It’s not every day you run 5 miles in a record time. Then write 5,000 words, edit a business plan and meet up with an old friend whom you beat at chess in eleven moves. And still manage to cook dinner for twelve. And today wasn’t one of those days.

My oeuvre needs expanding.

I hate the way auto-connect ruins all my testes.

Flat (apartment) below me catches fire (& brimstone). Smoke, eye-watering smells, fire brigade, ambulance, police, mayhem. My smoke alarm doesn’t go off. Grilling a quorn peppered “steak”. Smoke alarm goes off. Explanations please…

PHOBIA OF THE DAY. The fear of invisible words:

Facebook wants to know what my position is at “Author”. Errr…writer?

I mind that my mind thinks it knows what I’m thinking.

I signed up to a website that promised to make me happier. After several boring emails, I unsubscribed. But they kept emailing me. So I emailed them to tell them they were making me unhappy. The rate of emails increased.

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#4,377 in Ben’s occasional series “Culinary Recommendation of the Day”: grind 4 nutmegs into 1/3rd pint of (fake) low fat double cream. Blend. Pour over freshly steamed Brussel sprouts. Eat. Smile.

2 hours in the gym, 475 calories burned. 2 minutes in Starbucks, 475 calories consumed (choc chip frappuccino). Well, my yoga teacher did say I needed to achieve balance in my life…

I NEED YOUR HELP!! Forget the presidential election. Brexit. David Bowie’s passing and global warming. My life has been ambushed by a far more sadistic, insidious and determined interloper. How do I deal with the frustration of an unopened pistachio?

I have men-flu. (It’s like man-flu but at least twice as bad).

What should today’s rhetorical question be?

Provisional title of my weight loss book: I’m Gonna Need a Smaller Parachute.

I’m informed that 45 of my Facebook friends have birthdays today. 4960/365 = 13.6. 3.3 times as many birthdays as the expected average? Anyone else notice the same thing? Or has Putin hacked Facebook and is playing with the numbers?

With 2016 drawing to a close, I’m naturally devastated to not be included in the New Years Honours List. Looks like I won’t be a Knight of the Realm. It being New Year’s, I shall drown my sorrows in the realm of the night.

Proud to see my cooking still fails the smoke alarm test.

(1) Estimate odds that utility company will screw things up. (2) Phone them to tell them they’ve mis-spelt my name and could they please send out a corrected bill. Make them repeat correct spelling. Twice. (3) Suppress astonishment that it will take 10 working days. (4) On thirteenth working day receive bill with name uncorrected. (5) Review (1) above and smile. There aren’t many dead certainties in life.

My phone suffers from phantom vibrate syndrome.

Following an unexpected explosion – a partial meltdown – a shock that made me jump – last night, my life was cast into darkness. Total, unrelenting darkness. Logic dictates that the eerie silence, the chill wind that accompanied it were coincidental; that the drop in temperature was a trick of body over mind. Alarmed observers might whisper, “Oh no, Ben – it could be a case of OW Syndrome (Open Window Syndrome)” …Time, I think, for a new lightbulb…

Tip of the Day: bored of that monotonous landline “bring-bring” ringtone? Looking for a constant ringing to make you feel wanted and keep the neighbours awake, even when no one is phoning you? Simply pour water down your phone socket.

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I TORE UP the gym this morning. Time for a brief recuperative horizontalisation.

White spirit removes oil-based paint from your hands but white rum doesn’t—although it’s both white and a spirit. Explanations on a postcard, please.

Today I failed to change the world. Some things never change.

Dear US Intelligence Services – you want to extract information from someone? Waterboarding is SO last year. Simply have the target wait ALL DAY (in a house with no furniture), for IKEA to deliver, who don’t bother to ring to explain why they are running hours late, and then have the screws not fit and throw in an incorrect diagram or two for fun! Maybe deliver the wrong thing and miss out something too – that’ll be really funny! Or deliver something damaged. The target will crack much sooner and you won’t have breached the Geneva Convention. Probably.

