When sleep won’t come

It’s 6am and I am wide awake.

This is in itself fairly unusual for a day off. Normally my eyelids wouldn’t even part til gone nine. Sometimes even ten. However this morning I feel events outside my control have all conspired one after another to keep me in the land of no sleep.

Firstly, my partner who is now off on her way to work, had a fretful nights sleep herself. She would awake every hour worried about why she wasn’t asleep and how many hours were left until she had to get up. This is an awful situation is it not? You have a twelve hour shift ahead of you, you absolutely need to sleep. Yet because you know how important that sleep is, it won’t come.

To alleviate her worries she pokes me in the back every so often. Why? For the love of God why? I’m asleep! Why wake me up just to tell me you can’t sleep yourself?

‘What’s that my love? You can’t sleep? Well, hang on one moment. I’ve got some magic dust here somewhere.’

The alarm finally goes off. I wake up too and see her looking down at me, a concerned expression on her face. I feel as though my eyes are bleeding they are that sore and bloodshot. ‘Oh, did you not sleep well either?’ She asks. Grit teeth and smile.

So, she’s up and getting dressed now. I should be able to just roll over and sleep right? Wrong. Now I need a pee. I get up, walk all the way down our freezing corridor (we call our house the igloo) and stand before the bog passing water that must surely break all current world records for ‘The Longest Piss.’

I’ve been back in bed now for about twenty minutes. You’d think that being as tired as I am I’d drift off in to a pleasant unmolested slumber, but no. I am wide awake because the ‘Doom Lorry’ just went past outside.

The Doom Lorry comes past the house about once a week. Sometimes I am in and asleep and it wakes me up (it never fails to wake me up) or I am fortunately at work and therefore blessedly free of its awfulness.

It’s basically a lorry like any other. Except this one carries pigs. These pigs are being taken to slaughter. It is my belief that these pigs know they are being taken to slaughter. I can hear the lorry approaching long before it passes my house. It hasn’t got a particularly loud engine or anything. It’s the pigs. It’s as if they are screaming. Can you imagine what that sounds like at six in the morning? It’s fucking scary! Go on, try it. Close your eyes and imagine a lorry packed with maybe fifty pigs (this is a guess, it could be more), fifty screaming pigs. The sound gets louder as they near the house. It reaches a crescendo as the lorry stops at the junction outside, for you live on a corner. You can feel their terror pulling at your soul and rattling against your bones. Then the lorry pulls away and the sound of that terrible screaming slowly fades, leaving only a scar on your memory and a heart near beating out of your chest. That is the Doom Lorry, bringing you a truck full of screaming death at six in the morning. Thats probably whats written down the side of the lorry I’d imagine.

Anyway, having been sufficiently traumatised for one day I think I’ll get up and make myself a nice cup of tea and a hot crossed bun. Heres hoping for a better nights sleep tonight.

M 🙂

Roasted Dinner… oops

I have just cooked a roast dinner. Most of the time I could say I am a  good cook. Not today it would seem. My other half came home tonight desperately hungry and I served her up something I wouldn’t have fed to a dog – unless that dog were starving of course.

I roasted my dinner. I properly incinerated the fuck out of it. I can’t understand it. I started cooking at 4pm. I peeled and par boiled the spuds, prepared the meat (pork incase you were wondering) and mixed up my batter mix and put that in the fridge.

At half past four I put my potatoes in the oven and my meat and then… ah… hang on…

That would explain why, at five thirty I had perfect spuds and a half-cooked joint. It would also explain why I forgot to take out said spuds and left them in with the half-cooked joint. Buggery on a stick.

So, when I came to serve it up, which was coincidently about the same time Jemma walked in through the front door, well lets just say she was less than impressed by what I pulled out of the oven.

The meat was a black shriveled lump. The spuds were like hard little islands in a lake of oil. The yorkshire pudding didn’t rise and remained a soup and the veg… actually the veg was fine.

I would have uploaded a picture but I don’t think you would have been able to name what it was you’d be looking at.

Jemma, bless her, bravely attempted to attack this culinary disaster. Yet, she quickly became disturbed, upset and perhaps a little distressed. Perhaps she thought I was attempting to kill her off?

I can sulk occasionally. Well what man doesn’t? Don’t we have a right to show our displeasure through the medium of sulk? Okay I’m still sulking. It was a fucking disaster. I keep having flash backs of watching Jemma bite into a what she thought was a piece of meat. The myriad of facial expressions that warped her face in the split second she bit down on that potato would have made Jim Carey proud. I have to say I’m proud of her. She kept smiling and telling me it was fine in between involuntary outbursts of  ‘yerrrgh!’ and ‘what the fuck?’.

