Sunday, 22 March 2015

Behind The Wall of Sleep

Yes I'm still alive! the last fortnight has been quite disorientated, work has been pushing me harder than I would like it too, a close friend passed away and that didn't put me in the mood for writing something jolly, and as a matter of course I have resumed my bid to be the worlds blinking champion, as yet again I resume my long naps on the settee! go figure  the mask it seems just isn't working.

Work has been gathering pace as year end beckons and I'm nowhere near finished, nor did I have any chance once the project over ran by nine weeks, I'm quite relaxed about it, purely from the point of view I have a great boss and he is happy with my progress, still it irks me that I have been given a time specific job and I know I,m going to fail, in the grand scheme of things I suppose I can live with that..........take a look at me for once woo hoo!

Billy had been a friend for nearly forty years and we had more good times than could write about here (maybe in another blog) we had drifted once I moved away, however we always spoke and stopped when we saw each other, Billy had his own personal demons, I hope wherever he is now he has found peace, losing friends even ones that you barely see(surely this proves they are friends) creates a rather large hole shaped size in our lives.

During this fortnight I have seen a number of people who I used to go to school with and to be honest I didn't make an approach to them as its actually been nearly 34 years since I had any contact with them, and people change they might look at me and go sod off loser, fear of rejection me nooooooo! every now and then some one I know from school as they float back into my life and recognise me and they have always been friendly even one or two who I thought wouldn't, but I don't think my ego could take getting crushed for things that shaped my life all those years ago!

My bomber command style mask that I'm now required to wear to sleep isn't doing the magic anymore, I'm barely wearing it for more than an hour and a half and then while I'm asleep I take it off and switch the bloody contraption off, slowly but surely my sleep is being affected, deep sleep and feeling like hammered shite when I wake up, depression for long periods of a day simply because my sleep is affected, then if I eat a large meal I'm asleep within minutes feeling groggy when I'm awoken, any helpful hints greatly appreciated as I know what the consequences are going to be if I can't keep the bloody thing on, the staff at the hospital already think that I'm taking the proverbial piss..........me with my reputation go figure!

As for the blogs, well the numbers are very healthy with old and new being read on a regular basis, I'm extremely grateful as long as  its not a law firm intending to read and research for a law case against me WTF! the name game is indeed still in play although numbers of people actually having a guess has nearly dwindled to single figures ( good old Nils keeps hammering on) so yes this title is a song title lets see how many can guess it without cheating, normal service will resume here from the next blog something historical it was going to be about Twisted Sister but seeing as how the drummer for the band AJ Pero has just died I will be avoiding for the coming weeks, I'm sick of the blog being about death, at this time in my life I might not have much say in that particular subject, so until the next time keep spreading the disease Toodles!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Six Ways to Sunday

This week has dragged on sometimes it was like running through treacle, I wasn't having the best of times, nor was I having the worst, I just wasn't getting the traction I wanted with the world, so consequently everything felt (although it more than likely wasn't)off kilter, little things became huge things and I retreated from the world I didn't want to play, I always aim to do my best for people but a lot of people seem to be out for themselves, so when I end up in this frame of mind I soon become angry and then insecure, then well just read the blog and see what you think?

Music was my saviour playing lots of weird and wonderful stuff, not to everybody else's taste but it was to mine, I attacked the base of the tidal wave of work with as much vim and vigour as I could muster, but there is only so many ways you can kill a zombie, I was missing the company of my wife , no the not one where we argue or only see each other for about ten minutes of the day, I wanted the one with the same sense of humour the same taste in music my partner in crime, the one that I love unashamedly. it turns out I was to be in charge of the asylum on Saturday so I took the Friday as a lieu day (modern Britain you don't get paid for working unsociable hours)in the vain hope I could spend some time with her, but I had to get to the finish line first.

An invitation for a meal and an executive seat at the match from work arrived too late in the day although my little pit-bull who found out I was invited late, made sure everybody's night was spoilt because I wasn't invited in time, some people do the smallest things to cheer you up lol! I continued on the Thursday helping some nice (allegedly) people with a deadline that could have had some serious consequences for them (Not me) but I took time out of my busy day to help (cause that's what I'm like) then as the end of the deadline I dragged their sorry arses across the line and spiked the ball, I then went home as I work different hours to them (proper work hours while they work office hours) only to get home and to switch on my computer to see that they had all been taken for a slap up meal for indeed crossing the finish line on time, everybody slapping themselves on their backs and not one single word of credit for the person who actually helped save their sorry arses (GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR) now if I'm honest I wouldn't have went, I'm anti social and the whole world knows it, however those very same glory seeking twats have just climbed to the top of my list......that's my shit list!

Thursday night was ruined simply by me plotting revenge, I know I'm being pushed to the side-lines at work while people jockey for position to brownnose senior management that's why they will always lose, because I don't play games, I go to work do my job to the best of my ability (and I know exactly how good I am at my job .....damn good I have saved the fire brigade five and a half million pounds yes you read that right million! in the last seven years go find anybody in the country that has done that and I will show you a picture of .........ME) anyway I digress and yes I was festering Thursday night was spoilt (it doesn't take much) a simple thank you was all that was required, maybe because I don't go around shouting how good I am, anyway I had Friday off what could possibly go wrong....................................

