Sunday, 7 December 2014

Darling Nikki

It was time to get back on the horse in our social life, the wife had been like the walking dead and me well I was just going to have to suck it buttercup, I had the day to make myself pretty (yeah right) and the good lady was at work, we were on a tight turnaround but I knew we could do it.

I had a lazy day did a few chores (little and often is the key) listened to some music and waved the wife off on her way to work, I then listened to some more tunes and generally pottered, I check the numbers of the blogs (yes I am still addicted) watched the footie in the afternoon dealing with a devil dog that basically misses his mum (the wife) and wants out every two minutes, but the afternoon flowed quite well......almost the wife finished her shift then tried to get home, traffic as always from the asylum is problematic at the best of times, but peak time on a Saturday hahahahaha good luck with that, so after a few frantic messages I managed to calm her down from 50000 feet and get her on the right direction.

She then diverted to pick our youngest home (from the Kraken's) so she could look after the devil dog at this moment in time I'm still not ready. I had prepared a proper meal for everybody coming back, gently trying to grease the wheels so we can get the hell out of dodge back to Gateshead, the wife then becomes a whirling dervish attempting to get ready, and yes you  guessed it I still wasn't ready, the wife running up and down the stairs me I gently wander up the wooden hill, washed, teeth cleaned and dressed, there you go that's how you do it, the wife you guessed it still not ready but on a roll and it looked like we were going to be out of the house at the allotted time (yeah right ........actually we were).

Surely the wheels had to come off at some point? ah there you go I spat my dummy out at the top of the street then sat in a huff (not that the wife noticed) all  the way to our destination, I feel a blog coming all about double standards (at some point) it is true though nice guys do indeed finish way behind the pack! I had a vague idea where we were going having been at a wedding reception at the venue about thirty years ago (how bloody old am I?)  we still managed to drive by and overshoot but a quick hand brake turn (only kidding although I bet the wife would love to do one) we finally arrived and drove in through the out door and parked up.

Once through the doors equilibrium was restored, so many faces from the past thirtyish years and my nerves were gone, people greeting me and the wife and generally being friendly the only concern it was such a huge concert hall it was being heated by gas fires (I very nearly hyperventilated and went into fire safety mode........NOT) some great company some fantastic conversation and generally a great gig from the one and only Dan Reed (of the Dan Reed Network go look him up music lovers) which was simply fantastic, I saw the man and his band at Newcastle riverside roughly 25 years ago and the gig is still in my top five of all time, the show last night with one man and his guitar was very nearly up there with it,not top five but top ten an awesome gig by a genuinely nice man.

As always don't expect a review but the high point of the evening was Stronger than steel one of the many tracks I put on many mix tapes for my wife when I first met her (oh what a soppy git I was), the lyrics just hit the right spot every time. more chat and a turn of events that nobody expected that our famously Gentile Mr Jimmy Gill has turned into a hard nosed hit man known as Tattooed Jimmy it turns out we are safe as long as he hasn't got his pointy shoes on or at least that's  the rumour! some great joy at the expense of Mr Curry because a particular T shirt One your Feet............ and Jimmy's new nick name well I suppose you just had to be there, G was flashing his ring (oo er) Bri Burton or as we know him Albus Dumbledore.......well he does look like a professor, and lots of others Including everybody in the world who I said I would do cd's for (honest I didn't know that you lot were going to be there) Darling Nikki the birthday girl even got Glen up to dance well what ever next you might get me and Jimmy up to dance..........not with each other I hasten to add.

The night as always ended way too early, we even bumped into some of the South Shields massive tucked away in the corner, we beat a hasty retreat and headed back to Gimpsville before the wife crashed and burned with a head from hell, oh the things we do for our art. once home the youngest had a cuppa ready for us and the dog from hell was just so damn happy to see us....go figure! once sorted I navigated everybody including said hell hound to our respective pits so we could rest easy and wait for the morrow.

