Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Thank you for these comments, which are very kind and much appreciated. As I indicated in my post I will be sending them on, with a covering letter, to Anu's parents. I know that it can sometimes be difficult to find the right words in these circumstances, but please read her own words through the links below and I'm sure they'll inspire you.

Thank you again.

It really is with the most incredible sadness that I find myself posting on this blog again.

My friend, the amazing girl that we knew in this environment as Anu, was killed in a car accident on 10th December and anyone who has been touched by her radiance and love will understand the depth of the pain I'm feeling as I write this post. She was an example to all of us through her strength, her optimism and her love of life. The irony of her death, having fought such an inspiring battle against her illness, is plain to see and – angry though I feel at this waste of life – I shall try to emulate her in some way and focus on all the positive things that knowing her brought to my life.

I know this will be a hard request to respond to, but I’d like you to post your thoughts about Anu through my comments, and at some point soon I’ll send them with an accompanying letter to her parents. I can’t help believing that if they had even an inkling of the impact she had on so many people they’d feel an immense pride, even through their sense of loss.

Thanks to those that do feel that they can respond and I’m sorry, of course, if this has come as something of a shock. I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have transcended the constraints of this medium in knowing her in a real sense, and I’ll miss her greatly.

Appreciate Yourself

Little Miss Anu

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thanks, everyone...

I'm touched by the number of comments to my farewell post, and wanted to say thank you properly. So...

Thank you.

I've actually just returned from Tenerife, where Bea is now the proud owner of a new Spanish passport. I'm pretty busy having been away, but by the weekend I'll be in a position to start visiting you guys again. And - if you were wondering what it's like to suddenly stop blogging after a year or more, I can sum it up for you in one word. Painful.

Take care of yourselves, and for now at least, adios. Don't forget all my music's here, though x

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's been a blast...

At least, for a while...

Well, I started this journey over a year ago. At the time, of course, I didn't really think anyone would ever read the nonsense I wrote, and had a notion in my mind that "What doesn't kill you..." would be some kind of family journal, plotting the day to day trials of a single father and his children as they came to terms with their newly-defined lives. And - in a sense - I suppose that's what it's been. But along the way it's become more personal than I envisaged and at some point, almost unintentionally, I decided to focus on relationships, on sex, and on love... in other words, on some of the other things that have shaped my life in the recent past.

For a while, I also played with the notion that revealing myself in a physical sense would be possible, but the content of some of the posts on this blog made that almost impossible. Instead I discovered HNT, and if I may I'll quote from an email I sent to someone who questioned it's validity and it's worth: "What Osbasso has achieved is quite miraculous really... an amazing way in which people – if they choose to – can say "This is me, and, for better or worse, I think I can love myself". And the response to that is a quite incredible network of support. Because we all know we're not perfect physical specimens, but those who comment have only one message to relay... that perfection is irrelevant. That beauty comes from within, and every photo is beautiful in its own way. I admire him for having started it, and applaud every single person who participates."

Well done Os - you should be proud. And in a sense, I'm proud too, because Musical Monday has been a revelation at times, and I hope it continues, and grows, because I genuinely believe music to be a very special gift and one that can bring joy at the darkest of times, as well as just getting those hips moving now and again.

Now though, it's time for me to take a break - for a couple of weeks, or a couple of months, or for longer - I really don't know. And I'd like to thank everyone who's read, and particularly everyone who's commented along the way (and yes, NYM - although my earlier comments are no longer visible, I won't forget you were the first; I'll buy you a drink when you finally make it to London!). Life right now is too full for me to devote enough time to this site, and to my friends out there in the blogging world... and after a year of change, there may just be some special things about to happen. Time will tell, but I have to give it/them my full attention as some opportunities are only fleeting. Blink, and they're gone.

I think I've managed to remain authentic, and consistent, and I'm grateful that most of the people with whom I've formed bonds along the way have proven themselves similarly. Some of those bonds will, I'm sure, have a resilience to them that will enable us to remain in touch, as friends; others have proved to be more fleeting, but that's fine too and I'm happy that all of them have "happened" in their own way. And now I'm going to stop rambling, make my breakfast, and see what this particular day has in store for me. I'm still here, still contactable on email, and I may well pop up in your comment boxes. As for when I'll re-open this blog - well, I have no idea. Until I do, keep well, stay positive, and try to LIVE every day. There's no rewind button, remember...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Musical Monday

So... it looks like I’m upping sticks again. As Bea’s Spanish passport will take a couple of weeks to come through and she’s already booked her holiday from work, I’m going out to Tenerife again a week on Monday. Now don’t get me wrong – it’s great to have the opportunity, and it’s relatively inexpensive; and of course I'm going to see my beautiful Cuban again. But the cost mounts up month after month, and I can’t work whilst I’m out there.

Luckily – this time – the week I’m away is going to be a quiet one, before all of the European stuff kicks off in early December, but somewhere long the line it’s going to become difficult. Anyway, London’s next - at the beginning of January - and after that I guess we’ll see what happens. (I don’t mean to sound negative, but trust me... it’s getting kind of difficult to jet off every month!)

I was just sitting here typing, and thinking it’s got cold in the house. It is a cold evening for sure, but what I've just realised is that I’ve lost the power to the boiler (that's "furnace" for you lot across the pond) for some reason, and for the life of me I can’t work out why. So, after having to spend about £300 last week sorting out some electrical problems (and the guy stood on my loo seat and broke it, so add another £50 to the equation!), I could be looking at twice that amount this week if my boiler's shot, and it's been playing up a lot lately. This is not good. In fact, it’s fucking bad. (Look, I know that was a lot for a loo seat, but I don't park my cheeks just anywhere you know! Ed.)

In view of the fact that I’m clearly not having the best of days today, I need something to chill me out nicely. With that in mind, this weeks selection will do just that.

It’s Peace Orchestra, and the album of the same name. And this rather gorgeous, soothing track is called The Man Pt 1... as always, enjoy. Actually, put your feet up and enjoy.

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

(a href="http://wdkylondon.blogspot.com/2006/03/musical-monday.html" target="_blank")(img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y123/LightestTouch/musicalmonday.jpg" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just what I needed!

Sorry I haven't been around much - I'm very, very busy work-wise, and also spending most of what spare time I have trying to help Bea sort out her visa application so she can go ahead with her visit to Chez WDKY. But - just when things were looking kind of bleak, she got an unexpected letter in the post today. And guess what?

She's been granted Spanish nationality.

How fucking cool is that?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good news & bad news

Well... I'll start with the good news. Having had a couple of client meetings since my last post, it would seem that I have a bit of a window before having to dash off to foreign parts. It looks like Moscow will be first in early December, followed by Milan during the middle of the month. The project in the UAE is subject to a bit of a rethink with regard to strategy, and we don't reckon we'll be going out there now until early January. All of this means, of course, that I won't have to leave my Cuban beauty to fend for herself. Or organise raves in my house while I'm gone!

