Thursday, 29 December 2011

Nothing good comes easy, and the best revenge is success ....

Ah, to paraphrase the eccentric Mr Tyson.

I was going to have a little moan about how I hate being in a position where I'm not financially sound. I always seem to be skint; and I was about to have a little moan, but then I though; most of the people that I know are in the same boat; aside from my brother, who today won £200.00 on a scratch card! It's Christmas! Most people are struggling! I keep saying to myself, "when I'm qualified as a deck officer, I'll be able to save loads" -and I guess that I will; I'll be away working; not spending. I'm very fortunate to have what I do have aren't I?  So many wasted opportunities, and here I am now; back at college; not having to work, or go hungry, and surrounded by a family that loves me; awaiting my results, and then; the dream awaits.  Other people are not so fortunate; so I really can't moan about having to live off £60.00 per week. It's a challenge that I sort of enjoy; and what with ALDI, it's perfectly achievable! When I start my cadet training, I'll be on a skeleton budget! Hopefully by the time I'm on my first ship as an officer; I'll be well and truly appreciative of the salary; and put it to good use. I'm sure I will.

I'm loving walking Guinness (My dog) at the moment. I seem to be walking her longer and longer every time I go out; maybe it's because subconsciously I know my time with her is short; but I know she'll be okay and I'll still be able to see her after I've left. Today I walked her up Bidston Hill; and had a mooch around the sights; seen the 1000AD Norse carving; had a look around the observatory, and the lighthouse; the latter abandoned; the principal currently occupied by someone for low rent (lucky sod) in exchange for security - when I got back I did a little reading about them; both currently up for sale; which is sad; I hope the buyers have the heritage of them in mind. I also spent a great deal of time reading up on the Bidston Hill tunnels; which have now, unfortunately been well and truly sealed up by the council. Apparently, there was a canteen down there, 2,000+ iron beds, toilets, and an arms store; I think it was part of the planning for if Germany invaded. I would have loved to have had a look down there; it's quite a grey area really, not much in any records! Some cretin, on an internet forum even said that there's a house by the observatory; and there's a lift or something that goes underground, and there's two armed guards waiting at the bottom; near a big iron door making sure people don't get in. But, what's in there!???

I'm happy to be where I'm at.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

My blog stats, Christmas, and being a loner.

I've been writing this blog for a while now, and it's not really something that I publicise much. Occasionally I will post it on my Facebook page; and occasionally I will put it on my twitter page. This generally depends on the subject. If I'm ranting about something I despise; then I might share it. Not as a general rule though; because I don't hand on heart believe that there's that many people interested in the trials and tribulations of Daniel  Bibby. I never knew there was a stats section, and I've just been looking at it now; This is my all time stats up until the point of me posting this:

United Kingdom
United States

I'm not entirely sure how accurate they are, and if there's actually people in Romania, Russia or U.S.A who read all this drivel that I come out with, but on the off-chance that there are people in the aforementioned places: Many thanks, and I'm sincerely humbled by your interest. I don't personally know anyone in any other countries; that I know of off the top of my head. I know it's hardly a viral internet sensation, but it is nice to know that people read this, considering it's just something I do for personal reference, and I seldom "share" it. 

In other news, I am happy to see the back of the festive season. Before it all started; I was steadfast that I wouldn't get involved with the seasonal crapulence; but just decided "if you can't beat them, join them" - highlights of the whole shi' bang was probably yesterday; Emma my ex partner (Mother of Evie) took me out for the day to Liverpool. Had a truly amazing meal at Bem Brasil in Liverpool. I walked past there after my Merchant Navy interview; and I had a little nose in; and thought it looked like a nice place to go; then after hearing from a friend that it was an "all you can eat" steak place, decided that I wanted to go there. Out of the blue, Emma asked me if I wanted to go for something to eat; which was quite surprising, after trying to go the red hot buffet, and nando's- I suggested Bem Brasil; I also suggested it in text, and on the way over on the bus, and walking up to Liverpool one, and  I was told to fuck off. Anyone reading this in Merseyside; I can't put into words how nice this place is; the service is great, and the food is even better. Click the link, and have a look. It's expensive, but if you go in the day time, it's 12.50 in the week; which considering the quality of the food; is realy value for money. It shits all over RedHot buffet. There's basically a buffet; with an array of delicious brazilian food, chickpeas, cous cous, salad, and a BBQ ribs(Amazing), and you have a disc on your table; one side is red, and the other side is green; green means that you want meat. My disc was on the green side for a majority of the time I spent there. The waiters bring around different steaks and you can eat as much of it as you want. Go there. You will not be disappointed.

So I've probably put about a stone and a half on! I can't change it, but I can know that with my new years resolutions in place I am not too worried about it, because I know that come summer time, I will be down to my target weight of 15 stone. The next time I go to bem brasil will be with my family; if I can drag them over; before I head to Southampton to begin my Merchant Navy career. September can't come soon enough for me.

