Sunday, 22 June 2014

A little wandering does you good....

Sunday June 22nd. 2014. 20:35

Determined to make something of the summer sun, (now that it is officially summer) I have been out for a good ole walk today along to the top of the harbour, by Port Solent.

There I say, and ate some lunch, and read my kindle. Basking in the sunshine, and nearly dozing off like some old codger.

It's been a daughter free weekend, ever since we agreed that she would only see me once every other week I've been at a loss to make decent use of the extra me time that's given me. Me time is always something I've struggled to do something useful with. Normally, I'd either spend it in front of the Television, laptop or asleep.

The last time it happened, it was actually unplanned. My darling daughter decided that as I had pointed out to her that the following weekend was not only my birthday weekend but also Fathers' day that it wasn't worth coming up the weekend before. (Just too much effort I guess). I think the phrase she actually used to casually dismiss me by text message on the morning she was meant to come up was 'I want to come up, but... I'm coming up next week... so don't see why I should'. Made me feel great that one.

Don't worry Chloe, I want to get you an iphone for your birthday, but I don't see why I should.

Anyhow. That weekend, I'd commented on facebook about being stood up by my daughter and one of my friends Kat then got in contact and asked if I would join her and some other friends (people we both know from where I work) as they were going down Southsea. My usual crippling 'can't say yes to going out and enjoying yourself' reared its ugly head, but I made a point of stamping my feet and overriding the inner 'no' monster.

I went out with Kat, and Mark and Katie, and we also met up with another person we all know from work, Gabi. We had a great time, playing crazy golf (when I say playing.. I mean.. losing), and well, walking up and down the beach, enjoying the sunshine.. counting how many people form work we could spot. The others also went of fair ground rides. I stood and watched the bags, and read while they looked like they were enjoying themselves. I am sure that had I taken part as well they wouldn't have enjoyed quite so much me vomiting over them or losing control of other bodily functions.

Fairground rides are a no-go area for me. Dodgem cars are about my limit. We had a nice afternoon, and rounded the day off at Katie's flat, at which we stated till late evening.

I seem a bit old to be 'hanging out' with friends and going down the funfair, but I don't care. We all had a great time.

I have quietly skipped my birthday, which was last Friday. It was really good, went to the pub with some friends from work, and ended up at mine, after stopping to Tesco for some pizza. I seem to be a lot more social than I ever used to be before. I think I might actually crack this going out and having fun lark by the time I retire, or can't walk.

Still I hear these mobility scooters are really good these days.

Anyway. This weekend, I got up late on Saturday, which meant I broke my promise to go and help Lee move out of the room he was staying in. Thankfully he wasn't depending on only me to help him. Bad person that I am. Sucky friend.

I went for a nice walk yesterday into Hilsea Lines, and onto a park at the back of Anchorage Park. There I sat for a couple of hours, taking in the rays of the sun, and... well reading and having something to eat.

In the evening I was doing some overtime, manning the lines to help inform people that have a powercut. Six hours that doesn't really feel like work, because it's so different from what I normally do.

Then today, I shamefully got up around ten thirty.. and bummed around before deciding enough was enough. After putting out a first run of washing, putting the next lot in the machine, I grabbed my bag and headed off into the sun. Coming home about seven o'clock means I'm sitting here after vacuuming the flat, and washing the kitchen and ensuite floors in my camping chair enjoying a wind-down ice cold vodka.

Hardly rock and roll, but it's still better than sitting indoors all frigging weekend watching TV or playing Second Life, or endlessly looking for something interesting to read on either Facebook, BBC News, The Independant or The Guardian. (At least you can see I get my non newsworthy non-facts from a variety of sources).

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Something...... NOTHING

Wednesday June 4th. 23:56.

Just over a week until my birthday, and the world is not really seeming to recognise the fact in any way shape or form. There's no celebration or comment planned. No big event upon which a succession of world leaders will find themselves forced to make increasingly implausible statements.

Who am I kidding ? World leaders ? It's not like I died or something.

Not yet anyway, you never know I guess.

After all, that is the other side to the congratulations you receive from people,  'Happy Birthday !!' they say. Well, the alternative to me getting another year older is that I stop breathing and die, so if you don't mind, I wasn't hanging out for your congratulations. I was just trying not to be dead yet.

Here's the thing. Since my last entry I have done a grand total of zero writing, editing or indeed creating of any medium. (if you exclude this blog entry of course). The most exciting thing I've done all week has been to write about thirteen letters to customers at work, and play a little with the spreadsheet the team uses to look at their performance.

I made colourful graphs.

You've heard of death by powerpoint ? Well, this is crucifixion by excel.

It would seem that my daughter having cunningly miscalculated the timing of both my birthday and Father's day may not even be seeing me that weekend. I have to say that I struggle to adapt to this change in the frequency of our visits. As much as it may appear to be a gift that I get a whole other day each weekend to do things as I please, I'm not really happy with the price I am paying, or enjoying them that much.

More (free) time does not actually translate into more pleasure. It is not exactly as if I am doing something useful with that extra time. Normally just fucking around on facebook, or wasting time on Secondlife.

Not that it's been a really concious decision lately, but I have found that I'm not tempted to descend into the pixelated fantasy during the week. I'm usually just so frigging tired and worn out from the day at work that the last thing I want to do is switch on a computer or to read something where I'm having to do some thing.

I am quite happy to turn on the idiot box, and to sit there with my brain dribbling out my ear holes. Too many reasons not to do anything, too many distractions. Too easy to find something else I can do.

Work at the moment is, I would say, something that I tolerate. It isn't something I feel really great about, or good with. It's just something I have to do to get money to afford to live. There's a clock ticking at the back of my head that tells me it is only a matter of time before I hate it, and resent it. I feel like it's killing my soul, getting in the way of my life and sapping me of any energy to enjoy things. It's not part of the solution, it is the fucking problem.

I would suspect in that respect I am not in any way shape or form alone. There's always someone worse of than you are. I have plenty to be thankful for. I have my health, it's not as if I am struggling to make ends meet.

In other 'news', the supposed release of a new iPhone on June 2nd was a washout. There was a multitude of announcements from Apple on their WWDC (Worldwide Developer's Conference), about system enhancements and updates to software, but nothing as exciting as a new device for the Apple fans to get frothing at the mouth over.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

I can fix... my Chromebook

Wednesday 28th May 2014. 23:49

Today, I received delivery of the replacement screen for my chromebook that I ordered of ebay. That's rather swift delivery, bearing in mind I only ordered it Monday (I think).

So, £29.03, free postage and a 'how to' film on youtube and I now have a fully functional Chromebook again.