I slept a little late, not much a little over an hour and  I felt like hammered shit, I wasn't firing on any cylinders at all, I was hoping some fresh air might help I hadn't got my bus pass (no I'm not that old) on Thursday because I was helping people, its what I do! (do I sound bitter hell yeah) the wife had to call into work so we could kill two birds with one stone and just being in her company kick started the battery, no arguments just us being on the same page, skint nothing to spend, just us enjoying each others company. we did what we had to do and the wife suggested an early lunch her treat...........go on then, we had a little chore to do and we couldn't decide on what to do or where to go? as it happens we ended up back in Gimpsville parked up at home and walking the 500 yards to the local spoons, I was for some reason by now sinking not feeling great, not in need of an ambulance but strange and totally not one of this world!

We grabbed a high table as the place was full of people having the same thought as us, and I was totally holed below the water line, my head was bouncing and I felt crap, I let the wife decide (Fish & Chips) well she was paying, and the food duly arrived only for me to.............(I hope you are all sitting down) not be able to finish the Fish! never mind the actual meal, the wife asking me if I needed actual medical assistance, the reality was all too weird I wanted to go home and lie down I felt awful, I picked at my meal until the wife finished hers and mine! I struggled home and before the wife had the front door locked I was asleep on the settee where I stayed for a few hours. once I awoke I felt better but not rested or even good I felt drained, I have noticed since being diagnosed as a diabetic and have been given medication to take I feel like shite all of the time, this getting old malarkey is no good no good at all!

I was early to bed, bomber command mask in place and asleep well before the wife and then again I was up and about doing all manner of crap before she even stirred her bones, the plague carrier was on time and thankfully not full, I didn't bother with bus seat bingo ( I have all next week for that) I got off the bus and got to the asylum and I was soon............ angry, now I have no idea why, most people know me as an approachable person, However I just growled through the whole day and everybody knew, the message soon spread, my motto is if I'm there to work so are all the people getting paid to be there! when I'm in that frame of mind people know. Now don't get me wrong me being like Genghis Khan is still better than most of the asswipes who are just mean just because they can be, I will always give you a chance but on days like this a second chance will never happen, however once the deed is done for once I don't hold a grudge, (WTF!) get on with it the world keeps turning!

As always with a Saturday at the asylum, its bedlam lots of stupid people mingling with sensible people who just want to get on with life and the likes of myself and the team continually putting fires out (please excuse the pun) most of which just goes to prove how the hell does the human species ever get to be the top of the food chain, again one of the team from Thursday was partnered with me being a mentor......hahahahaha you had your chance go deal with some stupid people on your own for a change oh the joy, thankfully I was out the door for 4.30..........................allegedly!

Once again the wife exceeded herself and was back to her good old time keeping ways, she only arrived an hour and ten minutes late, not a record for her and that is a worrying theme!  I wasn't too bothered for a change (I know me with my reputation) I chilled and relaxed and didn't do any more work, which was frustrating for the staff who were asking for help, who knew Fuck off And Die was an insult? the blue streak finally arrived and we were on our way, we were finally going to be spending some time with close friends, we just didn't know who, once at our destination we found a parking space at our usual religious institution, we just then had to find a cash point that didn't charge us for getting at our money, cue a drag around the bottom end of the town before arriving at Central Station and then on to the Union rooms, I will admit to being by this time well and truly goosed the day was catching up with me, but upon arriving at the Union rooms I was blown away by the people who were there peeps I hadn't seen in ages and a great conversation was had by all, tiredness was soon forgotten I actually didn't manage to get a drink until 10 minutes before leaving (mind you the wife was controlling the purse strings) I didn't even notice my spirits were lifted with awesome company something that has been missing for the last few months friends do indeed make a difference!

SMOR had come through again indeed his guest list was 30 + 1, more than the rest of the two bands put together, we headed up to the venue it was then that I realised just how old I feel these days, the walk to the venue is up hill and it took it out of me, the hurricane that was blowing didn't help, while the wife did the walk of shame to the box office I was confident that I could have fixed the fire alarm issue  that the venue had isolated, ooops sorry its hard not to do my job out in the real world, I'm not a fan of the venue because of all of the stairs and bands have a tendency to use the PA system provided and not bring there own, consequently the sound is shite, the only bands that have a great sound in the venue........bring their own PA system! I'm also conscious of my own frailty, I can't go off into the crowd, if the venue is full my knees play tricks on me, I also need to sit from time to time only for a few seconds but it can't be helped.

That's when I feel for the wife who loves being in the thick of it, the crack and the bouncing about, I simply can't do  it anymore, cue depression, cue feeling for sorry for myself , cue the downward spiral, it doesn't take much, thankfully just at the moment of despair the keeper of the royal hounds arrived with his lady and the night rocketed for me, although there is a photo of me looking like a misery, probably a good reason for why I disappear when cameras are produced (I really do need to do something about my demeanour..........honest I was enjoying myself) we missed the first band by choice, the time was spent more wisely catching up with old friends rather than getting acquainted with a new band ....maybe next time, Black Star Riders were the first band really to be studied and if you have not heard of them, you will know them better as Thin lizzy, and they were quite good.............however come on boys you have two albums out now its time to rely more on the new stuff seven lizzy songs in the set and some of the more crappy ones, throw a curve ball or two in rather than the expected versions, we had seen the at hard rock hell and had enjoyed their company over a pizza and beers and found them to be really nice peeps even if Scott Gorham is like the queen and doesn't carry money! last night seemed to be a tad disjointed but still good, everybody seemed to enjoy them, maybe I was (as always) just being too critical, me with my reputation hahahahaha maybe! they had the place rocking maybe being at the back of the venue took some of their potency from them, next time only do a couple of lizzy numbers and do some different stuff............mind you I did enjoy Massacre awesome song!

