29 May 2010

Post 211:Some unfashionable thoughts on football

Sadly because I can't do much else (I do try though!), I listen to the radio a bit and watch a bit of TV, and I have noticed something. In the morning every thing's brilliant and after the watershed every thing's sh*t. I don't mean in terms of quality, rather everything and everyone to Chris Moyles on the radio 1 breakfast show is 'brilliant' or 'amazing' whereas in the evening on 'Mock the Week' or 'You have been Watching' or 'Have I got news for you' or 'the nine O'Clock news' everything is sh*t. No prizes for guessing which I find more disingenuous and makes me angry. That's right, if something or someone is worthy of merit or praise I will say so if it's not then I'll vociferously come down on it like a ton of breeze blocks (that's a lot of breeze blocks) and if there's one thing worse than this it's praise when you know full well it's not deserved like saying that Robert Mugabe was a 'model statesman' or that 'Hitler had the right idea'
Admittedly this is not on the same level as Chris Moyles or Lorraine Kelly sucking up to stars but you get the picture. One thing I did thoroughly enjoy on BBC3 the other night was 'Englands worst ever Football XI'. Now, I am a football hater, not a disliker, a hater. I realise with the world cup coming up this is an unfashionable, unpopular even, position to take but frankly I don't give a toss, it's a rubbish, boring game played by overpaid borderline retards who would be burgling houses if football didn't exist. I despair at the attention and money it receives, sometimes from quite clever people. What I particularly enjoyed about last nights program was the fact that they took into account the players off pitch shenanigans as well as their awfulness on the pitch as possible reasons for inclusion so I was delighted that John Terry was named captain and that Kieron Dyer made the side for his 'look at all my money' Ferrari driving, Rolex wearing 'roasting' antics, by the same tokens Ghashley Cole and David Beckham were considered but only survived selection on the basis that they were ok footballers, but the real icing on the cake was that in their opinion was that prize moron Steve McClaren pipped Graham Taylor to the accolade of being manager, surely a job only an imbecile would take, oh, I've proved my point accidentally!. Forget XI plus manager, I could have held the door to room 101 open all day! This will be the 2nd world cup there's been since my stroke and I won't deny that watching England play is exciting but I can't help feeling we'll get knocked out on penalties again! Beautiful game. It's as beautiful as Chris Moyles ass in the buff (I expect) and thanks to Lisa for coming round to have a cup of tea, excellent local counsel!
I'm off on Sunday to a rugby game at Twickenham, I'd spotted this online several months ago and even though I'm not much of a Rugby fan, my dad is so if I could get hold of tickets I'd give it a goand lo and behold tickets have arrived . In some rare good new I had a call yesterday from the Albert Hall Box Office to tell me I'd been successful in the ballot for Last night of the Proms tickets in September, the day before that I'm going to Muse at Wembley. That's something to look forward too at least!

27 May 2010

Post 210: Feeling undeserving of some heartfelt praise

So another week drifts away that has been characterized by not very much which is sadly the way these days sometimes, This pisspoor excuse for a country has had it's summer it seems. One hot day on a Monday, brilliant, bloody typical.
I am glad that I have changed my therapy regime, glad in the same way a Blitz Londoner was glad to be under the stairs during a Luftwaffe bombing raid. I no longer start every week with the same sense of dread knowing that I would have to do three soulshattering walking sessions during the week although I am still doing the walk into the bear for lunch on fridays, god it's hard! Even though it has been an obvious net gain in terms of mood I can't bear the thought of never walking again, to that end, I'll only give it another go when I get some normal energy back – this has to be my #1 priority because I'm convinced everything will follow, it may follow slowly, but everything is slow these days, christ, my new high protein diet hasn't helped yet, but at least I'm not gaining weight. I don't suppose anyone has any suggestions for an online writing course? (that's not the abysmal writers guild course I tried last time). I need a project otherwise things get all introspective. The gap between how often I want to see my friends and how often I do see them is a yawning chasm and even though I'm in SW London I might as well be in Antarctica. People are busy and even though I'm willing to travel, I can't. Trying to find people who aren't busy to drive me to concerts is hard enough. That said I did get a few touching testimonials that I wasn't going to reproduce but I thought f*ck it , leaving them uncopied on one website didn't really do them justice. Here they are. They serve to remind me that there is life in the old dog yet:
Featured Testimonials
"Dom Pardey is a very entertaining. very amusing, very intelligent, and very charismatic man. Four adjectives, that will tell you a great deal about him. Tony Howell."
tony howell [friend]
"Dom is a legend - one of the funnest and funniest people I met at university, full of life and banter with a rapier like wit and a penchant for mischief. He is also thoughtful, kind, sincere and generous - a true gentleman."
- Gus Lock [uni friend

