Satnav

May God bless the developers of satnav. I shudder thinking back to the daft rows we had in the early days of marriage when stressed by a map reading mishap, completely lost on the way to some event in London in our little red donkey. Such ungentlemanly behaviour, tempers flaring. Thank God we have mellowed with age. Thank God we now have satnav!

Be real

Don’t follow to be followed. Don’t be an adult pretending to be a kid. Don’t be a man pretending to be a girl. Don’t write what you think will get you noticed. Don’t set out with ulterior motives. Don’t hang out in the hope that others will engage you. Only a fool would fall for the freshly minted account seeking an audience — waving and prodding — before you’ve said anything at all. If you’re for real, your authentic voice will speak volumes. So be real. Be true to yourself. Don’t be fake; fakeness only reveals you.

Undying timidity

There is so much I have always attributed to a strict, Christian upbringing which should probably be more correctly associated with my undying timidity. When I begin exploring past events a bit more, it occurs to me that a normal youngster would have just asserted themselves to demand whatever their heart desired. Few would have been as passive as me, forever in fear of the consequences for transgressing the norms set out by the significant adults around me.

Continue reading “Undying timidity”

Social charter

I feel like I am only now coming to terms with the impact of my character on my ability to function socially. It’s certainly easier today to access research papers on the condition than it was when I was diagnosed eighteen years ago. At that time, the information available to non-specialists was negligible, with just a few resources providing a very generalised overview of the condition.

Continue reading “Social charter”

Life is good

I would hate to be misunderstood. I don’t wish my life had gone in a different direction completely. I’m not blaming anyone for pushing me in one direction rather than another. I just recognise that some events had a profound impact on me. And while I hated those events at the time, there was good in them. So, no, it is all good. What I have now, I would not change. I am content with my Lord’s decree. And that is the truth.

The art of empathy

An observer might legitimately ask how I went from holding old foes in gross contempt to empathising with them, seeing the world from their perspective. For that, I largely credit my writing. In the first novel I ever wrote, I had two sets of characters: the good and the bad. In that first draft, there was no nuance in the world and no attempt to understand the other.

Continue reading “The art of empathy”

Hidden

I’m hidden, but I’m not hiding. For note, though I’m barely read, I am a prolific writer, revealing my innermost thoughts before the entire world. Those thoughts are not locked behind a paywall or multi-factor authentication. I am right here, in the public domain, hidden in plain sight. There is no mystery surrounding the man; my soul is wide open, on full display.

Continue reading “Hidden”

To walk alone

I don’t actually blame anyone for how I was treated. I couldn’t see myself and therefore couldn’t see what others saw all day long. I would keep my appointments with a mirror to the minimum, always shrouding my bony arms beneath a jumper, even on the hottest day of the year. I always wished I could flee that form of mine, but I was stuck with it, and daily I would be reminded that it was all I was. My look and temperament defined me absolutely.

Continue reading “To walk alone”

Look beyond

Of course it is disappointing that the first thing a person asks me on learning of the path I have walked for the past quarter of a century is my view on terrorism. Of course it is upsetting that a path that brings such peace to so many is forever associated in the minds of others with such unspeakable barbarity. Naturally, it hurts that even sensible people believe such evil to be representative of our normative tradition. But of course I understand: they have two decades of pervasive propaganda to unravel. It is all they have heard for twenty years.

Continue reading “Look beyond”

Lockdown project

Building a house, overseas, in the midst of a global pandemic? Are you crazy? Well, yes… and possibly no. Given the state of the Turkish economy right now, with the inflation rate soaring, if we were to embark on the project today, we wouldn’t be able to afford it at all. With recent changes to planning regulations, nor would we get building consent. So it could be said... just in the nick of time.

Continue reading “Lockdown project”

Tech support

Is it just me, or is tech getting more complicated rather than simpler? I’m going to have to resign my role as tech support for the family. I have zero patience faffing around getting this junk working these days. A worrying admission for an IT bod, but there we are. I can’t be bothered with it at all.

About a girl

Probably in common with many people, one of my family’s hypotheses when I took up this path was that there was a girl. In their mind’s eye, I had fallen in love with a Muslim girl and had thus converted to placate her family. An amusing theory, I must say, because there was no girl at all; in fact I was more or less a recluse in the months leading up to my testimony of faith.

Continue reading “About a girl”

Misunderstood

They struggle to come to terms with what has become of me, because they neither knew me, nor the path I now walk. That I was misunderstood does not matter at all — I am just a ghost from the past, soon to be forgotten once more — but people should strive their utmost to understand the path. In it they will discover all that their hearts truly desire.

This way

Faith is not inherited, but is learnt. To find you must seek. It is not a culture you immerse yourself in, but a path you walk. It does not belong to anyone. It is gifted to some and withdrawn from others. Seek and you will find.

Normal

A question I often ask myself — and I suspect others ask too — is why I didn’t just opt for a normal life. To be subsumed into the dominant culture, to go to the pub like everyone else. To join the rat race and obsess over a football team, just like any other normal English bloke. Why did I head off in this other direction, breaking with everything I once knew?

Continue reading “Normal”

Fat and thin

It’s a shame that when fasting we lose weight in all the wrong places. My arms are like sticks again, my face drawn. But my fat gut: alas, I still look pregnant. An undesirable look for a bloke, which I cannot even blame on beer. For my belly, I must take up Couch to 5K again. For my face, a 5K jaunt to Ashridge House bakehouse for a caffè mocha and an almond croissant.