Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strange Place

It was with some purpose that I hit a few beers yesterday and I occasionally do this slight wobble and become ever so slightly self destructive.  It is difficult to explain but it is my pressure valve and there's only so much of my "Spock like" (Star Trek not Psychologist) persona that I can work with at any one time. Somewhere along the line I need to let off steam and relieve my own pent up emotional baggage. 

So just every now and then I do something to extreme.  I always regret it afterwards and I always chastise myself for it but, it is in my very nature and core so I can't actually stop it as far as I know. It is rare that I go off and do these things and can probably number these on one hand in the past 10 years.  I used to be worse before then and often would have a period of self doubt, a bit of drinking or solitude or something like that to try and resolve it.  It's not one of my best traits :-)

I consider that I have a very level attitude to things but to be like that all the time the other stuff, the anger, frustration and reckless side need to come out somewhere - better to go and do this on my own in my own way and regret it for a short while than to explode and take out someone who most likely is an innocent in the whole thing or, as has happened before, I've given a dressing down way over the top to someone who deserved it but perhaps not when I'm at my ferocious best (worst).

Anyway - I need to explode every now and then as you can't keep the calm exterior up and you can't always be matter of fact and logical and business like - sometimes you need to vent and let off steam.  At least that episode has happened now and I can concentrate on going forward now.

Pent Up Anger

I'm angry at a lot of things at the moment whilst also being calm and rationale about them too :-) Confused?  Well that's the way I am, I'm annoyed that something inside me is stopping me making decisions about my life properly.  There are some opportunities taking shape that might allow me to do some work on a part time basis and build some finances back into my business and perhaps allow me to start a few new things.

Something is holding me back and stopping me thinking about these sensibly.  I'm having to write stuff down and rationalise it but I'm not my usual analytical self on this.  There's this back of the mind nagging - not sure why or what it is saying to me but there you go :-)  The Anger bit is because I'm not sure what is holding me back - is it fear, is it not wanting to "go back" - I just don't know at the moment, I imagine that I'll work it out somehow....  Just wish it would work itself out a bit faster as my brain needs to have it sorted ASAP.

Careful - not quite in control

Of myself - I have a tendency to overdo things occasionally - today it was a few beers.  I went into meltdown and just wanted to have an afternoon full of drinking beer.  It was a good day for it, clear and sunny and I had a couple of beers followed by a few more.  I texted Mrs. F. that I was in the pub which was a clear sign that I wanted her to actually be there to stop me and so I could go home.  I know how strange that seems but I did manage to talk to her and "off load" a few of my pent up issues about my dad mainly.

It's one of the strange traits I have - every now and then I have to go out and "purge the devil" as we used to call it.  It is a blatant act of self harm I think :-)  I'm actually not drunk or anything I'm just annoyed that I needed to do it - but it isn't binge drinking - just a safety valve in a way.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Little Good News

Dad is on Insulin and they are managing to peg down his blood sugars a bit.  He is doing OK and is brighter and ate a bit more and didn't sleep as much so an improvement.  However, it was stressed that the hospital are only keeping him comfortable at the moment and doing what was necessary to keep him that way.

My news is interesting as one of the old businesses I used to work for suggested that I might like to come and do some work for them again.  That would be interesting as I enjoyed working there before.  I could do this part time or full time permanent or temporary so - I've asked to start discussions.  It may not be exactly what I want but it is something I can do in the short term and see if I feel up to it long term.  It was the job I was in when I was diagnosed.  As my business partner said "As one door closes another one opens... that applies to old doors not just new ones..."

With the 6 years experience I now have I should be able to bring something else to the party now. I am also meeting someone else tomorrow who has an interesting proposition and so things are slowly taking shape.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Change of diet for a short while

I found that I was finding it difficult coming off a cheat day back to the diet and just wasn't eating properly the day following the cheat.  Last week, I actually maintained my weight despite being at my mums and whilst eating healthily I was eating all the wrong things and of course this weekend with a slap up meal on Sunday I wasn't exactly feeling ready to get back to the diet as I just don't feel like eating at all in the mornings.  I've just had a brunch type meal at 11:15 and then decided it was because I ought to.  It is very hot this week and so I don't tend to eat much when it is warm, perhaps that is the reason.  Whatever it is, I am going to eat sensibly this week and then return to the diet in a week or so.

Deciding what to do next

I've been distracted today so one day out of my planning has disappeared.  I have no doubt that I will get interrupted tomorrow as well - it is just one of those things that happen I guess.  I really need to put some serious time into doing some of my accounts and also I need to make some appointments etc.  The trouble is that I am trying to keep things clear in case something happens to my dad.  Of course that rules out just about everything that may happen except 2 key appointments I have to keep.  Everything else will be a matter of people having to live with me not being there for once.

Monday, May 28, 2012

How do I feel?

It is funny that I forgot all about myself being ill last week - except when it came up in conversation and over the weekend I met up with a number of people who remember how ill I was all those years back.  It is strange because I've only very recently started to feel well in myself again after all this time.  I've been looking at my progress and the diet has brought about a smaller and fitter me and I'm not feeling as exhausted or not quite with it.  It is so difficult to put your finger on one thing. It was like talking about my dad's illness.  He just didn't feel right but the changes were so gradual and any symptoms were not easy to see.  Gradually over a long time things changed down to going out, going away on holiday and other imperceptible things.

SO if there is a wellness factor I'd put myself at about 85% at the moment in terms of how I feel about myself and how well I feel inside.  I've still got a fair way to go but I'm feeling just fine at the moment.

I think that the situation with dad is a little strange - I have no experience of what it is like to have one of your parents die and so at the moment whilst I'm resigned to the fact that it is going to happen I haven't really been too overly stressed or phased by things.  They will be what they will be and I suppose I'll just have to tackle it at the time and as it comes.  I think it will be dealing with the living that will be the problem.  I tend to have a view that things will come to pass and that life has run its course and realistically we are all heading to the same fate.  There's no one can cheat this one, no money or anything else will stop the inevitability of it.  It is just what happens to you and the later (sometimes) the better.  When your work here is done, it's time to move on.  I had some interesting chats with my mum.  She has some views that I certainly don't about death and also how people use words.  She objected to her brother's son calling his remains "the body".  I suggested that a body isn't the person, just the shell and outward manifestation and that the "soul" (if I can call it that) and the body combined are the person.  Dad's still dad, his mind is OK but terribly confused at the moment.  He looks 100 and yet he is just 82.  His body is falling apart and that's the problem.  Of course, that is just my view and there are others of course who might argue with that but we deal with it the way we need to.

