Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Just Cycling

Cycling, I like cycling. A steady weekend ride with the boy perched in his little seat behind me and Mrs D rolling alongside really is an enjoyable experience. I've always liked getting out and about on bikes, even if they have changed so much over the years, the principle remains the same. Healthy fun, at least that's the idea.

My first bike (as far as I can remember) was the wondrous death trap know as the Raleigh Tomahawk. A great deal of time had clearly been taken on the design of this bike. Questions like, how can we make this dog as unstable as possible and can we make a seat that will scoot you forwards every time the breaks are touched, were clearly asked. And, I must say answered, well. The Tomahawk was to safe cycling what the Hindenburg was to safe fire free flight. Yet dispute that, I survived and moved on.


We can have no doubt that Raleigh knew the Tomahawk and its big brother the Chopper were having an impact on the male population of the UK. Again and again nuts were ripped open on the Chopper gear selector, heads were cracked open as the result of five miles per hour speed wobbles and shins were shattered because of those dam rubber peddles. Something had to be done, and do it they did.
The introduction of the Raleigh Grifter (the heaviest push-bike know to man) was to change cycling for ever. 764kg of solid reinforced scaffold tubing coupled with the legendary sturmey archer three speed ensured this monster would be unstoppable, once and if you could get the dam thing started. It set the scene for the introduction of the mountain bike. The super high tec stuff we see on the road today can offer at least some of its design to the giant death traps of the past. To each and every cyclist who survived the Tomahawk, Chopper and Grifter, I take my hat off to you.

This weekend I plan to get out and about on my little Kona. Its fast, reliable and easy to ride. Cycling, I like cycling.     



   

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Hot, dam hot.

It's a funny thing how most folk will spend all winter pissing and moaning about how cold it is, only to do the same about the heat once the summer gets here. Not me, no sir, not this gringo. Ask me about my dream holiday and I'll have ya speeding down a snow encrusted mountain every time. It's not that I don't like the sun, I do, but I don't like getting all hot and sweaty, sticky etc etc.

Mrs D however is very much on the opposite side of the hot cold divide. She will quite happily sit and fry her arse off all day long, stopping only to flip over once in a while. This to me is madness. Should we ever be in the position to afford an out of country holiday, this might be a problem. Right now, its not. When it is I'll let ya know.

In other news, I got my hands on an iphone4 this afternoon. As many of you know, I love a bit of tec and this was no exception. It really is a very cool bit of kit and needless to say I was instantly tempted by the O2 early upgrade offer. Sadly Mrs D would most surly have my love spuds on a plate if I got one and she didn't, so for now I'm gona need to play the long game. Slowly slowly catch a monkey as they say, who ever they are!!!  


 

Monday, 28 June 2010

An OK day

So the day went OK, I got to see my Dad and although clearly quite poorly, and not likely to get any better, I got to see him. I left feeling real grateful I was able to go and see him and safe in the knowledge I'll go see the old boy again.

  

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Dad.

Its been a funny old week. Last Sunday I called my Dad to go through the usual happy fathers day routine only to find my call unanswered. Odd but not unheard of, I simply thought I'll call him latter in the week. As the week went on the calls remained unanswered, I slowly grew more anxious. By the weekend I had slipped in to full on prophet of doom mode and the poor old boy was stone cold and in the ground.

Anyway, back in the real world I found out today (from his local pub landlady) that he is in fact quite poorly and has been in hospital for the last three weeks. A life time of hard drinking and smoking has for-sure left its mark. I talked to a nurse today who told me that although he seems to have improved slightly, he won't be able go back to independent living and now needs 24 hour nursing home care.

As I sit here writing I notice The Sweeney on TV. I well remember as a small boy I would listen for the intro and as soon as I heard it, I would pad off to the loo stopping to poke my head in the front room and tell my Dad what I was doing. Without fail he would gesture me in and I would sit and watch it with him. I liked that, I liked that alot.

Over the years our relationship has had it's ups and downs. For a long time through the dark times of my drinking and using we never spoke. Thankfully today that's not the case. A few years ago as a result of the amends process I was able to rebuild my relationship with my Dad. Taking not only me, but also my wife and Son Jack to spend time with him.

