Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - absolutely

2012 here we come and roll it on as it must hold the answer to a number of questions that this year posed:

  1. Dad - conclusion - I guess - of his Pancreatic Cancer journey.  It will be a sad time I'm sure but one that will define 2012 for me and the family.
  2. Will we, won't we get finance to proceed with our grand design to make the Internet available to everyone regardless of ability to pay and free from complexity so everyone can benefit.  A high ideal, well thought through and that would bring major social change surely deserves an injection of cash to take its next step.
  3. Health - let's hope that I continue to remain clear and don't need any further treatments.  I intend to change my lifestyle and ratchet it up a notch or two (see below) and I intend to get back into being healthier and to slowly get the exercise levels back up to a high level remembering that my back needs special consideration - moderation and slow build up is required, you can't lose a stone a week!  If only you could :-)
  4. Family - not sure about this one - feeling more remote from them all but that's because they are almost fledged and flown the nest - nice when they are here but they are no longer children and so relationships are changing and evolving.  Not sure if everyone is evolving and changing at the same pace or in the same direction.  I fear that I will use my work to remote myself.
  5. Wider family - my brother and I used to be close but not so much these days, it isn't malevolent of anything like that - we just don't share anything in common apart from our blood.  Not having anything in common that way is difficult and in addition distance doesn't help much either.  I suppose I ought to try and maintain contact and see if it gets better and not do anything to erode it.

I have invested in a Masticating Juicer today as my old centrifugal one was a pain to clean and it never really delivered good results.  I've purchased an Omega 8004 which after some in-depth research appears to deliver the goods.  I'm going to attempt to get more raw vegetables and fruit into my diet and to continue the Flax Seed Oil, Flax Seeds and Cottage Cheese (FOCC) well explained in this Blog by Steve Kelley.  What I am hoping to do is to decrease man made food (cereals, breads, pastas etc) and get back to some more basic foods.  I am trying to get my body back into some sort of balance and it's pretty apparent to me that the only way to do this is to cut out any processed or man made type foods.  I'm not going to go all 60s on you though :-)  Dr. Mercola makes some interesting points (not all that I agree with) on his web site and I am intending to cut out all sugars (Fructose especially) and start to get myself eating as healthily as possible.

It's also important that I get back to exercising - and I borrow a well known sayings from Steve Kelley here.  "EXERCISE SUCKS!" and "EXERCISE IS A CROCK OF POO" because it is - that's all you have to say!  :-)  However, it may be boring and counter intuitive - working hard and peddling for loads of miles and stepping off the machine having gotten nowhere.  Perhaps I should dust off my Mountain Bike (although there is a severe shortage of mountains in South East London / Kent!).

Whatever happens, I look forward to 2012 (except for No.1 on my list) as I hope it will be a major turning point in my life, one where I eventually get to grips with my own well being and the brush with cancer and what that has done to me, where I take responsibility for my health to another level, where I perhaps may be given the opportunity to build a business that could make a difference to thousands or perhaps even millions of people, that would be a great way to start the year.  Furthermore, if that happens, I hope it won't sway my resolve or determination or make me take the quick way for that would betray everything my colleague and I have been striving for.

Happy New Year to you all.


Well dad was OK I suppose and it was nice to see him and mum.  Also nice to get some local farm produce whilst we were up there - bags of potatoes, stick of Brussels and some Cauliflower all at reasonable prices.  The Greengrocer's spelling was funny they had "Storks of Brussels" instead of "Stalks of Brussels" which amused me.

We took dad shopping and got him out of the house - he is quite weak on his legs and frightens the hell out of you when he staggers around.  We got him a wheelchair and I pushed him around the shop whilst he made a general nuisance of himself.  He's getting to be quite 'dependent' or is it attention seeking, wanting mum there every second to answer questions, look at something and so on.  I recollect him being a bit like this but this was quite overbearing at times.  I tried my best to entertain and distract him. 

Dad still has his wit and mental faculties about him but only in short bursts.  He can suddenly go off at a tangent and he can become isolated and reclusive.  The TV was on a lot yesterday and he seemed to be watching that a lot more than paying attention to me and Mrs. F. but we were just happy to be there and if nothing else to be there for mum as well as dad.

The doctors think that it is likely that he is now diabetic and that may account for the recent ups and downs in the way he has been behaving.  I just find it somewhat of an ignominious end to a good life.  Somehow, it doesn't seem fair or appropriate to see your loved ones deteriorating like this before your eyes.  He is painfully thin, his legs have lost a load of mass as has his arms and his body is not doing what he wants it to.  He knows it and you can see the frustration and mild anger that he cannot get in and out of the seat, the car or other activities without assistance.  

He cracked a joke saying that his Hospital appointment was next week and they'd send a Hearse to pick him up.  He and I laughed but I'm not sure how convinced either of us was about it.  He is going out later today (New Year's Eve) to see his granddaughter (my brother's daughter) who lives close by and wanted them to come over.  I sincerely hope he enjoys that trip out.

2012 is going to be a difficult year I guess and Dad didn't want the girls to come up and see him this time - I guess that even 2 of us was too much really.  Oh well - we all need to face up to this sort of thing at some time or other.  I've some good friends I can confide in, ones that lost their fathers recently and so we can have a chat about things.

Not Quite As Planned

Being a Project Manager I have problems with people who don't alert me to things about to go wrong, who don't tell me when something has gone wrong (meaning I have to find out for myself) and other such strangenesses (if there is such a word).

Examples:  Just this week the toilet seat broke.  No one told me, I just discovered it half hanging off the basin so at way gone midnight I'm making notices to alert the residents of the household (which varies between 4 and 6 at the moment).  I then have to clean down the area and clean the broken bolt and then leave instructions for getting a new nylon assembly so I can repair the seat on my return as I was going to see my dad in the morning.  

The next example can be said to be a bit more serious.  The car, we go to my dads and leave earlyish in the morning - early enough to require (but not need) headlights.  When I get to look at the car one of the tyres is flat so we don't get away on time, I spend time inflating it.  Now lights, as far as I can tell, they work fine but after visiting my dad and leaving in the dark I find I can barely see past the bonnet (hood) of my car.  I try various combinations but can only get the fog lights and running lights to work, the dipped headlights aren't on at all but the full beams do work.  I'm 125 (or more) miles from home, driving down dark roads on what are the equivalent of 2 glimmering running lights and 2 low down fog lights designed (strangely enough) to drive in fog.  Every time a car comes towards me I have to switch off full beam and go to candle light!  Mrs. F. then informs me that she had some problems with the headlights last week and the week before and then tells me the story of the morning no headlights were on but when she got to work they were on and this begins to get me thinking that the rain and damp conditions have shorted out something in the car as it is highly unlikely that two bulbs would go together, highly unlikely.

We try and work out what has happened - I find that none of the car manuals are in the car as they've been taken out and put in a place of safety.  I try ringing home but no one answers the phone - which is also bloody typical in this house - I answer it and no one else bothers.  After a fraught and taut message I get through to daughter who finds the book and we go through the obvious - check the fuses, look for obvious problems etc.  As we had a massive electrical problem this time last year caused by damp and dead leaves it sounded to me like some sort of damp induced problem.  So we look for the fuses (in the wrong place), then after closer checking find the fuse box in the car engine compartment and check what we can there and I cut my hand in the process.  We have moved to a pub car park that has some sort of lighting and I can use my torch but I didn't have a jacket - just a short sleeved shirt and so the rain and wind were also adding to my frustration.

Having checked all I could I suggested we phone up our breakdown people.  Mrs. F then informs me that we didn't renew that and so a series of phone calls results in the offer for them to come out at around £130 and then whatever costs it will be.  After looking at local call out firms, I decide that we could sit and wait for recovery and cough up (or not - it took days to sort out the electrics last year).  So we go to the pub and see if they have rooms - luckily they do, at a reasonable rate, and we can get a meal too so that works out nicely.  It's a bit like a plot for a B Movie as the landlady recalls.  However, they are very nice and take pity on us.  We phone my mum and dad and let them know we are 5 miles away but safe and will drive back in the light the next day.  We have no change of clothes, toothpaste or anything with us.

On arrival we take the car to our local dealer and explain the concern given the issues we had and they fixed for us.  A nice guy checks the bulbs.  Both bulbs are blown.  It's possible that we had been driving with one out for a while and this other one went he goes on to say but I have my doubts.  I wouldn't have been able to change the bulbs myself they are located in really difficult locations and the mechanic needed to be ambidextrous and a contortionist to get them and he took the best part of 20 minutes doing that.

