Monday, February 28, 2011

Enforced Writer's block

This morning I suffered from ‘enforced writer’s block’. This is a new one and just as effective as the natural kind.


I had ideas this morning, namely to discuss the Comedy show that Jo and I went to watch at the weekend with Milton Jones. I’ll write that up later.

What stumped me this morning?

What could possibly come between a man and his laptop?

Smell.

I was stumped by smell.

Retched, stale body odour to be precise.

I got on the train and sat myself down, happy that I was in a comfy seat all by myself. I may have even patted myself firmly on the back, pleased with myself for not having to share with a stranger.

I learned a lesson.

From now on I will be deliberately sitting next to someone – someone that I choose. I will bring the seat partner selection under my control. This may upset people a little, especially if they can see empty seats elsewhere and consider my breech of commuter protocol unacceptable, but tough. They can put up with sitting next to Mr. Stinky instead of me.

I had a quick read of the paper and then was just about to start writing when we pulled into Reading. The train filled.

Suddenly there was a voice that came out of nowhere downwind. The voice wanted to know if the seat was taken. Had the wind direction been in my favour I could have prepared, maybe inserted my leg into my emergency fake plaster cast or weirdo deterrent as I call it.

Sadly the wind was against me and without looking up I indicated that my imaginary disabled friend was not travelling with me today and in fact the seat was free.

And then it hit me.

The smell followed him into his seat and set about smacking my nose.

I couldn’t concentrate, I could barely see through watering eyes. I could not think about anything else. My imagination was blocked.

Forcibly blocked.

There was no way I could write, I could barely think.

All I could do was sit with my eyes closed and try not to breath for the 30 minute train ride of aroma-joy.

Released from the train I hit the underground and noted with dismay the way that people tried to avoid me. Something about my pale complexion and red eyes was scaring them and also the smell had permeated my clothes like cigarettes in an Italian restaurant.

I was a very popular boy indeed.

Now I am aware that sometimes in the evenings on the way home I’m probably a bit whiffy myself, but come on – first thing in the morning?

So all thoughts of my intended blog post were lost, and instead I’ve wasted my lunch hour writing this – and I do hate wasting food time!

Never mind – lesson learned, I shall be making some unsuspecting (but probably pretty) commuter, very unhappy and slightly uncomfortable tonight. If people are going to be complaining about having to sit next to some big smelly sweaty man, then I’d much prefer to be the only person in the carriage that doesn’t notice thank you very much!

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Zealand

Having had a lovely nights sleep in a comfy bed in a home full of my family, I would just like to say my heart and thoughts are with the people of New Zealand who are not having such luck.


The devastating effects of the Earthquake there are appalling.

When I heard about it, I grabbed my mobile to send a text to my cousin, who lives there, to check he was OK and thankfully he was fine.

A lot of lives have been lost and that means families torn apart – the thought of which always comes closer to home for me than the thousands of miles of ocean between us.

Kiwi’s are notoriously strong minded and resilient (they have to be with a rugby team like the All-Blacks to support) and I have no doubt they will recover, but it is no easy road to travel, and I can only guess at how much they are hurting right now.

So I am sending my thoughts to you guys and, to help raise your spirits, I’d also like to send a big ‘we are thinking of you - thumbs up’, from Jimmy the cat.

I hope it helps.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pants

Hello again, sorry it’s been a while!


I just have not been able to get stuck into writing or reading this week. For a start I currently have a bit of a cold. Don’t panic, it literally is ‘a bit of a cold’, it isn’t anything serious like Man Flu!

At the same time I have been pretty busy at work this week. Don’t panic, I am a telecoms engineer not a social worker or a midwife, when I say I’ve been busy I don’t mean busy like a Nurse, I mean busy like a telecoms engineer. Everything is relative though and sure as ‘eggs is eggs’, I have not been getting my full quota of tea breaks this week!

I’ve been on the road a lot, to Durham, to Birmingham and back and thus my usual commuting writing time has been lost, and then my slight cold has made me too tired to make that up at night.

