of course leaves a most beautiful polished and shiny surface for me to go and mangle my face around a bus stop on! I have reached the conclusion that this winter (especially as it has decided to start so early) my only choice is to start wearing studded golf shoes all winter to avoid any future mush mangling. As you will have already become aware, I spend a great deal of my time in Studentville, and we ALL know how overly excitable students can be. It had barely been snowing 20 minutes this afternoon when you could hear the excited shrieks coming from girls running down the street and jumping around in the snow. Now there was nowhere near enough settled to be making into snowballs so I can only hope that in some vain attempt to scrape together enough to throw at someone, their assailants had caught up some rocks, plants and maybe even the odd small furry animal. Now that’s my kind of snowball fight! Of course I’m aware that snow is a novelty for most of us as it’s not like we can know for sure when it’s actually going  to happen, and it is a thrill in much the same way as an extra day on the end of a heat wave; But a heat wave wont disrupt public transport, cause millions of accidents on the country’s roads and mean thousands of kids being kept off school just to get under everyone’s feet and on everyone’s nerves. Yes you may throw open your curtains of a morning and scream “YAY!! SNOW!!” but just stop and think about it for a minute. What are you actually going to do with it? You’ll go outside looking like a drab coloured staypuft marshmallow man, you’ll make snowballs with your massive gloves which will get soaking wet and freezing cold by ball number 3 so you’ll end up taking them off and can only make another 2 before you lose not only the feeling in your hands but also the will to live. You”ll drag your friends or children around on a sled (or baking tray) until you get hit by someone else coming down the hill with no brakes, but you won’t be able to get to A&E because the roads are almost impassable so you’ll just have to put an ice pack (or a chunk of some poor childs snowman) on your injury and keep your feet up. This for me is what this weather is all about. It’s just like lying snuggled up in a warm bed when you can hear the rain pelting your window. I love nothing more than knowing that there is nothing so important that I need to venture out for it. Staying in your PJs all day and watching the snow fall outside your window with a nice big mug of hot chocolate and a warm man. Snow is something beautiful to behold yes, but I don’t want any part in being out in it and catching the most ungodly cold and then being FORCED to stay in bed anyway! I don’t know about you lot, but I’d rather staying in bed through choice than necessity. At least for now it seems to have subsided but I can almost guarantee that it won’t be for long. As it is a Friday night I would love to see how all this sudden weather we’re having will affect the hoards of clubbers heading into Cardiff to party. Needless to say I don’t think there’ll be a sharp increase in the number of coats or thermal underwear because as we all know, Long Johns and a rain mac are not “pulling aids”.