Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Interesting - So Where's The Confirmation

So I know I have an interview at 09:30 on the 7th March - that's cool.  I know that it is at London Bridge - OK.  However I have no idea who it is with or the address I'm meant to attend because the promised email hasn't arrived as of yet.  It was meant to be with me an hour or so after we talked.  Of course, they didn't leave me a number or name to contact which is a bit disappointing!  This is a world class company and yet this HR process has been the worst I've ever seen.  I've seen some bad ones too of course but this is just horrendous.  Let's hope they sort themselves out quickly.  Maybe it's a trade test to see if I can work out where to go on no information.

I have the Dentist in the morning for the last set of fillings (re-doing old ones) and then I have an afternoon's work with my Brother-In-Law probably cleaning and emptying the flat that he was working on prior to the people moving in on Friday.  It will give me something to do whilst my mouth de-numbs itself.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Interview - at last

What has it been? Six weeks - must be - since I did the last interview.  Now I have an interview coming up in a week and a bit - handy as I'm already due up to London for the day so that will fit in nicely.

This should then leave one more should I get through this one.  I reckon that it has been a good 6 months to sort this out!  Oh well - at least I'm 2/3 rds the way through the process and I should fit into my suit for next week :-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Change - no one really likes it

Being diagnosed with Cancer is a life altering thing.  For some it is a lot worse than that.  For me, it meant tackling head on a number of areas of my life, life style and attitude.  Having come out of the end (I hope) of it I'm changed in a number of ways.  An example was on Saturday I had my Lodge meeting where I am the Master this year.  I decided to relax and just let the meeting happen and it all went off rather well I thought.  I had no real fear or nerves this time I'd decided that there was nothing there to be afraid of and whatever I did, I was also at the mercy of a number of others.

So Change?  People dislike change and fight against it all the time.  I've changed and I've a hankering for change but no one wants to change.  I can understand this but it is now stopping me changing or doing what I want to do.  The problems include that my interests are so widely diverse now and Mrs. F really isn't into music, sport and history and neither is she into going out that much or seeing concerts and my sort of films aren't her sort of films, my music is nothing like her tastes and neither is my literary interests in any way shape or form similar.  See the problem?  There's nothing binding us together.  We don't fight or not get on but because we don't even watch the same TV or do the same things it makes things a bit difficult.  

Getting over Cancer is a little bit like being born again except you don't have to go to school and so on.  You realise that some things that were important just aren't, that some things are important that you didn't think were and you realise finally that you are mortal and not a superhero with super powers (any longer).  Life is pretty damn precious when you've seen your own demise and I guess seeing my father die last year also suggested that perhaps I needed to look at life a bit differently.

This is the most difficult thing I've had to deal with for some time as I feel as if I'm walking on egg shells, I don't want to screw things up by explaining things in the straight and direct manner I'm used to in case it all goes horribly wrong.  So I'm trying like mad to work on ways to explain and then work out some sort of solution or solutions.  The trouble is, I'm not going to get someone who likes Cliff Richard to like Metallica or who likes Agatha Christie to enjoy Tolstoy and whilst we always had our differences in these areas it feels like a gulf now where before the filling was building a home and then having children it now appears to be that there are very few things that bind us together.  Oh well - I'm still working at it :-)

My weight loss is still going well and I can get into my waistcoats (just) now.  I'm down below the 17 Stone barrier now and still heading downwards.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bizarre Week

It's been a strange week in many ways and I enjoyed doing some work although my back and legs hurt like hell and suddenly I realised how unfit I was after carrying materials up and down an astonishingly small spiral staircase :-)  Anyway, the work is done, a visit to the Dentist means that I can now chew on both sides of my mouth too.

