Monday, March 31, 2008

Last Minute Preparations

I managed to get my accounts done but have an anomaly in them - again - I need to spend a bit of time sorting that out as they need to be audited on Friday..... Mind you it is so far out that there should be an obvious explanation.

I've got all my stuff ready - I need a note to remind me to pack my sandwiches and bits to take tomorrow. I will go off early which will allow me to stroll down there and have a breakfast just opposite. I can then roll in early and see what happens. It is quite exciting really and I am looking forward to getting started and to some of the work I'll be able to do.

There is a fair amount of "wordsmithing" to do and the opportunity to get stuck into some real "make the difference" work already makes me feel good. Once I have made my mind up to do something I'm pretty good at getting going and doing it. I need a couple of neat attention grabbers to start the ball rolling and then I can build the role from there.

Last Day Sat Here

I hope for a while anyway. Mind you I need to get some work done and the PC decided to fall over on me I thought I had saved all my work - I was backing up regularly but it appears that none of the figures I entered into the accounts have been saved. I now have to do another hour to get them all in there properly! Nightmare.

I'm feeling relatively fit at the moment but still awaiting the letter from the Hospital for my Operation and assessment day. Once I have those I can plan things out. It is always the problem with these things that you cannot actually commit to anything which makes you look a bit of a numpty but it is the way of things that you have to work around them not vice versa.

I can only imagine how tired I am going to feel after this week is up but I don't mind. At least I'll be doing something useful and with a bit of luck these guys will actually pay me this time!

Blimey that was close

We had a light aircraft crash just - I guess - a mile away at most. We heard it go over us low and screaming but it felt that it was just low but it was making a hell of a racket.

A few minutes later there was a loud boom and a mushroom cloud of smoke across the main road and the small plane had come down - it killed all 5 on board but luckily no one on the ground was killed. The planes fly over here regularly and the plane is one of the small jets that regularly fly out - we used to get the F1 Jets too at one time. The trouble is that it isn't far from the school or the Hospital and they are on the flight path and have been for years.

It isn't the first accident we have had around here - we had a few when we lived nearer the airport including a very nasty one that actually crashed on our road.

It just goes to show, you never know. It was very busy around here today with all the sirens, helicopters and road closures.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


It is good occasionally to forget that I started this blog off about bladder cancer as some days it doesn't enter my head at all. Other days I think about it a number of times. It is a strange thing - I can have quite vivid recollections and also "fears" flash in and out of my mind. I flashed into a brief playback of a treatment day earlier and realised that I didn't fancy it but then looked at the upside that I may just have another 12 of those to go and I may be able to be pronounced in remission or whatever they call it these days.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The weekend

I'm out an about tomorrow and have a full day - the office is looking tidier and I've dumped so much stuff. Where does it all come from/ I still have plenty to do before I start on Tuesday but at least I ave made a significant dent in the workload.

I now need to get some rest as I am off out to a meeting first thing. When I get home late afternoon I have to get changed and then go out again in the evening. I hope I don't fall asleep around at our friends!

procrastination again

Life should be simple. I wanted to upgrade my mobile phone - it is 2 years old now and showing signs of battery weakness and it is getting a bit slow. So I got an e-mail offering a free upgrade. I spent an hour looking at all the new handsets, decided what one I'd like and a second choice, got together my account number went to the call centre and found that they started offering me a cheap account where I could go and buy my own phone? Umm, I wanted to upgrade - ah but this way you can - by then my brain had turned to mush and so I now have a second proposition I have to find out about when all I wanted to do was upgrade my phone. That has just wasted about 2 hours of time in total and I'm still none the wiser.

Now I've done that I am sitting in front of a pile of paper and wondering which one to attack first and I'm back to square one on lots of them. Instead of clearing the decks I'm just moving bits of paper from one pile to another. I suppose I could be ruthless here and just dump loads of it but I do need to read it through first to make sure I can.

Life is never that easy is it. Anyway, I now have another e-mail request requiring my attention - it will be good to get back to working for a living and getting a rest from all of this!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


My office is beginning to look a bit different now that I have started to throw out all my old junk and archive the other stuff. I've turned the drawing board through 90 degrees and can finally get to the bookshelves in the corner. I'll have another little rearrange tomorrow and then get on with my outstanding bits.

As you can imagine my demeanour has gone up a lot knowing that I have this job. I actually need to slow down a bit as they wont be used to the sort of pace and energy that I'm used to working in.

On a bit of a strange note - I saw my neighbour the other day not looking too perky out and about with a stick and slowly walking around. I thought he had gotten his bad back problems he had a good few years ago back again (so to speak). C bumped into him today and asked what the problem was? Lung Cancer and he had a lung removed just before Christmas - we really hadn't seen him and it appears he is all clear which is good. I must try and bump into him and say hello and welcome someone else to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Got it!

Well that is a relief. I got the job this morning definitely and I start next Tuesday. I'm now going through the shock and relief bit. It wasn't quite what I was planning to do but it is a relief to get out of the Rat Race and to be able to move on. We agreed to give it a year and to review it after that time. That should give us enough time to see if we like each other and then we can decide whether to take that forward on a more permanent basis. I'm actually quite pleased about that now. I have a load of work to do to change all my online details but happy to do that too.

There are some loose strings that need sorting out and I need to sort out myself and get ready to become a disciplined worker again. I haven't worn a suit for work for years either. The one yesterday didn't fit particularly well.

Right - I need to catch up with all my work now and finish off all these outstanding bits of work too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mixed Day

Seems to be great news on the job front and a boost really - I have something to aim at and something honourable to do with my skills.

