Sunday, 30 January 2011

Days 303 and 304. The weekend review.

So here we are at my third weekend review. I think the reviews are one of the best things I've done with the blog recently. It's forced me into rereading the drivel I've inflicted on you all over the last few days and more seriously it helps me take a balanced view on the week.
So what have I learned about me this week? Firstly, falling down a step or two hasn't entirely been left behind but it isn't something to get too worried about either. The unknown or things I'm not experienced in shouldn't be feared either.
When I'm feeling aggrieved I need to stop and take a minute to look at things before I get too bogged down and lose sight of what's important or right. Lastly, I like Daniel Auteuil films and the writings of Rudyard Kipling. I'm going to see what I can get for a tenner on Ebay. If I'm lucky a DVD and a couple of books. I'll keep you posted on how I fair.

Onwards and upwards :~)    

Friday, 28 January 2011

Day 302. An earlier start this morning.

I'd like to say I leaped out of bed and flew off to work but the phone rang (I'm on call) with a job and off I went. Once out, I got on with things and here I am now at 8pm feeling pretty satisfied with myself.

 I've been looking inward alot this week so maybe it's time to look outwards this weekend. I'm on call but will be going back to my old house to help the ex with a couple of jobs. I've started to send short texts to my daughters. I felt a bit peeved they weren't keeping in touch enough but then neither was I. So I'm making amends there too.

I'm off to bed now as I'm on call till Sunday evening so best get some sleep while I can. I wish you a happy and successful weekend. There's just time to give you a star of the day. It's Daniel Auteuil the Frenchman from the film last night.

Daniel Auteuil (1950-)
He's been in some good films. If you like cop films then look up "36 Quai des Orfèvres (2004) " or if history is your thing , try " La Reine Margot (1994) " and not only is he an excellent actor but like me he has a big nose the leans to one side :-) or should that be :~).

Onwards and upwards :~)

Day 301. As bad as yesterday but.....

..... I think I may know why but just before I start, the French film that got me going the other night is on again. Fate has created a little pocket for my despair to live in. After the film ( yes I'm watching it ) I can resume my climb upwards out of this funk and do something useful or maybe something wonderful or outstanding or well you get the idea.

So back to the beginning. Why am I finding it hard to get started in the mornings. I think the reason is the unexpected. This week my work has been made up of things I don't normally do or have little experience in. Things are slow so I have to take what comes. Anyway I think my slow starts are a way of avoiding them. If I don't do it I can't fail can I? Well yes I can by doing nothing I fail big time. So from now on I need to trust in my abilities and hold my nerve. Here's part of a poem which I think applies.
"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew, to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
It's by Kipling. I've copied and pasted it below. It's a wonderful poem. OMaybe one day if I'm lucky enough to have a grandson. It would be fun to learn it and then recite it to him. When he's feeling a little low or unsure. It's a wonderfully simple message. See for yourself.


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

I think RK would make a great star man! he knew real success and failure.

Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

Please open the wiki link and read about this man. He packed plenty into his 70 odd years and be honest isn't "Jungle Book" (written by RK in 1894) one of your favorite Disney films?

PS before I sign off. The film has just ended and this time I managed a smile.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Day 300. I wouldn't of thought this possible but here I am.

So lets start with an apology. I apologise to all people who really do know suffering, who don't have enough food, who don't have access to health care who will be wretchedly poor for their whole lives. My moaning about how I'm feeling pales into insignificance.
It's not been a great day and I feel a fraud. I have the opportunity to make something of my life. So what's stopping me?

Day 299. Another plus.

I did start an hour later than I wanted to but I was called out last night at 3am for an hour or so. Anyway another good day with little going wrong. Or more to the point I didn't let anything go wrong.

The last couple of days I've been thinking apart giving the van abit of TLC as it's kept me afloat these last months and I think it's MOT is due. This falls into the category of forward planning. First time in a while that I've given any thought to pre planning the normal day to day stuff. Is this further evidence that I'm turning a corner. I suppose if I act on it, it is.

The other thing I've noticed is I have more time. I'm awake for the same amount of hours but there seems to be more time to get things done.