I was in a funny old place on Tuesday - I was just amazed at how nasty people are.  I was reading some supposed scientists having a go at each other.  They weren't looking at the work they'd churned out and arguing whether it was or was not proven etc - no they were having a hair pulling cat fight in public.  What's the point?  Get your point across without being personal.  The irony is I think I ought to call the Tossers for doing it anyway :-)

Gosh it's cold outside - temperature dropping snow flurrying around too :-(  I've got to go out in this later - I feel a bus ride coming on rather than walking it today...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


What's the meaning of it all?  Somehow I've asked myself this question a LOT of times.  The vastness of the Universe and the loose grip we hold on to our existence on this planet.  What is the purpose and the meaning of it all and how can we make sense (if we are to) of it all?

Sometimes I sit back and wonder what on earth I'm doing here on this planet at all and exactly what is the grand purpose of life itself.  

It's all getting heavy isn't it? :-)  I mean there are some fundamental things happening here and I very much doubt anyone has any real idea of our purpose and what on earth is going on.  

I really don't get life at all at the moment.  Why we live the way we do, how downright nasty people are to each other and the lack of tolerance and charity.  The huge rifts in the way people behave and at the end of the journey, after everyone has been nice or nasty they all get to go to heaven - really?  That's what it's all about?

I don't get why so many things in this world are the way they are, why people act the way the do when, in the end, we are all going to end up equal anyway...

I'll end it there, my head is hurting with questions of the Universe and what if... :-)

Funny Waking Dreams

I have the most amazing dream sequences. This morning's one was hilarious as the phone went and  it was the company who haven't got back to me yet (20 days and counting).  The lady on the end of the phone called a halt to the process as they needed someone by Mid March.  So I said that's fine because I'm available now.  That's when it got really bizarre as that answer wasn't good enough and she kept saying that I had to be available in mid March which I kept assuring her that I was and even if I was available now I would still be available in mid March :-)  Eventually, she gave up the argument and the phone went quiet and I kept saying I know you are there I can hear you breathing :-)  Then I woke up :-)

Mmm.  Perhaps I'm just getting to that point in proceedings where I just kick all these "opportunities" into touch and get on with something else?  I'm not in a bad place at all at the moment and feel quite well.  I have some more visits to the dentist to go through but by the end of next week that will be over (I think).  Certainly this tooth being extracted has now solved the sinus and my ear problem!  So a few fillings to go and we can move on from that.  

I have my mum coming down for a week which will be nice and also Mrs. F and I are planning a week away in the not too distant future.  Not quite our Grand Tour of Italy but certainly a relax and chill week away to recharge.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Careful What You Wish For

I said I needed a good nights sleep - well 12 hours worth was a bit more than I expected - I got up at about 11 am !!! That's half the day gone.  I still had to have breakfast of course and will just push my meals back a few hour.  It completely messes your time clock of course but there you go - I obviously needed the sleep.

I'm wondering whether to put myself forward for another tortuous go at a job in London and I'm not sure I want to go through it for the third time but perhaps I may just do an application to nowhere a hit and devil be damned what the outcome may be.  

The ongoing saga of getting rid of the Piano may be coming to a close as I have someone else interested and so I can push a bit harder to get it out of my garage and on to somewhere new.  

It also looks that my Mum may come down and see us in March which will be nice.  So some good news there - I can pick her up when I go there and we can have a week of her company. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yes - Cheat Day

I enjoyed cheat day today I didn't have too much to drink nor too much to eat and was able to indulge in many forbidden fruits.  Tomorrow is back to normal but that's OK - I almost prefer my diet food now that I am used to it.

Feeling OK at the moment, my tooth is behaving itself and - or rather the hole where my tooth once was.  Interestingly my ear, which has been giving me problems for a while has settled down - coincidence - perhaps but it is on the same side and adjacent?  The little sinus blister thing has gone down too and so I'm hopeful that the right thing has been done.

In some ways I'm feeling confident about the future and happy in myself.  I'm not certain about my relationships with other people that matter to me and I just need to check these things out and make sure I'm "OK" with them.

