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Month: May, 2012

Now is so important for a lot of reasons

Well, here we are again, sitting on a cornflake, taking stock of the day and the times spent with friends and family (getting rarer than the atmosphere on Mars these days). I am having a good day today after one really shitty week. Two weeks ago I had a job interview (my second this year) and was told that I would get feedback within a week. A week later I was phoned to say I’d been shortlisted with 2 others for one of the positions. I was told that a final decision would be made later on that week and I’d be told by the 14th one way or the other. The 14th came and had almost gone when I rang the recruiter and was told he was on another call but would get the message that I’d called. On the Tuesday still no call and I had to ring 4 times before getting to speak to him and he promised to call me back with a decision one way or the other by 5 the same day. Now it’s Friday and I’ve given up waiting for the call to come through and, surprisingly, that has made me happier than worrying whether or not I should ring to find out what’s going on.

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Look at the water on the lake, it’s placid and extremely calm hardly a ripple, that is how I’m feeling today. It’s just a shame there’s no-one here to give me a hug and get hugged back. Oh what I’d give for some intimacy with someone at the moment. I’ve got a lot of friends in different parts of the country and we keep in touch by phone, email, text and I’m grateful to my tech for that, but it’s not the same as someone physically with you is it?

My daughter, whom I am very proud of and love so very much, hasn’t spoken to me in over a decade because my life took a sudden downturn and I had to move away without letting her know as I didn’t know where she was living at the time. I have never seen my grandsons, I would love to be able to make up with my baby girl, meet my son-in-law and grandsons but as my Sara put it she “doesn’t need me to complicate” her life again. If I could have that time again I’d do things differently just to make sure we didn’t have to fall out.

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I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now both up and down, and it makes me realize how alone we actually are, even when someone else is with us. I have often been on my own without being lonely, conversely, I have felt really alone even though there is a crowd all around me. It’s one of the great paradoxes of our times when the world is shrinking because of the internet and air travel. It can still be vicious and violent for all that, and we have 2 choices when you think about – we can choose to enjoy the life we have or we can worry about things going wrong but I remember a poster I saw every fortnight in Leven when I went to pay the rent and I’ll repeat it here:

You only have two things to worry about; either you’re ill or you’re not: If you’re well you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you’re ill you only have two things to worry about; either you’ll get better or you’ll die, if you get better you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you die you only have two things to worry about; either you’ll go to heaven or go to hell, if you go to heaven there’s nothing to worry about; if you go to hell then you’ll be too busy catching up with old friends you won’t have time to worry, so why worry?

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Nature is really beautiful and we can learn so much about ourselves in the way we treat the natural world we’re only borrowing. Yes borrowing, it was here before we were and it will still be here after we’re gone. Nature has a habit of sorting itself out and, make no mistake, if we continue to destroy this planet it will fight back and destroy us without a thought of why or wherefore. The indigenous peoples of the Americas, Australia and New Zealand all realized this and lived in harmony with their surroundings. When the Europeans landed in their countries they started plundering the natural resources and killed to extinction and near extinction a lot of valuable creatures which helped to maintain the balance of life.

If history teaches us anything it should be that we cannot keep taking and killing without consequence. Yes, in the 60’s I was one of the long hairs preaching tolerance and ecology but no-one listened. Now it may not be too late but we have to stop destroying this planet before it is too late.

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Here I am back again

Wow that was one terrible fortnight I’ve just had and I don’t want to discuss it with anyone cos it was horrendous. But today is the start of the rest of my life, I may be one day closer to death but I don’t wanna think about that until nearer the time I’m going to meet the big man with his scythe, again.