Want some more good news? Okay... she's applied for Spanish citizenship (as opposed to the residency that she already has) and she's due to get an answer in January. All being well, the application will be pretty straightforward after 7 years in Tenerife - fingers crossed, though, because it'll make life a LOT easier.

So, what's the bad news. I hear you ask? Well, the fucking visa didn't come through yesterday, and so far as I can tell, it didn't come today either (or I'd have received a text by now - and it's nearly 5.30pm!). And that means that all the plans I'd made for the next few days are probably screwed, including our weekend with the Scottish Sister by the sea.

Update: The bastards at the British Embassy in Madrid have said that Bea has to attend in person, so that they can take fingerprints. Yes, they've just changed the process!!! But to get an appointment, you have to use their online calendar, which isn't working... how fucking ironic is that? I guess the phone lines are going to be hot tomorrow, but a Plan B is being hatched, just in case. Whatever happens, my carefully thought out itinerary can go in the bin, though. AGGGGGHHHHH!!!

Now, even though I'm kind of pissed off about it, I'm going to be pragmatic. And so I'll leave you with a touch of humour... or, perhaps, evidence that this particular hospital in Northampton could do with checking it's quality control procedures. What do you reckon - deliberate or not?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

An early Musical Monday

Well, it’s been a very strange week, and one that hasn’t seen much posting or commenting from this neck of the woods. Sometimes life takes priority, and whilst I won’t apologise I’m always conscious of those times when I don’t get to sit in front of the computer and play. Mind you, it’s probably a good sign, when you think about it...

Anyway, “The Trip” is fast approaching. And whilst Bea is meant to be flying over on Thursday, her Visa isn’t scheduled to arrive until Tuesday! Which means she can’t book her flight yet, and there’s a small chance that things won’t go according to plan, and that the timing of her trip will have to be changed by a day or two. I’m going to call the British Embassy in Madrid tomorrow, but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Aside from this slight uncertainty (and the fact that we’re meant to be staying with one of the Scottish Sisters next weekend!) work is throwing up a few problems of its own. I have a meeting on Wednesday to confirm the programme for the work out in Russia, Italy and Belgium; this is great, but it seems likely that I’m going to have to fly out to Milan and Moscow over the course of the next two weeks. Not so great with regard to timing, is it? And to add to that little conundrum, something rather weird is happening that’s also throwing a little confusion into the pot.

About a month ago, a friend and I decided to bid jointly on a very, very, very large project out in the UAE. Now, his company is about the size of mine (i.e. tiny!) and the competition comprised the large multi-nationals who practice in our field, all of whom are already based out there in the Middle East anyway. We didn’t think we had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting past the first stage, but the scale of the opportunity was such that we were just excited to be participating; now, and after a meeting with the potential client in the UK last week, we find that we’ve got to the last three! And more than that – because our solution is a bit novel (it involves setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle and doing all sorts of smart things with it) we appear to be the favoured option at the moment.

So the next stage is that we have to fly out to the UAE to deliver a presentation... yes, over the course of the next couple of weeks. This is fucking incredible, of course, but what it means is that by the time Bea gets here, she’ll be spending her time babysitting Lola. To be honest, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

An Early Musical Monday

I’m not sure if I’ll have time to play tomorrow, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to put up my Musical Monday contribution a day early. And, of course, I did hint at what it was going to be when I posted the Boots ad last week (that’s “Boots, The Chemist”, by the way - the ad is about their range of cosmetics!) So this week, it’s a track from The Gotan Project, and their album La Revancha Del Tango.

The Gotan Project is a musical collaboration based in Paris and consisting of Philippe Solal (French), Eduardo Makaroff (Argentinian) and Christoph Müller (Swiss). This unlikely trio formed in 1999 and their first release was Vuelvo Al Sur in 2000, followed by La Revancha del Tango in 2001. Their music is clearly tango, but also uses electronic elements such as samples, beats and breaks. In fact, “Gotan” is an anagram of "tango", which is not a coincidence.

If you like this track – Epoca – I’d strongly suggest that you get yourself over to Amazon. The entire album is very good, but then it would be wouldn’t it? It comes highly recommended, after all ;-)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The goose is getting fat

I know a lot of readers of this rather wondrous blog are from the other side of the pond, but if any of you over there have had more than a passing exposure to British television you’ll have realised that the standard of advertising in this sceptered isle is light years ahead. In fact, I still remember some Stateside ads with a certain fondness - or do I mean bemusement - from my many visits to NY... most of them about haemorrhoids, for some reason. Oh, and the one that ended with “That was the most thu-row eye exam I’ve ever had” – remember that one?

Anyway, around this time of year the marketeers’ battle for the punter's festive pound really heats up, and some fantastic ads start to hit our screens. Usually, Woolworths wins hands down with it's 3-minute epics (historically, the time allotted to ads during programme breaks) but this year it seems that there may be a new winner. This one, from Boots, is my favourite for a long, long time and also features a soundtrack that I’m selecting for Musical Monday next week (so if you know what it is, keep it to yourself). Oh, and watch out for the girl stuffing the turkey, because she is fucking hot!!

As an aside, long-standing readers of this blog will possibly recollect my dissatisfaction with Weetabix, specifically with regard to the loading of Alpen with raisins. Well, I’m pleased to report that my latest box averaged just 8 raisins per bowl. Yes, eight – a bit of an improvement on 42, wouldn’t you say?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Musical Monday

You’d be forgiven for thinking that my absence over the last couple of days was indicative of my failure to survive "The Sleepover" on Friday. Well, as it happens, you’d be wrong, because it all went pretty well. In fact, whilst I’m not going to say it was easy, it wasn’t exactly difficult either; you just feed them (light on anything that induces hyperactivity, of course), crack a few jokes, compliment them on their make-up, occasionally yell “Will you please keep the noise down?” and let them get on with it.

I’m available, and my rates are pretty competitive.

As for everything else – you know, life - I have one thing to say... no more bullshit. It’s always interesting to find out who your friends are, and who’s just playing lip service, or playing games. And frankly, I don’t have the time or the patience, so...time to move on, I think.

Although this track has been played by one of my MM friends before (yes, you, CeeCi) it’s so beautiful that I have no qualms in choosing it for myself this week. It’s from the album 1 Giant Leap, which should be on everyone’s shelves, and it’s Michael Stipe and Asha Bholse with “The Way You Dream”. I know you'll love it - and in the meantime I'll just bask in the first Tottenham victory over Chelea in 33 attempts. Heaven.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oh my god!

I say this for two very specific reasons, as it happens. Which are as follows...

This morning I had my first Spanish lesson. Now, my teacher (Cristina) is lovely – very friendly, very helpful, and very, errmmm... cute. In fact, she told me that I would make an ideal student, although she didn’t elaborate as to why, other than saying something about my accent, and my imagination. I’m not entirely sure that I want her to know too much about my imagination, or why it’s relevant for that matter, but I do know this.

It was fucking difficult.

