Month: July 2015

Stream of consciousness while at Zumba

Today’s weird thought came while I was at Zumba. I’ve been thinking recently about Marcel Proust, James Joyce and modernist literature.

James Joyce and his cat

James Joyce and his cat

The author of the book I am reading at the moment does not like James Joyce. He does not think that James Joyce wrote good books. My book is about the human need for stories (and it is very insightful in many ways).

Does Jonathan Gottschall like cats?

Does Jonathan Gottschall like cats?

The author of this book argues that since James Joyce didn’t write his fiction with a narrative (in fact he was rebelling against the tendency to write in narrative), his books are not widely read today except by academics and students. His argument is: people need stories and people don’t enjoy works of fiction that do not contain stories. I want to challenge his argument (even though I confess that I have failed to enjoy James Joyce). I would like to think that people’s thoughts can be interesting. So let’s test this theory.

This man again?

This man again?

While at Zumba I was thinking of the Joycian style of writing in the stream of consciousness and I began to wonder how my stream of consciousness would read and whether anyone would actually find it interesting (it not being a story as such). So I thought I’d test it by writing a blog entry of my thoughts during the first ten minutes of Zumba today (as accurately as I can remember now, that is, if you believe me when I tell you this is a work of fact not fiction).

So here goes. We join my thoughts just as the music starts…

Oh shit it’s been ages. It’s busy. I’m bound to bang into people. Oh well. Right. Warm up. God I always find the warm up the hardest bit, ironically, I get most tired, or is that normal? Especially after two weeks. I’m so unfit. Hope my heart doesn’t do that thing it does sometimes. It hasn’t done it for ages. Coming back from London that time. That was over a year ago. I haven’t even cycled much recently. Oh well. It’ll be good. Right, leg, oh shit wrong way, left leg, up. Oh arms. Her arms are up, yep, arms. Leg, arms, left no shit right, oh shit no everyone is turning. Turn. Oh left leg, left, knee up. Oh no it is Whitney Houston. Hate that song. Annoys me. Dance with somebody bla crap. Reminds me of school. Didn’t her daughter die today? Something on the radio in the car. In a bath, six months ago. Weird. Didn’t they both die in the bath? That is sad. I do like the kicks. Up. Phew. I can get my leg up quite high. At least I can do that. I can touch my boobie with my leg. I bet not many people can do that. I’ve always been good at leg kicking. I wonder if I could do kick boxing? Oh shit, wrong way again. Left. Forward, shake the hips thing. I can’t do that move at all. Does she go to hip shaking classes? She’s so good at it. I wish I could do that. Bloody hell I’m crap at that. What are we doing tomorrow? Going to Newport. I hope my belly behaves itself. I’m sure it will. I haven’t had beans today. Hope I don’t find too much in the charity shops. Left leg, forward. End of song. Need a drink. Thirsty. Lovely. Better. Open that door! Oh that woman is doing it. Oh like this one. What’s for tea tonight? Sea bass. Like sea bass. But my turn to read story so he can cook it. Good. He cooks it better than me. God I’ve missed this. Left, forward. Oh shit not that way. This way. What shall I do this evening? Don’t want to do work. Bored of work. Worked all day. I need a blog idea. What could I write about? I often think of blog ideas at Zumba. But I’ve done a blog entry on ideas at Zumba. Something to do with Zumba. Oh shit squats. Love these but damn they hurt. And I might slightly need a wee. Bloody diet coke. Wish I hadn’t had that before coming. Bloody pelvic floor exercises. Didn’t do enough. Remember there was a poster in the loos at the John Radcliffe. They used to say ‘do you want to smell like the old ladies in Chipping Norton?’ Not that that got me doing them. I do remember there being lots of old ladies in Chipping Norton but they didn’t smell. Perhaps I could write about what songs I hate doing when I need a wee.  