Craving

I like a bit of Sourdough. Quite fond of a Baguette. Quite fond of bread full stop really.

But I’ve had a massive craving for a plain, white, sliced loaf lately. Must be a nostalgia thing. Or the male menopause, who knows. I’ve just had two rounds of hot toast with proper butter on them. Bit bloody blissful that.

It’s also good to remember when you’re trying to get back into the habit of writing…that each and every post does not have to be witty and/or insightful.

Could just be about how bloody good hot buttered toast is.

Work and changes

I took a job at a medium sized company. Not a Global player. Not publicly listed. They can be quite interesting places. You can get a lot more done, quite quickly. I took a pay cut compared to the past as it was, in my mind, only for a short time while I figured things out.

The other thing about medium sized companies is they can have some quite insane people work in them. By work in them I mean lead them. And so it was with this one. It took me less than three days to think “Mistakes, have been made”. But the teams were very young and had a lot of potential. I liked them. I’m an old hand at dealing with madness and difficult people, I’m also very good at what I do so I decided to hang around.

Leadership has gone, more arrived, only to go as well and now we are part of a very large Global company. They gave me a small amount of money as a bonus if I stayed for x amount of time. That time passed in December.

When people ask me what I do in the pub, I say I’m the one with common sense. The one to say “Sounds good, but have you thought about x and y” or “We can’t because of a so we need to look at b”.

I honestly sometimes think it’s a sham of a career because surely everybody should be thinking things like this. But they don’t so I have a job.

My current boss is old skool in more ways than one. A bit of a political charmer but not so up to speed on anything technical or modern. That’s fine if you take advice. My mantra is to employ people who are specialists in things I know only a bit about, and to listen to them. There’s also a lot of change going on and sometimes you have to move quickly. People don’t like change, so when you need to do it – do it quick and show the benefits. I find that people can cope with change when they see progress.

One of the big things we are changing is heading towards being a year delayed. Not good.

Boss also likes long meetings – VERY long meetings that don’t really go anywhere or achieve anything. As others are leaving the organisation they are being replaced with very young and inexperienced people. Which is great if you’re focusing on development…but it feels more like they have the stamina to sit in very long meetings and say “Yes. Wonderful idea” at the end of them.

There are not a lot of wonderful ideas.

Back at Christmas I was working. I needed to give teams a break so I said I’d look after things. I did a lot of thinking around that time as well. I’m getting better at knowing what’s good for me in life. So I decided to make a change. If I really thought I was good at what I did – and sometimes I don’t because we all have a bit of imposter syndrome – then I wouldn’t have an issue with getting another job. Of course the absolute nonsense going on in this Country at the moment might make that a little bit more difficult. But sometimes you need to have faith in yourself.

So I told Boss that the reorganisation meeting we were planning needed to happen, but it also needed to take into account that I wasn’t going to be here beyond the Summer. I was leaving.

I don’t think it’s sunk in for Boss yet. I haven’t handed in my notice as I’ve given him extra unofficial time to work things out. We met for the meeting – lots of conversation, absolutely no solutions.

It’s a shame really. But I’m not going to work 12-14 hours a day to keep things together. Somebody else will pay me more money to do that. Or the same money and I get a bit of my life back.

I’m secretly looking forward to handing my notice in. There will be ructions (great word) when word get’s out.

Its it scary? Well yeah obviously. But I keep thinking about it, and it feels good and right. I have a plan, I have time.

And time will tell.

I sometimes wish my younger self had the wherewithal to think and plan like this.

But I’m not sure life would have been as interesting 🙂

Special

Had to clean my ears a little bit this evening. Which is always a little dramatic. Why? Well because I have this strange thing to do with Arnold’s Nerve (part of the Vagus nerve) in my ears, so if I try and clean them then I have an absolute coughing fit. Apparently less than 2% of the population have it. Less than 0.6% in both ears.

I have it in both ears…brill

Coupled with the fact that I have B- blood as well. Again less than 2% of the population.

Man, I’m special.

I keep telling Herself that…but I have a feeling she’s taking it in an entirely different context ?

Sod.

I’m getting better at remembering life is good

A while ago, in another country, I thought I was a bit mad. That I was on the spectrum or something. I was convinced of it. It’s only when you get through something – when you get out the other side, that you can look back more clearly.

I wasn’t mad. I was just really, really very depressed.

If anybody had suggested I was depressed I would have said ‘Nonsense’. I’ve read about it, it’s an awful thing. It’s clinical. I couldn’t be depressed. But looking back I was in a situation I was trying to keep together. That deep down I knew wasn’t good for me. But I didn’t want to make the change that, again, deep down I needed to make. I tried my best and it wasn’t working. I was lost. Years passed.