Anyway, I have a few one-to-one lessons ahead before I join a small group, and with luck on my side I won’t make a complete and absolute prat of myself. Oh, and I’ve just spent about £40 on Amazon, buying coursework and “501 Spanish Verbs”. I imagine it’ll keep me out of mischief for a while!

The second reason is that – as I sit here typing this post – there are EIGHT children in the kitchen. Allegedly they’re eating, but there’s so much noise from them that I think it’s virtually impossible that any of them can have even a molecule of food in their mouths. And even worse, they’re all sleeping here tonight. Me and eight children... god give me strength.

Okay, I’m going to open the door and attempt to restore some order here. And you know what? After that I’m going to pour myself a very, very large drink and go seek refuge in my room. Unless anyone wants to come round and help?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This & that

It’s funny... I noticed (almost by accident) that the hits on this blog broke the 60,000 barrier during the last 24 hours. There was a time I’d have got rather excited about a statistic like that, and probably posted about it. Hang on – I just did, didn’t I? But you know what I mean... I feel like I’m a blogging veteran these days, and things have in some way gone full circle. I started off just using it as a vehicle to post some thoughts, and I feel like I’m doing that again. I’m not a purist, necessarily, but it seems right somehow.

I’ve been talking about starting language lessons for a year or so now, and this morning I booked up for classes... a trial class next week, followed by enrolment for a further twelve. It won’t come as a surprise if I say that I’ve opted for Spanish over French, but to be honest I’d almost certainly have done that even if it weren’t for “extenuating circumstances”. Talking of which, Bea seems to have had a tough few days, feeling the effects of what a LDR can mean, I guess. It isn’t necessarily easy, and despite the cheerful tone of recent posts I don’t have my head up my arse buried in the sand. I’m sure there will be difficulties ahead, but I’m going to remain positive.

Oh yes, and I’ve just printed off and framed a few photographs for various rooms in the house, and a couple of the kids were nice enough that I thought I’d post them here. Well, I’m a father... I’m allowed to act like one now and again, aren’t I? (And yes, I know the backgrounds are crap, but with mounts inside the frames they look okay!)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Musical Monday

I woke up this morning, and the sun was actually streaming through my bedroom blinds. As I got out of bed, I felt a smile play across my lips and I realised that I really am happy at the moment. Not that fleeting happiness that goes as quickly as it appears, but a real feeling that I'm in a good place. It's not a place that I've always been, and I don't need to be told to appreciate it.

Bea and I were chatting on MSN/webcam last night, but after looking at her face on my screen for a while I had to speak to her properly, and hearing her voice was what I needed. We talked about London, and she told me about the jumper (!) and boots that she'd bought earlier in the day. And we both know that something... important is happening right now. It's scary, but it's also exciting.

My track this week is from one of those albums that - whenever you put it on - it sounds... right. I've copied this from Wikipedia...

"Eagle-Eye Cherry (born 7 May 1971 in Skåne, Sweden) is an American-Swedish musician. His sister Neneh Cherry, father Don Cherry and halfsister on his Swedish side, Titiyo, are also musicians.

Soon after he was born, he moved to New York with his father, where he began acting and playing music. After his father's death in 1995, Eagle-Eye moved to Stockholm with his girlfriend, and began to focus on songwriting. He recorded Desireless, which was commercially successful in Europe and was released in the United States in 1998.

Cherry found commercial success with the song "Save Tonight". He released his second album in 2000 (Living in the Present Future) which was remixed for the American market (released as Present/Future), but did not sell well. His subsequent album (Sub Rosa), as a result of the prior album's sales, was not released stateside. He remains very successful in other countries.He was also featured on Santana's (Supernatural) album."

There you go, then. And this is "Worried Eyes", from the album Desireless.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Random thoughts

Sometimes I think that my children are even funnier than I am (really, I mean it!). Livvy (that’s “O”, by the way) talking to Bea on MSN this afternoon...
“When you come over, will you take me to my bus stop so I can show you to my friends?”
I’ve spent the day cleaning the house from top to bottom, and tonight I’m rewarding myself with dinner. I’m actually seeing my friend Michele, who I’ve written about in the past as someone with whom I’ve been happy to share a bed on many an occasion (we both maintained that we were completely terrified by the “R” word. Clue – it has four syllables.) Anyway, tonight it’s just going to be dinner and a spliff, because I’m not into fucking around when I’m seeing someone. And anyway, I’m in... (Ha! Got you!)

I looked at some new cars yesterday, and was seriously thinking about trading in my beauty for the new Alfa Brera 3.2 litre. But I was chatting later to a friend of mine, and subsequently decided that I’m going to save as much as I can over the next year, and then try to give myself the option of moving to a slightly bigger house if all goes well. Or maybe buy a little place in Spain if things really do take off with this European project I’m working on. That said, I’m only dreaming really... but the point is something is telling me not to waste money on a car that I don’t need. It’s interesting, because it’s a while since I allowed myself to even begin to make any plans, even fairly tenuous ones. I’m going to have to be very, very careful, I think...

Have a great weekend, all of you. I’ll stop by tomorrow and see what’s going on in your neck of the woods. Or necks of the wood... no, that sounds completely ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I miss the beach, and the sun. I seem to have got myself into a kind of mind-set where I expect to work for three weeks and then holiday for one. I have a suspicion that it’s not sustainable, however much I enjoy it! Instead, then, here’s a photo of the beach in Tenerife, to make me feel better even if it doesn’t mean that much to you... Actually, I’m having a quiet month work-wise, just putting the foundations in place for November onwards. I do keep thinking about Moscow and Milan, though - and counting my lucky stars... oh, and I have a couple of bids out there, one of them for an enormous project in Dubai which I doubt I’ll get but which is exciting to think about anyway.

It got me thinking about how easy it is to get in a rut... not just with regard to work, but with regard to life generally. And we can sit and dwell on it, or we can try to do something about it. When you’re pissed off, or depressed, being positive can take what seems to be a mammoth effort, but it’s an effort that has to be made. Change isn’t always good, but it’s inevitable, and we can influence it – or maybe manipulate it – if we're determined enough. If we want something enough.

I spoke to Bea last night, and we’ve made some plans for when she comes over... I’ve organised a bit of a party, in fact, which should be fun. One of the Scottish Sisters from Tenerife (who now lives in Torquay, famous for Fawlty Towers if nothing else) is coming up with her husband, so at least there’ll be a couple of familiar faces for her (she’s very nervous, poor thing). The two of them (Bea and Scottish Sister, that is) went out for dinner last night, as SS is actually in Tenerife with the kids this week for half-term, and no doubt the rather uncomfortable burning of my ears all night was a direct consequence of their little get-together. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall! In any event, I got a message from Bea at 3am this morning saying she was back home, and
You have nothing to worry about. Or do you???