The dawn came and I was awake early just lying listening to the house and all things quiet, realising I'm not the misery I thought I had become, yes I'm getting older and I will never turn into that spotty 16 year old I was, some might say  that's a good thing, but here I am at 50 trying to groove in the right direction hopefully the blog has proved that, no I'm not cured, yes I will be grumpy, yes I will definitely throw my toys out of any pram I can find toys to throw, but hey ho I'm a work in progress and as long as I accept that (and in reality its only me that has to, so fuck the rest of the world) things shall only get better!

Today the wife heads back to work on the bus hahahahaha then out for her Christmas party (cough splutter double as I say not as I do etc etc etc)me and the youngest or going to continue with the chores and then have lunch and a Hobbit fest so all is well with the world, watch the skies incoming and until then Toodles!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Gentlemen take polaroids

I have a face for radio, I'm not keen on having my picture taken, the quickest way to get me to run away is produce a camera, or in the modern age a mobile phone, I love photography, I love looking at other peoples pictures, but when it comes to me I think that I look like a lump of wood!

I have to have an official picture for work and the guy who comes to do it (who I get on with really well) hates having to work with me, we nearly came to blows over him asking me to smile the first time he had to attempt to get my portrait, thankfully he took the hint and over the years we have sorted out the line in the sand he knows why I don't like my picture so he doesn't try to coax a super model shot out of me, he stands in front of me takes three pictures and that's your whack, no fancy poses and no fancy lights any touch up has to be done in the computer as his assistant was nearly bitten by me when she produced a powder brush (GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR).

I have had my picture taken, with my good lady wife by the wonderful if not even grumpier than me Chris Harrison we had a few hours in Jesmond Dene and had some wonderful shots taken, Chris is great and if you are after some couples pictures (no not rude .....mind Chris does do that kind of thing) find him out there in the big bad world, he does a fab job and its very natural there's one of me and the wife in black and white as long as I live I don't think anyone will ever take a better picture of me than that, and the beauty of the photo (no not me) I didn't even know he had took it.

I have no comprehension of why people have to pucker up and strike a pose, again not a complaint, just an old man  trying to understand, there's a young contractor who has been working for me at work and he has over 6000 shots of him (and his quiff) on instagram .....WTF! but its not just him it's everybody, even I joined in,and so far in 11 weeks I have taken about 8 shots I suppose I must try harder (and join the human race).

At school I only ever had one group picture taken in senior school (first year I believe) and a solo shot in my last year, however because we never bought the photo's after the first one I was never asked to participate because ho hum what was the point, this was actually said to my mother at the time which basically lit the blue touch paper (hence the photo from my last year). from the age of one up to the age of sixteen you would be hard pushed to find 20 photographs of me, I know this as I have all the pictures from my mothers collection when she passed on.

There are more pictures of me with my Peter Griffith mask when we went off on a jolly jaunt to Las Vegas then me as a young person, now I'm not saying there's not any pictures of me out there I'm just saying that they are extremely rare. I am trying really hard not to spoil peoples pictures if they try and snap me, I remember a particular evening someone took 32 pictures and didn't get a decent one without me being rude obscene or a fugitive from the FBI! in reality she just wanted a snap shot of a lovely group of friends having a great evening and I spoilt it, see I really am trying to mature as an adult (HAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHA) sorry where was I?

At the celebrations for 25 years at work I attended every photo shoot for the celebrations however I ducked in every shot and you won't find me in one and trust me they tried really hard, mind you I was just doing what comes naturally at work..........testing people ......well something like that. I solemnly  swear I am up to no good I mean honest I will try harder.

This blog came as I sat and watched a group of pensioners taking selfies on the plague carrier home and it set me thinking if they can join the new world then so can I, the name game for the blogs is back in play, if you are not sure what I'm on about, the blog titles are all songs that I'm listening to at the time typing up this (drivel) I mean work of art, and people from all over the world try and guess who or what it is, now most of you are a bunch of cheating B******Ds and you obviously Google the bloody thing but some people (Hello Nils) do have a go, this one should be quite easy although I'm not holding my breath, no prizes just huge amounts of mockery from me if you get it wrong. The fan base is growing and although I have had a few complaints about having abandoned the website, look this is me trying to cheer myself up and I'm a luddite, I'm no whizz kid it is what it is if you have any complaints send them to

