Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Bounce your thoughts.

   "It's not that you can't, it's just that you haven't." Chapter 14 is such a clever, simple chapter. It turns a difficult thought into a simple one. Change isn't as difficult as you think. Why? well because you just don't try it enough. I remember trying to learning to drive and thinking "am I going to be the only person I know who can't drive a bloody car." Slowly but surely you can change.
   In other news. I'm back at home by the sea for the first time in over a week. I woke up around 7 and was off for a walk along the beach just before 8. There wasn't a soul around, the street full of the same cars that were here last night although now with a dusting of frost on them. Margate's a pretty depressed place in reality. When the sun shines and the beaches are full it masks the fact that there isn't much work. So it appears I'm the poster boy for industry and early starts here in my corner of town. There couldn't have been many applicants for the post, for me to have been the pick of the bunch or maybe they just held the interviews early when the street was still asleep?
   So, back to the beach. As I went through the gap I could see the ships at anchor in the near distance waiting their turn to unload further along the estuary at Tilbury or Sheerness. The sea was pretty calm and the sky clear. All the seaweed from a couple of months ago was gone, just a sandy beach and me. The child inside me isn't buried very deep so I'm always thinking I'm going to find some treasure washed up from a long forgotten wreck. today was no different from previous beach combing days. No finds, a couple of nice shells and various footprints disappearing into the distance. I added my footprints but not in a usual straight line oh no, more a mazzy staggered path. For no other reason, than the thought that someone would come along later and wonder what kind of drunken fool had been staggering along their beach. Did I mention the child in me?
   There were a couple of other things I saw during my meander but I've taken up enough of your time for now.

Onwards and upwards in search of fulfillment :-)    

Sunday, 28 December 2014

And the next chapter is ....

Going to be in my next post. It's Christmas so I'll take a holiday. I got to cook lots over Christmas. I don't have a fully functioning kitchen yet. So being a guest where there was one, gave me a chance to try some things out. Most turned out OK but a trifle I made for a party hadn't really set and as we drove to said party it started to merge as we rounded each corner and stopped at each junction. No one asked what it was but It did get eaten. The picture isn't mine. Maybe next years will be. I entered Christmas with most things done and no regrets and I leave it with no plans to change things next year (see below). I also have no intentions of looking back over the year and making resolutions for the next one. Just keep moving.
       In other news .... I don't how I came across it but I found an interesting article about Churchill. It dealt with his depressions and how when depressed he had unrivaled clarity of thought. Paradoxically this clarity of thought when depressed was also entwined with grandiose notions of success and ambition. Interesting I thought and I immediately pushed aside the full scale model of Buckingham Palace I'm making from match sticks and glue and I've put on hold my menu plans for this evening. A three course meal for six guests using only two small aubergine and wild fruits gathered from the forest, cooked over an open fire in the garden. Ummmmmm I had a nagging thought, this article reminded me of someone but who? Someone close?  Me maybe?
   Trying to overcome the might of Kent County Councils planning department is a little akin to smashing the Nazi war machine and my ambitious plans for Maison Margate are probably on a par with Winston's plans to invade Europe. Joking aside this has been something of a revelation. Finding something that mirrors one's habits or behaviour is both reassuring and helpful. Now I don't presume to see any similarities between Churchill and myself except our joint love of red wine and the fact we both need to breath in to see our feet occasionally. Knowing there's a pattern is almost as good as knowing there's a solution. I will admit to having ambitious plans to carry me out of despair and gloom in the past. However reading that, made me decide there and then, that if I did not have the tools or wherewithal to do something then I won't make a plan. I would do what I could with what I have. The clarity would be useful though.

Onwards and upwards in pursuit of fulfillment :-)))

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Chapter 13 .Definitely plan your work.

   In Chapter 13 the word "transmutation" appears. Changing one thing into another, in fact one of the definitions for transmutation in the dictionary is "to turn base metals into gold or silver." Which is interesting. Change my inertia to action. Darkness to light.
   Napoleon Hill, a chum of Dale Carnegie, believed the best time to learn one of life's unusual rules was when you think you're too angry, upset or depressed to do so. You change those feelings or transmute them into something better, through "definitely planned work." Once we work out who we want to be or want, we switch our negatives into positives. Instead of thinking about how angry we maybe. We think about how we will do something to change and write it down, as a plan or timetable, to help make that change and that gives us the "energy of purpose" to do it and we keep doing it until it turns into gold. Now on the face of it, this isn't rocket science but I've never considered turning a wrong thought into a right one.
   In other news I've been deleting old emails, pictures and unused posts and came across this one. "Why does everything I do take so long ??? I don't expect you to answer that. Unless you have a fist full of degrees from a renowned University a couple of books out and various appearances on TV then feel free to email me." it was part of an unfinished post. There are a few tucked in amongst the 411 published ones. A Google search reveals 531 million results to that question although only a few are relevant. There's mention of ADD and ADHD and tests for you to do. I'm not keen on labels. I've met too many people who have found labels to attach to themselves for some short fall in their lives and once found, they stop any kind of meaningful attempt to do anything about it. On the other hand, through this blog I've come across plenty of examples where people have been or found a labelled and choosen to march on.  I'd like to be associated with the later and not the former. Strange but apt I should happen upon that particular unused post after re-reading chapter 13.
   I'm off to write my plan now.

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

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Put your libary on wheels.

