Nervous Excitement

Hard at work

I’ve officially started work on my next project(s), although this will be unlike anything I’ve attempted before, so I’m going between nervous and excited every time I work on it.

I won’t spoil the surprise too much, though. Needless to say, the book will contain some of my poetry, but the majority of this project will be a factual, new age type of book. I’m expecting it to be ready maybe next year, but that will all depend on the huge amounts of research needed and all the fine tuning, such as Mrs Bob spending countless hours correcting my dyslexic ramblings, while turning it into something I’m happy to put my name to…

So, stay tuned for updates as we begin this amazing new journey into the unknown.

Stay Safe X

Resurrection

“Resurrection”

By Bob W Christian

You said

it was me who
Hammered the final
Nail into this coffin.

Our relationship had
Finally been declared
Dead and buried.

I’m six feet under; laid
To rest; turned to ash.
Just like our friendship.

Scattered on the winds
Of change. You said I’m
Dead to you now.

It’s too late for you
To do the right thing,
Tell everyone the truth.

That it was, in fact, you
Who said these things,
All the while blaming me.

(c)BobChristianpoetry

Green Man

“Green Man”

By Bob W Christian

While walking in the forest
Surrounded by nature,
I gazed upon your face.
Those eyes, so green
Like the plants dancing.
Yours is the unseen
Breath, swaying leaves are
Fields of rippling skin.
Your golden sunshine
Warming. Creating life,
Bringing such brightest
Blessings to each and
Every season in this,
Our most hallowed place.

(c)BobChristianpoetry

Venturing Outside

Over the last few months, more and more news and media stories have been focused on the U.K. lifting Covid lockdown. Restrictions are slowly easing and we are being told of the return to day-to-day “normal” life.

For most people, especially those of us on the Autism Spectrum, this so-called transition and a return to normal daily life can arouse different feelings, and even some serious concerns.

“Going back to an office could be stressful, having to mask all day & socialise”

“I’ve become used to isolation,”

During the pandemic, those in lockdown, shielding, self-isolating, etc, have spent months or even a year at home, and have developed new, very different routines- a new way of life. We were all required to quickly transition and adapt to very different and restricted routines, which took time and effort to get used to. I know I’m not alone in having found a sense of safety and comfort in this way of living and almost prefer it to the old way of life. Now, though, we are being asked to transition and adapt yet again, towards a new normal, which might continue for some years. While opening our front doors and moving back into society might be a relief to the majority of the population, for some of us (and not only those on the Autism spectrum) it’s a genuine worry and can cause considerable anxiety.

The social distancing and other public health measures in place now require us to interact and engage in a different way. For those of us on the spectrum, this can feel very uncomfortable, difficult to deal with, and some aspects will be extremely discomforting, and disruptive. We’ve spent our lives negotiating situations we struggle with every day and have come up with ways to deal with them. However, now we will find that many of our well-learned “hacks” to do so, no longer apply.

I find it can be useful to try to prepare myself when something new is happening in general terms, so I thought I’d share my thoughts about this in the hope it might help someone else. This is what I do:

Using a pen and paper, or the notes app (standard on most smartphones) to write down the changes you will need to make to your routines, environments and with people. Note down the potential issues you might face, and maybe even some positives too. Then identify where the possible issues could arise, and think about how you can develop coping strategies (new ones, or some rehashed from other situations you’ve faced) for any of the issues you’ve identified. If they have worked in the past, then it might be possible to use them again. If not, you might find new and improved ways that you haven’t considered before.

Another tip is to deal with this like you would climbing Mount Everest. It can feel as if you are, sometimes! You have to do things in stages: small, manageable steps that increase in size each day. Let’s say you’ve been off work, shielding or in isolation for months. You’ve not left your house since lockdown began. So take small steps each day. The first day, walk outside your house, maybe venture to your front gate. The following day go to the end of the road or around the block. The next day, go even further, and so on.

If you don’t manage to go further than you did the day before, please don’t feel that you’ve failed in any way, shape or form,. Repeating the same step a few times can create a comfort level that enables you to gradually do a bit more. We all move at our own pace, and ultimately each step taken will help towards the main goal of facing this new post-lockdown landscape, whatever form it takes.