Bea xxx
Hmmmm. I actually knew what she meant. Women have such a perverse sense of humour sometimes!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Musical Monday

Well, I spoke to Mike (my friend who had the quadruple heart bypass ten or so days ago) today, and he's back at home & sounding pretty chirpy. Apparently it only hurts when he laughs or sneezes, and considering I'm reasonably funny and I have a cold I suspect that I'm not the best company for him at the moment. But he and I appear to have a lot of work coming up, and all of it looks like it'll involve overseas travel - initially to Moscow, Milan and Brussels. You've got to love this consultancy lark, haven't you? Anyway, next year is beginning to look reasonably hopeful and my Air Miles account might actually be worth something by the summer!

Mind you, I won't be taking any more holidays for a while now. And anyway, Bea's coming over to stay in three weeks to sample some REAL weather for once. In fact, one of her friends bought her a jumper (that's a "sweater"! Ed) with a matching scarf, hat and mittens for her birthday, which she found quite hysterical. I don't think she's ever experienced weather below the mid-70's (in old money) so London in November should be quite an experience!

I'm going through a bit of a retro phase at the moment, and my track for this week makes me think of Terence Conran wallpaper, swirly patterned carpets and flared Wrangler jeans. It also happens to be my very favourite song to play on my iPod when I'm running, and it seems to spur me on to go just that little bit faster than normal. I should also thank the lovely Mez for the heads-up a few months back, although it subsequently transpired that virtually all my friends have this album in their collections and thought I was completely mad for not having bought it a long time ago.

So... enough mystery then - this is Air and La Femme d'Argent, from the album Moon Safari. And I challenge you not to absolutely love it!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Back to reality

Well, here I am... back in front of my laptop in the office, kids in the lounge watching That’s So Raven, and Lola at my feet crying for (another) lunch. The past few days in Tenerife might have felt like some kind of dream if I wasn’t so tired - the last three nights we got to bed at 4am, 6am and 5am respectively, and I now feel like I could go into hibernation for about a week quite happily. And I have an absolutely awful cold, and a sore throat, so today I’m going to do absolutely fuck all other than watch some football and catch up on the last week’s episodes of 24 and Battlestar Galactica! For a guy, could there be a better day than that? (Errr, yes actually, but it’s not bad as days go!)

If you’d suggested to me a while back that I’d find myself in Tenerife one warm night in October, standing in the middle of a football stadium with about 40,000 screaming Latin Americans watching Marc Anthony on stage with his wife (yes, Jennifer Lopez herself) I’d have thought you were completely insane. But what an amazing experience – and each one of those 40,000 sang every word to every song, with a passion that bordered on hysteria.

Also pretty amazing was the birthday party for Beatriz the night before, with about 20 members of her family, and friends, of who 2 could speak just a little English... although the after-party, with one or two substances of an illegal nature making a belated appearance, was also something of an experience. And everyone went out of their way to make me feel comfortable, knowing that I’d potentially be feeling a little out of place amongst them. Especially as Beatriz’ mum kept asking me what my name was, which was marginally disconcerting!

But now, it’s back to reality for me... and that means blowing this rather red nose of mine again, and then taking more washing out of the tumble dryer. I think I preferred it on the beach, frankly! Well, wouldn't you?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Looking for the stars

So... it’s Sunday morning, the cat’s crapped on the rug in the lounge (I so hate that), and I’ve just had a very strong cup of coffee as I contemplate this strange thing that I call my life. All these twists and turns that just go to show, time and again, how unpredictable it all is... and how things can change from one moment to the next.

A year ago, I’d just handed in my notice at a job that was slowly wearing down my spirit, and was wondering if I'd effectively signed my own professional death warrant. But I’m still here, my children have been on holiday and have had everything they need, and it looks like I have work going into 2007. I’m amazed, and just a tiny bit proud of myself – yes, I know that pride is “bad”, but now and again I misbehave. Shoot me.

Not everything is perfect... the ex is being a prize bitch, quite a few of my friends are going through a hard time in one way or another, and there’s still a degree of uncertainty in my life which might be worrying if I allowed it to be. But essentially I’m a very lucky man, and as I pack the last few things in my case for another instalment of this ridiculous adventure I seem to be on, I’m very thankful. If there was such a thing as Gratitude Sunday I might be tempted to play, but I won’t be here on Tuesday and – anyway – it’s the letter L this week. That’s a dangerous one, and best left well alone.

I tried to visit everyone last night, but Haloscan was playing up and I wasn’t able to leave a comment everywhere I wanted to. But now I just have time for a good run, a shower, and a few minutes to relax before I set off for the airport again. I hope you all have a good week, and a positive one. And remember that line from a song by Tindersticks that I quoted on the very first Musical Monday? The one about how we spend our time with our eyes on the ground, looking for the stars?

See you when I get back.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random thoughts

Well, my friend Mike will have had his operation yesterday. I’m not close enough that it was appropriate to call, but I may do so this evening, just to make sure that everything went well. Consequently, though, it was a strange day yesterday... and just recently, another friend/business associate (who reads this blog, actually) had something of a trauma when his little grandson fell out of a 4th story window. He’s making a good recovery, but when I was listening to the story I found myself crying on the telephone, which was perhaps a little less than supportive. Or, at least, less supportive than I wanted to be. There's so much personal "stuff" going on, everywhere, it seems... and usually we just see a microcosm of each other's lives. Sometimes it pays to remember that everyone who walks past us in the street has a story...

My trip to Brussels was called off at the eleventh hour, as a consequence of some politicking in the client organisation. On the one hand, I wanted (and needed) to go, but it wasn’t good timing for me, and I’ve taken the opportunity to invite Mum over for dinner tonight. She’s 75, bless her, and I have to look after her... bloody shame she doesn’t drive, though, as I feel like a taxi service sometimes. Anyway, I’m cooking lamb medallions, baby roast potatoes and a selection of vegetables, and she can see the changes I’ve made over here since she last came to visit. I’ve also just printed off a lot of my photos, mostly black and white, and hung them all over the house. Now, every room I go in I have the children looking down on me. Even when I’m doing a wee, which is a little disconcerting.

Before I go, I just want to send some positive thoughts to another - special - friend who’s going through a hard time at the moment. Everything will work itself out, I know it will. It always does, given a little time... and, as you know, timing is everything. (Oh, and I hope you all didn’t come here expecting an HNT, by the way... I said I was retired, and I meant it. Check out the archives if you want some flesh – there’s plenty there to choose from!)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Musical Monday

My life has descended into complete madness.

I mentioned my friend being hospitalised (he has heart problems)... well, I spoke to him today and after having had an angiogram to see how severe the problem was he's scheduled for a quadruple heart bypass on Tuesday. He sounded scared, and I'm worried for him, but he's in a good hospital and - luckily - he hadn't actually suffered a heart attack when they took him in. In other words, there's no damage to the heart tissue, and the prognosis looks as good as it can look at this stage.

