30 Aug 2011

Post 304:Making the best of the bank holiday

I think I probably ended up making the best of SW4 on Sunday despite the cold and the mud but it's difficult to describe without sounding like I'm seeking sympathy how hard these things actually are for me these days. When I first had this stroke I could manage 15 minutes in a wheelchair before fatiguing beyond the point of being able to speak and I still find sitting in my chair pretty tiring, so a festival like this is pretty terrifying mainly because it is cold, noisy and busy but staying at home would just be crap! The main reason it ended up feeling like a success and I was glad I went was getting to see some friends I rarely see and their very presence reminding me why we were and still are such good friends. First were Shaun, his wife Renae and Nessa.
Shaun and Nae are over from Melbourne and Nessa, as a clubbing friend, we don't really go to the same places these days (well no-one goes to the same places I go anymore because I can't really do much these days) plus leaving our 20s has meant different things. For me, it has meant crippledom, for her, it's been about running, keeping fit and maximising the use of that visa (bloody antips who come here for a year and end up staying ten).Also present were the legend that is Simon ( Shauns best mate when I met them years ago)
Looking at this picture reminds me just how cold it was! And their and my good friend the eponymous Jonnie Random who kindly came and met me and took me back to the place I was meeting my lift ( brilliantly handled by a local care agency called Karens Angels found for me by my counsellor). It may cost a bit but there's no way I could ask a friend to drive me to and from this. I already feel bad enough for the help they give me inside the event but no amount of thanking persuades them it's something they wouldn't do. I'm fortunate to know such selfless people. One of the things that had me laughing like it was ten years ago was Shaun dancing to headliners Pendulum.
It cracked me up how he'd keep up with their energetic form of synthesized electronic Wah-wah ( think prodigy but better) and suddenly his body would remember he was in his mid-thirties and he'd have to rest. At one point we blazed a trail to the 2nd tent to go and see my DJ hero of the last decade Sasha.
A lot of people find his style of progressive house dull, I just find it relentless intense and Balearic. I even found myself saying to the Rowlands – 'this is proper Music'. Of course it's not, maybe it's how a DJ should sound. 'Proper Music is what you hear at the Proms which oddly enough I'd been to the night before which is for later. I may go to these things but the lesson to me is clear. Even though the event itself provides a talking point, they are totally secondary to what really drives my survival: Seeing my friends and family or giving them a treat. I don't care how hard or expensive I find it.
I was vaguely embarrassed on Saturday when I remembered how I used to chuckle to myself at school about 'how I'd never met a good bloke from Harrow' this was based on a couple of visits for matches in my early teens and my impression of a couple of guys whose names I remember but won't mention. What a twuntish thing to say (a word I believe invented by Jimmy Carr when he met Jedward) The reason I feel like a twunt for saying this is that on Saturday I was treated to lunch by a college friend of mine called Richard Rous and driven to the Proms in the evening by a college friend of mine called James Renshaw. Both went to Harrow and both have a couple of harrowing (sorry) tales of the place. At this point doubtless the 'poshist' brigade will start sharpening their claws. As well spoken comedian Simon Evans says: He learnt to speak properly thinking it 'would smooth his passage through life but 'if anything it seems to provoke hostility'. Quite.
Anyway, seeing these lads was great, and I've high hopes we'll do it again. What summed up this weekend of contrasts was James
saying to me on Saturday during Beethovens magnificent 'Eroica' while I was busy chuckling at how much the conductor looked like a Bond Villain
or Steven Berkoff
or whether I was still reeling from the modern classical 'horror movie' piece in the first half, when James said 'I'm loving this' and Shaun saying at SW4, 'It's hard to imagine we came to the first SW4 and that was 7 years ago'.
The lady from Karen's angels was not impressed by me saying how old I felt on the way home. She said 'but my son's 31'.Touché.
My final word is reserved for the lovely Rachael (who I've not met but we've been chatting on facebook plus we have some mutual friends) who, as a music enthusiast and event organiser I was going to give my carer ticket to and meet there, sadly she had ended up with a black eye and a fat lip when she had tried to help someone in town on Saturday, totally understandably, she decided that a black eye and fat lip were not a good look for meeting strangers or a music festival. How unlucky is she? I was gutted and gutted for her.

