Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Things You Find When You're Not Looking


So I'd been send up into the loft to locate a specific box. Neither me, nor my lovely wife know what the box looks like, though. There must be hundreds of boxes in the loft, so I spent a good while up there, rooting and tooting to see if I could find the right one.

Whilst having a root, and a toot, I found a briefcase, full of my dad's old things. Driving licence, various letters, receipts and guarantees, that sort of thing. In it was a framed photograph of my mum. She looked lovely. SO happy, and radiant. Behind it was her death certificate. It is so hard trying to find the words to describe how that made me feel. I have never seen her death certificate before, I didn't even know it was in our loft. Furthermore, I didn't know she died at the same hospital Luke was born at.

Why didn't i know? Because I was 13 when she died. Just 13. My dad wasn't the type of man to sit down and open his heart and tell you how he was feeling. So much so that I don't remember him raising his voice to me or Emma at all. The look was enough to let you know you'd done wrong.

Mum would have been 62 on the 2nd May this year. She died in 1987 when she was just 40. My lovely wife has just turned 35, which puts my mums death into so much perspective from the point of view of my dad. I simply can't imagine losing my wife to something as despicable as cancer in 5 years. Or ever, to be honest, but that is the reality of what happened to mum.

I'm not sure my mums family ever really liked my dad. Mum was their angel, their baby, and the rough and ready lad from Bootle swept her off her feet and took her away (in their eyes). They can say and think what they like about him because I know how much he loved her. It's clear for me to see, from looking through his briefcase. I also found his wallet and in it was a photo of Emma in her school uniform.

He may never have spoken about his feelings, but I know he had them.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Who'd Have Thunk It?!


My lovely wife celebrated her birthday last week (along with her sister), so we upped sticks and went to Center Parcs for the weekend to celebrate. We could hardly believe the weather that we had. It was glorious. Not a sniff of rain during our stay. Perfect! I think a good time was had by all, and the weekend went off without a hitch. The cherry on it, was Everton beating Manchester United to secure a place in the final of the FA Cup. Now we just have to beat Chelsea in the final. Hmmmm.

There is much-a-do regarding the heavy handed approach by police at the recent G20 summit in London. There have been 2 or 3 incidents that were recorded by people who attended the protests, showing the police being a little over-zealous. Some of these police officers are getting a proper good bollocking from their employers, and one in particular is potentially facing a criminal prosecution. The media seem to be so concerned with the police's behaviour, that they have overlooked the violence that the police faced. I have mentioned this before, I am sure, so I won't harp on about it again now. Protesters are appealing for justice to be served. Justice is a two way thing.

My school re-union is getting closer. 16th May. I'm not even sure I am allowed to go, yet, but I am excited about it. I hope I do go. It would be excellent to catch up with old friends that I haven't seen for years. We shall wait and see.

I played badminton at Center Parcs. Haven't played since I was at school. I am still suffering now, 4 days after the event. That said, I loved it. I really enjoyed playing, despite being "the fat bloke". I must have looked ridiculous, but - I'm not overly concerned about how I looked. Whilst at Center Parcs, I played crazy golf for the first time in my life. I enjoyed that a lot more than I thought I was going to, too!

Righty ho - I have to go an re-assemble my sons' computer and do some tidying round after my youngest son has been playing!

I'm following Victoria Coren on Twitter now. I want to play poker. Or bet on horses. Hmmmm.

I'm off to open a betting account somewhere......

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Getting Old?

Yesterday (the 11th) was my third wedding anniversary. I'm really really proud to call Debbie my wife and to this day, I still don't know why she ever bothered with me!

I am 35 years old in June, and I'm starting to feel it. Maybe not so much physically, but mentally. I find that more and more, I am becoming less tolerant. I have spoken before about how irritated I can get behind the wheel. Todays irritant for me is greeting cards. I am very very pleased that my lovely wife and I decided not to get wedding anniversary cards for each other. I love her dearly, and she knows that, so I don't see the need to buy a piece of card to prove it to her.

