Wednesday, November 28

Keep this scene inside your head, as the bruises turn to yellow, and the swelling goes down.

A few days have passed me by in a kind of blur. Probably as a result of only managing three or four hours of undisturbed sleep. It's the waking up, convinced that somebody has been pounding on the front door, demanding to be let in so they can take anything of value.

It's a little hazy, but last night I think I dreamt I was crushing up travel sickness tables and snorting them. On reflection, perhaps watching Donnie Darko before I drifted off for the first time wasn't a good move.

I have had no work for two days straight now. Yesterday was the first time that I've seriously thought about giving up. Today I feel a little better.

Cutting back, cutting back, cutting back.
I've made a few changes with bills, fighting the thoughts of "is it worth it for only £20" with "every little will help". Yes, it's got to be worth it. I'm not sure how I can cut back anymore with my food shopping though, considering if I do have anything in the fridge or cupboards, it's already blatantly obvious that I go for value brands.

A consideration I was toying with was to leave this blog dormant for a while. Well, dormant or close it down completely. It's common-place to see other bloggers go silent for a while, or even close down their blogs completely while they are going through tough times. Whilst I'm still struggling to post anything here that's of any relevance or even slightly interesting for anybody else to read, I've come to the conclusion that I've been thinking about it all wrong. I never started this with the intention of 'writing for an audience', although when you find yourself with 'regular readers', sometimes the purpose of invention becomes warped. So fuck it.

There are many, many important things in life that often get left by the side. Things that are so important, that it becomes ridiculous that they are not at the foremost of our thoughts more often. In fact the words "more often" doesn't even do them justice.
I'm grateful for the good things in my life and my goal is to make sure that when things aren't going my way....I pause....take a short step back....and be thankful for all the good things.

Friday, November 23

It only makes me stronger, when you say I won't succeed. I'll work that bit harder, when you say you see no strength in me.

She is everything worth fighting for.
I fear the unwritten, but a future with her hand to hold calms the pages.
No amount of truly grotesque monster would put the frighteners in me.
My sword would be drawn,
my shield held high,
my heart beating brave.

I get wrapped up in myself all too often and it's easily done I guess. But through it all, I try my best to remember how difficult it is for The Girl and lend my support as much as I can. Ninety miles is nothing in the whole scale of things, but sometimes it feels like the other side of the world and that's when it really hits me that sometimes words are just words. When all I want to do is wrap my arms around her, but the gaping distance doesn't allow that. So we're left with words between us that so often don't feel anywhere near enough.

"So I stretch myself across, like a bridge. And I pull you to the edge"

She often doesn't realise just how much she copes with. Too quick to beat herself down over things, when in reality, she manages to juggle an amazing amount in her life and should feel immensely proud.
And that's exactly what I am....Immensely proud of her.
Ok, so I can't be with her all the time to give her the hug that she needs. But I hope she understands that one day....I will be. Through all the confusion and mess and distraction and anarchy and turmoil and work-load and turbulence....I hope she knows.
Even with the chaos and disorder of my own life, I have never lost sight of that amazing girl who deserves a hug.

Thursday, November 22

When nothing rings home enough to dig your heels in. You dont have to leave me to see what I mean.

I became engaged in a conversation with my ex-wife earlier, mainly about debt. Strange then, that I felt she'd been more honest with me about her own personal finances than she'd ever been with me before about anything. I wonder if she thought that admitting to me how difficult things were for her would make me feel better about my own situation.
I already know that living without at least dipping your toes into debt is a rare thing nowadays. I also know that many, many other people are in worse financial situations than myself. And who can forget the Christmas Cash-Fest that's getting ever closer.

I'm trying to be more pro-active about the possibility of financial implosion. Instead of sitting around wondering why I don't win the lottery (probably because I've never played it in my life), why a stranger doesn't knock on my door to hand over a handsome cheque or why my Bank Manager doesn't ring me up to announce he's writing off all my overdrafts and loans, I'm trying to do things to help myself.

