Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Week New Problems

My friend has called to say his company are about to make him redundant and in a way that has freed his mind a bit and allowed him to consider his options.  He and I are involved in this other venture and I am now seriously considering quitting or coming away from full time properly the current job.  I am finding it difficult to sort out quite what I should do as I can see an argument for both side, can see that I have been lucky to work with some lovely people and all that but, fundamentally there is a problem with doing what amounts to your hobby in a full time capacity.

My appointment is now set for the 12th April and my pre-assessment is the 6th.  It looks to be an early appointment so who knows I may get out the same day - it hasn't happened recently but I live in hope.

Energy levels are quite low after the excitement of the weekend and two meetings one after the other.   The trouble is, as always that I put a lot of effort in and the great news is things went well but afterwards it is all a bit of an anti climax.  I'm just feeling tired and tomorrow I need to head into work which I don't fancy at all.  Tuesday is committee which looks like I'll end up controlling and then Wednesday I am out at a Lodge doing a talk in the evening.  Thursday is a nice half day followed by a Lunch event.  Friday I have decided to stay at home to recuperate.

It is strange - I just feel lazy and don't want to do anything at the moment.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On a Brighter Note

My other friend who has Bladder Cancer has been given the all clear.  Thank goodness for that - we thought it was bye bye bladder last time I spoke to him.  In fact he is just on check ups.  I wonder if that was because of the immense trouble he had as he had to go back to theatre he was bleeding so badly last time.  Anyway - good news for him.  That has cheered me up a bit considering the bad news about my friend's dad yesterday.

What happens is that every time you hear this it brings you back to your own situation (of course it does) and I start to consider how lucky I really am and in a way it cheers me up and depresses me all at the same time.  I'm really glad that I am where I am and I feel like I do but also there is the realisation that many people don't have that good fortune and their lot isn't so good.

I decided to get back onto the Cross Trainer today and surprised myself with a 15 minute workout that went quite well.  I am surprisingly fit but need to do things regularly to be of benefit.  I just need to get my diet under control a bit better.  The inevitable lunches and dinners I go to throw this out every week.   I need to make sure that I eat properly though and so can't starve myself or do anything too serious as it may affect my health in other ways.

Still - I am in better temper than I have been for a while and whilst Ii still cant say I am enjoying my job, at least it isn't getting me angry like the past few weeks.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I didn't quit today

I was back to running the show today and so was busy and involved and then some other things came up and I was back in and interested.  I imagine it will only be short lived.  I am off tomorrow and Friday and again doing three or so days a week helps me to stay there and not to chuck it all in.

Got a shock as the chap who suggested I set up this blog let a few of us know that his dad has tumours in his brain and lungs and has been diagnosed with cancer.  It sort of knocks me off balance a little when I hear these things.  at least, I think, I can offer some assistance somehow.  He starts radiotherapy very soon and I'll see him in a few weeks to have a chat.

I can at least give the human side of the patient so that no one makes the mistakes I've seen when they talk to me documented earlier in this blog.

So - what for me?  feeling a bit worn down really and awaiting the date for the next procedure/operation.  they said they would get back to me on Monday and didn't.  I'd like to know so that I can ensure that I don't have any appointments at that time.

I am still working out whether or not to stay at the job - it really doesn't do anything for me although I am one of the characters in the organisation - I don't carry any responsibility or much clout and end up clerking a lot.  I'll need to make a decision soon though.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Well the deliberations continue

I see that the pragmatic view is to leave the current job.  If I give notice now then they can get someone in 5 weeks I would have thought and I can assist on the odd occasion going back in on a day rate if they need me.  That is the pragmatic view.  I'm thinking that if I do that I can start in April and get tucked into the other project.  Of course, that doesn't pay at all and so there is a need to balance out the risk/reward equation.  

