Friday, December 31, 2010

There is no telling some people!

Nope for once this isn't about my family, this is about the idiots that insist on walking on the wet concrete on the new driveway. Its not rocket science, if the slab was not there the day before, it will probably be wet. The planks laid across it are the second hint that its wet... But no, none of this was enough.

Over the past couple of weeks they have laid concrete on 5 days, on each of those days someone walked through it every time.

Today they laid the last slab, and refinished the whole driveway. Not content with walking through the newest piece, they have also walked right across the whole thing for about 20+ ft, so messed up the refinish too. Well done, that's outstanding!

I'm sure by tomorrow, the barrier put across the drive will be moved and they will park on the drive too. Like I say, No telling some people.

Irritating really, having had such a crap driveway for years, I really hoped everyone would give the new lay a chance, so we had a nice driveway.... But no!


Regards
Michael

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Lots of pretty colours

The daily regime of pills for mum. Not sure what's harder, being responsible for sorting them all out and administering them at the right times..... Or being the one taking them.
Regards
Michael

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The eagle has landed...

...Kinda!
After a bit of trial and error yesterday, experimenting with different ways of getting on the bath lift, and building her confidence.... Mum has officially landed in the bath.

Although not without lots of drama, but that's my mum right? She told the carer on her arrival she would be having a bath today, and they set about getting it all sorted. I had already set the lift up in the bath to save some time. So they ran the bath, and started to get ready. Finally it was time, and I heard mum exclaim from the bathroom, "what's the matter with this thing, its never been so slow before, the bath will be cold by the time I'm in"..... This is her first day using it! Lol

So either way, that's a HUGE hurdle overcome to say the least. She is in the process of working out how to wash her hair between her and the carer. Fingers crossed by the end of all this she will be a happy woman for the rest of the day. I can hope anyway.

So with that sorted, and a somewhat more positive spring in my step, maybe I will achieve some good things today. Having successfully cancelled two phone contracts yesterday, in my on going money saving exercise, and getting mum a new temporary hearing aid until her appointment on the 11th Jan for her new one, I'm not sure what other great things I am left to do now lol.

I know I have a few little chores left to do, so will try and recall what they are and get some of them done. I have my goodies from IKEA to fit yet! Woop!!!

On another note, the driveway we have been having laid as part of the renovations is almost done. Fingers crossed it will be finished laying today. I hope this time no one walks on it. Every time they have laid a slab so far someone has walked it it.
They have cut a few corners on the original plan, but its still a vast improvement on what was there. Goodbye sweeping curve, hello straight lines and angles corners.

Right, I'm rambling, so I'm off. Gonna try and get the dogs walked this morning, all positive!

Have a good day.
Regards
Michael

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

High's and Low's

Well its sure been one of those days, from the low of the morning encounter with mum, and the rage that followed, to the high of speaking to Karen from St Christophers.

Its amazing what a single conversation, albeit a long one, can do for your state of mind.

When she came to see mum today I was happy to have a fresh perspective on things. A different pair of ears to hear her gripes and comments on things, and then compare their feelings on the matters with me.

When it came to my turn to speak to the nurse, almost immediately she identified that I was feeling a little out of my depth. We discussed what was available and it has been decided that I will see the family worker/counsellor to talk through my feelings and fears, as well as anything I am subconsciously struggling with.

Mums meds will now be taken care of by the pharmacy, who will put them in doses so that's one less thing for me to worry about. After that conversation with the nurse I managed to be calm enough to talk to mum about the bath lift, and got her to try it out and find a method of getting in and out of the bath, so another hurdle overcome.

That's not to say a lot of negatives were not raised in her conversation with the nurse. I did feel rather bruised by the time she had finished talking with her, by some of the comments mum had been making about how things are.

I have asked for a wheelchair for mum, so I can get her out and about a bit more. The back garden and the walk to the doctors must get a little boring at times. Hopefully we should be able to collect that soonish.

So the day ends quite well, even talking to mum about taking a sleeping pill for the trip to Wales to see her sister, so there is hope yet.

Time to let the mind rest now, take care all.
Regards
Michael

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Bad start to the day

So for days now I have been building up to today, getting back on track, making a plan etc. But as we all know even the most simple plans fall foul of life itself.

I woke this morning.... With a headache! Great start. So the plan was, let carer in, take headache tablets, ask not to be disturbed unless it was important, then sleeeeeeep!

So I toddled into mum to see if all was well this morning and to tell her of my plan. At first all was well, she said get some rest, and that she would like to try doing her own lunch today to give me a break.... Awwww.

Then as I left the room she asked if I had bought her any cigarettes yesterday. Having not been asked for any, the answer was obviously no. To this she got very mad, shouting and complaining that she had specifically asked me to get her some.... I left the room.

For the next few minutes she huffed around the house getting upset, and I sat pondering how I would work this out. Carer due at 8am, I have to keep the dogs away from her. Now just before 8am, did I have time to run to the shops? Typically the carer ran late today, so by 8.05 I ran out the door, only to meet the carer half way up the road. I explained the situation and continued. Home minutes later, I let the carer in, put the dogs away and looked for mum. Finding her in the back garden..... SMOKING!

Morning world...... But not a good one!

PS trying to decide at present if I can be bothered to try and sleep this headache off once the carer has gone. Or take the dogs out and hope fresh air does the trick.
Regards
Michael

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Blog....

Well as usual its been a long time since I last wrote anything, hot and cold, that's me. Anyway, let's get up to date shall we.

So since I last wrote a lot has changed. The biggest bombshell being mum going back into hospital. She had let herself get in a terrible state, and finally we had to make a decision for her.
A day or so after going in, I was summonsed to the hospital by one of her doctors for a sit down chat. The cancer has now spread to her lungs and brain, so time is suddenly much shorter for her.

She was in for about 2 weeks, and in that time I was also having a massive amount of refurbishment done in the house, so life was hellish to say the least.
During this time, the NHS, and St Christophers Hospice did an amazing amount of work, putting in place loads of equipment for her including a motorised hospital bed, motorised rising chair etc. Meanwhile we laid laminate flooring throughout the hallways to make walking easier.

So mum is home now, slowly adapting to a new way of life. Less balance and reduced mobility. We now have a carer come in twice a day to help mum wash and dress, the bits I can't really help with. I would like to say its made things easier, but that's not really the case. Tempers are short in this house these days.
Yesterday brought it all to a head for me, with mum getting angry about her medication and how I was getting it wrong. After trying to explain what was what a couple of times, she started shouting she would sort it for herself. Sadly she doesn't know what day it is, let alone what drugs she should be taking. She swore blind that the hospital had told her to stop taking 2 of them... Which they had not.

So I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I'm in a pretty cold and dark place right now. I am off sick from work with stress and depression, on some mild medication to try and level me out, and struggling a little with day to day life at the moment.

I need some structure back, a routine, something to keep me occupied and my mind away from stressing 24-7. So I'm trying that from today. Hoping to get the regular dog walks in, and reach out to a couple of long forgotten things to keep me ticking over.

Meanwhile, the pity is not with me, its with mum, and for her suffering through this all. I know she just wants to throw in the towel some days, but other days she is happy as anything. When her health slips she tries to avoid doctors, but each time they eventually fix her up again. So we just have to stay on top of all of that. And keep her in the best possible health.

Love ya mum :)
X
Regards
Michael

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Greenwich Odeon, who the f**k do you think you are!

Ok this should all have been a simple complaint but apparently I was in the wrong and misunderstood.
Read the emails from the bottom up to get them in the right order.

Needless to say I'm pissed off.


Dear Lindani,

Thank you for taking the time to so comprehensively discard both my complaint and account of what happened on Saturday night.
While it is very nobel to paint such an outstanding picture of your member of staff, I must also point out it is also very irritating to receive such a biased response.

Please rest assured I will not return to the Odeon Greenwich, and will ensure I both further my complaint to a corporate level, and advise other friends of what sort of guest services to receive should they venture to Odeon Greenwich.

I am somewhat confused by the statement of "Perhaps Sarha's firmness was directed at the Team Member". This strikes me as a little peculiar as we were some 30ft away from the said other "team member", which I'm sure your "Team Leader and the Technical Manager" would be recall also.

All in all, as the customer/guest/patron that evening, and as a 37 year old man who is familiar with socialising and courtesy, regardless of intention that matter was dealt with poorly, and in an unacceptable manner.

