The Meerkat Muse – 26th October 22

It’s nearly time for Halloween!

Beware the scary meerkat!

Beware the Ides of October, If you’re a Tory!

Kwarteng gets Kicked Out

The on-going meltdown of our government continues. Somehow, Liz Truss is managing to be worse than Boris Johnson (a remarkable feat), and she recently sacked her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, after just over a month in the post. Truss and Kwarteng have been close allies over budgets, but public anger and economic turmoil saw Ms Truss U-turn quickly, and the end result is a farcical series of U-turns. Senior Tories doubt her ability to lead, and opposition political parties are snapping at Tory heels. Polls continue to suggest Labour would win the next General Election with a landslide, and many Tory-supporting pundits from GB News (an odious channel) are suggesting the Tories need to hunker down, and prepare for life in opposition.

It’s difficult to say if Ms Truss will call an early election. She’ll be aware of the polls, and won’t want to be the party leader responsible for the utter collapse of the Party. On the other hand, the longer she stays, the more likely that is the outcome we get. The question is whether the nation can cope with this shambolic, self-serving, out of touch regime.


Yes, I’ve told this story before, but this is my blog, so I’ll tell it again 😛

Back in 2019 I began to type up a story, using at first my phone (during moments of boredom at work), and then, as we arrived in 2020, and experienced covid lockdown, I had the time to work on it in earnest. Just prior to the pandemic, I’d gone to a sci-fi store in London, and as I looked at the book shelves, I realised that one day, one of these books could be written by me. I worked on it, developed it, and got my brother to help edit it! I did self-publish it for a time, but I wanted to see if this could be developed further.

Enter contacting publishers. Most were either not interested, or did not respond (in fact, the majority didn’t even respond). However, one came back to me with an interest in the story, and in pushing the story to be the best possible version of itself. That publisher is Jumpmaster Press, and I am eternally grateful to them for believing in me. They helped me to rewrite my story, and now, just over three years on from those first, exploratory writings, The Awakening is a traditionally-published book! Well, it’s almost a traditionally published book, it is due out on in November, but it is available to pre-order now! It will be available via Amazon soon.

It goes to show that I had it in me to write a book. I had often dabbled in stories, but I often didn’t take the ideas very far. Now that I know I can do this, I will do it again. Watch this space!

Escape Rooms

There is an Escape Room centre in Basildon town centre, and for our Christmas do, my colleagues and I from work will attempt to complete it. I’ve never done an escape room before, so it will be quite an entertaining night! I just hope we’re not still trapped in there, three days later…

Halloween and Beyond

As we fast approach Halloween, and the promise of wandering around in a meerkat costume (yeah, I’m breaking the mould), there is the tug of another holiday, not too much further down the line. I am referring to the dreaded C-word, and I think most of you know what I refer to.

I do like Christmas. There is a certain spirit in the air, a warm atmosphere that cuts through winter. However, Christmas takes a dent when we’re expected to warm up to it too early. I fully understand that sorting out presents, plans etc needs to happen before December (well, ideally), but decorations, music and all that stuff? Come on. There’s such a thing as too soon.

Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way if my birthday wasn’t smack in the middle of November (I feel infinitely more sorry for people whose birthdays are in December), but sometimes it feels like my birthday is eclipsed by a holiday season that hasn’t even begun. I’d like to think I am not a selfish person, but my birthday is surely my day, of all days?

My mum always makes me laugh around this time. She’ll ask me what I want for Christmas. I don’t even know what I want for my birthday, and that will roll around sooner!

Let’s rewind. Halloween. I know some superstitious people treat this as an evil night, but let’s be real here. It is a lot of fun for kids, and done properly, a lot of fun for adults too. It gets people out and about, and it encourages fun, friendly interaction with others. Plus, it is also a great time to get creative! My daughter has had some interesting suggestions for costumes, and she’s encouraged me to think outside the box, hence the previous costume…

Last year’s dino number, with weird human hands!

The year before covid struck, she had us dress up as chickens – well, I was a rooster, for obvious reasons.

I’m already planning next year’s costume. I could yet do for the Scrooge McDuck outfit, though Darth Vader is a possibility.


It has become abundantly clear to me that I lack focus. I have a condition called dyspraxia (not to be confused with dyslexia). It affects my organisational skills, and my concentration. It may well affect my short-term memory. It might even affect my short-term memory.