Then more chinwag and me doing my best wallflower impersonation, in a venue with 1500 people in someone broke wind and the wife asked if it was me........cheers, and for the record it wasn't me! then what seemed like an eternity for the headline act who were on a pretty restricted timetable because we get thrown out of the venue at Ten so that the students can have some fun (twats) but nope the road crew take their own sweet time, then the tedium started, now don't get me wrong Europe never do a bad gig they play and sing brilliantly even at the bad ones and tonight was one of those gigs it was like we were at a rehearsal more than a gig Joey Tempest usually such a great front man seemed as if he would rather be enjoying a bottle of wine at some fancy restaurant, the set list left a lot to be desired as well, they always play a lot of new songs off their latest album, it was released on Tuesday boys, in this day and age how many people do you think have bought it? two new tracks max and then play the hits ......even the newer hits, you insist on playing one of the worst songs from the prisoner in paradise album and never play the better stuff, oh we better rock it up lets do scream of anger, predictable in every way and it seemed telephoned in, the segue way into here I go again was a nice touch but thanks to You tube we know you have done it loads of times. it was only a matter of time before people started leaving and they soon did we managed 45 minutes and we looked at each and thought lets get the hell out of dodge!

Once outside it appeared that we were going for something to eat, but because it was unplanned we didn't know where we were going, up towards the middle of the town and the knuckle draggers that populate the area at that time of the night, we picked our way through hell (The Bigg Market) only to find that our first choice had finished serving for the night, so we turned around and entered the second establishment who welcomed us with open arms and we soon ordered and sat and waited and behaved like human beings and my week was saved, I felt like a valued person again, talking nonsense and all manner of things in general I just soaked the atmosphere in, I realise that I have a long way to go on my own road to salvation but with friends like these, well I think I have a bloody good chance to get there, now can you please delete the grumpy looking picture!

Food arrived and consumed (those where some big balls..............meatballs that is) the night although not rushed was over way too soon, and we picked our way through the casualties of the night back to the cars, we said our goodbyes and headed back to our respective hills, home way too soon I was able to do my best known impersonation that I do.....person sleeping on couch! only to be shaken awake and off up the wooden hill to the land of nod properly,  I declined my bomber command mask so I could actually turn the right way and hold the wife as I drifted off to snoozeville, I was awoken this morning with the wife bringing me a cup of tea in bed (WTF!!!!!!!!!!) I came downstairs ate a small breakfast and have sat listening to oodles of music while typing this (cough splutter) masterpiece!

How do I feel today actually medically the best I have felt all week (music does that to people) last night was the best night of  the year so far, the only tinge of sadness was that G & E were not there, well not physically but in spirit always, The Tee Hee Club will rise again! I intend to go with the flow today and not be too spiteful, I have yet another busy week coming up, I have realised that I am hiding myself at work, emotionally I don't have to connect to anybody while I'm there I know it has to stop I never used to be this insular person even when I was a misery, time to put my best foot forward be  it only in small steps at a time, don't say that I didn't warn you lot!

That's it for the blog longer than I expected for something off the cuff, and yes I do feel a weight gets lifted after I blog, numbers are creeping upwards, not Pulitzer prize winning numbers but I'm happy with them, back to the grind with a couple of historical ones on the boil and incoming. thanks for all the likes, shares and comments keep spreading the disease  and if you actually see me out in the street and you think what a miserable bastard, what you need to know that inside there is a little seed called happiness and its starting to grow, go figure until the next time Toodles!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

X-Rated

Don't get your hopes up this isn't an X-rated blog, this was me simply scanning to see what letters I hadn't used for a title!

As for a blog well to be honest I'm running on empty, I have been on the work/stuck in the house hamster wheel since before Christmas, this time of year is always horrendous for us as the world and its banker catches up with us and our cunning plans, I know the wife had started working but then nearly 7 weeks off because of her chest infection hasn't helped us that much. it would appear that as always we are chasing our tail, I never thought at this point in my life I would be working so hard with so little to show for it!

Again not a whinge I'm an adult (allegedly) I did the crime I will do the time, but it does get you down from time to time (especially as it usually wasn't my cunning plans that got me here) work has been brutal again age creeping up on me and kicking me in the knees, as always I won't be beaten, just need some cunning plans or some genuine help watch this space.

I have plenty of historical blogs on the go but I don't wish to over egg the pudding if you get my drift, not everybody is here for the historical blogs it would appear that some of you are here for my misery (bastards) you never know what you get, although I think I need some interaction with the real world so that I can complete the historical blogs purely because it would appear that I have forgotten what goes on out there in the big bad world, I get the distinct impression that I appear to be turning into Jabba The Hut!

Music has been a saviour, playing lots of different styles (listening to some Al Di Meaola as I bash away at the keyboard) it really is a god send how can anybody get by without music, lots of trips on the plague carrier, lots of bus seat bingo although someone tried to actually bully me for my seat, it didn't work and it looked close for second that it might end up in fisticuffs, I don't mind sharing the seat but you pay for your half I pay for mine, I wasn't prepared for him the first time as I was dozing my favourite pass time on the bus, I was the next time, he was older and bigger than me, I don't think I would have won the fisticuffs bit, but I would have hurt the big twat, he moved onto females the next couple of days and then an even bigger person told him to pack it in, I haven't seen him since he didn't look like one of the early morning crowd, you get some odd (as in stupid) people on a plague carrier, I now understand why the drivers are so unhappy...............have you  met 99% of their customers!

