Being slack, sort of!!

I promised to write at least once a week, so this is my token effort as I have been busy building a table from scratch.

I am not a carpenter, nor labourer of any kind I am an ICT technician, I fix computers! So what made me build a table, well first reason was to see if I could the second and most important was because of what happened back in May.

Background, my wife is disabled with a fractured coccyx and several prolapsed discs in her spine. This means that depending on the day depends on the amount of pain she is in and therefore she requires a lot of help for simple things that we take for granted like getting up out of a chair to go to the toilet!
I am in the RAF and we like to work hard and play hard, so there is always a social function going on at some point, due to my wifes condition it takes a lot of planning just to go for a couple of beers. So I decided to have a social at my house, I figured that if I did a BBQ and had some people round from work then it would dispel the myth that I am an anti-social git lol!

So I had a BBQ, I did everything (almost) I chopped and mixed the salad, made the coleslaw, burgers I made them beef, mushroom and ale aswell as turkey, apple and herb (they were lovely) my 10yr old son made a chili (I have been teaching him the dark arts of cooking, his chili was so popular that I didn’t get any!) I made an apple and cherry pie (in a cake tin so it is about 4 inches deep, yummy) and a chocolate tart. I cooked all the food, had a few beers and a lot of laughs that night. I had mixed some apple juice in a 2 litre bottle with some cinnamon sticks and the plan was to heat it up and mix it with some spiced rum towards the end of the night (but most were driving so the rum stayed in the cupboard), however at half past nine that night we were all huddled around the BBQ while the apple juice was heating up because it was freezing, shortly after we all went inside as it was too cold.

I like being outside and I like being sat round the table with everyone, but how do I solve the heat problem. I don’t own my house I rent it so I couldn’t build a fire pit in the garden (which I would love to do), a chiminea is good but not great and all the portable fire pits I saw, I didn’t like (I am fussy like that). So bugger it I decided to make my own table with built in fire pit. Easy……..

……Not easy, I was building the table out of wood! Wood burns! Wood burns really well! So how do I solve this problem? Ahh well I will figure it out, but in the mean time I will build the table anyway and think about it as I go!
I will say again I have never done this before, but it has provided me with hours of relaxation (and sunburn lol) I had an idea for the fire pit, small portable BBQ sat in a recess in the table.

Table base    It almost looks like a table   Fire goes in the middle

Winner, lets do a test burn with it sat on a piece of wood, bugger its burned straight through it! Next plan coat the base of BBQ in fire cement, that will insulate it, well it did. A bit anyway yet it still burned through the wood. Table is 70 percent built at this stage. Had a look online for inspiration, someone has done it using gas filtered up through sand, looks good but as much as I am not a carpenter I don’t trust myself fitting gas pipes! But the sand idea could work. Stood in the kitchen one night I see a bottle of bio-ethanol that I had brought for some tiki torches, EUREKA!!! Make a quick foil dish fill with sand, soak with ethanol and light it. It works, it looks awesome, my wife wasn’t too impressed when I walked it through the house on an oven tray to show her!!

I discovered fire!

No matter how safe you think you are being, carrying the above through your house to show your wife isn’t safe!!! (apparently!)

Fire table  The flower begins  Gains some leaves  Flower complete

So now in the middle of my table is a BBQ filled with sand, with a foil dish sunk into it also filled with sand, which gets saturated with fuel and then lit! It looks awesome (if I do say so myself). The past two nights I have painted a nice little floral design into each corner and as soon as this beautiful British weather comes back I will varnish it and it will be complete. I have to say I am impressed, by no means is it perfect, it has odd angles and the BBQ isn’t exactly centred, but bloody hell I’ve built a table with no skills a bit of “back of the fag packet” maths, an idea in my head and some good old guess work!


Optimistic Pessimist or The World is Burning, But at Least The Fires Look Pretty !!!

Some background, I have been in my job for 16 years now (well have done different jobs, but all under the umbrella of the RAF), I have two great kids, one of each and in my personal humble opinion I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world! (Argue with me I dare yah lol) Three years ago my wife fell whilst roller blading and damaged her back, two years later we found out on top of all of the spinal issues she also had a fractured coccyx and a year later she still has all of that going on and they have just found a tumour in her leg!

