Bin Outing

One of my Australian friends invited me to join a Facebook group called Bin Isolation Outing.

The thinking is that putting the trash out is the only chance they get to go outside, so they may as well get dressed up to do it. Are you feeling lucky?

A Recent “Share Your World” (from 30 March 2020)

Several of the bloggers I read respond to this prompt every week. I enjoy reading their responses. but haven’t hitherto taken part. But each week, as I read the questions, I can’t help but think how would I answer?

This week I’ve noticed that nobody really came close to writing the same answers as I would have, so I resolved to write my own answers.

First, I think I have tracked the source of the questions down to Melanie over at Sparks from a Combustible Mind. Hi, Melanie. You’ve given me a great idea for a new name for my own blog, although the word compostible probably suits me better! I think I got the source right – if not, perhaps somebody could comment and correct me?

The questions:

Pancakes, waffles or French Toast as your breakfast favorite?

Actually, none of those. I’ll interpret the question instead as What do you like for breakfast? The answer to that one is quite straightforward. Probably five or six days a week, I eat porridge. That’s a good food, if you’re diabetic – just oats, water, milk and a few sultanas for a twist!

Treats are either croissants or pains chocolats. Anything bread is generally a bad idea for diabetics, that’s why they’re a treat.

I used to like either a bacon or a sausage sandwich for breakfast. Just in terms of diabetes, sausage or bacon are not bad foods (meat is mostly protein), but the sandwich (i.e. carb) part of the breakfast made it quite bad. But about 9 months ago I cut something like 90% of meat from my diet, so both of these are consigned to the past.

Do you think a person’s name influences the person they become?

Absolutely. Try going for a job as John Smith. Now try going for that same job as Milton Sibikwe, and tell me how you get on. You think that’s not going to rub off on your personality?

Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?

Concertrate on what is wrong. For the good stuff, fine, it can look after itself, but the bad stuff is what we have to fix.

Is math(s) something that humans created or something we discovered? Is looking at reality mathematically an accurate representation of how things work?

Imagine you never learned Math. Now, go outside with a tape measure. Find a wheel. Measure its circumference, measure its diameter. Now, calculate the ratio between the two.

Now go find another wheel. Totally unrelated. Make the same measurements. The ratio between your two numbers is the same as last time. Always was, since way before even wheels were invented!

Math is out there, like it or not. All we did was discover it.

And yes, math can give very good predictions if we use it to model things. But the saying garbage in/garbage out holds true. You’ve got to get the model right in the first place, and then you’ll get reliable results.

Think about the last time you saw an eclipse. You knew it was coming, didn’t you? Why was that?


What are you grateful for right now?   I realize it’s difficult to be very positive right now, unless one is being positive that things are pretty awful.   Let’s spread the joy in gratitude!! 

I’m grateful for my wife – she provides me with somebody to talk to (at!) while I am otherwise indoors.

I’m grateful for the cats – I’m grateful that every morning when I wake up, Reuben [one of the cats] is snuggled in hard next to me, enjoying his own night’s sleep. It sounds very affectionate but in fact it is mercenary – he is waiting for me to wake up so I can go fix his breakfast!

My Recipe

Written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), fiction.

I try to keep my FOWC responses short, but today I saw the prompt and thought I might actually write a proper post. But don’t worry, I’ll try to keep this short, too.

I guess we all have comfort zones, even in the context of blogging. Subjects we like to blog about, subjects we like to avoid. I wonder, does anybody else think consciously about this?

When I used to read books, I had a straightforward preference for biographies, or at the very least nonfiction. I maybe put that down to being quite a serious person, but didn’t really think about it in any great depth. Even now, if I listen to a book, it’ll fall into those categories. My knowledge of the world’s great fiction authors, like Shakespeare or Dickens, is zero. In fact I did try reading Dickens once … and got about three pages into the book before I decided we were incompatible.

Maybe my reading tastes, however, mimic my writing tastes? For I mostly like to write nonfiction. Just everyday life. Beyond that, the subject matter could be anything, especially nowadays, but it will be nonfiction rather than fiction. Furthermore, this is a very deliberate choice, on my part.

I have written one piece of fiction in my life. Well, outside of school. I never really got bitten by the bug. Maybe one day I will? But right now, it doesn’t float my boat. It actually took a fair amount of up-front thinking, before I felt able to write a word. With nonfiction, the thoughts are already flying around my head, it is just a case of getting them out in an order that makes sense to other people.

I follow a few people who regularly write poetry. I have a very basic knowledge of poetry. I have no idea what a haiku is. (And before you tell me, I’m not much interested right now. Maybe one day …) I have written a few limericks, enough to know that they can be quite a challenge to write, even though they tend to be just nonsense fun to read. As for other poetry, I am very ignorant.

I guess other types of poems must follow that same pattern as limericks? A challenge to write? So I can appreciate the author’s penmanship in not only saying what they want to say, but in massaging/cajoling the language so that it fits into their chosen format. But maybe the final poem is that much more difficult to comprehend as a result? How many of us have read poetry and not fully understood its meaning? Or, at least, had to look at something three or four times, before we “got it”? Come on, I’m sure I can’t be the only one!

At the moment, at least, my writing priority is to be clear, unambiguous. That is prose, nonfiction prose.