What to talk about today? I’m not sure but I’ve been told my life is rich with stories to make the hair curl, make you cry, laugh and wet yourself and, apparently, I’m very good at telling them. I don’t think anyone wants to hear of my exploits with the dragon, death or near-death experiences. I really don’t have a clue where this is going to lead me but it will be brighter than my last few posts, so sorry if I almost brought you down to my private hell with those. Anyway, here we go…

In 1973, at the age of 19, I had protective sex with a girl approaching her 20th birthday (to be honest sex was all I wanted hence the protection). The condom had burst when we had finished and I prayed to anyone who might be listening that it would be ok and she wouldn’t be pregnant. I didn’t finish with her though, we kept seeing each other but only had sex on another 4 occasions then she dropped a bombshell on me just four weeks after the fateful time, her period was late and it was always on time. Two weeks later we got married as her period still hadn’t started. We found a place big enough for the two of us in Edinburgh, close to the city centre, and could just about afford the rent. I married her thinking her folks had plenty of money. After all they owned a house in the most expensive area of Edinburgh and two adjoining cottages in Carnoustie. Because they knew she was pregnant when we got married they told us to move to London and “gave” us money to get started down there. They paid for the first week we were in London so we could stay in a residential hotel (it was a dive but it was only for a week). I found a bedsit in Muswell Hill for us to share (The Kinks had released an album called Muswell Hillbillies and I’d bought that a few weeks before getting together with Lizzy). There was a £100 bond which again her dad provided, along with enough money to keep us going till I got paid at the end of the first month we were there (May 1974). When I did get paid we decided to have a night out in the West End, it cost me the entire months salary to have that one night out as we had something to eat and drink before going to the Leicester Square cinema to see “Sunshine on my Shoulder”. It was when I rang my father in law the next day to see if he could sub us for another month I got the feeling something wasn’t right in Scotland. Later on I found out that he thought he was well rid of the girl he and Molly had adopted when she was left in a hospital emergency department and the pittance he had given us was a paltry sum to him to be completely rid of the drain on his resources and the cause of his heart problems. Anyway, he did sub us for another month and after that we didn’t go anywhere unless we went by tube in London. just to make sure the money I was being paid would keep us going so we didn’t have to ask for handouts from anyone. In the August my baby girl, Sara, was born after her mum had been in hospital for a week. I could not have wished for anything better, she was beautiful and I remember thinking that life could not get any better. How little I knew how bad it was going to get.

I will save that for another day, at the moment I want to concentrate on my relationship with my baby. I knew this would be difficult to stop when I got started, When my father in law took early retirement, aged 54, my mother in law came down to spend a week with us and see her new grand-daughter, this was a godsend as I didn’t have to stay home to help out as I would have had to take unpaid special leave to do that. Anyway, this put a strain on my marriage as we had no privacy and no time to ourselves. My daughter was still the light of my life and I used to hate having to leave her to go to work Monday-Friday. I always made a bee-line for her when I came home and would pick her up and make a fuss of her for at least an hour before putting her in the bath and getting her ready for bed. I was the one who encouraged her to try walking from 6 months and she managed unaided at 9 months, unfortunately, her mum wasn’t there to see it as she had gone to get something for our tea on her way home leaving me to get Sara from the child minder and take her home and feed her. When her mum came home I was cuddling Sara and singing softly to her, I then told Lizzy to sit down on the floor and call Sara, I stood Sara up facing her mum and held her up, when her name was called she went to drop and crawl to her mum but I said “no” and she walked halfway over.

Of course Lizzy was in floods of tears by this time as I knew Sara could walk but she’d missed her first steps. I told her it had only been a few to get to the chair and some sweets. After that there was no stopping Sara and she wanted to walk everywhere. Unfortunately, when her mum and I split up I left her with her mum, not knowing that Lizzy was going through a complete meltdown at that time. It came to a head really when I rang to see how they both were and Lizzy said she wanted to die so could I take Sara. I told her I’d be down in a couple of days to see how she was doing. Went home and told my girlfriend what had been said on the phone and she told me to go. Luckily the following day the clothing grant I’d applied for came through and I used that money to go down and pick my daughter up. I’d had a good chat to Lizzy from the time I arrived at hers until getting Sara’s bits together to head back to Scotland that night. Turned out she had finished with her long term boyfriend two days before I rang and she couldn’t cope with having Sara to look after as well as suffer her heartbreak. Anyway, I told her that I would have to get myself a solicitor and start proceedings to have sole custody of my daughter, in the meantime I wanted her to concentrate on getting her life back on course and then she could come up and collect Sara when she was ready.

I had Sara living with me and Jean for 6 months before Lizzy came up to collect her and I was wondering if there was something wrong when she turned up with Social Services in tow. They were only there to make sure the hand over went smoothly and one of her friends had advised her to arrange this before she came up for Sara, who was almost 4 by this time. It would be almost two years before I saw my daughter again and that only after fighting through the courts.

