Dance with the Wolves

Location: St Annes, Lancashire, United Kingdom

I'm happy. I'm amused by life. I know who I am and why I'm here. I have a masters degree and very little money.

Friday, June 30, 2006


No work today. Today is the end of our leave year and I’m not allowed to carry over any days so I’m taking my last day to day. Its been nice just to have time to think, to wander about in the sunshine, to buy my wife a present.

In ten minutes time I’ll be walking over to collect my grandchildren from their school and next three hours will be filled with their laughter, their spontaneity and intelligence. I’m a lucky man. Days like this shine in the memory. I’ve done little or nothing today and I feel wonderful. What a way to start the weekend!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Meaning of life type stuff

It was my birthday of a couple of weeks ago. The start of a personal new year. Time to take stock? Nah not this time. The actual day was a workday so took leave and just bummed about. It was an okay sort of day I did get some interesting presents (an olive tree! Brilliant). But there was none of the usual mulling over. There is too much going on within the family for me to waste time mulling over my worries.

My eldest son and his wife are back on track with a few issues simmering in the background. Nothing too serious but enough to keep me thinking. I haven’t seen a lot of them recently but I am looking forward to going on holiday with them in August.

My second son is having a really bad time. His employers are trying to finish him but that’s against the law so they are reducing his pay (£124 last month) to force him into seeking state benefits and retirement. He is very stressed out and its affected his condition to the point where he is very nearly unable to walk. He’s being fitted for a wheel chair this week.

My third son is fine. No change. Happy I hope.

My daughter is moving back from Oxford minus her husband – they’re not splitting up – she can’t face the loneliness of being a forces wife.

So much to think about. My life may be half over but I find that although I worry about my family I haven’t lost my appetite for life. I enjoy as many of the moments as I can (some moments aren’t enjoyable no matter how hard you try). I still get excited about events and people (particularly my grandchildren – its worth staying alive just see your grandchildren. It’s a lot being an irresponsible parent just taking pure joy form being in their company and letting them have their way!). I’m still talking to anyone who will listen about the outdoor Macbeth I saw last week. That’s the secret to being happy. Taking delight in the small things in life. It pays not to be negative about anything (sometimes cynicism is unavoidable but give everything a chance).
I watched Monty Python’s Meaning of Life last night. Haven’t seen it for years. Now I think that if your going to enjoy Monty Python then you had to be born in the fifties or sixties and I know some people would rather have a tent peg screwed into their ears than watch Monty Python BUT I enjoyed it. Apart from the anarchy there is a lot of piss taken out the standard philosophies and a truly excellent song by Eric Idle that actually explains our situation perfectly. It’s better with music and Eric Idle’s voice but the lyrics are as follows:

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.
The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

We’re only here to be happy! I must try harder!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Conspiracy theory

Earlier this year when it should have been spring, Winter dragged on didn’t it? I watched a conspiracy program on Sky One. Now watching documentaries on Sky One is a bit like reading The Sun newspaper (there’s an oxymoron). Let’s just say that it wasn’t the most striking piece of journalism I’ve ever seen. I’ve never been one for conspiracy theories as most of them sound ridiculous. But amongst the usual fare; “Real aliens at Roswell” and “We never sent men to the moon” for example there was a little gem that may just be true. Why did America invade Iraq? For the oil right? They didn’t find weapons of mass destruction. Well this theory states that the real reason the US of A invaded was that Iraq had announced that it would no longer trade oil in US dollars and had set up its own market based on the Euro. Now the US would not look too kindly on that as oil prices worldwide are fixed in dollars regardless of where in the world the oil is produced.

Saudi Arabia’s bank account resides in New York. Oil is crucial to the American economy. Near the end of the Iraq war Iran announced that it too would fix oil prices in Euros and guess what? All of sudden Iran is having its nuclear industry questioned. Are they making atomic bombs? Should they be allowed to make an atomic bomb? IRAN is being isolated just as Iraq was before the US invaded. If things don’t calm down the US may just decide to invade Iran too or worse just fire two dozen nuclear missiles into the country (to minimize US casualties). That will do the West/Islam relationship a power of good. And that children was how World War Three began. As conspiracy theories go this is a plausible one.

As Bill Bailey said America is the world’s bully, going around threatening other countries making serious demands and Britain is the cowardly bully’s assistant who hides behind America shaking a weak fist and saying “yeah”. Who will save us all from America? Well it will have to be China. Better start teaching your sons and daughters mandarin pronto.

