Within the next few days I’ll reach a couple of milestones on this enduring blogging odyssey. Firstly, today’s narrative is the 1,800th piece I’ve penned since, five years ago, embarking on this sojourn by syntax.

The second juncture of note is that of the aforementioned five year anniversary of me writing, along with publishing the inaugural blog on my website writesaidfred.org, on 25th March 2015. A journey which in part my son’s fiancé Jenny was a catalyst for; the setting up of her own WordPress website inspiring me to kickstart a project I’d long aspired embarking upon.

Back when quilling that first blog would I ever of dreamt five years hence the 1800th offering would be created with a backdrop of a virus pandemic. The pathogen COVID-19 terrorising a global population, with many countries going into lockdown.

A situation resulting in humanity existing in a world where locating toilet rolls for purchase became as elusive as Lord Lucan, Shergar and TV presenter Richard Madeley’s sincerity.

With my need for the overly melodramatic, our contemporary times’ve evoked flickering memories of a BBC TV drama I’d watch in the mid-1970’s, going by the moniker of Survivors. This evening broadcast relaying post-apocalyptic scenes of a community of survivors, struggling to stay alive in the wake of a global pandemic known as ‘The Death’ which’d wiped out 99.98% of humanity.

Clearly, our times aren’t as stark as those painted in that TV series, which ran from 1975-1977. Even the most pessimistic forecasts of numbers likely to contract the coronavirus and expire are significantly lower than the percentage of victims in Survivors. However, there are some parallels which give a whiff of comparison.

For instance, the fictional storyline in Survivors concerns the plight of a group of people who’ve survived an apocalyptic plague pandemic. This virus accidentally released by a Chinese scientist, which quickly spread across the world via air travel, bringing subsequent carnage in its wake.

Unknown

As alluded to earlier, although this current non-fictional crisis is clearly a massive global deal, thankfully its projected death toll won’t reach anywhere near the proportions of the fictional mortality count.

That being said, the bog roll acquisition fallout from this prevailing pandemic is significant worse than experienced by the characters in Survivors. In the drama, the subject of toilet tissue shortages was never broached. Consequently, I can only suggest the likes of Greg Preston, Abby Grant and Jenny Richards were never left up s*** creek without an Andrex while WC in situ.

Yes, on 25th March 2015, when sitting a laptop with the processing speed of a sloth with an anvil tied to each leg, I’d never’ve imagined five years hence my prose topics would be of this global family being terrorised by a pandemic similar to those sci-fi drama scenes witnessed in my early teens.

Anyhow, I’m going to conclude this 1,800th blogs by sharing below the first narrative I published on the day I embarked on this project. Thanks to everybody who’s taken the time to read and feedback on my work over that five years. I really appreciate your support!

Stay well, folks!……. As promised earlier this is my inaugural blog, written and published on 25th March 2015, titled The Eagle Has Landed:-

Here we are then my first ever blog. I wanted to write one for quite a while, in fact I can remember being sat at the table as a child in the early 1970’s advising my mum that very thing. She cracked me around the head and said “Don’t be so bloody stupid the internet hasn’t been invented yet! .. Now eat your Spangles on Toast!”

My wife Karen has encouraged me to channel the daft ideas I have to more meaningful use than just winding her up endlessly. But I couldn’t think of one so I’m writing this. I’m not 100% sure of how genuine Karen’s support is to this project, though, as she did add that she wanted me to write it in the middle of the M1 motorway!

Anyway, I’m going to have a go at write something down and see how it goes. I have titled it ‘The Eagle has Landed’ but that’s just a random title that has no relevance to any part of the blog. I could have just as easily titled it ‘Mr Harrison Goes to The Toilet’ but I didn’t, as you can see. Although, that is a great title so I might use it next time!

Excuse any bad English that you pick up on. I have a tendency to put adjectives in the wrong place and use unnecessary and excessive exclamation marks!!!!!!!!

However, I’m not overly worried about what the grammar police think, as this project’s more about writing an interesting, hopefully humorous, narrative. “When’s he gonna flipping start. I’ve got Corrie to watch!” I hear you cry.

So here we go.

It has been a dream of mine for a while to write something that is interesting, funny and more importantly leads to me getting paid. I have another dream but that involves beautiful actress Margot Robbie and, as it’s before the watershed, I best not elaborate on that one!

Both big dreams that are hard to achieve admittedly, but at least one of them isn’t impossible! … Has anyone got Margot Robbie’s phone number?!

I find writing a cathartic experience, or at least I would if I knew what the hell cathartic meant! Seriously, though, I find it incredibly therapeutic sat at a keyboard on MargotRobbie.com .. errr I mean sat at my laptop jotting down random thoughts.

Friends who have read my stuff recently have said they have enjoyed it. Which is pleasing although they must have busy lives as all of them have added “…. But please don’t send me anymore though!”

Recently I joined a part time creative writing course in an attempt to improve my skills. The first week was weird as it was all about dairy produce and not much writing. It wasn’t until ten minutes before the end that I realised I’d been attending a Domestic Science lecture in error!….. I was very embarrassed but on the plus side I learnt an awful about cheese!

One piece of positive feedback received was from an acquaintance who mentioned they liked the vulnerability of my work, along with the fact I wrote with Angst. I’ve no idea how the lecturer knew my German friend Angst was helping me, but I appreciated her kinds words nevertherless!

I’m having piano lessons at the minute! I’m very early into it, and am a mere novice still, but I find that very interesting! My concentration levels aren’t the best at the minute so it takes some learning, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I’ve wanted to learn piano since an interview with a Careers Advisor when I was sixteen. In the process of attempting to find a gainful career for me he asked “What are your skills?” As a stroppy clueless teenager I replied “No idea sir! But my fingers are long and slim!” The Careers Advisor said I should become a piano player before shouting “Next!”

I trudged out of his office with high hopes of learning the piano and joining a marching band. My hopes were dashed when I struggled with the concept of the piano. I used to blow into it! I became disheartened and packed it in and never played again. Until now!

I’ve just realised I’ve written over a side of A4 and not really told you anything in this blog! However, someone very famous once told me “Always leave your audience wanting more.” I therefore don’t want to make this first blog to lengthy. So I will bring this to a close.

When I say someone famous that’s not strictly true, it was my mum! And to be honest she was referring to her culinary skills not writing!

Anyway, I’m going to get off! I may post some of the short stories on here later and write another blog shortly! I leave you with the limerick I wrote at my creative writing course this week. We were asked to write a poem about a dried chilli and how it changes when mixed with alcohol! Thanks for reading.

There was a young chilli called Chipotle.

Who was always hitting the bottle.

They were a potent mix.

That knocked people for six.

And made them run to the loo full throttle!