That jumping one. That is a killer when you need a wee. As is that wriggle bottom one. And Pitbull Fireball. Love that song though. This one now for starters. God my thighs. Agh. Am I the only person in agony? I need to cycle more. Hard in the holidays. Get fat in the holidays. Ough. Oh my toe feels odd. What’s that? Perhaps I am falling apart. I’m getting old. I hate being old. I don’t want to fall apart. I can imagine the doctor saying you have something awful in your toe that makes you bed ridden. That would kill me. I’d hate it. I could paint though still, like Frieda Kahlo in that film. She painted in bed. I could be famous. Right. End of song. Drink. That’s better. Oh what is next, oh that one. I like that one. I know the moves. Not too strenuous. Good. Back in my spot. Do we have any wine left? Oh yes, a bit. Like wine. Wine on a Monday. What a treat. Wine after Zumba? Sometimes my teeth hurt when I drink at Zumba. Why is that? God I’m falling apart. I hate being old. Feels bad my toe does but oh well. He won’t want the wine with tea, he’s being all healthy and shit. Good, I’ll have it. Nice. With cheese. Oh not having cheese for tea. Luke reckons cheese is good for you, nibbling between meals. How can that be so? I love cheese. Hmm is the stage better here or there? I quite liked it there. But feels more room now. Dunno. The school play was good. Oh gosh was that two weeks ago already. God. One week gone, six to go. Going to Newport tomorrow. I hope I remember it is earlier than usual. Oh damn it everyone is going the other way, clash into poor Janice again. Shit. Sorry.  Oh I think I have a pen attached to me. That could be a blog entry. Why I feel the need to have a pen with me at all times. Why is that? Is it my security blanket? Left leg, forward, hip wriggle. I can’t do that move at all. I just don’t have sexy hips! Like whatseface Shekera or whatever. I wish. Right what to do with this pen. I could have stabbed myself with that. I could have ended up in A&E with a pen in my oesophagus. That would be nasty. I might die. Shit the news would say woman dies at Zumba due to pen attached to top. No. Not good. Better put it in bag at end of next song. Oh shit I need to email Lawrence and check FileMaker. I must remember to do that. Forgot. Alysoun is bound to email me lots of stuff tomorrow. Royalties. But going to Newport so I’ll have to do it after that. Need to text Shell about tomorrow. Luke at Isaac’s house. Mustn’t forget. Oh no new song. This is going to be fun. Legs. Oh shit, left, right, arms are moving too. I’ll just copy Janice. Perhaps this wasn’t new to everyone else. I seem to be the only total spanner here today. I like this one though. Eugh someone has botty burped. Nice. Armpits. I hope mine don’t smell too much. Oh no I did that thing when she crosses her arms to mean cross your legs and I think she means cross your arms. Embarrassing. What else are we doing this week? Can’t remember. What shall I wear tomorrow in Newport? The Boden dress? No. What else? I like that dress though. Oh shit everyone is going the other way again.

What was I thinking?

What was I thinking?

I think I’d better stop there. But wasn’t that fun? Are you still with me, dear reader? That was a piece of my mind. That was exhausting. But the question is: does it make a good ‘story’ or is it really just pure dross?



Why don’t dogs poo white stuff anymore?

This was a weird thought I had walking the streets of Shrewsbury the other day (ironically, not whilst on the toilet).

White dog poo

White dog poo

Incidentally, but not unrelated, until I moved to Shrewsbury I hadn’t been particularly bothered by dog poo on the streets (at least not since adulthood). I had not noticed much in the way of dog poo on the streets of the three places I’d lived in over the ten years prior to coming here: Japan, Oxford and Charlbury. In fact, I was quite shocked when we moved here at the sheer quantity (not so much quality, that relates to the white-poo thought) of dog poo on the streets of Shrewsbury. Do Shropshire’s dogs poo when the urge takes them whereas Oxfordshire ones wait until they get home? Or are the owners to blame? Do Oxfordshire owners carry those handy little poo bags whereas Shrosphire owners don’t bother? I suspect a mixture of the former and latter. However, I digress. Today’s thought is about the quality of poo, not the quantity.

