Life is like a box of chocolates…….

We’re all, by now, overly familiar with the line from the film Forrest Gump “Life is like a box of chocolates…”. And yes, he was right, except in my case I’ve often found that the analogy holds true because just when you’re expecting to sit down and gorge yourself on some hard-earned sweet treats, you find some bastard has got there before you and eaten all the soft centres, leaving you with some hard candy to chew fitfully on. Life has a magical way of sensing just when you’re on a roll, and choosing that moment to sweep your feet from under you in spectacular fashion. We’ve all been there, and we’ll all end up there again, but sometimes the cascade of untimely events serves to knock you on your ass in such a way that no matter how resilient you are, you struggle to regain momentum again. More often than not, there is no magical reset button to rely on, but thankfully we all have access to one thing that invariably helps to ease the frustrations life throws in our path, and that is to have a bloody good moan about things. Welcome to today’s blog.

Straight out of the blocks, let me start by saying that my life is pretty damn good. I am by no means rich or at the pinnacle of my career path, but neither am I struggling to feed myself or sleeping in a box, so in the relative scheme of things I’m far from in a bad way. But I feel like today I need to express via the medium of my blog some stuff that has stressed me out recently so I can realise the cathartic experience of having moaned about it like a big girl’s blouse. Stick with me, there’s light at the end of the tunnel….

Light. Tunnel. You know the drill...

  Several weeks ago I lost my job. Not through any fault of my own, or indeed my employers, simply because of the fact that I live on a tiny island that relies almost exclusively on the tourist trade to keep it alive, and sometimes work is not as secure as we’d all like it to be. My employers had hoped to keep me on throughout the winter but sadly it wasn’t to be, and the notice I got that my work was coming to an end was too short for me to arrange another job in time, so I joined the ranks of the unemployed. Unemployment is at a 17 year high in England at the moment, and my home has one of the highest rates of unemployment outside of London, so things on the job front were pretty bleak.

Job hunting sucks.

Then my bathroom sink sprung a leak. Not a major one, but it left water dripping out of a hairline crack in my hallway, soaked the carpet, left everything smelling of that wonderful slightly damp mouldy smell, and ruined an old leather jacket I’d had for years. That jacket was closer to death than an Afghan wearing a t-shirt with a target painted on it, but I’m a rocker at heart and therefore it was dearer to me than if it had been made of solid gold, and losing it was like someone had flayed off a piece of my skin and rolled me in salt. Yet again, however, there was no-one to blame and so I just had to suck it up and move on, fractionally more maudlin and annoyed than I had been before.

Next I got ill. Not life-threatening, or even particularly painful, but enough to be a problem. I’ll save you the full details, especially since if you like the gross-out stuff you should really be over at Bex’s blog, where she has turned frank over-detailing of bodily functions into an art form. Suffice to say that she and I seem to have been afflicted by the same evil germ bastards, further proof if any was needed that we were in fact separated at birth. Fortunately this was only a temporary thing and I’m well on the way to recovery now, but for several days I was drained, tired and far less capable of dealing with the other crap I had going on.

If you'd been near my bathroom, you wouldn't be smiling right now.

Some time ago, I had agreed to assist my best friend and partner in crime, Kwerky, with a fire-breathing gig. Some of you will have been reading my blog long enough to know that this is one of my hobbies, and one which I enjoy immensely, more so because my long work hours often preclude me from performing in public very often, so these occasions are to be savoured whenever possible. Plus this one was a biggie, a dance club night where we’d get to do our thing indoors in front of a crowd composed of lots of our friends, to accompany the triumphant return to the Island of a major DJ in what will possibly be the biggest club night this year. Want to take a guess what effect being ill had on my ability to attend?? (CLUE: The event is going off right now, and I’m not blogging from the podium….). Le sigh, more frustration, and the annoying feeling of having let down a friend. Keep that pressure coming, life, keep it coming……

By this point, tiny little things I’d normally shrug off are beginning to annoy me like nails down a blackboard. My daughter was humming the tune ‘Proud Mary’ the other day, and my wife commented on it and asked where she’d heard it. Turned out to be some cover version, I forget who by, and when Em told Lauren that there was an older version, she asked who by. Cue Daddy Assassin, who loves music more  than a fat kid loves cake. I explained about its traditional roots, and also that the most popular version is by the band Creedence Clearwater Revival. Being ten, this was all new to her. One quick trip to Youtube later, and she’s dancing and singing along. Video over, she turns to me and says……

“They’re really good!! How did they get famous, was it X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent??”

Normally I’d have laughed, but I swear to God I had to leave the room and if someone had said the wrong thing at that precise moment I’d have ninja-chopped their ass out of existence. And then it hit me. None of these things that had happened to me were that terrible in their own right, but like chinese water torture they’d crept up on me and gradually left me more tightly wound than a Jew at a Bacon Convention. And this in turn led me to two important realisations.

Me, yesterday. And during the recent Rugby World Cup.