The intention this weekend was actually to do something with our lives, you guessed it, it didn't happen I was struck down with tonsillitis yesterday and the a severe case of Delhi belly today, yet another wasted weekend if I don't get the company of some fellow tee hee club members soon I think I might just go..........................NUTS! I'm sure that you get the picture SMOR has helped conceive a cunning plan for next Saturday and although I am working looking after the asylum, it will be good to see him (something we haven't done since October) and anybody else that's out there in the big bad world.

Old blogs have been the order of the week, what do you mean I'm not supposed to check numbers, its me boys and girls you know what kind of media whore I am .................oops ! all in all I know this has a tinge of doom and gloom to it, in reality I think I have only really had one bad day since the last blog, and I got over that with the help of the wife, so this is where we are for the moment, play nice read the older blogs spread the word and I will see you lot sooner than you realise, so until then Toodles!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Dawn Patrol

As always my blogs usually start with spark in the dark and if I'm honest I have no intention of telling the full tale here today I want something happy, this tales ends as sad as any tale could, so I want to remember my friend as he was, a right pain in the ass but standing tall in a sea of mediocrity!

I met Steve Ridley when I was at Newcastle City Hall watching Girl and UFO on the No Place To Run tour me and my friend had two seats him and his friends had the rest of the row, my friend decided to try his luck and go get a pint, he didn't as it was usually me who got him his beer in pubs even though he was older than me. While he was away Steve (who introduced himself) asked if I was ok, I was and we nattered for about ten minutes he looked about the same age as my brother (he was actually a year older) a kind gesture by a stranger, something he didn't have to do, the band came on my friend reappeared, at the end of the gig he said goodbye and that was it another person that you sort of bump into over the course of life never to meet again.

A few weeks later myself and another friend decided to go to Randy Mandy's (calm down it was a rock disco in Durham) who did I bump into at the bar (literally) but Steve remembered me and we had a chat (again) just general chit chat, easy going and we both had a similar outlook on life (warped) said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, now this happened several times over the coming weeks, all the while he introduced me to several characters that would shape my coming years, my screwed up life after the army, I was saved mainly by them.

Later on in the summer I was invited to a birthday party in Pity Me where they all seem to come from, friendships and I would  like to say there were many sprung from these meetings and hardly ever a cross word, I drifted towards them while still keeping my friends in Gimpsville but they didn't mix, it was a different level of maturity (yeah right) a little bit like oil and water, the friendship blossomed and the drunken hi jinx ensued, many a time I would get myself into something and Steve would get me out of it, he got me my publishing deal, he worked out all the benefits (from said publisher) he was the manager I never had and also one of the people I wrote the majority of my songs with, we got each other, we could finish each other's sentences, he knew if I was down, he knew when to stop me from being a dick (quite a lot then) we shared any number of flats and he was like a surrogate big brother one I didn't argue with.

Where does the title come from well I'm a big fan of Fish, and his lyrics have stuck with me over the years, many parallels or Fellini moments so to speak, when we hit the town (usually in London) we were always the last two home usually I was the wounded wing man that was in no fit state to be left on my own (go figure) first out the door last ones back in. the only reason I stayed in London was because of Steve, if I headed down a deep dark track he was the boy to come and drag me back kicking and screaming sometimes but I never stood a chance standing 6" 7" in his bare feet, lets just say even if I hit him with a truck I would have struggled to win.

This is the man that tracked down the little party of individuals who kicked me all over Madison's for my 21st, I recognised one of them a few months later and happened to mention it to Steve, he then knocked seven bells out of said individual and got the names of the others and then dealt with them, something I never asked him to do, mind you I never asked him to stop either!

I have never seen anybody drink as much Dog Bite in my life a gentle soul in reality, but cross him and he wouldn't back down, I saw that side plenty of times to attest to that, my problems all came to a head when Steve and some other dear friends decided to move to America, they naturally wanted me to go with them, me the soft shite that I was, missed the boat and decided not to go, I would be fine here in good old blighty.......erm not! no sooner had they gone then my tales of woe started, my tales plenty of which I have bitched about here and in other blogs/books and that's not what its all about.

I only ever saw him once again after he moved to the states and we had a cracking weekend in London, the old stomping grounds with plenty of friends and plenty of drink my, last sight of him was him literally putting me in my chair on a train back to Newcastle and tussling my hair as he said "just like old times" I never saw him again after that. we spoke quite often and we wrote every week (damn this is sounding like a bromance) in the days before the internet, then the world stopped for just a little while, the sky stayed black for the longest time and the wild west was reinvented, I lost a lot of friendships that day.

My only wish  was that the wife never got to meet him, damn that would have been dangerous, too much alike mind you the meeting with the Kraken probably would have ended the relationship pretty much stone dead in its tracks, why a blog like this, well as you know my boat is a little leaky and I needed something to help shore up the tired boards, I don't even have a picture of one my dearest and best friends now that does make me sad, but I have all the good memories, the laughs, being abandoned nearly naked in Hexham covered in cow shit (don't ask) the times unsuspecting dinner plates being thrust before you (you really did have to inspect all the food) more drink, more sound advice, being saved from students being saved from the police, that and the fact my mother thought the world of him and she wasn't a bad judge of character.

I do miss the dawn patrol I miss the adventures I miss the camaraderie, I have some awesome friends in my life, its the ones that were taken way too soon that are the ones I miss the most, until the next time ..........Toodles. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Dying inside

You know its not a good start if I use a Gary Barlow song title for the blog, this one will be very short, issues have arisen (my issues no one else's) I had one bad night sleep, my first since the end of the CBT treatment and since then every thing has been off kilter, I don't want to mix I don't want to play and if I'm honest I really don't want to write.

