Sunday, 3 February 2008

All new year, all new...

What a whirlwind the last six weeks have been...

From a point of planning a holiday abroad, to going abroad, and then returning almost feeling like a new person, with a whole new outlook on life. It's been a bit of a mind job.

After returning back to my point of origin, so to speak, I learnt that I have grown up. In the last two and a half years I have gone from being a school boy in a grown-up world to actually being a grown up. I admit that I am still learning a hell of a lot every day, about myself and the world as a whole, but I am not scared. Not me, not this man.

And I also learnt that people out there in the world can be as evil as hell itself towards me, and I can still stand up straight and proud. I am not responsible for other peoples actions or reactions.

I have in a manner of speaking rebuilt myself, and for me and my wife there is no more looking back.

Only the future knows what will happen and how we'll deal with it all, but I feel ready.

As for the little things in life, I love the new flat we've moved into, the views, the space, the light.
I have planted more herb seeds, and these little buggers are growing like crazy things. I smell fragrant success coming with them, all sorts of pastas and things are heading their way in a few weeks time. I've graduated myself to trying to germinate an avocado pip. I have a plan for exercises that feels like it will work for me. I also look forward to begin sea fishing when the weather warms up a bit.

And I love my buses. After a few months with the metal beasties I feel a definite soft spot for them. I am a happy man at work, more happy than most I think, and I enjoy meeting all the people I take around the city all day. I have also found a few buses in the fleet that I enjoy a bit more than others when I get the chance to drive them. Everything just feels so right about them that it just feels effortless. And I am getting to learn two new routes in the next few weeks, which is always a nice thing to do. Variety is the spice of life, and driving through different parts of town is too.

I leave you with a laugh:

Saturday, 24 November 2007


I woke up this morning with that vague feeling that I had dreamt something, but I had no idea what it was. So the next thing that happens is this goes through my head:

What is this dreaming,
while I am sleeping?
What does it really mean,
are these things just images,
or things that I've seen?
'Twas just the two of us,
linked arm in arm,
The sun shining down on us,
'Cause we were in love!
Suddenly the scene fades,
now I'm awake.
I want to go back there,
to that beautiful place.
Please take my hand dear,
and come stand near.
Kiss me again!
I know when our lips meet
and yours taste so sweet:
It's real!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

I get knocked down, but I get up again. Nothing's ever gonna keep me down!

Oh I love Calvin and Hobbes!! I get a new one everyday in my inbox.

The simple outlook on life and the very humorous way the cartoonist does it in kind of matches they way I sometimes feel I see the world: Not always very straight forward, but certainly simple enough to understand and work with.

This is one of my favourites, just taking up the challenge no matter what...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

What a month...

Bloody hell but time flies by quickly!!!
I feel like only yesterday I was left all on my own in a bloody huge bus and armed only with a schedule and the memory of having travelled the route before.
And at the same time I also feel like I have been a bus driver for ages already and can handle anything thrown at me. (said only with the kind of confidence brought on by being new to it all)
I have had so much fun in the few weeks that I have been out on my own.
I have had sweet old ladies offering me sweets to say "thanks", tiny little kiddies yelling out with the volume unique to them "bye bye mr bus man!!!" and the cherry so far, a group of the little things singing their tiny lungs out in sheer rapture to a phone belting out "now it's raining more than ever, you can stand under my um-ber-ella, ella, ella!"( you all know the song, it sticks in your head and now I get these warm flashbacks of these kiddies everytime I need to turn on the wipers.)
I must say that since I started driving I can say that this is probably one of the most enjoyable jobs I've had, and beats an office job hands down.
Thanks to the marvels of technology, I have not been able to go online much recently because my ISP has suddenly gone very, very inconsistent. It has made me wish I had my very own satellite in space that I can use for my phone calls and surfing. That would be fantastic, no monthly bills, no helpdesks and junkmail, no annual upgrading, just something that works like I want it to. No mess no fuss.
And now for my last peeve of the day, is dealing with letting/estate agents. I have decided to move out of the tiny little flat i live in right now with my wife, and get bigger and better digs. This meant having to actually meet and interact with these "Other People". Oh man, were some of the flats shown to us rubbish dumps!! Or completely not what we wanted to have, but rather what they wanted us to have. At long last I made the decision on a flat that made the grade. Now its me and a van at the end of the month to get us set up in our nice 4th floor flat looking out over the sea and the city AND a it of the countryside. Sounds great, because it is. Too me right now.
Gotta go, I have been pushing my luck with the amount of time I've been online without the line dropping on me...