Lots of "ifs" there but that is the choice I need to make.  I remember the disappointment of the last thing I got involved with but with this one I am closer to the source and in the driving seat so it will be my own reputation that is on the line so to speak.  Having taken close to a year out doing this before, I am being cautious about going out there again.   However, I haven't exactly made up my mind today but I am thinking clearly now about what it means.  I have to seriously consider that I may need to fund myself for 6 months doing this.  I was hoping that we may have funding in June or July but if I set it that it is September then that gives me something to aim at.

I suppose watch this space will be the watchword. 


The sun is out after a miserable start to the day and I'm sitting here working my way through my options for work and my other venture.  It seems more important today that I put some effort in to the stuff I have been working on ready to go and get some finance for taking it forward.  I also realise that I have some responsibility for the job too.

A long hard look at that really leads me to conclude that they need a clerk to do the work and me to supervise and come up with the creative side.  I'm certainly not happy to sit there and be given work to do and to change like some oik.  If they want to employ someone with their brains sucked out with a straw then that is what they should do.

I have no idea how this is going to end up.  I'd like to tell them to stick their job tomorrow but some of it is good.  I am out in a week or two to  a meeting and that is good meeting other people and telling them about the charity etc., that's a nice thing to do as is creating some of the more useful documents they now have.   

I have all day to ponder what to do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


How utterly strange that was last night.  It kind of concerns me how ill I felt all of a sudden but some friends popped around today for a meeting and said that it was very hot in there and perhaps that may be it.  

I was a bit annoyed that they saw it though - up until now I have been able to keep it to myself.

Anyway - moving on - the meeting was good and I can move on from there.  It hasn't helped the argument to stay or not at work.  I still need to consider what to do about that.

Great evening shame about the funny turn

It was a lovely evening but at the end I had one of my strange funny turns and felt ill, claustrophobic and all that boiling hot, nauseas bit.  I stood outside and was OK in a few minutes but just felt awful for that short time.

They are my friends and were worried about me which is nice.  I don't like it as it shows some of the damage that my cancer has done to me.  This is all about self esteem, self confidence and belief in myself and that actor quality that has always covered my tracks for me, failing at the last hurdle.

Whether I wanted to show this side or not, it happened and I felt really ill for a short period of time. Nice to see everyone being concerned but I didn't want their evening to end that way let alone mine.    

Friday, February 19, 2010

Curry that great cure all

I am really, really looking forward to a night out with about 16 of us.  Flocky Bicep has organised it and we are starting off with a mini pub crawl - luckily enough all in the boundaries of my village so nice and easy to manage that the off to the restaurant which is a whole 5 minutes away at the most.

I've been feeling quite stressed out recently and I am looking forward to having just a good laugh and chat with the bunch of us.

Tomorrow I have some of the team coming in on our business venture and with a bit of luck I should be able to get some sanity into my thinking giving me a way forward.  I hope so - I could do with some clarity of thought and to dump all this stressy baggage I am carrying around with me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You may tell that Im not a happy bunny

Everything just seems to be getting on my nerves at the moment.  The job, trying to get things done when everyone (it seems) is trying to stop me - it sounds like paranoia doesn't it :-) ?

It just drives me to distraction and I wonder if I will be able to hold on much longer.  I'd rather give it up and take a chance on this other job of mine if the truth be told.   There is no money in it - or not at the moment but perhaps I'd be able to concentrate and actually get something achieved.

I know there is work for me to do where I am, I'm just really struggling now with the mediocrity of it all and trying to swim against the tide.  Someone told me to take the money and live with it but it isn't me.  I can't go native and be as bad as half these people.  The good ones are good but the others really are "jobs worths" and I just know it is all going to end in tears.

So I am heading off to bed and hope to get another good night's sleep and a good day's work tomorrow.

Micro management

If anything pisses me off more it is micro bloody management.  If you can't trust me to do something say so and I'll give it to you.  But otherwise stop interfering with what I am doing and stop stopping me by stopping me (if you get what I mean).   Every-time I get somewhere I have to stop, stop my designers and get a proof run up for something that isn't ready only to be told afterwards that it isn't ready to be reviewed just exactly what I told them at the time.

