Friday, June 27, 2008

Enough Of This Nonsense!

It has been some time since I last visited my blog, and what a sorry state the subject of that last post was - not that it wasn't true, but I have moved on a bit since then.

Self-perception is a strange beast, and depression is not something I thought I would ever suffer from. I've always been able to rise from the ashes, so to speak, whenever I've stumbled or had a knock back. But this has been a real humdinger, and it hasn't helped that I developed a chest infection that has left me with what the doctors say is post-viral asthma.

I can't say I'm feeling great or even close to my old self, but I am starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel in the distance. I'm seeing someone at the clinic who may yet be able to help, but I'm too sure at the moment as her approach seems very "clinical", but the fact that I've managed to "carry on" and keep going seems to be having the most benefit.

What I'm looking forward to is less self-examination and more of the old fire that allowed me to have a go at anyone who gets my goat. The problem has been that no-one - not even Bush or Brown, - has managed to do this for me - and I need to be ready as there is another US Election on the way to get my teeth into.

This weekend, I intend to get my boots on and start walking again - something I haven't done properly for some time, except for the 15-mile Wirral Coastal Walk back in May. Maybe some exercise with help to lift the spirits. Moreover, there are some good pubs that are missing me!

P.S. Couldn't find a picture to go with this post, hence no colour

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Not Feeling Good!

Over the last six months, or so, such a lot has happened that at times I just haven't seemed to have the time to catch my breath.

However, over the last three months, I've been noticing some rather alarming symptoms and thoughts developing. I seem to feel tired all the time, my heart seems to race, I can feel my head throbbing in time with my heartbeat, my tinnitus is louder than ever before and I get really anxious prior to going to work. I feel generally run down and listless. I've not been for many of my usual walks or bike rides, I've not done much in the garden, and I'm putting on weight.

The other week, I was talking to one of my ex-colleagues from my previous place of work which has now closed down, and she was describing similar symptoms and feelings and I've come to the conclusion that I am depressed as a result of losing my job. I miss the people I worked alongside, many of whom became friends, and a place where, for five years, I was very happy - poorly paid, but happy. It had affected this colleague to the point where she felt the need to consult a counsellor. There is a great sense of mourning, which, on the face of it seems ridiculous, but is non-the-less real. There have been times when I felt I had lost my extended family.

Leaving there was a big wrench, and although I was lucky enough to be able to go straight into a new job, the stress of the administration and redundancy seems to have caught up with me. Most days, I feel anxious about going into work - though once I'm there, everything seems to go OK, - and I feel snappy and have to work very hard at being as human as possible.

I'm not sure where I go from here, but I have made an appointment with the doctor, and perhaps we can work out a strategy - I don't really want to take tablets if at all possible. I need to feel re-energised and positive again. Find the motivation to get off my backside and start being active. But most of all, I want to feel good about going into work and living my life!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Can't think of a snappier title than that at the moment, though it may change later.

Well, we've just got through Easter - very early this year and I think that the formula worked out by the Alexandrian or Coptic church in the 5th Century - the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox doesn't suit the modern age!

This year, it has been a particularly busy time with Christine's Mum finally moving out of the family home - a three story house is a bit large for one person! At present, she is staying with Christine's brother as she has yet to buy somewhere new, however she has been out and about to look, at this stage, localities and the type and cost of properties and it seems an area to the west of Wigan, - Orrell, is favourite at the moment.

However, our house is now full of 'stuff' and I've no idea where it is all going to go. I'm leaving it very much to Christine to sort out as much of it includes memories of her Dad which are important.

Jayne has had a pretty nasty bug which has kept her off school for the two weeks prior to Easter, and she still has a touch of catarrh. She spent that time with Grandparents - which, of course, she loved. However, she did pull her weight in helping her Nan to move out, and to all accounts, never stopped talking! However, it did give us time to re-decorate her room which turned out to be a bigger job than first thought as we had to replace all the plaster work. Anyway, it is now done and looks very nice - if a bit pink!

Next term is an important time for Jayne as she takes her Stage 2 SAT's and finally leaves Primary school to join her sister at Secondary school. A time of great pressure and change for our youngest.

Bethen is growing up all the time - very much the young lady at the moment, and being a teenage girl, driving me and Christine up the wall! However, she really is a lovely person - so everyone else tells us! She spent a week up in the Lakes with her long-time friend and her family. Seems she had a good time - I base that on the fact that when asked, her grunts and single word answers had a definite positive intonation. However, she did say that the tops of the fells were covered in snow which made them look really pretty - I wish I had been up there.

The ramifications of being made redundant from my last job are still making themselves felt. So far, I've not received a penny in redundancy as no-one is taking responsibility for it and so we are going to an Employment Tribunal to sort it out. Could be another two to three months before it's sorted, so my new bike is having to wait a little longer. It really is a pain in the neck!

However, last night I met up with a number of people from the old job. My colleague and friend got married and we all met up at the party afterwards. Most people have managed to get new employment and are settling down to a new chapter in their lives, others are about to start and were looking particularly nervous about it. However, the overriding feeling seemed to be one of relief that the old company was finally dead and buried. We all had a great time, and we've set ourselves up as a group on one of the social networking sites so hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch.