   I thought I'd start with other news tonight. Just to be a little contrary and get to use the word, contrary. It's a bit of a sing song word isn't it? I also like nuance as well and I really, really like antique speak. Antique experts have a wonderful way of making the mundane (another good word) sound wonderful. For instance,"a pair of silver plated asparagus tongs, with foliate pierced palates." Doesn't that sound brilliant, just what you need as spring approaches and the asparagus is ready to pick. Fingers and a plain fork just aren't good enough. Better still is today's picture. It's a stuffed tortoise. Described in the catalogue as "An early 20th Century taxidermy tortoise in athletic pose" ????? Athletic pose? a tortoise. Really? Tortoise is another great word. Work that into a sentence if you can. Maximum points if you can do all three.
   But I digress. The passing week has been a good one on balance. I'm behind work wise but have been there the whole week haven't gone missing and the job's starting to look good. If I get things finished soon I'll get to spend some time at home by the sea. Of late I've taken a more pragmatic approach to things and make the effort not to get frustrated with the time it's taking to get straight with work and what goes on in my head. It takes longer crawling out of a hole than it does falling in one.
   OK today's chapter from SC is "Put your libary on wheels." Using your drive time to listen to motivational tapes rather than music or inane chatter. Why not! you're concentrating on the road ahead, so I guess your brain is switched on and tuned in. I've tried this in the past and used to play my French language tapes, over and over again. The thing was I don't think it helped improve my French but every time I'd play the tape I knew when the students were going to make a mistake and the teacher would admonish them. So it kind of sunk in, just the wrong bits. I'm a big fan of doing stuff in cars. Singing at the top of my voice, a one to one on a  make-belief chat show (when I'm alone, obviously) and with company, you can really chat about normal difficult stuff. I guess it's the fact you're not making eye contact. Anyway I'm in agreement with SC drive-time can be useful-time. Ok I'm history.

Onwards and upwards in pursuit of fulfillment :-)))    

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Find your Master Key.

   Another post and another chapter from Steve Chandlers book "100 Ways to Motivate Yourself". I've heard and read about books that people find inspirational and have led to change in their lives. Books have that ability don't they and this one is becoming my inspirational book.
   I can dip in and out. The chapters and their message are short and to the point. The thing I like the best is how the writer isn't preaching or talking down. He appears to fall over the ideas by accident, which of course he hasn't but it keeps the book fresh and easy to read.
   Back to "Find your master key" or what fires you up. Instead of my usual, in a nutshell summing up of the chapter I'm just going to quote a quote from it. "The great master key to riches is nothing more or less than the self-discipline necessary to help you take full and complete possession of your own mind. Remember, it is profoundly significant that the only thing over which you have complete control is your own mental attitude." So said Napoleon Hill.  It doesn't immediately fire you up, does it? However it does state the obvious and the obvious, when you're not yourself, is often overlooked . I've spent an age thinking about why I can't get infused about one thing when I can lose myself happily for hours in something far less important. It's time to step back and think maybe it's not "the thing" I have a problem with but my attitude, or some aspect of it?
   In other news ...... which in a way isn't, as it ties in with the above, I was asked to do a bit of work for an old customer. I did some work for their daughter at the beginning of the year. Which went terrible slowly, I was a little surprised they asked but it was a chance to repair my reputation. So off back down to London where I was given a list of smallish jobs, which I calculated would take a couple of days. As they were away for the weekend and speed being a vital part of getting into their good books I offered to do the job then. I arrived and started, crossing the jobs off as I did them. I even had time to visit there son and repair his kitchen tap on Sunday morning. In the evening I sent a text with a list of what had been done. They're very happy and now I have another list of things they want done. Then it dawned on me, that I like being thought of as "reliable" something I haven't been for a while. Yes I'm kind, polite, funny, caring but not reliable and it's reliability I crave. Why? well it would fill a void within me. Depended on and trusted. Would signal a change. Even more importantly I would like to trust and rely on me. To do whatever needs to be done. No more, putting things off.
   Strictly speaking this isn't totally new to me. I think I've been here before but my nerve failed me. Like the time as a kid I first jumped off the high board at the pool. It took a few walks to the edge before I had enough courage to jump. It's important to remember, that I wouldn't of  jumped had it not been for those first abortive walks to the edge. So I've done the walks over the last years and months now it's time. Focus on the attitude and the rest will follow.

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

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Being Creative.