The answers to all of the above will be more money coming in. Don't get me wrong. I know the quality of my life isn't about how much I earn but it is one of the factors we use to measure things. You can only go so long on little or poor food, same can be said of money. Now I'm old enough and ugly enough to know money is just a commodity you use to exchange for another commodity. It's not my God. It's just something that's coming into play at the moment.

So with all things work-wise going in the right direction and my continuing tinkering with my "to do" list. I thought I'd google "the father of time management" and someone called Frederick Winslow Taylor came up.

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1915).

Taylor was born to a wealthy Quaker family in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Taylor was accepted at Harvard Law. However, due to rapidly deteriorating eyesight, Taylor had to consider an alternative career. He became a mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is regarded as the father of scientific management. There is quite abit about him on Wiki if you want to read more. If not then here is a small part I copied. Which I found very pertinent for me at this moment in time.

"Taylor had very precise ideas about how to introduce his system:
It is only through enforced standardization of methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured."

I might just copy this out in my little note book. I find it quite inspiring. Very straight forward words but so much better than I could of written or thought.

As always. Onwards and upwards :-)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Day 298. Another Monday.

Well, after last nights little crisis, today has gone fairly well. It was another late start and my morning job ran over (so I need to go back Wednesday) but my afternoon job went OK and if I can get a good start tomorrow I can catch up.

Going back to last night I've thought about things today and asked myself did I know anyone who could deal with my currant situation better than me. I decided there wasn't anybody. Which made me feel better and stronger. There is an underlining fragility to me but knowing and admitting to that means it's no longer a problem. In so far as there may times ahead when I'm going to feel pretty low but it will pass. So no problem.

I paid my overdue water rates this morning. Which was very pleasing. How many people do you know, who get happy about paying a bill? I need to get out more lol. I have the Council tax to sort out and the second Credit Card Company to placate. Then I'm fully in control of my finances, whoopee.

It's just after 9 o'clock. Which is a couple of hours earlier than I normally write the blog. I'm making an effort to have all things done by 11:30 and an early night (I am "on call" tonight so it still might not go to plan). All I need to do now is the "star of the day" and I'm off.

It's becoming harder and harder to find people slightly off the radar who appeal to me and my situation. So today's is.

Mikael Ohlsson (1957- ).

He's the man who runs IKEA. He gets up early and finishes at 5. I want to do that. He seems a pretty humble kind of guy yet he has the talents and abilities to run a big business. He's worked for them for the last 31 years, which is something I wouldn't have liked to do. Not IKEA but any job for that length of time. Still he's an interesting bloke so has earned his place on the blog.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Days 296 and 297. The weekend review.

As you know the transfer has gone into my account so I've been able to settle a few bills. Work went well Saturday morning and I managed to get through a lot of my "9 things I must do". My goal next week will be to do all 9 items on a couple of occasions. This week has ended well and I'd like to build on that.
Earlier on I was feeling pretty good about everything and felt maybe I've turned a corner. Now I'm feeling a bit lost, unsure of my abilities. I've just watched a film "Mon meilleur ami" or "My best friend". It's a light hearted comedy about a Antiques Dealer (Daniel Auteuil) who realises, through a bet that he has no friends. He meets a Cab Driver (Dany Boon) who he thinks maybe able to help. It's a good little film which has a twist at the end. Anyway the end got to me, upset me. So here I am lost. Temporary I hope. The realization that I'll need to repeat this week again and again and find the work to be able to do it is weighing heavily on my mind.
I've just reread my first weekend review. It's funny but they don't seem to be my words. I wonder why that is? It's too late to figure it out now. I'll give it some thought during the coming days.
So on to this weeks review. Slow starts hampered most of my days this week but once I knuckled down things went well. The shortened version of my daily "to do" list works better too.
So in conclusion. Sticking to a timetable is the way forward for me and as much as I'd like to think everything is getting better. Which it is. I'm still fragile just below the surface.
Onwards and upwards :-)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Day 295. A knock back but an unusual reaction!

