Games!!!!!

So it’s been a while since i put up a decent enough entry into my blog so I thought that today would be a nice day to put in one that’s a little more random than normal. I’ve had the inspiration to write about a few things, but just not the time. The last two weeks at work have been quite horrendous for me. As I sit here at my desk, at work typing this, it is my ninth working day in a row. It’s just madness. I complain about it and the only response that got me to calm down a little was from my girl who told me ”It will all be over soon…”. It really has been one of those two weeks.

I have been trying to figure what to have a rant about and I’ve decided that it’s gonna be something a little more light hearted: Video games. I enjoy video games.

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Kratos battling one of the many weird creatures in God of War

I think that they are vital for the general sanity of most people and I am one of them. Yes there are people who are addicted to video games, but there are also a lot who aren’t. Video games aren’t the same as when we were younger. But also it needs to be remembered that video games aren’t made by kids. They are made by adults. There is a tweet i saw that said that people who play video games are better at problem solving. If you have never played a video game you will probably disagree with that comment. However video games give you options that you will never imagine experiencing.

Sure as far as most people are concerned video games have a basic premise. If it’s a fighting game (Tekken, Mortal Kombat etc) it’s about winning. If it’s a sports game, it’s about winning. If it’s an adventure game, it’s about completing it (winning). There is a whole lot of tactics that are involved with winning. The result you have in your head when one starts playing is that you are going to the end. The question is how.

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A very enjoyable war

Most games these days are like movies. There is a beginning, middle and an end. Patience is a very important thing that is required. There is no game on this planet, bar one, that can’t be beaten. The rubix cube is a game, and that can be beaten. One cannot think that games are not worth it.

Games can become troublesome if they become interrupting to normal life. The love of life was worried before, when and after she helped me purchase my console. She was worried that it would end me. It would end the time that means the world to me with her. Girls have shopping, some guys have games. The games we play on a TV with a console is not the be all and end all. Escapism is a good thing. Some escape through drugs and alcohol. Others just need a good game.

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Probably one of the most enjoyable platform games…

I did a quick Google about the benefits of playing video games and there were a lot of articles that came up. I am sure if i Googled the opposite, twice as many articles would come up. From the website parents.com there are some reasons why video games are GOOD for children. In summary they are:

  1. They teach kids problem solving skills and creativity
  2. They inspire an interest in culture and history
  3. They help kids make friends
  4. The encourage exercise
  5. They can share the joys of competition
  6. They get a chance to lead

For adults, this website listed a few reasons why video games are good:

  1. They reduce stress and depression
  2. They can improve your vision
  3. Improve your decision making skills
  4. Improved multitasking skills
Kratos dismembering one of the gods
Kratos dismembering one of the gods

So before you continually threaten to throw his/her console away, remember there are actually some proper benefits of playing TV games. Play with him/her. It’s the only way you can appreciate consoles.

Be yourself. Everybody else is taken – Oscar Wilde

Is there a definition of normalcy?

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It’s for your own good….

This tends to be a difficult topic to approach as there ends up being a lot of people who jump back and get all defensive. It’s not meant to be a finger pointing exercise, but i will finger point a little bit. We are in the year 2013 (according to the world calendar), and still there are people who are stupid enough to still make racist comments and think it’s all but normal.

In a country where the majority of the population is black, it’s really mind boggling that there are still white people who will speak about black people in a demeaning way. Now I can almost all but accept some of the older generation of white and people. They grew up in a different time, and they don’t or maybe can’t accept that black people are people as well.

The white people that confuse me are the ones who went to the top private schools with black people, some of these guys were lucky to then go and study in SA, America, Australia, the UK and Asia, and were forced to integrate with people of other cultures and races but STILL refer to some of the black people they went to school with as “My black friend Michael; My black friend Thomas; My black friend John.” Is it necessary to specifically mention “My black friend….”? Is this to try make it seem to other black people and white people that they are progressive and open minded? It makes you think that on their bucket list they have “Have a black friend”. Is it necessary to point out that your friend is black or white for that matter? Is there a specific reason for that?