Now, I am in my belligerent best, as everyone gets copied in to the "so shall I stop work until you've reviewed it or are you going to tell me that something is missing as if I didn't notice it? " 

No wonder deadlines get missed.  All that is going to happen now is that I have to stop work as I just waste time carrying on and it actually screws things up as "Changes will happen" not because they are necessary but because they can be made and the quality will suffer again.

Damn it, it annoys the hell out of me and no ones sees it - or rather they do but they actually can't help themselves they have to mess around with things.

This is the exact time when I am at my worst as I'm thinking - "well you can stick you job!" and the trouble is I'm getting really close to saying it too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A better day

A slightly better turn of fortune today - a good meeting and I was impressed at how things went and was pleased that we had made some major progress.  The girls are still giving me grief about me "not being me" and "not my normal old self" but at least this afternoon was a bit better and I was back to cracking some jokes and lightening the mood that no doubt I have created.

It is difficult to be the person who is always cheerful and has a good word for all.

I'm working at home tomorrow and Friday.  I will do a bit of each sort of work some of the charities and some of my own.  Curry night on Friday and I am really looking forward to that.  About 14 of us and all going to my local curry house which does serve up good food so that will be fun.

Saturday will be working here all day and perhaps I will take Sunday off.  The next few weeks are critical I think to get on top of both jobs and see if I stay or go at the Charity.  I have a job there until 2017 if I pursue it and the thing is, whilst I'd love to do it I hate the journey, I despise travelling on trains that are too hot and airless, crowded and dirty and full of obnoxious people too half of the time.  

I have picked up a number of things to do that I didn't want to do and so my list of things to do just got longer and longer.

Caught up with a guy I know who is having his biopsies next week and wished him well for those. Mine must be due in 6 to 8 weeks time now.  Yuk.  Mind you they could be the last.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It must be me

I just listened to a load of old rubbish that my friend spouted out on the way home.  The difference - I was sober and driving and he had a few too many glasses of wine.  It was lucky he knocked one of them over earlier too really.

It could be me or it could be him but suddenly everything is somehow us younger guys not showing respect or doing something he wouldn't do and so on.  The terrible irony of the situation is this guy is in deep financial do do and stares into the abyss regularly.  He cannot budget or use logic to stop himself and somehow this road of righteousness is something that he wishes his disciples to follow.  

I can't believe I have grown so far apart from him so quickly and yet in the early stages of my cancer he was one of those who played the dark humour card with me.  He didn't he admits now realise quite how ill I was (mind you neither did I then).  We had desperate times in our friendship when he introduced me to the business venture that I thought would allow me to be close to retirement by now and that collapsed.   It was more a case of me seeing the problem late and not getting him out in time.  They owe him a lot of money too and he will never get it back.  They owe me a load of time - I suppose I could monetise it but - that is 2 or more years ago now.

Quite why he has gone off on to some one man crusade is beyond me.  I am not sure that I would take things quite so seriously and he jumps to massively wrong conclusions only to be pulled back to the reality some time later.  Yes - a strange thing indeed and the trouble is he made himself a target for a number of people this evening and that will just add to his woes later.

How interesting as I wrote this an apologetic email has arrived.  Back to repair mode for me and him again.  

Life gets bloody complicated sometimes - surely it doesn't need to be like this.

Middle age rage or something worse

I'm OK today - I allowed myself a sleep in of sorts and got to work and managed to move things on quite well.  I am off to a meeting a little later and hope that it will result in me being a bit calmer and chilled out than I have been although I have to drive through this incessant rain to get there at least I am not doing anything and that will be a result.

Back to work tomorrow and with any luck I can sort out the documents I need to do and set enough items in motion that I can take the next few days off to work on the other project.  

It is probably the pressure I am putting on myself and the fact that it always appears to be me left sorting things out.  Trying to off load responsibility to others is a hard thing to do especially when no one is coming forward to take them off your hands.   I am definitely not my old fun filled self at the moment and I hope that I snap out of it soon.  It seems strange to me that I should be filled with so much pent up aggression given what I've gone through.  I should be laid back and not have any worries but for some reason that isn't happening.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Got to get through this next phase

Today's meeting was alright but I managed to control it reasonably well and bless, my boss was ill and so I managed to wrestle back my work from him and so get on with that. If I give this a good poke in the morning (from home) I can probably get this all done.