The mixed stuff - I just met up with a friend who's Dad died last week just before Easter. Not nice. My - possibly - closest friend just dropped me a line to say his Mum will probably not last the night out and another friend's dad has just had a Stroke and been admitted to Hospital. I suppose that I have now got to an age when that is the real deal - that our parents are in the waiting room.

Tomorrow is an important day as I can finalise my new contract and hopefully start working for this charity next Tuesday. the relief is immense and I will bring a lot to the role - I am really looking forward to it.

Great stuff

Well it looks as if the deal is on. More discussions tomorrow but in general terms - the job is mine. Thank goodness for that.

I came home and went to the pub and did my usual post meeting analysis and thought to myself, as you do, wouldn't it be great to go and work there. Well - subject to negotiations tomorrow - I could be starting on the 1st April (subject to the usual April Fool's rituals of course) - BRILLIANT!!!!!

More when I calm down and sleep off the couple of beers :-)

There you go

Just published the last post and have been asked to go in and see the Chief Executive and the President who is turning up late this morning.

Must dash! Off to London.

Yesterday was a bit flat

When I think about what I achieved and the news I got and not getting through on the phone. No worries, today should be better. I know about the Operation now and I know what the response is and I know that that wont be the only thing on their mind next week as they owe lots of people loads of money on Monday!

I need to concentrate on turning my life and my luck around and that needs to start today I suggest. I've made some serious changes in the background. I am losing a lot of my industry ties and not renewing Institution and Association renewals. It will be a shame to watch the letters drop off my last name but there you go, got to move on. I've cancelled a number of subscriptions that I have held for years and I am dropping renewing my magazines and newsletters too. Breaking with the past is an important thing - it is actually quite hard work as you sort of yearn for these things, they are part of your past but life really does need to move on and these things are the symbolic signs of that change.

The next things to do are breaking habits, perhaps adopting new ones, changing rituals, burning bridges and boats and just getting on and doing whatever I've decided to do.

It is still like turning an Oil Tanker though and so change is very gradual but then increases towards the end of the manoeuvre.

So there we go. Gradually things from my past are getting thrown out, a few things are getting archived and if I don't need them in a year (my insurance) then they can go to a new home too. My library is looking particularly bare as I remove anything to do with technology and contracting and leave my history and fiction books there.


Well it looks set for early May - a tiny bit later than I thought but I chased up today as I hadn't heard anything. So I imagine that I will be assessed at the end of April - probably 28th or 29th and then "done" about the 6th or 7th May or thereabouts. The letter should arrive a little later this week to confirm.

I should be out on the 6th May doing some official business but I think I had better not as that also would involve going out drinking and I probably don't want to be doing that the day before the operation and we don't normally get home until very late. It looks like that is going to be knocked on the head then.

I spent a little time re-reading the stuff from my ex-employers and feel much more confident than I did earlier that their heightened level of general ignorance of employment law will play its part. I am guessing that next week will see activity as their Brief gets back off of holiday and reads the statement and works out the case and the chances. It is funny how much this damn thing plays on my mind but then reading their words they were happy to have people (not just me) work for them for long periods of time and because their investment is in jeopardy they don't think that they should pay for the work others have undertaken on their behalf. That is stealing and fraudulent use of our time and of course, they don't own any of the IP we produced for them either.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not there

Oh well - message sent for him to ring back. At least I've rung back when I said I would.

It will be interesting to hear what they have to say anyway. If it is a yes I'll be happy if it is a no then I have the other stuff to get on with and it will give me some impetus to go at it.

As usual, waiting around is always a problem but it isn't the be all and end all of things either way and - to complicate matters further another job landed in my inbox about 30 minutes ago.

So decision day

I have to ring up the chap from the charity late this afternoon to see if they want me and let him know if I want to work there.

Given the utter nonsense I am going through at the moment, this may at least be a place to settle down or a while and just forget all the other nonsense. Moving from high octane work to something slower paced may be difficult to start with though. At the back of my mind is the thought that I may be jumping at this opportunity but I think that I'd probably be reasonably happy there. It will pay the bills and that is important of course. It appears to be flexible and would allow me to do some work from home during the 44 days off.

Oh well - - I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure etc........

Let's see what the phone call brings.


Well it made me quite angry reading the witness statements but now I've read them through a couple of times I can see that they don't add up to anything other than what they added up to last time.

They missed one or two key points which they won't know about until their brief comes back from holiday next week. At no point have they worked out that their own words and actions as recorded will determine their case. I like the arguments in the statements can each be shot down by their own paperwork. Nice.

I feel a little upset about the lies but not for long. I will spend a little time next week just adding the correct level of cross references to their statements. I like the fact that mine is entirely based on documents and theirs isn't.

The sooner this gets settled the better.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter out of the way

Onto new things now. I can have a look at the stuff from the other party tomorrow and have a laugh at that and then get on with some important stuff. I feel a re-arranged room might be good. A change of scene and switching stuff around and making space.

A spring clean of the office is what is required and then some work on a potential holiday for us all. The US is now off - NZ looks to have potential problems with everyone's availability anyway. I now find that I would have been on my own in Chicago as everyone wanted to be back for exam results! Not sure why but not my call.

So Europe is a possible. I fancy a Danube cruise - no one fancies a boat after last year! So perhaps Switzerland or Austria, Germany or Denmark, maybe Italy.

Job day tomorrow - I need to ring in the late afternoon to see if they are interested and whether I am. I still need to sleep on it.


