Monday, April 30, 2012

I forgot to add

That is is also our Anniversary on Wednesday and I'm out.  I tend to have this problem every year as these meetings are all planned for the first week in May and sometimes it just falls like that.

At least I have bought a card which is already here!  

I've had to buy a new tie for tomorrow, my other one was captured as a trophy by some Scottish Masons during an "interesting" meeting some time ago.  As I'm "on parade" and working tomorrow I had better have one.  So another £15 spent.

Had some interesting conversation today about "the future" and what I want to do going forward.  It is interesting that people are still full of advice but a bit short on delivering the goods and that will be interesting when I meet them next week.  We will have a long and interesting discussion and maybe, just maybe I'll start to get some clarity on what I want to do.  It always seems to me that lots of people have good advice and ideas but I will be interested to see if I can do the Jerry Maguire - "Show me the money!" :-)  

I am beginning to form some key thoughts now around what I need to do in terms or what the outcomes probably need to be but there are some key questions which need answering and they aren't straight forward.  By that I mean that there may be some tough questions and there may be some divergence of ideologies :-)  The Bladder Cancer did some major shifting in my outlook and the last 6 years have all brought ideas and concepts, theories and practice, experimentation and results together to produce a different me.  I like that the lack of interest in what we are doing isn't a disappointment that requires a lot of mourning or navel gazing - the work we did, the attitude we have - the pragmatic approach means that it is what it is and it couldn't turn out much different given the time, circumstances and place (I sound a bit like Morpheus from the Matrix writing that!).  Damn I wish I'd taken the Blue Pill now!  :-)

But really what it comes down to is that I now have "an attitude" that reflects what I've learnt and what I've experienced, what I've read and how I've reacted to the disease.  My head is saying two things to me and the battle is between lifestyle and going back to how I was pre cancer - maybe a few years before then when I was at the peak of my powers and top of my game.  I'm probably strong enough physically and mentally to go back to that high powered, rather well paid but very demanding life.  Yet the other side of me is rebelling against it all, lifestyle, life, learning, low stress, doing what I want to do and enjoying that are the counterpoint.  Life just got interesting in another way and suddenly I have a relatively clean sheet of paper to work out what I want to do.

Or do I?

Lifestyle may actually mean giving up everything that went before and changing how things are and how they will be.  It may mean changing location and family and friends too will be impacted to greater and lesser extents.  Should you just go and do it for yourself and sod the consequences?  Many people do.  Do you stretch and strain friendships or do you rely on the strength of them to support the change.

It is going to be an interesting journey whatever happens.

A Week Full on

Often the beginning of May starts with a Bank Holiday (which we get next week).   So this week instead of 4 straight days of Masonic things going on I have 5.  That's right every day this week something is going on.  I'm out Monday night, all day Tuesday including evening, Wednesday afternoon and evening, all day Thursday and evening Friday too! 

Amazing!  But there you go - Mrs. F. is OK with that apparently!  We are also out Saturday night so I fully expect the diet to take a few wobbles along the way but I'm able to dance around the food stuff and can ask for more vegetables etc and refuse potatoes and so on.   I'm guessing there will be a few forbidden foods that may get past my guard but as long as I don't go mad I should be OK and it is difficult as there are 4 meals that are out of my control as to what is available.

Have to say that I'm pretty impressed with the diet so far.  Clothes wrap around me now and it is amusing to put on a shirt and have enough spare material to wrap over by a good 3 or 4 inches.  I'm quite pleased with the result and seeing the weight gone it encourages further participation in the diet and as Mrs. F. comments it is also cheap to feed me too.  We cook up the legumes and freeze sufficient for a day allowing me to pull a bag out a day and use them.  At 90p a bag we can get a full 7 days supply out of each which is pretty good economically if you think about it?  Eggs, Chicken and Spinach and Salad are also pretty inexpensive too so it all seems to work quite well on many fronts, economically, well-being and also health wise too.  My BP readings are nice and low and generally within the limits I set.  It would be nice to get them a few points lower but with more weight loss and a little more exercise, that should happen.  

So let's hope that I can keep with the programme and stick as near as possible this week to the diet - I know that will be difficult but I really don't want to end up back where I started which will be all the encouragement I need.

Yuk - Day After Cheat Day

Bad back yet again - what's wrong with me?  If it continues I may need to go and get this checked out - it is crazy the amount of back aches I get especially where they are really low down on my spine.  Let's hope it isn't anything serious.  Mind you the are increasing in frequency and this morning it was a real struggle getting up - in fact I just went back to sleep and tried got up late.

Then there was the next problem - by the time I'd gotten out of bed and had my morning medicine it was around 11a.m. and whilst I'm meant to eat within an hour of getting up it was a close run thing.  I just about managed some brunch around 11:45 and some cold water but it was all I could muster to actually eat it.  Sounds strange but I have so much and cheat day does tend to mean gorging out on all sorts of things you normally wouldn't have, even wanting to face food the next morning is difficult.

I just didn't feel hungry at all and I really had to force myself to eat.  This evening wasn't so bad but by then I was ready for a meal.  I'm still impressed at the weight loss so far and this week will be a tester and I know that I'm not going to dodge all the bullets coming my way - I will just have to take the best route through that I can.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

One for Flocky

Mrs. F. & A went out earlier and I was left deciding what to do for the remainder of the day when Chris and Flocky called and suggested a beer at my local after they'd finished playing Golf.  As it is cheat day and BEER is ALLOWED :-) I jumped at the chance and had a great late lunchtime beer with the boys.  Was listening to this when I got home and thought - you know Flocky might like this? :-)

Nice guys - I really enjoyed getting out of the house saved me having to sit through DVDs all afternoon!