25 Aug 2011

Post 304, SW4 preamble ruined by god botherers

While I write up my experience of the SW4 music festival here's the post I wrote last time I went (in 2008) , here's the post I wrote last year about bank holidays here's a post I wrote during last week for those who can't wait for my form of literary effluvium.
This little list (posted on facebook by fellow stroke sur
viving blogger Lou (actually by his wife) made me chuckle
1.Money cannot buy happiness but it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.
2. Forgive your enemy but remember the bastard’s name.
3. Help someone when they are in trouble and they will remember you when they're in trouble again.
4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.
5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then neither does milk :)
I think that one thing about Stroke is that survivors tend to end up with similar senses of humour. I reckon this might be the strongest thing that brings them together (as long as they aren't religious nutters (those who seem grateful for their stroke because it must be part of gods 'perfect plans'))This attitude infuriates me and a big weakness of mine is arguing with them on facebook (convalescence does this), in fact I have just had one of the most unpleasant arguments with a god-botherer ever. They usually end with a 'I feel sorry for you Dom'. This time it ended with her telling me to 'watch my mouth' and that 'if anyone was my friend on here I was heading for self destruction and that I needed help' – all of her god-squad friends had piled in behind her telling me 'I needed professional help and I shouldn't knock what I haven't tried', could you imagine me becoming evangelically religious? I didn't think so – it would be inconsistent with everything I believe and have ever learnt. I should have known better than to argue with a self-confessed conservative Republican American -her closing gambit was 'You can knock and criticize God all you want to, but one of these day's you WILL be sorry. Write it's a promise! You don't bite the freaking hand that made you!
I'm really scared, no wonder religious republican Yanks are a laughing stock. In my book utter stupidity has always been fair game.
'Grow up and stop wallowing in self-pity' Is what she then went on to say, how very christian but maybe slightly warmer, Oh dear - Grrrrr. I barely have the energy to argue with these f*ck-knuckles these days, especially with obvious lunatics.
The Church seems to exist(at least in America) as a social institution so gullible, stupid losers can make friends, the madder ones, like the lady above genuinely seem to listen to a dogma that has killed and made people feel guilty for years. In the UK it exists so middle aged middle class people can collectively try and clear their consciences and get in touch with getting to grips with the inalienable fact they're going to die. I'm sure that the biggest draw to church is that people are at a loss to know what else to do. In short, if religion helps you, fine, but don't push it on people by spouting the sort of crap that got me started yesterday:
'Dom, everyone is beautiful in God's eye. Don't ever think that you're not. God created each of us in HIS imaged and for His pleasure. God don't make no junk!!!
But more importantly what I started this post with before I needed to get all that off my chest:
I don't understand depression, especially in those with no obvious reason for it. Conclusion: I'd make a rubbish psychologist/shrink. I came to this conclusion after listening to the beginning of the first story in 'chicken soup for the soul' a book that literally is a collection of 101 'heart warming' stories about college life. I don't know where the first story is going yet but I feel like a harsh, unsympathetic sod, when I am repeatedly told that the opposite is true except by delusional religious crackpots.
In the first story a girl goes to college and is so overwhelmed on her first day by being away from home that she breaks down in tears like that prisoner in his first night in the Shawshank redemption. Now perhaps I am being a bit hasty because I remember being a bit homesick age 12 when I first went off to board at prep school (I can already hear my leftie critics warming up). Maybe I can't comment on homesickness age 18 because I was basically away from home from age 12 so I saw each new step as 'onwards and upwards'. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the girl in this story explains away her tears with the 'd word'. I can understand the reason I might be depressed – it's bloody obvious. Most people who tell me they're depressed, I can usually deduce or at least understand the reasons behind it, if we talk I'll understand (I'm not a psychic) but there are those Enigmas that keep pretentious muppets like Frasier and Nials Crane
in business, people who perpetuate the myth (in my view) that if you're fit and well, feel well enough to walk around and drive and you are relatively unconstrained by the world around you it's ok to be depressed because there's a reason somewhere, I don't think there is sometimes (I can understand a chemical imbalance or a structural fault in the brain (my problem caused by the stroke)): Short of this I just don't understand depression at all, I understand how boredom leads to fatigue and how fatigue and unhappiness prey off each other and you create a downward spiral. Fatigue is the thing that is my boring constant, without it, I reckon I could just be a non-walking, slightly different version of Dom [pre-stroke], but I'm never sure if I'm going to be like this forever, no-one conclusively knows. I have literally tried everything to sort this out, this is why I may sometimes appear to be 'wallowing'. Most of my exes have remained good friends which is wonderful but even though I'm thrilled by this the presence of plentiful offspring and a husband for most of them is about the strongest 'Never Ever' message there is but the fact they stay friends is pretty nice of them (for me at least, hopefully for them. I am basically a bit of a tough project hoping like a piece of Sushi
on a conveyor belt that has been mispriced and is cheaper than it perhaps should be, a delicious bargain maybe – I can but dream. Right now I feel laced with Polonium though and one of my main reasons for writing this is on the wane. I used to enjoy provoking debate and reaction but I seem to get less and less of it these days. I get more conversation from a ten word comment on facebook than a time-consuming, energy sapping post on here, crikey, even though I thought I'd never do it, I'm considering using twitter. If Wayne Rooney
and Rio bloody Ferdinand
can figure it out, I can, although unlike Rio I can't give away the chance to win a holiday if you follow me, what a crass c***!

