“A Strange Day in July” – (My Version)

Hey all, I actually have a “short” story for you all today… enjoy… however I doubt that I’ll be reading this one out on Vlog My Blog.  Our English teacher recently asked us to write a short story from the ‘suggestions’ listed in “The Mysterious of Harris Burdick” written by Chris Van Allsburg back in the 1980s.  It’s a picture book with a title and line of text on each page.  We were to write a story using whichever page we wanted, but we had to title our story the same as the page, and somewhere in the story we had to include the line.

I chose ‘A Strange Day in July’ and the line I had to use was, “He threw with all his might, but the third stone came skipping back.”


A Strange Day in July – Version by Ben Nelan

I miss my granddad.  He taught me so much, opened my mind, showed me a world that I could never have experienced without him.  But now that he’s gone, so much has been revealed; the patterns he always told me about, they’re all there.  The rules that he made now make complete and unquestionable sense.  Let me run you through it; I want you to know about him too. I want you to know about his wisdom.

It was Friday afternoon, the 20th of July.  My sister Sophie and I had survived another long week of school and had come home to our granddad’s house.  We’ve been staying with him ever since our parents ‘ran off.’  Granddad told us that they had things to sort out and that they’d be away for a little while.  Seems strange, from memory he said the same thing when Grandma disappeared a few years ago.  Grown-ups must have an awful lot to sort out.

My granddad’s property is very large; if you can imagine a lush, swamp-like farm with long-grassy fields and a large wooden panel house overrun with vines and weeds sitting in the middle of it; you’re still not getting the full picture.  This place is beautiful beyond description; there is nothing that can capture it.  Granddad works a lot with wood, his property is mostly surrounded by forests and twirling trees but he only ever uses the wood from trees that have already fallen down.  All of the fences on the farm are natural. They’re rough wooden fences that look like they were grown by the complexity of nature itself.  On most of the corner posts there is an engraved message that says things like, “Nature is our purpose,” and “Watch as the sunrise flows through the mist and the leaves of the forest, and you will feel the truth.”

Every afternoon, just like this one, my granddad and I would walk out to the lake; a 3 minute walk. In fact, the lake is even within eyeshot of the house.  Yes, the view from inside staring out to nature is good but from behind glass you’re just putting yourself in captivity.  That’s why I can’t understand why my sister didn’t want to come to the lake with us this particular afternoon. Normally she too enjoys coming with us to the lake; I don’t know what’s with her today.  Granddad and I walked through the long damp grass; the ends of our jeans getting wet. I looked up towards the forest. The sun was setting and streams of golden light were shooting through the tops of the trees; the wind was cool and moist.  Before we knew it, the journey quickly absorbed by our engrossment with the nature around us, granddad and I stood at the lake together for the last time.  We normally come to the lake, he and I, we skip a stone each, but never more than one.  Granddad says that it’s disrespectful to nature to throw stones into the lake consecutively.  “Skip anymore than one stone and you’re being greedy Albert,” he had told me when Sophie and I had first visited the lake with him. Grandma was around then.  The restriction on ‘skipping stones’ didn’t bother me though because the trip for me wasn’t about the stones; it was about being with granddad. Continue reading ““A Strange Day in July” – (My Version)”

Generation Z.

Good day!!
Just wanted to say hello. That is all.
Thank you, from Fester.

No. No no no.

This is not the end of the post, I was only fooling you. Evil trickery I say. You must all hate me. But it occurs to me that you are still reading. So, continue to do so. You will be surprised… *evil laughter*.

Setting aside my brief display of my juvenile-self, which is coincidently a lead-on to what this post is about, I wanted to bring to people’s attention that a lot (but not all) of the world’s teenage populace is rapidly bringing about the new meaning of being “world-changers,” but in a negative way. I mean, what is becoming of Generation Z? 

For those who do not know, Generation Z are the people born from the year 1995 – 2010. We have the potential to change the world. Doesn’t necessarily mean that we will.

For starters, text talking through social media, and even face-to-face conversation!! For example, using unnecessary abbreviations such as “fml,” “ly,” etc. that most teens should be aware of…

“This is such a bad day for me. Fml.”

“Naww, I feel sorry for you. Ly.”


This is just an example of the sort of things you see on Facebook, Twitter etc. Are we really falling into a world full of educated, but literally frog-minded people? You got to a book store these days (ones that haven’t already closed down) or a library, and you will rarely see a teenager trying to find a book from their favourite series. You will mainly see adults, or young children looking at books. Though in a library, there are usually computers. On those computers, there usually are… yep, you got it. Young children and teenagers taking up all the computers, drooling over Facebook or internet games.

If we were to walk into a perfect classroom, we would see people sitting at their desks, writing away on their latest piece of writing and even some on a computer typing their story out because they may have a weakness with their writing. We would see people with their noses in a book and the teacher happily walking around the classroom, treating the students as independent learners. That is a good classroom.

Yet, when you walk into a typical high-school classroom, you might see a few on a computer playing games when the teacher has their back turned. You would see a group of kids having a private conversation, and a small minority of students actually trying to get their work done. Not to mention that the teacher would be watching the students like a hawk, trying to enforce the school policies…

“Tom, get off the games!!”
“Ben and Brendan, leave your socialising until recess!!”
“Sam, get on with your work. Stop putting graffiti through your books!”
“Class, I am waiting. We are going into your lunchtime now!”

A normal occurrence in classrooms these days right?

I know, I am possibly boring your pants off at the moment or maybe I am being a bit amusing… or sounding like a teacher. Possibly the third choice.