Time to press play, and continue reading 


I have realized over the past few weeks that it's time for me to move on from this place. I'm socially isolated; it'll be good for me to be surrounded by some like-minded people. I spoke to one friend prior to Christmas; and said I was going to save some money to go out with him; and asked him to give me a ring; it's now the 28th, and still no word; I even sent his G.F a message on facebook; and that fell on deaf ears. Fuck it. I seen the people that mattered.  Aside from my GCSE maths exam entrance being paid by my Nan, and Parents; I didn't actually get any presents. Okay, I'm not interested in Christmas; and 95% of me 
doesn't care; but there's that 5% that wonders why, and how. I was watching Evie on the carousel after the meal yesterday; and was actually welling up! Emma noticed, but didn't say anything; as I told her about it on the way back, and she said she spotted me, but didn't want to say anything.  She said "Now you're realizing being a bastard gets you nowhere" -  I would say that I am  a bastard; I hold grudges- but who isn't a bastard?  Sooner or later people will shit on you. So maybe keeping people at arms length is for the best? People grow, people move out, people move away, people move on. I know I can be a hard person to socialize with; but if you can break down my walls of cynicism, and hatred for everything; there's a nice guy in there somewhere. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


Have film makers just given up with titles now? I mean; when I first heard of "Snakes on a Plane"- I thought that that could have been an indication of what was to come. Then there was "Bulletproof Monk" - Jesus H Christ; those creative bastards. Why I am bothered; I know not; but I do get a little enjoyment from my own personal social commentaries. So, the two films that are currently advertised on my bus route are "Ghost Protocol" and "The girl with the dragon tattoo" - I am of course as we speak writing this blog, while "Bad Santa" is on, heh.... Firstly, "Ghost Protocol" - I don't even have to watch it, or do any research into the film to know that it's aimed at the same shower of ball-bags that get off on flash-bang-no meaning piles of horse shit such as "The Fast and Furious" and all the associated films. "The girl with the dragon tattoo" I must digress here.  "Bad Santa has come up trumps. "Fuck stick" - Kill me now.  Oh wait. Adverts....Oh look...a new film out, called "Goon" or "The Goon" - I'm that unobservant towards adverts, that I've actually forgotten, and it was only seconds ago; that; or I've serious cognitive problems. "It all starts with a window's 7 PC" - yeah, and it probably ends with you throwing it in a bin after a years use.  Back on the subject of films.... Have you seen the film "Transporter"? I have. I was thinking the other day "how in God's name; did Jason Statham actually land a role in a film; considering he has the acting ability of a cricket bat. Then I found out that they'd made a second, and third film as an annex to the original transporter. I only watched the first one all the way through; because I thought it was a black comedy.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Resolutions, plans and reviews.

About the only redeeming feature about this time of year, is the resolutions. I enjoy them the most. Everything else gets on my tits. Jarg sincerity, and being compelled to buy buy buy! Fuck off!

  So firstly, I'll review my resolutions of 2011.

*Find a paid job (This is my 2nd year of being unemployed!)
Granted, it wasn't a permanent job; but it did get me some up to date experience; and ended just in time for me to start college.  I also left the job with no bad feelings, which was refreshing.  
Resolution kept!

*Move out of the house I currently live in; already the ball is rolling; I've just got off the telephone with the environmental health. I have mold growing on my walls as a result of my landlords negligence.
Resolution kept!

*Read twice as many books as I did last year (roughly about 20 then)
Fell short on this one, but I'm not too bothered really. 
Resolution NOT kept!

*Lose three stone by summer. (Taking my grand total to 9 stone lost)
Resolution kept! 

*Get on track for a long term career. 
Been offered a deck cadetship in 2012! Resolution kept!  This is the one I am most happy about, obviously!

*Try and learn French

I did attend a beginners class; but didn't really learn much- so this was sort of half kept. 

4 & 1/2 out of 5 Ain't bad. Ain't bad at all.

So, 2012 is looming, and I'm going to be setting myself some pretty ambitious resolutions, they all sort of tie in towards my main goal. 

1) Most importantly, I need to pass my GCSE's to take up my conditional offer for my cadet-ship. So this is resolution number one. 

2) Slightly more in the weight-loss department. When I start maritime college in September. I want to be 15 stone; which is my target weight for august.  This is also something that must be done, in order to begin my cadetship; I need to get my BMI down. 

3) This sort of ties in with 1 and 2 essentially. I'm going to give up alcohol until I've received all my exam results. I cut down on drinking in 2011 considerably; went 30 days without on a few occasions and I'd like to go through the first half of 2012 booze free. It will only interfere with the above resolutions. 

4) I'm going to ride 6000+ miles on my bike and use my Endomondo App to record it all. 

5) Well, I haven't really thought of a fifth one, but I figured I'd do another one because I made 5 last year....I'm going to try and be a better father. 

So, I'm looking forward to getting this festive season out of the way. Enjoy my self, and then press on; hopefully all my resolutions will be realized by August time. 

. . . Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind. . . 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I realize I've been very vague recently. All me me, I, I.

I assure you, I'll be back someday, soon, you will see.

I know you're careful. Cause I've been burned before, and I know how it makes you careful....

Right, I've had a good week to digest my good news. I've been feeling so under pressure since I got the news if I'm honest. I guess I thought the pressure would be off, being offered the position, but if anything; it's put more pressure on me, how I deal with it is a pretty significant deal breaker pertaining to my future. It's in my hands. I need to get a B in GCSE maths. I have a lot to do. I also need C's in my other subjects, but I'm pretty confident I can put them on the back burner and still get the required grades.  Christmas is pretty much sorted. I'm limiting my drinking over Christmas. If I drink; it's a few hours wasted that I could have spent going through maths stuff. I'm aiming for an A. I'm going to spend the next 6 weeks learning all the C/D grade shit ( I know most of it, but I want to be as sharp as possible) then start with the B grade stuff, and lastly A grade stuff, then just keep doing practice paper after practice paper, up until June. My maths tutor is very supportive, and he thinks it's achievable. So now I need to not think about failure. I need to get off facebook, and pull my finger out!

