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.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blur of a weekend

Dad go through his operation and he was down a long time so it was quite some procedure. He's connected to lots of stuff and catheterised which I know all about - he's got back to planet earth after being drilled full of drugs for pain and goodness knows what else. He's hopefully going back into a ward (coming out of HDU - Intensive Care) later today.

It's been a emotional weekend. I find Remembrance Sunday very moving and a very sad and yet uplifting thing too. It's one of those times when you should reflect on the sacrifice that built this land (and many others).

I realise that I'm doing a fair amount of straight talking and must remember that it isn't to everyone's taste or their own way of dealing with things. So I perhaps need to tone down the way that I speak about my dad's illness mainly.

In all the excitement - I need to also be mindful of a major milestone in completing out project so far and being ready to go to investors. That will be an interesting journey. I ought to spend the short hiatus in proceedings and tidy the place up and sort myself out. It could be some time before we get some interest and some time before we will be in a position to move forward. However, we don't give ourselves much credit - certainly we deserve some. I find it most amusing that those who haven't actually taken a business to market can mysteriously come up with a load of old regurgitated stuff about what you should and shouldn't do or presuppose that I haven't done my homework or that I'm some sort of numpty that doesn't actually know how these things work. PRATTS the lot of them, I don't know one of them who has setup and successfully launched their own business. Everyone's a sodding expert aren't they? :-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

8 hours to go and

Dad goes down for his Operation. He is expected to be 1.5 to 2 hours dependent on what they find and realises that the next 4 days are going to be "not nice" but there you go - perhaps with this it will enable him to have sufficient quality of life for however long he will have. I guess once they open him up they will also be able to see how far things have spread and be able to update on that.

Mum and T are going in early to be with him as he goes down to Theatre - I know what that is like, I prefer to go on my own although the first time Mrs. F. was there for me as I was pretty much carved up by it all. They've given dad some sedatives so he is as calm as you can be given the circumstances.

Tomorrow is the 11th November and I'm guessing he will come out of surgery as we mark 2 minutes silence. Let's hope that things go well for him. It's been a complicated road so far and I do hope that they can give him or buy him that little extra time but more importantly to make him as well as he can be.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quiet day

Wow - so this is what it is like to slow down. I populated the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system with all the names and firms we are going to approach and added biographies and information about them into it. This took much of the day then at 7pm we had a team conference call :-) Having said that, the pressure was actually off a bit as we won't have the starting gun go off until Friday morning when we speak to one of our lawyers about strategy. Once that is over we can rock 'n' roll :-)

It has been nice to look back at what we have achieved though and to take a little breather and now get ready to move on. That's the real challenge, some may have thought the hard work has all been done - well it has in terms of research and planning. Executing those plans will be the really challenging bit.

In other news, the blog I've been keeping an eye on for years has gone a bit strange of late and now you can only go see what is happening by appointment which is a bit disappointing. Well, no problemo, I've just taken it off of my viewing list and off my favourites. I suppose I ought to consider how much I post to this blog as there isn't much to say between reviews and now I'm on a 6 monthly (due sometime in December) observations things have settled down a bit. I've to sort myself out in the next few weeks anyway into a new set of habits as I have now almost got over my back twinges and should get back to exercising again to lose some of the weight I've put on. It's been a real struggle to lose weight without exercising - I've lost a few pounds but without doing some exercise I doubt it will go on its own.

My Dad continues to do well in hospital - bored stupid of course as he is pretty well but they operate on Friday and let's hope they can sort this out for him. I'm hopeful that they can at least give him some quality time in the coming months although this operation is (or could be) quite a serious thing. If it works it means that he should be able to eat a bit better and also for the bile duct to be diverted so that he may be able to stay jaundice free. He's eating well enough and so there's some hope that he will hold on for a little longer. After Christmas would be better - I've had a number of December funerals in the past and it over shadows what amounts to the only real family time many of us get in these days.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Investor Ready Day

Didn't go off without a hitch. I feel quite low in fact as my business partner has been laid low with a rotten cold and we were due out to a concert to see a band called Blackfoot - a really good old Rock 'N' Roll band from Florida (I think) certainly the southern states of America. It was a sort of reward for the work we have put in during the past 18 months. He couldn't make it and so in a way it wasn't the end of term party we wanted. It was a good night but I couldn't enjoy it without him and it was hot, stuffy and crowded which didn't help me much I have to say so I let my friends go to the front whilst I hung back.

The band were very good and I enjoyed myself but it was tinged with a certain sadness really that we hadn't celebrated the end of this piece of work. Mind you, at 5 pm I found a problem with the document at the very last minute requiring me to make an 11th hour change. We made the change and everything is now done. we have finished our work. The amazing stats are:

The initial work comprised 909 days at a cost of £526,785 and the work my partner and I have done comprises 760 days at a cost of £470,046. That was a bit of a shock I have to say :-)

We are now at a new stage and looking for finance (at last). If we get that - the hard work will only just have begun!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Actually went out for a day

On Sunday - I actually went out for the day - it was a Christmas present for the guys from the girls in the "holiday gang" as we are collectively known. These are friends we got to know whilst the children were growing up and a nice bunch. We went to Chapel Down Winery and then for Sunday Lunch in the Peacock Inn near Cranbrook. A nice few pints added to the wine tasting meant a nice snooze at around tea time :-)

My Dad continues to be watched over in Hospital - didn't have the heart to tell them that an acquaintance of mine died on Saturday of Prostate Cancer that had gotten into his bones. He was talking to a friend of mine only a week or so ago that the radio therapy had failed and he was going into a Hospice. A sad state of affairs. My dad is beginning to get quite "would up" about the operation coming up this Friday (as is my brother who keeps posting moronic shit on Facebook to prove it). Different people deal with things differently - that's not to say that I'm not affected of course I am. However, my father is a very private man and posting stuff on Facebook (of all places) would be the last thing he would want and I at least try to respect his privacy and his wishes.