I'm therefore in an interesting place with how I'm feeling about dad's illness.  In some ways, and PLEASE don't think me wicked or heartless, I'd like him to go to sleep and there be an end to it.  Of course I don't want him dead but neither do I want to see him suffering and being "kept alive" by professionals sworn to uphold life when it really isn't going to benefit him or when it is going to make whatever suffering he has now go on any longer.  In a way that would be better and yet who am I to request it?  I think he would request it too if he could.  I've already accepted what is about to happen and the stress of last week was that I could not assist directly (I'm sure there was some relief to my mum and dad might have been pleased to see me) but it was watching him just lying there, helpless that was more concerning and telling him that I wasn't allowed to move him in and out of bed in case I hurt him.  He didn't get it but if you would have seen him it was obvious that you could easily damage him - he is so frail.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that I'm just waiting to hear how things are and to work on getting back up when called on.  I battle with the feelings of wanting to be there and supporting but, as my mum said, they knew that they were moving away from us and that it wouldn't be possible for me to do that.  I guess that is true and I know I've argued long and hard about that but if I need to forgive myself anything it is that I cannot be there everyday and that I can only do what I can do, my family are here and that's where MY priorities must be.  I often find my brother and sister-in-laws attitude about this laughable in this area as they remind me of all the support they give my parents and yet in this vast country, when they moved, they are 5 minutes walk away!  The making me feel guilty trip is used - I'm not sure it is in a vindictive way - but always makes me laugh as my brother once told me of his wage cut.  He took a wage cut that was the total of my wages for the whole year and at the moment the "Which bit of I haven't earn't anything in 2 years do you not understand?" always makes me chuckle :-)  He was telling me how much he'd spent on equipment for dad (frames, wheelchair, lift and other such stuff).  I think it is "guilt" money, he's bought dad a Guitar, Clarinet and Harmonica and loads of other stuff too.  Why?  It's not as he would have the strength let alone the inclination to play them?  

It will be interesting to see how the relationship progresses.  He has managed to p*ss my mum off too and perhaps just needs to turn on supportive rather than confrontational mode!  I think he is dealing very badly with the whole situation and isn't accepting things for what they are.  Another thing to deal with on my list :-)

Situation Unchanged

Dad was stable and unchanged yesterday - perhaps a bit brighter now that blood sugars are brought down a bit more.  However, the next few days will determine the next steps from here.  

He's been remarkable under the circumstances and despite having an operation to better his quality of life, I don't see that it actually has other than keeping the infections away and he has not been able to do much at all in these 6 months or more.  Thank goodness for TV!  

I guess that I will hear more this week on what is going to happen.  We have the 4 day weekend coming up for the Queen's 60th Diamond Jubilee which now shows how old I am because I remember the 25th when we had a great time :-)  Amazing!

The trouble with that is that I am committed to a meeting on Friday and working at an event on Saturday and we have a street party here on the Monday.  Phew!  Lots going on and the week after doesn't get any better.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Not bright today

Feel a little wiped out with the journey and the bed side vigil stuff.  Can't say that it was great to go all the way up there and not to meet my brother and sister-in-law at all in the 4 days I was there.  That should, I think, explain volumes about the situation.

So - at home, No.2  daughter has arrived back from University and the house is buzzing once again.  She is the lively one compared to the eldest but the eldest has the more subtle sense of humour.  Anyway, all home and nice to see her and the utter mayhem the house is in :-)

Off to bed now as I have a big day tomorrow for our family lunch and suppose I ought to work out what I am going to say for the presentation.

Good Journey Back and Headache

I know that the headache is stress related - it has been a full on 4 days.  Dad's condition is pretty concerning and he drifts in and out of conciousness and displays all the signs of uncontrolled diabetes.  I'm not sure if that is the way of it in terms of Pancreatic Cancer but I guess it probably is.  We were looking at the problems of getting him home and the key one is strength - he just doesn't have any although yesterday was the best I've seen him for the whole of the four days and he was able to move with assistance and instruction.

I feel very sorry for him because his mind is still there but very mushy and he is in some pain although they are controlling it.  It hurts him to move and that needs a bit more control.  In a way I'm glad I'm home as the monotony of the days and dad's irritability (we all would be in that much distress) hurts those close to him without I suppose him realising it.  No one likes to see their family in pain, wasting away, not eating properly etc.  At least he had a good go at his food and drank a lot more yesterday.  Long may that continue.

I have no idea whether things are good or bad but I do fear that it will not take much to tip the balance to bad given where he is and the knife edge of diabetic control.

Well - I've the headache from hell and I'm looking to do little today except watch the qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, listen to the Cricket and have a beer or three.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Preparation for the day

Sat here on the PC just whiling away a while before we prepare to go off to see my dad.  For me this is the last time I'll see him for a while or may be the last time I see him?  That's a concern.  I just don't know how he is getting on and whether this is a short term glitch or not.  

It will be a long day and hopefully he will be a little bit better than yesterday and perhaps they may have gotten his blood sugars under some control.  I'm not the optimist that my mum and brother are about his recovery but we will see, stranger things have happened but he is very very weak.

I am going home later today and I do worry that it may be a call next time that brings me here not a planned trip.  Whatever it is, I do hope that he stops suffering as soon as possible he looks so poorly and so helpless and I've never seen him looking so thin and weak, it just isn't the big powerful man I knew - it's still him but not anything like he has always been.  Doesn't sound right does it - can't explain it in writing at the moment.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another LONG day

Poor mum she is exhausted but not as exhausted as having dad home - and there's no way he could possibly come home he really cannot move well and needs assistance in and out of bed, he cannot stand and is SO weak it is not nice to see him like this.

He was a bit better today and there was a little bit better colour in his cheeks and face generally and he was a little livelier although not for long.  He certainly has been through the mill and he just can't do anything for himself and after 30 or 40 minutes with us, he has to close his eyes and sleep.  He's just had one thing after another and he's tired and bless him, just fed up with this ongoing stuff.

Trying to rationalise it with him is difficult because you can't talk logic and sense slowly and deliberately when half way through his attention is taken by something else or he just falls asleep.  That's the problem, he wants to know about something but half way through the explanation he is distracted.

My brother needs to "man up" and stop being an arse to my mum or he will get the rough end of my tongue - he's in complete denial and over reacts massively. Anyway, he may get a "bit of a slap" if he continues to lay down the law to my mum as he does at the moment - he's full of medical knowledge but - of course - he's no doctor!  Just because he works at a Hospital doesn't make him an expert on Pancreatic Cancer or Diabetes.   He will be getting the benefit of my wisdom soon if he continues to upset my mum!

Long, long days

It sure is a long day.  We leave here at 1, park around 1:30 and then wander via the coffee shop up to the ward.  That is open in this ward from 2:30 and in the previous one at 2:00 !!  We then stay until around 5, go out for 2 hours and have something to eat and generally sit around and go back between 7:00 and 8:00.  It is easier to stay there than to do the 1 hour round trip here and back.

Dad is generally up and down, they don't know whether he will be fit to return home or not and his blood sugar levels are all over the place.  This means he can be good and bad all within the space of a half hour.  He sleeps a lot which is good (in a way) but the hospital is so noisy and he is often woken up for a test or to check temperature etc.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Another Day in Paradise

I'm absolutely knackered - doing nothing just sitting around all day is tiring as hell.  Dad was good when we arrived - a bit confused but otherwise OK and taking a bit more interest.  A little later when we went back to see him he was very irritable and tired.  His blood sugars were all over the place which wasn't good.  So they gave him some Insulin and he just slept for the last hour.  