I have a customer. Who owes me some money for work done. They also need to pay for fittings I've already installed. They need to make a choice on some more items they want (and I've spent time searching them out) and pay for these as I'm not willing to pay anymore and wait (actually I can't as I'm broke). Anyway I emailed her over two weeks ago, have sent reminders both email and text. Promises were made to do transfers but it never happened. Finally after asking her to confirm all has happened she tells me she's just doing it now. A transfer takes four days so I asked her to do the quick transfer and take the £25 off the balance (to pay for the instant service). I've just found out she hasn't done this (why not I was paying???????). Normally this would send me into a spiral of despair and I'd be a nightmare to live with. Venting my anger at those who have nothing to do with it. I am a little vexed (hence this little moan) and will need to avoid a couple of people I owe money to. Get some bank charges for failed payments etc etc. The funny thing is I'm taking it in my stride. It's surprised me and given me a bit of a lift in a strange way.
Today was also another day when a slow start hampered success but I think I still moved forward and as I sit here and type, I am feeling positive and excited about what I can do tomorrow.
Going back to the beginning of today's entry, my vexation (what a brilliant word) and feeling under pressure. I searched around for someone who was good at coping with crap and fighting back. So my star person today is Emmeline Pankhurst the political activist and suffragette

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928)

There's lots to read on this incredible woman but the bit I liked was the following...She tried to evade police harassment by wearing disguises and eventually the WSPU established a jujitsu-trained female bodyguard squad to physically protect her against the police. She and other escorts were targeted by police, resulting in violent scuffles as officers tried to detain Pankhurst... Jujitsu-trained female bodyguards! I want some. Whose going to delay payment with the threat of my Jujitsu posse? joking aside follow the link. She was a very strong and courageous woman.

P.S. just before I go. God, if you're reading this can you speed things up at the bank please. Thank you. Onwards and upwards :-)

(it's 3:30 pm Friday and money's gone into account. Thank you God. The weekend has just brightened).

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Day 294. Treading water.

I was going to entitle 294 as "A step backwards" which in part is true but there were things I did get done. So on balance "treading water" is a far fairer title. I won't dwell on it. Lets move on to more positive thoughts.
I'm moving forwards and now need to up the pace. The easy way to do that is get to bed at a reasonable time stick to the plan and hopefully reap the benefits.
Now my star of the day. As you may or may not know I'm going to improve my French this year. So here's the man whose CDs I'm hoping will turn me into a bi-lingual plumber :-)

Michel Thomas, born Moniek Kroskof (1914 – 2005).

Born in Poland. Escaped to France just before the war. Fought with the Resistance. Helped the Americans and as a reward got American Citizenship. Started a language school on Rodeo Drive (smart move).
Michel himself believed that his learning process is not only effortless but also fun. He has successfully taught ghetto children and, in 1997, a group of sixteen-year-olds in north London who had been told they could never learn a language (so there's hope for me then). His celebrity clients have included, to name just a few, Grace Kelly, Anne Bancroft, Mel Gibson, Donald Sutherland, Emma Thompson, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Barbra Streisand, and a host of senior American business leaders, diplomats, dignitaries and academics.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Day 293. A pleasant surprise!

I had a late start yesterday morning. Due in part to a long day the day before (finishing just after 10pm) and the perennial problem of getting going first thing in the morning (it's funny that the process of getting back on my feet and fighting my demons involves some kind of self forgiveness. Unfortunately just like chocolate once I tasted how to forgive myself for one thing it becomes all too easy to carry on forgiving yourself for anything and everything I want to. So I need to go on a forgiveness diet :-) otherwise all the hard work done in other areas will be for nothing).
I had written out a shortened "to do" list as per the new regime the previous evening. So off I went. I did feel that the day hadn't been that productive and as I packed away my tools thought I'd see what I could cross off my list. To my surprise I was able to cross them all off and add another which I'd managed to get done as well.
Today has started much like yesterday. So I really will need to knuckle down as things in other areas are moving forwards.
Following on from my two previous "Stars of the Day". I have another forgotten man. He came up with a simple but ingenious idea that allowed us to "see" in the dark.

