Tag Archive: tandem blog post


95407-breaking-bread-meme

Following closely in the footsteps of, ‘Breaking Bread [with Trev]: Changing Your Mind’ comes ‘Finding the Words’, the second post in a Tandem Blog Conversation piece which sees a conversation of 5x100ish words each, this time on the topic of the languages we speak [or don’t]:

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Brett: My wife and i started learning isiXhosa just over a month ago which is exciting and long overdue. With a hope of being involved in conversations dealing with race, unity, reconciliation it felt like an absolutely critical part of the relationship building that is happening and still needs to. You are all about connections Trevor and the focus of your blog is on positivity and life. What are some other ways you have discovered that prove helpful when it comes to bridge-building or drawing people together?

Trev: Languages are absolutely key at drawing people together and I am embarrassed that I can only speak English well. I have taken stabs, but need to understand and get over the barriers that stop a proper effort. John Mcinroy is putting in big bridge building efforts. I think that he and Robert Le Brun did this year walking from Cape Town to the start of the Comrades, was an incredible additional step. What we have spoken about though, is how much better it would be for conversations if, while talking, the talking could be in languages which make people feel comfortable and connected.

Brett: i think it is one of the biggest blind spots and areas of entitlement [wow, there’s a minefield word i haven’t gone near yet in my blogging] in South Africa right now. The expectation that someone of another race should speak to me in my language. And i say ‘blind spot’ because it’s not an intentional choice most of us have decided on. We’ve just always had it and so it becomes a natural expectation. Which perhaps is entitlement in its worst form. Hopefully a rich arrogant racist tosser already knows in part that they are that, but for us ‘normal folks’ just trying to live well we perhaps need to be shaken a little bit more by the reality of this?

Trev: I think we need to admit that English is a very useful language. People want to learn it. I found being in Sweden and Finland instructive. They welcomed me speaking English as a chance for them to practice. I didn’t have to do the ‘speak in Afrikaans and then hesitantly mention English’ thing I was taught to do in France. The fact is there are thousands of small languages that don’t have the global support of movies, books, theatre, music etc. that make them easier to learn. Think of the difficulty Gluten Free people face going anywhere other than Starbucks and McDonalds. As Global Citizens, I think showing an effort… learning Please, Thankyou etc. and learning any other languages is the important thing. Learning to empathise with the difficulty of struggling to get your point across.

Brett: Perhaps it is a little different in South Africa because of the sheer numbers. English first language speakers are in the minority and so expecting someone to speak in your language [which might be their third or in some cases seventh or eighth even] feels a little lop-sided. I imagine the same would apply in Sweden or Finland if you lived there – that you would need to make a bigger effort to speak the local language. The first step is definitely learning greetings and the basics but my personal conviction has been that I need to try and learn as much as possible so as to start bridging the gaps. Actually the process of learning from and with someone can be huge as a means of relationship building in itself.

Trev: Absolutely, living somewhere makes a difference to which languages you would choose to learn. I like the idea of being a Global Citizen, and so in trying to prioritise which languages to try I have been looking at where it could open up the most connections. French and Arabic seem to me the most useful in an African context when combined with English. Because of its dominant colonial history, Spanish is one that would open up many conversations. Gabe Wyner from ‘Fluent Forever’ is doing some epic work on language learning. His method starts with the most common words, and getting pronunciation correct. Then it is all about creating connections to words, so you aren’t ‘translating in your head’.

Brett: i should take a look at that as i can definitely use as much help as i can get. My wife and i are studying through an organisation called Xhosafundis  but there is huge emphasis on finding a practice partner to meet with regularly and to just be brave and start speaking to people you meet on the street. The theory can be helpful but you need to dive into what feels like the deep end [what if i mess up? what if i’m embarrassed? /oh no. Really?] to really see how your language is coming along. A little bit of embarrassment, laughter [on their part] and stuttering [on mine] feels like it is worth it if i end up being able to engage in some kind of meaningful conversation starters at least. The Global Citizen question really changes this whole conversation. Mandarin, anyone?