I did try installing Ubuntu onto it, so that I could get Celtx to work with it, and be able to use it when I don't have an internet connection (Celtx provide an in browser service call Celtx Edge, but of course this doesn't work when you don't have an internet connection).

I managed to install Ubuntu fine enough, it was just that I couldn't seem to get Celtx to install and load. I gave up in the end.

It may be that the Celtx isn't compatible with the version of Celtx I downloaded and installed (after following another 'how to' video on youtube), or it may be that there's something else I was doing wrong. Either way, I abandoned that idea. It's not like I'm away from an internet connection that often.

Celtx, the awesome script and novel writing tool.
I'm just creating other procrastinations, reasons to not write.

During my messing around, I did discover that the Novel writing part of Celtx now works on Celtx Edge. I don't think it did before.

Anyway. Helen came up last night. She was originally due to come up during the day, and we were going to meet in Cosham and have some food at a pub. Helen works from home as a travel agent, and this means that sometimes she can get delayed dealing with a client's booking.

Not like I'm in a position to criticise anyone else for working odd hours, or staying later than they have to.
UKIP at the local council and European elections, and how the other parties are fairing. What we both like, dislike and are frightened by in the recent turn of events.

When we weren't saying how worried we are by the fact that a lot of people seem to have voted for a party that they know nothing about, or have any understanding of their policies, and how this has historical links that do not bode well for society.

This got us making a jokey comparison about the whole in Europe / out of Europe debate, and how there is a stark irony about the Scottish Independence vote (due September this year), - wanting to leave one union in order to agree to rejoin another. In our normal way, we couldn't stay too serious too long.

We started to explore the idea of what would happen if Portsmouth decided to have a referendum on independence, on leaving the United Kingdom.

We ended up thrashing out some plot points, and a whole manifesto of policies of the party that would supposedly push for this.

The scarily funny thing seemed to be how plausible despite being completely ridiculous the whole concept and the policies were. Perhaps there'll be more on that later.

I'm sure I'll also want to put my two pence worth in about the rise of UKIP. Suffice to say so far, that I decided that I would do something about representing the kind of Britain I believe in by joining a political party. This is the first time I've ever done this, but do feel that I am naturally drawn to the common sense sort of policies of the Liberal Democrats. As is typical of me, I want the best of both worlds, left and right, because I do feel that we can't have a fair society if we do not have a strong economy, but that there is no point having a strong economy if our society isn't fair.

I do believe in people's strong responsibilities for the wider community and themselves, and society as a whole, and how they are the best at deciding and designing their life and their destiny. Personal freedom, and responsibility, duty go hand in hand. I also feel that unless we design our society to include and engage people, they won't be involved in politics.

Help those that need help, make decisions based on fact rather than with idealogical motivation. A society of tolerance, and freedoms - where there are more roads to travel than walls to keep people in - that's what I want.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Monday May 26th. 23:43.

Ever since I did my back  in, way back in March, I've slept in Chloe's room, knowing the bed is higher and has a softer mattress.

Because I'm off work most of this week, I have decided to try and move back into my own bedroom.

I want to move things around in my room, but I'll do that tomorrow. Gone are the days where I get the sudden impulse at half past eleven at night to redesign the layout in my room.

Moving on.

There's two different things that are building to climactic release, in public media. With seductive teasing taking part, there is much speculation going on.

Not making sense ?

Well, okay. The two highly anticipated events that I refer to are, the release of Apple's next generation iPhone (supposedly the iPhone 6) and the arrival of the new season of Dr Who.

Now there's two differing, or perhaps converging timescales in evidence here. The BBC released a teaser for the new season of Dr Who (Season 8) this week, in which they reveal that the series, complete with new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, will return in August.

The trailer is really the height of disappointment I think. It's fifteen seconds long, and a lot of that is the introduction and fade out sequence. There are no words. Just and image of the Doctor standing, silhouetted against and image of the Tardis' control room. To be honest, it's more of a teaser, of a proper teaser we're bound to see later on. It could quite easily have been knocked together from existing footage by a skilled and talented fan.

I can't help feeling that this is just the opening salvo in a campaign  increasingly wetting the appetite. It's only just begun.

Another campaign of appetite wetting, is the recent upsurge in TV advertising for Apple's current generation of iPhone (the 5c or 5s). They normally hit us with loads of advertising about how great their existing products are, encouraging those few people that haven't already, to go out and buy this technological marvel. This marvel that's so good, you just want it, need it. Crave it.

This encouragement, and reminding how amazing the current product is, normally precedes the release of a new product. New shiny amazing, magical technological marvel.

There are all sorts of rumours as to when it will be that Apple make the 'Iphone 6' announcement. It appears from the many websites on the subject, that the big day could be sometime between June 2nd and September.

There are lots of ideas, and even mocked up photos of what differing people THINK this new little wonder will incorporate. As ever, the nerds and the technowhores are getting rather wet over the idea. Me, I'm thinking that if the iPhone 6 comes out, then the iPhone 5s will get cheaper.

Right now, they're all just guessing. Will it have a curved screen ? Will it have a larger screen, or possibly come in two sizes ? Will it wash your dishes, tie your shoelaces and pick a girl or boyfriend for you ?

Here's a selection of some of the mockup pictures that have been uploaded.  The curved screen is an interesting suggestion,  a design style adopted by two other manufacturers of late. Personally I really like the rather retro looking iMac G3 look.

I have tempted by the adverts being shown lately, and have even popped into a Three store to have a try on one.

If I was going to weak enough, I would have to upgrade early. This would cost me £400 to buy out of my contract early. The alternatives to this are that I either buy a second hand phone on ebay, or that I just take out a new contract, and allow my existing one to run out.

My beloved teenage daughter has her fifteenth birthday in a couple of months. Fifteen !!! Eeeeek !! This means that her phone is due to upgrade soon. In fact this is due at the end of this month. She seems to think that I should get her an iPhone.

Yeah, right, like that's going to happen. Bearing in mind what happened to her last phone, as she's currently using my old phone (HTC Wildfire S). This was after I had already repaired the screen on her phone once, she broke it again. Teenagers eh ?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Funday Sunday

Sunday May 18th 22:00.

After a lazy, sit at computer, slouch half watching television kind of Saturday, today I've had a much more enjoyable day.

Despite the lingering fear and resentment about having to go to work tomorrow. It's been a great day.

I went to Steve's to do some filming for 'The Adventures of Stephen Brown'. It's the first time in about a month or two that I've been in any filming. Although I always nearly talk myself out of going, or get wound up about leaving the flat, I feel that it's worth while. I get to act again, and to spend some time with people.

