A Modern Neanderthal Walks Amongst Us

Neanderthal – a member of a group of archaic humans who emerged at least 200,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) and were replaced or assimilated by early modern human populations (Homo sapiens) between 35,000 and perhaps 24,000 years ago.


A primitive species and the first definition of the ubiquitous ‘caveman’ of our historical timeline. Neanderthal as an expression has come to refer to those of a slow and methodical nature with primitive educational levels. Is it fair to say there are modern neanderthals? Its not the most endearing of terms for anyone to be referred to as such although there are clear physical similarities to some modern humans and their neanderthal counterparts but it shouldn’t be assumed they are anything like their primitive ancestors.

“Ugh, what a neanderthal” Cindy watched with her friend as the captain of the local sports team sauntered past, it was almost like his knuckles dragged on the floor as he walked, as if modern man just hadn’t quite made it. “You know neanderthal DNA has been found in many peoples profiles, he probably is part neanderthal” Trinity giggled and dug Cindy in the ribs who started laughing just as hard “you are probably right” she collapsed into more fits of giggles. Being 17 was amusing but when you had a brain like Cindy’s it punished her for not using it, she had a need to constantly challenge herself to keep it satisfied, this was useful in some ways but it meant she ended up overthinking plenty of things she shouldn’t. Neanderthals hadn’t been high on her list of thinks to research that day but she did wonder how much of that statement was true, did they walk among us? It went on the list of things to look into when she got home, hopefully when she did a bit more research she would better understand the significance.

At home she thought about the origin of the derogatory term, she had heard her mother say it first so it must have been around for at least a few generations, searching the internet for clues, there was no real information, then she started learning about the progress in the genetics and she fell down a rabbit hole that landed her on a career path to the same subject. It fascinated her more than anything else she had looked into, she rinsed the library of books and read every paper she could online before starting her career in the sciences just a year later. It felt good to finally find her passion, she had been so lost at college until that point, now everything was clear.

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And The Holder Was Tickled Pink

To be tickled pink is to be delighted about something, excited and amused, it is a positive experience and there should be something in everyone’s that tickles them pink. Something that makes you so excited you just want to burst, when you see someone you like or go to your favourite place or hold something you love the anticipation will tickle you pink.

Grayson was tickled pink by this new app on his phone, it seemed to know exactly what he was thinking, everything he had to be positive about highlighted on an hourly basis, the oohs and awwws were starting to get to the people around him. Assuming they were just jealous because they didn’t have the app Grayson eagerly awaited the next thing to pop up on his app, the next picture wasn’t one he expected nor did he want it either, he hadn’t realised it was scrolling through his photo reel, it didn’t even seem to be picking them in a particular order he swiped into the menu and investigated how it worked, it was just a memory reel for your camera, nothing exciting or complicated.

Stopping for a minute he realised his brain had created the positive feelings coming from the app through the memories it associated with those pictures, he didn’t need an app to show gratitude he needed to give back to all those who helped pick him up when he was down. The friends and family that had stuck by were his rock and he wouldn’t have done it without their influence and help. All these people around him who were annoyed by him knew he didn’t need an app to see the good in his life, he just needed a good look in the mirror and to give a thought to the people closest to him. Picking up his phone he sent a message to everyone he knew to come to dinner that evening, he went to the kitchen and started preparing his feast, then he set the table rich with gifts for his guests, the little touches rivalled a Michelin starred restaurant.

Guests arrived and the evening was a success with love and positivity filling the room, lifting everyone to the same level, the food was designed to lower inhibitions and all those who would ordinarily clam up spoke freely, revelations and epiphanies were had that night with guests going home elated, issues melted away, their best life was yet to come.

It is Pronounced “Aitch” not “Haytch”

Pronunciation of letters or mispronunciation in this case is common H the letter cast aside through lazy speech, to some its more provoking than a misplaced apostrophe the “haytch” rips through them like a knife through butter. Some let it slide, because surely life is too short to spend getting annoyed by peoples ability to enunciate but some cant, I used to be one of those people who worried about these things but I have realised that there is no point, its not a murderous grammatical error so whats the worry?

Henry wanted to be called H, only problem was peoples unwillingness to pronounce it properly, so yes he was one of those who got agitated but it being his name he felt that was more of a reason than others who simply found it common and couldn’t abide by such things. Harry had tried various different ways of getting people to say his name properly he’d even changed it to Aitch but to no avail, people just didn’t get it, he wondered what the point in carrying on fighting or just to let it go but all he could think was that is not my name. Stuck between a rock and a hard place he tried to let it slide more often than not as the mental anguish he was experiencing was more than he felt the need to carry on with. Each day got easier and easier until it didn’t bother him at all, people were being ignorant but at least they were trying, he knew they didn’t learn it in school they must pick it up from youth club or somewhere similar. When Harry looked back over the times he had been agitated and upset by this mispronunciation thing he realised just how unnecessary it was to be so upset over something you cannot control and is really not in any way shape or form dangerous or life threatening in anyway so the best thing would be to find something that is worth worrying about and concentrate on that, it would be great if people called him H but maybe Harry was better in the interests of sanity. Hence forth he would be known as Henry because life was too short to shorten it.