I can't say that the last set of decisions were either in my hands or exactly the best ones I've ever made. However there you go, they are history and the future lays in front of me now.

I have a nagging reluctance to return to the workplace. Deep inside, something is wanting me to hold back. I'm not sure whether that is because of the complete change in direction, the low money and conformity of the role, regret that I'll go back to work after having almost started the researcher business or something else. If the job doesn't suit then, I am guessing that it will be easy enough to leave that - we did discuss how and if I would fit in.

It is some great wave of worry just a deep down thing, almost a doubt or uncertainty. I have these quite a bit and so I shouldn't be surprised I'm having these now.

I need to spend today thinking about whether it is the right move. The family are, as ever, fully supportive of it. I just want to make sure that it isn't jumping in the wrong direction.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Amazing how tired I am - perhaps weary and fed up still waiting for things to settle down. I have to say I have been good I haven't even looked at their witness statements - that can wait until office hours on Tuesday.

The Egg Hunt yesterday was good and I got up early this morning to watch the F1 Grand Prix. I've hardly done anything and fallen asleep a number of times in my comfortable armchair.

I have been doing some serious thinking about whether to take on this job if I get offered it or whether I go do my own thing. In a way I am ever so slightly disappointed that the complication has set in but it will prove to be a decision for tomorrow now. I have had to write down all he pros and cons and I think I have a decision made. It probably comes out as a compromise and yet that isn't too bad either.

At least tomorrow is a Bank Holiday and I can spend a little time sorting my room out and preparing for the next couple of weeks which are going to be busy.

It would be nice to be fit again or have half my stamina back.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Long old day

we did the annual Easter Egg Hunt - well I suppose you couldn't hold it any more often than that anyway!

It was a horrible day and we ended up for only the second time in about 12 years or so actually running it inside. A good number of people turned out which was great and all the youngsters enjoyed themselves which was also great.

The witness statements arrived from the other side, I saw the first few words and noted how slim they were and so will read them sometime down the week. I hardly think that there is anything in there that will alter my opinion or the outcome.

Finally I am wrestling with the idea of the new job. I'd quite fancy it and yet know that it means the researcher role would be real back burner stuff. Perhaps I can just sub contract the work out or something. It seems a shame that it is just after I'd gotten the business plan into good shape and also how I was going to market it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Always someone worse off than you

It is a sad fact of life that as far as you may feel pretty hard done by there is always someone worse off than you. Somewhere there is one person in the world who is far worse off than anyone else and if you imagine someone worse off than you and they imagine someone worse off than themselves and so on, then you really do have to feel very concerned for the one who is worse off than everyone else.

Just a thought. I have been corresponding with people who are far worse off than me giving them some of the problems I've encountered. I know that there are a lot of people with a lot worse than I have had. When it is personal though, you can't imagine anyone else being worse off than you.

I suppose that is just the way it is.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

44 Days

That is quite shocking isn't it - that 4 days is the number of days I need off in the next 18 months. That really surprised me when I did the calculations. 24 of those would be for treatment.

The 44 days also looks at everything being successful of course. It is amazing how much time these things take also that I really haven't still worked out quite how much work is involved in getting me back to healthy. Incredible.

Off out in a moment

Getting rid of that darn Witness statement thing and then can concentrate on getting on with the rest of my life. Nothing will happen until the week after next as they won't look at it it until they return from their Easter break.

I'm also going to pop down to the local computer shop and see if he can read the data on some 3 1/2" floppy disks I have been sent. Can you believe that I have no way of reading what is on them anymore?

I feel today is a turning point and that I can hopefully now just move on with things. Next to going to the Tribunal itself and reading what they have to say, preparing any questions based on those, that should be the lot.

I have an idea of what will happen though, knowing these people as I do. I also hear that other legal steps are being taken against them and the target date for them meeting some contractual obligations is fast approaching. Anyway, we will see.

So, that lot can go, hopefully the shop can pull out all the data and finally I have forgotten that I need to get Easter things! DOH!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So Riddle Me this

Oh no - don't - not this late at night.

The trouble with this job is that I haven't earned so little for 18 or more years. I've said money isn't the driver yet- in the back of my mind I can do 4 times this much. Will I be satisfied working for next to no money if in reality my job satisfaction quotient could be massively high?

Yeeeeeks - how on earth do you qualify that out.

Charity Work

Wow, what a morning and suddenly, it seems to me as if I may be OK doing this job. I'm a bit non conventional and haven't held a 9-5 for many years. We had a lovely long talk and a wander around and I bumped into two other guys I know who work there.

The people, as you would expect are lovely and dedicated. The work looks right up my street and I have just had to send off samples of all my different writing styles as I need to do copy for press releases, e-mails flashes, case studies, speeches and all that good stuff.

I think I could do that now given the meeting I had today. The issue still is for me the ongoing treatment but I am sure some how we can work around that. So it is a chat with the family over the next few days - I think that I'd love the chance to do this job. It puts the researcher job on the back burner for a while but perhaps I can run that as a side industry and not open up the whole site for now. I need to decide on that - it could allow me to work in the charity sector (the money ain't great of course) and to supplement that accordingly.

Anyway - it feels good - that was what I needed to feel!

Just about ready

To go off and see the charity guys up in London. I think I won't make a hasty decision - I need to talk it through with the family, not least of which is the obvious part that the money is a lot less than we are used to.

It will at least give them a chance to see me and vice versa and to ask questions and I suppose to give me enough of a flavour of the role and the people.