Now throughout all of this frustration, frustration for her as she has lost her life for the past three years, my daughter is 6 in August my son has just turned 10 and for the past three years I have been, father, mother and carer. I may be kicked out of the RAF (incidentally a job I really enjoy and planned to complete my full 22yrs and more if I could) because I cannot meet my commitments to the service, I cannot deploy as my wife needs round the clock care. But the thing that bothers me the most is my wife, seeing her in pain every day is killing me, I cannot do anything about her pain, if I could take it away from her and put it on me then I would do it in a heartbeat with no questions asked. I am getting angrier and angrier as the days have turned into weeks, turned into months, turned into years and we are still no closer to finding out what is causing the massive amounts of pain that she is in. We know what her injuries are, prolapsed discs, desiccation throughout the spine, fractured coccyx and now the tumour. But the surgeons cannot seem to tell us why she is in so much pain, they are quick to tell us that they cannot do any more as they cannot see anything wrong (except for what is wrong). We had one consultant, he was the one that diagnosed the fractured coccyx, he was brilliant. He took one look at her scans and informed us that the disc protrusion had disintegrated so that they were no longer pushing up against the nerves, same thing we had been told by the previous consultant but instead of telling my wife that the pain was all in her head (as the previous consultant had) he examined her again, re-read her notes and asked questions. Then he said “I am 95% sure without a scan that you have a fractured coccyx” and booked her for a scan lo and behold the results came back with a fractured coccyx. Downside that particular consultant returned to Israel and we never got to see him again to even say thank you for taking the time to listen.

Time and time again we go back and forth to the hospital, told one thing at one appointment and then something completely different at the next appointment. To say that it is frustrating would be understating the situation. This week brought around another MRI scan (so that is 6 in 3 years, 1 CT scan and a couple of X-Rays) the idiots at the hospital had her booked in as a walking patient to go on the mobile scanner, now since she has to take stretcher transport to get to the hospital walking is pretty much out of the question so they changed scanners to the one inside, but she had an anxiety attack brought on by claustrophobia so she couldn’t have the scan done. This has brought her mood lower than it has ever been, and her depression is at an all time high (<<irony!) I find myself having to be happy for the both of us, which gets harder as now our son isn’t bringing his problems to us as he sees how much we have on our plates and doesn’t want to add to them (kid genuinely has a heart of gold). It also doesn’t help that because I am so pissed off and angry I am shouting and raising my voice more and instead of letting the small things go I am turning them into big massive issues that have to be dealt with at 2000 decibels of rage. It isn’t fair and it is also like part of my mind goes on a tea break at that particular time. I am in control physically, but mentally and vocally I am being controlled by something else.
Despite all this I stay optimistic, I try and find the good in all situations no matter how bad. For example my wife, her injury has brought us closer together through adversity than we had been in the previous six years of marriage, we have had to learn to cope in an entirely different way and found that we love each other all the more for it (even if I am not the cleanest, house-proud person in the world lol)
Despite everything going on at work, lack of staff, idiots getting done and causing me grief, the threat of my career being over, I still enjoy the job and I work with a great team of people.
I have two beautiful kids, who are intelligent, caring and above all else have an awesome sense of humour (my daughter will laugh for hours over a simple fart, her own gaseous outbreaks will reduce her to fits of giggles). My son’s sarcastic streak is a mile wide and growing, but not in a nasty way he is really funny with it. Josh will see a problem and try and solve it, Jasmine will ignore the problem and solve it. They are so similar yet so different it is refreshing when I actually stop and see the world as they look at it, I love giving them puzzles and seeing what their brain comes up with.

Above all something I read sticks in my head as much as the family mottos do. From my dads side of the family “As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way!” from my moms side “Placid until pushed” my own “From within chaos, comes order!”, this sticks in my head “The great thing about being a pessimist is that you spend 50% of the time being proven right, and the other 50% pleasantly surprised!”
So paternally I learned to be optimistic, but realistic as sometimes things do go wrong!
Maternally I learned that it is okay to fight for what you believe, but try to stay calm and deal with it first!
I taught myself that even when things go wrong, you learn from it and it will turn around.
And finally from those words of wisdom of which I cannot even remember where I heard them, I learned this valuable lesson. It is okay to see the bad in a situation, but it isn’t always bad so look a little harder and instead of being naively optimistic or stupidly pessimistic all the time, try and be optimistically pessimist!

Why the Need to Hate Someone Different?

