Friday, August 31, 2012

Monza sorted

The final piece is in place and so we will be flying out on Thursday and I am really looking forward to it now.  Today was another mini milestone on the way and a barrier to get past.  Tomorrow is to get the bathroom finally all connected and tested.  That leaves me some small work to complete but that's OK.  

Monza is a bit of a reward and also it puts down a marker for me.  I'm still trying to work out what I want to be doing in the future and I'm hopeful that these diversions may help me work out a strategy for the future.  There are so many things going around my head and trying to analyse and work on them really is "doing my head in" and that's the trouble as I need to "Elephant Eat" the problem and I need to set myself some parameters to work within.   For example:

  1. I don't want to work in the city any more
  2. I don't want to travel long distances on a daily basis but might be happy to work away
  3. I don't want a 9 - 5 job with no flexibility
  4. I must not undersell my skills and experience
These are just some basic rules that set out employment but these aren't all.  There are rules of where to live, how to live, what I want to do and so on.  

Monza will remind me what it is like to do something that I want to do.  I'm going with my Nephew and his friend, no immediate family and it will be a break that will set a marker as it will be one of the first times I've done something like this for myself.  I had planned it when I got past 5 years but never really did anything about it.  I've then looked to take a holiday and take my mum away for a week just to give her the opportunity to do the same and take a break.  I've been a bit naughty in that I've made it occur when it would be my dad's birthday.  Specifically this means that she can't go to the Crematorium (which she assures me she wouldn't want to) and also it means that my brother wont make her go with him.  I see no reason that you would want to do this.  But the other thing is to give mum a break as she's had a number of years of looking after dad and not really getting a break.  A and I took her and dad out one day a few years back but that all revolved around him as he couldn't walk far and it was pretty obvious in hindsight that he was ill way back then.

Anyway - it was a hugely important day today.  It means that they can't see any cancer in my Torso which re-assures me that I can remove that concern from my mind.  It's time to move on, it's time to make some decisions and I feel that now might be the time to start turning things around.

Well that's OK then

Yes indeed, the CT scan was clear, the Cytology was clear and the Scope was clear, come back in 6 months.  It was very quick and easy as usual.   They used a new local which actually seems to be fine - they said it stung less which I suppose it did.  It certainly is better now it is wearing off.

The only downside on the whole thing was that there was a mix up with my paperwork which had arrived at another location in the Hospital.  So I was seen, eventually, about an hour late.  However, that's not a problem as it is good news.

In fact it may have helped as I took my Ibuprofen and Paracetamol up to 30 minutes before I actually got seen which probably helped the after affects of which I have a small stinging sensation but have been able to go to the toilet without any discomfort and that's great.

I am just going to take it easy now and sit down for the remainder of the day.  I've bought some beers in celebration which I will have later.

Lovely to get good wishes from all over the world and positive thoughts and prayers.  They were much appreciated and of course seem to be working nicely.

It is funny, it is a relief because I never let myself now think about the negative.  I used to go with a view that the result would be negative so that I could bolster myself up and make it a positive thing.  It's nice to turn up in a positive frame of mind for once.  I managed my breathing very well and I wore my "I'm Not Dead Yet!" Tee Shirt - made one of the old ladies in the waiting room chuckle so that was OK.  I was also stuck into my MP3 player (thank goodness for those) and was zoned out nicely today.

Not long to go now

Cysto in the morning - all cleaned up nicely with a shower at the mother-in-law's house.  Just hydrating so ensuring that I can give a pee sample in the morning and that I can keep going to the loo.  It sort of helps if you pass water a lot after the procedure.  I have everything lined up to go and so just need to go get some sleep.

More tomorrow no doubt.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Interesting call with mum

Had a long chat today about dad and it was quite enlightening "talking about dad" you see I found a photo which is here by my desk and whilst I occasionally get brought up short by it, the majority of times I look at it and smile.  You see he was a a nice guy and he and mum were very close and that's great.  It may not be my ideal of a relationship, I didn't know him at all well after they moved away and so that also meant that the time I had with him was very good.

Because of that, it's OK to be happy that he is no longer so ill as he was, that he is at peace and that he is troubled no more.  We spoke about how "bad" things were over the 11 months he was ill.  Whilst this is true, it isn't anything we could have changed, it wasn't in our power.  Mum thought dad didn't know how ill he was.  That's interesting as I reckon if you'd have been told it was terminal you'd have a bit of a clue.  I did however concur that I never really took it quite as seriously as perhaps I might.  By that I mean I had a life threatening, seriously nasty disease that did affect me a lot more than I thought but I never really realised that.

Anyway, it was nice to have a long chat and also discuss the possibility of going away for a week taking mum with us.  Hope that I can arrange that a little later this coming month.

Now to get ready for my cysto tomorrow morning.  I am going to just sit on my backside when I get back from that.

Oh well up and down day

Bad news is that brother in law's day got worse with fixing some of the stuff in the bathroom he arrived very late and was just having an "off day" - we all have those I assured him - somehow he feels he has let us down and I wasn't expecting him to help at all - the amazing thing is that without him I'd have struggled with the washbasin and the bath.  I think tomorrow (well later today) will see it finished from his side.  I will do the finishing off bits.

The good news is that Monza is now all planned and booked so I'm pleased with that.  We have flights, hotels, cars, tickets, ear-plugs and everything else sorted (I think).

Also have followed up on my suggestion to get mum away for a week or so.  We have ascertained that she doesn't want to go abroad so that's settled so we will try and work out a trip to Northumberland and that area and perhaps Edinburgh whilst we are there.  That would be nice as none of us have been there (apart from me on business which doesn't count).

I need to ready myself for Friday morning and so may have to get over to the in-laws for a shower tomorrow evening - I'd have preferred first thing Friday but I'm due to the Hospital at 9 so would be knocking on their door at 7.  I'll just have to make the best of it.  I also need to make sure I'm nicely hydrated tomorrow too that will help with the recovery on Friday.  I've got my pills ready and need to sort a few bits out so that I take the minimum I need in with me.  I always tend to take a bit too much but there you go.  Maybe take a folded plastic bag this time for my clothes!  It's a bit strange I'm not looking forward to that but it is normally all done and dusted pretty quickly and I tend to get seen on time and so I'll make sure I'm there on the dot and I'll recover by doing nothing when I get home.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Not a great day

A bit of a flat one as the brother-in-law got most of the way here only to realise that he had left most of his equipment back home and had to turn around and go back and get it.  So it's now getting towards 3 pm and the only work done is the work I've done on the tiling and getting the cistern ready to be installed!  I've left it ready to be completed but of course, without him here, I haven't actually done the last little bits of work.  Hopefully when (if) he gets here we can give it a stab and get the work done but I'm not sure it will be worth his while coming over here this late - unless he works late I suppose!

I'm certainly in two minds about whether to proceed or not but will await his arrival - that way I wont do anything wrong (I hope).

I'm beginning to get around to thinking about Friday and getting my Cystoscopy sorted out.  It will be good to get this done and to hear about the CT Scan results too.  I'm sure that they would have called me in if there was anything concerning or major.  Let's also hope there's nothing minor there either :-)

This time next week I'll be preparing to go to Monza - looking forward to a good few days entertainment.