Percy Shaw (1890–1976).

Manufacturer and inventor, Percy Shaw was born on 15 April 1890 in Halifax, England. After attending the Boothtown boarding school, Percy Shaw began working as a laborer at a blanket mill at the age of thirteen, however, he studied shorthand and bookkeeping at night school. He started a repair business with his father fixing rollers, which evolved into a path and driveway building business. He designed a miniature motorized roller to aid him in building driveways and paths.

Catseye Road Studs.
The area in which Percy Shaw lived was prone to fog and the local roads were often hazardous for motorists. Shaw decided to invent reflecting studs that would be set into the surface of unlit roads. He was inspired by the reflection of car headlights in road signs.
Percy Shaw patented his Maltese cross-shaped road studs (U.K patent #436,290 and #457,536) and trademarked the name Catseye. He formed the Reflecting Roadstuds Ltd to manufacture the new Catseye road studs, however, sales were sluggish until the Ministry of Transport mandated Catseyes for British roads.

Onwards and upwards (even in the dark) :-)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Day 292. Well that seemed to work nicely.

So I did what I suggested in 291 and it worked well. Need to read (left my book at home) and go through the affirmations (which do get missed more often than not) later which will complete the nine and I managed to get all my work done plus a couple of additions. So all round not a bad day. May get a ticket for stopping in a box junction. Not sure if there's a camera there, will just have to keep my fingers crossed on that one. If I'm all doom and gloom around Day 320. You'll know It has and I did.

Following on from yesterdays Star Henry Beck. I've stuck to the same theme, Maps. This time another map we Londoners take for granted. The London AtoZ, had it not been for this woman we might still be getting lost when we pop out for a copy of the Racing Post and 20 Woodbines.

Phyllis Pearsall (1906-1996)

Phyllis Pearsall was a remarkable woman. Born in 1906 she had already lived a rather bohemian life as a writer, painter and traveler when in 1935 she got lost in London while using a 20 year old street map which was at the time the most recent available. Working from a bedsit in Horseferry Road, not far from Big Ben and with the aid of James Duncan - a draughtsman borrowed from her father, a Hungarian mapmaker, she began to catalogue the 23,000 streets that featured in the first edition. Working eighteen hour days she walked a total of 3,000 miles in compiling it.

Here are a couple of links if you want to read more.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Monday, 17 January 2011

Day 291. Time for a move.

The weekend review made me think about what has changed and what hasn't. I better understand my feelings, my abilities and what can ruin a day. I know what ploys and plans would propel me forward but my engine doesn't always start and when it does splatters to a stop more often than not.
I'm thinking of changing the way I do my "to do" list. Anything I don't manage to finish and tick off weights heavy and instead of taking some joy out of what's been achieved. I find myself deflated over what hasn't.
What I'm going to try is write up the bare bones of a "to do" list and leave some gaps for any extra I can achieve. That way the basics are achieved and extras are a bonus and hopefully I can build on the bonuses.
Now seeing as I have been concentrating on ways to getting to a better place, my star of the day is....

Henry Charles Beck (1902 – 1974).

He was the man that came up with the London Undeground Map in 1931. Beck had the idea of creating a full system map in colour. He believed that passengers riding the trains were not too bothered about the geographical accuracy, but were more interested in how to get from one station to another, and where to change. Thus he drew his famous diagram, looking more like an electrical schematic than a true map, on which all the stations were more or less equally spaced.
Just like Becks passengers I'm not interested about accuracy but getting to the next stop.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Days 289 and 290. The weekend review.

This is the first time I've reviewed the week. If you've read my previous posts you'll know I surprise myself occasionally with some little insight into me. Trouble is I loose sight of it after a couple of weeks. Hopefully a weekly review will help cement it in place.
So what have I found out this week?
I can live in the moment and not spoil it by drifting off into my own little world. I enjoy cooking and the results aren't bad. I seriously put things off and must get that sorted out asap. I have discovered it no longer matters to me whether I suffer from depression or not. What matters is I'm not happy with the way I lead my life and don't maximise the chances and opportunities that comes my way. That's what I need to concentrate on. Also stick to completely finishing the minor tasks. Just like the affirmations are designed to change the long term errors, completing things like the washing up, hanging out the washing etc will hopefully change my behaviour. Lastly I need to set realistic short term goals. These in turn will lead to the long term results that I'd like to achieve.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Day 288. Home safe and sound.

