About Elder Shredder

master procrastinator, atheist, bipolar, skateboarder, dad, labrador owner, bassist, ale drinker, ncfc, film buff, book worm, comic reader, punk music listener, occasional scribbler

This Week’s Deity

Hello my lovely blog readers and followers (I’m getting 2 or 3 reads per post now).

I just thought I would share with you my deity of choice for this week, and having said that, I have decided that my Deity of choice for this week is going to be (drumroll)…

Oizys.

A rather miserable choice, I hear you say, considering her Latin name is Miseria, which is where we get our word for misery from, and she is the Goddess of Misery!

All of which I suppose is a bit obvious now, isn’t it?

Anyway, Oizys is also the Goddess of grief, depression and anxiety, and I have chosen her as this week’s deity as, despite having an excellent morning of getting myself out of bed, showered and ready for work, along with getting the kids dressed and out of the house on time, and an excellent school run, my day has somewhat gone downhill since!

What else can I say about Oizys? Not a lot really, as it’s been a very long time since I read Hesiod’s Theogony.

What I can tell you, if my memory serves me correct, is Oizys was the daughter of Nyx and Erebus. Both Nyx (Goddess of night) and Erebus (God of darkness) where born of Chaos, which according to Hesiod is “…the gaping void above the earth created when the Earth and Sky separated from their primordial unity” or something like that.

Now then, Nyx was about at the very beginning of time and with Erebus had a lot of progeny (progenies? I’m not sure what the correct term is here), Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death – bit like Thanos from the Marvel comics, I wonder where they got the idea for the name from?) were two of theirs, along with Hemera who was the primordial goddess of the Day, I can’t remember the others at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll come to me over the next few hours (which will no doubt lead me to make a lot of edit’s to this post). All Nyx’s other children along with herself and Erebus make up the majority of the Greek primordial deities. Hemera is a little bit hazy as she is considered in some to have given birth to the Titans, (other writings state Aether, and others state the both Hemera and Aether!) being the mother of both Gaia and Uranus. According to Hesiod, though, Gaia conceived Uranus alone and went on with him to parent the first of the Titans.

All very confusing, I know. And probably not helped by my hazy recollection of things and my bad narrative.

Anyway, despite all of that (quite wildly inaccurate) rambling what I’ve written up there. This week’s deity is Oizys. When I’m cursing, thanking or praying for things to happen, it’ll be Oizys I’ll be doing the cursing, thanking or praying to.

Oh, and as with everything I write, make sure you fact check it all rather than accepting it as written, my memory is very flaky and it’s been an exceedingly long time since I studied any of this stuff.

Also, while I think of it, this post can also serve to show my very dear friend https://morethanablackcoffeegirl.wordpress.com/ how easy it is to write 500+words, on just about any absolute nonsense you can think of, in the space of 10 minutes over lunchtime.

A Day Off With the Kids

Today I had a day off work to spend with the kids for the beginning of half term. That, however, is not quite how it worked out. Instead, I’ve spent most of the day in bed having been awake all night following a bout of food poisoning.

I went to the theatre last night to see Jack Whitehall. To be honest, I didn’t find him hilarious, but he did raise a few laughs. Before the show, my wife, my father-in-law and I had a meal in the restaurant. There was not a lot to choose from, this being a Sunday, so we had a sharing platter of olives, falafel, little mushroom balls stuffed with rice (a bit like a mini risotto in a ball), sun dried tomatoes and salad, you get the gist. I then had the “superfood salad” which consisted of cold broccoli, what seemed to be a whole tub of cherry tomatoes, avocado and rather a lot of gritty quinoa. I didn’t eat it all, it was too large, but on the whole it was absolutely fine.

As the show went on, I could feel the falafel settling, and by the time we left I could feel my stomach cramping up which made for an uncomfortable journey in the back of the car.

