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  1. #101
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Thursday, June 08th 2017 (Applying Myself)



    This summer is flying by so quickly that I'll have to be careful to stop and suck some of it in – else I'm in danger of letting it slip away. Mind you – given the way that the weather has been recently there is little chance for summer. We'll get back there again soon. I just hope that this rain doesn't keep going through to tomorrow and, most importantly, Saturday night for the big walk. Fifty miles in the warm (but also strangely cool) night and into the morning would be fine without the extra hassle of having to battle against any dodgy weather. It'll be hard enough as it is. The rain is easing off a little now that we are into the evening but it hasn't vanished altogether and the sky looks as though it could fall again at any given moment.

    I'm back in the cave writing this evening having just spent the longest spell at Lindsay's since the Christmas period. Nothing much changes while I'm away. The plant I am hoping to keep alive for a full year is now eleven months and one week old and is going strong. The place is as I left it. There is plenty mail. My latest Triage appointment has come through. It's on Wednesday next week. I won't be going. I haven't been since I started attending the college and shouldn't even be getting these appointments through the door but if I just keep ignoring them then I should continue to receive sickness benefit over the ten summer months.

    One piece of mail, more a little calling card actually, is from my housing officer. Again he is saying that the council has received complaints regarding my cave being uninhabited. It's been abandoned. I'm lucky that it's dated today. He's been to my door this morning. With me texting back this afternoon it looks more like I am living here full time. It would have been a little on the dodgy side had he posted the card through the door last week and it had taken me until now to get back to him. He would have had more reason to be suspicious then. As things stand it appears to be working out for me but this time he wants to come out again and visit me at home. I don't know who he'll be bringing with him but I'm expecting it to be a little more difficult this time. I'm expecting them to push me a bit more.

    I'm pleased to say that I managed to pass my radio broadcasting unit at the college this morning and so that ticks off another box in the list of things to do before this qualification becomes something I've officially completed. There's not much left and so I've been thinking a little about what might be best for me to do next. The radio lecturer gave me his sales pitch and did a good job of advertising his course to me. The biggest concern for me in doing the sound production is the chances that I'll find work in the field once I've qualified. They say that there are many different things that you can do with the sound production degree but they're gonna say that, aren't they!? The radio lecturer seems better able to prove that there are greater working opportunities after we've graduated.

    I apply for the radio course. It's better to apply for courses now and to refuse the offers over the summer than it is to do what I've already done this year and not apply (as was the case with my top choice which was to study psychology at Dundee University. Like I said though – I failed to actually apply. I think that fear combined with a lack of confidence and belief in myself to ruin that chance for me. I kept telling myself that I wouldn't be accepted due to lack of experience) and so I spent the rest of the morning applying for courses and looking through the prospectus.

    The radio course is a two year diploma and after that they work with Sunderland University with the degree program. Sunderland is down south in England, near Newcastle, and would be a lovely little trip away for study. Chances of working in the industry (or at least in some part of the sound industry) seem to be quite high as the lecturer recounts many former students who have all passed their degree by doing the two year diploma in this town followed by the Sunderland degree option.

    Another course I applied for is the Practical Journalism. This was an idea that English Sara had suggested to me a couple of years ago when I was just sobering up. It would perhaps whet my appetite for writing and put it to some good, or some bad, depending on how you look at it. Again it would be a two year diploma and then onto a degree somewhere else. They don't seem to have a partnership with a university like they do with the radio program and so I'm not sure what the next step would be. Universities tend to be a little on the pompous side when it comes to things like this. They tend to want you to start and finish with them rather than start somewhere else and then join later on. I'll likely get an interview so I'll be able to ask plenty questions over the summer.

    Then there's the option of staying on and doing the sound production diploma. All three of these courses would run at the same level (Level Seven/HNC next year and then Level Eight/HND the following year) and then lead onto university afterwards should I find my chosen course to be desirable. I know that at thirty nine I am pushing it a little. These courses all take time and two or three years from now I will be well into my early forties. When I consider the wreckage that has been my past life though it kind of makes me feel as if there has never been a better time to go off and do something like this. I'll never get another chance. I should choose wisely. Radio broadcasting; practical journalism; sound production.

    I'll have plenty to think about over the next two months.


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    Stevie

    Giving himself plenty to think about.

    1079

  2. #102
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Friday, June 09th 2017 (Planning the Walk)



    I've gone and got myself up this morning far too early. I've ages to go before I have to be at the Charity Shop Cafe for my voluntary shift this morning. This is all part of the plan though. I went to bed late last night and got up early this morning. Tonight I will be staying up late again but tomorrow morning I will be sleeping in. I'm hoping to sleep right into Saturday afternoon. This is for that bloody walk this weekend. I'm trying to get my body into the habit of having energy at night. The walk kicks off at around midnight tomorrow night and I'll be walking right through the night and into the early afternoon of Sunday. When I wake up early tomorrow afternoon that'll be the last of me being in bed until Sunday night when the walk is all over. The God of my understanding knows how badly I want this walk to be over.

    The Charity Shop Cafe has put the prices up on some of its products. I'm okay with that but remember talking with that MSP at the meeting the other week about changes planned for our community in the coming months and him saying that there is a difference between a volunteer and a voluntary worker. That I am actually a voluntary worker. He kind of got me into the way of thinking that what I am doing by giving up some of my time to help out the cause of the charity shop is in some way me allowing myself to in some ways be exploited. Elsa, who is the manager, has just been to Portugal on holiday for two weeks. This is all fine and well, people go on holiday (even I now have one booked and paid for), but it does make me wonder a little now that the prices have been increased on some of the products in the cafe. I'm paying thirty five pence more now than I was last week at this time and I'm getting nothing extra for it. The systems we have in place ensure that nothing that doesn't succumb to it has a chance of surviving.

    I was thinking a while back that things seemed to be happening in fortnights these last few months. At the time there was a fortnight until I was to walk into my first AA meeting in ninety days. A fortnight after that was Lindsay's friend's wedding and the AA convention. A fortnight after that was to be the massive walk I had signed up for. A fortnight after that was to be the end of the college year. Each of these fortnights has resulted in disappointments if I'm being honest. The return to AA was nothing short of disastrous. The wedding was okay but my struggling to connect with anything while there fairly bettered on my self-esteem. This next fortnight is all but upon me. The walk.