I have a few white friends from high school who i know do not see me as “My black friend Tongai”. They just seem me simply as “Tongai/Tongs/Tongi”. There is no reason for specifying my race. Neither do i think that if they wanted me to come to a house party/braai/gathering that they would invite me and tell the host “No he’s an alright black guy”. Maybe that’s why I only have a few very close white friends from high school. We all considered each other to be friends. I know the people who I was friendly with when it suited me and also them. They are some of the ones who I am not worried about what they are doing in their lives. The few white people you see at my wedding (if you are lucky enough to come ha ha ha) will be the ones who are my actual friends.

I hate racism. It’s stupid. It makes me wanna spit at someone in disgust. It also makes me wonder how intelligent some of these people are. I am not saying that only white people are racist. There are some black people who are racist as well.

As far as I am concerned there are a few kinds of racists.

1. Blatant racist

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Whaaaattttt!!!!!

I don’t really mind the blatant racists. They come out and say “I don’t like white/black/coloured/Jewish/Indian/Somali/German/British/Afrikaner/Arab people.” Full stop. That is their position. You can try debate with that them if you have the energy. Alternatively you can do the smart thing and LEAVE THEM ALONE. They may be a little ignorant, or they may have their own deep rooted reasons. The fact remains; you know exactly where they stand. They may be polite with you, but they won’t try act friendly.

This kind of racist only becomes difficult to stomach when they are now preaching about what is so wrong with the race they hate.

I’m not saying that the monkey chants done by the Spanish, English and Italian football fans are acceptable. It doesn’t get any more blatant that that. That is FUCKED up (sorry for the language). Its worse that the television channels that are broadcasting are simply turning the volume down so that we at home can’t hear anything.

2. Polite/Passive racist

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Ignore the little flag in my pocket…

This is as far as i am concerned one of the most infuriating kind of racist. I can only speak for myself, but the one thing i realised about being in the UK, was that there were a lot of polite racists. These are the people who ask certain question, or make statements and cloud them in polite conversation. I lived in a little “village” on the outskirts of London and Essex called Buckhurst Hill. It was typically a leafy suburban area, predominantly white, with typically a working husband, house wife, 2.5 kids, home-owners and dog for good measure. I remember one night I was on my way home from university on the tube, and this rather drunk guy looks at me and asks:

Him: Where you getting off?

Me: Buckhurst Hill

Him: No… You don’t live here…

Me: Ummm yeah I do…

Him: Really?? I’ve never seen you around

Me: Well I’ve never seen you around

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Hey buddie….

At this point I turned around and put my iPod back on and acted like nothing had happened. I walked home from my stop and kept replaying the conversation in my head. It was when I got home and called one of my friends that he actually said to me, “Dude that guy was being racist.” My only thought was “Damn that’s the most polite racist I’ve ever met!”

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Don’t act like my friend if you don’t like me or accept that I live in the same neighbourhood as you.

  1. Group think racist
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Let’s jump off the cliff! It could be fun

“My friends are speaking about another race a certain way. As there are more of them than me, I will have to agree with them regardless if i don’t agree with them, or if a friend is there who may feel offended.” We went to high school and university to grow up as adults who have some sort of sense of individuality. We don’t need to always agree with the group. If all you can do is agree with the group, for fear of being looked at differently, then you haven’t actually grown up. The group think racists are the ones that are 100% spineless. They are neither blatant nor polite. They just go with where the wind blows. Stand for something or fall for anything.

  1. Ignorant racist
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JUST SHOUT REALLY LOUD!!!! It will also make people think you give a fuck

The ignorant racist is the one who acts like everyone is equal and will fight against racism but only when it serves their purposes. Sometimes the ignorant racist is someone who you went to school with, you played sports with them, you may or may not have met their parents and vice versa. However this particular racist continually makes comments such as, “You black people” or “All blacks are”, or ever worse what was recently said to me in a random conversation “Water world wouldn’t make money because hoeties (black) people can’t swim.” Now this last statement that was said to me by a white guy I know, someone who I have known since primary school.