Trev: It does. Zulu, my first stumbling attempt at a third language has 10 million native speakers. Roughly the same as Czech. Xhosa, my second stumbling attempt at a third language has about 8 million. About the same as Belarussian. Mandarin (935m), Spanish (390m), Hindi (310) and Arabic (295) are in a different league. Borders are stupid. I think we live under a system of Global Apartheid where passports are dompasses. Learning to get over the emotional stumbling blocks and getting to the point of a Xenophilic exchange of flavour is very exciting. We can choose the best from everywhere and build a bigger tribe. Social media helps make borders redundant, but I am very aware that all of my exchanges are currently in English. Learning a new language is like getting a new passport. It opens up the world.

by Jroehl

Brett: That is true. But it does feel very overwhelming and when you put it like that [in terms of your border talk] even more so. One language we can all speak and understand feels like the way forward but i imagine none of us will be too quick to volunteer that that language not be our own. We clearly can’t learn every language and be able to have everyone in our tribe or community and so it makes sense to me that this becomes an area we are intentional about. Understanding which language groups of people are most going to be in the circles i choose to move in i should make my language learning decisions based on that. But at the very least be prepared to step beyond the comfort of just doing and expecting everything to be done in my own language.

Trev: I think the key point is a shared journey of going beyond our comfort zone. I am no expert on the starting, but think most of the barriers are emotional rather than walls that can’t be broken. Google Translate and Artificial Intelligence might help us with the factual translation. Imagine a world where we have personal UN style translators sitting in our ears. I am a big believer in making small attainable goals. Creating habits. Your suggestion of having groups and people who want to learn helping each is a good one. Partnering with someone who wants to learn English and speaks a language you want to learn sounds like a great idea. Like a running buddy, feeling some sort of responsibility towards them gets you out of bed early. After all, it isn’t the language that is the important thing. It is the relationships.

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You can take a look at Trevor Black’s first guest post on my blog, titled ‘One Person who Gives me Hope in South Africa’ as well as taking a look at his blog, ‘Swart Donkey’.

[To see our conversation about People Changing their Mind Mid Conversation, click here] 

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boundaries

Boundaries

Emma was dead.

I mean, she got that, she really did. Although to be fair, it had taken her quite a while.

But, in her defense, this was completely different to anything she had experienced before, and so recognising it was perhaps not such an obvious connection. What was so distinct about her present state, ‘Was this a state? A condition perhaps? Or do you have to be alive to be in any form of condition? Let’s stick with state for now,’ was its complete and utter differentness to anything else she had previously known.

‘Known?’ Know. To be aware of. Hm, even that seems wrong. It’s like i am in this place of complete awareness with regards to things known and experienced, but i still don’t really have a lot of idea of what is really going on. And what comes next?’

There had been no Terry Pratchettian CAPS LOCK voice speaking directly to her brain to let her know that Death in his, ‘His? ‘Its’ maybe? Does Death even have a gender? All that assuming Death actually has a form and persona of course. I think I may have read too many fairy tales on this topic,’ skeletalness was present and ready to take her away.

‘Skeletalness is NOT a real word. I seem to be really struggling with words to describe my current scenario. That’s the whole trick when you’re introduced to something so well and truly differently different I guess. Urgh, my mom would have cringed at ‘differently different’. Okay, focus, Emma, and let’s try and figure out what comes next. I mean, there is a next, right? This can’t be… it?’

Emma had actually lost count of the number of hours that she had spent trying to “figure out what comes next” before the moment of realisation had struck her that she was in fact dead. You would think it would have been more obvious, but there had been a certain confusion about her, a kind of mist, when she had woken up, ‘No, it can’t be woken up. That would imply sleeping. But I wasn’t sleeping, I was dead. Um, but it had felt like waking up, so maybe we’ll go with that for now,’ and tried to go somewhere else.

