End of year report

Well, Christmas was a quiet time for the Brand New Life. I was away most the time, so no new recipes, no script writing, and no new thing (unless you count Christmas in Portsmouth, which I don’t).

But that is what was; what is, is now. Tomorrow is a new year and a new beginning, and I intend to make it Brand New in every way I can. So, expect much experimentation from your little neophile here, and hopefully some significant advances in his efforts to build himself a Brand New Life. 🙂

so, Happy New Year everyone, and for those that are interested here’s how my black and white photography turned out.

black and white, part 1

Only just remembered I’m supposed to be taking photos every day this week, so here’s my first black and white photos.

I’m also about to make some vegan naan bread and mushroom pilau rice for the first time. Recipes to follow some time tomorrow, providing they turn out ok of course, and after I’ve meditated. Oh, and I bought Tess of the D’Urbervilles too. Only about 15 pages in but I’m liking it so far.

Report B

This has not been my most impressive week.

I can’t honestly say I’ve achieved very much. Mostly I’ve just been getting up at 5am, going to work in the freezing cold, then getting back and plonking myself down in front of my computer with some beer and a DVD. I was going to figure out how to make vegan naan bread – did the research, bought the ingredients, got everything ready to go – then just didn’t. Opted for roast veg and a store bought nut cutlet instead. How poor is that. Seriously, it’s been so damn cold out there all I’ve wanted to do is stay home and hibernate all week.

But that’s just an excuse. I told you, I’m trying to break a long standing cycle of lethargy, so it’s going to take a while. I have been doing new things, talking to strangers (an unexpected side effect of starting this blog) and accepting new opportunities when they come along (like getting my posture checked for one thing. Result, a little twisty, and nothing some expensive chiropractic sessions couldn’t fix – surprise surprise – but ultimately not bad). My plan to read the first book someone recommended to me hasn’t worked, as no one has recommended anything to me all week, so I’ve opted instead to read the book mentioned on a poster in a local coffee shop that catches my eye every time I’m in there; Tess of the D’Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy. I’m still going to read the next book someone recommends, whenever that is, but at least I’ve got something to read now (so that’s this week covered) And for next week I’ve got an excellent new thing to do. I’m going to have a go in a floatation tank! No idea what it’ll be like but I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping for a mystical experience, though I do wonder how mystical half an hour in salty water listening to whale song can be. I guess I’ll know by next Sunday eh.

I also have other plans for next week. I’m going to meditate every day, I’m going to take black and white photographs every day, and I’m not going to drink any beer (as I’m starting to get a bit of a belly of me after a rather indulgent week): Wine maybe, but no beer. I’m also going to get a start on the script writing.

I’ve figured out if I write a minimum of just 5 pages on each day I’m not working I can do 6 scripts by the end of next year easily (5 pages x 15 days a month x 12 = 6 x 120 page scripts, at least). That’s just a guideline of course, if I’m on a roll I’ll do more, but I need at least that many to complete my quota. This is seat-of-the-pants writing; seat of the pants on the seat of the chair!

So in summation:

Exercise : Bugger all.

New Thing : Book to read.

Cooking : Nowt (though I’m going to catch up this week for sure!)

Script Writing : None.

Like I said, not a very impressive week, but there’s no point sulking about it. What’s done is done, and so this is my new starting point. How could it be anything else? 🙂

Report A

No drinking – Failed. Lasted a total of 5 days. Will cut down a bit from now on, but I ain’t gonna become a monk!

Daily exercise – Qualified success. Did 6 days out of 7, including a good 2-3 hour session today. Will continue as much as I can.

Something new – Done. Travelled first class (see below). Not overly impressed.

Other than that, I found focus in what I’m doing, and am somewhat at peace with what the future holds. It might get a bit random, but it’s all good practice.

A steep learning curve

Ok, so here’s what I’ve learnt from my first week of blogging:

1. Don’t make proclamations you want to be true but which never will be.

ie: I ain’t giving up booze. I could barely last a week without a drink. First thing I did when I got home yesterday was go out and buy some beer. Much as I would like to not need the odd drink now and then it just ain’t gonna happen, so let’s just deal with that fact and move on. Maybe one day, when I’m more spiritually enlightened I’ll pack in drinking, but not today.