Rather than heading home, we went back to my in-laws to stay the night, it being half term, and having come straight from the caravan earlier, it made sense to do so, I planned to head out with the kids somewhere first thing in the morning. I headed up for bed not long after we got back, discovering T asleep on my side of the bed I decided to sleep in his bed.

I couldn’t get to sleep. Unusual for me as I’m usually out like a light then struggle to stay asleep. After a couple of hours of tossing and turning I felt that sweet taste in my mouth which means run to the toilet quick!

I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t pleasant and there was a lot of it. After an indeterminate amount of time spent languishing on the bathroom floor between bouts of vomiting, I made my way back to bed. Unable to go back to sleep for fear of a repeat experience, with a pain in my gut and my head both of which throbbed rhythmically in time with my heart.

I finally drifted off about dawn, into a solid six hours of uninterrupted sleep. Waking up about an hour ago as my wife brought me a cup of tea and some plain biscuits.

The upshot is, I now feel guilty. Guilty for spending a days holiday from work in bed. Guilty because my mother-in-law has had to entertain the children while I’ve been asleep. Guilty because my wife has had her day interrupted at work with the kids hanging around. But, I feel most guilty for missing out on the time I should have been spending with my children today. I get to spend such precious little time with them as it is, and on a day that has been anticipated for months, I spend most of it in bed.

No Biscuits

I’ve just been musing with a mate on WhatsApp about a world without biscuits. Isn’t it weird the places your mind takes you to when you’re bored? Transcript below:

Just imagine a world without biscuits. There would be carnage! Thank God (I have chosen Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, intoxication, chaos, and ritual frenzy, as today’s deity) for biscuits!

BTW, Dionysus had the power to bring the dead back to life. A power that was bestowed on him by his father, Zeus. Zeus had resurrected the young Dionysus after the Titans had lured him into their cave, slit his throat, chopped him up and roasted him for dinner! It came back to kick them in the arse though, as it was then that Zeus, having finally had enough of the old gods, killed them all! Dionysus also had the power to induce mass hysteria and madness. What a dude eh?

At least I think that’s right, you may want to google him to double-check, my Greek mythology is a bit hazy these days.

Whilst I’m procrastinating about gods instead of doing any housework, did you know the story of Noah’s Ark was actually plagiarised from a much older Sumerian story?

From what I can remember the story first appeared around 2000BC, a full 1000 years before the Biblical version, in the tales of Atrahasis and Gilgamesh. In the Sumerian story, a dude called Atrahasis is told, by the gods, to build an Ark to preserve the species of the Earth from the Deluge, as they called it.

The Sumerians had a shed load of gods, all led by the big three. Anu, who was in charge of the sky, Enlil, who looked after the earth, and Enki, who lived in the oceans. Now, these three were normally squabbling amongst themselves, but having finally had enough of the humans they had created mucking things up on the Earth, they put their differences to one side, clubbed together and sent the Deluge to wipe out mankind.

Just like the story of Noah in the Bible.

It’s quite interesting reading, if you ever get the chance. Atrahasis and Gilgamesh. There’s a lot of similarities between the Sumerian writings and the Old Testament, with plagues and famines and droughts being sent by the gods to sort out man before finally reaching tether’s end and flooding the world to get rid of him.

And to think people actually believe all this shit actually happened for real and was done by the One God? Just goes to show how gullible humans are.

n.b. You might want to fact check this as it’s been a very long time since I studied any of this stuff.

Another poem

I used to write a lot of poetry and stuff when I was younger. I don’t seem to do it so much these days. Here’s another one, from years ago. It’s called Annabel.

Annabel tries,
but misunderstands.
The memories of yesterday,
the shadows of time,
lay up upon her mind.
She’ll try to run away,
on to another day,
she’ll pray for rain today,
but, the sun is awake.

If you wanted to try singing it, it works to the tune of See Emily Play, an early Pink Floyd song.

Has someone been to rude to you on the phone?