   Chapter 10 of SC's book on motivation "Welcome the unexpected" deals with being creative. He says most of us don't see ourselves as creative. Because we mix it up with being original. Which in reality has nothing to do with being creative. It's more about being and doing the unexpected. A great piece of music or art or film or meal or outfit isn't original. As it uses what's available to create a great piece of etc etc. It's the way you choose to put those bits together. Now suspend your belief that you are not creative for a moment and accept that the seeds of creativity do actually exist within you. Slowly you can start to come up with all kinds of different solutions to the challenges life puts before you.
   It's probably the shortest chapter in the book and I believe it to be the most potent. The answers to your biggest questions lay within you. When you go to your Doctor and explain your symptom(s) he's going to have to take an educated guess as to what the problem is, because it's difficult to put into words how a pain or an ache feels and we hardly ever add any background info. "I have a terrible pain in my lower back" and stop there, leaving out " I spent the weekend digging the garden, something I haven't done in 20 years." If we are confused about why we have a problem with something, then the person we turn to for help will need to be a genius. Which we believe they are, because we want them to be but genius's get things wrong just like we do. Get creative and find what lays beneath a problem.
   In other news........ Things have been very up and down recently. I am back to hiding away. Not depressed or down. Just hiding and avoiding things. As I've written before, it's funny how answers seem to spring from the strangest places when I'm dealing with a difficult situation.
  A friend has been playing with the idea of furthering her work skills. She's been interested in Dyslexia for a while now and I have been her guinea pig. She made some inquires about doing a course a year ago but it involved a chunk of money she didn't have. Recently her boss told a group of them results were not good and if they couldn't find ways of improving profits they may need to slim the workforce. She told her boss about the course and how it could have an impact, hey-ho the boss said "sign up I'll pay." So the first part of the course arrived in the post and she took herself off to the library and picked up a few books. A few days later when we met up to visit an antiques fair, over coffee she told me I was a genius. She had come to this conclusion after reading through her coursework. Oh how I laughed (on the outside, whilst thinking, could that be true, on the inside). While I accept that I have developed paths to get over my Dyslexia, it's no more than we all develop ways and strategies to overcome obstacles. Still it was meant as a compliment and I received it as such. It did set me thinking though. An ant looking up at a rock thinks "how will I get passed that" whilst an Elephant wouldn't give the rock a moments notice. Except maybe to think "why is that ant looking at that rock?" In future I should view my problems from up high. As a Genius and not from below as a Dunce.
   So something read from a book and a compliment from a friend arrive just as things are dipping down to somewhere I'd rather not go. When this has happened before, I rightly or wrongly assumed I was depressed and treated it as such. What if it isn't. What if my engine doesn't fire that well on petrol? my sails don't fill with the wind because my rigging isn't set that way? I have always thought of myself as creative but I'm not using that creativity as well as I could to find a solution as to what bugs me most. Well that's not entirely true. I have recognized that I'm not feeling down or upset just confused and I have mixed those feelings up in the past. I am also very aware that the gap between solutions and excuses is a very faint and thin line. One I've crossed several time before. So from now it's not a step back but a step up.
   When I'm coming home from London I pass a farm that's no longer a farm. It's a pub, restaurant, collection of small craft style shops and it's fields no longer grow hops and barley but play host to car boot sales and meet-ups for owners of exotic cars and the like. Yesterday I was earlier than normal so thought I'd have a look round. The little shabby-chic shop was full of brand near old stuff and signs to hang in your kitchen "Laugh, smile, dream big and do your own washing up" stuff that doesn't inspire me that much. The owner, sitting at her desk smiled and said there was more upstairs and I smiled back and took to the stairs not wanting to upset her and feigning delight at the prospect of more new old stuff and "life could be worse," signage. Upstairs however was sign free and full of old old stuff and for the next fifteen minutes I was like a pig in poo. In a dusty corner I found an Art Deco chrome floor lamp, with it's price tag discretely tucked away. I reached for it, expecting three numbers after the £ sign but nooooooo £28. Thats 35 Euro's or $45 to most of you. I pushed my glasses from their perch on the top of my head to the top of my nose and checked again. Still £28 no faint marks or bad penmanship that could be anything else than £28. Although being the only customer in the shop I dragged the lamp everywhere I went. Like a dog with a bone. Finally ending up at the desk and the owner. I smiled while inside my head the "disappointment department" was gearing up for "No, I'm sorry that's a mistake" instead "That's £28 please." I gave her one more chance to shatter my dreams "£28?" "Yes, it's probably worth more but I need to clear some stock." No doubt there was a container already despatched from China. Stuffed full of new old stuff and a sign for every kitchen in Kent, heading right for us at that very moment. To aid her in her quest to make space, I removed the cash from my wallet as fast as a drunk trying to put a key in a door. The "disappointment department" was screaming "calm down you fool." Minutes later I found myself in the car park. Pushing five foot of 1930's chrome lighting into my car and leaping across the bonnet like Starsky, or was it Hutch. In an effort to put as much distance between "Shabby Chic heaven" and me and my new lamp as possible. As I sit here alternating between typing and polishing the faded chrome I should add that the £28 was part of the cash I got out to pay a parking fine with. Welcome to my World.

Onwards and upwards in pursuit of fulfillment :-)))    

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Build a track record.

   So back to Steve Chandlers book and chapter 9. It's a short and to the point chapter. He talks about one of the guests at a seminar he gave. The guy approached him and said he had a problem finishing things and could he give him an affirmation that might help. SC tells him the best way to change his belief system is to change the truth about himself. The truth being stronger than a false affirmation. He would need to build a record of finished tasks/jobs. The fella brought a notebook. Headed it "Things I've finished" and off he went, writing down each thing big or small he had completed. SC sums up the chapter by adding how much more permanent this man's new belief system would be rather than anything affirmations could do (as they had failed for him before). Although I've read through the book twice, I'd forgotten this chapter. If you've read the blog for any length of time you'll know I more or less keep a book of things to be done that day. I think I need to add a section at the back where I list the stuff completed and a short positive summing up of the week or month. I've also been finishing off outstanding business, paperwork and little jobs that are long overdue and in future don't plan to leave bits not finished. That kind of stuff weighs heavily on me and it would seem an easy one to stop.
   NicE left a long and thoughtful comment to my last post. Which I haven't published yet. It deserves an answer which requires a little thought on my part. I appreciate comments. It's always a boost to know someone is reading or following a blog and as already mentioned they deserve a little thought and care in replying too.         
   In other news..... My window boxes. The first I've ever attempted, are still flourishing despite me not always being around. I brought some heather in readiness to replace the little flowers when they finally give up.  
   I guess I'm doing what every newbie coast dweller does. Collect shells from the beach. It all started because, I had a small glass vase and thought it would be fun to fill it with shell's. A friend liked it and gave me another bigger glass vase and I filled that. Now it's becoming a regular thing, when friends drop by, we walk along the beach, talk, say "hello" to passing joggers, dog walkers etc, look at the ship's out at sea and of course, pick up shells. I'm glad of the help. As the latest vase is a huge fecker. I've added a picture with a credit card size card at the bottom so you can get some idea of how big it is. So I've become a bit of a "size queen." Small and interesting no longer cuts it. Biggest is best, well at least till this vase is full. Going on "Shell Safari" whether alone or with someone, follows the same pattern. Check the tide is out on my phone app, stuff old plastic bag into the back of my Levi's. Close the door, cross the road and walk the few hundred yards down to the cut between the cliffs and I'm (we're) on the beach. I(we) wander along not really seeing much. Then bingo, it's Shellsville a patch of sand and rock covered with a mixed collection of vacated shells. Where do all those little sea creatures go? Some are wonderfully coloured. Why, I don't know, as this stretch of the North Sea is very murky. So it's not as if they're showing off to the other shells in the rock-pool, is it. If I have company, it doesn't take long before they turn into a kid again. Picking up any tiny rock or broken shell and being told "no that's a stone, no that's a tiny dead crab," which they speedily fling away, crying "URRRRRR" as the dead crab moves faster than it every did when it was alive, disappearing with a "plop" back into the murky North Sea. Then they hit their stride and actually start finding shells. At some point they will find one which they hold back from the bag "Ummm I think I might keep this one." 