The cloud had so descended upon her that even though grasping at a door handle with fingers that were no longer there should have itself been a deafening clue, it had simply delivered to her the information that this particular exit was not a viable one and would she try somewhere else. The second door that led out to the, well previously had led out to the pantry, was also no help. She had moved to windows to no avail, and then, in desperation, and with a sufficient amount of panic, even attempted to pull a chair below the trapdoor in the roof. ‘But pulling anything becomes an impossible endeavour when you have nothing to pull with. Oh look, there I am.’

‘Hours? Had it been hours? It had seemed so, but what was time now? It might have been minutes, or even seconds? Every moment seemed to fade into the next one, in silence of course.’ The one thing Emma had picked up quite quickly on, once she realised, was the deafening silence that, ‘No! No! No! You cannot have a deafening silence. That does not make sense and it has never made sense no matter what ridiculous name the teachers had given to it. Silence is quiet. It cannot deafen you. Overwhelming, perhaps? That is what this silence has felt like. Almost like it was the presence of nothingness as if that could be a thing either. Where was I?’

Even when she was looking down at her lifeless body, transfixed, mesmerized, paralysed, hypnotised, spellbound, enraptured, bewitched, captivated, fascinated, engrossed, stunned, immobili… ‘Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Remain calm. You’re losing it. You’re losing it. Keep it together. What is going on here? Surely something has to happen next. Surely someone, some… thing… has to appear and help me or lead me away or something? Tell me what to do.’

Those last five words she had meant to scream, but there was no screaming here. There was no sound at all. She could barely register her thoughts as words and even they were starting to make less send to her. She felt trapped here. Once she had discovered her body and however long it had taken for her to join those dogs together, to realise that she was in fact deaf, she had quickly become hysterical. Walking through walks had not proved fruitful. It definitely screamed as if something was keeping her in this roam.

What was she meant to don’t? She had no ideal. Her hedge seemed to be spitting now. Lied and worms humming at her foam awe differential erections. No right minded bacteria carpool battery battery emphasis derivative.

Hated.

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Be sure to check out the other amazing posts with this same title with:

And we’re back – just three bloggerists this time, but two amazing story-tellers joining me for another season of Tandem Blog posting. Join myself, Megan and Dave as we take the same title and give it our own personal and unique flavour…

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THAT NAGGING FEELING

‘Gently does it. Keep your speed average. Not too fast. Not too slow. We don’t want anyone suspecting anything out of the ordinary.’ Nick was talking to himself in his inside head voice again.

But everything was out of the ordinary. Nick Jenkins had been planning this moment for two years and as he tried to remain calm as he drove down the main road and made a right on to the highway, his mind was in absolute panic mode.

‘You did it. Everything happened absolutely according to plan. You have gone over this a thousand times and today, this day, everything has gone according to plan. Stop worrying. You are only going to cause yourself to make a mistake.’

Nick glanced at the clock on the dashboard. He had synced it with the satellite time and checked it three times today already. 23 minutes. Twenty three minutes until the bomb goes off. More precisely his bomb. The one that he had made. From plans he found on the internet. ON THE INTERNET! That fact still drove him a little mental. That he was able to find a way to craft a bomb in one tab while playing a ‘Words with Friends’ move against his mom on another. He still felt a little embarrassed at making the word ‘COCK’ in a Scrabble game against his mom. But she would know he meant the bird and it had allowed him to put his ‘K’ on a triple letter!

‘Are you sure you kept to the plan? You’re very nervous now and nervous people make mistakes.’ Nick systematically went through the plan in his head as he indicated right and then made to turn off the highway, now just a few streets away from his home, where he would be far enough away to be as shocked and surprised as the general public when the announcement flashed across their tv screens.

It was the perfect bomb. No mistakes there. He had checked and rechecked and made sure that he had kept to the plan. The miniature version he had put together and tested in the local quarry had gone off perfectly and so there was absolutely no reason to assume this more powerful model would be any different.

