Guess who's back?!


These words come to you with a soundtrack (at least in my head) of some bastard child of Eminem teasing “Guess who’s back?” with AC/DC screaming ‘Back in Black.’ If only I could afford the royalties, then I might have been able to transform this into some kind of multi-media experience that we could all wonder at. As it is, we just have these words to try and paint the picture.

No pressure there, then.

“I’m a frustrasted writer!” I would knowingly say with a shrug of the shoulders in a kind of “what ya gonna do?” kind of way.

“I don’t have the time!” I would knowingly say with a shrug of the shoulders in a kind of “what ya gonna do?” kind of way.

“I don’t know what to write!” I would knowingly say with a shrug of the shoulders in a kind of “what ya gonna do?” kind of way.

Well, enough of the kidology, tonight as I chase the flashing cursor across the white screen, I am back writing and to be honest, I do not have a clue what I am going to write about. And that is ok.

It just feels good to be back and banging out words on the screen. Who knows where I’m going with this? And – let’s be honest here – who cares? I know I don’t and I also know the chances of anybody else reading these words are pretty slim, so let’s go for it, shall we?

In a previous life, I used to write a monthly column in my home newspaper, The Ballyclare Gazette, detailing various random musings about my life in Australia and comparing with my life back home in “Norn Iron.”
It even had a tag line: “From Ballyclare to Down Under, it’s a long, long way from here to there”

Snazzy, eh?

I missed home and for me at the time, the articles provided a link for me to all that I missed. No really, I did. Back in the days when I used to be “A Writer” and arrogantly believed that people would be interested in what I had to say, that’s what I did.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved doing the articles and on trips home, people who weren’t even friends or family were polite enough to say that they actually enjoyed my articles.
But that was a long time ago. Then things changed…..

On a trip home a few years ago, whilst I was still writing the articles, my brother, my Australian girlfriend and I were viciously attacked by a gang of teenage savages who, for some reason took a dislike to us being on their turf - the same turf that I came from and had been romanticising about through my monthly articles.

To keep the random Eminem references going, “Snap back to reality”

As I lay in the foetal position with the punches, the kicks and the verbal assault raining down on me, in the middle of the road, not 200 metres from where I grew up, I can remember very little, apart from the incredible embarrassment that my girlfriend had to witness the ugly underbelly of my home town.

Like some twisted version of The Wizard of Oz, the curtain had been pulled back and my home town was exposed for the cruel, vicious and violent, narrow-minded, red-neck town that it had become (and perhaps always was?)

Except – I know that it is not how the town is. Yes, it is no different from anywhere else on the planet, with a small, ugly minority lurking waiting to pounce on the weaker. Admittedly, when you have a gang of almost 20 people willing to indulge in such ultra-violence, they will always be able to find the weak; big, bad, brave, lowlifes that they are.

The reality is, the rest of that night, we spent 5 hours in hospital as I was stitched back together and my family, my girlfriend and I, tried to make the best of the rest of our ‘holiday.’

The following day was my late father’s birthday and we tried our best to avoid the broken, battered and bruised elephant in the corner of the room that was me and partied as we had always planned we would. Even to the point of me (once again) murdering ‘Mack the Knife’ at the Sporties Bar Karaoke Night.

A few days later, we headed back to Australia, via Amsterdam, where incidentally I had to get the stitches removed in Schiphol airport. Believe me – a night out in Amsterdam with a face like I had is not something that anyone should have to endure. Also, as part of our ‘dream’ holiday, we had a stopover in Taipei planned and the photographs of me taken during those 48 hours are haunting images that I will forever have to live with.

But enough about that, for I really do not want to go down there and it is certainly is not a topic that I want to write about, especially after such a long absence. Believe me, I tried to write about the assault a couple of times from some “The pen is mightier than the sword” moral high ground but my heart just wasn’t in it. In fact, I am honest enough to admit that when I did try to put it all down in words, I broke down in tears and was unable to continue. Right there and then, my passion for writing left me.

But now the passion is back (Black is Back!) and I am happy to embrace it once again, for it is something that has always been a source of happiness for me. I have to admit that I look back on my writing with a lot of pride (and copious amounts of cringe, it has to be said.) 

Even now, after all these years, I occasionally indulge myself by reading my blogs (www.belgiumisboring.blogspot.com and www.australiaisoz-some.blogspot.com) and think to myself “Yep, you created those!” Even after I shuffle off this mortal coil, my internet footprint will be a testimony to my writing.

Whether that is a good or a bad thing is irrelevant….

Thanks for listening.

Comments