Even today, back on the train and headed for a more normal day, I am struggling to write anything down. Not because of any good reason (such as having a mildly sore throat or because I only had time for two cups of tea yesterday), but because I just realised that NOTHING funny has happened. Since I last wrote about the inner narrative incident, I’ve not noticed or heard anything blogworthy at all – how rubbish is that?

I did finally write up the piece I mentioned about seeing some celebrities at Paddington Station, but then I realised I hadn’t submitted an article for RBU’s March edition yet, so I gave it away! I’m starting to wish I didn’t as I’m sat here wondering what the hell I’m supposed to talk about today

Except…

Oh yes.

There is one thing I can think of, that made me smile this morning, and it is trouser related. Ladies, you may need a seat, I don’t want you getting all over excited.

As I was driving back from Birmingham last night I listened to the Radio. As I listened ‘Becky’ told of an embarrassing moment a few days earlier when she had been on The Tube.

We heard all about how she had been sat opposite a man and had realised he had a hole in his trousers. The hole was slap bang in the crotch, meaning that – well – his pants were a bit exposed (British pants). They laughed about it and discussed whether she should have said anything to him, clearly he wouldn’t have realised and so would he or wouldn’t he appreciate being told? Becky had finally decided not to say anything and so the man had been left oblivious to his plight.

This went on for a while, and I giggled a little as they went onto talk about commuting in general and it became clear to me that Becky must come into London on the same train line as me; meaning that she probably uses the same Underground station and lines too. I’d only been out of the office for a couple of days so we could easily have shared a tube ride recently. It amused me to think that they might have been talking about me. This is basically down to my absolute belief that I am the only person in the M4 Corridor worth talking about.

This was all very well but not really good blog fodder is it?

No.

But.

This morning I went to put the smart work trousers on that I had not been wearing while on my car travels, but usually wear for the London Office.

And yes.

This is true.

There, in the crotch.

Was a hole.

A real one – right there, where a hole should not be.

Were they talking about me? Were they? I will never know for sure of course but it is entirely possible that I have just been talked about on National Radio. Not about my writing, or my blog, or tireless work for charity (that I fully intend to get around to doing one day), but for my over exposed gentleman’s area. Thinking quickly I changed my dodgy ‘comfortable’ pants to a more secure pair, and wore the trousers anyway.

After all – it’s what my new fans will expect!

Friday, February 18, 2011

My inner narrative goes literal

I’ve been blogging for a while now and it has changed me. I look at things differently, I spend my life looking for things happening around me to happen in ways that I never used to.


The biggest change is my inner narrative.

I cannot remember when it started, but it must have been since I started writing because I never used to do it.

I don’t just mean a normal inner narrative, where you play out the day as you go along, maybe thinking how you will tell someone about it, but I mean an inner ‘written’ narrative, complete with grammar check and title.

Whenever and wherever I am, no matter what is going on around me I’ll be writing a story in my head. I’ll change the things I see into a story. Not only that but I will do mental rewrites in order to shape it into something I like.

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?

It doesn’t matter what it is and it never seems to go away. I’m sure I only used to do that when I was actually at the keyboard trying to type! Now I do it on the move.

Almost every incident I see, that my head types out a story for, gets binned, mainly due to the incident not being funny or interesting to me, sometimes because I forget it, but without fail the ‘story’ will get tested and sounded out in my head. If I see someone trip up on some stairs I can be five minutes away from them before I’ve finished planning out a blog post about it and ruled it out on account of it being nothing.

The other day I was passing by a brand new Tesco that was about to open near work, and my head was off to blogland again.

I mentally wrote and rewrote a post all about how handy it would be and exciting it was to have this new store opening. I imagined describing the thrill of walking down new aisles picking new chocolate. I even spent a couple of minutes planning what I’d say I was looking forward to buying. I ‘rewrote’ that piece three times before realizing that what I was thinking was utter crap. What was I on about? Getting excited about a Tesco, just because it’s en route to work? Please!

What happened next mad me laugh.

I realised what I was doing. I realised how utterly mad I had become, to be walking along writing a story in my head about a new Tesco store. What really made me gasp was when I started thinking about how I could write about thinking about writing that post…

I stopped.

I actually stopped walking.

