On the 27th of January 1974 in the midst of a raging storm, the MV Captayannis sunk in the River Clyde with its cargo of sugar. The crew were rescued, but the ship itself could not be saved after rolling over onto her side on a sand bar. I was about one and a half at the time, but somehow I can vividly remember being taken down to the shore by my uncle and grandpa to see the wreck in the days that followed the storm.
I had the idea for this poem in early December 2015 when it felt like the festive period had been going on for far too long already. The intention was to sound as if I was being a big spoilsport and hating on Xmas, before turning around to show I was just excited that Burns’ season was upon us.
When I showed it to him, my friend Degsy helped with the wording of the first verse, as the original version was a bit awkward to say out loud, even if it read okay. That’s a trap I’m getting better at avoiding, but here I welcomed his feedback and I think I fixed it.
My target audience were the cronies at Glasgow Haggis Club, so I read it as part of my turn at the first meeting of 2016 and it appeared to be well received.
Recently, three years to the week that I became a taekwon-do student, I passed my red belt grading. It’s come along a little slower than it should have done and in that time there are several other students in my class who have overtaken me – even those who started well after I did.
I’ve never been too bothered about racing through the colour belt gradings in a particular time frame. As well as my instructor letting me know when I’m ready to grade, I’ve always had my own personal standard that I feel I should reach before I’ll consider testing.
For a long while I’d harboured the idea of acquiring an e-reader. I reasoned that I would be much more likely to read if I could take books with me in a format that would be more portable and also searchable. However, I could never quite bring myself to pull the trigger because, for many years now, I just haven’t had the compulsion to read books.
The last book I read was On The Road by Frank Skinner, over five years ago. Since then, my mother has bought me Michael J. Fox’s second autobiography (Always Looking Up) and, with grand intentions, I bought myself Richard Dawkins’ Greatest Show on Earth when it was released. I haven’t made it beyond a skim of the first chapter of either, despite the fact I do want to glean what lies between the hardback covers of each. I just haven’t been compelled enough to physically carry them with me on my daily commute when I would have the dead time to read them.
This perceived barrier to entry had also caused me to miss out on a number of technical books that I might otherwise have read and I had become acutely aware that, over the last few years, new techniques were passing me by. I used to jump at the chance of reading about some emerging practices in the Web development scene. If I look back ten to fifteen years on my Amazon order list it’s loaded with technical tomes.
But, somehow, I just got out of the habit of reading and I wasn’t sure that even if I took the plunge and bought an e-reader, I’d be able to sustain the urge to do so. After attending The Future of Web Design back in April I learned of several development books that I wanted to read and decided that I should at least give the e-reader route a try.