"Dom is funny and appreciates the simple things that make life worthwhile. He has a drive to keep going and getting better that is quite inspiring."
John Lake [friend]

"I have been friends with Dom for over 10 years now, which I think gives me the right to say I know him very well indeed. Dom is one of the most intelligent, sharpest and funniest guys I know. He's a high achiever in every sense of the word, having been to Oxford, almost turned pro in golf and played in some of the best clubs in London as a DJ back in the day, just to name a few of his accomplishments. The past few years have been really tough and he's been through some ordeals that would cause anyone to break down beyond recovery, yet he's fighting on with so much courage and determination. I have a great deal of admiration, respect and love for him and think that anyone would be lucky to have him in their lives as a friend or more..."
Alexandra Jackson [friend]

"Dom is a great guy and the son of my very good friend Jill. He is clever and has a university degree from Oxford,had a super job with John Lewis before his stroke and they thought the world of him. Dom has a very quirky sense of humour and is ready to play a practical joke. I admire the way he is so positive and tenacious. He loves music and people and the testimony is that he has so many friends who rally around and support him."
Lily Cloughley [family friend]

"I will keep this short and sweet! Dom is a true Gentleman. He is wise, funny, sensitive, loyal, very smart and loving. He understands emotions better than Shakespeare! ) I am delighted to know Mr. Pardey.... and consider myself lucky to have him as a friend. Fate moves in mysterious ways. ;-)"
Amber Desborough [friend]

"Dom is one of the funniest people I know. His laugh is infectious.
He has faced great injustice with fortitude and great dignity. He has a warm, quick, wit and that's why he's such a good friend."
- Matt Hancock MP[uni mate]
"Dom is a very special guy. He is highly intelligent with a great sense of humour,and a well developed sense of the ridiculous! He is warm and loving, highly sociable and a loyal friend..and as a result has a wide circle of loyal friends. He deals with his physical limitations with honesty and an admirable lack of self pity. He gets great support from his family, and he would be a lively and engaging contact for anyone who gets to know him."
carole lee [former colleague]

"Dom is one of the funniest and nicest guys I have ever met. His sheer level of wit and observation is combined with a genuine caring side.
He frequently makes me laugh out loud with his dry observations and great humour. He loves great music, great comedy, and I consider him an inspiration as to how you should live your life...
Many weaker than Dom would have fallen by the wayside, he is uplifting, and just an all round great guy..."
Chris Dugdale [friend]

"Dom is lovely, desirable, clever, witty, sexy and kind (and I’m not just saying that to try to get a reduction in my rent).

