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 :-)