No poo on these streets

No poo on these streets

I remember dog poo featuring in my childhood quite a lot (we always had a dog, who pooed, and I suspect the streets of Stafford in the 1970s and  1980s were similarly plagued by sporadically dumped excrement as the streets of Shrewsbury are in the 2010s). Dog poo is something I remember seeing, studying, stepping in (embarrassingly) and stepping over (fortunately). Dog poo, was sometimes white. Now, in Shrewsbury at least, dog poo is always brown.


I’ve asked the Internet. The Internet claims that it is to do with there being less bone marrow in the diets of dogs. Less bone marrow equals less calcium. Calcium is white and crumbly. So less calcium equals less white and crumbly poo.

That was easy.

I just need to get the dog owners of Shrewsbury to CLEAN UP THEIR BROWN SLOPPY POO PLEASE!

If the owners won't do it...

If the owners won’t do it…

The World Something Random Day phenomenon

Last week, on July 1st, my eldest son informed me that it was International Joke Day on that day. I wasn’t terribly moved to hear this news and we certainly didn’t spend the day telling more jokes than normal. It being International Joke Day that day made no difference to the day at all.

But this as expected got me thinking (later, on the toilet): when did this odd phenomenon of naming every day (or almost every day – see below) after something-or-other start? I don’t remember so many designated ‘days’ as a child. Now we have days to think about peace, middle children, books, libraries, dogs, cats, penguins, women, men, old people, wood lice,  cancer, social justice and jokes (or perhaps not all of these things, but many of them – see below). So many days are now given over in honour of someone or a concept. Who makes these decisions? Do you have to apply to have a day? Could I ask fro World Cheese Eaters Day? Is there a body I’d need to apply to? Would I have to appear before a board to justify the need for a World Cheese Eaters Day?

This lady wants a World Cheese Eaters Day

This lady wants a World Cheese Eaters Day

What’s more, do we genuinely stop to consider these concepts and issues on the days designated to them? I suspect not. I suspect that the saturation of our year with days has ironically diluted our ability to contemplate the big issues of life. We don’t need to be forced into empathy. It comes more naturally if we let it happen naturally.

My children love World Book Day for the chance to dress up

My children love World Book Day for the chance to dress up

Perhaps we need an International Day of International and World Days Day. I suggest my birthday: December25th.

The day we should think about days on

The day we should think about days on

Here is a list of some of (not all) the most important ‘days’ excluding public holidays and other celebrations. My favourite is World Thinking Day.



January 1 – Global Family Day, Army Medical Corps Establishment Day

January 4 – World Braille Day

January 6 – World War Orphans Day

January 10 – World Laughter Day

January 12 – National Youth Day

January 15 – National Army Day

January 17 – World Religion Day

January 24 – National Girl Child Day of India

January 25 – National Tourism Day, National Voters Day

January 26 – International Customs Duty Day

January 27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 28 – Data Protection Day

January 30 – National Martyr’s Day. World Leprosy Day



February 2 – World Wetlands Day

February 4 – World Cancer Day, Facebook Day

February 5 – World Nutella Day

2nd Sunday of February – World Marriage Day

February 6 – International Day against Female Genital Mutilation

February 11 – World Day of the Sick

February 12 – Darwin Day

February 13 – World Radio Day, National Womens Day

February 20 – World Day of Social Justice

February 21 – International Mother Language Day

February 22 – World Scout Day, World Thinking day

February 23 – World Peace and Understanding Day

February 24 – Central Excise Day

February 28 – National Science Day



March 3 – National Defence Day

March 4 – National Safety Day, World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation, National Security Day