After all that - it was the bulbs but once again, no one said anything or even asked me to look over it and that's all it takes, if I know something needs to be checked or looked over then I can do it.  I suppose it could be me...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Survived Christmas

Good grief - so much food and drink - so many elsewhere go hungry and we stuff ourselves stupid in celebration of Christ's birth :-)  Mmmm.  Anyhow, that said, it has been an amazing non stop roller coaster of a holiday season.  We were out or entertaining people for 4 days solid!  Today, I finally fell out of bed at 11 am as I was so tired.  I'm out of condition and I'm going to do something serious about that in the New Year.  I need to work through a backlog of food and drink and clear that out of the way first.  

We are going off to see Dad tomorrow - unless he calls in sick.  I have to say that I wanted to go over this coming weekend but just could not get the family together in one place at one time.  tomorrow only Mrs. F. and I are going and that's because tomorrow - the only day (and then only during certain hours) that I could make it so with A & L dad doesn't want more than a few people there.  It's a shame and I was expecting it to happen - perhaps (and it didn't sound a certainty) they could see Dad another day said my mum.  I somehow doubt that as A is heavily into her Dissertation for Uni and L has to to start the second Semester flying so I doubt they'll have free time to make the journey.

I suppose we have to accept that this is so?  I have a little difficulty with it but suppose that is just the way it is, we all need to live our own lives and do our own things and whilst I may find it distasteful that I cannot be popping in every couple of days to see my dad and regularly beat myself up about it, that's the reality of the situation.  I suppose I ought to be thinking along those lines - I mean if I was in Australia - I'd have to call regularly.  Tomorrow is going to be a nightmare anyway as I'll have to drive there and back in a day and so could be on the road up to 6 hours and probably will only stay around 4 or 5 hours at the most.  Not to worry I suppose, what can I do about it?  All of this of course is subject to not getting a call early on from my mum in case he doesn't feel great or isn't up to seeing us.  I appreciate that - my brother doesn't get it :-)  One day he will I suppose.  Some days, you don't want to see anyone even if they would cheer you up, you just want to be grumpy and sad and pissed off all on your own! :-)  Sounds strange - no idea why you'd want to but some days are like that.

Friday, December 23, 2011

That was good

Well the meeting was extremely positive - we tend to be worried and then be pleasantly surprised when we get a great response to the business.  Lots and lots to think about in the next few weeks and then we can get back to working out where we go from here.

My Dad was seen by the Doc yesterday who said nowt to worry about but at least they did check his blood sugars levels and these were found to be high (worrying but not critical etc).  My kid brother's kids are both diabetic and so he knows all about it and so they'll monitor dad's Blood Sugar levels over Christmas and the nurse will come up next week and do a more extensive set of tests.  This will determine whether dad needs some help here.  I was surprised the stuff that they were feeding him as in my own experience - trying to keep his weight up the way they were, given he has Pancreatic Cancer appeared to me to be strange given what that organ actually does in the body.

I'm just about ready for Christmas now and will go dark soon shutting down blogs, twitter, facebook and all the other stuff and just go and enjoy myself.   I need the break and to recharge as 2012 will be an interesting year.  Raising £Ms in investment will bring quite a challenge and just trying to manage it all will be far from easy.

So, here we are 5 and a half years down the line and the blog has changed so much from being all about cancer to being about life, the universe and everything.  However, let's remember everyone who has ever suffered from cancer, has it now or are, like my father, battling away and slowly approaching the inevitable conclusion that sometimes cancer leads us to.  Spare a thought or prayer.  I'm delighted to still be here and to be doing something that I hope will lead to a brighter future for many.  Now, if you know someone who wants a good investment opportunity - point them in my direction :-)

Merry Christmas to you all.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Worth Waiting For?

Well we will see a little later on that.  We are hopeful that we will get some good feedback and that we can use that to move forward in the New Year.  It seems so long since we asked for this meeting and it has taken around 2 months to get here.  

Just got a call - my dad, due for a check up today, collapsed at home this morning.  Doctor on his way, appointment with Hospital cancelled and it looks as if he may be diabetic - this is happening leading up to meal times (my brother should know as both his kids are diabetic).  He could also be having mental problems with going to Hospital (even though it is a check up).  It sounds to me like depression as I don't want to do anything or go anywhere when I get bad.  I also needed a guy to come in and sort me out with some Hypnotherapy to just calm me down to allow me to actually go to the Hospital.  In fairness to him, I can fully empathise with this as I hated going and of course the treatment was challenging to say the least.

It is amazing what a few hours can achieve

Not sure that I like this new blogger interface but here goes....

Today was about sorting out my accounts and getting ready for tomorrow's meeting with our Lawyers.  It is an important milestone as it completes our first phase of going to market to get finance and closes down 2011 and it's efforts in a natural way.  The trouble may be that there will be actions we need to take away from this to start 2012 with.  So be it if that is the case.

Interestingly I differ from the majority of the team in terms of approach on this and so this meeting also allows me to contribute some more in the New Year.  We have an interesting problem in that there is nothing to compare with what we are doing and so it makes drawing comparisons (which most people do) extremely difficult and so we need them to take a lateral leap to "get" what we do.

The nice thing is that it has brought me out of the dark place I was in earlier this week and into an interesting area.  It is fair to say that I like a challenge but what we are doing now (and have done in a way for a year or more) is way outside of comfortable and the skills and things we've learnt are amazing.  I just need to realise that the people I'm dealing with aren't as "good" as I give them credit for and to remove some of the doubt I have.  When I look at what (I) we have achieved it is pretty impressive to say the least.  Those who make hasty judgement and dismiss our work show a lack of respect and add nothing to our mission.  The trouble is there are many people like this who appear to open mouth - spurt text book bollocks - and speak from a level of authority they don't have, haven't earned or believe they have.  They've presented a series of wobbles but then when you listen to them you realise that they haven't grasped the complexities, nuances and subtleties of the plan.  We now try and avoid them like the proverbial plague.

Oh well - it will be nice to go to the meeting tomorrow and meet some top quality people who do get what we are doing and who understand what we need and, who we hope, will take us to meet the right people.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

That's better

A little more upbeat this morning - a slightly earlier night, got up and had breakfast and started doing some work and sticking to it.  Also feel that after tomorrow I can just pack this in and start to enjoy the Christmas Holidays.  After that I can get back onto work and then worry about it.  It hasn't happened yet and it isn't likely to and that's the thing.  I just need to get my head in a better place.

My dad appears to be as well as can be expected, a bit wobbly on his feet but we will find out some more tomorrow when they go and see the specialist.  Let's face it - this operation has stopped him getting taken in and out of Hospital with infections and so that really is a massive plus.  Hopefully, they will enjoy Christmas and the New Year (although I imagine that may be hard).  I'm hoping to get up to see them before New Year if at all possible and as long as the weather holds out for us.

Anyway, today is a much better day and whilst I'm not 100% at least I am in a better place now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The trouble with getting depressed

Is that it debilitates you in strange ways - OK - I can't sleep so I stay in bed longer and then I don't get breakfast and that screws my energy levels and then things get on my nerves that normally don't.  Shoes left in the middle of the hall - I mean I've had 21 years to get used to that but today I tripped up over them, then there is all the clatter when I am trying to listen to the 2 or 3 minutes of news and weather at lunchtime - that's switch on washing machine, dishwasher, kettle and do the vacuuming.  When all that noise is going on someone will try and speak to me from the top of the stairs so that I can barely hear them.

Of course, it's MY problem and my fault so I just go lock myself away and we just go round in circles until I begin to feel better myself and then I can face up to this stuff with my normal resolute humour and good nature.  I don't tend to get angry with the family any more, I just grumble and move on.   

So - my mood is no lighter although I am gradually attempting to get out of work mode and into holiday mode - it will be good for me - I need to do this.  Hopefully the house will also have worked out what the hell they are doing so that I can work out how to visit my folks in the next week and a half - not the two weeks I was originally led to believe were available to me!!!  The Hotel that I like is also closed for a period - I gave them a call and they were very nice and confirmed what I thought.  Not to worry, it just narrows the days down a bit more to add to the stress of sorting it out.  It's a bit naughty of me - I worry about seeing my dad and getting time up there and getting the girls there to see him before he calls time on that.

I guess that it is also nagging away in my mind about "how long" dad has and that I need to get up and see him as often as I can.  2012 is also giving me a problem - now you shouldn't worry about tomorrow or yesterday only today (Dale Carnegie I believe) and yet - there's a certain trepidation about what is coming down the tracks at me in 2012.  I do however feel that I am going to make some major changes in my life in January once things settle down a bit and I get my head back into gear.  This Thursday sees the formal end to this year's efforts with a meeting with our Lawyers that we hope will give us some useful guidance to start 2012 off with.  It is going to be a longer road than we envisaged and that's what is giving me the issues because now, after all the work is done, a lot of things are out of my hand and I cannot influence (directly) how people will perceive us and whether they will be as excited about our project as we are.