Spring is now with us and I am looking forward to some decent weather as so far most weekends have been a bit of a washout (literally) and I've not been able to get out and about much. Our local canal has yet to feel the passing of my cycle tyres and must be feeling a little neglected. Our local hill, Rivington Pike and Winter Hill, has not faired much better with only a couple of half-decent walks in the past couple of months. I'm really getting serious itchy feet.

The weather has been awful - strong winds and lots of rain, very depressing and the garden is also looking a bit bedraggled. Something I'm going to have to turn my attention to shortly.

Next weekend, we are going to a Flickr Wirral meet - the third one so far. True to form, the meeting will take place in a pub, this time the Wheatsheaf Inn in Raby followed by a wander down to Ness Gardens if the weather is OK, otherwise, we'll have to stay in the pub and drink more beer. The Flickr Wirral group has to be one of the most active, anarchic and fun groups on the site. Whenever a discussion group starts, there is no way it will ever stay on topic for very long. I feel it reflects the innate Wirralian personality. When you live on a peninsula it is very easy to ignore the rest of the world and develop your own style and life.

Not much else to say at the moment. Still very busy at work with a lot to learn, but I feel I'm getting a handle on it now. When I get home, I'm very tired and ready to just flop and chill out. Hopefully, with the longer days, I'll be a little more active.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Failed Already

So much for New Year resolutions and good intentions. That didn't last long, did it? To all, and in particular Jen, my apologies for my laziness and lack of effort. No promises, but I hope to be a little better in the future.

In many respects, life has been running at about 100 mph, particularly with the new job. In terms of learning curve, climbing Everest would be easy in comparison.

It looks like the new job is going to be really good and challenging. There is an awful lot to learn, but I'm fast becoming an expert on left hand shower baths with unitary mixer units and soft close toilet seats - yes, I'm in the bathroom suite business, and it is a lot more comples that I thought.

But more, we are also the primary UK bathroom delivery company, so I am also expected to know how freight transportation and route planning is worked out. All in all, I think this is a job that I can really get my teeth into, leaving very little time for getting bored.

Outside of work, I've turned 55 (whoopee!) half a stone heavier (that's 7 lbs in US weight) than I was before Christmas, and I need to get started to lose it and get back some fitness. Last week I did our local hill, Rivington Pike, and was quite pleased at the reletive ease I had getting up it, but my main goal for this year is walking a few more of the fells in the Lake District. I really want to do the Langdale Pikes (mainly because there is a great pub at the end of it) and one of the big three; Skiddaw, Scarfell Pike or Helvelyn. Cumbria has to be, to my mind, one of the prettiest places in the UK with opportunities for all people to enjoy the countryside, whatever their age or ability.

Finally, still waiting for my redundancy payment so I can start looking for a new bike. Lots of ideas for what I want, but in the end, it will depend on price.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy New Year

New Year and a new job - what a combination!

Before going any further, I would sincerely wish all my visitors and their families the best of all years and that all good things you deserve are delivered.

As for me, I see that I have been a little tardy in my posts over recent weeks, much of that due to the rapidly changing and uncertainties that preceded Christmas and that the fact that I didn't have much energy for anything else. I did, however, try to keep up with the blogs I normally visit, and keep myself up to date with what is going on.

My resolution is to attempt to up my posts - hopefully with something interesting, novel, quirky and humourous.

With the good news that I had a new job to go to in the New Year, meant that Christmas was a more relaxed affair that it was previously shaping up to be. For obvious reasons, Father Christmas had to be a little mean this year, though the girls did get an ipod nano in the sack - so all was not lost!

Christine was working Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which meant our Christmas dinner was on the Thursday. An excellent quality leg of pork, roasted with cox's orange pippin apples and rosemary and black pepper marinade. I've finally cracked the secret to good crackling, and this didn't disappoint. The roast potatoes were cooked with fresh rosemary and garlic and the gravy was made from the juices from the meat supplemented with a strong Somerset cider. The veg, of course, consisted of carrots and sprouts. Didn't do much with them - maybe next year! We finished off the meal with a traditional Christmas pudding. Unlike last year, this was shop bought - but a good one none the less, and Christine and Bethen had a good go at burning the house down with the brandy!

New Year was celebrated with friends, though we did have to leave a little early as Christine was on duty on New Year's day at 7:30 in the morning! She stayed relatively sober - I didn't!

Finally, on January 3rd, I started my new job. Always an odd feeling starting at a new place. Lots of nerves and anxiety. Hoping that I can live up to the promises made in the interview. Also hoping that the first impression is a good one, and that I do nothing that leaves a lasting negative impression. Well I think I managed to do that OK. Lots to learn and take on board. New systems and procedures and, of course, lots of new faces to get to know. Once I get my feet under the table, I think I'm going to enjoy this job.

The only thing to make it perfect for me will be a Suzuki Bandit 1200 - but if not, a 650 will do instead, and I'm hoping the redundancy cheque, when it comes through, will sort out that wish.