I've got one of my friends playing all injured and upset with me at the moment and I'm just playing hard ball back at him. I really get pissed off with his self centred back biting and he can go sling his hook for a while or suffer me being an awkward cuss and by hell can I be a cantankerous sort when I put my mind to it. even I don't like me when I'm like that.

So this month of anger continues and work colleagues were bleating about me, not being well "me" really. I have to apologise I'm fighting inner demons and loads of stuff at the moment and that is just the problem that I have to bite back and restrained as to lash out isn't really the answer and I'd happily chuck the job in the way I feel now and no one wins from me doing that. I have to stick at it and I just need to work out where I am going and what I am doing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Any better now?

Not really, had a conversation with a buddy in Prague.  He is coming back to the UK - maybe, mind you he must have been there for a decade it seems.  Had the usual chat about work, my BC and all that.

My sense of humour is a little better but I could easily walk into work tomorrow and just chuck it all in.  I doubt that I will though.   There are a series of meetings coming up this week and I am out Tuesday night too.  Friday sees a night out with our impromptu curry club.  That is back here locally as we have a good curry house and two pubs in the village so we have a 2 pub crawl followed by curry - something to look forward to.  I should have been going to Surrey for a meeting but a local curry will be better I think.

The thought of trying to get on with my work this week fills me with dread as I can't imagine anyone will have actually done anything in my absence.  It will be what it will be I suppose. 

So I'm not in the best of humour still and I'm finding it hard to put the time in to do the two jobs I have at once.  I haven't sorted out all of this yet.  It would be easier if I could guarantee a job after June/July when this should shake itself down.  The trouble is of course that I like the job that isn't paying anything yet because of the challenge and I hate the paid job because it is routine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Still angry

But not as bad as yesterday.  Still want to go and break something or break something on someone :-)

I'm really surprised about this.  I'm not angry on the outside at all.  I am seething on the the inside though.  How strange is that?  Anyway, I had a coffee with Flocky yesterday and afterwards a quick beer on the way home and we discussed many things and some of the anger abated.   

Calm down - easy to say - hard to do - is the order of the day but I just seem to see red when I talk to people in the office at the moment.  I think they have worn away all my defences and I just want to smack them in the face and beat some sense into them....

I will plan to be in the office on as few occasions as I can again next week and work out what to do.  Mrs. F. seems quite supportive of me if I just chuck it all in.  Not sure that is exactly what I want to do although it would fix my problem it would leave others in worse problems and I don't do that to anyone.   A weekend to think it through.  At least my Lodge accounts were audited and agreed this morning so that is good.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Familiar Pattern Emerging

Maybe I cannot commit to working for someone longer than 18 months (perhaps I am self fulfilling my prophecy). I am SO ANGRY at the moment. I'm upset with the people at work who can't let go and have to keep poking their noses in. When I let them take over they hand it back to me in a worse condition than I gave it to them. Then there are all the stupid crass like things that people do and say and that just rattles me too. I know I should rise above it but this goes back to "no one died" statements.

People are so vacuous and full of sh1t sometimes and so goddamn petty.

I am however quite concerned that I am getting really angry at silly things and I actually find myself taking time away from work because they will make me explode if they carry this nonsense on any longer. Prime examples of sending me off doing work that it is blindingly obvious will not be acted upon and only paying lip service to the need to change and move the business forward. I find it quite amusing that I am the only person who calls the organisation autocratic. I wrote an article, that needs changing, they have the original file, how come they can't change it themselves. No they send an e-mail with the change required so that I can change it and send an email back to them attaching the file?

It's me isn't it - I'm wrong? Honestly though it just makes my blood boil that everything relies on one person to approve it, you get things to happen and they jeopardize it by taking it to committee - just like I knew they would and that they said they wouldn't.