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Why We Choose Stand on Ceremony

Ceremony doesn’t have to be standing in from of a crowd of people awaiting to be knighted or adorned in some way, we stand on ceremony when we present ourselves to anyone we meet, we wait to be judged on looks and attitude like its some kind of ritual and then we proceed with the interaction. Its an indoctrinated process which isn’t particularly healthy for your mental state, the pressure to show success is sometimes more than some can bare.

Tina knocked on her mothers front door, knowing the whole family were there she took a step back to brace herself from the onslaught, this time she had achievements to be proud of she didn’t care what they could pick at that might break her, it wouldn’t, life had tested her and she had shown she was strong and confident, her depression was well behind her, there had been times when things had started to get too much again but she knew how to handle it, life had ticked another test off its list. “Tina!” her mother smiled as she opened the door, looking over her shoulder “just you then again huh?” Tina smiled and walked through the door “yes Amira couldn’t make it she sends her apologies” as she passed her mother she noticed her niece near the kitchen door at the end of the hallway “hey Princess” and waved her niece ran up to her and threw her arms around her legs she packed quite a punch for a five year old. Tina scooped her up and hugged her “hey there, you ok little lady?” Lizzy buried her face in Tina’s shoulder indicating that she wasn’t “you want to talk about it?” Tina looked Lizzy in the eye, Lizzy shook her head “no” she said with her thumb in her mouth, “ok well when you do want to you know where I am don’t you?” Tina squeezed her niece tight she felt like she was her own child and treated her as such, her mother walked back down the hall way passed the both of them an eyebrow raised, Tina ignored it her mother couldn’t understand why Lizzy had bonded with her as well as she had but she wasn’t rising to it. Still carrying Lizzy she walked through into the kitchen, the rest of the family were in the conservatory she could hear a few different conversations going on most people. As she rounded the corner her brother looked over, the look on his face said it all, her sister-in-law’s voice drowned out everyone else in the room, it was a loud and obnoxious tone Tina tried to ignore it “Hey guys” she put Lizzy down who continued to cling to her leg, “Hi Tina” her sister-in-law turned to look at her from the sofa her brother waved from the other side of the room “how is everyone?” Tina was slightly confused normally there would have been a barrage of snide comments and abuse flying her way but there wasn’t this time there was a wave washing over the room and it wasn’t touching her, finally she was strong enough or they’d given up. Her mother made noise in the kitchen, possibly to distract from something but who knew because no one was talking now, even Greta her sister-in-law had stopped talking. “Hey bro you ok?” she walked over and sat down next to him, he dropped his eyes, “whats up?” Tina looked him in the eye “is something wrong?” she had a sinking feeling like something was really up Ben finally looked up “uhh yeah so mum doesnt want to talk about it but shes really sick, shes not hiding it well and she upset Lizzy by snapping at her just before you arrived”, that made sense thought Tina “oh no, that sucks, what do you need me to do?” Ben sighed “probably best to ask mum shes easily triggered at the moment” Tina’s heart sank “right ok, ill see what I can do” she headed back across to the kitchen “hey mum, hows you?” she smiled warmly at her mother who was standing with a confused frown on her face staring back at her.

To be continued.

Those Who Are Pure Of Heart

Once life gives you lemons you can start to really appreciate the purity of peoples hearts. They shine above everyone else, their positivity and optimism is infectious as everyone else starts to believe the same and work towards a common goal. Well at least that is what Rhona saw when she looked out over the call centre she currently managed. If you spoke to the team members the story would be a little different and there were ‘concerns’, the board needed to know what was going to happen, her positive attitude was apparent only to her, most people found her to be negative and unpleasant to unnecessary end. Rhona only saw her side which was natural, most people only saw their own side, perspective is rare, she hadn’t thought that people might see it a different way. The way she behaved was the way she was brought up, no excuse considering her intellect, she knew her attitude towards the team was not constructive, the job was money, she was perfectly capable of managing this team they just didnt want to be managed. A solution would be to wash hands and walk away, not good enough, remain and put everyone right, sounded much more like a plan she thought. The negativity she felt underneath all her forced positivity was starting to bubble up now, she really didn’t need that kind of stress in her life so she acknowledged it and reminded it who was in control, now was not the time she needed strength and light to guide these lost souls.