Its obvious that I am working very hard at the moment, I don’t have time to do anything but work and the list of things I have to do each day is just getting longer. The work we had planned in the house and garden has been slow in starting and this is somehow my fault. My wife agreed to run a 5k fun run for charity so we have to train in the evenings which has taken me away from other things that I could be doing. To be honest after 18:00 hours I just want to sit and rest. So now I have pressure from my wife to get on with things that she shows no sign of beginning either. So with fatigue and stress I don’t have time to scratch my arse let alone work on the house. I’m not complaining though I only complain when I’m bored. (Best song in the world about being bored – Iggy Pop “I’m bored”).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Headache dude.

In the words of many a blues song introduction I woke up this morning. Of course I did, I wake up every morning. But I woke up this morning with bright zigzag lights in my field of vision; these bright lights I have come to recognise as the precursor to a migraine headache. A migraine is a real b@ast@rd and to have one first thing in the morning is just unfair. I did the usual thing. I took two 500mg of paracetamol as soon as the lights were apparent and avoided the blinding headache and now I am left with the sore brain, sore cranium part of the whole migraine experience. With luck I will also avoid the miserable-ness and retching. The most unfair thing about a migraine is that they happen whether I have abused my body with alcohol or not. In the last three weeks I have consumed in total eight pints of beer (not in one go) and one sip of red wine (literally). No other recreational drugs have been used. If anything I am being healthy I’m even exercising perhaps my body is rejecting the healthy way of life after five and a half years of abusing my body. The last time I had a migraine was 1998. They are that memorable. Anyway my concentration is all over the place its taken 20 minutes to write this much.

One thing I can concentrate on is my holiday. The confirmation arrived today so I will be enjoying airline food (always have) apparently your taste buds and your clitoris work better at 35000 feet which might explain the large number of mile high club members one encounters on long haul flights. However I only have taste buds so the best experience I will have on the plane will be the meal. I enjoy take off too, its better than a ride at Alton Towers. I will also enjoy Tenerife. I’ve been a few times and done the tourist things so this time I want to relax and maybe have a look at some things that I’ve read about; things that I didn’t know where there, a botanical garden for example or perhaps a museum. Lord Nelson attacked Tenerife way back when and got his ass kicked and lost his arm. There is a museum that still has his flag and a toadying letter of surrender. Then of course there are camel rides. Tenerife has the most flatulent camels in the world and rides are all done in single file so the only camel to sit on is first one! Or am I thinking of Lanzarote? My concentration is shot today.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

International Football

I don't like football. Never have. When I was at school sometime in the last century I was crap at it. I was always the goal keeper or left back. Would have been happier if I had been left back in the dressing room. Then of course I was fortunate to be born in the North East. I was born just after Newcastle United's glory years. So the local team were crap too. I never encouraged my children to play or enjoy football and thank god that worked. I never had to spend winter sunday mornings freezing my ass while my offspring ran around playing football as badly as I did.

At present the town where I live resemmbles the North West headquarters of the National Front! It gives me great pleasure when I see a broken England car flag hanging forlornly out of a dustbin or in the gutter having flapped its last. There is a joke circulating Engalnd at the moment in the form of a Highways Agency information memo warning drivers of other road users with no little or no road sense. They've identified the offending drivers by fitting a white flag with a red cross to their cars! Its the best knock against the commercialism of the world cup that I've heard so far. Things will only get worse as we slide into becoming the 51st state.

I shoudln't complain too much about football though; I've an invitation to watch each match at my friend's house he has a 50 inch TV. It just an excuse for alchol really. I went round there to watch the FA cup and got so trolleyed that I stopped watching the football and tried to chat up his wife and her cousin. I'm a complete lounge lizard after ten pints!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Holidays. Don't you just love 'em?

My holiday predicament has been resolved. I was concerned that I wouldn’t get a real fly of somewhere warm holiday this year. The situation was resolved when my daughter asked if we could all go on a timeshare holiday. These are usually quite cheap as the only cost is the flight and insurance. However as it is now the end of May the chances of getting anything in August are minimal. We were saved however and I can now look forward to 2 weeks on sunny Tenerife. I was trying to remember how many times I have been there and I think its three times so this will be the last time I think. Its not that I don’t like the place, it’s a dramatic island and the locals are really nice people, it’s the tourist industry there that bothers me. Its all been overdone.

That said there are some fascinating sights to see particularly the island of Gomera now that’s where I would go if I won 15 million on the lottery. The island is mountainous and covered in a unique type of European rainforest. Its amazing. They do an incredible coffee called a baraquito. It is made with evaporated milk and has a large brandy in it – beautiful.

Tenerife also has those lovely potatoes and mojo sauce, delicious fish (tuna and sea bass in particular). They also have Ron Meil which is one of the finest drinks ever made made. The sea will be warm the weather will be hot and I will there with my family what could I possibly be bothered about? The price? Yes it was a little pricey. But I’ve always been the live now pay later type of guy. That’s why I have no money I’m always paying later! I can’t wait but I’ll have to as it will be August before I go away. Lets hope that the weather stays fine!