Late yesterday afternoon low tide was around 6 and Sunset was about half an hour later. So I thought along with a few shell's I might get a couple of shots of the Sun disappearing below the waves. Unfortunately it went down behind some clouds. So no stunning pictures except when I turned to come home there was the moon and I carefully steeped around the rock pools near the waters edge I managed to get it's reflection in one of those pools. it was taken with my phone. I really should take my camera. I think it won't be long before vase no3 is full. So my walks along the beach won't entail lugging a couple of pounds worth of shells with me. Just the odd special one or two. Well that's enough for today (and something to cross off in my book).

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


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Empty space.

   I'm giving my "book chapter review a post" a rest today. For the last couple of weeks I've had a real lack of enthusiasm for everything. Everything but sleep and staring into space. Nothing notable has happened, it just crept up one night when I was asleep. It's been a while since I've felt like this and I thought "right get it down in print" but I feel such a dick having to admit it in print, I've delayed getting it down.
   Not letting myself surrender to it works short term. So a walk, making myself put stuff away, cooking something, clearing the back log of washing up, a bit of laundry, ironing, I know it's not exactly taxing but as I say it works for a while.
   However it's a long term answer I'm after. So the delay in admitting I'm a dick has been spent in some thought. Firstly, the common response from those close is, "you're just depressed." Well no I'm not. Depression covers a huge spectrum and we use it like a "get out of jail free card." So although I'm a dick, I'm not going to hide behind a label. I'm not depressed or suffering from depression. I do/don't do something that over a period of time leads me here and I don't suffer, I think I find some strange comfort in my emptiness. It's those close to me who suffer.
   So what is it I do/don't do that leads me here. I thought long and hard about this. Firstly it's internal, it's not someone or something outside that brings it on. I start things and don't have a very organised way of getting them done. I'll easily find something to distract me or if I hit a problem, decide it's best to go round it and come back to it later. I'm also very adapt at making people around me think that the problem is theirs not mine. So lots and lots of starts but not many finishes. It builds and builds then pop, nothingness. That's about it in a nutshell.
   Well almost. I'm sure I could delve back into my past and find out where it's origins lay but I'm as old as God so don't have the time or inclination for that. I must not start anything new where possible or something else is truly finished. Chip away at those things already started, in strict order of their importance. There are one or two other things where I should cut my loses and move on. I need to follow a set plan, regardless of how I feel.  I have to be the strong parent to my spoilt child.
   Enough of me.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfillment )))       

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Push all your own buttons......

   Steve Chandler starts chapter 8 of  "100 Ways to Motivate Yourself" with a description of the cockpit of an airliner. All the buttons dials and levers that the pilot uses to get us smoothly and safely from A to B and how, if we happened  to hear one pilot say to the other, "remind me what those buttons do again?" the journey wouldn't feel so smooth and safe.
   He then goes on to say that many of us move through life not really knowing what and where all our own buttons, dials and levers are and if we did, we would fly smoother and safer. So get to know what pushes your buttons. If its a song that lifts you. Don't wait for it to come on the radio. Buy it, record it, have it somewhere close. Then play it, to lift your spirits or motivate you, as often as you need it. It may be something else. A walk, a passage from a book, a smell. Whatever it is, bring it closer. Use that lever.
   In other news. I woke up to the news that Robin Williams was dead. It's sad to think that someone so talented, smart and funny ends their life. Unable to reach out for help and unable to believe that there is help. There is still along way to go. RIP Robin.
The faster we move onwards and upwards, we'll find answers gain more and lose less.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Look for the lost gold....

   So it's chapter/motivation number 7, "Looking for the lost gold" from Steve Chandler's book. It's an easy one maybe to recognize in others. Someone you know always see the bad in something or always see's the funny side of things. It's a bit harder to see it in ourselves. At what point does my negativity or positivity start. Why do I get frustrated when stuck in traffic? and then blame anybody and everybody when the truth is I haven't given the journey enough time, planned or left some flexibility in my day. So I don't see the gold but I'm working on it. Equally there are things I always see in a positive light. Ummm what to do? Well I guess I could start my day, by looking for the gold in everything and all of a sudden the obstacles that frustrate are replaced instead with opportunities to see, feel, hear or get to do things differently and with joy. As SC says, "Your opportunities will multiply when you choose to see them."
   In other news. It's a slight coincidence that today we're looking for gold as I received, in the post. My first pair of reading glasses this week. After about 18 months of "I must get an eye test." I finally got round to it (my first since school). So now I can read the ingredients on the back of a packet or a book without holding it at arms length. As well as being able to read things, I'm also trying to strike intelligent poses in my new spectacles. Sadly without much success. I look more like the long lost brother of Dr Bunsun from the Muppets or Penfold from Danger Mouse. I'll let you do the Google image searches, while I practice a few more looks in the mirror.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfillment )))     

Monday, 7 July 2014

Simplify your life.