They are going to move him, when a bed becomes available, to a local convalescent (and palliative) care hospital, so we just have to wait for that bed.  Local will be good as the journey and the time we are at the Hospital is quite long.

Not what I expected

It's one of those very strange moments where everyone has warned you how someone looks and you fear the worst but in effect, it isn't as bad in some-ways as you thought but in others it is.  My dad looked like my dad, he was thin and he is looking very old now but it was still my dad.  He is though getting quite annoyed.  Annoyed at no one knowing what is wrong with him and just being helpless.  He's not really been helpless and at the moment it is distressing to see how much nursing assistance he needs.  He has some moments of fun but you're never quite sure if he is being sarcastic, ironic or annoyed and showing it.

He has been moved to a ward that should be able to deal with him a bit better than the previous one.  The problem is that we can't actually find out what is going on as the professionals come around in the morning and speak to dad and by the time we have arrived he has forgotten what was said or has confused it with what they were saying to the chap in the bed next door to him.

Back again in a few hours - these are long days as dad goes in and out of sleep and he talks quietly in a noisy place and so gets angry when you don't understand what he is saying.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

What on earth am I going to find?

Well I will see tomorrow as I'm off to visit my dad.  Will get away nice and early to miss the rush hour traffic and get breakfast with mum and give her someone to talk to for a while.  I doubt she has had the opportunity to get it off her chest.

Sister-in-law called to give me a heads-up on how dad looks which is pretty grim from what I can understand.  He's pretty grumpy and pretty fed up which also doesn't surprise me so I hope that he is a little more with it tomorrow and I have to remember to hear him out as apparently he does take a while to say what he means and goes off on tangents.

They are still trying to sort him out in terms of blood sugar levels as well as clearing up slight infections.  We don't know what the Hospital wants to suggest about coming home although, from what I hear, that is unlikely as he can barely stand up at the moment and can only do one or two steps and refused physio earlier today.  

I have volunteered to go up for three days but have packed for 5 which I can just about achieve as I need to be back for Sunday as we have a Sunday Lunch booked at a rather nice Hotel and I have to do a presentation.  Next year it will be my family Sunday lunch as President.  Mind you if I have to cancel so be it.  Some things may be more important of course.

Difficult to know much more until I get there really.

First Day

That I have not been working on the business for 2 years - strange feeling and of course a little sad but would you believe as one door closes another opens - or three in fact so far.  People that I know want to chat to about new ventures they are involved in and another is a possible insight into funding through the EU although given their problems at the moment that could be fraught with difficulty.  Mind you there does appear to be some interesting projects being dealt out from there.

I'm just preparing the way for going to my parents place tomorrow and getting packed and stuff ready - computer and phone chargers and stuff like that are all needed! 

No appetite

Strange - I forced some scrambled egg down this morning and some mackerel and spinach at lunchtime.  I really don't feel too much like eating and I have to say I'm getting that dread feeling and slightly tight chest I get when I'm likely to have to do something stressful and let's face it, going to see your dad when he is about 5 stone lighter than you remember him, wired up in a hospital bed plus the associated sadness that the family will be feeling is going to be, at the very least, a little stressful.

I'm getting ready to go tomorrow and probably spend 2 or 3 days and prepare for 4 or 5 if needed.  It will give some respite for my brother and hopefully some support for my mum and dad.  We will see what will await me as I've done this trip a few times now.  I've got loads of change sorted out so that we can feed the parking meters at the Hospital and let the fat cats grow rick on the parking fees of the sick.  I never really got that but understand that one of the reasons that they had to put fees on were that locals were parking their cars there for free and using public transport from there....  This is the society we probably deserve when this is acceptable behaviour and also for the use of what appear to be fines for everything to check it.  It's unfortunately blindingly obvious that it is all about the money.  The politicians and fat cats are too remote to get it and wonder why they are despised by the majority....

Anyway - my little rant as it costs a fortune to park there to see dad and who can afford the sorts of sums they ask is beyond me and long term illness must cost people a fortune - so much for a "free" NHS.  


Strange that I wasn't really feeling like eating and even at lunch time I forced down some tuna and Spinach.  I think that the diet will be a bit shot this week as I go up and see my dad.  I'll probably stay with my mum which will save me some hard cash.  

Mum seems to have started to realise that Dad will probably not come home now and I think that she is able to say these things to me but not to my brother who would be a little upset by that sort of talk.   Dad's not great, still eating and drinking and getting good care but has a number of small ailments that aren't helping him be comfortable but each is being checked and acted on.  Tomorrow he has a big assessment day, it appears that they have stabilised how rough he was feeling with pain killers and they have managed to get him to walk a few steps but, in all honesty, the three or four steps completely exhausted him.  I think he is a bit more lucid and I believe that he is at least able to have proper 24x7 care that mum just cannot achieve.

I'm going to go see him this week after I've spoken to mum after this assessment I will go up for two or three days and see what I can do.  At least I can do some of the driving around in place of my brother and sister-in-law.  I guess that I might also be able to allow him to "tick the box" if he is waiting to see me.  My daughters are in their examination week and final project weeks at University and I'm very much hoping that nothing disturbs their week so that they can get their work done.  

I am preparing myself for the worst and whilst I know my brother wanted me up last week, at least this week I can managed more than a cursory visit.  We will just have to see how it goes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Have to say that after a cheat day or any day off diet I find it particularly difficult to eat the next morning.  Today I just don't feel like it at all.  In fact I feel a little sick.  I will go and eat a little at lunchtime but definitely cannot stomach food at all and yet tomorrow all will be fine again.  I really should eat within 1 hour of rising but I'm not going to force myself to do that.

Dad remains stable in Hospital and they will assess him tomorrow.  I will talk to my mum then and then decide on going up to see her/him.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Strange Result

The diet is totally messed up this week and I thought I'd weigh myself this morning and to my great surprise found that I'm still the same as last week so hopefully not too much damage done with 4 days of eating out.  Well it will be 4 by the end of today.  

I have very little appetite in the mornings - not too sure what that is about but seem to be OK when on plan?  Anyway, there should be little stopping me getting back on plan next week.  I am working out what to do based on what my Mum tells me later today and tomorrow in terms of going up to see my Dad.

Purveyor of DOOM and Bad News

Why is it that I feel that the optimism of my Mother and Brother and Sister In Law is misplaced?  

Well, it's like this.  Dad cannot stand unaided, he can't get up and go to the toilet or look after himself because his brain signals and his ability to physically respond to them are in different time zones.  He's not able to maintain normal functions and everyone thinks he is going to come home after a "bit of physio" and - sorry to say - no he isn't.  I hate being the arsehole in this time but someone surely has to be the hard nosed git that sees it as it is?  Dad's not going to get better he is unable to maintain basic functions and sad - and believe me IT IS sad - he's on a path that no one can halt and no one can help other than those who are specialists in Palliative Care.  