Somebody was rude to my best work friend today on the phone. I told her that if and when they call back to tell them:

“My mate Mal has a very particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you. If you apologise for your rudeness, that’ll be the end of it. He will not look for you, he will not pursue you, but if you don’t, he will look for you, he will find you, and he will smash your face in.”

It just occurred to me that should any of you lovely readers of my blog have a similar issue, please feel free to say the same to whoever has been rude to you on the phone. If they fail to apologise, leave as many details as you can in the comments section and I shall follow through on my promise to avenge you.

Boris

A guy in my local, who’s very pro Boris, asked me recently what I thought of our new Prime Minister. He was a bit taken back when I said “I think he’s an obnoxious, duplicitious, bare faced lying cunt who I wouldn’t trust to make a decent cup of tea let alone lead the country at this most perilous of times”. I also said a lot more but finished with “I’ll ask you the same question after he and his duplicitous little minions have fucked this country and his head is on a spike outside the Bloody Tower after the coming civil war. Providing your head isn’t on a spike outside Norwich Castle, of course”

He said I was being a tad over dramatic.

I mentioned this to a friend of mine who responded with “I agree with every word you say! Perhaps best for me not to meet your friend!” Before finishing with “I think we are already in a very British Civil War, happily without weapons, yet…”

To which my response was

“A war I fear we are losing. I suspect all this is going to have long lasting ramifications on politics, and indeed, society and our culture as a whole. The beginning of the end of our civilisation as we know it. Let’s hope the next one’s a better one”

Fingers crossed eh?

A slightly boring Saturday morning.

This morning I find myself sitting in the Kia Dealership in Thetford while I await our Sorento to have it’s first MOT. It’s hard to believe we’ve had it three years already. And in those three years all sorts of things have happened. I’ve gone from a crappy contract position to a year at home as a stay at home dad to being in regularly full time employment for the first time in years, and almost having, but managing to avoid, another self inflicted, stress induced breakdown last year. The kids have grown older, T has gone from pre-school to reception to year one at school and seems to be doing OK, despite his focus issues and general lack of attention to anything! E has gone from crawling to walking to talking and generally being a very bossy nearly four year old. Both of them are absolutely amazing and so very different to each other but on the whole get along excellently. L has had to have several teeth removed, but seems a much happier Labrador. She must have been in so much pain for so long, poor pooch. So with time on my hands while I await the fate of the MOT I’ve managed to add this quick blog post, and I’ve got a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. I do miss Douglas Adams.

The Edge of Forever

I stopped, thrusting my ski poles into the crisp snow as I did so and pulled down my scarf, lifting my goggles to take a good look around me, I unclipped my supply sledge from its harness and turned in a slow circle, taking in everything around me, my sharp breaths turning to vapour that froze in my beard as I did so.

All around me was whiteness, as far as the eye could see. Above me the sky was a brilliant blue, the single slab of azure a stark contrast to the white at the horizon. The sun beat down on the shimmering landscape, creating millions upon millions of glistering ice diamonds, I could just feel its heat, almost imperceptible against the cold and offering no respite from the biting coldness in the crisp air.

As my eyes adjusted to the brightness I began to make out in the distance, a dark blue line slicing through the icy whiteness that lay ahead of me. Re-coupling my sledge, I pulled up my scarf, adjusted my goggles, and gripping my ski poles set off, trudging purposefully forward. As I drew closer to it the ominous line grew darker and wider, snaking into a massive crack from left to right, from horizon to horizon, taking up the whole of the periphery of my vision. I carried on towards the growing and darkening crack that lay ahead of me and it wasn’t too long until I reached it, a wide gaping crevasse across my path.

I left my sledge and walked along the edge in each direction, looking for somewhere to cross. There was no natural snow bridge, and the best I could find was a spot that seemed no more than ten to twelve feet across. Having retrieved my sledge, I tied the harness fastening to my ice axe and hurled the trusty tool across to the other side, followed by my back pack and walking poles. Then, tentatively, I crept to the edge and peered over, it felt as if I was standing at the edge of forever, I’m not very good at heights, and this was particularly high, at a guess, and having thoroughly researched the ice sheet I was traversing, it must have been over 2500 feet deep, dropping into blackness and descending into the very bowels of the earth.