March 5 – World Book Day, World Thinking Day

March 8 – International Womens’ Day

March 13 – World Rotaract Day

March 14 – World Pie Day

2nd Monday of March – Commonwealth Day

2nd Thursday of March – World Kidney Day

March 15 – World Consumer Rights Day, World Disabled Day, World Contact Day

March 16 – National Vaccination Day

March 18 – National Ordinance Factories Day

March 20 – International Day of Happiness, World Sparrow Day, World Storytelling Day

March 21 – World Forestry Day, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Poetry Day, World Down Syndrome Day, World Puppetry day

3rd Friday of March – World Sleep Day

March 22 – World Water Day

March 23 – World Meteorological Day

March 24 – World TB Day, International Day for Achievers

March 25 – International Waffle Day

March 26 – World Purple Day (Epilepsy Awareness Day)

March 27 – World Drama Day or World Theater Day



April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day

April 4 – International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

April 5 – National Maritime Day

April 7 – World Health Day

April 8 – World Romani Day

April 12 – World Aviation & Cosmonauts Day

April 15 – World day of Silence, Day of Dialogue

April 17 – World Haemophilia Day

April 18 – World Heritage Day

April 21 – World Creativity and Innovation Day, National Secrataries day, National Civil Services Day

April 22 – World Earth Day

April 23 – World Book and Copyright Day, World English Language Day

April 24 – World Lab Animals Day

April 25 – World Malaria Day, Italy Liberation Day, International Macaroni Day

April 26 – World Intellectual Property Day

April 28 – Safety and Health at Work Day

April 29 – World Dance Day

April 30 – International Jazz Day



May 01 – Workers Day

May 03 – Press Freedom Day, International Sun Day, World Asthma Day, International Energy Day, International Dawn Chorus Day, World Laughter Day, World Run Day (a very busy day indeed)

May 04 – Coal Miners Day, International Firefighters’ Day

1st Sunday of May – World Laughter Day

May 05 – World Athletics Day, World Midwives Day

May 06 – World No Diet Day

May 08 – World Red Cross Day or Red Crescent Day

May 10 – International Migratory Bird Day

May 11 – National Technology Day

May 12 – International Nurses Day

May 13 – International Criminal Court Day

May 15 – International Day of Families

May 17 – World Tele-communication and Information Society Day, Wold AIDS Vaccination day, World Hypertension Day, Against Homophobia and Transphobia Day, World Banking Day

May 18 – World Museum Day

May 20 – World Meteorology Day

May 21 – National Anti Terrorism Day, National Day for Cultural Development

May 22 – International Day for Biological Diversity, World Goth Day

May 23 – World Turtle Day

May 24 – Commonwealth Day

May 25 – World Missing Childrens Day

May 29 – International Day of Peacekeepers

May 31 – World Anti Tobacco Day



June 1 – Global Day of Parents

June 4 – World Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, World Naturist Day

June 5 – World Environment Day

June 8 – World Brain Tumor Day, World Oceans Day

June 12 – World Day Against Child Labor

June 13 – World Doll Day

June 14 – World Blood Donor Day

June 15 – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 16 – International Integration Day

June 18 – International Picnic Day

June 20 – World Refugee Day, World Juggling Day

June 21 – World Music Day

June 23 – International Olympic Day, United Nations Public Service Day, International Widows Day

June 26 – International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit Trafficking, International Day in support of Victims of torture



July 1 – International Joke Day, World Doctor’s Day

July 2 – World Sports Journalists Day, World UFO Day

1st Saturday of July – International Day of Cooperatives

July 6 – World Zoonoses Day

July 7 – World Chocolate Day

July 11 – World Population Day

July 12 – International Malala Day

July 28 – World Nature Conservation Day, World Hepatitis Day

July 29 – International Tiger Day



First Sunday in August – International Friendship Day

August 1 – International Childfree Day

August 6 – Hiroshima Day, Anti Nuclear Day

August 8 – World Senior Citizen Day

August 9 – Nagasaki Day, International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, Quit India Day

August 10 – World Lion Day

August 12 – International Youth Day, National Middle Child Day

August 13 – International Left Handers Day (yeah!)