21 Aug 2011

Post 303: Um, modern art appreciation

I remember listening to Jonathan Ross' autobiography 'why do I say these things?' and between bouts of thinking why wasn't it titled 'How did I ever become famous?' or 'Why am I so smug?' the bit about 'the primary importance of pets being to teach children about mortality' made sense but I'd now add that Pets teach us what it's like to feel unconditional love. Now, I don't like to bang on about my cats too much because it makes me sound like a sad person whose only friends are his cats but one of my cats 'Ham' does really make me happy because most days/evenings when I go to lie down she is there napping on my bed, now originally my arrival was disruptive to her doing nothing so she would usually leg it, but she has now got used to my arrival, it probably took me as long to figure out I was mildly allergic to her but this is a mild irritation I put up with (pun intended) as often she'll get lonely and come and see me, and this is no Pavlovian desire for food because she must know by now that I can't feed her. So she jumps up onto the bed and demands that I stroke her, if I'm asleep she rather more annoyingly mews in my ear. I let this go because it is priceless behaviour, she then does that thing all cats do, pushes/nuzzles your hand/nose and has the kind of love in her eyes that only a pet could ever have. It is difficult to replicate this . It must be what it feels a bit like to have your own infant child need you or when your other half just wants you to hold them. I'll not go on lest I get all introspective but I was resting just now just thinking this and felt it needed to be committed to paper (or whatever this is). Much more importantly I wanted to talk in more detail about my trip to the Tate Modern with my mate Jo last week (Thursday), I've been a couple of times (once in my chair) not because I like Modern art, the highpoint for me is the smoothness of the floor, in fact liking modern art couldn't be further from the truth, I think most of it is 'crap'. In fact it reminds me of a time I went to a friends 'fine art' 'finals exhibition', I could barely control myself. Her work was genuinely good (but fancying her a lot helped), there wasn't half some rubbish, two things particularly stood out, apparently by one of the more talented artists, he had simply taken a thick piece of rope and tied a knot in it then laid it on the floor, brilliant, It was a lovely piece of rope it has to be said, whilst another had hired an old man to sit there all day looking longingly at what looked like a glass of Scotch! Maybe I am being a philistine and seeing things too literally without the veneer of 'bullshit' I should, sorry the right kind of 'interpretation' or 'suspension of disbelief'
That is the trouble with the Tate Modern, it seems designed to generate a seemingly bottomless pit of facetious sarcastic comments. I'll give you a couple of examples. I'm not a complete Philistine! I like some paintings but I particularly like works of art I can step in and be part of, which is why I like the turbine hall in the Tate Modern for it's sheer scale. The most incredible thing about the place is the building itself and the view which inspires some mixed feelings. It was from the amazing view from the windows at the top which just show what a delightful day it was. We could just see down to the right where I used to work for HSBC stockbrokers as an awful telecoms analyst and I observed that Natasha (the girl who broke my heart in 2007) and I had started going out in 2000 that we used to meet for a crafty fag on the path under Southwark bridge(far right of this picture). As she was a few years older and an established saleswoman we had to keep things quiet, she could not be seen to be fooling around with a graduate. Those were better days, apart from working hours that would make most human rights lawyers take an interest it was a more carefree time, being independent in London at age 23 was pretty cool.
This doesn't detract from the fact that the Tate Modern is full of a lot of rubbish. I think literally rubbish in some cases, there was one exhibit that I thought would have it's own section at the local dump, there was even a mirror (read this bullsh*t) (words fail me), sadly the turbine hall appeared to be empty, although there might have been an exhibit there called 'gullible fools', but it was just the right place if you like smooth floors, Jo and I chuckled our way around it before it was time to head off to the Soho Theatre at about 5:30.
The Soho Theatre along with any number of places on Shaftsbury avenue is probably the most challenging place to park and get a wheelchair into, but Jo had done her research and knew exactly where the disabled parking spaces in Soho were, and thankfully my long suffering brother who has done a majestic job in the last few weeks putting in a proper brick driveway in front of my house, he was here and able to show Jo how to open the rear door and lock the van in the absence of it working properly and full marks to Jo, she was able to operate it after the hasty tutorial, many less practical people would have struggled.
As it was, we got our second choice parking space about a ten minute wheelchair drive from the theatre just as the heavens opened, by the time I got to the theatre I might as well have been under a shower but seeing Simon Evans was so worth it QUOTE 'I'm sure some of you are struggling to place my accent, it is in fact, educated'. I'm no snob, but that is funny!