The point is to not get bogged down in this stuff. Things like drinking, or listening to your iPod, are just tools for separating yourself from the world. Cocoons to hide in that keep you ‘safe’. That’s what I want to do less; less hibernation. I want to deal with the world more, not hide away. So that’s what I’m going to do, not a blanket ban on things, but just less, with more of other more constructive things taking their place. That should prove more effective than what I’ve been doing so far.

2. Don’t be a slave to your blog.

As the strangely rambling post below about Buddhism shows (now deleted because it was complete gibberish), whilst it’s ok to want to write something every day, some days you’re better off just leaving it ’til tomorrow, when you’ve got something to say. Or when you’re not on dial up. Or when you’re not getting interrupted every five minutes. Your blog deserves your full attention, but only when it’s convenient to you.

3. Focus, damn it; focus!

Your blog needs a goal. It’s no good to ramble on about whatever’s in your head, you need to have a clear purpose, otherwise why would people read it. So, with that in mind, here are the new blog/challenge rules, as of now:

First, this blog will last a year, starting January 1st 2010. By the end of it I will have

a, a home (bought, or rented, but out of town and with a decent view of some sort)

b, a new revenue stream (so I don’t have to spend my days broadcasting second rate porn to lonely Norwegians)

c, a missus (kids optional)

d, a car, and a dog (non-essential)

Since pretty much everything in life centres around money I’m going to focus a bit on that. I’m going to work on my script writing, the simplest way I have of making a lot of money quickly without major effort on my part. If I work every day I’m not working at my ‘real’ job, I should be able to do one every two months fairly easily, giving me 6 complete scripts in 12 months to approach agents/producers with.

I’m also going to work on veganising my favourite recipes, two a week, so by the end of the year I’ll have a fairly decent cook book of over a hundred recipes. Another possible money maker.

As well as these two ideas I’m also going to continue doing something new every week, as well as the odd random weekly/monthly challenge I’ll set myself just to spice things up a little and thereby increase my chances of meeting Miss Right. The results of all this I’ll be putting in my weekly report, published every Sunday, summarising the results of my actions.

I think that’ll do for a start. I’ve got the rest of the month to mess around with the format, fine tune it a bit, but come January we are good to go.

Going First Class

Well, I did it. I sprung for First Class on the train yesterday. And if you don’t believe me, here’s the evidence.

£15 it cost me, and I can’t say it was worth the money. Ok, so the seats were nice and big, and you got free tea, coffee, and a packet of crisps, but I had to go fetch it myself because they were short staffed, and I had to have it black as they had no soya milk (not very vegan friendly, Virgin trains). Plus, since it was the weekend and any Tom, Dick and Harry (like me) can get a cheap upgrade, I had to move carriages twice; once when a bunch of lads with loads of beer and nothing but football on their minds came and sat next to me; and once because the tannoy system on the Quiet Carriage was (ironically) giving off a high pitched whine all the time. So in conclusion, First Class, not all it’s cracked up to be, but at least I tried something new, which makes this week a success. Happy with that.

What to do, what to do

Just a quick missive. I’m at my parents’ place and all they’ve got is dial-up (Can you believe it? In this day and age!), and it’s so unbelievably slow if I don’t get off here soon I’m going to go mental. I hate waiting.

Figured out what my new thing will be this week. I’m going to travel first class. Ok, so it’ll be first class on a train (and a Virgin train at that) but still it’ll be first class; and I’ve never travelled first class before. I’ve pee’d out of a first class compartment window many years ago – which was no mean feat let me tell you, as it was one of those wee narrow slots at the top and I had to climb up and wedge myself against the ceiling and the top of the chair and the window frame to get ‘myself’ outside, and yes it was incredibly undignified out me, and really quite bizarre (and thank God no one came along to see me), but in my defence I was absolutely busting, all the toilets were occupied, and it was either that, in the carriage, or the emergency cord – but I’ve never sat there for the entire journey and lorded it up with the rest of the upper classes (in my head I’m travelling on a steam train in an Arthur Conan Doyle novel).

That’ll be on Saturday, so I’ve got to see what else I can amuse myself with between now and then. I’m going into town tomorrow to get the last of my Christmas shopping, so we’ll see what I can come up with.

Also, I have an idea for January. No details just yet, need to play this one quite close to my chest for the moment, but it’s something I’ve had a bit of success with before. Stay tuned.