Being totally decadent today :-)  Have had a proper slow carb breakfast and some ice cold water.  But now - coffee, with sweetener and milk plus a bag of Liquorice Allsorts!  That's for starters as Mrs. F. has gone to the Supermarket I have requested a doughnut (donut) and I'll be having some other forbidden foods today.  Not as many as last week but enough to shake down my system and make it wonder what on earth is going on.

Mrs. F. & A are out to a camp thing this afternoon - given the rain we've had I imagine it will be a mud bath for them.  I, on the other hand, will be happily indoors and will indulge in food madness for the rest of the day.

Next week is hectic - out every day next week and so I just need to be careful and maintain as far as possible my diet.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Below 16

Stone that is - at last back into the right side of 16 stone, 15 stone 12 which is pretty much as it was a week ago but it has been this all week or thereabouts and so that is good.  It could be a less but the main thing is that in the 8 weeks or so since I seriously started to do take things seriously (after my previous blood pressure readings) I've lost around 2 stone which for me is pretty good.

I now need to bring some exercising disciplines back into the mix, I'm not doing any planned just when I remember or have time.  

I'm looking forward to cheat day tomorrow especially as I had a glut of chicken (not my favourite food) to consume - I finished that off last night and so can get onto something more interesting today.

All in all I'm actually feeling well overall.  Have twisted my back once again but that seems to be OK now.  That's twisting around repairing this computer and working on the other one at the same time (when will I ever learn?).

My business partner turned up yesterday and we had a chat about where we are and what comes next - it surprises me how calm and calculated we both are about it.  After all it is 2 years of our working lives that we've "given to the cause".  We still have a few cards to play out and perhaps something will happen from there but we are inclined to consider that wont happen.  

At the moment though I'm pleased that I'm still losing weight and feeling good.  I hope that I can lose a fair bit more and get down to a reasonable weight and then sustain it.  That will be the defining point, I reckon if you just continue the rules outlined you should be able to continue to lose weight to the point where it becomes routine and weight balances out.  I'm not there yet by any means - let's hope that I can be somewhere near there by the middle of the summer.  If I could lose another 2 or 3 stone I'd be impressed but think that anywhere near 14 stone would be good for me.

Tale of the monitor

Regular readers will know that I suffer acutely from "White Coat Syndrome" which sticks my blood pressure up a lot.  Today felt no different and I could feel my pulse racing but today I did a few things differently.  I had no coffee at all even when my business partner arrived unexpectedly and we went to Costa for a drink I had water.  The first blood pressure test was high but not overly so around 140 over 95 but the next two at 125 over 90 and 124 over 90 were by my standards remarkable.   I'm normally good for a lot higher than that.

We did chat a fair bit before doing the readings and I did my deep breathing exercise which also worked quite well as I could feel my pulse coming back into range.  Earlier in the day I checked my readings and got some as low as 107 over 80 which is excellent.  

The diet and losing 2 stone must have helped and the benefits are clear to see.  I didn't remember to have my Flax Seed and Flax Oil and Cottage Cheese earlier which annoyed me as that also helps I find.  Anyway, the good news is that I feel very well on this diet and whilst I occasionally get pangs of hunger I know that it is because I'm not eating quite enough at meal times.  I still only have three meals a day and the recommendation is four.  I shall try and work out how I can possibly do that.

Apparently my blood tests aren't due until June so a bit of a reprieve there then.  Whether or not I'll be able to string them out back to December will have to wait and see.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Here we are again

Back on the good old Sony PC.  It wasn't quite as painful as I was expecting - I suppose the good thing about having an image back up is that quite a bit of the work was already done and apart from having to update various software packages - it has taken just the morning to get me up and working to this level where I can actually write a blog, send emails, browse the internet etc.

The Synchronisation software immediately recognised the computer and that stuff was missing and is synchronising as I write - brilliant!

The blogger back up software needed reinstalling but the blogs were all backed into the cloud too.

I need to re do the gmail back up next - that should be fun :-)  It is nice to have the computer back and functioning though!  Phew.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Still churning away

My computer has been rebuilding for around 10 hours now and I hope by the morning it will be a little nearer completion.  

I continue to hope that things wont be too painful to get it restored back to the way it was but I foresee a long and painful journey ahead - I certainly hope I don't have to "talk" to Messrs Microsoft once more about re-loading the software I paid for back onto the same machine because of a hard drive failure - they fail to see that it is still the same PC and that I actually bought the software for that PC too.  I really don't need that sh1t again it ended with me getting pretty shitty to the operator who hung up on me:-)  I can have that affect on people.  Applying the logic bit and asking them to restate the terms and conditions and then keeping going back to the beginning about it being the same machine probably didn't help their state of mind.

What else?  Not much really - I need to go to the Doctors tomorrow and get my Blood Pressure checked.  That's if we don't get blown away or washed away with the storms we are having in between times.  I hope they abate for next week as I'm up to London a couple of days next week and out every day too!  Not looking forward to that but it happens every year at this time.

Will have to see how my dad is tomorrow - it didn't sound great this morning and I suppose we will have to see if he has "given up the will" which is what it sounded like this morning.

New Hard Drive

As I write the image from the back up drive is busy burning itself onto my new hard drive that arrived this morning.  A 10 minute swap around and a few false starts looks as if this will rebuild the PC probably back to where it started in the first place...  Let's hope that this gets me somewhere near where I need to be.  It will probably be a good two or three days to get back to the situation I was in 4 or 5 weeks ago.

Thanks goodness all the key stuff was backed up but unfortunately all my bookmarks and that sort of local stuff was (or would have been ) lost.  That can be a right pain trying to resolve but the main thing is to get the PC back and working.  Damn annoying that the hard drive only lasted 490 odd days!  That's a very short life really.  Anyway - let's hope it will be resolved soon.