Only been a week

Since the plasterer arrived and only 4 days since he left so I'm perhaps getting a little too impatient about things :-)  Mind you, the bathroom is almost there now, another day or two and it will be serviceable at least.  It may not be completely finished but it will be usable with care.

As soon as I can tile the walls and get those sorted out the better it will be as once that is done I can install the shower kit and the screen and we can really get the bathroom fully functional.

You forget how much you rely on areas like this.  It still doesn't help that I'm not in the best of places in terms of what I want to do with myself in the future.  In fact, that thought process needs to be re-started after the bulk of this bathroom is done.  I have to say that I don't think I'll be going back into the construction business any time soon though - this has been hard work - not that I mind that - it just reminds me why I got out of the business in the first place.  Mind you I've probably lost a stone in the last one and a half weeks through all the exercise and not eating much either!

Getting in the way

That's me that is.  Brother in Law is doing fine, he is pretty much ready to final fit most of the stuff tomorrow.  Me, well I'm going to retrofit a tile and see if I can finish off my WC cistern installation.  As he was doing to wash basin I was getting in the way and so I ended up doing odds and ends of preparatory work and assisting where needed.  The area to work in is quite tight and so two of us together is a bit of a problem!

Any way, at least he does this everyday and so some of it is quite natural to him and the fine job he has done on the sink is especially pleasing as he made a few minor tweaks which have made it look just great.

My only concern this week, apart from I'm now paying to have stuff installed (well I'm not going to let him do it and not get paid) is that I would have liked to have the bath available for Friday morning as I have my cystoscope.  It might be ready by then it just depends but that aside, I just want to make sure I turn up "clean" as can be for the scope and then I intend to have a very restful afternoon on Friday doing absolutely nothing.  I've learnt from bitter experience that after any of these procedures, you may think you are fine but the best thing to do is just relax and take the day off, stuff will still be there the day after.  In fact the family are off at the Paralympics on Saturday so I'll have a day to potter around in the bathroom and perhaps, who knows, will be able to do some finishing touches.  I've now got the instructions how to fit the bath side panel and so I can do that and perhaps some other areas too.

Our tickets have arrived and I printed them out - what did we used to do before the Internet?  It's great, you order on-line and then 18 hours later you get an email and your tickets that you print out and bring with you on the day!  How cool is that?

Oh well, a few more days of smells and dust and water and putty and we can begin to get back to normality.  I'm pretty impressed with my skills in the trimming the door department I have to say it fits perfectly...  I now just need to be as good in laying the wall tiles as laying the floor ones.  At least this time they shouldn't take 2 days to set!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WC - not quite - bath - installed - washbasin - maybe

It's the sort of nightmare you think of after you've installed the bath and there's the masking tape to come off and suddenly there are small bits of fibre glass stuck to the bath.  Some come off with a pull and some with soap and water but my oh my this is taking a while until - "Hold on, this area has just rippled and started to move!"  Then we discovered that the whole bath has been covered in a very thin film of plastic as well as the masking tape layer.  Does it say this in the instructions?  Does it like hell!

The bath is installed, holds water and looks great but cannot be stuck to the wall yet as the plaster is drying but not fully ready for some silicon or glue yet.  The cabinets are in for the WC and the Washbasin but I've got a hold up on the WC as the waste doesn't fit tightly enough or deep enough for my brother in law's liking.  He has some at home so perhaps we can reconvene in the morning.  He is just fitting the sink now for us which is great.  It's sort of happened that he is available and has been here for 1 and a half days.  In that time he has managed to really help me out and the bath has a frame built for it now which is great.  I'm now hovering around doing small bits of work whilst he is cracking on with the larger stuff.  I was at least able to re hang the door, sort out the lock and put up the first unit and the cistern is in place.  I think I may get on and cut the tile that I need to complete the floor as that will give me something useful to do for a short while!

Just having a 10 minute "breather" whilst B-I-L gets on and does his thing next door.  Amazed by how practical he is - much like I used to be 35 years ago!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Funny sort of day that turned out to be

The tiles hadn't set completely but I didn't notice until quite late on.  We got the bath in and found the wall to be a little out (nothing unusual there then).  Carved a bit out of the wall, set the bath up and then realised that we couldn't finish installing it as the plaster was still damp - damnation.  So my brother in law is back tomorrow and we will install the bath then and hopefully he will help me with the sink and WC too.  Bargain.  That meant we could get over to sister in laws and that meant free beer for me which was nice :-)

Have just been on-line and in my halting Italian and using Google translate, have managed to book tickets for the Monza Grand Prix.  For a few extra Euros (15 in fact) we have passes for all three days - how cool is that - it means we could go for first and second practice on the Friday if we wanted to.

I'm really quite charged about it now and I'm just looking forward to getting going and spending some time away and perhaps beginning to consider that I ought to be doing some more "me time" stuff.

Cysto coming up on Friday - sort of hoping that it is good news once again - whatever it is, Monza will be only a few days away after that - how exciting.

Calm before the storm

So to speak, today sees the bathroom start to take shape.  It will be interesting to see if the preparation work I did will bear fruit as all I really need to do is to bring in the new equipment, make some woodwork and plumbing adjustments and the bathroom should take shape.  Famous last words I know but that's what I'm hoping for.  Not sure when I can do the tiling though for the shower.  I want to do that quickly but the plaster isn't fully dried yet.  Timing is everything on that.

My Cystoscope on Friday this week so hope that goes well.  It came sneaking up on me but that's good.  At 9 am it is also good as it gets it out of the way fast for me, just what I need.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wow - Diamond Tile Cutter - what a beauty

I don't normally get enthusiastic about tools - I mean they do the job they are meant to.  But I'm really pleased with two things I bought - a circular saw which has enabled me to do the flooring (wood) and a diamond tile cutter which I used today to put down these huge tiles Mrs. F. has chosen.  What a great tool and amazing how quickly it cuts the tiles.  I was so pleased with myself as I didn't have any broken tiles at all and all my cuts were bang on the measurements I wanted.  How cool is that.

I want the floor adhesive to set now so I can get in to the room and look.  I have to say that it looks great already.  tomorrow I have one more tile to install and then can install the bath.  the one tile is an afterthought as I was wondering how to finish off an area and had a eureka moment on that!

I really hope I can get the bath in, levelled and fixed solid so that we can at least have a bath.  Of course there is the small matter of putting the door back on but I have a cunning and devious plan for that and my Brother-in-law is around tomorrow who is a carpenter so I hope I can use his assistance to install the bath and fit the door.  That will be cool :-)

Feel like an old man  - not in the biblical sense :-) with all these aches and pains!

Roll on tomorrow when it will start to begin to look like a bathroom again.  