I'm still single, and I guess I'm in need of some affection. I keep having this utopian dream...everything is great; and then I wake up feeling repulsive. I'd usually be out getting completely rat arsed, on a bender, drowning my sorrows; but this time I'm keeping it together. I've realized that's not the thing to do. I have been out since we broke up, and got drunk, but I always knew what was going on.  Granted, I'm still not completely out of the relationship, I still live with her; I guess when I eventually fly this nest, I'll have more emotions to deal with; another test for me. I've got two nights out planned over the festive season; I'm going out with people from college, and I'm going out with my brother. I know in her head; I'm going to meet up with X,Y,Z and have all sorts of sexy time- on the contrary.  My confidence for that sort of thing is non existent anyway. As far as finding someone else goes, the white flag is already raised...the towel thrown in. Where would I start? My social circle is non-existent. If I go out, it's to arm pit pubs. Dating sites; the wrong kind of people- Morons. I'm ugly, it's just a fact- how I feel daily.  I want to concentrate on my career anyway. I miss being in love and all that goes with it.   If I can come out of all this, with my grades, down to my target weight of 14 stone; I will seriously be pleased with myself, and hopefully that side of my life will be rekindled.  For now it's fuckin' Stalingrad baby!!!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A load off.

It still hasn't sank in yet; but anyway; I've been accepted for a deck cadet-ship next September. Finally after what seems like an eternity of trying, I have something concrete, to actually work towards. There are a two barriers still standing in the way:- I need to pass my GCSE's- C or above in them all; and I specifically need a B in Maths. So the pressure isn't off . . .far from it. I'm pretty dire at Maths; but I have from now, until June to get myself ready for the exam. I'm a considerable step closer to my dream of becoming a mariner! I think if I pull my finger out; it's achievable! I also need to sort my BMI out; and I have every confidence that it will be fine by the time I have me medical!
Everything else going on my life at the moment seems to be diluted thanks to my good news.  I look forward to what 2012 has to offer me!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

We're on the eve of destruction

One more sleep til' my first assessment day for a deck cadetship. I've prepared as best as I can. There's little more I can do . . well, maybe have a look at some algebra later, because I am utterly hopeless when it comes to maths. I'm hoping that it's a level 2 numeracy test; because if it's anything higher, I am going to fail it. I just hope, if explain to them, they'll let me retry again in 6 months; when I'll hopefully be up to speed. I'm half shitting myself half looking forward to it; which I think is about right really. I'm looking forward to it, because I know what's at stake, should I pass it- one step closer to fulfilling a dream, and getting the life I want. If I don't get in; I face the daunting prospect of a third failed interview; I've not gotten other jobs in the past, but I haven't really been arsed about those jobs. My first and second RFA interviews really hit me where it hurts.  Everything else in my life is on the back burner at the moment. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Take away the adjectives, and you are left with the facts . . . .

I decided to swerve my usual cycling club run at the weekend for a night of standing in a pub with my mate Goodlet on the quiz machine in wetherspoons. I guess I had a laugh at the time; and the rest of the night is somewhat of a blur; I blame cheeky vimto. I punished my self with an hour long tubo session last night; but I still can't help but feel guilty. I don't think I should drink any more. I say it...too much; but I really can't deal with hangovers. I feel rotten for days after. Alcohol is a depressant, and boy do I feel depressed right now. I'm not sure if it's because I've just been handing CV's out in Liverpool; I handed two out, in four attempts- the two failed attempts, were basically them saying, 'sorry, we've already got staff'- but I'm interpreting it as, "sorry, but you're an ugly bastard".


I started writing this earlier on, in a bit of a foul mood. I had to dash out, as I was on a time limit.  I had to go the gym; and I had to pick Evelyn up from school. I feel alot better after my gym session; if a little sore. A mate of my from college works in the place; and from the looks of things he knows how to build muscle; which is exactly what I'm looking to do over the coming months. I want to sort my posture out; by working my back more than my chest; work my upper body, because it's been neglected to fuck with all this cycling, and if I carry on, I'll do some serious damage to my back. I also want to build muscle the upper regions to complement my legs, which have had their fair share of working out over the past three years.  So yeah; evident inferiority complex right there. I feel repulsive to the opposite sex; I am too fat; despite losing a mammoth amount of weight- the job is not finished. Even if I'd lost the weight, I'm not sure I'd ever be confident. I guess this all stems back to Junior school; Fancying a girl like hell; only to have her toy with me; and pursue all my friends; then going out with another girl, only to come back off holiday to find out she dumped me, and was with another person. Despite it being early in my love-life operations; I feel these moments  had a devastating impact on my self consciousness to this date. I remember in Primary school, I fancied a girl called Sarah Evans; and I have not seen her since primary school. I occasionally wonder what happened to her. If I carry on at this rate, I'll be going all "high fidelity" and I don't think now is the right time.