I have never been the most tolerant of people, often quick to anger, insult and generally be a bit of a prick! But never (to the best of my memory apart from the one part with Dave, see below) because someone is different, whether it be a different religion (they all take my ire and respect equally), different race (I don’t care what colour you are, lets chat and have a laugh), your sexuality (I really couldn’t give a shit if you have just had sex with Steve, Dave or if Lisa is sleeping with Kerry) are you trans /vestite/gender (granted I will be curious, what made you realise etc), are you a hermaphrodite?
Differences are what make us sane, make us stand out from the crowd (just remember you are unique, just like everybody else). If it were not for our differences then everybody would be the same and that would be incredibly boring.
I will start with my comment regarding religion (the ire and respect one), I am not religious in any shape form or way. I would like to think there is some kind of afterlife, because my dad still owes me a tenner and it would be nice to eventually get it back (with interest), but I do not believe in an almighty or even collection of Almighty’s sat upstairs watching us and preparing to judge us on our arrival. I like learning about religions because I feel that although I do not believe in the dogma, the overall fundamentals of religion do preach peace and love and set the basis for a decent moral code to live by.
I do think some religions got it wrong
Christianity – Jesus and God
Islam – Mohammed and Allah
Buddhism – More a philosophy than a religion

Hinduism – Brahma the creator, Vishnu the protector, Shiva the destroyer, Ganesha the remover of obstacles,

Sikhism – Again more philosophy
Asatru/Odinism (Norse) – Odin, Thor, Frigg, Freya, Loki, Hel (guess where she rules lol)

Now in my books for diversity the Norse and the Hindus are meeting hammer and nail every time, Hindus get bonus points for the amount of colour they throw around (in some ceremonies quite literally) they celebrate in a way that no other religion really does. Most religion is so dour and boring, if you believe that desperately and fervently that you have this great omnipotent creator in the sky that created the world in 6 days before having a siesta on the 7th, then celebrate that fact don’t bloody mourn it. Although if the bible is to be believed we have had the zombie apocalypse and it wasnt quite that apocalyptic, Jesus raised from the dead?? One man does not make an apocalypse, disappointing!
Now as long as you take out the whole creationism ideal as there is incontrovertible proof that the world is a lot older than Christianity would lead us to believe then religion gets it right, “Do unto others” etc etc. However it is also damning of those that are different,

“Exodus 20:2-6 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

So not only does it provide no wiggle room for the potential for other gods to give him a hand, it seeks to punish those who don’t believe and not just punish you but your grand children and great grand children!! Bastard! For the most part the people I know use religion as a way of life, a set of ideals of which to live by and that is great as I have already said for the most part religions get this right. But they seem to be at odds with themselves, for example

Mark 12:31 states “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Deuteronomy 13:1-18 states “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. … “

So you can love your neighbour, but you should put to death someone who worships a different invisible man to you??

I just don’t get this, it makes no sense!

Well that covers the religion part of this exercise (and please remember I am a heathen non believer so I quite possible have oversimplified things! I do however welcome conversation)
So onto the next socially pointless argument for disliking someone!

Race, this boils down to the age-old tribal warfare when someone or a group of someones coming into your country used to be quite an aggressive act (it usually involved a fair bit of rape and pillaging!) These days (as a general rule) immigration is a lot more civil. Yes there are gangs of immigrants that beat people to within an inch of their lives, but we have our own gangs that do that (more on this later in the sports section!)
Lets break this down into the most simplified terms and see just how stupid it sounds

“I dont like you (even though you haven’t done me any harm) because you’re not from round here!”

It’s quite frankly ridiculous, I have lost friends and people I know over the years in places like Afghanistan and Iraq (part of the price serving in the military brings), I don’t blame all Afghanis or all Iraqis for what has happened. I blame the “INDIVIDUAL” not the entire race, it is not a difficult concept. I mean ffs there are people who are still alive now (most of them under the age of 40 that “still” (lol) hold a grudge against Germany and the Germans for what happened in WW2.

It makes me question how they were raised, to have so much hate and to be this angry for no reason isn’t healthy. These people to be fair are usually the same sort of people who march with groups like Britain First and the English Defence League screaming about how all (insert hate target flavour of the month) should get out! These people fail to see that the majority of people they are screaming at to “get out of our country” were born here themselves. Britain First are currently the crown champions of hypocrisy. Due to one terrible incident (well in fact it was many incidents over a period of time – The grooming and raping of girls in Rotherham) their chant of choice “Muslim Paedos off our streets!” is made to seem even more hypocritical when you find out that one of their Regional Commanding Officers (loving the pseudo military titles) is actually a convicted paedophile, but don’t worry he is white and English so it doesn’t count!
What makes me laugh though is that they are constantly complaining about immigrants whilst trying to recruit British immigrants overseas (there so-called Ex-Pat division lol).

