Saturday, 31 December 2011

Green Lights.

  The things I read on line have changed. I've moved from the "why do I feel like this" to articles and people with a more positive take on things. It's not been deliberate and this change in emphasis has move so much around.    
  Something I read recently went "when you plan a journey you don't expect all green lights" which is spot on true but I know I expect all green lights when I set about changing me. You see how stupid I am lol. Well as we move into 2012 I shall continue with the "changing" journeys but accept the red lights and delays as an important and necessary element.
  I don't hate New Years Eve, it's a day like any other and I'm making the effort to extract as much from each day as possible. I know plenty of people who do and can understand why. Bearing that in mind, I would still like to wish them and any others who stumble across my blog a positive year with more ups than downs, more laughs than tears and success in the things that are important to you.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Spanners Christmas Tale. The Epilogue.

Great, great, great, great, great Grandfather Wrench went to the Cup Final. his team Fuldova Athletic were beaten 7 nil and to add insult to injury, someone nicked the tools out of his cart while he watched his team get slaughtered.
Mrs Wrench ran off with an electrician called Sid the Spark. He brought the kids new clothes and had enough put by for Mrs Wrench to have a little cosmetic surgery. They have a little caravan now, down on the coast where they holiday in the summer.
The Prince and Princess adopted a host of other kids. He developed a bit of a gambling habit. Which sceptics said this was just a ploy to get another TV series.
Finally Wrench wrote an autobiography  "Water under the drawbridge" and became a stand-up comedian with a bit of a cult following. So on balance all ended happily in the land of Fuldova.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Spanners Christmas Tale, part II.

So great, great, great, great, great Grandfather Wrench set to work. he bent pipes, he twisted pipes had servants collect many pails of water from the Royal Moat. Hammered and banged, banged and hammered. Took tea and fag breaks and finally did utter.
"Job done mate!"
The court did gather round and examined Master Wrench's work. They ummed and arred until his Royal Smelliness turned up.
"So Master Wrench this will make me irresistible to Princesses?"
"It will sire".
"What doth one do, Master Wrench"
"Err if his Princeliness would step inside and pulleth the blue cord."
The pongo Prince followed Wrench's instructions, all could hear the sound of bubbles, followed by hissing. Then silence ......................................................  ....................................... wooosh his stinkiness was floored as a great torrent of water hit him from all directions. The court gasped. Then more water, followed by bubbles.
"The red cord please your dampness."
The Prince grabbed the red cord and tried to get to his feet. Just as he was regaining his balance brushes came from all sides and knocked him flat. Soon the Prince was just a giant collection of bubbles. Being pushed from one side to the other as the brushes did their work. Wrench grabbed the gold cord and pulled. The brushes retracted, cold water washed the bubbles away and a giant fan whirled from above.
The Court were stunned, horrified. Some even checked the terms and conditions on their contracts of employment, to see if they could be sacked over this affair. Then the mood changed. You could see the twitching of noses, the raising of eyebrows. The Prince, still shaken.Rose to his feet. He pointed at Wrench and just as he was about to speak the whole Court burst into applause. Open mouthed the pong-less Prince turned to look at his court and his nose began to twitch as well.

What happened next is now Fuldovian folklore. The Prince attended a Grand Ball that evening and met a Princess. Their's was a whirlwind romance, they signed a prenup and Hello magazine covered the wedding. They adopted a child from the Far Eastovia and stared in a reality show.

Once the Prince and his new Princess arrived back from their tour of the kingdom. His cleanliness summoned Wrench and his family to the Palace.They were ushered into the Great Hall and stood before his Shininess.
"Good day Master Wrench, I have summoned you here to complete our transaction as promised. Step forward and make your request?"
Wrench stepped forward, looked back at his children, dressed in rags. His once beautiful wife now underfed    and looking tired. Then turned to the Prince and said,
"you couldn't get me a couple of tickets to the Cup Final could you?"

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Spanners Christmas Tale.

It twas the day before Christmas and all was not happy in the kingdom of Fuldova. For the Prince of Fuldova did not have a Princess and there was much sadness and gloom in the Kingdom. For with no Princess there were no little Princes and Princesses and as Fuldova's main income was tourism. The coffers were almost bare.

So the Courtiers hit on an idea. One they hoped would put pay to "ye olde recession" and guarantee jobs for life and fat pensions. They posted proclamations up and down the land which proclaimed,

"The Royal household of Fuldova will grant any wish to any subject of Fuldova who manages to find the answer as to why his Royal Princeliness is single, on his own, a billy no mates. If you would like to enter this competition please present yourself at the Palace this evening. Usual terms and conditions apply. Family members of Palace staff cannot enter and strictly only one entry per peasant".

It just so happened the my great, great, great, great, great Grandfather Wrench was pulling his cart home after a hard day of plumbering when he did come upon the proclamation and did take a close look at it. Actually he was looking at the situations vacant proclamations, as work was a bit thin and he came across the other as he read away.
Now Wrench being a man of supreme over-confidence and always looking to get rich quick turned his cart round and headed straight for the Palace. Once there he joined the queue and waited for his turn. As the queue shortened Wrench became aware of a vague smell, a whiff, a pong.That as he got closer became eye watering bad.
Standing at the front of the queue he could contain himself no longer and said to the guard "what be that pong, that ordour that attacks my nostrils?"
"What odour." said the guard. As he pushed Wrench through the door and into the Great Hall. Before him sat the Prince looking bored and fed up. surrounded by his Court.
"Name," came a voice from from the back.
"Wrench, sira," said Wrench trying not to breath in as the smell was now pretty intense.
"And pray, what do you have for the Prince, Master Wrench."
As previously stated Wrench was always looking to make a quick buck and he now knew the source of the pong. It was the Prince!
"Ur I have invented for his Princefullness a machine to make him iresistable to Princesses."
"And what do you call this machine. Master Wrench."
"Tis known as a Drencher, Sira"
The Courtireers huddled together and after a short but nevertheless animated discussion turned back to Wrench.
"Show us this Drencher, Master Wrench."
"Ah that may be a problem," said Wrench, "I'd need to build it for you."
Another quick huddle!
"How long will this takefh, Master Wrench?"
With that Wrench took to shaking his head slowly and drawing in air. "Well about three hours and I'd need something upfront to pay for bits, err cash if you've got it?"
" Here's a bag of grots, you have two hours."
With that the Prince got down from his throne and followed by his court. Wandered out through a side door.


Friday, 23 December 2011

Spanner goes to the seaside.

I've been keeping as busy as possible these last few days. Mostly work (mostly unpaid for a friend) and there was a midweek trip to watch Fulham. This time I got to see all the goals. All FIVE. Shame none of them were scored by us. I won't bore you with detail, except to say that, there are still Police trained negotiators out there trying to talk disaffected Fulham fans down from high buildings.

So back to work. New customer, got chatting to her in a coffee shop a while ago about web design and she asked if I could do a little plumbing job for her. So here I am, changing a shower screen. Then she asked me could I put up a blind, carry stuff from the garage the list is lengthening. While all of this is going on, she's telling me about a gay friend of hers. Who she fell out with big time, a while back, is having a party down in his flat in Brighton tonight. She's not sure whether to go etc etc. I say she should, life's too short. "Ok I'll go.......but only if you come with me" what do I say now? "I can't go to a party dressed like this" good, got out of that "You look fine" So an hour latter we're driving south, out of London and heading for Brighton. In her BMW Sports convertible, very nice, I could get use to this.

Not knowing which bell to press, she presses them all then disappears to go and bang on a window "Just in case no one is listening," as she disappears down the steps the door opens and this huge man, bottle in one hand glass in the other says "hello darling, do I know you"
Once inside we get introduced (and kissed) to/by all the people in the front room, from there we make for the kitchen and the booze, more introductions, more kisses. By the time I get to the wine I'm suffering from razor-burn. Did no one shave before coming out tonight? We stayed for a couple of hours, while my client chatted to her old friends and I stuffed my face, nodded and smiled in all the right places and at all the right times. We finally left around midnight more kissing, more razor-burn. We slowly walked up to where she'd parked her car, breathing in the cold  fresh sea air and me finishing the chicken leg I'd swiped as we left   So now my client is relaxed. she's mended broken fences with her friend and she's now content with the world. How do I know this? Is it my newly grown sensitivity antennae? No, it's her driving style. we leave Brighton, the way Jenson Button leaves the pits. Clouds of grit and dust. Music's up loud, to drown out the sound of Spanner Screaming. We get back before we have left. Or so it seems, say goodnight and I complete the last leg of my journey in my trusted but much slower rusty red van.

Today I earned a little money, went to a party, met some interesting people while eating half my weight in food and had the crap scared out of me on the drive home and it's still not Christmas.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Don't get down get a life.