In closing I would just like to comment on your closing statement....

"We shall continue to raise our standards so that such occurrences do not happen again. We will endeavour to make your next visit a magical one.Please accept my sincere apologies and be assured that your concern was received and dealt with courtesy and empathy."

To ensure an occurrence would not happen again would suggest you agree something went wrong, which you clearly deny, so this is almost an offensive contradiction of your earlier comments.

As for my concern being dealt with "with courtesy and empathy", I think we know my feelings on that matter. Patronising would be more appropriate.

My apologies for the poor tone of my email.

Michael Snasdell

Regards
Michael

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From: "Odeon Greenwich" <Odeon.Greenwich@OdeonUK.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 00:27:17 +0100
To: <snazy@blackberry.orange.co.uk>
Cc: bookings<Bookings@Odeonuk.com>
Subject: Re: Guest Services Ref: Bkg/2010/2624 (Greenwich / SNASDELL ) [039]


Dear Michael

Thank you for your concern, which was received by myself, the duty manager on Saturday quite promptly following your arrival at, I assume the Gallery. Please accept my apologies  for the delay in response. It has taken quite a considerable number of days to make clear the events of that evening.

Sarha, the lady  you describe in your concern is in fact our Gallery supervisor. I immediately following receipt of your concern approached her, quite I must say surprised myself. Sarha is one of our longest serving employees and has always demonstrated a high level of guest service standard. She is responsible as well for training within our site. I thus investigated further as It always sits within the managerial team to look into any possible issues of discourtesy to our valued guests. At the moment of approach, Sarha had along her side the floor Team Leader and the Technical Manager, both from whom I have testimonies of a sober attitude, contrary to the description you gave. I did however give consideration to your concern and acknowledge the inconvenience of having to email us at that hour.

This altogether with my knowledge of business activity that night (business being relatively mild ) would lead me to the assumption that perhaps, as also suggested by my team there was a communication barrier. I am aware that the Team Member at the Guest Service point at the time was one of our newly appointed staff. Perhaps Sarha's firmness was directed at the Team Member who should have been checking all tickets at that stage, be they Gallery or Standard. This to which Sarha extends her apology as it quite evidently upset you. It was not her intention.

As an HR Manager myself, your concern does not merely rest here. With no intention to leave any room for poor guest service standards, I already have after thoroughly investigating the matter extended counselling and a refresher on our values at Odeon. We shall continue to raise our standards so that such occurrences do not happen again. We will endeavour to make your next visit a magical one.

Please accept my sincere apologies and be assured that your concern was received and dealt with courtesy and empathy.

Yours sincerely

Lindani Madoda




bookings

16/10/2010 20:40

       
        To:        Odeon Greenwich/FLD/Odeon@OdeonUK
        cc:        
        Subject:        Guest Services Ref: Bkg/2010/2624 (Greenwich / SNASDELL ) [039]


Hi

Could you please respond to this concern and cc ourselves in on your response so we can close the case reference.

Please keep the original history below as part of your response and the subject line as currently shown.  This will allow us to find all the emails surrounding this issue if it is required.

Thanks!


----- Forwarded by bookings/FLD/Odeon on 16/10/2010 20:40 -----
"Michael Snasdell" <snazy@blackberry.orange.co.uk>

16/10/2010 20:35
Please respond to "Michael Snasdell"

       
        To:        "Guest services" <info@odeonuk.com>
        cc:        
        Subject:        ODEON: Guest services - Cinema: Greenwich



I have tonight arrived at Greenwich to see a film at the Gallery, Mr Despicable at the 20.30 show.
Having been a patron of this establishment for a good few years now, I am quite familiar with the procedure of getting to the 4th floor etc.

Tonight on arrival, and seeing a long queue for the regular seating, but a number of staff towards the lift for the Gallery we walked past the ticket check-in (unchallenged) and offered the tickets to the staff towards the lift.
On arriving there we were greeted very rudely by the female member if staff who barked instruction that we should never pass the ticket check-in, and a whole load of other information. A simple "can you present your tickets over there" would have sufficed.
Had they not been standing there, we would of course have checked in with the other young lady.
I am left sitting in the waiting area for our film to be called now, in a foul mood, and disgusted at this behaviour.
I am pleased however say the girl working in the Gallery was delightful.
If this is how staff expect to be able to treat customers, I for one will certainly not be returning, and certainly not to pay such a premium, only to be treated so cheaply.

Regards
A very irate and £45 worse off for the pleasure of it... Michael Snasdell

Michael Snasdell


Odeon Cinemas Limited, 54 Whitcomb St, London, WC2H 7DN. Registered in England No. 01854132
United Cinemas International (UK) Limited, Lee House, 90 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester, M1 5JW, Registered in England No. 1732125


Monday, October 18, 2010

POTD: Saving the planet..

On Happy Meal at a time. Brilliant idea though, re-fuelling the lorry with oil from the fryers while it makes a deliery to the store.
Regards
Michael

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tribute tattoo in progress

A couple of pictures of what I have been up to this weekend.
The piece is a tribute to my lifetime friend John Littlebury who was killed in a motorcycle accident on 7/7/2010.

A couple more sittings left on it, but chuffed with the progress. Thank you to Michelle @ Innocent Needle in Croydon.
Regards
Michael

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Scene of the accident

Waldram Park Road at junction of Devonshire Road, closed due to traffic accident
Regards
Michael

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POTD: Saving lives.

An amazing piece of flying bringing them down in a tiny park.
Regards
Michael

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

One of those "meh" days!

Not quite sure how or why, but know I have slipped a little over the past few days on the road to recovery so to speak. My mind isn't in a great place right now, preoccupied by the stresses of worrying about my aunt Joan. And the on going battle with my mum about how successful chemo was for her.

The arguement of how successful the chemo was has become so fierce in my head that I have taken to reading through an old thread I started on Scoobynet and my old blog to get details of old hospital visits, just to confirm that the chemo did indeed cause shrinkage of the tumour, and it DID! So that's put my mind at rest about one thing at least.

I think what's eating away at me about the situation with Joan is the helpless part. I'm far away (not that I can't go there), but also I am not live-in like I am with mum, so even if I went there I would not be able to "impose" myself upon the situation.
Not being in control of a situation, is this another issue I need to address? Maybe so. It would certainly explain my willingness to get involved in road accident and other sorts of incidents. Do I in some way seek out responsibility for bad situations? Am I trying to help or just be to blame? I need to find some answers to these questions I think.

I digress lol.

So anyway, the whole thing with Joan. I know she is having some tests and appointments over the next week or so, but what will happen from there at the moment is unknown. But something I am keen to know everything about as soon as there is something to know.

Right, I better get on with my day, after all its still morning and I'm already in an open pit mine, and still digging.

My mind and body need to be lifted to a better level, the holiday is just around the corner, I am having more work on my tribute tattoo on Saturday, things are good right.... So why the long face?

Operation Rescue-Me is under way... Stand clear, this may get messy!

Have a good day, almost the weekend people!
Regards
Michael

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little pissed off. Families!

OMG, I am so fed up right now its unreal. I just got home from work, to find my mum talking to my aunt on the phone. OK that bit was expected, but the apparent content of the call was not.

On hanging up mum filled me in on the gossip. Joan is eating less and less and is subsequently losing weight due to this. Unlike mum however she is accepting advice and guidance from medical staff, and making an effort to try their solutions. So that's a good thing.
However with regards to me going up there she is slightly put off the idea, mainly because she is worried about me driving so far, which is rather sweet, but not really worth her worry. Thank you anyway Joan for caring.
Once I heard this I was a little annoyed shall we say, that my company/visit was being shunned, but at the end of the day its her decision, and like mum's decision, I respect it.

Then mum goes on.... Joan had been asking her about treatments, and mum had informed her that chemo is not only not pleasant to go through, but also not worth it. Explaining it had done nothing for her, except cause discomfort. It had done nothing to treat the cancer, and was really not worth considering.
Not only is this NOT the case, but also mum has failed to consider the differences between their two cancers. Assuming that what worked for her will be the same for Joan. This is the exact reason I wanted to go up there.

Mum has clearly forgotten the effects the chemo had on her, and the way it started the treatment of her cancer. And in turn, almost put Joan off even considering it. Well done mum!