Anyway, I'm covering his work for him, but unfortunately that involves flying out to Brussels at sparrow fart on Thursday, returning late on Friday evening. Now, normally that wouldn't be too much of a problem, but I'm also scheduled to fly out to Tenerife on Sunday for a few days to see Bea (I know, I know... there's a lot to explain). I have other things to do besides sitting in aeroplanes, and the week is just about unmanageable. But at least I have my health, which is more than some people have, eh? Keep you fingers crossed for him please, and I'll let you know how he's doing later in the week.

Today's tracks are from an album I really love - a compilation called Nirvana Lounge, produced by Claude Challe and Ravin. Claude Challe is heavily involved in the Buddha Bar series, and this album is very similar... eclectic, trancy/dancy and very good get stoned to. And fuck to, actually.

Anyway, the first of these tracks, "Yarada" by Amar, fades nicely into the second - Karunesh and "Punjab". That's why I've posted both of them, and if you can listen to them one after the other I don't think you'll be disappointed. I have to say, though, that as I listened to the rest of the album I could have gone back and changed both tracks for any of the others, because its that kind of album.

Happy Musical Monday

Friday, October 06, 2006

Okay, here's the thing...

A day or two of reflection and things seem different... not quite as important as they did. And I have to say that I'm rather touched by the comments on my ranting apology of a post below, to the extent that I feel kind of wanted. It's nice, and I don't think I can turn my back on all this warmth and affection... so you're stuck with me. Sorry.

But there are going to be a couple of changes around here (he says in his sternest voice). For a start, my last HNT was my last HNT... it was fun, but for now its over. My body is a temple, after all, and giving of it too freely can't be a good thing. Secondly, I intend reverting to the (even more) open and honest style of posting on which this blog was always based. It's who I am, and how I am, after all... for better or worse!

So, this weekend, I'll be visiting you all, and whilst I intend getting round to everyone it may take a while - a friend and business associate has just telephoned me to say that he's in hospital for a few days so I've agreed to take on the work he had in order that he can still achieve his deadlines. It's put me in a fair bit of trouble myself, but I really couldn't say no. Oh, and I shall endeavour to respond to comments... I know its nice to see a response and I've always done my best to oblige. I like to, anyway.

And at least it means that I probably won't have time to bore you with posts about the flights to faraway places I've just booked, but you wouldn't want to hear about that anyway. Would you?

And seriously - thank you.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bear with me...

Okay, I'm going to have a bit of a brain-dump. I hope you don't mind...

Firstly, I think I have a case of the blues. I'm in a foul mood, which has meant that I haven't posted, commented, or generally been particularly sociable. I'm sorry - I'm not being rude, it's just one of those things. It's partly a kind of post-holiday reality, and partly pressure of work (and, conversely lack of work, which might sound strange). In any event, I've simply not been in a frame of mind that's condusive to sitting down in front of the laptop and playing. And I just shouted at my Mum.

Secondly, I came very, very close to deleting this blog today. There are a whole host of reasons, none of which I want to go into in detail. One or two things, though, have pissed me off and I'm becoming increasingly aware that when the lines that separate blog from "life" become blurred things tend to get... difficult. And, frankly, I don't need to come here for grief... there's more than enough of that in RL, thanks.

I'm not looking for a chorus of "don't do it"s but merely stating that I may have reached the end of the blogging road. I'll take a bit of time to think about it, and in the meantime will post when I feel like it and - for that matter - what I feel like. (It's not Fuck You Friday yet, is it? Shame.) That said, I appreciate the comments from those of you who saw fit to welcome me back... I'll visit you as soon as I can, although tomorrow is a bit manic as I have an interview in the afternoon arising from an unexpected call from a head-hunter a day or two ago; after that I have a friend/colleague coming over to stay in the evening so we can do some work on a bid whilst he's down in London. There'll be no HNT this week, as I can't be arsed (excuse the pun, which wasn't actually intended) and, in any event, I'm not in the mood. Sorry!

You may think this was something of a rant, but believe me if I'd posted what I really wanted to post you'd have been left in no doubt about it. The trouble is, I can't help behaving like a gentleman. Maybe it's an English thing, or maybe it just isn't worth it.

Thanks again to those who stopped by to say hello...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Was that a week? Really?

Well I guess it was... but to be honest I feel like I've been in a time warp. Or in some other, parrallel universe where the usual laws of nature no longer apply. And I have to say that - as weeks go - it was pretty perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I'm going to say very little on the subject, and instead give you a typical day in pictures.

By the way, have you ever heard of a Cuban Makeover? NML would be proud of me.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Adiós mis amigos

Es hora para mí de ir. Deséeme la buena suerte.

Hasta la vista.

PS I'll have no access to a computer whilst I'm away but I'll catch up with you all when I get back. And my beautiful friend celebrates her birthday tomorrow, so don't forget to stop by there to wish her a good one.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tears of a clown

I had the strangest experience last night, and it took me so unawares that I’m not entirely sure that I’ve got over it just yet. But it told me that when it comes to feelings it’s best to expect the unexpected.

I’d had a busy day, finishing off a piece of work that was already slightly late, getting some washing done for Sunday and touching up some of the paintwork in the hall. When the phone rang at about 8 o’clock I nearly let it go to answerphone, but I saw that it was PTFE and decided that I wanted to speak to her. So I took the call.

She was fine... we’ve been in sporadic contact since we split up anyway, and I knew she’d been busy working but was generally okay. Then she told me that she was seeing someone, that it was quite serious, and that he knew me. I could feel my stomach churn slightly as I asked who it was, and it turned out to be the guy that had tried to repair my laptop a while back when I had some problems that were the consequence of downloading a dodgy Windows Update. The funny thing is, he charged me £40 and couldn’t trace the problem – I ended up fixing it myself!

PTFE asked if he could pick up her make-up bag (remember the make-up bag?) and he duly arrived about an hour later. We chatted for a few minutes and then off he went, with his tight black t-shirt, new haircut and a twinkle in his eye. And you know what? I felt sick. I was no better hours later when I went to bed, and slept eventually having poured myself a large Scotch and popped a Melatonin or two.

So... what was that all about? I was adamant that I wanted to finish with her when she pleaded with me not to, and the only thing I can say in my own defence is that it wasn’t because I didn’t have feelings for her... they were just not quite as intense as the feelings she had for me. Yet now... well, I know what I’d say if it were someone else having this conversation with me. And although I might couch my advice in diplomatic terms, the message would be “live with it”.

Emotions – feelings – can be unpredictable sometimes, can’t they? But then I'm sure that a little pain is good for the soul... that’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

HNT 47

This week is just flying by... some hair-brained idea weeks ago, and suddenly it's nearly the weekend and time to pack. Yes, I may really be a lunatic, but at least my headstone won't be saying "He was bored". My life's a lot of things, but boring definitely isn't one of them.

Anyway, I'm now walking around the house enjoying the new floor downstairs and the rich colours of the bedroom upstairs. Amazing, isn't it, that after all the activity in my pink-ribboned-wallpaper-with-floral-border room, now it looks so nice it's just been me and, errmmm... well, Lola. And as she spends her time under the bed she doesn't even get to enjoy it.