Ignorant Racist
Ignorant Racist

The reason why I think he is ignorant is because he feels that it’s OK to make what I would consider as a derogatory term, regardless of how long I have know you, and it be OK because “I’m not like other black people”. I told him that I deserved an apology, and he looked at me and asked why? I was speechless. I asked him in which world he thought that was an OK thing to say? He said because he knew me, then it was OK. I asked him what if he didn’t know me. He said if he didn’t he wouldn’t have used that word. I asked him why and he couldn’t give me an answer.

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Good question…..

Ultimately everyone has to honestly just accept people for being people. In Zimbabwe we like to talk up the whole working together, one nation, together we will prosper. One of the reasons why we are not progressing as fast or as far as we should be is because of that fact that people think they can’t work together regardless of race or religion. Unfortunately (or fortunately) this is a capitalist world. Money makes the world go round.

What’s the point in me being racist to someone, if at the end of the day i am going home in my Mazda 323, to a cottage in someone else’s yard, when the person i am being obnoxious to (who by the way did nothing but walk into the room and try order a drink) is going home in a better car, has a better job and clearly is more intelligent than me? I don’t know these days….

This says it all…

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. – Oscar Wilde

Horror Tales

Fairy tales have always been something that I thought were told to instil some feel good feeling and give hope to kids. Or maybe just to put them to sleep as quickly as possible. But have you ever properly analysed some of these stories? I was thinking about it and some of my friends said that maybe I should have a bit of a rant about a few of these horror stories and talk about what I think about them honestly. I have decided to pick a few of them and I think I will start with the Cinderella (Only because I know the story off the top of my head)

  1. Cinderella
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The Clean cut Disney version

Once upon a time, there was a widower who married a proud and haughty woman as his second wife. She had two daughters, who were equally vain and selfish. By his first wife, he’d had a beautiful young daughter, a girl of unparalleled goodness and sweet temper. The stepmother and her daughters forced the first daughter into servitude, where she was made to work day and night doing menial chores. After the girl’s chores were done for the day, she would retire to the barren and cold room given to her, and would curl up near the fireplace in an effort to stay warm. She would often arise covered in cinder, giving rise to the mocking nickname “Cinderella”. Cinderella bore the abuse patiently and dared not tell her father, since his wife controlled him entirely.

One day, the Prince invited all the young ladies in the land to a ball, planning to choose a wife from amongst them. The two stepsisters gleefully planned their wardrobes for the ball, and taunted Cinderella by telling her that maids were not invited.

As the sisters departed to the ball, Cinderella cried in despair. Her Fairy Godmother magically appeared and immediately began to transform Cinderella from house servant to the young lady she was by birth, all in the effort to get Cinderella to the ball. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Translation: She was a step daughter in a family, and her step sisters and her step mom didn’t care about her. She was abused… a lot, sent to sleep without food probably, wasn’t allowed to bath, made into a slave. I don’t want my kid to think about that possibility in life. I don’t want to think about it. The poor child was abused. She was abused so much that she dreamt up a fairy Godmother, to come and give her clothes and a pumpkin carriage. Ok that’s just crazy. Poor girl cracked under all the torture. Now the other random question I just thought up is, was it a fairy Godmother or a witch? I mean who rocks up in a pumpkin. You mention pumpkin, and I think Halloween.