    I've to arrive at Holyrood Park between nine and ten tomorrow night. I have then to make my way to the pink tent which is where I'll be registering for the event. I can then head off to the yellow area to set up camp and prepare myself. Lindsay will be coming with me up to this point. She won't be allowed in the yellow area as she isn't registered but she'll be needing to get back to the bus station around this time anyway. We're hopefully heading to Edinburgh from whenever I wake up tomorrow and get a bus through to have a look around the shops and a bite to eat. She'll then be making her way back to her flat which is, amazingly, not even as far from the starting grid as the end of my challenge will be.

    I have packed everything I need into my little bag. I have my Cap and Walker Number. Apparently it's important that we wear our caps as it helps the volunteers to recognise us from the other, more sane, walkers. There are apparently going to be several hundred to a couple of thousand taking part on the night but only one hundred of us are set to be doing the two laps. Our caps are different colours and from the halfway point onwards I think they have strict policies in place to look after those trying for the fifty miles.

    We will get a little break after the first marathon. We had to select our half-time meal (well.....soup) when we applied for this challenge and so we get that plus a chance to change our clothing, socks or shoes, and to collect our marathon medal. Then it's off for the next lap around the track. The second marathon. The temptation to sit will be strong at this point but I should be careful. Much will depend on the time it takes me to complete that first lap as the challenge shuts down exactly fourteen hours after the first challengers, which will be us, set off from the starting grid. The council will be wanting the roads back up and running by then. For the second lap I think there are vehicles driving around which carry water supplies and cereal bars and suchlike. If we get stuck along the way or feel thirsty then we are to contact volunteer and they will flag down a vehicle. It says this on their little sheet:

    ''On your second lap, we will not keep Marshals at fixed locations, instead it will become a moveable feast and they will travel with you, consequently foot, bike, and car Marshals will continually patrol the distance between the front and back Walkers ensuring that you have all you will need in the case of water etc. The route will be clearly marked to assist you.''

    Initially I just started walking as a way to combat the slight cravings I was having for cigarettes. I didn't want to put on weight as a result of my quit. Now it's turned into a fifty two mile walk for breast cancer and I've only been off the cigarettes for one hundred and twenty two days or so.

    Hopefully this fortnight's challenge will be more successful than the return to AA's rooms and the wedding was. The next fortnight will see me finish up with the college and gain my NC in sound production. It'll also spell the end for me in terms of knowing what it is I have to do from one week to the next.

    As soon as this walk is over I'm going to have to get busy.


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    Stevie

    Preparing for that damn walk.

    1126

  3. #103
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Saturday, June 10th 2017 (The Morning of the Walk)



    You'll know straight away that I've managed to complete both laps of this monstrous walk as I'll call tomorrow's post ''Two Medals.'' Any other title and it means I've failed to get round the second lap and so only get my marathon medal. Two Medals it will hopefully be but exactly how I'll manage to do this I haven't the faintest idea. People keep telling me that it'll be different on the night, that I'll manage to get more miles in as the event will heighten my motivation. I get this. I can see how this could happen. I don't see how it will make my legs any more capable of walking distances it hasn't been able to in the past, not that it's ever tried.

    We're gonna be heading out soon as there's a few things I need to get first. I know – I sound disorganised, rushing out to get stuff at the last minute, but to be fair to myself I only received the email last night telling me of all the rules and conditions associated with and fixed to the event. One of them is that no walkers are allowed to wear backpacks of any kind. We are to store goodies we might need (phones, extra cash, blister kits, anything we might need) in bum-bags instead. Being a guy my initial thought is something along the lines of: ''Ahem, excuse me!?!? Did someone just say gay-bag!?'' but I have to look quickly past this as I prepare to head out to pick one up. I could do with getting the carbohydrates in me as well. I could also probably benefit from getting something to wear on my bottom half. Jeans and the tracksuit I have are no go's.

    I've upped my efforts to contact Barry the Bullet even dragging my brother into the mix. He uses that What's App thing that I don't and the last few times I've struggled to get a hold of Barry it's been through Gary and What's App. This time not even Gary can get an answer. I've tried Barry's brother but he seems as elusive as Barry himself. I await Gary's response. Will What's App save the day again?

    It's a good thing that this has maybe happened actually. I reached out to my brother. Since it doesn't look like I'll get around to typing out that session with Dr. Bacon I'll just quickly mention a little about what he was saying last week with regards to my brother. I explained to him all about how I used to feature heavily in my nieces' lives but now just play a little infrequent cameo and that I have a particular distaste towards this new role. I'm struggling to fit into it. I want my brother, or his wife, to get in contact with me and reassure me that I am a part of the family. To be sitting on these cold and barren outskirts is most uncomfortable (which is strange because you'd think I'd be used to it giving how isolated and on the fringes of society I once was). I explain that Scottish Sarah had text me out of the blue one evening to say that Oldest Niece had mentioned that I don't visit anymore and that she misses me.

    Dr. Bacon – ''Sounds to me like when she was saying ''they miss you'' that she was perhaps saying ''WE miss you?''

    Stevie - ''…...I don't think so...''

    But there's a chance he could be right. We also look back at our communication over the course of 2017 and it would seem that what is going on right now is pretty common. I sit and wait on them to contact me. Just before Oldest Niece's birthday in February it was they who contacted me. Then there was a spell when I wasn't around for about six weeks. It was then Sarah who broke the ice. Now it's been around the same again yet it is I waiting by the phone on another call. From their perspective I must seem pretty disinterested. This time I pick up the phone – stop things from getting any worse.

    Last night I decide to give Barry the Bullet one more try but his phone goes straight to answer-phone. For all I know he's quit and has given up. He's maybe even gone and got himself another job. I just need to know which addresses are still on our books and I can go out myself, if I know where the ladders are. There's so much I don't know about this business now that only Barry does. I give up and head to bed.

    This morning I wake and check my phone. Has Gary heard from him and left a message? I'm afraid not. I'm still none-the-wiser. I dial Barry's number one more futile time. This time it starts to ring.

    Barry the Bullet – ''Hello?''

    Stevie – ''Barry?''

    Barry the Bullet – ''Steve?''