So what now? When I spoke to him this morning he simply said "I'll call you when I get better". The truth is, I'm not sure he will get better. So what I'll do is tomorrow I'll get in the car and go up to see him in Gloucester. I'll make sure that he knows I'm with him and that I love him very much. Then I'll see what happens, and God willing deal with it.        

Friday, 25 June 2010

Fish eat fish.

If I ever decided to open a shop, and that shop was a chip shop, I think I'd call it In Cod We Trust, or maybe For The Love Of Cod. That said, the chances of me opening a fish and chip emporium of any description are, to say the least, piss poor. I do however very much enjoy My weekly Friday fish and chip indulgence.

Three or four years ago a friend of mine who goes by the name of Bob gave the Dobbo family a tropical fish tank complete with a couple of fish. With gusto Mrs D set about packing the said tank with every shape and size fish she could lay her hands on. For a time all seemed well, then we discovered some fish quite like to eat fish. Numbers dropped and sadness befell our little home as the grim reaper of the fish world popped round again and again.

Nevertheless, we have continued to plod on. The survival rate has, to be fair, been poor. Currently we have three swimmers. They have all been with us for a while now, although slightly odd, I think they fit well in the Dobbo household. Lumpy has taken to piling stones up time and time again. Garfield sits quite happily in his log and the other one (could be either Claire or Bob) just splashes about apparently care free. The life of a fish would seem to be kind of OK. OK as long as your not trapped in a tank with other fish who want to eat you that is.   

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

What a bugger

Consequences, what a bugger they are. For so very long they never stopped me doing anything I wanted to, Its different now, mostly. I say mostly because once in a great while the consequences of my actions don't come in to play until after the event as it were. When they do I have to be very careful not to fall in the the old woe is me mode and look for other people to blame. Almost without exception I can bring it back to me at some point. As I said at the beginning, what a bugger.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Dubious Luxury.

Found myself getting mighty pissed off with someone who cut me up on the way to work this morning. I ended up shouting out the window like some sort of demented knob-head. I need to point out that is not my usual style, though it has served as a reminder that at any given point, I still have it in me. I guess its easy when every thing is all good, to plod along thinking it will always be so. Of-course, this is a lie, someone will for-sure piss on your chips sooner of latter.

So the question then becomes, how do we deal with the chip pissing bastards of this world. Clearly the easiest way forward is the old turn the other cheek ploy. Great in theory but from time to time hard to practice, but practice I must. And that's the thing, I must. My experience thus far shows me that I have the potential to go a little over the top, beyond the call of duty as it were. I really cant afford that dubious luxury called anger, really can't.

So, what now? what now is I redouble my efforts and try to get through the day without offending or upsetting anyone else. After all, how hard can it be?    

Friday, 18 June 2010

Getting smaller.

The idea was raised tonight, that Magnum ice-creams are getting smaller as time goes on. I must admit I feel woefully unaware of such a thing, I am however in the loop (as they say) around the sad demise of the once great wagon wheel.

An inch and a half of chocolate infused glee with the circumference of a scania steering wheel, these things were indeed a sight to behold. I've heard tell of small families surviving for literally minutes on a single wagon wheel, a feat you would be hard pushed to manage today.

It seems to me that many of the things in this world that were once so great have slipped away possibly never to return. A classic example of this greatness must surely be the late Mr Isambard Kingdom Brunel. For-sure the legacy left behind by this man can never be disputed as anything less then quite good really. But what else, what made him so great, such a legend?

The answer seems quite simple, almost to obvious. As clear as the nose on your face, or in the case of Isambard, his head. This man could wear hats that would have crushed the less stoutly in a second. They were mighty in a day when mighty was, well, mighty. Just take time to look at the iconic image to the right. His hat is bigger then his head for fucks sake!!

Even so I guess it's important to acknowledge that although a great man in hat wearing, he didn't do quite so well in the hight department. Although measured at an impressive six foot eight, it was latter discovered his actual hatless hight was four foot three. Nevertheless, he was a great man, a great short man.