   I missed out a chapter of Steve Chandlers book last time out. I guess I'm starting to wonder if it was such a good idea to promise to summarize a chapter a post but a promise is a promise. So chapter 7 "Simplify your life." The chapter deals with combining things to give yourself more time and doing things now and not putting things off. The simpler you keep it, the stronger it gets. Things are difficult when you're confused. When you simplify life, then that life gains focus.
   Each chapter has a little nugget within and going back over it either re-enforces the message or reveals something I missed. A promise is a promise.
   I'll have finished the two jobs I'm working on by the middle of next week and can then start pulling the old roof off my house and fitting the new one. It will be the start of putting something back into the house and not just ripping things out.
   I've changed a lot in the last few years all for the good. Although there are still one or two things I don't do well or avoid. Simplifying things has helped and I could probably do with taking another look and seeing if there are areas which I may still avoid either consciously or unconsciously. I'm not going to go into this in detail. Most of you, us want to see, hear or taste the results not get bogged down in someone elses life detail. so you're spared for the moment )))

   There was a huge shipped moored just off the beach at the end of the road at the weekend, waiting to complete its journey up to Sheerness or Tilbury but it didn't matter how many pictures or from how many angles I captured it, it just didn't look as big as it was. So sorry for the underwhelming picture but it's my blog and it's going in.
   I started writing this, this morning feeling pretty lazy and uninspired. funny how ten minutes typing can change things. So I'm off to be a better person.

Onwards and upwards in search of fulfillment )))         

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Going home......

   So ........ I'm not blogging that often recently. It's all down to poor planning. I like to note where I am emotionally, geographically and any other ally's I've missed but working away from home during the week kind of curtails internet time and when I'm home, well I'm dumping whatever I've ripped out or catching up on sleep, so that stops me faffing on about life online . Or and this has a sentence all of it's own, listening to the seagulls on my roof ! My roof is old and flat. so old in fact, it's no longer flat. It dips in the middle. There's usually a few inches of water up there and the gulls seem to like a drink/bathe early in the morning, say around 5. I lay in bed and listen to them walking about. I can hear the water sloshing around too. I hear the odd occasional fight, followed by a bit of seagull squawking and on one memorable occasion, a rather large bird falling past my window after being turfed off the roof. I leapt out of bed, expecting to see a dead or at least a concussed seagull in the basement. Instead there was a head bobbing bird, walking between the rubble bags and the rotten wood that is my front garden trying to get his/her wits back and probably planning revenge on his/her rival who was happily cooling his feet and bum in my make shift bird bath a few feet above my bed. So you understand why I record so little and so infrequently.
   I'm off home tomorrow afternoon. For less than twenty four hours this time but enough time to water my window boxes, watch what I want on tv, sleep in my own bed and load the car with rubbish before I set off to see a friend for a couple of days. Sleep in an uncomfortable bed and eat things I don't really want to. Call me ungrateful and to a certain extent I am but really, all I want to do. Is listen to the strange early morning ablutions of my neighbourhood seagulls from the oh so comfortable bed that rarely gets to transport me to dreamland these days. Walk along the beach picking up shells whilst saying hello to complete strangers as they jog by and filling the boot of my car with more crap and delivering it to the local dump. where no doubt several very clean seagulls wander about looking for lunch.

Ok, I'm history.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fullfilment )))   

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The more you sweat in peacetime the less you bleed in war.

    If I don't get my finger out and summarize these chapters the book will be out of print before you have the chance to get your own copy. Chapter 5 is titled "learn to sweat in peace."  the harder you are on yourself, the easier life is on you. While this is a favorite of mine, striking the right balance with yourself is the difficult bit. There is no doubt in my mind that when you're deep in gloom, you don't always make good decisions.So being hard on yourself takes a bit of skill.
 In other news. I sold a painting I brought at auction a little while ago. I brought it because I liked the frame. So I've kept that and the picture has been sold. I managed to get back almost the whole cost, so I'm feeling a little smug. I have a few things that either came with things I brought or I brought solely for the purpose of reselling. My aim is to get back what I spent. Thereby the things kept, I would of got for free or very cheaply.There's a long way to go but I'm in no rush.
   I'm struggling to get a job finished. I'm finding lots of excuses to knuckle down and get it finished. There are a few things going on in my head. Any one or maybe all of them, have a part to play. I just need to find my focus. Once I'm done I can spend a few weeks working on my house. There's a local best front garden competition going on and while my front garden has an ever changing pile of building rubbish on it. Window boxes and hanging baskets are included and I have window boxes. I'm not expecting to win but it's nice to be involved with something local at last.

   The weather last Sunday was so good I took a chair, flask of coffee and a bacon roll down to the beach for breakfast. I sat there for a couple of hours, read the papers, watched the sea roll in and picked up a few shells to put in my jar. The only time I can remember having breakfast by the sea was when on holiday. So I'm lucky. To think where I was when I started writing this blog to now. Well I wouldn't of believed things could of changed so much. this coming weekend is looking good too. I just need to wear a hat next time.Well that's about it. Till next time.

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

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Keep your eye on the prize.