What probably frightens / worries me more than anything is that it will be a 9 to 5 job and I haven't had one of those in years.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


That is that - all clear and done apart from actually sending it off on Thursday. I can actually get on and do something else now. It feels a little strange sitting here staring at the screen and wondering what to do next but in reality, I have a list of things to do.

I just took myself out for a walk but it is weather for Penguins out there so I just went to the shops and back - that was enough. So, a short break, draw breath and then get on with something meaningful and not designed to waste my time.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day and my chance to see what working at a Charity organisation is all about. I need to convince myself that it is what I want to do and I need to see if they are OK with the fact that I'll be having at least 44 days off in the next 18 months for treatment. Yes - that came as a bit of a shock but if you add it up there are a minimum of 3 operations at 1 week each at least, 12 lots of BCG at 2 days each - 3 assessment days and 3 appointments and the odd day it goes into 3 days not 2 on treatment or 2 days not 1 in for the Operation and you are soon there. When you look at it like that it doesnt look great does it?

If they can bear that then I suppose it wont be so bad. Not sure how I will get on with the day after treatment as only rarely have I travelled any distance then.

Things start to fall in to place

The Witness Statement is complete, the covering letter is complete and needs to be sent off later this week. MY CV is finished and my other details for the job tomorrow are almost done, I sketched it all down yesterday - time to clean it up this morning.

Interestingly, someone spoke to the business - ultimate owner - yesterday who is still wondering how his business and ideas managed to get stolen and robbed away from him. Interestingly enough two of us told him as far back as September what we thought was happening and if he remembers back that far he should click in that I warned him that I was concerned where this had come from.

Oh well, it is all a matter of who you trust ultimately I suppose.

I'm relatively calm about things at the moment. I am pretty certain that whatever happens from now on isn't really going to matter in the overall scheme of things. With hardly any money in the coffers, these guys have been well and truly shafted by their "mates" and as predicted 6 months ago, have lost their ideas and their business.

I can't believe how "ill" it has made me. This victim thing is pretty horrible and yes I am the victim here and I'm the one made to feel guilty. I know that isn't the case but the way these guys fight their corner is pretty rough. I do hope though that they realise that their case now rests on the original grounds for resistance and that they cannot change their story. It will be a wonder to behold I am sure and a worthy work of fiction. Mine? Relies on facts only.

Monday, March 17, 2008

That Charity Job

I got a call today from someone at the Charity and they had spoken to someone who knows me and they are interested in talking to me. I am going to see them on Wednesday morning to have a look around and to see whether we like each other

You know, I really fancy doing that job. It pays peanuts but I think that I should be able to give it so much from my experiences. I can hardly believe that I missed the bit where this guy I knows happens to work there - Doh! If I'd have realised that then I could have spoken to him.

I think that this may just be the thing for me. Something that I'd enjoy, something where I could make a difference and pay a little back and somewhere away from the idiots and ll the stress.

It would mean working up in London a fair amount of the time, but that is OK too. It will be a stone's throw from Covent Garden. It would be brilliant to be doing something like this.

Of course timing is rubbish as always as I have just chosen the new name for the business! Ho hum!

Anyway - I am excited about the possibilities of working for this group - the pay is rubbish but I hope that the rewards will be a happier me.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My mate can really p*ss me off sometimes

You have to be nice to your mates but sometimes you really want to tell them something - like "shut up and go away" or words that have a similar meaning. I'm getting pretty fed up with this guy telling me about my apparent behaviour when it is his behaviour that really needs sorting out.

If you have something to say fair enough but don't say it in front of a bunch of people that I happened to be in conversation with. Naughty and I'm not the sort that would tear straight in but it was a very close run thing. Very close indeed. It isn't the first time either and it is getting a little wearing and again, it isn't really called for. Perhaps I just p*ss people off myself:-)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sense of Proportion part deux

Starts to come back after a day reviewing and rewriting the Witness Statement and re-reading some of the incredulous stuff that the other side have said I realise I can substantiate every part of my claim.

Then the funniest thing happened, they submitted their bank account details into the mix and blow me they have next to no money in there. I do hope that they try that one on. My experience in these things is that ignorance of the law just drills you a great big hole and down you go. Additionally spinning up a story that can be shot down in the first document presented means that you are always on the back foot.

Off out in a minute as it is a friend and his wife's 50th Birthday and I intend to enjoy the evening very much indeed. They are a lovely couple and she is also a member of the Cancer Warrior class. A wonderful lady and I am so glad to go to her birthday part as she came to mine - as for my mate "Flocky Bicep" I am going to meet him down the pub for a few before we go for the meal! Excellent behaviour.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Still struggling to keep a sense of proportion

I am trying to keep on track - I managed to do nothing today but sort out my tribunal statement. I really want to be doing something else - I am going to try and draw a line under this soon. My friend has invited me out to lunch tomorrow and I am looking forward to that and we have 50th Birthday party this Saturday to go to.

I will try and get my head back on track although I am not so much upset as I was previously. I am just mindful that whatever I do, these people intend to have the last laugh. I try and continue to remind myself that it is their behaviour and not mine that is at fault. Occassionally my mind wins the battle.

You can see how you can get caught up in this spiral and you can see how you struggle to get out of it. I have no doubt I will be free of it soon, it is just taking too long really.


Back up to 20 minutes a day as from today and that feels much better in terms of a real workout. It will be a while until I get back to 30 minutes but this time I am determined to take it slowly rather than all at once. You may remember how that all ended in tears last time.