So in an age where magnums and wagon wheels continue to get smaller, lets try and remember the legendary hat wearing skills of the late, great, small Isambard Kingdom Brunel. A tiny little man with a big fuckoff hat.        

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

God.

So what about God? Now that's a fully loaded question if ever I've heard one. Seems to me that for as long as man has shuffled about this planet, he has tried to work out what, or who God is. It also seems like he's spent a fair amount of time fighting about his findings too.

I'm not going to start a ramble about what I think God is, or for that matter isn't. What I will say is I'm fairly sure what ever God is, it's not me.

I do believe if we have any sort of conception of God, it's our job to keep it attractive. The moment any idea is forced on me, I off. But show me with your actions, and if I like what I see, I might just stick around.

If the God you have in your life is a Loving and forgiving one then surely that has to come out in the way you conduct your self. If however your God is angry, punishing and a little off key from time to time, well you might just be that way to. It's not for me to choose how people believe and in truth it's none of my concern. However, please choose wisely because it might turn out to be important.   

Monday, 14 June 2010

Bug blog

Usually I wouldn't blog about a bug, I not a fan of the little buggers.
The only reason is to put this photo out there is because I think it's quite cool.
Mrs D took it when we were out strolling in the woods yesterday with the boy.

Wet paint, do not touch

Been spending the last day or so working on a new blog/web page all the time wondering if its what I want. Well it's almost done and I've come to the conclusion it's a hassle I most surely don't need. Because of this eventually reached conclusion, I've deleted the jimdo site and decided to stick with blogger. At least for now.

I can from time to time be prone to this sort of bright idea. I want somewhere to blog, get it, build it up, like it, then for almost no apparent reason decide it's not good enough any-more. Thankfully nowadays I do this far less then in the past and often catch myself before I manage to do any real harm. Trust me when I say this wasn't always the case. I have a long history of not so bright Ideas, "don't touch, wet paint" has always been a sure thing for me getting not only painted hands, but also resentful at the bastard who didn't provide ample warning.


So I can't help thinking what it is inside me that makes it an absolute necessity to touch that wet paint, hot stove, electric fence etc, etc. Why is it that as soon as I'm told no, everything inside me screams yes? And is that normal? You see I'm tempted to say it's not normal, but I'm not so sure any-more. I guess it depends on the company you keep.

Ask a porn star about getting done up the bum with another in the ear and she will more then likely simply nod and smile. Ask the same question to Betty at the knitting club and you might need to call an ambulance, of maybe not depending on the road Betty travelled. The point is this, the company we keep and the way they behave, is a good measure of our own standards. If I hang about with a bunch I nut, nut piss-heads, I better get used to drinking. If however I decide to chose my friends carefully and look to the people who have something I want, well it might just rub off a little on me. As for the wet paint, I fully expect the next time I see it, I'll touch it. That's just the way it is with me.                

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Built for comfort, not speed.

I've just spent the last hour cleaning not only my car but also Mrs D's. The sun blazing at a little after noon made this a very warm task indeed. Croc's and a pair of shorts were for-sure a good idea, a black T-shirt was not. Simple I hear you say, just take the dam T-shirt off and enjoy the sun. If only. It's a popular misconception that self obsession around body image is limited to the female of the species, this is simply not true. At least not in my experience.


I guess it's that part of me that still fights the idea of any sort of change. I'm a forty-two year old who spends almost every minute of my working life behind a desk, not the teenager who works on a building site, not any more and not for a long time. But maybe that's only half the picture, just maybe in truth, I'm still a little too worried about what other people think. Still trying to present an image that's not quite the truth.


So, what's the answer? Turns out it was super simple yet again. The time has come to release the belly and hold my head high. To concede to myself that despite what my head might be telling me, the truth is I'm built for comfort, not speed. And that's OK.
To be honest, once I got my shirt off and started washing the car, I quite enjoyed myself. Its funny how self obsession will creep in but if you chose to ignore the bastard, it seems to get board and bugger off. My hope is that today I have taken on more tiny step towards freedom. Freedom from the greatest prison of all, freedom from my head.     

