Category: Life

For the stuff about my life


13 years ago

The memory of my grandfathers death occasionally pervades my dreams. I hardly knew him. I knew an old man in a wheelchair after 4 strokes. Not the laughing centre of attention he was. I remember watching people stand at the side of the road looking at the funeral procession. I remember thinking they had no right to stand and stare. I remember only the final music. It still makes me cry. I still wish I had better memories of him.

I know why he appeared in my dream last night. The topic of smoking always brings it back. A broken man, unable to speak, angrily making noises and banging on the table, frustrated at his diminishing abilities. A child sitting across from him, fearing to look up. My grandmother rushing round to help him drink his cup of tea. When I do look up, I catch his eye, he looks pleadingly at me. At the time I never understood what he was trying to communicate. Now I think he was apologising. He knew what had happened to him. He knew he was upsetting and scaring me and I think that broke his heart.

That’s the legacy of smoking I live with.


I wonder. I imagine. I replay scenario’s and moments, trying to re-engineer past events. How many things would YOU do differently?

Am I the joker in the pack? The philosopher? The quiet self-assured one? Or do I strive to be all three and more? What are people’s perceptions of me and why do they matter?

I don’t know what people think. I won’t try and predict, for my own thoughts and emotions will sway the issue to something different. A martyr? Hardly, though it may be something I unconsicously strive for, always missing the correct step, realising too late that the path is leading the wrong way.

Maybe it is my own selfishness, or my innate inability to judge a persona, to gauge a personality, or capture a character, that portrays me in my own light, fumbling, confident but unassured, funny but never centre-stage. Acceptance of the perception is at the bottom of my list. Perception is a highly personal concept, each aura, karma, and vibe pushing out signals. The signals being met by differing detection and understanding.

These moments always follow the calm. There is no storm, only turmoil. A small mountain, out of a huge molehill.

My perception twists and turns, stretching the truth into misbelief, nurturing thoughts and dreams, occasionally passing these to a purpose. There comes the driven one. His mind focussed. His eyes set. Determined. Confident. Then twisting influences pulling at me, altering the horizon, pulling it further and higher.

Again I find the path I’ve chosen blocked, not by obstacle, but by direction, turning back on itself again, and again, and again. Returning me to the beginning.

And so I start to wonder. To imagine. Replaying scenario’s and moments, trying to re-engineer past events. I would do everything differently.


I have come to accept that, by nature, I am pessimistic. I’m definitely a “glass half full” kinda guy. This does tend to make me more cautious and careful about a lot of things, as I can see the downside far easier than the up. Obviously in some places this is a benefit, but increasingly I am becoming frustrated with my own pessimism.

I’m pretty sure, although it’s not the kind of thing you ask people nor the kind of thing people will volunteer, that I’m viewed as selfish (which is true) and usually on a bit of downer (or constantly negative) and I wouldn’t imagine I’m cultivating the image of being ‘upbeat’ and ‘positive’.
I want to be positive.

Two questions:
1. Why do I want this?
2. Why do I need this?

I want this because I don’t like this side of my character and want to change it. I’m not drastically upset or anything, it’s more a constant niggle, like a tiny piece of grit in the sole of your shoe – a good metaphor as it is likely they both feel bigger until you examine them and you find a lot of it was imagination and perception. It’s one of those things that, looking back on a situation, you find yourself thinking “Damn I wish I’d said…”. Funny how those situations seem to be ‘major’ ones, either professionally or personally.

I want this because it will benefit me in the long run. It should give me a more balanced character, I think, although it will no doubt highlight another area I am lacking in, such is life.

I need this because I constantly strive to improve myself. It’s just something I do. Find an area of weakness or an area that is lacking and try and improve it.

I am aware that no human being is perfect, and I am aware that there is a place for pessimism. However I believe that pessimism needs a healthy dose of positivity to counter it, and I think the balance is wrong.

Maybe it’s just a temporary thing, affected by other circumstances in my life at the moment. Maybe I need to resign myself to who I am? Is that the way to be happy? Be happy with yourself? Maybe I should look to that as a personal goal?