I fear going up there as I will be the catalyst that kicks off the process of end of life.  Sounds worrying sounds a bit far fetched - or is it?  Oldest Son, perhaps no one can let what is about to happen without my attendance and say so?  Perhaps it needs me to be there to start the process?  I don't know really and I guess it is my job - my destiny?  Do I need to be there to - grant permission for my father to die?  I really hope not.  I hope that no one waits for me or that I have anything to do to delay this.  My brother wanted me to go up earlier this week and I've held back for this and for other reasons.  No one has actually stated what is wrong with my dad or any other thing about it either.  There's the problem, no one knows, if I HAD gone up earlier this week I'd still be in the situation I'm in now.

I really hope that dad isn't waiting for me to "give permission" to go ahead with this next stage in his "life".  Hell that would be a bad thing on my conscience.

At least I'm free of work and can just spend whatever time is needed doing whatever is needed in the next days or weeks.  This is the problem with remote family.  If they had been local - like they used to be - it would be no problem to cover all the rota and to assist and even the girls who both drive could have helped but since everyone buggered off over 120 miles away - we find it difficult to get there even by train (which is an hour or more longer than by car).  

I beat myself up constantly but I've not moved house since 1988!  I think that my parents have moved 4 or 5 times in that time and 2 of those have been in a far distant place.  I don't mind, it is their choice entirely and it isn't my decision but I feel so guilty (yes I know I shouldn't).  The trouble is that I wouldn't have chosen to live where they did or where my brother lives - 5 minutes from my parents.  

I have no idea why I feel so bad now - it wasn't my decision and it wasn't part of my plan and it was their decision and theirs alone - yet somehow - peer pressure gives me the responsibility. I will step up to the mark on Sunday because, everything that I need to do here is cleared and I can go do what I need to do without affecting my own circumstances.  Damn it sounds callous writing this but I suppose as "Responsible Adult" or "Head of House" it is my responsibility on my watch to sort this out.  I will do so and I'm ready to do that and to broker what ever is needed in the coming days, weeks and I suppose months.  

I really don't want my dad to die but that's what is going to happen.  I hate seeing him the way he is now because it isn't my dad I see, it is this frightened man who has meant a lot to me being eaten away by this pernicious disease.  Of course, it hurts like hell as I survived and he isn't going to and the problems are compounded by that knowledge and that experience.  It really is difficult as I will need to "be strong" for the family and thereby be the "hard man" the face to those who will turn up to the funeral and so on.  I'm preparing myself for this role and whilst I hate it I know that I'll get good support from my family and from my friends.  I said some time ago that all my close friends had lost their fathers and how lucky I was to have my father around.  They will be a great support to me in what lies ahead.

I do have enough faith left to believe that there is a soul and that the spirit leaves the body and all we see after death is a shell and NOT the real person.  As my friend told me when his father died, he saw him and said "that's not my father, it looks like him, but it wasn't the body that was him, it was everything about him."

Well, in a way that's the way it is, my dad is the entirety of the experience and not the shell in which it is captured.  No doubt I'll be expanding on this in the next weeks.  I just hope that I can live up to his standards and that he will think well of me and we will part on good terms.  There is no reason that we cannot do that at all but let's hope that we spend the right sort of time together at the end and that we part on the level.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Last Day in the Job

Well after two years of graft and many highs and lows (more highs than lows) today is the last day I'm doing anything officially for Doddle and we will close down operations until times may allow us to dust off the idea and move it on a bit further.  Trying to raise capital in the worst economic downturn since the Second World War and some say the great Depression of the 30s is like trying to push water uphill - it just isn't going to happen and with such a big idea and its scale and ambition and therefore some inherent risks, we aren't going to get anywhere against the tide especially as the markets wont bear it currently,

The door will be left open and there are some alternatives that we will explore but for now, a rest and a period of reflection are needed.  Of course it is a shame and of course it is disappointing but neither of us are that upset about it because we kept it real throughout realising that this may well be the outcome of our efforts.

The good things are that we have learnt an awful lot about business across all disciplines and added to our existing portfolio of skills.  Both of us talk a different sort of language now and we've had and held our own in discussions with some of the top lawyers and investors in the world and they've been very receptive and most complimentary about our approach, preparedness and the idea itself.  From these people has also come the necessary reassurance that we had done everything possible to realise our ambitions.

So, no regrets about 2 years apart from, I suppose, not getting any revenue or money out of it of course :-)  Money isn't everything but with a wife and two children at University it was a challenge.  The challenge now isn't to jump from here into anything that I will regret doing.  I'm now preparing myself for whatever will happen with Dad, my forthcoming Installation as Master of my Lodge and then to take a break, try and do nothing on this damn computer and perhaps potter around the house and do some maintenance and I might, if I feel like it, tackle the bathroom or at least do as much of the preparation work ready for the plumbers to come and do the final bits.  There's work in the garden to do and the outside of the house has taken a battering with all the wind and rain and the ice damage to the render so they can be fixed too.

I have started a complex series of mindmaps that are helping me to sort out my priorities and needs and wants and to filter jobs and career choices etc.  I find it really useful to organise my thoughts in this way and to then analyse these things.  I need the break to allow these ideas, needs and wants to settle themselves down a bit and to take shape.  I really like the idea of using my history and research skills and my analysis work to take up some sort of genealogical and records based research work but again, will it pay the bills and can I make it work and pay?  I'm sure that I probably can but I need to go and take the "reality pills" and that is what the break is there to do.  I was really interested in running an old fashioned tea room in the country as a life style choice but once again it sounds lovely but is it?  This would require selling up here, buying somewhere and making a real go of it but other things suffer too when that is done.  What if you get there and hate it - then what do you do?

So that's where we are today, I think that we did an amazing job in the past 2 years building the business and getting to where we are, we were pretty thorough and knew where we were all along by keeping it real.  I was annoyed that only half of the team made it to the end, two dropping out very early on which doubled the time it took for us to get here - we should have been finished in a year but the resources messed us up.   It would be interesting if I could work out how to re-brand myself with all that experience, bottle it up, market it and sell it, it has to be valuable to anyone starting up but you would have had to have taken the journey thus far to have realised it :-)

Diet Shot so Suspended

Only for the remainder of the week as I was out Wednesday and then yesterday got my business partner drop in and we went out for lunch and I pretty much decided that I'd have a few beers and it was nice to go talk about things in general and spend a few hours chatting about my dad, business, life and absurdity in general.  

Once again this morning I just don't really feel like eating at all and I've noticed this whenever I go off diet for a day that they next day I just don't want to eat anything at all and even at lunchtime I will force some food down.  I just don't feel hungry at the moment and so I think the best thing to do especially as I am out tonight and tomorrow (even though that is official cheat day) is to suspend the diet although I tend to continue to eat the foods in the diet though but in reality it's broken for the remainder of this week.

Dad continues to be tested and they got him into a chair and said he is very weak and cannot stand on his own - "NO SHIT SHERLOCK!" what are these people on we know that, it's what we told you and part of the reason he is there.  Sometimes you despair when they replay to you exactly what you told them when he was admitted.  There's no way my mum can lift him and look after him and there will be an interesting set of conversations later today about whether he will be able to come home because the house isn't set up for a "disabled" regime, the doors and the small corridor are difficult to negotiation with a wheel chair.  So we will see what they will do.  Dad's blood sugars are all over the place which means the Pancreas is in a pretty bad way now and they are using insulin injections to try and balance him out.

