The Meerkat Muse – 3rd April 2024

It’s April! Has Spring finally sprung? And why do I wear a disgruntled expression? To answer the latter question, let’s rewind to the 20th of March…

Supply Chains

I fully appreciate that there are some issues way beyond the control of anyone where I work, such as the on-going disruption to our supply chain. This disruption has delayed stock, and that has in turn hindered orders. The problem is that this is happening more and more frequently, and the poor sod who has to speak to customers and break the bad news is me. This in turn means I am the one who bears the brunt of a customer’s ire. I am not paid nearly enough to do that. A lot of customers are understanding, but also understandably annoyed, and when they threaten to cancel orders due to this disruption, the one who loses out financially is me.

The disruption is not the fault of my employer either. It’s all down to the Houthi rebels and their attacks on cargo ships. The forced diversions of freight are playing havoc with a lot of businesses, and making work a lot harder than it needs to be. I’m not looking to move on from my job any time soon, but there are times when the thought does occur to me. What doesn’t help is that I have repeatedly found myself lone-trading, which means the problems end up squarely upon my shoulders, and again, it’s no one’s fault per se, it’s just frustrating.

The lone-trading often brings a repeat of that most annoying scenario: the lunch interruption. It was quiet in the store, right until I decided to eat something, then customers came wandering in. I swear fate is against me having a quiet lunch, which is all I want.

Another irritating element to the day was getting delayed in leaving. I appreciate that it’s not easy for everyone to make it to the showroom, and this was the case for the couple who came in around 5pm, but equally, we are open seven days a week, every week, and those of us who work in retail are humans too. We do not want to be stuck at work after we close (I am not paid to be there beyond closing time), and I ask for a bit of consideration.

The Acolyte

The Acolyte is the latest Star Wars series to emerge from the Disney stable, and it is the first live-action Star Wars show to explore pre-Saga events. It is set approximately 100 years before the events of The Phantom Menace, news which got tongues wagging when first announced. There is established lore about the High Republic era, and indeed, material exploring events that take place thousands of years before the events of the movies, but to get a glimpse of how the Sith might begin emerging from the shadows… it’s intriguing stuff. We’re sort of skirting the edges of how Palpatine might have risen. Might we see his master, the briefly-mentioned Darth Plagueis? Might we actually see Darth Plagueis’ master?

Who knows, the show doesn’t air till June, and I don’t know if the plan is for a mini-series or multiple series. I certainly don’t expect everything to be wrapped up straight away!#

What has come to light is how so many entitled whiny cry-babies are upset by the presence of (gasp!) strong female characters in the trailer, and how many non-white characters there are too. They seem stunned that in a galaxy of trillions of beings, there might be room for several non-white, non-male characters. It’s a TV show, set in a distant galaxy, featuring space wizards and all sorts of fantastical technology, yet these cry-babies think (checks notes) that a woman in a position of importance is unrealistic. It’s pathetic.

Feeling Bland

I’m not sure if bland is the right word, but having experienced yet another lone-trading day, and seeing very few customers for any given reason, I found myself feeling a bit… empty? Stretched? I am not someone who especially minds moments of solitude, but I prefer for it to be on my terms. Being alone at work, day after day, is not what I would call ‘my terms’. I have no choice but to endure this. It leaves me feeling a bit stir-crazy after a while. Sure there are things to do, but it’s difficult to fill every working moment with activity.

Humble Pie

A lot of people indulged in mockery of Princess Catherine, owing to a an edited family photo, and now those people have been made to look like cruel fools. It turns out that Princess Kate has cancer, and is undergoing treatment for this horrible disease. All the speculation (which considering it concerns her health, should never have happened) now looks even more distasteful.

As I said when we learned King Charles has cancer, this will be a terrifying situation for anyone, of any background and any age. Yes, Princess Kate has access to medical care that the average person will never see, and she is fortunate to be in that privileged position, but her fear – and her family’s fear – will be every bit as real as that of anyone else’s. She deserves privacy during this turbulent time.

Terror in Moscow

As most of you will know, there were some terrible events to transpire in Moscow back in March. Whilst I utterly condemn Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in no uncertain terms, the attacks on a concert hall are nothing more than evil terror attacks, designed to inflict maximum carnage upon innocent bystanders. ISIS claimed responsibility, though whether or not Putin accepts this, or whether he decides to somehow blame Ukraine, remains to be seen at the time of writing this. My initial fear is that this was some form of false flag operation by Putin, to drum up support for his war. I’d like to believe he would not stoop to such measures, but given his history can the possibility be ruled out?

Lighter Moments

Within all the pain the world seems to be wrapped up in, and in contrast to some of the little stresses and strains I’ve been carrying, there are still plenty of fun, silly little moments in life that can bring a smile – and a lot of laughs – to my life. One such moment took place when my wife decided to spell out some words using potato shapes. Those words… well, they reduced us all to hysterical heaps. See if you can figure out why!

What was on my wife’s mind when she did this I wonder?!


I have breached 66,000 words (am nearly at 67,000 words now) with The Awakening’s sequel. I feel like I’m making good progress with it, though a few scenes will probably need to be tightened during the editing stage. I have a sneaky feeling that this will be a slightly longer book than the original. I feel very much in the mood to write again, despite the distractions of Football Manager

Am I working, or playing games?!

Speaking of Football Manager, after falling out of love with the 2021 edition of the game, I fell back in love with the same edition, following my latest journeyman career. I’m not keeping a regular diary of this, as I figure if I do immortalise it, I’ll do so at the end, after a long, hopefully successful career! I am currently manager of Burton Albion, and I am battling to keep them in the Championship following back-to-back promotions. It is a tough challenge, because the club do not have the resources of the teams around them, but with luck, I can find a way.