I thought, “And then I actually stopped walking along with a suddenness that shocked me through to the core.”

I waved my hand.

I thought, “And then I waved my hand theatrically towards the shiny new store as it shone brightly against the dull stones of the old building it had been inserted into…”

I laughed.

I thought, “The eruption of laughter came deep from within the very depths of my soul as the ridiculousness of the inner narrative gripped my head like a vice.”

And then I thought, “No, the laugh would come from my belly and grip my soul like a vice, not my head. Also I don’t think I thought up enough commas in the waving my hand line.”

AAGGGHHHH - I am going mad!

I’ve become a walking talking story – writing myself as I live and then generally forgetting it all before I make it to my laptop.

I think that is the worst bit – the waste of good material.

While I busy myself writing mental masterpieces, I forget to do the one thing that would actually make being insane worthwhile – which is to write the bloody stuff down.

By the time I sit down to write I’ve forgotten all the good lines I’d worked out, and most of the actual incident to boot. Also I will remember the Tesco idea but forget all about the Celebrities that I saw at Paddington Station, which I’ve just recalled now that I’m sitting at the end of this post. I really must try and remember to write that one up; in my imagination it’s quite a good post (better than one about looking forward to Tesco opening anyway!).

So am I alone in my insanity? Do you all do it too? Are we all mad or was I just not concentrating before I started blogging?

Help me out here…

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Real Bloggers United

Real Bloggers United

Hello I just wanted to have a quick chat about RBU, where I posted yesterday.
For anyone who doesn’t know what RBU is, a small band of us bloggers got together from the Blogcatelog forum (before they made it all weird), because we bored of all the rubbish spamming that went on.

The result was a band of folk who wanted to blog, rather than just sell. I wound up on the editing team when we dreamed up the idea of creating a new blog.

What we do is get members of the group to send in a themed post once a month to showcase themselves to a different bunch of readers.

The blog carries no advertising whatsoever, meaning that the benefits are purely in showing yourself off, and that we don’t make any cash from other writer’s work.

I’m writing this today just so you know that it is absolutely open for any genuine blogger to join, whatever type of blog you have (written, photo, video or other). It does not matter how many adverts you may or may not have on your own site, as long as your prime focus is about creating something special, then the fact that you try and make some cash out of it is irrelevant – I know I’d love to see that fat Google check drop on my mat (dream on).

If you have new or old posts you would like to share with a new audience then maybe give us some thought.

The idea – of course isn’t just that you take.

The idea is that you read, as well as write, in order to give something back. Have a look at the other writers in the group, check out their work too. We have a huge range of styles in our group. Some people are brilliant technical writers – others are writing with English as a 2nd language, some might not be the best writers in the world but their imagination is strong, and they are genuine bloggers – I love that.

The only bit that I don’t like is that I’m supposed to edit these posts when I’m one of those latter ‘genuine blogger’ ones, and barely know what I’m supposed to be looking for!

You never know you might find some you like from genres you wouldn’t normally check out.

What I like is the broad spectrum of people’s take on a theme. How different the posts can be. For instance this month’s theme is Love but having read all the posts already I can tell you that people come at that one theme from so many different angles.

So please, if you get a spare moment, pop over and have another look at RBU, see if you want to read it more, or maybe even join it. I’d love to find your submissions in my inbox in the future.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A letter to the love of my life

Hello, Today I have attempted to write a romantic love letter.
As you know – I’m only marginally romantic – so you will have to decide for yourself if I have succeeded.

The letter is in honour of February’s ‘Love’ theme over at Real Bloggers United.

So please could you pop over by clicking HERE and have a little read of my letter, and if you could leave me a little comment over there I would be most chuffed.

Thanks – Glen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Flowers


If there is one thing I do not do, and I mean really don’t do – it’s Valentine’s!


I can’t stand it.

I hate the idea of being forced to say or do something special just to keep the commercial wheels of our society turning.

It doesn’t mean anything if you are told to do it.

I hate it.

Luckily Jo knows this.

Luckier still, she gets it – or at least she has accepted it.

