I started reading my grandmother’s diary, written in Kenya in 1958. It’s providing a fascinating insight into the life my father lived working on a farm, and has certainly shed light on aspects of his behaviour and our relationship. I’m enjoying it very much.

It’s written in quite a terse style, but still manages to convey a rich narrative of the difficulties of life running a farm in Kenya. {A brief digression: WordPress is recommending I tag this post with both “Barack Obama” and “Vampire Diaries.” I think they need their suggestion algorithm checked} Presumably my writing verbosity is inherited from my mother’s genetic stock.

Feeling inspired, I’ve decided to do some diary writing of my own — on the Internets!

Dismayed with the instantaneous gratification of all things digital these days, intrigued by looking back into the past of my grandmother’s diary-world, and just to be generally difficult, I’m introducing a twist. Time-delayed publication! It will be just like I’m not doing anything at all for 5 years.

Crazy Hat Children’s Book Reviews and 100 Word Stories

The Crazy Hat blog has been going for a little while now, and I’ve got enough content there now to confidently let the readership here know about it.

It gets updated every Tuesday and Thursday, with surprising consistency for the most part. Posts alternate between 100 word stories and children’s book reviews. An odd combination, but at the same time not so strange. Children’s stories are odd, the 100 word stories are odd, and crazy hats are odd.

Crazy Hat has fluidised poodles, homeless yetis, organised crime, and more.

So visit Crazy Hat now!

Encouraging Writing News

"We are thinking . . so we are rhizoming !"
I hear pictures add interest

I’ve persuaded Edinburgh Napier University to admit me to their MA Journalism programme.

This is a very encouraging step on my journey to a career in writing, as rambled on about at the beginning of the year. It may even morph into a career in radio or television — who knows? Looks like it’s going to be a wild ride in any event.

I’ve also taken to writing in a little A5 notebook. I’m finding it much easier to actually create something when I don’t have the time-wasting lure of felis LOLcatus and other assorted Internet fauna. Just me, the pen, and the paper. There is something very organic in writing that way. It is as if the writing is imbued with unique qualities. Each letter is subtly different. The loops and curves of my handwritten glyphs. The change in the tempo of the text as I become more engrossed in what I transcribe from mind to hand to pen to ink to paper. The words drift to illegibility as my pace of writing increases — but I can still read it even though no-one else probably can.

I don’t get that with typing into a computer. When this goes live on the Internet, you can only see the errors I missed. You can’t tell what I scratched out, or what I added with a ^. You can’t see the squashed words that had to contort themselves between the already-written lines.

With this approach I’m producing many more first drafts than I previously did. When I have enough, I’ll start publishing them. When I start publishing them, I’ll let you know about it on Waffle Group.

Crazy Hat Photography Failed Endeavour

It maybe of interest to regular Waffle Group readers what I was originally trying to do with Crazy Hat (which has something up, by the way).

I wouldn't pay £45 either

My marketing effort didn’t yield great results, but to be honest my heart just wasn’t in it.

The source image is decent though. It ought to be because I bought a sod-off expensive fast lens to take the picture.

The source image with better colour correction

Crazy Hat continues to evolve. I mentioned before that Crazy Hat would involve photography. That’s been scratched as I whittled it down to something more focused. The photos are staying here on Waffle Group.

I settled on Environment, Society, and Technology. Three interlinked concepts, in my view, but Serious Topics under a Crazy Hat.

But I also want to write Crazy Reviews and do Crazy Experiments and be generally Crazy. It’s not going to mix too well.

Another persona is required—Serious Writing Neil. Serious Writing Neil is the one most likely to pay the bills. Not to say that Crazy Hat Neil can’t, he’s just going to struggle more.

Ah bugger. I feel like I have a multiple personality disorder.


Introducing Crazy Hat: Photography and Musings

Crazy HatThere is a new place where I will be throwing out content into the internet. I can hear Quinn groaning in anguish. Possibly my other friends could be grumbling too, but with Quinn I am certain of this because he has moaned before.

The site is not yet alive. I am still attaching the bolts, clamps, and sourcing sufficiently powerful batteries to ramp up the voltage required to jolt the beast into life. I’ll let you know when I switch on the juice.

That’s not to say it’s going to be a monster. I’m no Dr Frankenstein.

The site is called Crazy Hat — Photography & Musings, and will feature photography and musings.

Hey Neil! Isn’t that what you already do at Waffle Group?

Um… well… Well, yes.

So, what’s the point?

Quiet you! I spent a whole lot of time working on the site and logo for my aborted photography business, and I didn’t want to completely waste the effort. I made pretty designs that I refuse to allow to go to waste.

Seriously though, writing at Crazy Hat will be more focused and of an editorial nature. Only content that meets a certain level of quality will be allowed, and everything will be edited before going online. Things will be published to a schedule. There are fewer, better considered categories available. This is not the case here at Waffle Group. Things are out of hand here. Things are confused, chaotic, random, inconsistent, and not particularly professional. Crazy Hat will strive for professionalism.

What will become of Waffle Group?

Do not fear for Waffle Group. It will trundle along as it always has. Long rambling waffle will appear from time to time, giving you an account of my day-to-day ongoings. Snapshots will materialise. Rants about cellular service providers, banks, and other evil corporate entities (stay tuned for one about Standard Bank — they have raised my ire). Editorial writing hasn’t been happening here much any way, so you can hardly claim you’ve missed it.

So, in summary — business as usual at Waffle Group. A whole bunch of extra, wonderful stuff over at crazyhat.co.uk ! Score!

Hold tight. Crazy Hat coming — end January 2011

Photo a day

In an effort to actually put content up here, I’ve decided to post photos instead of writing too much waffle. Whenever the opportunity presents itself pictures of waffles will be displayed, but it won’t be a deal-breaker if I don’t come across a waffle on a particular day.

One photo each day, taken on that day.

I’m instituting this policy on Paternity Ward too, which means I actually have to take at least two photos a day, one of which is of Jethro.

You may now place bets amongst yourselves as to how long this is going to last, but be warned that my camera goes with me everywhere now because I bought a nifty new camera bag backpack to transport it in.

Photography Project is Real

Back in the mists of time, I petitioned the loyal waffle group readers to assist me in my quest to choose a project, selected photography, and then ignored my choice.

From somewhere, momentum grabbed Quinn and me and dragged us back to a Camera Club Johannesburg. It then beat us around the head and made us give membership fees to the camera club. Having paid for something, we felt an incentive to participate.

Below are the photos I submitted to get me promoted up a notch from 1 star rating to 2 star rating. Camera Club Johannesburg are more forgiving in their assessments. They are not the photo-nazis. This is good.

Satan’s Poodle moves Home

Satan's Poodle -- Ragged ear And is now easier to read than ever before!

It is, unfortunately, not any more complete than before. I am working on The Adventures of Commitment Man, so it won’t be getting any more complete in the near future. Fortunately, lessons have been learned, and they will be applied in making The Adventures of Commitment Man a higher quality product of my warped imagination.

Read Satan’s Poodle now!

Fashionista — Part 2

Click for Part 1

At long last, some of the follow up photos that we didn’t have time to shoot on the first set. Grant is supposed to be giving me a copy of his magazine that he put together, and I’ll check whether he minds me posting some of the photo-shopped versions of the photos I took.