Off to bed shortly and hope to get a good night's sleep - something I haven't had for a few nights.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Scene From The Godfather

I woke to find that my mouth had bled overnight and to some rather large (looked much worse than it was) blood stains.  So a quick gather up of pillow and cases and covers and dumped into water to soak!  

After a quick gargle it must have been me favouring the gap in my teeth overnight but at least it wasn't bleeding this morning and a wash out was all that was required.

My face still feels numb but that's OK, rather that than it being painful.  

I had a pretty disturbed night now I come to think about it  I was in planning mode and getting to the point of making some sort of decision about the future.  Whilst that sounds decisive it actually means that I've hit another point in the process of deciding what to do next.  Having not heard anything from the potential employers I'm now considering that my three or four ideas need to be reviewed and considered.  I need to talk to Mrs. F. if she will actually sit down and give me more than 30 seconds of her valuable time.

Off out this afternoon and tomorrow to meetings - tomorrow will be good as it is cheat day and a huge breakfast awaits....  Nice!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Well It Does Hurt A Bit

A handful of pills has brought the numbness back to reasonable levels and I'm getting used to this gap in my teeth.  I suppose you have to get used to this when you are getting older and being a "victim" of whatever Dentists did to us in the 60s and sweets and sugar must also be a big factor.   There is some interesting stuff, again on Mercola about non invasive dentistry and I'm following some of the advice including washing my mouth out with Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) in the evening to get rid of any acidity in the mouth.  I've got a new electric toothbrush too which I hope will help and as I only touch sugar in moderation on cheat day, I'm hoping that it too will help long term.

I had to only eat cold food tonight and I was looking forward to doing some Liver & Bacon but that will have to wait until tomorrow - perhaps for lunch :-)  

I'm off to a meeting with Flocky Bicep in the afternoon and also early on Saturday we are going for a Breakfast meeting and I will drive.  He's been great and driven everywhere so far so at least I'll get to drive him on Saturday.  As it is cheat day I will be cutting loose on the breakfast in the morning and for the rest of the day.

Oh well, I'd better get to bed - I'm tired and fell asleep watching the TV. 

Getting Ready For The Dentist

The first of four visits (perhaps 5 when he sees the chip off one of my lower left teeth).  Today is the start of the Root Canal - remembering what it was like last time - as long as he gives me enough numbing agent it isn't too bad.  Of course it has to be a difficult one at the top but hey - let's get it over with.

I've spent some days re-building my Accounts spreadsheets and have been pouring over the figures as there appears to be a bit of an anomaly in the Bank Account - it is probably an unpaid cheque or some such thing.  At least I have the spreadsheet under some form of control now which is good.  I can also see at a glance the yearly spend which was always difficult before.  Another couple of hours with it and I can send it off to a friend to be sanity checked.

I am beginning to get to the point of having to make a decision about this job - it has been well over 3 weeks and still nothing has come back - it really is a pain as there is no contact to chase it up.  A Yes / No or even a Maybe would be something.   


Well, well, well.  What a strange thing.  The Dentist originally thought it was the tooth he had root canal filled a year or two back.  He decided to drill the tooth next door as the X-Ray showed the Sinus (lump on my gum) appearing to head towards the root of that tooth.  I did a little jump not far in and when he realised that the tooth was still "live" when it should be dead he reviewed things and so took out the Root Canal filled tooth - which came out pretty easily.  I've saved a few bob but even so - that's one expensive tooth :-)  I'm actually quite glad about that as I'd read some disturbing stuff on that on the Mercola web site.   Under the rather alarming title "97% of Terminal Cancer Patients Previously Had This Dental Procedure.." it does pose a bit of a worry but then you hear and see so many of these types of stories.

Anyway - the main thing is that the little hole is filled and the tooth is out.  Let's hope that gets this Sinus to go and speed the way for finishing off my teeth procedures quicker - I have one less appointment even though I have one extra filling.  Mrs. F. will be pleased as it is a lot cheaper to have this course of treatment :-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Not Hungry

I forced food down myself on Monday and this morning was no different.  Lunchtime today I got Chef at the Pub to knock me up a Ham Salad - and very nice it was too - I couldn't eat it all and so something is definitely happening here.  It could be that I've worked out my quantities and so I don't need to adjust these any more.  I tend to eat an enormous breakfast which may also account for not wanting anything else much larger during the day.