I have always argued that I am someone who will say to her openly (when no one is listening) that I love her. I argue that I do, sometimes buy her flowers. Occasionally I do take her out. Maybe I don’t do these things all the time, but I do them more than once a year and most importantly of all – I do them because I want to.

Because I mean it.

That’s how it is supposed to be isn’t it?

And so it is that I never usually get Jo anything, or do anything special on Valentine’s Day, and likewise I neither expect nor receive anything back.

This is good.

However…

As part of this understanding I will occasionally (very occasionally) surprise Jo by doing something on the day itself. This is because of my argument. Jo knows that if I actually get her something on February 14th then I truly want her to know that I love her, rather than just fulfilling my expected duty.

I realised this year that it is now almost 9 years since I last bought her something on the day – the necklace that I dragged my butt across London to buy from the independent jewellers near Covent Garden, that Jo had casually mentioned she loved some months earlier. You see now what I am saying – I’m not completely un-romantic.

Also I remembered that although I do, in fact, regularly buy my wife flowers from the local supermarket (2 bunches for £5 – bargain), I haven’t actually dug deep in the wallet for some nice flowers for quite some time too.

This year I dug deep and got some proper florist’s flowers delivered to Jo at School. I knew she would love that.

I got Tulips because I just couldn’t buy Roses – they are just too cheesy, and also because Jo loves Tulips.

Job done.

I sat back and waited – Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Then on Sunday – Jo got ill.

Very ill – I’ll not go into details but decisions had to be made about whether to sit or kneel at the toilet and sometimes it was close. (I should point out that Jo is recovering and should be fine in a day or two).

By this morning she was planted firmly in bed and declared herself going nowhere. Jo was having a day off, the first for a long, long, time – on the one day that I needed her to be there. I told her that maybe she was being a bit hasty. She looked fine to me – maybe she ought to go in? I pointed out to her how upset all the kids in her class would be at her absence. I said the supply teacher would be rubbish and completely undermine all her work this year – NOTHING.

Jo was going nowhere but was even more upset about it than she had previously been. I had to go to work.

I made a couple of calls to School and left for the day.

One of Jo’s friends dropped the flowers round to her tonight. It wasn’t the same.

Apparently they are very nice but as she had to walk all the way to the door to get them, she is now too tired to enjoy them. Also I was making too much noise washing up and it isn’t fair that I got to eat today. Bless her, she really is feeling rough.

Never mind – I’ll try again in 2020.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Your right to reply

I received this email of complaint about my blog today. In the spirit of fairness and openness, I have decided to post it and also my response.


Dear Glen @ Glen’s Life,
I am writing to you to complain about your hurtful post from earlier this week, about ladies with unreasonable amounts of chest hair, as you would no doubt consider it; or fantastically fur-lined females as we prefer to call them.

We at ‘Mingers Anonymous’, find out dated and sexist comments about any of our less photogenic comrades, both abhorrent and difficult to deal with.

I hope you can sleep at night fatty, because I spent all last night on the phone with several distressed ladies, talking them through the process of home waxing. If you had been forced to listen to the screams of pain at two in the morning like I had, I wonder if you would be laughing now.

Perhaps if you weren’t struggling so much to grow hair on your head, you wouldn’t be so cutting and jealous of those of us who can grow it anywhere we damned well please! Have you tried grafting on those hairs sticking out of your nose, or the ones on your back? No I didn’t think so.

My Hirsute sisters and I believe firmly that natural is beautiful, and that one day we will get a man to agree with us. It is only a matter of time and alcohol before your gender’s intolerance to our deeply hidden charms is broken down.

One day you too will accept and enjoy the thrill of rustling your fingers through your partner’s chest hair and pretending they are Burt Reynolds, like I do with my dog.

Oh I know you think you are clever because you usually prefer natural women to plastic skinny ones, and harp on about how personality is everything like you did on your ‘Body Image’ post, but now we see you for who you really are don’t we? One thick patch of dark chest hair on a woman and you run off like a Scooby Doo being chased by a werewolf!

Warts and all you said – how shallow!

We demand a full and sincere apology for your hypocritical slur on womankind’s feminine beauty!


My response:
Yes, fair enough. Good point.