Writing though usually helps (hence the little blog) I was looking for stuff to read generally to take my mind off how shit I feel my life has become, of my own making I know, but hey I'm surprised I lasted this long before spiralling off. I stopped on a lyric website (I have no idea why) and stopped on the Gary Barlow song and the lyrics just slapped me right in the mush!

So now I have to man up and drag myself back to reality and away from being morose, so that's what I will do, the reason for the blog was to man up and admit I had an issue and to let everybody know I was being a pain, I need to stop this thought dead in its tracks otherwise it will drag me back to the blackness that I seem to be craving at the moment.

Anybody who has suffered depression before will understand this, I have drawn a line in the sand and I await the assault on me and I pray that I'm man enough to deal with the issues that are about to assail me, I feel stronger and more confident in dealing with these things (I hope)but the feeling of being sick of my crap life and my in ability to climb out from underneath the wreck that is called life, so until the storm passes......................Toodles

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Waiting

A self imposed exile from the blogging world, as life in the real world has taken a decidedly serious turn for a change, not for me personally but my world is running slightly off kilter as I sit here typing this here blog, the wife has been really ill for the last 7 weeks, getting better then getting much worse there's light at the end of the tunnel (allegedly) but it's right off in the distance so fingers crossed it hasn't been good. Work has been mental and the rest of the blog actually is mainly about that.....but as always I get ahead of myself. a close personal friend has also been told that he has only a short time to live, so I have also being trying to get a handle on that.

Blogging was the last thing on my mind I even stopped checking numbers for a short while, I had a blog sorted (still got it, I might even post it at the weekend)then I ran into technology issues and then a wall of self pity, and then everything went tilt, right then mother earth did what she does best and basically told me to saddle up it's going to be a bumpy ride, I set about looking after the wife who had been poorly for nearly seven weeks (I'm sure that I may have mentioned this I'm not trying to score points of sympathy for what happens later on in the blog)and I was concerned, dammit I even used the telephone to talk to .........another human being that's how concerned for the wife I was, a funny one step forward four steps back kind of illness, I had a trip to London for work and I couldn't get out of it, the wife was getting cranky and I knew how this would play.

As I said I was concerned the good lady of the house was hacking and hacking and hacking some more and not sleeping not a great mixture, the youngest actually had to come back from the kraken's and look after her mother, I had a trip to do and it wasn't what I wanted to do, the wife had attempted to go to work, and was sent home immediately, not before being a super trooper and collecting my train tickets for the jaunt, she came home and collapsed on the settee, coughing and wheezing just a tad, Sunday came and the youngest collected all her stuff up in a bundle and came home (via taxi)and we sent mother off to bed we then spent the day sorting out me for my journey, my taxi was booked for first thing in the morning.

Clothes sorted and bag packed we hit the hay and I soon drifted off to the delicate sound of thunder that was my wife trying to cough her lungs out! all the alarms were set but I needn't have worried I was awake long before they went off and I nimbly (just means I didn't fall over anything in the dark) picked my way through the Chinese laundry that is our bedroom, I was booted and suited long before I had to be, and I was even at the taxi office across the road a good ten minutes before I had to be, the driver was over the moon it meant that I wasn't going to impact on his regular early morning pick ups and I was deposited at Central Station in Newcastle a good fifty minutes before my train was due to leave, and there's me thinking that my wife is the only demon driver on the road, to be honest we never saw another car  on the road until we hit the car park so it was never going to take that long to get there!

I arrived at the platform to find out that the train had developed a fault and we were going to be travelling on a smaller train (it was still fecking huge) so we were split all over the place instead of being together, that didn't last long as one of our party had more neck than a giraffe and we soon all together again chatting and enjoying first class travel and all that goes with it, free drinks breakfast (which was yum yum) while others dozed I sat and people watched there's just as many freaks in first class as there is in a bus heading to the asylum on a regular jaunt to work.

As it was early morning most of the journey was done with the outside world in total darkness, I dozed slightly (me with my reputation) when I woke up I noticed there a small but delightful field of windmills which made me smile (hey what happened to me) we arrived at our destination while all the regular travellers jockeyed for position like troops spilling out of a landing craft on D day on one of the beaches waiting for the machine guns to starting spitting out their lead kisses ..........actually it didn't happen and we gathered our belongings and joined the massive throng of people pouring out the station towards the taxi rank like ants looking for something sweet! the lines were huge but a young chap soon marshalled us and the rest of us clones like cattle to the slaughter!

Our taxi driver was cheerful cheeky chappie who had us in stitches going on about that clan of rats who were everywhere, yes you guessed it "cyclists" what made it really funny was one of the nuggets coming off after a particularly spectacular suicide bid in a busy junction and jumping up as though nobody had noticed, every taxi driver tooted and shouted at him to let him know we had all seen it, I have nothing against two wheels but some of the moves that these people tried it appears that most are trying to die in a wonderful way so they can top the Darwin awards! we were soon ensconced in the London headquarters of the company that I sell my soul to just to keep a roof over our heads, it didn't start well as we had to listen to an insurance bod telling us without the aid of his PowerPoint presentation how we were at the vanguard of saving our company millions of pounds (no shit Sherlock) nice to see I'm not the only doofus when it comes to technology the meeting wasn't starting well we weren't even in a meeting room we were in the ground floor canteen, and we were all sat on benches like at school, after a lifetime the insurance man was wrestled to the ground and we ascended the lift to the third floor meeting room it got marginally better from there on.....only just!