She then went on to tell me Joan was waiting to see the Oncologist. On asking mum if Joan had seen consultants of doctors prior to this, she barked that she had JUST told me she is waiting to see the Oncologist. Clearly she has forgotten who does what and in what order she saw these people in. Grrrr. I know it was a stressful time for her, and don't expect her to remember details. I only wish she would not use these broken memories to tell my aunt about what to expect. That's part of the reason I wanted to speak to Joan myself, and part of the reason I wanted to be there with mum to make sure we were putting the right story across.

So now, we wait!
Not a situation I was hoping to end up in, but hey, time to play the hand I was dealt I guess.

Next move...... Currently unknown.
Regards
Michael

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POTD: Running on empty.

In car and in mind.
Regards
Michael

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

POTD: Blackberry Torch anyone?

Innovation at its best.
Regards
Michael

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From footsteps in sand, to knee deep in mud.

Ok, time for another deep and meaningful entry to my blog. Like many other metaphors I have used, this is another that creates a mental images for me to work with. But what does it all mean? Good question.
OK to me its a choice, and one I discovered I need to start making when a situation arises. What tends to happen with me is I take on someones problems, be it just talking something through, or agreeing to help in some form of physical way. Either way, what tends to happen is before I know what is going on, I am knee deep in emotional mud, and stuck in the middle of a situation.

When I take a step back from some of these now resolved situations and take a long hard look, I realise that with everything I have going on in life at the moment, I don't have the time, nor the mental strength to see these things through. And if I had looked properly at the time, I could have and indeed would have taken a step back BEFORE I started to sink.

So now I have a mental image to work with. Which believe me, is a god send.

In all walks of life, we generally like to make an impression on people, create memories, and have our input remembered. Without making an impression, our lives would serve far less purpose. Be it educating someone, or saving a life. Helping someone out, or being the recipient of help, everything we do makes a footprint in the sand, and that's a good thing.

But as I have found, and I'm sure many more have too, from time to time the ground is soft and uneven, and those are the times I am now looking out for. For when we tread on these, we need to make a quick decision. As our feet make that first impression, do we leave a footprint, or do we indeed stand firm and sink in deeper.

As I say, I have stood far too long in contemplation in the past, and now that I recognise this, what better time to make a change.
Does this mean a less caring me? A more selfish me? Well I would like to say no, its more about perception. I am sure to some I will appear a little self obsessed and all that, but the truth of the matter is, I have been an emotional punchbag for far too long now. From becoming engrossed in helping people writing letters and deal with debt and speeding fines, to spending hours on the phone, usually at my expense, listening to why life is so unfair, I have spent far too long on other peoples problems, and run out of energy to deal with my own. Now is the time for all that to change.

Time to set my own agenda.
My mum is ill (dealing with that)
My aunt is ill (starting to deal with that)
My daughter has been gone 12 years (not anywhere near dealing with that)
Unhappy at work (was dealing with it but have stalled)

Life is changing rapidly all around me, and sometimes keeping up with that is not as easy as it seems, but I like to think in general I am doing ok.

As profound as a lot of this all sounds, I am actually a lot better off today, thanks to Peter and the session this morning. Sounding off about a few things, developing mental pictures to reference with, and making sense of a few things in life has made all the difference. Almost like emotional cleansing, as I spoke I felt my shoulders loosen up, my mood lighten, and my foggy mind clear a little. Slowly but surely its all making sense now.

I am once again the master of my own destiny. I have many lessons to learn on the way, and will encounter obstacle. But with determination, good friends, and positive mental attitude I will reach my destiny, achieve my goals, and leave firm, clear footprints in the sand.

Thank you for reading :)
Regards
Michael

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Monday, October 11, 2010

POTD: Sparkly Car!

Its gonna be the only highlight to today I'm sure. All my own hard work.
Regards
Michael

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

POTD: Bliss!

Ending the day on a positive note. She looks in a wonderful place. Zzzz
Regards
Michael

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Hard to get my head around.

Now call me selfish, ignorant, or just plain stupid, but I just don't get it. Maybe its just me being weird, or different to the rest of the world, but to me its just a natural act, progress, paying it forwards.

What am I talking about you are wondering? My mum of course!
After today's revelation about her sister being ill too, and the subsequent phone call they held, after they had come clean I was expecting something more than seems to have happened.
Instead of which, it seems there is just a stalemate again.

I asked mum if she would come up to see her sister with me in Wales very soon. To offer support, share her own experience, and boost my aunts moral. Let alone help my aunt make the brave decision to accept treatment sooner than mum did. To my surprise she replied with a flood of reasons and excuses why she could not, would not and should not go. Or not now at least.

They ranged from, wait until we know what's going on (errm we do mum, she has cancer), to I can't do long journeys in the car its too tiring (um, mum, I'm driving, we can stop whenever, and when was the last time we drove a long way). Needless to say its all very frustrating right now, and there is a certain element of deja vu present too.

Now to me, I feel compelled to use any experience in life, in any way I can, in order to help others. Be it a blog (like this), to forums chatting, IM chats, or phone calls. If I feel anything I have been through can benefit someone else, I share it. And armed with that experience I would go to the ends of the earth to help someone else and prevent them going through the same. Now make that a member of my family and suddenly to even question my commitment would be deemed offensive.

Right now mum and Joan are 200 miles apart. While it sounds a fair bit, its nothing more than a drive away. One I am willing to begin this very second if the need arose. However it appears this is not to be the case. Mums view on it right now is, she is willing to be there for Joan, but only wants to make the trip once. For me that's a no brainer. Go there now, help her make decisions, bounce ideas about, see her through surgery and recovery, then see what happens next.

However mums line on this is to wait a bit until some decisions are made, then be there for her if she goes ahead with treatment. While that is commendable, something still screams at me that Joan could really do with some support right now, and someone close to her to talk to. And with that in mind, I get the impression I will be making a trip to Wales this Friday. I will let mum know I am going and open the invitation to her. If she wants to come she may. All I know is, I went through this all for mum, and cannot just stand by and watch my aunt go through it alone. So I will hold out the hand to offer support.

I was the first person she ever told about it, she had lived with it as a secret for ages. And while I kept it from mum for some time, once the time was right I told all. And for a reason, so they could offer mutual support, and so one of them would not die in pain and the darkness of their own lies and secrets like their other sister did.

So tonight I am left a little confused, and little annoyed, and somewhat wound up about the whole matter.
In the meantime I will make my own plans, draw up my own agenda and do what I usually do.... My own thing.

Families eh, what a complete pain in the arse!
Regards
Michael

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A day of mixed emotions (understatement!)

Well its been a few days since my last entry. Been in a funny place the past few days. Not quite sure where or why, but not a good place either way. Eating too much, and lacking enthusiasm have been the main things.

Anyway today I realised one of the things that's been eating away at me, and that has been the secrets that I have been keeping. Mum not knowing that I told my aunt about her cancer, and also not telling mum that my aunt had also told me she had a lump too. So after thirty seconds of thought I decided the time was right to come clean.

With mum feeling a lot better, and having recently been fitted with her prosthesis, I felt that she had sort of reached the end of this journey, and as she is re charging and finding her step again, I thought what the hell. Sitting her down I opened with... "Joan is ill" Which in itself is no revelation, as she has been off her food recently, but there was more to tell.

A few minutes later mum was sitting in quite a shocked state. We talked a little more, just so I knew she was ok. Then I gave her some time, reassuring her I was there if she wanted to talk.

Returning an hour later she looked much happier, and told me she had called Joan back and told her she knew that I had told Joan about mum. With that Joan told mum she was ill too.
Mum went on to tell me more that I didn't know, such as Joan had now seen a doctor, who has confirmed it IS cancer now. So todays news is, mum AND my aunt now have breast cancer. Sadly 200 miles apart, but that's something I plan on changing if I can.

Now that mum has been through the journey, and Joan is just at the start, who better to be there for you than a family member who has been through it all recently. The tough part is now getting mum to travel up to see her. I say tough, in theory its a no brainer. I can drive her NOW if she agrees to go up there. But this is mum, and nothing is ever that simple.

Joan has had her options given to her, and one the options is of course surgery. I'm her case she has been told that she may stay in longer as she has no one at home for her. Cue mum... With her recent experiences, who better to be at home for Joan, and what better reason to go and see her than making sure she can be out of the hospital sooner (having someone at home).

So that is the conversation at the moment. With Joan being off her food, and mum coaching her with what to eat. As well as being someone to talk to about the whole situation. Being living proof that there IS something that can be done about the situation. Joan is a fair few years mums senior, but there is hope. And while there is hope, its my job so to speak, to make sure they are both doing the right thing.