Sorry Mum.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pirates - they just aren't trying


photo from www.unrealitymag.com
Is it only me that feels a little let down by the pirates out in the waters by Somalia? I just don’t think they really get it do you?

Where are the outfits and the parrots?

Where are the West Country accents?

I tell you it is all wrong.

How can these ‘so called’ pirates look at their selves in the mirror? They really ought to be ashamed. I saw them on the news wearing shorts t-shirts and trainers. What is that about? Call themselves pirates? I should think not – they are just a bunch of nasty criminals in my eyes!

If they can’t even be arsed to put a long filthy coat on and hold a hook in their hand, why should we bother taking them seriously?

Many, many years ago I remember having to do pirate watch when I was in the Navy. The first time I had to do it I thought it was a wind up – but no, it wasn’t. I spent a couple of hours with a rifle in my hand looking out for the Skull & Crossbones flapping in the breeze. If I’d known that I was looking for modern speedboats rather than wooden galleons I might have actually got somewhere.

The Navy was pretty paranoid about pirates, this was understandable though, can you imagine the embarrassment if a fully armed Destroyer was hijacked?

The banter in the mess was very predictable, I knew exactly what I wanted to discover as I sat under the star strewn night sky. I wanted to see Graham Chapman’s Yellowbeard, complete with smoking chin. I wanted wooden legs and eye patches. I wanted pirates – was that really too much to ask?

I should point out that I don’t think Keira Knightly was invented 20 years ago, otherwise I might well have been looking out for her too.

I would have been thoroughly disappointed if I had seen a real pirate.

What I really don’t understand is how this has been going on for so long. Piracy is centuries old and yet still rife. I was doing pirate watch 20 years ago, and yet in all that time technology has not found a way to protect shipping. Somehow, something needs to change me hearties, and that’s the truth so it be.

Anyone know how you get parrot poo off from your best breeches?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Were all women created equal?


photo from http://www.bradspictures.com
 Okay – there is a possibility that today’s post may upset some of you – I am sorry for this, but I’m afraid you do have to understand that as much as I may well be an educated man of the modern age, I am also, at the end of the day – a man.


We men, occasionally have our weaknesses.

I’m sorry ladies, but to put it coarsely – our weakness is boobs.

We love boobs.

A lot.

Seriously, it is time to stop the pretence. Boobs are great.

The thing is – and this is important – there is no perfect boob. Right, wrong or indifferent, we do not care! Big, petite, saggy or pert – who cares? Boobs count, no matter what form they take.

This is a fact – deal with it however you wish to deal with it.

We are men. Men like boobs. Women have boobs. Men like women.

Yes, I am vaguely aware that there are probably some exceptions to this rule; I’ve travelled about a bit and read a lot of books, I know what goes on. Some modern men have started to shun boobs and wear pastel coloured trousers but I don’t think it will catch on, so I shall ignore it.

I am, after all, slowly attempting to come towards some sort of point.

I ask you to judge me…

I was on the tube this morning, innocently making my way to work as I do every day, when I happened upon a lady, stood distractingly before me.

Quite mature – to put it diplomatically – Ok no problem with that.

Sturdy – I should work on my diplomacy – Ok still no problems, all is fine so far.

Large breasts – fantastic! Sign me up… so what’s the problem?

The lady was wearing a tight shirt that was very unbuttoned, very. She clearly wanted to display her cleavage and was succeeding. I have no issue with this at all of course but…

There is no easy way to say this…

Her chest was hairier than mine.

Bob Hoskins’ moobs would be smoother to nuzzle into.

This was the distraction.

Now I have never had a big issue with hair on ladies. Seriously I’m not bothered, armpits, legs, upper lips – whatever, stay natural girls, I just don’t care. You can forget visiting Brazil or Hollywood as well, I’m quite happy with deepest darkest 1970’s Peru!

I think, though, I have to admit that a hairy chest might just be pushing me too far. From the moment that my eyes accidentally noticed her bear chest (see what I did there) I was hooked. I desperately tried to look at other things, but she was smack bang in my eye line and however hard I tried, I just couldn’t look away.