The Wheels Are Falling Off

Not me, my dad.  Sounds like this morning he really isn't in a good place.  He's always suffered from - shall we call it - depression?  He gets stressed out by certain situations and whilst I've only seen it a few times, it is pretty freaky.  The worst I ever saw him was at my Uncle's (my mums brother) funeral just as we arrived for the service.  But he also goes very quiet and introverted too so you don't get much out of him.  Even we can't unlock that sometimes and it's not great but apparently today it is markedly bad.

That's not a great place to be and in my own experience, the dark stuff really is very dark indeed and it takes a lot to get yourself out of the trough you are in.  Lately dad has been having his medication adjusted and moved around so that I imagine has some bearing on this but also, of course, the disease is progressing, the tumour is no doubt getting larger and perhaps the staging has changed.  

The continuing loss of weight is an obvious factor that also depresses him and try as he might he cannot find the strength to do basic things for himself - for someone so independent you can see that this will play on his mind which remains unaffected by it all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What to do?

It is getting to the point now where I've started to get into some detail about what to do next.  It is quite incredible that even after all the effort of the past 2 years I don't feel bad about it.  I am though wondering why I shouldn't use these skills to take on a more serious job but that's the trouble I haven't got the inclination to go and join the rat race again and feel that I'd probably not fit in too well.  I'd probably be able to go back to doing my jobbing project and program management work again as long as it isn't in London and I don't have to commute each day.  I don't think I'd mind being abroad for short periods either but again I'm weighing each of these options up.

It is quite a messy argument going on about whether it is better to take a local low paid job, sell up and go do something else or go back on to the hamster wheel....  My mind maps and spreadsheets grow as I wrestle with the options, the pros and the cons and the ups and the downs.  

It's a funny thing that half way through the day I suddenly remembered that I'd been ill and that I ought to place a risk into my thinking about what would happen if I got ill again.  That's pretty negative but I suppose I need to consider that especially as Bladder Cancer can come back and bite you when you least expect it so there's a new bit in my calculations that perhaps wonders whether stress and the bad habits you get into would add to that worry and increase the chances.  

You can't mitigate for every eventuality but you do need a Plan B and Plan C in case something like this occurs.  I see more of this sort of analysis going on in future...

Go AWAY cold

My cold is hanging around and the cough and blocked nose are still there but I don't feel ill.  Trying to shake it off is difficult though and annoying as I just want it gone.

I've spent the day doing catch up on some accounting stuff, doing my tax return and generally getting sorted out.  Not much of a tax return as I've been paid nothing this year :-) 

I've not heard back from the Hospital so hope that is good news and I've been taking my BP readings which are acceptable and so have to visit the nurse on Thursday - let's hope that my readings then are a little lower this time.

I've a visit from the auditors tomorrow to look at my accounts and I hope they find them in order - it will be useful as they can be presented on time for the first time in years. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

St. George's Day

Flocky Bicep and another friend are off to the ST. George's Day bash in London.  It's a great day out but I really didn't want to go this year.  Next week is wall to wall eating and drinking and I'm dreading that.  I'm also not sure that Mrs. F. will be too impressed with me spending out a large sum of cash on booze especially when I've told her that I've just worked for 2 years (without earning anything) and that I've got to go and so something else for a living :-)  So diet and the savings in not sending in the UN to keep the peace in the household means that I've declined the offer as much as I'd like to go.

So - Monday morning of the last week of real work on the business and by the end of the week we will have enough in place to close things down in around 3 or 4 weeks time.  I see emails have gone out this morning kicking things off.  It is a bit of a sad day but there you go, if the market isn't ready for us then maybe later on?  All the work is complete and archived - backed up and ready to be dusted off at any time and we are awaiting the final responses that we aren't expecting to be positive and will then play one last card and see if we can sell the idea on.  If we can - great - if not, well we moth ball everything and review it every 6 months or so I guess.

Cheat day reprised

The problem with cheat day is that you indulge all your forbidden foods and that's fine - you can see why but I also wonder whether it also makes you not want to do it eventually.  This morning I woke up and the very last thing I wanted to do was to eat.  I forced myself to have breakfast and lunch too.  This evening I had a bigger portion of vegetables and legumes as I'm pretty certain that eating these larger portions is better having now re-read the book.  Counter intuitive, well yes, but the stuff you are eating is much lower in terms of calories than you are used to so filling yourself up is more a matter of getting close to what you are used to.  

Whatever it is, I feel a lot better about myself and was really pleased to go out and actually look slim.  On Saturday night I was able to sport one of my really nice Hawe and Curtis shirts and I haven't been able to fit into those for 3 years I guess.  They really are nice shirts and have just been sat in the wardrobe waiting for me to slim back into them.

I've been looking at different ideas for what to do with myself in the future.  I've been running the pros and cons of running a traditional English tea room.  There is one for sale on the Kent / Sussex border that looks great and in a Sussex style roofed property.  It looks great but of course these sorts of things are hard work.  Not that hard work is the worry but there's also all the work / life balance stuff too.  So each opportunity has to pass a series of tests that include money, life style and so on.  This one is in the balance as it would encroach on my present lifestyle but then it would give me a living and plenty of leisure time too.  On the other hand I'd probably miss my local friends and my hobbies.  So weighing up all of these things on a case by case basis is essential. I find myself drawn to a country lifestyle but I need to be certain that I can live like that - it isn't as idyllic as it looks or sounds.  You'd have to drag me kicking and screaming to live where my parents and my brother live - that's way out in the country and has its own problems.  