 Thanks for leaving the comment Med, I'll get over it. It was only two goals after all.

 There are still a few days left before Christmas. Several of my friends are already moaning about Christmas, it's not this, its not that and saying they want things different next year. I was kind of falling into that boat when I realized there's still plenty of time to pull things round this year. Granted it's not going to be the Christmas I would of chosen but it will be far better than a whole host of other peoples and I can still make the best of what's left. It's a "time of giving" or put another way "giving time" and that's the plan. I shall start by thinking of ways to make you smile. Don't forget I read your blogs. So I know what a miserable bunch you are and how much you all deserve a laugh.

 There's still a few days work as well, so a few clients available to torture with my quick wit and ready repartee. I still have to find a couple of presents. I'm going to have to be a bit cute with ideas for things that will be useful and inexpensive, I think I'll be able to pull that off.

 What do I want? I've thought hard about this, it's definitely not anything material. What I'd really like is a life, well a slightly better one. Who's better placed than me to give that present. I'd imagine wrapping it might test my presentation skills somewhat but unpacking it and trying it on for size will be fun. So Christmas is starting to look a little rosier. Or more to the point I'm starting to recognize that I'm surrounded by one or two really good friends and by opportunity Which is there to be tapped into it and not walked by.

Onwards and upwards, through the snow, in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The end of something rather lovely.

Well as predicted the Fulham game and my date with MissG provided the material for a further post.

My appointment with Carmen Maranda lasted longer than planned but there were good reasons to stay and listen to her. So I arrived at Fulham missing most of the first half. As I sat down my neighbour said," You missed a great goal". I hadn't missed just the one I'd missed two. The only two of the game. Typical Fulham. I've been going since I was a boy and can't tell you how many times I've stood in the cold and rain cheering away and the  buggers couldn't be arsed to score then. I'm 40 minutes late for the first time in ages and I miss two. It's know locally as "Fulhamish". What shouldn't happen, happen's.

From there I got a train into Waterloo and met MissG under the clock. In old black and white films of the 40's and 50's couples were always meeting under the clock at Waterloo Station. Men in trench coats and the women in hats. MissG and I were more Primark than Dior but we did managed the melancholy romantic mood rather well. MissG can't get past a couple of things in our relationship. Trust, which is an issue from her past and nothing to do with me and my precarious financial position  (temporary I hope but I can accept it bothers her and colours her view on the whole relationship) so this was to be our last date a chance to talk and say goodbye. Very grown up but agonisingly, painfully sad.
We went and had something to eat and caught up on current events. Our corner of the restaurant was busy with Christmas parties but as they drifted away we got the chance to open up a little and gently pick our way though each others feelings.
From there we took a tube to Hyde Park and wandered around "Winter Wonderland" a mock Christmas market and fair. Which while a little tacky was pretty entertaining. I found some small wooden Moose's in amongst the Christmas decorations on one of the stands. I brought two. One for each of use. To put under our separate trees and once the pain dulls remember the fun we had together and the love we shared for what turned out to be far too short a time.
We then picked our way through Mayfair looking at all the beautifully trimmed trees in the expensive Hotels and Restaurants. Along Regent Street with it's famous lights across Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. Finally ending up at Waterloo Station. I walked her to her platform and we waited for her train. We only had a minute or two. Which was a shame. We really deserved a longer embrace, a longer kiss. The train pulled away with just time for a final wave. I have a picture on my phone which I took of both of us after our first date, on the same platform at about the same time almost eighteen months ago. I haven't looked at it in a while and won't just yet but I will.

So as always, onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness x

Tying up loose ends

There was a little more to my last two posts than the content. To say there's been something missing from my life would be accurate but what was it?
  If you've read the blog lately you would of sensed a general decline. Not in spirit but in the fabric of my life. Moving, van being sick, work and my relationship with MissG has taken a bit of a turn for the worse too. In fact the fabric is so thin in places you can see through it and that’s where it gets interesting. It’s seldom a nice experience but I guess I must be ready for it as I’m not trying to hide from it or deny it. 
I've always been good at convincing people of an idea or something to do. That’s not a bad thing in itself but it can become a problem. I'm where I am because I convinced myself it would all workout. Without any effort on my part, just the goodwill of others. I wonder if I could sue myself. At the very least I could get myself beaten up.  That'd teach me.
As I said the spirit is there. In fact I’d go as far as says as the fabric has declined the spirit has grown. I could look at it as finally shedding my old skin and a new one appearing. Although even with the new skin I’m still pig ugly underneath. Which is a shame, I don’t think coming back as a bald George Clooneyesque  Plumber is too much to ask but if the person underneath is a wiser, nicer person I'll except that.
Just so you understand I'm not blaming others or myself. It's more of a relization of who I was/am/could be.
It's a bit thin on laughs today. What can I say. I'm off to work for a couple of hours shortly. Some gutters need cleaning at a lovely house not far from here. It's owned by a South American lady who flirts with me. She's as old as God but acts like a 16 year old. I hope I become like that, not a flirt.  Oh no, I mean South American, lispy Spanish accent and thick black hair :-)
Then it's off to watch Fulham v Bolton and after that. A date with MissG, wandering around London looking at the lights. Both of these could be great or disasters. there's no telling. You just have to turn up and hold on tight.
What they will provide however is the material for a return to something a little more light hearted.
Unteal then I go for der showering and the trimming of the moustache. Reach for my Poncho and ead on out. AdiĆ³s my amigos. 

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Yesterday I had a small job "on site." Normally all my work is domestic, peoples homes. Where they are the client. Sometimes though a bit of work comes my way, where I'm working for a contractor. So yesterday I pull up at a little office block in Stratford, East London. It's being refurbished and the contractor needed two radiators moved. So as I'm working on the ground floor and the heating system, while off is still full of water. I decide to freeze the two pipes I need to cut and the fit the new pipework. Now freeze either works or it doesn't and many's the time I have had to work through a day soaking wet because an ice plug failed.

Once when I was trying to take a faulty shower fitting off. I'd cut the pipe through and there was a quite pause then POP and water coming out of the wall at pressure. Now being smart. I'd closed the shower cubicle door just in case such an event would happen. What I'd failed to realise was that if the said pipe burst the enclosed cubicle would allow the water to just bounce back. It didn't take more than a few seconds to fit a cap to the pipe but I was completely soaked. The house was empty. Client at work, kids at school. So as I dripped around the house I found the tumble drier. Eureka, without a moments hesitation off came my clothes and with the sound of jeans, tee and sweat shirts tumbling away I set about my work clad only in tool belt, my calvins and work boots. After about ten minutes of wandering around looking like an extra from a porn film. It dawned on me what if someone comes home? maybe time to check the progress of the tumble drier. As I past the kitchen window I looked out just as the lady next door looks in, staring at a bare chested man in her neighbours house. What to do? I wave my spanner in the air smile and give her a wink. Then quickly pass on. I've never been back to that client. half of me believes it's because of the superior work I carried out. The other half believes it due to the neighbour telling the client about what their deviant plumber gets up to when they are at work.

Anyway back to East London. I get everything ready. strap on the freezing kit let it set and start to cut. As the wheel cuts the pipe water starts to come through. Nothing for it than to go on and get the pipe changed as quickly as possible. As the water is flowing and I'm fighting to get the pipe on a collection of various tradesmen have gathered to gee me on with words of encouragement and derision. Once the pipe has been fitted a round of applause breaks out and with the entertainment over the crowd disperses. While I ring out the various cloths and rags and dry up as much of the water as I can, my mind turns to the second pipe. After twenty minutes or so I'm ready to tackle pipe number two. As I climb the steps and as if by magic the crowd reappears. One of them has managed to find an umbrella to further add to the joviality. Needless to say the freezing failed a second time much to their joy. "Your getting wet plum" "is that the way your supposed to do it then" etc etc.

I'm going to stick to domestics in future. Better a porn star than a figure of fun.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)  

Monday, 12 December 2011

Where do I fit?

I enjoyed writing yesterdays post. I like being (trying to be) funny. After making the rounds of other bloggs today I think I'd like to be the "funny poster" within my little group of fellow bloggers. The thoughts will remain the same I'll just try and sweeten it with some humour.
So now you're expecting me to write something funny aren't you. To be fair it was me who brought the subject up. I could just delete this and only I'd know, then that would be a bit of a cop out. So I'll plough on and keep my fingers crossed, makes the typing more difficult but I need all the luck I can get.
I'm able to write today as the vans still sick. So no work. I'm seriously thinking about nicking Mystic Meg's boiler crystals and giving them a go, as the mechanic seems lost for a solution. I should really save this and go downstairs and do what I always do when it breaks down and wash it. It's worked in the past. It works for me too. a quick shower and shave and I feel much better. I wonder why they don't mention it in repair manuals.