   Chapter 4, Keep your eye on the prize. As I go back over each section I'm surprised what I missed. Or maybe as the words have slowly sunk through my thick skull, rereading has flagged the relevance of what  sometimes appears to be irrelevant.
   Anyway I digress. Keeping your eye on the prize, is pretty much self explanatory. Stay focused on what you want or need. It's easy to get side tracked and lose sight of the important stuff. Now most of us probably have other responsibilities other than ourselves but if we are trying to change something about ourselves or our situation. Then we have to learn how to separate. We separate all the time in our normal daily routines, we (or maybe, I mean .
me) lose that art of separation when we/me should be concentrating on the important stuff.
In other news, I'm snatching the odd day to do something with the house. While I wait for the weather to remaining consistent (so I can rip the roof off and replace it). I painted the front, it will need another coat but the window guys were keen to fit the new windows. So on Sunday the house woke up white and went to sleep blue. The windows went in Monday. Now you may not agree with my colour choice The architect and my neighbour Stuart don't but the kid opposite does, he and I think it's slightly more Swan now than ugly Duck. Not all the Windows were changed. The top left window will become the new front door, the old door below will be filled in and the central window in the basement
has another use but more about that another time.I plan to have window boxes and plant some bits in he small front garden. The blue will act as a good background to all the green. I'll post pictures from time to time, you'll get to like it. In the meantime I'm going to practice being more focused.

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

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Faking it till you make it ...

   Or as Steve says "tell yourself a true lie." Lay out a fantasy blueprint you can then live up to (and hopefully surpass). SC also mentions, that most of us cannot see the "truth" in who we can be. Something that hadn't occurred to me before but it ties in with recent thoughts but more about that another time. There is something a little uncomfortable about the words lying or faking. It's against everything we have ever been taught. What if we could find a more positive take on "faking it till you make it." A future blueprint, sounds a bit businessy I know but a little more positive? Send your better answers on a postcard please. Although the chapter was pretty short it made me sit back and think a lot about what I'd like to achieve, there is a fairly long list but when I look at it in the cold light of day, some of the things on that list aren't mine or don't really reflect what I do want. So as badly worded as the concept is. It's a good form of motivation, as its tailor made to each individual's situation.
   In other news. All things personal are fine and dandy. Work and how I go about it are pretty much the opposite. I'm behind with jobs. So letting a nice customer down and getting nowhere with my house. My day today jobs listing works well but makes me feel negative if I don't get things done. However after listening to Dame Kelly Holmes (former GB Olympic athlete) on the radio, I think I know where I'm going wrong. She talked about her motivation. She said, she realized that her goals after winning her Olympic golds, would be much smaller but nevertheless just as important. It then dawned on me, that my "to do" list. Should really be seen as a "goals achieved" list. Thank you Dame Kelly. There's a wonderful story about Dame Kelly when she was a kid. I shall share it with you soon.
   OK I'm history.

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

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Stay hungry and plan for a feast.

   Well after the semi gloom of the last post. Today's little gem from Steve is. Stay Hungry. The idea behind this one, is to create a vision of who you want to be or where you want to be. Having to reread the chapters, so I can scribble it down here. Has made me look and think a lot more about what I'm reading in the book.
   I doubt many would struggle to come up with a vision of who or where they would like to be. However would that vision get them out of bed or through a bad day. However I'm fast coming to the conclusion that there is a real skill to thinking up the right vision for you (and me) Something big enough to make you tingle yet not that big that your vision gets away from you when you need it most. I have to say I'm not writing this in one hit. I'm fitting in a few lines here and there around little jobs I'm doing. Which has meant I'm giving this a lot of thought and coming up with different and sometimes conflicting answers to what vision would serve me best.
   Here are a couple. Living in my finished house, surrounded by all my quirky flea market buys or finishing work related jobs quicker and getting paid. Thereby having the money to finish the house? Being part of a happy couple.The list goes on and being honest with you and more importantly with myself. As much as the above would make me happier with myself they don't seem to get me out of bed. Here's the one I think might. For a while now I've felt tired, slow and heavy. I'm doing a bit of exercise, I'm trying to eat correctly and get some good rest but it's all pretty uncoordinated. So my vision is. To wake up feeling ready to face the day, To put in a good shift. Whether that's at work or socially. That's my vision. The weird thing is achieving that will mean the other rejected visions may just fall into place.
   The next post and number three sounds interesting. Tell yourself a lie!

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

Friday, 28 March 2014

An invite to my deathbed and other fun things.

  I promised in my last post to go through the one hundred and eleventy seven things Steve Chandler wrote in his book to motivate the reader. Number 1 seem a bit of a grime way to start but what do I know. The idea is you imagine yourself on your deathbed and what what you would say to those close to you. The exercise makes you realise things you maybe haven't said to those close to you.  Thereby motivating you to not leaving important things unsaid. I'm going to have to think a little about this. I'm not sure if I've said the important things to those I care about or I'm repressing certain feelings ??? might be a good way of getting my tools back off my brother sooner rather than later though :-)
     In other news. I've been working back in London and staying with friends. The journey to work takes me through Bushy Park and this particular morning it was a bit misty. So having been inspired by Richard ( Brewer's pictures. I parked up and took a few shots. I don't think Richard will be too worried though but I'm happy with the result.
   Bushy Park is next to Hampton Court. The home of Henry VIII. Bushy would have been part of the forest that surrounded Hampton and somewhere where he and his chums would of hunted deer.
   Later Charles I added a canal and various ponds and later still William and Mary commissioned  Christopher Wren (The architect of St Pauls Cathedral) to design the Arethusa Diana Fountain  using the statue of Diana (Commissioned by Charles I for his wife, which originally stood in Somerset House, London and later moved to Hampton Court by Oliver Cromwell) as a centre piece to the park. The history doesn't end there, for all you North Americans the Park was used during World War One as the home for the Kings Canadian hospital. During World War Two Eisenhower planned the D-Day landings there at Camp Griffiss. An old customer of mine told me, he and his friends would climb over the wall and spend the day with the Gi's in their huge camouflaged camp. Cadging chocolate and trying to get rides in jeeps. OK history lesson over.
   The following day to taking this picture my car broke down on the motorway. It's just over a week later and now I have a new clutch, less money in my bank account and man flu from standing next to my sick car late on a cold night for an hour.
   The internet man is due today to connect me. Which will make blogging far easier than the currant set up allows.
    Well that's enough from me.

