Friday, September 30, 2011

Blackberry nightmares..

OK its not that bad really, but should be interesting. Last night I damaged my Blackberry 9700 on the way home from work, so today I will receive my replacement. But this could be the toughest device swap I have ever done... And here is why.
The new handset will be delivered with os5, my current one has been updated to os6.1... However os6.6 is available now, so when I update the new one before restoring my data, it will install 6.6 which is newer than the data on my current one was created on.... So there are all sorts of hiccups that could occur... Welcome to the world of a Blackberry nerd!

Fingers crossed it will all go ok, no contact should know a thing about it. If it all goes wrong, well then I guess my contact list will get a LOT shorter, quickly!

Will be nice to have a fresh phone to work with, although I'm hoping to get my 9900 shortly anyway :)
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Best picture of me ever!

Title says it all. I love this pic of me, thanks to Noel Amos @ for taking the picture.
As a friend has just said, its one of the only pics of me smiling.
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thank you Odeon cinema.

I thank you for your wonderful staff who prove they are not only incapable of dealing with a complaint in an unbiased manner, but also choose to pick out people from random, make allegations about them in a public domain, and represent the company in such a poor way.

I refer of course to the comment left on this blog...

Unfounded allegations of abusive behaviour towards members of staff, allegations with no detail suggesting I am some sort of repeat offender at Odeon.

Thank you for providing employment for this 'special' kind of person.

And to the author of the comment..... You have a picture of me, email for me, my full name, my address is easy to find too, so lets have something from your emptiness now, maybe even some depth to your allegations.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Not for the squeemish

I thought I would add this to my catalogue of weird photos on here. My blood test from this morning.

Don't ask why, I don't know lol.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tense morning

With the conclusion of my disciplinary hearing for conduct due early this afternoon, the morning for me is just dragging on. That plus still feeling ill after a week. I have a UTI or kidney infection, so am currently knocked for six. Sleep is my friend, yawning my enemy.

So in the next few hours the last truly stressful thing left in my life will reveal itself, and I will see what the future holds there after... I will edit and update this entry as soon as I know.

But for now, I'm back in bed......


OK so I never got around to finishing this entry, so will cover everything in my next entry, coming very soon.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tattoo's on the brain!

No, I don't mean brain tattoo's, now that would just be sick. I mean its 2am and rather than worrying about bills, work, health etc.... I can't stop thinking about tattoo's!

With a large thigh piece unfinished, a small bit left on my right foot to do, I am already thinking miles ahead, I'm talking 3-4 years worth here lol. The next piece planned was my left foot in memory of Graeme, but since mum passed I'm torn. I have a piece planned for both of them, but can't decide what to do next. The foot piece is all but designed, mainly by me, but mums piece so far just has the centre piece sorted. A large lily.

Sadly while thinking about the whole piece that the lily is the centre of, I got thinking about going for a full sleeve too. So starting with a lily on my chest, it will evolve into an arm, back and shoulder piece. With that in mind, the foot piece will be more logical to start with.

Or I could get the lily, then do the foot, then return to the lily when better thought out....

See why I can't sleep now!

Lol, night.
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten years later.

The next 48 hours see the commemoration of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. The world watched on live on television as almost three thousand people died right before our eyes. With the introduction on the flood of live feeds of media that surged to the forefront of news reporting, this was the first time the modern world would watch a truly dreadful disaster unfold, live around the world.

The murder of a single person alone is so very wrong, but to witness the murders of so many people in such a way changed the way the average person perceives and understands religious fanatics, terrorism, and the simple vulnerability of human life. People in the buildings, on the planes, on the ground, going about their daily business were wiped out in the blink of an eye. Not a single pedestrian hit by a speeding car, nor a cowardly robbery going wrong, but something unimaginable and far far worse.

Many people lived out their last 30-60 minutes being held captive on hijacked planes, not knowing or understanding the causes they were being held for, and certainly never expecting to be used a missile being smashed into a building full of innocent people. A brave few tried to take control of the planes back, other desperately tried to contact loved ones on the ground to find out what was happening.