Welcome to the Abrams M1 Battle Tank manual. If your tank should brake-down use the bucket and sponge strapped on the back to give the M1 a quick wash. Particular attention should be taken with the wheels. A wire brush (part no M1/75633411) is available as a spare part from your nearest Abrams Battle Tank Dealer. Special care should be taken during battle conditions and the appropriate body armour should be worn at all times. In the event that this doesn't fix the fault the next step would be a short discourse with the crew where finger pointing and blame should be apportioned to whoever happens to be the lowest ranked operative.

In fact maybe all self help manuals should start that way?

Feeling low and despondent? Well go and have a dump and a nice warm shower. Then come back and read chapter 2.

Nuclear Reactor getting a bit warm? have you washed it lately?

Fortunately for you,John the Mechanic has just called. So I'll stop with the manual thread. He's coming to take the van away this evening. I think this means that he wants to pull things off and generally beat it with a large hammer. Actions that will be most inappropriate on the drive of my friends house. It also means he can bump the charge up as he'll tell me they've changed the "whatsittransducercoupling" inside the engine which is very expensive and it was an absolute pig to change. But a dull red rusting Vito in front of my house and ready to take me out and about, would be worth it.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Spanner and the strange case of the missing biscuits !

  I’m constantly surprised how answers to my questions seem to float out of the ether.  I mentioned in my last post about using the same old logic to try and solve currant problems.
  Well yesterday, my final call of the day was a boiler service. The customer is an old bird who fancies herself as a bit of a mystic. She keeps crystals by her ageing boiler in the hope they will keep it going (and I thought I was a bit touched talking to my van). Anyway we got to chatting and I moaned about the fact that a certain person close to me won’t talk through problems. 
"Well," Mystic Meg piped up, "wasn't that the problem you had with the ex Mrs Spanner."
 Yes I said, as I neatly fell into her trap. 
"Maybe it’s you then," she said. Silence followed, while I drew breath and reached for me wrench. 
"How’s that then, I know somethings wrong and I try and find out what it is." Downs wrench and picks up rag. 
“Maybe you don’t create an environment where they feel comfortable and safe”
 “Moi,” says moi as I reach for my tea, white, one sugar.
“Yes you. Two very different women both unable to express themselves. Now they may have issues of their own but maybe you didn’t think enough about creating the right environment for them to feel able to talk.”
So I’m starting to think Megs got a point and am slightly peeved there are no biscuits to go with my tea. In fact I’m more than peeved. It’s been a biscuit less barren day in West London. I'm not fussy, they don't have to be chocolate (although I draw the line at Rich Tea, I'd rather eat cardboard).
  She does have a point though. Once you get over the fact that's there's no right and wrong in many things in life. Perhaps we do make things difficult for ourselves. We buy too much and complain about the mess. We eat too much and complain about the size of our bums and maybe we complicate our lives and then complain about the misery?

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)  

Thursday, 8 December 2011

New problems but same old logic.

Things have been pretty trying recently. It doesn't help when I apply the same logic to different problems. Isn't that logic the very same logic that got me here in the first place. Well that's reason enough not to use it again. At the moment it would be far better to apply short term solutions. Say enough! no more! Loose someone or something, rather than to try and persevere with it. Where, quite frankly the effort is wasted and said effort would serve me better elsewhere.
Enough of the doom and gloom though. All the time I'm complaining about the path I'm on, I'm just getting more lost. Makes more sense to ask the way and find out a little about the route. You know, places of interest, gift shops, toilets etc and to pack the right things. a camera to record the journey the right clothes, emergency rations and a half roll of loo paper.
Oooh I'm getting excited already. looks like the rain is letting up. Time to step out. Hope things go right for all of us today.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Failing like a champion.

My last post was short and I ended it with a tongue in cheek comment about getting started with the failing ASAP. Well I lived up to that. Drove 15 miles through traffic to do a ten minute job, only to find when I arrived that I'd left the part I needed at home. What a plank!
There are one or two other things that are severely testing me at the moment. I shall tell more in the fullness of time. Until then however, I have to say my thinking and reasoning abilities are pretty good. I'm feeling lonely and a bit lost and I know it's only temporary. Normal I'd miss the temporary bit and not get past the lonely and lost trap. Ninety nine per cent of people would feel the same given the circumstances and most would also know that on balance it's temporary. So Spanner is at last rejoining the rest of the World. I know what I need to do as well and I know the "to do" bit is where I fall down. In deed, here I am writing about it, so to void the, doing it. Well this is a first.
I know what I need to do to keep the negative stuff at bay, stay busy. Staying busy also brings in the money which eases the financial worries too. So what's stopping me. There's a fear in the background that doesn't want to be unearthed. I wonder why?
My old mum doesn't think about things too hard and doesn't understand why I am the way I am. That makes two of us. I guess I need to concentrate on more actions and less thought, just like her. The good news though, is the journey is still on going and mostly positive.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Found this and thought of you.

After yesterdays bad news. I had a wander around the web, looking for a bit of inspiration. funny thing was, I kept ending up on "Business Start up" sites. Anyway I found this.
Fail sooner, fail more and you'll succeed sooner and succeed more.
Seemed very appropriate. So I'm off for a run then breakfast after which I'll get down to some serious failing.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Everybody's feeling down at the moment.

Seems like all the bloggers I follow are down at the moment or not posting (which is the same). Do you think our common misery has some how synced? What a nightmare. It's bad enough reading when one poor soul is down. Or worrying about someone who hasn't posted for a while. Let alone all of us being pi$$ed off.

In a couple of very important respects things have reached an all time low for me this morning. I'm absolutely, completely, totally, utterly, entirely, altogetherly (I know it's not a word but it should be) outright, wholly and totally not going to except it anymore. I've grown to like myself over the past year or so and now it's time to rely on me and nobody else. Not because others are unreliable but they have their own burdens and ways of going about life.One of you wrote recently that people who had only a little time to live, say what they think and feel. They don't dress it up anymore. Well I hope I've got more than a short time left but I'm joining their club. As time is precious however much of it is left. Today did feel like a kick in the stomach but there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. If my spirit was a flame it would, without doubt be flickering but it hasn't gone out. It has before but not today.

There's still lots of good things,  Bus rides, Guinness,  throwing a stick for a dog, Donuts, empty beaches, trying to understand drunk Scotsmen, and the Isley Brothers belting out "you know you make me wanna shout" *

What now? well I'm going to leave a few comments on some of those blogs I mentioned earlier. Then I'm out to find a dog who needs a stick thrown or find a pub, have a Guinness and listen to a drunken Scotsman.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Ps Forgot Cheese on toast and French films *

Friday, 2 December 2011

Loose ends and other bits.

I'll start with the odd bits. What do you do with all the tiny things that happen in and around your life that kind of effect you or hit home but they're too small to mention to anybody else. Watching a tiny kid trying to eat an ice cream, people wearing coats on really hot days, catching part of some strangers conversation and so wishing you could hear the end of it. these are the kind of things that make me smile inside. There is one I'm beginning to miss though. When I lived in the flat and went into the garden to hang washing or put some rubbish out or feed the compost bin. A little Robin would arrive from nowhere and keep me company. He/she would perch on the fence or in the branches of the nearest shrub and look at me. You know twist it's little head to one side or other and just hang around while I was there. After a couple of weeks I tried leaving scraps for it but it was never remotely interested. It appeared to just want my company for a few minutes. Soon I craved it's company and would hang around a bit, if it didn't show straight away.

When I moved away. I said goodbye to the couple of neighbours I'd got to know, Polish Pat who has no English and I no Polish but we did a lot of friendly nodding and waving as he cycled to and from work. Jane the West Indian lady who lived upstairs, who I could hear singing hymns at all hours of the day and night. Mad Micheal next door who stands outside and stares at you until you say something. Then he'd rush indoors muttering and bangs on your wall for a minute or two and finally Burmese Peter. Who would spend a couple of hours a day either picking up rubbish or sweeping the leaves in our part of the street. He used to invite me in, his wife would cook something and he'd keep me topped up on beer as we talked about anything (usually the demise of the British Empire was a favourite of his) for a few hours. Then I'd stagger back across the road. Manage to get the key in the door, just before things got too blurry and I'd wake up several hours later on the sofa. Only the Robin I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to. I do feel a little bad about that and miss it.

