Tag Archives: who?

A Slight Return

Once more I find myself (I often lose myself as well and in fact it’s quite easy to do but luckily I have family who know where to find me and a quick slap across the face with a cold flannel usually does the trick) apologising for my absence.

I was last active on here in the depths of winter – which this year proved to be quite mild compared to previous arctic periods (I didn’t even get the chance for a spot of snowman making mores the pity).

Since my last entry I have been jettisoned from the big ship NHS and currently find myself ‘resting’. Not that I’ve been too restful and can now happily report that since my redundancy date of 3rd April I have applied for 150 vacancies of various kinds, had four interviews and gained 0 employment. It is now 3 months since I last worked and though I could get to enjoy the relative freedom I do need to find a job soon (unless I find a suitcase full of cash or that lottery win finally comes in).

I still get up each day at 6:30, get my youngest ready for school and log on ready for another exciting day of searching. I do get a little annoyed at relative lack of responses; I think out of the 150 I’ve only had communications from about 6% of them.

What else can I report? Well I am getting a little tired of Jeremy Kyle and if I see another house auction I’ll probably implode. On the other hand the garden is looking a lot better than it would have if I’d been working; I even had chance with my good wife to build a new Meccano hut which was a challenge (I still have all my fingers but did gain a couple of scars).

I now hereby promise I will return soon to the good old blog, possibly before Christmas.

I thank you for your patience.

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Post Christmas Blues

It’s only Boxing day and already we have that coming down feeling. What is it about a single day in the year that gets so much build up and then… down we go? Anyway on the food side I have managed to be fairly controlled though I am sure my belt feels a little tighter! I got exactly what I asked for from Santa – but I’m not hard to buy for: books and CD’s, the simple tastes.

My wife used to complain every year that I always asked for the same things but I think she’s finally got used to the fact and it does make buying for me very easy. I still find it very hard to buy for her and thinking of new and imaginative things is hard. And on a small budget it is even more difficult. I did manage to get her a few things and she seemed happy with them.

What is the best present you have had? Was it imaginative or expensive? Quirky? A complete surprise or something you knew you’d be getting? I bought a dolphin for my wife one year – we didn’t have to accommodate it thank goodness (we didn’t and still don’t have a swimming pool) – it was one of those adoptive schemes where you get a pic and a letter from the beast. Yes I know dolphins are very intelligent but lack the digits for a pen or keyboard but I think you know what I mean. But for my wife it just wasn’t the same as actually having ‘Flipper’ there in the back yard chattering away and we couldn’t afford to go visit the lovely creature in its own natural environment.

Anyway I have a pile of books to read and a tonne of cd’s to listen to (another 4 Neil Young ones from the trillion he’s released in the 100 years he’s been around – I have a few more to collect).

Enjoy the rest of the holidays where ever you may be.

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The Human Machine

Has it ever occurred to you how much like machines we are?  In fact there is lot indicating that we are in fact biological machines with a built-in mechanism for shutting down.  We need fuel to keep going, need repairing when parts of us fail and even go rusty (well in the joints anyway).  Unfortunately we can’t be kept running forever and once you shut down there is no way of starting you back up again, even if you got a full restoration.

There are probably some really good Sci Fi stories out there about this and those of you with a Creationist belief will point to the creator of these ‘human’ machines (or animal machines as all creatures great and small share at least a large part of the same design; I’ll conveniently forget here about those that seem to exist for a very long time, micro-organisms like the corals etc. – there’s a good long list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_long-living_organisms – or Bruce Forsyth, Cliff Richard et al).

I believe in evolution and the wonderous process that has resulted in such marvelous biological designs but what if we were designed and built with a good self-replication mechanism?  Is there anything you think could have been designed better and why?  I know my wife didn’t suffer as much as some women do with pregnancy and child-bearing but is it really the best way to reproduce?  And what about the male reproductive tackle – does it have to be in such a sensitive and unprotected place?

We as humans naturally presume we are the pinnacle of evolution or God’s creation but what creatures have a better design do you think?

I’ll go for cats who as we all know actually own us (especially my cat Oliver who has me so very well-trained as I’ve discussed here before).  You could argue that they are still prone to cruelty from we ‘superior humans’ but even so if you’re ‘owned’ by a good human life can be pretty near perfect (pun intended).

