Ian P's Dark Corner

FSX WW2 Scenery and whatever else I put here!

Blog: Papier Mache, Friends and Where the Heck is that Thought Going?

A while ago, when I asked whether people would be interested in seeing more blog-type posts from me, a number of people said yes. Unfortunately, if that’s why you’re reading this, it’s not what you were after. Sorry.

That does, however, cover a little portion of what I want to type about here. I’ll get to it after the first bit. Unfortunately, because of the nature of why I’m writing this, it’s going to be a bit of a stream of consciousness post because the purpose is quite simple: I need to get a whole bunch of things sorted in my head and I’m having real problems doing so.

Most of the people I know are far more aware than they want to be that my head is absolutely messed up at the moment. It’s more screwed up than most of the Sunday Times that I’m trying to turn into papier mache and failing to glue down to try and make a OO gauge hill out the back of the house. Because of this and because I’m spending most of my time with only myself and occasionally an extremely un-affectionate cat for company, I get to think way too much. This is the end result.

So, the topic of today’s epic ramble? Friends. That and letting people down, because the two are kind of related.

I told a bit of a lie during my PIP medical last week. It wasn’t intentional and no, you don’t need to report me to the DWP over it either, because it’s not directly related to PIP. I said that one of the reasons I have no intention of killing myself is because I know a lot of the people who would have to pick up the pieces. Specifically, I said that I have a number of friends who are Ambulance crew. This isn’t really true. What I have is a number of people I have met who are Ambulance crew and something of an understanding, courtesy of GoPros-stuck-everywhere documentaries and posts on social media, of what they go through in their working lives. I communicate on and off with a few of them in a friendly way, but does that make them friends? I guess it depends on context.

Like many words, ‘friend’ is actually very hard to define. According to the little Webster’s Dictionary that, like any good wannabe writer, I keep beside my desk, it’s defined as “a person whom one knows well and is fond of; an ally, supporter.

That’s quite a reasonable definition, but to me, it doesn’t fully cover what “friend” means. A friend is someone that you spend time with, nattering or whatever. Someone who you can not see for days, weeks, months, then when you do see them again, it’s like no time has passed at all – you’re both just as rude, sarcastic and understanding as you were the last time you spoke to them! So here’s the rub. I have very few “friends”, by my definition. I have a whole lot more “acquaintances” or “people I only know through the internet”. I’d like to be “friends” with a lot of them, but I’m not, not really. Right now, anyway, I cannot help but feel that I am letting pretty much all of them, as well as myself, down, constantly.

Coming up very soon (this weekend, in fact) is the flight simulation show at Cosford. It’s well worth visiting and we normally go, if only to meet up with a bunch of people that I know through the internet and one or two friends that I only get to see at events like this because of the physical distance between us. This year I’d particularly like to go, because a friend that I haven’t seen for years is definitely going to be there and I hope that another one who was there last year will be too. But I also don’t want to, because there will be a number of developers and vendors there as well, who have given me access to stuff in the past in return for doing something which ended up not getting done – entirely because of me.