    Turns out he's still been going out cleaning the windows but not as often and not for around five weeks now. Things are salvagable. He didn't reply to the Facebook friend request I made using Lindsay's account (I just will not go down that road myself) because it seemed like an old woman trying to reach him. Turns out that it was the anniversary of Lindsay's gran's death and so she had temporarily changed her profile picture. Barry's looked at it and thought that it must have been some mistake. None of this matters now.

    Stevie – ''I only have two weeks left at the college. Four days actually, then that's me off for the summer.''

    We arrange things for this coming week. I'll be at college on Monday and Tuesday so Wednesday we arrange it for. I don't know where we'll be meeting yet. The ladders are at some guy called Andy's house as he was in the area when he last was out working. I don't know who this guy is or where he stays so as things stand I'm not really any further forward. This could all still turn out to be nothing yet.

    But I'm not going to think along those lines. I have to stay positive and will need positive vibes and thoughts when we get to twenty four hours from now when I'm either honing in on the finish line or sitting in the ditch cursing my failure.

    You'll know straight away tomorrow if I managed to complete both marathons as I'll title the post ''Two Medals.'' Any other title and I didn't manage it.

    I'll see you at the finish line.


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    Stevie

    Going back to work.

    1130

  4. #104
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Sunday, June 11th 2017 (One Medal)


    It's a little predictable really but I didn't manage to finish the double marathon and claim my second and most sought after medal. I still like the one I've got though. The problem was pace. I attached myself to the end of a little group that were setting quite a strong pace from the get-go and did my best to keep up with them. This was tough going but a huge distance started to build up between us and the next closest group behind. If we wanted to realistically complete two marathons in fourteen hours then it would be essential to complete the first one in less than seven hours. After the first marathon there's a little health check and the option of some soup. This is all fine and well but every second that ticks away during the half time break is a second that you're not getting back at the end of the second lap.

    This group I was slowly establishing myself as being a part of were starting to look as though we were going to set a first lap time of under six hours. This would be pretty good going and would be by far the fastest time I've ever walked twenty six miles. It would leave eight hours for the second marathon. Things were going really well.....until I felt something just after the eighteen mile mark. Something in my leg telling me that the rest of the night was going to be a little tougher. As the miles started to drag in I noticed how much I was starting to struggle to keep up with my group. At this point I think I should have dramatically slowed the pace. I should have thought, ''Okay – that's been a really fast first eighteen miles. Let's slow it right down for the rest of the lap and stop thinking about the time quite so much.''

    The fifty two miles was never all that realistic for me but I had my sights kind of set on forty miles. That would have been a success in my view. Had I slowed the pace and played for distance rather than time then the forty miles may have been achievable. As it went I kept the speed high – determined to get what was looking like a sub six hour marathon. Around twenty two miles I found that the group was just keeping the pace too consistently for me and my poor legs and a small gap started to build. Still there is no one in sight behind us, maybe a dozen walkers in front. The last two miles are the worst and the regret of trying to reach the six hour marathon sinks in as the gap between my group and me becomes large. Eventually we reach a corner in the track and they go out of sight for the first time in the night. From then on it just gets worse.

    I manage to stumble across the finish line in six hours and forty five which means that those last couple of miles must have been really slow. My group vanished from sight altogether and those who had been so far behind us that they could not be seen by us started to overtake me. Six hours and forty five minutes is still my quickest ever time at walking twenty six and a bit miles but were it not for my stupid little legs starting to feel the burn around that eighteen mile mark, if they'd just managed to hold out a little longer, maybe another two or three miles, then I might have been able to keep up with the group.

    So I have my medal and I'm sitting back at Moonwalk City munching on my soup and roll and I can't shake off the feeling that this will be impossible now. I've taken on a challenge that is far too much for me. It's the time limit that makes it so difficult. Two marathons. I guess that anyone could do it given enough time but as I'm sitting there nursing my poor feet (it kind of changes actually, rotates where the pain may be felt. On moment it will be in the legs or feet and then I'll get used to that so it'll change and my lower back will start hurting. Then it'll be my shoulders. Then back to the bottom half again, and on and on) the big clock strikes half past six in the morning meaning that the halfway point has now passed. This would then mean that I would have to do the second marathon in under seven hours. Still though – there are Over the Moon walkers (those committed to taking on both marathons) coming in and then ten minutes later they'll set back out again.

    They won't have time to finish. Besides the group that I was a part of for those first six hours and the group in front of us I doubt that anyone else will make it within the time limit. Still though – they head out and give it a blast. I notify the volunteers that I won't be doing the second lap and I rest some more before heading back to the bus station. I guess that I should have done what those walkers coming in after me did. They went at a comfortable pace, even though it meant that they were finishing half an hour after me – a true Hare and the Tortoise moment – and then just went for the second lap as best as they could until the time limit expires and they are asked to leave the course. At least this way they would have more miles under their belt than I do.

    I'm sitting at Lindsay's now and wondering what to do about next year. Will there be a next time? This is an annual event. I'd have to work hard on my stamina and pace in order to even have a hope of trying for that second lap. I don't really see the point in just trying for the first lap as the fourtene hour time limit pretty much means that you could almost crawl your way to the finish line on time. The two laps though? That seems so far away given last night's performance that my feet ache just thinking about it.

    There were around forty of us Over the Moon walkers. There were around the same number of children out there trying for the half lap. There were two people in their eighties – one did the mini walk (six miles) and another (at eighty three) was trying to complete the half marathon. It's hard to forget what the event is actually all about. It's about Scotland uniting against and raising money for breast cancer.

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    Stevie

    Starting to feel a little stronger this afternoon.

    1163

  5. #105
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Monday, June 12th 2017 (Not All That Stiff)



    The legs aren't as stiff as I might have imagined them to be on a morning such as this. I'd expect them to be a little on the cramped side but that isn't the case at all. My body has recovered quite well and quite quickly. This will be really important given my desire to get back out to work with Barry the Bullet midweek. I wonder how some of the other walkers are faring at this moment. Those who completed the double marathon are probably doing okay as they tended to be obvious fitness experts but the normal guy and girl doing the marathon might be feeling one or two tightened thighs or calves right about now. My muscles feel okay until I sit in one position for a little too long. Usually when I go to stand up I am reminded of what it was I was doing this weekend.