 I'm pretty much in obsession mode with this interview. I don't really need to prepare as such; I'm all prepared up to the max, from my previous attempts. I honestly think, if I could just lose 2 more stone before interview, I'd have a better chance  There's little I can do from now until then- maybe half a stone max- I am not interested in these crash diets though. I need to just accept it, and hope that they can see through the extra pounds. But then, the realist in my chirps in with "I'd pick skinny over a fatty if I was interviewing"- .I'm working on my weaknesses; which is the Maths side of things. I'm pretty sure it'll be basic stuff; which I'm covering at the moment in my adult numeracy course (Maths for mongs)  I guess I'm letting my weight manifest, along with my desire for a career at sea. Fundamentally, I yearn for acceptance. My daughter has just came in, and told me that she smells like a man.(She'd found my aftershave) - Doing my weekly fatherly duties; collect her from school; feed her, and then her mum picks her up. That's another thing that troubles me, but I don't feel like going into to it at all. In English literature; in our first lesson, we did a Poem, by Roger Mc Gough, called 'the railings'. I thought it was shit at the time. 'I can write better than this, this is shit' I thought, and to be honest, I still don't really rate the poem; as face value. What was drawn towards was the relationship that the poet had with his son. I sort of felt like I could relate to the father in the  Poem. I pretty much feel like a fish out of water when I'm around Evelyn. I go down to her school to pick her up; and I just want to get away from the place, I don't belong there; and I don't want to belong there. I overhear other street urchin tip-rat parents; with their multitudes of spawn; blathering on inanely about all sorts of crap; from parenting skills to x factor opinions, and what they did at the weekend. I grind my teeth!  Although I despise it so much; I still do it every week. Evelyn loves it when I pick her up; and I think she enjoys challenging my authority; apparently "mummy is the boss" - and she is, but I just can't carry on and watch my daughter dawdling along; and gawping at people across the road. I always feel uneasy when a kid is gawping at me on a bus; or what not. So am I wrong to tell my daughter that starring at people for longer than a few seconds is not on? "It's fine to look at people, but to keep doing it, for a long time is wrong, and you might upset people" I told her. "I can look at anyone I want" she sternly responded.
I did tell her mother; but apparently "It's what 4 year olds do"   I know I'm a shit dad; I was not ready for fatherhood; and I'm still not ready for it now. I am at least making an effort, even if some people would look at it a farcical level of input. I'm never going to be the paterfamilias! There's worse fathers out there than me, let me tell you. The fact I'm talking about it, and that I feel guilty that I'm not there for her more, hardly makes it forgiveable but I've got my life to live; her mother has a partner - I love Evie to bits; but at arms length is probably the best for all parties. Hopefully, when I'm where I want to be career wise; my relationship with Evelyn will flourish; I'll be able to provide more than a few hours a week. I can sleep knowing she's having a decent upbringing, surrounded by love.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Ordinary, aimless, and aweful.

The day after I had a little moan about getting rejected by two Merchant navy companies, I potentially got news of two interviews. One assessment day, with a company just over the water, in Liverpool; which I must prepare for, and one of the bigger training outfits told me on the phone, that the next time they interview in Fleetwood, they'll "get me in" - so apart from that, I have been putting it all to the back of my mind; except yesterday, I got an application for Carnival, which needs filling in, and today, I finally sent an email Anglo Eastern, essentially begging for a cadetship in my own idiosyncratic way.  I love the feeling that it's all starting to fall into place. I know I have obstacles to overcome, but I'm 100% about this.

I'm taking a more merciless approached to my affiliates from now. It will result in a more solitary existence, potentially, but I care not. While I might have entertained remedial mind games for a while now; I am no longer doing so. The buck has stopped. It is no longer entertaining. I once played mind games quite a bit; and I was at a pretty advanced level, to say the least; incorporating the lot, guilt, reverse psychology, pity and lies to name a few psychological elements used to further my cause. Playing these mind games became boring; like when the life of a captured sparrow ends- The cat just fucks off, and goes and licks its pussy under a hedge. I'm going to fuck off, and lick my genitals under a hedge now (not literally), find something else to float my boat (literally, hopefully). I’ll be alone under the literal hedge, and I’ll be licking my own literal genitals. Aaahhh.  

 So, Life is like a game of chess; and as funny as it sounds, I never bothered to learn how to play chess- I was more of a draughts man; don't take anything away from me because of this, I'm aware of the fundamentals. I am a prescriber to the Sun Tzu philosophy. I got what I wanted out of draughts; I didn’t need to waste time learning chess. I’d rather read the book, than see the movie as a general rule.

I got off a train last year; when I should have perhaps stayed on it, and been completely honest; maybe I could have tried harder- (Story of my life) - cementing my aphorism that failure is palatable, where as regret is harder to deal with.  Yet failure, and his spotty little twat faced brother rejection, is merely a by-product of trying. When will I be on that train again? Who can say? What I do know, is that I won’t get off next time. I may have had everything handed to me on a plate; the ability, the opportunities, the advice; and yes, I may have not used my ability, taken advantage of the opportunities, or listened to the advice. But I’m here now; and I’m trying, amidst the possibilities of rejection, and that feeling that comes with it.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Rejection, rejection, and more rejection.

I got an email today from one of the training companies that run the cadetships, saying I have not been selected for interview; which was a bit of a blow; I don't like rejection as much as the next man; but I was sure that on my applications I came across as someone genuinely interested, and serious about pursuing this career, some one academically capable, and possessing  the right personality traits to succeed. I've failed twice with the RFA, but that was different. I passed an RT test, and I made the sift, and I was invited for interview; on two occasions. Maybe it was the fact that I went to Portsmouth; and going through those motions made the rejection somewhat different- there was a sense of achievement there, amidst the failure; my feedback was basically, that I interviewed well, and on another day I would have got in. Tough luck for me.  Getting a generic e-mail is a little more soul destroying; no mention of why, or when I can re-apply; thank you and fuck off.  I then checked my email, and realised it had been over 28 days since I'd applied for Viking training; which meant another rejection; this one not even with anything to to symbolize it; just nothing, but nothing, for 28 days, then nothing.  Only yesterday, I was saying to myself; I need to just concentrate on the present; being at college- when it happens, it happens. When it happens. I was that confident this was for me. There's a slight doubt now; what if they all come back as rejections, where do I stand then? Wait another year? I think I would if I had to. I guess I've got BP to apply for in December, and I'm going to print out an application for carnival UK tomorrow; I think with my customer service background, and obvious interest in a career as a deck officer; could put me in a decent position. Plus, I've got Meridian, Maersk, SSTG, and CMT that I'm yet to hear from. So, it's time to focus on other things, for now.  I hope that when I next mention the Merchant Navy in my blog, it's good news; interview related maybe!