I think the insect world could arguably be as good or superior to humanity especially ants etc. who live in well organised societies.  Yes they can still be wiped out by us humans but I think we only inflict damage not total destruction.  And given the number of people on this little blue planet it could also be argued that we are a ‘swarm’, similar to the locusts that sweep across landscapes the world over.  There is certainly a lot of evidence that we’ve changed the planet, sometimes to the detriment of other life forms far more than any other creature.

Right now I need to go tackle some ants in my garden.  There is a war going on and I think they may just be winning  but as long as I can stop them getting in the jam I’ll be happy (I don’t mind the pips but I draw a line at crunchy ant parts – I am a vegetarian after all).

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All Around the World!

Hi all just a quick one today!  I was looking at the stats WordPress supply and noticed that over the last year I’d had hits from all over the world, 30 countries in total!  That is an amazing thought that a few of my simple words can be seen and read anywhere in the world!  There are not an amazing number of people reading my prose just a large spread of relatively few people but none-the-less I’d have struggled massively before the world of the Internet and the blog to get anyone to read my meanderings let alone people as far afield as Malaysia, Canada and Australia!

Anyway as a little experiment if you read this can you just add a short comment to say ‘Hi’ and tell me where you’re from?

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Ambition

In my efforts to be more positive I was thinking the other day about what drives people and what the difference is between the also rans and the winners? And relating that to me personally.

Despite my singular lack of quantifiable success in my chosen arts of music and writing, for instance I have no published works as yet (other than a modified academic dissertation on the merits of blended learning – you can still find this if you look hard enough on the Internet – in fact I have just spent an hour searching and I can no longer find it..). But does that make me a failure?

I can point to several aspects of my character and events in my life that perhaps could give some clues as to why you don’t see me name plastered over bedroom walls or a hot topic on the entertainment news. For a start I’ve read countless accounts of how the successful person sacrificed a ‘normal’ life in the pursuit of success: no happy love life, no settling for the ‘easy’ life no friends… perhaps I wasn’t ruthless enough?

I did sack one of my drummers in my ‘band’ days – the guitarist was really good and told me he’d stay if we fired the drummer; I did and he didn’t. She was not the hottest drummer in the world and really just starting out. But we were not the new Beatles anyway and at that stage were struggling to get gigs at local retirement homes! She was very dedicated and I felt so bad I still have bad dreams about it to this day – where are you now Louie Moon (and yes that really was her name but unfortunately no relation to Keith)?

Dedication. That’s what it takes. Well I am dedicated and I’m still trying as I approach my mid-century. I’ve had to sacrifice a mad rush for a steady attack which probably means that even if I did have any musical talent I have probably missed the boat (it sailed without me and they’ve since built a tower block where the quay was – I’ve been trying to extract myself from the foundations but they make the cement pretty tough these days).

With my writing (as with my song writing) I sometimes get a kick and think ‘yes that’s pretty good somebody should like this I should be massive!’ but that only last about a minute or so then it’s back to the day job (and wondering if I should fix the toilet seat first, look at my petrol costs for the week and if I can afford a holiday to Blackpool or not this year or ask myself if I should really splash out on a new CD this week)?

So do the really successful people forget about the basics (leave the toilet seat broken and forget holidays to exotic locations)? I think there are many people, probably really talented ones who’ve done the sacrifice thing and ended up broken and with nothing; you only hear about the successful ones not those left begging on street corners or pushing an old shopping trolley babbling into their long crusty beards ‘I coulda been a contender… I coulda been a star..’.

I’m hoping I get discovered which really means having the ‘luck’; a much misunderstood word which does need a bit of talent (though from the number of ‘famous’ people these days who don’t seem to have a talent for anything other than being ‘famous’ I’m not too sure about that) and being in the right place (or slush pile my fellow writers) at the right time.

The stories of very successful writers who have submitted their now lauded work so many times they had a block booking with the post office, only for a secretary or cleaner to rescue their magnum opus from the bin (and then have a word with the boss) is heart warming (but probably very rare – perhaps there may be a little more chance of a dodo being discovered in London Zoo posing as a penguin?).

Of course there are many people out there fooling themselves that they are the next big thing and perhaps they are wasting their lives plugging away with the vain hope that somebody will recognise their undoubted talent? Am I one of those? Well the point is I wouldn’t know (I’m really half way on this – sometimes I do find myself dreaming but usually another voice pops up and verbally slaps me awake).

I think with a little more time I have enough talent to get published and even if I don’t I like writing. I expect to spend my life doing exactly what I’m doing now and I don’t expect to get anywhere but that won’t stop me. And you never know some cleaner may see my manuscript and not use it to mop up her spilt coffee. Chances are though I’ll stay a very exclusive artist. Thank you and good night you’ve been a lovely audience – now where did I put my trolley?