So a mixture of things, work, time of year, dad, me, family, and loads of other things playing on my mind are keeping me in a not too good place.  It isn't Black Dog stuff it isn't bottomless and it should be relatively easy to get over once I have to "perform" which I'll need to do by the end of the week - I need to get back onto top form and be life and soul of the party and get things moving - everyone needs to enjoy themselves and I need to be part of that.  It would be rude not to :-) as the saying goes.

Mum said there'd be days like this

It was all quite good to start with, my business partner mailed - fancy lunch?  Yes I did, I was beginning to feel a bit down in the dumps and felt that getting out might lighten my mood a little.

This new blogging software takes some getting used to and so I was a bit annoyed with the last few posts and how it crammed everything together - think it was because it wanted me to write in HTML - stupid default setting for that - why force a change and then don't bring over the standard settings too.

What else - oh yes I was up late, didn't sleep well and just was getting angry and annoyed at nothing really.  So lunch would help that a lot.

As it happens it was a very nice lunch and most enjoyable but that's where it ended really.  I got home and had a bit of a sleep - well alcohol and a nice lunch would do that.

Yet, I'm actually in a foul mood tonight and I'm depressed and annoyed and frustrated and all sorts of angry thoughts going through my head.  I do tend to get this a bit and I know what it is but I'm just not tackling it well.  It is work (lack of progress and the little voice), It is the lack of a check up for my bladder cancer (gnawing away - I expected it to be around about now and it isn't), it is the frustration and anger of not being up to see my Dad before Christmas and now, when I planned to go based on what I thought was some solid information, I find that the dates aren't OK and that Mrs. F. doesn't have the time off that I thought (I was told) that she did.

I'm not concentrating, not sleeping properly, not looking after myself and generally in a place that I don't want to be.  Thursday hopefully will be an interesting meeting with out Lawyers and a closure of the business for this year.  I need to make it a closure as I am still operating as if I should be working when there clearly isn't any work to do, it is a frustrating time and happens at the end of prolonged and intense work when suddenly, the work is complete and there really isn't anything you can do but you feel guilty not working and just can't switch off and wind down.  I recognise all these things and to that extent know what is happening - I just can't work out how to tackle it and get out of it.

Let's hope that I work it out this week though as I don't want to be like this for too many days and I don't want it to be any deeper or darker than it is at the moment.  As I said earlier I know most of the signs and I understand what is causing them and know how to deal with them but of course, getting out of the rut you are in is possibly the most difficult thing to do.  I'll be trying and I just hope it doesn't go on too long - I really am a miserable sod when I am like this although you'll be pleased to hear, it is mainly when I am alone and it is mainly inside - I try not to affect others when I am like this - I know they understand it but I don't do anything to make their lives hell but I may not always be "with it" or want to do anything as a group at times like this.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bad day

But it started well - heard dad whistling away in the background when my mum spoke - he sounded quite chipper and having spoken to him yesterday I was heartened to hear him being cheerful. He is though losing weight and that's not a great sign of course and so we had a chat about that. Hopefully some of the Hamper we've sent them for Christmas will contain food too build him up. Of course he can't eat a lot either as he fills up so quickly. It's difficult to know what to do about it really, Budwig FOCC may help but I'm not sure he will go for it but I can but ask the question. I don't know why I've been morose today - perhaps it is work and the old doubts coming in again, perhaps it is that I thought that, by now, we would have made some progress. I would have but the team are taking a structured process that does mean a series of serial events rather than a parallel programme of work. Oh well, it will be what it will be but I suppose I'm just feeling it at the moment more then normal. We have our last meeting on Thursday but nothing much else to do, the presents are all bought and wrapped, the food is all being delivered with just light provisions needed later in the week and I've some accounts to complete and then I can relax and take a few weeks off. I wanted to get stuck in and do some extra work today but realised that I'd done this before and got nowhere - this for the company and my different approach, I favour a more flamboyant sales campaign, perhaps we will find out what people are expecting from us on Thursday. It's just been an emotional day again, the girls being home and us being a family yesterday and today has been great and I realise how much I miss L being around - she makes up the crazy, lively element (like me) and Mrs. F. and A are the steadying influences (most of the time). Mrs. F. and L are working all week, A is finishing off her dissertation and I just need to sort myself out a bit and try and work on being a bit more upbeat. I do find it surprising that I have these mood swings quite as often as I do. I suppose on top of this is that I should be having my yearly blood check around now (which isn't going to happen until sometime next year now as they moved it - when I expressly told them that this time of year is great for me as no one is sitting in the queue waiting!). Additionally I normally have a check up about now and that hasn't happened either. It's all playing on my mind, my friend now unlikely to ever come out of hospital/care, my dad, the business and other things are niggling me, not as bad as I was a few weeks ago but I'm not my normal cheery self and I realise that I've been neglecting myself of late and that is pretty much a sign of being depressed with me, I tend to go out of my way to hurt myself - not in any physical way but eating stupidly and drinking too much and that sort of thing although I haven't overdone the drink I have been eating junk food and at silly hours of the day. This will all have to stop and it's just me beating myself up over stuff that's beyond my control. Anyway, apart from feeling a little fragile tonight, verging on tearful again (I really hate that), I'm pretty much confident that this week I will be able to get what I want done and to get into a lighter, more festive state of mind. We can but hope.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Good Day

Nice to have L home - things get funny when she is around as her sister bounces off her nicely and even Mrs. F's mood is lightened. It was Mrs. F's unofficial birthday today - postponed from yesterday. It was good fun and then the girls cooked a meal for us in the evening. All in all a nice day apart from my DVD/Surround Sound system going a bit awry. It's been playing up for a couple of weeks and I thought I'd sorted it out but tonight it was back again. A closer inspection of the HDMI cable and a new one in between system and TV has resulted in no more picture break up and proper synchronisation of sound and picture. Thank goodness for that, it isn't that old and although I use it a lot it shouldn't be falling apart on me yet. A nice family day today and tomorrow we will get into Christmas putting up the tree and decorations etc. I realise that I need the rest and so hope that I will be able to put work to one side and concentrate on other things leading up to Christmas. On a sad note, a friend of mine who is in his mid nineties has been taken into Hospital as his "capacity" has been severely impaired and he is no longer able to look after himself. He was, along with my father-in-law, my sponsor into Freemasonry. It is very sad to hear of this turn of events. He lost his wife around 20 years ago but recently has shown signs that things weren't quite right. What a shame.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Look Blogging

Not sure if I like this new layout - it is all "what you are used to" isn't it? Having a strange moment - it is Mrs. F's Birthday, she is at work, then she is out on her work's party tonight. I'm taking the opportunity to go out as well :-) So we are deferring the day to tomorrow! I always feel sorry for her as people forget her birthday - it being so near to Christmas and so we don't put decorations up until at least a day after her birthday. We also big up her presents too :-) Strange place? Only as the first experimental approaches to investors haven't come up with anything useful or helpful. Shame really. By this time next week we will have met with our Lawyers who are keen to get us in front of some of their Investors. This would be great of course. I just hadn't planned or thought through the gaps between issuing a document, them reading it, consulting and then getting back to us. It is pretty much dead time for us. I shall be using the time today to start to wind down to next week's meeting - there is little to do until we have had that.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Time Out

I am struggling to give myself Time Out and stop working or rather make myself busy. Loads happening at the moment but I'm not actually doing anything - it appears that I am making work for myself where, in reality I could drop this false work and get on with stuff I need to do.

I have no idea why I am doing this - it's not as if I get paid for doing it after all :-)

Let's see if I can practice what I preach tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm not in the right place at the moment

I can't quite put my finger on what it is but I just want to go and shake a lot of people and tell them to "get real". Today, everyone is complaining and prattling on about something or the other. No one actually gets off of their arses and does anything about it. It is always "somebody else's problem!" It is so easy to scoff or mock and hiding behind the Internet, not using your real name you can fire off vitriol to your hearts content but all you actually do is add to the pit of bile that is building around us.