Saturday, 13 October 2007

So much to say so few words...

I have had so much happen in the last few weeks. Good things and great things and nice things and one or two less pleasant things, just so much. And all the while I cannot think of any eloquent(spelling???) or interesting way to actually write about it.
Like the fact that I have spent my first week out on the road as an "in service" bus driver. How huge is that? So many weeks of training and practice that has brought it into being, and how much fun am I having now? I cannot say. Every day something new and more improvement on my time keeping and remembering routes and building my driving skills.
But then there is the brain overload, and sitting in bed before falling asleep thinking, " up this road to the post box, turn left, onwards around the bend to the bus stop, or is that two stops, don't worry too much, you can check for the sign posts, keep along that road to the next bend and follow it around, the next intersection has an odd style house, or is that a great big fence?" Don't worry, you'll do it again next week with someone. Just pay a bit more attention.
and then there are the noisy neighbours and the councils noise patrols. After a few sleepless nights and a few phonecalls to the environmental health offices I can sleep properly and wake up ready for all I have coming to me.
Anyways, Life is good, and getting better.

All is fun in the world and I can only make it as enjoyable as I can.
I hope you folks reading this can too.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

I'm a bus driver!

Guess who passed his driving test?
I'm sorry if I kept anyone waiting for news, but I decided to spend some quality time with the wife smiling at each other and holding hands.
I did pass my driving test on Friday, and it was a great feeling of accomplishment.
It's all go from here. Upwards and onwards, more forwards please!
I've been thinking since then that after a couple of years of turmoil, and my recent decision to just take control of circumstances and make a way forward for my family, I am actually getting somewhere. The feeling of overcoming the odds is a beautiful feeling.
I have dreamt of making it just one step up the ladder of life and I have made it. It might look like a little step, but in the scheme of things, it's huge. It's picking me up of the floor after being knocked down and saying, "If that's your best shot, I'm still standing".

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

A Testing Week...

Work is great, and a big test is due this week.
I feel ready thanks to the excellent colleagues with me.

Not much seems to be happening, besides summer quickly disappearing into autumn.
And me forgetting I have a blog of sorts.
Besides all that the flat has it's annual inspection as well.
There is also the Rugby World Cup, cricket's Twenty20 matches, the loss of Colin McRae and his son and all the nonsense in Formula 1 to deal with. No-one seems to be searching for Madeline anymore, two people in the street have lost their cats and the seagulls seem to have become less, or moved back to the sea. I also cooked a great roast chicken and potato supper tonight!!

So all in all nothing is really going on...

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Onwards.... to supper!

Work is great, I can say I am one of few people who wake up happy to go to work.
But there is one thing that makes me a bit happier than that;
coming home and cooking for my wife!
Here is a recipe(I use the word very very loosely as I am no proper chef by far!) that I concocted a few days ago that was real quick, real easy and went down really well.(ie it made me look really good. Points scored!)
Basically it was pasta, I had a bag of that twirly pasta and I used enough for two people.
This I just boiled up until it was soft. But while this was going on I cut up half a pack of cooking bacon(odd bits) into smallish chunks, like peanut size. I fried the bacon until I could see it just about getting light brown marks where it touched the pan. I then fried, in a different pan, a good number of handfuls, nearly equal to the pasta, of stir fry vegetables I bought ready to cook. This was a "value" brand but had red onions, peppers, bean sprouts, mushrooms and a few other bits in. I also used "instant" cheese sauce granules to whip up a coffee mug full of cheese sauce. I chucked everything into one huge pot and stirred well. It took me a little over 30 minutes and tasted fantastic. If it suits your fancy, try it, it is easy and tasty.
I now got to work on tonights supper, toasted sarnies I think... I'm not feeling up to working the stove tonight.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

One down. One to go!!!