So I think I set myself a new low in the kitchen today. I swear on the life of Henry (the spider who lives in my bedroom) that I shall never again cook something so rotten, foul-tasting and burnt as I just did.

You can’t see, but I’m actually raising my hand doing the ‘Scouts Honour’ as I say this. So its law now.

M 😦

River God…OMG

I have enjoyed reading for some years now. So much so that it is now fast becoming one of my favourite past times. This post goes out to that most awesome author, Wilbur Smith and his equally awesome book, River God.

River God, looking back was the first of Wilbur Smith’s books I had ever read. It was suggested to me by my father after he had read it and he suggested, no that’s not right… enthusiastically recommended whilst dribbling to me that I should give it a go. So I did, and man am I glad I did. Its one of those books that is going to stay with me forever. By that, I mean it will have a place of honour on my bookshelf at home for as long as I live.

So what’s this book all about then? Well, I suppose if I were to sum it up in one line I would say…

It’s about a slave, in ancient Egypt  of whom we follow his exploits, trials and tribulations through love, betrayal, loyalty and despair as the land and country he loves is smashed to pieces by another invading civilisation. Its great… a real massacre.

Okay that was three lines but well, its too good for just one line damn it. Give me a break here.

It is truly epic though. It has every thing you could want from a book. It brings the land and time of ancient Egypt to life to the extent that you could almost reach out and touch it.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Honestly, go out and buy it, loan it, steal it for fucks sake… just read it.

M 🙂

If I had my time again…

If I had my time again…

I have often thought, as many do I’m sure, what I would do differently if I had my time again. Below are some of my more memorable blunders, mistakes and general fuck-ups I wish I could go back and change. I shall keep returning to this post to add any I think should be posted here. Hopefully there won’t be any new ones.

School Days –

The most obvious first I think. I wish to high heaven I had buckled down at school a bit more. Its only when you get older that you realize you haven’t gotten as far or achieved as much you could have, had you worked that bit harder. Made a few of the harder decisions.  Looking back I can see all those easier options I went for came with a heavy price tag. I don’t feel I have made the best of the opportunities I’ve had as far as education is concerned. I firmly believe that if I had buckled down and really got stuck into my GCSE’s and then my A’Levels, I could have studied medicine. I know I’ve got the potential in me. I feel I have an affinity for it. Alas, I’m getting to old to start all that now. I have commitments, bills to pay etc. That ship has sailed, as they say.

University Days –

If I could grab hold of that little fuck who started University back in 1998… I’d punch his fucking lights out. Then I’d tell him, ‘What the fuck are you doing here? You’ve signed up to do an engineering course and you’re shit at maths. You spastic.’

Then I’d give him another good kick in and tell him to get a part-time job if he’s going to stay.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a terrific time at university. Its just when I look back its seems to me to be an equally terrific waste of time and money. I think I’m gonna be paying off my student loan forever.

Money –

I would tell my younger self to carry a sharp pencil on his person at all times. Then, when some smiling thief approaches offering a credit card or a loan – stab him in the eye. Unfortunately if I were to insist on this method of financial security I too would be blind. I am still to this day paying off the loan I took out for that car five years ago. And get this, I sold the car four years ago. Wanker.

Leaving the Nest –

We all love our own space. None more so than me. After all, its damn difficult to go out, pick up a girl and bring her back to your parents house. That said, I was saving a lot of money living at home. I have guesstimated that had I stayed at home for a full year after joining the NHS I could have saved on average a minimum of a thousand pounds a month. Looking back I really can’t think of anything that so important I had to leave. Twat.

I have a belief that the decisions you make in life are in theory the ones you want to make at that time. I would not be the man I am today (and I quite like who I am) had I not made those choices. I love the concept that bad decisions make the best lessons. That is always very comforting to me. It means that for everything I have done wrong I have in theory learned a very important lesson. I love learning.

Anyway, thats enough for now. I shall return to add more in time no doubt.


Help sought from the wise please…

I am in need of advice. My partner, Jemma and I have rather a big decision to make regarding our future together.

A little background may help.

Jemma grew up on a farm. That farm is has been in the Hindle family for at least three generations. It was run by her parents and they produced grain as well as raising pigs, chickens (thousands of them) and the occasional bullock. When Jemmas dad died her mother took on the farm alone and carried on the grain production side.

These days the farm is still going but it is a mere shadow of its former self. The buildings are in sad state and many areas are simply not used anymore. Jemma stables a few horses there now, but thats it.