I think that’s enough to be going on with, I may continue this another time, or maybe not, if anyone is following my blog can they let me know what they think of me baring my soul in this way?

2012 what a roller coaster year

Well, here we are almost half way through another year and what a year it has been, Firstly the Mayans, who created lots of calendars and these ended with upheaval ended all their calendars on 21 December 2012 so people (once again) are talking about the end of the world. What are they gonna think on December 22? The planet is going to keep revolving silently in space around the sun (our closest star). If we, as a species, wanted to we could produce a breathable atmosphere on Mars and this was discussed in the 1970’s (albeit by unknown scientists and comedians) who were not taken seriously. I believe there is other life forms in the greater space of the universe, we’re too stupid to be the only beings living here, and I’m not being hypocritical of great minds like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking or anyone else (myself included) with an IQ in excess of 170, I am referring to mankind as a whole.

Yes we went to the moon but we stopped there and haven’t been back since the 1970s, why? We have had great thinkers throughout history: Leonardo da Vinci drew the first blueprint for a helicopter, oil hadn’t been used at that time to power anything, where did his inspiration come from? We have been hearing of reports of “flying saucers” or UFO’s visiting this planet, were they checking on our progress or merely curious to see what breed of creatures we are?

For the last month I’ve been puzzling over some discussions I had when I was younger (but older for my years than any of my peers – bar 1). We discussed many things when we found ourselves alone together, usually it started with a news item we’d heard or read that day and would meander through several topics before ending with us cracking up and sharing a joint, we never argued even though we often disagreed, I miss those times when nothing seemed to matter. When I was at school (and didn’t have to bother studying as I knew more than my teachers gave me credit for) I had a very easy ride, pretending to be really thick but I was the one who attempted the nuclear physics question in my O level mock and scored 18 out of 20 for it. The teacher was unimpressed as he thought I’d guessed it all.

I read and learned things that no-one knew I knew. Plus at my previous school we had covered nuclear physics for 3 months. With no revision when I had 5 weeks study leave I ended up with 7 O level passes and could have gone on to university but I couldn’t concentrate on applied sciences as the class size was too large, maths was below me so I disrupted the class, without meaning to (I fell asleep in the back and kept the teacher busy trying to wake me up). I was still reading passionately and remembered most of my reading material. My favourite authors at this time were Jack Kerouac and Nitsche. The authors favoured by Jim Morrison. If I’d known then that I would still by alive at this age of 58 I might have paid more attention to detail and done what I intended to do, become a vet for exotic animals and worked in a zoo somewhere.

No good dwelling on what if, but what teenager of my generation who was dabbling with drugs was going to live beyond 27? That seemed to be the magic age where you either left this mortal coil or kicked off with a statement that was so profound it would last forever. In the years between 1969 and 1971 we said goodbye to quite a few of the 27’s, starting with Brian Jones who’d just been sacked by the Stones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the aforementioned Jim Morrison. The first, as far as my crowd were all concerned, was Robert Johnson (born 1911, died 1938) the godfather of the blues. The other member of the 27 club which followed on (for us) from Robert Johnson was Blind Owl Alan Wilson from Canned Heat who also died in 1970.

In my teenage years, I was sure that I would be dead at 27 before I turned into the old age of 28. As the time approached and I was close to my 30’s I thought about buying a bike (bike of choice was not a Harley Davidson but an Indian because it had more character) and just go for a ride ending in a dive off the white cliffs into the English Channel taking the bike with me. To that end I never did learn to swim even though I love the water. To this day I still cannot swim, and yet at 17 I joined the Royal Navy, signing on for 9 years (the pay was better) but knowing I would have 4 opportunities to leave due to my age on signing on, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months after signing on. I was given an honourable discharge as SNLR (Unsuitable). (The SNLR is Services No Longer Required and was always followed by a reason why you were not cut out for a life of service to the crown).

However, I digress and I’ve forgotten where this was originally leading so I’ll leave it for now, and unless someone asks me to complete it and add some pics to brighten it up it will remain like this… unfinished.