Onto loose ends. Beating yourself up, is a common theme amongst blogs like and including mine. I have to say, I think it's a waste of good thinking time and the negatives it throws up, don't really help. The further along this interesting journey I go the more I try and use that time to look for the positives. I've tried several ways of improving things things with mixed results. However within that list of things lay the answers and I just need to work on these for as long as it takes. Repetition in general is the backbone. I'm more than happy to do the things I like again and again. As with everything it's the things we avoid doing which could actually lead to a greater happiness and feelings of achievement.

I used to have trouble getting off to sleep. As negative thoughts would creep in and keep me awake. The simple act of physically turning over, to act as a kind of full stop on those thoughts, works for me. Originally there was a lot of turning but now it's down to one maybe two turns and then I'm away with the fairies. I used to put out my breakfast bits before I went to bed but with the move that's not happened recently. So tonight I'll make sure I do that. In fact, before I redouble my efforts with all things meant to improve life (and don't get me wrong, there are lots of things that I've stuck with) I might just concentrate on the physical stuff first and build on that.

As I drove to work yesterday I wondered if this constant failure was as much a part of my life as are my eyes green. Was I fated to go though life from one disappointment to the next. Fortunatley that thought didn't take up too much time. I don't dwell in self pity for long. Which is a positive and that got me thinking about all the positives within me. Imagine you have a number of glass jars. Each labelled, say "humour" "hope" "self worth" "riches" etc. How full would your jars be? My "belief" and "hope" jars are full. My "self worth" jar has been topped up recently, even with the "am I a failure moment." Other jars need some serious filling though. On balance, gathered evidence would suggest it's well worth sticking to the currant programme.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Prompted by a sad event.

On Sunday the manager of the Welsh National football team, committed suicide. He was 42 had a wife, two young children and so it would seem, a successful career. No details of why or how have been released. There has however been a huge sad response to his sudden death. I've felt low and unloved but never have I thought about suicide. Well maybe for 30 seconds but then I think about how that will effect my daughters lives and what about the person who finds me or has to tell my family. No, I may have lows but suicide!

So how messed up must your thinking be, to see suicide as an answer to your problems. The turmoil your mind must be going through. I realise how lucky I am not to be that deeply mired in depression. In fact mood wise I'm probably in the best shape I've been for a long time. Where I let myself down is letting things slip, find lame reason to avoid what needs to be done. I'm no longer true to the spirit of my blog. "What would Chris Gardner do." He would pick himself up and get on.

The whole idea of the blog was a secret diary to mark my march away from being down, from failing and learning to break that cycle. Instead it's become something else. Am I disappointed? yes. Am I down? no, I have to go back and start the journey again. The one plus and it is a small plus. I'm able to publicly admit I've let myself down. I no longer need people to like me. It would be nice but even nicer if it were earned by deeds done.

Onwards and upwards.

My thoughts are with the family and friends of Gary Speed

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Acceptance and looking back.

"I need to bounce back." How often have I said that or read that? As I get older I don't bounce as well as I did. That's not a bad thing though. Why do I need to rush right back into the chaos. Use my old age wisdom for once, we all acquire it, so why don't I use it.Wouldn't it be better to take a bit of time figuring out what to do next? When you hit rock bottom do you have the necessary skills and tools to bounce back? Maybe accept what is and use that as your base and foundation to build on.
That's what's been going on in the background as I've got to grips with the move, my sick van and getting some work. So a few people this week have heard. Sorry that's not going to happen until I've got this and that sorted. I'm no longer putting me last. Changing the water pump on the van has become a real chore (I can't afford a mechanic and no work means I have the time but not the knowledge, damn and blast) today however I managed to get through the pain barrier, both physical (squashed fingers) and mental (figuring out solutions) and now have a plan and a renewed confidence. Small job offers have been coming in. The deference this time is I've set realistic dates to do the work and not crowded it all in.
None of the above is a bounce back. It's a steady level march forwards for the moment. Which I have to say feels like a great victory. Odd but true.

"Looking back" sadly not some interesting little snippet into my past life, more a "public service message." I tend to type away at a post, half read it. Then push the publish button. Only to go back to it a couple of days later reread the gibberish and rewrite the thing. So please feel free to go back a few days. It might make a bit more sense.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Simplification, support and other words starting with S.

Yesterday Jo mentioned being a big fan of simplification. I am too. Something I now see I got from my Dad. My Dad could neither read nor write and when he got the chance at 14 to become an apprentice gardener he took it. He was a wonderful plants man but a hopeless business man. Because of his inability to read he would always asked questions and if he didn't understand the answers just ask more question and then repeat back what he had learned so he knew and they knew he understood. He did everything, fixed the car and his work van. Sometimes our car and his work van were the same vehicle, which used to embarrass my mum , sister and me at the odd family wedding. There's no hiding a dirty blue transit van in a church car park. Anyway back to the story he decorated our home, fixed our toys, built stuff (a brilliant tree house in our garden) partly because he couldn't afford for anybody to do it and partly because he knew he could, a lot of men of his generation did. So subconsciously I absorbed that (along with his reading and writing problems) and I've always enjoyed learning new and strange things and asking lots of questions along the way. To keep it all things simple. People like me because I keep it simple. I am a "can do" man. Ignoring the problems in the full belief I can do whatever it is. I've had great success with this but it's also been something of a double edged sword and has brought me down too. During my little spell of counselling I discovered that learning all these little niche skills was something I did to mask my problems with reading and I guess Dad did it for much the same reasons. Whilst I'm proud of my "I can do that" attitude it has meant I have tried things I should have steered well clear of. It has also lead me to not fully appreciate my abilities and strengths. Because I've felt it was simple and any idiot could do it. I saw myself as a thick idiot and not to beat around the bush it's still there in the background..

Well I'm dealing with it. I'm slowly coming to terms with my talents and liking the person I am. I'm not boasting and find this a bit awkward to write as it seems like I'm boasting which I'm not. It just needs to be said, so you (and I, when I reread it) can see I'm getting on and moving forwards. As much as I got a lot of helpful knowledge from counselling I've found I'm soaking up even more from the blogs I read. So take a bow Med, Betty, CarrieAnn, Jamie, Jo and Ami etc. I'll stop there as it's beginning to sound like the intro to a Paul Simon song.

Lets move on to Support. Maybe some support from those close to me over the years would of changed things but it would be mean spirited of me to say it and think that way. I did get support and help. Mrs Richardson the lady who taught me to read. Changed my life. I guess it was the day to day stuff I missed out on. The hugs and kisses and those few words that can send you off to school feeling special. Prehaps I was an ugly smelly kid that no one wanted to hug and kiss? :-) Seriously though what I can do and think about is the right choice of words to use as support for those around me and not just when they're down or in trouble but everyday stuff. That gently soaks in and makes them feel valued and worthy. I can't rewrite history but maybe cooking good food is almost the same as eating good food. Lastly the S words. It could of been any letter but then the title of todays musings won't of sounded (another S lol) so good.

Here are a few positive words to end on, so take your pick. Special, sassy, strong, sweet, sensitive,smart, sensible, super, sweet, sincere, shrewed, skillful, smiling, successful, splendid, self assured, stimulating and sexy.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Being grateful ??????

Grateful, the number one word used by people to "help" others when they are down. Trouble is it doesn't help. Would the idea of being more miserable than you are help cheer you up? Would you say to someone with a broken leg, "you should be grateful you didn't break both." Do they feel any better? nah I didn't think they would.

I should say before I babble on any further. I am being slightly flippant. I apologise in advance. I'm not smart enough to find another way of making my point.

What I'm trying to say, is another poor soul's plight isn't really going to help you. It will just make you feel worse about yourself and how ungrateful you are. Treating a negative with a negative doesn't in this case equal a positive (I wish to state at this point my hatred of Algebra but that's another future post :-)). Lets be inspired to better health and not despised.

So we know there are people worse off than us but do we ever consider those better off ? Is it not a better idea to study them to find ways to help ourselves?

What have they got that I would like to have?

Hair. It's been a long time since I owned a comb or sat in a barbers chair and chewed the fat, that's generics for you. I could develop a passion for hats though. I know it's not the same but "the dude in the hat" sounds way better than "the bald dude."
Happiness. I could smile more often. It's free. MissG says I sound miserable on the phone so I smile before I dial her number and it seems to work. The other day an elderly customer of mine said "You're a cheerful chappy" it stopped me in my tracks and after I thought is she after a discount? I realised I was in fact feeling good that day. She made me tea and we sat and chatted for a while and swapped the good and bad stories of our lives. Which made for an interesting day. All because she made a chance comment and I was smiling!
Wealth. Now I'm getting in to deep murky waters. Is it their money I want, will that make me happy or is it what their money buys. What the feck is wealth anyway. Isn't it lots of little things combined together that gets called wealth. I think I need to pull wealth apart and find out the elements I would like. Off the top of my (bald behatted) head, peace of mind springs in. The oppuntinity to relax and switch off for a while ( I don't need a deserted beach for that do I? it could cause me problems with sun burn on my bald head anyway).

