Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Now his wagon is loaded, he's pullin' away....

I'm on my way to my last Physics GCSE exam earlier today; and I 'tweet' "
This merchant navy contract I am waiting on; I don't think I have wanted anything more in my life."  - Just 5 minutes after this; my Dad rings me, and tells me the good news. There's an envelope with lots of papers that need signing to be picked up.  My contract for my Merchant Navy training.  The feeling eclipsed that time I got a Sega Saturn for Christmas, and there was me, thinking that feeling would never be surpassed.

So, it all seems a little closer to fruition now- That dream of navigating boats around the world, and to be paid for it, is one step closer for me...never mind the working dream, but there's the dream of living on my own little yacht, somewhere in the Mediterranean which now seems a little step closer too.  I guess now, I can draw a line in the sand, and move forward- God...I sound like one of those god awful managers that exist, in call centres, just below operational management level! 

Over the past few years, I've spent hours and hours....days, daydreaming about where my life is going to take me; will I find what I am looking for? Will I ever be satisfied? I guess the way I see things now, are much more philosophical; and I am not afraid in the slightest of following a dream; or pursuing something that I want. I guess I owe that to my idols; William Willis, Fred Rebell- I need to add Moitessier to that list now; after recently finishing the fantastic "The long way"

I think back to my life in 2007; working in a plankton level job, in a banks' call centre; on 12k. 27 +stone, depressed to fuck, revelling in crapulence.  The wake up call that put my arse into gear about my health and weight, was going to the doctors; and being told; "You are morbidly obese, your blood pressure is high, and you are diabetic" I decided then, I was going to sort out the mess I was in. Everything was a mess; I was, my life was,  I was going  Ultimately, I was not enjoying living.  

Since that point of realising change was essential, and a long term career was needed, I have been plugging away, bit by bit, getting to where I am now.  A few credit control jobs, here or there, and a bit (Lot)of time on the dole, which in it's self has been challenging- My friends in my home town doubted me, and had their two cents about me not working, and to a certain extent, there was times where I doubted myself.  Sure, I could have maybe got a full time job, a long term job, but I would have regretted not following my dream for the rest of my life. I've hated being skint all the time, and I thank God for the people who are close to me, for putting up with my apparent lack!   Living on buttons can be rewarding, especially when you can eat for a week, pretty comfortably; off £20.00 (thanks to ALDI), and you see people in Tescos spending £££'s on their weekly shops!  But, on the other side of the coin, it's shit, because there's not much else spare; if you want to buy anything, or go anywhere.  I set myself a goal, and I've kept plugging away until it has been reached;  there was a point in 2010, when I had my 2nd rejection letter from the Royal Fleet Auxilary; where I was just thinking of throwing in the towel- I'm glad that I didn't, and that I am here now; seemingly in a better position than I would have been had I have joined the RFA- I would have been a Coms' rating. Being a deck officer suits me better anyway! I feel like the Dad, in Little Miss Sunshine.  

I'm buzzing right now. 

There's still a long way to go, before I'm relaxing on the deck of my own Contessa 32; happy with my life, and career, with an ice cold glass of Sangria, watching the sun set over a cloudless Mediterranean sky. You might be thinking "he's got his head in the clouds this one" - Well, it all began back in 2007; static, in a seemingly prospect-less job, shockingly unhealthy. I'm the turd that won't flush. I'm about 9 stone lighter; I am the fittest I have ever been; and most importantly, I'm happy, and I have my training to look forward to. There's work to be done; but I'll be damned if all this has been for nothing! I want to enjoy the shit out of my life. 

Thanks for reading x

Monday, 28 May 2012

Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike.

I don't think 350 miles is my record for a weeks milage; but it certainly felt like it. I guess the heat has taken more out of me, than riding that distance usually would.  I suppose it's all helping towards me getting myself in shape. I have lost about 8lb so far this month; and I reckon I'm possibly going to lose another stone or so in June. I've got some big rides planned (Bangor, in wales, 140 miles round trip; and Buxton, Derbyshire, also 140 miles ish) Obviously; the Buxton ride is going to be a killer; due to the terrain being very lumpy!  Last Sunday, I went out to the Cycling cafe (which I am now banned from), and went across over to Helsby, and Frodsham way with my club; which I enjoyed; It's nice to ride to new places. I done some speed riding on Monday, and Tuesday; and on Wednesday, I went out with two lads from the cycling club, Mark W, and Rob H, on a midweek "dole run" - we went to The Ponderosa cafe, which self applies the handle "The shop in the clouds" 