He is semi-independent and lives in his own house in a lovely part of Surrey. I rent one of the rooms in his house – he’s really good fun as a housemate - and I wouldn’t be writing this profile if I didn’t think he is one of the loveliest men I’ve ever met (and I’ve met a lot of stinkers in my lifetime and been out with a few too) .
I believe Dom would make some lucky woman a gorgeous lifetime partner - if she is wise enough to see the man behind the disability."
Claire Fuggle [My tenant]

"Dom and I became friends about a year ago when I moved to the area. He's an extremely caring guy, who will always provide wine when I've had a stressful week! His friends and family are very important to him and he showers them with love, it would be great to see him with a cute girl that can return that!"
Rachel Osborne [friend]

"Dom is an incredible individual. He has been a good friend for over ten years because he makes such a tremendous effort. He is very amusing, excellent company and has shown exceptional fortitude and perseverance. I am really proud to have him as a friend."
Richard Lloyd [uni mate]

"Dom is a completely brilliant bloke, and the only person I know who has made me laugh so hard that my face hurt.Meet him. You won't be disappointed."
Dave Brittain [former colleague - right]

"What can I say? Dom is the most amazing guy. He's witty, mad and fun despite all that life has dealt him. He is very loyal to all his friends and I for one am humbled by how he keeps pushing himself to get on with life in a positive way. When I worked with Dom he made us all laugh and his incisive humour is worthy of Private Eye. But he knows how to be serious too so he's a good judge of situations."
HELEN Keppel-Compton [My former boss]

"I.m Dom's uncle , so i know he is a great bloke . It's not easy after being struck down by a stroke to come to terms with living in a wheel chair and running a household . He does it ; plus going to an amazing number of London events , getting his body back into shape and keeping up with his loyal mates . I admire him for all that and his sense of humour too !
Ian Stoker [My crazy uncle -left with my slightly less crazy uncle]
What has made me feel a bit better about myself is that over half of them have been written by people who have met me or got to know me since my stroke, sadly Claire is leaving at the end of June, she has been an ideal housemate, quiet, but sociable and a wise sounding board, she has also got me into transcendental meditation which I am not very good at yet but I do believe there will be benefits in the long run. I am going to be a bit shameless here, I now have a double room free and the rent would be exceptionally good value. Here is the ad (that I asked Claire to write (because I thought she'd do a better job than me!)
Pleasant, sunny room available to rent in shared house in pretty village of Oxshott (Nr Epsom/Cobham/A3).

The house is a 3 to 4 bed semi in a quiet cul de sac, 15 mins walk from Oxshott station. There is a direct train service to London Waterloo every 30mins. The journey time is 36mins and stops include Surbiton, Wimbledon and Clapham Junction.

The accommodation is well appointed, recently refurbished and fully furnished.

You would be sharing the house with ‘Dom’, a 33 year old wheelchair dependent male stroke survivor, his housekeeper, and one gorgeous cat 'Pickle'.

The rent is inclusive of all bills (except landline telephone) and free broadband is available.

Ideally you would be female, 30ish, and working in London or the surrounding area.
As a bonus, the opportunity exists to go to some great concerts and comedy shows, free of charge, if you can drive Dom to the venues.
If you are a fitness freak there is a Personal Training Centre and also a Sports Club within walking distance of the house – and safe roads and woodland paths for jogging.
I’m the housemate vacating the room and I can promise you - if you like to have a laugh and want a very relaxed home to live in – this is it. Dom is a great landlord and housemate.
sending out the request for a testimonial to my entire address book may have been a mistake but it has had pleasant consequences which almost never happens! Having read them I often find myself saying 'who is this Dom bloke?!'
I have only reproduced them because they were so touching and they perhaps help outsiders see that I'm not this nihilistic curmudgeon all the time. Just most of the time

23 May 2010

Post 209: Thoughts on weddings(pictures included))