So now I have something positive to think about today. I feel better than I did twenty minutes ago. Smiling's free, getting up and trying something again is free and again and again and again. It's free and the prize for achieving after all that trying is priceless :-)

Once again I'm sorry if you think I'm over simplifying the whole misery thing. I just wanted a snack and not the whole three course meal. If you want someone to blame then it's Jojesek's fault. She left a comment on my Vito post, about being inspired and that got me thinking. You are in soooooooo much trouble Jo!

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Down but not out.

I'm up against a few things at the moment and finding it a little tough to deal with. I know I can overcome them, which is the important and main thing but a bit of support from those around me would be something I could well do with at the moment.

So often people punctuated praise with a "but." Do people not realise that it just cancels out all that went before! I've been thinking about this for a while. Primarily because I'm trying to find the right words of support for my daughters. They are both very different from each other. I don't see them as much as I'd like so with a little care and attention it's important I get things right.

All of that thinking has made me realise I'm feeling a bit low and  in need of some support too, hence today's Whinging post :-)

I believe in me. It's been awhile since I did and along with finding that belief again came the knowledge that I need others to share that belief too and be there on the odd occasion I slip. For the moment "self belief" will have to suffice. In fact it may well be worth putting some thought into "self praise." There will always be times in the future when I'll need to just rely on me. So a good tried and tested system of self motivation would be a useful plus.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Another day, another list.

Once again I'm restarting my list making. It's nothing obsessive. Just a list of five or six things I'd like to do today. Finish a job, type a begging letter, shot the next driver who breaks some law of the road that only I know about (wearing a hat while driving and not being in gear when the lights change are two that spring to mind).
Lists are pretty useful things and not for the obvious reasons you may think. For me, a list that's completed says "Well done Spanner, you've achieved today." Also I have very little self control and can find numerous reasons to do nothing. So while I'm growing a backbone and taking charge of me, the "list" does the job temporarily.

I've started and stopped (apathy not choice) list making numerous times over the last 18 months. I mention this with no great sense of pride but just a public notice to say, I don't care how many times I try and fail I'll try again and again. That goes for a number of things until I get a life that better reflects who I am (witty, charming, bald plumber) who in their right minds could resist such a package.

Ok that's number 1 on my list I can cross off.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Another day, another realisation.

I'm all moved in at my friends. While moving, well actually while driving between old and new homes. I began to think about my dreams for the future. One of my big problems in the past was living in the future, so I could avoid the unhappiness of the present. I've lived in the present now for some time. It's allowed me to see things clearly, see the wood from the trees. So recently I began to think about the future a little and found I was starting to fall into the trap of thinking that "if you believe enough it will happen." It didn't feel right and it started to feel like "old" me thinking.
I get a little email, every morning. Word of the Day. It's something MissG past on to me. I mentioned it in "Belief" 22/9/11. So today's WotD talked about "faith and fantasy." Basically, thinking it's going to happen just doesn't cut it. Shallow men believe in luck, strong men believe in cause and effect. I always find it a boost, a lift, to have found something that really makes a lot of sense and more importantly fits my particular predicament. I'm off to make the coffee and will ditch my shallow man persona and see if I can find a strong man suit in the wardrobe, to slip into for the rest of my day (life).

Another weekend is upon us and I wish you all well. Do something special.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Roy Rogers had Trigger. I've got my Vito van.

It's only a lump of metal, plastic and rubber but why does it get me home before it packs up? My old van has been with me though all the black stuff. It's the only one who never complained. It starts first time and even though it needs new tyres and other bits and pieces, still carries on. It's as if it knows monies tight!

I'm very attached to my Vito. It's heard my moans and dreams and had to live with my singing. Now I don't enjoy mechanics I'd rather go to the dentist and have my teeth drilled but needs and budgets make it a necessity. However I do get a sense of achievement out of fixing Vito, it's kind of a payback for all the times it's gone beyond that expected of an old plumbers van. Vito's the dog I never had. I think Vito and I still have a few years together and hopefully they'll be better than the previous ones. Who knows a respray and a bit of TLC may be just around the corner. An odd post I know but I just wanted to express my gratitude to the big lump of rust still outside on the drive.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday morning.

Good morning, I'm stuck at MissG's as my poor van is sick. The water pump needs changing but I can't afford to buy a new one. Plus I'm supposed to move out of my flat today and then I'm on call tomorrow at 6am. So as soon as this is posted I'm going to put the van back together. My friend and mechanic has given me a little tip to hopefully achieve a temporary fix which will allow me to move and get through the next few days. I'll get a secondhand water pump and an oil cooler off Ebay then do the proper fix next week. I have to say I hate working on cars and vans but have had to over the last few years. There is a plus though. I know and can do alot more now than I did.

So I'm a bit low but then most people would in my position today. I think I can get the temporary repair to work and I will pull things round. Is there anything positive in misery. Well I can think of two things. The challenge it offers you, to beat it and live not just a happier life but one designed by you. Also, the ability to see pain in others and the skill of finding the right words to say, borne out of your own experience. There's little point in wishing that things hadn't worked out this way and lots to be gained from embracing it and working with it. It's my mess or to put it in a more positive light. My opportunity to show myself how special I can be.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Ps The temporary fix didn't work but I've managed to pick up the spares  and am about to try and fix the thing.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Monday morning.

Many blogs ago I mentioned getting out of a hole and seeing the light or something similar and reading other peoples blogs, they talk about black holes of despair etc. Well today things aren't great but thinking about it, my misery is only a percentage of my whole. I sleep ok, enjoy eating, my time with friends and family. It's just certain times when the gloom, like a fog descends but I seem to let it colour everything.

So as the morning started to drift towards the fog I had a little recap with myself over a cup of coffee. Once I started to put things into self contained compartments the day improved. I find it a real challenge, keeping a lid on the small problems is far harder than fighting the big problems but it's the small stuff that colours the day. Early night tonight and lets see if I can make a better start to tomorrow. I'll keep the coffee break though, I can find out what I'm planning to do this weekend.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-) 

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday night's view of the last week.

So it's been a pretty awful week. not much work, customers who want the work done asap but won't return my calls when it comes to paying. The annoying thing for me is one is a customer I've done a lot of work for in the past. I now have a small list of previous customers I won't work for again (she's on that list now). I'm changing the way I approach my work and it's become apparent that it's not just me that needs to improve. Even in my current dire financial circumstances I think I would be happier having a day off than spending time and money chasing bad debt. If I step back and look at the bigger picture it's also me having more respect for my skills and talents. More respect for me as a person. It's an odd discovery, that even when things are not going well there are moments when something which doesn't appear that important happens which in fact is key to my future.

That said my spirits are high. Others face this all the time and get on with it. So can I. I'll keep moving forwards and upwards and pick my fights better. With Promoters who don't rush out with the money before the end.

This week the boxer Joe Frazier died. I remember when I was a kid the Frazier-Ali fights were a must watch. Ali was the first modern sportsman handsome, never modest about his talents, which he had in abundance and admired and hated in equal measure. Frazier on the other hand was ugly and brutal. I liked them both. It's always a shame when sportsmen, singers and actors from your childhood pass away but for me the saddest is losing the boxers. I'm not a massive fight fan by any means but they always seem to come from improvised backgrounds with poor education, will continue to fight when all is lost and end their careers broke physically and financial. Strong men who achieve success (both Frazier and Ali won Olympic Gold Medals and both were World Champions) but never seem to hold on to it, while others profit from them.

I wish you all a good weekend. Do something special.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The day before yesterdays post was pants. Part 2.

I mentioned briefly that I was in the process of moving. Thinking it through it's quite an important move. This flat has acted as a transition between my old life and hopefully my new life. To celebrate this fact my current flatmate (daughter no2) and I are having a goodbye to the flat night, tonight. Our supper will also include Christmas pudding and a glass or two of wine. We both like Christmas pudding and it will act as a happy ending to what hasn't always been a happy time. In a few days we'll both be gone and it will lay empty for a while, waiting for it's new owners. If I'm near I'll drive by and take a look to see what's changed and think a little about my time here.

I think it will also be the end of my time in London. My life seems to be moving away. Years ago families would all stay in the same area. Family ties and bonds remained strong. Times have changed and it's not something most of us can do now. It will be a test for my daughters and me. Texts and motorways mean we're not that far apart physically or mentally anymore but effort is required and maybe "absence makes the heart grow fonder" will work in our favour.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Yesterdays blog was pants!