Arggh :-)

So there you go, I'm pretty much p1ssed off with the whole world at the moment. everyone can go to hell for a while and somewhere I need to rearrange everything to get myself back to normal being able to deal with all the numpties around me. At present I am spiralling down into the depths of a black depression and the vortex is speeding up so that getting out is proving more difficult than normal. I can't say exactly what it is that set this off but I just find that everything at the moment is too difficult to deal with...

I think that I need work to realise that I am just about to go into switch off mode - my own protective mode - soon. That means, I just stop doing anything, come home and ignore everything for a while. It concerns me because I recognise these symptoms because of my particular personality type in quickly dismissing those who don't pull their weight or for whom I lose respect. If you lose my respect you really had better watch out as it takes a lot to rebuild it with me, it can be done.

This has all sharpened up since I got ill though.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What was this blog about?

Oh yes - Bladder Cancer.  I reckon I need to get back on track with this so it may go quiet for a short while whilst I do that.

Currently I am having a bad (tempered) week and feel like shouting at all the flaming idiots I appear to have been blessed with so maybe a day or two off to calm down and I can get my head back on track and this blog back to the point.  Mind you, I think a lot of this is all about recovering from cancer and I must be a lot better as all I want to do is leave this job and go and do something that might use more than the  0.0000001% of my brain that is currently occupied at work.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Distrubed Nights and Stange Days

I had a bit of a strop on today at work.  I should know better than to realise that everyone wants to get involved in my little project and the boss had to have loads of paperwork off me that I hadn't even prepared yet.  I just can't see what the purpose of asking me to do something and then taking it off me has to do with being productive. 

So my retaliation is to take the rest of the week off after tomorrow lunchtime.  If they want to get involved then they may as well get fully involved in it.  So I was pretty much seething today.  The girls made a telling statement today, they suggested that I "wasn't going to be around long and was withdrawing myself from the organisation (and them)".  That is pretty much it I think.  I really am struggling to keep engaged in the work as everyone pokes their bloody noses into what I do.

As for disturbed nights - I suppose hearing about my colleague's problems with his daughter being attacked at Uni disturbed my sleep and I imagine thinking about work didn't help either.  I woke loads of times during the night and that has affected me a lot to day as well.  I am off to bed early to see if I can catch up.

Other than that, I am hoping to sort out my priorities in the next week or two.  I didn't want to have the job go sour on me but I'm not making the difference any-more, that has already happened.  Perhaps someone else needs to do that.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Burns night

Well almost all day and all night!  2 am I got in and we started drinking about 1:30 pm.  We had  a great day and obviously a brilliant evening too.  The Scots lads were down but not in force as the recession has seriously affected business there.  As I left one of them stole my tie - I doubt he can wear it outside of Kent though :-)

I was a bit slow this morning for sure.  I've been struggling with some accounts and I started to transfer them to a new set of accounting sheets but found that the transfer threw out all my figures.  I have had to keep the old ones for now but will use the new ones this financial year.  Typical thing though, they asked me to use them but none of the calculations on the sheets work.

Another full on week this week coming and trying to sort out time with my team is proving to be a distinct nightmare.

I was asked how I was by lots of people I haven't seen for a while.  Nice to hear "Your'e looking really well" etc.  Long may that continue.

I have just ordered the DVD of this film Tony a London Serial Killer Why?  Well it is my 6th cousin once removed in the starring role and another cousin directed it.  My brother's name is Tony so the family secret is out.  It looks to be an interesting film if not quite my thing.

Friday, February 05, 2010

All day stuffing envelopes

Only this lot and one more to go and I'll have done my 6 years of being Secretary of the Lodge and Flocky can take over.  It's OK but this one is particularly heavy as it has individual subscription requests that need to go in the right envelope.  It used to be worse as everyone used to be sent stuff by post but about half now get emailed versions which takes me about 15 minutes to prepare and send.  If only I could get everyone to agree it would be brilliant.

I only realised quite recently that I took on the job shortly before I got ill.   I'm quite impressed with myself now realising that I carried on throughout although, on more than one occasion had to miss visiting some other Lodges due to treatments or hospital visits.  