Here we are again sitting on a cornflake

When I find myself sinking down in a sea of depression it feels like drowning in a bowl of shark infested custard, weird analogy I know but my sense of weird is all I have left before I sink into a murky seedy world no-one should ever visit. I am still waiting for the happy pills to kick in, so who knows why I’m on here writing this blog at this time…

I find that listening to the music of my youth helps to relieve some of the dark thoughts that keep coming as I’m sinking down into the murk, usually at any rate. The best of the 60’s (Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Small Faces) especially the psychedelic stuff from 1966 onwards (1967 with the Small Faces) helps me to recapture the acid fueled trips of my teenage years. I gave up taking LSD when I discovered my trips were dependant on my mood at the time of taking, if I was “up” then I had a good trip, however, if I was “down” then the trips were terrible and sometimes without a guide!

What is the point of today’s blog? I hear you ask dear reader (I hope you’re still with me even though I’m writing who knows what and who knows what for). I’m just putting down here my feelings at the moment, that’s all I can do when the blackness comes, along with the voices, music often drowns the voices out but not always and today is one of those days when it doesn’t. I know the voice is inside my head and not from anyone here with me but that doesn’t make them shut up. Conversely they get louder and today is one of those days. As a great person once said “If you can’t take me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best” (thank you Cydara for reminding me of that phrase).

If you can get paid for doing something you enjoy then you’ll never have to work another day in your life. I just wish someone would pay me for listening to music and giving my honest opinion of it, all reviews are personal to the person giving them so should be ignored unless you know the reviewer shares the same passion for the same groups/artists as you. Maybe this would be a good time to publish as I feel the need to lie down…

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To know her is to love her

I must have done something really bad for my friends to be avoiding me and now my broadband is coming and going so what the f**k have I done now?

If you have any ideas then please tell me as a lot of my friends have blocked me and I’m not sure why… It’s not like I was stalking anyone, I’d never do that and if someone tells me I’m invading their space then I’ll back off and won’t bother them till they get in touch with me. I feel down anyway at the minute as I’m in so much pain that I just want to end it all and if I had some rope I would terminate (if Mr. D. was too busy to interfere anyway). I must be a complete ass anyway so no-one would miss me anyway, my daughter certainly wouldn’t she hasn’t spoken to me since 1996 and to be honest I do know her reason even though it’s complete s**t, I’ve never met my grandsons and she doesn’t want me to be a part of her life anymore, this brings me down no matter how high I try to get…

I think if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all, someone told me that bad luck is never personal but it’s all I’ve had for the last 20 years so if it’s not personal why doesn’t it just take off and bug someone else and let me have some good luck for a change. But then again, what would I do with some good luck? I don’t think I could handle it if it wasn’t for a life changing Euromillions win when I had the only winning ticket for a jackpot of £100+million.

Enough of this drivel, I must go as there is someone I have to talk to and he usually carries a scythe around with him. See if my time is now yet.

Optional it is then

My last 2 attempts to write a blog failed miserably because as my English tutor in college told me, if you’re getting bored how can you expect others to stick with it?

I’ve managed to lose a day and a half and I want them back so if anyone knows who I can complain to (since God isn’t gonna do anything to give me them back) please let me know as soon as you can. Anyway I digest, I tend to do that a lot, I’ll start with one topic then 4 hours later we’ve covered almost everything from ants to music taking in politics and religion on the way through, but only if you can keep up otherwise I lose interest and switch off. Give me a chance and I’ll keep talking the whole day through with someone else who can jump from topic to topic as the mood takes them, I find it difficult to do on paper (or computer screen) sometimes though as I get no feedback as I go on.

I’ve started seeing a shrink and she told me my life story is absolutely fascinating but the one thing she has found is that for a long time now I’ve been following a self destruct path so it is a wonder I’m still here. I didn’t tell her that Mr. D. and I are old friends as he visited me when I was a youngster (apparently when I had meningitis the doctor gave me only a 10% chance of survival) and a few times since then I’ve tried to get him to take me but he keeps sending me back. I don’t know what I’ve done but it must’ve been bad if Death won’t take me yet…

I keep toying with the idea of going through my life and making notes of what I remember and see if I can write a book to cover the period from birth to now and then go through all the fun of sending it to publishers to see if they will publish (and pay me for the privilege). I start doing this and then I find something else to do which (at the time) seems more fun only to turn into another nightmare, then I get down (when I say down people suicide is not the option I consider to be lonely) I have attempted suicide more often than I care to think but something always goes wrong and someone will turn up just before I stop breathing (because Death sends out a call to my friends) and I’m still here.