Yesterdays entry wasn't that brilliant. Just a few random paragraphs that didn't really link together that well. Lets see if I can do better today.

As I mentioned I've finished the tablets but I didn't really elaborate on what's happened during those four months. The less than perfect marriage I knew about long ago and the frustration with my stop start career path goes back even further than that. A fairly good foundation for the misery that was to follow.  So what do I do that's self destructive?
1. I live in the future and not in the present. The future's a place of my own making, So it's perfect.  Everything I plan and do works out nothing goes wrong.
2. I don't finish things. As long as it's not finished nobody (and that includes me) can say it's less than perfect.
3. I'm unreliable but very likable. So I'm forgiven continually until peoples patience with me finally disintegrates.
4. I cannot stick to any kind of timetable. So I'll watch crap TV till 3 in the morning and then be late and tired the following day.

There said it. So what happened next? I left the marriage. Realized the career thing can happen that way and being self employed at this stage in my life is probably the best place to be. The other stuff I couldn't really get to grips with. So things would get better then get worse then get better then get a lot worse. I went back to my doctor and made the "I've tried my hardest but I really can't cope" speech. As the following weeks rolled by I was able to start being honest with myself and ask those close to me to be honest with me too. Hence my 1 to 4 list.
The biggest change is I'm living in the present most of the time now and making a concentrated effort to finish things. With new customers, friends and acquaintances I'm trying to be reliable, my old customer, friends and acquaintances still don't fair any better than they did but I warn them now and do try. It's almost 2 in the morning so I haven't cracked number 4 just yet.
Letting go of the guilt has allowed me to move forward. Some of that guilt wasn't guilt to start with but over time it became rewritten and twisted and became guilt. Some of it was, I fucked up, people do and they forgive themselves so I've learned to too. It's important to me though, that making a better life for myself means less fuck ups and less guilt. Not totally fuck up free but manageable, honest and forgivable.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-))))))))))

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The end of my perscription.

Today I took my last tablet. I've finished my four month course, I'll visit my doctor next week and hopefully that will be that. It's difficult to say what effect they've had on me but over the last few weeks I've been able to think things though in a far more structured way than in the past. So I guess they did their thing which got me through my thing.

I know there' still a way to go but I do believe I'm properly packed for the journey now. Loads of rubbish has been turfed out and some important kit has been added. So my head is straight and my thinking clearer.
Compared to some of the blogs I read I'm bloody lucky. Some poor souls are on big doses of all manner of different potions out there. I really do hope people in those situations find the right combination of things to help them get where they want to be.

At the moment I'm in the process of packing up my bits and pieces and moving out of my flat. I'm off to Hatfield to stay with a friend for a while, till MissG and I can find a house together down in Kent. It will be the first time in my life (all 53 years) when I won't be living in London! My two girls are 17 and 22 and don't need me the way they used to but I'm hoping that this new imposed distance between us helps to further develop our relationship in a positive way and we don't grow apart.

I'm still in the poo with regard to money, debt and work. Which is worrying but I'll just have to get on with it and put things right, it's what Chris Gardner would do :-) So will I.

On a more personal note, Med it's about time you posted. I miss you and your well written pieces. You we're the first person to leave a comment on my blog. Even though it was a demand to stop writing immediately! I've quiet taken to you :-) So lets hear something soon, please.

Now some wise words to lift us and get us all moving.

 "There's an important difference between letting go and giving up."
Jessica Hatchigan.

OK so none of us has an excuse today. I expect all of us to have a wonderfully positive day's and to report back ASAP.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Friday, 28 October 2011

A "cross roads" week.

This has been my toughest week since I started my blog. I'm refusing to give in and write a real doom and gloom entry. Am I  just misleading, lying or deluding myself, there has to be an element of these in the mix  I guess it really hinges on how I behave next and what I do next. It's that "when the going gets tough the tough get going" moment. Shame the saying isn't "when the going gets ugly the ugly get going" I'd have a head start :-)))))

Before I go on. Let me say that living in London means my life is a thousand times better than the millions of people who wake up to war and poverty everyday. The daily pluses in my life far exceed those afforded to many millions. I don't take my good fortune for granted I'm merely trying to live a useful and productive life given the luck of geography that was bestowed on me at birth.

Here's a short list of good things in my life. MissG, my two daughters, my mother, my ability to remain positive and see the good through the bad, Jimmy and Jeremy a couple of very good friends. Being surrounded by my little paintings and prints and my other little flea market acquisitions and sardines on toast. (all of the above are in the present, the here and now not daydreams of what might be which is a plus).

And the negative. Debt, very little work and my Olympic skill, apathy.

Well for fecks sake what's wrong with me. A nice list of good things typed without much thought or deliberation and a miserly short list of bad stuff. If you're reading this, chances are you suffer from the misery's so I guess your lists would probably have a similar weight to them. Well all except the sardines on toast!

I'll add to this as the weekend and hopefully me progressies .............

Lots of protein for tea last night and I slept well and feel full of beans this morning. Tried making yogurt again last night but failed so I'll try again today and will make a big effort to eat properly this weekend. Following on from diet is something I read thanks to Jamie

Woke up early and again feel in good spirits. Yogurt version3 worked. So I now have a use for my inherited slow cooker. I'm growing more and more interested in cooking. Particularly simple food, partly because there aren't too many processes and I can adapt and improve. Also seasonal food. I think I mentioned it before. I once met someone who believed nature provided you with fruits and vegetables as you needed them and for as long as you needed them. So I'm trying to buy fruit and veg when it's in season and a by product of this is it's cheaper.

Now to tie the last two paragraphs together. Jane Henderson believes her misery was borne out of various mineral deficiencies and I'm feeling better this weekend because I've topped up on protein and cut back on the carbs. Now this is a gross exaggeration but indulge me for a minute. The human condition states that we ignore the obvious. We ignore the ones we love, we put off the important things, we overspend and we choose the simple route over the more interesting and educating but slightly more difficult route. So is my weekend going better because I've fed a loved one (me) with food I enjoyed preparing although it took a bit of time and I've persevered with my yogurt even tho Tesco's fridges are full of the stuff. I know you'll think this is a vast over simplification but is there any harm in trying it?

The weekends almost over. My youngest daughter has moved in. She's exasperated my ex with her time keeping and the odd joint. So she's been sent to me. I think my ex is teaching both of us a lesson. However it will be nice having her here and fun to be a hands on dad again.

I've done very little this weekend and I'm not feeling as guilty as I normally would lol. Fulham won away which is such a rare occurrence that several Fulham fans on the club website have actually apologised to the team we beat, it seems we're only happy when we're losing. I guess if you're suffering from the blues Fulham are the team to follow:-)

I know a little more about things than I did last week. I feel brighter than I did last week. I hope you've had  good weekend too !

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Missing Words..

I was talking to a customer today and used the word "Passion". It struck me later, that "passion" wasn't a word I'd used for a very very long time. So it set me thinking about other words I hadn't used for a while.

and Passion.

I wonder if I changed some of the words I use, will it affect me in a positive way? and to be honest with spell check loaded, I can add them to the blog knowing I'm not going to embarrass myself.

So for now I shall redouble my efforts. Go that extra mile or more, to bring you wonderful people. Something far more entertaining. Something to the point and far more insightful (is that a word?) Am I over egging the cake haha.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

So lets start again.

  I've been a bit lazy and self indulgent these last two days and it's achieved the following. I'm rested, well read, feel a bit guilty and ready to push on.
  As all things financial have been coming to a head I guess it's added to my stress levels abit so hence the need to sleep. In between my sleeping. I have to say though that a day of snoozing, reading and listening to the radio is an enjoyable day for me and something I'll build in to the future (as long as some more important aspects of life like hard work is in the mix as well)
   I've been reading various blogs and there's a lot of guilt there. I wonder if it's fate. Lining up all that guilt for me to read about. None of it is justified either. We don't set out to make mistakes, we set out (with varying degrees of skill ) to do the best we can. So why the feck do we spend more than a few minutes to analyze it? So fellow loggers let it go and use all that time in a more positive way.
  Starting again isn't quite true. Somethings have stuck others pop up regularly and some I've never managed to adopt successfully. So it's easier to say "lets start again" and it matters not how often I start again, either. When I succeed (and I aim to) will I remember all the times I "failed" or will I remember all the times I "started" again. All the times I wanted to feel good about myself and play an active part in life. I'll leave you to answer that :-)
   Christmas isn't far off. Most years I'd promise myself I wouldn't be broke and fed up next Christmas and I always was lol.
   So no sense in waiting, lets see what can be achieved in eight weeks.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-) 

Is knowing what causes the misery enough?

Over the last week I've been trying to tackle the last few things that I've been putting off for a long while. In the process learning a little bit more about me.

