Open Forum 2: Update Me, Update You.

Firstly, many thanks to those here in the U.K. and around the world (America, France, China, India to name a few) who check in on this humble site.

Yes, I know it’s been a while, but even with the extra time provided to us over the last 7-8 weeks, I’ve found myself busy.

Mind you, this should not be interpreted as a complaint, as I’ve finally tapped into my creativity and some of the things I’ve promised/threatened to do over the last few years are finally taking shape. As well as a couple of things I had not planned for.

I want to extend thanks to those who read and commented on ‘Today’s Date’ on April 15th. I’ve always wanted to tell more stories using poetic form and the private feedback has been even better. The keen eyed among you have spotted that I amended the title slightly, which means there is more to come from this lockdown tale. I’m experimenting with more forms as well so hopefully that works out nicely.

This week, I finished and delivered a writing gig on Fiverr. Subject to any last minute snags, I should be able to start to build a profile. No needles will be moved at this stage (and any reward is negligible) but it’s more promising than this time last week.

This weekend, I will be writing a short (likely very short) sketch that WILL be realised at some point this year when it is safe to do so. Be on the lookout for something later this year that I’ll be a part of that- should it grow legs.

Another of my shorts will finally come to life later this year, as the commitment to produce it was re-affirmed.

If you’ve reached this stage, then I congratulate you and invite you to share any successes or wishes fulfilled during this period, as well as just a general update on your well-being. Please use the comment box below if you are so inclined.

Till then, please stay safe. Thank you for reading.

Today’s Date (Jon)

Eyes opened. Darkness to light,

Jon’s room back into sight,

“Ow, man!” was what he said,

Back in pain, the sofa no match for his bed.

 

Looking at the ceiling,

Slightly peeling,

And despite the lockdown,

Came a different feeling,

That could fill this small town.

 

A place Jon now calls home,

With a garden,

Where dog Sandy could roam,

Without needing a pardon.

 

Just as well, as those in charge,

Closed the park,

They could tell, numbers too large,

At the 1 week mark.

 

On most days,

In most ways,

Meant not doing much,

So as such,

Jon returned to a dating app,

That he once thought a trap.

 

The second he got there,

He immediately saw the hair,

Red as the day is long,

And a smile, so beautiful, it seemed wrong.

 

Simone was her name,

That had remained the same,

Maybe the account wasn’t fake?

Was there still a chance to take?

 

He decided to go for it,

Lest he lost his nerve,

And split.

 

But as he sat prepared,

Ready to press on,

A chat box appeared,

With the words “Hi Jon”

 

Pondering his own text,

A 😊 came next,

And Jon’s excitement grew,

He didn’t mean for it to,

But from his cap to his shoe,

Suddenly, there was nothing he couldn’t do.

 

Well, almost nothing…

 

When they spoke before,

Building a great rapport,

He delayed asking her out,

His mind filling with doubt.

 

In the midst of his move,

He lost his groove,

And when he finally came to it,

The lockdown hit.

 

All the while, he had a wish.

That this smile wasn’t a catfish.

But a chat with Will, his cynical friend,

And he decided that was the end.

 

A couple of weeks after,

With not much laughter,

The chat box is on screen,

And Jon is once again keen.

 

This time, he wasn’t going to fumble,

Or take the proverbial tumble,

He was going to reach for the sky,

And begin with “Simone. Hi”

 

Well, it’s a start 🤦‍♂️

 

The chat flowed, was natural,

And never slowed,

“I was going to ask you out” he confessed.

Simone stopped typing and Jon was stressed.

 

He was about to close the chat,

Feeling very flat,

At the prospect of being ghosted,

When a picture was posted.

 

A bottle of wine,

The label pretty fine.

Jon could understand,

So posted his drink, also unplanned.

 

All fear and pride were swallowed,

As contact details followed,

That chat was great,

Now Jon couldn’t wait,

To have that very first ‘date’…

 

From his nap, Jon was revived,

Having previously shaved,

And with Sandy well behaved,

The moment had arrived.

 

With a faster heartbeat,

And now sat in his seat,

The webcam was showing,

And the screen glowing.

 

Then time stood still,

With an accompanying chill,

Will’s words in mind,

His nerves fell behind,

 

What if this was a scam?

An elaborate sham?…

Ringing stopped his thought,

And as if he’d been caught,

He felt guilt,

For the doubt he built.

 

The video call ID,

Clear for Jon to see,

Put all doubts to bed,

He clicked to begin,

And go ahead.

 

Greeted by a that smile,

And a definite style,

Simone was very real,

Jon delighted by this reveal.

 

So, Jon and Simone finally met,

And neither would soon forget,

A welcome distraction,

With added attraction,

At least that’s how it seemed,

More than Jon could have dreamed.

 

Certainly not the last,

As they had such a blast,

Little did they know, when planning the next video call,

That after Thursday, it wasn’t to happen at all.

 

They were in for a big surprise,

One huge in size,

While clapping, their jaws hit the floor,

When they discovered, the other lived next door…

-Lanre (15/04/2020)

Extra Significance 🙏🏿🍫🐣

For those raised on Christian scripture, today represents that resurrection of Jesus Christ and the instruction given to the disciples (Matthew 28:1-20).

For others, it’s normally an opportunity to join up with family and enjoy a long weekend here or abroad.

And let’s not forget, Easter Eggs, and the Easter Bunny (who is hopefully out in full protective equipment this year 😉).

Whatever Easter means to you, I think we can agree that this year, it is just a tad different to those that came before it- certainly in the lifetime of most of us.

By and large, we are confined to our own dorms, technology and social media never more important than before, never more necessary. It’s as if some have been brought to realise that it can be used for real good, bridging gaps and helping each other more. Travel abroad never seeming more of an alien concept.