I seem to have hit a rather large group of Italians and Scandinavian readers of late and again thanks for the compliments (although Per I don't think reading my blog is really going to help you understand us Brits any easier) the demographic is also spreading before I would have said its between the 30-40 age group, these days its more the 20- 60, so well done everybody and as always keep spreading the disease click those share and Like buttons lets get the numbers up to where they used to be, and that's me done I have a day from hell tomorrow mainly catching up on my reports and  inspections but I have  teaching session tomorrow so I should at least have some fun as I try a coax out of a group of teenagers "can I get a hell yeah" I don't do normal teaching....hell no! so watch the sky and play nice until the next time...........Toodles!

oh and here is a picture of me as a I look now.............................

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Nobody's fault but mine

So many mixed emotions after the last twenty plus postings, yes I had intended it to be yet another book but me being the Luddite I am it was safer to publish it as blogs, because to be truthful it certainly reached a far wider audience than my books ever do. numbers were a lot higher than expected and very consistent, so a lot of people obviously came back and followed the thread all the way through.

The blogs were not done as a vanity set, it was done because there are an awful lot of people out there that have issues and just muddle on, overall my issues were/are miniscule however they are mine, because I choose to not deal at the time and yes I know I went a long time (32 years in case you haven't read the blogs) before hoisting the white flag and asking for help, asking for help is the hardest step, its not easy and as I have said before I'm not cured its certainly raised more questions than answering the ones I went in with, but and its a big but, I feel as though I'm better equipped to deal with them.

I wasn't and I'm still not after sympathy it is what it is, sometimes just sometimes I would get overwhelmed by emotions (and if you ever got to know me you would find out I really don't do emotional) and it was the fact that I didn't understand how to fend off the marauding attacks of random thoughts of unhappiness, I'm more angry now, mainly with me but with some little things that really mean nothing, but because of the way I have dealt with similar incidents in the past, the new me wants to kick my arse for being such a prat!

There has been some touching messages left and I have to admit one or two from totally random strangers who have wandered into my world (and more than likely will wander away again) via the blogs who don't know but gave me some nice sound advice, there was only one troll who obviously thought I was a shrinking wallflower (wrong) I'm still waiting to hear his reply to my 3400 word (stinging) rebuke and what he thought about all "you nut jobs" (again wrong) I just needed a reboot with some new software at no point did I infer that I'm a tree hugging hippy conscientious objector, well guess what wrong again, maybe just maybe once that gaping hole of a new arse I tore has heeled he might be man enough to apologise.

Although the bulk of the last twenty plus blogs were written over the course of the last year I have worked on them continually to make them a better read and not seventy million words of bile, they were not sanitised just polished to be easier for the curious reader to deem more palatable. again I'm not looking for sympathy I'm just asking that consider people around you, you never really know what is going through someone's head even your nearest and dearest don't take people for granted you never know when that shoulder could come in to be helpful for someone who might at a later date be able to lend you a helping hand.

So I now have to soldier on and try and get semblance of order into my writing, less of the bile and some of the humour which has been missing for a short period of time, again I say thank you and soon (well for me anyway) there will a new happier blog on its way, watch the skies and keep spreading the disease (every little bit helps) until then Toodles!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A cast of millions


Where do start here, Ok I can hear all of you shouting “at the bloody beginning” but I don’t think I can, however I do feel as though I should say thank you (for lots of various reasons) to lots of you and for once I intend to name and shame with good intention, so here goes and in no particular order: - My Wife, Cliché, my lighthouse in the dark, I know you understand and the rest of the world have a damn good idea as well. Elaine Wilson, how can I put this politely she’s a lady, my editor, principal partner in crime and treasonous conspirator (get well soon sweetie), Gary Wilson my pimp, my rock in the maelstrom of insanity and my cross dressing mentor! And CEO of WELD International, Jane Kelley my bomb disposal expert and international diplomat, nobody says Fuck the world with such aplomb! Ignatius the foul mouthed man servant, Geordie man child (typically ignorant), Neil Davidson an untypical Geordie island of common sense (go figure) Ainsley Wills my wandering minstrel (non - chocolate version) who was there for me when the levee was breached and dragged me back the safety of the shoreline on that particular miserable day (in my head) in 2013, without you on that day I was a lost soul and I thank you with every fibre of my being, Lesley Gray my legal counsellor, and dispenser of medicinal bon mots(and actually the instigator of this particular set of blogs, after a conversation a long time ago about Gary Speed! Go figure) Angie Shandi for being the sweetness and light and the mandatory Bill Hicks counsellor, Carl Martin for being my keeper of hounds and keeper of the royal flight, damn good for a Brylcream boy! Gordon Armstrong for basically letting me rant at him since pussy was a kitten, Sir Michael of Ridley for allowing me to be his squire in the battle that we call life and for not allowing me to let life get …..THAT serious! How very dare you! All of the South Shields posse (damn there’s lots of ya and it’s good to be in your company).