I am proud to announce I am launching a beginners’ class in IKEA YOGA. Enjoy the double benefit of contorting your body in unbelievable shapes while building furniture! First session free but bring unassembled MALM bedside table. After four weeks, move on to my ADVANCED class (HEMNES day bed) and experience palm haematoma and trigger irreversible wrist arthritis! Stay-calm breathing exercises and how to swear in Swedish available as optional extras in 50% of classes (depending on whether parts have been correctly drilled, drawings make sense, etc.). IMPORTANT: don’t miss your class! We start promptly some time between 10am and 4pm but I reserve the right to start at 7.30pm, without notice…and to blame it on the traffic. Inbox me for full details.

I AM BLESSED. To a very few people, it happens every several years. To others, every other year. To some, as regularly as once a year! But the heavens are treating me differently this year. I have been singled out. Chosen. And I don’t even know what I did to deserve it but…(drum roll please)…I have my third cold!

Forgot to add the garlic croutons to my salad 😦
But there’s a heatwave forecast for tomorrow 🙂
Life is indeed a minestrone :-/
Pass the parmesan cheese 😉

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Just completed my first yoga session in 20 years—the second in my life. Everything hurts. Even my hair.

I had a hell of a shock this afternoon – something flashed past me at 60,000 miles an hour. What could it be? A UFO? A meteor? Donald Trump’s hair? Then I realized it was the British summer.

I put a lot of effort into putting no effort into everything I do.

I am not impressed by my new memory foam shoe inserts. I still got lost walking home last night.

My new short story is finally beginning to take shape. A Truncatedicosahedron springs to mind.

Ben’s Triumph of the Day: as per the manufacturer’s instructions, to prevent my reliable clothes washer from ever leaking, I cleaned all of its filters, removed limescale, uncogged pipes and ducts, tightened this and checked that. Then ran it. And it leaked.

June 3rd! Summer! London! That can mean only one thing. Time to turn the heating on.

I applied for a job as a submarine commander. I didn’t get it. They said I’d be out of my depth.

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Tried to watch a demo video on recommended by Emma Watson but my flash plugin failed.

I need to find someone with the Surname “Best”, who lives abroad and owns a bookshop. When they sell a copy of my book, I’ll be able to write “International Bestseller” on the cover.

Only by diving deep…can you surface.

Impressive-sounding-word-of-the-day (to casually insert into a conversation with a literary agent or publisher): heterodiegetic. (Don’t worry – I’ve forgotten what it means and they won’t know either.)

Dear manufacturers of kitchen smoke alarms…that’s just the way I cook.

Wow! 629 people have added “Something in the Water” to their to-read lists. There must be something in the air…

The only affirmation you will need: I affirm that affirmations are good for you.

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I am technologically befuddled – I can’t add apps to my phone. Does this make me appathetic?

Tautology of the Day: I just don’t care that I am ambivalent about ambivalence because it just doesn’t matter.

People are only entitled to their opinions in direct proportion to their knowledge of the subject under discussion. This rule applies in all instances except when they are agreeing with me.

New Year’s Resolution Update: My fast is going slow.

Is it just me, or do crosswords make other people angry?

Homonym/heteronym sentence of the day: John recorded the fact that the band went on record stating they had booked a studio to record what they hoped would be a record-breaking record.

I landed on Planet Sensible, but lacking gravity, I bounced right off.

Something in the Water is beginning to make waves.

If you can’t do it in slow motion, you can’t do it at full speed. And that means you can’t teach it.

Marine Joke of the Day: What did the starfish say to the depressed seahorse? “You’re a neigh-sayer.”

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I have written the 1st word of my new short story. It took all morning but I think I nailed it! Here it is (subject to structural and copy editing): “Daniel?”

So THAT’S why people have been giving me strange looks all day: I had my shirt on inside out. Suppose that’s what mirrors are for.

There are none so deaf as those who will not see. There are none so blind as those who will not listen. There are none so charitable as those who think this means something.

Today is set to be the hottest day of the year in the UK. Depends on your definition of “hot”.

Faraday paradox: Diluted nitric acid will corrode steel, while concentrated nitric acid doesn’t.

Our family get-togethers are more clamourations (American: clamorations) than murmurations.