Interestingly enough the document bundle arrived this morning for the Tribunal and yesterday they added in some extra stuff, last minute. I shall have a look through and send them my response later. It will be an interesting few days next week waiting to see what they have put in their witness statements.

Ramping up

The interesting thing about setting up a new business from scratch is that you get to use all the experiences of the last time. Trouble is that you end up slowing yourself down a bit (no real problem if you think about it). It is now getting to the exciting bit and also the scary bit as I suddenly realise just how much I now need to do to get the thing off the ground.

At least I don't have the Chicago workload to slow me down but it is coming up to Easter and I have a pile of private things to get done ASAP. I feel a plan coming on to tackle all of these things.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Well that went away

As quickly as it arrived. At least I won't be needed on that job now as it was already filled last night - which was quick. At least that is one bit off of my list and I can get on with the new business. Talking of which the name is now chosen and the next steps are underway for that. I now need to get the web sites hosted and sorted out.

I am going to have to make a decision to not deflect from what I am going to do and stick to it. It caused quite a wobble I can tell you but I'm still not sure if I were to go back to the sort of work I used to do whether I would be truly happy.


Oh blimey - what to do for the best? I kind of knew something like this would happen. If I go and do that job it will be one that means I'll have to be away from home a fair bit although the money would be good. I can only imagine what it will mean in terms of the journey and how it will probably run my life for the next 3 to 6 months or however long it will be.

Now that would mean putting on hold the new venture which I was just about to start ramping up and that in turn would mean that I'd probably have to be working on that a little bit at a time in the background but I wouldn't be able to actually trade.

The whole idea was not to go back into the ranks of the high profile businesses again although I do know these guys and they do pay regularly and promptly so that doesn't worry me at all.

I then I suppose have to think about how much time I can realistically give the customer given that I'll have to have a week off for the operation and then shortly after that I'll be back on treatment.

It is a difficult question and I'm hoping to have come to a decision about it sometime today. The money is tempting but I'm not sure Ive got the mental and physical stamina for this given the frailty over the past few weeks, I am coming to realise just how severely I was actually affected by treatment and by work.

I will talk to the family about it as well. At the end of the day, they have just as much right to be part of the decision. I've always tended to work away as part of my work and to be rewarded accordingly. This job would be extremely useful as the money is very good. I don't want to do it if I were to not do a good job or to be found short of the mark. I certainly don't want to do it if it means affecting my health and I also wouldn't want to do it if it were too far to go realistically.

Decisions, decisions.

Believe it

Yes - I choose the new company name, I am about to buy the domain - what is in my inbox now? The job from heaven. Yep - more money in a fortnight than I am owed by the idiots. More money in a year than I could earn in 4 years etc.

Whoever up there writes the scripts can I just say that it isn't a comedy, it isn't funny and it isn't big and it isn't clever!

For the past "x" years I have been waiting for a job that fits my CV and pays decent money and the day I get to set up the new venture along it comes.

How ironic irony can be eh?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No Seriously

I'm now quite deeply in to the business plan for my new venture. There are a few problems to sort out - mainly surrounding the type of business - self employed or a company. I'm beginning to favour self employed as I can always ramp up later if I need to. The rules are slightly different to what I am used to but the overall principles are the same.

I'm beginning to get the enthusiasm together which is what I need to carry this through. It is difficult to explain to you what I mean by that. Perhaps if you look back to how upbeat I was this time last year and again in November you'll understand. When you get fired up and interested in something you can move mountains. Well I haven't been able to move anything recently - so flat have I felt - and when you aren't feeling great, doing anything let alone getting enthusiastic about it, is difficult.

So I need to build on the sparks that are beginning to erupt from the old embers and to get moving on. These past 3 months have been really quite dark from me and whilst I'm not out of the woods with it yet, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

However - I can see no end to these endless metaphors :-)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Next on the list

I'm getting through this backlog that I have built myself - Sooner or later I needed to stop mooching around and get on with things. Now is a good time to start and already I can see things moving on and getting done.

I just now need to break out of the routines I have got into and to set myself new targets and to move on a bit at a time. Too much change in one go can be disruptive and unbalancing. If I have learnt nothing else these past few years it is that these massive swings do not do any good. I am being very careful these days about everything I do mentally and physically - I am still very susceptible to the slightest triggers and I am trying to avoid those but also combat what brings them on. I think your self confidence takes such a huge bashing that you really are hyper sensitive to just about anything that anyone says or does. Things hurt me deeply these days that I never ever worried about and I find myself being very defensive when perhaps I don't need to be.

Oh well, all part of the territory of the Cancer patient I reckon. No one said it would be easy and I can tell you that the road to recovery just continues to stretch out there. Maybe you never truly recover? I'd like to think that in a few years it was just a bad period I can look back on but I'm not sure it will be.

Getting on with it

I started today with good intentions but had a bit of a lie in, after all it was windy and raining. I got up, took my pills had a bit of breakfast, got on the exercise machine, had a shower and all of a sudden it is 10:30!

I have a list of things to achieve this week which will bring down the pile of outstanding items to just a few. It will get more of the desk cleared and also the drawing board and the layout table can be substantially changed in use from storage areas to working areas. There are some tough decisions to be made in terms of throwing things out or archiving but so far, I have been able to throw things out without too much concern.

The next set of decisions are whether to let my professional stuff go, memberships of associations and subscriptions to things that I just don't think I'll need again. It is a case of timing too. Some of these are due now and some a little later in the year. Some were only in place for the time I was working with the last two businesses. Frankly they can go now as I don't use them often enough to warrant paying out for them although the one I worked hard for and got my qualification will be a bit hard to lose. Oh well, things move on.