 David Robinson my radio operator behind enemy lines (Broadsword Calling Danny Boy) who unwittingingly sent messages of hope at times when I needed hope and inspiration, Kevin Curtis for being my surfing Guru and Southern star when required, deep conversations in the firelight, Amanda Curtis for just being so damn nice! Kev Charlton for guiding me from Hellanbach (get it) to Frogs to Buckets and a shit load in-between, Charlotte Yanni for allowing music to help me with my Pyscho Blues, accidently on purpose, and who could forget Bali, Jimmy (Thunderbird One) Capstick for all jokes old and well let’s be honest even older, but a light house in this morass of anonymity, Louise Capstick for bringing the power and for keeping Thunderbird one in some semblance of order….sort of!, My Brother because dammit  he stuck by me(allegedly),  through the good times and more bad times than anybody else ever did!, My Kids and my grandkids but please don’t tell them, I wouldn’t want then to know I actually care for them and love them, pfft me with my reputation. The one and only Dr K for actually being my light house keeper and helping me rewire my life without the aid of any instruction manual, still a work in progress but better than being fused and discarded!

Mark Gleason without you and your sacrifice I would not be here, so I need to honour that sacrifice simply by being the best person that I can be, unswerving thanks and gratitude.


I have lost people in the past that I wish were still an active part of my life and I do still think of them on a daily basis, those who were there in the early dark days and put up with so much, and you gave your love and support without a thought to yourselves and credit should be given with an enduring love and tear in my eye because you are missed by many not just me: Chris Hughes the daddy and the first to go, we all missed you. John Case my six foot twin with the permanent suntan and grin, the coolest dude in the world and someone I was very proud to call “FRIEND”, Steve Ridley the biggest and funniest anchor in the world, The original squadron leader of “The Dawn Patrol” you carried me back from enemy lines more times than you should have, the person who taught me so much (H.O.P.E – Hold On Pain Ends) if only your grip had been stronger. Gary Shaw a man not to take sides that thankfully came back to the shoreline if only for a brief while before you faded away again, all of you much missed.

A further cast of millions that believe it or not would be as long as the bloody book! Far too many people to mention in one breath but every one of them my friends, warriors, thieves and kings, one and all, from school through to today, many of those mentioned might not be aware of the help that you have given this twisted emotional wreck, but without the emotional crutch that you have supplied to me over the years this soul would have been extinguished many many years ago and for that all I can actually say is………………Thank you!

It’s not enough but it is a start.

The Memory Remains

The issue that I raised my hand and asked for help, is still here, my little black cloud is still sitting there, now it’s wondering how the hell it can race in and give me a kicking! Me I’m sat here waiting for it, but now I’m loaded for bear and I ain’t going down without a fight! Is that me feeling brave, I’m afraid no I’m not, I know at some point it’s going to want to have another go, but this time I will be ready and waiting with the extra tweaks and little exercises that should help me. I feel so much better, better than I have in such a long while and although I was sceptical as to what help was going to be given (prescription pad at the ready!)But here I am sitting typing this feeling a damn sight better than I did twenty weeks ago.