It makes me almost think that maybe the poor child resorted to some good and proper psychedelic drugs. She managed to dream up this elaborate story of her going off to a ball, meeting Mr. Charming, dancing, leaving before midnight (standard curfew. She was on drugs), ,dropping the shoe and then this dude looking through the whole of town with her shoe and getting people to try it on? And this guy was like “you are the most beautiful thing on this planet. Will you be my princess” and he never knew a single thing about her? I think this is one I may avoid letting my kids hear. Making them think they can leave their shoe at the club and some guy will come and be like “Yo! You left your shoe. Let’s roll…”

  1. Little Red Riding Hood
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Behind you!!!!

This one is just dark. I don’t even have to ask wiki for a synopsis. If you need a reminder of the story click here. So this chick gets sent by her mum to go see her granny. As she is walking through the woods to her granny’s house,(On her own by the way. I mean who lets her kids just walk through the woods on their own. What kind of parenting IS that?) a wolf sees her and says, “I know where she is going. Let me dash to her destination, eat her granny and if I am lucky I will eat her.” Off races the wolf, murders a poor old lady, covers up the crime, and decides to impersonate the granny with the hope of eating this poor unsuspecting girl. The wolf fails and is shot. Dead. By a hunter. The end.

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Cute the old Looney Toons end theme song

I mean… how is this happy? Why would I wanna tell my kids about this morbid story about a murdering wolf, an irresponsible parent and a random guy in the woods with a gun? Seriously?

  1. Rapunzel
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That’s apparently Taylor Swift btw

A lonely couple, who want a child, live next to a walled garden belonging to an enchantress. The wife, experiencing the cravings associated with the arrival of her long-awaited pregnancy, notices a rapunzel plant), growing in the garden and longs for it, desperate to the point of death. On each of two nights, the husband breaks into the garden to gather some for her; on a third night, as he scales the wall to return home, the enchantress, Dame Gothel, catches him and accuses him of theft. He begs for mercy, and the old woman agrees to be lenient, on condition that the then-unborn child be surrendered to her at birth. Desperate, the man agrees. When the baby girl is born, the enchantress takes the child to raise as her own, and names the baby Rapunzel. Rapunzel grows up to be the most beautiful child in the world with long golden hair. When Rapunzel reaches her twelfth year, the enchantress shuts her away in a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor a door, and only one room and one window. When the witch visits Rapunzel, she stands beneath the tower and calls out:

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair”.

Upon hearing these words, Rapunzel would wrap her long, fair hair around a hook beside the window, dropping it down to the enchantress, who would then climb up the hair to Rapunzel’s tower room.

One day, a prince rides through the forest and hears Rapunzel singing from the tower. Entranced by her ethereal voice, he searches for the girl and discovers the tower, but is naturally unable to enter. He returns often, listening to her beautiful singing, and one day sees Dame Gothel visit, and thus learns how to gain access to Rapunzel. When Dame Gothel is gone, he bids Rapunzel let her hair down. When she does so, he climbs up, makes her acquaintance, and eventually asks her to marry him. Rapunzel agrees.

Together they plan a means of escape, wherein he will come each night (thus avoiding the enchantress who visited her by day), and bring her silk, which Rapunzel will gradually weave into a ladder. Before the plan can come to fruition, however, Rapunzel foolishly gives the prince away. In anger, Dame Gothel cuts short Rapunzel’s braided hair and casts her out into the wilderness to fend for herself. When the prince calls that night, the enchantress lets the severed braids down to haul him up. To his horror, he finds himself staring at the witch instead of Rapunzel, who is nowhere to be found. When she tells him in anger that he will never see Rapunzel again, he leaps from the tower in despair and is blinded by the thorns below.

For months, he wanders through the wastelands of the country and eventually comes to the wilderness where Rapunzel now lives with the twins she has given birth to, a boy and a girl. One day, as Rapunzel sings while she fetches water, the prince hears Rapunzel’s voice again, and they are reunited. When they fall into each other’s arms, her tears immediately restore his sight. The prince leads her and their children to his kingdom, where they live happily ever after. (Courtesy of the all mighty and knowledgeable Wikipedia)

Translation: First of all, who gives away their unborn child because they have been caught stealing a PLANT!!! THAT’S POOR PARENTING AGAIN!!!! It’s as if in the past ages giving unborn children away was common practice. Once again we find that this poor girl was abused. She was locked in a tower; her hair wasn’t cut (which is very unhygienic. How the hell did she brush it), her spirit was broken, she lost all her social skills as the only person she saw was this Dame. No mention of the Dame bringing her food or water so one must assume she ate her hair in order to survive.