I will revisit the subject of hate groups like Britain First, but for now onto

Sport, why is a game taken so seriously that it can and has literally broken down into full-blown riots all because one team didn’t win? I like sport when it is played between two teams that love the game and are playing their hearts out, what I can’t stand is when the fans take it so seriously. I understand passion and excitement during the game and after it, but is there any need for the animosity, abuse and all the other crap? Sportsman like conduct apparently only applies to those playing the game? I have been to numerous Ice Hockey games (unfortunately not well followed in the UK) where both lots of fans have had a drink together after the game and light-hearted banter is as heated as it gets. I have been to exactly two football games in my 33yrs of being alive, one when I was about 8 and I was cold, it was raining and I had nowhere to sit (standing only at the time) so we left early, the second time I was about 17 and despite my team winning I could not wait to get out of the stadium and get away from there, there was an atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife (and you would probably break the blade!) Later saw on the news that there were 6 arrests and 4 people in the hospital. To top it off certain football teams have “firms” whose sole responsibility is to beat the crap out of the opposing teams fans, why? It serves no purpose, is the result of a football game that important that risking arrest and a criminal conviction is worth it?

The final entry in this blog is probably the one I feel the strongest about as all of the others consist of differences that are historically tribal with race, learned values from religion or a modern form of warfare with sport. This last one is simply nobody else’s business.

SEX and Sexual Preference– Heads out of the gutters you lot, there will be no bodice ripping or cod piece bulging in this blog, not on my watch!!

So to begin, I am a straight, white male. I am married with two kids, two cats and a dog, I enjoy shopping (weird right?), baking, playing on my Xbox or doing DIY (badly). I admit at times being a chauvinist believe that you women are fragile creatures in need of protection, then I get grief off one of you for it and I come to the realisation that I am at heart a feminist. I believe in equality, I do not (one more time) DO NOT believe that women cannot do something just because they are female. I have a daughter and I am trying to teach her that if she wants to do something she shouldn’t listen to those that tell her she can’t because she’s a girl. I hold doors open for women, not because I believe they are incapable (I have been accused of this before!), but because I am polite. I will hold doors open for men too.
I have male and female friends who just happen to be gay, I have no trans-gender ones that I know about (they would be subject to the same strict regime of sarcasm and banter that all my friends share lol) it isn’t their sexuality that makes them my friends. Adam and Eve are welcome at my house for a BBQ just as much as Adam and Steve, as long as they chip in for the beer then everything will remain chilled lol