Oh my what a day

We started decking out the floor but managed to have all sorts of problems with that, especially as I hadn't remembered the Soil Pipe was sticking out of the wall which made getting the first complicated piece difficult to fit.  Then my electric screwdriver decided that it didn't like screwing in around 200 screws into the floor, so I had to revert to my pump driver.  So things didn't go quite as planned but the new light is installed, the floor is in and primed ready for tiling tomorrow.  The walls are drying out nicely and I'll give the floor tiles a go tomorrow.  Luckily they are quite large so I don't suppose it will take a long time but drying out may take a while.

I'm a day behind which is annoying but can't be helped I suppose.  I really could do with sorting this out this week so that at least we can have a bath even if I can't sort out the shower by the end of the week.

My new memoflex glasses have arrived which replaced my nice pair of reading glasses I broke when letting the plasterer in last week!  These look to be pretty good as they are flexible and shouldn't break easily (famous last words).

Need to watch out tonight for cramps - got two nasty seizures last night along with a series of small twinges and also this evening got a few too.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nice place to be

My Dad's ashes were scattered in the garden of the Crematorium today.  He absolutely loved gardening and this quite new garden is a suitable resting place for him.  It was funny as he always said we should stick him on the Roses in the garden :-)

Well, he's actually under the Roses, bless him.  He would have thought that was funny :-)

Eat my dust

Dust absolutely everywhere and of course, it just goes with the territory when the whole room needs plastering and re-doing.

My mum and brother are spreading dad's ashes this morning.  I suggested that they might like to do this without me as it is a long way to go to empty the urn onto the roses.  Additionally, it is a bank holiday weekend and traffic will be pretty heavy with people taking the opportunity to head off for a long weekend, to the various festivals etc.   I'm sure that mum and T will find a suitable place for dad to be.  He loved gardening and I'm sure that the lovely gardens at the crematorium will be just fine.  I wore dad's watch last night, I tend to "wear it out" on special occasions.  I have a picture of him by my desk now just to remember him today.

I actually feel a little cut up about it writing this but in many ways it is a bit of closure.  More so I think for my mum and brother than for me.  I said my goodbye at the service and I'm building away from there.  It is strange but I'm more affected by it now than I was then but I should of course realise this would be so if I just look at my Kubler Ross diagram and remember what is like to come to terms with losing someone.  

I was somewhat annoyed to read in today's papers about Lance Armstrong, someone who's web site I have visited frequently.  He has decided not to contest yet even more allegations brought by some US doping (and I use that word advisedly) agency.  This despite the man never having tested positive for much more than the occasional pain killer.  Seven times Tour de France champion and they are tested every day and he'd probably be the most tested athlete of them all.  Despite that, they will attempt to strip him of his titles.  We used to have problems like that in Europe.  Luckily they no longer exist, they were Hitler, Mussolini and The Spanish Inquisition.  It's like us going back and stripping Muhammed Ali of his World Boxing titles.  You'd have thought that the US would have learnt through things like Joseph McCarthy but obviously not.  I have no idea why we do this in the West.  You get great people, role models, build them up, the press heap praise on them, we give them plaudits and honours and then someone comes along and pulls the whole things down.  Surely there are other things to worry about rather than pursuing someone again and again.  It's like me stating black is white all the time until eventually someone actually agrees with me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Plaster Dust

Nothing quite like it for getting absolutely everywhere.  Even with the doors locked it leaves a thin film of dust everywhere, computers, TVs, your body (not so funny when you haven't got a bath or a shower!  Boy am I looking forward to getting that fixed into the house :-)

I am off out tonight for a curry.  For the princely sum of £10 our local centre is doing a curry night and there are around 10 of us joining 20 or so others for an evening of beer, curry and humour :-)  I shall have to rise to the occasion and be on my best form to entertain the troops tonight.

Plans continue for the Italian Grand Prix and the first venue Hotel is booked.  that's good, we just need to sort out Milan now!  Apparently the transport to and from the circuit is pretty good as they run trains between Milan and the circuit so that sounds cool.  We aren't in a rush so that too is good and can perhaps take in the atmosphere and some beers at the same time.  I am really beginning to look forward to it now, it has been so long since I've been to F1.

The room is looking a lot better now - the walls are covered in plaster and the ceiling is nicely done.  The wall I can see clearest is nearing completion and that's great.  It will need to dry out a bit of course and then be treated but that's fine as I'll be starting on the floor first and only go up to the walls a little later over the weekend.  I hope the walls will be strong enough to take these enormous tiles that Mrs. F. has purchased :-) it is amazing the weight you put on the structure of your house, especially things like tiles and of course the water in a bath - incredible weight.

Right to die?

This case has once more raised the debate about assisted dying (suicide if you like) for terminally ill patients and I don't intend to take up the argument or set out the rights and wrongs. I remember looking at my dad and saying goodnight to him as he lay pretty much helpless in his bed in hospital certain in the knowledge that he hated that.  He couldn't get up, he couldn't do anything much for himself.  He had some movement in his arms and could do small things like turn a newspaper and drink and eat but he could not move himself.  As I drove home I remember my mum and I saying that it would be better for him that he didn't wake up and that everything would be over and done with as much for him as for us too.  No one wants to see this happen to their loved one.

But I also thought that neither could I be the one that would help him shuffle of this mortal coil.  I'm afraid this bit gets a bit dark and a bit deep.  I knew that I couldn't put a pillow over him or "hurt" him that way even though it would end what must have been to him a sort of realisation that things weren't going to get any better and everything was sliding away.  I think, if it was an animal, perhaps I would have been able to do something - perhaps with a gun or something which detached me from the deed.  There's something deep inside that pulls you up a long way short of this sort of behaviour and I would have been unable to pull the trigger, administer the poison, cut off their air.  I'm not sure I want to go much further as I feel quite bad writing this but there is a trigger point that you just don't go beyond, there's a line of "acceptable behaviour" whether that's learnt or inherent I don't know but there you go.  I couldn't do it or have it on my conscience.  In the case above, you can see why the  test case was brought and you can see why it was refused. It is a difficult area of the law and of our inherent morality.

I'm not sure if I could deliver the coup de grace but perhaps assist someone to take them to the Dignity Clinic or perhaps some other action like that shows humanity but to actually assist or to take the life of someone surely isn't right?

Anyway - it isn't a debate to be had but it is a thing to think about.  How we deal with these things makes me think hard about those days where I wished something could be done but would never have been "Brave" enough to have done it.  Maybe I would be happier having someone else do it?  Messes with your head doesn't it?

Just added this which follows on a bit from the above.  

Which got me to thinking

There was a documentary tonight about Melody Gardot and I have to confess that whilst I have heard one or two of her songs I never knew who they were by.  Neither did I know about her accident and her recovery but it was an interesting 15 minutes where I pieced together some of what was said.

What was interesting was that her accident was a turning point but one that she had moved away from.  It was a reference point and whilst it may have affected her direction etc. she didn't live in the past but had that moment in time there.

So what?  Well it just got me thinking about that point in time, that reference point in myself.  Things sure changed whenever it was now - 6 years ago or was it 7 (this is good I should be letting go of the numbers after 5!).  But did they really start changing before then, is there a point in time when it all changed was there just that terrible day when the symptoms presented themselves?  Could it have been the diagnosis or the operation or the subsequent operation that really eradicated it?  Is it important?  Did things change for the better or for the worse?  Does survival mean a complete change in direction?   I'm blowed if I've got any of the answers for you but it starts a conversation in my mind about where you go from here.  I'm getting to a different place recently, one that kind of takes me away from lots of comfortable stuff, challenges what I do now and what I want to do in the future.