Jemma and I are frequently over at the farm, either collecting wood for our fire, walking the dog or mucking out the stables. Its a beautiful site with magnificent views but I can’t help but get a little sad whenever I am there. For example, today I was standing in front of one of the stables. Its roof has those large ‘s’ shaped red tiles that interlock each other. Some of the rows have slipped over the years and no one has ever attempted to repair it. The windows in some of the out buildings are all smashed or dirty and their frames are rotten and falling apart. I imagine, Tony, Jemmas dad would have repaired all of this when he was alive all by himself and would never have allowed this to have happened. Not far from where the stables are there stands two huge diesel tanks resting high on purpose built concrete stands. I can imagine Tony filling up the tractors there before driving down to one of the fields.

Jemmas mum is finding the work on the farm increasingly difficult as arthritis and age catch up with her. She is having to contract out a lot of the work to outside companies or temps to get the work done particularly around harvest.

I can see a day when she is unable to continue the work herself and will either have to sell off land and bits and pieces or contract the lot out. Either way its the end of an era and potentially the end of the Hindle families farm history. I find this immensely sad.

Yet all is not lost. Jemma and I are quite possibly the only ones able to keep the farm in the family. Her sister is not at all interested, which is unfortunate.

Jemma has always wanted to get back onto the farm proper and get involved. She has dreams of starting up the pig side again and too bring sheep in too. This is not so difficult as it seems. Jemma has experience of looking after both species. Her knowledge of sheep farming for example extends to not only feeding and raising but also to lambing. She can also shear them too. Pigs, she tells me are a lot easier.

It goes without saying that I have absolutely no experience what-so-ever.

So, here we have it. The big decision.

  1. We do nothing and let fate decide. Stay employed by the NHS (for all the moaning, we have a secure job, a pension and the money isn’t too shabby) and continue life as normal.
  2. We buy into the farm. We purchase a bit of the land. Stick some sheep on it and some pigs and hope for the best. One or both of us we need to go part-time to facilitate this option, but having calculated finances we think it may be possible. The down side of this option is that we would almost certainly have to sell out current home. This is a real downer for us as we both love this house very much. We love the area, we love the pubs, we love the convenience of local shops. Renting the house out is a possibility, but if it didn’t have a tenant for a period of time we would be in a proper shitty state. So, I believe selling up would be the safest option.

So thats it then. The big decision. I am torn between sticking with what we know and what we don’t. The safe option whereby we have a regular wage, a safe job and a pension against forging our own path into the unknown.

Your thoughts, advice and wisdom are all welcome…


Party Time!

I have the shits. Post booze craps. The alco-poops.This appears to be my bodies new way of telling me I had a great night. I used to get the most horrendous hangovers lasting a minimum of two days. It was a real pain in the arse as I had to plan my drinking to coincide with at least two rest days. Thats not good. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a light weight, but then again that is a rather long time to recover s it not?

Anyway, the hangovers used to be hell on Earth. The kind where you think you are dying if you so much as move an eyeball. The kind where you know food would help and put you back on the road to recovery but you physically cannot move and go to the kitchen to stock up on nibbles. I often used to puke too. Just once mind, usually mid afternoon seconds after thinking I may be on the mend. I used to take that brief feeling of recovery as a dark portent. Blurrrrgh!!!! Huey!!!!! Heeeeeeerb!

If I have had a particularly heavy night I would also have another something else to look forward to. The ‘Fear’. The ‘Fear’ is that feeling you get after a night out on the booze that leaves you feeling very alone and terrified in your own home. FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. There is no mad knife wielding psycho behind the door, you will not fall asleep and not wake up, your partner is not about to leave you. How fucked up is that?

I think a lot of people suffer with the ‘Fear’ after an apocalyptic piss-up. Not many would admit to it though I bet. I do however and I have told Jemma that she must be around the day after I have had a drink so that I don’t get scared of I don’t know what. The sun maybe or a strong breeze outside, or maybe even fuck all! I hate the ‘Fear’.

Where was I? Ah yes. So I used to get god awful hangovers but not anymore it would appear. Now I just get the shits. By ten this morning I had been four times. Real pan splattering bastards too. Serious.

I attribute this change due to me not smoking anymore. Okay, I still smoke a bit. I have maybe one at the beginning of a night out (or in) if I am drinking and maybe another around mid night. That’s all though. I no longer smoke at work, in the car or at home. I don’t smoke anywhere as a matter of fact. Last light I had one at a party and it was my first one for nearly a month. I believe that smoking (in the past) intensified my hangovers a hundred fold.

Yet some sick bastard up there simply will not let me go out and enjoy a few dozen cans with friends without paying for it somehow. Was, end-of-the-Earth-we-are-all-doomed-I-am-surely-dying-cracking-nauseating-headaches but no more. No now my guardian angel sees fit to watch me shit myself into oblivion the day after a piss up. Oh well. I would rather it this way to be honest.