I'm supposed to be going to an outdoor music festival on Sunday. More than any other event, this one depends on the weather and I know for a fact that the promoter will be saying 'I hope my deal with the devil still stands'.The SW4 festival has always been one of those events that has supplied me with some of the best moments in my life.

20 Aug 2011

post 302: Getting back on track

There is a scene in well above average film X-men origins: Wolverine ( not the snappiest of titles I admit) where Hugh Jackman (as a straight man even I can objectively see he's a fine specimen, lucky guy), he walks out of his cabin in the Rockies on a beautiful morning and has a stretch before going back in to his beautiful girlfriend, and I thought that is where I would like to be – it might not happen but now that I'm pretty much 6 weeks post Appendicitis and 5 years 7 months post stroke I can dream (here I'm mostly talking about being able to grow Wolverine- style facial hair, I said dream), and I'm back doing my training and I've now got plans to put in a gym in a garage near here with weights and parallel bars for walking, I'm feeling back on track although the new car hasn't worked out. GAH! It took 6 hard months (mostly of my dads hard work to get that and the backdoor mechanism doesn't work(not a euphemism), driving it doesn't feel easier or safer for people despite the automatic gearbox, and sitting upfront in my wheelchair is shockingly bumpy and uncomfortable mainly because the suspension is all wrong and my wheelchair magnifies every bump in the British Roads and my god, how bad are the British roads? No wonder the Europeans take the p*ss) Anyway my dad is very angry (rightly) because he put so many man hours into it but he thinks I should just 'suffer in silence' – if this blog tells you anything about me – I can't do that. I also don't want to be accused of 'playing the sympathy card' because believe it or not this has been said to me a few times (!) I never intentionally do this except in incidences of road rage against my car. I try and get on with things. I just expect common decency in return which I pretty much mostly get. It's weird, people who accuse me of 'playing the sympathy card' are people who know me less well because the people who know me better can see how much this has knocked me although my family seem to just expect me to be who I was. Humans, we're f*cked up. As usual more profane than profound.
Maybe you might think this a touch harsh, but I had the unfortunate incidence of 'having my ears raped' © Tom Allen, by a song they played on the radio by an all girl band called 'the Pierces', now no song with the following lyrics can be good