I need to get them all out tomorrow or by the latest Sunday.  In addition I have been asked to sort out the accounts by next weekend.  That was OK until I realised that the spreadsheets they gave me aren't linked which means a bit more time and effort to sort out.  I wouldn't mind but my originals were fine ( I thought) now they have to be messed about to get them into someone else's style.

I'm out tomorrow to a Burns Night preceded by a Lodge Night.  The lads come down from Scotland bringing a rather tasty Haggis with them.  The trouble is that it is a boozy night and I can get back late.  Additionally we leave at lunch time tomorrow and I guess we will get back around 2 in the morning!!  Mind you it is a good evening.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

An evening with ... Colin Blunstone

How bizarre an evening was that?  The lads called off the drinks evening and I was expecting a quiet night in when one of my mates phoned me up and suggested we see if we could get into a gig that was happening locally.

We got there and lo and behold it was Colin Blunstone (Zombies, Argent, Alan Parsons Project etc) and his new band and it was just brilliant - up close and personal.  A small intimate set perhaps 70 to 100 of us at most.  I really enjoyed it too.  At the end he played one of my all time favourites which I am not allowed to have at my funeral even though I want it.  I know - morbid but I thought like that a long time ago.

I listened to this leading up to my first operation and it still moves me and tonight I didn't get all sentimental at all, just enjoyed it for what it is - one of the great songs from one of the most productive periods in modern music history.  Not to mention the other hits they did.  However - this one is so haunting and just summed up lots of how I felt 3 and a half years ago.  

I can be a silly bugger sometimes :-)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Flocky and the toast that nearly choked me

You should not laugh at the afflicted - let's get that straight right here and now.  I therefore apologise unreservedly for doing so on this occasion.  No offence was meant by it at all.

We were at a Lodge meeting enjoying the meal and there are a series of toasts that go on after the meal.  One, to the Provincial Grand Master, is a particularly special one.  The Worshipful Master of our Lodge has a few problems pronouncing long and seemingly complicated words and can never say my name properly and also has a lisp on the letter "R" which come out as a "W".

So the PGM is called Roger.  He gets everyone to stand up and drink a toast to "Woger" and from behind me I hear in a stage whisper from young Flocky Bicep "Two Woger!"

If, like me, you enjoyed Monty Python's Life of Brian, you can probably imagine the problem I was confronted with.  I already had wine in my mouth when I heard the Word "Woger" and I was struggling to make sure that I didn't spray red wine over the chap opposite me.  I looked left and my neighbour gave me a sheepish grin and I lost complete control.  Tears streamed down my face, I was gagging trying not to burst out laughing and had to stuff a napkin in my mouth to stop myself yelling out loud and going into complete hysterics.  I almost had to go out of the room it was so funny.  The trouble is with a fit of the giggles that anything that follows sets you up so the next announcement was to the "wisitors".  The harder I tried not to laugh the worse it got.

I was in such a mess I can't tell you but I don't think I have laughed so much for years.  It really hurt my ribs and every time I looked at my mates it just got worse.

So thanks Flocky for that - I haven't laughed so much for years and years.  

Carry your baggage

We went out yesterday to meet an old friend and had a great meal too.  Flocky and I got stuck in to some good nose bag and then the talk turned to experiences and the like.  All three of us have had "our troubles" and our experiences are useful knowledge for other people. 

It opened up the little portal into my mind once again last night and I'm just really pleased to be where I am but still get the survivor's syndrome - "why me?" 

I cannot get motivated today.  I need to get on and do some work but I just don't seem to get tucked in and do it.  It looks as if I will need Friday off to catch up with all the stuff I've got to do.

SO even now, 3 1/2 years or more after this all began I still find that I'm affected.  My mind and body aren't as fit and ready as I want them to be and my "will" which probably got me through this episode just seems to be taking a vacation at the moment.  Maybe the problems I give myself these days just aren't as challenging as fighting cancer.  That probably nails what I have been trying to say above...