Life is interesting at the moment - I've not felt too angry or too sad about the end of the 2 year adventure but I'm really beginning to question what I "really" want out of life and whether or not I truly want to continue in the rat race or whether selling up and moving on is viable.  For me it is but there are three other people that need to be considered too.  I remember all too well the impact that moving away had on me when I was 19 / 20 years old and also when I was 10 when my parents moved us out of London and I'd think twice before impacting the children (hardly that any-more).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Prolonged Cheat Day

It was a bit difficult to get out of it really.  Last night was my friend's and my Christmas present - a meal at a Gastro Pub and very nice it was too - a bit quaint and they were mobbed out but the food was excellent as was the beer.  Today is official cheat day and I "suppose" I could have stopped last night and had yesterday as a cheat day but I'm out again tonight so decided to just go over by the extra meal allowing me to recommence tomorrow.  

I was able to parade my flatter stomach last night in a shirt that didn't struggle to pop the buttons and a par of trousers easily 2" too big for my waist.  I'm below 16 stone now and that's so encouraging.  I hope to continue that sort of progress but the week after next is an absolute nightmare - 5 events in 5 days :-(  I will just have to take it easy and try and pick my way through the minefield on that week.  Probably best to write it off and start again the week after. 

I'm still coughing for England here!  Also found for certain the problem with my PC - one of the 2 500GB hard drives has failed - unfortunately the main operating system one but the second one has the recovery partition and so with any luck I'll be able to sort that out.  I may take advantage of the ability to remove data if the drive still works enough.  I've ordered a new drive and so hope that when that comes I can swap one out and re-build it.  It certainly saves me having to purchase a new pc......  Mind you it's taken 3 weeks or more to diagnose that.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Coughing for England

If it were an Olympic sport I'd be chosen.  It sounds as if I am on 60 cigarettes a day at the moment, hopefully the meds will kick in soon.  At least my head is clear and I'm less bunged up.  I actually feel pretty good too so that is a plus.

I thought I'd stopped loosing weight but I notice that I'm around 15 stone 12 or thereabouts at the moment which is another good drop.  It's funny but I felt I'd lost some weight this week - it is difficult to quantify how I could do that but I guess it is feelings of looseness of clothes and also my face has changed the flabby bits around by neck appear to have gone.  I imagine being ill curbed my diet a bit too.

Anyway, at least I'm on the road to recovery and also losing weight continues which I am pleased about.

Getting There

I'm glad I didn't go to the meeting this evening - I'd have been coughing and sneezing and sniffing and spluttering and you know what it is like when you try not to, you just make it worse.  A good sleep in the afternoon set me up and some more meds means I'm now ready to hit bed and see how I am in the morning.

I have to say that I've found this cold quite debilitating mainly because of the headache that is going along with it!  

Tomorrow I hope to be feeling a bit better as it is the day of my Christmas treat/gift from the girls and they are taking me to a Gastro Pub.  So that will mean I will need to have an early cheat day unless I can find something that suits my diet.  I kind of doubt they will have anything like that and we are also out Saturday so the diet will just have to take a back seat for a day.  In a further weeks time I have a major problem.  I'm out for 6 days out of 7 at various functions one after the other with little choice over menus and so will very probably just have to abandon the diet for that week.

I'm doing quite well on the diet and have managed to maintain it pretty much these past 4 or 5 weeks.  I'm hovering around 16 stone though and need to work on dropping some more.  I think I must be doing something wrong at the moment and so will re-read the FAQs and see what it may be.  Mind you I can see big improvements in my blood pressure and general well being (except this cold) so it seems to be working well up to a point.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yuk - I hate colds

I suppose we all do but I really could do without one right now.  I've cancelled tonight's meeting and I'm meant to be going out tomorrow and Saturday as well.

I can at least feel the cold "coming out" now so that's something but could do without the coughing and sneezing and sore throat.  Another day of rest and cold and flu drugs should, I hope, clear this up as I have work to get on with and this isn't really helping matters.

All I really want to do is to lie down and do nothing.  That sounds like a plan to me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Oh great - I had a reasonable night's sleep and lay in as I felt so tired but forced myself up and had breakfast, flu powders and I'm in full mode, sneezing, coughing, sore throat and nose, headache from hell, you know the sort of thing.   Sneezing feels like my head is coming off and half the contents are about to come out :-(  I've made a decision to just go down stairs at lunchtime and take the rest of the day off.  I've also made a decision to not go to a meeting tomorrow (why give myself the pressure) and pass on my apologies and some instructions to the team to sort things out for me.

There's isn't anything left for me to do on the business front until Friday and so I can just keep a watching brief over things.  Whoever had this cold on Saturday - and gave it to me - I'd like to thank them for it!  What a nice gift!  Talking of which, I must write up something about my brother and the wedding one day.  Family events bring out the very worst in families.

Oh Great - a cold

I don't often get a cold but this has been coming along since probably picking it up on Saturday at the wedding - it really came out this evening and so I'm feeling not so great and sore throat, sneezing and coughing.  I hadn't realised quite how bad it was until I spoke to a friend who mentioned how rough I sounded.

Blast it - I really don't need this right now I can tell you.  I certainly don't need the headache that's going along with this either.

I've taken plenty of meds during the day but to no avail and so I'll see if the last lot will do anything overnight.  I certainly hope so.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strange Cold Like thing

Someone suggested that it might be Hay Fever - a bit strange as it is damp and wet and has been for days so surprised if it is.  It hasn't got worse but I definitely have a sore throat and that horrible back of nose / throat feeling.  I've washed down a few paracetamol to see if that will help - it feels eased and at least it isn't getting any worse at the moment.