The whole world so learned this story, tales of amazing escape, horrific death, and how fate controlled who died that day. People over sleeping, others getting to work early and so on. Look at it from any perspective and the outcome is the same, fanatical religious people making a statement reigned terror on a previously safe country, taking the lives of almost 3,000 people, and changing the way the world functions forever more. Airport security, cargo scanning, and the worlds understanding of the lengths a fanatic will go to to get their 'message' across.

The result.. A decade of war, thousands more dying, and in reality absolutely no change to the state of things, other than what I can only call a poorer quality of life for those tangled up in all of this. Muslims around the world looked at in a different way, negative light brought to the Islamic nations of the world, making the mass public believe they stand for terror and are fanatically religious, instability in society. Sweeping judgements made on people because they 'fit the description' and so on.

On Sept 11 2001, a group of cowardly individuals, believing themselves to be martyrs, messengers from their god, reigned terror on the western world. Instead of achieving what they felt they would, by terrorising the world, they actually called upon the world to rise up against them, and all those people of similar beliefs, and rage war against them. Was the declaration of war against themselves worth the 3,000 people who died in the attacks, of course it wasn't. But is the price for their actions finally being paid, I believe so.

A decade on Afghanistan stands strong, and as it has for decades of the past, it remains defiant and impenetrable, certainly to the western influences on it anyway. Russia, USA, NATO, UN.. And so on, no body has ever had a positive impact on the goings on inside the country. However on the grand scheme of things 9/11 didn't impact avery aspect of life in the USA either, but it made some changes that will last for ever. Looking at it this way, it is fair to say that the efforts in Afghanistan from the outside world have done the same. Reducing poppy crops, taking money away from the Taliban, and impacting their effectiveness. Changing the mindset of some of those in the country, slowly installing a greater change from within.

Ten years on I believe in a strange way, we are all somehow wiser. Continued television coverage of efforts inside the country, tales from both sides of the fences told openly have enriched the worlds understanding of so much.
We are better educated about the Koran. Ten years ago a lot of people could not even tell you what it was, let alone much about the muslim faith. Now we are wiser, intelligent in our decisions and understandings of what these other religions other than christianity are all about.
We now see the plight of the normal people within these countries, and what these people really want. Not the fanatical regimes who have brainwashed the world into believing the whole country wishes to rage war against the UK or USA, but the other 99.9% who just want a free life, to live the way their elders did, and to follow the peaceful beliefs they have.
Libya stands as a great example of this. For so many years standing before as a nation of terror, responsible for Lockerbie, threatening danger and attacks at any moment. Yet suddenly we see the majority of the countryman standing up, rising above the regime, and putting their lives on the line to fight for a free existence, and no longer be repressed by the regime which has stood stong for four decades, and threatened to be handed down through the ruling family.

Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, where next? As the world continues to evolve, as man continues to grow wiser, and become more interested and educated in how fragile the divide between cultures really is, we can only hope that more nations revolt under their own steam, rather than the example of Iraq, where many years later, due to our misunderstandings, and misguided expectations of another culture, prevent us from having the effect we always claimed we wanted to achieve.

So tomorrow, as the world falls silent once again in respect of the innocent people who died in the attacks on the USA on 9/11 ten years ago, and hopefully also remembering those of 7/7 who were used in such a sacrificial way, a little light inside of me will glow a little brighter. As we remember those who perished, for a short moment the world will unite, one single shared thought on our minds, proving that race, religion, ethnicity, social class and whatever other pigeon holes exist, have no baring on our ability to believe.
Unity makes the world a stronger place, and tomorrows example will hopefully be another step closer to man understanding just how precious life really is. Your culture may not be mine, but I respect all other cultures, and believe the one common goal of all cultures are religion is a full and worthwhile life for all.

Thank you for reading this somewhat epic entry.
I will never forget the day I spent watching Sky news for 24 hours, watching the world I knew change for ever.

RIP all those who died on this day, and in subsequent campaigns of both peace and terror.

Just as a footnote. With all this speak of peace I have just done, I would like to say anyone who preaches hatred on this day as other grieve and show their respects, deserves no mercy and should be punished to the full extent of the law.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Having a low.

