Month: March 2011

On happiness

It’s a funny thing. Happiness.

Sometimes it sneaks up on you, and it takes a while for you to realise that, fundamentally, something has shifted and you are happy.

Sometimes it whacks you round the head and leaves you delirious, breathless and giddy. It washes over you and leaves you on a euphoric high.

And sometimes happiness is a subtle emotion, quietly whispering in your ear, soothing and caring for you as night descends.

There will still be moments of ggrrrrrrrr and incidents of meh, but they quickly fade and you are left with the realisation that life is good and can only get better in a ‘more you put in, more you get out’ sort of way.

Here endeth the lesson observation.

The Mothership has landed*

Mum is home!

Look, here she is as she walked through the front door!

Mum is home

Thank you to everyone for their kind messages of support here, and on Facebook which I’ve been using a lot more to keep people, family members in particular, around the world up to date. It’s been so handy even my Dad has signed up! (prompting a mad changing of my permissions… 😉 ).

There is still a journey ahead, Mum will be working hard on her physio to get full movement back in her hand, arm and leg, but the fact she can sleep in her own bed (or her own sofa) will make a HUGE difference. Case in point, after being home for an hour she sat quietly for a second then said, “just listen to that silence”, and promptly fell asleep.

Elsewhere, life continues apace. I’ve been to the gym for only the third time this year, have tickets for a few comedy gigs in the coming fortnight, not to mention the Faithless gig (tickets purchased before I realised it was their final tour).

I’m also considering cycling from Glasgow to Edinburgh (51 miles) in September (for charidee, mate).

I guess I need to buy a bike…

* Title stolen shamelessly from the wonderful, talented, funny Shauna of What’s New Pussycat.

Happy New Year (almost)

It’s snowing. Again. It’s the middle of March and I’m getting really bored of this weather.

That said, as ever, there are worse things that could be happening. Given the recent events in New Zealand and Japan it does feel somewhat churlish to complain about some snow.

That said, life continues. Mum is doing really well, and has definitely entered the final stages which will result in her getting home. She can stand, walk with a cane, and the movement in her right arm is slowly coming back. She’s getting stronger and stronger (you can hear that in her speech) and is her usually, bubbly, giggly, cheeky self for the most part. The house has had extra handrails installed and tomorrow she will be visiting the house, alongwith the Physio and Occupational Therapist, to see how she gets on.

My own little flat is getting there as well. Just waiting on my new sofa to be delivered and it’ll be as complete as it can get (it’s rented). Alas my car is a different story…

About 5 weeks ago (7th of February) I drove through a puddle that was deeper than I expected and managed to flood the engine. It was a stupid thing to do, and entirely avoidable if I’d been paying full attention. But I wasn’t.

So the car got towed off to the repairs garage my insurance firm use. After a couple of weeks with no updates I phoned them and was told that the garage had been ordered to strip the engine to check for damage and they were waiting on the results of their investigation. A further week passes and I end up speaking direct to the garage who, apparently, didn’t receive the instruction to strip the engine until about 8 days after the ‘incident’. He said that they’d stripped the engine and recommended a replacment engine be ordered.

A further week passes and, again when I phone them, the insurance company tell me that they’ve ordered the engine to be further stripped down so they can see if the water made it all the way to the sump. The findings of that were passed back to the insurance company on Friday last week. I am awaiting a final decision today.

Nicely, the terms of my insurance state that I get a courtesy car. For two weeks.

So I’ll take a moment to thank my mate Stuart who kindly offered me the run of his car for a couple of weeks as he was on holiday in Australia (and hadn’t been able to drive it as he broke his arm), and to my mate Ian who has now kindly let me use his car for the next few weeks (he’s got a hire car from his company for the next few months). It’s been a weird few weeks of driving, from my car, to a base model Toyota Aygo (courtesy car) to Stuart’s car (Mini Cooper S convertible) to Ian’s car (Jaguar XJ6). I’d really really like my own car back though (Ford Fiesta batmobile).

Mind you, there was a period where I thought my car might be written off and, as it’s less than a year old, it would actually find me ‘up’ in monetary terms. I had a nice wee second hand Audi TT all picked out too… oh well.

So, all in all, the next few weeks should see the ‘beginning’ of this year. My Mum will be home, my car returned, my sofa delivered and a raft of gigs (music and comedy) are lined up, oh yeah, and I’ll be getting divorced (amicably).

Maybe THEN, 2011 will start to behave and be the year I was expecting it to be!

New Ink

Looking around for ideas for a new tattoo, I was struck with, given my personal circumstances, that 2011 would be a ‘new’ year, a year of change, growth, reinvention and all that deep thoughtful stuff I’m prone to spend a little too long pondering. Then I spotted this tattoo, which I really liked for the simplicity and because it’s a little bit different.

Off I popped to Custom Inc, where I showed Ema the photo, and asked for something similarly but maybe in a Japanese brushstroke style, something a bit softer and more organic feeling.

The design she came up with I accepted without change.

It’s bloody lovely, and some very fine work. As I said to her when it was finished, “it’s awesome!”

But what does it all mean? Well it’s part Ouroboros which “often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end”, part Yggdrasil which in Norse mythology is the “world tree” and can be said to represent as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the earth, and, through its roots, the underground, and finally, and this is the part of the design that Ema came up with, the geometric shapes echo the Flower of Life (sacred geometry) which is a visual expression of the connections life weaves through all sentient beings.

And to me it means all that and more. Plus, it’s fuckin gorgeous.

So that was London

Home, fighting off a cold, thinking back over the past few days. London is always interesting, a hustling, bustling, somewhat odd place.

I spent Thursday wandering around with my mate, eating a huge, delicious salt beef sandwich for lunch, chatting about life, love, and more. We, as usual, set the world to rights, and caught up on everything that’s happened over the past few months.

And then we watched a burlesque show. If you ever manage to get to one of The Rebel Rebels shows, do it. Sexy, funny, I had a great night. Chatted to some fun people, including one woman (who was part of the show, along with her ukelele) who once was made a cup of tea by Guy Garvey!

Friday found me out and about on my own. I had no real plan in mind so wandered, both physically and mentally. Pondering photographs, considering the coming year, determined that it will be a good one. It was relaxing to have no real aim for the day, other than getting to the pub to meet a weird bunch of people who have things called “blogs” or use something called “Twitter”.

I don’t know either.

London remains an interesting place that is fun to visit but I just don’t think I could live there, or even work there. Just too many people. I like my wide open spaces (I spent most of Friday morning wandering Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park). The upside of London is the vibrant cultures, giving a wonderful mix of references, sights and smells.

Thanks to everyone, all 14 of you, who turned up at the pub on Friday night, some I hadn’t met before, all of which I’d happily share a beer or … 8 with again!