Above all, please …

Stay Safe X

Hoomum

Sheldon Tiberius aka Dog

Last night I sat down with Dog and he asked me to share his thoughts with you…

Dear Hoomum.

Thank you for my house,
Taking time to throw my
Mouse.

For taking me on your
Walks, all our little daily
Talks.

All those snuggles, naps
We share, sorry about all the
Hair.

Thank you for the food you
Bring, thank you mum for
Everything.

(C)BobChristianpoetry

(C)SheldonTiberius

Mother

Mother

By Bob Christian

Mother

My mother has something about her.
By day, a sense of dedication
She worked hard to provide a happy home.
By night, she desperately tried to keep a vicious
Monster hidden from her children’s tender eyes.

She would always tell us not to worry.
Working two jobs to provide for us,
When our father wouldn’t. This was the woman
Who loved me, even when I couldn’t love myself.
She carried my burdens for me.

Now I’m fully grown, and I know how hard
It is to parent two children well, I’m even more
In awe of her. She sometimes talks so much,
I wonder how she can breathe.
But I’m just grateful I can still hear her.

(C) BobChristianpoetry2021

Live read

As it’s Mother’s Day, I decided to do a live read of ‘Mother’, which is taken from my latest book, iHuman.

I don’t do these reads very often for a few reasons:- Firstly, as an autistic person, I struggle to inject emotion into my speech. Secondly, I’m dyslexic too, so I find it very hard to read out loud. Thirdly, I’m very self-conscious and shy….

So please enjoy this special reading of Mother, dedicated to my mom.

Mother, live read 2021

If it’s on the Internet

Well it must be true right…?

Wrong! Just because you saw something on social media or some other place on the World Wide Web it doesn’t make it true. I’m sad that I even have to say it.

Hell, I could start a cult that worships marmalade or, I don’t know, say that my cat is the reincarnation of St Francis of Assisi. These claims, while obviously absurd and ridiculous, would, I’m sure, given long enough on the internet, gain some traction and perhaps some followers.

Reading it online doesn’t make it fact. In this time of ever-increasing easy access to the internet, social media and in also protecting individual free speech, we must be smarter and more aware of digital misinformation… and outright, overt and flagrant lies. I’m sure if I asked how many people had heard such classics as the lies below, I am sure most of you would have come across at least one of them.

  • Hitler is still alive
  • Paul McCartney died and was replaced by a double
  • The earth is flat
  • Vaccines contain RFID chips, or cause Autism
  • The members of the royal family are all shape-shifting lizards
  • Denver airport is home to the illuminati

It’s so easy to click “share” on a story that a friend has shared with you, without properly checking it, maybe you didn’t realise it was misinformation. I get that in these days of busy lives we don’t have time to visit sites like Hoax Slayer, or Snopes to fact-check everything yourself. But if you can’t fact check it, then please think twice about sharing it unless you are absolutely sure it’s true.

The reason I’m talking about this is that I was contacted by an old work colleague hiding behind a fake social media account. They had been talking privately to someone who I thought was my friend and who has recently been expressing views that align with the beliefs of the far right QAnon conspiracy theories. I won’t name them here, as I’m not prepared to give them the time of day.

I was very disappointed to be sent screenshots of the conversation between them, and to see this so-called friend of mine agreeing with some disgusting views, that as a freemason, I am part of a network of child abusers. This was highly offensive to me, as I’ve spent many years online fighting and highlighting these despicable sick fuckers. So to now suggest that I’m one of them is awful, libellous and offensive to my very core.

I’m a member of the largest charitable fraternity in the world. I am a proud freemason. I’m sure that you now have a view of me based on that statement.

Why? Maybe you’ve based that impression on something you’ve read online, maybe you know a freemason. There are over 200,000 of us in the UK, so chances are you work, socialise or have a family member that’s a freemason.