Melody appeared to be a real artist more painter or poet than musician, she painted words and I will have to explore her music some more as it sounded just wonderful.  I have to admit that whilst I love music, I haven't spent a lot of time pursuing that these past years and yet it meant a lot to me.  I have feelings that I gave many things up in the name of being ill.  I'd rather not do something than do it and whilst I don't like crowds and that sort of thing, I really haven't gotten to many concerts or been to the theatre or other things.  I've shunned the Olympics and the Paralympics (although the family are going) because of the crowds but I've made my mind up to go to Monza and see the F1 there and I know there are going to be lots of people there.  I'm sort of OK with that as I will have someone there that I know and that will be OK.

So thinking time once again as I continue with this long process of reassessment, testing and measuring the water since being ill and finding that there is little that I enjoy doing and yet would re-engaging with the things I used to enjoy be a bad thing?  Perhaps not, maybe I should re-discover them, I never know, I might actually enjoy them. 

A little more work than envisaged

The plasterer stuck his head around the door and said I ought to come and look at the ceiling as there was a problem. Indeed there was a deflection of about 2 inches at the centre and about an inch all around showed that the ceiling had indeed, after 70 or more years service, finally had its day.  This was unexpected and he had to take the old ceiling down and replace it. I assisted getting the sheets up and doing the electrics.  It  was some job but the new ceiling isn't going anywhere fast that's for sure!

I need to cut in the new lighting point and re cable the pull cord but other than that it does look to be taking shape but the problem is that this has added a whole day to the schedule and it couldn't have been foreseen.  

So extra expense but also the ceiling and the other areas he has done look great.  He is a superb craftsman and does a lovely job of plastering.  It means that I can't start the flooring until Saturday and so probably the earliest I can get the bath in is Sunday if I manage to get the rest of the stuff sorted.  As it is a bank holiday weekend I will have plenty of time and Mrs. F. who is a dab hand at DIY too will be able to assist me.  

Let's hope that we can get this thing sorted soon as even I've begun to notice how awkward it is having lots of people around with just a downstairs cloakroom and the utility sink to work with! 

Curry night Thursday night so I am looking forward to a night out with Flocky Bicep and the lads.       I fancy a few beers and a bit of fun and laughter.  Mind you, not too much as I will need to be here to let the plasterer in again on Friday morning at the crack of sparrows.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Early Start

The plasterer duly arrived early at 7:45 which was great as the work has started and we can get cracking once he is done.  I don't ache quite as bad as I did last night but still find bending down a bit difficult.  Note to self:  more exercise is required as well as diet and getting back into trim.  Silly really I have all the opportunity but have just been full of inaction really since dad got taken ill.  I need to re-focus my efforts and that's the next thing after the bathroom and after my scope next week.

I have to say that the good thing about the bathroom is that it is holding my attention and keeping me busy.  I've decided though not to go back into the Electrical or Plumbing business as I really can't hack it any more :-)  Decorating, well there's a thought.  Perhaps Odd Jobbing but would there be any jobs that were odd enough for me?

Anyway, plastering under way which is the main thing.  as usual, I got downstairs to find total carnage where various girls and their boyfriends have left shoes, handbags and clutter right in the way of the plasterer.  Luckily I managed (even with my back) to just dump it all out of the way so the plasterer could get up and down the stairs and get the water up from downstairs too.

So an early start to the day - I'm sort of searching around for something useful to do but can't really get going until after he has finished!  

Oh gee do I ache

Wow - I haven't done that sort of physical work for many years and my back, legs and arms ache like hell tonight.  Have to say that I knew it would come like that but ouch getting up and down is a real problem - hopefully tomorrow it will settle down when the plasterer is here.  Typically no one is around Thursday afternoon when I want them to be to house sit whilst I go out so that's my trip to the Hospital scuppered and going out for my Curry will get interesting too.  I was hoping to get to the Hospital and then onto the pub in good time but will just have to take it as it comes I suppose.  What a nuisance!

Everywhere is covered with a fine layer of dust as we had to scrape the loose paint off the walls etc to allow the plasterer to work.  I need to be up early so best dash off.  I will sleep well tonight once I work out how to lower myself into bed without it hurting.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

All ready for the plasterer

My goodness those last set of tiles were on like bullets and I eventually got them off bringing the old render and a bit of breeze block with me :-)

Mrs. F. is just vacuuming up the mess and the dust and bits so that the plasterer has a reasonably dust free environment to work in.  I've secured the electrics and the water and everything is now ready for him to make an early start.  I've even taken off the door to allow him to get to all the walls without messing around.  The walls are a right mess though and so hopefully he will be able to make them nice and smooth for me ready to install the flooring and then the bath and other bits afterwards.  It is a bank holiday weekend so we should be able to get a good run at installing everything and getting at least the basic functions sorted.

I'm covered in dust and bits of flaked paint and my hands are sore from hammering and the occasional graunch of hammer against knuckle - even with gloves on, there's some impressive wounds.... :-)

A day or two off whilst the plasterer does his thing than back to it on Friday morning.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Aches in Places I didn't know I had

Got the call this morning that my plasterer can come and do the bathroom on Wednesday - which meant I had to start work today dismantling the old bathroom.  Many things were sent to try me.  The crap installation by previous chap, the stop cock that wouldn't turn off even with a 2Lb persuader and a proper stop cock gizmo twisty thingy (that's the technical term of course).  Then the bath must have been installed by a midget as I couldn't get to the back taps on it at all!  Eventually had to disassemble from the front back and then found the reason we've had all these leaks for years - the gasket under the taps wasn't there and had been pugged up with some sort of paste.  The pipes were green where the water has been escaping and the wood was rotten.  

I managed to do all of it myself and luckily Mrs. F. is off tomorrow and can help me down with what remains of the bath after I smashed it trying to get it out :-)  The tiles have been put on with something a thousand times stronger than super glue and I had the awful job of having to free the air locks with some garden hose and a lot of wind power, blowing up the taps to get rid of the air lock caused where I've had to cap off the services.  Can you believe that they hadn't even done that simple little step!  Mrs. F. also stepped in getting an isolating valve on the way home which allowed me to solve the final problem I hit and get the water on to downstairs.  We are now washing in the utility room sink which is a bit of a laugh I suppose.  Hairdresser tomorrow so can wash hair in sink and then get on ready for the plasterer on Wednesday.  He will take 2 days which means I can work on the floor on Friday and Saturday and Mrs. F can help me locate the bath on Sunday and we can work away from there.  I have to say that I ache in all sorts of places.  My arms were in spasm earlier as I tried to get some of these tiles off the wall.  Luckily most came off fine above 3 foot off the floor as they were cemented onto gloss paint.  The ones below are directly onto the render and so have variable depths of cement right back to the brick work in some places.