I'm not going to give you a blow by blow account of fire safety in the nations shopping centres lets just say it was...........enthralling..................NOT! the day drifted on and then I received a text that cut my legs from under me, my best friend (the fittest person I know) at work announced he had been given weeks to live after a nearly a year off fighting the disease we all fear, it came back with a vengeance and my mind didn't stay in the meeting I retreated into what I do best I headed for a window and the skyline of London, I showed my boss who had been part of our travelling group the text and he was just as shocked as I was, the day had taken a dark turn, for once I didn't have a lot to say in the meeting I let others kick off when the need called for it, I was glad when the meeting was over (nearly 70 minutes over time) I just wanted to get back out in the street, my works phone had been capable of receiving texts in our head office but for some reason my personal phone hadn't, it soon sprang to life spitting out texts from friends and others talking about the news that had been announced, there was also a text from the Kraken.................no wait it was from the wife who was asking why I hadn't asked how she was, I couldn't believe the message I had been conversing with my daughter while my wife slept I resisted the urge to phone in a crowded taxi and kick off, I got to my hotel room and she get the message before I kicked off in atomic style I wasn't happy!

The wife had gone into spiteful mode (I know she was ill and I was concerned) but I was there for work and not some jolly jaunt, if I could have gotten out of it I would have (mind you in the long term it seems that I made the right decision to go) we danced like boxers looking for an opening thankfully nothing presented itself because the argument would have been ugly and we would both have been losers, not our finest moment, but something the wife does every time I go away (see previous blogs under the heading of paying for other peoples idiosyncrasies and being accused of being the same...........REALLY) I never go away with tons of money in my pocket we never have any ..........carried on at wifeandhermoneyishers.com, a meal had been organised and as always it turns into a long winded effort paid for by the managing director, its a time to chat and get to know each other, again I wasn't the fool I sat at the end of the table not wanting to mix, I didn't want to kill the night but I really didn't want to be there, I'm glad I wasn't drinking or paying for it as a pint would have been £8 a pint, others made up for my abstinence! I seemed to be waiting ages for our main course to arrive actually nearly an hour after the starter was trotted out and scoffed, the starter was decided for us and it was Mezz not what I wanted, but the easiest way to deal with us, a few people stopped by at my end of the table it would appear I have made an impression of people who I only usually see about once a year, I'm not the solitary island I seem to think of myself and I received one or two invites to go and visit and cast my opinion over their fiefdoms, maybe later in the year you never know, mind you it has been agreed that the next meeting shall be in my neck of the woods, that could get messy I hope the wife reads this as I am giving plenty of notice of my intention to show them all a great time!

Finally my main course arrived (I went with a lamb shank please see attached photograph ) and I devoured my meal in eleven minutes I then cut out from the restaurant to make two phone calls one to my friend which is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done and then to the wife to mend fences that we had both kicked down over nothing thankfully we did and I was in bed by twenty past nine in London and I slept the sleep of the dead until four thirty where I sat up like someone had kicked me right in the slats (the wife doing her Kraken impression with a voodoo doll of me perhaps) it was at that moment I realised I had gone to bed and not taken my medication damn I felt like hammered shite, I made a cup of tea had my chocolate hob nobs and waited, went for a walk, my hotel was right next to the London eye so an early morning jaunt along the embankment was a welcome relief, I lived here for nearly three years on and off over thirty years ago I realised now I never once stopped to smell the roses I barely know the place I waited for the sun to show its face, I went back to the hotel and have my ritual bath, then spent time waiting some more just wanting to go home and see my cantankerous wife who would just shout at me a bit more, I was done and deflated, I waited for the crew to descend for breakfast, the boss was paying so I certainly waited, some familiar faces (drunken bums) over the breakfast I ate my fill, old habits die hard and now everybody knew why I wasn't my best the previous night, mind you I would have still been in bed by ten hahahahaha the rock and roll life style I'm not allowed, we said our goodbyes and checked out and headed our own separate ways!

we got back to Kings Cross with plenty of time and while the coffee junkies went off in search of a fix, I was Jonesing for my own and I sat and wrote in a sidewalk cafĂ© about my adventures in the big smoke which consisted mainly of waiting. I very nearly turned into my dark pet I'm so glad I hadn't and the warm journey back to the (proper) north was soon over, and the second breakfast of Chicken Tikka Masala was lush yum yum! a minor complication soon presented itself when I couldn't find out where to get the bus home..............GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, thankfully a friendly member of our wide awake club at work (that's the police to you) came to my assistance and I was back in Gimpsville by three in the afternoon safely back in the prison of my own making I mean the arms of my loving Krak....I mean wife...........I'm sure she will see the funny side of this (NOT).

Did I enjoy my time away, of course not as always I was made to feel as guilty as a husband fucking off to Benidorm for a stag do! I should have, but as always outside factors kicked in and I very nearly spun off into the direction of darkness, at some point I need to address that, maybe when I can get someone's undivided attention, these meetings are a necessary evil they are about networking and creating a team of people who can do the job better when they go forward as a team, damn who knew I would be an adult one day, when did that happen? my job I love it, I don't care much for some of the politics that go with it, let me just crack on and do it,
 
mind you a lottery win would help oh dear as if!

And that's what I have been up to, lots more work and early rises, trying to catch up but it dawned on me today I remember that the creator of Dr Suess once said Don't cry because it's over Smile because it Happened! and on that note Toodles!







