Home Defence UK
A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
An Insight Into The Mind Of A Blogger

The writing of an online log, or 'blogging', has, for many, replaced keeping a diary or traditional social interaction as a means of expressing oneself in the modern world. All over the globe these characters type away, updating descriptions of their lives for the benefit other 'bloggers', seeking some kind of nebulous connection with like-minded souls, a quasi-spiritual bond which, once achieved, can prevent a blogger from leaving his house for an extremely long time. Indeed, many are the occasions on which a concerned citizen, anxieties rising due to the lack of life-signs and unpleasant smell emanating from next door, has arranged for the local police to kick in their neighbour's door, only to find him happily tapping away at the keyboard in the same clothes he's been wearing for the past month 

One such character is Terwent 'Chabon' Bryant of Surbiton, England. An overweight orphan in his early thirties, Terwent was bequeathed a modest townhouse and enough money to forever keep him in broadband after his parents' unfortunate demise. Now Bryant expends the bulk of his daily effort on his weblog, until recently viewable at www.surbiheaven.com, and now exclusively serialised by Home Defence. Here are some classic extracts from recent Bryant 'blogs'....
23rd April 2003
I wake up after noon, make a cup of coffee and then sit down to my blog. My typical day consists 
of a couple of hours of blogging early on, two more after tea, and maybe another session later at 
night if a lot's been happening. People ask me why I blog, at least some of the ones who visit my 
site and email me abusive messages do, and my response is always the same: I blog, therefore 
I am. After all this time my readers would be lost without my unique outlook on life to turn to.

On a practical note, I'm going to have to visit the corner shop soon. I've run out of milk and Coffeemate just isn't the same, particularly when you're pouring it on cereal. I've kept my tea white these past few days by siphoning a bit off the top of milk bottles my neighbours have delivered while they're at work. Hopefully they'll think it was a blue tit. This may have to stop though, I saw a note there yesterday and I think they're off on holiday soon. They usually go about this time of year. 

So I must raise the courage to face the outside world once more. Not today though. I've just opened the curtains and there's quite a lot of weather out there.

24th April 2003
What a terrifying experience shopping is gentle reader. To the uninitiated it may seem like a simple transaction of cash for goods, but in fact there is so much more to the ordeal than that. It boggles my mind there are people out there who actually do it to relax! These hardened shoppers, many of them women, apparently know a thousand little tricks of movement, speech and nuance to ensure they are served quickly and favourably. If only there was some kind of woman I could turn to at these times of mercantile bafflement. I'm afraid to say my lack of knowledge in this area would have been obvious on today's expedition, even to a fellow novice. 

One might think that the cosmopolitan nature of Surbiton would mean shopkeepers happily tolerate every kind of customer who opens their door, giving off a cheery wave and possibly a brief set of instructions. Not so. I was regarded with suspicion and hostility from the moment I accidentally knocked a packet of cream crackers to the floor due to my unfamiliarity with the layout of the place. Then, when I finally made my purchases and collected the change, what I can only describe as a greying harpy continued looking at me expectantly from behind her till, almost as if something more were expected. What could she possibly want beyond the obvious exchange? Had I been out of the loop for so long that it had somehow become customary to tip members of the service sector just for doing their jobs? I looked through my change for an appropriate coin to proffer, at which point she said "Thank you" loudly and in a manner which left me in no doubt that I should now leave. If only she had done that sooner I might not have been so panicked by the situation.

Reflecting on the incident now from the safety of my abode, I believe she merely wished for me to thank her. Then the transaction could have been brought to a close, the both of us happily sent on our respective ways. If only there was some sort of official guide to this sort of thing, preferably an online one. 

2nd May 2003
The best thing about being a career blogger, as I call it, is the sense of community you gain as reward for your hard work. Over the past few years a huge number of fellow bloggers have been in touch to tell me how much they enjoy reading my journal and how I should definitely consider them regular readers, effective immediately. In return, I consider it only polite to check out their blogs and return the compliment with an email promising the same. The only problem with this is that I now feel obliged to read daily updates on upwards of 300 other blogs who've all agreed to read mine. 

To be honest with you dear reader, the pressure is beginning to tell. I managed to get through twenty seven this morning before blog fatigue set in. In fact, I actually gave up round about the time I got to Randolph Quotter's Inside Randolph site. I'm sure he's a lovely guy, but the endless detail Randolph goes into when describing his thrice-daily bowel movements made me somewhat queasy. I will get back to the task soon though. These people are my friends, compadres in the big, wide and sometimes overwhelming world of the web. Although if I don't get through every single one of the blogs hopefully it won't matter too much. It's not as if I'm going to meet any of these people in person.

20th May 2003
Feeling a bit rough today if the truth be told. Forgive me everyone if these thoughts aren't as fully formed as
you've come to expect from Terwent. My old schoolfriends, Alastair and Baz, came round last night to have
a few drinks and catch up. After a while the conversation came to a natural lull so we tuned into Big Brother
Live. That's a guaranteed stimulator, and so it proved in this instance. We didn't catch much of what the
contestants had to say (too busy discussing the kind of person who gets selected to go into the house), but
what snippets of housemate dialogue I do remember seemed to be speculation about the sort of people who might be watching them around the clock. Baz was the last to leave (as usual!) somewhere in the wee small hours after we'd drunk all the lager, so straight away I got on the old keyboard to try and get down all the canny observations I'd thought of about how Reality TV truly reflects the state of our nation in the early part of the twenty first century. Unfortunately I had no choice but to erase everything I'd written the next morning when I read the text back and discovered it made no sense.

26th May 2003
I had to turn down Alastair's kind offer to go to the pub and watch some kind of sport earlier. The house has been getting into a real state lately and it's not going to clean itself. Once I've finished this blog I'm going to get right onto it.

Having accomplished some light dusting, I'm now at the stage where the skirting boards are giving me cause for concern. Yes, they're quite grimy, but surely cleaning them is only going to encourage the dirt to come back, so then I'll have to do it all over again somewhere down the line? And that really would be shooting myself in the foot. It's not as if anyone really notices your skirting boards anyway. That's the first time I've noticed them.

Interrupted from my hoovering by the phone ringing, I really ought to answer it rather than carrying on typing.

Some kind of survey. The person on the phone wanted to know all about my social, consumer and family habits, all that sort of thing. The fact that I don't really have any kind of stopped him in his tracks quite quickly. I could tell the fellow was disappointed I wasn't part of a juicier demographic, but my apologies didn't seem to help.

Well, the old place is looks a lot better, but I'm not looking forward to dealing with that toilet. 

Next time: Terwent visits an internet chatroom, builds a steel cocoon to protect himself from bits of plane falling through the roof and finds himself forced to respond to a mysterious knock at the front door....
with Al Likilla

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