Funnily enough I’m not a complete monster. I am aware that it is not technically fair to spend your entire the ride staring at someone’s chest, it just isn’t right. I don’t understand men who blatantly do this, why would you think that is okay? Why do men talk to boobs instead of the woman who owns them? On the other hand I’m not trying to pretend that I don’t ahem notice them. I think that is fair enough in the same way that you can’t blame a woman for noticing the Diet Coke guy’s butt. There is a difference between an innocently unavoidable glance, and blatantly staring.

I was in danger of crossing the line for all the wrong reasons.

I decided to take decisive action and so I got off the train and re-boarded it in the next carriage. It was the only responsible thing to do.

I had to do that because my eyes were beginning to water and my chest was hurting from laugh stifling. I know I’m bad on every level – seeing this written down I can see that. Of course she has every right to be proud of her body – warts and all! I know this. She does not deserve to be mocked for being a tad hirsute, I know this too.

But – but – but – but – but – but …..

She had a really hairy chest!

Come on be honest – am I evil? What would you have done?

• Disclaimer – if you are a girl and have a hairy chest then you might be a bit upset if you read this, so on the whole you probably shouldn’t.



Damn – I don’t think that was a very good disclaimer was it? Maybe I should have put that at the top?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Time is running out

Oh no, it’s February already! What am I going to do? The days are flying past and I’m not ready dammit.


I have so much still left to do – so little time.

The end is coming.

The end of everything that matters to me.

The end of my mid to late thirties!

I have only 26 days left of being young, foolish and sexy. * As Meatloaf pointed out, “two out of three ain’t bad” * That is not enough time – there is so much I’ve failed to achieve with my youth!

Oh it is true what they say about youth being wasted on the young, I’ve thrown it away completely and totally left myself with nothing of value to show for my all too nearly 40 years on this planet.

NOTHING OF VALUE AT ALL!

Just look at this list of my “before I am 40” failures…

I’m not famous

I’m not rich.

I’m not married to Sandra Bullock.

I’m not a successful manager at work (still very much on the coalface and I suspect always will be).

I’m not living on Richard Branson’s Necker.

I never have and now never will convince more than one woman at a time to – er – play.

I’ve never owned and now would look ridiculous in a Ferrari.

I still haven’t actually written a book.

I still haven’t found a convincing looking wig or invented a realistic cure for my disappearing hairline.

I’ve never dyed what’s left of my hair blonde.

I’ve never been ‘bumped up’ to a freebie first class on an aeroplane, even though I always wear a tie when flying, just in case.

I JUST HAVEN’T LIVED!

All I’ve got to show for those wasted years are countless visits to countries all around the world, occasionally jumping into bed with women even drunker than I was. I still live on ancient memories of sky diving and scuba diving and sitting in awe at the whole of the Universe seen from the middle of the non light polluted ocean at night. All I’ve wound up with is a beautiful, intelligent and loving (if occasionally naggy) wife, two amazingly healthy and brilliant children, who form the rest of my barking mad family. I’ve wound up living in a lovely house with a great garden, within a reasonable commute to a decent job where I work with some very long standing friends. Friends who make work life good, and who give me the adult male conversation and relief that makes the mundane sides of family life bearable. I mean yes – on the whole I’ve wound up being happy, but is that really relevant? What is being able to live and spend time with your family compared to dying your hair blonde?

I just can’t believe I’ve left it this late. I need to spend the next 26 days inventing a time machine. I need to go back to my 19 year old self and tell him something important. I need to say this…

“Whatever you do, DO NOT leave Steve’s party in Lincoln early, just so that you can catch the last train home and not shell out for a taxi. Sally and Jane will make some blatantly big hints about the three of you going back to theirs for some fun, which you won’t fully receive into your drunken head straight away – but trust me, they do mean what you will suddenly think they mean when you are sat on the train. I can’t give any guarantees about what will happen if you stay, but I do know that the telephone number you get from her doesn’t work and even if it did, your one and only ever threesome moment will have gone you complete buffoon, so don’t cock it up this time over the price of a taxi!”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

About Lori

I really feel it is time to spend a few paragraphs talking about Lori.