That got me to thinking. I think I might set up a "justgiving" account, and ask anyone who ever feels the need to send me a card, to donate to charity using that instead. The amount doesn't matter. 50p, a pound, whatever they would normally pay for a card, give it to charity rather than going to the inconvenience of purchasing the card, writing it, only for me to read it and discard it. It seems utterly pointless to me, whereas giving money to a charity close to my heart makes everyone happy.

We stayed over at my sister and brother in law's during the week that just passed. I can't remember the last time we stayed there, and it was very nice indeed! They have just got a new laptop and wireless printer, so I offered to set it up and configure it for them. It took the best part of a full day to do, but I was pleased to see it working for them, and hopefully it will do so for many years to come!

I recently mentioned a presentation that I made to some work people. I was double nervous about it. Remember? Well - I found a mail in my inbox at work from my boss congratulating me on the feedback that he'd received about it, and I have won a recognition award for going outside my comfort zone. A bottle of red is my prize. Nice one!

We are going away with my wifes family this coming weekend to celebrate the birthday of my wife, and sister in law. They are 3 years apart, but share the same birthday. Good eh? Their birthday is on Thursday 16th, and we're off to Center Parcs on the Friday until Monday. I am looking forward to it greatly.

I listened to Dusty Springfield in work tonight. I've never really taken the time to listen to some of her less popular tracks, and I was totally blown away by her. She truly was an awesome lady singer.

I downloaded a film to watch called The Night Porter, starring Dirk Bogarde, and Charlotte Rampling. I watched most of it this evening. I thought the film was really odd, the edge taken off only with the amount of nudity, and the stunning beauty of Charlotte Rampling. I sometimes think I should have been born 20 years before I was.

I have volunteered to help build an african themed garden at my childrens school in Skelmersdale. It's part of a community initiative at work, and their school happened to be one of the four projects chosen throughout the north-west. I'm not 100% sure why they need, or even if they want an african themed garden, but by christ they're going to get one. I was absolutely tickled with one of my friends suggestions that we should turn up with two tonnes of elephant crap, tip it onto the playground, and drive off. Voila! Instant African garden!

Bank Holidays are funny things. Working for a bank, as I do, you may be surprised to learn that bank's don't really have holidays. This internet thingy is a bummer for its 24 hour availability, as are cash machines, and them little machines at shops and petrol stations up and down the country in which you put your card, and type in your pin, and leave with your goods. All them things need looking after by banks. Specifically - me.

I have decided that I really like Colleen Rooney this evening. I read an article on the Daily Mail website about her, and she seems really nice and relatively down to earth. I LOVE how unashamedly scouse she is, in amongst the otherwise pretentious Cheshire set.

If I ever - no. When I win the lottery, I would consider moving to Cheshire. I know now that I won't fit in. I am not, and never will be comfortable around people with money. I know that I look like a poor person, and even if I had £10m in my arse pocket, I'd still feel awkward in that environment. So why not stay in an environment in which you are comfortable, I hear you say. Well - because I'd be mugged and/or killed.

I spoke recently about reminiscing and how memories are, more often than not, rose tinted. I posted an item to Facebook recently about two police officers who were viciously assaulted by a 29 year old, and an 18 year old man. I got a response from a bloke who used to live near my Dad's house apparantly trying to justify it as acceptable based on the G20 protester who died of a heart attack hours after being pushed to the ground by a police officer. I accept that (from the footage I've seen), the protester seemed to be dealt with a tad harshly, however - biting, kicking and punching a female police officer because she is trying to arrest someone who is in breach of a curfew cannot be acceptable. I mean - what the bloody hell is a 29 year old man doing with a curfew order anyway? Get a pissing job! Stop whatever benefits he's fraudulently claiming and see how long it takes him to find work then!

I've been typing for 40 minutes now. None of it has been particularly interesting. Sorry. I'm always torn, writing this. When I started it last year, it was for me, and nobody ever read it. I know that one or two people do read it now, so I almost feel that I have to cater for their reading pleasure, rather than use it as a release for my own head.