I have used the definitive article 5,209 times in my new novel. I have a gnawing intuition this is three times too many.

Close family is a relative term.

Okay – time for levitation practice. I’ll be back down in a couple of hours, thermal uplifts permitting.

More than half our planet’s covered by water more than two miles deep.

Cool French word of the day: époustouflant (meaning: breathtaking/amazing/surprising)

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My healthy diet means that for seven days I can only eat sloe berries. Looks like it’ll be a sloe-fast week.

Cooking tofu with a use by date of 2012. It will be interesting to see how this compares with the 2009 and 2004 I had last week.

I’ve taken up swimming. I’d forgotten how wet water is.

I have discovered the secret to eternal life. Don’t die.

Homo “sapiens” is a misnomer.  Homo “pestifer mundi” (thanks to Google Translate) fits a lot better.

Sunday? SUNday? I want my money back.

Knowing the appalling etymology of “right” whales helps right a great wrong.

I’m impressed by people who help others, not by people who help themselves.

Without valleys, there would be no mountains.

I want to buy a submarine. If you have one for sale, please contact me by sonar.

Never book a judge by his lover.

I am having second thoughts about reincarnation.

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Am I more or less than a reflection of my reflection?

Benstar Ling is a homonymous pseudonym of my orthonym.

Writing great non-fiction and fiction are like building a perfect Steinway and mastering Rachmaninoff’s Second on it. Few can do both.

I have a problem with problems.

Human Nature Observation of the Day: my most re-tweeted tweet = “I bet no one retweets this.”

When describing your love life, type carefully. “Deprived” and “depraved” share all but one letter.

Every second without you is a wasted hour.

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I bought two yoga mats today – because I am doubly serious about getting in shape.

Do benthic holothurians make good pets?

My (home made) salad dressing smells of fish and tastes of chocolate. Paul Newman, watch out…!

New Year’s Resolution Update: on day two of fast. So why am I thinking so slow?

A true nihilist cannot believe in nihilism.

Tis a lonely existence a writer being, of other people I do little seeing.

Top Tip: if someone tells you your prose reads badly, explain it’s an unformatted contemporary poem.

I am launching “Chocaholics Anonymous” – if you want to join, please don’t contact me.

When I realised it’s impossible to be all things to all people, I decided to be nothing to no one.

I have narrowed down the ID of the spider under my carpet to two species: it’s either a false widow, or a false false widow.

I literally use ‘literally’ too literally.

Nothing is more certain than uncertainty.

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Just wondering: if the object of a preposition takes the accusative, does the subject of a proposition take the defensitive?

I cut so many corners that I end up going round in circles.

Everything happens for a reason. And sometimes things happen for the reason that there’s no reason at all.

I received a bronze meddle for my speling test today!

The more you think you have, the more you have to think. The more you know you think, the less you think you know.

Runny nose, streaming, itchy eyes. As I don’t do hay fever, it can only be recalcitrant plebny. Or am I Mad?

I don’t do hay fever & fortunately I know I’m not paranoid, but this morning I was chased down the street by a swarm of malevolent pollen. And it was whispering something about coming to get me.

Bumble bee the size of a golf cart in my bedroom – fortunately I was able to open the window and achieve a successful (& unharmed) escape. Problem was, I left my house keys inside.

AUTOMATED MESSAGE: sorry – I am currently OUT OF THE OFFICE having a nap. I will be unable to reply to your email until approximately 4pm (or 4.02, if my nap includes an erotic dream, which, given my age, is unlikely). I hope you understand. If it’s urgent, please feel free to phone me (but I have to warn you, I have switched my phone off).

Putting my socks on, noticed they both had holes in them. Time for new socks, I thought. Then I realized that’s so you can put them on.

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Sometimes the only way out, is in.

Note to self = food cooks faster when you turn the oven on.

Sand is just time’s way of reminding rock who’s boss…

To understand you would be to understand myself.

His fingers kneaded her shoulders. Her shoulders needed his fingers. Meanwhile, he needed dough while she kneaded dough.

