Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Poor Little Blog

I just realised I have been neglecting bobbenblog in the midst of business, snowiness and christmassiness. Probably been spending too much time making up words but that isn't my fault. Currently I have been spending a lot of my time researching. For work/my masters/the sake of scottish history, whatever you want to call it. Without boring anyone unneccesarily, I've been researching the crimes committed by members of the covenanting movement in Scotland in the restoration era (from 1660). Basically covenanters are Presbyterians whose religious ways have been supressed after 1660 as the crown enforced an Episcopalian church structure on Scotland. So the covenanters decided to, amoung other things, have big unlawful religious meetings in houses or feilds (conventicles), make a mockery of the establishment by robbing, scaring, hurting and ravaging lawful ministers, as well as, y'know, rebellion and rising in arms against the crown. Day to day stuff for a covenanter. But anyway, it's a lot of work cataloguing all the names, dates etc and trials of these guys but there are some highlights to be found to keep you sort of smiling.

Yesterday, Stuart and I were working on it and we found a poor man who had his clockbag stolen. Sadly it turns out it isn't a bag for his clock, but some elaborate way of a bookmaker to keep betting slips safe. Suffice to say the ruffians were apprehended and said clockbag ordered to be returned.

The names are quite funny too. Here are a few notable ones: Mungo Kaip in Evandaill; James Greive in Mahill; and of course Andrew Darling in Apletreeleaves. Such Characters have diverse and amusing occupations. Indeed you will find shoemakers, cordiners, meilmakers, those who "keip an alehouse", nottars, wodsetters, and...wait for it... periwigmakers!

They do some ridiculous things too, take for example the man with the clockbag, well a bunch of lads happened be involved in a "henious riot seizing John Durrie of Grange and his horse, arms and clockbag; winding him".

Anyway that is what i've been up to and I'm sure there will be more fun times for all in the register of the privy council soon. Apologies to my blog, I itend to update it in festive ways as the season progresses

Thursday, 18 November 2010

haw bobo... elvis just scored

The alternative title is "male bonding?".

My dear husband came home from football training last night and had a bath. I asked him if he had a good time and he was dicussing what happened when he mentions that "taz" took the cardio training part. "taz?" i asked. What kind of a name is Taz? Of course, I should have known. This is a bunch of men, from the West of Scotland, who congrogate to train for an amatuer football league. Other information to mention is that where Stuart comes from most of the men base the majority of their lives around football, and on the days of their matches many of these men are hungover and smoke on the sidelines at half time.

It turns out that Taz was not the whole story. Taz isn't the captain but he is the vice captain or whatever. I ask more and find out that Taz comes with a Baz. Taz and Baz, football kings. This is fairly funny to me so I ask what the other ones are called. He goes through those on his side this week. Of course there is Coyle - who I know as Martin, because you see in the real world we call eachother by our first names -, Baz was on his team, so were Rab and Jimmy. And the other side?

"Taz, Bobo, Elvis..." Stuart starts.

Hang on one wee minute here... Taz... BOBO... E L V I S? Say what? The king isn't dead. And Mr Burn's teddy bear from the simpsons now resides in Coatbridge?

"...oh and Boulder".

Boulder? WHAT THE FUCK? The guy is called Boulder. I think about it:

"Is he a big guy then?"

Stuart: "No".

"Ah, a small guy... it's ironic"


Oooookay. So aside from these stunningly named chaps I inquire as to the rest of the team who don't attend training. There is Rick, whose name is so boring to me at this point, and Manus. Of course, Manus is his last name, well his last name is McManus but for the sake of male bonding it is shortened: Manus. This is followed with Clark-y and Ford-y. Seriously if you ever want someone you know to know they are your pal but that your definately still have testicles, just add a y to the end of their name. If their name already ends in a y? Try Breezeblock, or Forklift (size need not matter).

I was getting quite into the swing of it then so I started my own suggestions: Was there a guy named Jonesy? What about Steve-o or John-o? YES, there is indeed one called Hanso - this reminded me of Funzo. There is Bobo, is there Rolo? What about Bovril? Big Pieman, Fat somebody? Oh of course, Chubber from school. Big Boaby? Is there a Big Boaby? There's got to be a BIG BOABY?! Apparently not. Prince? Shaking Stevens? How about Pebble, to go with Boulder? And while we're at it bam-bam, I bet him and bobo are thick as theives!

Stuart was kind of wanting to get back to his bath at this point so I retreated with these names intact smiling like the doofus I am.