    Walking around Edinburgh at this time of the morning allowed me to see a little more clearly what it is actually like. What is really behind all of that famous architecture and history? Unfortunately it is nothing nice. Homeless people. In Fife where I live in Scotland we have the best homeless system in the whole of the United Kingdom. The British government is presently trying to squeeze the life out of it but as things stand it is strong. On the two main occasions I have had nowhere to stay I have found the system to be very accommodating. The people I am walking past this morning in Edinburgh are not so fortunate. This is the real Edinburgh, the real Scotland

    . There's a sickness can be felt in my stomach a little regarding what it is that I am actually involved in here. Sure – I am showing support for breast cancer and that is fine and all that. After all – the homeless people probably deserve to be homeless, right!? They probably had homes and all that but gave them up because they're junkies, yeah!? The truth is that some of us make as much of a choice to become homeless as others do to contract breast cancer. What if some of these women smoke? Does what we eat not have an effect on our odds of cancer growing within us. The Moonwalk all of a sudden seems so incredibly selfish and exclusive – a way of raising money for those who already have plenty. Why can't there just be a big walk where you raise money for what it is that you want to raise money for?

    I left the college early this afternoon. I was stuck on something and was becoming frustrated that there were no lecturers around to help me out. I decided just to leave. It's not often I am stuck on something but it is often that there are no lecturers around. Considering what they earn it is frustrating that they are so seldom available. It seems as though things are going to be going right to the wire with us this year when most of us might have already finished our NC by now had we had the luxury of having a lecturer present.

    I have an assessment coming up on the technology we use at the college to create our projects and so I should have a little look at that for the rest of this post. I believe that the main parts we will be asked about will be:

    The host computer, DAW software, audio interface, the MIDI controller, and probably monitoring. Here's a little look at the specifications of each and the role they play in me producing these projects at the college:

    The host computer.*

    This is the PC in front of me. This contains an Operating System (Windows 7 in this case) - HP Intel i5 with 16.0 GB RAM and is a 64-bit Operating System. DAW system (Ableton Live)*
    Contains HDD (Hard Disk Drive) to store software applications (DAW - Digital Audio Workstation) and to store music library; and also to load and save*projects.*
    Hosts input/output devices.

    Inputs = qwerty keyboard/mouse/MIDI keyboard (Novation Launchkey 49)/audio interface.*

    Outputs = *audio interface/VDU (Visual Display Unit = AKA. The Screen on the monitor).*

    The audio interface provides bus power to external devices. This is an important thing to remember.*

    DAW Software

    Ableton Live 9. This allows me to browse and import music from my music library; to load and save projects. Crucially, it allows me to warp audio to a beat grid (beat matching); to create templates; map MIDI parameters; and to play, record, mix, edit, master and bounce my final session. It also allows me to blend music as a DJ.*

    The Audio Interface*

    A Sound card and audio interface is the same thing. It allows me to monitor the incoming or outgoing audio signal; provides digital to analogue conversion; can be used to monitor on headphones and connects to main PA. The audio interface is the M-Box 2.*

    The MIDI Controller*

    It provides tactile, hands-on, control of virtual parameters within the DAW software environment. This is done via MIDI mapping and the controller that I am using is a Novation Launchkey 49. MIDI mapping can include faders, pots, pads, pitch and mod wheels keys and transport controls.*

    Monitoring*

    Allows me to monitor output from DAW and this can be done using either headphones or the main Pa.*


    That should just about cover it. I think we'll be doing that tomorrow. After that then there's just the Digital Djing practical assessment to do and I'm pretty sure that I'll be finished with the course for the year. I don't have to go in on Thursdays anymore since I'm finished with the radio broadcasting unit. The time I'm expected to be in class each week is diminishing quickly. The week after next it'll be down to zero hours and hopefully this will result in a significant rise in the number of hours I go out to clean windows with Barry the Bullet. We'll see.


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    Stevie

    Not as stiff as one might have anticipated.

    1034
    Last edited by Lunarer; June 12th, 2017 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Bolding headings

  6. #106
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Tuesday, June 13th 2017 (Thinking Of Tomorrow)



    Perhaps a little too much? I keep thinking that all will be revealed tomorrow. Will Barry the Bullet meet me for a day of cleaning windows? I've to give him a call this evening to arrange meeting place and time. I don't even know the address of the guy's house where the equipment is so that'll be something I ask for tonight just in case Barry should sleep in tomorrow morning – something he's been known on occasion to be guilty of. If he doesn't meet me though it will be tough to get cracking myself as I don't know which customers we still work for. I continually bang on about that week I worked in December as being the last time I was out working, and it was too, but besides that it has been some time. The last time I actually led us in a day of work was way before last December. I know very little of what goes on with my old business these days. I will be looking forward for tomorrow all day but we are taught in recovery to live for one day at a time and it is not tomorrow I should be living for – it's today.

    I am freaking out a little bit about the prospect of returning to work (to continue talking about tomorrow I suppose but I am really going over how I feel about tomorrow at this moment in time and so I think that this can just about pass as me keeping it in the day). I know it'll be great for me and that even thinking about a summer without any work or study or anything worthwhile going on would be ten times worse – it might mean that I ended up travelling to AA meetings daily for the want of nothing better to do and that would be a travesty. I'm doing just fine with it for now remaining in my rearview mirror. I can turn around and travel the short distance back to it at any time should I feel the need but as things stand I am ahead of it and going strong. My work though – I have reasons to be fearful and apprehensive about it.

    For a long time there – around seven years – it was something that I felt was slowly killing me. That damn window cleaning business. It tested me in ways I remember being too much for me. This time it will definitely be different. Barry the Bullet has a tight grip of the reins now. He knows in which directions it will be best travelling. I am only there to keep him company really, and to take my half of the purse at the day's end. Not traditionally motivated by money I must admit that it is playing its part in my reasons for going back out there tomorrow (please, please show up, Mr. Bullet). I have payments that I would benefit from keeping. I have said this before but this time I am on a roll – paying my creditors every fortnight now since that woman came out to visit me from Cosy Kingdom some three months or so ago (or was it even that long ago? Maybe two months. It's been a while though) and so to keep this going serves me well. I also have a holiday booked and could do with perhaps putting something away for then. A little day in Barcelona will likely cost a few quid so it would be nice to head out there prepared.