The sun is out at the moment, the clouds are racing across the sky and so we will probably get the tail a little later. You can tell that we are not used to this sort of thing as the reporter said on the news last night that the worst would come when the eye of the storm struck us? I always thought the eye was the quiet bit in the centre - hence the name. That is the trouble if you leave a reporter doing a live sequence without a properly researched script.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


A day for relaxation. In fact we cleared out the office and dumped 10 years worth of CD ROMs and Diskettes of software. Loads of magazines and old books and old files. We've archived the company records (you have to keep them for eternity + 10 years) and I can make a start on some more tomorrow.

We are battening down the hatches as we have severe weather warning of gales and rain. So I'll be stuck indoors anyway tomorrow.

Other than that - I have been quite pleased that I have found a whole bunch of documents about employment law when I was reviewing it some 6 or more years ago together with all of my case notes, that will come in most useful in a few weeks time of course.

So a good day - I'm feeling quite as well as I have in a long time. That pleases me.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Onwards and Upwards

"to Infinity & Beyond!" - What a great catch phrase? Good old Buzz Lightyear it is like giving 110%

Goodness me, the difference between me now and last Saturday is incredible. Long may this continue, I feel a lot better - it has taken a week of often quite stern reviews and having to look at the reality of the situation to get me to where I am now. Quite simply I was taking everything as a direct personal attack on me. I've read everything as being directed at me. Having taken out the emotion and applied a bit of logic to things I realise that in reality that isn't the case.

I'm back to concentrating on me now. The rest of the day will be good as I prepare for and go off to my meeting and just enjoy being with a group of like minded friends.

Saturday morning

I just sat down and watched one of my favourite films - Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I remember well going to see it with my mates as part of a double header the other film being Mel Brooks Blazing Saddles - another of my all time favourites.

It is getting the odd escape that is interesting - having a good laugh and realising that life isn't so bad after all. Also heard from a lot of the old partners today and was interested in what they had to say - I certainly don't feel paranoid anymore about that.

Later today it is my Lodge meeting which I am looking forward to enormously. One of my candidates gets initiated and my other candidate takes his next step too. I have 5 guest coming along - almost a record for me I think. It will be a great day out, very enjoyable, lots of drinks and a good evening out with my mates!

I managed to sit down and do a lot of work on the business plan today too which was a real boost to morale.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A move towards a clearer work area

All week I have been throwing out old papers and getting archive boxes filled up with books that I don't plan to be using again. All of my technology books and my PC magazines need to go too. I think that I probably wont renew many of my subscriptions to these, to my many organisations and professional memberships can also be lapse - losing the string of suffixes off the end of my surname.

I also have shelves of software CD-ROMs. It is amazing what software I have picked up over the past 10 or more years. I'm sure that it was a good idea to keep hold of the disks - that is until I see how much space they actually take up. The magazines I regularly cull as they take up too much space within a very short time.

The challenge is whether to throw stuff out or to store it, whether to try and sell it or whether to just dump it. Who knows? Of course, there is so much of it that it takes a while to decide what to do and where to put it. The waste paper man was around this morning and he certainly had a couple of sacks full of shredded paper to deal with.


Things are getting a lot better than they were at the beginning of the week, gee was I ever low. I've moved a long way from Monday's dark despair to being relatively upbeat about things.

I also saw a job today that I've asked for more details for. A strange thing but there is a job in a Charity that appealed to me but I need to know a bit more about it to decide whether to send in my CV. It would suit me well as it would use all my IT and management skills to the maximum. The trouble is it isn't particularly well paid and if it were to be full time I wouldn't be able to do it really. I'll see what they come back with as I have asked the questions.

I somehow feel that it would satisfy a desire to put something back and to use my new insight. Let's see what they say.

The other venture is taking shape now and I just need to get it out of my head and off of my scrap books into a proper business plan. It then needs some testing and challenging to see if it really IS the thing I want to do to earn a living.

I spoke to another of the partners today and see that they haven't been contacted since December and don't know what is going on. Divide and rule.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

That's better I feel clearer now

I had a good night out last night at the Jazz club and this morning have been for a bracing walk to the shops and back. I'm thinking clearly now, I am not at all worried about what might happen now and I return back to the old saying "What's the worst that could happen?" Well not a lot really. So why worry - it is a strange thing. I never ever used to be as indecisive (but now I'm not so sure - I thought I'd get that in before anyone else did!), worried, paranoid, easily upset, emotional, forgetful, procrastinating, unsure of myself, lacking in self confidence or any of these things.

It is really frustrating too as you know that you were never like this. I don't fancy doing things like going out unless I really force myself to, then when I am there I enjoy myself.

I'm pleased to say that the last few weeks have seen this come to a head and that now, I've said "enough is enough" - I haven't quite said "pull yourself together" - I'm waiting for someone to say that so I can punch them on the nose :-)

I really hope that I have turned that corner and put this stuff behind me now. I feel so much better for having it behind than in front of me.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Just ONE of those days

Well I suppose that I knew deep down inside that I wasn't going to get "satisfaction" from those whom I firmly believe to be dishonorable people. I am SO glad my parents brought me up to be like this - even though it has caused me so much grief these past few months - we should be fighting our corners and "doing the right thing". I doubt my health has been too good doing it right or not though.

The TV finally gave up the ghost today and so we had to go and buy a new one. Interesting argument - I wanted the 40000"Plasma with remote operated by a car battery and the rest didn't! Ended up with an LCD 32" TV which is actually rather nice. You may have to watch it from the next village to appreciate it but nice any way!

