Thursday, 29 April 2010

Try I do

I opened a letter this morning confirming I could start studying with the open university. This I need to say is a big deal for someone like me. Not that many years ago I remember taking a level one basic English exam and thinking, I'll be lucky to get through this one. Then I set off to drop some forms at a prison I used to reside in some years ago.

I think It's fair to say that my past is a little on the chequered side, I have from time to time walked on the wrong side on the law.  A consequence of that has been a bit of time spent at her Majesty's pleasure. As such I still find it odd trying to get security clearance to go back in these places. But try I do. Maybe that has something to do with the letter I had this morning.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

toys and stuff

Sat playing with Jack today I started thinking just how important toys and stuff are as we grow up. I fondly remember my first Lego set and the pain standing on one of those bastard blocks brought. A pain I might add, that was recently revisited as I lurched backwards on to not one, not two, but three of the fucking things. For the record, the wife found this very funny.

However, Dispute the pain Lego bricks and toys of that ilk bring, we will solder on. Some day the boy will build and it will all be worth the suffering.

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All A.A. progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. Our whole spiritual development can be accurately measured by our degree of adherence to these magnificent standards. AS BILL SEES IT, p. 271

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Just makes me smile every time.

The Truth Behind Trigger's Broom...

Almost to simple me thunks.

RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

The above is taken from a really useful book (it's big). Honesty, How hard can it be? I like to think of myself as a honest person, but maybe that's not the truth. I think today I'm gona be on it just a little bit more and see How well I do. I'll let ya know. Honestly I will.

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Monday, 26 April 2010

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Steam training

At the ripe old age of forty two I went on my first ever steam train ride today, and to make it a truly memorable event it was also Jacks first ever ride on one. Now please don't misunderstand me, i'm not the sort of person that gets excited over steam trains, although I'm led to believe they are out there. What I do enjoy however, is doing something for the first time with my son.

The journey to Swanage passed with little incident. Jack simply stood on my lap and enjoyed the ride. The return trip was however a little more fraught with peril. Turns out the folk sat in the seats directly behind us were what I would term local train folk. I had no chance to count, but I suspect each one of them had a minimum of six digits per hand. Or possibly per paw. I really have nothing against people of this ilk, but fuck me they really are odd.

It's a diesel one of the train folk squawked as another locomotive passed us by. It then went on to declare they would be running up to midnight in the next few weeks, giving one of those encouraging nods that say " come join us, I guarantee nothing will happen to you or your family". At that point I picked up my two year old son and took him for a gentle stroll in the opposite direction.

My wife, mother in-law and father in-law were all left to fend for themselves. I got off the train before anyone else and stood holding my son waiting for any sign of the remaining members of my family. Would I be bringing Jack up on my own from now on, would I be giving an interview to the News of the world before tea time, the headline Twilight Train strikes again.

No, no I would not. My family reunited, we headed off to Frankie and Benny's and sat down for a mighty feast. Apart from the standard fit-inducing black and white tiles they have in the toilets, I enjoyed the meal. Jack spent the time in sleep depraved insanity and we happily munched away. Now home safe and sound, I can't help thinking just how much my heart sings every time I do something new with my family. It really is very cool.                  

Saturday, 24 April 2010

So far, so good.

Thought I'd take a little time for a quick blog as I pad my way through another day. Ive enjoyed the sun and although I'm tempted to spend the day feeling sorry for myself ( I have a cold ) I've done my best.

I'm the sort of person who can turn a simple cold in to a case of walking death at the fick of a dime. Ofcourse my good wife is well awere of this and getting even a hint of simpathy is a mission in it's self. I don't know why, but simpathy when I'm I'll is very important. Anyway, I'm not getting much.

Despite the above, the day has so far been ok. I'm at home now with the boy playing away and the Mrs having a go at cooking something new. The success or failure of this venture will no doubt dictate the feel of our home for the rest of the night. Up to now, so far, so good.

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Friday, 23 April 2010

Relax, just relax

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

In the pub.

Just sat in a pub waiting for my boss to turn up for a meeting and the thought has come to me, I spend more time in pubs for meetings and the like, then I used to when I was on the piss. Granted most of my drinking was street style, cheep cider and the like, but I would from time to time make it to a pub. Here comes the boss so I bid you all a fond fair-well for now.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Now that's progress

It's been a bit of an odd day thus far, at least that's how it feels at the moment. I guess the pivotal moment was when I found out the woman who smashed up my dear old Micra has now decided it's not her fault and in fact I reversed in to her as opposed to her stuffing me up the rear without even buying me a pint first.