Not quite sure why, yesterday I went to St Christopher's to see the counsellor for the last time. If I want to speak to anyone after this I will have to speak to Bereavement Counselling, which I don't really think is much use to me. Instead when money balances out a little I will treat myself to return to private counselling. Just to keep the flow of things coming out of my brain, and make sure it has somewhere to go.

Since that meeting, with all the crap going on at work has added to the load too, along with some meds I'm on making me very tired, and suddenly I'm feeling just a little bit crappy about things. Mind over running at night making the sleep situation even more.

But the worst thing for me at the moment is a stomach pain/ache I get when I draw a long breath, like a yawn. It has become so bad over the past 48 hours that my body now reacts as soon as I start a yawn, making it shallow or stopping it totally. OK its not agony, but discomfort. Like you have eaten too much, a constant bloated feeling. There are a couple of tender spots there too. So if it is still there at the end of the week I will go and see my GP.

Last thing I need right now is more worry or stress but hey, what can you do eh.

Right, time to get on with the reality and day to day runnings of my life, and stop being distracted all the time.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In retrospect......

Its a great starting to a sentence isn't it? But then those with foresight rarely use it. Knowing right from wrong, having morals, and knowing where the line that should never be crossed is all help in avoiding the retrospective conversations.

However, for once im going to use it, and hopefully demonstrate some maturity in the process. Comments I have made in the past 24 hours, in retrospect, do not give a true reflection of my attitude or intentions. OK so it is becoming more and more apparent that someone has gone to a lot of trouble to ensure I receive a lot of attention, and pushing me to the brink of losing my job, let alone my mind at times. Pressure applied to managers, open discussions in the office discussing his unhappiness at the situation with me, but never once coming to me directly and saying "I think you are out of order/taking the piss"
If the lack of doing that was due to the understanding of the issues I faced, then why go behind my back and cause so much trouble.
With all that was going on in life for me, tough decisions being made, and mum slipping away, the last thing I needed was a notification of disciplinary from work.... But I got one anyway.

However, looking at the situation as a whole, I will offer an olive branch, take pity on the person who threw this all upon me, and be man enough to take it all with a pinch of salt. its only human nature to get upset, and sometimes be irrational. So the damage is done, to my record, but more importantly to the reputation and respect of the other party invovled. The other party who everyone knows who he is, who will be treated differently by others, and trusted by few. It is true to say that those who live in greenhouses should not throw stones.

In short, I cant be bothering with remonstrating about this sort of thing. My mother died last month, and my daughter is hopefully going to be back in my life soon, so why do I care about any of this rubbish! A path will be followed, an outcome will be made, and people will be judged... Rightly or wrongly so, the truth is out there for others to form their own opinions. And while most accept a degree of bitching.... no one likes a grass!

Karma gonna get ya!

Karma is such a strange thing, but if there is one thing life teaches you, its that if you mess with it, it will come and bite you in the ass!

There are many things that we do in life, some we learn from, some people even have regrets, but there is something in everyones life, somewhere along the line that defines you for who you really are. A brave act, a cowardly act. The hand of a friend, or the push of an enemy.

I have things in my life that I think with hindsight I could have done differently. Regret them I don't, but what I have done is learned from them. What a friend is, who is deserving of my care and attention, and how to react when someone betrays you, or simply stabs you in the back.

In the case I am about to address now, there are many twists and turns, but ultimately it all comes down to one thing.... Trust!

As regular readers will know, the past 3 and a half years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for me and my family, with the last 6 or 8 months being the most challenging part of it all. Mum died a month ago today, and on the run up to her death there have been some real nasty twists and turns. The worst of those being the sudden onset of a disciplinary from work, siting my dishonesty and travelling out of the country rather than doing what I said I would be doing, as the reason for this action. Also wishing to address my sickness/ absence from work, which is more than fair.

Today I was presented with my rearranged date for my disciplinary, as well as some different evidence for the hearing. One of those pieces of evidence is a status and comments from Facebook. Unfortunately the only way this could have been obtained would be via a 'friend' accessing it. Sadly for the said person, the pages that were supplied to the management were then passed on to me, still showing the sidebar on which it shows mutual friends and interests. Now this is where it gets interesting.... This profile only matches ONE person. So in an instant, and thanks to the new paperwork supplied, I now know who this person is that has taken it upon themselves to try and get me neck deep in shit.