Chicago went away - damn shame I could have done with the impetus to shock me out of my current doldrums existence. The ex-employer not responding by the deadline - "priceless" or is that an advert??

So - my best guess is that my ex employer types are going to liquidate. I am going to over compensate, my friends are going to come and help me and finally I will get out of the "death spiral" I feel I am in at the moment. I think too much about what people think of me - I criticise myself for being selfish and yet I tend to be the least selfish person I know sometimes. Other times I am the total opposite. I feel in and out of control all the time and yet, inside, I am in control. If I rationalise, then I know that in most cases I am right. Cancer has introduced an element of self doubt in everything I do now that was never there before, a paranoia if you will that everyone is out to get me or that things are being done to hurt me or my family.

Well - looking at this post alone - it is time to "give it a rest" - Surely life isn't' really this deep and perhaps only 99% of the people are out to get me? :-) It will all be OK in the morning!


Has now gone and as is par for the course, based on what I heard yesterday, no call came and no settlement. It will be interesting to hear what will happen next. I have a couple of weeks to clean up my witness statement now and so I'll wait to hear if they will actually make the tribunal or not.

Based on yesterday's conversation - I am guessing that they may throw the towel in next week. I certainly hope so as we can all pack up our bits and move on then.

Wow - Discrimination

Unbelievable isn't it. You'd think that in this day and age people wouldn't get all up tight about cancer yet they do. It is almost how some people treated Leprosy years ago and AIDS for that matter. I re-read some of the points my alleged ex-employers made in the defence document and it looks as if they would play that as a ticket. it would be stunningly stupid of them to do something like that but the thing I can't get over is that other sufferers coming back to work remade to work at the same rate (believe me, you can hardly walk at the same pace let alone work at it). Some complain of total alienation in the workplace and that their colleagues ignore them.

It makes you wonder what is wrong with people. Whilst I wouldn't wish ill on anyone, perhaps everyone should get some insight into what it is like to get something that is life threatening - yet controllable? Living with the stress of recurrence and other such things and treatments and operations would all be a little bit better if people didn't treat you like they could catch it off you!


Not this time. I got the rejection note this morning so no Chicago for me in August - I imagine it is very hot there anyway and we don't do hot.

Whilst I am a little disappointed with that - at least, given the circumstances now (possibly getting none of last year's money owed to me) I won't be financially embarrassed or have to take the whole family over there for a holiday. I'll have to re-think my strategy on all of this now.

Fragility of the mind

I can say that I have gone through the mill these past 20 or so months. I've beaten myself up regularly and gotten depressed (oops the "D" Word). I've gotten wound up over a lot of things and yet, I like to think, that I am the victim in this little lot and shouldn't be feeling like the criminal. The mind does strange things to you.

I just cannot believe that a few years ago I'd have gone for the jugular on this and it wouldn't have worried me at all. These days I lack the self confidence I used to have even though I should continue to trust my instincts and should have reacted a little earlier.

Did these people take advantage of me because of what I had? Well I'd have liked to think so, but they have messed a lot of other people about too and it isn't just me anymore who is complaining.

I need to work on building my self confidence and to strengthen my mind too.

Well I can say that this is a bit better

You know that I was feeling quite depressed about the whole thing earlier in the week and since this afternoon, I'm a lot happier that I've found out what has been going on these past few months. The load has lightened significantly again and I feel a lot better about things even to the fact that I can probably now take this as the compelling event and the trigger to get me to move on. No matter what happens now, it is unlikely that any of us are going to get our money paid to us and rather than it just being me fighting for it - there will be a number of people all equally keen to get their investments back and some I know have much bigger solicitors and significantly more clout than I do.

Knowing what I thought I knew does mean that tomorrows "negotiations" can be approached with a small sprinkling of salt.

I now have a list of things that I can do to sort out the office and get my sad arse in gear!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A little background helps

A ha - no wonder they want to settle for less. They have lost another bunch of people who want their money back and they are blaming me for not having the money to repay them. Money was due to a number of older creditors later this month too. They think that I am due a large amount of money (who advises these people?) as I'm not.

It will be interesting indeed to see quite what goes on in the next few weeks. I have just gone up the road and bought a packet of wine gums to celebrate! I liked the bit that they thought I hadn't told anyone - and yet most know already, the overstatement of the facts, the innocence and naivety demonstrated and above all the final realisation that this could be the end game. Four months after they reckoned that it was all OK, they still aren't there and neither is the money. The problem all along was that we all communicated with each other and realised each was being given a different version of the "facts".

Now it may be a strange thing to say but it has cheered me up and confirmed what I felt was actually going on. Why am I happy? At least the thing can come to an end, they can get a liquidator in and a line can be drawn under the whole sordid affair. I may get nothing but at least no other person will get stiffed by these guys.

A better day so far

The conciliators have come back with some sort of settlement. I've said I'm open to suggestions but I don't hold out that much hope that they'll come up with anything new or exciting. They are not even going to meet the figure itself which shows their contempt for the process.

Ho hum. So what else? I got on with tidying up the office and with beginning to spec out the new company web sites and details. Also potentially getting some work for a friend of mine at the same time. Such is the level of "laid backness" today that I ave now managed to sort out some of my to do list without hardly realising it. A little more to go yet though as I need to sort out some financials and get some money paid into various bank accounts. I think I will do that tomorrow.