    I could also do with putting some investment into that cave of mine. That will be three and a half years I have ''lived'' there and it still has not seen but a lick of paint. It is still early and I will be heading to college soon but tonight I will be heading back to my cave and I will be there for the whole week. It is handy as a little drop-off place, a ''doss-house'' or whatever they call them, but it's not ideal to be spending any amount of time in. It's perhaps this feeling that the neighbours are picking up from it, a sort of nasty, cold and isolated vibe that it gives off to the surrounding area, that it making some of those who live near me contact the council with information about my abandoning the place. I wonder if I'll return tonight to find another post-it note from my housing officer arranging a home visit to come out and see the place once more for himself before he makes his mind up about what is going to happen next. A little bit of decoration and I'd be in a much better position to convince them that I am living there. The very fact that I have spent money to colour the place up would bolster my case. It's all possible if I get enough work this summer.

    Tomorrow's work is not all that I am thinking of though. Yesterday I was stuck with something at the college and the lack of available lecturer bored me into grabbing my things and leaving early. I'd asked my peers and they couldn't help me. I tried Youtube but I had difficulty in pinpointing what I was trying to do, in trying to tell Youtube what it was I was looking for. There were no other options and when conditions arrive meaning that the cat is away I'm not one for getting into the swing of childish banter that some of the mice in the group seem to thrive under. There was nothing else for it but to vanish. This hasn't effected me though as I sit with the Student Portal homepage and I haven't been marked as being absent. I've been marked on the register as being in class. This tells me that the lecturer was likely so late that when he arrived in class many of us had gone home (when I left I probably started a little chain reaction) that he couldn't be sure who had been in class and who had not and so just marked everyone he'd seen in the college at some point that day as being there. He saw me briefly in the morning.

    I'll be leaving in five minutes to head back to the college and will have what will be my final written assessment of the year (which I wrote about the other day) and I'll be glad when it's all over. Then I'll be in my town staying at the cave for the rest of the week while I hopefully get back into the swing of all things window cleaning.

    I'll keep writing my thoughts down but I'm not really sure when I'll next be in a position to post.

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    C'mon, Barry the Bullet. Please turn up tomorrow morning.

    1165

  7. #107
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Wednesday, June 14th 2017 (Addresses)



    I was at English Sara's last night and noticed how distant I seem when I am there nowadays. That which was once so comfortable a place for me is now becoming uncomfortable. I feel as though I'm losing a friend. I don't have enough to be losing any at the moment. Gillon popped into the classroom yesterday morning and we went for a coffee. He's another friendship I'm clinging onto. I only have two friends left besides family and Lindsay and my relationships with each of them (excluding Lindsay) has somehow managed to become worse since I got sober. I can't really put my finger on exactly why things have turned out to be as they currently are but there are definitely times when I feel as though I am powerless to stop things from continuing on this downward trajectory. In many ways things have become worse since I got sober and clean but there are other ways that they have become unimaginably better.

    I managed to, against all of the odds, meet with Barry the Bullet and get out today for a full day's work. I say ''full day'' but this means only that we put the hours in and not the effort. Either it's been so long since I last worked (beginning of December) or I still haven't fully recovered from the weekend's walking but now I am even stiffer and sorer than I was upon reaching the finish line in the early hours of Sunday morning. When I wake up tomorrow morning I can expect to feel even worse. I'm using muscles this week I haven't used in a long time.

    It's worth the pain though. To get back out working has been good for me today. It brings back some memories so it does. Barry himself seems to have lost a little weight. He does look as if he's been through a stressful time and from what he tells me his mum has been in and out of hospital. Under normal circumstances he would likely have had time of work and so I don't grudge him the time he's had off from doing this. It's not his fault he's the entire skeleton crew of this company these days. He has had some help along the way. Ian (one of our former workers when my brother and I ran this company back when I was a drinker) has been out with him a few times. He's also had one or two others out helping him but, as to be expected given the working attitude of the people of the times, they were useless and not worth keeping a hold of. So for the most part Barry has been at it himself.

    The first thing has says to me having not seem me in over six months is how well I am looking. I don't get this because I see myself all the time, or at least every now and then when I look into the mirror at Lindsay's or the triangular glass in this cave. Perhaps he's referring to a look of lessened sadness and anger. Could be. If working today has done anything for me it's brought back memories, sent me triggers, and one of the things I remember most is how I used to feel upon waking in the mornings back when I was drinking. My brain would pick someone at random, likely someone I was most resentful at that time, perhaps someone at work, someone from the family, someone who was doing better than me, a customer who had recently bumped us, anyone it wanted to – and then it would hate upon them for the full morning. This made even bouncing from the bed to the bathroom a difficult experience. The hate was actually painful. A voice from inside would wish upon them many very unsavoury things. Of course – they couldn't hear me, I was only hurting myself. This hatred in the mornings and these incredibly negative conversations I would have in my head, directed at people I was resentful towards, often including myself, never happen anymore. It's like some surgeon of sobriety has operated on me and completely removed them.

    So – just in case Barry the Bullet does a runner again in the near future and I struggle to contact him again over the course of the summer and beyond I will keep track of the addresses we have left and the dates they are due. This was today's less than stellar effort (but was the best my tired and stiff body could manage on the first day back):

    Annandale Gardens

    80 – Done
    79 – Done
    77 – No longer clean – people moved out
    76 – Done
    75 – Done
    73 – Done
    72 – Done
    71 – Done
    69 – Off the books, we took too long to come round this time and he's got someone else.
    65 – Done
    60 – Done
    58 – Off the books, got someone else, didn't think we were ever coming back.

    Stevie – ''How long has it been since we were actually in this street?''

    Barry the Bullett – ''Fuck knows man, I reckon maybe two months.''

    I'm thinking that Barry's ''two months'' is maybe more like three months.

    52 – Done
    51 – Done
    50 – Done
    36 – Done
    34 – No longer gets done, moved out at the start of the year.
    32 – Done
    30 – Barry cancelled them because they bumped us of fifteen quid.
    27 – Cancelled to go with another guy because we were taking too long.
    23 – Done
    22 – New one picked up this afternoon. Paid Barry with a half gram of grass rather than cash and so Barry made the necessary deduction from his cut of wages. Wants added to the monthly run.
    21 – Cancelled, got someone else months ago as we were taking too long to get round each time.
    16 – Done
    11 – Cancelled months ago as we weren't regular enough any more.
    10 – Guy died a couple of months ago and the new folks moved in get the same window cleaner as number eleven next door.
    6 – Cancelled, not regular enough.
    5 – Cancelled, got someone else more regular.
    4 – Cancelled, taking too long to get round the run.
    3 – Still on books but didn't do him today as he's in the hospital. He's ninety six years old.
    2 – Done
    1 – Done, plus extra job of cleaning moss from gutter and downpipe.