I wasn’t always this way and I can remember when it all clicked into place. About 12 years ago, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a wonderfully divers group of people, there were straight people, a few lesbians (woohoo phwoar, don’t forget I was younger, stupider and hornier at this point), there were a couple of greedy (bi) girls and just one gay bloke! Now despite not officially coming out, everyone knew he was gay and (as much as I dislike myself now for the idiot I used to be) subconsciously I treated him differently for it. Jump to a week night just before the London Pride festival, and we are all in the bar chatting, the girls are sharing their plans to go down to London to enjoy the festivities, the gay guy (I will call him Dave for this piece), Dave downs the rest of his pint in one, stands up and says he has an announcement, he got his bravery up and came out of the closet there and then as he was planning to go to pride himself and he wanted to join in and chat (not his only reason for coming out, but he confided in me at a later date that it was the beginning of his public and open gayness and one of the hardest things he had ever done). It came as no surprise to us that he was gay, however the surprise for me was that everybody seemed to instantly accept it, which made me thing about all the things I had heard growing up about “shirtlifters, faggots and puffs” and about how little I really knew. That Friday Dave and the girls disappeared of for a weekend of debauchery (trust me I have heard the stories lol) in the capital and I worried about my friend. Not my “Gay” friend, but my friend who just happened to be gay, which made me think even more as the bouncy, confident girls didn’t enter my mind at all, yet my shy, slightly naive, freshly out of the closet friend did! Fast forward to Monday night and once again we were all in the bar (what can I say the military drink, a lot!) the girls were telling us about the weekend and we were laughing at their successes and failures from the weekend. The only person not sharing was Dave, so I asked him how his weekend was “I met someone!” was the hushed response, the whole table went silent and I swear you couldn’t have focused more attention on one person if you had tried. “And?” I asked.
The words literally ran out of his mouth, “He’s gorgeous, muscles, beautiful blue eyes and my god he knows how to use his mouth……..” realising what he had said Dave blushed bright red we all laughed and congratulated him. I was genuinely happy for my friend and I looked around the table and noticed that not everyone was as genuine as me, smiles seemed to be forced from some people. Whereas minutes ago they were hanging on the words of a gay female listening to her describe (in vivid detail) what she had gotten up to in a disabled toilet, a similar story from a gay man scared them. I did the only thing someone like me (who had only recently come to terms with “Gay” as a normal thing) could do, I asked for details and then raised my glass to my friend.
I have no problems these days talking to anybody regarding sex regardless of gender or preference. Granted I still avoid porn with willy’s as I just can’t compete with them (god damn special effects and tricks of the camera). I figure that if a gay man or woman wants to talk about their conquests from the weekend in the same way that a straight person does, then why shouldn’t they? Do they have to be silent whilst listening to everybody else or do the people around them have to change and either listen to their stories or just not share their own?
I watched a program recently called Sense8 and it pretty much covers everything I have written today, now many reviewers and commenters complained about the sex scenes, 1. because of the gay men and 2. because 1 of the lesbians just happened to be male. The biggest issue with this (from my point of view) is that if the overall story was made up of 1000 parts then these sex scenes made up just 5 parts of the whole, but because it happens early on in the series people switched off, this makes no sense to me. I challenge anybody to watch it all and then sum up the entire series based purely on the sex scenes.

Well I figure this rant has taken enough of your time, hopefully you either agree with the things I write about here or I have challenged you enough to think about how you treat others. As usual, comments are there for a reason, I will answer any questions posed.


Not Quite Sure What To Call This

I have the bug, people may not be reading my work and I don’t care. At this stage I am writing for me, if people stumble across my ramblings then fair one. Each day I am inspired by the vast multitude of people using this site to air their views and articulate them in such a way that I wonder why they are not able to share these views wider by writing for national/international publications. As much as the internet is international this site is just one tiny portion of the whole, that if we are to be honest is more interested in porn than reading honest opinions, based on honest feelings backed up with a touch of common sense and humour.

Where would I be without writers like asealskhaki with her eye opening piece “I’m Sick and Tired Of This Shit (The Things My Country Does Best)” about the realities of corruption in India, a piece both inspiring and humour filled in its delivery (and downright assassin like in the case of certain Bollywood “stars” lol).

barbtaub’s, “Serial kid-producer reveals top 10 reasons not to have kids” cheered me up no end today as anybody that has kids cannot help but empathise and nod in understanding whilst laughing and reminiscing.

Katherine over at “I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog – Holdin’ Out for a (Nonwhite)(Funny)(Fictional)Hero” Is a post that makes you think deeply about societies acceptance of a normalcy that really shouldn’t be the norm in the 21st century!

Also mummyspitsthedummy, literally saved me today with “Hungover With Kids (Or, Please Please Just Kill Me Now)”, having to escort a miserable sod around and whilst waiting for one appointment I read this and tried to stop myself from laughing out loud. Her piece about breastfeeding in public as well was enlightening as it was memorable for those that have been in that situation or (for the men, those of us who actually empathise and support).

I am sure there will be more people I thank over the coming weeks, months, Years?? But for this week these ladies have my awe and also help me to reinforce my plans to keep writing in the vain hope that someone takes notice and enjoys it, critiques it, argues with me, agrees with me or whatever.