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

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Where were you yesterday ?

   March 4th 2014 to be exact. I was here in Hammersmith. West London. At work in an empty flat. Actually I hadn't started work. I was getting ready drinking coffee, you know the important stuff. As the flat' s in a basement, radio reception is pretty patchy. So I decided to listen to one of my Kindle books. I think you can listen to most books on Kindle. It's an irritating robot voice. Imagine your satnav talking to you between the route instructions. There, you have it. Irritating as I say but better than the sounds,of silence (my old friend) sorry couldn't resist that. The chosen book was "100 ways to motivate yourself'."
   Now I have a long history with self help books. From "how to sew" (I'll explain that another time) to how to fix cars and computers. Be a better manager, gardener, cook. Right up to fixing myself. I don't always finish them (there must be a help yourself book on that,and if there Isn't it was my idea first so step away from that paper and pen) but I'm drawn to them. Most tend to start with the idea that the reader knows what they are doing. Would I need the book if I did? These are the ones I don't finish. Then there are the ones that assume you, the reader are a complete moron. We'll I maybe but I'd prefer it if they didn't make it so obvious. I don't finish those ones either. Anyway "100 ways" doesn't fall in to either of those camps. Robot lady and me are almost at the end and looking forward to starting again.
   At the beginning of the third paragraph of the intro. The author, Steve Chandler writes "it took me more than fifty years to discover this" I like him already. He's the moron all self help morons want to be.
   I'm not going to give away any of the 100 plus ways Mr Chandler lists but I promise you, I'll write how each one works on and affects me, good or bad.
   In other news my badly taken picture celebrates a clear blue sky, not seen round here for a while with all the rain we've had and the first blossoms I've seen open.

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

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Is it just me, or do you .......

 .....have a particular place for your clothes when filling the laundry dryer. If that's what it's called. The white plastic and wire thingy you hang your washing on and stand it somewhere it won't get in the way but it always does. Socks, hankies and pants on the bottom as they've small and don't touch the ground. Then it's everything else but I have a bit of a laundry pecking order. Next go the plain old tees and sweatshirts. That frankly have seen better days but are good for work. Then come the newer additions to my wardrobe, they get a bit more space too, do I need to get out more ???
   In other news. I'm slipping a bit and had a couple of days when I've hid away. Obviously I'm not happy about this but I seem to have developed a bit of inner compassion. I have always, on the whole, been very forgiving and understanding of others but not so with myself. Partly because I felt I was giving in and being weak. Which in truth I was/am but what lead to that giving in? Here's where the newly acquired compassion may help. I am very suspicious of this at the moment. Is it another excuse ? Or maybe it is something good? Time will tell.
   Maison Margate continues to have its guts ripped out. All the plaster and lath on the first floor has gone and so have the internal walls. It's like sleeping in a garage. Bare brick walls and hundred year old dust settling on anything that doesn't move periodically. The rain continues and the temperature has dropped. So I sit here wearing three days of clothes at once and seeing little clouds appear as I breath out. I've moved a couple of pieces of furniture in and re-hung a few of the pictures I took down prior to the last round of demolition. I shall include a picture. If you want to get the full effect tune your radio into any rubbish muzac station and still in a bath of cold water while looking at the picture. Welcome to my world.

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

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The secret room.

So it's now the second day with no rain since ummm the last time it didn't rain which seems a long time ago.
The plan today is to finish stripping back the last of the old plaster and lath to the brick walls on the first floor and bag it all up. They'll be a lot of dust and it will take a few days for that dust to settle (and its the dust that's a real pain. It gets everywhere) but I have a couple of days work in London. So I'll let it slowly float to the floor over the weekend then hoover it all up Sunday night, ready for the next phase.
I mentioned the secret room in the last post, well a few day ago. I was clearing the small garden and the path that runs down the side of the house. On the path is, what I thought was a drain cover. Turns out its a coal hole lid. Back when the house was built,  heating and hot water would be provided by coal fires. Coal would be delivered in sacks off the back of a horse and cart and carried by the Coalman to your coal hole and tipped down the hole into the space below. Usually houses with cellars had coal holes. My house has no cellar, although my ground floor is a few steps down from ground level. Anyway I'm starting to get off the subject. I lifted the lid and stuck the camera phone down as far as I could reach. The space is about five foot squire with a domed roof. There was once a door that connected it to the house but that has been bricked up at some point. The coalrooms location is roughly opposite where the new bathroom is going. At best it might make a great quirky shower room at worse some useful storage space. Whatever it turns into it's a nice surprise.
   In other news, my walks along the beach haven't turned up anything really interesting except this picture of green algae on the sea wall and Chavvy's hat. I shall include a picture of the said hat in my next post.
   It's taken so long for me to publish this post, that the rain has returned and brought Gale force winds with it and after all the stripping out I have found a little leak in the roof. I have a bucket in place to catch the occasional drop.This little house has been so unloved for years. Which is a real shame.
   I have been doing a little research down at the library ( I haven't belonged to a public library for a least thirty years !) and have looked at local maps and director's to find out more about the house and its neighbour's.but along with Chavvy's hat that's for another post.