After the filming was done, I played my quarter final match in the Beacon Pool tournament. This is the first time I have every gotten this far in the competition. I enter for fun every year, not expecting to do very well at all. Mostly I am not surprised or disappointed. I didn't win, however I had fun.

As it was a glorious day, and we'd spent five hours in a very, very, very hot studio, we played the pool match in the open air, in the sunshine. It was rather lovely.

It being early enough that I didn't have to rush off home, Steve and I then went to the Village Inn to grab a drink or two and to get some food.

And some food we did get. Having been salivating for the last hour about a beef  burger, we both decided to make the best of a roast dinner that someone else has to cook, and we don't have to clear up after. It was gorgeous. Mixed roast, beef and half a chicken. Very nice in deed.

We also did some planning for the final episode of 'The Adventures of Stephen Brown'. Spoilers kids. Spoilers.

A good Sunday indeed. Just to balance all the niceness, the cats left me two piles of sick to return to.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Time flies, and in a couple of hours, so will I

Gorgeous roast beef baguette with fried onions and gravy
I had thought that the early pickup of my return transfer was going to give me far too much time at the airport.

Too much time has turned into enough time to enjoy the most delicious roast beef baguette I have ever tasted. Melt in the mouth gorgeousness cut from the joint in front of me by a very capable and very hard working guy behind the counter. I was tempted to go for the Jersey beef burger and chips, but when I saw how big the burgers were and how many chips the guy was serving I thought there's no way I can down that along with the preflight jitters. 

As it is the weather doesn't look so rosey right now, and a couple of flights into the island have been delayed by the weather. 

How is it that the facilities in Jersey's airport departure terminal are better by far than the ones in Southampton (which I flew out from) ? 

It's worth coming here just to turn round and go back out to get at the lovely food available here. 

Making use of the free wifi while I wait. 

As with the other holiday posts, I will attach pictures when I get back home. (done 18:09 09/05/14)

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Last night in Jersey

Tomorrow is my last day in Jersey. I'm flying back to the UK tomorrow evening. Today was a very energetic day. 

One of the first things I'm going to do when I get back to my flat, after I put the kettle on, is to weigh myself. If I haven't lost weight this week I will not just be surprised I'll be fucking furious. Be warned. 

Today I decided to make the most of my last full day on the island and go on one of my 'I'm not lost, I'm exploring' ventures. This basically means heading off in one direction, either by foot or on by bike and seeing where the road takes me.  

Now in the uk, where I have access to free maps courtesy of GPS (as long as I have phone signal), it's not really possible to get truly lost. Here, well it is. It's not a dire panic because the locals speak English, but none the less there was a point this afternoon where I did stop a couple of times and get out the fee tourist map, to check reference points or clues. It doesn't have road names except for major roads, but my map reading skills are helpful. 

If I actually look at the map at the beginning it may have helped. When I started I negotiated the impossibly complicated one way systems of St Helier into the countryside.  You know, that's the place with all the green stuff, and animals. Without direction, by mid to late morning I was starting to think, 'ok, is there anything to see while I'm out this way'. Figuring that if I get back to the hotel and realise I was mere yards from some fanatstic attraction or sight that I would kick myself rather harshly. I kept seeing these signs for a wildlife park. That's nice. I thought. That sounds like it's worth a look. 

Every road I went down I was thinking there'd be some sign as to how far away this park was. But no. None of the signs gave any indication of how far away it was. At one point I rode about half a mile down one road, which I thought the sign had directed me down, only to give up and turn back when I realised I wasn't getting anywhere near close to this elusive bloody park. Did the thing even exist ? 

Eventually I did find it. I must have done a circuit right round the damn place. I'm sure if I look up on google earth I will discover that the park was 'just round the next corner' on that road I'd turned found on. 

I'd taken not one, not two, but three bottles of drink. I needed them. 

Anyway despite my moaning about getting there the park was more of a zoo, and well worth the trek, or maybe even getting a bus. After having cycled miles upon miles, I walked round filling up the memory card on my camera with lots of pictures. 

Zoos are funny places, it's always interesting to see different animals, but when you see the bored sorrowful faces of the Gorillas I feel ashamed and wrong, and wonder what's going through their minds, watching all these humans gawping, taking pictures. 

The human children playing in the play park didn't seem to be began in any differently to the other primates. 

I stopped for some lovely lunch at the wildlife park. Some beef pad Thai. When I'd spent a good couple of hours there, I decided it was time to head back in the direction of St Helier. Thankfully, leaving the park there were a couple of signs for cycle paths. A quick check, and double check of my map to figure out which one to take, and I was off in the right direction. 

As I cycled through ever remoter countryside I began to doubt this decision, and look for reassurance I was indeed on the right track. I'm male enough to not ask someone else for help, although there were moments that it got quite close, it's just that for most of the time I didn't see another soul. This got me to thinking, how much time before the sun goes down ? If anything happens to me, will anyone ever find me ? Panic wasn't setting in, but I was starting to wonder if I'd gone the right way. 

As it happened I passed the edge of a reservoir, checked my map, and found that not only was I in the right track, but that I was much closer to civilisation than I thought. The way back a much more direct route. 

The thought occurs to me that things only got stressful when I was trying to get somewhere, or started to sorry about the time being taken. Before all that I was rather content. Before I was trying to find the wildlife park I was exploring. Once I started trying to find it, I went from being exploring to lost. 

After a couple hours rest in the hotel (and returning the bike) I headed out again, on foot. Heading East. I'd headed West to St Aubin and Corbiere a couple of days before, so figured East was the way to go. Again there's something liberating about walking somewhere without an agenda, a place to be, by a certain time. 

Although I have to check out by ten tomorrow, the flight isn't until the evening, so I'll be able to leave my bag here until I'm picked up and taken to the airport. I think I may just get a bus somewhere tomorrow, see some other parts of the island. Maybe. See how it goes. 

It's a bitter sweet thing, leaving. I don't want to go back to 'real life', but I do miss home. I will be sad to leave Jersey though. Coming away has shown me who's easy it is to do, so there's nothing stopping me from going somewhere else. 

I guess I should down my drink and head off to start my packing. 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

I'm leaving .... on a jet plane.....

May 4th 2014. 00:21

I write this from my hotel room in Jersey. I'm up at this ungodly hour, because my sleep pattern is all out of whack.

I got up five A.M. today, to make sure that I had everything ready before I had to leave to get the train to the airport.