The European problems, the whole "get rich quick" culture, the entrepreneur gurus and social media experts who - lets face it - are hardly old enough to shave or have spent sufficient time in practice to be hailed experts are just leeches on today's society. If I see one more of these I feel I ought to get up, grab a baseball bat and beat said jumped up twat to a beating to within an inch of their lives. These tasteless little jumped up oiks compete well with our Euro MPs in terms of irritation - frankly watching their performance in the EU today I can understand why Thrush infects certain areas of the body. Who the hell are these people too. Can no one grab a sensible, logical and well argued stance and go and do something about this? Hell, it ain't rocket science but can someone, somewhere just stop playing around with 500Million people's lives - make a logical and practical decision and get us out of this mess? NO of course not, it isn't in their interests to do so. You can understand the exasperation of the market and also of the electorate whilst these theorists cling to their half baked ideas to bring about a United States of Europe that will never happen - vive la difference as we used to say - Greece and Germany start with the same capital letter - that is I am afraid where the similarity both starts and ends.

It is just so utterly annoying that all these small people, who act like truculent children, educated in the greatest Universities in the world can totally fail to sort out major problems because they are so deeply involved in their own vanity projects.

As I said to my business partner - if I EVER turn out to be an utter pratt like these people he had my permission to hit me really hard!

Europe is in a bad way and I'm following suit - I believed in the "idea" of Europe (A Common Market - what I expended my first free vote on), I never asked for regime change (mmm where have I heard that before) or to have sovereignty removed from us or central control of our tax and budget by unelected clerks.....

No - someone, somewhere, needs to get a large cattle prod out and zap these idiots into sorting things out. The World is looking at Europe and we need to lead by example.

Anyway, as you can imagine, being led by the Germans and French is not a good place to be at all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In a strange place

I have put on a few pounds this week I can feel it and 6 out of 7 days I've been eating and drinking and I'm beginning to consider some radical changes for next year to diet and lifestyle. Of course, not a lot is happening at the moment as we await the outcome of deliberations by potential investors. It is a bit of a waiting game I suppose and in reality they've only had these things 5 or 6 working days at the most. It feels like forever...

Now - this strange place I'm in. It is a bit bothersome - I spoke to mum this morning and I can't really get up and see her before Christmas as I'm hanging about for these investors and manning the office. L arrives back from Uni tomorrow or Wednesday, A has finished her Uni but is working hard on her Dissertation and Mrs. F. is working until the 23rd December. Me - I've the odd meeting here and there and suddenly we've found that tonight is the last Lodge of Instruction we will have as they won't be open next week to house us. That was a bit of a shock but there you go, we will have to live with it I guess.

Then there is this huge effort gap between working for 18 months flat out and now stopping, it's very strange indeed. I'm working at keeping busy so maybe I can make some time here to go see my folks and yet I'd rather all of us go if we can - I want the girls to see their Granddad before we get to call time on that and he decides that he doesn't want them to see him. My Grandfather did that to us when I was about 19 or 20 I think. I used to try and go and see him in Hospital when I was up in London - the frustration he had as he could not talk (he had a tracheotomy) and whilst he could form words often we had to turn back to pen and paper. I enjoyed seeing him but realise that towards the end he wouldn't have wanted us to see him as ill as he was. I do only remember him as the fun (slightly stern) man and have a great deal of affection for him and my Nan of course. I was lucky that they were around for my childhood - some kids don't get that.

I've been having some pretty horrible dreams of late too - a particularly strange one where my younger brother predeceased me and my dad! Was not a nice thing to wake up with neither have the rest been. Other stuff has centred - not surprisingly - around work and how the business would be built, then the geographically incorrect London dream - which repeats every now and then and takes me to familiar places by unfamiliar means. Utterly bizarre stuff I know but a little disturbing and not helping things.

I've just tried to get hold of the Hospital to see where my appointment has got to. Hopefully that won't get too far away and I can get my Flexible Scope examination (I know - you can't imagine anyone would look forward to it but there is a need to know all is OK (or not) surely?)

Anyway - just a "Small Disturbance in the Force" as the Jedi would say :-) I really do want to make some serious changes though - ones that will allow me to get my stamina and strength back, lose some weight, become fitter and to eat healthier etc. Not much to ask but I have the perfect New Year's Resolution :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

That's some week

Out every evening since Monday - mainly eating and drinking, had today off and then it is our annual Christmas Carvery lunch and so more food and drink! What a week this will have been.

My dad is improving every day at the moment which is great news. He is getting better (within the terms of his illness). That's good and I'm still holding negotiations about whether we will get to see my parents before Christmas. It would be nice to think we could manage that but timings are dreadful and commitments and who needs the cars and so on is chaotic to put it mildly. Sure we will resolve that down the week. A lot also depends on the weather as we may have another event like last week but concentrated on our end of the country with major gales expected plus they are promising something a bit more severe later too.

I'm feeling quite well but a little bit heavier than I was last week - goodness knows how much weight I must have put on eating and drinking that much! Diet starts in the New Year and I'm considering going on the wagon except for occasional night's out. There is a problem with this I've noticed that my friends who have done this find that they get squiffy quite quickly - so I'd better be prepared for that if I do it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Classic Night With Flocky Bicep

SO Flocky and I arrange a meet but that gets canned and so we end up at the pub on our own some. We wander down to the High Street and there is the Mexican rammed full - so next door is the new Greek restaurant. Space for 2? Yes sir. Great but its like, we are the only two guys (almost) in the room. The place is livening up and both sides of us are girls out for the night having a good time. I thought it was amusing that the girls to my left thought I was gay :-). I did tell them that I wasn't and that my boyfriend would be upset if he heard them talking that way. But I'm no party animal, not by a long chalk I have quite a difficult time being spontaneous and letting my hair (what's left of it) down and I don't naturally work well with chat up lines and that's because of my personality type INTJ.

This bit sort of sums it up "In forming relationships, INTJs tend to seek out others with similar character traits and ideologies. Agreement on theoretical concepts is an important aspect of their relationships. By nature INTJs can be demanding in their expectations, and approach relationships in a rational manner. As a result, INTJs may not always respond to a spontaneous infatuation but wait for a mate who better fits their set criteria. They tend to be stable, reliable, and dedicated. Harmony in relationships and home life tends to be extremely important to them. They generally withhold strong emotion and do not like to waste time with what they consider irrational social rituals. This may cause non-INTJs to perceive them as distant and reserved; nevertheless, INTJs are usually very loyal partners who are prepared to commit substantial energy and time into a relationship to make it work."

I don't actually receive signals or understand them in context so I was very reliant on Flocky explaining what was going on. It was useful as all it really was, amounted to Christmas parties and drink and high spirits. There was a disco, singer and a Belly Dancer so the whole evening was great fun. One of the girls, the loudest and more extrovert one was a little, on the large size shall we say but she was great fun and we were dancing and laughing and joking with them and her friends who were (justifiably) being defensive as she was a "bit wayward" but Flocky and I are perfect hosts and gentlemen and we just had a riot of a night and ended up still at the restaurant at about 12:45. Having had a great evening out we grabbed a taxi home and just had a great time totally unplanned and totally good fun too.

Friday, December 09, 2011

What a Week

And it isn't over yet either. I have managed to go out every night this week and only last weekend I was pretty smug as I've lost about half a stone and an inch off my waist :-) Monday was committee meeting and a few beers. Tuesday a few beers and a concert, Wednesday jazz night oh yes and a few beers, last night, Nephew calls we brave the gale outside to go for a Curry and - beers. tonight due out to meet some friends and will be having beers and maybe a Mexican.

Diet - FAIL :-)

Other news is that my dad is a lot better this week and out of pain and beginning to have more movement and digestion is settling down etc. Great News. A has her offer letter for assistance and L has completed all her assignments 1 week early (good girl!) University finishes today and so L will be returning sometime next week - A looks like she will be doing some more work to get her Dissertation into some sort of shape.

As for my business we await responses from some of the VCs we have approached and as most of them have been in Paris this week - we aren't expecting much back until next week.

I haven't had my appointment through so if it hasn't arrived by Monday I'll drop them a line and see what gives.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

More upbeat day

My mum sounded about the best I've heard her for months and dad was also feeling better, a bit more positive and life seemed a little more optimistic today. That was nice and uplifting. What wasn't uplifting was a visit from the Police - our next door neighbour had an attempted burglary last night and it looks as if A and I disturbed them. I went down for my early tea and heard some banging which I thought came from A's room so I called up to her. She had already investigated the banging and by me turning on the downstairs lights and her turning some off to pull back the curtains to look what the noise was - it must have disturbed them as they made off with nothing.

It is a bit annoying that I didn't work out what the noise was or associate it with anything - I thought something that A was doing. It wasn't until the policeman explained what had occurred that the penny dropped with both us!