Bit of a bugger that. Unlike her I don't drive a nice new mobility car with all the associated perks such a thing brings. A beat up old Micra is as good as it gets. Why can't people be just a little more honest instead of screwing everyone at the drop of a hat.

But here's the thing, I know only too well how the truth can be bent, twisted and dam right smashed to get your own way. I spent a fair few years being slightly more flexible with the truth then was good for me, or anyone near me for that matter. Now i'm not condoning it by any means, all i'm saying is what goes around, comes around. Maybe it's coming round my way.

Of course I want to go round to this woman's house, hide in her garden until about 4am and smash every fucking window out of her house, that's perfectly normal. But I won't. What I'll do is piss and moan to my friends for a while, keep telling the truth and deal with whatever comes out of all this. Now that's progress for you.      

Friday, 16 April 2010

Via stealth.

To blog via stealth. Is that as exciting as my life gets now? to be honest, I hope so. I wouldn't say I've had one of those high flying fast paced life styles, but i have had my moments. For instance, I once popped a wheelie on a Honda C70 from the bottom of Ludgate hill to the top of Wotton street don't ya know. I even made it to the bottom of Crawley hill in Uley without using my push bike breaks once. Unfortunately I never did repeat that feat, the scar on my ankle being a testimony to what many refereed to as a spectacular failure. Youth being wasted on the young? Bollocks, who else could make such good use of it? To blog via stealth will do me for now.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Goodbye Bob

I've always really liked this image.

Small beer when hot

Ominous warning which I failed to heed.

Off we roared

We gave up our positions and off we roared on a motorcycle, the sidecar stuffed with tent, blankets, a change of clothes, and three huge volumes of a financial reference service.

6 simple steps

Lets not forget the simplicity of it all eh folks?

6 steps, A hand written copy by Bill W. in April of 1953

A new car.

So the little red pellet has gone and I fear never to return. Her replacement got delivered today, at least until the insurance company make a decision on what happens to the Micra.

Problem is the thing is so dam new I don't want to drive it in case it gets bumped and I have to cover the £250 excess. I've never had anyone leave a brand new car in my care, I guess it might take a bit of getting used to.

Anyho, drive it I will, taking full advantage of a 2010 Fiesta and the benefits it offers on and above the 1995 Micra. After all, what's the worst that can happen? Answers on a post card to " I've fucked it again, PO Box 25"   

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

bugger

While on my way to pick up some PI posters this afternoon my dear little old Micra was well and truly stuffed up the arse by a much bigger and clearly stronger beast of a car. Sadly the results are not good and I fear she will not return.

Bugger, simply bugger.

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Monday, 12 April 2010

The greatest mind.

The greatest mind of our modern ages is undoubtedly the legend known as Homer J Simpson. I've bloged it before and God help me I'll blog it again. Some of you may ask why? Instead of trying to convince you, i will simply list a few of his philosophical words so you can see for yourself.

Ah, beer, my one weakness. My Achilles heel, if you will.
 
America's health care system is second only to Japan... Canada, Sweden, Great Britain... well, all of Europe. But you can thank your lucky stars we don't live in Paraguay!

And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course, and I forgot how to drive?

Aw, Dad, you've done a lot of great things, but you're a very old man, and old people are useless.

Bart, a woman is like beer. They look good, they smell good, and you'd step over your own mother just to get one! 

The evidence is quite clearly indisputable, or is it? Could it be that there is a greater mind, a greater philosopher? One who exceeds the wisdom of the great Homer J Simpson? Doubt it, but if you find one, let me know. 


Good enough is good enough.

I blogged this morning about dragging my feet to work and the realisation it's just another Monday. Well half way through the day and things are fine, in fact things are quite good. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened; it really is just another Monday with all the usual office tasks to take care of. So why you may ask your self are things quite good.

Things are quite good because put simply, good enough is good enough. For so many years I struggled to find any thing positive in life. My mind set was so fixed on "stuff will fix me", I was missing the point. The point that good enough really is good enough.

Obviously I get stressed out from time to time, clearly money has to be earned and bills paid. This is the
modern age we all live in. But what of that contentment I spent so long searching for? Was it to be found in my bank balance, the quality of my car, watch, house? Was it fuck? The only place that feeling of
contentment could ever be found was deep down inside me.

