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28 May 2012

Post 343: Finally

Finally, time to post this rubbish! It’s fair to say ‘a nothing week’ because by a complete accident I had nothing in the diary (except for when I had to actually post this), so this post might be up a day or so late after my triathlon running friend Isabel (see last post ) invited me for dinner with her and her kids

at her new house on Saturday. Very nice it was too, I did mention she was a chef didn’t I, but I don’t know how she copes? Her kids, Kevin (13) and Lara (6) together with Kevs mate Sam are enough to drive the most calm, patient person (ie not me!) to exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong, they are cool kids – they are hilarious and I can chuckle along and survive for an evening at best and I make a special effort because Isabel has been such a good mate.
The other thing that has clashed with my posting time (quite rightly trumping sitting in front of the computer when it’s glorious outside) was my trip to the 40s

Festival at Bletchley park near Milton Keynes(the place that cracked the Enigma code in WW2 that probably won the war for the allies).


First things first, a big thanks to my housekeepers for taking me (basically a four hour driving round trip on a day when the temperatures were in the high 20s), and it was an especial pleasure to meet Charley,

another stroke survivor who stumbled across this blog a couple of years ago, we’ve been chatting on facebook ever since. Our strokes were quite different but they have both completely volte faced our lives. She is basically moving out of London to the Isle of Wight after finding that a stressful job, London living and having a stroke just aren’t compatible, even if you are as tough as her. Sadly, you can’t just imagine these things never happened. I think that between the two of us we’ve probably made more effort than you’d have thought possible but facts need to be faced sometimes. Still, it was nice of her to have invited a relative stranger, and Gwen, Gary and I were glad we went... Gary and I even looked like we were paying attention on the tour!


So, that was Sunday, Monday, I have summoned up the energy to go with my Dad to the ARNI Trust Conference

to go and hear about developments in physical rehab – I’m terrified just imagining what new and horrific torture methods I should be committing what little resources I have to. Still, it’s probably the right thing to be doing. I’ll mainly be going to show my support for founder (and himself a stroke survivor) Tom Balchin.


In the week before, I’ve said before I’ve been quite a big fan of ‘warts and all’ autobiographies on audiobook since listening to Alex James

autobiography ‘a bit of a blur’ back in hospital in early 2008 I think it’s fair to say that listening to that helped me realize that people might just be interested in vacuous crap with occasional bouts of humour and occasional innovative use of language. AJ’s life has obviously been much more interesting than mine, but the way he doesn’t seem to hold back in his writing style has rather inspired me when writing this. One obvious consequence has been that I’m a big fan of the autobiography read by the author audiobook genre but I subscribe to the opinion of Aussie comedian Adam Hills

that as much of our consciousness is hogged by ‘celebrity culture’ deep down it is ordinary people like you or I who are the interesting and funny ones which is what gives him the guts to have a comedy show called ‘mess around’ where he deliberately chooses little venues and he turns up with NO PREPARED MATERIAL with the intention of just chatting to the audience. I’m sorry, but how big are his balls? Charging over a tenner a head for that?! That is pretty f*cking brave, and me being the gullible fool I am, I’ve been three times (in October 2011 and October 2010 and probably sometime in 2009 that I can’t find. Anyway I have just finished listening to Scar Tissue, the autobiography of Red Hot Chilli Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis.

He is clearly a clever bloke and talented lyricist but his story of Sex, drugs and RocknRoll is both harrowing and lacking in charm partly because I find him to be a bit of a ‘dude, where’s my car’ LA streetpunk addicted to Heroin and lucky enough to have a series of girlfriends who prop him up through the utter madness of being the lead singer of one of the biggest bands in the world in the late 80s and early 90s. Sure, there are some amazing stories, like the 1991 Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic tour they were supported by Pearl Jam AND Nirvana – that is how big they were. There is also a harrowing story of how in his early twenties he fell head over heels in love with a Jewish girl. Because he wasn’t Jewish and her parents hated him they had to end it. I might have shed a tear.
Maybe I’m a dullard, but my aim in life was always to end up quiet and normal and comfortable while having a little fun and excitement on the way with the masterplan being to settle down, having a semi-interesting job that pays the bills, a beautiful emotionally intelligent wife, 2.4 beautiful children and being comfortable, now it seems to me Kiedis has several opportunities to do this but instead opts for Heroin and cocaine addiction after he’s made the huge effort to get clean, I thought this’d be something bored people would succumb to. Not the same but the way he relapses feels a bit like it would be if I took up smoking again 7 years after I quit. Obviously I don’t understand the stresses and strains of being a millionaire superstar with a supermodel girlfriend and living in a mansion just under the Hollywood sign,

with a heroin problem. There’s also all the bullsh*t that popstars like him and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam’s lead singer) talk about ‘spiritual positive creative energy’ which is what the rest of us call ‘getting sh*t done’ but because these guys are megastar musicians it takes on this intangible gilt mantle made of hot air, bullsh*t and mysticism driven by the ego you get when you think you’re a bit special. There’s plenty of this with both James and Kiedis but James at least acknowledges it a bit more.
That’s maybe why I identified more with Part 2 of Alex James autobiography ‘All Cheeses Great and Small’

which seems to be the story of how Mr James accepted the end of Blur, the madness and unsustainability of that lifestyle and grew the f*ck up and moved out to the Cotswolds and does precisely what would have been my masterplan.
I’m not here to blow sunshine up his arse, but here is a bloke who has enjoyed the good times and got out while he’s ahead, something to be a bit envious about. Now I get envious, sometimes a bit bitter about not being able to live normally again but I won’t ever be able to eclipse the bitterness of the impoverished left wing student loser who wrote this so-called ‘satirical’ article New festival aimed directly at twats by The Daily Mash .
On the face of it, it’s pretty funny if you take the leftie ‘class war’ position that the ‘middle classes’ are twats which is certainly not true, at least not all the time, there’s poking fun at yourself, which I’d say is a British Middle Class tradition, and there’s saying that most of your friends and family are twats, which I’m not having. I maybe a bit rude and offensive and possibly stereotype a bit, but there are times when I’ll read stuff that just makes me see red.

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