So, Monday becomes Thursday yet again here at Chez WDKY and I think it's appropriate in the circumstances to leave you with the second installment of New Sheets. After all, life is just a series of installments, isn't it? Something of a black comedy in my case, but there you go...

New Sheets - 2 of 2

Happy HNT


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

That's much better...

I must admit, I kind of enjoyed allowing myself to offload a little bit in that last post. All the comments were much appreciated, and I apologise that I didn't get around to answering all of them directly... I've allowed myself to get a little bit sidetracked this week, and consequently I'm under pressure to complete some work before I go away. I was working late last night, and started early this morning, but I suspect it'll be a similar story for the rest of this week if I'm to avoid landing myself in the quagmire.

Anyway, I do feel a lot better about things now, and the truth is that we're no longer together for many good reasons over and above her particular penchant for infidelity. I remember her saying once "At least I'll be with someone who I can understand now..." which - in retrospect - was kind of funny. I'm bloody sure I'm not that hard to understand. Am I???

I can't remember if I mentioned that I went round to Red's the other evening for a, errrmmm... bite, and we exchanged presents from our recent holidays.

She then disappeared for a minute and came back holding something else behind her back, which transpired to be another present that she'd bought me back in February because she "couldn't think of anyone it suited more".

We split up the day after she bought it, but she'd kept it in the cupboard knowing that the opportunity would arise at some point or other. I think it's hysterical, and I'm drinking my coffee from it as I type this post.

As Sunday looms, and my (very) early morning flight from Stansted to Almeria gets ever closer, I'm beginning to feel like I'm making one of my now-famous mistakes. I mean, what am I thinking... a 28-year old Cuban? Am I a complete lunatic (that was a rhetorical question, incidentally)? Still, a week in Spain can only be a good thing, and the truth is that I may not be a spring chicken but I'm certainly not a fool... I'm just going to take things as they cum come. Ironically, someone I was really interested in for months has been asking me if we can go out, and it's taking all of my will-power at the moment to say no. But at least I said it, eh?

Thanks again for the "support". It felt rather nice to see a little vicarious loathing, although I noticed a tiny bit of empathy in there too. Obviously I ignored it, though :-)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Musical Monday

You know, I rarely post anything at all about my ex-wife, but at the moment I'm so full of anger that I could write a novel and publish it on here. In fact, the more interaction I have with her lately, the more convinced I am that she simply isn't a very nice person at all. Which doesn't say a great deal for me or my judgement, does it, considering we were married for nearly eleven years?

Anyway, she seems to have found out that I'm meeting Beatriz in Tenerife - no doubt one of the kids mentioned it, because it's not exactly a secret - and she sent me a text yesterday referring to "the illegal immigrant", which incidentally is nonsensical as (although Beatriz is Cuban) she has Spanish residency. She was also suggesting that I'll now want to "push the divorce through". I must admit I thought this was all pretty weird... but rather than get involved in an argument I replied, albeit slightly sarcastically, with "Well, you never know" thinking that would be the end of it. A minute later I got another message, and when I read it I realised that this was a woman with whom I'll never establish any kind of friendship again, let alone hold any respect for her. It simply said

"Well hurry along, you old fool."

What... fucking malice. I have no idea whether that little gem came from her or the piece of crap that she broke up our family for, but I do know that it makes me feel physically sick to think that we were ever married. And that I could have been with someone for so long that was so completely different to me in terms of her principles, and her values, and her treatment of other people. How does that happen... did I get it totally wrong, or has she just changed so much?

To be honest, it's put me in a really bad mood... I don't often feel like I have this anger bubbling away inside, but right now I can't deny that I do. Am I being stupid, and oversensitive? Maybe I am... but that's how it is, and sometimes you can't just rationalise things away - you just have to feel them. And even though I know this is a kind of negative energy, I'm just going to have to let it run its course, and hope that in the interim NO-ONE PISSES ME OFF!

Musical Monday

Well, when the going gets tough I always think it's time to play some music... it's a bit like chicken soup! And whilst I can't remember how I discovered Bonnie Raitt, I do know that this woman has the most gorgeous voice. She sings, plays guitar and writes her own songs and music, and has no less than nine Grammy's to her name... so I guess she must be doing something right, then.

This track is maybe a little mainstream compared to my usual taste, but it can tug at the heartstrings if you're in a susceptible mood (don't say you haven't been warned). And I suspect we've all felt what she's feeling at some time or another... I mean love isn't exactly risk-free, now, is it (unfortunately)?

Anyway, this is "I can't Make You Love Me", from the album Luck of the Draw. I was just amazed, incidentally, when I checked the release date, which was 15 years ago. God help me... maybe I am an old fool after all :-)

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

(a href="http://wdkylondon.blogspot.com/2006/03/musical-monday.html" target="_blank")(img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y123/LightestTouch/musicalmonday.jpg" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Random thoughts

For one reason or another, yesterday I was looking at a few posts from the end of last year/beginning of this. Then I went back to the more recent ones, and I realised that things have become a little... fluffy around here. Posts about decorating (I mean, come on...) and the usual ruckus around Thursday every week – I’m not sure that I’m happy with the situation. So I’m going to have a rethink. And actually, I suspect that I’ll continue with HNT until I hit number 50 in a few weeks and then retire gracefully. We’ll see.

Anyway, I was wondering what was “different” about my life now to then, and I concluded that the main source of angst has been pretty much removed. By which I mean, the whole dating/women/relationship thing that was the fuel for a lot of the emotional trauma I wrote about has taken something of a back seat since I got back from Tenerife, and it seems to me that once you take “relationships” out of the equation life becomes... well, easier. Smoother. I think that’s quite interesting, though, and just goes to prove certain things (I’ve got no idea what they are, mind you, but I'm sure it proves them anyway. Yes?).

So... my sister came round last night, ostensibly because things in her life have settled down a bit and she’s no longer trying to stay invisible to the world at large. Or that’s what she thought until we started talking, because she had her head buried so far in the sand that I’m surprised it hadn’t come out in China. She and her husband have got some thinking to do – the most serious thinking they’ve ever done, actually. They’ve got themselves knee-deep in shit, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a way out at the moment. Not from where I’m sitting, anyway. As we talked I also realised how self-absorbed she’s become. You know when people are listening to you, but only so that the nanosecond you’ve finished talking they can jump back in with what they want to say – about themselves – because they think that everything's about them? And nothing else can be as important... we were really close once, when we were younger. It was a nice evening, but that closeness isn't there any more.

Well, so be it. But I think I have to acknowledge that I have a family that hasn’t quite got the hang of taking care of itself, and I can’t spend the rest of my life taking care of them. Sooner or later, everyone has to grow up and take some responsibility... because that’s what changes when we become “adults”, isn’t it? We have to do that, whether we want to or not.