ONE: I hadn’t written a blog for a little while (OK, nearly a fortnight, or to those of you who don’t speak English, two weeks) because I’d been claiming that I couldn’t think of a good idea. Bullshit. I’d just been too pissed off to want to do it. Slack, Mr Assassin, very slack. Especially since I’d been moaning at another blogger for the same thing – more on that in a minute. It was time to kick myself in the ass – and get back on that horse that threw me.

TWO: Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Three days ago I was lost at the bottom of a deep blue funk without even knowing it. Today, I’m not ill anymore, I have new bathroom taps, and someone called a few hours ago and offered me a great job starting tomorrow. We all go through some tough patches, the trick is to recognise them for what they are and work through them. Or round them. Or grab a chainsaw and carve through the bastards, whatever works for you. So like it or not I’m still here, and I’m not going anywhere.

And that other blogger I mentioned?? Well dear readers, here’s where I need your help – and you get to have a little fun at the same time. If I can get past the mundane shit in my life and keep blogging, so can others, and I’m currently campaigning to ‘prompt’ someone else into doing so. Some of you will recall that when I passed on my Versatile Blogger award, one of my nominees was the hilarious Roy over at RADventures. He’s been absent from the blogging community for a few months now, due quite fairly to the pressures of a new and highly demanding job, and I have every respect for what he does. That said, he’s so funny I miss him, and I’m unashamedly attempting to bully him into writing again. He’s promised me he’s planning a comeback, and a new blog is imminent, but until it appears I’ve started an Occupy Roy movement on his Facebook page, and I hereby invite you to swing by there and post a comment pleading him to come back to us. Don’t be shy, he’s thankfully very much game for a laugh, so follow this link and like his page and join the 99% of the world in hassling him to start posting again. If I can do it, so can he. Plus like most humans, nothing improves my mood like maliciously picking on someone else 🙂

Me, bullying Ray recently.

I’ll be back to share some sweet treats from my chocolate box with you all soon, so until then whatever is bugging you, try to rise above it. And if you touch the coffee fondant, I’ll cut you. xx



28 comments on “Life is like a box of chocolates…….

  1. You can have your fucking coffee fondant but I will cut a bitch who takes my cherry cordials, yo. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling like a punk-ass. Seems like everyone is dragging these days; I’ve been as whiny as a Lillith Fair lesbian lately so please feel free to pimp-slap me out of my self-indulgent wallowing. You brightened my Turkey Day when the familia was up in my grill and for that I am eternally grateful. Much love, my brutha across the pond. (*fist bump*)


    • Thanks, sister-from-another-mister!! I agree to divide and conquer on the chocolates, those cherry ones give me wind anyway. By the way I had to google Lillith Fair – I love that one of it’s nicknames was ‘Breast-fest’!! Now there’s a festival I’d attend!! My pimp-hand is strong too, so get up off your whinging albeit perfectly formed ass and get out there and bitch slap today in the face!!!


  2. I want to watch the jews at the bacon convention. lol Love your post as usual and am glad you are feeling better. Even the assassin gets life hits put out on him but I see you outsmarted them all. If Radventures doesn’t come back, I’m going to write a blog about what I THINK a guy fucking a dolphin might be like. Or was it a penguin? i can’t remember. Maybe we should do one of those writing exercises on his facebook page, where one starts a story and each adds a sentence or two. In honor of Roy and fish pumping. Maybe he would then be forced to out his blog on what REALLY happened in the deep blue sea…..
    I hate the soft chocolates: I’m a hard square/rectangle caramel piece chick. If anyone takes THOSE I get pissed. SO I try to hoard them all in the beginning. I wonder: do I like them because there is no guessing and I hate surprises/disappointments because everyone can tell right away which are the caramel ones………..OR do I love my chocolates like I love my men: bronzed, hard, and clean cut.


  3. I too am sorry to hear of your woes, and I promise to leave you to your coffee fondant… I’m a brownsugar sort of shit (whatever they call that grainy chocolate covered crap) girl myself. and other than my little ditty for the shank-a-hoes I haven’t written in far too long. I did take a writing workshop and the thing she hammered at me was do wait for inspiration just write. The pen will find its way… So most of my stuff is in a journal and I need to put it on screen for all to say what they may. In the mean time… I wish you well and you can always come to my tourist town for work… or just to rock out to some ccr and old school Tina and we’ll be proud that you taught your daughter music, real music was once played on real instruments and did not include samples (shudders!)


    • I understand your frustration, Sars, it’s hard sometimes to find the right motivation to write, and if you’re not in the right mood often you’ll be dismissive of the content when you’re done. All I can say to that is your tutor is right – don’t let it stop you writing!! A couple of my blogs only ever saw the light of day because I saved what I thought were useless drafts, only to come back to them and turn them into something worth publishing. And if the sunny (ha!) shores of England ever tire me, I’d love to come and hang out and chill to some good ole time rock’n’roll with you – we can continue my kids education, and you can take my wife out shoe shopping!!
      By the way, inspiration comes from the strangest places sometimes – it will take a few weeks yet, maybe more, but in the future there will be a blog that carries your name in it on my site, since the theme came from inspiration you gave me once without even realising!! So keep your eyes open and a pen handy – you never know where the next bolt of lightning is coming from 😉
      Much Love Amigo, SA.


