Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

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Waiting for the train that never comes

hepworth 1

“Here’s my platform. I’m stood on my platform, waiting for the train. But the harder I wait the less the train comes. It’s a paradox. The train will never come if I wait for it, however hard I wait.

So I go to my park. Here’s my park. It’s got grass and trees and things. There’s places I can go and just not worry about trains. So I stand on a pole and start not to worry too much about trains. Soon I’m not worrying about trains at all.

And then my feet leave my pole and I ‘m lifted to the sky. I’m flying. I look down at my park and there are other people in my park. They’re not worried about trains. They’re just doing whatever it is they do.

Before I know it, I’m way, way up in the sky. I’m so far from worrying about trains that I’m playing with the planes. The planes are orange and Easy. Not like the trains.

Oh, the trains. I need to get a train. I’ll never get a train up here. I need to get a train. We all need to get a train. Where are the trains?

So I’m back at my platform. I’m stood on my platform, waiting for the train. But the harder I wait the less the train comes. I know there are trains. I’ve been on trains before. They took me right where I wanted to go. But there’s no train here. Maybe I’m waiting too hard.

Wait, here comes a train! I think that’s a train I can use. Let…Oh. It’s gone. Still, there’ll probably be another one. You know, wait hard enough for one train and they all come at once.

<pause>

No. No more trains.

But wait. It’s not just me. There’s other people here waiting for a train. Other people trying too hard to wait for a train. I wonder if they have a garden? Or a pole? I wonder if they fly? I wonder what kind of trains they’ve been on? So we talk. We talk about gardens. We talk about poles. We talk about flying. And we talk about trains. It turns out we’re all waiting too hard for our trains and those trains just never seem to come. Maybe we should stop waiting so hard.

And you know, as we’re talking…a train arrives. We’re not sure where it’s going, but its there, all the same.

And then another arrives. We’re not really sure where that’s going either, but it looks kind of interesting.

And more and more trains arrive. Until there’s so many trains that we just don’t know which ones to ride on. But it’s alright. Because we’ll just try a few and see where they go. We don’t have to go all the way, but it might be interesting so see what happens. How about we just take a train each? We could meet back here and tell each other how it was. If we really like one, let’s take it all the way together.

Here’s my platform. I’m waiting for the train. But I’m not waiting too hard. Seems to me, the harder you wait the less the train comes. Anyway, my friends will be here soon. We’ll not wait too hard and just see what happens.”

Being your own stock library

I have a tendency to fill presentation materials with pictures of myself. This is because I’m a hopelessly deluded narcissist. It’s also because its free, readily available and in high resolution. There might even be something relevant to the point I’m making, although I can always change the point I’m making if the photo is better than the point I’m making. I’m joking.

It’s not only pictures of myself, of course. Over a number of years I’ve built up enough photos of post-it notes taken at 45 degrees with a depth of field the width of a Sharpie to fill Slideshare. I’ve also got a folders overflowing with close-ups of whiteboard erasers, sketches of mobile sites that will never get built and abstract blocks of colour that I think will represent a particular mood when I’m stood in front of it telling some inane story about a workshop where a client lost a shoe or something.

And naturally, I’ve got a whole arsenal of photos where people I work with have been subjected to embarrassing manipulations and positioning to get the perfect shot that represents someone thinking about something really hard while half-looking at a screen but being really attentive to a random interloper who is being shown something really very interesting on that screen and very possibly pointing at it.

And handshakes. And headsets. And URLs spiralling around a globe.

Maybe I don’t have those last ones. But suffice to say, I’ve got a supply of stuff that I can use, rather than hunting down and trawling through stock sites for hours until you really do want to poke your eyes out with a kitten in a bucket. And if I don’t have what I want, I can often just go ahead and create something specifically for the thing I’m working on. This doesn’t always work if the thing I’m working on is something about, say, camels, but it’s great when I need something which represents ‘someone looking like an arse’.

In the end, it’s a personal preference, and a convenient, cheap way to add something of interest to something which is probably quite uninteresting. It’s not for everyone, but then, neither am I.

You’re more than welcome you use anything I have to add to your own stuff. There a load of stuff all creative commons licensed and available on flickr.