As it was, I'd rather allowed myself too much time. But better to be there and waiting, than arrive with too little time and be rushing around. As it was, at the time I arrived there was hardly anyone else there, and the bemused staff were very helpful although the ones in security check in don't seem to find it necessary to bring their smiles with them, or to explain things to sad, disoriented people who haven't flown for about twenty years.

Risking only a danish pastry as breakfast in the cafe, I awaited the plane, which arrived well enough, but we were delayed boarding, and left Southampton ten minutes late.

I was glad that I hadn't plumped for a full English breakfast, as the plane, a double propeller thing did kind of lurch about a bit, and the turns around take off and landing are a bit hair raising.

There was barely time to get comfortable, let a lone travel from one end of the plane to the other with the duty free trolley before it was time to get ready to land again.

Airports are funny places, everyone is really uber focused on making sure they don't miss their flight or paying attention to this announcement or that. Airports are just like train stations, where the method of transport evolved wings instead of wheels. (I know they didn't evolve. I know planes have wheels).

Dropped off at the hotel in a rather fancy looking car that was waiting for me at the airport. The hotel offered to look after my rucksack until the room was ready for checkin. This was a great thing, as I wasn't fancying lumbering around the streets of Jersey with a (just under) ten kilo bag on my back.

And wander I did. I think, over the space of about three hours I probably walked about three or four miles. Took in some sights, found a lovely beach or two, took lots of photos of some nice buildings (trying to be all artsy), stumbled across a boat show, which had a young teenage boy singing on his own on stage, just him and his guitar. He was rather good actually. Took in the opportunity to grab some food, and had a look round a Royal Navy ship that was docked for the occasion.

I came back to the hotel, checked in, and flaked in my room for a bit, watching a film about the early life of Winston Churchill. It was rather fascinating. I had a brief nap at some point, and this, along with the similar one I grabbed after coming back from a similar walk in the afternoon is why I'm not exactly ready to drop to sleep just yet.

It's been a great first day. Even with me being rather scared on the plane. I don't think I did too bad, considering I normally won't go on the kiddie rides they put outside the shops at Christmas for fear of being sick. Dodgems are normally about my limit. I think I can only tolerate them because I'm the one in control of the vehicle. With the plane, I most definitely wasn't. It was disconcerting to see and feel it moving about so much at times.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fountain of delay.

May 1st 2014 12:10 Thursday.

I have a thing for fountain pens. I like to write with them, really can't stand writing with a ballpoint pen. This isn't any form of snobbery, I just prefer the feeling of writing this way. It usually draws comment from others, 'oh my god ! I haven't seen one of them since I was at school !' being the standard response.

There's the other thing that as the nib wears to write in the shape used by whomever uses the pen, I really do have to keep guard to prevent other people using any of my fountain pens - I have had to replace pens before where the nib has been ruined by someone else using it, and for me that's annoying. My pen is a very personal thing. There aren't that many times in the twenty-first century where we write things down on paper anymore. When I do, I love the tactile feel, the response, the feedback, the connection that a fountain pen provides to the written word, and to the paper itself. My writing also looks (to me) much better with a fountain pen than with a biro or other ballpoint.

It does make my written words stand out, and be different from other scribbles. It honestly isn't vanity. I just like it.

With all this in mind, I was looking at buying a new fountain pen at the beginning of April, I had looked at Ryman (from whom I had purchased pens before, and I had brought my desk), but had googled the pen I was considering buying from them, and discovered that I could save about 50% by purchasing the very same pen from another company online. That company was Nigel O'Hara.

A couple of days after placing my order, I received an email stating that they were awaiting a delivery from supplier, and that they would update me as soon as this progressed, and the item was passed to Royal Mail for delivery.

I have since had another email to let me know that they still don't have my pen, and will contact me later to advise when on its way.

Now, the first email I can accept, or understand. Sometimes, no matter how good you are at keeping inventory as a retailer, you can run out of stock. No one has a crystal ball. I can appreciate this.

However any company of any good should know when they are expecting the replacement order, or would have some fundamental reason why there is such a delay without timescale. IE. The factory was destroyed by fire / flooded etc.
Confirmation of Order April 1st. 

update April 6th
update April 12th

Response to complaint, May 1st. 

I have sent them a request for update, via their online support system from their website. I asked that if they cannot deliver the item within seven days, that I want them to cancel the order and refund any monies paid.

They promptly replied, saying that they were sorry for the delay and were working hard to minimise delays as the pen had been ordered in especially for me.

It's a standard fountain pen ! I haven't asked them to personalise it in any way. It's not made of gold, or crafted from the spittle of cuban maidens. It's a bloody fountain pen.
wonderful, but not my experience.

Some internet searching seems to show that customer frustration with excessive lead times for orders is not a new thing for this company. Despite their protestations on their site of their favoured seller status with various online retailers... I think the customer responses have it.

I am glad that my purchase was less than £20, had I actually spend hundreds of pounds on a watch or item of jewellery, for a special occasion I would be a lot more upset about this than I am now.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Itchy feet

April 28th 2014. 01:15.

Awake. Alert. At home.

After my overtime shift, walking home in the peaceful clear midnight streets, I'm hardly tired, either mentally or physically.

It's been the first time in a couple of months that I've been and done some overtime. Always really easy to get back in the swing of it, and nice to be there to help and advise people.

What shall I do with the time that I've booked off so suddenly ? I'm thinking of going away. I'll have to speak to my parents, to see if they can look after the cats, but I really want to get away. Even if not for the whole time, even if I don't go very far.

I just need to be somewhere else. Not because I'm running, not because I'm hiding, but because it's a big planet and I've only seen a very, very, very small part of it.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Not so lazy Sunday after all

Sunday April 27th 2014 11:28

Chloe stayed overnight, it's nearly half past eleven and she's still not up. Not that I can criticise that much, I only raised myself from my pit about 10am.

Yesterday, amongst the many things that I did, I finally took 'writer' up on their offer to use their 'pro' version of online writing software. (Writer from big hugelabs )

This means that I can back it up on other cloud devices, and it also means that I can use it where no internet connection is present. This can be handy with my Chromebook when out and about. The internet isn't always present.

Clutter free no nonsense writing. Writer

Trying the Pro version for $5 a month (what's that about £3 ?) with no commitment is an easy way of figuring out if this is something I think is worth it. There's a life time version that costs $119, which will be worth it if I used the added features. It'd take just under two years for that to become cheaper than the monthly version (there's also a yearly subscription). Time will see. I have used the free version considerably. It was my software of choice when doing NaNoWriMo.

I suddenly discovered the other day at work that instead of having just under a week of holiday to use up by the end of May, I have just under three weeks !!!!