‘I will show THEM. They will be sorry that they treated me so absolutely disgustingly. As if losing my job was not bad enough, for them to embarrass me so disdainfully in front of the whole office…’ Nick realised this was really extreme, but he reconciled it with the fact that nobody was going to get hurt. He was going to hurt the company. And it was going to cost them a lot of money. More money than if they’d just kept him on and allowed him to try a little harder. He had made absolutely meticulously sure that everyone would be out of the building. Cleaners and everything. The building would be as empty as his impending bank account.

Right turn. Two streets to go until the safety of home. Nick replayed his movements as if watching them on a camera. ‘Gloves on. Security cameras disabled the night before. Each piece of the bomb bought at a different location over a 6 month period so there was no way even two of them could be placed together. Bomb checked and countdown started before leaving his house, giving him plenty of time to make it there, place the bomb and return home just before it goes off.

‘Why is it something doesn’t seem right? Surely i’m just psyching myself out here? I know this. I’ve gone over it and over it until it is so deeply engrained in my mind that there is no way i could…’

Nick turned into his driveway, mind suddenly racing. ‘Wake up. Get dressed. Check bomb. Set bomb.’

With a foreboding feeling now surging through his entire body, Nick is starting to visibly sweat as he grabs the car keys and walks nervously to his car boot.

‘Put bomb in car. Cover bomb. Drive at average speed on practiced back roads route to office so that car would not be seen. Arrive at office.’

As he shakingly tried to turn the key in the boot, the realisation hit him like a waft of hot air completely knocking the breath out of his body. In his hurry to ensure that he was in and out of the office with no one noticing, with no-one in a neighbouring office perhaps remembering that his rust blue mazda had been the last car seen parking on the edge of the car park, he may have forgotten one tiny detail.

 Nick Jenkins finally managed to get the unwieldy key to turn and flipped open his car boot to catch sight of a digital display, attached to a bomb, still sitting in the back of his car, displaying the numbers, ‘7…6…5…’

bomb

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Be sure to check out the other amazing posts with this same title with:

tup

Meet Marci. Marci has a problem.

10.15am

From the moment she recovers from the second round of playing Snooze on her Nokia 6510i, Marci has one sole focus in mind. “Not to be confused with the Nokia 6510!”, she always responds with a slight giggle when people ask her what model she has, and she mouths those soundless words again as she throws on last nights clothes and heads to the bathroom for a 76 stroke brush. Not 77, not 75, just exactly, precisely 76. Per tooth. It’s the way you are meant to do it.

And while her body is putting itself through the meticulous motions of a mid-morning routine, Marci’s mind is working overtime…

“Can’t be Susan, because I asked her last time. Susan doesn’t like it when she thinks I am nagging. Must at least be another three months before I try her again. Janice is a definite. Janice always comes, even if only to hang out with me. Janice is always the first on the list and in fact I have already invited her so why am I even thinking about Janice? Go away! Mr and Mrs Stevens? Or is it Stephens? I know I got it wrong the last time and then I corrected. But now I can’t remember if my correction is in fact correcting the correction and thus returning it to its former wrongful spellingment. Oh wait, it’s the phone, so it doesn’t even matter. I will let them write their own names on the stickers. If. They. Come. They didn’t come last time. Why didn’t they come last time? Oh yes, dog issues. Stupid dog. It’s always that damn… okay, focus Marci. You overslept, the phone won again and this is not going to happen unless you PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. Why are you shouting at me? It’s me you’re talking to. So more technically why am I shouting at me? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your… my…

By this point Marci is finished in the bathroom and she sweeps by the kitchen counter, grabbing a piece of fruit as she plonks herself down on the couch and notices immediately that the ‘piece of fruit’ she so gracefully snatched in her walk by, is, in fact, her purse. My purse? How the… What is wrong with you? Me. That’s not even close. She sighs as she tosses the purse on the floor and dials the first number…