I passed my theory and hazard perception test this morning.
One test down, and only the driving test to go. (thanks for the hints Alex!)
Thankfully that is still a few weeks away. It is amazing what a weight is off my shoulders now that is done. I thought it was straight forward, because I knew what was in store for me, but there comes a point where human nature kicks in and a slight panic sneaks over you and you think: "what if I fail?" I just tried to shrug it off and keep going. It paid off, and I scored well.
Now all that is left is to stop thinking small while driving, I mean small as in driving a car small. It's time to wrap my mind around a 30 and 40 foot machine and drive well.
I might be found when not in a training bus sitting above the driver in a double decker pretend driving.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Open toppers.

I love variety.
I enjoy being able to sample different things at different times.
New experiences to me mean I have learnt something about life.

Today I had my first real proper trip as a passenger on an open topper to Devils Dyke. (route 77)
What a different kettle of fish to a tin top!

Sunshine, nice breeze, great scenery and a brilliant picnic. I think it's my favourite route. And the two open toppers are great fun to be on too. After rubbernecking the country side for a few minutes I strated thinking along the difference in handling this bus must have to a tin top and a single decker. All I can say is that I will patiently wait until my turn comes round. I'm sure it will...

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

My first bus drive.

I drove my first bus today.
What impressed me most was that I didn't do half as bad as I thought I would do.
My instructor complimented me too, which is a good sign I reckon.
What a load of fun.
It's all theory until next week Wednesday for the test.!!!

Saturday, 18 August 2007

A great and fond farewell.

And so last night the folks from the office all came together for a night out to say farewell and celebrate me moving on. It was great, they're a brilliant bunch of people.(we represented 8 different countries from 3 continents as a group!)
I will miss working with them, but I look forward to taking them to work at some point in time. I always used to say,
"See you on the bus!" as we all finished in the office hoping we would reach the bus stop at the same time and catch the same bus home. Now it kinda turns and means I'll pick them up and take them home. What fun turns life can take at times.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The new beginning!

Hey I'm about as happy as a pig in mud right now!!
I start a new job on monday training to be a bus driver.
Me and big wheels with diesel engines!!
I cannot wait, after nearly 2 years at a grey desk in a greyish office(and I'm being serious here, it's not a metaphor at all!) I get to go out every day to see the city sights, (over and over again at times I guess) and help serve the local community. How great is that?!
I'll tell more when I know more as I do more.

Monday, 18 June 2007

The fairness of life.

Once again I feel myself kicking at the mental walls of life.
I seem to have had a run in with a few people this last week of different back grounds, that are so very conflicting. And when I sit back and try to look at it from a different perpsective, it just brings my own life into such stark relief.
I am not a rich man, I do want to be sometimes. Like the rich man I work for, who not only owns two houses in the city where we live and work, but also owns one in another country.
He also owns one half of a world renowned company. But it seems that he cares for very little in life. He shows no real interest in the running of his company, and he shows an almost over interest in his house abroad. This leads to neglect where it matters most, being able to
put bread on the table, so to speak. His seems to care for nothing except his next trip abroad. He is so self absorbed in this that the business is suffering.
And then there is another man, who has nothing, quite literally. He lived in a run down caravan parked on the street in the light industrial area outside the company I work for. He was dirty and smelly and was not highly regarded at all by the people working in that street, me included.
One day, out of the blue, he confronts me on my way home. Yelling and screaming like I had done something terrible to him, yet I had not given him any of my attention in any way.
It later turns out that someone else had kicked him during a confrontation just minutes before, and he now thought that I was on my way to do the same to him.
I left it at shouting back that I was simply on my way home and that he better feel sorry for his yelling at me like that.

Later it strikes me that the rich boss I have and the poor bloke outside on the pavement are both incredibly self absorbed. The one cares for nothing and as a result other people are working to breaking point to clean up his messes and keep his company in business.
And the other, in a very similar way, cares nothing as well. As he flaunts the law in living where he does and how he does, and he sees simple passers by as enemy out to harm him. But he is ever so quick to beg money and claim he has no income to support himself and therefore needs others to support him. Both are capable men and can live their own lives, but somehow get away with the fact that other people are looking after them while they get to do as they like.

My life appears so different in contrast. I wish I had no responsibilities like the poor man, but with the resources of the rich man. Nearly every man on earth wishes that, but life cannot be like that. What I do live for and strive for is to simply be financially independant, to have my own house in which I can raise my own family. To care for and nurture my wife and future children, make memories and live through life together. But so many times people like the two above examples have taken that away from me, in different ways.
All I can say for myself is that I do not want to be like the men with nothing and everything, I want to work for what I have and keep it and look after it.