Sometimes, I wonder if it affects my mood, my confidence, my happiness. It is said dyspraxia can impact self-esteem. I know it affects my organisational skills, as evidenced by a couple of problems with orders at work. It is incredibly frustrating to have to fight one’s own mind and brain, but that is the battle I face. There are no treatments or medications for dyspraxia. Omega-3 fish oil is suggested to help with some of the impacts, but there is no evidence it actually helps.

At times, I feel stupid. I have often wondered if I am stupid. Can I call upon dyspraxia as an excuse? Should I go easy on myself, and accept this condition has effects on me I cannot control? I don’t know the answer to those questions. The only thing I can do is remove distractions. I’ve removed several PS5 games from the library, to remove the temptation to become distracted by them. I’ve deleted several apps from my phone, and when the time comes to upgrade, I might even ‘downgrade’ to something simpler. I have to try and do something, to save me from myself.

Braverman Bites the Dust, Truss Trundles Out, Sunak Sidles In

These Muses cover two-week spells. That means, in the span of two weeks or less, you know that two Tory ministers have left their post. Kwasi Kwarteng was sacked as Chancellor, and now Home Secretary Suella Braverman has resigned. Could things get much worse for PM Liz Truss? Oh yes they could, but more on that in a mo…

As of the 15th of October, some polls (take with a grain of salt, for come an election, things will always be different) predicted Labour would win a 364-seat majority in Parliament, if an election were held now. 326 seats is the minimum required to win a majority in Parliament, to give you an indicator as to the scale of the victory, if it were to happen. Under this scenario, the SNP would supplant the Tories as the main opposition party too.

Ms Truss insisted she can turn things around, but following farcical scenes in Parliament (there was confusion and anger among Tory MPs over a vote on fracking, and whether it was also an endorsement of the Prime Minister), Ms Truss announced she would step down from her role. As of the 20th, Tory MPs would have a week to decide on the next PM. Whatever happens, it seems that a Labour landslide is the most likely outcome of the next General Election.

What should happen, is that the British public get the final say. When Boris Johnson first came to power, he was not elected. For that matter, his predecessor Theresa May was not elected. Liz Truss was not elected. The next PM will not have been elected. The Tories are choosing for us, and lurching from one crisis to another, and we’re expected to tolerate this?! There was even talk that Johnson will run for leadership! This is the guy who was forced to resign in disgrace, due to his mishandling of a sex offender within his party’s ranks! Johnson is the man who bungled the UK’s response to covid, something that cost thousands of lives. He’s the guy who lied to the Queen and partied whilst everyone else was in lockdown. Johnson thinks the rules are beneath him, and serves only himself (like most Tories).

In the end, the new PM is Rishi Sunak, who was Chancellor under Johnson. Sunak and his wife are worth £737 million, yet you can guarantee Sunak’s policies will continue the Tory tradition of squeezing the working classes, and looking after rich friends.

Gah. This makes me angry. I need a drink.

A Big Site Update

It’s not too exciting, unless you’re into the subject of trains and rail travel. I’ve added a bunch of posts about stations that interest me.

The Dreamscape

I doubt any of you will be surprised to learn of weird and whacky dreams of mine. The other night, I dreamed I was on some kind of ship, and had to stand on this pad to drain water away, before I could get onto a smaller boat, and paddle back to shore. Before long, everything was more or less pitch black, and I followed another group of travellers, who were also struggling to figure out how to make this crossing. It then turned out this was some kind of video game, involving characters from The Simpsons, and then I woke up.

I also had a dream that we had a dog, namely a big fluffy husky. It was loud, highly strung, and hilarious, but if we were to ever get a dog (unlikely, for my wife is a cat person), it wouldn’t be a huge husky. We’d end up with something smaller, and hopefully calmer!

I sometimes wonder if I should keep a log of my dreams. I know these Muses have sort of served that purpose, but there are many weird and wonderful nocturnal adventures that I haven’t written down. Dreams end up being so fleeting, that without a record of them, they are lost. Perhaps I will start to jot down the details of the most interesting ones.

With that thought, we come to the end of this Muse. By the time the next one rolls around, we’ll be in mid-November, and winter will be well-and-truly closing in. What awaits us?

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