   

Saturday, 12 June 2010

A dancer called morris.

This morning me, Mrs D and the boy all trotted off to a local folk festival, firstly to get out and about and secondly to see folk being festive. We saw very little of what I would call folk and a tremendous amount of what I would refer to as odd balls. Don't get me wrong, I felt right at home, but Jesus these people were strange.



I don't think I've ever seen so many people called Morris dancing in one place before in my life. Every corner seemed to lead into another road blocked by a band of merry dancers slicing sticks, clubs and handkerchiefs through the air with equal gusto. Bells jingled and jangled like the gates of hell being opened as an array of various morris folk pounced gazelle like from one spot to another, at times it really was quite unnerving.



I'm not sure how much attention I've paid to Morris dancers in the past, but today I became very aware that they are nothing like I thought they were. Some (not many) seemed close to my memories, dressed in white with little sticks and a bell or two strategicly placed for good effect. The rest seemed some how dark.



I'm not sure what goes on in the closed world of morris dancers (if anything) but I'm happy enough to let my imagination run wild for a while. I'd give you an insight but wouldn't want to spoil your own perception of the wonderfully strange folk who go by the name of morris and love to dance. As I left the Wimbourne folk festival this afternoon I couldn't help feeling just a little bit relieved that at no point have I ever thought a future in morris dancing would be the life for me. Good to watch though.



Friday, 11 June 2010

keeping focus

Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm not as focused in my life as I have been in the past. I wonder if this is a good or bad thing. The knee jerk reaction is nearly always it's a bad thing, but I'm not convinced. I think the days of taking myself all too seriously are slowly slipping away and I've gotta say, I'm happy about this, mostly.
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Go girl, run wild, run free

Beloved super soft ultra comfortable reclining leather chair.

Directly to the right is a photo of my beloved super soft ultra comfortable reclining leather chair. I know it don't look like much but it's mine and I'm very fond of it. For so many years it was but a distant dream. The day it finally turned to reality was indeed a great day in the Dobbo household. I need to point out this wonder of  bum hugging comfort didn't come easily though, I had to work for it. Turns out that these don't come pre comforted, you need to break the bastards in and I need to tell ya, it took some breaking. Night after night I have tirelessly worked on my beloved chair often sitting for hours on end simply doing nothing in order to obtain such a high standard of comfort. The ongoing result has indeed been miraculous. But now the darkness has moved in. Mrs D informed me that it is absolutely imperative I change my beloved super soft ultra comfortable reclining leather chair in a bid to save it wearing out too quickly.

Directly to the left you will see the replacement for my beloved super soft ultra comfortable reclining leather chair. To the untrained eye it may seem the same. For-sure its one of a pair, but not the same, not even fucking nearly. The new chair has none of the character my beloved super soft ultra comfortable reclining leather chair had, and I'm sure as I gaze over, still has. It feels unfamiliar, uncomfortable and unwelcoming. I did for one fleeting moment think about putting my foot down and demanding I keep my chair. But I'd only end up having to sleep in the thing and as good as it is, it's not that fucking good. So deciding this was a battle I couldn't win I have reluctantly changed chairs. I know now I have some work ahead over the next few months. I gona need to sit to within an inch of my life to get even close to the beloved super soft ultra comfortable reclining leather chair I once loved so much. Tough times are ahead but I'm sure if I put the same dedication in to my sitting around as I have done in the past, success will once again be mine.           

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Happy Birthday A.A.

It has to be worth a mention that seventy five years ago today two piss heads over in America stayed sober together for a day. Out of that one day has grow the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and from that many, many other twelve step fellowships. It's so very hard to comprehend the world wide affect this has had and the countless lives it most surely has saved.

