one by one the penguins steal my sanity

I bought a pumpkin yesterday. Nothing huge. Just an ittle biddy pumpkin so I can carve a grin into it and light a candle and have that Hallowe’en experience.

While I’m driving home I have to avoid two guys who think it’s better to walk in the street than on the pavement/sidewalk. Why do people do this, I think to myself? Where’s the excitement? Lucky for them I’ve just had my brakes fixed and can slow down or they’d be street pizza.

Oh, yes. The brakes. I bit the bullet after using my car as little as possible for a month and had them done. I’ve got to say, it’s quite pleasant to slow down without a squeaking grating noise. It’s also a bonus to pull away from the drive without a back wheel sticking to a wornout brake, not turning and in the process pulling a chunk of gravel along. Very pleasant indeed.

So I think about the guys in the street. And I think, what’s wrong with this bloody country where people think they can walk in the street? And then I think, hang on, at least we don’t have shell-shocked army vets on every street corner begging. Although we do have beggars. Whatever. I conclude it’s not the country.

My mind wanders and I think about communication and how we live our lives trying to get our messages across and struggling to understand what’s said to us and to make sense of it all. I installed some cheap video editing software on my PC the other day. The idea was to upload some title sequences and other material I’ve made in the past from my video recorder on to the web. It hasn’t quite worked. The software is full of bugs.

Next thing, I got this free webcam so I installed that as well. Now the webcam and the video editing stuff don’t talk to each other properly at all. The result is that instead of showing a jerky poorly lit picture of my unshaven face working at my computer, I actually transmit jerky live TV via my video recorder through the webcam. I have no idea why or how.

I think about uninstalling the whole lot and know that it will take hours. I think through the linear steps of linear logic I’ll have to go through to achieve this and wonder if anyone else would bother. Do men think differently from women about these things? Is that comparison valid? Aren’t we just simply all unique individuals?

While I’m thinking of all that, I think about what it is that builds our characters and give us a sense of self. I’ve been having a conversation with a close friend about this and my mind is wandering, thinking about role models and suchlike. The guys walking in the street remind me of something.

Life is about risk. Risk is what gives us our inner strength, builds our characters and gives us a feel for what we are capable of. I remember I used to walk down the white lines in the centre of the road when I was a kid doing a paper round in the early winter mornings. I’d try to see how far I could get before a car came then move at the last minute.

Has this made me a better person? Who knows. I know that there are other risks I’ve taken which definitely have been for the best. Risks which have given me deep inner strength and taught me that there are all kinds of situations I can not only survive but learn and grow from. I can’t blame those guys for wanting to walk down the street and take that risk. In a limited way, they’re doing what is necessary to assert and strengthen themselves.

In a society where so much is legislated, frowned upon and tutted at, it’s good to be able walk in the traffic sometimes. By walking in the traffic, of course I mean that as a metaphor for challenging our own inner demons. I carve my pumpkin and challenge the ghosts, goblins and ghouls to get me.

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