Slight panic as I try to find a way to get all that holiday in, before the end of the month, and in a month with two bank holidays in. Oooops.

The other slight panic of the day, was checking my calendar and finding out that I had signed up for a shift in the out of hours call centre for tonight. Again. Ooops.

Nice overtime, but really, after having what feels like a short weekend, interrupted by my teenage daughter, and being considerably shorter than last weekend..... Just makes me a bit grumpy. Not me, being grumpy. That never happens. Well, okay, maybe on occasion.

It seems then that my plans for the weekend of doing absolutely nothing, and then complaining about not doing anything have been disrupted on an epic scale.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Don't know what you've got till it's gone (or at least you can't have it).

Sunday April 13th 12:35.

It's a glorious sunny day. Despite other glorious sunny days already visiting upon us so far this year, this one leave me more inclined to go out and do something purely because I can't.

I can't because I'm on standby, so that means I need to be thirty minutes travelling time away from being able to get to the emergency call centre.

Luckily, this is only a fifteen minute walk away from where I live, however it does still limit my choices of activities today.

Having my daughter stay with me all week, despite being at work, and on standby has been another thing that has made this week different to the others. Now that she is staying untill next Tuesday, (and I come off standby 8am Monday morning) it will be a period where I have had to change my normal routines.

There's nothing exciting about it. But it is more.. well, normal than normal. Usually I either have her to stay with me when I'm on holiday, if for a few days, or if it's an overnight stay at a weekend, I'm not working.

This is the first time she's had to deal with me being out at work, and coming home tired etc, and vice versa. Her being a teenager means this isn't so much a problem. She probably relishes the fact that there's no one here to boss her about all day, or to nag her because she's spent the entire day watching some crazy download series on my Macbook.

t does mean that I've pretty much not seen my Macbook for a week. I am missing it, I get to see it, but getting to actually spend any time on it. No. I am relegated to the Chromebook. When Chloe's friend came up to stay over Friday night, I didn't even get that.

Not that I mind the Chromebook. But again, I'm yearning the things that I can't suddenly do, or use. Is that just rather childish ?

But I can't go on Second Life.

So, while my daughter is out with my parents for a bit, and grabbing some more things from home, I'm sitting here in the sunshine, soaking up the ultraviolet radiation. I've been up since about 8:30am. But now that Chloe's out, I don't feel the burning need to race upstairs and grab my Macbook back and cram in some Second Life time or some film editing before she returns.


Don't know what you've got till it's gone eh ?

I also am certain that when I return home on Tuesday, I shall notice how quiet the flat is, how clean it will stay, how things will be where I put them. How much more like a house, and less like a home it will be.

Some people are just never happy are they ?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Fence ? What bloody Fence ?

Tuesday April 1st 2014.

Day off today, and after staying out until past eleven pm last night, I didn't actually get out of bed until about ten am today. This means that I've pretty much wasted another day off. Another day off when the sun was out, it wasn't windy, it wasn't raining.

I could have done so much. But achieved so little. I decided not to clean the flat, mainly because it's only really the kitchen that needs cleaning and the vacuuming of the carpets required. I didn't want to risk aggravating my back. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

Knowing that I was off work today, and wanting to celebrate actually getting to the end of another difficult day, I went to the pub after work. Went to the pub and stayed there for about five hours.

I feel myself less tolerating of some of the excuses some of my friends give themselves for the things that go wrong with their lives, or the scrapes, in or out of work that they get themselves into. I like to be supportive and to provide a shoulder to cry on, but there comes a point when I run out of empathy or sympathy for people that don't learn from their own fucking mistakes.

I get tired I guess from hearing the same old thing, and that some people in particular want someone other than themselves to be at fault, and someone other than themselves to take responsibility for fixing things.

Rant over ?


Not quite.

A lot of my evening in the pub was spent giving my less than sage advice to relatively new friend. For the sake of anonymity I'll call him Dave. Dave is someone that I met for the first time a few weeks ago, during another well lubricated evening at the pub that moved on from the pub to someone's house. This was all innocent enough, and all that happened there, and was intended to happen there was some drunken story telling and experience sharing.  It seems that a little while after this, he has been painted for some reason with alternative motives in mind by a friend of one of the persons also at that night's events.

Personally being forever misunderstood and making a hobby off misreading the 'signs' I don't know that I'm the guy to turn to in such situations. But to me he did turn, and I did my best to try and help advise in the situation. Sometimes it's better than to be thought a bastard, than to try and correct this erroneous slur, and get yourself instead deeper and deeper into a situation that it is much, much better to avoid. Like. The. Plague.

If you find yourself at the bottom of a hole, stop digging ? That too.

Once we had moved on from this topic, he then proceeded to declare that it was his mission to get me 'introduced' to the gay scene. His motivation was entirely kind, and brought from his experiences and memories of a dearly loved friend who sadly passed away, but that had introduced him to the lady that is now his wife.

Trying to explain to someone, in a pub, that you not only really don't like 'gay scene' pubs, you don't really like 'straight scene' pubs, or clubs or anything, because they're generally places with lots of people in them, and that's not something I like, is difficult. I am not offended by his offer, or insistence. I am just uncomfortable with being cajoled into things.

I decide, I put my foot down, and I won't, I won't, I won't, I won't. I tell you. I won't.

Oh go on then.

There's also the part of me that realises that I won't get any different experiences or 'outcomes' in my life if I don't do anything other than the things I have always done. Change won't come from repetition of the same old things.

Whilst getting carried away, he offered to take me to London's Soho and to be my 'wing man'. Now, I'm sure there's a perfectly good book or screenplay in here somewhere, but as a person that's much happier sitting and reading a book than going out and getting wasted, or making a fool of themselves in front of people they've never met before, I don't know if this appeals.

Better to make a fool of yourself in front of people you're never going to meet again than the ones you'll have to sit across from in the office on Monday, I guess.

Whilst luxuriating in my bath this evening, I returned to that topic that has plagued me pretty much all of my life since I was about thirteen. That of other people's expectations of me, and my expectations of myself in relations to others. My sexuality.

When I was in my early teens, I realised that I didn't seem to think or feel about things in the same way any of my class mates at school seemed to. It was fair to say I was a late developer, and was still playing with Lego when I went to senior school (though just not in class any more). In fact, to think of it, given the chance, I'd still play with it today. Gone off topic ? Much.

Anyway. There were people, some friends, and one teacher in particular that were convinced that I was gay, and were rather interested in defining me as such. On the other hand, I had people like my family, mostly my parents, and some of my friends, and later work colleagues that were more interested in 'just getting me to have a bit of skirt' and see the error of my ways.