1.15pm

Marci is busy scrolling furiously down her phone’s address book and continues to talk to herself, half out loud, half with her inside quiet head voice, and she is clearly a little bit stressed. It’s tonight. It IS tonight. Tonight is the time when this thing is meant to happen and so I am really grabbing at straws now. Am I grabbing at straws? Maybe they’ll come. Maybe they’ll show up. There were quite a lot of “Maybe” and “I’ll think about it”s. Bleurgh. Bleurgh. BLEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGGGGGH! Urgh. Stoppit! Pull yourself together. There is still time. You’ve got 4 hours. They will come. If you build it they will come. BUILD IT? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? There is not an IT to build? WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? Why are you shouting about why are you shouting? Seriously Marci, just slow down and think. Think woman! Who else? 

George. But George is a cat and stare at him as she may, she does not offer any form of help whatsoever. “Georgina! It’s Georgina! He’s a she!” she says time and time again every single time someone mistakes her for a him. “But his name is George?” “It’s Georgina, okay? It’s a long stupid name and I have resorted to calling her George and she most definitely is all completely female and please can we just let it go?” Marci snaps to attention. Realises she has been staring at the cat for a full thirty-seven minutes in a complete daze. Only the cat blinked before she did and left more than eleven minutes ago. She is staring at a yellow chair. An ugly yellow plastic chair. Why do I even have that thing in my lounge?” she asks herself, but she is done replying. Panic is leopard-crawling over the horison.

5.15pm

Marci is sitting on the floor of the kitchen building an ugly plastic fort. Her phone is lying, screen down, just under the edge of the fridge, still displaying the message received fifty-five minutes ago from Janice, letting her know that, “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control – Michael!!!!  I won’t be able to make it tonight.” If you were watching her, and no-one is, you would notice that her body is rocking, ever so slightly. Barely noticeable really, but it’s there. Her lips are moving at a furious pace, mostly naming names, and yet no sound escapes from between them. Intermittently, she peers up at the clock on the microwave, which has been purposefully set five minutes fast, and mumbles something to herself. A dazed look betrays little emotion.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. Wait, someone is early? That is amazing. No-one is EVER early. This is going to be great. “This. Is. Going to be great.” Marci catches herself saying that a little loud. She jumps to her feet. “I don’t want to seem desperate,” she says, before realising again that that too was out loud. She combs her finger through her hair, does a quick glance into the mirror and walk runs to open the door, which she does with much flamboyance, only to be greeted by…

“Another delivery, Mrs Weare. You know where to sign. Thank-you and all the best for tonight.”

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This has been the last episode of this current Tandem Blog Post series which mean this time 8 bloggers writing from the same topic. PLEASE take a moment to read the other posts in the series as there are some really talented people creating some absolutely stunning work. And as always, if you read something you enjoy please SHARE it with your people so that more eyes can discover them as well:

Cath: https://cathjenkin.wordpress.com

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com

Kerry: http://www.kerrycontrary.com

James: http://www.jamespreston.org

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za

Dave: http://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

[For previous series’ of Tandem Blog Posts, click here]

i am loving being a part of this Tandem Blogging series with 8 other very creative and very different individuals. There is the dual satisfaction of having a very focused piece to write on a topic i didn’t choose [which is incredible for creativity] and then also the thrill of bouncing from post to post once we’ve released them, to see how differently each writer interpreted the title each week. Last week was my favourite week out of the 5 i have been part of, and despite this week’s title being a little more dangerous, i am looking forward to seeing how everyone tackled it. Hee, hee, i said ‘tackle’.