"I'm going to write Bobben's oh so middle class take on male bonding and football related names" I said.

Poor Stuart.

But seriously, ELVIS???

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I really like things. Don't get me wrong I know what is most important in the world but when everything is settled and what's most important is safe, then the love for possessions reigns. And why shouldn't it? Sometimes you can be out and see something that just jumps at you where something about its design, its look or its feel in general is shiny and you are a magpie. For me sometimes it really isn't things that are expensive or specifically desired for other fashionable reasons. For example, I love to collect broken suspensions you find at the side of the road (Someone else has probably found my broken suspensions over the west of Scotland as I seem to go through them nearl every year). I like to rescue things people have lost outside and pick up stuff lying on the ground. Some people find this disgusting, some find it beneath them, some find it trashy; but if there is something someone has dropped and will not return for, that could be rehomed and reused then why not? When a neighbour throws out things and there is something of use I'll take it. When I'm walking along and I see a dropped phone sock I'll pick it up. Maybe I'm scum to you now but a wee whirl in the washing machine and it's as good as new.
Aside from this yes I do like to buy things too. I enjoy shopping. I like shopping for things for the house, changing the colour scheme or adding some new items that make your house feel fresh and revived. I like to shop for clothes, little dresses that make you look like a medieval backsmith and fingerless gloves of all different coloured stripes. I like to go to shops that are too expensive to buy a lot of things in and get one special item, like hoody dresses from American Apparel or my yellow coat from that shop Joy on Queen street which closed down too quickly. I love to buy presents. For most people the idea of christmas shopping seems to elicit either waves of stress or the groans associated with children dragged out to the supermarket. I love buying things for other people. Getting something I think they will like based on something they previously said or something I have tried and love and then wrapping it perfectly to see them open it and hopefully really like it. That's how I can support my case for the atheist christmas; reciprocal giving.
With that said then all I leave is a few pictures of some of the lovely new possessions I have after my recent birthday, thank you materialists.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

the life and times

I was thinking about it recently and my blog seems to consist, in the main, of mostly me delving into the past and linking it to the present, or angry rants primarily aimed at the shape most resembling a bullseye in the logo of many popular retail outlets. I realise I don't seem to blog about my current affairs that much and if I do it becomes awfully poetic, involving some sort of philosophy on my life/life in general and thus my blog becomes a neurotic paradigm of my life. In order to remedy this I'm going to discuss what's going on just now. I am going to bypass the need to illuminate the reader as to the contents of my breakfast and who said what behind who's back &tc.

Currently I feel very frustrated in my ability to communicate what I'm really thinking. This isn't due to my not being vocal but is about the channels through which I am able to do so being blocked. I guess that people all have multiple interfaces in which to communicate - different people (work, family, friends, strangers even), face to face, phone, letter, email, social networks, blogs - and I am sure that people use each of these sources to converse in different ways about a multitude of varying issues. I mean, we all have friends or acquaintances who we are completley superficial with. Sometimes this is due to the depth of that person, be it in terms of the relationship or, sadly, brain power and sometimes it is due to the context. For example see my old blog about having silent companions at the gym or take Stuart who has a lovely woman at the canteen at work who enthusiastically asks about his life despite seeing him for at most 5 minutes a few times a week. And then at the other end of the spectrum we have those most intimate relationships, partners, family, close friends, and indeed even such as social networking where a lot of time and effort is exerted and the layers of interaction are dense and related.

For myself, recently I feel I have lost not only many superficial layers, but also some of those more impenetrable lines of communication, and I'm at a bit of a loss because of it.

This is going to sound so pathetic: I've lost facebook. Now I'm not an idiot, and I don't live my life through this website, but I do enjoy going onto facebook as part of my internet routine and seeing what's been happening. Ok I know facebook reminds most people of social butterflies with hundreds of friends arranging nights out and posting the drunken photographs resulting the next day, but there are a lot more subtle things I like. I like being able to send stupid jokey messages to stuart throughout the say (yes, even though i see him ALL THE TIME); I like getting absurd news stories linked on facebook and having little chats about the content within; I like to keep up with people who I hardly ever see but am able to feel like if I did meet them again tomorrow they wouldn't be a complete stranger; I like to be able to post up what is on my mind at any given point in the knowledge that those who care will see it and those who don't are at their own free will to ignore it, or remove me from their wall or even friends. Contrary to popular belief, removing a friend on facebook really isn't the stab in the back it is made out to be. The point is I like that I can be myself. 99% of the people on facebook for me are superficial acquaintances. The other 1% are (meant to be) the people who don't mind me being completley honest becuase they like me for who I am. Recently this has changed.