MissG and I arrived back from our break and after I'd made something to eat she's on her way home and I'm here catching up on the blog.
It's been difficult to get many of the "9 things I must do" done but I have managed to live in the moment and not think about things that I can do nothing about.
The weekend will give me some time to get a few things done before Monday and get back to speed with the "9".
A bit of work is creeping in and I have the chance to be straight with most of my bills by the end of the week. It's not the most glorious of goals to achieve but I guess it's more important than I'm giving it credit. Maybe if I add the "9" to it and aim to have completed both by next Saturday then that will feel as if I'm moving forward and getting somewhere.
While I enjoyed my short break it has made me realise how much I've come to enjoy my own company. The chance to do what I like and when, isn't something I thought much about before. Is this part of the rehabilitation or something I just never noticed before?
I'm tired and need to get some sleep. So I'll end here for today. My plan is to read this weeks entries and do a weekend summary. So until then be lucky.
Star of the day......

Kate Swann (1964-).

Kate Swann is MD of WH Smith and the top Brit (number 26) on Fortunes "50 Most Powerful Women in Business". There isn't much about her on Wiki which considering her ranking is a bit odd or is it? She's married got a couple of kids and lives in Bishop Stortford (which is a nice place but it's no New York or Paris). Could this woman just be someone who is good (really good) at what she does but doesn't need all the trimmings that can come with that kind of role?

Onwards and upwards :-)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Day 287. Or is it 286? I'm losing count.

As you may or may not know I'm in Cornwall with MissG having a two day break and staying with her sister.
To earn my stay, I'm cooking. Yesterday was potato, bacon and brussel sprout gratin (I hate sprouts but they're not bad in a gratin) with meatballs. Which went down well. Tonight it's Chicken in breadcrumbs (with a touch of curry powder) roast potatoes with basil and curly kale.
I've never cooked that much in the past but now I have to (as I'm on my own) I'm up for seeing if I can pass as a half decent cook.
I'm tempted to add my recipe pages to this blog. It would give you all something to laugh at after you've had to endure my grumbling daily posts.
Today after breakfast, we went into town and spent the day at an auction. We had looked in yesterday and brought a catalogue. So we had marked down our favorites and were ready.
Now being as broke as I am, going to an auction may seem a pretty dumb thing to do but where could you go, where you can sit in the warm, look at some nice pictures (and some rubbish ones) be entertained by the Auctioneer ( all wannabe actors) and still have change from a ten pound note.
Well six hours later and twenty six pounds lighter. We came out into the rain with two small watercolours, the catalogue with lots of prices written down next to the four hundred odd lots and fortified by a pint of cider for MissG and a Guinness for me. There where one or two. Well actually eight or nine pictures, just out of my financial reach that I would of loved to have brought. Given some time, application and a little luck we might be back in the near future.
Seeing as I've spent the day looking at paintings my "Star of the day" is.....

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci. (1452 –1519).

Was an Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer (I wonder how many of his neighbours thought he was a bit of a big head?).

Onwards and upwards :-)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Day 285. Did you see yesterdays "The Times"?

I has 30 minutes to kill today. While I waited for an Auction House to open after its lunch-break. So MissG and myself crossed the road and into the nearest pub. While MissG ordered a Guinness and a coffee, I picked up a couple of newspapers for us to look through. Yesterdays Times (Tuesday) had a several articles about male depression. The main body of work was written by John O'Donoghue an award-winning author. He's written several books. Notably "Sectioned. A life interrupted" it deals with his mental health problems during his teens and twenties. Anyway all the articles were worth reading. I almost had to buy a second pint but managed to read my way through the whole thing.
I've recently started to think about whether I suffer from depression. Or whether it's just a convenient hook to hang my woes on. The great thing about the "Times" article was it gave a balance airing to the, yes it does/no it doesn't camps.
I have to admit I do sometimes hide behind it. In reality I think mine is straight forward. Small setbacks magnifier to giant disasters in my head and unless I stick to a fairly ridged plan. I can find hundreds of reasons to put things off.
I'm on a short break at the moment and making a huge effort to live "in the moment". So today's offering is about to end. Also no "Star of the day". If I can get up early tomorrow and not wake MissG I shall endeavor to make a better effort tomorrow.

