December’s Darlings

top-101It’s that time of the year again when we revisit old favourites. I am always curious to find out which topics appealed to you most.

This post comes a little late since making my way back from the New World to the Old rainy island has unfortunately prevented me from delivering the news on the last day of the month as intended.

First things first, it’s rather chilly in here. The fire may take a while to make up in the grate, so I’ll go and put the kettle on instead. Tea can always be relied on to warm the cockles of your heart. While I am no good at reading fortunes in the bottom of a cup, I’ve been experimenting with other means for reading your likes and dislikes. So…

Make yourself comfy and join me in reminiscing about the good old December days.

baby-on-board# 1 BABY ON BOARD | Discrimination This is the first of five Let’s Talk Opinion pieces to have made it onto December’s Top Ten list, so after a short travel-induced break the series will return to your screens this January. Be on the lookout, as you may very well find one of your posts included, in conversation with yours truly.


world-in-danger_Royalty Free#2 ‘Nothing is true, everything is permitted’ delves into the murky waters of relativity. There is no absolute truth, declares the author, and proceeds to explain why she claims this to be the case. “Thanks for one of the best posts I have read in a while.” says shoe1000 in reply to this post about the nature of truth.


Race_FINAL_shea_walsh_web#3 Shades of Grey is a Let’s Talk Opinion post in conversation with Nina Kaytel. Inspired by fiction, it is the reality how we view the concept of race that has prompted the discussion. Race is not something one is born with. It is something one learns.


beach-love-couple-silhouette1#4 Consent is Sexy “We’ve gotten the idea from movies and magazines that silence is sexy. Ultimate romance means fireworks and fairy dust sprinkling down from the heavens and instilling in us some magical intuition where both people suddenly just know what the other wants.” Ahem. The issue of tacit consent – it is difficult to disagree with Queer Guess Code on this and there comes the question: Are women given enough opportunities to say “yes”?


Jimmy Savile#5 Child Pornography. Disturbing Search Engine Terms  follows in the footsteps of November’s post on Child Pornography and The Sexualisation of Children in popular media, prompted by the appearance of some very disturbing search engine terms in this blogger’s stats page.


20131225-085559.jpg#6 Merry Cumberbatch To those of you who have been following shards-of-silence for a while, my soft spot for a certain Mr Benedict Cumberbatch will come as no surprise. I suppose it was only a matter of time before my patient other half got his own back. And what better time than Christmas 😉


It is never your fault#7 RAPE | Disturbing Search Engine Terms discusses the myths and facts about rape. “Strong, powerful, and IMPORTANT piece” says JMC813. Although it is a difficult topic, rape has become such a frighteningly common occurrence that it doesn’t do to ignore it. May need to add a dash of whisky to that cup of tea before reading on.


#8 Sherlock The Third It appears that it is impossibleBenedict-Cumberbatch-as-Sherlock-Holmes-and-Martin-Freeman-as-Dr-John-Watson-from-the-new-series-of-Sherlock to get through a month worth of Top Tens without including at least one post on Sherlock amongst their number. December is no different. Decrying the long wait to which the fans have been subjected, this post is delivered to you by the usual suspects: The Batch on Sunday team!


HISTORY-SIDEBAR#9 One wo/man can make a difference is yet another Let’s Talk Opinion post to make it to the top this December, this time it is in conversation with April on the topic of women’s rights. The post prompted an impassion discussion between opposed parties, and if you have not yet weighed in on the debate, you are very welcome to do so now.


TARDIS#10 A Master of Boredom For the majority of people on this planet, life is… well… rather dull, apparently. Boredom is a fact of life and you are either bored or lying. Can that be true? Will we let the cynics rule and stand aside to let them paint our world in shades of grey? Nope. Not this blogger.


I hope that you will enjoy what December’s Top Ten has to deliver despite its belated arrival to your screens. Meanwhile… I see you’ve already finished that first cup of tea already. I’d better go and make you another one. 😉

A Master of Boredom

TARDISThe Doctor. Doctor Who?

For many a year I lived under the delusion that  everyone shared my experience of the world. I feel too much, I am told. I feel too intensely. The world is a cornucopia to me. Wherever I turn I see beauty. I gasp in wonder at this marvel that is our universe.

So alive. So deliciously human. Exhilarating, is it not?

How devastating to discover that for the majority of people the Earth is a dull planet. How can that be?!

Stevenson said “I never remember being bored” — and yet even his truthfulness is doubted. Not so, they say. We – none of us – escape boredom. More worryingly so: apparently we are bored for the greater part of our lives.


I have said myself in the past… I recall it quite clearly: “Darling, I’m dreadfully bored!” But it was said somewhat in irony or as a small tongue-in-cheek dedication to the roaring twenties – the age of parties and exuberance – the age of unboredom itself.

Yet, here it is: boredom is a fact of life. You are either bored or lying – so I am told.

Our existence? Ordinary. Our pastimes? Commonplace. Our friends? Prosaic. Our passions? Insipid. Even our sorrows do not escape the cutting critique of the world. Sordid. Apparently.

Am I to sit still and silent when such disservice is done us? Not I. For I object, your honour. I object!

We are not colour blind to the tint and nuance of life. No shades of grey for us. Let it be sunshine and rainbows! I reject the premise that nothing of interest ever happens to us, that our lives are insignificant, our experiences worthy of the unwritten dust of history.

There is nothing more exceptional that to lead an ordinary life and live it well. This is art. The art of living life to its full, but not as others dictate it, but as we choose to weave it. Our stories do matter. This world breathes with words – spoken – written – lived.

Bored? No. Thank you very much. I do not need to be a Time Lord to travel through time. I do not need to have a TARDIS to reach the ends of the universe and come back again. I am content to be human, because to be human is to be extraordinary. Why?

Because if it is there – we will find a way to discover it. If it is a challenge – we will seek a way to succeed. If it is a dream – we will turn it into reality. Just because…

No one can persuade me that the world is dull. To you and your cynicism, dear critic, I say this: your glasses have fallen into the gutter and you’ve forgotten to wipe them clean before putting them back on your nose. Dulled vision will make the world seem dull – and yes – boring too.

The rest of us are less afflicted that you may want us to believe. I will let you into a secret about life: it is bigger on the inside!

We are masters of boredom. All of us.


PS: To my grandfather, who led an extraordinarily ordinary life and was exceptionally good at it. My Doctor.