So I went to party last night which is actually what this post was meant to be about. I do apologise for ranting on for ages about shitting myself and being scared of my own breath.

It was a mates 30th birthday. His name is Chris and he used to be a crew mate of mine on the ambulance when I worked in Essex. I don’t have many fond memories of my time down there but I do remember who my friends are. So Jemma and I booked a room down in Basildon and went a long to the party. It was a surprise party held at his parents house. Everyone turned up well before and we all hid in a massive marquee his parents had hired and put up specially for the occasion. Chris’s girlfriend distracted him (somehow) for a good hour or so before the party was due to kick off and so he genuinely had no idea. Then they rocked up round the parents house for what Chris thought was to be a nice family meal. Led by mothers hand into the back garden he clocked the marquee and blurted

‘Oh Fuck Off! You fucking have not…. have you?’

He peered inside and we all screamed our heads off. He looked royally pissed off I have to say so we all did our best to put him centre stage and ensure he didn’t try and leg it. Great fun.

It was good seeing them all again. I heard all the gossip from what’s going on with Essex ambulance, traded it with my own and laughed with abandon as we all agreed what a shitty state of affairs it was.

It was a cracking night. I drank my fair share and Jemma’s. Jemma was a diamond, laughing and joking with all my old mates and making a real effort to fit in. I think she succeeded spectacularly well.

Though I had a lot of fun, I have to say that from an outsiders point of view the party was not the event the parents were obviously expecting it to be. The marquee was perhaps three times bigger than it needed to be. The food and drink that had been laid on would have fed and watered half the street let alone the twenty or so who turned up. Most of them were family too. I was surprised I have to say. It was a Friday night after all. Chris is a popular guy and I would have thought his mates would have filled that marquee on their own without anyone else being able to fit in. I guess thinking back, they wanted it family only and close friends only? If that were true I feel even more honoured to have been invited. I shall invite him to the wedding of course.

Anyway, I should away. X Factor is on and I am in need of a shit.

M 🙂

A good day off…

Different people do different things on their days off.

What I like to do on my days away from work is a vastly different to what my partner does. She will happily spend all day outside come rain or shine tending to her horses or any thing really that involves being outside. She gets very bored very quickly being indoors. This sometimes upsets me, especially if we are both off work together and have not planned to do anything. On days such as this she would like to spend the day together doing ‘nice’ things. To date she has been unable to say exactly what ‘nice’ things are. I often wonder if she wants to spend this time together because she is bored herself and has nothing to do indoors. I on the other hand can find a million and one things to busy myself with and enjoy. However, my things are not fun for her. We must do things together apparently. What invariably happens is we get frustrated with each other and neither of us enjoys ourselves. I should point out that if we have planned to do something together we have a great time and lots of fun. Still, I think its very important to have time to ones self. I know for a fact I go back to work a lot happier if i feel I have done something with my days off that I want to do. This may simply be sitting on my fat arse playing computer games all day. Or maybe I just want to watch movies or read. These things are not fun at all to my good lady. She would rather peel her own skin off and bathe in acid. Equally, her things are comparable to a migraine for me. There are many things we do enjoy doing together. Yet the point I am trying to make is that I need to spend at least some of my time off from work doing what ever I feel relaxes me. If I don’t, it’s not only me that suffers but everyone I will meet over the next few days.

Things have changed in my relationship over the past year or so. My partner for example now does the same job as me and understands first hand the need to get away from it all from time to time. She appreciates the fact that I need space as well. I think this is because we plan our time together much more carefully now. Life is very short and could be snuffed out in the blink of an eye. Both my partner and I are acutely aware of this and so we do what ever it is that makes us happy whilst spending quality time together when able.

Thats the best way in my book. It works for us and we have never been happier. She’s happy as we don’t squander our time together and I am happy too. Afterall, I’m allowed to play my computer all day now without fear of upsetting anyone because it makes me happy.

I have never been one for planning. She always has though and it has rubbed off on me. I can see the benefit and I reap the rewards.

Take note! Plan your time and strangely you’ll find you have so much more than you thought.

M 😉

The Great Procrastinator…

I am he who procrastinates….