In so many ways I've reached the end of my search as to why I see things in such a negative way so often and lapse into a bit of a recluse.

Now am I capable and strong enough to use all this info to turn things around permanently. I have so many good reasons to but at this moment in time I'm not convinced I have what it takes. I'll get some sleep and start to add up all the qualities and skills I have and see if that's going to be enough.

Although this doesn't read as such it is a positive post.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A very slow week, so far!

  Before I start, I was going to title this "A slow week" and just as I was about to add the full stop I changed it to "so far". Which I think is a positive and is further proof to me that my underlying mood is buoyant despite the currant financial cloud that hovers above.
  OK back to the slow week. As you may or may not know. I've adopted doing one thing at a time and unless I complete the first task I cannot move on to the second. It's my way to stop me avoiding the important stuff. The stuff I put off. Which is frankly stupid, as it's the stuff that eventually grows and grows and doesn't go away.
  Well it's been an odd experience. Having completed one or two things I've found myself sleeping much better. So you'd think I'd be knocking myself out ploughing through my little pile of crap. That's not been the case though, I'm doing a lot of sitting about and willing myself on but it's slow. What is different however is the lack of guilt which I would normally be feeling around now and the deep routed sense of well being that is coming through. The lack of one feeling and the growing of the other is a spur on, in itself. I would feel even better if I did less sitting around though.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Monday, 17 October 2011

What does the day hold in store for us?

  By "us" I mean me and actually I know for the most part, what's in store. I woke up this morning, like every morning worrying about something. I spent a few minutes pushing those thoughts out of my head. I've had enough of waking up worrying! It achieves nothing except a bad start to a day and something else to overcome. Since finding the story of "The elephant and the fly" I've been making a huge effort to control my senses. Particularly my thoughts and thus use my time to better effect. So back to my day. It's shaped by how I feel, what I plan to do with it and most importantly what I achieve. Fate has very little to do with things. There will always be variables but it's what I make of my day.
Yesterday I said I felt like a complete failure. I typed it while feeling a bit sorry for myself. Well I'm not feeling sorry for myself today although I am a failure. Not totally but as far as work and finance goes a failure. I've made bad decisions, let people down and have been let down. So alot of the crap that's around me is of my making and clearing it up is something I need to do, to restore my faith and belief in myself.
It's just occurred to me that how successful a person is, isn't just about how well they do or what they acquire but also how well they cope when things go tits up. I regularly read several blogs similar to mine and I'm full of admiration for the writers. They are articulate and describe their thoughts and feelings exceptionally well. They are all trying to straighten things out, blame no one and want very little from life.
So time for more action and effort. I hope your day is going well and you've managed to overcome something or feel good about yourself and you count today as a plus.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)   

Sunday, 16 October 2011

One thing at a time.

Yesterday I mentioned just sticking to one thing at a time. Well that's easy to type not so easy to follow I'm brilliant at finding reasons to switch to something else. "It's more important" or "it will only take a minute to do" etc etc. So I've added a little rule. The "one thing" whatever it might be, is the only thing I'm allowed to do. So unless it gets done nothing else does. Bit drastic but I need to keep this thing moving.
This week has been one bit of bad news after another and I have to admit to feeling like a complete failure. However feeling that way ain't going to put things right is it. The only way I'm going to get through it, is deal with things one at a time and one step at a time.
It's not been all doom and gloom though. I've spent the weekend with MissG and she's looked after me and made me feel loved. So there's plenty of good stuff in my life as well.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Elephant and the Fly, a short story.

Just like dieters hit a plateau and struggle to shift those last few pounds. I'm feeling a bit flat and finding it tough not to give into apathy just as things on the horizon are looking bright. I've been cleaning up the toolbar on my laptop. Removing duplicates and rearranging my folders. During this rather mundane but never less enjoyable time I came across the short story below. It didn't take long for me to recognize myself in the Fly and my longing to be more like the Elephant. So today I'm sticking to one thing at a time. Finishing it, then moving on to the next.
I've had two days with MissG. Lazy starts to each day, a short trip out to somewhere interesting followed by a walk and talk, tea and the biggest cake on the counter. Then home, a read and I'd cook something simple for the pair of us and more talk. Followed by an early night. The phone has been switched to silent for the whole time. So now back to work. I'm feeling guilty about having two days off. Why ? self-worth or the lack of it and money worries probably head the list. The only way out is to deal with it and not hide. So back to one thing at a time and elevate the last two days to happy memories and how the break gave me the chance to reflect and push on. So enough of my navel gazing and on to the story.    

A disciple and his teacher were walking through the forest. The disciple was disturbed by the fact that his mind was in constant unrest.
He asked his teacher: "Why most people's minds are restless, and only a few possess a calm mind? What can one do to still the mind?"
The teacher looked at the disciple, smiled and said:
"I will tell you a story. An elephant was standing and picking leaves from a tree. A small fly came, flying and buzzing near his ear. The elephant waved it away with his long ears. Then the fly came again, and the elephant waved it away once more."
This was repeated several times. Then the elephant asked the fly:
"Why are you so restless and noisy? Why can't you stay for a while in one place?"
The fly answered: "I am attracted to whatever I see, hear or smell. My five senses, and everything that happens around me, pull me constantly in all directions, and I cannot resist them. What is your secret? How can you stay so calm and still?"
The elephant stopped eating and said:
"My five senses do not rule my attention. I am in control of my attention, and I can direct it wherever I want. This helps me to get immersed in whatever I do, and therefore, keep my mind focused and calm. Now that I am eating, I am completely immersed in eating. In this way, I can enjoy my food and chew it better. I control my attention, and not the other way around, and this helps me stay peaceful."
Upon hearing these words, the disciple's eyes opened wide, and a smile appeared on his face. He looked at his teacher and said:
"I understand! My mind will be in constant unrest, if my five senses, and whatever is happening in the world around me are in control of it. On the other hand, if I am in command of my five senses, able to disregard sense impressions, my mind would become calm, and I will be able to disregard its restlessness."
"Yes, that's right," answered the teacher," The mind is restless and goes wherever the attention is. Control your attention, and you control your mind."

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

And moving closer to ......

I'm going to make a second cup of coffee before I start ..... that's better.

Ok so this morning I'm having a lazy start to my day and I'm going to build one of these into my week in future. Breakfast, a bit of a read, the radio on in the background. Total slobbery completley without guilt.

I've also been catching up on several blogs as well. Shame is they're all a bit low and flat. None of my fellow cyber misierites seem to be doing well at the moment. I mentioned distancing myself from negative things a few days ago and that included a few people who pull me down. Thing is, it doesn't matter how low and distraught my Cyber Miserys are I want them around. They really are the gang with huge potential. So I'm going to get closer to them. They can become part of my lazy morning.

Smiles and positive thoughts. Even if I'm not feeling it, I can smile and can have positive thoughts. The positive thoughts must be in the here and now. Not in the future, which was somewhere I used to use to hide in, when the here and now wasn't going well.

So enough to be getting on with for the moment. MissG is coming over for a few days midweek and I'll take a few days off so we can have a bit of alone time and do a little sight seeing before the weather closes in and London reverts back to its grey chilly winter wardrobe.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Distance myself from ...........

.... untidiness. Waking up to last nights washing up isn't a great start to a day. It's not the end of the world but it is the tip of my particular iceberg. My van, paperwork, thinking. All these things chip away at my spirits and stop me from tackling certain things. So I need to be more methodical in future which in turn should put the distance between me and it.

.... late nights. I get home with the best of intentions but veg out in front of the TV only to wake up at 2am on the sofa then drag myself to bed. So lets see what a series of early nights leads to.

There are others to go on the list but timing is key for me. In the past I've taken on too much all at once so I'm going to take things in small bit size chunks this time round.

On the whole this has been a good week, although today I had no enthusiasm for anything. To my credit I plodded on and things turned out ok in the end and I'm feeling a bit more inspired now. So will put it to good use before my early night lol.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

That's got me thinking.

Yesterday I mentioned briefly that being away from the things that made me sad have helped with my recovery. I know that's stating the obvious but it's got me thinking.

So while I was wandering the isles of the local Asda filling my eco lifetime shopping bag and pondering on this my phone rang. It was my ex complaining that some paint I had brought was "rubbish", I'll explain. My daughter wants to paint a shelving unit in her room white. Normally you'd have to prime/undercoat and then finish off with your topcoat of choice. Thinking I'd help matters along I found a one coat paint just right for the job. Right you're up to speed now, lets move on. So my ex went on to explain my daughter had started painting the aforementioned unit and the "paint" was just a clear varnish and not white as expected. I asked if they'd stirred the paint beforehand and was told of course they had. Ok I'll sort it out I said, end of call. Now I'm abit anxious. I'll need to find some time go and collect the "rubbish" paint suffering the odd sarky comment take it back where I brought it from etc etc. So after paying for my shopping and heading home with a little less spring in my step. I get a text. "Twit didn't stir it."