August 15 –  International Mourning Day, International Homeless Animals Day

August 19 – World Humanitarian Day, World Photography Day

August 20 – World Mosquito Day

August 21 – National Senior Citizen Day

August 23 – International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

August 29 – National Sports Day

August 30 – International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances



September 2 – World Coconut Day

September 5 – National Teacher’s Day, Sanskrit Day, World Beard Day

September 7 – World Forgiveness Day

September 8 – World Literacy Day

September 10 – World Anti-Suicide Day

September 14 – World First Aid Day

September 15 – International Day of Democracy, International Engineer’s Day

September 16 – World Ozone Day

September 20 – RPF Foundation day

September 21 – World Peace Day or International day for Peace and Non-violence (UN), World Alzheimer’s Day, World Gratitude Day

September 22 – World Cancer Free Day or Rose Day

September 23 – International Day of the Deaf

September 25 – World Pharmacists Day

September 26 – World Contraception Day, European Day of Languages

September 27 – World Tourism Day

September 28 – World Rabies Day

September 29 – World Heart Day

September 30 – International Blasphemy Day



1st Monday of October – World Habitat Day

October 1 – World Vegetarian Day, International Day of the Older/Elderly

October 2 – International Day of Non-Violence, World Farm Animal Day, World Smile Day

October 3 – World Nature Day

October 4 – World Animal Day, World Card Making Day

October 5 – World Teacher’s Day, International Day of No Prostitution

October 6 – World Wildlife Day

October 8 – Indian Air Force Day

October 9 – World Postal or Post Office Day, World Egg Day

October 10 – World Mental Health Day, World Palliative Care Day

October 11 – International Day of the Girl Child

2nd Thursday of October – World Sight Day

October 12 – World Arthritis Day

October 13 – International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

October 14 – World Standards Day, World Maths Day

October 15 – Global Hand Washing Day, International Day of Rural Women, World White Cane Safety Day

October 16 – World Food Day

October 17 – International Poverty Day for it’s Eradication

October 20 – World Osteoporosis Day, World Statistics Day, National Solidarity Day

October 24 – UN Day, World Development Information Day, World Polio Day

October 25 – World Pasta Day

October 27 – World Day for Audio Visual Heritage

October 28 – International Animation Day

October 31 – World Savings Day or World Thrift Day



November 1 – World Vegan Day

November 6 – International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict

November 7 – Infant Protection Day, World Cancer Awareness Day

November 8 – World Radiology Day

November 9 – World Legal Service Day, International Tongue Twister Day

November 10 – World Science Day for Peace and Development, Public Transport Day

November 11 – National Education Day

November 12 – World Pneumonia Day, Public Service Broadcasting Day

November 13 – World Kindness Day

November 14 – World Diabetes Day

November 16 – International Day for Endurance or Tolerance

November 17 – International Students Day, National Epilepsy Day

November 19 – World Toilet Day, International Men’s Day, National Integration Day

November 20 – Universal Children’s Day

3rd Sunday of November – World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

3rd Thursday of November – World Philosophy Day

November 21 – World Fisheries Day, World Hello Day, World Television Day

November 25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, World Non-Veg Day

November 26 – National Law Day or National Constitution Day

November 30 – National Flag Day



December 1 – World AIDS Day

December 2 – World Computer Literacy Day, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

December 3 – International Day of People with Disability or World Disability Day

December 4 – Indian Navy Day

December 5 – International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

December 7 – International Civil Aviation Day, Indian Armed Force Flag Day

December 9 – The International Anti-Corruption Day

December 10 – World Human Rights Day, International Children’s Day of Broadcasting

December 11 – International Mountain Day, UNICEF Day

December 18 – International Migrants Day, National Minority Rights Day

December 20 – International Human Solidarity Day

December 23 – National Farmer’s Day