I had an enjoyable day at the races today. Stark contrast to the horrible day I had at Aintree races.  Bangor-on-dee; my favourite course; and my favourite jockey, Charlie Poste got the first winner for me, and I went on to get another winner, and two seconds. I actually bet, and won on a horse ridden by Tony Mc coy; dispelling the belief that he's my bogey jockey; as in, when I back him, he loses, when I don't he wins. How narcissistic of me!

On the way, I seen this car, parked at Wrexham train station.

I'm not sure if I think this is awesome, or pathetic

Here's Charlie Poste, on Milo Milan, before winning the first race.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Bucket List

1.  Visit The Marquesas Islands - After reading the Kon-Tiki expedition when I was 12, I became obsessed with the Pacific Ocean. I've since gone on to read quite a few accounts of sailing oceans. My favourite being "The epic voyage of the seven little sisters" by William Willis; incidental that; 7HTAS, which is my Twitter name, is the call sign of Willis' raft. I think it's what the Peruvian navy named the raft.  There's a company that do a tour of the islands on a freighter; but the costs are quite high; given that I'd need to fly to to L.A, and then to Papeete. I worked it out, and it was about 5 grand in total. I'd rather sail there my self...which brings me on to #2

2. Learn how to sail. Another long term ambition of mine; thwarted by chiefly, financial constraints. My plan is to buy myself a little yacht, and learn the ropes. I'm harbouring thoughts of saving up, and buying myself a live-a-board eventually. I've seen the life of live-a-boards, and although it isn't ideal, it'd be perfect for me. I'm assuming I'm going to be in the merchant navy next September, in which case, I will be be away for some time, and when I do return; I can cruise. I'm in love with the idea of being on remote islands. I want to visit Ascension, as many as the British Overseas Territories as I can, Easter IslandPitcairnThe AntipodesThe Hawaiian Islands and Christmas Island , I'd like to visit Vanuatu; and tell them I'm John Frum - All these places could be individual numbers in my bucket list. I used look at these little slithers of land dotted on vast oceans on an inflatable globe at my Nan and Granddads. I forgot, I'd love to go to the Caymans Islands, and British Virgin Islands. I guess retirement is pretty much taken care of.

3.Visit Devil's Island -in Suriname- A former penal colony, the setting for another of one of my favourite books "Damned and Damned Again - Which surprise-surprise is by William Willis.

4.  Cycle up Mont Ventoux- Watching the Pantani V Armstrong match up in  the 2000 tour de france was possibly the greatest sporting moment I've witnessed. I'd love to ride up it myself, ans see the Tom Simpson memorial; for those not in the know about Cycling, he's a brit, who died whilst competing in the Tour in the 60's.

5. Visit Oslo- Three reasons. #1 to visit the Kon Tiki Museum.   #2 To visit Vemork - A hydro electric damn/museum (The Heroes of Telemark) and #3 Visit the Hardangervidda - All Kon-tiki related - The last two are associated with Knut Haugland - A true hero. His Wikipedia page does him no justice at all. While I think Ray Mears is a walking talking testicle; his book, "The Real Heroes of Telemark" gives a real enthralling insight into Operation Gunnerside

6. Visit Vietnam; I've always been curious about the place from various war films, but what really got me interested in going was reading Tim Severin's China Voyage. I'd also like to visit China, DPRK, and Hong Kong, while I am there.

7.- I'd love a horse. I think, when I'm up and running in the Merch; I may well get shares in a racehorse; It'd have to be a Chaser; and Charlie Poste would have to ride it; He's my favourite Jockey; I once backed him at Aintree at 100/1 on a horse called dance island; and he only went and finished second! One of his rides I'll always remember was when he managed to get a horse called heathcliffe to finish third; the horse was reluctant to settle, and he pretty much had to push the horse the entire 3 miles. I'd one day like to have enough space to be able to keep one myself; although, I am planning on living on a yacht; as soon as possible.

8. San Francisco; go to Gilman Street and take in some punk rock; and ride the tram. I've always wanted to go, after seeing Herbie rides again. Strange little houses on hills. Quirky. I like it. 

9. On the subject of Beetles, I've always wanted a 1969 VW Beetle. This exact one - with the soft top; and the racing shit on. There's an attempt at one of these round by my mums. It's not the right shade of white, it's not the correct year, and they've basically bought it; and not looked after it - all the shiny metal bits have been allowed to rust. A shame really. Although these day's, I'm a little 'anti vehicle'.

That's about it really. I mean there's a few peripheral ideas that I have, some unrealistic, some pretty achievable.  I'd like to one day live in Spain, I guess #2 can sort of accommodate that. I'd love sit down, and write a song with Neil Finn. I'd love to see Aurora borealis with my own eyes. I'd love to drive or cycle across Europe, and America. Pedalling across an ocean is something I constantly think of.  I want to see more of eastern europe as well.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Mind is blank. No title for you.....