So I'm not sure if the stress level just went up or down, but a part of me feels better that its all out in the open now. I would really love mum to get up there asap, I.e tomorrow. If its not that soon, I would dearly love it to be before I go on holiday. So that's my mission.

Fingers crossed mum sees sense.

Right in done for now, more later maybe.
Thanks for reading.

PS fingers crossed please that Aunty Joan agrees to surgery, AND that mum agrees to go up there soon.
Regards
Michael

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

POTD: The changing colours of the seasons.

Dark evenings and grey days draw in, yet nature throws up this little explosion of colours just at the right time.
Regards
Michael

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

POTD : The future of buildings?

Regards
Michael

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POTD : Front page news!

A week on it is nice to see that this story has not gone away, locally at least.
Regards
Michael

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

POTD : A bad start to the day.

I have to say I pity anyone out there today. Pouring with rain, chilly, and then TRAFFIC!
Regards
Michael

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Its dark and grim today, and thats just my mind.

In my usual lazy mood for a Tuesday I got up late, didnt have time to walk the dogs, in fact just enough time to feed them, before leaving for my session with Peter the counsellor.
Starting the day with a headache is never a good way to start a day, but short on time I just had to get to the session. So on arrival I was in a slightly darkened state of mind from the off.

So we started the session and I got the impression it was going to be a little intense today, and within minutes I was proven to be right. Not intense in a bad way, but really starting to dig deeper emotionally and see if there is anything I had not discussed.
It was only a matter of time befor Sian came into the conversation, and immediatly on mentioning her I started to realise that she still creates this gaping hole in my life. 12 years ago I set myself the task of waiting until she was 16 before trying to contact her. Giving her time to grow up, have a normal childhood, and be old enough to understand things for herself, rather than depending on other peoples decisions and stories. That 12 years is almost over, she is fast approaching 16 years old, and that quite frankly sucks.

All of a sudden I realise I have missed my only daughters entire childhood. I have to be grateful that I was able to be there for her defining moments, her birth, first words, first steps, food and so many other development stages. But to have missed school, exams etc makes me feel somewhat hollow at times.

So now that I am for the first time starting to actually feel the emotion attached to that, I think its time to start dealing with it once and for all. So have suggested we discuss her and the situation at length next session, and will be using one of Peter's ideas to start the thinking process off. A box full of memories is what we shall call it. Something with some deep emotional items in there, for me to spend time with, explore how it makes me feel, and start to show and feel the emotion that it all invokes.

So starting to put the whole package together, we are left with a group of issues that really start to show and explain why harbouring it all can make me feel the way I do at times.
Mum being ill, and contemplating what happens when she goes
12 years missing my daughter
Complex childhood, growing up a little too fast
And being the emotional shoulder for so many others but rarely myself.

So as a whole days are brighter, I have more emotional energy, and am far more in control of my emotions. I still play my game of "guess the emotion". When a situation arises, I try and work out what im feeling and why. Then make a consious decision of how to progress with the said emotion. Deciding how my actions will help or hinder the situation.

Other than that, I dont have much more to say on the matter. I did mean to touch on a few other points, but will leave that for later. :)

Jim to the rescue at 14 Waldram

Well here we go again. Another 100 year old house, another basement full of concrete where the developers screwed up.
Regards
Michael

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Selfish people!

Sorry I just had to make a quick entry to put my mind at rest.
What is it with some people and their levels of selfishness? Is there no getting through to these people at times that there are more important people, things and matters in this world than their own stupid, self created, petty little problems.

I mean FFS, when someone is so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to realise they are being so damned ignorant to your feelings and emotions, what are you supposed to do?

I am an open minded guy, one with a big heart and more time for other than myself most of the time. If counselling has taught me one thing, its that you can't help everyone all of the time, and you can't help anyone if you can't help yourself.

So you know what..... Bollox selfish people, for now, go find another mug, or deal with your own shit for once!

Night night fair world
X
Regards
Michael

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Monday, October 4, 2010

POTD... Taking the piss!

For a long time now I have thought this to be a disgusting and disturbing idea.
Regards
Michael

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No structure = Instability?

And for once I'm not talking about buildings, although still relevant.
While walking the dogs this morning I realised (thanks to Sally) that my mood had again lifted somewhat from where it was at the weekend. Thinking about it I realised something key. I am a slave to routine.
OK not the sort of concrete routine that involves a daily grind, but the sort that revolves around a schedule of sorts.
On weekdays I know what I am doing from when I get up, right up until its time for bed. Dog walking, breakfast, work, dog feeding etc. But the weekends are a different beast.

Weekends are for me, unless I have made plans, a freefall of the stability I have built up over the week. Having no set agenda, having nothing to get up and get on with is a real blow. But I'm sure now that I have identified that, it won't be too hard to sort out. I know one thing I could benefit from at the weekends (as well as weekdays) is a physical regime.

Yes, the dogs are walked for a long distance twice daily, and that does indeed count towards the regime, but I know I have time for some other odd bits in there too. Just some structured exercises to keep other parts moving and firm. A trip to Decathlon is long over due, but then I guess having some money might help right now too.

With all the plans for holidays going on, money seems to be escaping faster that a the water from a bath with no plug in it. Not out of control, and not spiralling debt, but something I would like to get to grips with soon. Spending cuts, personal ones, not government ones are also on the cards, with a few fixed payment agreements coming to an end, that should make balancing the books a little easier too.

Right, talking of schedules, I have one to keep, and a job to get to. So have a good day, happy damn Monday. Have a positive week.
Regards
Michael

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The weekend is almost over.

Well it might as well be, the weather is crap, the other half has gone home for a family dinner, and I'm broke. So it looks like another day in front of the TV for me.
On the plus side, it gives me a little time to thin about this whole building collapse thing, and think of new angles and approaches to get things in motion.

Its not so much whats happened now, more about what is left that could still happen. The wet weather has arrived for the season now, and also freezing weather is approaching, which is all bad news for unstable ground, and buildings sitting on the edge of it.
So with the issues at the site down the road, I am going to selfishly attempt to steal a little of the spot light it is receiving and focus it on the site remaining empty at 6 Church Rise. Since its collapse there has never been a detail investigation carried out, nor an inspection on the foundations of the property I live in.

Now correct me if I am wrong here, but if a building collapses from the foundations up, with a huge pit dug BELOW the house, just a couple of metres from the house next door, would you too not assume that your property and foundations had been compromised? Especially when the cracks start to open up in your rooms nearest to the collapse. When floorboards no longer reach the skirting boards, and the concrete path between the properties moves over half an inch AWAY from your property. Am I just being paranoid here, or do I have a valid point that someone needs to look at this properly?

In an idea world I would call in a private surveyor, pay for a full survey, and put my mind at rest. However we all know this can cost a lot of money, especially when its foundations you are looking at. So my next angle may be to approach Lewisham and ask if they will send their own surveyors. if they are not willing to, then I shall take the angle of "If you are SO confident that there is nothing wrong, I will call the surveyor in, and if they find anything, not only will I claim back the costs, but I will sue too for failure of duty of care". Next step, find out how much this kind of survey costs lol.

Anyway, im getting caught up on this whole house thing again. My god I thought I was done with it all, but realise now that it has only just begun. With the change of management of the property, maybe I need to contact the new company to see if they are happy with the situation too. OK thats enough about that for now.

So the rest of the weekend, only thing I can say really is FAIL. That just about sums up my weekend. Things planned to do, not done. Things planned NOT to do, done! Too much eating, not enough getting out there and doing things.
Which leads me neatly to the next part. Failing to get the dog food from the shops yesterday, has led to the the other half leaving here today a little pissed off with me, and me a little grr at us for being lazy. Its only a quick trip to a shop a few miles away, but we didnt bother, so thats the dog food running dangerously low.

My plan for the remainder of the day, sulk a little, eat a little, get the Wii Fit out and mess about a bit.

Hope your weekends have been a little better than mine.

PS, pissed off but still positive :)

Oh PS.... I got a letter from my mates at Orange yesterday. Over 2 months since I cancelled my home broadband account they send me a letter which simply says "you own use £27, pay in 7 days or we take you to court" OK there were a few more words that than, but totally unprofessional, unacceptable, and something I will be following up agressively. Bloody cheek!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

POTD.... iPad overspend?

