Saturday, 8 December 2012

Well, here I am again. But why? Today, an image came to me, of a time some 32 years ago. It was at the head of a valley in the North York Moors, near Dalby, a summer evening. I remember that when I rode my motorbike over the crest of the hill, I looked down into the valley and the smoke form the chimneys of the half dozen or so cottages was sleepily rising straight up.. a night without a breath of wind. A warm summer evening, with nothing to distract but a warm touch of air as I rode down the lazy zigzag road to the valley floor.. I bought a motorbike that night, a BSA 250 Starfire, when all of my friends were buying Yamahas or Hondas. I don't really know where I'm going with this, other than to say that there are perfect moments -times when the world and the mind conspire to make a memory so perfect that it fells like a chapter from a favourite book. These jewels exist, and more than that, have an existence that make life worth the living.  Yes, the example I have given is a little asinine, a little trite, but this is because it is just that - an example. The real jewels won't be shared, won't be spoken of here. They will be wrapped close to my heart and squeezed into my soul...and those who matter will be there.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Norwegian Blues?

This is a dead blog. It is no more. etc. Or is it? I haven't blogged for a couple of years, and can't say that I've missed it. I suppose that you only have so much time to spend tippety tapping away at a keyboard, and the decline of my blog had been supplanted by an increased presence on twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al. But perhaps things have come full circle - I now find myself on Facebook and twitter less and less, and I still think that there should be a little corner of the internet that you can feel comfortable in, a place where you can bare your soul, scream into the void and care not a jot whether someone "likes" it. So here it is - not dead, but risen again.

So, taking off my shoes and wiggling my toes in a strictly metaphorical way, here I am. It's been a strange experience visiting a dead blog; not to mention the fact that I couldn't remember the address, the password, or which of my four email accounts I used to create it. But the very act of revisiting previous states of mind leaves you with an odd feeling, a sort of emotional hangover. You remember he emotions, some clearly, some less so, and there is a resonance with those emotions that are strong today. It's an interesting experience, reviewing these little emotional shapshots, and the temptation is to hold them up against the present day and see what's changed. Whilst I am known near and far as someone who finds it easy to resist temptation, on this occasion, I don't think that I will.

So who was I two years ago? Two years ago I was living in a state of flux, starting new projects, discarding others, and feeling cautiously optimistic about the future. Now, one of those projects has paid me for the last two years, and looks close to bearing fruit. Strange then that I should feel less optimistic when I have more reason to believe that the future holds good things. Perhaps this is the little voice inside me that secretly believes that all will turn to ordure, and that I am always destined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? Perhaps it is just that the stakes are so much higher now?

The black dogs of depression were very much a part of my life two years ago, and it's fair to say that it's probably something that will never be fully banished - I still have bad days when I wish that I could fold in on myself like a little origami man, but most of the time I can remember that I have good days too.

Two years ago I was getting very cross trying to give up smoking (and failing). Today I am just getting very cross.

Two years ago I blogged. Today I blogged.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Thursday, 12 February 2009

I am tired, I am weary. I could sleep for a thousand years.

Somehow, returning to a badly neglected blog makes me feel a little surreptitious - like a lost cat that strolls into the room weeks after being designated "missing, presumed fed". Whatever the reason, I'm back...

January and February seem to call back the black dogs, and this year is no different. Dark nights and darker thoughts, crudely numbed by whatever comes to hand. Deep down, but with a steady yellow eye on my every move, the self loathing squats like a toad in my guts.
It's easy to see the dark side. Close your eyes and there it is. Implacable and inescapable. To see the light all you have to do is open your eyes, but that's a dangerous business. It's all there, spread in front of you - your whole life, pinned and labelled, viewed through a piss stained veil. You can find yourself drawn to one exhibit, losing yourself in it's meaning and form, tuning it over, examining it from every angle until it becomes the whole of reality. The past is somehow more real than the present - it's fixed - not subject to the paintbrush of "today". You see traits, not states. The past is dead, gone, and fades more with every tick of the clock. But like a scent it affects everything you think about. You can't ignore the box full of broken toys that are yesterdays dreams. But knowing that they exist somehow stains the dreams of the now. There they lie - silently reminding you that there is no gold at the end of the rainbow, mocking your plans, sneering at your hopes.

But my defences are up.

Busy busy busy,
Busy little Bee.
Must keep busy.
Why can't you see?

Busy busy busy,
Busy little Bee.
Working for the honey.
Nothing comes for free.

Busy busy busy,
Busy little Bee.
A bellyfull of nectar,
But it won't save me.

Sometimes I don't know why I bother.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The future's so bright... hah.

Many years ago I used to work for a small consultancy business that specialised in organisational development and occupational stress, and one of the few things that I remember from this time is that one of the main causes of stress is a person's lack of control (real or perceived) over their life. Why mention this? Well, because I'm not feeling particularly in control at the moment. Like a child's balloon in a hurricane I seem to be buffeted from one thing to another, taking knocks along the way. Whilst wearing my "pater familias" hat I guess that I should be steering the family ship with a firm hand on the tiller and a steely gaze to the horizon, but at the moment the seas seem to be a little too stormy to do anything other than lash myself to the mainmast and hang on. Work as an independent consultant is a very movable feast - you are either working or not, earning or not, and the decision as to whether you work or earn is not entirely in your own hands. A contract lost, a client in trouble, and suddenly you are in the business of looking for work. Not that this is the case at the moment, but the future looks ever more uncertain. I mean, Woolworths for god's sake - who would have thought it? I've seen the effects of this first hand - a company on the same business park as one of my clients supplies Woolworths - last week they laid off over half of their staff (close to 100 people I'm told), and this is only the beginning. A family member works in the car trade - and their dealership sold 2 cars in the last month with a profit margin of £60. The stories of wrecked businesses keep on appearing. God knows what the next year is going to be like. I really don't know how bad the recession/depression is going to get, but right now I strongly feel the need to get a plan together. And this is where it all falls down I guess - how can you plan for uncertainty? Do you just hunker down, cut your costs and hope that it will all blow over? Do you look at more radical alternatives? I think that most people will be hunkering down, which makes me want to go in another direction. If all turns to ordure, I don't think that the social security system will be strong enough to cope - so any safety net needs to be of my own making but what? I think that the answers will be found in the past - right now I'm researching the success stories of the great depression - I'll let you know how I get on.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


Snow on the cherry tree
A single leaf remains
Solitude or death?