Right... time to get the sproglets their breakfast. I’m sorry that I’ve been a very sporadic visitor of late, but the decorating saga has finally come to an end (no – no more photos!) and life has settled down again for now. So get the kettle on, I’ll be over soon.

And last, but by no mean least... Happy Birthday, Anu x

Thursday, September 14, 2006

HNT 46

***Apologies for not visiting... I'm painting. Again!***

I don't know about you, but I don't think there's anything to compare to getting into a bed with crisp new sheets. And there's something about those deep shades of red that's really... sexy. That being the case I decided to do a bit of a mini-series based in the new sheets theme. This, then, is

New Sheets - 1 of 2

Happy HNT


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I've had enough!

My god... first the bedroom, and then straight into the new flooring. It's been a tiring, messy, irritating week, but I'm nearly there now. In fact I should be there already but things went a bit... well, wrong, actually.

The floor went down beautifully, first in the lounge...

and then in the office...

but when it came to the small hall (well, a little square at the bottom of the stairs, actually) and the porch it all became a bit more complicated! I decided to remove what was the original front door, assuming that the frame would just "come out" and I could fill the rebate. But I didn't count on all the plaster coming off the wall, so I ended up needing some help from the flooring contractors. Quite a lot of help actually, and this is how it looks at the moment...

Anyway, I guess I have a bit more painting to do, and I want to finish it off for Friday because my sister is coming over to stay and she's been too "busy" to have visited for the best part of a year. You may remember that she had some problems of her own and spent a few weeks making herself invisible to various parties who fancied chatting to her. Well, all has now been resolved, and she's going to be living about ten minutes drive from me, taking up her old job (she's a hairdresser) as of next week.

It's been something of a family drama actually, but in my family we're used to drama. Well, I try to steer clear, personally, but I've always been a little different to my brother and sister. Which is fine by me, because different has always appealed to me, for some reason.

Now... can I muster up some energy for HNT??? I'm not sure to be honest, but right now I'm going to go for a run and listen to some music en route. And I think I've just decided on next week's Musical Monday, so I guess that's what'll be on my iPod. Its... ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Musical Monday

Before I start...

I remember very clearly where I was, and what I was doing, when the disaster that we we now call "9/11" took place. And although I'm a long way away, the connections I have with, and in, NYC meant that I felt it in a more direct sense than I might otherwise have done. If that's possible, because I've never seen anything like it in my life, and hope to God I don't again. (And believe me when I say that we understand the meaning of terrorism on this small island.)

Be that as it may, all I want to say on the subject is that my heart goes out to everybody directly affected by the loss of life that day, and also to those who weren't impacted by personal tragedy but who were still affected by the trauma that was the inevitable consequence.

I was going to carry on waffling about the day to day crap that I normally post about, but actually I won't - other than to say I didn't get that job I went for... they said that they "feel it's the wrong thing for my business". Nice of them to determine my strategy for me, don't you think? Anyway, thank god there's always music... and today I'm giving you Damien Rice, and "The Blower's Daughter". A very, very beautiful song, and something slightly more... human to think about, considering what day it is. Enjoy.

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

(a href="http://wdkylondon.blogspot.com/2006/03/musical-monday.html" target="_blank")(img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y123/LightestTouch/musicalmonday.jpg" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

Friday, September 08, 2006

The bedroom project

So... I did say that I'd post a couple of photos of the bedroom when it was finished, and I like to keep my word. I've just got a couple of small jobs left to do on the woodwork, and I'm changing the handles in the silly little built-in cupboards, but essentially it's done. Thank god!

Okay, first, a quick reminder, just to make myself feel like I've accomplished something...

Anyway, the first photo is of the bed and picture that you've seen before, and although it's not a very good angle (lots of distortion, and the wall behind the bed has come out lighter than it actually is) you can see that I've got some new bedding. The carpet in the bedroom is actually a deep red - exactly the same colour as one of the shades on the bedding, in fact) so it all looks quite nice together.

The second one is of the wall with the fireplace and wardrobe. There are actually two interesting things about this photo, though... firstly, if you like contemporary art you may recognise the picture on the wall - it's a framed sketch of Lichtenstein's "Girl With Hair Ribbon" and the only thing hung on the walls that isn't oil or acrylic on canvas. I love it. Secondly, look very carefully at the bottom of the left hand wardrobe door... yes, there's a number (9,000) in black felt tip pen. My son, bless him, decided to do it one day, and when I asked him what on earth had induced him to deface my favourite wardrobe - and he still had felt tip on his hands at the time - he came up with that classic answer that all parents are familiar with. "It wasn't me, Daddy". But he looked at me with that beautiful face of his, and I couldn't bring myself to get too cross. Not for long, anyway...

Oh, and I nearly forgot - this is the other side of the room. You may have seen that shower cubicle before, because it featured in one of my more popular HNT's!

So, that's another job done, and the new wooden floor goes down this weekend, all being well. After that, it's a party at my place, and you're all invited. Just bring a bottle and a sleeping bag, unless you fancy getting cosy in those new red sheets :-)

Have a good one!

A "sticky" message

Sorry if I haven't appeared in your comments for a while - blame it on beta, rather than any laziness on my part! If you're on the old platform and don't allow anonymous comments, I'm afraid that I'm screwed!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

HNT 45

You know, I've been thinking over the last couple of days... painting, and thinking. And the conclusion I've come to is simple, really.

Nothing in life is black and white.

Happy HNT!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A bit of an update

Well, I thought I'd post a bit of an update, hence the title. So, lets see...

The pitch yesterday seemed to go reasonably well, but I must admit I'm not even sure if I want to win the job. The money would be fantastic, and its only for 6 months... but I'd hardly see the kids compared to the amount I see them now, and that was one of the primary reasons for going self-employed in the first place. I'd also have little time to do anything else with regard to the business, and I'm not sure that's a good thing either. All in all, if I'm not successful I can certainly live with it.

The Bedroom Project is coming along nicely... stage 2, which is getting the walls covered and ready for painting, will be finished today and with a bit of luck the painting will be finished tomorrow. Then, on Saturday, the new floor goes down on the porch/hall, the lounge and the office. I'm so excited - and here's a couple of pictures pending my anticipated Finished Bedroom HNT later this week :-)

Now, if you haven't checked out Musical Monday keep on scrolling down... but in the meantime I have to say that I'm totally indebted to the blogosphere's most beautiful mouse, because she tought me how to do... this!