    Heriot Way

    13 – Cancelled, got someone else as she didn't think we were ever coming round.
    12 – Done

    All in then – quite a few lost and these are the ones that Barry is concentrating on the most. Likely he feels guilty, like he's been left with the responsibility and has let me down. I don't feel this way at all, and I'm not thinking about the ones we've lost. Think about all of those customers we still have left. That's nineteen in just one street in just one of the four schemes we'll work hard this summer at trying to keep. Nineteen houses at five bucks each plus the twenty five quid for the extra job we got at no. 1 Annandale and we managed to complete just over one hundred and twenty five bucks worth of work. I'll begin to lose this muscle stiffness soon and will be much quicker up and down that ladder. The idea is to complete two hundred pounds worth of work per day between the two of us.

    I've many reasons to be earning some cash this coming summer. A day in Barcelona later in the year for a start. I want Christmas out of the way as soon as we hit autumn as well. I'd like to get ahead for once, even if just for a little while, rather than always trailing behind. I want to try to get away from this hand to mouth existence that I struggled with for so long and that did nothing but bring me down. There I go again though – all the ''I wants'', I'm setting myself up for a crash.

    It's not about what I want, hasn't been for two years now. I have to try to remember that it is not about what I want but is instead what the God of my understanding feels necessary for me to have.

    I wrote yesterday about how I had reasons to be apprehensive about working today. Turns out that this was all just bullshit. I was wasting my thinking time with worry.

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    Is gonna be really stiff tomorrow.

    Worth it though.

    1468

  8. #108
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Thursday, June 15th 2017 (Super-Stiff)



    Still unable to post these ramblings onto my forums I nevertheless continue to write and to store them onto my computer for future uploading, likely tomorrow evening when I am at Lindsay's. There aren't many other places I go to where getting online is possible. I used to go and visit with Gillon at least once a week but I tend to find that he has become a little negative in his views. That might seem strange to you – I mean, the thought of me finding something or someone negative is like the pot calling the kettle black. He's negative in ways he'll not now be able to change.

    He was talking with me the other week about this ''emptiness'' he sometimes feels when he wakes up in the morning and goes to bed at night. Also, I'm assuming, it follows him around during the day as well. Emptiness. I think that what he really means is that he feels loneliness, but it takes a rare man to admit he's lonely. It's been easy for me in the past because I have been encouraged to be honest with myself and others (not to mention the God of my understanding) about how I feel while in recovery and so I am miles ahead of many of my non-addicted peers in terms of honesty and being able to look beyond the surface. I think he's lonely because his brain is trying to tell him that he's on the wrong path, like mine starts to tell me if I place money and status at the top of my list of priorities each and every day.

    Gillon hasn't had the cruel life lessons I've had in losing the rights to see my children and so he has moved onto the ''take them for granted'' phase, a phase I didn't have the time to get to, but again, of course, he'd never admit that. He's lonely, I think, because he's completely disconnected from his family, his children and his partner, even though they live in the same house as he. He's lonely because they are but a smokescreen and not at all what he lives for. The real prize, that which he desires most of all, the real prize is status. This, Gillon believes, can only be achieved by earning more money than all of the people who know you. When you earn more than all of them then they will start saying things like: ''Oh, hasn't Gillon done well for himself!?'' and if they don't then it's because they are bitter, resentful at the fact he has done better than them. I fear for Gillon if he is at present fearful and feeling his loneliness acutely enough to mention it to me when he reaches the end of his degree and then he finally realises that this ''emptiness'' he feels is actually loneliness.

    I had forgotten that I was supposed to be visiting my brother (well – the nieces really) this week but he's text me to cancel, saying that he's forgotten about Oldest Niece's swimming lesson this evening.

    Stevie – ''Nae worries, some other time.''

    Gary – ''I'm off after this week''

    Does that mean don't come round this week at all? I mentioned in a journal post the other day that while my life has improved in some ways in the time since I stopped drinking that it has in other ways completely shut down and somehow become much worse and it is with regards to my family that I mean it really has shut down. I think it's getting close to the stage where I fully call in my Detached Protector mode on this one. It will come in and relieve any emotional connection to my nieces – effectively forgetting that they exist. I won't have to move anything from the walls of my cave, the customised calendar or the pictures and drawings I have from them – they can stay where they are. My father's death when I was so young followed by the loss of being able to see my own children has left me in possession of impeccable skills in relation to disassociating from things that might hurt me. In this regard I might well be one of the best in the business. Continuing to not see my nieces won't be a huge problem to my conscious mind.

    For my passport application I needed a few things from my mother. One of them was the date that she married my father. Mum is somewhere in Europe right now that isn't Scotland and so she's difficult to trace. Out of the blue she posts on Facebook that it has been forty years to the day (this happened on Sunday I think, the eleventh) and posted a wee note going on about how she doesn't know where the time has gone and blah blah blah. That she has two wonderful sons out of the marriage even though it ended in bereavement after only a few years. Makes me wonder for the first time actually.

    It makes me wonder about what she might have said had I done what I should have done back in 2013/14 and killed myself. This is the first time I've thought along these lines. I've thought back to those days every now and then but I've never actually looked at things the way they are now and contemplated how they might have been had I just grown the pair of balls I needed to do what I'd promised myself I would do. It wouldn't have had any kind of effect on Lindsay because she didn't know me back then. It wouldn't have had an enormous effect on my mother because she's only seen me once or twice in the time since. I think I'm getting a good insight right now into how it would have touched my brother. Not at all. It might have damaged Barry the Bullet more than anyone else. Two and a half years on and I realise that no one would have been effected by my death. My mother would have made out as if it were bothering her. She'd have been so self-involved though that all of her grief would really just be guilt, she'd turn it all to be about her and what she could have done. It would have made a complete mockery out of my suicide. Either that or it would be blamed on the drink. I killed myself because I was a drinker. None of those reasons would have been the truth. The truth would have been that I did it because everyone is trying to do nothing more than what Gillon is trying to do just now.