So read this one and then please take a look at as many of the others as you can and please do us the honour of sharing any of these that you really enjoyed:

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Tonight you’re mine, completely

Draft 1: Tonight you're mine, completely.
Draft 2: Two Knights. You're mine. Complete. [Leigh]
Draft 3: To Knights, Ewe are mine! Compete? [Leigh]
Draft 4: Dear Members of the Round Table. The female sheep belong to me. Wanna fight about it? [Lee]
Draft 5: Deer members. Get off the round table. Wool bearer ownership decided. A duel? [Lee]
Draft 6: Buck! Remove yourselves from the wooden table! A knitter has been duly decided upon.
Draft 7: The buck stops here. Unstable. A familiar pattern has been selected.
Draft 8: President. Unstable set. Recognition. Choice.
Draft 9: A precedent has been set. I recognise this in the one I have chosen.
Draft 10: Tonight you're mine, completely.

join

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Having read the rest of the posts for this week i feel like everyone has done some amazing incredible work and so please give yourself some time to read at least a few of the others, if not all of them.

The writing is all different flavours of great, but which one will be YOUR favourite this week?

Cath: https://cathjenkin.wordpress.com

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com

Kerry: http://www.kerrycontrary.com

James: http://www.jamespreston.org

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za

Sarah: https://medium.com/@ricegirl2

Dave: https://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

[To return to the first Tandem Post i took part in with the theme of ‘Meeting the Queen’, click here]

pastis99

Pearls before Swine is my favourite comic strip as a lot of you know and i thought this was particularly apt as it introduces the topic of today’s Tandem Blog post [where i, alongside 8 other bloggerists, get given a title and have to write whatever post it inspires] which is simply:

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Ninety-ninE

Nectarine, you ask? Well it does happen to be a peach’s kin

Is then a meditational appreciator of the bacterial fermentation process not a yogi?

Nuts! You exclaim, as you read the peanut packaging warning that “nut traces may be found within”

Elderberries carry a similar disappointment of not being simply a youngberry that has reached senioric age

There lies with food, even before one receives a taste, the subtle hint of a deeper to-be-had enjoyment

Yet we typically gloss over the possibility of hidden character traits to simply head for those we personally enjoy

Nervous as the avocado may appear to be, would you instinctively consider her humourly barren?

Is the mushroom, after all, once he has been given space to wind down from a hard day’s work, not a fungi?

No! It’s time we moved away from these presupposed speculatory judgements, premised on gustatory satisfaction?

Engage in deeper understanding of who your food at its very heart may really prove to be.

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[Interesting piece of writing, you may be thinking. But i’m not quite sure how that relates to the theme. Although most of you probably were nodding your head and making the appropriate aaahing and oohing sounds in an Emperor’s Clothes kind of “Well of course, it is. Don’t YOU think it is? I saw it straight away. Did you not see it?” kind of way. Well, what if i write it out once more, but with a little bit of a nudge. Right away, you might notice the beginnings and go, “Well, that IS rather fun. But anyone can do beginnings. Good show sir, well done.” If you let your eye linger for just a moment longer, then the endings might come into view, and maybe that will be enough for you to… well…]

Ninety-ninE

Nectarine, you ask? Well it does happen to be a peach’s kin

Is then a meditational appreciator of the bacterial fermentation process not a yogi?

Nuts! You exclaim, as you read the peanut packaging warning that “nut traces may be found within”

Elderberries carry a similar disappointment of not being simply a youngberry that has reached senioric age

There lies with food, even before one receives a taste, the subtle hint of a deeper to-be-had enjoyment

Yet we typically gloss over the possibility of hidden character traits to simply head for those we personally enjoy

Nervous as the avocado may appear to be, would you instinctively consider her humourly barren?

Is the mushroom, after all, once he has been given space to wind down from a hard day’s work, not a fungi?

No! It’s time we moved away from these presupposed speculatory judgements, premised on gustatory satisfaction?

Engage in deeper understanding of who your food at its very heart may really prove to be.

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This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with 9 other bloggerists. One title unwrapped by nine bloggerists. We realise that 9 is a lot of posts to read, but there is a lot of great stuff to be looked at, so please do your best. Why not start with Cath’s post over here,followed by Scott which you can find over here. Make sure you see what Kerry came up with over here. Then the rest of the posts can be found below. Maybe bookmark this page and spend the next week checking all of them out. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

James: http://www.jamespreston.org/

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za/

Sarah: https://medium.com/@ricegirl2

Dave: http://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

death

“THAT… IS COMPLETE AND UTTER… RUBBISH!” D muttered, before slamming the door on his way out.

