There I was staring at my friend Seans post on FaceBook. I  had made the long list for the Blog Awards!I felt a Katie Taylor moment coming on. I never win anything apart from that time in 1st class when I won a raffle. The prize was a card with the word Jesus printed on it in red, its plastic cover held in place at the edges by red nun embroidery or, actually, red embroidery done by nuns. Didn’t even have a feckin’ picture of the man on it. In retrospect I should have given up then and entered holy orders, after all I have most of the lifestyle down pat even if my habits are bad… 😉


But as I scrolled down the incredibly long, long list it came to me that everyone who had been nominated had made the list. It was not  a case that the nominees blogs had been perused and judged on merit. You could have conceivably have entered your cat and a keyboard. This is not to diss the good people at the Blog Awards at all, to whom I am grateful for all the work they have and will have to put in, no, it is just to say my understanding of long lists was different from theirs. The short list of course will be the thing.

The Katie Taylor moment could still have been mine of course if I had been nominated by someone other than myself but I had done as was suggested as a possibility on the site and nominated me and so put the kibosh on my moment in the sun.

I was annoyed at all the feelings and angst that rise up like decomposing body parts in a swamp every time I feel the need to push myself forward a little. Nominating myself was not unethical, it was an option so why am I bothered by this?

People can be divided into many categories but the main division for me is between the Whole and the Damaged whom I will rename, for no real reason, as the Organic and the Jerry-Built. Some of you will know what I am talking about immediately. Some will deny the division exists. The Organics can’t recognise the Jerry Built but the Jerry-Built,  like little match girls outside the wintry window, can see the Organics as they stuff their faces on the food of life.

All my life I have watched the Organics flash by me, flowing along regardless of talent or lack of it, secure and complete in their own right to be here. I am not talking here of people who hide their innermost fears, people who appear confident but who are, like myself, jelly inside. No I am talking of the truly confident, the ones who seem like a different species, the ones who were born with confidence.

The Organics will tell you that money or success or the recognition of their peers doesn’t  matter to them, not realising that it is only because it is always accessible to them that it is not important. Many of the Jerry-Built are constantly short of money and success and often look for outside reassurance because it did not grow inside.

Everyone has difficulties and set backs in life of course but the Organics fight the sorrows of life from the psychological equivalent of a shady balcony overlooking white beaches and turquoise sea with a mai tai in hand while the Jerry-Built do battle while hanging one-handed from a fraying rope over a pit of ravenous alligators, broken wooden sword swiping the fetid, glutinous air that the damaged breathe.

I went on expedition to Africa ten years ago and the majority of my companions were Organics. I didn’t realise it initially but after a while I felt like I was on holidays on Mars and they did not know what to make of me. Why couldn’t I just DO things?I was waaaay out of my comfort zone. I am glad in the end I did it and it does say something for homemade chutzpah that I ended up in that rarefied world in the first place but it had quite a large personal cost. It did however contribute something to the ongoing construction my Confidence Robot.

The Confidence Robot is your psychological avatar. It is what you make when you have lost the one you were born with, or maybe you weren’t even born with one.They are hammered out in the dark work shops of the twisty soul. A Jerry-Built person makes their Confidence Robot in the way a blind tailor might make a dress described to him by a neighbour who saw it ten years previously in the dark from very far away. With great difficulty. A homemade Confidence Robot will never look the same as the Confidence Robot of the Organics.

This for instance is the Confidence Robot of an Organic…



This is my one…




It can be a matter of degree, some peoples robots could just be missing a nut or bolt or two but that makes for less interesting drawings. I have noticed also, in the generation coming up behind there are more and more Organic or whole people. Maybe they are benefiting from the older generations increasing self-knowledge and wider access to psychological resources?

For me though, as I head into middle age my Confidence Robot has begun to take, like some bizarre soul graft. It will never seem quite natural but hell, I’m operational.

And so I  thump and stagger haltingly along, all uneven-tempered cantankerosity-yes it’s a word, I made it up-and general scowling, frightening everything away, back to the subject of the Blog Awards which had raised the spectre of the Jerry-Built versus the Organics in the first place. Really, I was irritated because of the need to push myself forward in the first place. It is not something that happens to the Organics who would never have felt the need to nominate themselves because it just doesn’t matter to them. They have it all already.

In the end my friend Sean, who’s Rusty Wire Service was also nominated, made me see sense when he said “…genuinely just delighted to see my little pony among the starters even if I fall at the first fence. ”

So my pony, or rather homemade robot donkey, is at the starting line and even if my Confidence Robot falls off it, well, I was there at the beginning.

And yes, I latterly found out, some else nominated me too, thank from the bottom of my cocoa tin heart. Score one for the Jerry-Built  😉

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