I've said I will come up next week but mum's not sure when he will get out of hospital.  I fear to suggest that it will be highly unlikely that it will be any time soon unless there is some way of getting home assistance for him and even then is highly unlikely they will let him home as he is now.  Who knows what will actually happen.  Hopefully there will be some sort of beginning today of some course of action plan that will allow everyone to start to get to understand what the future may hold.  I have my own ideas about it and it really is a matter of whether he can be stabilised and be in a situation to return home.  In reality, you don't tend to get fitter when you have this sort of cancer and the additional problems he has with diabetes and next to no strength.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Well mum sounds a lot better

Finally mum got a good nights sleep even though it was 6 hours with a short interruption and the caring and professional staff at the hospital have made her a little more relaxed about dad being there.  It's the right thing to do, he can't really support himself and she's put her back out trying to lift him around.  Today they will check dad's brain with a scan, mum doesn't want the cancer to have spread there but perhaps it has but not sure if that is actually what is wrong but we will wait and see.

The main thing is that he is in a hospital with 24x7 support from professionals who can administer pain killers and help him as best as possible.  I have no doubt that they will get to the bottom of what is wrong but I doubt that anyone actually wants to hear what it is.  There's some very useful information on the Macmillan pages about end of life and what to expect and I'm sure that we are entering that phase and that none of us are going to like what we hear later today and perhaps tomorrow.  Not eating and sleeping a lot are some indicators but of course, now he is finally off the steroid drugs (what were they thinking) it may be that but let's wait and see.

The main thing is that mum is at home and busy catching up on loads of things she has been wanting to do and dad is in good hands and in the right place.  We will see later on what it means to us all especially him.

Ewww Too Much Information

Not sure I needed to know about Dad's "movements" however, now I know, have looked it up and it isn't at all good news.  At the end of the day, who am I kidding?  It's really bad news and he's on the cusp of moving into the next phase and there's nothing any of us can do to change it.  I just want to clear the decks here and I'll go up there and get myself in place for whatever comes next.

I have to admit to being a tiny bit emotional tonight but then I have had a drink (or two) and actually managed to have a good evening I think at least I had a few beers and an Indian meal - sure I broke my diet but there wasn't much chance of not doing that.  I'm annoyed but realised that I was going for a bit of a burn out.  I actually need to vent some fury at what my dad is going through.  The issue of it all being that I see him suffering and realise how it could well be me, it's agony for him and it's like sticking hot needles into me, all I see is him suffering when he shouldn't have that after all he did for us, it's unjust and not warranted, it hurts all who love him and everyone around him.  How cruel nature (or is it God) is to do this to people.

I listened to a talk the other day about how we aren't really meant to live beyond about 35 years old and this is why we have Cancers and other problems like Dementia and Alzheimer's.  We aren't programmed to live this long - period.  So we live longer and catch nasty things like Cancer, are more susceptible to Diabetes and so on.  I do hate the way that it is gradually killing my dad and didn't just be as certain as a heart attack or something that would have been short and over and done with.  To toy with someone with a great mind is too cruel for words.   Does a just God do that to their people?  I wonder.  I need to go have the time to myself to go and work that out I think.  I find it a difficult scenario where what happens to people could possibly be considered the act of someone compassionate and caring.  If you see the anguish it brings not only to the sufferer but also to those around them it isn't compassionate or caring at all, it's downright nasty.    

So I will leave you with this that I am listening to right now.  One of my fav bands, Camel and from the concept Album Dust and Dream (about the Great American Depression and the Dust Bowl Drought).  It's a really interesting piece of music.  In fact, see if you can pick up the whole album at some time especially "Go West" which is another fab piece of music.

Somehow I am drawn to this at these troubled times, I know not why.....

Yuk Bollocks etc

Bloody phone packed up half way through the night - only charged it in the morning - what the hell is going on?  So worried that I had no news from home and arrived back and set on to power up and no message, no email, in fact nothing except from my Uncle.  In fact a message just arrived.  Dad is having a brain scan tomorrow (well later today).  Interesting times.  Not sure what is going on at the moment but, dare I say, in my eyes we are entering the home straight now and I just need to get myself prepared for this as I will need all my strength and resolve to hold the rest of the family together.  

I know that my brother will be in pieces as he is very close to my dad living 5 minutes from them for years and years.  Mum will be exhausted and we will just have to make the most of it.  I can be an arse like this and whilst people hate me for it, someone has to do the "hard man" through the tough bit.  I imagine later I'll be in bits but that can wait really, wait until I get to be on my own.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hospital it is then

At least there is one thing about going to hospital, dad will be able to have 24x7 care and let's hope they can relieve the pain he has.  Now quite disorientated and confused the doctor wants to know if it is the Cancer, the whack on the head or the strained muscles that are doing this.  Probably a combination of the 3 I'm guessing.

So I now need to hear what that will all mean to mum and the family.  Hopefully mum will get a bit of rest and be able to be less on edge.  Looking after someone who you've lived and loved for 56 years must take a hell of a strain.  I feel pretty helpless but what can I do other than a bit of support.  I have today started to feel a bit upset about things - I have no idea how it will take me at all, the nearer we get the worse I feel.  It's not that I don't care BTW it is just the way I'm made.

Anyway, I will go out and meet some friends tonight as planned and see what they have to say, hopefully they will cheer me up or allow me to cheer them up which will mysteriously cheer me up too.  

Who is right?

Crack of Sparrows call from my brother.  Difficult to know what to make of it other than he wants me up there.  If I had been already then what?  As I asked him, "What exactly were you thinking I might do?"  That's the problem as I said to him if I'd already been up there and done the supportive bit etc. then what?  It's chicken and egg of the worst possible kind.

Then there's the other bit of once I'm up there is it just a day there and back or is it two or three days at a time?  It is just difficult to tell and next week is easier to move things around than this week and some would say you should go forget it  but just what is the right thing to do?  

I shall try and get some sort of answer out of my mum when I speak to her.  In a way, after that, I will at least be able to put some sense to it.  Again, it isn't a lot of use me just sitting up there getting in the way either.  What to do? What to do?

I guess it will play out one way or another.

Trying to work out what to do next

It is interesting as today I saw a few jobs and thought, they look good but a little later retreated from them as I thought a bit more about them.  Here's the problem and it will always be a problem for me.  I really enjoy the sorts of things I've been doing for the last 10 years or so and I've learnt so much in the past few years that I can now talk with some authority about business, finance, customer and competitive research, business planning, risks, issues and contingencies and a whole host of other things.  That experience is a marketable commodity in my eyes and I'm not sure whether I should set my sights lower unless it is for a job in the Third Sector which I would certainly consider would be lower rewarded in terms of money but would be a higher reward in terms of philanthropic pursuits.

