I can’t deny that posts have been a little thin on the ground recently.
This was thrown into sharp focus for me this week, when I got a message from Dirk of sexyloser fame, concerned at the lack of activity on these here pages.
I responded with my usual “I’m okay, just got a case of the can’t-be-arsed’s”, which is true.
At least I thought it was.
But I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now. And I have a theory. (Of course I do.)
See, I’ve never been the most prolific of bloggers, and I’m genuinely in awe of my peers who manage to post something every day. I’ve tried this: back in the early days of “lockdown” I determined to use my time well, and to try and post daily, and for a while I managed that, but I’ve significantly tailed off of late.
What’s tended to happen round here for the past few weeks is that I’ll post something on a Saturday morning, usually a rant about something the Government has or hasn’t done which has irked me, followed by the Late Night Stargazing staple, followed by….well, nothing. I haven’t even bothered to post a Country record on a Sunday morning for three weeks, and that’s something which has made me pause and wonder: is this the end?
Well, no. I still love writing these posts, love getting people to comment on what I’ve written, get a little buzz when I receive an email telling me that somebody new has started following the blog.
But I need to refocus.
Two things occured to me: firstly that I’ve got too wrapped up in having SOMETHING TO SAY, a point to make, that I’ve strayed a little from the original purpose of doing this: writing about and sharing (often what are considered to be rubbish) records I like, and making it okay for you to like them too.
So, from now on there will be fewer ranty political posts (Note: not none, just fewer) and more posts about me making a dick of myself, which are usually much more popular anyway.
Secondly, I think the whole working from home thing has got to me. See, before “lockdown”, it was simple: I’d go to work in the morning, come home at night and if I could be bothered I’d write something. Or, more often, I’d write a number of things on a Friday night which I would schedule to be published throughout the week. There was an obvious distinction between when I was at work and when I wasn’t.
But, whilst I’ve been a big advocate of, and really like, working from home, recently that’s broken down, and I think it’s because of this: currently, there’s no environmental distinguishment between me sitting at a laptop working, or sitting at a laptop writing any old guff that occurs to me to post here.
And so I’ve made some changes. I’ve bought a desk, and that’s where I now sit during the day, in my own office chair that I’ve had delivered from the office where I used to work, to do actual work.
The personal laptop now resides on the coffee table, but it’s no longer battling for occupancy rights with the work laptop.
It’s a small adjustment, but I’m hoping that it works.
So, that’s your little peek behind the blogger’s curtain.
“When’s he going to shut up and post a song?” I hear many of you ask.
Soon. Bear with.
But first, back to Dirk, as Amy Winehouse almost said.
It was very sweet of Dirk to enquire after my well-being, and there’s a reason for him doing so. For folks who haven’t been visiting my little corner of the internet for long, there’s good reason for his concern. Back in 2018 I had a spell in hospital after I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism on my left lung (that’s a blood clot to you and me), and pneumonia on the right one (the first of these complaints is often fatal). My silence led to many enquiries as to where I had disappeared to, before I revealed (by way of the Comments section on here) where I was and what was wrong.
What this led to, on my (I hesitate to use the word discharge) return to normal life, was a series of posts detailing what I’d been through. I could link to them, but it woud just look like a shameless attempt to massage my figures here. If you’re interested, go back to the end of 2018 and you’ll see what I was writing about.
Without wishing to blow my own trumpet (stop it…!!), at the time, many people commended me on writing about my bodily complaints with such frankness, and I was a bit taken back by this at the time. I was just writing about what had happened and tried to make it as honest and as amusing as possible.
Men are traditionally not good at this. We don’t talk about stuff. Specifically, we don’t discuss ill-health or anything which might be wrong with us or our bodies.
Women, on the other hand, seem to have this locked down. They will happily discuss any problems they may have, when there are no men around.
Thinking about it, you can probably trace this back to our teenage years. Back then, all boys have is unexpected erections, unwanted night-emissions, and the self-discovery of ononism. None of which one would wish to bring up in fellow male company, for fear of having the piss mercilessly ripped forever more. Growing up was a competition, but not in terms of who was developing quickest – we all got to see who won that particular crown in the showers after PE – but in terms of who had managed to “go” furthest with a girl, even if that girl happened to be someone you’d met on holiday and who nobody else knew or would ever meet. Honest.