Aside from all the deeply hurtful and destructive things that my Mother and I said to each other throughout my teenage years, about my sexuality, none of it helped. None of it gave me the space to figure out easily what I wanted, and needed to make me happy. I spent an awful lot of years, trying to answer their question 'which is he, gay or straight'. When in reality, I had actually answered it succinctly in my stumbling coming out to my parents when I was sixteen. 'Hey mum, I think I'm bi-sexual'. Now my Dad (who I'd spoken to moments before, having talked to him when we took the dog for a walk) was very quiet about the whole thing, other than pretty much to convey to me that he wasn't really surprised. His reaction was sadly massively over looked by my Mum bursting into tears and saying unhelpful things like 'how can you possibly know what you want' or 'you're the most un-gay person I know'.

The Age Of Consent. by Bronski Beat
Most of my teenage years were spent dealing with the anger and hate that this situation generated. Me desperately trying to find a way to express myself, and  be myself, and my Mum telling me 'not to tell my grand parents, because it would hurt them' or asking if I really needed to be so 'obvious'. Ironic really considering that I was the most 'ungay' person she'd ever met. The pink triangle badges and blaring out of Bronksi Beat's 'Age Of Consent' LP didn't allow me to go unnoticed. (remember, this was back in the days of 'Clause 28', and the age of consent for gay men in the UK was 21)

This was the late 1980s and thankfully today is a very different world. However I have to correct my daughter, for using the 'that's so gay' as a derogatory term. Things are better. Just last week, same sex marriage became legal in England. Not something I ever thought would happen in my lifetime.

Progress is made, in deed.

But it is still those early teenage experiences, and my resulting marriage (to a woman), settling down, becoming a parent that has almost left me wondering if my parents know that I haven't just 'changed my mind'. We never speak of it. We never speak of anything to do with it. It's not an avoided or taboo subject of conversation, but I feel selfish for bringing it up.

The first time around, I was indeed selfish. I was a teenager. It was pretty much my job to be selfish, loud, uncompromising and to write a lot in my diary, including some truly awful poetry and to play really loud music.

It's just that, I don't know where I fit. I've had so many people telling me over the years that I was neither one thing nor the other, and that I was really what they wanted, or expected, and that I should fit into their neat little stereotype or impression of me, that it's kind of overwhelming.

I was twenty-one when I first slept with a woman, the woman that I would later marry and have a wonderful daughter with. It was also at the same time that a light-bulb came on in my head, when I came to the realisation that it didn't really matter whether I liked men or women, it was for other people to try and put labels on things. I was quite happy skirting 'the' question.

It was only after I got divorced that it came up again. Through the depression and stress of the divorce, my eventually leaving the place I had worked at for seventeen years. I still came back to the same point, the same thing in my head.

That I didn't really feel like I belonged in any society, gay or straight. I never really figured out, if this was because I was just unsociable or if I just felt slighted by both, and had a chip on my shoulder, so shunned them.

I guess, just wishing for the fairytale (excuse the pun) that it shouldn't matter what 'sort' of pub it is, that if I go in there, and there's someone that I really like the look of, and really want to spend some time with, and want perhaps to get intimate with, it isn't a problem for that to happen. No matter what pub. That's just a fantasy isn't it ? Is it ? Maybe I just read too much into these things.

I just find that because of, despite all the progress there being a need for a gay pub, or club, that I consider that a false environment. Because by it's nature, to me, it doesn't feel like somewhere you go to in order to just have a chat. It becomes a pickup joint, a meat market. (again forgive the pun). Now this may entirely be my prejudice, bearing in mind that in my life, I have been into such bars three times. The most recent, on a birthday, I think my thirty-eighth. I had a great time then.

Maybe, I'm the one that doesn't really believe in being gay and being happy ? Maybe I'm the one that's homophobic ?

Maybe there's a part of that. All those messages still in my head, trying to program a response.

To be honest, I am rubbish at relationships regardless of the gender of the partner. I am equally rubbish at spotting that someone likes me, or doesn't like me, if I like them. I'm crap at it. I think a blind man would do better at interpreting body language than I do.

I've never really learned to throw caution to the wind and say 'oh fuck it, I'm gonna go with the flow tonight, and see where the night takes me'.

My sensible mind always stops me. what is that bit that really holds me back, stops me committing ? The insecurities, both mine, and those given to me (what a nice gift) by others played on this, questioned whether this meant I really am, or do. Because I don't do that much 'doing'.

Do straight people, when growing up, have to wait till they've had sex to declare they are straight ? Of course they don't.

But why is there this expectation, that I feel, that I should be this or that, I should be doing this, or wanting to go to this club because I'm Bi, and I should be up for that. Always ? Is that really true, or is that my over-sensitivity to the issue.

It's funny, because in relationships with either gender, I get different things out of them. I perform a different function in the role. Now in a relationship with a woman, that's easy, because society has so 'kindly' given us (when I say given, I mean forced upon us) all these rules about what a guy does and what a girl does. Thankfully some of the most absurd stuff about gender politics is evaporating.

It is only recently, on TV and in films, that we start to see positive same sex role models. I find intimate (I don't mean bedroom intimate, I mean close quarters) interactions with other human beings, difficult.

Somewhere, there's probably a psychotherapist screaming at a screen, or scribbling down some sort of diagnosis, or name for what I am, but that's the point.

Do I really want other people to give me my definitions ?

Do other guys seriously wonder how different their lives would have been, had they been a girl ?

The trouble with asking SOOOO many questions, is there gets a point, that without answering any, your head just spins and spins and spins.

Society likes to put people in little boxes, to give us labels. It's how groups are able to distinguish and expel those that they don't understand, or that don't belong.

I've always felt I don't belong. I've always felt that there's things that other people seem to find easy, that I find really hard. I also find that I see things that other people don't see.

The universe is a much more connected and beautiful place than a lot of people, sadly ever take the time to sit and realise.

If you can't find the beauty in everything, then you can't find the beauty in anything.

So, 'are you this way, or that way, or are you on the fence ?'

Fence ? There's no bloody fence, you can freely walk from one garden into the other garden. No fence, no gate.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Just another manic Monday...

Monday 24th February 2014. 23:14.

Third, or is it forth, week started with the 'new' team. Not so really new anymore I guess.

I am working harder, and up and down a lot more. But I am loving it. Anything is so much easier when the people I help are a lot easier to help. Something about the eagerness, and willingness to learn.