I think that after this week is over and done with I will take a short breather, enough time to just work out what to do and to clear my office of the last 2 years of paperwork and just archive all of that.  I can then file away the business stuff and clear the decks getting myself organised properly to start to think clearly.

Horrible as it sounds, I somehow need to understand dad's situation and to come to terms with that and to work out my reaction to it for at the moment I feel something but I don't feel what I thought I should.  In fact it is a lot like having Cancer as what you think you should feel like is very different to how you do feel.  Strange but true.  I have a number of things I must sit down and sort out including some accounts and odds and ends of paperwork.  I'm going to go and see the local history society in a few weeks too as they meet on a Friday and go have a chat with then and see what gives there.  

I'm considering what to do with the family history business and also some of the more interesting ideas I've got and when someone I know comes back from holiday I will go and see him and work on some business ideas that I had that he seems interested in.  I wonder if my future lies in providing that level of advice and consulting in short bursts to business people who wouldn't necessarily have my sort of expertise?  Who knows.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What does that mean?

Doctor been and sorted out some of the symptoms dad is having, giving heavier pain killers but bloods and blood pressure seem to be normalising and he is eating again.  However, the problem is that it is like all these things, we don't know actually what it is that is doing this, the fall, the cancer or the steroids which he shouldn't have had that he is almost finally weaned off.

I'm just on standby and as soon as I hear anything then I will need to spring into action. 

End of Life

Either I'm a cold fish or perhaps I just look at things differently to most.  I hate the idea of my dad suffering away there and just getting no quality of life and without doubt the surgeons extended his life as I originally didn't see him making it past Christmas.  He's very strong (or was) and has had some extra time but in all honesty - it isn't him and it isn't a good way (is there ever) for things to work out but I guess we don't get to choose and we don't know when, where etc.

I have to admit to being in a strange place but then again we are shutting down (or putting the shutters over) our business this week and the girls are in exams or final projects and so timing isn't great but once again you can't choose that either.  I have no idea if you get a certain way along and then consciously make up your mind that you've had enough and give up.  

My limited brushes with the subject came when I had my feinting episode and got taken to St. Thomas's Hospital (about the best place) and had all that good stuff and 5 days of tests - I wouldn't go to sleep in case I didn't wake up - my children were very young then too - terrifying time but after that - things were OK and then, of course, Bladder Cancer and for some weeks I was wrestling with the arguments around what would happen - remember the staging wasn't known and I had to wait for tests and diagnosis so for 3 weeks I was waiting and then a few weeks more to find out.  Then it was noted as being a pretty nasty one.  When asked did I think I was going to die?  I have no hesitation to say that I really did think that at first.  

We all have to die, we don't like the idea, we don't discuss it much and we sort of brush it under the carpet a bit.  We don't know how to deal with each other and that's everyone, talking to the dying, talking to relatives of the dying etc.  We are very concious that we might offend or be indelicate.  I'm not really indelicate (I think) but I am a realist, this is going to happen and everyone is going to be very upset about it and it is going to be a horrible time for us all but we just have to deal with it and move on.  There's nothing in our power we can do to stop it and we just need to brush ourselves down and make the best of it and adjust.  I'll hate it because I don't like seeing people upset, not since I've been ill have I been able to cope with it and yet before, it would not have been a problem.  Either I've learnt compassion or as I suspect, there have been some interesting chemical changes in my body and some easing of the cells in my brain :-)

I'm not looking forward to this next stage either (who would) especially as I'm far away and reacting to any change in circumstances is going to be difficult.  Some people have told me that they regretted not being there "at the end" and I'm not sure if it is possible for that to happen, how would you be able to judge that and how could you possibly be there unless it is some sort of vigil and you get sufficient warning.  Some said they left their loved ones in seemingly good health and spirits to get home and find out that they had died.  

Things will take their course and I just hope that when they do it will be peaceful and pain free.  If I am there, then so be it but if not, well circumstances and timing would have been different that's all.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Short Hold

Whilst I wait to hear what the Doctor has to say tomorrow.  Dad has started eating again today which is good - he was only pecking at stuff because of the pain and has been sleeping a lot too.  The pain killers appear to make him want to sleep and I suppose that is no bad thing.   

I'll get a call from my mum tomorrow afternoon and can then make my mind up on what to do about things.  All my commitments are on alert now that I may not make them (that's this Friday and Saturday).  Anyway - let's see what happens tomorrow.

Strange Feelings

Strange indeed.  Not sure how I feel at the moment.   It's obviously not a good time at the moment and Dad's been going through the mill of it with falling over, tablets that perhaps he shouldn't have had and a whole range of things going on. 

Whether or not things are as bad as my brother says I will try and find out tomorrow from my mum and make a decision on what to do.  The distance is a problem as it always was going to be and that doesn't help me.  My brother's suggestion of driving there and back in day when faced with a trip around the M25 and M11 and back entailing a minimum of 5 hours if not 6 hours driving doesn't exactly fit my best things to do in a day criteria - if I have to I have to but it isn't as if it is something that I enjoy doing as a day trip.

I'm in a strange place I have to say - strange in as much as before I spoke to my brother I knew dad was poorly but not quite as poorly as he said so that has disturbed me.  The description he gave sounds, to me, like things have deteriorated in a few hours since I'd spoken to my mum and if that is the case then when I speak to her later today (now) I can see what I will need to do.   

I still feel quite remote from what is going on and a little less emotional than I thought I perhaps should although I did feel pretty disturbed with what my brother told me.  I'm expecting that tomorrow isn't going to be good news and so better prepare myself for that.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

That's a phone call I'd rather not have had

Phone call with mum wasn't good and brother and sister in law were called in early to assist move my dad who is in a lot of pain with this tear across his chest.  My brother then called me to sort of say dad's really getting very frail, grey and his chest is beginning to rattle and he isn't eating much and maybe I ought to come up this week.

I probably will have to do that but will wait until I hear what happens in the morning as mum is ringing the doctor and in a way that will determine a course of action for her, my dad and inevitably for me.

I'm going to set some scenes with a few people as a "just in case" as I had some plans this week but might have to change those based on what transpires.

My brother is a little prone to excitability in these sorts of circumstances but I think he has a point this time.

Sunday Struggles

The diet starts again on Sunday and I struggle with it.  Not with wanting to get back on to it but with starting to eat again!  I have to force food down first thing in the morning as I really don't want to eat anything.  I'm so stuffed from cheat day that I really don't want to be looking at any more food.

This coming week may once again be difficult as I have a meal out (possible) and a meeting and a meal on Friday so possibly two days where the diet might get broken.  So far I've been pretty good but of course sometimes you cannot help but eat things that afterwards you find out you perhaps shouldn't.  Sausages are fine and I had some on Wednesday and they were great - a bowlful of small cocktail ones with mustard but what else?  Damn, Honey - so that would have spiked things for me, had I worked that out before hand I would have requested them plain.  

A friend is a Vegan and I offered him my roll last night and he said he couldn't as he didn't know the ingredients - it must be very difficult for him when he goes out, he even wears non -animal suits and shoes etc - try working that out.  It must be very difficult for him not to come into contact with something that has touched an animal or was derived from one.