At least we are aware that they are operating in the area and will be on heightened alert - although we had an attempt on here 20 years ago - we made provisions then to resolve it - it is just amazing that these people tried this at around 6 in the evening!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Told You So

Almost half of cancers due to lifestyle, says review.

No SHIT Sherlock!! However it is 2011 and I needed to know this in 1970! What is a concern is that if you check this stuff out yourself you will come to the same conclusion. It is, after all, common sense stuff these days. Way back when - when I was a teenager the risks weren't as blindingly obvious as they are now and probably weren't recognised as such either. It is a shame that big business continues to sell stuff that hastens our doom.

American Blues

Can't beat it can you? I love music and tonight a serendipity moment when my friend had an evening off and we went to see Stoney Curtis - what a great gig and there were a couple of young guys playing too who may well go on to great things. How fickle this market is as - I would rate this guy as one of the top 20 guitarists I've ever seen and his playing was just fantastic and enthralling in places - inspired and "Out there" on occasions - his rendition of All Along the Watchtower was sublime and it was a great evening out and one of "those" nights where it was just meant to be. The best evenings out are never planned they just happen.

So - there you go a great evening out and it was a good release for me - I need to blow a fuse when I look at the way things are going off in the world these days - our market is amazing - or rather the market I'm in at the moment. Finance - what recession I'd say to you. I see people that we want to deal with jetting around the world and promoting this sort of Dragon's Den culture of Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Bravado and yet that can't be what it is like - they act as if it is some sort of game requiring the skills of a Thespian to "pitch" the deal. It appears to me to be full of "meme" type start ups all picking up the pieces and crumbs from those who truly innovated in the first place.

I've calmed down a bit now and I am taking a bit more time for myself. It looks as if all the people we need to speak to are off on another "bender" this week in France (some via Moscow) so we may hear back from people early next week with a bit of luck.

Anyway - it was good to get out of the house, listen to some great music and just get a few beers down the neck. I can be serious again tomorrow.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The D Word

Quite a debate going on about men and how they tend not to seek help for Depression. I'm guessing that unless you are fully aware of the signs it would sneak up on you a bit.

It is pretty common in Cancer patients - you have all sorts of things going on at all sorts of times and in no particular logical sequence sometimes and occasionally, like now, you'll just not be your usual self or be a bit angry or a bit withdrawn, noticeably so I find. I know that right now I am struggling with slowing down. I've earned it but somehow I'm finding internal arguments going on. Stuff along the lines that I should be "doing something" when there is little to actually do. That I should be trying to make stuff happen but it is out of my hands and therefore my control (there's a problem - control!) and it has been a month since we initially kicked off this stage of the business - it's like watching paint dry or being stuck in the doldrums. I should be using this time for myself but that really is a struggle as I am wanting to be ready should the phone ring or an email come in but of course, no one else moves at that speed. I have answering machines and don't actually need to do these things. It's plain daft.

So back to Depression - it is hovering a little way off at the moment but it is floating around and it is a build up - there's my dad - not wanting to give myself more time to think about what has to be, again no control, I can't stop it being what it will be. There's time - OK I have time but trying to find spare time in that time to get organised and go up and see my dad again before Christmas (if I can) adds a level of stress and then there are loads of things that just aren't concerns at all nagging away at me - I need to just clear the decks and recharge and - I'm just working on that at the moment. Lots of things are cleared down - all Christmas Cards are written and no stamped up ready to send - 99% of presents are wrapped and ready to go. I get the accounts signed off tonight for 2 Lodges and so on but I guess it is so hard to stop being at such a high peak of activity pulling up as suddenly as we have done. I just need to remember that everyone else I am dealing with isn't working at 100 miles per hour as I am and I need to slow down to their pace.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Productive Weekend

I'm all tuckered out now - after a weekend writing all the Christmas Cards, sorting out the presents (luckily A wrapped them for me). I did the Family and the Family History Newsletters, distributed those by email and in the cards. At the same time I built a database of who I sent cards to this year - I used to have one but I have no idea where it has gone so had to start from scratch. About 15 members of the wider family have changed their email addresses without telling me so I have a number of bounced reports to deal with.

There's about 10 more presents that I need to wrap up and then that is me set up for Christmas and Mrs. F's birthday which is just a week before - we don't therefore tend to get Christmas like until after that.

I then decided to look at my diary and commitments and realised that I don't have a lot of time to do much before Christmas at all really. There are a number of calls on my time and they are spread in such a way as to leave odd days here and there to fill. It is pretty messy to say the least. Trying to find time to go and see my folks is proving tricky. I ought to go and see them if I can but it may have to be a last minute decision. I still haven't had notification about my scope which should be due in December. I may need to drop them an email on that.

My dad appears to be improving slowly - I think he should at least have a comfortable Christmas which looked a far away think just 2 months ago when he started getting rushed into Hospital. Let's hope that he does enjoy it.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Day to do my own stuff at last

I spent the day doing non work (well almost). I did a little tichy bit of work but perhaps only 30 minutes. I have sorted out the accounts that need to be audited on Monday night for the Lodges I'm in - one is straight forward and easy - the other two need some time to agree to what I've had to do to get things back on track.

The rest of the day has been about wrapping presents - buying the last ones that I need to get and that's a wrap in more ways than one - I have the odds and ends of presents to do tomorrow but all mine are there or thereabouts. I'm writing cards and have the newsletters written, printed and ready to go out - which is at least a week or more earlier than normal!! I've written about 25% of the Christmas Cards but once again I'm ahead of the game here - I' just need to convince Mrs. F. that she should at least send these out - not sure what her problem is at the moment but she is a grump as hell so I took the card writing off her then she got all pissed off as I tried to work out who should be on the list - I used to have a full list but it's got lost somewhere and I had to re-do that - no mean task - all I wanted to know was who to send to not difficult I go through a list she says yes or no - you'd have thought I was torturing her or something!

Oh well at least I'm locked in a room away from her at the moment she can be huffy elsewhere around the house.

My dad continues improving but was feeling a bit less steady on his feet today - slow and steady progress but knowing him it must be totally frustrating - at least he will have the Christmas Decorations and the Tree to sort out with my mum tomorrow as my brother got all that lot out of the loft for them.

Lucky I didn't go

I was thinking about going out on Thursday night to an old work reunion but I find the little pub particularly claustrophobic - it is a tiny very old London pub - it is OK in the summer as everyone spills out into the alley but in the winter it can be a bit - well - tight and with the rain too hot and steamy. Apparently I missed a good night out but my colleague who knows a bit what I can be like reckoned I'd probably not have been comfortable with it. I've always been like this but it is worse in winter as the trains are hot, crowded and airless. So it was a good thing that I didn't venture out.

I think I am going to need to call on my hypnotherapist buddy to sort me out or try and take away some of the more extreme problems I get - I do also tend to find that increasingly in things like Lodge meetings and theatres a feeling of rising panic. I could certainly do without that.

It is difficult at the moment trying to find stuff to do when work requires just a few hours a day to keep it going whilst we work on financing the business. Interestingly, this is where we differ in the team about how to get the money but at long last we have a meeting set with our lawyers excepting that it is almost three weeks away - almost the last working day before Christmas :-)

Reminds me - I haven't heard about my flexible cystoscopy - something to check for and send off an email early next week I guess.

Friday, December 02, 2011


I find it increasingly annoying that people who haven't made the slightest effort to understand what I am doing can be so dismissive. Society is like that today - my colleague and I have spent the best part of 18 months full time, self funded on an idea that may or may not be viable or may or may not have a market - let's be realistic we could both be barking mad and need to locked up but generally, 99% of the people we talk to who get what we are doing are impressed and once the conversation gets going you can't stop THEM, not us :-)

It's the 1% who don't get it, who dismiss it out of hand who can't be bothered, who've read something somewhere or watched Dragon's Den and are therefore, by association, experts in their field having the outright temerity to tell me that my plan is too long, my web site doesn't tell me what the product (and it's a service not a product) does. Then you get the glibness of how do we expect to monetise it etc. Until now I've been defensive and frankly a little hurt by this but now, I'm on the offensive, I like to hear them out and see how many major businesses they've taken to market and then we start to see the cracks appear. I'd use an extremely disgusting swear word at this point that I wouldn't be proud of but that is what these people are. Useless goshites as someone once coined them. I thought it particularly amazing that one guy, who had obviously read all there was to know about the subject pontificated on exactly how many pages are in a business plan, what VCs want to see, how ideas need to be expressed in just one sentence - even if these were major ideas, how these guys had a 30 second attention span, what our elevator pitch should comprise of and so on. Incredulous with wonder I wasn't but for sheer entertainment value - you might even pay to see this sort of contemptible bollocks at a comedy store.