It was a hot and sticky day too so I probably lost a good few pounds in the process - a good thing as I've been gaining a little too much these past few weeks.  Preparation for the Italian Grand Prix is under way and the flights are booked.   I'm excited just thinking about it and it will be nice to go back to Milan and look around again.  We actually fly to Bologna which I've passed through on the train.  I am told it is very nice.  Any how - must get some sleep and hope I don't seize up in the morning!

Direction and Confidence

If you know me you'll know that I'm a pretty confident sort of person normally and I'm known to be  self-assured and know where I'm going and what I want to achieve and where I want to get to.  Well that is until about May of this year and in the 2 or 3 months I've been working out what to do with myself I'm not getting any closer to the reality.

Of course, dad dying was a big impact on my time and my thoughts and perhaps more so now as I reflect on that and also knowing that my dad was a healthy guy and I'm 6 years out on Cancer.  Stuff that happened around that time doesn't cut the mustard and going back to see my old company was like going back to an old favourite seaside town and finding it a big disappointment as it just never is like you remember and dream it was.   It was the time and the moment and you can't recapture that.  I look back to the exciting years building a business in London around the time when the communication and computerisation was really taking off and realise that it was a moment in time, exciting, crazy and in all probability was what resulted in my diagnosis.

I'm working my way through a business idea and doing some research into it.  I was about to do this before I went to the Charity 4 years ago but decided that I needed that particular bolt hole at that time.

For me, having cancer has completely thrown everything up in the air and made me question all sorts of things, it has messed (nearly used an Anglo Saxon word there) with my head in many ways.  I find myself actually wanting to just chuck it all in and go somewhere - I've no idea what to do or where to go, it's just a random feeling.  Some days I belong and others I don't, some days I'm up and some days I'm down, no rhyme nor reason for that either.  Some days I'm fed up with things and the next day I'm fine with them.

There was a certain direction I was following before I got cancer.  I had a reasonably successful business and had finally settled down into the "dream job" - something I had needed and where I could make a huge difference.   Bang - gone.  

Since then I've been in and out of jobs and schemes and businesses and the crazy thing is that I'm still no nearer answering the question now than I was then - what the hell am I going to do with myself?  

I'm not convinced that this research is going to lead me anywhere either at the moment as I can't find the market trends and can't see through all the noise that's out there.  If I get it right then it is a way to go but will I be happy?  Will the life that transpires make me any happier?

I can't seem to work out what I want to do, what direction to go in and that's all to do with different drivers.  By that I mean it isn't money and it isn't what I have now necessarily.  It isn't even to do with the industries I used to work in it;s all to do with health, happiness and enjoyment and whilst I'm not saying I don't have those, I don't appear to have any sort of balance with any of them.

It was all very different 7 years ago :-)  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Up and Down, up and down

It's one of those things I suppose.  I flit between euphoria and depression and it has a lot to do with me being unable to rationalise everything at the moment.  Reflecting on my life, I actually have a pretty good situation.  I can sit here wallowing in my own self indulgent thoughts in the knowledge that I don't actually need to "go to work" tomorrow.  I need to go to work sometime and I need to work out what I want to do with myself.  

I've spent a hot day doing research into the family history business and I can see an opportunity there but goodness me there are so many "amateurs" out there charging less than the national wage and giving their services away.  I can imagine that it is "pin money" for the elderly but frankly so many of them are chancing their arm with this.  I'd like to shake the industry up but once again realise that to innovate in this area you will just p*ss off a load of people.  It appears that if you work really hard at this you can just about be "making a living."

What's the answer?  I haven't got a clue - I flit between one and the other.  Maybe I need to be on the 5:15?

Hot as you like

Humid and little breeze, amazingly warm up in the 30s and that's nice but makes doing any work difficult.  I suppose I ought to be grateful that the plasterer didn't work this week or this weekend I'd be installing the bathroom and tiles etc!  In a small room in this heat it wouldn't have been great.

As it is, I am working whilst listening to Test Match Special (TMS) which is on the radio in the Cricket Test between England and South Africa.  It is an an intriguing moment in the match.  Only we could invent a game that takes 5 days!

So, a nice weekend if a bit sticky.  I watched one of my all time favourite films last night, now on DVD, "Same Time Next Year" in which an extra marital relationship develops on the same weekend every year over a long period of time.  It is pretty tame I suppose in today's terms but I loved it when I saw it years ago and the second watching was just great - they don't tend to make simple, nice, believable films like this any more.

As I progress towards researching and documenting my business ideas, I'm also looking forward to going to Italy for the Grand Prix and later this week a meeting with the lads for our Curry Club organised by Flocky Bicep it should be interesting as it is only going to cost £10 plus beer.  Hope that it is not as warm as today and I can wander down to the local pub prior to going for the meal.

I'm feeling a lot better today than earlier in the week.  It's strange these mood swings - I've certainly had them a lot and when I remember what my dad was like, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me.  Was also a little jealous as some friends of ours just text messaged that they'd left Southampton on a Mediterranean Cruise.  Very nice and they get to Greece and Italy (Venice) so it sounds great.  

As I write this we've just had a shower out of nowhere, huge drops of rain and it lasted all of 1 minute and now we are back to sunshine - strange... 

Friday, August 17, 2012

And there you go - a lot better now

Mostly I get these "depressions" and they don't last a long time but they are destructive and not pleasant. Today I'm a lot better than I was yesterday and no doubt I'll build on this and get back to my normal self in a week or so.

I've started doing some more research now into running another business and that's going to help me focus on some serious work for a while.  I've also been invited to go to Italy in a few weeks time and I really fancy going and although it clashes with a few long standing appointments, I think that I will take the opportunity to go for 4 or 5 days.  I love Italy I have to say and the chance to go to Bologna and Milan and take in the Italian Grand Prix at the same time is too good to pass up I think.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Not quite so morose as yesterday

It's a strange thing, I'm not quite as down as I was yesterday but I'm still not in a great place right now.  I feel that I'd like to get on an do something but my present activity gauge is one of procrastination and disinterest in things.  I know I should get on and do some accounts but I'd rather watch paint dry.  I feel that I should start to look at some business planning or at least some research and yet that doesn't interest me either.

At least today is a bit brighter in terms of my mood and I just need to build on this now and see where I can get to with it.   

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A little better this morning

Finding yourself with nothing to do and in addition waiting for something to happen which is completely out of your control isn't a good place to be I've decided.  As luck would have it, as I started this post, Flocky Bicep reminded me that Coffee at Costa was on the cards and I walked up to the local shop - missing the rain - and had a nice couple of coffees.  Not sure I was the best of company - I'm not really great to be around at the moment - I'm sort of not my usual cheerful, funny self at all and I've gone into my Introvert side which I am prone to do at times like this.

I suppose it's that realisation that I'm not now suited to being back in Corporate life any more, I'm too difficult to handle and too much the Maverick to find suitable employment in an ordered and structured environment.  Although I create order and structure as part of my job, I cannot live in a place where I'm doing "business as normal" the same thing day in and day out, I have to be building, troubleshooting or just doing something constructive.  