But one thing this period represents (and no more so than this year, and possibly a few others in the future, if we’re honest), is an opportunity for renewal. Whether you’re contemplating going back to that (food) item you gave up for Lent or considering what you will do going forward (in what can be called Resolution Part 2), we have an opportunity to reflect on where we are in our lives, and all being well, what we want to do, and where we want to go when we are on the other side of this.

What was that? Pub, you say? 🍺 🤣

Writing-aside, I’ve had the opportunity to meditate and examine myself (and didn’t even need a torch and full-length mirror to achieve it) as well as what I’ve learned- both serious and silly.

And this is where I’m inviting you to participate. Using the comment box below (if you so wish), let’s share what we have learned, either in terms of ourselves or facts- the sillier the better 😊 We can spread some Easter cheer (or is that Christmas? 🤔)

Thank you for reading, and Happy Easter.

Open Forum: Experience (Part 1)

Hello all,

This is what will likely be the first of a few open forums that deal with the current situation. Particularly our experience of social distancing, lockdown, self-isolation or however your country is dealing with things.

It is an open and inclusive forum and you are free to utilise the comments box to express yourself. Whether it be anecdotes or stories detailing your overall experience, exercises, recipes, TV or film suggestions, books or anything similar.

We’re also here for each other, so whatever your level of coping, hopefully something here can raise your spirits 😊

I don’t intend to censor anything (and please feel free to use pseudonyms, and pen names for the sake of privacy) but I am trusting that we will be supportive and act responsibly.

Hope this is useful to us.

Open goal?… How about Open Up?…

For the longest time, I’ve wished I had more hours in the day to dedicate to my writing and make my plans and ideas a reality.

‘If only I could work from home more, cut down on travel and use more of my free time to write short stories, write a novel perhaps, etc’ would be the thoughts crossing my mind, thus forming the reasons for being stuck in the middle of the creative road.

However, the very nature of our daily existence has changed (possibly forever), and at least for now, I work exclusively from home and I don’t travel unless it’s absolutely essential. I have all the time I’ve asked for, and until this weekend, I’ve not been writing like I should.

So, those reasons I identified earlier may not have been reasons after all. They could be seen as excuses. Have I become the literary equivalent of Fernando Torres against Manchester United in 2011 (or Ronny Rosenthal against Aston Villa in 1992 for those who want a more vintage reference) and missed an absolute sitter when it comes to converting the extra hours into fiction?

Given the overriding reasons for the extra hours, and the general concern, and tragedy it has fostered, perhaps the inability to get writing up to now can be explained.

In any event, I think it’s time to open up this platform again to those who have been interested in it, in my writing and for me to open it up to you.

What does that last bit mean? Well, each post has a comment section that I will be inviting you to use in relation to topics or comments I post or possibly just an open forum to express ourselves and spread kindness. I don’t have a fully formulated plan, but rather I’m being led by how I feel or what I see on my friends’ platforms.

I may also take a ‘straw poll’ and start to add broader topics to this page.

In addition, I will post every bit of writing I come up with henceforth and may also make authors out of all of you with interactive storytelling.

I don’t promise this will work, but I will try to ultimately make this platform about us, rather than just me. And I will try to assist in spreading a bit of hope and kindness during these trying times.

Thank you for reading.

* PS: I have no control over the ads that appear at the bottom or within any of my posts, so I apologise in advance if any of them are inappropriate given what is happening and ask you not to click them if you spot them *

Sorry, not that kind of Trading 🤣…

Shares and trading has always been a mystery to me. I looked at the pages and apps and it simply didn’t register.

Plus, I have all the luck of a bad chancer, so I would invariably choose unwisely.

However, my situation is not your situation, so if you fancy taking a look at a strong and reliable site, feast your eyes on…

https://forexvox.com/

Even better if you have knowledge of this sector.

And say that Lanre sent you.

It won’t get you anything extra, or me anything whatsoever, but I’ve always wanted to say that 🤣

Thanks for reading.

Sharing Is Caring…

Happy New Year to those who visit this page. Don’t think it’s too late 🤣

I’m not one for New Years Resolutions, as I personally seek to improve and get better all year round.

And that includes my writing, of which I’m going in one or two different directions in the immediate future. Watch this space.

One of those different directions is the sharing of this passion of mine.

I hope I won’t need to link to this too often but just to keep you abreast of this development.

https://www.fiverr.com/s2/d7b8d3351e

I’ve created a profile on the freelance site Fiverr, and hopefully, for a small amount, I can help those who wish to have story outline or script created.

… So, my writing didn’t feature 🤦🏿‍♂️

So as to tie up the dangling thread of my journey to Thailand, I’ll state that it was such a great experience that a long post on it with a smattering of photos will not do it justice.

And, as emphasised on a mentally-draining, confidence-smashing, but potentially rewarding professional course last week, people simply don’t have time to sit and ingest one person’s thoughts, however it is written. So going forward, my posts will be shorter and punchier.

I’ll save my words for something else 😉

Back to Thailand, the weather was largely great, having just missed the monsoon season upon arrival. Visits included a Buddhist temple, an elephant sanctuary- specifically chosen because they were rescued, were not chained or flogged, and riding of the magnificent animals was not permitted, but we fed, muddied and washed them- and Phi Phi island where your’s truly snorkelled (for the first and probably last time), rode on a speedboat and took in a mountain of traditional food.

Not that you’d believe it to see me now 🤣

So, a combination of that plus relaxing and enjoying the hotel meant there was shockingly little time to write.

I did make an action plan of what I wanted to do creatively and I will soon have a few interesting things to disclose…

I also took time to meditate on ALL other aspects of my life, where I am now and where I want to be. And it looks like I have a few tough (and one or two very easy 😉) decisions to make…

Till next time, thanks for reading…