When I made the change. I felt twelve tonnes lighter. Not at first obviously. But gradually and quickly. It was like the sun had come out. Don’t get me wrong. It was bloody scary for many, many reasons. At one point my savings were getting very, very low and anyone is only a few bad decisions or turns of bad luck from being homeless and on the street. I’m not a young man anymore either. That reduces options. But I felt lighter, more positive and energised for the first time in a long time.

Roll on a few more years and I’m in a good place. Better off than a lot of people as I haven’t had debt for many years. I hate debt as it traps you. Credit agencies love it though so I’ve learned over the past couple of years to carefully manage a credit card. Just so I can get a phone contract – madness. But what money I have is mine and I’m not too extravagant. So in a very short time, with hard work and a bit of luck I’m back in the same(ish) position I was in that other country – but with a much healthy life.

I feel lucky.

I try and help others as well.

We have a friend who is not happy with work or her lot in life. Herself tells me about the chats they’ve had and I recognised things. Lack of sleep, being down on everything, not wanting to go out…lots of things. I told Herself to invite our friend round. That we’d help her go through her CV. Give advice etc.

It’s amazing how you could see the clouds lift from her as the evening went on. That there were possibilities and options. Not everybody has the strength or can get the distance from their issues to do something about it.

When work is getting on top of Herself I try and gently remind her of the good aspects. She said the other day it actually helped her a lot – to remember context. Everybody has a bad day. I always try and remember the good parts. We’ve gone to a very relaxing place in Crete for the past couple of years. I’ve seen nothing of Crete. I sit by the pool, read books and relax. While I’m there I do that awful sounding thing of ‘Living in the moment’. I remember bad times, and remind myself that I’m beyond them, that this is lovely, and to remember it and appreciate it.

I use those memories throughout the year.

But to be honest it’s the same if I’m sitting in our garden on a Summers day. I appreciate it. There and then. I don’t think about anything annoying going on in life. Don’t dwell on problems. Just enjoy those little golden moments.

I’m also going to try and remember to change things that could make me unhappy before they become ‘massive things’. To try and have a plan and to act on it.

So I’m making a change…I’ll write about that next time.

Old

I’ve never felt old. Tired for sure. Not that good tired where you’ve grafted in the garden all day and have aching muscles and a sense of accomplishment. But just the bad kind of tired caused by the grind of life nowadays.

And caused by people. People can be feckin stupid and draining.

But I have never felt old. I still laugh at the stupidest things and go through life thinking I’ll be found out at some stage. But then you get to an age where you realise most people are like that. I think. I’ve also been lucky with my health. Never had any issues and can still go for a run.

Admittedly the hangovers are a bit of a struggle nowadays. Not like in your early twenties when you can just get on with it.

I forget how old I am. Seriously. Herself dies laughing when I accidentally add a couple of years or subtract one or two. I don’t do it because I want to be younger. Experience is a bloody brilliant thing to have and that only comes with age. I just never felt my age. So I sort of forget it. It’s not important until you fill out a form or something anyway. And it doesn’t seem THAT long ago to me, but it is.

I got some swanky new specs. I use those online sites now as I can’t stand going to the opticians. I’ve always had terrible eyesight, but I don’t trust opticians to get it right. So ordering specs from a prescription is amazing. Until they stop me saying it’s a new(wish) prescription when it’s a few years old, which will spoil all the fun and convenience.

I selected the ‘Computer’ option with Herself at my shoulder saying I should select distance. My response was “Well they don’t have a ‘Just to generally feckin see’ option so I’ll chose Computer…I’m on them all day.”

Specs came, I like them and WOW, I can actually see my laptop again. Super happy. Until I looked up and, bollox, everything else at a distance is blurry.

“Well that’s shite”, says me “Why can’t I get a prescription so I can see at a distance AND at the Computer”

“You can…” says Herself…just leaving it hanging until my brain caught up.

“Wha? So how…that would mean…vari…”

“Varifocals yes”

“Can’t, I’m not old”

“You want to be able to see?”

“I’ve seen enough of the World at distance, a lot of it is shite, I’ll be grand”

“Oh you really are young, mentally”

“Point taken”

So you can’t stop the march of time. And you can’t just forget about it either. So I’ll order some varifocals.

I still don’t feel old.

Vices

I liked smoking. It was a soporific thing for me (love that word). Obviously it was horribly unhealthy, but I still enjoyed it. At the most I could get through thirty or forty a day. That’s not great. Early death etc. But I’d rather have a few vices in life and live it to it’s fullest than live on cabbage leaves and water for a very long time.

That would be entirely boring.

I gave up because I had an urge to run a marathon. London. Bastards didn’t let me in but that’s by the by. Very competitive to win a place. BUT, as I was planning for it I thought to Myself ‘Now, you may be stubborn but even your levels of stubbornness can’t get you through a marathon on thirty a day” Science isn’t it?

So I quit.