Thank you, Susan x

A "sticky" message

Sorry if I haven't appeared in your comments for a while - blame it on beta, rather than any laziness on my part! If you're on the old platform and don't allow anonymous comments, I'm afraid that I'm screwed!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Musical Monday

I'm going for something a little different for Musical Monday this week, but before that will you please take a moment to cross your fingers and wish me luck? I'm pitching for a six-month project this morning that - if I get it - will pay me just about a year's income or thereabouts. I reckon I have a one-in-three chance, and I'm very nervous indeed. I'm even going to wear a tie, which for me is almost unheard of, so I must be taking it seriously ;-)

Anyway, to Musical Monday... and I've opted for a video style presentation today, featuring the great Johnny Cash with a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song (and their version is also amazing)... "Hurt". You may know the song from the latest Nike ad if you're from the UK, but somehow watching JC sing it too adds a kind of... gravitas. And it's a fitting obituary to a great man. Incidentally, Trent Reznor was so blown away by this cover that, after hearing it and seeing the video for the first time, he subesequently referred - and still refers - to Hurt as "the song that isn't mine anymore". The video itself was a multi-award winner, and was the last hit that Cash recorded before he died.

See what you think, but I've also chosen to post the lyrics too this week. And actually, on my more melancholy days I can almost feel them.

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that's real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything

what have I become
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

Want to play? Just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

(a href="http://wdkylondon.blogspot.com/2006/03/musical-monday.html" target="_blank")(img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y123/LightestTouch/musicalmonday.jpg" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket" border="0" /)(/a)

A "sticky" message

Sorry if I haven't appeared in your comments for a while - blame it on beta, rather than any laziness on my part! If you're on the old platform and don't allow anonymous comments, I'm afraid that I'm screwed!


Saturday, September 02, 2006

A quiet weekend

Well, thanks for all the good wishes for my first anniversary in blogdom. One year... and I have to confess it hadn’t really occurred to me quite what a year it’s been, until I read Kimmy’s comment – emotional melodramas, a burglary - while I was in my fucking bed - and the start-up of a new business... it really was a year to remember. And I should have mentioned that I’ve met (yes, in three dimensions) some really fantastic people from the blogosphere, all of whom proved that their personalities that we see in the written word are an accurate reflection of who they really are, as human beings. It’s refreshing to see that there’s some reality in this environment! As well as some entertainment.

Anyway, I had a bit of a template day today, having decided that my sidebar was becoming much too unwieldy. Consequently I spent far too long playing with drop-down menus, but hopefully they’re an improvement on what was there before (do me a favour – if you don’t think so just pretend). They seem to work when they pull the attributes for the content straight from the template code as you can for archives and recent posts, but not so well when I want to use a more traditional list, say of URL’s for HNT or Musical Monday. I could get the design of the drop-down how I wanted it but I couldn’t get the lists to work, so if anyone knows the answer to this little problem I’d love to know too. Call me.

Other than that, it’s been a quiet weekend, and I guess that’s to be expected because I’m in a kind of limbo for the next two or three weeks. Bea and I chat on IM, or speak on the telephone, for two or three hours every day (yes, we even bought webcams – how sweet is that?) but it’s obviously not the same as being with each other... still, it’s proving to be an interesting experience, that’s for sure! And although there’s a sense of unreality about it at the moment, that’s going to change very soon. And then, I guess, we’ll have more of an idea as to how sustainable it might be.

Right... I’m going to have a coffee and a cigarette, clear up the kitchen and watch some football. Hope you guys are all having good weekends (especially across the water, where it’s a long one, I think) and thanks again for all the kind words. One year... who’d have thought ;-)

By the way...

In their infinite wisdom, Blogger seem to have decided that anyone using the beta platform can no longer comment on the old-style blogs (because they've merged the old and new accounts onto Google - the pillocks). This really is a pain, but I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you. In fact, I'm immensely pissed off about it. So go on... switch to beta... you know you want to!

(Update on comment problems... Mez came up with a good solution to the beta/non-beta issue, but it only works on blogs that allow anonymous comments. The others seem to require a Blogger sign in, which unfortunately I can't do. So, again, apologies if I don't comment until Blogger/Google get their act together... then again, if you miss me that much you can always enable anonymous comments, eh?)

Friday, September 01, 2006

It's my Blogiversary

You know, I've missed a couple of landmarks lately... 50,000 hits and my 250th post amongst them. But this particular occasion is kind of auspicious, so I thought I'd celebrate with a post in it's honour.

Because today is my very first Blogiversary... and I can't quite believe it myself, actually! I was looking back over some earlier entries, and realised again that I lost all my comments prior to mid-February, when I switched from Blogger comments to Halsoscan. That's a real shame, but there are one or two entries that I thought I might link to today.

Hopefully you'll forgive me this (relatively) small indulgence, and I really do hope that I'm still posting, and you're still reading, this time next year. And - of course - thank you.

My first post
My first post about SEX!
My first HNT
A bad day
A bit of a rant
The burglary
A word from Carey
A glimpse of New York
Stoned at the Tate
Staying authentic
The very first Musical Monday
The end of CFG
My beautiful girl
Bad karma
I'm a...errrmmm...
A dose of reality

Well, there you are then... some highlights from the last, and my first, blogging year. And - maybe - see you next time. My place :-)

P.S. That was, of course, what I meant when I referred to this being a "momentous" week, but I get the impression there's a bit of suspicion out there that things on the personal front are very quiet of late. And the truth is, I do have something of a secret... well, it's about my trip to Spain, actually. Because the thing is, I'm meeting Bea, my Cuban girl there. Never a dull moment, eh?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

HNT 44

Well, the decorating continues apace, although I have to admit that my body is now crying out for rest! God, wasn't that pink wallpaper and border awful (yoursecret was right - how I ever maintained an erection in that room is beyond me, although in fact I maintained many). Anyway, next week it will be painted, a fairly soft beige colour in a silk finish - "Earthsone", if you're interested. And I'm painting the woodwork in a cream satinwood, instead of the UK's more usual white gloss. Then putting up some paintings and - voila!

All in all, I admit it... time was short what with decorating (and getting plaster dust out my pants hair) , working and looking after the kids; and - in any event - I was kind of impressed when I saw what Picturetrail could do on one or two other HNT participant's blogs last week. So I decided to give you a treat today - yes, six for the price of one! Put your complaints in writing if you have any, and Customer Services will get back to you shortly.

Or not.

Happy HNT! Oh, and it's a big day tomorrow so make sure you stop by - and I might just tell you a little secret, too!


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The bedroom project

(Update: Okay, I know the paper is vile, and I should have got around to decorating my room earlier. I know that! But there are a lot of very understandable "yikes"s out there, and I just wnated to emphasise that I hate it too. Really, I hate it!

Secondly, I've found a solution for the Blogger beta/Hipcast problem. And - believe me - it isn't pretty!)

Okay... now, I realise that this is going to be a really boring post, but hey - I worked hard, you know. And that wallpaper and border was on the wall when I moved in... I didn't choose it. Honestly.

So, anyway, day one started with some wholesale destruction. Or, at least, the removal of the picture rail and some paper...

... followed by a feeling of complete panic. And then a bit of plastering.

I've got a bit more, errmmm... stripping to do, and some more making good, and then I'll be lining the walls and painting everything. Including the carpet, no doubt. But that'll be next week, so the rest of this weeks posts will be slightly more interesting.

In fact, this is something of a momentous week for reasons that will be revealed. By Friday, I promise.

See ya!