I took several meaningful strides back, as if pacing out my run to bowl at a demon batsman, and before I could give myself time to think about what I was about to do, I turned and ran at the gap as fast as I could and launched myself into the air, landing heavily but with no injury on the other side. I retrieved my axe from the ground and began the long and slow job of hauling my sledge across from the other side, using all my effort to prevent it falling into the void and taking me with it.

Exhausted, but with all my belongings and myself now safely on the other side, I sat on my sledge to rest, waiting for the thumping in my chest to abate before resuming my journey across the beautiful white wilderness.

Prompted by this page

And completely by mistake, the switch was made.

It was just one of those things that happens. It wasn’t really anybody’s fault. The technology had been created decades ago and had simply been forgotten about as the cold war ended, the Berlin Wall fell, communism collapsed, and other world events unfolded.

It had been discovered completely by accident, back in the fifties when a scientist working in a government nuclear facility, hidden deep in a bunker in the middle of nowhere, had made a simple mistake with his calculations and there it was, in the middle of the room, the tiniest of holes in the fabric of spacetime. The trouble was, it didn’t stay tiny for very long, it grew exponentially, getting bigger very quickly. Luckily, the clever boffin realised exactly what he had created and managed to do something about it. He couldn’t fix it, or reverse what he had done to get rid of it. This was real life, not the movies, complicated sciency things just didn’t work that way.

However, what he did do, was create another one. This had the effect of sucking the first one into the second one but didn’t stop the second one from growing the same as the first, albeit a little slower as it digested the first one. So, he created a third to swallow the second and a fourth to swallow the third and so on and so forth until the growth of the hole was sufficiently slowed to give him an hour or two to devise a better solution. Which he did, a rather clever one in fact, he sealed the hole in a rather cleverly constructed quantum box. Far too complicated to explain in ten minutes, but suffice it to say, it was a very clever solution and it worked perfectly. The hole in the fabric of space time was contained and the whole of reality was saved from being sucked into it as it grew and grew.

What should he do with it now? The container itself needed containing, so he popped it in on a table in an unused room and put a sign on the door which simply read “DO NOT ENTER”. He wrote a report to his superiors on the whole incident and carried on with his work.

Over time the need for the facility waned, and it was eventually shut down, the bunker was forgotten about and after several decades, all that remained of its existence was a decaying slab of concrete hidden in the undergrowth of the woods that had grown around it, the buildings containing the hidden entrance having long since collapsed into rubble and pilfered away.

Eventually the slab collapsed, and a hole appeared, it was then discovered by a couple of boys playing in the woods. A hole in the floor with stairs leading down into the dark. The boys slowly descended the stairs, one of them sliding his hands along the damp wall for stability in the dark when his fingers inadvertently flicked a switch and the whole of the underground lair lit up, the decades old self-sustaining power system being still operational. Emboldened by the sudden illumination, the boys ventured on, eventually finding a door with a big “DO NOT ENTER” sign on the door. Surprisingly, the door was unlocked, and they ventured in, discovering a very odd-looking box on a table. One of them lifted the lid and peered inside, reached in and lifted out a strange wobbly ball. They played with it for a bit before leaving, promising each other they would come back tomorrow, taking the wobbly ball, which seemed a bit bigger than before, with them.

That night, in the bedroom of Robert Bobfrey, aged 12, of 10 Wilmington Avenue, and completely by mistake, the switch was made. The whole of spacetime collapsed in on itself, turning all of reality inside out as it did so. No one seemed to notice, even though everything was backward, they just carried on doing their thing the opposite way around in their newly created reverse reality. If only the scientist had locked the door.