When you quit smoking two to three weeks into quitting you get sick. Very sick. Horrible cold and cough. It goes eventually but you feel like death for a bit. Do I feel better for quitting smoking? Well I don’t feel as awful in the morning, and my mouth doesn’t taste like a forgotten bin. But I don’t feel like Superman. Saying that, had I kept smoking I might feel really shit by now. Who knows?

What’s the point? Well Herself and Myself have really cut down on alcohol lately. Not exactly a conscious thing but we’d got back into exercise and Science dictates if you drink a bottle of wine or two the night before…a run is going to be feckin painful.

Science can be a bit of a bastard,

It’s been about a month (nearly) with the drastically reduced alcohol. And we both feel a bit lethargic. No pizazz. Now I need to figure out if it’s the same thing as quitting smoking. You’re going to feel a bit crap and then it evens out. Of course it could also be the massive workloads we’re both under. Life is not boring. But you have to rule things out.

It’s science.

Smoke and maybe fire

I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve had a cigarette. Years. It’s probably good that I can’t remember, because if I’m still counting the days then it goes that I’m still thinking about it. And I don’t want to think about it.

I still have my pipe and cigars but they have been relegated to a rare treat.

Vaping is what got me off the cigarettes, I can’t give that up. I’m not a Saint…much more of a bon vivuer – with a massive nicotine addiction.

Vaping is (by anybody’s standard) better for you than smoking. Not good for you, just better. So I got into a bit of a grump recently seeing headlines about people dying from vaping and maybe it’s dangerous and MAYBE we should ban it.

News in general is shite right now. It’s quite awful that people in the US and India have been dying. But it’s important to look at the common factors. That’s vaping yeah? Well yes, but more pointedly that they were all vaping cannabis derived oils and vitamin oils. Something that is very unregulated and, I can’t stress this enough, REALLY BLOODY BAD FOR YOU.

But all you see on the news is that vaping kills people. I shouldn’t be surprised as facts died a long time ago. God forbid anyone do any research. I’m not linking to the stories as links = attention = advertising money and I don’t want to encourage this kind of nonsense,

Also probably quite a shame for Governments that they can’t tax vaping products.

Can’t be anything to do with the hysteria though…

Life is a bit full

I was walking home from the train station the other evening and thought ‘I should write something, it feels like years since I did’. Then I composed a rather good blog post in my head before I get home.

Scroll forward some days or weeks and I really should have written it down.

I’m trialling Marsedit (now the brings back some memories) as it might be easier to just compose a few drafts and to see where I go from there. I have tried on my phone, but I’m getting older and refusing to accept I might need to get varifocals so can only use my phone for editing if it’s an inch from my nose, or at arms length. Neither of those are very comfortable.

Quick update time!

I’m getting married. I’ve never tried that before, nor had the full desire to. That’ll need it’s own post.

I’m back at a Senior Corporate Level, despite trying very hard not to be. Things float eh?

I’ve learned a lot about myself these past few years, and it’s all good

The World really seems to have turned into a stinking rubbish fire – but there are still good people in it.

That feels like some good prompts to write later. Sometimes I feel I would have liked to have a look through the things I’ve deleted – but I’d probably wish I could write that prolifically again.

Goodbye Social Media

When I stopped smoking one of the things I noticed was just how much time I had. Nothing wastes a bit of time just sitting and having a smoke.

I’ve started to feel the same way about Social Media. I deleted my Facebook account nearly a year ago – have not missed it. But I have also been spending too much time on Twitter.

Now I think your Twitter experience is very dependent on who you follow. Well, if you’re a man that is. If you’re a woman itt seems to be a constant garbage fire.

I follow Historians and authors and do come across some interesting things. But even then the amount of drivel and noise is incredible. And it’s a constant source of information. One or two hours can just fly by.

I want my time back.

So I deleted the Twitter app from my phone. I’m guaranteed to get three hours a day back. That’s an incredible amount of time. Now I need to put it to use.

Sigh, Luddites

Herself, does not like Technology. At all.

If she has to use it (like most people not living in a log cabin) then it should just work and cause no problems. Her work mobile phone broke this morning. Refused to charge, the bugger.

Reader, it was the end of the World.

So as she’s travelling on business tomorrow, work dispatched her another phone and this is where I came into things – because I’m obviously there to set it up. Anybody who has any technical skills understands this – you are the free family tech support unit.

“Okay, don’t touch it, I’ll set it up later” (because I’m kind)

[time passes]

“What’s the WiFi password?”

“I told you to leave it and not touch it, I’d set it up…”

“I did”

“Um, so why do you need the WiFi password?”

“Because the new phone is asking for it”

[Proverbially rubs temples] “That REALLY sounds like you’ve touched the phone though…”

“I just turned it on….”

“…”

“…”

“I’ll wait for you”

“THAT WOULD BE BEST”