But the entrapment of our own bodies? No siree bob.
Girls, on the other hand, had the unifying teenage event of menstruation to talk amongst themselves about. They all went through it for the first time at round about the same time, and doubtless would have had it explained by their doting mothers (never, oh never the blushing fathers) as being a totally natural bodily function. And from there grew their ability to discuss, to accept, to nurture, traits boys never learned.
That’s right, I’m saying you lucky, lucky ladies with your lovely ability to bond over your monthlies, whilst us boys were left floundering, making juvenile jokes about who was still a virgin and whether there was a gun in your pocket or were you just pleased to see me?
I may have explained this clumsily, but I do think there’s a point buried there which goes beyond male machismo: for boys/men never really learn to discuss our physical problems, especially when they relate to an area of sexual sauciness, whilst girls learn to care and share at a relatively early age.
Since I grew up believing that no woman was interested in seeing my downstairs bits, let alone allowing themselves to come into abhorrant contact with them, I’ve kind of swung the other way (so to speak) and have no real issue with talking about “man problems”.
Which is why long-term readers will know who Little Jez is.
What I’m trying to say is I think it’s important that things like this are discussed openly. It’s just our bodies: we’ve all got them, and sometimes they play up, and letting people know when yours does might bright some hope and comfort to someone who might be experiencing the same symptoms, but dare not speak about it, or seek medical attention.
I’ll give you an example – and we may be getting into “things you don’t need to know territory” here, so look away now if you like.
Back when I was living in Cardiff, and living in the flat of filth with Llŷr, he came home from a works-do one night and confided in me that a lad he worked with had confided in Llŷr that he was about to have an operation to be circumcised, as he had a restricted foreskin.
It’s quite a common occurance in men, and nothing to be embarrased about. Go on, Google it. See? (Not on Google Images, you fool!)
And hearing those words, that another grown man who I sort of knew had the same problem as me, led me to say to Llŷr: “Yeh…I think I need to have that done too.”
I’ve had it done now, about ten years ago. Little Jez is even littler than he used to be. I used to make jokes about me wanting to appear an authentic Tottenham fan, but in reality all my friends know (because I don’t think it’s anything to be embarrassed about), although I must admit for a while I told people I’d been in for a (2nd) hernia op before I decided “What the heck?!?”.
There’s a rather amusing story about when I was recuperating at home following the operation that my mate Holmesy finds hilarious and always asks me to repeat; I’ve wanged for too long this time to include it here, but it will feature soon enough. Oh yes, it will.
But anyway: fear not! There will be some frank explanations about men’s bits soon enough, for shortly I’ll be going back into hospital for a short proceedure.
When I was still an out-patient after my stay in hospital, I was advised by one of the many consultants I’d seen that a scan had shown up several polypsis on my colon.
The consultant advised they were probably nothing to worry about, but that I might want to get them checked out. Or, to use his words, “We’ve had a look at you from every other angle, we may as well go up there too.”
And so this week, after much chasing and coercian, I had a telephone consultation with an oncologist from the hospital. He again said that it was probably nothing, but agreed with me that it’s probably best to sort it out now, just in case.
I had at first thought all that would happen was I’d have a camera inserted where the sun doesn’t shine, from which they would establish if any further action was required.
But no. It now transpires that I’m to have what the consultant described as “The Gold Standard”, which involves them going up and at the same time removing anything which needs to be removed.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “you’ll be heavily sedated. We’ll give you some really good drugs to ease the pain.”
“But first, you’ll have to evacuate fully”, he added, which it transpires means I have to take a shit load of laxatives and then, well, shit loads.
“Have you got an en suite?” he asked. Funny guy.
This will be happening in the next couple of weeks, so brace yourself for plenty of hilarious blog posts opportunities just begging to be mined there.
Until then, this (for the song title, if nothing else):
Yup. That was another post about me not wanting to make a point anymore, whilst making a point.
To clarify: from hereon in there will be less posts where I make a point, and more posts where I talk about a camera and a pair of surgical scissors being shoved up my bottom (at the same time), and all that comes with such events.
Or in other words: more soon.