So I sit here wondering what went through this persons mind, and what their motives were? Jealous that their mother was not dying and that they were not having to take time off. Aggrieved that they had not run out of sick pay and SSP, and were now living on benefits. Hating me for being on so much medication for stress and anxiety. Or something truly ethical which made them feel they were doing the right thing.

The long and the short of it is, YOU have made an arse of yourself, brought bad karma upon yourself, and made the workplace awkward, just because you are too selfish, blinkered and ignorant to understand the shit I have gone through. You didn't even have the balls to man up and tell me how you felt about it, a text, and email, a phonecall to say you didn't understand, or thought I should behave differently. Instead you decided the best thing for me after losing my mum, being depressed, and being knee deep in debt, would be for me to be sacked or humiliated.
Well, unlucky! Whatever the outcome of the hearing, I will always be the bigger man, and you have made that quite obvious.

Thank you for showing your true colours.
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Dear St Christophers...

An open letter to all at St Christophers Hospice in Sydenham.

For as far back as I can remember, way back into the early years of my childhood, the name St Christophers has been regular to conversations and teachings from my mother. Constantly singing praises of the work done there, and pointing out when we passed on the bus that although hospital signs were near by, this was no ordinary hospital, but rather an extraordinary place.

As the years went on, and I started driving I began to understand what actually happened within the walls of St Christophers, and heard more and more about how amazing the people who worked in there more. Seeing the name appear in more and more places, charity drives, local newspaper articles etc. Then when I met Donna when I was about 24-25, and heard her mum worked there (Barbara Sage) I looked into it a little more and was blown away at what they did there. Once again though, I was still too far back from there to realise just HOW amazing it was.

Then back in 2008 mum was diagnosed with cancer and my life changed forever. For 2 and a half years I worked hard making sure mum had everything she needed, and tried everything I could to keep her smiling, not believing that there was anyone out there capable of helping her the way I could. How wrong would I turn out to be! By the end of 2010 mum had reached the stage where her condition was taking a turn for the worse. Being diagnosed with brain cancer she went onto steroids. At the same time St Christophers became involved, making home visits and arranging counselling for the family. Building trust with the home care team she started to feel more confident in the idea of help, and as time went on her first admission for respite occurred. Finally I was walking into the working end of the real St Christophers. Having previously seen the Anniversary suite, and being impressed by its facilities etc, I was blown away when we went to the first ward. Wow!
It was like a hospital tucked away down a side road. But there was more to come.

Even on the first night came, mum was feeling comfortable and safe for the first time in a long time. As the days went on, it was apparent that the level of care and compassion she would receive would be nothing less than that from an extended close and loving family. Bonds built overnight. Banter flowed, while the personal knowledge of each patient that each tier of staff had was mindblowing.

In total mum had 3 stays in St Christophers. Towards the end it became a place off comfort and solace for her. While she always said being at home was her wish, her stress levels would disappear each time an ambulance came for her to take her back to the hospice. Health would generally improve or at least stabilise.

Getting to know the staff pretty well, it was always an emotional goodbye when we left, for mum and me I have to say. Dreading how I would cope without these amazing people behind me, but always knowing help was never too far away.
Mums last stay was a little emotional for her, as the allowance for respite breaks was coming to an end, and there was little that could be done for mum as she was neither improving, nor end of life. So when the social team arranged a meeting with me, my sister and mum to talk about the next step, homes, mum was somewhat angry about it all, or should I say a little afraid of what to expect.
A home was found, and mums last stay at St Christophers came to an end. With a loving goodbye we moved onto Westwood House.

Sadly mum passed almost 2 weeks later, but in privacy, with dignity, and in no pain, so it was what she always wanted.

It is a month to the day that mum died, and the dust has settled now, so I thought I would make this entry to just simply say.

St Christophers and all your staff, not forgetting your volunteers, contributors, sponsors and anyone else I have missed out... You are all amazing selfless people who made the 9 months of mums life happy, enjoyable and incredible. So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU all. I will forever be in your debt, and will always give back in anyway I can. I can honestly pass my mothers thanks and love to each and every one of you, and indeed my love too, for making those dark days a little brighter.

Thank you all, and much love.
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