I think I may cancel tonight's trip out so I don't give this to the lads.  Today is perhaps the first of the run down to closing the business.  I've made up the accounts and submitted them and that's about the lot I have to do this week apart from a few emails.  I'm recovering my files from my cloud storage and synchronising software (thank goodness I did that).  I'm a bit worried now about my music files so may "invest" in storing those off site too.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Signs of a cold

The more observant of you may know that I don't get many colds or illnesses.  I've thought this was part of the regime of Immunotherapy that I had.  RIght now though I've got that back of the nose/throat dry sting that sort of suggests a cold is on its way and a very feint headache (again something I don't normally get).  So, I've had this all day and thought it was the journey or the party but maybe I've picked this up from someone at the wedding?

I certainly hope that it doesn't develop further than I have now though - I could do without a cold right now.

Not Just Me

It is an interesting thing that my co-founder of the business is likewise feeling "very strange".  It's not surprising really; we wanted to move on the idea and make a difference in people's lives and our objectives can only be achieved now if we can raise significant finance.  That isn't about to happen any time soon in many ways because the will and the money isn't around.  It's actually the right time to invest but the markets are so badly affected that many are like wounded animals - some fatally so we think as their returns are abysmal. 

We fluctuate in what we want to do and being employed and self-employed and working for someone other than ourselves again.  It's pretty hard to go into a place where you've got such wide ranging skills and experiences and just be one of the team.  It is going to be a difficult transition.  

We have worked out what we need to do now and have some dates in mind to resolve the last few outstanding things before we get ourselves to switch off the various switches and turn off the lights.  We will be leaving a night light on - just in case but we are also resolved to that being the end of it and whilst it may be able to be rejuvenated later - we cannot base our future on "ifs, and what and buts" so need to move on.  Many people think we are barking mad but that's because they couldn't commit to the journey we have made either financially or indeed intellectually and so we spend a lot of time reassuring people other than ourselves of our reasoning and decisions - strange old world - like cancer - I spent more time re-assuring other people that I'd be all right than worrying if I WAS going to be all right!

I'm happier (a bit) than I was earlier but know that I'll be in and out of this for some time yet.  Difficult times ahead but then its not as if it is life threatening or anything like that - one of the things I need to have learnt from having cancer is that whatever else I feel may be important like this really isn't as important as having your health and the ability to enjoy it.  Millions of people are far worse off than me and I just need to remind myself occasionally that things aren't that bad at all.  I'm still here and I'm well.

Not a nice place to be

Inside my head at the moment.  Feel a little bit down and a little bit indecisive, not quite myself at all.  It feels as if dad's situation has caught up with me, the realisation that a little later today we will prepare to shut down the business or take steps to close down the effort and so there's a number of things that need to be done.  I suppose it has an "end of life" feel to it so inevitably there'll be some sort of grieving going on and there's a lot to do.  Write to all the interested parties (the relatives), some sort of event (the funeral), some grieving first followed by some sort of celebration and then reflection.  Given the current situation with my dad, the parallels are marked.

Of course it isn't exactly the same but it has been my life for 2 years and so it is hard to let it go.  But let it go I have to as there is no way you can continue if the money isn't there and as we have found, if the ability to think "outside of the box" isn't there.  It is astounding to me that the vast majority of people I've met don't think differently and can't see that innovation is about mixing stuff up and shaking industries up.  It is a terrible shame but that's where we are and that's what we've found.  Even the people empowered to find a solution haven't even wanted to hear what we propose to solve the problem they've been tasked with solving.  But then like many of the Government set-up organisations they are probably not meant to find a solution to the problem but just to show that the Government are dealing with it which is a different thing altogether.

The next few weeks will be hectic as we agreed to shut things down quite fast.  This allows us to declare a clean break and to move on ourselves, taking as long as we each need to make up our minds about what to do next.  For me it isn't a case of jumping into anything too fast, I need some time to think it through and to make a decision.  For some reason there's a lot of dark and heavy thoughts coming in around my decision and I'll no doubt write those down as I go through that process.  These range from selling up and shipping out somewhere miles away through to going back into the rat race I was in before and all the associated things that may happen in between.  It's not going to be easy but then I'd be fooling myself if I thought it would be.

Like so many of these things, I can see where the problem is, I know it is temporary and I just need to work my way around to it.

On the up side, whilst my weight loss has slowed a fair bit, I am feeling a lot better my Blood Pressure is really good, perhaps as good as at the peak of my exercising activities about a year ago.  I intend to look at some exercises this week that will help me to lose a bit more and maybe they will help me.  I also need to work on ways of being more active during the day to also assist this.  

Wow - mixed feelings

A few days away, saw dad - he's his usual cheery self but there's some loaded comments when we chat.  He does look grey and drawn which isn't a surprise really.  I managed to speak a bit to Mrs. F. about "futures" and that was interesting.  We even discussed selling the house and moving off somewhere if necessary.

Then it was my cousin's wedding - very nice affair and everyone had a good time and then back here in time to see the re-run of the Chinese Grand Prix which was excellent.  

However, I have some serious mood problems tonight - very moody and dark thoughts and stuff passing across my mind about dad and work and life in general.  It's all obviously connected and it is just a matter of spending some time resolving these issues and working them through.  I really wished that I'd have had a few days to sort out the accounts too and fear that they may prove to be a little too difficult to get resolved for later in the week.  I just must get around to doing things on my to-do listing like go to the Doctors and so on.  At the moment I'm in a bit of a not doing rut - so just need to snap myself into action.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Off to see dad

On my way to cousin's wedding will pop in and see dad and see how he is getting along.  It's probably going to be a shock for me as I haven' seen him for a while and no doubt I'll see a big change where those around him will have seen a more gradual change.