It's just nice knowing that I can really make a difference to their day, just be being there, and by imparting knowledge and showing them how many things ARE possible, when initially they might think they aren't.

I had Chloe to stay overnight at the weekend, and she brought one of her friends, Ella for a sleepover. Having worked till 2pm on Saturday, and them arriving at 5pm, and leaving around the same time Sunday, I didn't really get that much of a weekend. Although I'm trying hard to make that not sound like I'm complaining.

I consider it a nice thing, that Chloe wants to invite friends to stay over here. The mess and chaos however isn't really from Chloe's friends though. It's normally from Chloe. Perhaps her Mother has either stronger levels of tolerance or thinly veiled insanity to be able to cope with that. Being a teenager, I guess it's pretty much Chloe's job to bring chaos, disorder and destruction to wherever she goes. At least I don't really have to deal with the moody sulking stamping of feet and slamming of doors that punctuated my teenage years.

Tomorrow is the last filming day of 'Prime Directive'. I can't quite believe it. Seems to have dragged on for so long, and just well, become part of my life that I think once it's gone I will actually miss it. Just the pain of making sure that I leave work on time in order to get a train home, eat, change, feed the cats, and to catch another train up to Steve's. I find that quite stressful in itself.

The bemoaning whilst it's in progress, and then missing once it's all over is vaguely similar to how it used to feel producing a play.

My friend Kat is leaving the place we both work at. She's got another job somewhere else. This is rather sad, as I don't really want to see her leave, but I do also understand and believe that maybe she will feel better if working in a different place. She'll get a chance to do something different. Not everyone is cut out to do the same thing, or work in the same place. It would be a terribly boring world if that were the case. She's also going on holiday in a couple of weeks time, which means she effectively leaves in two weeks.

In a week's time, I'm having a second go at meeting up with Helen for lunch, and to do some filming with my friends. Hopefully this will go ahead. Bearing in mind that last week's attempt at this failed because Helen ended up needing to stay at home doing some work, and the only people that could turn up were Andy and Paul. We abandoned the filming, and just ordered pizza.

Just for the sake of saying it, I haven't done any writing lately. Too much working, too much gazing at the telly. Words may lead to actions, but they are not actions in themselves.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Two In The Bush

January 11th 23:15 Saturday.

Today I went out for a meal with my family, to celebrate my Dad's birthday which is tomorrow. Earlier in the day I had gone out with him to take his computer to Novatech to upgrade the memory.

His computer was beginning to struggle a bit, Windows being the memory hog that it is, as well as all the other crap that your PC loads up these days. To be fair, he has had it years, and he is still running Windows Vista, and until today only had 1 gig of RAM. I've gotten this upgraded to 4 gig for him, I did offer to get the hard drive done at the same time, but he said there was plenty of space left on it.

He did say that he was getting annoyed with the wireless keyboard that he has as it keeps running out of battery power just at the wrong moments and he has to change the batteries. With this in mind we also picked up a new keyboard and mouse.

Felt quite the role reversal, me taking his computer to be worked on, and getting his (combined Christmas and birthday) present. Although he was good, I didn't suggest that because of this he can have an ice cream.

With the arrangements for the meal out today being made the day before, I had asked my daughter if she would want to come up early so that she could come, and she had agreed to do so. This was a pleasant surprise. After all, hanging round with friends is the thing that most fourteen year olds want to do the most, for her to change her plans to come out with us is just really nice. We had a good time.

We went to the 'Bird In The Hand' in Lovedean. The food was bloody amazing. Lots of it (although to be fair was not cheap) - it was worth the money though.  You really did feel that you got what you paid for.

Everyone enjoyed their meal too. Even Chloe, who at times can be a fussy eater, although she has gotten better in the last couple of years. I think going round her friends, or going out with them has given her a chance to explore different foods that she may not otherwise have tried.

I know it sounds mushy, but I am really proud of my daughter. She's going through that horrible teenage stuff, all the pain and stress of school as well as growing up, and she's still a reasonably well rounded and sensible person. Sure she has her moments, but I know I can count on her to do the right things when it really counts.

I have some overtime tomorrow, to bolster the post Christmas paypacket. I also need to get my arse in gear learning lines of Prime Directive, the second act of which we start filming next week. Eeek.

Learnt my lines ? Don't be ridiculous.

Show me the vodka

January 11th. 00:45. Saturday.

Getting to be a habit that I end up writing an entry in the early hours, when I should be getting some sleep. Also getting to be a habit that I leave work late due to something happening.

To be honest, if stuff is just 'happening' then it means that I'm not managing it properly. Little victories today in some of the conversations I have had with people. Getting them to see that when we have meetings together, it's not helping anyone to sit there going on about all the things that we think are shit, or anger us. Just depresses other people and doesn't make anyone feel any better what so ever.

Little victory with one of the people that I struggle to get engagement out of. Just struggles to take on board things that I've shown them or things that they need to do. This sometimes causes friction, and with someone that doest a very good job of coming across like they are fighting what you are doing or saying this very quickly gets very hard in deed. Some people can be so good at presenting the aura of 'leave me the fuck alone', or 'I don't want help' that people actually stop trying to help them. Fortunately, or unfortunately I don't give up on them. No matter how hard this can be, for both of us.

They may be too stubborn to accept or ask for help. I'm too stubborn to let them struggle along without it.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Sleep ? Who needs sleep ?

Friday January 10th 2014. 00:24.

Can't get used to this sleeping lark. My body is tired in the morning, my mind wide awake at night. If only it were possible to rest them in turn, at different times.

Perhaps I could take to watching soap operas. After all, I would then be able to rest both my body and my mind.

I worked a late night at work on Wednesday night. I ended up actually getting to leave the building about twenty to nine in the evening. Despite the slight frustration at being kept back so late, I did actually rather enjoy the walk to the bus station (and back home after getting off the bus) in the crisp, damp, winter air. The stars were out. It was just nice to get some fresh air.

The other thing that worked out rather well was that leaving that late, but not late enough to miss the bus that I needed to catch home. I actually only waited at the bus stop for about three minutes before the bus turned up.

The light alarm that my Mum and Dad bought me for Christmas has meant that I've gotten up much more on time each morning. It would be wrong for me to say that this means I am leaping out of bed every morning with a zest for everything that the new day brings.

Talking of which, I need to get some sleep. I really do. Damn you awake mind.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Hurry up, it's nearly here.....

Thursday January 9th 2014. 00:23

Funny how we spend the latter few months of any year, eagerly counting down toward December 25th. All that build up, all that stress, all that shopping. All that wrapping.