There have been additions to my facebook friends of people who normarily wouldn't use facebook. Friends of friends who you don't know but you know they know the original friend well. (new) Family. Remember that time when a member of your family was taught to use facebook and you thought "good for them, they will be able to KEEP IN CONTACT"? Well that's just it, now every status, every link, every remark is watched from the multiple cctv cameras of family with facebook. I know I am making my family sound like people who I can't be myself around and that's mostly untrue but online me is different to offline me. Offline me knows that integrity is important but that getting people's noses out of joint over stupid little arguments over it is not. Online me doesn't care about context and just really hates something and has to type it IN CAPITALS PROBABLY right now, sparing no detail or profanity, just to get it down and off my chest. Offline me knows that you acknowledging someone when something shit has happened is a caring person who is there for you without forcing herself all over the situation. Online me knows that no longer can she passivley "like" something for fear of it being interpreted that I actually LIKE the fact that something shit happened. Offline me is able to interpret people's tone of voice and body language when communicating and send the applicable signals back. Online me is able to do this with other people who were raised on the internet in a very subtle way, but some how always ends up failing to communicate the fact that I HATE WHAT YOU LIKE is a different sentiment online to offline. It's all oh so complex and I'm really feeling like I can't express myself via facebook now for fear of offence. I think the problem with facebook is that it tries to mesh the internet friend world with the real life people. The internet friends are friends quickly and the crap you post is a test to see if the friendship is worthwhile. When the real life friends join you some how stop seeming like a person with clear ideas of what they like/dislike and more of a self righteous dick who just can't let go. In fairness to myself though, sometimes things are utterly problematic. I do not like football. There are people I know who really do. In real life I would refrain from talking about it with them, avoiding strife. Online you are all just a bunch of facebookers and you know what I REALLY DON'T LIKE FOOTBALL and why can't you just let me say it and ignore me please. If you don't have anything nice to say and all...

Apart from this I've also felt like I have lost another two of these communication tubes, swimming pool flumes, if you will, in terms of people. I have two friends who recently have started to feel a little more like acquaintances. One friend was having a hard time and I felt so bad for her, like I had already been there somewhat and wanted to lend advice or at least non-judgemental support, so I did. And she replied, in a nutshell that she was busy and couldn't get back to me for a little while. A little while turned into a long while and during the long while I noticed that chatting to me was too much but being online in general was not. And that's ok, her choice not to talk to me, but I feel sidelined, like I wasn't good enough to help. She seems to still be in a bad place but I don't really want to help due to being fobbed off last time. I don't know, maybe I'm getting too prissy about it but I kind of expected that my help would be more worthwhile when time was lacking that image after image about tv shows and food. I guess that's the internet reality, a facade to be maintained. And I do feel bad for her, and I want to be there, but I've been the doormat in the past and I made a pact that if the only way I could be a friend to someone was to be the one always doing the running, then I wouldn't be the friend any more.

This pact leads to the other friend I am dissapointed in. A good friend has gotten a boyfriend and a part time job, and suddenly it's as if I'm invisible. I understand this of course I do I basically spend my life with my husband and even if you have the time when you are working you do just want some time to yourself. However it's the pretend friend dance that gets me. As if I am a child being told 5 more minutes over and over while hour after hour elapses. If I invite you to something and you don't feel like it, it's ok to say no. If I text you a time and a place, it's ok to say I can't rather than leave me hanging knowing that you never said no and I may still turn up. What's not ok is to not bother with my birthday. What's not ok is to say heyy we'll do something next week ok? and then just never get back. Just tell me you are too busy, just tell me you aren't feeling like it, just tell me you don't want to be my friend; it's fine. I just hate the dancing around the subject. I'm dissapointed again and I know if I really wanted I could press the issue and be more forthcoming in trying to arrange a time to meet up but alas my doormat pact is in place. I really like you and I understand your reasons for not seeing me, but I don't like to be deceived and I beleive that is what's going on. Honesty wins I swear.

So that's the reason I feel so frustrated and unable to express myself. True to this is the fact I've been searching for the phrase "express myself" the whole way through typing this and never quite being able to find it.

Do you ever feel as though the relationships you have made and the friends you know are slipping gradually like sand through your fingers? Right now, I'm just looking the other way.