Is it even worth buying one... Let alone two... You decide.
Regards
Michael

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A day of absolutely nothing.

Well the weather dictated what would be achieved today, and after the morning dog walks, there was not a lot more that could be done. The plans to do some shopping for dog food went out the window too.

But it turns out that's not a bad thing. Recharging the batteries is just what the doctor ordered. It turns out that I have sadly missed a trip to Snowdon this weekend with the dogs which is a real shame. But given the weather, and the past trip there in terrible conditions, maybe that's for the best.

Regarding 14 Waldram, I am still waiting for a call back from John Hugill from the South London Press, which is a shame as I was looking forwards to getting some truth out there, and maybe some progress being made on the opening of a case file so to speak. I will chase this up on Monday and see if its going anywhere, or if I need to follow up via other channels. Quite what those channels are, but I won't be resting any time soon.

The media have had their day with the story, and sadly a mans life was only valued at a brief entry on a few media websites. Given the situation maybe that needs to change a little.

As for the rest of the day, lazy lazy goings on. Spent most of it watching TV, on the internet, screaming at the iPad and bookings and planning for the holiday in November. Holiday booked, hire car priced, airport parking booked and paid for, kennels booked (now to work out how to get the dogs there on the Friday) and some research done on what to do in Lanzarote for the week we are there. Beaches look interesting, National Park colourful, and roads nice and simple. Looks like as long as the weather holds out a good time will be had by all. A very welcome break!

I'm the meantime I am now looking forwards to Florida 2011 too, so now I can start thinking about physical training to be ready for the skydiving epic ahead.

Right, the evening beckons, dogs need walking and feeding, I need feeding and spoiling. Just hope its stopped raining now (peeks outside)

Have a good remainder of the weekend all. I'm looking forwards to a new week and new challenges.

Byeeee
Regards
Michael

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Friday, October 1, 2010

A tiring stressful day.

I'm going to keep things brief, as its late, and I'm shattered. But today has been a true test of my mental state without a doubt.

Starting out with the dog walks in the rain this morning, it was hardly a flying start to the day.

A pain in the ass day at work with problems left right and centre, with people testing my patience, and finishing with a complete lack of energy.

I'm sure I will have more to reflect on by the morning, but have to say my mind passed its stress test with flying colours.

In other brief news...
Mum is doing very well recently. Can't keep her at home these days, out shopping and exploring daily.

Holiday booked for November, off to Lanzarote for a week with the other half. Still undecided on hiring a car or not.

Deposit paid for Florida 2011. Can't wait for my extended trip, with the skydiving lessons and hopfully my licence.

Right, sleep time. Sorry for the short entry.
Bring on the weekend.
Regards
Michael

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POTD (Pic of the day) Comfort food!

After a crappy day, its what is required. I have more where that came from, and I'm not afraid to eat them.
Regards
Michael

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A moment of clarity.

So from time to time we have a bad day, sulk a bit, complain and grumble. But then something happens which gives us a moment of clarity.
Now that's not to say that I have been feeling sorry for myself recently, in fact quite the opposite, but todays events still have an impact.

Early this afternoon I received word that a building local to where I live had collapsed, causing a major incident. The building in question, 14 Waldram Park Road, SE23 has recently been undergoing renovation or conversion to flats if you may. Over recent months I have been repeatedly alarmed by the way the building has been treated. The largest of these concerns was the removal of almost the entire front of the building.

Being that the same company owns the land next to my house ( the scene of a previous collapse hence only being a plot of land now ), I have followed their work and plans very closely. Their recent application to build on the land was refused on the basis of trying to cram too many flats into the proposed building, aka greed!

Now today, early this afternoon a large number of emergency service vehicles including the London Air Ambulance, descended upon 14 Waldram to attend another collapse, this time a partial collapse at the rear of the property. Sadly, in spite of so many professionals attending, they were unable to save the life of the Vietnamese man injured in the incident.

On my arrival home this evening, the curious part of me insisted on visiting the site (not knowing at this time that someone had perished). Moments after arriving I was alarmed by the arrival of a private ambulance (black van) which only means one thing. Sure enough a few minutes later the men returned with the body of the deceased.

Its moments like that you do a reality check (one-two, one-two) and realise that for all your worries and woes, YOU HAVE LIFE! No money or happiness, no success or privilege can give a life. It is precious, and a gift, and something not to be taken for granted.

My heart goes out to the family of the deceased. I hope they are taken care of, and their loved ones departure is not in vain.

On the flip side I hope to hell and back that someone takes the fall for this "accident". Given the track record of the previous owners of the property, Earlsfield Estates, and seemingly the recklessness of the new owners, Mincove Global, it is about time someone was held to account for this constant abuse of building and planning regulation. Let alone the poor standard of building and construction.

Emails were exchanged between myself and Lewisham planning, building control and indeed the mayors office a few months ago, raising my concerns at the state of the building, the unsafe practises, and a number of other issues, such as damage to public property. But all that became of these was notice that there would be no intervention unless it was believed the structure was unsafe.
An apparent change in regulation recently allows developers to nominate their own building officer, taking the responsibility away from the local authority. Sadly in this case, regardless of my concerns, Lewisham were not willing to make an inspection, and allowed the developers to keep it in-house. A costly decision?

So I leave you with a picture of the site of the incident, at the time the private ambulance arrived.

RIP lost soul. And condolences to the family of the deceased.

External link for story

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11446890


Regards
Michael

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The demise of 14 Waldram Park

Could this be the beginning of the end of another of Forest Hill's great houses. Only time will tell, but for now forensics are all over it due to the injuries sustained by a worked trapped in the collapse. Later transported to hospital by the London Air Ambulance (god bless HEMS)
Regards
Michael

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Still positive, against the odds.

Ok so its been one of those days from the start. You know the sort where everything seems to be going right, but all along the way there are just little things to poke and prod at you, in an otherwise normal day.

Nothing serious to report as such, a little lay in this morning followed by the daily routine of walking the dogs, porridge, tv and then work. Work threw up a couple of unexpected surprises, but nothing that didn't just keep the day fresh and funky for me.

Through it all I have stayed positive, I mean why wouldn't I? But it was only this evening I began to realise how positive I am now feeling about thing. A soaking wet, dark evening to drive home in, compounded further by being stuck in huge tailbacks of traffic. Used to the daily slog of battling traffic I thought nothing of it. Until I reached the cause of the problem. A little blue Nissan Micra sitting smack in the middle of the A205, reducing it to a single lane for both directions of traffic to use. NOW I could see why the traffic!

In a split second, after watching buses and cars going head on, running the gauntlet against eachother just to pass this car, I decided I was going to have to be the one to step up. So after popping the car on the kerb, a swift knock on the window, and him finally taking the car out of gear, a swift push put the car on the kerb and voila, the traffic flowing in both directions once again.

I always feel a little sad and disappointed after such encounters, to really believe that ALL the cars that had been passing this one for over half an hour now didn't contain ONE human being willing to give 30 seconds of their precious time (even though they has wasted plenty of it already sitting in the taffic caused by it) to help move a single stranded car. Yes the driver could have done more, but what a wonderful society we live in, when we can't even help another in order to help ourselves.

Other than that, and thanks to that, I feel great now. A little damp for getting out of the car in the pouring rain. However I can come home tonight and say I solved an issue, and did something that made a difference to others.

Right I'm off to dry off now, and reflect on today. Pondering over what makes people behave this way.
Regards
Michael

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My day in a picture!

Slow, wet and going nowhere.
Welcome to picture of today.
Regards
Michael

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Picture of the day.

Today is the Horniman's Museum. Aka Horney-man
Regards
Michael

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Solid.....solid as a rock.

Ok a stone at least.
Today I left my session with Peter not only with positive thoughts, but also a physical reminder for me to THINK!

Today's session was a real eye opener, and probably the most effective session to date. After a few minutes of chatting and starting the session, hearing what I was saying, I started to realise that change is happening without me even being aware of it.

Talking things through, reflecting on how things are changing for me right now, and how my attitude towards things, it all starts to become a little more obvious to me what I do right and wrong during a normal day. From anger and frustration towards selfish arseholes blocking my driveway, to how I react to being cut up, or someone cutting in in traffic, its all about being aware of the emotions that are being invoked, and how I choose to work with them, deal with them and vent them.