If I advertise in another paper, that should bring in more work. The advert would be another expense, but it's definitely worth a trial run otherwise I'll never know and life's too short for too many "What ifs".
I have a car sat outside that's very rarely used. I could save on the cost of insurance, running, MOT and road tax by getting rid of it. Not only would I save a little bit by not having it, but the money from the sale would definitely come in useful over the next few weeks. Again, it's not without an initial outlay from me though, as the MOT is due and I have to get one of the tyres repaired.
This house is causing me the biggest headache. As things are, I simply can't afford to stay here as I am, unless my workload almost doubles. So instead of waiting for that to happen, I've decided to either get a lodger in or find somewhere else for me to stay and rent the whole place out. There's pro's and con's for both options.
To have somebody else living with me as a lodger....well, they'd have to meet certain criteria in order for me to not feel uncomfortable in my own place. That's not because I'm particularly picky, as I'm sure anybody else would feel the same. It's just how it is. Of course, there are brilliant people out there who would probably fit right in with my kind of living, although finding one has proven very difficult so far. But that's not to say it still couldn't happen.
Getting out of here and finding somewhere else to stay (on a temporary basis) would mean I could rent the whole place out. The Lettings Agency that I do work for have already said that they'll manage the property for me. Hopefully, the rent coming in would cover the mortgage payments and I'd also be free of the other bills that come hand in hand with owning your own place.
Whichever route I take, one thing's pretty much certain. Next year sometime, I want to be living closer to The Girl. So whether I take the renting out route and continue with it, or take the lodger route and sell up/rent out next year, it doesn't really change the fact that my heart isn't in this house anymore.

Tuesday, November 20

You're going to roll right over this one. Just roll me over, let me go.

I felt like a beggar, asking The Blagger if he would mind a houseguest for a while. I explained that he would be helping me out massively and we could come to some sort of arrangement over the money he still owes me.
If I can stay with a friend, while I rent this place out and somebody else pays the mortgage for me, then maybe I can get through the next few months. Saving the mortgage payments, along with the other bills that are tied with having a house will be a huge help for me.
My folks think that finder a lodger is still the answer, but so far I've not had any luck. Perhaps, because I've been just able to scrape by, I've not put in as much effort finding one as I should.
I'm still torn over what to do.
Sometimes it's just too much to think about.

While I was at the folks house yesterday, we joked about the lack of food in my fridge. I wondered if they knew the harsh reality of what we'd been laughing about.

Eleven and a half months since I quit the rat race. I haven't gone under yet, so I must be doing something right.

One foot goes down in front of the other....

Sunday, November 18

You can keep me pinned. It's easier to tease. But you can't paint an elephant. Quite as good as she.

Big decisions are always easier to make when there's more than just yourself to make them.
Of course the main benefit of it just being yourself, is that if the decision turns out to be a poor one, the only person you can blame is yourself.

Thursday, November 15

Here, as I watch the time go by. How I'd like to sail away. Leaving all my past behind. But I know I'd only last for a couple of days.

It's not very often that I get an email off my brother, Pandy.
Tonight, I did.
His emails are usually direct and straight to the point. Often, he only emails me to ask my advice about something.
His email is titled "Memories". What could this mean? Is this a relatively light-weighted communication, with him talking about things we used to get up to as youngsters? Is it something relevant to my dad's upcoming birthday? Is he going to be asking me something that's been nagging at him?
The email contains just two lines and link to a YouTube video.

"Thought this might bring back a few good memories for ya."

"Just turn it up and enjoy the good old days."

I used to have hair like Danny. I had a pet hate for Dorothy. To this day, I still don't really know why. Mr Shorofsky was my favourite. I always wished his first name was Sherman, but it was Benjamin. I always thought Leroy and the dance teacher had a thing going and Mrs Sherwood, or Elizabeth to her friends, well I used to wish for a teacher like that.
When I watch it now, it's almost cringe worthy, with just a splash of kitch, which kinda makes it ok to watch with some enjoyment. I guess Fame was to a previous generation what High School Musical is to the kids right now.
I think it used to be on Wednesdays. Then it grew in ratings and became more akin with the other 'prime time' slots. Every hip girl in the neighbourhood sported leg warmers. I bet the person who invented leg warmers never expected that to happen. They are probably long retired and living a fabulous life, all on the back of making over sized socks with no foot part.