    I'm going to have to walk up to Dr. Bacon's now for my next psychology appointment and the weekend's big walk combined with yesterday's working escapades has ensured that this will be no easy feat. I'm now super-stiff. I did a little stretching this morning and will do some more in a couple of minutes when I prepare myself to leave the cave Bacon-bound.

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    Bring on the weekend.

    1206

  9. #109
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Friday, June 16th 2017 (Stevie the Self-Aggrandiser)



    Ten minutes later than usual we get the session underway. We start with the usual meaningless pleasantries that only really serve to waste time.

    Stevie – ''I managed the first lap no probs but the second was far too long, and then I was working yesterday for the first time in months so I'm really stiff and sore so that's all the muscle groups had a workout.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Oh right, ha ha, yeah. So, I apologise, I have to head off quite sharpish at half past four, if that's okay.....''

    Stevie – ''Yeah, that's fine.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Yeah!?''

    Stevie – ''I couldn't really be arsed today anyway, it's been one of those days, I didn't want to phone up though, to cancel, so I just decided to....well....I'm here now.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Well I noticed that you're a wee bit later and it's not like you, to be late I mean.''

    Stevie – ''Well I usually sit out there for ten minutes and there's never any water, or I've never been offered any, so when I was walking past I figures I might have time to nip to the shop before it hit half past, didn't quite make it.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Ah...''

    Stevie – ''It still gives us fifty minutes so that's cool.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I apologise, normally I'd stay a bit longer but I've got something on that I have to....was there something coming up that made you a little later? Or....''

    Stevie – ''Nah, not really, I was walking past and I made the choice to go get juice rather than just sit out there in the waiting area for ten minutes, there's a shop just up....''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Oh right, I appreciate that I do run over time sometimes.''

    Stevie – ''We run over sometimes so others are entitled to that as well.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Yeah, so anyway -...''

    He asks about the walk and I let him know about it and how I feel. I don't feel much about it. He pulls me up on this. Apparently I won't allow him to congratulate me but it's so last week's news now. Besides – I think that when people at the event itself were praising one and other it meant something. Now that people who weren't there are saying it I find it weightless. It's like when people pretend that they really cared about the ''victims'' of the Manchester ''terrorist'' attacks. It's just words, it means nothing. One thing I think he quite liked was the way I didn't seem to be beating myself up over not finishing both marathons. That he feels as though this could have been a good opportunity for my Critical Parent mode to come out and really ruffle my feathers. Instead I don't seem to feel myself to be some kind of loser for not doing what I set out to do.

    Stevie – ''I'll do it next year, or I'll keep going back to it until I do it.''

    I don't know if he likes the idea of this or not. This kind of thinking is going back to goal setting and this is what we are perhaps trying to avoid.

    As the session picks up some kind of momentum he points out to me that Little Stevie, the ''vulnerable and angry'' child within (something I am beginning to get sick of thinking about, not just in this session but in general) never really allows anyone to praise him and so loses out on these chances of connections. He then moves onto another ''mode'' – as if we haven't covered enough about these things already – and this time we are talking about self-aggrandising. This is ''perhaps'' another mode I have.

    Dr. Bacon – ''It is similar to the Bully and Attack but it has a slightly different function. It's not so much there to protect – it's more the idea of putting other people down so that we can be up.''

    Stevie – ''Don't you think everyone does that!? Don't you think that's just a natural trait of humanity and that a million or maybe even a billion are doing that right now as we speak?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Do you think perhaps that right now as you're saying that...''

    Stevie – ''That I'm doing it? Probably. I just don't think I care this afternoon.''

    We talk about why this might be. Why do I not seem to give a shit about my therapy this afternoon when I am usually so eager to get through this stuff? I mention about the charity shop. I've decided not to continue volunteering there. This decision has been made after the recent price rise in all the items sold there. This others me for many reasons but the main one is that it is just another example of capitalism swooping in and destroying a community hub. The new chair of the charity shop has made many changes to the way it is run. It's obvious to anyone now that she's in it for the money. This price rise confirms it. People say: ''It's still cheaper than some places!'' They are right, it is still. This is only due to the fact that other places have to pay staff.

    I offered my services to the cause as a way of making my Step Nine amends to my community and trying to get involved more in it. The charity shop has slowly turned more into a business and so it is no longer there for the community. This then breaks the deal I had with it. I'll lend my time to help a cause but I won't contribute to someone getting rich by taking advantage of my time in this way. I walk out the door and I don't think I'll be back.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''That's a very Detached Protector thing to do.''

    This is one of the main problems with therapy. It was the same with AA's Twelve Steps. The confusion, the not knowing if I was doing the right thing. I don't want it to get to that stage again where I am questioning everything I think and do. For now I am no longer a volunteer at the Charity Shop Cafe and I feel my reasons to be just and perhaps even noble. For now I'll leave it at that.

    Stevie – ''The Detached Protector, in some form, is where I've spent my entire life so far and it's very likely the place I'll spend the majority of the rest of it too, and that might be good enough I think. It's not a huge leap from where I was when I was drinking but it might be good enough at the moment. If I was self-aggrandising all the time then I'd likely expect more from myself.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Self-aggrandising, when we talk about that we're more referring to times when you actively rubbish other people, when you bring them down.''

    Stevie – ''Everybody has some form of human they hate. For some it's blacks, others it's gays, for some it's junkies, for others it's anyone Asian. I'm not that pathetic – I just hate all humans. Where my hate is concerned it is all inclusive. People don't really change all that often, and remember I'm a member of AA, but I have to say that even in there humans show me a staggeringly limited capacity for change.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I'm really pleased that despite this being not a great day for you that you made it here today and that you didn't just go along with that Detached Protector which could have just cut you off from it all. I think that there's some Healthy Adult that has come through there.''

    I have to try at all times to remember that this is what I'm actually here for – to try to strengthen my Healthy Adult so that it becomes my dominant mode. When this happens I will then be able to make better use of my other modes and my Critical Parent won't always be nagging in my ear. Then I'll be able to work on my relationship with the God of my Understanding. I am still very much blocked off from it at the moment. I suppose that it's a good thing we only have one more week at college before I go back to work full time as this means I get two months of therapy to get through this assessment phase and start putting some effort into my recovery (I don't mean recovery from my drinking here – I've moved past that now) so that when I set off on my next adventure I can do so with a little Healthy Adult in me helping me along.