Ok, even by writing this post I admit, I do have a tendency to use computers and gaming consoles for my leisure time… I am a teenager. BUT, I do put school first…

Also, the adults that have talked to me in the past – mostly teachers and family – have told me that they are appalled at the way teenagers in particular use the English language. I really do sound like a teacher… Tyler, have you taken your meds today?

May I just add, that by you reading this post proves that you are capable of having the patience to get this far through a piece of writing. You are officially awesome!!

Until my next rant,


Bilbies VS Rabbits

Hello there! How’s it going people? Did you find many egg-shaped chocolate bars?

Of course this is in reference to the Easter that hopped along last Sunday, bringing with it sugar and fats that make dentists worldwide start packing their dental apocalypse survival kits.  Funnily enough, the backbone of this post is not to do with the really weird story line behind Easter…

Easter, and Christmas, are both rather sick.  They’re festivals and celebrations that have been distorted and warped due to the early Roman civilizations’ obsession with converting the masses to their religion.  Because of this Pagan celebrations were often adopted into the religion to help keep everyone happy.

This has resulted the Easter Bunny and Chocolate Eggs being caught up in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It also has resulted in misconception about Jesus’s birthday, there’s a lot of evidence stating that he wasn’t actually born on the 25th of December.  So, yes, that’s comforting to know that we are being taught something in school that isn’t actually confirmed.  Guess there’s a lot of that going on though.

But of course, as the title of this post clearly states, this post is not about some ludicrous confusing religious banter.  This is about Bilbies VS Rabbits.

I was told the other day that teachers in Australian schools are now pushing to teach about the Easter Bilby.  That’s right, no longer is the Easter Bunny king of the hole…. uh…. he’s being pushed aside by a native Australian animal.  Australian conservationists are arguing that our brilliant bilbies are becoming endangered due to the ruthless rabbits.  Ever since they were introduced to Australia, rabbits have been destroying the natural habitats of bilbies, and therefore the push to remove the Easter Bunny from the foil wrap. Rabbits are pests, and they’re breeding like… well, rabbits.

But you want to know my opinion about the whole Bilby VS Rabbits thing?

I personally don’t see what all the fuss is about, at the moment chocolate confectionery is working in favour of the bilbies.  When you buy a chocolate Easter Bunny you’re essentially promoting violence towards rabbits, you’re eating the rabbit, head first most often.  Every year millions of people all over the world are slaughtering millions of chocolate rabbits by the mouthful.  If anything it shows that we respect the bilby more, enough not to turn it into an edible symbol.

“Rabbits, yeah, pests, let’s make edible versions that we can crush into pieces with our teeth.”

It gives the whole family, even the little ones, a chance to fight rabbits in their own homes.  I would have thought by NOT eating chocolate bilbies we would be promoting ‘anti-bilby violence’ (As in… “Less Violence Towards Bilbies”).  Turns out the real reason they’re pushing to sell chocolate bilbies though is that a portion of the money from the purchase goes towards helping bilbies. Naww.

In that case, I’ll be definitely helping you eat bilbies.  I’ll be helping bilbies, by eating bilbies.

That’s logical.

Well hope you had a great Easter, promoting violence against rabbits and eggs… I wonder how chickens feel about us making chocolate reproductions of their unborn children for consumption.

Hmmm… anyhow hope you enjoyed this weeks post! See you again next week!


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Future Vision

Despite the fact this post’s title is written in a way probably susceptible to having ‘meaning,’ it’s actually very literal.  Vision as in actual sight, it’s not to do with what I believe the future will be like, though since we’re on the topic I think it will be very, very tech filled.

I started thinking about this awhile ago, to do with the vision we have as kids and how it develops as we get older.  This idea was reimbursed with ‘juice’ last week on the bus ride home when I completely lost my peripheral vision.  It’s back now, I can see, but it was incredibly strange, I’ve never experienced anything like it before.  The ironic thing is that on this very day we’d actually had an inspirational blind guitarist come by our school as a guest speaker. His name is Lorin Nicholson, and he told us about how he’d overcome the challenges of being blind, but I’m straying slightly off topic.

Back to my vision, not my admissions, vision! Eyesight!  I was sitting on the bus when I noticed that my vision had turned funny, you know how normally when you look at a bright light the image gets implanted into your eyes? At first I thought it was just that, I’d looked out the window, turned away then was waiting for my vision to come back.  But it didn’t, and I soon noticed that it was different, when I looked at someone I couldn’t see their face clearly, imagine pouring streaks of PVA glue across your computer monitor.  These weird patches in my eyesight that were gone.

Within a few minutes it changed even more, quickly my peripheral vision on the left side of my face completely vanished.  It didn’t go black like when you close your eyes, it was strange, it was just blurry beyond recognition.  I held my hand at the side of my face and waved it around and I couldn’t see it, it was the weirdest thing, I have never experienced anything like it before… or have I?

This is where the talk about childhood that I briefly mentioned earlier comes into it. “to do with the vision we have as kids and how it develops as we get older”

How well do you remember your childhood? Because the reason it may feel magic, different, is because the way you once experienced this world, is different to the way you experience it now.  A teacher at my school said that we fully develop our peripheral vision at around the age of 7… though I haven’t been able to clarify this information online, the resources I came across told another story… Anyhow, vision is one way we perceive our world, our vision develops from the moment we’re born, followed by our peripheral vision, then we can see rough shapes.  We see the world in a different light, if our vision was different we would experience this entire world completely differently.

If you’re sitting in a dark gloomy blue-coloured room, it will directly affect your experience, your emotions, completely differently than if you were sitting in a bright warm coloured room.  In fact one of the reasons I warm up the scene in ‘Vlog my Blog’ is to make it feel more comfortable, to make it a more happy experience… though some could argue that isn’t working.

Well, I’m tired.

I think I’m going to have a nap. With my eyes closed…



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