Saturday, 10 January 2015

Just for the record

I have realised that all I like(sorry that should read as LOVE) music, most of the artists that I love are primarily what are now known as "classic" rock I do like some new music.....just not much! I have to admit there are only a select handful that I have stuck with through thick and thin, Queen if I'm honest I think I stopped being a super fan around 1979 although I limped (and bought fucking everything with their name on it) on until the day Freddie Mercury died, still enjoyed some of the tracks but as a whole albums didn't match up to the seventies catalogue, Blue oyster cult I have never stopped loving them even through the "club ninja" period now as they preserve as Two oyster cult I still love them I just wished they released new music occasionally, Judas Priest need I say more OK so we will skip over Nostradamus! Kiss I still like the new stuff and I really don't care if the junkies/alcoholics aren't in the band they still rock so go figure, I could go on and on (what do you mean I usually do) but today I'm going to travel back in time to a band who on first listen I kind of rejected.............me with my reputation! how do I remember most of this shit? I don't, but I used to keep a diary and even in those days I would write down tons of shit purely because I could.

1982.

Music ....drink......music......more drink..............girls (not many but some)..................and lots more drink were the order of the day, me and the motley crew that I called friends may not have had lots of money, but we sure as hell did have some fun. off around Gimpsville (my hometown) off to Newcastle and Durham for local gigs and fun and frolics, off to London for more of the same as well as work some serious work music music and then some music! we would hit various venues I wonder how many bands that I like now I stood at the bar in the marquee (or various other music venues) because I didn't get, I few I did straight away (FM being one but that's another blog for another time). I do remember trying (if I was sober) to give any band that I saw a couple of songs at least but then again sometimes (in a fast show voice) I was usually very very drunk!

Summer of 1982 me and a few friends were off to the Theakston festival at Wakefield we had a choice of that or the Reading festival, I'm not a fan of outdoor gigs never have been and as for festivals well I went if there was going to be free drink (woo hoo) I had gone to the previous two Reading festivals and although they were good I hadn't enjoyed them from a drunk point of view (I kept wandering off and kept needing to be rescued) Theakston was one day so I could focus purely on the headlining band (Jethro Tull) and spend the day getting absolutely hammered. I made a rookie mistake  I took a new girlfriend with me and lets say it didn't help me, I was the first in the beer tent and probably the last one out (without said new girlfriend) we got there quite early and the weather was quite nice (I'm not 100% as I was in said beer tent for at least some of the day .....tee hee) I missed the first band of the day most of the gang had wandered off to see them but wandered back when the PA system broke down but allegedly the Tall Scottish vocalist had some good banter, maybe one to watch next time ...........bar man PINT!

I managed to see at least three songs by Lindisfarne before requiring to lie and blink for several (minutes) seconds, I woke up as they said their goodbyes, so I wandered back to the beer tent and fell out with said new/ex girlfriend because I kept buying her pints well I didn't require the exercise that buying half's would have given me, we had some great banter and generally had a smashing time (although I didn't realise that said new/ex girlfriend had already made her mind up that I wasn't the one, I don't know I'm like fungus I have a tendency to grow on you....I hope) Jethro Tull were great and I remember sleeping in a friends car going home as everybody else went off to see the last day of the Reading festival, me I wanted the pub......go figure!

Fast forward a few months and I was being a much better behaved boy with a new girlfriend and virtually the same group of friends who had arranged to go to Redcar to see the band that had been the opening act at Wakefield, now on the day I was being a misery, not because I wanted to but simply the issue I had was in it's earliest stage and when it gripped me there was very little I could do about it, we all met in the salutation in Durham and I remember sticking with the girlfriend and not drinking alcohol because I knew I would spiral out into a major freak out, something I didn't want to happen, thankfully my friends saw the signs and were damn good at keeping me occupied and in touch with some semblance of reality. The mini bus turned up and to be damn truthful I was tempted to bugger off into Durham and just get Hammered I wasn't wanting to go and see some Prog rock band.

The journey didn't take as long as feared but there had been an accident so we were late to the venue, we hadn't intended to see the support (so we weren't disappointed) band but we walked in and the headline band were in full stride and in that second the night was transformed the band held my attention from the word get go, and the vocalist although not the best singer in the world, had me hooked I loved the music (more like Yes than Genesis) this was my initiation into the world of FISH.
gig over I sat at the back of the mini bus and although I think some of my friends seemed worried for me they needn't have been as I was totally blown away, I now just had to see what I could do to see them again.

1983

I had a few months to wait but I had gotten some advance (hey I worked with people in music companies you are darn right I was going abuse those relationships) notice of the tour for the debut album by Marillion and I intended to see as many shows as I possibly could, I still had to work around my work schedule but I was devious to a fault  and managed to get a couple of dates before a long weekend of work in Manchester (Bradford and the Newcastle Mayfair where I lost yet another girlfriend as she thought I was in love with someone else, I was a bloody big Scotsman about three rows in front of me or rather his lyrics). a couple of days at work then on to (Nottingham and then Birmingham) then another long weekend of work then a run of eight gigs in something like fourteen days, weaving writing gigs in between at Sheffield I lost some money and really struggled to do the Liverpool and Manchester dates although money was always going to be tight I had no intention of not doing the gigs and I also think I was a strange fan as I have never really wished to meet the people who I like (musically) over the years I have many times but in truth they are just people. so I never used to hang around unless I knew the crew or even the band itself I was usually (hic) in the pub trying to be mysterious reading Kerouac!

Then there was the withdrawal symptoms, no new gigs (for Marillion) until the Reading festival I didn't want to go but hey why, not again the usual crew without girlfriends as we were only doing the Saturday night and we got there just as Mama's boys "put the needle in the groove" we enjoyed Magnum and went a bit daft for Anvil (still a fan these days) down the front and then went in search of drink, I was sorry for missing Suzi Quatro but not Stevie Ray Vaughn does that make me any less a music fan, and we were in place for Marillion as they came on stage, what was so funny they went down so well Black Sabbath (or was it deep Sabbath or black purple that year) staged a fire on the stage they were meant to be playing as headliners that night and nobody gave a shit. Once the set was completed we buggered off home and I joked that Sabbath would encore with smoke on the water (and they did ..........ooops).