One revelation that arose from today's session was, how I treat anger and sadness in a very similar way. The process of feeling them both is almost identical, however I manage anger in a better way, if that's the right way of looking at it. From trigger, emotional reaction, and expression, right through to resolution. Anger for me goes through all the motions. And while dealt with badly at times, it reaches its conclusion. Where as sadness just seems to stall at expression, or maybe even before at the reaction stage.

Never concluding an emotional cycle seems to be where I trip up, and rather than being a 100 metre sprint, it becomes a never ending 400 metre loop that just keeps going on and on. To draw an analogy, running the 100 metres is a straight clear journey with the ending in sight. But running emotions round an oval just goes on forever. Yes we know there is a finishline there somewhere, but where? We keep going, running hoping and praying it will all end soon, but with the line nowhere in sight, we just keep running, tiring out and losing hope and motivation. To me, THIS is sadness.

Anger, a dash, a quick journey, and straight forward.
Sadness right now is the loop, so what I need to do now is find the tail of the 100 metre track, the emotional run off, and find the place I know I can end the cycle when it occurs.
To me, sadness is a deeper, longer process, to taking a longer journey is fine, as long as that line is in sight.

So, that was deep eh! And that's the real me coming out again. Unleashed again into the wild world (sorry about that)

But that's a good thing. Now I have a parallel to draw on, I can maybe start to see why sadness seems to be such a hard emotion to deal with. Am I afraid to cry, no. Am I emotionally detached? Nope. I am more than capable of understanding sadness, and feeling it. But when its something like grief, I seem incapable of seeing it through to its conclusion, which is the problem we have here, hence the sessions with Peter.

On my provisional chat with Peter on the phone before the first session even started I was asked what I felt I needed from the sessions. At this point I said I needed someone to sound off against, a sounding board. Someone to bounce thoughts off, to help me make sense of what I was thinking. 3 weeks later, as we sat in session I said that I felt in control, having known what I needed from the start.

As we talk in the sessions a weird thing happens. I will say something, something relevant, an emotion or a situation. Peter will then repeat it to me with his wording on the matter. Then the weird part happens. I will then take what he has said to me as his own problem, reflect on it and start to break it down, make sense of it and understand it. Helping myself more than anything else.
The exact process that usually occurs with me helping someone else, but somehow as I am replying, I am feeling myself start to understand.

All a little complex I guess, but hell its working.

Right, with all that said, I had better return to the daily grind and get a wiggle on.

So thank you Peter for my thought stone, and today's session. And thank YOU for reading :)


Regards
Michael

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Random pic of the day.

A new idea for daily entries on the blog.
Regards
Michael

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A whistlestop tour of my weekend.

Not sure where to begin really, after a flying start to the day on Friday, it all went wrong with work. Nightmare day, pain in the arse journey home etc. But all was better once the dogs had their say, and we took our evening walk.

So the real weekend, Saturday rolled around and the plan was to go to the London Tattoo Convention. Chantal agreed to work the morning, so we were not going to be able to go there too early. Which worked out quite nicely as the show didnt open until midday (was open til 2am) She went off to work, and randomly I decided to get up an hour earlier than I do on week days... What the hell is that about?

Once up, the daily routine kicked in, walking the dogs, some housework, and some washing amongst other things achieved in a short space of time. Before I knew it 2pm had come around, Chantal had informed me she was running late (as expected) and it was time to get ready to go out. By just before 3 we left the house, and for me it was going to be a mini-adventure. Travelling to East London, the route planner had suggested using the new London Overground service. Having not been on it, I expected just a clean train, but was shocked to see a very open plan layout, with the same walk-thru ability of a bendy bus (of which I have been on .... ONE !)

So 19 mins later we roll into Shadwell, East London, after a great smooth and quick journey, very impressed by the new service, and how many places it has opened up for me to get to with ease. Decathlon in Surrey Quays, here I come!
Anyway, arriving at the station it was immediatly obvious who was going to the show, for errrm, obvious reasons.
After a quick walk down to Tobacco Dock, we were there. Lovely, yet a little complex for a setting for the event I have to say, shocking layout. But im getting ahead of myself here. We queued for a few mins before paying the £25 per person to get in. Was kinda hoping for a tattoo or t-shirt included in the price, but alas, not to be.

Once inside, as I have said the layout was a bit complex, with tiny little "halls" or rooms all over the place, so getting lost was a definate. Walking around it was a real eye opener to see the kind of coverage and styles that people were going for these days. Some stunning work was seen there.

I wont bore you anymore with the details of the show, other than to say, it was a very worthwhile show, but more of a one off event, for me anyway. £25 to be an onlooker at a mainly static event is a one off thing. Amazing to see some of the traditional styles being demonstrated, and some of the body suit pieces were incredible. Not for me, but stunning work. Tim Hendrix (Miami Ink) charging an apparent £470 per hour, was unsuprisingly quiet. Great to see Phil Kyle doing his very relaxed style, but with some amazing results.

So after leaving the show at a bit after 6, we took the same route home, and decided on having a chinese for the evening meal. Weight was 218 for the day, so a few pounds shifted over the past week. A well deserved treat in my eyes.

So that was Saturday, and Sunday..... well not a lot to say really. Didnt do much, walked the dogs, ate loads, and slept, BADLY !
Probably because of the carb load up, but the night sleep was utter crap.


So on to today, well a flying start, out of bed nice and early, dogs walked and few, me fed, and off to work. Or that was the plan. Lucky for me an irritating arrogant woman had decided to park across my driveway. Attempting to keep calm I waited and eventually the owner turned up. On speaking to her it turns out it was my fault, and I should just be patient and she was leaving now. Well done luv, only 20 mins late for work. Arsehole.

What lays ahead now then? Well back on the wagon with the diet and lose a few more pounds this week if I can. Counselling on Tuesday, so can hopefully get a bit of my stress out. Oh and trying to find a holiday for 5-7 days for November, as Chantal wants to get away, which right now sounds like a good idea.

Right im losing focus now, so will call it a day, catch you soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A fine start to the day

Up a little late, I rushed off to walk the dogs. Seemingly done in record time, and beating a massive downpour of rain by seconds. Got to love lucky timing.

On getting home and feeling the dogs, and having a weigh in, great news for me as 1lb gone again in the last day. Finally below the 220 mark for the. First time in ages.

And now kicking back with a lovely bowl of fruity porridge. What else can the day bring? Let's wait and see.

Happy damn Friday all!
Regards
Michael

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Time to relax with a cuppa.

Phew, that's another day over with, and I'm glad to see the back of it. So time to kick back with a cup of hot chocolate, and maybe a sneeky biscuit. Aaaah.

So today, pretty average really, dog walks, got caught in the rain slightly while walking around with them. Then onto breakfast, porridge of course, and onto work.

My back is a little tense and sore today as expected, still a bit of tension in there which is a shame. But hopefully a hot bath in a bit will help with that a bit. So something to look forwards to. In fact I think I will start running that now!

So the rest of the day, some interesting yet pointless training today, all revolving around quality and customer focus, which I have to say I find hilarious in the current situation, so that was boring!
Journey to and from was a bit mind numbing really, I must start mixing it up a bit before I start blocking out the whole journey, and driving on auto pilot.

I was just thinking that I have not been doing too much over the past day or two, which is a very good thing, to give my mind a rest. But hoping to spend some time with my mind very soon. Maybe get some book writing done again soon, hopefully the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, I think I will find my way to the London Tattoo Convention in Tobacco Dock and see what's going on in the world of art and body customisation. Other than that, so big plans.

Spinning the clock back to 24 hours ago, I spent the evening by the river with Chantal, Amber and Brad, taking in the changed landscape, some of the crazy people, and finishing up with a coffee, so that was definatly a good way to end the day. Only a shame Amber didn't get the photo she was looking for, but I'm sure where there is a will there is a way.

Right, bath almost done, and hot choc going cold, so I'm off. Have a nice evening.
Regards
Michael

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This is the life!

Well for a dog anyway. What a hard stressful existence my poor dogs have. Wake up, wee, be fed. REST. Go for a walk, REST. REST a little more rest, and maybe a wee, then some more REST!
Come the evening, a walk, a wee, some dinner, and REST! With playtime during any of the rest time of course.

Sometimes I wonder if I should envy or pity the dogs. For now its definatly envy.

So, me, today. What can I say, the life of a dog really I guess. Woke up and had a little lay in, then sprung into action with the usual 4-5 mile walk with the dogs. Home and breakfast was next (porridge of course. Honey and almond). A few minutes to myself to catch up with today's news, then took a bath.