Will probably only spend the afternoon with the folks before heading off towards the Lincoln / Louth area and staying overnight in a Hotel there then heading on for the wedding another 20 miles or so north of that.  At least it will be cheat day on the wedding day so looking forward to being able to indulge on that day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Diet Update

I've been sticking to the diet but this last week or so don't appear to have lost as much as the first few weeks - which is, I guess, par for the course.  There's only so much you can lose.  I'm 2 stone lighter than at Christmas and about 1 1/2 stone lighter since I started the diet.

I've lost inches off my waist and my neck and I feel a lot better.  I'm doing well and am not tempted by any need to cheat on the diet apart from cheat day itself.  This cheat day I will be at a Wedding so can have plenty to eat and drink there.  I'm not getting too hung up on the weight day-to-day as it doesn't always work out like you'd expect and the main thing is that I'm well, I'm losing weight gradually and feeling better for it.  

Off to see my dad tomorrow, he can't keep weight on at the moment and so that is a worry.  I'll see how he is tomorrow but I imagine it will be a bit of a shock as I haven't seem him for a while.  He's 3 months past his 6 month diagnosis so we will have to see how things evolve.

I'm waiting for my piano to arrive - a family heirloom and it will replace my existing one which will go on to another family member (thank goodness).  There aren't many of them in the world - perhaps 10 or 20 that I know of.  I hope that I'll be the custodian of this one for a short while - it's already had 3 owners from new that I'm aware of.  Which reminds me, I must write up the history of this piano for future generations.

Useful Chats

My Nephew turned up tonight and we went out for a drink - yes I know - I can only have red wine.... and did!

It's nice to get an alternative view fro a younger person.  He and I go way back and we have a great relationship (even if I don't know it).  I don't get that I've been there for him for years and have been a surrogate dad and that's nice but also a bit worrying too.  He's a bright lad, in a world leading business and has done well for himself.

Tonight was a mixture of discussing what life has to offer and the various stages in the journey - it wasn't as heavy as that sounds but it helped me to formulate some ideas that I need to discuss with Mrs. F in the coming months.  It is funny that I've been interested in the journey - by that I mean - building the business, tackling all the elements that were needed especially after half the team disintegrated and faded into the distance.  I'm not entirely clear about what I want to do with myself after this is ended.  I see many paths and many outcomes and some are philanthropic and some are more capitalistically based! :-)

It's a difficult time - I'm a little past that mid life crisis unless I live to 110 when in fact I'd be right in it :-)  I'm torn between greed and hermit dom.  A bit of me says "sod off to Spain and enjoy yourself" and another bit says "Use all those skills you've learnt and do something useful with your life!" There's the commitments of family and friends and there's the security of where you've lived most of your adult life.  The house we've built our family around and the (limited) social life we have here.  All of these things are in a big see saw balance along with relationships and family, friends and social life, proximity to London (let's face it - whilst I may scorn it - I live in one of the best cities in the world) and then there are things like health and well-being and security and travel and other things that need to be resolved.

Nothing needs to be sorted out right now and decisions like this need some time to think through.  I have my own ideas and I'm certain that these don't suit everyone - so compromise is on the cards but what compromise would I come to?  What would suit everyone?  Do I suit myself or try and do a United Nations on it?  Time will tell I guess.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Dead PC

Thank goodness for Sugar Sync - I'd have lost all the files I was working on if I hadn't of had this little programme working away in the background.

I realised tonight that I was out trying to reach something I can't have.  My youth.  I'd actually like my knowledge and my youth together but I can't have those.  I see things a lot differently and seeing my dad being in denial (not the river in Egypt) but also seeing the issues he is having with knowing exactly what is wrong with him, what is coming down the road and fully realising that he can't do even the simplest tasks now because he gets out of breath then I begin to realise just how lucky I am that I'm no longer in that position.

The cancer is wrecking his body but his mind is still just as sharp and informed as it ever was.  I realise too that we've never had anything other than a working relationship between us.  I mean that nicely, we aren't prone to emotional hugs, kisses and all that, never have been.  I'm very much like him and it's not a way of communicating I feel comfortable with at all.  I may pat you on the shoulder but it is highly unlikely you'd ever get a hug off of me.  It's just not something we have ever done.  I find it almost embarrassing when meeting close friends and kissing - again - very rarely done in the family.  

I don't feel close enough to my dad to have much more of an acquittance's conversation, almost a work mate rather than a father son (as depicted in film and novel available from all good outlets).  Don't get me wrong, I've no reason at all to dislike my dad or anything like that.  It is just that the relationship may well be one that involves the sorts of personalities we are.  I'd hazard a good guess, in fact I'd probably lay money on it, that he and I are both Myers Briggs INTJs which explains a hell of a lot about why we would both find it difficult and uncomfortable to talk on any level except the pragmatic and we do that fine.  I've never really had to take "a problem" to my dad, preferring (by far) going to talk to my mum who I have the most open and honest discussions.  Relationships are strange things indeed and I see it with my own children and their different personality types.  In fact, what surprises me is that they seem to be reversing the types I originally gave them.  A, who was always the quiet one, is far more fiercely independent and a very strong character whereas L, whom I thought had the outgoing personality and attitude has, this first year at University, retreated into her shell a bit.

Such are the nature of relationships and I am sure that whilst I will beat up on myself about the "professional nature" of the relationship I have with my dad, I can't imagine he or I are in a position to be comfortable to change it.  Intuitively we know that there is a lot of respect for each other and I have no issues to raise with him now.  Whatever I may or may not feel about  the past is the past and so cannot be changed so why worry about it?

