Ups and downs

Yesterday, at work, it was decided to have a bit of a laugh. And so the boss organised for an image consultant to come in and inform us all that men were obsessed with their balls, and women with their boobs.

The fee for this revelation was not fully specified, but based upon what little I know of it, I went into the wrong line of work.

However, in between the greeting and the above revelation, he made mention of ‘energisers’ and ‘de-energisers'; of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ characters. His thinking was that you shouldn’t be surrounded by only one type; you need to balance them.

In that spirit, I though a little about this blog. And I know that a hell of a lot of it is negative.

There’s my opinion of politicians – a bunch of self-serving, amoral twats.

There’s my opinion of us – stupid enough to vote for the above.

There’s my opinion of the X-Factor – boring at best, disgusting at worst. And, when it comes to spoiling perfectly good songs for a Christmas release, verging on criminal.

There’s my opinion of ID cards, of taxation, of populism, of Apple Inc, of the soaps, of the cancellation of Jericho and Firefly. All things that make negativity flow forth from me in frightening quantities.

However, there are positives. I’m not always down, there are some things that make me cheerful, but I don’t go into them as much as I do with the negatives; the positives I tend to keep to myself.

There was the small amount of glee I took from the wordplay in Ruled Britannia, wherein the novelist did his best to get a series of characters speaking for a whole novel in Shakespearian verse. Wordplay, when done well, is a source of much fun.

There is the feeling that I get every time I leave the ground in an aircraft – from the largest and most ungainly 777 to the smallest, most nimble R22 – which reminds me of the simplest pleasures. Of course, when I’m doing the driving it’s that little bit less simple and that little bit more pleasurable, but the essential theory is the same.

Speaking of simplicity, there’s the appreciation of elegant simplicity. In everything from automotive design, to music, to speech, I find myself enthralled by something that cuts away the nonsense and does the job with the minimum of fuss. A low-key acoustic version of a Bryan Adams song has been known to move me much more than a massive production on bigger stages.

There is, of course, the effect that TLG has on me; she has this strange knack of figuring out what’s going on in my head before I do and fixing it. It’s a very positive thing.

There is the feeling of total relaxation, of knowing that there is nothing to do just now, and that you can just keep doing as you’re doing without anything interrupting. I find that this feeling works best if there is a good book to hand.

There’s the feeling of the first, refreshing beverage after a long day. It could be a cup of tea or an ice-cold beer, it could be a shot of whiskey or a glass of orange juice, the content isn’t as important as the fact that you’ve been looking forward to it for a while and that it doesn’t disappoint.

There’s the view of Belfast from the M2 hill section; the ships coming and going below and the planes coming and going above; the coast from Carrick to Bangor and the small smudge in the middle that is Belfast. Rarely does that fail to bring a bit of a smile to the corner of my mouth.

See? I can be positive. But I know that’s not what you’re after, and I know that it’s not what I like posting, so I suspect that regular posting of hateful bilge will resume tomorrow…

6 thoughts on “Ups and downs

  1. This is lovely.

    I know you probably won’t be happy about a reader describing one of your posts as ‘lovely’, but it was a very inspiring, positive piece to read with my morning coffee.

    It has eased my mind on the worried “Is Ed permanently eaten up with soul-destroying anger and negativity?” front, too. Glad to see you’re a happy lad underneath it all! ;)

  2. “soul-destroying anger and negativity”? You say it like it’s a bad thing… How negative of you.

    And I thought that the standard Terms & Conditions of this website explicitly banned the deployment of the ‘l-word’. If not, I’ll have to change that…

  3. More every cloud has a silver lining stuff – said X-factor song. I take your point. It is getting a mauling. But then, if you like Leonard Cohen, and I do, it does give a lovely glow of satisfaction to think of the payday he’s getting from it. And given his recent financial woes he needs that payday.

  4. Personally I’m not a massive fan of the Cohen original, but the Buckley cover was most excellent. Because, I think, of the aforementioned elegant simplicity…

  5. You worry me when you get all positive. That unbalances *my* world!

    Hmm. I believe it’s tuesday. I call this meeting of the Tuesday Self Help Group to orde- er, the bar. Hurrah!

  6. See what I have to put up with? I try to be a bit positive, and people think that I need a drink.

    That said, I’m not one to turn down such an offer, so get with the buying, Frenchman.

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