Almost all of the people who come here and read, will already know about Lori on account of me having poached her readers in the first place, maybe a few of you don’t know who she is.

If you already know of her then you will know what I’m talking about and if not then please stay and listen.

This is not going to be the normal, happy-go-lucky-Glen’s-Life post that you may have expected. I make no apology for that.

A while back I guest posted at Lori’s site Random ramblings of a stay at home Mum. I’m sure for her; this was during a different life on a different blog, and in a different reality.

Anyone who read her blog back then will know what a daft, bumbling, funny, chaotic and irreverent fun loving loon she was. She is.

Her world revolved around her family, all of it.

Is she perfect? – Unlikely.

Is she human? – Very much so.

And then her world moved from reality, into nonsense.

Her Husband, who was suffering severely from something - depression, paranoia, mental illness? I’m sure it has many names – spent a couple of minutes telling her how much of a monster she was before hanging himself, right in front of her.

Can you even start to imagine how that would turn every single atom of your world inside out?

I know nothing concrete about Lori, other than what she writes about herself so I cannot say truly what she might be like, but nobody deserves that. In reality this does not happen. This is not reality – but it is real. No matter what faults Lori may or may not have, it is clear to anyone that her Husband’s actions were not based on a logical response to Lori’s personality. It was based on his illness, and nothing more.

Tony’s suicide has left Lori alone to look after her two children, when clearly right now she cannot even look after herself. Her writing has changed completely, perhaps forever, but that is because she has changed completely, forever.

Her words are raw and powerful, emotional and angry, confused and so very lost.

Lori is crying out.

Some people ask how or why she is doing this – writing it all down in the explicit way in which she is doing. I for one am certain that I would not do that. I think I would simply cut myself off. What the people asking those questions and myself when I made that previous statement are forgetting, is that we have the choice. We are living in the real world, with normal lives. Oh people have heartache and loss to deal with, some people have unreal problems to deal with of their own, but still we are living in this world, and can make choices accordingly.

Lori’s choice has been very much taken away from her. Whatever the reason, whatever the medical explanation, Lori needs to say it. She needs people to hear it. Every single irrational thought that goes through her head has to be said. The place where she can say it is her blog.

Members of the blogging community have been amazing and have really rallied around her to help her through this and that has really shown me the true sprit of human nature. I can’t claim to have done so much, but I have one thing that I can do to help, which is to listen.

Listening to these words is not always easy as Lori’s head skips from one thought to the next and then back again contradicting herself endlessly. However if this is what I can do then I’ll do it because those thoughts are everything that Lori truly is right now. Fully open and uncontrollably exposed in a way that I hope I will never be. She is asking for people to listen and then to comment. I have no doubt she devours every single comment. There are bloggers (like me) who solicit comments for our own dreams of being important. Lori is not doing that. Lori needs comments.

Please, spare her a few minutes and listen. It might not be nice, but it might just help someone who desperately needs it.

Lori – you are a remarkable woman enduring an unrealistic reality. However cranky you may have been to live with, however imperfect, you did not cause this, to look for blame is to look for logical explanations that will never be found. There is no blame – only hurt. You may never be the same again, but keep writing it down and letting it out, because one day you will get over this. Your kids will get their Mum back. Hang in there mate.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The shocking truth

This may well shock you.


You may need to sit down.

I have something quite worrying to admit to you, and it may well alter any opinion of me that you have of me.

It might just scare you a little.

But please – stay calm. Don’t be setting up any of those pay pal appeals for me or plaster the Internet with links to my site to show your concern. It might sound bad. It might sound awful.

But really, I’m going to be fine. I can get through this.

However, there is a truth I need to share with you.

A side of me that up until now I have never properly revealed. Oh I’ve joked about it; I’ve discussed it in a non committal way a few times. I’ve mocked it. I’ve never truly been able to admit it though.

Today I will.

Today I can say something that I’ve never said before, and never thought that I would.

I’m shaking as I type – I almost think I would find it easier to ‘come out’ to my Dad than admit this to you lot!

Okay – I’m ready.

My name is Glen, I’m 39 and although it is now comfortably February – I am still going to the gym!

There I said it.