I think maybe 5% of creativity is actually creative…pioneering….if you will. It starts when we are nippers. Monkey see, monkey do.  Only in later life, It’s monkey see, monkey change a little bit, monkey take credit for and get sucked off. I’m basically going to get high marks in both English subjects because over the past ten years, I have spent a lot of time waffling on about shit. They should combine Lit’ and Lan’ and just make it a vocational certificate in talking shit.  One moment that I keep revisiting is when I was in University: I was sat there in a pub; that on face value, you’d think was a working class, masculine melting pot. From the outside, it was a typical pub, on the inside, everything about it was the epitome of pubness. It was however, populated with all sorts of ‘hippy/pseudo intellectual/work a day for world peace/ smoke weed and do it tomorrow/analytical boffin’ types. It’s the latter that are relevant here. Weeks prior to sitting there thinking “Oh fuck off you haven’t got a clue” - I was sat in the crane bar, in Galway. I was pissed, and I was playing guitar. I was welcome to join in on the songs and reels, and everyone there was having a riot; it was boss- flash forward to my flash back, in the pub again- these English “musicians” are sitting there with their legs crossed, and their sheet music in tow, and their expensive guitars, and bags of knowledge; telling me I can’t stamp my fucking feet to join in. These people get so caught up, their heads up their own arses, that they lose sight of what music, especially Irish Folk music is all about. These same people who read things or see things created by bohemian minds, and make their suggestions,…telling us the hidden messages. You know what? Things sometimes are what they are; and they don’t need to be picked from the field and taken to the lab, dissected, and explored for meanings and such.

I keep finishing college for the day, and walking down into Liverpool city centre. I noticed today, that I am caught up in a loop of repetitive thought. I leave the college, and the first thing I do it take of my badge, because I’m sort of self conscious that I’m 26, and I’m at college, and I worry a bit,  what people will think. I turn the first corner, and I see an old boarding school on the left, brick, square, and depressing, with a sign saying “Pleasant Street School”- Not that pleasant. I then look over the road, and I see the modern day incarnation of pleasant street primary school; with it’s wacky architecture, making it look like a spaceship, in places, and it’s big security gates- it is a modern day monstrosity. I then start thinking about my time in primary school. I keep walking then I turn another corner, and there’s a multi story car park. I don’t really think much here, there isn’t anything visually stimulating to be honest. Then I turn onto the main road, which is a hill heading down towards Liverpool city centre. I can see the radio city tower; and I think about all those retards who listen to mainstream radio and live their lives in utter ignorance. Then I see my home in the hazy distance, across the Mersey, in the foreground; here, I start thinking about if I’m on the right path or not; will I see these GCSE’s through. Will I succeed? Do I really want to be a deck officer in Merchant navy?  Then I think “what else am I going to do” - Then I reach the favourite part of my walk home; walking past “Smokey Mo’s” - outside, there’s an old school chalk board sign saying “You’ve heard about us, now you’re here, you can see for yourself” - I'm thinking, "No I haven't.... and no I can't" The beer garden is full of track suited street urchins from Liverpool shakily smoking their rolled tobacco and sipping on  their pints of shit  bitter. Bear in mind it’s 1pm. Then everything suddenly becomes lucid. I might not be on the quickest path to living a content existence, but at least I have got my shit together enough to not be standing on the steps of smokey mo’s, smoking and drinking myself into the abyss. The ends now justify the means.

I then work my way through the metropolis that Liverpool is. There is an abundance of Big Issue salesmen; they’re really saturating the market. In the first week, I just said no to them, and felt a little guilty. Then I devised a slightly longer route, to avoid them completely, then I started answering them saying “Sorry, I’m illiterate” - but now I just wear head phones, and glide effortlessly through the mess.  When you’re not wearing headphones, people with headphones are little shits.  Can’t beat them, join them.

Here’s me on Wednesday just gone, at the top of the horseshoe pass, in Llangollen. A very enjoyable 85 mile ride, which I am going to replicate on Sunday to watch my friend Sean compete in the wrexham hill climb time trial.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

So, it’s September. Summer has gone just as quick as it came; which it has a tendency to do.  Next month, I will reach the unremarkable milestone that is 27, unless of course you’re a pop star; in which case I’d better be sure not to be taking any crack. I’m not a pop star though. I really can’t think of anything worse than being a pop star anyway. Music infuriates me.

 I’m going through the usual motions of drifting between optimism and pessimism. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with the seasons changing, but I really do tend to get a bit deflated at this time of year. But like I said; there is some optimism there, so it’s not totally forlorn. I’m a bit blue, but who isn’t?