Coming to terms with this is what's making me the brooding inward looking me at the moment.  Not a great place to be for me or anyone else around me.  I do lift myself out of it but for only very short periods of time before getting back to this mourning for a life that I can't have any more.  Oh well, it's only temporary and I'll get over it eventually :-)

Night out, an unexpected quiz night and some respite

Nice to meet your old school chums and one had driven for about 75 miles to get to us.  Funny bit was he came into the pub and missed us, went to the other pub in the village and then to my house.  I got a call from Mrs. F. saying he was there, where were we?  We were sat, at the bar right next door to the entrance!!!  Three fat geezers with grey hair :-)  He found us on the way back, he had walked through the whole pub and missed the lot of us......

It was a surprise as we normally are just a few at the pub on the 2nd Tuesday but tonight was the local Church Quiz night and so it was rammed and with money going to the local Hospice we joined in and had, as we always due, a great fun evening.  We cam joint 4th on 69 points a full 10 behind the winners but of course, we were all winners.  It seems a very "British" thing to do, having a quiz (trivia) night at the pub.  We enjoyed the laughs and the banter and just having fun with the people there.  It's one of the things we are good at here.  We can make our own entertainment and just have a bundle of laughs doing it.  It's for fun and you can raise some money for charity at the same time, it's what puts the GREAT in to Great Britain.

I was pretty down when I went out but I'm a lot better now that my friends have cheered me up and that's just great.  I'm entering a bad phase, cystoscope coming up, dad dying, me not being "up for" working normally and having to meet idiots all the time.  I find that the stuffing is knocked out of me for no good reason.  As usual when I get into this mood it is me that is the problem and of course it is "my fault" that I've "let everyone down".  This is far from the truth of course and it's a fault of my personality that I can't easily change or do much about.  I'll happily play at "being the victim" whether it is my fault or not.  I lack the real self belief when it comes down to it - I always give the other person the "benefit of the doubt" and I always beat myself up.  It has to be my fault that something didn't happen, my research, my lack of planning and so on.  Of course, it isn't but that's a happy (maybe) place to be?  Beat myself up for some one else's inadequacies?  That's possible too.

At the moment, my dreams are back in beautiful colour and wonderful dialogue too.  Last night I was in Rome and met a young lady who "only needed to count to 5 and know 20 words" to live and work there.  The bizarre arrangements of the Hotel and Conference Centre (for I was there as a delegate) were so strange but then we met up and walked along the river and across the bridges of the Tiber, through to some place more like Brussels and to a Restaurant where, indeed, she needed just a few words to order food and drink.  This was such a strange dream because it was so very real and I woke to still be able to see her blue eyes, freckled blotchy (almost) skin and pretty face.  

I'm just in a strange place at the moment and I have no idea what the dream meant but there were hints of past business life there and perhaps some sort of subliminal message?  I want things to be comfortable, low stress, low maintenance and to be special and meaningful, fulfilling perhaps.  I wanted so much to accomplish great things in my life and to make a difference and maybe that still may happen.  I felt that I'd done as much as I could to make this happen and yet I'm nowhere near that goal and have to perhaps look to accomplishments closer to home.  

Those would be my daughters I think.  I'm in absolute awe of them both.  Here's today's awe moment and I'll blend in one more as I go.  My dad saved up separately to provide his 4 grandchildren with some money when he died.  It isn't a great deal but I'd term it significant for a 22 and (just turned yesterday) 19 year old.  Neither of them were "happy" to get the money at all.  I had to explain that I'd sat down with the Nan and checked the accounts and that she would be OK and that she had enough money for food, fuel and so on :-)  To me, that meant SO much and yet it is perhaps not such a big deal.  The same happened when my mum said that she wanted them to have a "little keepsake" to remember Granddad by.  They didn't want anything as they didn't want Nan to spend any money on them at all.  I could have cried when they said that.  We are only talking about something small, a few tens of pounds.  As Dad never really would have had anything that the girls would have wanted they were just being themselves.

So there you go a bit of a "Ramble on" tonight - too much happening in my life and I'm just not in a great place.  Roll on some more nice dreams though even if I don't understand what they are about.  I hope to start working on my attitude again tomorrow, I need to get out of this self doubt and low self esteem phase - I'm so much better than that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I used to have a small poster on my desk at work and it ran along the lines of "Each and Every Day I am Forced to Add Someone to this List of People Who P1ss Me OFF!!!"  And there was a list that I could continue to add to and it went over one sheet.

Today, a chat with my business partner and we sort of agreed that we have to deal with a hell of a lot of idiots and "small" people.  This is upsetting as it appears that 95% of the people I have to deal with are just parochial, small and narrow minded f*** wits.  I thought Friday was a case in point where I'd developed a method for ensuring customer satisfaction and they still were having problems so I asked whether they were using my system.  They were.  So I was surprised that they were still having problems until another question weeded out the fact that they were only using half of it (that suited them) and that they were leaving out the customer satisfaction stuff.  No - they didn't get the irony of that at all.  They had read without understanding and cherry picked the bits that suited them ignoring the customer facing stuff.  No doubt it was too difficult or didn't seem valuable and yet it was the constant in their current difficulties.  Which was also Ironic as they told me they were having these problems and yet after 30 or 40 minutes they didn't have those problems at all.

Is it any wonder that I feel down when I spent a long time doing something to tackle a problem they had 6 or 7 years ago only for them to go back to the same mess they were in back then?  Sometimes you can't believe the people at the top who run these organisations.

So I'm feeling a bit annoyed that so many people want to resolve their problems and you come up with a way of doing it and they don't want to do it!  Many times this comes at the expense of the people who work there who lose their jobs over this management inaction or unwillingness to tackle the problems they have.  On a similar note it was interesting to see one of the businesses we know quite well on TV last night demonstrating how good their stuff was for the Olympics.  A colleague won them the business and his reward was to get shafted by the business who just saw the £s & $s in their eyes.  They finished on time (a miracle) but, and here's the rub, they haven't got any business to speak of from here on.  They put it all into delivering this and as they got rid of the sales guy, they have no pipeline.  HELLO!!!!  We all know where that's heading.

So I feel a bit angry and a bit down about this at the moment, I've all these strategic skills and planning etc are my forte but hell, why do I have to keep meeting and working with such people. They don't garner respect, they only listen to the bit they want to listen to, they are completely up themselves and have no real vision or interest.  Arggghhh, sometimes you just despair!

It doesn't help my well-being or my self-esteem much and I'm just having to get to terms with this frustration at having to talk to these idiots all the time.  Yes - of course it could be me :-)  I thought it was amusing once again on Friday when the chap implied that as I hadn't done their sort of work for 6 years that the work I'd done running the business and also in the charity weren't relevant?  I suggested to him that perhaps managing a company also meant that he couldn't do it either and that he would have forgotten how to do accounts as that's where he had come from beforehand?  It's exactly because I have this level of experience that I can be parachuted into companies and sort them out.  Oh what the heck.

I just need to get over the disappointment - Lord knows I had enough of it with the team for the last venture who didn't come along and commit?  I should know by now, everyone for themselves.    