Mum reminded me that it is now 9 months (give or take) since dad first went into hospital.  I don't know where that time went to and whilst it is nice that he is still here, I wonder sometimes how this knowledge of his terminal illness plays with his head.  He isn't stupid and I can only begin to guess, given my brief knowledge of the subject, what it must feel like.

Monday, April 09, 2012


I'm pretty bored.  I've been writing down my options - what I'm going to (or want to) do next.  Watched the Moto GP and the Masters last night which was good.  Mrs. F & L have gone out.  A is on holiday.  I'm sat here using the big "server" PC in the house.  At least I was able to rescue the back up files and have made that connect to this one.  That's a relief. 

A few more tweaks to make sure I can use this down the week and that will mean that I can at least sort out the Accounts that I should have done down the week!  

However, there's nothing to do business wise.  I'm waiting for the diagnostics and repairs to run on the laptop but I'm not hopeful.  It is taking a very very long time to run so that doesn't look promising.  I think I can partially sort the situation out with a new hard drive and might even try to perform a rescue from the back ups I have - we will have to see I suppose.  Of course, setting these PCs up takes days as well which is also a nuisance.  

The Piano needs to be sorted out as well sometime this week - but other than that - nothing is happening and so I'm left twiddling my thumbs :-)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Amazed how losing the PC

Makes me feel lost without it.  I'm amazed how much I use it on a day to day basis, just looking things up, firing off the odd email and so on.  How peculiar.  Of course it is also a bit strange not being able to get to my files not because they aren't saved but because they aren't on the PC I'm using which I haven't set up for remote access yet :-)

Back on the diet today - feel a lot thinner these days and my stomach is noticeably smaller and I no longer have the "love handles" around my waist either, my neck size is down a 1/2" too so all in all, things are going in the right direction.  I hope that this week will see a similar improvement.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Cheat Day

Was quite good.  It was Easter Egg Hunt day and I had a proper breakfast and then we had the hunt which was good and it didn't rain thank goodness. It was cold but we had around 50 kids there today which is up on previous years.  I had one small egg there and when I got home got stuck into cheese and crumpets and hot cross buns and had my Easter Egg a day early so I could gorge on that.  I feel wiped out after ll of that I have to say and a few beers have made it quite a binge.  This time next week we are at a wedding so I expect a similar outcome!

My computer remains looking terminal.  It is in intensive care and the diagnostics are still running a couple of days after I started them.  It doesn't look good.  I suppose I ought to bite the bullet and get an new hard drive and re-build the machine. What a bloody nuisance.

So, off to bed now - my 16th Easter Egg hunt over and done and time to relax, watch the Masters and enjoy the weekend.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Conflicting Reports

Running more diagnostic software it appears that there are indeed a lot of problems with the PC. At worst it is a hard drive fatal error.  Running some special software that may repair it but I doubt it.

Have spoken to Mrs. F. about the very real possibility of shutting down the business now and having to decide what I'd like to do next.  There's no rush at the moment but I'm just feeling the "loss" I guess. So I'm not in a good place but neither am I morose or downhearted.  It's like losing a friend if you know what I mean?  I'm just a little sad and wondering what best to do to fill the gap that's left.  In fact it's almost like losing your first girlfriend :-)  Being dumped I suppose.  There's some soul searching going on but it certainly isn't a case of being wrong or right.  We specifically had a process to deal with this and having followed that through we are 99% sure that the result couldn't be any different.  The 1% we will tackle but that's a case of covering the ground and making sure that it we didn't miss a trick.  

So no PC is driving me mad and also with me not too sure what I'm doing means that I'm wandering around without purpose.  Tomorrow is the Easter Egg Hunt - the 16th year I've done that.  Goodness knows where the time has gone.  Looking forward to doing that but I can't help but believe someone younger might want to take it on.  

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Cure for the PC - NOT!

Well I found a way of repairing my PC, I ran overnight tests and that did indeed last 10 hours or more - all clear, I then followed some new instructions to remove the problems and it seemed to work but then threw up another more serious error. The last thing you wan to see an imminent hard drive failure.  Now call me old fashioned but a newish PC that's just passed a Hard Drive test (that was running all night) really shouldn't happen when it is a software issue!

But that i what it is showing and so I am re-running the tests again.  Talk about depressing. Whilst all of my work is backed up off line, it will now probably take me a few days to repair this PC or a few days to set up a new one (and the cost).  I'm pretty pissed off as I am meant to be sorting out the accounts today and over the weekend.  That looks a far off possibility now though.

My business partner has been here today and we have been talking through shutting the business down.  It's sad and all that but if no one will support it then it's no use blindly going on.  we know that but needed to settle the requirements for those actions and what we would do in terms of the IP and all the other good stuff we have produced.  It is difficult because of the merit of the idea but detaching all emotional attachments and allowing us to move on are the next important steps and that means getting closure on this in some way.  

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Oh Dear PC Woes

I cannot believe that a company would send out an update that just froze my PC.   An auto update has fist of all frozen my PC and wont let it start properly (or restart).  Just another frustration with modern technology being too clever by half.  It is a known issue  has been happening on and off for years by the looks of the fora on this.

I can completely rebuild the system or fiddle around with the registry settings and hope that I can make it work again.  I've a scan going  at the moment to make sure it isn't anything more serious which promises to be complete in 834 minutes!  So I'm on the main PC in the house, the server I guess you'd call it.  thank goodness that I had already printed out my speeches for tonight or I'd have been in a little bit of do do.  Actually I could have gotten around it as these are at least backed up and I could access them from another PC.