But I digress.  I will need to be careful of what arrives on my plate in future but also be aware that sometimes you cannot always be certain.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Poor old dad (update)

Once again he is bed bound and very poorly, very sore and can barely move after having pulled the "gristle" around his breast bone and ribs.  It even sounds sore writing it.  He can barely move at the moment and so is feeling very miserable indeed.  

You can only imagine what it is like and can only really offer sympathy and just feel for him - what else can you possibly do?  

I'm off to a Lodge meeting this afternoon and the sun is out for the first time in what feels like months :-)  Let's hope it isn't too warm in the meeting or at the meal afterwards.

Today is cheat day and so that does mean I can have a few beers and that I can also have whatever food is stuck in front of me too.  I've been pretty good this morning only consuming a few bags of sweets and some milky, sweetened coffee.  Perhaps some toasted cheese at lunch and then whatever we will have this afternoon will suffice.  I certainly don't want to be feeling quite as bad as I did last Sunday when I didn't want to face breakfast.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Poor old dad

Poor fella is going through the wars, was very sore this morning after his fall and so now is on some strongish pain killers - as if he didn't have enough tablets to take!  

Hopefully this will give him a little short term respite from the pain and also now he is being weaned off the tablets they gave him to help him that actually didn't let's hope he can have a less eventful time.  Of course, he is just going to continue getting weaker and weaker and continue the downward spiral.  All we and the professionals can do is make him comfortable.  

The hell of this is that he is aware (most of the time) of what is going on.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Piano Tuned

The Technician turned up today and did his best and managed to tune the piano a bit and so I have an in tune piano albeit a note and a half lower than it should be.  We have a plan now to start to play it and to get the Technician back in 4 months and gradually move that out to 6 months.   He reckons we could get it back into pitch in a few years but it needs to be worked on to make that happen.  The old piano is a wee bit too far gone to do much with and I need to chase up the new owners and see when they are coming as it needs to be hydrated.

Anyhow, piano available and in tune so I had a very brief play of it earlier and looking forward to perhaps digging out my books and starting to learn my chords again.  It would be nice to have that sort of skill.  Maybe I could get a tutor but who knows - I suppose I ought to get a paying job first on that one.

I was very concerned I was heading into a depressive state earlier today - before I heard my dad's news - but seem to have dragged myself out of that.  I'm also going to take myself off to bed now and attempt to get to sleep without head going 90 to the dozen. 

The Missed Phone Call

I dread getting a call from my brother and today I missed a call from him but couldn't contact him so left a voice message.  He then texted me saying that Dad had fallen over and was a bit the worse for wear.

I only spoke to my mum earlier today and she was fine and the doctor had been in and he came straight back very quickly when she rang him - which is good - I doubt he'd have wanted to go to hospital.  Doctor and Hospital appear to have "had words" about medication he is on and doctor is annoyed that said meds are making him diabetic and if things go on like this he will need Insulin not just the odd tablet.  

Things have been bad these past few weeks.  The trouble is that he isn't getting the most out of his food and the meds were to help him break that down and gain benefit.  The side effect is that they are making him more ill in another area.

My brother tells me dad is looking quite grey and drawn now - he was when I saw him.  I'll call in the morning and see what's going on.

Interestingly I bumped into a few guys tonight who haven't seen me for around 4 or 5 years.  They said how well I looked and that I'd put on weight and so on.  It was funny as one of them told me how ill I actually looked.  Now, I never ever felt I looked ill - drawn perhaps but not that bad but a look back at some photos and listening to a number of people now perhaps I did look rough.  Always nice to hear that I look that much better.

Definitely a bit down today

Down a notch or two in terms of my usual demeanour but only to be expected with dad not exactly right and given that we are wrapping up the business.  Two years is a long time to have spent on pursuing it and whilst we would like to have gotten somewhere realise that it isn't always possible to bring something quite as radical to market as this.

No matter how you prepare yourself for these eventualities and no matter how you think you will react, there's some sort of switch inside that makes things appear far worse.  So today I'm battling that general feeling of being "down" and not really my cheery and happy self.  

Had a horrendous dream last night, completely apocalyptic, everyone was infected with an incurable virus and were dying all over the place.   Woke up from that one gladly I can tell you.  

Off out again to London later and hope that I'll be a little more cheerful than I am now. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Funny Day

Not sure how I ended up paying for it though but I did!  Ho hum.  Interesting conversations and discussions with some of the (now) ex team members.  I don't feel too bad although I should,  Given the amount of alcohol consumed!

Anyway - have got a little further forward and also a little further back all at the same time.  Sudden'y, now, everyone has bright ideas.....  Where were they 6 months ago?

Not quite so morbid and down in the dumps now but perhaps overnight that will change!? :-)

Strange Place

Well I'm a bit better this morning and a good sleep has helped.  The problem I often have is that I think too long and too hard and overload my head with lots of things to sort out all at once.  I am however in a better mood this morning and not quite so sombre.  I guess that yesterday was the final nail in the coffin and so it is a reality now.

Off to London shortly to go meet some of the team and see what their take on things is.  They, unlike me, have other jobs and have been getting paid these past 2 years.  It won't be quite as much of a shock to them as it is to my co-founder and I.  Ho hum, these things are sent to try us and I'm OK about things today whereas I had to admit to being pretty sad (or probably deeply reflective) yesterday.  I'm also sure that the news about dad didn't really help either.

Hopefully a day out will sort my head out.


It's late - I should be in bed but I'm sad and I'm reflective.  I'm listening to the album "Nude" by Camel - it's one of my all time favourites but I'm not feeling great at the moment and this reflects my mood in a way.

The album is a concept one about a Japanese soldier who was marooned on an island after the second world war.  Based on a true story it has some wonderful passages and great guitar solos.  

It isn't really helping me much and draws me into a sort of sombre mood.  I love the music but it makes me reflective and tearful.   However, it is "just right" at the moment as it captures my feelings extremely well.

I'm in a very strange place right now.  Yesterday the last piece fell into place and suddenly I'm back in the market and I just don't know where I actually want to be be.  I have many ideas and lots of experience but I haven't resolved in my self what I want to do going forward.  Life is now screwing with my head.   I don't really know what I want to do for the 2nd or 3rd time since Bladder Cancer came knocking at my door, I'm trying to work out what it all means.

Faith comes into play once again as do many of the lessons I've learnt these past 3 or 4 years.  What do I do next?  What will "float my boat" and where does my future lie?

Here's the problem(s):

  • What does my survival mean and how can I live but benefit others through it?
  • I've committed lots of my time to a number of things that haven't actually happened - how do I feel about the wasted (or is it) effort?
  • I've loads and loads of experience and ideas - will anyone actually "buy" these from me?
  • Does anyone (apart from me) actually give a sh1t about what I want?
  • Is it all about me or is it about my family? 

And on and on it goes  - I'm really back where I started 5 years ago in one respect - in terms of money income to the family.  In other terms I'm so much richer in my head and in my attitude etc.  Unfortunately this great feeling stuff isn't materialising into hard cash and that is what I need to look after my family etc.  There's this balance between doing the right thing and doing the Right thing and I'm wrestling with that problem right now.