I had a good long chat with my Business partner - we got a lot off each other's chests - we are still having issues both family and business and our varying experiences and frustrations were well aired over a glass of wine and some coffee :-)

I'm out again tonight and so will be on Red Wine - no beer allowed until cheat day!  I'm doing well with the diet as I can see dramatic results already and that's just what I need - some encouragement :-)

I have a series of other meetings this week and I need to keep my discipline.

Nice Day ... eventually

For some time, seeing the snow and slush this morning I really didn't want to venture out but eventually I did make the commitment and I'm very glad I did as I enjoyed myself and we had lots of fun and that's important.  My friend went in the Chair and we all had a great evening and as it was Monday my journey home by Bus, train and bus was good.  In fact I was the only passenger on the bus home which was nice - like having a chauffeur driven bus to the top of the road!  

I did my bit in the Temple and it was nice to be part of the overall ceremony.  I bumped into a number of people that I knew and also that I had something in common with so a great evening all around.

Yes - glad I made myself go after all - it was a good evening and despite feeling a bit low in the morning I soon came round and was back to good form by the time we hit the Hotel.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cheat Day Makes You Feel Rough

The next morning!  I do feel rough but then again I did have 6 large whiskies and 2 or 3 pints of beer plus a monster meal, lots of chocolates and stuff - I just pigged out entirely even finishing off Mrs. F's chocolate pudding in the restaurant.  It was touch and go stuff too as the snow really started to fall across the South Downs where we stopped for a late afternoon meal - we were home by 8 but then I had some cheese, some chocolate and a couple of whiskies.  

This morning I felt horrible, certainly I had to force breakfast down myself and I'm not looking forward to eating anything at lunchtime either.  I then have to go out in the snow and muck to go to London for a meeting.  My friend is going into the Chair of his Lodge - probably the best day for any member.  At least the meeting is near the main railway station so I can get easily there and back.  I have to say though I do feel particularly sick right now, let's hope that moves on - I don't need to be feeling rough as I have words to say this afternoon too.

Oh well - hopefully this feeling will go away.  I've noticed this before though - if you blow out on your cheat day you feel far less inclined to even want to eat the next day it really does wobble your equilibrium.   Mind you the results of the diet are good and so far no complaints - I am hoping that there will be even greater improvements now that the huge stomach has gone and I can see things like my watch is loose on my wrist as is the ring on my finger - now easier to put on and take off.  Trousers all fit and the belt buckle goes one extra notch with no difficulty.  

Saturday, February 09, 2013

That's Good

Whilst it is "cheat day" in my ongoing diet - I have postponed this until tomorrow when I get to go on my Whisky tasting experience bought for me by "the girls" - the wives and so I can have that tomorrow and any beer or anything else I want.  I've been good this week and now after about 4 weeks at this had a sneaky measure this morning and I'm under 17 stone and close to 16 1/2 stone which considering I topped close to 18 1/2 at Christmas is major progress.   Things change quite fast at the beginning of this diet and I can now wear most of my trousers and my belt is fully in one notch, my collars don't feel like I'm about to be garotted and I feel a lot better.  Whilst there is still a way to go - I'm really pleased with the results and will continue to follow this until I get somewhere near my target of around 14 stone (ideally).

A little later I'm going to go out shopping with Mrs. F - every little helps especially as she will drive me back from Brighton tomorrow :-)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Dentist Appointments Done

The time for procrastinating had gone on long enough and I did all my chores in one hit today including phoning my friend who is now in Thailand and seems to be enjoying his time there.  I then called the Dentists and set up my appointments starting next Thursday and so will get my teeth sorted.  I'm adding rinsing and final cleaning at night using Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) to just neutralise my mouth of acid before bed.  I hope that this little routine will assist in the longer term.  I'm also considering getting a water pick - my cousin in the US talked about getting one - it looks pretty impressive tool and I'll discuss with my dentist what he thinks.  