It is SO annoying that something that is meant to protect my PC has actually completely knackered it.  Remember that I know what I'm doing with PCs and even this has got me scratching my head.  The PC wont recover either by itself or with me intervening which is unusual. It doesn't look to be a virus or a trojan it does look to be a crap piece of code that needs to be sorted out.  Of course, how a mere mortal is meant to do this is beyond me.

Had a good evening delivering a certificate and a talk about the charities and got £50 donation for charity and a free meal and wine to boot.  Also nice to bring back a raffle prize of chocolates for Mrs. F!  :-) 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Monday Night

Not much better than earlier on really.  Just had the most stupid response back from someone I've ever seen.  Flabbergasted hardly covers the complete ineptitude of this person who having got the initial request totally wrong (having being delegated the task by the person I want to talk to) has now got it even more wrong on the second pass, in fact rather than setting up an appointment with the person who has all the answers they have passed me outside of their organisation to a competitor to speak to them.  The competitor neither has the ability or the power to speak on their behalf.  We are in the land of the surreal here - what were they thinking?

Without actually cutting loose on this imbecile, which is being unkind to imbeciles, I actually need to talk to these people to plan my next move.  They've handed my competitors our idea on a plate!  I feel that there will be some sort of pain to be felt.  I'm not certain if my sarcastic and caustic sense of irony will go down too well so we are just holding back for a short while, draw breath and then "have words".  

So that didn't end my day well at all.  Additionally I'm feeling hungry but think that is to do with getting up late and not eating straight away.  I will get back to routine tomorrow.  I also hope to stop the procrastination and get on with these accounts I meant to do.

Monday - let down

I tend to find getting back to work on a Monday an enjoyable thing I can concentrate on things I want to get done and plan out my week.  Not this morning though.  I didn't want to get out of bed and just lay there for an hour or so and finally got up and got going but it was just one of those days.  I haven't actually done much either.  I've made three or four phone calls and that is just about it.

I have a lovely yellow and purple bruise on my arm to remind me of Friday and I'm over a pretty rough Sunday.  It's all very quiet at the moment.  There's a few things going on out in the ether but for now, no one has come back to us.  It is a shame really but that is the way it is.  The intensity of working towards this point is diametrically different to what is happening now. 

I decided to do my accounts and yet I just cannot be arsed to do them.  This is typical I find with me, I know I have to do them and I'm just ramping up the pressure to make sure I do do them and I know that missing today will be OK.

The next problem is sorting out all my paperwork which I think I will tackle this afternoon and get rid of all the accumulation of detritus on my table.  Then I can get onto the accounts with a clear desk/table to layout the accounts on.  

On Wednesday we will hold a meeting about where we go from here in terms of the business.  I am already working on what I want to do.  Even though there are some options out there, I need to plan for afterwards as I cannot continue to hold onto something that isn't going to go anywhere at the moment.  

So things are low but things that are good include my Blood Pressure - that is pretty regular now in the 130 over 85 range which is much better than I expected.  Time to call the Doctors and go get my BP measured I feel.  The diet seems to be working well and I'm around 16 stone at the moment.  That's varying and will do after Saturday's excesses :-)  Back on the diet yesterday and for the rest of this week should, I hope, drop me below 16 stone and towards where I was 5 or 6 years ago.  I have a meeting tomorrow to go to and I am delivering a talk on the 4 Masonic Charities in the England and Wales, that I should know a bit about as I used to work in there.  They have also asked me to present one of the members of this Lodge with his certificate, a very rare honour indeed for someone not in the Lodge to do this.  I hope I do well with that, I've developed a particular way of doing this that many people say they like so tomorrow I'll get to do my party piece to a new audience.  It will be a bit one sided I'll be providing most of the entertainment!  I think I may end up having to break the diet a bit - but will try not to if possible. 

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Not a great start to Sunday

I was in a furious mood - apoplectic almost.  Nothing to do with BC or anything like that (or I don't think so), no, just the normal thing of being treated like I'm invisible.  So I stomped off for a 3 mile walk around the woods and fields here - very nice, early morning, birds chirping, sun highlighting dappled areas in the woods and so on - all very nice but I missed breakfast and when I got in I thought to have my pills and stuff, didn't eat until lunchtime and have been a bit bear with sore headish all morning.

I'm pretty p1ssed off with this behaviour and went to cool off as it does annoy me occasionally, this is the usual stuff like no one talks to you or they go out and don't tell you and many other such things.  

I really didn't feel like eating and I don't really even now - I forced some lunch down but I reckon I probably could have lasted until this evening as yesterday's cheat day loaded me up with lots of forbidden foods and I feel full up with them.  It was OK yesterday apart from no beers.  I did fancy a beer in the garden but there you go.  Had plenty of cheese, bread, pasta and the like to munch on during the day.

I'm spending time weighing up my options and trying to think what I'd like to do.  It's a difficult thing really as I also have an option to go back to doing what I used to do and making some serious bucks doing it or to get out of that altogether and just live a simpler and (hopefully) more rewarding life.  That also added to my anger this morning as I would question whether what I end up doing is compatible with what everyone else wants.  In a way, I've spent a lot of my life doing stuff and building my life using the money that I've produced and now, I'm not sure that is what I really want to continue to do.  I'm writing down pipe dreams if for no other reason than to get them out of my head.  Then there are those that are possible but affect how near I am to hospital review and that sort of thing - do I have access to the services of a Hospital as good as the one locally to me?  All of this is also having an affect on my thinking and my demeanour and some of it is also bound to question how people (family more especially) relate to these.  

If they fail to fit in on a day-to-day basis now, what chance to go and do something else?  Perhaps the road ahead is a single lane carriageway - just one person wide?  That's also part of the thinking, it has to be if I'm to explore all possible things that I want to do.