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Dog - that frightened whoever or

whatever was outside - I tell you it frightened me and I was resting quite nicely in my office when the dog, here on a 3 day visit - an ex guard dog, Clyde the Rottweiler is actually a bit of a cutey pie and a little bit shy but whatever drifted past the front door got a bit of a shock :-)

L and her friends are out "clubbing" in London tonight - not sure what time they'll get home but I imagine the dog might make a sound on that one too.

I'm not feeling great again today I was all wound up ready to do the bathroom but that's on hold and I'm trying to get myself motivated to do some accounts and to sort out my plans for a new business or to go work somewhere but once again I just find myself battling with these demons and whether I really want to go back into full time employment, run my business or start a new one or to perhaps do something a bit different.  I'll have another think tomorrow and see if I get anywhere.

False start - totally messed up week

The best laid plans and all that.  It was good that the Plasterer called and halted me ripping out the bathroom but as you might imagine the house is ready to go, I have two rooms full up with tiles, bathroom hardware, wood, screws, drills, diamond saws and so on.  I'm sitting here after having a listen to my Isles of Wonder CD, wonderful memories.  But then I'm really stuffed and I had my days all planned out.

Now as a Project Manager I should have had a contingency plan(s) worked out and indeed I did have if it was a one or two day delay but now it could be longer and everything is up in the air.  It's a pain but can't be helped I suppose.  I'm working out what I can get tucked into and know that I may start something only to drop that when the bathroom comes back into being again.

With any idea of working with my old company dashed on Friday, I find myself wondering what I might do from here on in.  It is difficult to analyse it all at the moment and I was at one time convinced that I'd be able to get back into the special area that I'd developed with my old company, especially having "written the book" for them.  It was amusing, looking back, that they couldn't get customer "buy in" but then they quite gleefully showed me that they were only using the first three steps in the 6 step process I had championed.  Needless to say, the last 3 steps are all about the customer experience, "buy in" and follow on work, the areas they struggle with :-)  You can't make it up sometimes!

I've got my cystoscope to come in a few weeks time and the results of my CT Scan and so that will be a milestone of some significance I hope.  I'm back to questioning it all again and that's because I've lost my focus today - just when I was ready to go and get stuck into renovating my bathroom.  Now that's not going to start for sometime, I'm sort of drifting along again.  I've found something I can do, not exciting but nevertheless it should occupy me for a day or so.  I've only one more set of accounts to complete and I've done most of the Donkey work but now need to sort out the balance sheet which isn't looking great.  I can't quite see why it doesn't balance but just need to knuckle down to it and spend some time double checking it.  I can then get the auditors in.  I also need to get my other auditors in for the other accounts.  With the dining room table groaning under all my tools and equipment it will be interesting to find a flat spot to sit down and review them :-)

Early morning call

Bad news is that Mr. Plasterer now isn't coming - he has some problems and his mother isn't at all well and a call overnight from the Hospital got him to call me early to make sure I didn't strip out the bathroom.  Have to say whilst I'm disappointed about that at least it wasn't a call once I had stripped everything out!  I'm getting minor grief about that already and it hasn't happened yet!

I was hoping to do that this week as a bit of a distraction.  

Yay - Olympics

Mr. Bean in the opening ceremony, Eric Idle in the closing - who'd have thought it....

Well, what can I say?  A few dissenters wanted a lot more music at the end but then again we had plenty in the beginning - a good games and full houses and lots of support for all the athletes.  

Got the call that Mr. Plasterer is coming in on Wednesday morning to do the bathroom so delivered the bad news to the family.  After showers tomorrow morning it's no more home comforts until at least Saturday if not Sunday depending on how well I can remember waht I used to do 30 years ago :-)

Feeling OK about this - I need an "outlet" for myself for a short while.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Am I unemployable?

Sounds strange but I realised that yesterday was one of those days where someone who had a title and ran a business (good for him) did not match up to the respect that I gave them on first meeting them.  By that I mean that I have a healthy respect for authority and I always start by demonstrating that.  Some people mistake that side of me as weakness and yesterday, listening to this chap rattling on I realised that this wasn't the meeting of two like minded individuals.  In fact this was that typical "British" and sometimes "French" 1970s industrial revolution type Us and Them attitude.

I find that way of dealing with people totally out of my orbit.  I do find myself doing it but only after I've got to the end of my patience with someone.  You have to go out of your way to do that.

So this guy was never wrong and had no problems and the issues we talked about weren't happening.  Which is a bit strange as I know they are and that was why I was there so once I started to stretch my legs a bit and demonstrate my bona fides it was quite amusing.  All that happened was it became an entrenched discussion, no matter what I tried to do, there was no space to do anything so I just went on the attack and replayed the issues that had got the company into trouble in the first place (the growth issues that they are having now) and of course I also reversed out as who would want to work with people who don't understand the value you bring to the table.

This threw up a worrying trend in the way that I deal with this sort of stuff.  I don't actually care.  I didn't care whether I got this gig or not.  If I had, I would have done well for them, as it is, they don't feel they need to do anything and that's OK too.  In fact I left them saying it was nice to meet them and that I was glad that they were able to manage on their own (not exactly those words).  Whilst I might get upset at the way people deal with me, it underlines a bigger problem - one that I've always had - and that is people need someone like me to get things done but they really don't like the way I get things done.  Not that I'm difficult to work with but I do get my own way and I do get jobs done and obstacles are removed and if that's people, well so be it.   Everyone wants a "Strong" manager until that is they actually get one - suddenly they find that the medicine is too bitter.  I am almost sure that I'm "unemployable" these days mainly because the interviewer soon finds themselves out of their depth or digging themselves into a hole.  If they did 5 minutes preparation it would help.  I suppose though no one likes to meet someone (like me) who is brandishing a copy of their latest accounts and share holder details and starts to ask difficult questions.

Oh well, back to the drawing board (do they still use them?) and onwards and upwards.

Bitterly Disappointed but not Unexpected

I could see that one of the guys needed me to come back and sort out the problems.  The other guy didn't know me, hadn't done his homework and played a series of - well - how shall I say this?  Stupid cards.  Some crass questions were asked, they hadn't read what I'd told them to and they told me all the reasons that they were doing well and at the same time all of the reasons that they'd never be a great business.  

Suddenly it dawned on me that this lovely company I knew and loved hadn't really made the massive industry jump they'd predicted because they'd dumbed down when they needed to step up and understood the value of what they had.  This made for an interesting "difference of opinion" about the value proposition and why they'd asked me in, in the first place!

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, I was very down about it for a while until I realised that this IS the way it is going to be from now on.  I'm hoping not to sound too vain but I think I've been around enough major businesses and programs to know a thing or two.  I thought it was funny that this "young guy" started questioning my credentials and within a few moments I'd blown him away with the global work I'd done and the major businesses I'd worked for.

I did though, after a few minutes, go for the jugular and it was obvious he had no job available, that he wanted "something for nothing" and hadn't bothered to check me out.  He was a bit disturbed when I suggested that the way they had allocated the shareholding would make it a bit difficult for major businesses to deal with them especially as there was £2 of called up....