Then the long wait until the Christmas gigs and my very first year away from my family starting at Nottingham (rock city and the last time in this venue for more than twenty something years.....it didn't change) down to the Hammersmith Odeon for the first time of me seeing them on what was always a great gig, then off to Aylesbury to what was meant to their spiritual home but to me the gig was flat too many chatting while they were on stage, I suppose you had to be  in the clique! we headed back to the bright lights of Birmingham as soon as the encore was completed, we rested up in a pub (what a surprise) and had a great day chatting to some of the crew (again a blog for another day when you consider one of them married my first wife) a great gig and then possibly the best show up until that point a new years eve gig at the Edinburgh playhouse and yes I was sober...........go figure!

1984

During the day in Birmingham I discovered that the new album (to be called Fugazi) was being released in February, so lots of dancing with the devil saving money and generally doing anything I could to try and get some free tickets ( I only paid for the Newcastle gig ....WTF)  I intended to do ten gigs and then the London gigs however well laid plans and the such like I did  the Leeds and Lancaster gigs only to eat something dodgy in Liverpool I struggled through the Manchester and Glasgow gigs before totally missing the Edinburgh gig with the hotel calling a doctor for me and for him to confirm I had food poisoning, thankfully a friend who lived in Edinburgh got me home so I could sleep in a familiar bed. On to Birmingham chilling at a friends flat still trying to recover I did the Leicester gig but I wasn't getting better I did the Sheffield gig and jumped on the last train back north heading to Gimpsville. I never did another show on the tour as it happens I was ill for about six weeks not a good time for me but one of the first times in nearly two years when I never had a drink, this was a turning point for me.

Musically at this point I was always walking around with a bag at this point with my Walkman and lots of tapes, the two Marillion albums done a number of times at this point I was playing these two albums on a daily basis as they spoke to me, personally they helped, certain songs for certain moods I hated London by this point and Fugazi (title track) was a regular different songs helped and they did. I had intended to go the Final Status Quo show at Milton Keynes but I had work and I couldn't get there I wasn't a happy bunny , but sometimes those are the breaks, I had to wait until the obligatory Christmas shows which did the trick, a couple of shows in early November in Liverpool and Poole and I didn't eat for forty eights hours on that trip as I didn't want to get poisoned again, then three shows at the Hammersmith Odeon finishing off at Manchester and Nottingham (this time the more posh theatre royal only spitting distance from rock City and it was funny I was scratching my head as I went off to Firefest in 2012 as I vaguely remembered the venues).

1985

Misplaced Childhood: I have done this tour to death previously and if you haven't read it maybe you should have bought the books, I never toured  to see shows like this again and it stayed with me, a very personal time and I came out of it a much better person for it, I still couldn't write as good as him.

1987

My life had moved on again covered in many blogs and books mentioned previously I was recently divorced and I suffered turning back to the bottle, simply because I was weak willed and because I could, music had disappeared from my lifestyle, I was still going to gigs and the such like but that part of my life was closed I had become a civilian and I knew it, I hadn't bought clutching at straws I didn't want to know, some friends helped (as always) took pity on me and I got an early present for Christmas when I was given the album on cassette, it happened again that spotlight moment, again the lyrics spoke to me about my life my journey and where I wasn't going to, the oblivion that I was facing and what I needed to do, that album was played to death over the next year virtually every single day, the next time  that would happen was with Fish's last album a feast of consequences, I got the bug (metaphorically speaking)I managed to blag some tickets for some gigs Two in Edinburgh where Fish looked tired and didn't seem to be with it even though the gigs were great (little did we know) then two nights at the NEC in Birmingham where the stage looked too big for the whole band but again there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on, I loved the shows but these were the first time ever seeing the band by myself and sober,.

1988

Newcastle city hall for one last time and it was a great gig but oh so bitter sweet the band as whole were on fire I had wanted to do more gigs  but my connections weren't what they had once been, and I needed my job in the real world, so with a heavy heart I knew I would see them on the next tour, I attended a wedding in London in the April and discovered and managed to get on the guest list to see them at the Marquee club something I had never done, I had seen the various members there ligging over the years I even saw Fish steal the Guinness pump from the bar on the infamous last night where I bet Dresden would have looked better after all the devastation of people stealing historically items, at least Fish (seemed) to have permission for the pump I wonder whatever happened to that pump? my intention was to go and see the band at Fife aid but issues with Travel to the gig was problematic so I bottled it, I wished I hadn't as I could have actually seen them do their last gig with Fish.

1989 and beyond.

Did I go and see the separate parties well yes I did I loved the seasons end album but when I went to see them at the city hall I realised it wasn't for me and we bid adieu in a live setting I left after four songs as soon as H started singing Fish material I got the hell out of dodge, maybe if they had treated it as a separate entity and maybe changed the name? I'm not sure, they have done some nice music but noting that touches close to the original four albums, hey that's my opinion what the fuck do I know, as for the big scots man I still follow him to this day and he was my first Tattoo (but that is another blog for yet another day) the crux of this blog though is I still play those first four albums and they still speak to me (not in a stalker kind of way) but they helped me through some crap times. I realise I still use music to help me though my moods I hoped this is what people who follow this blog wanted because keep your hands in boys and girls there's a few more.................incoming.......so watch the skies and until the next time Toodles!