How do you attain this inner peace, this confidence that, whilst you are aware of your flaws, you are happy to acknowledge them and move on. Am I striving for unobtainable goals? I have acknowledged a large variety of personal flaws here in this website. Once acknowledged, what is the first step? Take, for example, my laziness. I will happily “put off today what can be done tomorrow”. Yet somedays I manage to kick myself into action. I get annoyed about my laziness and start some DIY job, or paperwork, or whatever is outstanding. Very soon I get bored and frustrated that this task is taking up my valuable time – valuable as in, sitting watching telly, surfing the web or some other self motivated activity.

So if I am aware that I am lazy, and if I frequently know that I really should be doing something (and depending on my mood actually getting up and doing it) can I do the same for the pessimistic side of my nature? There is no reason why I can’t. I’ve managed to build in a ‘pause’ in other areas in my life, so I should be able to do the same here. [Stop. Think. Is what I am about to say positive or constructively pessimistic?] Easy really.

So I will try this, and other ways of changing my persona. As usual there are too many ‘maybes’, too many questions outstanding, but another aspect of my nature is to try. You think I’d learn wouldn’t you.

Ocean's 11

Ocean’s 11 was very good – funny, clever, entertaining. All the cast members performed well without trying to outshine each other, which was very refreshing. Thoroughly recommended bit of light entertainment. It also prompted a discussion about who the female was in the original (my gut said Angie Dickinson – but was I right?). And of course I’ll be buying the soundtrack v.soon, loads of smooth jazzy numbers on there.. nice.

In other good news – finally purchased Groundhog Day on DVD. My video is wearing thin, as it’s one of those safe moves we watch over and over again. Also new to the collection: Highlander, Arlington Road (never seen it though) and Copycat (was recommended to us by my brother-in-law, I’d missed it at the cinema, and have to say it is a very good thriller – why didn’t it do better at the box office?)


Röyskopp : Melody a.m. is currently playing away in the background, ambient grooves, laidback electronica, yummy stuff. Don’t believe me? It was voted album of the month/week in the following publications: DJ, Muzik, Mixmag, The Face, Gay Times, Ministry, Sleaze Nation, Big Issue and 7 Magazine. None of which I read, which is probably why it took me so long to catch on (heard it first in local FOPP store – “A Higher Place” did it for me). Others like it too.

Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc. was excellent. We caught a ‘making of’ documentary this morning, and Louise remembered that our local cinema was showing previews this weekend. So we caught a mid-day showing and well worth it too! As ever the animation is astounding, but you soon forget about it as the story is equally good. Again Pixar have done the business, and again it is packed with little references and in-jokes.

Watched Pop Idol last night, we seem to be getting caught up in it, Louise especially was getting really wound up when she couldn’t get through to vote. Thankfully Darius is out (at last).

Vanilla Rugby

Vanlla Sky Soundtrack – Probably the best part of the film. Which we paid money to see on Friday. Actually that’s not very fair, the story was good, slightly quirky, but way out of Mr.Cruise’s league. With the right actor in the main role this film would have grabbed you and pulled you in, as it was you didn’t ever feel involved enough with the main character to care about what was happening to him. I would also credit the director, and cinematographer, well thought and and shot movie, a few clever little bits early on that don’t become apparent until later on. The music was still the best bit – especially the hypnotic Radiohead track, which I’ve currently got playing the background.

Ohhh and don’t talk to me about the rugby. I’m taking what consolation I can in the fact that England are currently rated 1 or 2 in the world. Scant consolation, but it’s something I s’pos. Pah…


Bush warns on terror – I remember various pundits commenting on the ‘gung-ho’ style of President Bush, and that how it sometimes seemed he was always itching for a fight. Has he just proven them right?


So – nice weekend. Dinner at brother-in-laws (gorgeous roquefort and leek tart followed by perfectly cooked fillet steak), some shopping at IKEA (new store in Glasgow), and we watched America’s Sweethearts at the cinema. Film was OK but it was just good to be out of the house. Still not fully over my cold/fluey thing and I missed a party on Saturday cos of it.

Still this week has:

1. NBA live on BBC (Knicks vs Wizards – Jordan is back!)
2. Soprano’s series three on Channel Four.
3. WPC DD’s passing out parade on Thursday, followed by several drinks in the pub.
4. Halloween party on Wednesday – fancy dress ALL day!
5. Early bonfire night BBQ on Saturday.

Sheesh! I’ll be knackered – can’t wait!!