It took me quite a while to work that one out and fundamental to that discovery was the total acknowledgment that at any given point, good enough really is good enough. Today thus far I haven't killed, or even tried to kill anyone. I've not tried to harm anyone in anyway and I’m doing the best I can. That’s good enough.

Just a Monday.

As I get ready to go to work after a weekend at home, draging my feet and feeling sorry for myself. The thought comes to mind that today is just another Monday, that's all. But even with that in mind, it's just another Monday I can get out and do the best I can do.
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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Recovering or recovered

Whats this thing about recovering or recovered. I smile to myself when i listen to people in so called recovery who then go on to say "I'll never recover, I'll always be recovering"

I guess it depends where people take direction and how they define recovery from Drug addiction and or Alcoholism. For me the solution was found in a twelve step fellowship using the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I listen to people again and again sharing how they work the steps out of the Big Book but will never recover. Surly they must be reading a different book. Either that or they haven't really worked the steps yet.

We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. ( Big Book forward)

Again and again the Big Book refers to members who have recovered, yet we still have people in the rooms shouting loud and clear, " we never recover, we will always be recovering" I wish in no way to fall out with anyone, so if that's you, that's  you.

If however, you are one of those people who work the twelve step program as laid out in the Big Book, please remember we need you. Without recovered members we have nothing but war story's and sickness to offer the new comer.

Lets all try and consider the second half of the forward to the first edition above, once more, To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.

One of those weekends.

Feels like one of those weekends that are over all to quickly, i know this is almost always the case but the last couple of days have had the "flick to hyper drive" switch banged and no mistake. Jack and the Mrs being ill hasn't helped either.

The little fellow came out in spots a couple of days ago after being ill for a day or two before. Of course, in my usual way i slipped in to a gentle panic and promptly marched both Jack and Mrs D to the emergency Doctor. "It's fifty fifty but i'm fairly sure its chicken pox" we were told. Turns out now the diagnoses has changed today, now its a virus of unknown type of origin.

A virus of unknown fucking origin, i'm sure someone once said that about the black death!!! Yet oddly enough i'm not freaked out in my usual fashion. This is quite a strange thing for me, especially where Jack is concerned. The little spotty chap has been mostly fine in himself and that's good enough for me.

So, what about the rest of my weekend? Well to be honest i don't have much to report. Out on the pushbikes for a while and finally pulling my shorts out for the first time this year is about as exciting as it gets. I'm happy enough that my life seems to mostly run at a steady pace, i don't much like surprises and continuing to trudge suits me just fine.            

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Just growing up.

I grew up in the country side, the village I lived in was, and still is one of the highest points in the Cotswold's. Fantastic views and dam windy. A consequence of being a child in the seventies was being dressed by my parents. Now don't miss understand me, I truly believe to this day my parents loved me dearly. But what were they thinking when they sent me out to play in gigantic flairs and shirts with collars you could land a small jump jet on. I'd leave the house in what amounted to nothing less then a multi coloured polyester kite. I'm amazed they didn't give me a copper rod for good measure just in case a thunder storm turned up.

It often seemed during my childhood that my family made an effort, but never quite got it right. The school blazer I'd grow in to, but never did. My Grandad's brown shoes I slapped to my first day at secondary school in. The leather biker jacket I wanted for years arriving from littlewoods made of PVC. The list goes on, and so could I.

But i'm not going to. You see as time has gone by I've learned i'm not alone with embarrassing things parents do to there children. It's almost a requirement for parenthood. I'd love to say I won't embarrass Jack as he grows up, however, I will. But this is the thing, I'll love him every step of the way and do my best. This I believe is what my parents did for me and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for it.          

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Is it luck?

I'm one of them folk who truly enjoy F1 motor racing, to many (including Mrs Dobbo) a mind numbing possession of expensive cars every couple of weeks through the summer months. I'm not going to prattle on about F1 tonight, however, it has come to mind.

The reason behind this blog is a comment Ross Brawn made a few years ago. He was being interviewed about the success Michelle Schumacher was enjoying and about how much of it relied on Schumachers sometimes unbelievable luck. The reply Ross gave has given me hope time and time again.

"We don't believe in luck here at Ferrari" he said, "we see the concept in the following way, preparation waiting for opportunity".

Preparation waiting for opportunity, i like that. I like the fact that my life is not controlled by an endless trail of lucky and unlucky breaks. At least i like the fact i believe this to be true, its not even important if it is or not. We all have a part to play, a way we can edge the bets just a little in our favour. 