Anyway - annoys the hell out of me but after today - I will use a different approach and let them run and run until they choke themselves.

Dad is Improving

Each day he gets a little better and that's great news - now up and dressed in his own clothes he is eating well and now, at last, able to lie on his side and sleep which made him sick before so gradually things get better. It is just three weeks tomorrow that the operation took place and it was major.

As for me - I'm feeling OK now and calmed down sufficiently to forget my brother and sister in law's hero soliloquy and move on. It's been one of those strange weeks - we have our first rejection and we expect to get quite a few more - raising finance isn't easy - in fact it's probably about as hard as actually coming up with the idea in the first place. At least we have a plan and I can work on that over the next three weeks. I intend to take quite a bit of time off over Christmas if I can. Our last meeting is on the 22nd December and that will do for me - I don't want to see too much happening until the 9th of January at the earliest. Somehow I want to fit another trip up to see my parents before Christmas if possible. At the moment that is looking a little difficult to fit in. Suddenly, it is only a few weekends until Christmas and I'm booked up. This weekend has suddenly thrown up a load of things to do if I want to make time for anything else. Mrs. F. is working stupid hours - moaning like hell about it but offering to do extra days here and there always can be met with a firm no - so she is out of the house 11 hours a day 5 days a week at the moment which really is screwing everything else up. The weekends are the only time we have to do anything and she is fully booked this weekend too. Crazy times.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Calm Down Dear

It's a commercial - which UK readers may recognise...

Yes - I've now calmed down a bit and am happy to just relax and take it easy as things will be what they will be - people will deal with things in the only way that they can and that will be that. I also worked out that there was a seriously ironic moment in all this as I had been told not to worry "We'll look after your dad" and "no it's OK we can manage" to the inference that I should perhaps have been up a bit more often. In fact I've been more in the past two or three months - for that is all it has been than I would normally in 18 months to 2 years!

So work continues to keep me hovering in between wondering what I should and shouldn't be doing - I should be taking it easy but today I was reviewing stuff as I was last night. I need to work on doing less work work and concentrate on spending some "me time".

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wow - I was a little bit peeved yesterday

And I'm not a lot better today. I remembered that my mum had also had a bit of a "to do" with my brother and he stormed out in a bit of a huff. Bless him, he really takes it on the chin and isn't at all like me. We really are chalk and cheese - we look like peas in a pod apparently - although I don't think so! The trouble is that my brother circulates around himself and is over protective of his family members and that's cute but not particularly practical.

So there you have it - at least my mum also gave him a bit of what for :-) I find things amusing like they weren't expecting us to be there when they turned up - I told them I would arrive at around noon but was there a good hour and a half earlier than that. They (my brother and sister in law) turned up 5 minutes after us. They were going to turn up and not meet us (not for the first time either). Perhaps that is what prompted the less than disguised attack. I have to say that had it not been that my dad was sick in bed that I would probably have balled out my sister in law for the way she spoke to my dad but once again, I'm not like that - it wouldn't do any good and I don't want them playing my dying father off against me nor do I want them playing manipulative games with my mum either.

Things can't be more attention focussing than one of your loved ones fading away and meeting their maker. The last thing that anyone should do in this situation is be scoring points, being manipulative or condescending. I find it disrespectful and that was the word I was looking for earlier. My parents need to be treated with respect and I suppose if that means my brother and sister in law venting their spleen at me then I'll take it but the issue is they are reacting in such a childish and immature manner that they really cannot tell right from wrong and they aren't the sort of people who anguish and worry over things like I do. I'm measured (sometimes) - I'll grant you not in this blog = this really is the Mr. Angry in me and it is my place to vent my fury on the world and his wife. No in terms of the way I usually am, I tend to be measured, logical, thoughtful and mindful of the needs and wants of others.

I'm not sure what point they are trying to make nor am I that bothered about it in the long run because as much as they keep themselves to themselves - I am happy to let them do that. There's no love lost between me and my sister-in-law and I've lived far enough away and long enough that it's not as if I miss seeing them. Luckily, visits are short lived affairs of no more than a few hours a year. Mind you they can pack a fair amount of vitriol in in that time I can tell you.

Any road - its late and I really ought to move on a bit as this episode is finished.

As for my dad - he's OK but taking time to get back to "normal"


Sometimes you could just turn into a Psychopath and take them out couldn't you? :-) Well, maybe that is a bit extreme! I like a conversation with one of my friends who tells me how "tough" I am - mentally and physically - in terms of the jobs I've done but also to "have sent cancer packing".

Well, I don't look at it like that because in reality I live with the fear of it coming back - every day I live with the slight hesitation when I urinate that there will be the tell-tale signs of it having returned and the longer between examinations all play on my mind. I bet any cancer survivor will tell you that and it's part of the territory I am certain.

People are cruel though I find. I was reminded of my experiences last week relating to a friend some of my experiences when delivering a high profile, high stress project when all those around me were doing (in my own company) was adding to the pressure and not actually pulling together as a team. The amazing thing was that I (and my team) was the only person actually delivering anything and the remaining team blamed me for causing the frictions - when in fact they were the ones all sitting around with their thumbs up their arses! As it happened, it didn't matter, the customer got what he wanted and was delighted so all the crap I took internally was for their own sport and entertainment.

I was having a moan about how people, who have no experience whatsoever in doing what I'm doing at the moment - building a business, producing investment documents etc are suddenly world renowned sodding experts. Someone asked me how many pages there are in the business plan so I told them - they sucked in a deep draught of air and said that's far too many. How on earth can anyone say that? DO they know what the business plan is, the number of product lines, the associated costs and so on? Of course they don't, have they ever done one themselves? No - I don't know many people that have (successfully) done so. In fact none of them run their own businesses or have investors in their businesses. They all happen to be experts - I suppose they've watched Dragon's Den and know exactly what it is all about. What I hate the most is the total disrespect that is paid by this sort of behaviour. I've been working full-time on this for 18 months and part-time for longer and so you'd have thought I might actually know what I'm talking about? Additionally I've been doing this unpaid, using my personal savings to fund it. And still they ask whether I've thought it through, whether I really think there is a market, whether I've written too many sheets of bloody paper - who are these people!

So, to then get a shitty shot across the bow from my Brother and Sister-in-law on Saturday made for some interesting conversation in the car on the way from my parents to Cambridge - only an hours journey. Mrs. F. and A are very good, they know that I get bent out of shape by these people and I don't hold back - telephone salesmen, door-to-door salesman - if they dare defy my no callers note and jobsworths all get very short thrift from me. I don't go round bad mouthing people or telling them that their ideas stink or that they've written too many pages or that it's very difficult if you haven't got an "elevator pitch" or any one of these things they've seen on TV or read in a book.

As you may have guessed by now this is a FLAME ON VENT ON LINE :-)

Of course - I won't go and dig out my brother as apparently I am meant to get on with him and be nice to him, his wife and his children who also annoy the hell out of me too so I feel it is a doomed to failure venture. Try as I might, I find that they just have a perverse view of the world and somehow, escaping to the country for that side of life (I'm guessing that's what they all moved there for and for the equity difference allowing them to live extremely well on the money they made on their house price differences) appears to have passed them by especially as travelling back to London to work must defeat the whole point of moving to the middle of nowhere? Maybe it is me then!

Yes - I find it all annoying as I've only recently convinced myself that I shouldn't be beating myself up for not being there. I can imagine that my brother is getting it in the ear from his other half "Well they aren't coming up and doing their share!" "We are always looking after your parents" "They hardly ever come up here and see us".

The trouble is I have the answers to all of this and I know that if I were to really stick it into them and tell them straight out what an upset that would be - these aren't people you can rationalise or apply logic to a well structured argument - that wouldn't be fair - they lack the intellect or the ability to understand it and detect my flat unemotional delivery as a threat or aloofness. History (and we have a bit of that) would tend to point to a total denial of the facts and as there is only one point of view (theirs) then you'll never win an argument, get a point across or make an alternative view be aired, explored and taken.

It just makes me angry that there is this nonsense going on in the background and it's all so unnecessary I find and isn't getting anyone anywhere but then I've never really got on with them and so I shouldn't be surprised I suppose.