So before you go sharing wild conspiracy type theories, I’d like to ask you to stop for a minute and think to yourself: “What’s the source of the story? Do they have a slant or an agenda, are they reputable?” Not only does it protect you from looking foolish if someone fact checks the article and it’s proven to be fake, but it’s also a small step towards halting disinformation or downright propaganda.

Stay Safe X

45

“45”

By Bob W Christian

The greatest trick this devil
Ever performed is complete
Manipulation of perception
Of the current situation.

Giving no real thought
To an unpleasant existence;
Looking for a way out, some
Simple distraction.

Based on facts so thin they’re
Transparent, it begins to take
Hold; blinkering you into
Seeing a different perspective.

Is it all fake news?

(c)BobChristianpoetry

Seasons Bleatings

As this crazy year draws to a close, the Christian household prepares for our first real Christmas in seven years. I thought I’d sit back in my favourite armchair, put on some tunes, pour myself a nice glass of rum, relax in front of a roaring fire (courtesy of YouTube) and look back over my last 12 months.

This year started as the previous ones had done, with a very late night, working hard until the small hours on New Year’s Eve. This was closely followed by another busy day in the pub trying my best to socialise and interact with regulars and the ‘down from London for the holidays hooray’ types enjoying an extended break from their jobs in the city. Little did I know what was round the corner for me and for the hospitality trade in general …

March brought the beginning of a global pandemic that was to change everyone’s lives. I shut down the pub on 20th with the general manager, not knowing if or when we would be able to open again. I drove home that night to batten down the hatches, so to speak, and to brace for what was in store for our little family during the lockdown period. I didn’t realise then, that I would never return.

This was mainly due to Mrs Bob reading some of my newer poems and suggesting that we should put another book together.

After the success of (Re)Mixtapes earlier in the year, I decided to make the best of the lockdown and settle into a new creative routine. I began writing some of what Mrs Bob says is my best poetry.

While we waited to see what the future had in store for us, I decided to work on another anthology with a view to releasing it in March or April 2021. In the end, it was called iHuman, and it was released in November!

Mrs Bob was there next to me the whole time, cooking, baking, making jam and chutneys, staying up til midnight to get food delivery slots, and keeping things ticking over in the house. She helped me work on each piece, and they practically fell out of me. We painted several rooms, fences and the shed. We cleared out the shed and almost every cupboard in the house. We walked around the houses locally every day, and grew tomatoes, chillis, broad beans and a lemon bush from seed. We actually had a lovely time and talked a lot.

As lockdown began to lift, we started to emerge into this strange new world of one-way shopping, social distancing, masks and sanitiser. After a long talk with Mrs Bob, I took the brave decision to leave the hospitality trade and look for a new career choice. Should I go back into logistics, warehouse management? Perhaps I could go back to my roots and my first love of engineering. I got in touch with an agency that helps disabled people to find work or to retrain in another field. So, with that in mind I was booked into a training company to get a forklift license again, as they’re only valid for three years at a time. This in itself was a highly stressful thing to do. I hate tests, and meeting new people, and on top of that, it was in Exeter, which I didn’t know at all. Well, the good news is that the course wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and there were only two other people on it. I did pass the test and got my license… that was another string to my bow.

Then, as you will already know if you read my ramblings, I managed to secure a position within a disability-friendly company called Devon Disability Collective. This has been the best career move I’ve made for quite a number of years now. To be honest, I’m so happy there, I’m hoping I can stay for years. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, it feels fateful that I found it.

So as I look forward to the first real Christmas that I’ve had off since I got married seven years ago, it’s with a sense of happiness and contentment that, despite everything this crazy year has thrown at us, I can honestly say that it’s drawn Mrs Bob & I closer together. It’s shown me that there *is* life after the service industry. I just needed to take that difficult first step to go and the even harder step of believing in my own abilities.

I know that I’m amongst a small percentage of people that have managed to land on my feet after leaving the service industry. For this, I count my blessings every day. I’m very thankful for the love and support of Mrs Bob and members of our family.

So was this year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to say to each and every one of you: thank you for your support with reading my blog, buying my books, and your company online this year.

I really hope that you are healthy, warm and not lonely this Christmas. Have a blessed holiday season, and a happier new year next year.

Stay Safe X