I have finally started College properly. My first week has pretty much passed by without any major issues; aside from financial worries and a bit of customary fucking around from the dole, or the “Department of work” as I now like to call it. I’m sitting here chuckling to myself. Department of work. That’s great that. I’ve just started reading 1984 you see. I went to get a form stamped at the “department of work” and I was told I’d have to make an appointment, rather than them just stamp it for me there. I said “So . . .you want me to make an appointment….to come back tomorrow, so that one of your colleagues can stamp my college form for me?” - “Yes” I was abruptly informed by a woman with a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle leaf.  She told me to wait, and then some guy who reminded me of Penfold from Dangermouse shouted me over. I told him that I thought the fact I had to come back tomorrow was a little Orwellian. He seemed to agree, and he stamped it for me, and off I went to complete the enrolment process.  People who work in the job centre; not to generalize here….wait, yeah…to generalize; are a big fat trophy-like representation of why you should not settle on a job unless you really are happy in doing it  for a life time. The jobs I’ve done so far:  paper boy (lasted two days) pot dealer, parker pen salesman, production line operative, barman, pizza delivery boy, catering assistant, painting and decorating, smashing walls down and filling skips, demolition, concreting, roadie (for Vancouver band, The Tranzmitors), Music Promoter, Sound Engineer, Colletions & Recoveries agent, Credit Controller, Accounts Manager, Maritime Research Assistant, Data Entry Clerk,  Casino car park attendant. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, some official roles there, and some not so official.  Out of all of them, the only one that I would definitely do for the rest of my days would be a Roadie. I was put up, and fed. It didn’t pay at all, but it was quality. Quality job, quality life. This goal of mine, to get me a job in the Merchant Navy has been in the pipeline for a good few years now. It’s definitely not some quixotic flash in the pan. I’m basically in year 4 of trying and not getting anywhere. I reckon I’m on the home straight now though. I’m in college and I’m retaking my G.C.S.E’s. English Literature, Language, Biology, Physics, and a maths for mongs course ( I didn’t pass to get on the GCSE, so I’ve gotta do this remedial course, but there’s a Maths GCSE in January that runs through to July) Over the coming months I will be applying to various shipping companies for next years intake. You know what I’m shit scared of though? Getting through all this rigmarole and either firstly not getting a position, or secondly, not liking it. I often go on about how society is fucked, and I suppose it is really, but where else can you get money, do free education courses, not have to work and get a free bus pass? I’m not beatifying the system, I’m just happy that it’s working for me at the moment. How narcissistic of you Daniel. I was waiting to get my bus pass, and heard the guy in front of me, he was an asylum seeker, and he was also getting his courses paid for, and he was filling in forms so he’d get paid £100 per week; now that’s a pretty decent amount of money to be getting for fuck all, considering I was born here, and I paid my taxes when I did work and I get £55.00 to live off. I could claim housing, and council tax I suppose, so that would sort of even it out. Am I angry, or unhappy about the aforementioned? No, I’m not. I have no idea what that lad has gone through to get to this country. I won’t begrudge him his free courses, and his 100 quid a week. I bet you were thinking, “Oh here we go, here’s another rant about asylum seekers and taxpayers money” Well you’re wrong. Fuck tax payers…. fucking morons. Fuck all those Sun newspaper reading dolts with their spoon fed ideals as well! Fucking thick racist bigoted ignorant sacks of shit,- wishing it was the morning, wishing it was the evening, wishing it was weekend, without seeing that they’re wishing their way to their graves!  I’m concerned with one thing. Getting this academic year out of the way. Getting 5 GCSES, hopefully C or above; I’m really going to give it my all this time. I want 2 A grades, and B’s if I’m honest. I’m appreciative of the chance that I’ve got here.  Going back to college is pretty much the same as when I last went to college. It’s the same as when I went to university. It’s the same as when I go to the pub, bookies, supermarket or even the park. I’m surrounded by people that I don’t seem to have any sort of connection with.  I seen some fat guy with a Mohawk in college; wearing a bright fluorescent “ALCATRAZ PSYCHO WARD” shirt with big stupid baggy pants. What a stupid bastard. Does he think he’s in a slipknot video? Fashion kills me. You have no idea. Seen loads of rejects with green hair and German military jackets hugging each other on bold street as well. You could bet they’ve got “revolutionary” T shirts.  Moshers love hugging each other don’t they? Oooh, old people. The word random. Cheese. Living with my Nan. Hurry up and conform you smelly little shits;  or, carry on with the whole charade, and march your kids around Tesco’s with Buffy the vampire slayer T shirts on. They’ll really love you for that.  Then there’s all these “super dry” t shirts. Why? Then you’ve got people who get their T shirts from supermarkets. You’re not bat man; your slogan about beer isn’t funny, you didn’t graduate from California state surf school college in 1979.Then there’s the Burtons/Topshop sect; T shirts and scarf- nice combination pricks. I seen some other prick, and I’m sorry if it was Robert Smith, drinking in the new Pseudo intellectual coffee place in bold street, but really it wasn’t actually him. It was some pathetic middle age bastard sitting there looking all pale, like he’d stuck a fork in a toaster or something. What’s going on?! If I had the money spare, I’d round up the tramps of Liverpool, and equip them all with plane glass box frame glasses, and give them a couple of quid each, on the proviso that they go in this coffee place, and cause a bit of a stink; both literally and actually. That would piss off all those fucking dandy bastards.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Summer of discontent.

Tenerife was frustrating on all levels. When we landed, I was visually impressed. I was harbouring thoughts that it was going to be decent.  I knew before I went that I wouldn’t have much in common with the people I was going with, but I think if I just stand back from the entire situation, I don’t really have much in common with anyone these days, never mind a bunch of student nurses, and a random south African called Stem.

 View from the roof of the hotel...the row of palm trees is where my wallet was taken...

 The 1st night pretty much set up the sentiments for the rest of the holiday. There was a host of drunken arguments in the first few days, and I ended up getting my wallet pick pocketed during one of the arguments; the Spanish police were utterly useless.  The resort of Playa De Las Americas was pretty grim. Think Blackpool with Palm Trees. People constantly hassling you into restaurants, and sell you shit sunglasses.   

Day two seen a long term ambition achieved; Going out sailing.  Unlucky for me; I was sea sick! On day three, I was close to booking a flight home; but was put off by the price. The Holiday rep was pretty understanding about the whole thing; and she kindly offered to let me tag along with all the Thomas Cook reps. I felt totally isolated from the people I was travelling with, so I decided to take the kind strangers offer.  I managed to let my hair down, and ended up having a decent night, although the ensuing drama returning home sort of cancelled it all out.   At one point I ended up going for a hill walk, which turned into some sort of team building exercise.  I had a lot of fun, and I can certainly see how team building exercises are used. 
 Views from the hill walk...
 Me, on the top of the hotel....
Asked the fellah how much the canary was to eat.....