Monday, 4 June 2007

To New Beginnings...

To new beginnings I begin to walk,
they seem so far and distant yet,
I know that step for step I can make it there.
Danger, fear and difficulties threaten me,
but dreams and hope determine me.
History shows that some turn back,
others leave and don't come back.
Yet others go and walk every track.
I set for me just a single road.
Not big and grand, or long and straight.
I simply want what life can bring,
to a man and his wife, bound by their wedding rings.
Just life and love, a home with kids.
Camping trips and happy memories.
To holidays, first school days and rainy days.
It is to this I turn my face,
some like it hot, but I do not.
Life to me should simply be,
just me and my happy family.
So from today in this place,
which carries a dull grey face,
I turn to walk to a new beginning...

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Now What??

It has been a long radio silence here in my world.
I have been sick. My wife has been sick. My herbs have been sick.
It has also started raining again. Which means my body does it's little falling apart thing again because it thinks the sun has died.
Oh well, I reckon I can't have it all good in one great big gulp.
Life has it's ups and downs and somewhere along the road you realise, or at least need to realise, that you are alive. The sun shines on you one day and the next the rains soaks you through so that you look like a soggy kitten. All sad and lonely.
All it really takes is a warm hug, kiss and cuddle, and sometimes a good nights rest as well and the world takes it's ugly mask off and looks like it can be your friend again.
It all boils down to perspective. Frame of mind or paradigm as some people call it...

Life is at the brink of changing in a huge way it the near future. Or it might not. But the possibility of change, for the better, is like warm sunshine in these soggy grey days.
There are a few great fears, and dangers with the decisions that need to be made. But like every great hunter that has gone before me, fear either kills or drives forward.
And that fear is the thing that needs to get sat down on a chair in a bright light and looked at from every corner until it becomes so well known that it loses it's power to intimidate. That happens because once every crevass and dark cranny are known and mapped, a journey can be taken in confidence. Quite simply because if you wander off the path you can simply change direction and still reach your destination, along a more scenic route if you wish.
So to make a life changing decision with all it's pitfalls and hopes, is something that gets done ever so carefully so that every potential possibility gets evaluated and measured.
That way I can decide and know that whatever may happen after the decision I am at least mentally prepared for the consequences and challenges afterwards.
Sick or well.
Warm or wet.
It all looks the same in the end.
Take a look at my options, weigh up the pro's and con's, and either walk away or take the challenge.
That's what life is about in the end isn't it. It's how you get to know you're alive.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Admirably Ignorant Hope

My heart is hurt again.
Not by the carelessness of another,
but by the dashed hope of a longed for desire.
The sheer emptiness of the longing
overcomes everything in its movement towards it's fulfillment.
At first it was the undue length of its colourless duration
that pierced the freshness of every new morning.
Now as the sun sets,
so it turns melancholy.
Moaning out into it's formless void
made evenmore despairing by the false appearance of fleeting substance.
Like a sliver of moonlight held down by a spiderthread was it's presence.
And now it lingers only like a pale elephantine shadow,
yet to be fulfilled.
An empty promise that always was,
yet never quite is.
A quiver of the heart of insignificant size,
yet unbearable presence.
This my heart feels.
This my heart still wants.
Such a tiny thing that sits so still,
but moves so much!
Why must I bear a burden that is so impossibly unbearable?
Why do I still passionately pray for its fulfillment?
Dumb fingers,
Dumb thoughts
and Dumb actions
compound the difficulty of mustering this battle with chivalrous charm.
Impossibility becoming improbability.
Improbability becoming an all too familiar bedfellow.
An all too despised acquaintance.
An open disposition becomes clouded.
Clouded by confusion and dull pains of a pang
echoing violently off empty walls,
in an empty space.
A space where admirably ignorant hope
still believes someone will stand.

(I wrote this poem before I met my wife. I had had my heart broken and thought the end of the world had come. Little did I know that my heart had to be broken to allow someone new into my life, someone that stayed forever!)

Dreams or reality. I guess it's up to me in the end.