The afternoon has so far consisted of going to physio. Back On Track in Catford once again saving the day. My back cracked like a box of Cornflakes,n followed by being massaged. To say I feel better is an understatement. Me and the physio were both amused at how much of a difference some manipulation and massage had made. I have almost full range back in my neck now which is fantastic.

Remainder of the day is a tough one. I have plans to go with Amber to take some pictures this evening in town, but until then have some free time. So I am gonna catch a liquid lunch (diet shake not beer), then maybe give the dogs a good brush, and be a man of leisure for a while and kick back to watch some tv.

Can you tell how relaxed I am today? Crazy huh, amazing what a few forms of therapy can do for the body and mind.

Enjoy the day y'all. Lovely weather out there.
Regards
Michael

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Lunchtime liquids

Yummy yummy in my tummy.
Regards
Michael

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dinner is served

Chocolate Protikee shake. 125 calories of loveliness!
Regards
Michael

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Relief is on the way.

After struggling about this morning and moaning all afternoon I decided to book in a session with my old physio. Remembering how quickly the symptoms went away once my back had received some attention, I thought it is a small price to pay for comfort and mobility back.

On calling I was pleased to hear I am still on their records over 2 years after my last appointment. Sadly the rather pretty and capable physio Jodie who used to work there, does not any more. Which is a shame as she was fantastic at cracking my back.

So I am booked in for tomorrow afternoon for an assessment and initial session, hopefully the person replacing Jodie will be just as good at deep tissue massage and back cracking (not a technical term I might add) As long as I can turn my head by the time I walk out of their offices I will be happy.

The question on my mind now is, should I splash out on a once monthly deep tissue sports massage to keep my old knackered body loose and ticking over? I'm sure it can't do any harm, but on the flipside, will there be any benefit. Something I may discuss with them tomorrow. Resolution treatment is one thing, but if I can be proactive and prevent these things arising, even better.

So the day is coming to an end now. I have some reading material from the counsellor to go through, details on stress and emotions. So I shall get tucked into that soon. Then its walk the dogs, chill for a bit and try and get a good nights sleep on my aching neck/back.

On another note, day 2 of Protikee diet. Doing fine on it, and looking forwards to the coming days :) Fingers crossed I can stay on track.

Have a great evening all.

Night
®

Another day, another session.

So today started off in an intersting fashion to say the least. Waking up at about 7am with a god awful backache which I seriously need to get looked at very soon. As well as a headache from hell. So not a great feeling.
After popping a few pills and jumping back in bed (carefully crawling more like) I got another hours sleep and tried starting the day again.
Second attempt was almost as painful as the first, back not happy at all, but head a little better.

Unfortunatly due to the extra hour in bed, that sort of ruined my morning, as I was unable to get the dogs walked before going to see the counseller. So up I got, pulled myself together and got dressed before leaving the house for the walk up to see Peter. Arriving a few mins early, as I waited outside I suddenly remembered that I didnt have the paperwork with me that he had asked me to return. Oops. Thankfully I didnt take this as a spark to start of a day of doom and gloom, so maybe some good is coming from all this already.

After the session I decided on a haircut, which was long overdue. Then rushed home for some porridge, with cinammon, yum !

Anyway, I digress, im sure you want to know about the session today really eh. So here goes.
Firstly I have to say that this was the first official session, the previous one was a getting to know you session.
So the session started by a recap of last weeks chat, in which he gave a suprising amount of info and feedback. Even if he had read up a few mins before, his knowledge was good and reassuring to know it was not just a generic catch up session.

As agreed last week, we decided to focus on emotions today, channelling them, dealing with them, and how I seem to have a blockage in managing to get them dealt with and out in the open.
As we talked this over we uncovered a few other underlaying issues that could possibly be the reasoning that I am so poor at managing to get my emotions out of me. As most would expect, childhood came up, but I have to stress that was through my offering, and not his asking.
Key points covered today were as follows

-Growing up as the only male in the family
-Premature emotional maturity (dealing with emotions as an adult from 10-11)
-Being a very open person, but fearing people becoming involved in my emotions
-Finding ways to channel and vent my emotions, rather than bottling them up.

Its strange to sit there and chat about these things in such a productive way, and the session is formatted in such a way that after a little exploration, we recap to ensure it all makes sense and we are heading in the right direction.

Today I started to make a little sense of how certain things in my past have really shaped the way I deal with my emotions, and how from quite an early age I would start to bottle up my feelings. Nothing traumatic, nothing abusive or anything like that. But a long sequence of events that have in some way impacted on my behaviour. It was no sort of analysis, just a few simple questions that made me sit and reflect for a moment on things I felt may have had some baring.

The first death I experienced was my Aunt Peggy. I clearly recall where I was when I found out she had passed, and it was me asking my mum had she died. When my mum said she had, my reaction was very numb and as simple as "oh no, thats sad". On the flip side, when Adam King was killed by being hit by 2 cars when I was 11, I cried with ease, and was deeply distressed by his passing. Maybe the graphic way he was killed, maybe just the first person I was used to seeing on a daily basis, who knows. But it reminds me that I am capable of expressing grief in this way.

From that point on, I have rarely shed a tear, a relationship has brought me to tears since that point, but nothing else really. In times of grief or fear I simply tighten up and stand strong through it, and then at some point store the emotions away, forgetting about them, but leaving them there to fester, and put me where I am today.

Im not in a terrible place, but I do know that its not a good place, and something I need to address before I go through anymore stressful situations.

So as the session drew to an end, and we started on the final recap and summary of the session, my mood changed from light and chatty, to a little deeper in thought, and suddenly finding myself in deep reflection over what we had been discussing. It was a change of feeling that I was more than aware of, and was even aware that my replies in conversation has slipped from "yes (and some supplimentary talk) to simple "uh-huh" as my mind wandered away to start processing what it had been presented with. Which to my mind was a positive step, and Peter also felt that this was a good sign. Once again we had managed to stir up the pot of emotion deep within me, and fingers crossed, started to untangle the web of confusion deep within.

I will be doing some more writing on this over the course of the week, but all in all, im enjoying the counselling very much, and finding it quite productive even at such an early stage. So here's to next week, and seeing where we are at then.

So thats todays mind session over with.

In other news, my back is really getting on my nerves now. I need to see someone to give it a good crack, and get some mobility back in my neck soon. Just a matter of finding someone local and affordable to see to the matter.

Question is chiropracter or physio. Physio would deal with the whole matter, but would be nice just to get the back cracked would be a nice start.

Right, time is up.
Thats me done for the day, thanks for reading, and sorry for going on for so long, hope it was an enjoyable or in some way useful to read.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ouch!

My shoulder aches. So far that is my only complaint of the day lol. But an irritation all the same. Other than that I'm happy with the start to the day. Woke up fresh, took the dogs for a walk and had a look at a few financial bits and bobs of mine.

So what does today hold? I don't know, but what I do know is its the start of round 2 of the diet. After a night of sin foods last night, its time to step up again and get on with a healthy regime.
So from today, its porridge in the morning and delicious shakes and drinks for the rest of the day. A week, maybe 2 weeks of that again (with occasional grilled chicken throughout), then step it down a notch and start eating again.

Other things on today's agenda are, replace tail light bulb on the car (now I figured out how) and of course 6 hours in hell, aka work.

I have to say I am feeling somewhat positive right now, even when something gives you a little kick in the lower region, I'm still managing to stay standing up. I think recent conversations with others, and a little reflection have made me feel better about my own situation. I have changed a few plans, considered stepping up other plans, and retaken control of what's going on in my life. Now the hard part, maintaining that control.

I have another session with Peter tomorrow and am hoping I will bring something more positive to the table, and be able to dig a little deeper into my mind and weed out any other little niggles.

But right now, what I would love most.... Is a back massage. Always when I can least afford it! Grrr.

Have a good day all, time has run out for me here now.

®

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A restful day for once.

It makes a change for me to have a truly stress free day, but I think I might have actually managed it today. Or stress free by my standards anyway. I didn't sleep in late, got up once my body said "ok I'm ready". Porridge for breakfast, then slowly got ready to walk the dogs.

Once out walking the dogs, I actually appreciated the outdoors and fresh air.