B hated his roommate!

Oh sure, it had seemed like a good idea at the time. Move in with Death? Everyone had been completely jealous. What in the world could be more exciting than that?

And to be honest, in the beginning it had been.

The thrill of watching the sand slowly pouring through the hourglasses. Sneaking a quick peek at whose time was coming next when the old boneshaker was asleep [or at least his version of ‘asleep’ which really meant sitting upright on a chair at the dining table with a pillowcase over his skull to block out some of the light – it could be fairly disconcerting if you walked into the room and found him there].

B’s personal highlight was watching Death struggle awkwardly every single time he mounted his horse Binky before he took off on a job. Every. Single. Time. Why he, Death, chose to ride a real live horse was beyond him. Something dramatic no doubt. Death was nothing short of dramatic.

And yet, as time passed, and in this apartment time really did pass, the initial thrill had worn off quickly.

Death had refused to let him take a look at his own hourglass, muttering something about it not being in the rules, and had kept it well hidden in a secured location somewhere B had as yet been unable to discover.

Oh, and let’s face it, B thought to himself yet again, Death was also a bit of a dick.

He paused for a moment and looked back at his painting. It really wasn’t THAT bad, he thought, before slipping his brush back into the grey and dabbing at the bowl of fruit he was trying to re-create. His mind returned once more to his thoughts about his roommate.

He refused to do his share of the dishes, he always left stuff lying around the apartment, who knows WHAT that thing was in the container right at the back of the fridge – it was beginning to smell beyond bad, and if he paid the most careful of attention as he moved his eyes away from looking directly at it, his peripheral vision was pretty convinced it was starting to move.

B poked once more at the banana, which was starting to look a bit like a… like a… well, clearly not all that much like a banana. He carefully put down the brush, and sighed.

It wasn’t like he didn’t have time to clear up after Death. His own work was so tedious, he was frankly glad any time he came home to find any form of distraction to busy himself with. After another hard day of what? Distributing kitten and baby videos on the various social network platforms. Organising weather forecasts for London.School history orals, political speakers, library visits and apartment bathroom floor tile selection. Not quite the stuff to make a poor ageing mum proud.

‘Maybe I am jealous? Could that be it?’

B picked up his latest creation. ‘Creation’ is a bit of a strong word for this, he thought to himself. ‘Attempt.’ Yes, that’s better. Just.

He took it into his bedroom and tossed it uncaringly on the pile with all the others. Take up a hobby? Whatever had he been thinking?

He threw himself on to his bed and within minutes he had completely succumbed to ennui and despair.

‘Ooh, this is good,’ he thought out loud. ‘This i can use. Perhaps i shall keep that up after all.’

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[With a wink and a nod to the late legend, Terry Pratchett, whose portrayal of Death [my absolute favouritest character of his] i borrowed from to help make my story realer, and whose birthday it would have been yesterday as i wrote this]

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This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with 9 other bloggerists. One title unwrapped by nine bloggerists. We realise that 9 is a lot of posts to read, but there is a lot of great stuff to be looked at, so please do your best. Why not start with Cath’s post over here, followed by Scott which you can find over here. Welcome Kerry who is new to the team by reading what she came up with over here. Then the rest of the posts can be found below. Maybe bookmark this page and spend the next week checking all of them out. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

Cath: https://t.co/98AE4tkase

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-art-of-boredom.html

Kerry: https://t.co/zEWHwIT1kh

James: http://www.jamespreston.org/2015/04/the-art-of-boredom.html

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za/the-art-of-boredom

Sarah: https://t.co/rHoS76QhMt

Dave: http://t.co/2G0tFmSrSn

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost/the-art-of-boredom-e5da71765c91

[To see the first Tandem Post i did with the title, ‘Meeting the Queen’, click here]

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