It's always satisfying to get up to the top; after all the hard work of riding uphill for that long. When you're on the road, pumping away, head down, sweat pissing out of you, staring at the floor, wondering when all the suffering is going to end; you are often passed by leather clad ball bags on their super charged super bikes, at very high speeds! Every time they whiz past, I can't help but think of that episode of southpark, about motor cyclists being attention seeking faggots. When you finally get up, and in the cafe, only then can you fully appreciate the motor cyclist in close quarters...generally with massive beer guts, and shit metal band tour T shirts from 1997.  The food on offer in the cafe certainly caters for them; massive, and I mean massive, almost astronomical potions of pie, chips, and gravy. Mmmmm.  The last thing you want, when you've got to ride all the way back to Birkenhead.  I opted for beans on toast, and I was shocked when they had 50/50 bread! The manoeuvres that some  of  them pull on their bikes are nothing short of idiocy. That "Think Bike" advert, where there's arrows pointing to motorcyclists, being people, with families; I appreciate them trying to personify bikers, in an attempt to get moronic car users to take more care. If you ever seen some of the shit that these nut sacks pull on the horse shoe pass; you'd just laugh at that advert, like I do.  

On Saturday morning, I ticked off a cycling "to-do"- I rode out to frodsham, and then headed over the Runcorn bridge! It was pretty shit to be honest. It stank of shit, and the expressway was hair raising at 32mph; with lots of cars beeping! I've introduced a new school of thought with sign gestures, at motorists; rather than pop them the conventional V's, I just try to confuse them, by either doing a rocking baby motion, or getting my pump out my back pocket, and proceeding to cast a spell on them. I fucking hate morons AND cars. I don't think I want to ever own a car again. 

Sunday's club run started with a slight hiccup! I got asked, so politely by the current owner of the Eureka cafe; if I could not come to the cafe again, if I'm not buying anything. She went on to say that "you come in here week after week, and just get water" and that she has a business to run. Which is fair enough, right? I was half expecting it, as a few weeks ago, I asked one of the girls for some "council pop" and she  jumped in and informed me that it wasn't council pop, and that they were on a meter; I did detect a slight twinge of animosity! So, rather than pull me to one side; and have a quiet word; she walks up to me, and embarrasses the living shit out of herself, and me in front of the rest of the Vics.  When she walked away, a few of the lads said "That was a bit harsh" - and at the time, I was quite pissed off. I've been in there quite a bit over the years and when ever I do have money spare; which in my current situation, is not very often, I will buy things, usually a hot chocolate, toast, or a cup of green tea. I was put off getting food from there, when I ordered a cup of tea, with poached egg and beans on toast...handed a tenner in, and got £1.20 back.  I'm not in a position to be flashing the cash on things that are over priced. She obviously assumes that I am like the consensus clientèle that frequent the cafe; just to be a prick(as always), and generalize; are middle aged men, with more money than sense. Cycling weekly subscribers. Leg shavers. Most of them have a massively expendable income; which is why, they can turn up at the mills, on their carbon fibre pinarellos' and pay £2.50 for a tracker bar, endorsed by lance the druggy; and buy "energy gels" that cycling weekly instructs them that they "need". I can go to aldi, and get a pack of wholegrain fruit bars, that will do the same job; 6 for a pound. £2.50 gets me my breakfast in for the entire week. If I'm struggling for money; which I am; it makes sense for me to buy my energy drinks on-line, in bulk. So, now, because I don't buy anything, I'm not welcome there any more. My club meet there; week in, week out- they even have their club meetings there; which all puts precious money in her till.  My club mates all spend a shit load in there! Will my club mates stand by me? Will there be any solidarity for the fat cunt?  Boycott the cafe?  Of course not. The mills is the cycling centre of the universe. They've met up there since before time began. Can't change history; or habits, can we? 

 So, sadly, my Sunday runs now, will be solo. I am not riding out to the mills, and waiting outside in the fucking bus shelter for the lads to come out and meet me; like a naughty school kid. The bus company might get an anonymous tip off, that I'm using their shelter, and I am not a PAYING customer.  I could just go in there, and buy juice; just to appease her; or even a bottle of water- which would be fair; I spend; she gets money out of me- but I'm just not willing to now, after how she went about it. Consider this cyclist, alienated. I doubt the impact will have any dent at all on her income.   I'd know, each time I'm there, paying for my bottle of water, or juice, that she's probably burning inside, and counting the little drops of money going in her till. Cycling....the new golf.  I hope I never have that kind of relationship with money. She's obviously never struggled with money before!