Until then. Onwards and upwards :-)


Day 284. I don't like Mondays.

Actually I do. I like all days. Sometimes things don't go according to plan. Which over the recent past has been more times than sometimes but if you are an avid reader of my "moan and groan" column. You'll know I'm far more positive these days and have started to simplify my problems. Putting them into bite size chunks and there by easier to chew over.
Most things haven't gone to plan today but overall my spirits are high. MissG is sitting here on the sofa and in a few hours we're off down to Cornwall for a few days. There is a slight nigal at the back of my mind that I'm putting things off and should really stay home and deal with it but I'll take the laptop with me and get abit done while I'm away.
Star person of the day today is.........

Sir Bob Geldof. (1951-)

Boomtown Rats frontman and the driving force behind "LiveAid". Now he's probably not the kind of man you need around your dinning table unless you wanted to loose all your dinner guests before you got to serve desert but can you think of a better person to have next to you, if you had to put your President/Prime Minister on the spot. Or get some pampered Star to perform for free and dip their hand in their own pocket for a donation at the same time. As difficult a man as he's reported to be there are a lot of people living today that would be dead without him.

Sorry today's entry is late but problems with the laptop. Will be back up to speed by Wednesday, fingers crossed.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Day 283. Sunday "a day of rest".

Or is it? Don't we all just go shopping. What a shame. I listened to "Desert Island Disc" today on Radio 4. For those of you who never have. They pick someone famous and ask them for their top ten discs they'd like to have with them if they were cast away on a desert island. Today it was the turn of a man called Gyles Brandreth. I shall make him my "Star of the day" which will save me time, typing his achievements and get you to do a little "online" surfing (which is always fun).
Anyway Glyes mentioned several times about living in the moment. It's somthing I don't do enough. In fact I would go as far as saying that, not living in the moment is probaly a big factor in my blue mood over the last year or so. MissG also thinks I don't spend enough time in the present. So as she's finally arrived I will make a huge effort to live in the here and now.
So while I cut short our evening fireside chat. You can go off to Wiki and do some research on Glyes.

Gyles Daubeney Brandreth. (1948)

Look him up, I've got things to do.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Day 282. A full day.

It's my, weekend on call. Friday night was ok and today has been busy. I've also found time to get some of my things done too.
MissG is coming over tomorrow evening, so I've started to prepare some food. I've also made soup, curried parsnip and carrot with coriander. My cooking skills are a bit limited but improving. I'm a big fan of tasty basic dishes. Well I suppose I would be given that I've just admitted to a complete lack of any culinary skills.
We seem to have lost our way with food. You can buy most things all year round so do we know what's good for us.. I'm trying to learn what local vegetables are available and when.
I once met someone, who believed that Nature produced certain vegetables just as we need them and when we'd had enough of whatever was in them Nature would give us something else. Also as vegetables come into season and are plentiful they should be cheaper. So what's good for the body should be good for the wallet too.
Well it seems only appropriate that today's star is a cook....

Delia Smith CBE (1941).

Every country has it's National Cook. Delia is ours. I guess most homes in the UK have a Delia cookbook tucked away somewhere.
Smith baked the cake depicted on the cover of the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed.
Look her up in Wiki. She's come from very humble beginnings and there is also a phenomenon known as the "Delia Effect." If Delia says or uses something, we all go out and buy it! She's done loads.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Day 281 and I've run out of ideas for titles.