I wonder if having Cancer has anything to do with my teeth problems or whether it is just an "age thing".  Whatever, I want to hang on to them as long as possible and so need to work out some sort of long term maintenance plan.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Out and further tests of my resolve

I did rather well tonight - I stuck to Red Wine, I had only vegetables and meat, no gravy and no pudding.  A kind soul remembered that I like Cheese and Biscuits and presented me with a plate full which I gave to my colleagues - I had the Celery only.  I am determined to lose more weight and I reckon a stone in 3 weeks is pretty good in fact I think it is close to 1 and a half stone already, 3 to 4 inches around my stomach gone already, trousers are beginning to fit better, belt in by one step, watch now loose on wrist, ring now goes on to finger easily and so on.  I can put my fingers between my neck and the collar of my shirt too.

My stomach is really beginning to show improvement and also under my arms and around the side of my torso so all in all, I'm heading in the right direction.  I am moving cheat day to Sunday as we are out and about Whisky tasting and probably having a meal - I think that is what Mrs. F. muttered to me under her breath.  I'm sure that if I caught her on a day when she isn't tired or pissed off with me that she might speak properly to me and I'd understand what was being said.  

Anyway, that aside, I've had a good day and managed to do a couple of miles walk and eat properly so that's good.

There's a clue

I have a programme that replicates the files on one device and copies them to another.  I finished the cataloguing and set this going last night - it's going to take another 4 days to complete the transfer of files from one device to the other across a reasonably fast network - even so - that's a lot of data being transferred :-)

Of course, I've changed practically every file name, all the tag data associated with each one and also much of the Folder structure!  

I was having another one of my "episodes" again last night - not really getting to sleep and getting all worked up about something - not sure what it was.  Today I'm procrastinating a bit I need to go and sort out appointments and the like and I think I've got my diary in some sort of order so I can ring the Dentist and get my 4 appointments set in stone.  I have a number of days where I am out and about and suddenly I wonder where all these things have materialised from.

Still no word from potential employers but in some ways I am getting used to that.  Out this afternoon to a meeting and must go and get ready soon for that.  Weight is still coming off nicely and my belt can go the extra notch in and also my watch is loose on my arm and my ring fits my finger again!  I'm getting used to the diet again now but this weekend need to move cheat day back a day to Sunday as we are going out.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Finally I have completed cataloguing my music - well that I already have recorded that is.  It's taken absolutely ages and at least 60 or more hours of work I reckon.  Anyway, it is completed now and I'm just tidying it all up.  I can now search directly and see what tracks and artists I have.  

Now I need to keep up the discipline and move the rest of my music over a bit at a time.  

I also now need to get my schedule in order so that I can get my dentist appointments scheduled along with all the other bits and pieces I need to sort out.  

Spit it out man

Thanks to Flocky for those words earlier :-)

Interesting- I went to a friend's house earlier and we chatted (as you do) and he was interested about how I felt about my dad.  It's strange (funny peculiar) as I am neutral about it - I have an attitude that everyone dies and when your time is up, well that's it and that it is part of "life" if that isn't a tautology in itself.  

I read with some emotion this blog entry by Jim Tuffin in his ongoing blog about his terminal cancer.  I only know Jim from having exchanged emails 10 years ago but saw his blog and was curiously drawn to it because, in many ways, it could have been me.  I am beginning to find his blog both disturbing and yet I'm drawn to his pragmatic and optimistic outlook as well as some "moth to a flame" attraction because "there but through the grace of God go I"

In many ways Jim has been wrapping up what it feels like to know that the end is coming and who knows when it will be whilst he still keeps up his own spirits and those of his family.  It demonstrates how you don't suffer in silence yourself but how you suffer for ty=hose around you and worry about them.  Wonderful human characteristics but perhaps somewhat misplaced as you won't be there after the event - or will you - as Jim discusses?