Self Important Assholes

 So that starts off today, I have decided to write about self important assholes today as I have come across one of these “people” (<<< I use this term loosely) today. Every now and then, I meet these people in the military they tend to be freshly promoted and I can only hope that I wasn’t the same after promotion. Now this particular person is by means of the lucky lottery (as he definitely didn’t get it on merit) recently promoted to the same rank as myself (I got mine on merit lol), walking into work this morning I catch him chewing out (talking to loudly and sternly) a fresh out of the wrapper, just passed training, sprog! Why? Because the sprog had said good morning to him and not addressed him by rank………… Now this grips my shit as we are low enough in the pecking order for first name basis (once you know it of course lol) and not high enough for someone to address us by rank unless we are in the shit. Sprog practically panicked when he saw me coming and just so he avoided a bollocking “Good Morning Corporal!”, this is the bit where I asked him what had gone on and he told me. I hit the roof got the kids name and extension number and set off after the asshole. Needless to say after a large slice of my mind including a point where he tried to argue with me (bad idea as my mood was described as “Peachy” which most people take to mean “Do not piss off!”), I casually handed him the piece of paper with the name and number and made him apologise. He defended his actions as “I’m having a bad day” my response of “congratulations” wasn’t received too well. I don’t put up with this shit, the lads who work for me know I am easy going and laid back, they also know that I will fight there corner if needed and also discipline them if that is needed. Due to this knowledge I have a bloody good team who know what I expect and often deliver above and beyond (with the odd individual exception). This newly promoted Cpl didn’t understand this and won’t understand it properly until he has his own team of people working under him. And with the help and support of the people around him, he can be an effective team leader. 

What is the relevance behind all this? People, without them then there is no point. Regardless of what you do or who you are, you need the people around you to form a support structure that will keep you going when you are low, keep you going when you are on a high and vice versa, these people need you as much as you need them. Some days they need more, some days you need more. Social interactions define us, make us who we are and help us to live the way we want to live. I am reminded of this a lot this week as we are dealing with one individual who despite numerous attempts at being helped has now found themselves in the disciplinary stage and yet still I am not giving up on the idiot (getting close, but not there yet). I have a standard rule when dealing with people, I will always give chances, it used to be only one but I realise some people need several to work out how to work with someone beneficially. So now I give chances and people push me and push me and take advantage of my good nature, which is when they realise that I push back and I push back hard. I believe that everybody has to be pushed back once or twice in their life as it teaches them that the stark reality of life is that you do not always get what you want, I have seen people confused when their looks haven’t got them what they want, but hey ho that’s life.

People and their many types, genders, roles in life and behaviour give me endless things to write about, both the good and the bad. I will try to outweigh the good with the bad wherever possible as I feel this world needs to see more of the good otherwise inevitably we will continue to slide downwards into a dark spiral where all we ever see is the bad things happening, when that happens hope is lost and once hope is lost what is left?

Ramblings of a Memory Lapsed What if?


This was originally written back on Aug 25, 2010, 4:43:47 AM. I had originally shared it on DeviantArt, and had pretty much forgotten about it until tonight, re-reading this has made me want to write again and I shall endeavour to break the character traits described in this piece and keep up with it.


I find myself lying here at half 4 in the morning wandering whatever happened in my life to lead me to this point. If I had taken this path or that one would I still be at the same place I am now.Don’t get me wrong I have very few regrets, and even some of those are not total regrets as good things have come out of all the bad that make me realise that life is just one series of choices. These choices often have positive and negative outcomes and although it is difficult to see the positive it will be there no matter how minute.

But it doesn’t stop me wandering some days “what if?”. For example my father died before I had a chance to ask him a lot of questions about his life and how he felt towards me and my brother since he rarely saw us as we were growing up. What if I had asked him all the questions before he died, would he have been able to answer me satisfactorily or would I have just been left with more questions?

What if I had stayed in West Bromwich and taken a more mundane job rather than joining the RAF. Would I have been satisfied with life and would I have seen as much as I have? I doubt it, but What if?

As I have already said I have few regrets, if there is one thing I regret the most though in my life it is my lack of discipline. I can’t stay focused on anything for too long as my mind tends to wander and with my memory its a bad thing as I will forget what I was doing and start something else, so my life is full of never ended projects. My lack of discipline with money is the worst though as I would spend without thinking about the other 29 days of the month or the bills that needed to be paid. In some respects I still do, luckily I have my darling wife who is always ready with a slap of reality.

I know I could be an excellent photographer if I could just find the time to spend on getting to know the interfaces of my camera rather than just relying on the point and shoot. I could be an awesome artist, if once again I could find the time to sit down with my pad and pencils and just draw and practice.

I want to be great with a contact staff, but it requires time and practice.
More importantly I want to be a good father and a good husband and these are the things that take up my time, not that that is a bad thing as it is intensely rewarding. I love my kids, and my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world and every time I look into her blue eyes and she smiles at me I feel like the luckiest man in the world.