I over promise and under-deliver. I know I do. It’s not intentional, I absolutely thoroughly intend to do everything I say I will, but sometimes it turns out to not be as practical as I thought or, at the moment, even when it is practical, I just cannot concentrate on it or bring myself to start doing it. My current bugbear is the Flight Replicas Halifax; Mike gave me a copy on the grounds that I would do repaints for it. I have a load in mind, both real-world and fictional. I have one complete one, one incomplete one and probably a dozen that I really want to do on the desktop of my other computer, but… I can’t do them. I can’t get them to a standard that I’m happy with, or there’s something that has become a bit of a roadblock like a logo that I’ll need to recreate, or question of colour, which means I end up not doing anything. To anyone outside my damnable head, that will come across as the fact that I either didn’t think the model was worth repainting, that I was just too lazy to finish them, or that I lied when I said that I’d repaint it. None of those are correct, but I am absolutely letting Mike down, because I haven’t done what I said I would. Now let’s try another one. I was supposed to be a beta tester, or am supposed to be a beta tester, for a number of commercial software companies. The intent is good. I absolutely and completely intend to get on there, use my well thought through and much used (if not actually written down…) test procedures to check what does and doesn’t work, offer advice, answer questions and everything else a good tester should do. I do this, because I cannot afford to buy the software, but I can use my donkeys years of experience to help the developer and/or publisher in return for a copy of the product I can’t afford…. Then I sit down and stare at a blank screen, or end up playing X3 Albion Prelude, World of Warships or something for hours and don’t do the testing. For what it’s worth, I’m also not using the product that I got without paying for it, but I’m not doing what I said I would, what I actually want to do. I’m usually sitting down thinking about all the things I should be doing… then hitting “BATTLE” again, to try and actually not-die-yet-again in a tier VI Cruiser. I’ll end up sunk. I always do.

So as the title says – which I really did lose the plot of where I was going with it mid typing – where the heck is this thought, and this long ramble, going. Er… I don’t know. Like I also said earlier, it’s a bit of a stream of consciousness. Me trying to get my head around stuff and, potentially, trying to explain to people why, whether they’re friends, acquaintances, or people I know off the internet, that I’m not the lazy assed scrounging bar steward I appear to be. I just no longer actually seem to know what I’m doing or how to do it, which means that I end up sitting and thinking or hours, procrastinating by doing other stuff and not doing what I’ve promised I will. Yup. I suck. Sorry.

Oh, and one last thought before I hit “publish” and wait for feedback I don’t expect to get, even if anyone is still reading by this point… Yes, I am staying away from talking to Ambulance crews for a while, because my wannabe writer brain came up with this fantastic idea of writing about a sci-fi colonial Paramedic. It’s actually a really interesting idea to pursue, but I don’t want to get into a situation where people that I really would like to be “friends” with rather than “an acquaintance of” think that I’m trying to get information out of them, or use them in any other way.

I guess I really am shutting up now (oh, boy am I glad that I spotted and corrected THAT typo!) and going back to procrastinating by something else, instead. Or I might actually do something useful, but it’ll probably be washing up or sorting clothes or something, rather than any of the hundreds of things I’ve told people that I’ll do. My damned shoulder still hurts where I fell on it a couple of days ago.

/me puts a zip on his fingers before he types any more wor…


  1. TMorel

    I tend to work on Friend with a big ‘F’ and friend with a little ‘f’

    I can relate to feeling like you’re always letting people down. There’s a Friend I have who lately the only time I see him is at Cosford despite my promises of visiting him. And this year I can’t even make it to the flight sim show !

    I also think we put a lot of undue pressure on ourselves to live up to our commitments where half the time the other person has forgotten we offered to develop something, mostly because they have put their own pressures on themselves for something else. The other person is probably desperate to confide they struggle to get out the house some days but they can’t tell you because you seem twitchy about something already. Ah the vicious circle of life.

    Everything was so much simpler when our only commitment was to dial up to a message board.

  2. Terry F.

    Ian, I’m sorry I can’t offer any advice on your situation. Just know that you are appreciated in the flight sim community. All of my work has relied upon the work that you have done. Without your contributions, many scenery packages would not have been published. I’m sure the others (you know who they are) feel the same. When you are sitting alone thinking, think about your past contributions that have been enjoyed by so many…

    Terry F.

  3. David Hasdell

    We’ve all promised more than we’ve delivered sometimes. All I can suggest is that you look at the positives: You might not have done all that you intended, but you’ve done a lot more than nothing. You’ve done a lot more than most of us who sit back and soak up your efforts either without a word or with a “Why don’t you do this ? When are you going to do that? Don’t you realise that so and so is wrong?” You’re a net contributor, Ian, and that’s more than most of us.


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