 Walking down a street in Vilaflor
 Praying that the bus would turn up when leaving vilaflor
 Vilaflor again . . .
 Really loved the quirky little buildings...and glad I got to see the real Tenerife....
This is a view from Arona; the final destination of my ascent on the bike..

Some hippys, that live in tent/caves year round. 

 Then came the bike hire day, which was the 5thand definitely the best day of the trip. I’d intended to ride to Vilafor, but not long after beginning my ascent, it became apparent that the bike I’d hired wasn’t up to the task, and neither was my un-acclimatised body. See pics above, of Arona.

 Regardless of me leaving early, by 9.30, I was sweating profusely. When it’s economically viable, and I’ve lost a few more stone, I’m going to go on a full on cycling holiday, either in Tenerife, or possibly south france/northern spain. I don’t think there’s a better feeling than an hour and a half of sweating and pushing like hell and looking back down at all you’ve conquered.  Not one to be diverted from my goal, I made my descent back to the Hell hole that is “Playa De Las Americas” (Spicy Blackpool) after encountering the real Tenerife, a random chicken in the road, a nice restaurateur who could have ripped me off, but didn’t, some feral dogs, and a stricken lizard in a lolly ice wrapper that I saved; me, and Christine got on a bus (several), and headed up to Vilaflor which was truly an experience. You’re so high that you’re in the clouds. It’s madness that all this civilization exists so high up, and the buildings are rich in character! It was like a Ghost town when we arrived (Possibly during siesta) but we found a cafe next to the main square and tucked into some delicious Canarian cuisine. I’d tell you what it was like, but that would make me a big fat hypocrite, as I’m always sounding off about morons who watch cooking programmes and them being a total waste of time (the programmes and the watchers)  Anyway....Canarian potatoes. Yes! 
In hindsight, I did have a good time overall, despite what happened. I had serious blues for a week after!

 Two days after arriving back, I went out Birkenhead Victoria CC on a club run and I was not expecting it. I took water with me instead of my usual isotonic drinks, and was in for a serious eye opener as we rode to Llangollen. We ended up covering about 90 miles. I squashed a testicle going up the horseshoe pass, so I was off the bike for a good 5 minutes being sick at the side of the road. Stupid road pedals not clicking in! Then we made our way back from the Cafe at Llangollen; I was unprepared and unaware as to what was about to transpire; riding over “worlds end”. I’m not entirely sure of gradient, but I was dropped pretty much instantaneously and the ascent seemed to get steeper and steeper; then without warning, the mechanism that allows the wheel to turn after you pedal gave way; so I had to basically ride up this monster without any reprieve. It was nearly impossible to get the bike going again after stopping, something that was needed given the mechanical failures my bike had encountered. After getting over the top, my bike thankfully begun to work a little better, but I was shot to fuck. Lagging behind the rest of the bunch, I felt like such a letdown, after riding so well on my previous club run to Beeston; I was 3rd up the hills then and well pleased with how I was riding.  I put it down to the Tenerife ride, and the bike being fucked. I bought my old bike back of my mate; as my new Bianchi had failed me, and was getting fixed.

 The next club run was even more of a disappointment. We went to Llandudno at a pretty fast pace; and I decided to ride up the Great Orme.  Essentially my confidence was writing cheques that my ability couldn’t cash. I was trying out a new supplement to stop me from burning out that had been recommended to me by the cycling guru within the club I’m in....all sorts of jazzy electrolytes in it!  Now, I usually burn out at 70 miles, but managed to keep it going for 85, coupled with me riding up a stupidly steep hill, and yet more mechanical short comings, I ended up out the back of the group again. I ended up telling them to carry on. I disappointed myself. I soldiered on, and caught sight of them again close to the finishing point; which was a slight redeemer.

I opted out of this weekend’s club run, because my gears were bust, and I was a bit reluctant to be the anchor again. I stupidly went out drinking!  I’d be here all day expressing how pissed off I am at myself, but I’m not going to bother. Today, I shaved 2 minutes of my shockingly bad ten mile time; and I had a nice solo ride out to Holt...60 Miles in the bag.

I have an assessment later this month at Liverpool Community College. It’s pretty much all or nothing here. I’ve spent the last 3 and a half years working towards a goal. Getting in the Merchant Navy. Trying to lose weight, get fit, and get the qualifications and all that jazz. I’ve washed up with the idea of going in the RN, and I’ve also washed up with the idea of going in the RFA; they’ve had their budget slashed, they’re not taking on, plus, I hate rejection, and I’m not ready for another NO. I’ve encountered rejection, I’ve suffered, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve changed. The plan now, is to finish this job next week, and all being well, ace my 5 GCSE’s. Come January, I’ll be getting interviews for HNC places for next September. Sponsored Deck position in the Merchant Navy...age 28, finally settling down to a “career”.  So by 30, I’ll be up and running. This is of course pending the outcome of my assessment. I’m not going to talk about a contingency plan, because it’s first and foremost negative to do so, and secondly, and seriocomically I don’t have a plan B. All the metaphorical eggs are in one basket here.

Assessment on the 24th August, pay day on the 26th. I'm debating riding to Hereford, which is 100 miles from mine and staying at a B&B, then heading down to Cornwall, just with a back pack with minimal essentials. I keep thinking of mechanical failures, and my lack of mechanical knowledge though; so I may just take the dog, the tent, the car, and go "where ever"   In any case, I am looking forward to some splendid isolation at the end of August. If I come back and find I don't have a place on the and games beckon!