    Dr. Bacon – ''Which part of you is this do you think? This part of you that hates people?''

    Stevie – ''I don't think it's the part of me that you might think it is. How do we know it's not Little Stevie?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''It could be, could be.''

    Stevie – ''Wouldn't that be something?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''One of the reasons that I'm not sure if it's Little Stevie is that it doesn't strike me as a childlike mode in that – often the childlike modes are very extreme or undercontrolled, whereas.......when this side of you comes out....it's quite decisive. It's a bit like a....lazer surgery precision, almost, in the way it sort of cuts things out, or detects the flaws and analyses them. It's not the way I'd normally see child modes functioning.''

    He's trying to bring out this Self-Aggrandiser mode more. This is exactly what this exercise is all about.

    Stevie – ''Which mode is it then?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Well I'm wondering if......it might be this Self-Aggrandiser, and....just let me explain the function of this to you: it's a mode in which we use when we're.....overcompensating for a sense that feeling inferior, feeling not good enough by putting that onto other people, by judging them.''

    We end up using the charity shop as an example and I start talking about that again.

    Dr. Bacon – ''This feeling that I'm picking up on, this anger, this is good. It's really important that it comes out in healthy ways and this is good.''

    He wonders how is comes out at other times. He's a complete and utter hypocrite, has no way of doing his job without being one, in that he speaks of the dangers of judging people while he spends all of our time together doing just that and nothing else. I get what he's saying though. How does this anger of mine come out under other circumstances?! Usually by bringing people down.

    I'm nearly at the ten thousand character limit for a post on the My Way Out forum and so I'm going to leave it there. I'll be leaving this town in an hour to visit with Lindsay for the weekend after a mixed week.

    I may write about some more of this session in another post over the weekend.

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    Stevie

    Self-Aggrandiser?

    1875

  10. #110
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    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Saturday, June 17th 2017 (The Good Stuff)



    Today has only just started and already I am confused to the point of wanting to just say ''Fuck it!!'' and go back to bed but then that would just become a part of the problem. I'd lie there wondering if by doing so I was in Detached Protector mode and if I should challenge it by getting up and going finding something productive to do. So far this weekend I've been challenging every thought and behaviour I've had and it's not cool.

    I'm not thinking about drinking. That's cool too. But I got this way when I was going through this point in the Twelve Step program – we were looking at all of the problems with me – essential to even thinking about recovery – but no closer to thinking about a solution. It was around this stage of the Twelve Steps that I started smoking weed again. This was better than drinking but still wasn't ideal. This time it's likely to just be a cigarette. I wonder though. Were I to start smoking again then how long would it be before I started the weed? Then the booze? I'm not going to, of course not. I'm not even thinking about it. What I am doing right now is acknowledging that I've been here before and know that I have to take it easy at times. Perhaps I need to bring out my Detached Protector on Dr. Bacon a little more often during our sessions. I said I would perhaps write a little more about this week's session in a weekend post, and I likely still will, but this morning I would like to concentrate on some positive things if possible.

    First, though, there is always some shit to trawl through. Lindsay started at seven this morning. It's now just before nine. Both of us got up around six. She's gone back to her bed. What can I do to try to help her get into the hospital on time? She came home early yesterday after being sent away for having a bad cough but I never heard her cough the whole time I was here. This morning she says that she's not feeling any better and so that's that – another day off! I'm no mathematician but on this placement, her final three month (four if you count the extra time she has to make up, which we should) placement she's been scheduled to work for sixteen shifts over the last few weeks (twelve hour shifts so she's only in three times a week) and she's missed six of them – counting today and counting yesterday as a day missed. That makes for an awkward sum total. I'm just thinking about it from my own perspective in that if someone started working for us doing the window cleaning with Barry the Bullet and me then this attendance record would have been enough by now to have seen us get someone else in.

    Right then – half a post in and we still haven't reached anything good. Story of my experience I guess. The best thing that's happened this week, the only good thing to have happened really, is my return to work. This has been a long time in coming. Last night I went online and, giving Lindsay the money so that I can use her ebay accont, designed and ordered business cards for us that will hopefully arrive before my next shift on Wednesday. I text Barry to let him know.

    Barry the Bullet – ''No worries lad sound sound man tickets that be a novelty lol''
    (No problem, that's good news, we haven't had business cards in a long time, will be good)

    He's just been writing on a piece of paper ''Windows Cleaned Today'' and stuffing it through the letterboxes of those who are not in to pay us. This has been going on for around six months now. How things have changed. Well, now Stevie's back!!! I feel like there should be some superhero music playing in the background.

    Stevie – ''Indeed, were yous oot the day?''
    (I agree – were you and Ian out working today?)

    Barry the Bullet – ''Aye man were 4 away from denholm court lad''
    (We were – we are just four houses away from Denholm Court)

    This means that either we've lost shit loads of customers in the streets between where Barry and I finished up on Wednesday and where they were working today, or, more likely, that both Barry and Ian were out working on Thursday too. This will be the first time that two people have been out working for three consecutive days in months. I'm feeling good about this.

    Stevie – ''Nice one, we're back on it in a big way.''
    (I like it – feels like we're getting back to work again like we used to)

    Barry the Bullet – ''Aye lad just have to keep on it good to have you back though''
    (I think so too, we just have to try to keep it going and get a run of days together)

    That will be the hard part but I have a good feeling about it this summer. With Ian looking for work at the moment and me finishing college in a few days there is the potential for three of us to be out working if the work allows it. I'd have to get another ladder but this was a part of the plan anyway. There's a little chance that I could make a good go of it again this summer which is fantastic considering how worried I was before Barry answered his phone last weekend. He says that it's good to have me back out working again and I think he means it. He knows how hard it is to find people that will go out day after day and work for it and I think he feels that with me showing so much interest in coming back out that he'll be safe with work at least until the summer's over.

    So my fate is becoming clearer. This coming Monday will start an eleven week spell of summer holidays in between courses finishing and new ones starting. Quite what I'll be doing come the fourth of September is at the moment anyone's guess.

    None of that matters at the moment though. Ten weeks of window cleaning lie ahead.

    I hope I don't pull a Lindsay too many times.

    I should go see if she's getting up.

    Until the next time.

    Take care.

    '
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    Stevie

    Focusing on the good stuff.

    Even if it is cleaning windows.

    1121

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