Yours, in the mix - 12" vinyl 1987 style.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Showing Pink

So - I was a pink lady. I wore a pink jacket, a pink neck-scarf and had another neck scarf tied around my head (I mustn't have looked enough of a tit without it). My lovely wife's works do was a great night out. Over the last 4 years, I've got to know a lot of the people she works with and they are mostly all so lovely.

Friday night was the last of her works' functions due to re-location, so it was a sad occasion. Well - it was for me. In their flourishes of youth, they really didn't seem that arsed that it was the last one. Maybe I reminisce too much. I often wonder if I am alone in harking back to my childhood and remembering it with such affection. Maybe in years to come, my wife's friends will look back and remember the many social occasions that they attended with fondness. Right now, they are too busy with the whole sex'n'drugs'rock'n'roll thing.

Speaking of reminiscing, my formative years as a child were spent roaming the highways and byways of Skelmersdale New Town. I remember it being all green and open, interspersed with council estates, but generally a nice place to grow up. Being realistic, it probably wasn't that good. Parts of Skelmersdale are a bit of a shit hole these days, but I remember them in a totally different light. They probably were a shit hole back then, too, but it was where I grew up. It was where my friends were, and as such, it will always be a special place to me.

You know pensioners who drive, well - when should they stop? You can drive in the UK for as long as your health allows you to, but is that really the safest thing? Research shows that drivers over the age of 55 are, on average, 22% slower to react than 30 year old drivers. Imagine how much that decreases with drivers aged 70 and over. Old drivers panic too much, and generally seem to be intimidated, and sometimes, they look like they are petrified when on the road. I think that once you reach a certain age you should have to prove that you still have the ability to react quickly and safely in certain situations. The test wouldn't necessarily have to take place behind the wheel. They could be made to watch a video and press buttons when certain events occur.

I have done over 200 "tweets" on twitter now, and I still love it. is me. I have tweeted at comedy Dave from the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio1 this evening, and at the lovely Lily Rose Allen. Neither of them responded to me, but I love the fact that my comments have appeared on their computer screens. It makes me feel artificially important.

Christian O'Connell is on Absolute Radio now, which signifies I have just one hour left, and my god I'm ready for some time off. I can't wait to get home, and have a proper cup of tea (rather than the bizarre fluid served by our machine in work), some crunchy nutty corn flakes, and maybe a bacon on toast chaser! I'm working 4 nights in a row from Friday - right over the Easter weekend. Sorry Jesus (and Debbie, of course). However, due to the T's and C's of my contract, I get paid an enhanced rate of overtime for working over Easter, so the eggs are on me!

I was very very pleased with the football results yesterday. Our 4-0 win over Wigan was superb, but Man United knocking them horrible scousers off the top of the table was the cherry on the cake. A commentator on sultana after the Liverpool game on Saturday said that their win over Fulham put them "temporarily at the top of the table". That amused me.

One more thing before I stop typing. In work, lots of the people with varying levels of physical ability have special chairs upon which they attach signs imploring people not to adjust them, etc. One I saw yesterday read "Do not remove or adjust Audrey Bridson". The lack of full stop really made me chuckle.

Yours, trying to decide if i'm a human or a dancer......

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Need more time!

Evening all

Had a tremendously busy day at work today. I gave my first ever presentation to a gathering of 15 people. It was about the Wiki that I've been developing for the last 9 months. I was tremendously nervous before, and during the presentation, but as soon as it was over, the relief was overwhelming. I got some really good feedback following it, though, so hopefully the right people will hear that too!

In years gone by, I have stood before hundreds of people as a DJ and addressed them, without any shy-ness or nerves at all. Strange how times change, isn't it?

Also on the work front, the manager that was more or less offering me a job last week has just been moved onto a major new project, so is no longer managing the team he wanted me for. Balls.

I am lazy. I am too lazy. I need to motivate myself more because once I do start doing something, I tend to enjoy it. I have loads of ironing to do, but there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to do it. I am sat here, now, with my eyes half shut, typing this. If I was to iron now, I'd be ironing my hands, etc!

I am going to be a pink lady tomorrow at my lovely wife's work night out. I know, I know. I can't remember why I agreed to do it, but it should be fun if nothing else!

Sorry it's so small (the post!)

....And now to bed.