There was one in the team who had the purest of all hearts, her innocence was endearing to everyone, no matter the question you would answer even if it was the most benign drivel known to man, much like you would a child. She was not the youngest of the team but was by no means the oldest either, she had been the fittest and the healthiest of souls but she was struck by illness at a time when life was testing her, it turns out her soul was not as pure as she made out, she continued to pay for the mistakes she made some time ago when she danced with the devil one Sunday night. On the face of it she gave off an impression of purity which turns out to be what she asked the devil for, whatever the thought behind that Rhona didn’t know why she had asked for something so strange. Why ask to be made to look pure all the time, it comes from within, if you aren’t prepared to maintain it then you wont be either.

What do you think about these characters? At the moment thats all they have written but if you want to see more share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

Irredeemable By Whose Rules?

A coupon can be classed as irredeemable by the store in the terms and conditions, fair or not that is mostly how it works. To redeem oneself as an adult the rules are defined by the person who you wish to redeem yourself to, only they can technically class you as irredeemable in their eyes, this does not apply to everyone else and their thoughts, we were given the power of independent thought let us not throw it back in disrespect. The issue of perception is a tricky one because it is easily swayed for most by the media and external influences, it can make or break you when trying to claw back the reputation you once had.

Are you irredeemable? The reporters will eventually give up and find something else to take issue with so the heat will be gone in no time. The feeling of redemption sounded good, Sophie knew she would be riding this to the bitter end but she wasn’t sure she was up for the rough ride with the photographers, the electric fence was going to have to be turned back on, no she wasn’t a sadist, it was legal there was a warning sign every 5 meters around the perimeter of her house. Some had fallen foul of it before so were wary but most of them were new young bloods who hadn’t realised her history, word soon spread and they stopped trying to break onto the property some even tried to talk via the intercom, the security gates were locked for a reason and that was for her safety, there was no need for anyone to come round right now.

Sophie knew that some of the things she had done were most definitely irredeemable but truth be told she couldn’t do anything about it so she wasn’t going to worry about it. There were some that were redeemable and she had done her best to try with little effect, it seemed that the things depended on the persons emotions and feelings toward the situation, how much importance they placed on something, not something she had counted on she was going to have to try a different tack. Forgiveness was important to her knowing she would receive it when she had righted the wrong she had done to that person, it was the next piece in the puzzle of her life and she was ready to let it all fly. If it was irredeemable she had to find a away to sort it out, so she can make peace with the mistake she had made.

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You Know You Did It

The one at the back of the class, the ‘quiet’ one, mostly ignored but never marked down, because they were clever but they just sat silently observing the class. Some teachers struggle with students like this, you can’t really get them to talk in front of the whole class because they would simply freeze from the attention, what on earth can be done to help this? Caleb mulled the problem over with perspective, he had been one of those kids, mostly silent at school, was nearly lumped in with the goths by association from the teachers but he managed to maintain a certain amount of distance to them especially since the fake gun incident. In his class there were three that were a concern, their grades were great but their class participation level was pretty much zero, not an ideal situation the state required a certain amount to prove that they had at least learnt some social skills.

Caleb wrote a few notes on his pad and picked up his phone to call a colleague something made him stop and he slid the phone back onto the desk, taking a sip of his water he was sure he heard a noise in the office next door. The clock said 6pm so he turned off his computer grabbed his coat and headed out sliding his notebook into his jacket and his phone into his trouser pocket, maybe the trip to dinner would give him a different perspective. The metro was packed but Caleb felt like an island of calm surrounded by people, nothing could touch him today and he knew he would solve the participation problem, it just might not be right this second. Dinner was at his family home, the whole clan were going to be there and he was excited, it was hard because he had only just starting to be more assertive, he was used to being railroaded by the rest of the family, they were going to have a shock when he stood up to them. Life was ready to test Caleb and he was ready to be tested, bring it on he said and knocked on the front door.

Were you the quiet one? How would you want to be included? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

The Rotund Life – is it Really Grandiloquent?

Rotund can define a person as round or in one slightly cruel definition chubby, when referring to writing it denotes a well rounded powerful text which resonates with the reader. Researching its definition opened my eyes to a wealth of new words which I had yet to come across, for example grandiloquent a pompous style of writing used to attempt to impress people. Language has always been used to loosely define classes within society, the educated have a library of words used where as the lower social classes were stunted by basic education unless they had the desire to challenge their teachers and learn more, although they were usually labelled trouble makers, not to be encouraged.