God bless the world, it's so glorious
God bless the ones we've loved
God bless the ones we've lost
God bless the world, it's so glorious
I will never die, never die like you

I felt his hand today, across my shoulder,
I'll kneel down to pray
Say afterlife's OK,
But it got so lonely when you turned away

I saw his lie today, across my shoulder,
I'll kneel down to pray
I feel like hell today,
But it got so lonely when you turned away

I felt his hand today, across my shoulder,
I'll kneel down to pray
Say afterlife's OK,
But it got so lonely when you turned away
It got so lonely when you turned away
It got so lonely when you turned away
It's rather ironic don't you think but there's no mistaking evil?! But mostly it just makes me nauseous. I won't post the youtube link because I've had a few people tell me off for embeding it thus implanting in their brains on one of those annoying loops, this is how facebook links to youtube but if you're a glutton for punishment look up 'Pierces Glorious' on youtube. Be afraid, be disgusted
Good-looking popstars gushing about being 'lonely' and about wanting ' god to bless the world because it's glorious, granted I see glorious things but not the whole world is glorious, this is just a painful notion it is as absurd as saying I'm a happy bunny. Apparently this song shouldn't be taken seriously and is 'tongue in cheek' – I don't take things too seriously but surely the word 'sh*te' would do? Other sh*te things have been the looting going on around Britain, some people have been trying to apologise for these peoples behaviour claiming government cuts have created an underclass who have nothing better to do than loot,
Bollocks , I blame it on the coincidence of utter boredom, school holidays and good weather. There were some chinks of absurdity, the Brixton Lidl

was looted and I have visions of staff coming in the next day and saying 'who's tidied up in here?, saying the same at TKMaxx, which looks like it's been looted at the best of times – maybe I'm being harsh, These are standard bearers for Britain becoming an economic powerhouse again after all because we now as a nation manufacture the choking hazard toys that go inside Kinder Surprise Eggs. Doom is staring us in the face. If my pension dries up I'm in trouble, writing some old novel must be the only way
because going through life without a payrise means alarm bells should be sounding, I always wanted to get to the top but a least I can tick the box saying that I'm doing what I can myself within the boundaries of having excellent carers who recognise when I'm having trouble reaching my feet so will happily help me with my shoes and also be perceptive enough to help me out when I'm knackered. This understanding in itself makes life slightly less worse but a well placed hug from a pretty girl takes me backup the table and feel 'back in the game' Not that this has happened – far from it.

My next thing to say that even though it may look a daunting task but I am the flexible, honest, caring guy who will look after you once the fundamentals are ok. Searching will be the most important thing in the world for 2-3 (ish) years despite the fact I've been searching for 3 already and have virtually nothing to show for it other than some numbers on my bank statement that my dad tells me 'seems a lot' for what internet dating is. Longer term will be about training which stops for nothing. I don't want to ever be accused of playing that sympathy card again. I just want to get on with what I've got, I'll Spit, swear and grit my teeth but All I can do is what I can arrange to do with help, because anyone letting anyone down is doing the wrong thing, I have been mortified recently by people deciding not to help. If I've perhaps spoken the wrong way, I'm not too proud to apologise, I don't know what to say and my usual excuses shouldn't mean sh*t but even though I know some great people I can't think of one that could face this with a better demeanor than I do. Sounding fed up here is part and parcel.
Next time: Some disparaging comment on Modern Art and thanks to Jo for a fun day out, the Tate Modern doesn't half have some weird sh*t in it but it does have a smooth floor! Despite the monsoon on Thursday we also managed o catch comedian Simon Evans at the brilliant Soho Theatre.
I will ellaborate more in my next ejection.