It’s no surprise that she agrees to marry the first person she meets. She doesn’t know any better. Who knows what he got up to when he went to see her at night, especially as she didn’t know any better. Of course her hair being cut after her secret lover gets caught was no surprise. What better way of punishing someone than by taking away their only source of sustenance.

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A more racey version of this hairy lady (get it???)

He goes blind and becomes a vagrant roaming the lands, till he hears her singing, gets his eye-sight back and BOOM happily ever after. At least this one actually sort of has a happily ever after to it… regardless of the abuse of the poor child.

This is the sum of my thoughts with regards to fairy tales. If you agree, let me know. If you don’t agree, let me know.

“Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.” – Oscar Wilde

The Home Situation

I would like to start by apologizing for not ranting as regularly as I try and do. Unfortunately my paymasters have decided that work needs to get busier and as a result I have less work time to deal with personal non work related work.

Zimbabwe is very different from a lot of other countries. If you grow up in, say the UK, there is a specific road you travel on. You are born, you go to school, you go to university (if you are fortunate and smart enough. But with the loans that they give out that side you just go to uni) which means you move out of home, and you go home during the holidays (or you don’t depending on where uni is, if you can find a job or if you wanna lengthen the whole “freedom” thing). After uni you then get a job and only go visit your parents when you want to. Some people never go visit their parents coz they will be living their lives.

Here at home, there is a group of us who are still at home, and going on 30. The reason some of us are still at home is maybe because things haven’t properly worked out for us to make it easy for us to move out. Also (these aren’t excuses by the way) since some of us have been home for a shorter time than other (there is also the few who didn’t leave at all), being at home has sort of become easy. It is also  kinda scary to know that unlike some of our/my peers I’m still at home, but also it’s comforting to know that our parents are still willing to help us out. Obviously it’s not forever, and I won’t lie I am eternally grateful. The scary thought is, what is it gonna be like when I am now under my own roof and living to my own rules. I mean my rules will be similar to the ones I have under my parent’s roof, but I will also have to invent my own rules.

It is important to be mindful that being at home with the parents is not a curse, but actually a blessing. It’s nice to see them every morning, to chase them out of their own house on weekends, to be harassed about random things like “I tried to look for something in your room and I got frightened by the mess that was on your bed”.

Part of me doesn’t want to leave but not because its rent free. But I like the old fogies. With my brothers having all left, I like being around them especially since I am the last born. The random conversations they have with each other, and with me, the complaints, the jokes, the insight all make it worth being at home with them. The day is fast approaching when I move out. I know that it’s going to be as hard as it was for my older brother when he made the escape.

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FREEDDDDOOOMMM!!!!!

It’s also nice to always know that there is a home for me. I wouldn’t be able to go for years without seeing my parents. I don’t know how some people do it. Where they kinda say “why should I?”. I feel I have to. Its’s important to cherish the old fogies. One day it will be our turn. No chance in hell that I want to be lonely and wondering where my kids are. In life you can be blessed with more than two siblings, dozens of cousins, many aunts and uncles. But you will always only have one mother and one father (not including the other uncles and aunts who also wanna be called mum and dad hehhehe)

Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them – Oscar Wilde

BBBRRRAAAAIIINNNSSSS!!!

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Well it is a surprise that I haven’t done a blog on a topic that all my friends think I am crazy about. I am in fact not crazy about zombies at all. I do think that it’s a brilliant concept for a movie and especially a TV show. A lot of people think that the main reason I watch zombie movies is because they are scary. In actual fact I watch horror movies very sparingly. However zombie movies aren’t really scary as far as I am concerned, apart from 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.

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The reason why those ones were a little more frightening (as opposed to scary) is because of the variety of the type of zombie in these movies. Most people when they think of zombies they think of the slow walking, rather dumb zombie. These movies have the feral, fast moving zombies.

The reason why I like zombie movies and series such as The Walking Dead is because the show makes you think what YOU would do in some of the situations that the characters get into.