  4. Sorry you’ve been in a funk. We miss you when you disappear, so stop it already. But horray for your brand spankin new job!! That is really great news. Hope it works out for you. I know the last one wasn’t making you all zippity doo dah, zippity yay and all that, so cheers to a new and better prospect.

    Oh, and you can have all of the coconut ones as well. Blech. I am partial to the caramels, though. Save a few for me!


    • It’s a deal. I’ll wrap them in bacon. And bless you for missing me – is that like when a vaguely good looking girl misses having her ugly friend along to make her look hot??


      • Yes! Um, I mean….wait a minute. How did you know about my ugly friend? And did you just call me “vaguely good looking?” Eh, that’s sadly the best compliment I’ve received all week, so I’ll take it.

        Then again, now that I think about it, I do have a lot of awfully attractive friends. I wonder what that means? Hmmm….


        • Trust a woman to twist my gracious reply into an attack on her physical attractiveness. Mind you, what else am I supposed to infer from a woman who chooses a picture of her feet as a profile picture??? 😉 Would it help if I suggested that all your attractive friends could possibly mean that you are, in fact, so phenomenally attractive that they are in fact the ugly friends, and just don’t realise it????????


          • You 2 are coming perilously close to blasphemy on my sacred Pearl Jam, so you better watch it. :p

            And Kevin, I couldn’t comment further above to your comment on my comment (you following that?), but I wanted to let you know that that was an excellent save. I think I AM in fact the gorgeous friend surrounded by just slightly less attractive friends. You win. 😀


  5. Holy Shit, I had no idea. You’ve been on Wag so much that I didn’t check back in…shit, 2 weeks? But last Friday’s post of mine was true, work is kicking me in the backside, and here I am complaining about how much I have to work and here you are unemployed and what a dick that makes me.

    Sorry to hear about your funk, too. If it helps you any, I know where CCR came from. They started out covering Pearl Jam, right?

    I will totally assist you with harassing Radventures.

    Oh, also: sorry for being such a whiny bitch about you not liking me. If I went through what you’ve just gone through over the past few weeks, I would probably be living in Florida right now.

    I.E. I think I would just bail on the whole country.

    Which might not be all that bad. I could hide out in the Everglades, get one of those weird boats with the fan on the back, run leather for crocodile bag manufacturers. A life of mystery and deceit.

    Think about it. Any famous pirates from the Isle of Wight?


    • Hey man, don’t sweat it. When I wrote this I was having a little whining bitch day, but now I’m back to my usual indominatable hard-assed mo-fo guise. Curiously enough, just the other evening I commented to my wife that I’d love to have a go at piloting one of those mad fan-boats – perhaps we could buy one on some kind of timeshare basis – I could use it to make smuggling runs to Austria for cheap ciggies and booze. And yes we have a massive smuggling history here on the IOW, a habit we’re finding it hard to break – three months ago a well-known local seafood restaurant owner was caught by customs attempting to retrieve six million pounds worth of cocaine he had concealed in waterproof packets tied to the bottom of his lobster pots. No wonder his restaurant was so popular……….
      [Footnote – CCR were never a Pearl Jam covers band. They were a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute act. Pearl Jam, however, were made famous by covering Lady GaGa songs.]


      • So, that comment I made up there? Supposed to end up right here. Obviously, I am super skilled at this responding thing. So, just assume it is here, because then it makes sense, ok? Great, thanks.


        • That comment up there? Well I’m going to reply to it down here. That way I cover for you yet again, and it will confuse the hell out of the other readers, which amuses me – bi-winning!! I swear on all that’s holy that despite my cheap attempt at humour I would never truly impugne the name of Pearl Jam, who are one of the most phenomenally talented and original rock bands of the last thirty years. The first time I heard ‘Daughter’ I nearly soiled myself with excitement. Vedder has an amazing voice, I could listen to it all day. Plus (and I shit you not Misty) I just discovered at work tonight that my new boss is a Pearl Jam fan. So please dont cut me ……because “IT’S….MY…..BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO_OOOOOOOOOODDDDDDD!!!” 😉


          • Kevin? I . . . well . . . I think I love you. After that fantastically true and poetic description of Eddie & PJ, I am finding you incredibly sexy right now. And no offense to your lovely and buxom wife, but I think we need to procreate immediately so that we can keep the world full of concentrated PJ loving folk. I mean, really, it’s for the good of society as a whole. I’m willing to sacrifice my body to make this happen. Unless you have Eddie’s number, because I’d probably be just a bit more willing to sacrifice my body to him, if you know what I mean.


      • Excellent. I come from a long line of people who would have liked to have been moonshiners, but who rather spent their time dreaming about it while partaking of moonshine.


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