Is it going to be as bad or debilitating as it has been in the past? I’m hoping that the forecast doesn’t call for heavy weather, the waves might get a little choppy, but I have a new compass that will lead me to calmer waters or in a worst case scenario a safe harbour. I feel better, there is a clarity that if I’m being honest hasn’t been there for the last Thirty Two years……..go figure, if you had said to me twenty weeks ago I would feel this good about myself I would have laughed straight in your face, but here I am, not cured but a better person, I stayed the distance, I didn’t have a strop, I didn’t leave, I was a good boy (me with my reputation) the memory replays the same six minutes of my life in some ways in more detail than ever before, and in others it’s so hazy it’s hard to make out any details and at the moment I’m happy with that.

Now some people will definitely not like the newer more confident me (don’t worry I haven’t turned into Rambo) but I am indeed a different person coming out of the treatment than I was going in. so with the best intention in the world, my intention is to live my life like I stole it and try to enjoy what time I have left on this blue pearl spinning out in the darkness, if you see me please say hello I’m old and infirm and my eye sight isn’t what it used to be, but I’m not hiding anymore and that should be a good thing for everybody.

Fear has two meanings:

Forget Everything And Run.

Face Everything And Rise.

Take a guess which one I intend to do?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Donec, Defluet, Amnis

The title of this (short) chapter is a tattoo (and for once not a song title) that I have on my chest (please see the back cover of the book) and it wasn’t until I had it inscribed in ink on my chest did I realise that it should be my motto, in English it means “until the river ceases to flow” and I feel as though my life is like a river, so it’s rather apt! My tattoo is a deck of cards and it all refers to the hand that we are dealt with, No I’m not getting all philosophical I’m just trying to get you who reads this to understand that I do at times think about life in general and not as some folk think, just from minute to minute all doom and gloom (yeah right hahaha).

Now the therapy has come to an end it would appear that I can only play the cards that I have been dealt with, I shouldn’t be trying to second guess life the universe or anything, I should really just do as the river suggests and go with the flow! I suppose I was slightly down heartened that upon completion of my course of treatment I didn’t even get a certificate (I would have accepted a 25 metre swimming certificate or some such nonsense) but as always I’m getting ahead of myself, it was with trepidation I awaited my last session of therapy for no other reason than” oh my god this is it!”  what had seemed like a lifetime to get here and all of a sudden it had ran away from me and here I was at the end of it, how did this happen? And was I cured?

As always I got there in plenty of time, the wife had picked me up and dropped me off and I went in and said hello for the last time, the receptionist (I never knew her name how uncivilised of me) smiled and asked me to fill in some forms (what a surprise) the exact same forms I filled in for my initial appraisals, this time though I gladly filled them in and handed them back and sat and waited for the good Dr to collect me for this last session.

The forms were the initial point of contact and it appears that I had decimated the original scores that had said I was Mr Gloomy and now I had become Mr Happier, we went over what I had achieved with the course of the sessions, did I lie? Yes probably just a little bit yes, I felt trepidation but for some reason I wasn’t about to show it. It was soon obvious I was in quite a good place (even with my little white lie) and after forty five minutes I was done,( maybe I should have demanded my full hour…..not!) time to go and move on with my life, I said thank you (and I genuinely meant it) to all the staff who had put up with me over the previous twenty weeks and as I stepped out into the bright sunshine it seemed a damn sight brighter than it had when I had went in.

Positivity seemed to be the order of the day and thankfully it was the truth, it stayed with me for quite a while, I am not under any illusion about what the outcome will be, but it’s actually down to me to take charge of my life, I need to try and drive around the few small bumps in the road that meet everybody at some point in their lives, what is the cunning plan? for one I intend to take each day, simply one day at a time and try not to get bogged down in any negativity (let’s see how good I am with one) to try and not be the pain that seems to have filtered through into my every day, now I may not be positive every day but I sure as hell am going to try!

One thing for certain is that I’m not going to settle for a life of drudgery, my intention is to try and fight back just a little every day, for me and my little bit of sanity, for my wife my kids and my grandkids, the rest of the world well you will just have to take pot luck, as I will have enough on my plate with that little lot! What I will say as a closing statement, be kind to everyone you meet, you never know what kind of battle they are fighting because as this books shows, those that are fighting these battles have a tendency to hide them from the world, not everyone is as strong as it would appear, give them support when you can even when they are not asking for it, because that little bit of support may just save the day!