I'm very bad at talking this stuff through - I'm an INTJ - let's face it - what chance have I got???  

Oh well - things will work themselves out in the next month or so - as my friend told me tonight "it was such a brilliant idea and so way ahead of its time no wonder no one got it!"  It's still annoying as hell though.  

Life, The Universe and all that

I am free.  That's the end of my journey and things weren't mean't to be.  It is a damn shame and of course someone else will be the first to market and will come up with our idea eventually and we will be the Icarus of the idea.  Hell - what a shame, what a nuisance and what a waste (or is it)?

I've now got to do a lot of soul searching and a lot of working out what I want to do.  Tomorrow starts that process with some trusted colleagues and (no doubt) large quantities of Red Wine!

Let's see what the future holds for me now.  We've been here before and I've had adversity and crap thrown at me in spades, this is no different but this time, have I learnt from what I've lived through and can I turn it to my advantage?


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

That's it - the game's up

Got the final confirmation that we aren't going to get investment just a few minutes ago.  That's disturbing and annoying, expected and settles the matter.  What a shame.

Many people have commented that they have never seen a more compelling proposition or such a well structured series of plans and financial projections and yet, despite all of that, the risks are too great and the market so depressed that you just can't get the money unless, of course, you fit a very narrow, well publicised, photofit of what is needed.  Unfortunately we aren't likely to ever fit that profile.  I'm not as fed up as I thought I'd be but then we prepared for this as well as the opposite by making ourselves examine the prospect some time ago.  

Ironically the agency tasked with solving the digital divide in the UK were away at a brainstorming session today.  It's a bit of a shame that they didn't even want to talk to us about what we have considering they are trying to find an answer and we've got it :-)  It's amazing how Ironic Irony can be sometimes......  Maybe they'll reconsider and come talk to us, they happily talk to people with makeshift short-term solutions.  But there you go, it sounds like sour grapes and is a bit but then there's been a lot to learn on this journey.

Prime learning - most people we've met are programmed to tackle problems in a certain way and  do not think outside of the box at all.  We have such a radical answer that many people don't get it at all.  It is probably not their fault but it is surprising that so many people were completely off beam and kept relating us back to their comfort levels.  The trouble is that even after having been thinking outside of the box ourselves, it is all so easy to go back into thinking like the rest of the world in a linear way and using a narrow set of facts to base ideas and actions on.

I think that we might indeed advance shutting things down from Friday week to later this week given that we now have our final result. 

A bit sad considering all the millions of people who cannot get on-line and despite what Governments and their departments say, they don't actually appear to give a toss about them.  

Oh Dear Sleep - Again

I haven't been having sleeping problems for a long time now and thought all was back to normal with vivid dreams and feeling relaxed and rested but the last few days have seen the insomnia type conditions re-appear and finding myself laying in or going back to sleep rather than getting up.  I'm pretty certain that a lot of this is down to working into the evenings thinking about what I want to do and yesterday I was on the PC all day doing research and writing things down.  My mind was overly active and it took ages to get to sleep.

I think I will try and address that this week if I can but I'm out late for the next three nights :-(  

My Dad is showing signs for some concern and is having far more bad days than good now.  He is beginning to feel a bit sorry for himself but still wont have the specialist nurses into see him.  I think he just isn't accepting the situation which is concerning to us but of course it is his decision and his mind is still fine so only he will know when to do this.  

I've pulled off my calendar / diary for the next few months so I can see when I can get up to see him.  May is a very bad month as I have lots of things on throughout the month and something every weekend.  This week I'm out three nights and two afternoons plus Saturday.  This is when I have little to do :-)

Next week is the crunch date for my business as if we haven't heard by Thursday week we will shut things down and so I guess one thing will go out of my life and we will scale right back and just do some odds and ends to tidy up and then work on what we want to do next.  

At least that is out of the way and I'll have time to myself without going through the motions as we are at the moment.  Professional to the end :-)  I think we will draw the line at going down with the ship - what's the point in that?

Still happy with the diet and now just want to bust down through the 15 stone weight and see if I can get below 15.  I'm managing to keep to the diet extremely well and over the next few days I've got a few more "testers" but I should be OK as I can choose what to eat tomorrow and just be circumspect about what I eat on Thursday - a 5 course banquet though so there are bound to be some dangers hidden in that :-)  Saturday is cheat day so I can enjoy myself and not worry.

Monday, May 07, 2012

A Very Quiet Day

It was a very strange day indeed as both girls are away.  It was very quiet and as it threw it down with rain intermittently we spent the day in the house.  Strange how the day went, I spent the day working on the computer and picking my way through ideas on things to do to turn a buck.  Have to say I also secured some twitter and blog accounts just in case I go down one of the routes.

The next thing to do is to start to formulate my ideas and see what I really want to do in the future.  There are a lot of things I'd like to do but of course, some are great ideas but hardly practicable and a few I think would take me 6 to 9 months to bring to fruition.  

So what I have now are a series of small business plans to do some high level tests on whether they might be worth doing.  It takes a little while to do each but at least this gives me a quick idea of whether or not it makes sense.

Damn photos

They don't lie do they?  Well maybe.  But just saw a few photos of myself and whilst you can see I've lost a fair bit I still look like a blimp and so that's spurred me on to the next phase.  2 Stone down and I wonder if I can get down a further 2 Stone?  

I'm back on the diet and still feel good.  Probably the best news is the dramatic drop off in blood pressure which is great.  I was already on a downwards trend but this diet seems to have to nailed it to around the 130 over 90 mark and below which should keep my doctor happy.  Once again, the loss of weight also appears to have settled that down and here's another interesting thing.  I noticed down the week that I'm not so breathless and wasn't so affected by being in a crowded place although I doubt that I am completely clear of that.  What it must be is that I'm not carting around all that weight and so breathing is easier and I just feel that much better.  

It is surprising how much better I feel and so continuing with the diet is a no brainer.  

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Back on Track

Not too much damage done by the looks of it but I do struggle the day after cheat day to start back onto the diet.  Not, as you may suspect, through not wanting to at all but more so from the jolt that the cheat day gives the system I really don't fancy eating anything at all, I need to force myself to eat.  You really must eat within 1 hour of waking and it is pretty important to do that too as the weight loss works best when you do.  The very last thing I wanted to do was eat but I did force myself to do that.

Once that was done the rest of the day fell into place and I was able to sort that out.  It is a strange thing indeed but the cheat day really does mess my system up and the excesses of that day really do shock the system - I could feel it especially the hit from sugary things - it really make my body wonder what on earth has happened to it.

This week too is a challenge but I think I can stay on track pretty much but once again there are three meal out - one mercifully is on Saturday so I will enjoy that to its full.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Home Thoughts, from Abroad

Came and sprang into my mind:

Robert Browning

Home Thoughts, from Abroad

O, TO be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge—
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

And then this also remembered.  Happy days way back to school days and my teenage years:

I have no idea why that should be but there you go.  Both are rather nice I hope you'll agree.