(You an also find some positive success stories relating to my work here: http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/icd/informspec/etd/tqicasestudies/northstaffs.pd – I’m still looking for my academic document…)

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Where Did the Time Go?

Firstly a profound apology – I once more find myself neglecting those who have supported me and followed me and helped me across the depths of cyberspace; I thought I’d post something up here only to notice that my last blog entry was November last year!  I did make a promise to be more proliferate (and I’d hoped the coffee would help get me back to that state of artistic enthusiasm I’d displayed before!).  But once again I let the real world – or at least the one that pays the bills and drives me to up the black coffee intake – push my artistic pursuits to one side.  And so I send you all my deepest apologies and I promise I will try.

Time does seem to slip like silky sand through my fingers, especially if I don’t keep an eye on things and all I wanted to achieve is left in a messy pile on the carpet (and it takes an age to vacuum it all up again).  So now I’m trying some positive thought to get me out of this ditch I fell into.  The sides looked far too steep to climb and for a while I was getting myself resigned to a life lived with the annoying pain of unfilled dreams.  The sides of the ditch seemed to be getting steeper and muddier and no matter how hard I tried to climb it just made my clothes damp and dirty and made me feel ever so tired and weary.

I’m not a religious person and I don’t believe in God (whichever God – and I know some of you do which is fine – I used to work for a Church based organisation of which there were several flavours of Christianity that some of my colleagues believed in so therefore in general religion was not discussed and therefore harmony was achieved).  I do believe in the power of people – it is within each of us a power for good and bad, an ability to create or destroy and that includes ourselves.  And so I started to try to believe in myself.

Now I’m not getting carried away, I’m not going to start thinking I’m the ‘new’ anything or any better than a million other people who write, sing, compose paint etc. but I am going to start believing that I have some talent, enough to continue and above all feel happy in it what I do.  Yes I’d love to have recognition which is where you wonderful people come in, a little bit of kindness and kind words go a long way.

In short I am trying to concentrate on the good things I have, to push those bad things to the back and not let their negative nagging get the better of me.  Well let’s see how it goes.

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Coffee!

You will have to excuse me as I seem to be suffering or is that experiencing a little bit if a legal high!  I have been a fairly conservative drinker of different beverages for all my life with the usual liking for regular coffee (with milk), strongish tea (with milk) plain drinking chocolate and the odd flavoured variety of instant chocolates.  I have had periods of abstention from caffeine based liquids (especially when in my teens when I was particularly taken by the a lovely young lady whose religion enforced a rule that meant, meant, refraining from taking any drugs including coffee and tea – my bubble was well and truly burst when I saw her in the pub with a pint glass in one hand and a large unfiltered cigarette in the other!).

Recently I have started to experiment a little with drinks as part of my diet, trying to find a drink that is both interesting and tasty and at the same time keeps my wondering mind away from calorific food!  Yes that does mean I end up spending more time in the little room (or very little room in my house – it’s so small we call it the ‘porta-loo’) but at least I’m not piling on the pounds by munching on cake and biscuits etc.).

Anyway I have just discovered espresso coffee!  I did try it a long time ago and it tasted like thick bitter tar so I kept to the mild stuff.  But I thought to myself why not give it another go so I bought some instant espresso whilst out shopping and quite simply I love and want more!  The jar doesn’t give any clues as to the dose needed so I’m gradually increasing the number of spoons full needed (I’m on three heaped ones so far).

I don’t think it’s effected me too much and I don’t seem to be babbling too much and I do feel VERY awake.  I think now I’ve tried the instant stuff I may be able to take the full strength ‘real’ stuff they provide in  cafes and I may actually start to take special trips to try it…

Now I want to explore more, I need to find just the right taste, just the right flavour, just the right hit!  I was saving for Christmas (sorry I used the ‘C’ word but I find I can’t resist it as the TV is now full of adverts which will soak us all in the spirit of good will and cheer and give us all a painted on smile by December 1st) but think I may have to use that money to buy more very strong coffee!  Can you help any advice as to which is best?

Just one other question I need you fine friends to answer; is it possible to get a place in rehab if I try to dry out?

Anyway I need another cup I’ve not had one in the last ten minutes and I think my fingers are quivering just a touch and I need a hit to steady my tattered nerves!  See you soon! 🙂

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