Living a rotund life might not be a ‘chubby’ one but more like living life to the fullest, a rich and varied existence, people are referred to as rotund which is a sly insult at best. Living to impress people with words is a pointless exercise as the only people who really care about etymology is writers and of course etymologists, most people are not impressed with fancy words and postulating, it alienates those who don’t understand and insults those who do when you use them incorrectly. I love learning new words and often get caught up in learning to use them, there is a time and a place to learn to use an new word and most of the time its not the time you think it should be.

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5K in the Bank – Now What?

5K in the bank, now what? Ali wasn’t really sure what to do, the money had come out of nowhere, she tried to investigate its origin, she presumed someone wanted it back, after some time spent with the bank it was established it was now hers. There was no assurance that whoever sent it wouldn’t want it back and that did bother Ali, she knew it wasn’t hers, whoever had sent it had made it impossible to be traced even under data protection laws. She moved it into a virtual account in her banking app, either way she didn’t want it to get mixed up with her own money so it was best moved elsewhere, fortunately it hadn’t arrived in the joint account as that would have been an even more awkward conversation, she examined the transaction references again searching for any obvious clue as to who or how it happened. It felt a bit like she was back at the beginning again but she reassured herself this was more information than she had before so it could only help, her partner John had been at work all day and she had been left to get on with the situation, she looked at the time he should be due any moment.

Looking at their savings account she noticed that some of the figures there didn’t add up there either, she clicked on the more info button and closed her eyes, scenario after scenario ran through her head, the underlying theme was John leaving of course which was something she wasn’t prepared for. Peeping at the screen she saw there had been two movements one into each of their solo accounts, then more money was added several thousand, it looked like John had made all the transactions himself but she wasn’t 100% sure, it just seemed odd that they hadn’t found the origin of the money to be from their own savings account even the bank couldn’t work that one out. Dumbfounded she sat and stared at the screen for a moment, what the hell was going on?

It was now an hour past John’s usual return time, she was concerned especially given what happened with the money earlier, she hadn’t received a message from him, there had been radio silence since he left this morning to go to the office. Opening the email app on her phone she saw a new email arrive, it was from John, her heart jolted, she pressed on it knowing that she was probably not going to like what she saw but if that was the case then it was a new start for her and the kids they would move to another country if they had to so they could begin a better life although 5K wouldn’t get them that far she would make it work. The email looked like it was from John but she knew that wasn’t him, the writer had learnt to over use [sic] and John would never do such a thing, it was shameful really and sadly didn’t really explain where John was. Reading it back from the beginning there where some ramblings about another woman and another man which made no sense followed by a half baked attempt to run away from the problem.

It was all very disorganised and that was not John, Ali was sure of that, another arrived she opened it instantly, this time the email was cool, calm and collected much more like the John she knew, he had indeed gone away for a while, return date to be confirmed, was there anything she could do? She pressed send on the reply not really knowing if she would receive an answer or not, a moment later another email said “await instructions.” She put her phone down and made herself a drink, then sat back down and waited.

To be continued.

5 Reasons Why Grammar Rules

The book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss is an important reminder that grammar can kill without warning, the use of commas or lack of is something most of us are guilty of, i will hold my hand up and admit that im no better at times, I dont want to finish a sentence so I wuss out and use a comma to try and extend it. Here are five reasons why grammar saves lives.

  1. Grammar Nazis – should be treated with respect, a misplaced apostrophe on a shop sign can ruin their day and make your business look illiterate, because you can guarantee that if they have noticed it then someone else will as well, like people who drive their work vehicle like its a rental car, whose telling what kind of customer service you would be getting if you have that little respect for others safety whilst you are driving.
  2. Do you honestly want to eat your grandma? One of the funniest memes i’ve seen is the “lets eat grandma”, when what people actually mean is “lets eat, grandma,” the intonation is there in the sentence there is no excuse. If you are not sure read the sentence out loud.
  3. There is no need to sound sloppy, years of standardised education means we should all be at a similar base level introduced by the creation of grammar schools and then the continuation in comprehensive schools in the state system. Whether we like it or not the way we speak is judged by everyone – how do you want people to perceive?
  4. To quote Kathy Salaman, director of the south Cambridgeshire-based Good Grammar Company, told Cambridge News: “Dropping apostrophes is pandering to the lowest denominator and while eradicating them anywhere is dreadful, it is particularly bad to do it in Cambridge.” This was a reaction to the local authorities announcing they would be banning and removing apostrophes from street signs, personally I agree and for Cambridge to even consider it just shows how much standards have slipped.
  5. If you really cant cope there are websites you can use to help you, proof read what you have written and that includes sms messages or whatever kind of communication you use, no punctuation just means that its even less likely to make sense.

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