Positive in mind has an amazing effect on the body I have to say. This afternoon I have managed to relax watching some TV, and instead of the usual worries and concerns about everything around me I managed to forget everything for a while and kick back.

Having recently started taking stock of what I have, what I am blessed with and gifted with (aside the great sense of humour and amazing looks), I have started to notice other people around me more. And while it would be wrong to say I pity them, I can honestly say that sometimes "it sucks to be you". OK so sometimes I'm down on luck, go through rough patches, and other times life seems unbearable. But compared to some others around me, even those who are judged to be the lucky ones... I'm glad I am who I am.

In recent days, weeks I have started to reconnect with myself, and return to my comfort zone. Returning to my old ways, the inner me. I think one of my problems has been, as I have distanced myself from other people, and stopped helping people with their problems and woes, I have resorted to self analysis. Which in anyones books is sure to be a bad thing if you spend too long doing it, and dig too deep.

So for the past few days I have tried to listen more, compare it to my experiences and try to offer a shoulder, some advice, and a friendly ear to anyone needing one.
I have found from all this that I am ready to start trying to get back on my feet. And a part of this process I have decided that getting my book writing back on track is a key part of all this.

Right, back to relaxing, a new week starts in the morning. Fingers crossed the diet will be back on track, and with another counselling session on Tues I'm hoping for a positive week.

Thanks for reading, take care


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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Some form of therapy!

Well it could be considered therapy in one sense I guess

Todays sitting at Innocent Needle Tattoo's.
Thank you to Michelle for the amazing art work.
Regards
Michael

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I'm in control

Or at least that's what I like to tell myself. OK bad start to the day, bad start to the blog really. But a great example of how a single act can start the collapse of a whole house of cards when your mind is a tiny bit fragile.

After much deep thinking last night, with a refreshed and revitalised mind, I managed to sleep well last night, eventually dropping off at about 1.30am. In fact I slept so well last night, that there lays the problem. I overslept. So usually over sleeping to me is a matter of waking up, thinking "oops" or at worst "oh shit" and then getting on with the day, but today... Not the case. The doorbell woke me, so by the time I got up and towards the door I was still sleep-blind so asked my mother to open the door.

Now I don't think I mentioned it here, but mum is deaf and I recently bought her a hearing aid which has changed everything. Sadly she insists on taking it off and putting it on, which the cheap temp one I bought her is useless for, so in short she has managed to break it. She refused to go to the door before fixing it. So blind, I opened the door.. And there was the "we missed you" card :( Damnit.

So now I am sitting in the bath with the Blackberry, writing all this down, while at the same time reflecting on it and seeing how somethings have pissed me off more than normal, and focusing on the good that will come of today.

In a couple of hours I will be sitting in a tattooists chair for another sitting on my tribute tattoo, an appointment I have been looking forwards to. So with that in mind, I will consider getting out of the bath the start of my day and start with a clean sheet.

So thank you for reading, thank you for joining me and the Blackberry in the bath (I didn't drop it, woohoo) and I shall be back in a more positive frame when I start my day again soon.

Have a great day all.
Regards
Michael

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Friday, September 17, 2010

A quick 5 min catch-up

Well, I figured as I had 5 mins spare I would quickly jot down a few points that gets everything back up to date, mainly the whole issue with mum.

Since my last entry she has had 2 surgeries on her cancer. The first was a mastectomy to remove the affected tissue and the tumour. And the second was a corrective procedure following an issue with the drain after the first op.
After her first operation she was rather poorly, displaying the signs of her blood loss episode, so I was keen to get her back to the hospital and get her checked over. This is when it was decided to do a follow up procedure.

I am however happy to report that after the second operation her health has taken a turn for the better, and she is back to being an active and energetic "over 60" year old :)
That in turn has given me a little more time to reflect on my own life, hence the counselling being started.

All in all things are looking up for me right now, so im hoping to be able to get back to regular blogging at some point soon.

As for things with my sister. She is pregnant, expecting her 4th this winter. The recent arrival Teyla is in good health and making great progress.
The dogs are as fun and loving as ever of course, with Tuvaaq now being somewhat calmer than he used to be. He is a man now :)

And finally the house issues. The kitchen and bathroom are scheduled to be refitted in the coming month or 2, which will cause a nightmare for sorting out somewhere for the dogs to go, and getting mum out of the house when any dusty building work is being carried out. But where there is a will there is a way.
The plot of land nextdoor has recently had planning permission refused for their plans of a 7 flat building. So its still an empty cleared plot of land, leaving me with a big ugly white fence blocking my view of the rest of the street

Right im done, im rambling and I dont like rambling.

Seek help!

Well that's what my mind and body have been telling me to do for a while now, but today was the day it changed from a thought to a reality. Having considered all sorts of counselling for a long time now, only to dismiss is as something I didn't need. In the past few weeks I have realised that it would be a positive thing to do, and have taken steps towards making it a reality.

So this morning I, Michael Snasdell faced up to things, and met up with my counsellor, Peter for the first time. Having always been the one who counselled others, this was a real role reversal for me, but I have to say, after just 1 hour, a much needed one.

I have been doing my usual deep thinking recently about the world around me, and trying to identify the triggers that cause me to take an emotional nose dive into, and was quite surprised with that I actually came up with. Some things that I would have expected to be a true burden are actually not factoring too highly, and other things that seem to have just been insignificant seem to really stir some emotion.

Having talked to Peter quite openly about where I am right now mentally, things slowly are starting to fall into place for me. Its not a quick fix, and its certainly not the answer to all my questions of the world around me, but its IS another trigger. I am constantly identifying things in my life that provoke me in any way, so I have a catalogue of things I in some way avoid for the greater good. Mainly people and experiences, not that they are emotional decisions, just more life choices, and areas i prefer to stay away from for ease of life, and so I remain in my comfort zone, and surrounded by all things familiar.

So today I have formed a new opinion, and experienced something quite new to me. Counselling is a positive thing, especially for people as emotionally inward as me. The u-bend of emotion, where everything seems to be building up has been identified. Now I just need some serious emotional plumbing to get everything flowing properly again.

Grief, anger, resentment, and fear are just a few of the things I know are tangled up in that u-bend. The loss of a number of friends over recent years, as well as family members has brought not a single tear to my eye. Reflecting on this today however in calm environment stirred up some of that trapped emotion, and started to cause my head to almost tremble with things trying to break free. I know grief, tears, and an emotional "outburst" is NOT a bad thing, I just feel I need to deal with what is in there, for my own good.

Anger plays its role too, knowing that being the peacekeeper is an important role to play in life, but not to deny to myself that I have feelings on each matter too. That things regardless of how impartial I remain, will affect me with some form of anger or pain. I am after all only human. But like a professional in any role that deals with conflict and confrontation, I know that somewhere there is an outlet that I need to vent it all too. Somewhere other than a blog (sorry guys)
Many professionals have counselling as part of their job, and now I can start to see why.

Resentment, well there is a lot of that floating about out there, with the whole mum being ill issue topping the charts, but closely followed by other family issues, and then of course the inevitable envy of people moving on in the direction I too want to follow, work matters and other little triggers.

And then fear, of course fear. My greatest one being the loss of my mother which I know is coming. Maybe its the uncertainty of the whole thing right now that is chewing me up inside, or maybe I am using the whole experience and journey through the hospital and treatments etc as a mask to hide behind, just to try and shield me from the money shot which is "the passing". Reading back I have to say I have noticed deflection after deflection from the underlying issue..... My mother is going to die, and there is nothing I can do about it! There, I said it. And I said it only because after talking about it, I accept it now.

I could go on for ages right now, pouring more and more thoughts about it out, but for now, all I really wanted to say was, thank you to Peter for taking this on, and thank you for in one short hour, managing to shake things up just enough for me to start seeing things a little cleared, and start to figure out what direction I need to head in now.
To say I have been blinkered or lost is an understatement.
I now know what it is like for all the people I have spoken with, who I have helped in some way to finally start to see whats going on. I always wondered how a conversation could begin to make someone stronger, how it could act as a catalyst for action, and how my words could affect another persons life. Well, now I do know how that feels. And as a bi-product of all that, I feel better for knowing I have helped others too.

I started out today a little anxious, both about this meeting, and for what lays ahead with work etc. But now, 1 hour later that's all behind me. Counselling is a positive step, and as for the rest of the day and work, hey its just another day, which I have a lot of control over. Watch out world, here I come.

Back later with a little more reflection.

Thanks for reading :)