I can relax a bit because I haven't got another wedding for a few more weeks and the next one promises to be fabulous because it is going to be the first gay marriage I've ever been to of my former colleague Dave marrying his long term partner Stephen. Both my parents have kindly been invited to look after me which promises to be a bit of a spectator sport because both my folks (gawd bless 'em) are a tad erm 'traditional' and I'm anticipating some sort of Prince Philip-esque
gaffe but hopefully something that falls far short of an 'incident' and nowhere near a 'scene' – this is Dave and Stephens big day, best behaviour will prevail, this goes well with the stiff upper lips my parents were both born with! Then add this to brilliant weddings my mum took me to last year, (Anna and Pauls in December (post 170)and Megan and Jons in August(post 150)) we like to think of Anna and Pauls as 'my big fat Greek Wedding because Anna is Maltese and lets just say a couple of her family might be near-ish to Mediterranean stereotypes. At Megans wedding Megan looked like a movie star (Jon scrubbed up alright too) and in July, our whole family are heading off to South Wales for my cousin Julies wedding to her boyfriend Luke, because of course, if you live in London (as my cousin does) it makes perfect sense to get married in Wales, all I need now is Richard Curtis
to come and weave a delightful romantic comedy out of this, I'll play the miserable posh bloke in a wheelchair! All these weddings are strangely life affirming but I do always wish it was my wedding sometimes(not the gay one)because I love an occasion and even though I can't stand Ross from Friends I do agree with him that it's nice to 'commit yourself to one person'. Because of my unfortunate circumstances I fear that I'll only ever be a guest and I'm grateful for that.
Changing the subject I've just got back from one of the best Sunday Roasts I've ever had with my great mates , Simon and Yvonne and their two very well behaved little terrors, Joseph and Isabel , Simon and I decided that the reason they behaved today was because Paul Brennan (the groom from the big fat greek wedding) wasn't there being ringmaster (a role he has played so well in the past)

19 May 2010

Post 207: Miss J becomes Mrs Joseph(Whole post)