13 Aug 2011

Post 301: Different ways of finding things funny and unbelievably Dad is 75

I have recently finished listening to Jack Dee's autobiography 'Thanks for Nothing' and it staggers me he's one of the countries most popular comedians. Don't get me wrong, his life has been amusing and listening to it read by him is a masterstroke, not quite up there with Michael Macintyre's autobiography. Two funny little men with quite different styles. Macintyre is always giggling, Dee is always grumbling. Jack literally hates everything, he doesn't trust strangers, I think he is so popular because people respect his unflinching deadpan and his ability to point out everything that is sh*t about the world (something very English). This I can relate too and laugh at because everything's a bit sh*t isn't it? Just today (Thursday), I was basically hounded off a young stroke survivors discussion board on facebook because they (a religious zealot and a member of the 'positive police') only want to read 'positive things on a support group' Jesus (who never existed) wept, Jack Dee would plough a furrow through them although how he coped at AA meetings I'll never know, his version of sharing was probably p*ssing in a cup and offering everyone a sip, and I found it unbelievable he even went for an interview to become a priest although he said something like 'I knew I'd made a terrible mistake the nanosecond I sat down in front of the interviewer'. I think he just wanted to try things until he happened upon something that didn't irritate the sh*t out of him which is odd considering he did a stint as a clipboard carrying market researcher and he tried to get good at Real Tennis when he lived near Queens Club. I think deep down he just wanted to try as wide a variety of things before settling on something where he didn't feel like a parasite and despite being hard worker something where not too much effort were required that would pay the bills, He'd then find a wife and settle down. Essentially he's just an ordinary miserable little fella who had a saleable autobiography because one of the things he tried, stand-up comedy, worked out. I think it sounds like a reasonable plan. Macintyre is quite different – I relate to the way he's always giggling at life's absurdities and his comic pedigree was more clearly ingrained by virtue of the fact his dad used to help produce 'the Kenny Everett' show on TV. It was big back then with over 20 million viewers. Anyway – I love both their senses of humour even though they're totally different although I can perhaps relate more to Dee's cynicism because frankly at the moment everything IS a bit sh*t, I perhaps used to find more funnier but that's when I had energy. Both books acknowledge and thank their long suffering wives in making them successes, indeed this is one of the last things I wrote on that discussion board
The common theme for those who are happy [here I.e those post-stroke] seems to be having another person to live for. I had that till my gf of 7 years left me in 2007. I am grateful to all my friends (most of whom have stuck with me) and have made some great new ones - my family have been awesome but something's missing. If I sound 'hate -filled' - it's because I hate self-righteousness [and earnestness], and there seems to be a lot of it. The reason I'm still here is I get easily wound up, and would rather argue logically than walk (well not walk) away. Rubbish habit, I know.
Anyway, I've included this because I like to shoehorn in my attitude to what I think the most important issue is in my life, also one of those great friends who has stuck by me is Alice who drove down from Oxford on Tuesday (where her and her husband, my oldest friend Dom) now sensibly live. She brought down their latest addition, 6 week old Arden, who I can confirm is indeed a baby, it goes without saying he's cute. Blokes who read this must hate the way I bang on about needing a girlfriend to be happy. Actually, it's just a girl to hug, laugh and share life with. Now I owe an apology to everyone. Man up Pardey! Speaking of Pardey Men (sorry!) it was inarguably the greatest Pardey, My Dad's, 75th on Friday.
I attribute his youthful demeanour to 4 rounds of golf a week and despite the evidence, pickling himself in various types of booze, which Mum and I tell him off for. Anyway mum put on one of her masterpiece lunches for him. All their delightful 'old fart' friends were there and they're all lovely to me despite me being so much less entertaining and unable to be on waiter duty anymore. The Test match was also on and England were kicking *rse so they were happy. Finally here is a button I wish I had.