Maybe I should go back to infrequent posting. Gives me abit more time to think them up.
Now "Desire" (a wish or longing)and "Completion" (to go through with; to finish or conclude). Can you see where I'm going with this? I'm looking for a word that links the two. I guess there are a few. "Application" (A specific use to which something is put)is probably the one I need to work on. Things are a lot better and I think I'm not far off of sorting myself out but like any addict there are things I need to avoid and things I really need to "Concentrate" (To direct or draw toward a common centre, to focus) on.
So to make a start I need to avoid another late night and concentrate on getting a good nights sleep.

So Star Person today is..........

Richard Norwood (1590? – 1675)

was an English mathematician, diver, and surveyor, connected with Isaac Newton. This fella did loads. As I've got to get to bed now and you've got too much time on your hands. Look him up.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Friday, 7 January 2011

Day 280. A good day but I couldn't tell you why!

I didn't manage to get through half of my "must does" but none the less it's been a good day. It's far too late now to try and work out why. I'll try and find the time to write more tomorrow.
Star man of the day is

Muhammad Ali. 1942.

Probably the first modern TV friendly, sportsman. Arrogant, funny, a man willing to stand up for his beliefs and a truly gifted athlete. I remmeber watching him as a kid in the 60's and 70's. He was the first sportsman I had ever seen who as soon as a microphone was stuck under his nose, would tell the World how great he was. He brings colour into a grey World.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Day 279. A good day after an aweful night.

Over the last few days I've gone to bed later and later. Two, three, four o'clock. My financial position is pretty dire. So it's been pretty difficult to get to sleep. Which in turn means you stop thinking clearly. So last night was the worst for a long while. Thoughts of not being around did enter my head but the idea that some poor sap has to find me and the effect on my friends and loved ones (yes, I do have a couple) soon pushed that idea out of my head. I will have to keep a grip on eating and sleeping. As I mentioned in an earlier post, "work on the things I can change" so making myself something to eat and getting to bed at a sensible hour are well within my control.
Anyway, I got up and got to work. Without touching the first three things on my "must do list". I am, however. Coming good in the back straight and fancy myself for a good finish in about an hour or so.
I took down my Christmas decorations earlier this evening. Cards, a string of lights and a little Christmas tree in a pot. I've given him a good drink and will find a nice spot in the garden for him at the weekend. I'm going to look after my little tree. It will, one day be a big tree. Which I will look at everyday and think back to when I was at my lowest. It would have grown big and strong. Which hopefully so would I have, too.
So, who is today's star?

Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis. 1906–1988.

The son of immigrants, Issigonis studied engineering at Battersea Polytechnic in London. He failed his mathematics exams three times and subsequently called pure mathematics 'the enemy of every creative genius'. After Battersea Polytechnic, Alec decided to enter the University of London External Programme ( once referred to as "People's University" by Charles Dickens because it provided access to higher education to students from less affluent backgrounds, the External Programme was chartered by Queen Victoria in 1858, making the University of London the first university to offer distance learning degrees to students).
Now I like this man because his career was devoted to good engineering solutions for the masses. He's best known for designing the Mini. First sold in 1959 and manufactured till 2000.
He was part of the team that designed the Morris Minor, which was produced from 1948 until 1971. He was most proud of his participation in the design of the Minor. He considered it to be a vehicle that combined many of the luxuries and conveniences of a good motor car with a price suitable for the working classes - in contrast to the Mini which was a spartan mode of conveyance with everything cut to the bone.
Onwards and upwards :-)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Day 278. Targets and goals.

I wonder, if the goals and targets I set can have a detrimental effect on me and not the positive, it's supposed to. If the gap between where I am and where I want to be is too great can a minor setback seem like something greater? or just the fact that there is this huge gap prove too much.
I think I need to set a few short term goals and see how they work out.
My star person today didn't make it till his mid fifties so I like him already,

Ray Kroc (1902-1984)

Ray Kroc, a high school drop out. Kroc took a job playing piano for a radio station at night and selling paper cups by day. He next became fascinated with a multi-mixer milkshake machine and purchased the marketing rights to it. For the next 17 years, Kroc traveled the country selling his milkshake making miracle to whoever would listen. As he made the rounds to customers, he became intrigued by a hamburger restaurant in San Bernardino, California owned by the McDonald brothers. While the McDonald brothers were satisfied with their small franchise, Kroc believed the burger business had far greater potential. Although Kroc was by then a 53 year old man suffering from diabetes and arthritis and missing both his thyroid and gall bladder, he had a vision of turning the restaurant into a global fast food empire. In 1961, he purchased the McDonald’s franchise. In only a few years years, Kroc had sold a billion hamburgers and opened the franchise’s 500th store.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Day 277 and a half.