Year after year through the members within the fellowship the baton has been passed on from the first two. The responsibility, duty and privilege to keep this going has been given to each and every one of us who proudly call ourselves members. How about we get out in the world today with a bit of gratitude in our hearts and show how this thing works.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Just funny

Sometimes what seems funny to one person can come across slightly less then humours to another. I for instance will never fail to laugh like a drain at people who slip over on ice, especially old people. I love to see misfortune befall the innocent folk of this world. It's not I wish anyone permanent  harm, I truly don't, I just like to see people fall over. Or fall down holes, or walk in to lamp posts, trees and or small children. Of-course everything I've said thus far can only be applied to others. Should any of the above befall me, I will usual sulk like a two year old and pray the wife didn't see it because trust me when I tell you, she's far, far worse then me.        

The severed link.

It's took me over a year but I've finally done it, yesterday the link between my Twitter and Facebook account was severed once and for all. No longer will you see an @ before every status update on Facebook because I couldn't be arsed to log in and simply did everything on Twitter letting the link between them do the rest. Yet another example of my ingrained laziness, a laziness that openly mocked these hugely different words.

In other news, someone sent Mrs D a couple of really cool AA sobriety chips for us all the way from Melbourne today, he even put a little fluffy kangaroo in for Jack. Why? simply because he was asked, how amazingly cool is that. This is someone neither myself or Mr D have ever met in the real word, only the world of Twitter. I like that, I fact I'm a huge fan of that sort of thing. It kind of underlines how small the world is getting and that the days of face to face communication are slipping away.

Of-course that's not to be used as an excuse to avoid all human contact, we all need a bit of that from time to time. My thinking is that rather then a replacement for face to face contact, what social networks offer is a chance to expand our relationships far beyond what was possible in the past. Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, Myspace the list goes on and on. I don't think it matters so much what we use, it's more about making the most out of whatever technology has to offer. The days of the Luddite are gone and I for one am grateful.            

Jack


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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Whats cool?

In a world of gun happy taxi drivers and baby hungry foxes it can be quite hard to look on the bright side, sometimes to even see a positive in anything. But look for a positive I will, and by the power of Thor, find one I will. Where can this power of the positive be found you may well ask, well I'll tell you. The upcoming release of the iphone 4, could do the trick. If you need to know how, you clearly ain't see the thing. Truth of the matter is, sadly it's gona be a while before I get my hands on one, if ever. However, that won't stop me drooling over it like some demented mac obsessed geek.

But what if the iOS4 can't be acquired? what then? As time has slipped by in it's usual undercover way I have started to realise that although cool stuff is cool, that's about all it is. Sure, if it happens to have a semi munched piece of fruit on it the rules change a bit. But ultimately its still just really cool stuff. So what else? What is cooler than mad Mick mac cool from the clan mac cool?

Waking up without fear, knowing I have my family close by, friends, good health, a baby son to play with me, two grown up sons who I still have contact with, a job, a place in this world, etc,etc,etc. The list seems able to carry on as long as I do, ever changing, ever growing. Of course I love cool gadgets and there can be no doubt i'm a geek deep down, but gadgets as cool as they are mean very little when you stack them along side the real life stuff. It's the people who make life special, it always was and I pray it always will be.  

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Phase three

So I made it to phase three of my fiendish plan for world domination, or to put it another way, survived the weekend. Its been long but as it turns out, immensely enjoyable. For-sure it was touch and go this morning, at one point I thought Mrs D would explode in a fireball of frustration as we battled to get Jack ready and out the house. Needless to say we did (eventually) get out and with no fireballs. Its truly amazes me the effort involved in getting two adults and one child out before mid morning. To all those out there with bigger family's, my hat is off to you.

The plan was to attend two, yes two birthday party's. Unfortunately, I failed in my efforts. We did however get to one and it was great. I watched as Jack bounced, rolled and slipped his way around one of those soft play areas for most of the afternoon. It was amazing to see him playing with the other kids at the party. I even managed to keep right out of the way, at least for most of the time. It's most surely underlined to me the importance of making sure I let Jack spend more time with other kids and stop hovering over his every move in case he gets hurt.

I started Friday morning with the prospect of two weddings, a full day of committee meeting and two children's birthdays all within three days. Despite the possible nightmare it may involve, I did my best and had a go. Turns out its been a great few days and I'd even do it all again, just not for a while.        