Onwards and upwards in the search for fulfilment :-)))

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Time management.

 With the house move I've had sometime to consider things. Now I live over eighty miles from the place where all my work came from and some of it still does I realize that without proper planning, I'm going to waste a lot of time and petrol. I thought I was good at planning but the truth is, I'm absolutely pants.
   Now that didn't take too long to figure out. What did was how my poor planning has lead to a number of things. There's the obvious, income, pissing people off etc etc and the less obvious, little definition between work time and free time and low self-esteem. I'm surprised it's taken me so long to figure this out. Still, no matter, fate and lady luck has kept an eye on me in the meantime. Now I'm not sure how to go about changing this, I lack the discipline at times ( most times) not to get distracted. Still that's my problem to tackle and in the grand scheme of things not a difficult one.
   In other news from the coast. The strip out of the house continues. I've found a secret room but more about that in a latter post. The building inspector is coming tomorrow. He will take a look at what has been done so far and listen to my plans for the house then offer an opinion as to whether it's the kind of thing the local council would agree to.
   I continue to discover nice places. Like the Pub on the Pier (above)  Margate doesn't really have a pier it's more a sea wall but it is a pub and it is at the end. So they got two out of three. I wiped away the condensation from the window and took the picture across the small harbour.
    I've also found a nice workman's cafe. We'll it's really the lady who makes the coffee who is nice. Hence my frequent visits. I better ask her,her name really soon. As the bacon rolls while nice are going to have a detrimental affect on my waistline.
   So you're pretty much up to date. Oh yes the name of the blog has changed too. I thank Chris Gardner for the use of his name and the inspiration. Now it's time to move on.

Onwards and upwards, in search of fulfilment :-)))

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Title change

   I've been thinking recently where my blogging is going. I'm not, so in a hurry to write things down or share my thoughts. That's not to say I don't have any. They just seem a little at odds with the original idea for the blog.
   Firstly, it's time to change the title. I've stood on Chris Gardner's shoulders for long enough. His example of never giving up struck a chord with me way back then. Today I don't have to switch on the inner voice and hear.
"Come on, keep going, you can do this, get through this"
I now know I can. That's not being arrogant or saying I'm free from my depression. It will always be there in the wings waiting. Just like there's always a drink to tempt an alcoholic. I know now what to avoid and when to say "enough." The battle has been won but the war still goes on in the background.
   I'd love to say I beat the dreaded thing but honestly, it just got bored with me. It was fed up with my constant thoughts of a bright future and smiles, when I didn't want to smile. We all know someone, who without meaning to, gets on our tits. The mear sight of them or the sound of their voice sets us off. I was that person. I got on Depressions tits and they've gone for the time being.
   I shall change the title to something more appropriate for this moment in time. Ok that's me done. I shall get dressed and have a wander along the Esplanade and see what the sea has washed up.

Onwards and upwards towards fulfilment :-)

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Getting back to old habits.

 With all the big changes associated with moving now three weeks behind me, It's time to ease back into some of the go habits I've formed in th recent past. Blogging being the one for today, I've continued to read other blogs but just haven't made the time to write my own.
   It's been a busy few weeks, moving, paperwork, finding where things are but it's not all been the little stressy things. I've found out I can see the sea from my window. The dog walkers I pass on my walk along the beach say good morning, so do the joggers (I guess that's insurance just in case they kell over due to their exertions and need my help).
   I've started to strip out things from the new (old) house and tart up some of my junk that's been hidden away in a garage for a few years.
   The day outside is bright and chilly. Here inside it's just bright :-) The picture was taken a couple of weeks ago on the coast road, a few hundred yards from me. Sadly the Lido is closed and in a bit of a state, although the Orange bit at the top switches on each evening. I wonder who pays for that?

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

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Nearly another year.

Another year is almost here and with it, the dilemma of resolutions. Make one and chances are by mid February I would be slipping at best but more than likely I would have failed. Now 2013 has been a special year for me. To quote one of my customers "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." He of course was quoting Charles Dickens. It's nice working for smart people. They usually have better coffee (but alas no biscuits) and give me plenty of reasons to search wiki and find out who said what and why but I digress. Lets get back to resolutions. Make them and chances are we'll fail. Don't make them and, well you've failed already haven't you.
  So I've been giving this a bit of thought. I want something that's not as specific as "make sure my paperwork is up to date" so maybe "lets be a bit more tidier than last year" will do but that doesn't cover all the other stuff, like exercise, weight, better food ( feel free to add your own bete noire). So I've hit on the one size fits all, "lets really try and not fuck up as much as last year." I'm sure you'll agree it's pretty catchy as resolutions go and pretty inclusive. I can eat pizza and not go near a gym but as long as my paperwork is looking tidy I'm winning.
   Don't take this too seriously. By all means make um or fake um or ignore um, it matters not. If there's one thing I think you should do and I do, do each year.Is never ever give up on yourself NO matter what. The beauty of not giving up, is it's free. Bloody tiring yes, exhausting even but  it's your secret and it's your place to go when it's raining and you don't have a coat. You can never fail when you'e made that decision to never give up on yourself. You can be laying in the dirt, bloody and bruised after your particular demon has kicked the shit out of you again and know that as bad as things are you haven't said I give up.
   The picture is one I took a few weeks back of a Christmas Tree in a shop window.Yes, under all those baubles is a tree. I thought this was a lovely tree. No lights or fancy tricks just too many baubles making it both simple but over dressed at the same time.Which kind of sums up Christmas.Something that should be simple but gets a tad over done.

Onwards and upwards in search of fulfilment :-)))