For the moment - the clock is ticking - mediation finishes tomorrow evening. If things cannot be settled then off to the Tribunal we go. They may not have realised that I will be taking the approach from now on that I have nothing to lose as I already lost it and am trying to get it back. The nearer it gets to the day the more Win/Lose it becomes.


That's better - I've changed my morning routine, I have spent some time just thinking about things and am in a much better frame of mind this morning. In fact I was feeling quite OK when I went to bed last night too. Almost at peace with myself if that makes sense?

I'm back onto exercising this morning - properly and not haphazardly and I'm beginning to feel good about myself again. Not sure how long that will last but I will try and keep looking at things positively.

Monday, March 03, 2008


A friend was around this evening and it was good to talk to someone who understood some of the jargon going on around the tribunal. It is all very well telling the wife and kids but I hardly expect them to understand the finer points of the Law of Employment - although they would probably understand them better than my previous employer.

Anyway, I am cheered up a lot more now which is good, I was definitely on a very low one today. Not as bad as my old friend the black dog but not far short of it!

Anyway, I have started to clear out my room and I am throwing away stuff that reminds me of it and getting on with things. Tomorrow - I start to get out and to live a little bit more.

Thanks KP

This cheered me up.

It says
So you think YOU had a bad day?

It Can Always be worse!

A second walk helped

With the wife - we went out and had a bracing walk it is getting very cold out there. A bit of a chat and a bit of balance into the equation. There are so many variables at the moment and it doesn't help to try and second guess the issue either.

I will be glad when I get some clarity either way and can get on with whatever I am going to do next.

Well kind of

I suppose that it has helped a bit - I am just going through a bad period at the moment. I've tried distraction and other techniques and the walk seems to have calmed things down a bit - I'm going to do a bit more in a few hours to see if that might help a bit more to break up the day and stop me dwelling on the negatives

It really is annoying as I know what is wrong and I should be able to deal with this - I always used to but again, I find that having had cancer has really weakened my mind. You get really strong in some ways fighting it and facing up to the treatment and then you get this stuff gnawing away at you.

I hope that I can get this lot out of the way and get on with my life as this is just stupid.

Roller Coaster Continues

Spoke to the conciliator - I am hoping that the work I have now done clearly lays out the choices for them. It is stark stuff but my documents make it clear what the case was. I'm only talking to the middle man and yet my chest is heaving. I'm going to take myself out for a walk to see if that does me some good.

Somewhat better

I was having a very bad day yesterday and yet, rationalising it as I went to bed - I just cannot see what it is that should be triggering me off I suppose it is just annoying and I'm worried about getting angry and aggressive or "losing it" during the tribunal but again, if I think long and hard about this, it is obvious what is going on. They don't work the same way that I do and my personality cannot make sense of it. In fact that is probably more like it. I can see the wood from the trees - they really haven't worked out that yet. They can't even see there is either there.

Of course, it isn't just that which is gnawing away at me either. The painfully slow road to recovery is also getting to me. I realise that it is also probably getting old but I don't have the energy levels and fitness levels I used to have which limits me and I'm going to start to tackle those sometime this week as I need to literally and figuratively "get out more". Sitting at this PC day in and day out really isn't going to make me fit.

Oh well, I'm feeling a lot better than yesterday and I have no doubt this week will bring much in the way of ups and downs too. I just need to work my way through them.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Getting quite depressed again

All of a sudden it came on again, not big nasty old black dog but inward looking, fed up, can't move on, introspective me.

I really really hate this at the moment. I feel quite sick inside and just when I feel good or move a bit, something comes along and knocks me back again. I have to get on with things and yet I'd quite happily go and sit quietly somewhere and brood over something.

I know I'm like this because of the tribunal thing - I mean what did I expect to happen? They lied last year so why change the way they approach their business and no doubt personal ethics. Probably that is right at the heart of it. I feel cheated and used and taken advantage of and I really cannot forgive or forget that with all the other troubles I've had they did this to me. Better than that, they have brought that up as some form of defence. Perhaps that is also at the heart of it, it is almost like some prejudice about me having had cancer or dared to have had treatment when I was meant to be working for nothing for them.

I'm not entirely sure how to tackle this at the moment. I hope that this week will see it all go away in some form or another.

I'm certainly going to try and do something different tomorrow to move myself on with it. They get the documents tomorrow so perhaps that will set some sort of resolution in process.

As parties go

It wasn't one I'd have made an effort to go to. I knew - my wife only and no one else! I did my best, hosed down a few beers and listened to the music which was a redeeming feature of the evening.

Other than that - I have to say I was bored senseless. Oh well, you have to go to these things sometimes I suppose.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Off out in a minute

Totally forgotten that we are off out tonight - are you coming? I was just asked ??????

A "dress to Impress" party - great - I'll see if the DJ still fits, my shirt is creased to blazes so I can't take off my jacket :-)

Great. Oh well - free booze so I should be alright I guess.


A few more documents than I envisaged were produced for the tribunal by my ex-employers. Mine will land on their desk on Monday and so we will see what they make of them as they ave missed 4 absolutely key documents out. I imagine once that they see them things will change.

After all of that I'm getting on and catching up with my list of things to do. I've managed to clear out quite a bit of initial paperwork today and need to get on and do some more this afternoon.

I'm feeling OK about the tribunal stuff now as there isn't anything in there that shouldn't be and only a couple of documents that I wouldn't have had a chance to see. There is a surprise one in there - quite why they have such a fixation with my bladder cancer and treatment I don't know. However, I think that it should be interesting to see what they would present to a tribunal. Perhaps that cancer patients don't have employment rights.