I had the 'Starmaker' episode taped and for the next few months I would spend day after day watching it. As far as I'm concerned that was the best episode I'd seen up til then and they never bettered it. It was a depressing episode, all based around the fact that a well loved teacher was being given the boot, surplus to requirements/budget cuts as it were. The ending was their "Goodbye and good luck. We'll all miss you" speech, delivered as a song. Well, what else would you expect from an Academy of Performing Arts!
The thing is, I've sat here for ages now, trying to think how the episode ended. And I can't. At one point earlier, when I started writing the post, I was convinced the somebody ran in at the last minute and saved the day by announcing the budget was ok somehow and they didn't have to give anybody the chop after all. Google hasn't provided me with any answers and after trying for 15 minutes, I decided that it just wasn't that important.

Wednesday, November 14

Tuesday, November 13

Wake from your sleep. The drying of your tears. Today, we escape. We escape.

I'm not getting enough work. I'm getting some, so the local adverts are paying off, but I need to be busier than I currently am. I hope it's not going into a 'quiet' period. Is this a trade that has quiet periods?
It's obviously all down to marketing and basically getting your name and contact details out there. I'm advertising weekly in the local free paper, I'm listed on all the typical search engines for plumbers; such as, Thompson Local etc, I've done some local leaflet drops, I've written to lots of local Lettings Agencies and I'm trying to get some good 'contacts' from local builders etc. But it's all not enough.
Yellow Pages seems to be the best option. It's expensive, but apparently works really well for certain Trades, such as Carpenters, Builders, Plasterers, Electricians and yep, Plumbers. The downside being that it's only published once a year, June/July I think, so I've missed the boat on that one. Until next year, of course. Until then, I have to carry on pushing myself the way I have been. Which is a real struggle.
It's beginning to grind on me a little now, when people say "Oh, you can't get a plumber for love nor money!".
Plumber looking for work, right here!!!!

In retrospect, had I known how tough it was gonna be, I'd have planned it out a lot better. As it is now, I'm pretty much making it up as I go along.
Incredibly tough, yes. But as hard as it is, I still wouldn't change it for a 'proper job'. With the extra worry of a financially impossible Christmas looming, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that no matter how I write it down on paper, I can't see myself getting through without some more 'help' from my folks. For 'help' read money.
I HATE thinking I will have to borrow money for Christmas. That sucks. That sucks big, sweaty smelling donkey balls.

Saturday, November 10

I get eaten by the worms and weird fishes. Picked over by the worms and weird fishes.

It takes a certain type of person to be able to successfully live on your own. Lately, I'm feeling more and more that I'm not one of them.
Or perhaps I'm looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps everybody can and indeed should live on their own to gain a deeper understanding of the sort of person they are. Maybe when you're on your own, you're living at your most vulnerable and if anything, it gives you a good insight at the things in your life that really make the differences.

Almost twelve months ago, I quit my job and took the plunge into self employment. The only thing that nags at me is that it's been financially crippling. Other than that, I have no regrets. With huge restraints on my finances, many things have been affected. My fridge and food cupboard have been even more barren than normal. I haven't been able to go to as many gigs as I would have liked. Gifts for friends and family member's birthdays have been virtually none existent, luckily helped by everybody being so understanding. I don't get out as much because I can't afford to keep topping up the fuel and I have rarely been out with friends because I simply can't afford it. It's also affected the time I've spent with The Girl. Again, the fuel has been an issue, but also we haven't been going out or 'doing things' that we would have liked to do. The bills that come hand in hand with having one's own place have seemed to become bigger and somehow more demanding, even though in reality, I don't think they've changed at all. The metered services are the only ones I have any control over, hence I've been sparse with my use of electricity and brutally mean with my gas usage by not having my heating on. My home telephone only serves the purpose of providing my broadband connection and taking incoming calls. I've cancelled payments for things that I didn't deem important enough and have literally been living hand to mouth.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I hate the way money can rule one's life, even when you try so hard to make it an irrelevant issue.
I used to have people round a lot of the time. This has changed considerably this last twelve months, predominantly because I'm embarrassed to have people see what state I live in. My parents have helped me out financially, particularly this last six months and if I'm completely honest, I think they'd be shocked if they saw me now. Luckily, they don't come over to mine and most of our communications happen over the phone or when I visit their place. But that's all wrong. I feel like I'm hiding from people. And it feels wrong.