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Phase two

So, phase two of my three day plan for word domination seems to have gone ok. A long, long area meeting was nicely wrapped up by one of my closest friends telling me (in a loving way) I can come across as conceited. Yeh, ofcourse I can!!

It's been a good day despite what the bastards at our local Chinese try'd doing to me once the long, long trek home was complete. Another day I'll tell everyone about that one. Till then, it's all about getting ready for phase three tomorrow.

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Friday, 4 June 2010

Phase one

So day one of my predicted flat-out weekend seems to have been survived. I've got to admit its been OK. Wedding number one passed without incident, almost. I didn't get to the service and I'm told this was almost the case with the groom who, held up in traffic turned in a little late. I went along for a while to the reception a couple of hours latter. It's great to turn up at this sort of thing just as the folks are starting to get a little on the jolly side, today my timing was spot on. A hour latter I got out of Dodge in the safe and secure knowledge my Jolly workmates would soon be totally bladdered.

Wedding number two was a different affair in most every way you could imagine. We only went along for an hour with the intention of leaving our congratulations, yet ended up staying nearly four hours. Most of the time was spent running round a big sports field playing with Jack and watching him play with the other children. It was fun and the time simply flew by. Both myself and Mrs D even seemed to make friends with what I would refer to as a normal couple with a lovely little daughter who played with Jack for hours.

Phase one of my three day weekend adventure is a done deal and its been pretty good. I love the fact that two of my friends got married today and were kind enough to want me around to celebrate. My day was only slightly improved with the ice cream my buddy bought me on the way home. All I need to do now is get Mrs D off the computer and in to bed to prepare for phase two, the London trip tomorrow.

An easy run

I started this week absolutely convinced I'd have an easy run of it, after all what could go wrong on a four day week? This I promise is an attitude I will most certainly try to avoid from this day forth. As it turned out the week has been what I can technically term as a bit of a bugger. Please don't think I'm just looking for another excuse to wine about stuff, I'm not, though I could. Its more to do with my assumption (the mother of all fuck ups) that just because its a four day work week, things will be trouble free. This I can now confirm to be false information. Every day is simply that, a day. Is open to the same ups and downs as any other day, no matter how long either it, or the week is. Today is Friday, I like Fridays, Im quite fond of the other days too.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The weekend.

This coming weekend the will to chillout and relax is going to be overtaken by the fact that I've commited to do far, far too much. Tomorrow I have two, yes two weddings I need to get to. Saturday an area meeting in London and Sunday my God Daughters birthday party. It really underlines the be careful what you wish for thing. I've got to admit though, in truth I love it. I love the fact I have people in my life who want me involved. Friends who invite me to be part of, it's really a very cool thing. So this weekend I'll be doing the same as I ever do, I'll be doing my best. The photo is simply because I like the way it makes my eyes go funny.

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Smiling fish

I found myself feeling a little nervous putting my last blog out in the big old world. It's only lately I've started to realise people read it, and with that comes the temptation to write to impress. That and talking about addiction issues is, from time to time a little like baring your soul. I'd made a decision not to write a "recovery blog" from the start of my thus far short blogging life, but its bound to creep in now and again.

I suppose the whole point is I write what I write when I write it, nothing more, nothing less. I just sit down and what ever comes out is it. Sometimes OK, sometimes not. At this point I need to highlight my desire to knock the fuck out of the bastards who live in the flat above. I understand they have a little girl running about and I love children, I was even one myself once, but for the love of God I wish the bitch would clump around a tad softer.

How quickly things change, even as I type silence has engulfed me like a hot bath on a cold winters night. In truth clumpy girl is more then likely knackered from her efforts to rattle the plaster from our ceiling. He poor little legs turned to jelly as she pounded back and forth for the last three hours. Round and round like some sort of demented moth bouncing off a naked light bulb. The little fucker.

So now I have it, the money shot. My feet are up and most stressful thing I have in my direct future will be to feed the fish, I like that. So very often I get to the end of the day with Mrs D and smiling fish. Even with clumpy girl upstairs, life ain't that bad.