With all that lead up, you eagerly wait in anticipation to see the smiles on the faces of your loved ones when you give them the gifts that you really hope they will love.

And within the space of less than an hour, the unwrapping is done.

With all the muscling through the supermarket to fill your cupboards, fridge and freezer with enough food to feed every person in your extended family. Completely lost is the realisation that if every one in the family is spending all this money in case the related hordes descend on them, surely the whole family can't go round everyone's house ? If we're all round someone else's house eating all their food, I'm not at home eating mine.

In any event, no amount of sweating over exactly how to cook the perfect Christmas Turkey, or discovering the latest new and entirely secret way to roast potatoes (a secret that the whole country is party to I might add) even though roasting potatoes is something most of us do every Sunday without a second's thought. It's all over and done.

Stomaches are full to bursting. Wallets are empty. And still it is all over. So we then start looking forward to the inevitable slide into the New Year.

Excitedly recanting the events of the year gone by, and daring to suggest or guess at the new opportunities the next 365 days will bring. THIS year will be different, we tell ourselves.

Resolutely we commit to changes that we can barely remember, let along keep to a week later.

Now, a week into the New Year itself what are we doing ? (well, okay, I mean what am I doing). I'm counting down, wishing the time flies past until my next pay day.

That date, now two weeks away feels a long way away in deed.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Where the wind blows

January 6th 21:52. Monday.

Is it really Monday ? Only Monday ?

Can't it be, well. Thursday or something ? Friday ?

No ?

Oh well.

Like a good Englishman, I'm going to talk about the weather. It's been raining and howling with wind for about two weeks now. The storms that brought disruption, damage, flooding and power loss to thousands of homes before Christmas don't really seem to be abating.

The storms in the United States of America have had wind chill temperatures drop to -50 degrees. It's like the film 'The Day After Tomorrow'. Apparently it's been the windiest December since the 60s and the wettest since the 50s.

Yeah, and global warming is a myth.

Something interesting to say ? Don't be ridiculous.

Sunday January 5th 2014. 23:56

I am resisting the temptation to commit to, or hint at any New Year resolutions this year. If memory serves - and it doesn't really need to serve, I can just look back on blog entries for the last two or three years - making such commitments has failed in the past. I also note that not making those commitments has failed in the past.


So hard to know what to do. I know. How about, not using some arbitrary date in the calendar to prompt me to change something in my life that I've put up with or been too lazy about for the last x number of days/weeks/months/years/decades.

I am really getting to old to play all these silly psychological games with myself, and I suspect that anyone (I am sorry if you are) reading this will be bored to tears to read about yet another person promising themselves, and the world (because the world really gives a rats arse about what I do or don't do) that they are going to eat less / exercise more / be more creative / get out more.

My great plan for 2014 ? I plan to be more spontaneous. There. Ruined it already, but planning it, I'm no longer spontaneous. Shit.

While one part of my head folds in on itself in what can only be described as an angry though paradox, the rest of me will just sit here typing random stuff until it either makes sense or stops pouring out of my head via my wrinkly hands.

Wrinkly ? No. I'm not THAt old (and don't get me started on the concept of age) I've just gotten out of a two hour bath. So I'm wrinkly. Time for some chocolate milkshake I think.

Desk and lamp. Christmas presents to myself
Desk. The desk was a good idea. It lends an air of 'sit up and pay attention' to what I'm doing when I'm on my (lovely new Macbook) computer. The table lamp also serves me well, by literally illuminating the area of focus.

The cats on the other hand, think that this means it is a sun bed for them. The fact that the lamp is fitted with an energy saving bulb, so therefore does not radiate heat seems to have been lost on them entirely. I don't know if cats need vitamin D, but they sure as hell aren't getting it, or any comforting warmth from the lamp.

2013 has been a year where I went from struggling to get by on what I earn, to becoming comfortable (but not to excess), by a slight raise in my earnings and by doing a butt load of overtime.

The Christmas period has been marked with many things, but it's also been marked with me doing even more overtime than usual, and that being on the bank holidays will be really nice when that hits my pay toward the end of January.

I may have earned more in the last year, but I have also not been as restricting on outgoings as I should have. I have spent too much on 'things'. Gadgets. Although I don't regret the bigger purchases (new TV, new laptop). I am aware that I have not made anywhere near as much of a dent in my credit mountain as I would have liked.

2014 has to be a year of spend less, earn more. Have fun, but rein in the spending.

I am fortunate to be in this situation. There are lots of people in very bad situations, where they are struggling to make ends meet. The politicians will argue, and will blame each other, and will point accusingly at one another, but that doesn't really do fuck all for the poor families trying to keep it all together.

I've found also in 2013 that I have drifted even further away from one of my friends. I had mulled a fair bit during the year about how this person, who has been a constant in my life for the last twenty years is now such a distant part of it. I have seen them about three times all year. Communicated online a few times, but that was it.

People drift into and out of your life, it's an ongoing process. Times change, we all change. Some people are bringers of change, some people don't happily fit into the change in direction. This friend has found something that really makes her happy, and that makes me happy. Something that really gives her comfort, in dealing with the hardships that she and her family are facing. She has found religion. But she has found it in such a way that I do not feel I can  talk to her really anymore because she will bring it up, and as much as I respect her views, and her beliefs, I really don't agree with them.

Because this creates a thing that we cannot talk about, without fear of one of us being really upset, we now no longer seem to have anything to talk about. So it's easier to not talk. Somewhere inside me I feel that this is me failing her, and me letting her down, maybe even that I am prejudiced toward her faith. What I do know, is that it was easier to ignore her spouting on facebook about ill informed political issues - where everything was something personal for her. This is more intimate. I feel I cannot say anything, because what I will say will offend. And I don't want to offend her.

Life moves on. There is nothing any of us can do about it. It would be pointless to try. Everything has it's time. I feel that our friendship may have had its time. There may be a time in the future when our paths phase back into one another. It's just that right now, I can't see it.

In line with me making my life the way I want it to be (instead of it being the way someone else wants it to be, or even what I think someone else wants it to be) I am aware that some things I do, will help me be who or what I want to be. Other things won't. So I will want to, stop spending time and energy on them.

It works the same for people. I am tired of the distracting bullshit of social media. But that's not social media's fault is it. It's mine. I'm the one being distracted. I either take control of that, or I don't. I either learn to ignore it or I live with the constant doubt and nagging feeling that I am missing out on something.

And I'm right. I am missing out on something. I'm missing out on life, being too absorbed in sitting on my arse watching other people talk about how little they are doing in their lives also.

I'm an englishman. So I'm going to make a cup of tea. Anyone want one ?