Why not try the concept and see how you get on.       

Monday, 5 April 2010

smile

It's an old photo of Jack, but it has always put a smile on my face.

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Sunday, 4 April 2010

Like father, like son


They say like father, like son. I spend a lot of time watching my lad Jack as he goes about his day to day business and I've got to say (with a degree of pride) the poor little mite is from time to time just like his Dad. Much to the annoyance of Mrs Dobbo he will freeze the instant the F1 music starts, as is the case with the Simpsons. Its great to watch. Of course, the other side of the coin is if Jack has inherited parts of my character who decides what he gets? is it the good stuff, or is it the bad. One thing i believe to be a fact, is who ever knows, it's not me. What i do know however, is that with every part of my being i Love the little feller. A direct consequence of that love is i will do the best i can at any given time. Anything else is, i guess, out of my hands.

I suppose what i need to be careful of is i don't miss whats going on now because i'm worried about what might happen in the future. Right here, right now things are good and good for me is most excellent. I had an afternoon at a fair closely followed by serendipity soft play area with Jack, a lovely chicken supreme for tea and a bit of H&I service tonight. Now with my feet up i'm settled in front of the telly, ice cream on stand by knowing i don't even have to get up for work in the morning. Most excellent indeed.      

just getting started

I remember when this photo was taken, early ninetys and things were not to good. My using was out if control and the consequences were coming thick and fast. Anyone, anyone other then an addict of my type would have most surely stopped there and then. Not me, I had another ten years plus before I was really done. Let's try and remember, just because someone looks like they have had enough, it don't mean they have.

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Technology is so like this

Feet up, fluffy dressing gown on, Mrs D taken Jack to church playgroup when she goes to the Easter service and the GP on telly. Living the dream, or so i thought. Of course i didn't take in to account the bunch of total fuck wits that are the BBC. How i laughed to myself when a dozen laps from the end the BBC decide to pull the old switch to 2 trick on me to make way for "He has risen today" At this point i think i should also highlight, in my opinion, Virgin the makers of my V+ box are also knob heads.

After a frantic few minutes flicking buttons and trying to get the painfully slow BBC iplayer to work i  got to see the drivers press conference and there by fucked any real point in tracking down the last few laps. Technology is so like this. I'm a real fan of i players, delay TV, recordable TV and the like. In fact i'm the first to admit that in my old age I've become a bit of a geek. Take away my iphone and i would indeed be a disgruntled, mess with my laptop and the desire to break your fingers would become a real possibility.

But what when this technology lets me down? What when it turns on me? Well obviously the simple answer is we managed before we had our Tec, we could manage again. Surely we would be better just getting rid of it all and going back to basics. Saying goodbye to anything that starts with an "I", has an apple on it or a intel sticker.

What a load of bollocks. I remember what it used to be like, when making a phone call involved standing in a small piss soaked phone box. When the only way we could send photos etc was through the Mail, and that was hit and miss. Banking involved actually turning up at one of those God forsaken places and everyone demanded cash.

The technological age we live in today is a truly wonderful thing, of that i have no doubt. Lets not get so far up our own arse holes we forget what things were like only a few years ago. If only those bastards at the BBC could sort it out.        

Friday, 2 April 2010

A bit of carrot cake and a hot latte seem to do the trick for me when so many other things fail. I'm not sure why I thought It a good idea to go shopping with Mrs D and her mum today, but think it I did and to make matters worse, do it I did.

Only moments after touch down I realized the error of my ways. By the time we left shop number one poor little Jack was close to the edge and I knew what I must do. I had become surplus to requirement. This was a job for one with a much bigger bank balance then mine. I bid a fond farewell to my wife and child and plodded of on my merry way.

An hour of wondering around the usual places eventually took it's toll and I ended up here. A coffee and a slice of carrot cake my reward for having the common seance to get when the gettings good.

So what have I learned from today? The country great Kenny Rodgers put it wonderfully. "you got to know when to hold up, know when to fold up, know when to walk away and know when to run.

As a result my Easter weekend has remained (thus far) stress free. Long may it continue.
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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Sadly missed friends

For some reason tonight my thoughts have been turning to sadly missed friends. I never have been one of those people who are a friend to all and as a result my friends are very important to me. Three of them are on the attached photo, sadly only one is still with us. The live forever feeling we all once had seems so very far away now. Andy, Trev and (Rob, not in photo) my thoughts are with you all tonight.