Some bloggers pretty much blog as if they’re talking to their best friend. This seems to be much more common among women than men. So some personal conflicts, hopes and fears, some things about relationships and childhood memories, come along with whatever that person is most interested in. Their readers can feel they’ve got a pretty rounded picture of the blogger. Quite possibly they haven’t really and one thing life has taught me is that if one person gives you a picture of a relationship or an argument, it’ll look different from the other side. To tell it how you see it is entirely honest, but how someone else sees it might be worth looking at too.

Some bloggers, women or men, talk about the things they’re interested in – maybe only one of them, travel, golf, heavy rock, politics, poetry, science fiction, cars, Buddhism, gardening, architecture. You learn very little about the rest of that person.

This is a poetry blog. I had another blog until I lost access to it after my last computer crashed, but it was a blog of satirical writings mixed with arguments about moral and political issues. So I’m very much in the second camp. I don’t feel a need to open myself out to people I’ve never seen. On the whole, I don’t want to. You can argue that poetry is about all sorts of things, the whole world (so is politics) and it’s intensely personal, but it’s feelings and perceptions through a prism. Not sure if that’s a good image or rubbish. Anyway, a poem is not a confession.

Nonetheless, I thought I’d widen the scope of this blog a bit and say a little about myself. So here are some of the things I HATE, with the things I really feel passionately negative about left out. In other words, these are big dislikes.


Tomato ketchupketchup


tinned tomatoes

penguin suits (aka formal dress)

people who laugh at their own jokes (I did that once myself and nearly killed myself – a story for which this blog is not quite ready)

jargon that has no clear meaning (e.g. “the modernisation agenda”)

belching (I have a more nuanced attitude to its sister sound)

foreign holidays where foreigners are kept to a minimum

people who drive at forty miles an hour along a good road without passing opportunities when the limit is sixty, but then pass a 30 limit sign and proceed at forty miles an hour and out of sight.

gushing introductions, spoken or printed, to poets, which on reflection tell you absolutely nothing to distinguish poet A from poet B.

toilet/washrooms in semi-public places (restaurants, cafes, pubs, meeting halls, offices, sports venues) that offer you an opportunity to wash your hands in a washbasin, provide a soap dispensers that works and covers your hands in a soapy gel, but also provide taps that then turn out not to dispense any water.

I think that’s enough for now. I might even list some big likes. What are your big dislikes (similarly leaving out things people genuinely feel passionate about)? Let’s hear them!

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  1. I’m with you on tinned toms, surpassed, I have to say, by tarragon and scrambled eggs, and jargon (“Quaker Speak” anyone?).

    • I haven’t tried tarragon and scrambled eggs (I suppose you mean the two together); but I rather like scrambled eggs and do experiment with bits and pieces to add to them.

      As for jargon, I’ve got no problem at all with meaningful technical language, though the illuminati who use it should always be aware of their audience and care about the people who will need translations.

      I’m quite fond of fossilised language, ways of saying things that have persisted in a sheltered place. Some Quaker language is like that – “speak to that”, for example, rather than “talk about that”. Some carries extra meaning – “witnessing” in Meeting is more than getting up and talking – or speak about history. For example, “Meeting for Sufferings” reminds us of a time when the main business of such a gathering of Friends from around the country would be to help Friends in prison for their beliefs, maybe even get them released and at least support their families. But like any other group, we have our ways of saying things that conceal vagueness or uncertainty. To have a precise word on your lips does not necessarily mean you have a precise idea behind it. Consider the evangelical who asks, “Are you saved?”

      • I have a fondness for the language as well. I appreciate the poetic and emotive beauty. But people need to resonate with that sort of thing, and to some it may come across as impenetrable gobbledygook. Because I think so highly of the benefits of Quakerism, I would like everyone to have ‘every-day language’ access to its principles. Of course, I’m aware that the ideology of any spiritually focused group is going to be difficult to put into plain English.

        Oh, and it was scrambled eggs of any ilk (I have a story that involves scrambled eggs, my mother and blows about the head with a broom. Another time perhaps. 😉 ) and tarragon with anything (my mother also features heavily in this aversion).

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