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….
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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