I wish I could get some sleep sometime but I tend to come to life when others are going to bed (9 o’clock at night) and go to bed when I start thinking it’s that time again, usually about 5 or 6a.m. and sometimes I watch the sun rise before going to bed (not quite a vampire but close). Then it takes me at least two hours to go to sleep and at most four hours after I wake up and my brain is running through things at a very fast rate which means that I will have to get out of bed (eventually) as I’m unable to go back to sleep.

I think I’ve probably bored everyone now so it must be time to finish although I could keep going for a few hours yet as I’m not bored but if I finish now I’ll have a chance to spout some more tomorrow or later on anyway….

Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Another chance to wax lyrical and philosophically, today is a bank holiday Monday and it has been an interesting day, started off cold and sunny then we had rain in the afternoon but I wasn’t too worried as I went out this morning and enjoyed the sun on my face. The World Snooker Championship has reached the final stage of the 17 day marathon with Ronnie O’Sullivan facing Ali Carter, Ronnie started the afternoon with an overnight lead of 10-7. He looked the better player in the first half of the session as Ali missed balls from their spots to extend his lead to 14-7 and, unless Ali made an amazing comeback, looked certain to finish 18-7 and end the final with a session to spare. After the mid session interval Ali seemed to be more relaxed and took the next 3 frames to pull back to 14-10 down before Ronnie took the last frame in the session and they will be playing at least 3 frames this evening.

To go back to the title I’ve chosen (I was reminded of this when watching the snooker) I have lived my life as though every day is my last to squeeze as much out of life as I possibly can. I was talking to a counsellor the other day and was reminded that, because of my lifestyle, I should not have been here today. Actually I have had four close encounters with Death and am still here so I must be destined for great things or just have made a friend of death and persuaded him not to take me yet.

I have yet to find out which it is, but I was 3 when I contracted meningitis and the doctors gave me a 20% chance of recovery, yet I did recover. I was stung by a wasp and, purely by luck, my daughter noticed that my neck was swelling and I was fighting for breath so she removed the sting and went to her friends and asked her friends mum if she could come and check me over to make sure I was okay, (that was twice by illness/allergy) the other twice was due to overindulgence in my drugs of choice which I am not going into here.

I have been told that my life story would make fascinating reading because I have lived a full life (until 2009 anyway). I only regret one thing I’ve done but lots of things I didn’t do, not because they were dangerous but rather that I bottled it.

Hats Off To (Roy) Harper

I’ve rediscovered the talent that is, was, and always will be Roy Harper. Why did I stop listening to my Roy Harper records and not replace them with cd’s or mp3’s till now? Answers on a humpbacked whale (live ones only) sent to your local sea world please. I had a plethora of music by not only Roy Harper but Marc Bolan, Led Zeppelin and Sparks which I’ve only recently started listening to again rediscovering the thrill of hearing a lot of these tracks as though for the first time.

I am particularly fond of Roy Harper, who I discovered through a friend before Led Zeppelin’s track which titles this blog post, which was going to be written yesterday but I couldn’t be bothered to do anything yesterday. Anyway, my friend had received a copy of a Flat Baroque and Berserk which we spent an entire afternoon listening to, smoking weed, munching on anything we could find and both of us decided it was the best album we had ever heard. The next day I went out to my local Bruce’s Record Store (in Kirkcaldy) and bought everything they had by Roy Harper. Took it home and I was not disappointed. The reason I mention all this is that when you find an artist you really like with no filler on an album (rare as that always has been) then you look for more by them and it profligates itself. You also feel as though you’re the only person who is really into them. (Listen to some of the studio talk on Flat Baroque and you’ll hear Roy’s take on this).

The question is, having not replaced these albums on mp3 until now I forgot how good Roy Harper is, whimsical and a brilliant performer and songwriter. Anyway, I’ll finish here for now but might be back later, Roy is calling me back.