Wednesday, January 01, 2020


Shwmae from the banks of the river Lleidi!

And so the world turns setting us once again off around the sun. Good luck everyone.

My 2019 was something of a nightmare. Lost my job thanks to the never ending joy that is brexit; a friend passed away, serious health situation with a family member, found new job, new job turned out to be not what was advertised, lost new job, before rounding out the year unemployed and a victim of tax fraud that has yet to be resolved. As well as, y’know… politics.

I also went to a friend’s wedding in Holland which was lovely. And I moved house, where I’m slowly turning the front garden into an allotment fortress against the industrial salad complex (I’ve been documenting it over on Tumblr under the hashtag #Veg Fort) and has included building a bench, table and a cold frame. 

So while last year wasn’t a sob story from start to finish there was a lot of time feeling miserable, catching my breath and just dusting myself off.

So I’m aiming to make 2020 a little more positive. I will do this by setting myself some goals. Resolutions if you will, for the New Year.

·         GET A JOB:
Not so much a resolution as a wild reckless dream I’d like to see fulfilled sometime in 2020.

·         WRITING:
I did very little writing throughout 2019. I wrote a few pages of notes for things I’d like to write but that’s it. So the plan for 2020 is to focus on one script idea, writing 3 pages a day. That should give me a rough draft one by the end of January-ish.

I also want to blog more. Social media is a hell-scape these days. I stopped using Facebook years ago and I use Twitter more for news and interesting links than connecting with people. So short of building my ownsocial media platform I’ve decided to build a home on the “Isles of Blogging” with this HTML graveyard as my shack on the beach.

The aim will be to blog once a week. It’s going to be a mixed bag of topics to begin with and we’ll see if anything settles.

  • Write 3 script pages a day.
  • Blog once a week.


So over the last 18 months due to some minor health issues I’ve been trying to lose a bit of weight. But for a myriad of reasons, both external and my own laziness, that’s stalled at the end of last year. I while I know that weight related resolutions are cursed I really want to get back to it. I go to the gym regularly but because of a dodgy tendon in my arm I’ve had to avoid weights for the last few months. I think my arm is okay enough to do some light weights; I’ve been doing circuit training exercises to help stretch the tendon and build up some endurance in my shoulder muscles, so I’m hoping it’ll be fine.

Food wise, I do a lot of cooking and I try to use lots of healthy ingredients but I am prone to snacking quite a bit. So that’s something I want to address. I’ve also decided that I will have no takeaways for 2020. Now usually I’d have a takeaway maybe once a month as a treat. But at the end of last year my treat takeaway would too often coincide with an unexpected takeaway with someone else. So I’m going to cut them out. I’ll still go out for food with friends and family; I typically have the vegetarian option anyway so I’m not overly worried about that.

  •          No takeaways for 2020.
  •          Exercise 4 days a week.
  •          Cut down snacking.


Now I’m the first to admit I am a pretty awesome individual. Definitely better than most. But there are things I’d like to improve over the next year.

I want to work on some mental health stuff; as I said up top last year felt like a thorough pasting. So I guess part of this year will be about asking for help.

A side effect of the 2019 rollercoaster was that I hardly did any reading. I think I read one and a half books all year. (October Man by Ben Aaronovitch and The Erstwhile by Brian Catling respectively) That is terrible, especially considering the load bearing stacks of books that make up a chunk of my house. So I’m aiming to read at least 2 books a month. I may even blog about some of them.

I really really really want to learn Welsh. I’ve been using Duolingo and a few text books over the last two years but I want to knuckle down with it. So as well as making better use of the resources I have, I’m going to look into signing up for classes. They’ll probably have to wait until I can find a job but if I can sort that then it makes the idea easier to realise. I’ve never really been keen on the idea of classes because I am such a terrible student but if I’m serious about learning the language then I think it’s something that I need to do.

I’d also like to do something community based. Not sure what. My last but one job was working for a non-profit and I really enjoyed using my creative skillsets in that particular field. Again not sure what I’ll do. Was considering something gardening related. My garden has been a haven for the last six months of 2019, I think it would be cool to connect with other local growers: maybe trade surplus, seed share, etc. There’s still a lot of work to do in my garden first, so yeah, I don’t know. Something to ponder over the next month or two.

  •          Better care of mental health.
  •          Read at least 2 books a month.
  •          Dysgu Cymraeg (tebygol araf iawn).
  •          Do something positive in my community.

Well that’s it. There are still a few long dark nights ahead but there are also bright warm days to come. There will always be change and struggle, My friend Chris, who passed away last year use to say that life was about people helping people, that’s all it’s ever been about. You can’t breathe money; prejudices won’t keep you warm or fed. But people helping people can do pretty much anything; we can’t survive without each other.

Brave heart, Dear friends and don’t let the bastards grind you down.


This is my beyond improvement recipe for custard. Because who doesn't like custard.


200ml double cream
700ml milk
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp cornflour
100g light musgavado sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Pour the cream and milk into a pan and bring to just below boiling point. 
In a bowl, whisk the yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla. 
Then gradually pour the hot milk mixture onto the sugar mixture, whisking constantly.

Wash out the saucepan and pour the mixture back into it. 
Heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard is thickened, but before any lumps form.

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