The goggle box 

In reading Emma Tripplet’s new book Stepping out of the clouds I realise I’ve unconsciously cut down my time in front of the TV.  

OK it wakes me up, but within minutes I’m out of bed, making my coffee, and getting the dog’s dinner check social media and other apps, then out with Stella. 

15 to 20 minutes and I’m back home making our pack ups, then unless I’m aware of my working day, I’ll see lou off, have my breakfast. 

This is however where the change comes the old me would have turned on the TV probably Good morning Britain and then if I’m still home Jeremy kyle. 

The new me however Reads, or studies.

I’m. Slowly starting to do a little more housework and generally doing more so Emma is right, but it’s only in reading that chapter that made me realise that I’ve subconsciously halved my time in front of the TV 

Because of the nature of my job,effectively sat concentrating on the road ahead, I do listen to the radio, in tge morning normally bbc radio 2 and Chris Evans followed by Ken Bruce then over to bbc radio 4 for a little news,and even the archers and the afternoon drama, however this is (in my opinion) a positive thing because I’m using my imagination. 

What do the characters in the archers look like, or in the afternoon drama. 

OK I do have my unmissable NCIS being one of them. But I’d rather be walking the dog or chatting to Lou or reading (factual not fiction) 

In writing this I also realise that I’m getting more and more positive,  and what I can do rather than what I cannot. 


Ascribed or achieved 

According to sociologists we have 2 main statuses, 

  • Ascribed 
  • Achieved 

Ascribed status are such things as being a brummy or an essex boy, a teenager amongst other things.

 Where an achieved status is something you’ve worked for such as being an accountant, a driver especially an hgv driver. 

Well this has made me wonder about my statuses.

I’m a father, a driver, an essex boy; but not the archetypal stereotype that TOWIE has helped create. I’m a partner, a colcehestrian, I’m English and British. 

Most of these I would describe as Ascribed status, and I suppose I could change some of them by moving areas or even country. However once you’ve achieved something you can’t change it.

Case history of my weight loss 

A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to rediscover the old more positive me. As part of that journey I started running again and trying to lose weight. 

I was using an app to monitor my calories, carbs, protein, fiber, sugar and fats. 

Everything I’d hit a plateau, no matter what I did. But then I heard about research that Dr Michael Moseley had done re sugar, and as I’ve already documented I recently eliminated as much sugar as possible from my diet, along with aiming for 10000 steps a day. 

So far the weight has dropped off, however I’m Wondering if I’ve too many variables, because I’ve two control variables, 

  1. Keep all sugars below 80g per day 
  2. Do 10000 steps plus. 

Well next Monday will see my activity level drop as I return to work as a courier. However it will not be impossible to achieve. 

Even then,there are inconsistent variables in my activity,including 

  • Route
  • Speed 
  • Weather
  • Distractions (such as other dogs) 
  • Environment  (am I walking on concrete, heavy mud,tracks etc) 
  • Footwear 
  • Clothing

I cannot control the weather, Distractions or environment, I have little control over speed but I can have control over clothing,footwear and route. In fact most days Stella and I do the same routes except the weekend, footwear I can largely control, depending on the route and clothing is largely effected by the climate I’m not going to wear a body warmer and heavy jersey in the height of summer and equally I’m not going to routinely wear shorts (unless I’m a British postman) in the depths of winter. 

So now there are only three inconsistent variables that I have no control over, but that’s better than 7.


From the age of 5 maybe 6 I was learning to explore, in walks with my family and the dogs, to learning to ride my bike, by scooting along the kerb and eventually just putting my feet on the pedals. I got filthy,I recall getting a black eye during a mud fight,from an undiscovered stone. 

Getting stuck in unguarded wet concrete,which thankfully a family friend rescued me from. 

I remember my first space invader game, and a racing game given to me by my uncle, at first I thought they were ace, but my mind was thinking, it’d be great if you could be totally involved in the gaming experience.  

But now children have what I thought I wanted, total interaction, they can literally be Lionel Messi on the ball scoring the most amazing goal,or a soldier or James Bond and the child in me enjoys it 2, but children today don’t get the concept or enjoyment of going into the fields, building dens, and mum saying “make sure you’re home before the suns gone!” If you weren’t you’d be grounded next day. (I know we’re more aware of the darker side if life) 

And children have access to the Internet, unguarded a dangerous thing,  with being able to see whatever Google brings up. Things children shouldn’t be aware of, and putting expectation and pressure on our young girls, to be the right size, to avoid, not to avoid, what to wear to say your whatever. 

I covered social media in a post yesterday, but the darkest side of social media even reveals how to commit suicide so as I say do you leave your children’s access unguarded?  

A diverse wonderful place 

Social media is evidence of the wonderful diversity of human nature. I’ve read so many colourful posts this morning, from a race to religion. From cats and dogs doing strange things, to the caring side of our nature.  From 3 word stories to the effects of illness.  

I wonder how Mark Zuckerberg really invisiged the creation he unleashed on the world. He surely cannot have for seen taking over the world, via the Internet.

Social media has real power, it has the power to save life, the speed at which it can get a society pulling together to find a missing child, for example. It has political power too, with the strength to organise protests in minutes, a quick tweet of a location, and cause and boom there’s a gathering growing as it moves. 

But like spiderman creator stan Lee wrote with great power comes great responsibility. Because social media has the power your profligate hate, and equally be the power based behind riots, such as the mass riots in Tottenham circa 2012. (I’ll avoid debating the rights and wrongs of its causes.) It has the power to recruit, which I’ve no doubt I don’t need to name the group that springs to mind. 

Male dominant society 

My discovery of sociology has opened my eyes to the male dominance of the world and society. 

RELIGION all religions I’m aware of, have a male deity, why? Is it because males wrote the literature.
HISTORIC as recently as the 1970s the father was the head of the household, and it took the suffragette movement to get women the vote. I’m not sure when women were first allowed to stand as Mps. 

THE MALE of the species is physically stronger we had to be, as hunter gatherers we had to bring home the food.  

STEREOTYPES if I say nurse or childminder or even primary school teacher what image comes into your head. Now let’s try firefighter or soldier. 

Instinct says that we protect, but who from I know I’m stereotyping here but we are the rapists, we are, in most cases the abusers. In most societal arenas I believe it’s the women who protect the household as well as hold down a job, as society now requires, as the bills rise.

I’m going to avoid offering functionalist, conflict theorists or symbolic interaction comments as I’m only beginning to learn more about this, however I invite comment and debate so that I can continue to learn .

Capitalism in prison  

Privatising the prison service was a step too far. 

The same as the argument about the NHS,  the budget gets allotted to a company or prison and the management work out the budget. 

Do they make the budget fit the needs of the individual prison,  I doubt it very much, more likely they make the staff and prisoners suffer so that like any private company they can make a profit. 

The government should renationalluse the prison service and re employ or train new staff in a hurry to avoid the recent riots. Bringing staff levels would bring back a level of care the officers used to provide when there was enough of them to do so. 

The government argues that capitalism works to generate business and jobs, but not in this case surely?