My editor asked me how many copies of the new book I expected to sell. After thinking carefully, I answered, “50 million.”
“Wow,” she said “No harm being ambitious, I suppose.”
“Ambitious?” I asked. “I was trying to be modest.”

Did you hear about the peer of the realm who lost his yacht in the realm of the pier? Neither did I.

After thirty years, I feel I have mastered two tennis shots. The double fault and the unforced error.

Don’t knock your failing memory: sometimes it helps to forget what it is you’ve forgotten.

When typing the word ‘banal’, it’s as well to confirm the ‘b’ key is working.

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Does using twitter make me a twit or a tweeter?

[                      ] <<< (NEW Norton e-secure invisible screen ink for safer message encryption. Double click space to read message)

Did you hear about the jumbo jet that lost its trunk?

“… and it is important you remember this: life is but death’s dreamtime.”

My computer told me to close the window as internet explorer had stopped working, so I did. Now my computer’s working again and the rain isn’t coming in.

I smile because YOU smile. It’s as simple as that.

My French onion soup tastes AMAZING! (problem is, I was trying to cook banana bread).

It would be easy to say my memory is getting worse but I can’t remember what it was like ten years ago.

Top tip: never sneeze when brushing your teeth.

Tis better to have love and lust than to never have lust at all.

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I can’t wait till I’m old enough to try 69.

Mr Darwin, the random mutation of ears has moved in the opposite direction with the ease with which one can apply sunblock to them, which is important for health reasons. Please explain.

I think that my mind has a mind of its own.

Never argue with someone who’s just given up sugar…

Day Two of my uber-health kick begins. PROGRESS REPORT: Yesterday all targets reached including three push-ups.

Today’s coffee choice: slow blended double coffee mocha almond milk with steamed soy extract Frappuccino topped with goat’s snot sprinkles…

Oh – I was meant to heat my baguette in the oven for 10-12 mins. That explains it!

Petronius’s Paradox: there’s always an exception to the rule, except to the exception of this rule.

Faraday paradox: Diluted nitric acid will corrode steel, while concentrated nitric acid doesn’t.

The intelligent know that there are more important things than intelligence.

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What did that pigeon eat?

What matters is what emerges from the debris.

On the web at large, about 61.5 percent of traffic is estimated to be, as one security firm put it, “non-human.”

If my enemy’s enemy is my friend, why isn’t my friend’s friend my enemy?

After humans, the orca is considered to be the most wide-ranging mammal.

House Rule 21(g): Whatever I say or don’t say may or may not be precisely what I intended.

Never interrupt me when I’m silent.

The more you think the less you feel.

Silence speaks with many voices.

Our family get-togethers are more clamourations (American: clamorations) than murmurations.

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Homo economicus = apex predator


coincidence <> coincinicity <> synchronicity

Your heart proves beauty isn’t just skin deep.

My day so far: abducted by aliens, won the lottery, CameronDiaz called with a ‘yes’ & I met an honest politician.

The ocean has its own language. The sky shares its with the land.

The tree that grew through the house’s floorboards knew something the last owners forgot.

Assumption is error’s secret weapon.

I watched the moon tonight, until a memory, disguised as a weeping cloud, drifted across its face.

You can explain everything with analogy. Except analogy.

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Have you noticed how the tropical surf burbles and shuffs with your heartbeat?

If evolutionary biology evolves into something else, does that prove or disprove evolutionary biology?

Conspiracy theories are a conspiracy.

I must learn to use adverbs sparingly.

Two living as one beats one living as two.

In summer the wind uses a different voice.

I like to think of love as soul glue…

Love is hate’s penicillin.

I have read 1,000 books but I prefer reading your mind.

Those who know won’t talk and those who talk, won’t know.

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Paradise isn’t where you are – it’s who you’re with.

What do you call someone with stiff arms? Noelle Bows.

What is papaya without lime?

I like the me I become around you.

Don’t look. See.

The hero’s journey starts where others end.

The concept of gravity is weighing heavily on my mind.

May your August be as august as your May.

If someone tells you that you are being judgemental, they are being judgemental.

The concept of Darwinian Evolution is intelligently designed.


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