So I came home, grabbed a six pack of beers and spent the afternoon and evening feeling very down.  I really wanted to go and make a difference to these guys, I have good karma with them (or did have).  I'd always warned them that they were a tiny technology business tucked down the end of a country lane in the wilds of Yorkshire.  Today, they proved that they still are stuck in that rut they were in 6 years ago.  Of course I wish them well but they showed no signs of wanting to go and tackle the big boys.  What a waste.

As for me - well - that's taken out another avenue for me but I'll bounce back over the weekend.  I'm disappointed but not surprised by this.  I really have come a very long way in 6 years..

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Excited maybe

I'm looking forward to meeting up tomorrow with these guys from my old company which has now transformed a fair bit since I was last there.  It's an interesting time going back to where I was quite happy albeit where I also had some insight into what was coming down the line.  It's one of those jobs where they get you in for your experience and background and for your strong management skills and then don't actually listen to you properly or consciously ignore your advice.

That said, I departed on good terms and did a fair amount of work but it appears that the work I did do wasn't implemented or perhaps because not one of the original team remain, it has gotten lost in the system and is gathering dust on some hard drive somewhere.  This is an opportunity to resurrect that work and to get involved again with them.

I'm certain that it will be a good discussion anyway as I know exactly what problems these guys will be having which was why I was brought into the business in the first place and then, having got there, I got bladder cancer.  Unbelievably that was 6 years ago!  By the time I was back to working again I was a bit of a mess and had lost my confidence and had lost control of my place on the greasy pole that was the "politics" of the job.  It appears though that the new management and owners have put in some sensible people and that they now have a stable organisation that needs some decent people back into build it.  I sense an opportunity to get back to what I really enjoyed and what I did really well and I always did describe it as my dream job as I was able to bring all my experience to bear.  Sounds familiar to an earlier post about what to do next?  It sure does.

Strange how the disappointment from one situation led to me asking a question which led back to a position that I was in 6 years ago.  Life can be pretty surreal sometimes.. 

Fine line between happiness and being down

I pulled a blog earlier on this week as it was very glum and downbeat and was full of doubt and was one of those written in the depths of feeling very down and at that point where you don't see a way out and you feel that everything is stacked against you.

Today I'm totally on the other end of the scale, I'm going to be talking to some people whom I can make a huge difference to their business and I'll be able to re-do (by the sounds of it) the stuff I originally started to do for them.  That will be a challenge but a good one.

Of course this too could go wrong but let's see what happens.  I have the opportunity to have a good discussion with them tomorrow and see where we go from there.  

This is typical of the swings of mood I get (or have had since Bladder Cancer) and it's just one of the things I have to deal with constantly.  At least this time, I know the people, understand the problems they have and know how to deal with it.  

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Good a meeting on Friday

It's going to be a bit bizarre if you think about it.  In May 2006 I got the job I'd always wanted in a company that I'd always wanted to work for and then a month or two later - BANG - along came Mr. Bladder Cancer to knock the wind out of my sails and ultimately it, together with some people who I did warn had over-estimated the business pipeline, served to make me redundant.  It was an obvious thing to do and I held no grudge about it as it did mean that others kept their jobs - you may have to look at blogs from January 2007 onwards to see this.  

Well, it looks as if things have turned around fully and I find myself back in discussions with them once again and having the same conversations I had in April 2006 about how the products and the services could be improved.  This will be interesting as I did a hell of a lot of work on this at the time and it appears that the problems we discussed then are now coming home to roost as the business picks up.  Unfortunately of those who used to be there that I know of, many are abroad, retired and one superb chap died of Brain tumour - so sad, he was a remarkable person.  Others have set up other businesses and so I'm probably one of the only people left around who has the background to do this.  

It's funny how stuff like this comes around as I was pretty upset, if I'm being frank here, about the awful way my application was dealt with for the other job, especially given who they were and their supposed professionalism.  This came about from a flippant email I sent which just asked whether they were interested in discussing me getting involved again - they did say they were but not much had happened so I thought I'd ask the question.  

Nice to see I've got an interview / meeting on Friday and managed to get middle of the day to miss the Olympic rush.  At least I'll see if there is anything concrete in this.  It would be good if there was as I enjoyed the challenge last time and it was mainly my illness that stopped things happening and me not being able to identify some of the silly stuff that was going on whilst I was away from the office.

I delivered my urine sample to the Hospital and had a look in to the blood samples area but it was hot and full of people so I decided I can do that another day and had a few coffees with Flocky Bicep which was, as always, quite pleasant.  It makes my mum laugh as she thinks I am going out for "Girlie Coffees".  I suppose that is quite a strange thing to do to many older people.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

DInk - the game changes once again

I thought this morning, what the hell, I'll just fire off a speculative email about a job that someone suggested to me a month or two back that I thought had gone.  It's part time, it pays reasonably well and it is something I enjoy doing.  I got an email straight back and a meeting on Friday.  The trouble was that I was expecting the plasterer on Thursday and Friday but he luckily cannot attend until next week which means that I can have the chat on Friday after all.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained so to speak.  I know that there will be bits of the job I won't like but, if it is anything like I used to have, there was enough flexibility to arrange suitable meeting dates, ability to work from home and many other things.  In fact, it was my dream job, the one I had when I got Bladder Cancer.  Except that this time, I can probably do part time, freelance work which will suit them and me.

So that pleased me and frightened me all at the same time.  I imagine Friday will be a bit hectic up in town but I've suggested late morning which will keep me away from the crush.

I'm meeting up with Flocky tomorrow for a coffee and will go via the Hospital to drop in a urine sample and if the Phlebotomy department is open and there are no queues I shall have my bloods done at the same time.  Mind you, only if there is time - at least I'm not on a fasting one which is a pain in the backside as you have to wait ages for a test first thing in the morning.   Last time I did one I got in trouble for overdoing the fasting - so I complained about the amount of time you have to spend waiting around.  It's easier to starve and go in lunchtime but it doesn't appear to do much good for your results which needed re-doing.

Anyhow, things look a little interesting with this possibility on the horizon.  Looks like the bathroom may not be under way this week which is sort of OK excepting that L returns from holidays and so next week will be "interesting" as she is also bringing back a dog to stay for a while.  When I say dog, it is a Rottweiler which fits large mammal in my book.  I don't like dogs, or cats for that matter and so I'm keeping well out of the way.

Square One

It's a strange thing but I'm right back to the beginning again.  I wasn't successful in the job I went for but you tend to know when it wasn't a "real" job as the reply was disrespectful and they obviously hadn't read through the CV etc. properly as they hadn't referenced it (like you would).

That's now brought me back to where I was before and that's hating the idea of working for anyone other than myself ever again.  I just find that the people you have to deal with are sh1t and no one really deals with people in a nice way any more.  

The trouble is that I'm dithering about what to do.  There's lots of fanciful ideas and the chance to go do something that's more "lifestyle" than working like a "slave".  I need to consider the options or should I say reconsider them as I did start off doing this and got distracted by the possibility of a job elsewhere.  That has soured my outlook or in reality just brought it back to me how much I abhor working for people who don't really care about you.