So back to the plot and I was talking about my dad and how I didn't feel that he had a "good death" that he lay there helpless in bed and for many weeks on end knew that he could do nothing for himself (and I mean nothing).  for a man of his standing and independence it must have been humiliating and upsetting and I did see him upset for the first time in my life.  I saw fear in his eyes, I saw hurt and I saw helplessness in someone that had, until that point never been helpless before but had been the "head of the family", strong, resolute and a leader to us.  He was reduced to a helpless, feeble, grey shell of the man I knew and it does upset me.  It upsets me because you don't want to see this sort of whimpering away of life; this steady and then rapid decline.   

So did it affect me?  Of course it did but I'm comforted by a number of things and disturbed by others.  My father and I were never "close" but we knew between us what was going on - I felt every bit of survivor syndrome when he was diagnosed and he knew it and reassured me about that.  He knew what was coming and he dealt with it as only he and we knew he would.  He was a very brave man and considering he'd never really been ill or been in Hospital for well over 60 years - he had a good innings.  He bore the Hospital stuff as well as he could and whilst he was "spaced out" on a number of occasions (often you are thankful for that when you think about it as he didn't know what was going on), he dealt with everything heroically.

How do I feel now?  I guess I don't want to die like he did.  It wasn't "fair" and it wasn't "nice" and you can see why Cancer has this fearsome reputation.  I've been moved in many ways (and humbled) by his and my own experiences.  However, this hasn't manifested itself very well in me as I want to go and live life to the fullest and my circumstances and my own conservative and introvert (yes I KNOW that's difficult to comprehend if you know me) personality stop me from cutting loose and living my life flat out.

Interesting times ahead.....   

Sunday, February 03, 2013


That Was an interesting afternoon and night out - as usual I got the jitters as the meeting started as I still have this mini panic attack about being in these rooms and getting hot and airless but they had the fans on and it wasn't as busy at it was a few years back and so there was room to move around and I felt fine.

We had a good Burns Supper and a good few drinks back at the Club and I arrived home at 02:30.  It was a good night out.  Reality bites and I'm back on my diet this morning and the cycle starts again.

I'm continuing to re catalogue my music and have two PCs running together closing in on each other from either end of the alphabet.

I managed to chip a lump off one of my teeth which all adds to my bill with the Dentist!  I need to arrange a series of visits to get all this lot done and the Root Canal treatment is the first on the bill - as long as he numbs my head it will be fine!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

An Afternoon And Evening

It's time for the boys from Scotland to come down here and this afternoon and tonight should be a good evening once again.  It is one of those meetings that is quite enjoyable once I've got over the mini panic attack with the crowded room at the beginning but we call off for tea halfway through and so that's normally OK.

We then have a Burn's Supper with all the pipes and Haggis etc - very nice.  Then on to the Conservative Club and have a few drinks before getting home in the early hours.

It is cheat day and so I will have plenty of things to cheat with including beer and potatoes and Cheese so I'll be happy and fully stuffed when I get home.

I've lost around a Stone so far but have far more to go on that.  I happened onto a Programme from Aljazeera last night - a South African chat show and a chap called Tim Noakes was on there talking about diet and he very much promoted the Atkins / Tim Ferris approach but more that that went on to explain some of the interesting facts around the food and drugs industries.  Look him up on the Internet - he is a University Professor in South Africa.

As an approach it makes perfect sense to me and you can see where all these processed foods start to give you trouble.  

I start week 4 of the diet tomorrow and I'm hoping for yet more improvement although I have a number of functions coming up that will challenge me - I was able last week to only eat those things I'm allowed to and refused the others.  I feel pretty good about that and I know that in keeping to this diet (this time) I should be able to get back into my clothes!  

I've had a relatively good week this week but I've been occupied and not disturbed too much so that's probably what it is - my mind being off things.