Snorting Coffee

For the record, I did not sniff coffee up my nose. I am not that daft. However, I did shoot coffee out of my nose, following a sudden and unexpected choking moment. You had to be there, but it was quite spectacular.

The Kidnapping Dream

No, I don’t mean that I dream of kidnapping people. What I mean to say is, I had a dream where I was kidnapped. Well, sort of.

The gist of it was that I’d gone to the house of my best friend from back when I was a kid. The house was curiously empty, and as I navigated the familiar rooms, I came across someone – who I did not recognise – who urged me to get out. I then found that I could not actually escape this house. The details escape me, but it was rather odd, and I had a sense of fear and urgency. This dream came completely out of the blue, though it did stir up memories of the house, and of walking down the road to the nearby shops to rent movies and get chips.


It goes without saying that the events that unfolded on the morning of the 26th were terrifying and tragic, and my heart goes out to those affected. I have to confess that my immediate concern was whether or not the events were deliberate. How does a ship hit a bridge in this day and age? However, my cynicism was misplaced, for it appear the ship suffered a mechanical failure, and that’s why it struck the bridge. It must have been awful for the people on the ship, who would have felt powerless to avoid an horrific incident.

Easter Breaks

It’s rather rare for me and mine to go away over Easter, not least of all because the Easter Weekend is deemed a Bank Holiday weekend, and I am normally expected to work at least part of it. However, this year I was able to go away with my wife, daughter, parents, brother and his family, to an Air BnB in Norfolk.

The location is not the easiest of places to get to, and involved a three-hour train ride, followed by nearly an hour in the car!

Along with the Bank Holiday, we were also celebrating my mother’s birthday! Needless to say, this meant much merriment! Oh, I tried my hand (at my daughter’s insistence) at drawing a couple of characters from The Hazebin Hotel:

I’ve only seen the pilot, so I have no idea as to what the show is like, but I do know that the animators are much better artists than I!

Our first full day (Good Friday) saw a visit to the nearby seaside town of Wells, which is certainly picturesque! Also, it must have the largest ratio of dogs to humans I’ve ever seen! Honestly, it seemed like our four-legged friends were everywhere. Mind you, there was some wildlife on our doorstep…

So, Wells. I had never heard of the place until Friday. It felt quite old, but then, much of the area had a rustic, old world feeling. As referenced, the place saw a lot of canine visitors, and they made sure to cater for them:

This creepy figure graced an arcade!

On Saturday we visited the nearby town of Holt. Holt is filled with antique shops, and little, hidden-away thrift shops. There are quaint coffee shops and old-fashioned pubs. Once again there are a lot of dogs! It postcard-picturesque, as it were.

The lamp known as Blind Sam, and also known as the Queen Victoria Jubilee Lantern, got moved to its present location in 1922. The idea was for the lamp to light the way, but on an inconsistent power supply, it would regularly go out, and plunge the town into darkness. Hence, Blind Sam.

Oh, I need to note the very nice battered sausage and chips I had here!

Easter Sunday was a wet one. It had been quite pleasant up to that point, but it rained quite heavily all day, save for a spell where we visited Fakenham, where my wife, daughter and I saw the new Ghostbusters film. Aside from the cinema’s pricing being a lot better than any of the big chains, an unusual aspect of this romantic little establishment was the seating. I have never sat on a sofa in a cinema before now! It was a pleasant experience, and the film was reasonable too, if not exceptional.

The Sunday evening itself was a quiet affair, though Sunday night brought two peculiar dreams. The first was brought on by three factors. Firstly, I had read a story about local ghosts. Secondly, I had seen Ghostbusters. Finally, the lights and other devices did a few odd things during our stay. The most likely reason would be an intermittent power issue, but when TVs and heated towel rails switch themselves on, it is slightly unsettling! All of this made for a dream where I was confronting some sort of ghostly or demonic entity, which culminated in me issuing a threatening message into a walkie-talkie, assuring this entity I would do it great harm if it threatened my loved ones.

It’s behind me, isn’t it?

My sleep was interrupted by my daughter waking up with a headache, and promptly being sick, but once the dust had settled from that, I did eventually drift off again. The next dream involved an ant invasion, and then it abruptly turned quite lewd! Why that dream turned out the way it did, I have no idea!

The Furious Furry

Someone left some comments on my blog the other day, and they were so absurd, so funny, and so ridicule-worthy that I had to share them via a post. I found them so entertaining that I have decided to share them twice!

Do you think they’re upset?
Do I detect hostility?

I have to wonder if this person, who presumably read at least part of my blog, digested any of what I had to say. I will not be intimidated or deterred by this sort of empty, aggressive posturing. I have encountered far worse, and not been deterred by that, so this… miscreant, for lack of a better word, has done nothing but provide fuel for posts. If their aim was persuade me that Trump fans are rational beings, they have epically failed.

Another entertaining element to this is the worn-out argument that because I am English, I cannot pass comment on US politics. Freedom of speech people, freedom of speech. I have it, and I will wield it. If you don’t like that, then by all means cry and whinge about it, but that sort of childish behaviour will achieve nothing for you. I certainly won’t be scared away by it.

The Quest for Fitness!

How I hope I’ll look in a month.

One of my work colleagues told me of a challenge to do one hundred sit-ups a day, every day, in the month of April. On the 1st, I managed 40 sit-ups.

I only managed 20 on the 2nd!

Will I make gains? Tune in next time to find out!

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