Well - going around in circles now as it just makes me angry and if anything it has helped get over some of the guilt stuff now as I can see that whatever I do I'll be found wanting and I'm never going to be able to fulfil their expectations of me driving a couple of hundred miles a day to assist them. I thought it was quite amusing that when I offered help it was "no it's OK we are here and we will do it" to the complete opposite this time although that wasn't said in so many words.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend mixed

I had a terrible back ache - probably reverting back to this old office chair (now changed) and a new working position. We had a very good journey up but it was cold and I managed to drive but certainly didn't feel great by the time we arrived at my parents via a number of stops so A could use her Large Format Camera (the sort you see with people under sheets focussing) it's a massive thing to lug around but she took that, her medium format and 35 mm and digital cameras, tripod and just about everything else - the photographs are however fantastic with this big camera - depth of field or some such I believe.

Arriving at my parents we found dad not feeling too well and staying in bed - he was obviously not happy about that but we made reassuring noises and spent a lot of time with mum interspersed with short 3 to 5 minutes with dad. My brother and sister in law turned up - they unfortunately aren't like me and are quite vocal and mouthy "what are you doing loafing in bed" and that sort of gobby shite that I find is meant to be comedic and uplifting but is trite and unhelpful (if you ask me). I do find the way they treat my parents a little - well - disrespectful and the word I am looking for is whining and patronising.

It didn't stop there - oh no - once more it was rubbed in that I hadn't been there during all this recent trauma. My poor brother (a misconstrued phrase if ever there was one - form the guy who took a pay drop the size of my entire year's salary two years ago!). He has to get up at 4 in the morning to go to work - well he does work 15 miles from me and moved all the way up there and works all the way down here - you'd have thought he could have got a local job really - not that he does 5 days there he only does 3. But no - then we hear how it is like clockwork, get up, do this, pick your mum up, drive her to the Hospital and all that old crud, no time when we get home, straight to bed then repeat it all - "just like Ground-hog Day" they said.

I'm a very patient sort of person and didn't even rise to it this time. Not with my mum in earshot or my dad for that matter. I did check back the usual - well it's a shame that in the past 5 years you never even thought of paying me a visit when I was ill, I used to come and visit them and often they'd just blank me and not meet me even though they knew I was staying at my parents.

It was a shame dad wasn't up to it on Saturday - he obviously wanted to be at least I told him that he looked a hell of a lot better than when I last saw him and he has put on some weight and although he was looking pale he does look and sound so much better.

Today I've heard that he is 100 times better and actually had a little walk in the garden which I hope has lifted his spirits a bit - he loves his garden.

We went on to stay at a very nice Hotel in Cambridge and go out with A & L and L's boyfriend - we took them for a curry and then left them for a "young person's night out" in Cambridge whilst we headed off to the Hotel via a pub and enjoyed a luxury 4 star Hotel break :-) The room was very nice and a little decadent for us :-) It was on special offer and we declined the breakfast but drove into Cambridge to have breakfast and lunch with the girls. My back started really giving me jip a little later so we came home a little earlier than planned - I think it was the cold more than anything else as it is quite good now!

Anyway, it was nice to go up and see the folks, see dad and also to see L - what a wonderful opportunity she has being a student in Cambridge - it is a lovely little city and lots going on. We went to some places she hadn't been to - a warning that she only has 3 years there and should immerse herself in the whole atmosphere - for me - that would really make it. That's me though! I am slightly disappointed in my brother and sister in law though and it was interesting that my mum made reference to expressing her annoyance of being "told what to do". I second that :-)

Friday, November 25, 2011


Well off in a few hours to go and see my dad and my mum of course and see how things are. He is impatient and was having a mini moan earlier but as he was reminded it is only 2 weeks ago he had a massive operation and so he just needs to take it easy and recover as nature will allow him to.

It will be good to see him as the last time I saw him he was recovering from being ill in Hospital for about the 3rd or 4th time and that was only 3 or 4 weeks ago - it feels like an age to me.

Hope that all will be good for our visit - we wont stay long enough to tire him and we can get back down to see L later in the day.

And then it struck me

That watching my dad going through all these trials and tribulations of his own cancer battle is like looking in on myself and reliving my journey of 5 1/2 years ago and also living the bit where it may have gone all wrong for me. So in a way watching my dad going through his particular trauma and journey mirrors my own journey. It is the worst voyeurism possible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Going up to see Dad

This weekend which we have managed to organise. L in Cambridge wanted us to come and see her and it is half way there so we decided that as she is busy Saturday we will go up to see dad, stopping so A can use her full format camera - the ones you see on old fashioned photographer pictures with the cloth over the back etc. We need to be in attendance with hi-vis jackets as she will be taking photos on the side of the road. Then we will see mum and dad for lunch and an hour or two - and leave when he gets tired or wants us gone.

We then head off to our Hotel in Cambridge - quite pleased with that - we got a late deal and have ended up in a 4 star hotel near the centre which is great. 20 minutes walk from L's halls so A can stay with her and Mrs. F. and I can stay in luxury :-) Hopefully we can have a nice meal out on Saturday night and then have some time in Cambridge which is a lovely City.

Work picked up a little but tonight as I have a few bits to sort out for tomorrow and then I go into London to see an old friend and see if I am going to set up another business with my friend to do some software development work. All good fun.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American Cousins :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some good and some bad information

From the BBC today about Cancer and survival rates.

Interesting increases in Bladder Cancer survival rates - however Pancreatic, which my father has, is going the wrong way altogether.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dad's Home

Thanks goodness for that, they took out the drain and the staples and he is home - has had tea and I hope will be spending a relaxing time in bed without the noise and clatter of a Hospital ward. He appears to have had a triple bypass as well as having his gall bladder removed. It was a serious and yet palliative operation. Crickey - it was some operation if you think about it - I will try and find out more.

If he is up for us visiting we will try and get there at the weekend. Fingers crossed we can find a suitable Hotel....

Learning to relax

It has come as somewhat of a shock to my business partner and I that suddenly we aren't working flat out every hour to feed our project and that we've finished it, ticked all the boxes in the plan we set ourselves and now have to wait to get to meet people and that this happens at their speed not ours. By now I thought we would have a few meetings set up and be talking to people. Well we are talking to people of course but no meetings as we have decided to take a slightly different approach.

So it means relaxing, slowing right down, getting a bit of time to ourselves and chilling out. We are both suffering what is almost post traumatic stress syndrome the way we were last week and over the weekend. I want things to happen NOW :-) of course they wont happen now and are unlikely to either. It is frustration un-vented and so we talked about it this morning and decided that the best thing to do was pack all our work away, file the documents, throw out (shred) any odd papers and tidy up our offices - that way we will have put it away and will have clear decks to do something else whatever that may be.

Interestingly I noticed that I was really frustrated last week at the lack of progress and have had terrible night's sleep too but I can bring this down to other things too. For example, I now have more time to think about my dad's situation and to let other things in that I've held at arms length this year. I can only imagine that this will be a problem for a few more days as I come to terms with not working at my PC all day long - I should take the time off for myself I think.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Maybe home tomorrow

That will be nice although dad is a bit worried about getting in and out of bed and the pain - which is pretty bad from the sounds of it. Let's see what remedy they come up with tomorrow.

I had a lazy day watched a film or two and generally chilled out trying to get used to a bit of "me" time and to also deal with a little bit of the dreaded "D" at the moment. It's not full "Black Dog" stuff but just catches me unawares sometimes - I find myself having the most awful thoughts and hearing the stuff my dad has had done I am reminded of my own operations and treatments which were no walk in the park but it just reminded me of quite how much I hated my time in Hospital and the treatment that went along with my illness.

I am reminded too that I should be having a scope soon - I haven't received the letter yet but normally I get two weeks notice and it is due before Christmas - so I should hear soon.

Other than that I am concious of how withdrawn I've been of late and just hope that I can snap myself out of it pretty soon. I'll soon be moaning about how much work I've got on perhaps I ought to enjoy this short break a bit more.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dealing with guilt etc

Was an interesting article HERE. This reminds me of some of the situation I feel I'm in and yet I've been reassured that I really shouldn't be thinking this way at all. In some ways dealing with your parents can be a difficult thing and whilst the article isn't exactly about what is going on it does touch on some of the strong feelings I have about not being there whilst my dad goes through this series of hospitalisations and takes the journey towards the end of his life. I'm nowhere near where they live but my brother is 5 minutes away. It's their choice all of them to live in the middle of nowhere and that's fine by me. I moan about it as we have to go and see them - they don't come and see us and so it's been a little one sided in the past 10 years or so since they moved away.

So guilt - interesting isn't it? I made do with a one or two phone calls a week - mainly to my mum and one or two visits a year to make sure that their grandchildren were available. In recent years it HAS been difficult - I think dad's had something happening to him for at least 18 months if not 2 years - if you look back at this blog you may see the disappointment I felt after having made the effort to go I found that I was almost blanked and barely spoken to at all - I'm certain that this was the disease already starting as he hasn't been like that in the last two visits since he has been ill.