Monday, 24 November 2014

From The shoreline

The penultimate session over I came home and realised that soon I would be launched back into humanity, defences allegedly repaired, ready to take on the tidal pull of life and wherever that might take me. Most of today’s session was covering what I had learned so far, and how I had learnt to handle my issue and life to a larger degree! Positivity seems to be the prescription of today and while I don’t understand where it is coming from (I seem to have developed a spring of the stuff within me) the fact that I have not done any compulsive eating in the last eight weeks (lord knows there have been occasions when I have wanted to bury my head into some long forgotten food stuff in the cupboard that wouldn’t be missed) I came close on Saturday for no reason, thankfully I was able to shake my head and walk away. There has been no large intake of alcoholic spirits (and there are loads on top of the cabinet in the living room) I did treat myself to a small case of Corona, which as I sit and write/type this, it’s still sat in my small fridge with more than three quarters still intact, just doing what in reality I should have been doing all this time…………Chilling!

I felt happy that looking back over the course of my treatment that it has chipped away at my issues, bit by bit and until it was pointed out that I hadn’t noticed how much relaxed I had become, something eighteen months ago would have seen totally unconceivable, I now realise that my issue has been covering a multitude of sins and although I have not attempted to deal with these, simply because like a typical male I take all of my issues and form them into a nice neat ball and force them all way down into the pit of my stomach and well I do what we males do best, I ignore them, like you should (D’oh!) as I had said today I felt I was still in a darkened place but at least I now had small torch to help me out at the worst of these times.

We also discussed the fact that I keep using (mainly nautical) analogies for just about everything, hells bells even the title of this chapter is how I feel at this moment, I feel as though I am standing on the shore line looking out at the sea that at the moment is calm, yes there is stormy weather over there on the horizon (isn’t there always) at the moment I’m safe, I certainly feel better than I have in a long time, cured?  hell no, I hope I’m far too sensible to fall into that false hope, I just happen to be slightly better equipped to deal with those demons and now, well I intend to take the fight to them instead of letting them come and kick me whenever they feel like it, they don’t have an invitation and they are not welcome!

It would appear that I seem to have a more mature handle on things, and although I was tired (but thankfully not emotional) I seemed to be on an even keel, at peace with certain things and not being stressed for long periods of time, the hour was soon long gone, and I headed once again down the small hill at the hospital, taking my time and plugging in my music as I ambled (posh way of saying I’m crippled) towards the bus stop, I realised I was quite relaxed, not in any kind of hurry at all, and I had a number of different streams of thoughts going mainly how I was going to go home and write this up, firstly though I was going to catch my bus, I interacted with total strangers, something I would normally pretend not to hear them due to my head phones, but today I wasn’t ignorant and I was even happy (if even for a little while) as I travelled home, to cook a meal for everybody, that I shared and didn’t try to greedily eat the bulk of it.

It’s an obvious title and no I won’t be using it (the final countdown) as the final straight is ahead of me and my intention is to take a good firm grip of my rudder (I had to stay nautical didn’t I?) and yes I know it’s not going to be plain sailing, but I’m not giving in without a fight, this boy intends to go out swinging, so please don’t get in the way, I have wasted so much time (my fault and nobody else’s fault, please don’t think I’m blaming anybody else) I intend to climb back  in the ring and slowly try to regain the momentum that I had when I was younger, hopefully in the process making everybody’s life who is in my orbit that little bit better, to be honest they surely deserve it.

The book is now drawing to a close, these last few chapters will potentially be shorter and a little happier (hahahaha) than the previous nine hundred bile filled chapters! And yes I have planned an exit strategy; I intend to turn this vanity project from what was at one point just pages and pages of black despair (was hahaha) hopefully to something that hopefully somebody might as some point realise that all hope is never truly lost, there is always a path back, you just have to find your way back to it, hopefully in bright brilliant sunlight, but cloudy or rainy weather will suffice as well as long as well all make it back to a safe path.

Cunning plans abound and titles chosen, pictures picked, so to speak this little project is gathering pace, I just have to relearn how to use the technology on how to publish this, soon it will be time to slip my moorings and head back out onto open waters.