A few of you may have guessed that Saturday was all about the lovely wedding of my great friend Miss Alex Jackson marrying her long term boyfriend and excellent lad Mr Steve Joseph. Now they had actually alluded to their engagement when they had taken me to go and see New Kids on the block at the dome (post 100) about 16 months ago, back then my exact words in the blog were 'I would bet the farm on them getting engaged this year ' ie it would have been the best kind of bet too, one made with a little information, a horseracing bet if you will! Anyway, weddings for me these days are endurance events but I wouldn't miss them for the world. Alex and Steve had kindly invited both my parents because there is no way I can handle these things on my own these days, and even though it means that I, a grown man have to go to these things with my parents and be accompanied like a small child, I just couldn't cope without them, this is true of so much more than weddings. It did of course mean the most stressful journey to the church and reception ever, with Dad questioning and shouting at the 'bloody satnav' every step of the way and mum questioning Dad's driving - the resultant atmosphere in the car was as laidback as in an air traffic control tower at a particularly nasty peaktime with an approaching Icelandic ashcloud. With this in mind we miraculously managed to get to both the service and reception on time, maybe their arguing is some cunning ruse that only they understand as 'everything's on schedule', I hate to imagine what it's like if they're late! I know what it's like if it's just mum (post 162) when she took me to a wedding back in October last year. This family appear to have nurtured the creation of unnecessary stress into a fine art or better still an Olympic sport, if they handed out medals for making mountains out of molehills Jill Pardey would win gold and in the team event Richard and Jill Pardey would leave everyone standing. They are living proof of why a husband and wife pairing in golf are what's known as a 'gruesome', now, I bloody hope they take this in the spirit this was intended. I make a point of not kow-towing to anyone but I'll make an exception for them, otherwise it will be one of the last weddings they take me too and given the rate at which my friends seem to get married I will miss out! Anyway back to the wedding in question, bride and groom looked stunning (which is the most important thing. Alex, already one of the prettiest girls I know looked incredible and Steve looked very smart – his breath must have been taken away when he saw her come up the aisle. The church was suitably impressive (on the top of the hill in Dulwich near the crystal palace transmitter)- it always strikes me as ironic how this collection of magnificent buildings (churches) are now largely irrelevant because no-one believes in god and are only any use because they provide a pretty backdrop for weddings - the ceremony is mere lip-service to religion, which is now quite rightly irrelevant, in my opinion the service exists to make sure people take marriage seriously – it is making a set of promises to each other in front of your friends and family, ie the people who you shouldn't let down under any circumstances, the same is true in a registry office. With the formalities out of the way it was time for the much more serious business of the reception which was at some fancy place in Mayfair. Leaving leafy dulwich I was struck by how such a pretty countrified place is right in the middle of a couple of the most unfortunate places in the world, Croydon and Coldharbour Lane in South London, any road that starts in Brixton and ends in Camberwell has got wrong stamped all over it and I say this as someone who used to live in Brixton. As we drove through Loughborough Junction, I remember it being one of the worst places ever, (we once put on a great party though in one of the pubs there)I told dad (who was driving) to put his foot down and to not make eye contact with anyone – there is a unique atmosphere of mistrust between the locals and those passing through, almost as if anyone in a car is looked at like they could be in the police. It must be what it's like driving through parts of Johannesburg and this was minutes from what felt like the middle of the countryside. London's weird like that. In a few more minutes we were in Mayfair which is characterised by portered period apartment blocks, period hotels and the sort of buildings that house wood panelled Bertie Wooster style Gentlemens clubs, the reception was in one of these. Even though it had looked to have been drizzling when we left the church, it stayed dry so we could have pre dinner drinks in a rather nice courtyard out the back and give us a chance to see if there was anyone who I knew. I immediately spotted a couple of familiar faces I hadn't seen for years who had both been Djs I had shared a few laughs with Shaf de Bass
aka Monkeyboy and a guy I hadn't seen for years Matt Clarke. I was able to reminisce with these lads about some of the most fun I've ever had in my life, back when that sort of music meant everything to us. God how times have changed! Getting upstairs to where we were sitting down to dinner
was a mission in itself. It involved going through a connecting door into the hotel next door and using their lifts. Sadly my wheelchair is pretty large and it took a while to fit in the lift, and I thought it would be prudent to go to the loo before the meal but guess what? The hotel didn't have a toilet I could fit into, after hasty negotiations we were able to locate a stretch of corridor where I had enough privacy to use the bottle. Not ideal but like much of my post stroke life, I make do , I figure getting upset or angry won't make any difference and is precious energy I can't afford to waste! So I just get on with it, although I may have vented spleen a little on one or two occasions. Old buildings and wheelchairs don't mix. That said, dinner was superb with special thanks to Kate for being stellar company. Since the weekend (it's Wednesday now), I have been privileged to have tea with a fascinating girl called Ana, who very bravely uprooted herself from her life in the UK to go and live in Chang Mai and pursue her singing career, she's only back here for a month and she found time to come and have tea and chat to a total stranger she had met on the internet. People like Ana make life worth living for me, she is very right brain, I am very left – we spent a lot of time discussing how living more in the present would make us happier people and she was very interested by the Jill Bolte-Taylor video, which I always maintain is one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen. Seeing as I'm on the topic of kind girls called Anna, I was taken to another event last night by Anna (see last post and yes she told me to use that picture of her a little bit tiddly at a hen do) She fearlessly drove me across central London to a place in bloomsbury for the recording of a radio 4 show called Heresy hosted by the gorgeous (and smart) Victoria Coren, the other panellists were David Mitchell, Mathew Norman and a guy called David Schneider (I had only vaguely heard of these last two, and I believe they're both comedy writers). I quite liked the idea of the show and the fact tickets were free! Heresy basically takes received wisdom and argues that it could be wrong. Arguing against topics like: Animals that are kept as pets shouldn't be eaten; Using the TV as a babysitter is not a good thing and something about Twitter being a good thing but remembering stuff from day to day isn't one of my strengths. Anyway the whole thing certainly made us laugh and Anna gave me a much needed lecture on the way home about how I have to learn to like myself again. She's right but I'm struggling, I only vaguely liked my old self!

16 May 2010



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