Today I have sat at my computer, fingers poised at the keyboard… for six hours. I had a plan when I first sat down. I would sit here and knock out three thousand words before I could get up and do anything else. Alas I have not achieved anywhere near that. It’s not been a total loss though. I have managed to get my PC (which I am using now) up and running again. I am as yet unsure what happened to it. Chief suspect was a catastrophic hard disk failure. I say this because at anyone time I have at least two virus checkers running as well as windows own firewall so I don’t think it was a virus. How am I ever going to be able to call myself a writer though if I lack some of the most basic and fundamental qualities of a successful writer? I am at heart lazy, unmotivated and have no imagination what so ever. Yet having read the musings and thoughts of several well known writers I come to the conclusion that I am not alone in this and that they too have also had times of great self doubt.

I must persevere.

Part of thinks that I should put my ambitions on hold, go off and study some literature or creative writing course or some other mystical qualification that says to everyone that you’re an able wordsmith. Then again I think why? Why not just read shit loads and write shit loads more? Surely my craft will improve with time?


Another one of my fundamental flaws is a lack of patience. I want things to happen now. What is it I want to happen though? Well, wouldn’t it be great if your job were to write your own stories? You could roll out of bed at whatever time you want, knock out a few sentences and maybe have a glass of wine as you contemplate a walk along the beach with your faithful hound. Some say that professional sportsmen have the best jobs. I don’t think so. I think the best job is that of the artist who gets paid well to show people the innermost workings of their warped and mysterious mind. I am not so naïve to believe however that a life such as this is within my grasp or indeed within the grasp of ninety-nine percent of the population. Else we’d all be doing it wouldn’t we? So what do I want? One published story would be terrific. Not by anybody either. If I could just have one published story by a reputable publishing house I’d be happy with that. My name would live forever then. Not so much that everyone knew about it, perhaps a minor underground hit. It matters not. I would be immortal.

I know I don’t write too much here in this journal. I am sorry. I do however write a great deal of short stories though. I am forever knocking out the weirdest shit whether I am at home or at work. I may someday share some on here. Not till they’ve done the rounds though. I have this fear that if I put them one here then I can never submit them for publication anywhere else. In fact I think that is actually the case. Oh well, I will continue to pop in from time to time and moan about whatever it is I feel like at that time. You’ll just have to put up with that I’m afraid. Bye for now.


A Day Off.

I am immensely pissed off.

Today was to be a day off. It still is a day off though at the moment its gone to rat shit.

I initially had four off. Day one was spent sleeping. Recovering from a night shift.
Day two was spent with Jemma. Though it was for the most part a disaster as we spent the majority of it arguing over what to do with our day off together. Needless to say the argument got steadily worse as the time slipped away.
Day three? Well I decided to work that as we need a huge pile of cash to pay all the smiling wankers who work in the wedding business.
That leaves today. I had such plans too.
I was going to crack on with a short story I have been planning for ages on my PC. PC has decided his hard drive is corrupt though. So that’s a lot of work and about twenty itunes albums lost to oblivion.
Then I remembered I have a dentist appointment today. I completely mistimed my journey in and am now sitting in my car in a place called Harleston trying to wish the next 45 minutes to go quicker. I could wander the shops of course but that would be pointless. I can’t stand shopping when I have no money to spend. I have no money because the smiling butcher dentist will want £70. I have no money because every git I have spoken to about various wedding stuff is a smiling thief. I’ll say for example I want every guest to have a pencil or maybe a turd with their name on.
‘Yes sir, that’s not a problem. That’ll be £3.00 per pencil. Oh, did you say its for a wedding? My mistake sir (smile warps out of all proportion – he is now just one big smile), that’ll be £9.00 per pencil.’

Right, time to go. I’m going to go chomp on a piece of garlic or onion. I have to make that smiling butcher wince at least once.


Washing my time away…

Just a brief rant…

I don’t like washing up at the best of times. I do it though. I have to because I like to cook and I need a clean, uncluttered work space if I am to do it properly without getting too stressed. Same thing applies to almost every aspect of my life. I cannot and will not live in a pigsty.

Now I appreciate that Jems was brought up on a farm and that her mother lives in what can tentatively be referred to as organised chaos. The thing is, Jem has started to display similar habits. A little clutter here, a little clutter there. It struck me only this morning that when it comes to clutter and mess in a home where more than one person lives, you can only ever see their clutter and rubbish. You can never see your own. This is because when it comes to your stuff, its your stuff and you most likely put it there. This negates it being rubbish and clutter as you have placed whatever in that specific place because.. well because you can.

So I see only her rubbish, and she sees only mine. Makes me laugh really.

On final thing before I dissappear off and build my log cabin.. Why do women need to use twenty glasses for their drinking water and place them all over the house? I use one cup for my tea in a single day. I went to do the washing up earlier and couldn’t get near the sink because I had to dismantle the glass ‘building’ in front of it. This makes me cry.

Anyway, rant over.