Not only that but… I think I actually like it.

Did I just say that?

I think I do – I think I quite enjoy going! I think I quite enjoy how much different I’m already feeling, I think I like the confidence that I’m starting to get on the machines. It is possible that I’m currently on Alpha Centauri and an Alien is hiding in my body – it seems more likely than the truth that I otherwise have to face.

It makes me feel sick to say it – but it is just possible that I like exercising. Hopefully it is just a phase.

Oh my God – I haven’t had a Dominos in 2011- AND THIS DOES NOT BOTHER ME! (Prezzo doesn’t count) What kind of mixed up, sick world am I living in?

I started going to the gym upon returning to work in January, just like everyone else, and I was happy with this. I knew that I would go there for two or three weeks, and that would be me done for the year. I’m always confident that two weeks working out a year is more than enough to maintain my buff physique. Something has gone wrong.

I forgot to stop.

Now I’m in my 2nd month – ON THE TROT! At least three days a week – often more!

If that isn’t bad enough I have to report some very worrying side effects. Really, this is troubling.

While I’ve been doing all this foolish running about – I’ve been wasting my calories. Oh I know it’s my own fault – I’ve been stupid, I should have paid more attention. Somehow, somewhere, I appear to have lost one whole Stone – that’s 14Lbs, or just over 6 Kilos depending on how you look at it! I can’t believe I’ve been so careless!

I just hope I can plug the leak – and fast, otherwise I’m going to wind up needing to buy new trousers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The fire of London and Prezzo

This weekend I was left alone with my 9 year old as my wife took Jamie, our 6 year old, to London for a treat. The treat was to go and have a look in the London museum, mainly at the Fire of London exhibition and then on to Monument & Pudding Lane. It is funny how Jo thinks of treats like this just as ‘The Fire Of London’ becomes their topic at school, it really is a remarkable coincidence.

Jo took Daniel on a similar trip when he was a similar age, and had promised to do the same for Jamie. The photo above is of Jamie, stood proudly displaying his certificate to say that he had climbed the 311 steps of Monument successfully.

For those of you who didn’t learn about the Fire of London when you were at School, here is the shortened version.

The year was 1666, London was a bit different to how it is today. There was a big fire – really big. The fire may or may not have started in a bakery on Pudding Lane (depending on which historian you ask), and went on to raise a huge portion of London to the ground. There was a bit of a fuss about it. London was completely re planned and a monument, called The Monument, was erected to remind everyone to be careful when baking bread.

Has everyone caught up? Yes, you at the back, I’m talking to you! What is that in your mouth?

Anyway…

Mother and child had a fantastic day – huge smiles all round and Jamie can’t wait to go and tell his teacher all about it, who probably can’t wait to hear all about the bookmark he bought in the gift shop, and the chips he had for lunch (at least that’s what he has told me about).

Meanwhile, I was with his Brother and we had a nice day too.

We went to the cinema to watch The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; the Disney movie with Nicholas Cage. It came out last year I think, but it was on the special kid’s club deal at Cineworld, so it only cost £2 for both of us to go and see it. That is a bargain so off we went. Daniel loved the film, I thought it was okay, though I did love the Fantasia homage, even if it did go right over Daniel’s head.

After the film, we popped into Prezzo to order the cheapest pizzas on the menu for lunch. This was a complete bribe. We had to go and do the week’s grocery shop next, the day’s treats were over. We were having Prezzo on the complete understanding that he made no fuss in Sainsburys.

This form of bribery may sound extreme, but any parent who has had to drag ‘lively’ children around a supermarket will understand why it was worth a shot.

It reminded me of going to do the shop with my Mum at Asda. You put up with it because at the end Mum would buy you a Coke from the vending machine. The Coke would be in a paper cup – and it came with ice! That was a real treat. A vending machine Coke with ice! That was all it took. It occurred to me that the cost of the bribe had gone up a bit. At this rate Daniel will be spending more money on the bribes for his kids, than the shop itself.

Any way the shop went fine – as good as you can hope for anyway.

The bribe worked.

I can’t say Jo was too impressed though, aparently a bag of Skittles works just as well usually! Who knew?