7 Aug 2011

Conclusive Iron (maiden) clad proof that belief in KARMA is just plain WRONG

For a slight change today I'm an angry man because I feel let down. I have often been told that this blog makes me sound like a very angry person, which is probably a little true, but is almost always anger directed at myself because stroke doesn't make you look obviously injured or ill apart from the wheelchair, but I still feel awful, can't walk or get on with my life like a normal person, hence why I am fuming at myself, I also slept appallingly last night (thursday) because one of the pillars of how I live my life feels like it has come crashing down on me because of what someone I thought was a friend and thought highly of has said.
This has threatened my way of life because aside from focusing on keeping myself physically fit and trying to keep my friends and family from drifting away, the 3rd most important and equally as time consuming and exhausting thing as training and keeping up with friends and family is meeting new people and looking for a girlfriend. The only way I can try and do this is through dating websites, facebook and email and requires both parties to have some faith in human decency and it seems to be in short supply. Literally this was working ok (but very slowly) and I would say most of the new people I've met since my stroke have been lovely until one of them basically implied that 'I must have deserved my stroke because 'what goes around comes around' That's right, let it sink in. Maybe I should just let that go? Oh, I can't. Sorry. Someone saying that is unforgivable. I know she's had to face and deal with some horrific things in her life. I would never imply she deserved them, NEVER, because that would be just the nastiest thing anyone could think, let alone say. Anyway, this has undermined my faith in humanity a bit and undermined one of the major things I do with my life plus some faith I had in my innate judge of character. There's no way I'd directly name her as that wouldn't be fair so as always for things like this and I'm sure she's saying 'who cares what he thinks'. Not for the first time since this stroke have I just felt like shouting:

'Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' What a shame! I feel wretched. '

Oneday, I'll have something good , 'light and fluffy' to say, just not today. I feel so let down. Actually, despite how hard things have been since my Appendicitis a few weeks ago, I did manage to go and see Brit Floyd, Pink Floyds biggest tribute act on Tuesday. Now the Dome was by no means full but just playing at the Dome looks pretty good on the CV and for future reference, tribute acts start on time. Granted Floyd were a bit before my time and I can't get away with 'yeah, I'm really into 70s/80s subversive, psychedelic rock but my carers for the evening Oli(who's taken me out before) and Graham (a friend of a friend who helps passengers who need assistance onto planes at Gatwick) are a little older than I so I hope they both enjoyed it( I foolishly didn't have my camera so next time) – such a shame the original Floyd line-up aren't on speaking terms because most of their stuff is genius, sprawling and epic -the type of music that stops you in your tracks(one of them is sadly no longer with us I think, this evening (saturday) I'm off to the Dome again with some new friends who would never let me down, Rachel and her boyfriend Matt to see Iron Maiden, Having now seen them, their multifaceted frontman Bruce Dickinson, singer, songwriter, airline pilot, fencer, broadcaster, author, screenwriter, actor and marketing director, surely holds the record for the longest multiplied by the widest someone can stand with their legs splayed apart and my imaginination there would be a fairly basic colour scheme, lots of old black leather jackets, beards and Ponytails, not to forget a sense of doom was proved correct. Rachel's threat to paint my fingernails black didn't happen but she brought along a rather fetching tattoo sleeve href="h! Can't say I'm a big Iron Maiden fan but heavy metal live is awesome and so it was. My predictions about the crowd were largely borne out and the mosh pit looked so intensely black that I observed that 'like a black hole, natural light couldn't escape from it', and I couldn't stop having a laugh when I heard a small group of (probably) Swedish blokes earnestly discussing what was clearly the greatness of the show. Replete with rucksacks they'd clearly travelled to see this. Given that I find the Swedish accent (and language) hilarious (this is probably so wrong), it happened to coincide in my mind with a recent bit I'd listened to by Aussie comedian Steve Hughes, it was about heavy metal and it's strange relationship with Swedish People e.g 'yes, vee are going krazy here' and an online friend and stroke surviving blogger named Lou

who briefly had learnt to speak again but somehow with a swedish accent (to start with), the combination of all these trains of thought led to the best kind of uncontrollable laughter, like when someone farts loudly in church.
Sadly back to the serious sh*t - I used to think 'just words' were 'just words' – noone woke up with leprosy after a row, I guess, well hope noone ever wakes up with Leprosy or having had a stroke like mine but words can be pretty horrible things. As you were! Thanks for getting this far! It's now Sunday and I've just come back from Sunday roast with some friends – first they acknowledged how meeting new people the way I have to does place quite an abnormal burden of trust on both sides but that I'm much better off not knowing the person who thought I must have deserved the stroke. Yet another argument for why belief in some sort of divine 'Karma' is not just rubbish. It can be positively evil.



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