So today is a holiday, and so is Monday next week, which means we have a four day weekend, or a paid holiday/vacation for those who think of it as such. It is also a time where I hope to catch up on all those things I have neglected in the last few weeks. I might also add that my wife now wishes to move to Greece. Which is fine by me if I can get a well paying job. But I somehow think it will never happen. Even though it would be a dream come true for me too.
I find that like most people on earth I dream dreams which are great and majestic, and in reality are not really such huge pipe dream impossibilities. It is just that I become overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the prospect of achiving my dreams. I have realised that after losing my livelihood and having to rebuild a life and living from scratch in a strange country with different customs, that the world is really out there for the taking.
I wish my Dad had taught me this lesson. I feel that I would have been much more of a success if I had known this fact rather than have to learn it the hard way. I now know that after my studies are complete and I have a year or two's practical experience, I can go work in virtually any country in the world that will grant me a work permit. Which means that the possibility of wishful thinking becoming true exists. I can experience an alligator in my swimming pool in Florida, or go scuba diving in Belize after work, or go walking through cities with centuries of history in europe.
If I look back, experience might be pointing me in this way of thinking, but the penny is just not quite dropping yet.
Which now has me thinking; both my wife and myself miss the sunny and warm climate we were made to abandon for a less balmy one. And we do wish to return to one, any one anywhere. But small thinking is hampering us. The type of small thinking that makes people see or experience something they have never seen or experienced before, like a better way of life, or an easier way of accomplishing something, and then after hours of thinking about it just abandoning it because of percieved obstacles.
I have only just realised that pretty damn near all of my obstacles are percieved ones.
Which means that I need to focus my thoughts and actions on how to see through these invisible walls. Because once I do, I can find the little stepping stones that will lead to my dreams.
So now my thoughts are not on what it must be like to wake up in Greece and live in such a beautiful place, but on how long my studies will still take, which will lead to my qualification, which could lead to a work permit, which could lead to a move to Greece for my wife and I, which would mean that we get to walk down those beaches in the postcards.
Simple this thing of changing my point of view.
It probably makes all the difference in the world.

So now its back to me and my four days of studying!!!!

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

The Lady Pride.

Be not proud,
for it is the proud that are blind to a fall.
Be not proud,for it is a deadly thing to be.
Pride is a witch,who will lead you to believe,
that she is your fairy-god mother.
She will show you ways of making things;
"oh so right",
Methods of perfection few can aspire.
How she taunts.
How she beguiles.
How she deceptively misleads you,
down a road of dispair.
She winks.
She smiles.
And all attempts to remain in control are shattered.
Once you have fallen prey to her,
You have fallen, pray to her.
For she has become your god and she will own you.
She is a viper.
Lying in wait till you unwaryingly step onto her path.
Swiftly she flies,
and gently she descends.
Pasionately she kills.
In swift precise strokes she cleaves through the most noble hearts......
making definite the sorrow of good things forgotten.
In misery she revels,
in heartsorrow she dwells.
Till even the pure are left with nothing to grasp.
How easy to fall,
how easy to stumble,
how easy to believe you are safe from a fall.
For once you have security and shurity,
you have nothing at all.
Your rock solid security is porous,
your dreadnaught conviction fallow.
And all along,
the lady pride she dances
She dances,
she twirls,
she twists,
she curls.
And slowly you die
till nothing remains.
Nothing remains
because nothing is.
All that is,
is the lady pride.
And all she is......
is you...
(To the driver of a white mercedes that skipped a red traffic light and knocked me off my motorcycle and did not stop to check if I was okay. I have no compassion for you.)

Just before Midnight thoughts when I am too tired to sleep.

I find myself sitting somewhere in-between Wednesday and Thursday, my laptop has just crashed again, my desktop has a new anti-virus program installed and I have achieved my highest marks so far in a mock test for my next exam. My wife is soundly asleep and as beautiful as ever but my herb garden is still not growing like it should, while the 'living salad' appears to not want to live. Why is it that I can look after a garden in the ground but not after plants in pots? I am supposed to have grown up on a farm, I should be able to do this stuff. Droopy chives seem to reflect some of the feelings inside me. I know I should be standing up straight and tall with a strong flavour that can be used to make things better, but sometimes I feel too thin and tired, and like I just cannot cope. But this is my new online journal that will help me to show myself and the cynical world out there that anything can be conquored.
"Do not lose hope, for once hope is lost, all is lost." I do not know who said that first, but it is a good motto that I believe in.
I am not small, even though I sometimes feel small.