What is this? It is a sort of journal/diary of a bloke who’s trying to get on with his life after having a massive stroke without warning on Christmas day 2005 (age 28). I try to keep it light and amusing to keep friends informed and let strangers get to know me, I warn everyone, from a relatively decent life to a sh*t one hasn’t been the best. Still, I want you to be inspired that in the face of permanent adversity, there is more than f*ck all - it’s dompardey (at) gmail.com,
I wanted to devote quite a bit of this post to seeing a lot of the people I care about last Sunday at Peter and Imogens leaving drinks. I did mention this cursorily at the end of my last post but now I have a bit more time. I have been friends with Pete for over ten years since meeting him (like many of my other friends) as a fresher in my first week at Oxford. I've rather prided myself in having some top friends, almost always people who have made me laugh or bought me a drink. Pete as a Northern Irish lad was fond of a drink but I wouldn't say he could take his drink, many was the time he'd be found wandering the front quad slightly the worse for wear forlornly lamenting a failed Romance. Not that this would happen now because he's found Imogen and they are understandably, boringly happy, the only acceptable form of boredom. As indeed are a lot of my friends. Pete and Mo are proper 'salt of the earth' folk, people who have visited me in hospital
and have stuck with me, whether it be Pete getting me a new computer mouse in hospital in late 2007 or was it early 2008 or Mo writing me one of her long emails detailing how their lives are going, as having two daughters makes them very busy. I love these emails (anybody else who's been scarce take note) a long enlarged double spaced email with a couple of photos feels a bit like a hug from a friend. It is sad to see them go to California but the pastures are greener, not for long though, for Pete's job with Chevron doubtless involves finding every last drop of oil on this planet and making sure it is profitably used for making Chevrons Shareholders rich. As a capitalist: Gawd bless capitalism. It's not perfect but it's less worse than a lot of the other flawed ideologues out there.
Anyway, I digress, their leaving do was nice, lots of people I knew showed up and demonstrated that growing up is less about friends but more about family, particularly about having children.
This is why I often feel like I'm pissing against the wind trying to persuade some of my married with kids friends to make the time for me. They're understandably far too busy, which is why I hope my house is a fun place for young families, on a nice day the slide out in the garden is a big hit apparently.
I still have hopes of 'one day' having a family of my own, be they fruit of my own loins or because the lucky girl comes with them. I am willing and able to support them. I don't want to be a c*** all my life. If you're the kind of person that gets offended by that then I'll guess we wouldn't make very good friends. Incredibly I still bother with internet dating, in fact I've recently found a new site where incredibly one of the options in the personal profile under 'do you drink' is 'No, and I hate drinkers' – you clearly have to be a special kind of zealot to put that, I pass on profiles where the person is remotely religious, is vegetarian, doesn't drink or doesn't like cats because that eliminates too much common ground. Also People that bang on about positivity and happiness all the time, it's not the real world, sadly, if it is to them they're missing something – I really would give anything to be positive and happy but I am desperate to live in the real world, I aspire to be as normal as my friends, people like Danny (on the right),
another friend from Uni, who drove me on Sunday to Peter and Imogen's leaving do, or Simon,
who took me to Brixton Academy to see 'the Wombats' on Wednesday
and has agreed to come and see my favourite comedian (who very rarely shows in London) Daniel 'the kitgenius' Kitson
next friday or my friends Richard and Annabel Rous who after much confusion with the tickets and Logistics have agreed late notice to take me to a Tchaikovsky gala at the Albert Hall on Wednesday with the immortal line in his email reply 'we love a bit of gay Russian'. Rous. Ever the musician.
I take solace in the fact that Most of what I do these days is with other people in mind, and I hope that that isn't too Vomit inducingly nice for anyone. I'm not a c***, that's all.
My friend Jo visiting yesterday helped me believe this. She's of the same opinion as me, if you've got no plans and you know a friend who's got no plans it's better to do nothing together, as it was she turned up about lunchtime and taking advantage of the ridiculously late and warm Indian summer we went and explored Cobham, found their Pizza Express, had a snack, observed that the Children of Cobham Parents were the most screamy/shouty in the world and that my way of clearing the Dale farm Gypo's near where she lives involved a flamethrower! I'm not serious but do sometimes wish Australia was still a penal colony! I've also been reminded via the medium of online chat and photographs of some of the ridiculously good times I had in 2003/04 when I felt freer than at anytime in my life – 2004 at the first sw4 music festival,
and in Ibiza
or here (in 2003) with Natasha
(the girl who broke my heart). It has been bittersweet to say the least, particularly difficult, although I don't begrudge my friends a good time, it's hard to see photographic evidence of it when I was in hospital.
What was even tougher was going to the funeral of a guy called Ian King-Holford – a great guy who had treated me like a son, even more disturbingly, I had thought he was at least 80 and it turns out he was a month younger than my dad!
Another guy called Gav
(another chap who Ian also used to treat as a son, in fact I am Gav's son's godfather)
had been slated to drive me but he got unavoidably detained by work so my dad stepped in, literally the night before. I can't explain how important it was I was there to both Jinx (his wife) and Rosie (his daughter), and for me to pay my respects to a great man.