Showing posts from April, 2013

The Flu

So I stupidly made some wise crack about "man flu" and getting no sympathy on Facebook on Friday night.  I was feeling "under the weather", sore throat, aching legs etc.  You know the thing.  However this developed into the real deal - temp over 100, total delirium in the night, with the most odd dreams going on in my head, my throat feeling like some instrument of torture with 100 razor blades in it had been inserted and everytime I swallowed it was so painful. I just couldn't do anything. Honestly I've lost three days of my life.  I'm slowly getting better, not helped by a coughing fit yesterday aggravating a muscle in my back which I've pulled a few times over the years - terrific now I can barely walk as well! Still this morning I've actually got on line and sorted a few bills and things that needed doing so on the road to recovery.  I'll try to remember not to be so flippant again - I should remember that flu isn't a joking matte

You can't help yourself can you?

It is a lovely warm sunny April lunchtime in London.  You've had very little time in the last few days to have time to yourself in the busy office.  So you take a walk to look around a local guitar shop.  30 mins later the credit card has significantly less credit head room than it had before and you have to text your darling wife to say "Sorry I seem to have bought a guitar"... My new love.   Vintage Gordon Giltrap Deluxe edition - only checked over by the distributor on 16th April and now mine!  ALL MINE!!!!!   A review will follow once I've had her a few days.

So pleased, happy and proud....

Quick post just to relay a status from my son's Facebook page... "... Has just officially accepted a funded PhD studentship at the University of Leicester" *Huge parent grin* He has worked so hard for this from the moment he changed his plans in the middle of A levels and decided that he wanted to do Physics at uni.  A foundation year was needed to get him onto an undergraduate Physics degree - he was top of the year.  He then switched to an undergraduate masters in Space Science with Physics which he is only a few weeks away from completing and is expecting a first class honours - again having worked extremely hard.  So 5 years hard work the last 6 months in the high Arctic as regular readers will know and now this a great PhD opportunity - studying the magnetosphere of Saturn he tells me... good luck with that! I'm so pleased for him - he is on course for his ambition to be Dr Son-of-Furtheron.

AA themes - a personal reflection

In my Monday post about my fear - which has been a lot better since then btw - I mentioned about a set of themes that come out whenever alcoholics gather together.  I should instantly caveat that with, in my experience and with my personal reflection! The themes are Never felt they fitted in Never given the manual of life Real difficulty with handling emotions Large ego with lost self esteem Preoccupation with self Most love a good cup of tea or coffee! To expand ... Never felt they fitted in In many different ways, either through being into something like "being a punk", "self employed from young age", "traveller", "dropped out" etc. etc. you find many alcoholics were always a little outside the circle - or at least felt that way.  I'll use myself as an example here with a couple of things before I even started to drink alcohol.  In 1974 I headed off to grammar school.  Now around that time, long hair, flares and platform

Irrational fear

Spend any time around a bunch of recovering alcoholics and there are a series of themes that come out. Within that series of themes (I should write a blog post on my reflections on those themes at some point) one that often comes through is fear. Fear of being made to look a fool Fear of economic insecurity Fear of emotional insecurity - i.e. those you love leaving you. Fear of being found out as a fraud etc. One thing though is the irrational fear - the fear of nothing but fear itself.  I woke up this morning fearful.  What of I really have no idea, maybe I had had a dream that was lost to my consciousness that caused this I really don't know. Now what is the best reaction to this?  Look at the facts.  I can't place what this fear is about, it probably is just a stupid dream I've already forgotten, I was alright last night when I went to bed and nothing has changed ... so put if out of my mind and ignore it. Not the alcoholic part of me - it spent far too much

Happy birthday Mrs F

Today is Mrs F's birthday, I'll not give her age away but... she'd not as old as me :-) We had a day out at Rye in East Sussex and the weather gods shone on us as it was overcast and cloudy as we headed there.  On arrival we climbed up into the town, the main old bit being a top a big hill with a castle and big church etc. and found a little tea shop - sadly our favourite one has changed hands and was full but we found another and ordered a light lunch.  When we came out the sun was shining and we had a lovely day pottering about the junk - sorry antique shops. For the guitar nuts the most ludicrous I found was a bolt on neck Epiphone SG with several scratch plate screws missing, replaced pickups (nothing special) and even one of those was missing a height adjustment screw.  So  a "fixer upper" you'd think.  Yes if it had been £50 - £60 but at £330 frankly purely a rip off.  In the same place a couple of years back I found a clearly totally fake Fender Str

On this day in history...

Well roughly - in 2006 my Mum passed away on the 6th April.  I still miss her - I'm glad she saw me sober for the last couple of years of her life. In 2003 on April 7th I signed up to an Alcohol Concern programme - to learn "controlled drinking" - the next year was frankly a total nightmare as I fought the drink on my own, unable to realise why I could stop then start again and think I was all fine and for it to explode in a matter of days again to a point where I was way out of control again... Stop, wait, start, explode.  Around April 8th 2004 I signed up to the same thing again, but was so despondent that I gave up the next day and resigned myself to a life of utter misery having to drink.  Chapter 12 A Vision for You of Alcoholics Anonymous (aka the big book) sums it up superbly. "He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at th

Book Review - The 12 step warrior

(Those regular readers with any sort of memory will know that I said "no more book reviews" but I'm breaking that rule... my blog, my rule, I can break it! LOL!  I break it for this book given the subject matter) The 12 Step Warrior is an alcoholic's autobiography.  Peter Skillen was born into a family that soon went from loving to dysfunctional to totally out of control.  This book describes his loss of innocence as a child, his witnessing his father's fall into alcoholism and his own journey into a life of violence and alcoholic drinking.  At the end of his drinking he was losing it all but with the help of an old girlfriend he got to rehab and has recovered his life.  He is one of the shining lights you meet of the AA programme at work.  I have some friends in AA like Peter, people who really went to hell and back.  I often feel a fraud next to them my rock bottom was frankly so much higher than theirs. This is a brilliantly written book that anyone who is

Commenting on this blog

For a long time I've had a policy of allowing Anonymous comments.  This led to loads of Spam so I switched on comment moderation - still loads of Spam ... so I put on a word verification thing...  Spam stopped. However I know that sometimes the word verification is stopping people commenting and I find it a real pain at times when reading/commenting on blogs on a mobile phone. So today I switched off the word verification thing... in less than an hour 5 Spam comments!!!   I give up the Spammers I'm afraid have beaten me.  So I've switched off Anonymous comments.  Sorry folks I don't want to do that really but what else can I do?  I want people to comment etc. so please do - you can always email me your comment asking me to post it for you - I will respect your anonymity but clearly you'll compromise it emailing me I know but I promise to simply post a comment under my name for you anonymously but you can only take me on trust on that one.

Class wars.

Once again I find myself somewhat bewildered by a new move in the reclassification of current UK society and in particular a new attempt at putting us into a new "class" structure.  This is the BBC having carried out an experiment if you don't click on the link. So I filled it in the questions.  I'm apparently "Established Middle Class".  What the hell does that mean?  For a start the important thing surely is how you describe yourself.  I'm working class.  I may have a job that might be defined loosely as a profession and be in a management position but to me I'm working class due to my background.  My sister did the test too and came out as "Technical Middle Class" she stated on Facebook that she is "... definitely working class - dockyard born and bred!!"  My son insists we are middle class but he takes this from simply from our financial position which is born of the fact that I was incredibly lucky to have a ridiculously