At the end of the day it isn't my wish for him to die but that's what is happening and it can only happen in the way it be and being a pratt in public isn't helping much. Posting it up on Facebook - you might as well have it splashed on a Red Top newspaper FFS. Of course, this blog is doing something similar perhaps :-) So I may be a little hypocritical there.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Milestone 1

That's the first management meeting out of the way. Next to go get some capital and that was fun trying to work out a strategy to do that! Things now start to get real and have a meaning.

Of course in the interim my dad ended up back in hospital yesterday and I also handed over to my successor in London Lunchtimers. So yesterday was full on and I didn't feel particularly great I was suffering with stomach pains - possibly a little stress but that would be unlike me - but you never know.

I still haven't gotten over how downright rude and disrespectful people are. What right people have to pre-judge what you are doing and tell you how to do it properly is beyond me. I'll happily accept constructive criticism but to lecture me on something I've been doing for some years and that I've worked on full time for 18 months is a bit rich as he neither saw the plans or listened long enough to entirely get it.

Suddenly everyone's a bloody expert and that's where I'm hoping we will find that there will be a difference. We are looking for people to work with us not to ball us out or give us grief - nothing is going to get done like that is it?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Anger Management

Well I had a disturbed night and luckily my business partner was all ears to me this morning whilst I F'd this and B'd that and let off steam about these people who haven't actually done much in their lives telling me how I should do this and that. FFS I've just dedicated 18 months of my life and my life savings to this venture do you think, do you really really think that I hadn't thought this through. These guys used to service my need for resources when I was running multi million global projects in Banks and they think that they know more than me??? This without ever seeing the idea, seeing the figures, the research and all the other stuff we've been through. If I'd been sat on my arse for 18 months doing nothing I could perhaps understand the attack I came under but these people (not just the guy last night) must think I'm some sort of thicko or I'm doing this an hour a night or something. What a bunch of utter low lifes up their own arse cocks they are :-)

That felt a lot better. :-)

I just find these people have no firm footing in the reality of the situation. If I was raising a couple of tens of thousands maybe but I'm raising (or want to) tens of millions. I know what I need the money for and how we will spend it and what value we will build with that money. These jerks think that somehow I've got to "sell it" and "Pitch" for it. With a 150 page business plan, 6 page summary and 12 slide overview - I'd have to ask whether or not any of them actually understood the complexity of the business or the reliance on multiple revenue and cost streams and variables that meant we spent months and months developing a multi dimensional model.

The sad part of all of this is that TV has dumbed down VC money (Dragon's Den) a more worthless waste of video tape I've yet to see. Anyone who's seen it is suddenly an expert, a sophisticated investor who knows that the idea needs to be expressed in terms a 3 year old understands in 20 seconds.

It drives me absolutely crackers and annoys the hell out of me. I am going to be so pleased to meet people who will "get" the business and who will understand the lengths we have gone to to get it right for the size of opportunity.

I'm not normally like this but I'd love to get this funding so that the least I could do is "give the finger" to anyone of the idiots who "advised" us what they think we should be doing!

My Past catches up with me

The last time I saw this guy I ended up calling Mrs. F. to come and get me from some far flung station - I couldn't get home (last train) had gone way past my stop, no taxis (or a long line of them) and I was utterly Distraught. The reason I was so upset? Well I'd had a few drinks but generally I can hold my drink. no it was this guy who've I've known for years and years told me that I was a bit of a failure and wasn't supporting my family and stuff to that end.

So did I smack him in the face or anything? No, I listened to and believed what he told me and just melted on the way home. Amazing what someone can say to you. When Mrs. F. picked me up I wasn't in good shape - I recollect it and I recollect that she was just massively annoyed with me. She completely exploded when I told her why I was the way I was and told me that she would be the judge of that and that basically the guy was talking bollocks...

So I met him tonight after 6 or maybe 7 years. He's a born again Christian and that was OK by me. He'd changed his ways. That too was OK by me. He then went on to completely slag my new business, my ideas and so on. I have to say, he isn't the first one who has listened to part of the story and made up some "idea" about what we are doing and then proceeded to tell me for many hours what I am doing wrong or to ask me questions that I barely am able to elucidate before giving me some other lump of advice.

I'm very pleased that I didn't rise too much to it - he should know me by now but then he has probably forgotten the early days of our friendship and the fact that even today - I'm still the customer.

Next Morning: Just to add to things - I actually think that it was not far from me being diagnosed actually when I came home all messed up - makes sense now when I look back at it. Cannot remember if it was before or after, however, I probably wasn't in good shape. People are just strange aren't they?