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It’s about survival. What lengths would you go to survive? Also what is morally right? Is it ok to do something that is say morally wrong if it means you and, say family survives? Furthermore who are the walking dead? Is it the small band of humans who are trying to stay alive? Or does the walking dead refer to the zombies? It brings an interesting dynamic to the whole show as it makes you make a personal choice about what YOU consider to be the story.

The unfortunate thing is that people ask, “What’s the Walking Dead/28 Weeks Later/Warm Bodies/World War Z about?” The moment the some people hear “Zombies and….” They switch off. They have every right to. But these movies are about more than flesh eating monsters, who for whatever reason have an insatiable appetite for brains. Sometimes they don’t even explain the WHY. The reason for that is because the why isn’t important.

Another excellent example of this is this British show called Dead Set.

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The basic premise is a zombie apocalypse happens while people are in the big brother house. They basically decide it’s better to stay in the house than go outside. Makes sense to me. Everyone dies at the end which I thought was pretty far out. However they don’t explain why people started munching on each other. That was left for you to figure out on your own.

The main thing I kinda glean from zombie movies is about thinking outside the box. The question I always ask people, and their responses always crack me up, is a simple one: If the world was coming to an end, and you were in a supermarket, what would you take and why?

Comment below and let’s hear the answers you have!

Enough is enough

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So the question I have is about excess. At what point do you realise that the manner by which we live our lives is to excess. I always make the excuse that everyone is different and that everybody has different… excesses. For some people drinking from Wednesday through till Sunday is not excess. At the same time having eight beers for some is standard, and for other people it’s excessive. I suppose one of the big things is bench marks. I am in the throes of not smoking. I don’t smoke during the day while I am at work, and after work I will have anything from three to a box. Depending on if I end up going for drinks. Of course the weekend is a totally different issue as that’s my time to let my hair down.

The particular reason I mention this is because a friend of mine said that a group of us (himself and myself included) were functioning alcoholics. The definition of a functioning alcoholic that he proceeded to retrieve from the all trusting and all correct wikipedia (the reason I say that is because wikipedia pages are made by sometimes learned and sometimes unlearned individuals. However ANYONE can edit a wikipedia page) left a lot of questions in my head. The excerpt from the wikipedia definition of a High Functioning Alcoholic is “a form of alcoholism where the alcoholic is able to maintain their outside life such as jobs, academics, relationships, etc.”.

The definition of an alcoholic according to wikipedia is “compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker’s health, personal relationships, and social standing.” So by me looking at the two definitions, I become somewhat confused. I don’t think that my drinking or most of my friend’s drinking is compulsive. We sometimes binge, we are not dependent. I think the drinking back home is way different that it was when I was in London. Here I don’t think there is as much of a binge. I think its WAY cheaper here than when I was in the UK, we also have fewer things to do.

It’s not to say that excuses are being made, but I don’t think I would be greatly upset if alcohol was taxed more here. The biggest problem I see with my friends (myself included) is the almost complete lack of any form of exercise. I have too many friends my age (late 20s for those of you who don’t know) who have high blood pressure. Of course there are other complications that come with high BP. I’m not a medical professional, but it’s not great. If I had one wish, it would be that my friends and I would actually exercise regularly. Even just once a week. I try and run twice a week, but there are sometimes when I will go for a long time without running. My girlfriend always says to me “why run? It’s so boring.”. I kinda agree with her it is boring. It is however the one exercise which helps me to deal with my own things in my head. It also feels like I am jump starting my system. I enjoy running not because it’s competitive (I’ve promised myself to take part in some of the fun runs that are organised but I am still trying to get the confidence up), but because I can challenge myself to better my times and to try do further distances.

I feel that when I run, if I don’t give up and walk the rest of the distance, I will do the same for any other activities in life. I know this ended up going slightly to the left of topic, but I guess that’s what happens sometimes…

Alcohol taken in sufficient quantities may produce all the effects of drunkenness – Oscar Wilde