When I do find myself with far too much time on my hands like now for example. I am in Seeb in Oman where my job only takes up 3hrs a day and the rest of that time is mine. I find myself without my camera and without my staff. But I do have sketch pad and pencils, so why don’t I use it?

It comes back to the discipline thing and also the lack of motivation that has set in from the general apathy that surrounds this camp. I have to go back to basics as it has been so long since I have done any sketching and even that was just copying what I saw in comic books. I want to take it up a notch and draw real people, however my ego just wont accept the fact that I am going to be shit at it unless I practice and practice and practice.

Maybe I should just get off my arse and do it, knowing my luck my memory will fail on me and I will forget all about this little introspection between now and daylight which is in about an hour times, and I will lie in my bed all day wandering what to do with myself.

I know nobody is perfect and I will be one of the first to point out my imperfections (I generally feel if I do it first it takes the wind out of other peoples sails and they don’t bother after that). But my ego refuses to quit sometimes which is why I come across as an arrogant egotistical arsehole at times. Mainly people either ignore me because of that or they just ignore those traits until they know me better and realise deep down I’m not that bad and the arrogant, egotistical arsehole they first met is just a cover.

I am not as confident as I make out, anybody who knows me well enough can testify to that. I am not the life and soul of the party, in fact at a party you can generally find me either by the food, by the drink or I have buggered off somewhere quiet to read my book. I keep a very close circle of acquaintances and an even closer circle of friends the first consists of people I would trust enough to drive my car, the second consists of people I would trust with my life and the lives of my family. These people I count on one hand.

Everybody else tend to fall into the work colleague or passing notice. People have also on numerous times accused me of being insular which lies at odds with the arrogant, egotist claims. I like hypocrites  they amuse me.

Sarcasm and irony are my stock in trade and people that don’t understand that are generally doomed to fail around me. I don’t judge on first appearances, I give people a chance first and if they annoy me that’s it I have no qualms with cutting them away and out of my life. I haven’t spoken to my brother for the best part of two years now because of that. Some people don’t realise that although I am being nice and polite to their face, I am planning revenge and their general downfall in my head. The few people who do recognise that in me tend to either find a new kind of respect for me and are either more cautious or they realise the error of their ways and apologise.

I have no time for idiots and stupid people, usually the type of people that believe if you did not do well academically or had rubbish grades on every exam then you are stupid and idiotic. Narrow minded assholes also wind me up, the ones that are quick to point out problems everywhere are caused by other people, but not offer any solutions to solve that problem.

I like problem solving, not maths problems or that kind of stuff. But genuine problems and it makes me sick when the people in places of power (lets call them the government) cant see these solutions when they are so simple. Or they can see them, but don’t want to use them as they fear that they will become unpopular.

I am just one massive walking mess. I have a memory that sucks big style. When an old friend contacts me after god knows how many years I have to rack my brains as to who they are, when it finally dawns on me it annoys me that I cant remember hardly anything about those times. But they must of been good as they have been trying to track me down for a while. I get really jealous of those people that can remember most of their life. They start a conversation with that immortal phrase “Do you remember when…?” and I generally have to smile and nod my way through this until something triggers a memory that was hidden back in deep storage.

But how do you turn around to these people and say “look I am sure it was great, but what exactly was it?????”. I cant do that as I don’t like upsetting people unless they deserve it. I wish life were simpler some times, I also wish I was psychic and rich and talented at everything ever, but that’s a different story for a different time.

I would very much like for people to read this, and not be offended by the implications that my lack of memory can be construed as ignorance or apathy on my part. But the chances of that are very remote, maybe one or two will fill in the blanks for me willingly. A couple of others will fill in the blanks for me, but in a slightly more favourable way for them. Then there are the sadistic buggers out there who will give me someone else’s memories.
But the majority of people will just think that I am a prick because I cant remember them. But hey shit happens doesn’t it. Maybe if I was more disciplined in life my memory would be better, but I doubt it. I just started reading a book that I read about a month ago, I got 5 chapters in before it jogged my memory that is how crap my memory is.

Anyway if you have got this far through the monologue that is me, then I thank you for sticking with it, if you now think I am a dick then fair one that is your choice. If you have a better understanding of who I am then I hope it helps you deal with me easier (I know I can frustrate most people most of the time). And finally if you want to help me fill in the blanks then please feel free it is always welcome.