It's the first day of my "must dos" I've managed to get through them after a fashion. I didn't get out of the flat on time (3) I didn't do a little extra (6) and don't ask me about number 7.
MissG was coming over Wednesday and staying but shes slipped up with her work rota so Wednesdays off. Which has really taken the wind out of my sails. It is the one on going happy event of my life at the moment and having to wait another week before I see her is abit of a blow.
Still it will give me more time to get as much out of the way s possible before we go away next week.
I'm going to mention something that bugs me now. In-fact I'm going to add it to the "about me" section. I know there are millions out there who live in abject poverty, who are facing serious illness, either their own or someone close to them. Who face a far more challenging life than I do. I can do nothing for them. Don't for a minute think I am not thankful that I'm not in there shoes or I don't feel guilty about me moaning on about my predicament when theirs is far worse. However I can do something about my situation, they unfortunately aren't in the same position.
So it wasn't the best start to my new regime. Finding interesting people to add to the bottom of the page is however a success. I already have one up my sleeve for the future. As I think it's going to be difficult on occasions.

Frederick Douglass 1818-1895

Frederick Douglass started life as a slave and ended it as one of the most respected black men in American History.
During the 1888 Republican Convention, he became the first African-American to receive a vote to be nominated for the Presidency.

Goodnight/good morning to you and as always. Onwards and upwards :-)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Day 276. I've made some changes.

I've amended "About me". It needed it. As time has gone on I have begun to understand "me" abit more. So the rewrite was necessary.
I've also added "Nine things I MUST do". It's become apparent that I lack drive. Well so do alot of people but if I'm going to get myself out of the mess I find I'm in. Then a serious bit of inner strength is required. Whilst I'm beginning to understand what I do and what's needed. I'm at a loss at finding the drive to keep going with the positive and keep the negative in check.
Regularity will provide a framework to build on and also be a marker on how things are going.
This time next week I'm off to Cornwall with MissG. We're staying with friends and I'll be cooking to pay for my bed. So I have a week to sort out the finances, write a couple of letters to various organisations to let them know I can't pay and get as much as possible done. That way I can relax a bit take a look at things from a different perspective and come back fighting.
It struck me today that there are things I can change now and some I cannot. So I may as well put 100% into what I can change and keep a close eye on those I can't until the opportunity presents itself.
This is my 276th entry. From now on I aim to finish with someone whose done something. A bit of inspiration to end on. So today we have......

Marie Curie 1867-1934

Marie Curie was the first women to receive the Nobel Prize and the first person to win it twice in two separate categories. Her first award was for research into radioactivity (Physics) in 1903. Her second Nobel prize was for Chemistry in 1911.

Onwards and upwards :-)

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Day 275. So what's in store for 2011?

Happy New Year to you. I hope you past it enjoyably. Mine was a quite night in with MissG. I made supper. We shared a bottle of wine and some chocolates. I know it doesn't sound exiting but it was exactly what I needed.
I'm trying not to let the fact that it's a New Year put too much emphasis on what I need to do. The beginning of a year can add abit more pressure to an already difficult task. Things are moving very slowly. Good habits are taking their time to bed in and bad habits are being equally slow in packing up and moving out. There is a trigger that makes anything happen. Unfortunately I can't find an effective one for me. I guess I'm not looking far enough outside of the tried and failed ways of the past.
I'd like to end on something positive but there isn't anything. I don't want to say something is happening when it isn't or is just half an idea at present.
Tonight I'm going to add a daily "to do" list on this blog. Then I'll see if I can stick to it.
For now. Onwards and upwards :-)