The other thing is that it is very difficult to tell your parents what to do and there's the other thing that the relationships don'work very well under the stress and the obvious but not spoken elephant in the room - that is dad is going to die of this and it could be very sudden and quite soon - they said 6 months which is January or February of next year but they couldn't be sure. They aren't going to give him Radio or Chemo as he won't get any benefit and yet he has had a massive operation that hopefully has bought him some more time but more especially a greater quality of remaining life. Operating under this pressure and being this close is bound to grate and generate some mixed feelings. I'm sure that I'll be looked on as not doing my bit although quite what anyone could reasonably expect me to do is another thing. What if they were in a different country or half way around the world - it wouldn't be possible. As it is I can get to Paris or Brussels quicker than getting to my parents!

So I'm feeling a little less guilty at the moment - sure I'd "like" to be up there assisting but as my uncle reminded me I have other commitments here, a family and a business that's at a very delicate stage in its existence. There's never a right time and I just need to balance it out a bit - I suppose I'm always going to feel a bit guilty. I don't react as emotionally as my brother and I'm not there all the time like he is. That's the cards that are dealt, I didn't deal them and to paraphrase the Good Will Hunting bit "It isn't my fault"

So I'll leave you with this:

Strange Day

My dad continues to get better and may be allowed home early next week which I am sure will make him feel much, much better.

As for me my tooth episode continues albeit it is a lot better today after drugging myself up to the eyeballs. I realised today that I've got some leisure time coming and taking my foot off the gas work wise has exposed me to being able to think a bit more. I find myself very down at the moment - I've been like this for a while but getting tearful watching Les Miserables was a little bit odd I thought and I wonder whether that's letting stuff in at the moment that I managed to block out - Dad dying slowly of cancer - me surviving and not being able to do anything about - being helpless, being human, being angry and useless. Work has kept me busy for 18 months and today I found plenty of work stuff to do but it wasn't work it was me trying to keep occupied and then realising that it will be what it will be, it will take its time and cannot be rushed.

Its time I had some time to myself and did something for myself but I realise quite how raw I am at the moment - sure it must be my dad's situation that is making me feel like this (and my mum of course - she is also taking a battering during this time). Perhaps today I finally admitted to myself about what is coming and some of the brave face stoicism has worn away and at last I'm thinking about life without him. I do hope that all this effort in the hospital has bought him some time and that he'll be able to have some sort of comfortable time now.

As for me - I know these signs and I have friends who I can turn to if I need it, I also need to get to bed as it is 1 in the morning! Doh!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Whatever I did to my tooth (the one I had root canal on a year ago) hurt like hell tonight, gave me a headache and numbed the side of my face. I think I must have bitten down on something hard that didn't give - OUCH!!!! So had some tablets and had a sleep for about an hour in my layback chair and I feel a bit better - just about to do a round of pills again to see if I can get sleep on that overnight.

My last post was pretty much where my head is at at the moment - not sure why that should be but perhaps as I've now gone from working flat out for 18 months to not doing anything but waiting for the phone to go, I've too much time on my hands to think.

Interestingly enough I have another business venture that a friend and I will start soon that I can get my teeth into during the intervening moments. That maybe will help me occupy my time. And time is getting short now as Dad will probably come out of Hospital next week and I'd like to go and see him and suddenly I find that my diary is booked on a number of key weekends leading up to Christmas - I will however sort something out on that as I'd like to get up there at least once if not twice to see him and my mum of course.

I find it quite difficult being miles away but perhaps I can get along to see them in the next few weeks and show my face. My brother and sister in law have had the burden of taking mum to and from the Hospital all the time (mum no longer drives) and also coping with my dad - who hasn't been the easiest of patients although he has, so my brother says, been extremely brave and stood up to this operation extremely well.

The cynic in me then says that no one ever saw me after my operations or treatments except Mrs. F. As you can tell I'm having a bit of a problem balancing this out and fight the guilt of not going up there with something else to control it. That probably isn't healthy but it's what I think sometimes. Of course the only person who expects me to go up to see my dad is me so all I'm doing is beating myself up over it and the problem is always going to be there so I just have to live with it.

Ho hum - the human brain - it can be a real bully sometimes and it's all fighting away inside there :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It is amazing how you can beat yourself up for so many things:

  • Being there too much
  • Not being there often enough
  • Overreacting
  • Under-reacting
We all feel guilty - we all do but I don't actually feel robbed that my parents or my close family never came to see me when I was ill - I feel angry about it but actually having them fuss around me would not have been productive. I may have my "moments" with Mrs. F. but she's been a brick all the time I've been ill and I'd rather have her around than anyone fussing about around me. I'm like my dad so I guess he doesn't want it either.

I'm going to feel bad whatever happens - maybe I can be the bad boy and everyone can blame me and have a go at me when he dies? It is a terrible time at the moment, we aren't good at this dying malarkey at all us humans...

So what is happening?

I wish I knew - and I bet my brother and mum also wished they knew - 4 days since the operation and we don't know what they did to dad. Let's not blame the people but let's blame "the system" that allows that sort of lack of communication to exist. I'm surprised my brother has let it get that far really.

As for me - well I "used" my friends tonight to reassure me that I wasn't being too bad a son as not to be up there suffering the day to day travel, sit by bed, go home existence that my mum, brother and sister in law are doing. Sure I went up to see them and stayed in a Hotel for the privilege and hardly really saw anything of my dad if I'm honest about it (although being there was a good thing and yes I acknowledge that it was so). However at a cost having to stay in a Hotel and all that good stuff too. And again not that you'd begrudge that for your parents either despite your brother having a spare room of course :-)

I don't know I'm confused and somewhat annoyed by the whole thing. I'm not going to Scotland this year - much as I'd love to - much as I'm being asked to go. Shame but in my eyes, my dad will be out of Hospital by the end of the month and I'll try and get myself up there for him coming out and spend some time with him.

My 3 school chums all lost their fathers. One earlier this year, one 18 months ago and the other just when I was diagnosed 5 1/2 years ago so they have their own views. Spending time with your dad before he dies - well sure of course, will I regret not doing that? Should I spend much more time there now that he is dying than I have for the past 30+ years that I haven't lived there? You see - it's not been a bad relationship at all. He and I are always pleased to see each other but he is so similar to me in so many ways. We are pragmatic, self reliant people. His duty to me finished when I was a young guy but he helped me when I needed assistance when I was first starting out - decorating the house, tidying the garden and he was involved in all that but he was a great granddad to the children he did all the right things (whether he needed or wanted to or not). They think the world of him but like me, there is no ownership of my children and he doesn't own me or owe me anything and he doesn't expect me to owe him anything other than those things he deserves - respect being the main thing in my mind.

What I'm saying may be completely against many people's experience and belief but we have never been a "close" family - that's my particular relationship. I get on fine with my Mum - always have done and I get on fine with my dad but in a totally different way....... That is that - that's how it has always been - my dad has ruled his roost and the upshot of that is that I'm not close to him in the way that I imagine a lot of people would be. My friend would go to lunch with his dad every week and of course when his dad died suddenly (in my view the best way to go BTW) it was a terrible blow to him. I speak to my dad once a month maybe and see him twice a year if I'm lucky so the relationship is very different. I have no doubt that I will feel differently when this episode plays out and I have no doubt that it will strain family relationships because I'm not up there whilst my mum and my brother and sister in law cover off these extended periods in hospital for my dad but - just what DO they want from me? I tried to explain to my brother - who reminded me he took a pay cut bigger than my whole year's salary 2 years ago what it means for me to have 2 children at University and for 18 months for me not to be earning anything and then to have to stay in a Hotel whilst I'm up with the family.

I'm afraid that only I see the irony in it all. I find that I beat myself up for not being there for everyone (OK I call everyday and do all those good things). I argue with myself that I can't possibly move up there whilst all this is happening and that no one, not one of them, came to see me in 5 - yes FIVE - years I was ill. Not even once did they come down to see me. Now I'm only saying that because I don't think I'm being hard or "paying them back" - in fact I've been up there twice now and A has also been to see them - to me though it's just a matter of what CAN I do? What difference will I make? Along with many of these questions and actions - it just doesn't make sense for me to be there just sitting at the old man's bedside at this particular point - I didn't expect it of him or my mum or my brother - I certainly hope they don't expect it of me?

Anyway, my guilt is going around in circles and it probably will for the rest of my life. Whatever I do won;t be enough it will be too much or too little and that's the problem.