Which serves as the most perfect example of the last years of my marriage. My ex shedding any stress of her own making or anybody else's on me to sort out. Now as I never stopped her doing it. I was as guilty in a way as she was but I suffered for it more than she did.

Like an alcoholic needs to keep away from booze to aid their recovery. Have I distanced myself enough from the things that ails me? (not far enough from my ex obviously) Do I know what ails me?

I read several blogs and there are common thoughts running through all of them, regardless of the depth of the individuals misery. The lack of motivation, poor diet and sleep etc etc.

Now, this really is me just thinking out loud but the last few days have gone well. Partly because I gave myself plenty of time to complete things and let people know what my plans were. So I want to continue with this and while I do, think about what I maybe need to distance myself from in the mean time.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

It's not fixed yet but !

Well I hope you're smiling. I am. Even though some things didn't go well today and one thing went completely tits up. I've finished the day smiling but pretty tired. I'm starting to change the way I go about my work so things going backwards short term, is to be expected. I phoned tomorrows customer to let her know what time I'm planning to arrive. Simple really and it's something I'm going to do in the future.

Since last weekends little catalogue of mishaps and the realization that as much as it frustrates me I overcame the problems (and always do) it's given me another gently push in to the main stream. I have to tweak things a little. Firstly where would I be without my friends and acquaintances. I need to be a good friend to them as well and I mustn't let things get me down. I know it will be me that sorts it, so ditch the mopping around and just move on with it.

Now I've either changed or am changing the things that flatten me or moved away from what brings me down (my ex and her own unhappiness) things are improving. Has it simply been a case of distancing myself from trouble that enables recovery. I guess I needed to know what it was and getting honest with myself first that started the journey. Funny thing is I'm also finding out other things (like finding a tenner in a pair of jeans you haven't worn for a while) that hadn't even been an issue before. Issue maybe too strong a word but I'm coming across things every now and again that surprises me.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happness :-)

Saturday, 1 October 2011


I've titled today's page as "detail" because I can't go into detail as it would be inappropriate. Anyway I'm having a right mare with my van. There are things wrong with it and being a Merc it's expensive to fix and the road tax has expired. Basically I'm pretty screwed. So I'm having a chat on the phone with my friend Chris and telling him my transport problems. When he says I might know someone and he did. Well into my life comes this little Greek fella who happens to be a Mercedes mechanic.

All I have to do is get from Kent to North London by 11o/c this morning and my new, yet to meet friend will solve my problems for an amount without too many zero's on the end. No problem. That is until I get onto the M25 and the engine starts to get a bit hot. So I pull over and lift the lid, stream pouring out from the side of the little filler bottle. I let it cool down and top it up, also making sure I fill anything in the van that will hold water. Now it's five to eleven I've stopped half a dozen times I'm out of water and sweating like an X Factor hopeful. Well I just make it in time and my new bestest mate moans a bit about working on such a lovely Saturday. A few hours later I have a fairly fit Van with a long list of things I need to do and I'm sailing home to Kent. 5 miles from MissG I get a puncture, so parked up on the hard shoulder with lorries whizzing past my bum at 60mph I change the wheel and am thinking when will all this grief end.

Back in the van and creeping along those last few miles (cos the engines cooking again) a light goes on. This time not on the dashboard but in my head. Whatever crap comes my way I get through it. I solve it. I survive! So now I'm looking at things from a different place. I'm not a failure. I'm a solver, someone not ready to give in. I just need to alter my thinking a tad. Take on the new info and start seeing life from a birds eye view and not a bugs!

The answers to my many problems are around me. Friends, family and my own abilities. Today I learned a lot.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness.

Thursday, 29 September 2011


I'm lost for a title but eager to get my thoughts down. So "Ummmmm" fits the bill in more ways than one. Mondays blog has left me thinking. Could my failure with and at work be the core of my bout of the misery's or is it just the last problem to tackle? I'm guessing it's the latter but as I'm thinking about what to write as I write I could be wrong.

On Monday I mentioned how I no longer take the opportunity to let people know how miserable I am or was. Partly because that particular need has gone and partly because I feel I'm not miserable anymore. Now I'm not inflicting myself on my friends anymore I'm starting to hear them and their misery now. Then again knowing some of my friends I wouldn't put it past them to make it up, just so they could get their own back.

I had a bit of a wobble today. I wondered if I'd made any progress at all. The fact is however I've made huge progress and in no particular order, I'm loved and in love with MissG, I eat better, sleep better, accept that some things will take a while to sort themselves out, smile more and I'm starting to rediscover some of the things I was good at and enjoyed a long time ago. Crap! well there's still room in my life for crap but it's not as if it falls just on me. We all get it, it's how we deal with it that gets us through the day.

As always, onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Clean Slate.

Well, not exactly. I have to get the flat straight and tidy. Just in case somebody comes to view the place and to be honest things have slipped on that front abit. My van is a tip as well. Nothing in the right place just tools piled on top of tools. No doubt this extends to my thinking of late, too much crammed in there and getting lost and forgotten.

As other areas of my life start to take shape and I find some contentment and joy there. It's becoming clear that work or more precisely some facet of it, is holding things up. I could take a stab at what it is now but I'll sleep on it.

What has changed though and I'll share this with you. Is, in the past and up till very recently if someone close asked me how things were, I'd happily tell them. All the trivial rubbish. Even if I tried to stop myself I couldn't. Well these last few days the opportunities have been there for me but I'm not interested in sharing it anymore. I don't need to tell anyone anymore. There's good stuff to talk about now. The crap, I feel I can cope with and deal with. But don't worry, I'll continue to share it with you. So you can gauge how I'm doing.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Austerity measures.

I've had a happy weekend with MissG. We went to a show at a local theatre and then a drink with one of her friends, on Saturday. A lazy start to Sunday. With a visit in the afternoon to a "National Trust" house, just up the road from her, in the afternoon. We spoke alot about the future. The flat I rent is going to be sold. So I'm going to be looking for somewhere else to live. Which coincides with her plans to move at the beginning of next year. Well you can see where this is going. Because of her job the move will be towards her. So Tonbridge, Kent here I come.

The move will mean a big change work wise, for me. I'm self employed and establishing myself in a new area will no doubt be a slow process. Especially given the current economic climate.

However, as I said before. Work currently isn't great so a move now won't be such a disruption. I thought things through as I drove back from Kent and have decided to adopt some tough cost cutting exercises to try and reduce my debt as much as possible before the move. I'm not extravagant by any means but I don't keep a regular eye on my spending either. So attention to detail, tackling things early and making good use of what I have needs to be the order of the day.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Reading Meds blog on luck ( ) got me thinking about belief and it's effects. We all seem to believe in something and that something is taken on trust. Religion, in all it's guises, the New Age Movement, pantheism etc etc. My beliefs I guess are broadly Christian I've been decluttering my "belief cupboard" of late. Keeping what makes sense and making room for, well I'm not sure as yet but it will be something simple (like me). There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to beliefs. If it works for you, particularly when times are tough. Then that's fine. I've accompanied MissG to church recently and was taken with the general sense of joy there. She sighed me up for a daily email of "word of the day" ( ) It's basically common sense stories taken from the Bible and I was surprised how often it was relevant to me. Then I realized that's because the kind of hurdles I face daily are the same ones faced by most of us, it's how we deal with them that sets us apart. So I gained a kind of odd comfort from that. Regardless of how I feel, there is no giving up for me. I've known success and failure and I guess I'll continue to meet both along the way. So be it. At least I'll have something to write about, lol.

Work is a bit of a mess at the moment. I am not doing very well at planning this out or motivating myself. There's a balance to be struck. I need the work but I need the time to deal with it properly, price, do the work and invoice. As there is no separation between work and personal life, each affects the other. I need to sort this out as quickly as possible. I have a little time over the next day or two. So need to make the same effort I made when MissG and I split. It's as important. I have to stop wasting opportunities, which to be frank I am. It's costing me and has to stop now.

My personal life on the other hand is going fine at the moment. I've reach the bottom of that particular hole and am well on my way out of it . I'm not taking anything for granted and working on my relationships with various friends and family. I've managed to strike a better balance, where I don't allow people to take advantage, knowningly or not. I'm much better at making my feelings known and not giving in for an easier life short term.

So, the little pills, clear thinking (at times) and a growing inner strength are enabling me to cope better than before and dare I say, move forwards.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of happyness :-)