As each week goes by, I feel more and more convinced that I would feel happier getting out of this house. This house I've never felt comfortable enough calling home. It's far too big for me and whilst it proved too good an opportunity to miss out on when I bought it, I'm now feeling that having such a big, empty space surrounding me is proving more detrimental to my happiness. Empty, unused bedrooms serve no purpose anymore. They would come in handy when friends and family would visit and stay over, but as I've said, that doesn't happen anymore.

I'm a firm believer that life is what you make it. A certain amount of planning and organisation may be required. I'm certainly not the type of person who wallows in their own self pity, waiting for something to change. Waiting for somebody else to make things happen. It's become very apparent to me, particularly recently, that if I just sit this out then I might as well be watching my life unfold in fast forward. And when I hit 'play' again the only thing that's changed is that another twelve months have gone by. And that's twelve months of my life that I will never get back.
If it were possible to travel forward in time and you were offered the opportunity to go forward twelve months, just think how disappointed you would feel if what you saw about yourself and your life was exactly the same as you saw before you jumped.

Living on my own these last 2 1/2 years has really opened my eyes. I like my own company. I like that fact that I have the freedom to be able to play music I love, at volumes I like, whenever I like. I like the fact that my TV is rarely on. I like the fact that I can have a lounge in the bath with the door open. I like the fact that I can eat (or not) whatever I like, whenever I like. I like the fact that I can get stoned. I like the fact that I can masturbate without worrying that somebody might walk in or over-hear. I like the fact I can keep the place relatively tidy without relying on others to do the same. I like the fact that I know where everything is.
But for every like, there is a dislike.
And for every like, there is a worry and concern that other people might not be so forgiving, or understanding, or responsive, or tolerant. And I that very selfish of me?

Perhaps I'm just reaching the end of another chapter in my life. Perhaps the unwritten chapters demand a certain amount of change to keep my interest. Or maybe I have been given a taste of what could really make me happy and it's time I dealt with these itchy feet.

Sunday, November 4

In the deepest ocean. The bottom of the sea. Your eyes, they turn me.

It's Sunday evening, which means the weekend is almost over.
I blinked, I missed it.
Last night was spent in solitary company. Each flick of the remote showed endless channels of utter drivel. When did Saturdays become a day when you couldn't find anything on TV to watch? Obviously it's catering to somebody.
My resulting Saturday evening was spent listening to some music, flickering around the WWW and getting slightly stoned. This was followed fairly swiftly with an un-fightable desire to dunk biscuits in my coffee.

My birthday comes around again on Tuesday. Has it been 12 months already?
I already know that I'm gonna get exactly what I want. I'm gonna be spending most of the day and all the night with The Girl. How could I possibly want anything more....

I'm desperately worried about Christmas. It's a horrible lurching feeling about the financial implications it's gonna put me under. Earlier today, it suddenly dawned on me and I hate the fact that worrying about money is making me forget about all the good things associated with Christmas.
I'm also not sure how much time to take off over Christmas either. I'm used to having my holiday periods dictated to me, so now I have the final say, it's proving to be more difficult than I imagined. I want to work as much over the holiday period, because people will inevitably need plumbers and it would be nice to help people out and earn myself some money at the same time. At the same time, I want to have a rest. I wanted to work for myself for many reasons. One of them was not having to answer to anybody about my working hours.

I watched Citizen Kane the other night. I'd not seen it before and as it's normally listed in some top/great movies of all time polls, I thought I'd take the plunge and see what all the fuss was about. As it happens, I can officially declare it to be an OK movie. It's well known for it's plotlines, it's character acting, it's pioneering camera techniques, it's set pieces, etc etc. I think my problem was I've seen it all before, many times. What I watched in Citizen Kane wasn't outstanding enough for me to realise that's the movie that set the bar. I'm well aware that many movie buffs will scoff at my words and declare it to be one of the most amazing movies ever made. That doesn't change my opinion though. I think I may have ruined my experience anyway, by leaving it so long to watch it. Maybe if I'd have watched it many years ago, my experience would have been so much more favourable. Who knows?
And did anybody really give a shit about "Rosebud"?!

I love the new Radiohead album. I've reviewed it here.

For the person who stumbled across my blog whilst searching Google for "stories of guys making other guys drink their piss", I apologise.