Friday, 31 December 2010

One day at a time

This one day at a tine thing seems so often miss quoted and used as an excuse to do bugger all for our future. How about we try and remember just what Bill was referring to when he underlined the importance of it.

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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Tescos

There seems to be something very slightly unnerving about the fact we turn churches into Tesco shops the have them open all day Sunday. I'm not what you would refer to as a hard line Christian, in fact my belief system is not hard line anything. Still, I do find myself a little uncomfortable about the whole church to shop thing.

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Saturday, 25 December 2010

Another Christmas

So, that's it, another Christmas done and dusted with the minimal of hassle and grief. At least mostly. Thing is it would be all to easy to focus on the negative stuff, family members relapsing or ones I'd love to have contact with buy can't. Blah, blah bloody blah. Then of course I could take some time to think about the money problems we have as we move into a new year. More blah, blah, blah.

In truth it's all mostly bollocks. Thing is that dispute any of the above, things are ok. The whole Christmas thing has gone really quite well and sat here tonight I feel myself suffering a tad of contentment. Being able to sit with Mrs D and watch Jack open his toys this morning was amazing. To the best of my knowledge I've not killed anyone today, certainly I've not tried to and my belly appears to be full. On top of that, I'm still clean and sober. It's a good Christmas, I hope yours has been to.

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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

That an't in the book

Lets remember where the Twelve Steps come from. It might be helpful to remember just what is, and more importantly is not in the Big Book. It's so easy to listen to the things people are saying in our meetings and believe that's the program of recovery. Sadly it's not always the case. Why not try the Steps from the Big Book and see what happens. If you have ever heard people talking about the highlighted stuff below, you might want to read on.

Remember your last drunk"

Page 24, Paragraph 2: "We are unable, at times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink."
"I choose not to drink today"
Page 24 Paragraph 2: "The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink."
"Play the tape all the way through"
Page 24, paragraph 3: "The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. I f these thoughts do occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove."
"Think through the drink"
Page 43, paragraph 4: "Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."
"I will always be recovering, never recovered."
Title Page: "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism"
Page 20, paragraph 2: "Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.
Foreword to the First Edition: "We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body."
Page 29, paragraph 2: "Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered."
Page 132, paragraph 3: "We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others."
“We are all just an arms length away from a drink”
Page 84, paragraph 4, "And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality - safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us"
"I don't have an alcohol problem, I have a living problem"
Page xxiv, paragraph 2: "In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out this physical factor is incomplete."
"Don't drink and go to meetings."
Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever.  Yet we found it impossible.  This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.”
Page 34, paragraph 3: "Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not."
Page 17, paragraph 2: "Unlike the feelings of the ship's passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined."
"This is a selfish program"
Page 20, paragraph 1: "Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs."
Page 97, paragraph 2: "Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn't enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights' sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night. "
Page 14-15: "For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead."
Page 62, paragraph 2: "Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles"
Page 62, paragraph 3: "So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it
kill us!"
"Meeting makers make it"
Page 59, paragraph 3: "Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery"
"I'm powerless over people, places and things"
Page 132, paragraph 3: "We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others."
Page 122, paragraph 3: " Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. "
Page 82, paragraph 4: "The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough."
Page 89, paragraph 2: "You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail."
"You're in the right place"
Page 20-21: "Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason - ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor - becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention."
Page 31, paragraph 2: " If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right- about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him."
Page 31-32: "We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition."
Page 108-109: "Your husband may be only a heavy drinker. His drinking may be constant or it may be heavy only on certain occasions. Perhaps he spends too much money for liquor. It may be slowing him up mentally and physically, but he does not see it. Sometimes he is a source of embarrassment to you and his friends. He is positive he can handle his liquor, that it does him no harm, that drinking is necessary in his business. He would probably be insulted if he were called an alcoholic. This world is full of people like him. Some will moderate or stop altogether, and some will not. Of those who keep on, a good number will become true alcoholics after a while."
Page 92, paragraph 2: "If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic"
Page 95, paragraph 4: "If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience."
"If an alcoholic wants to get sober, nothing you say can make him drink. "
Page 103, paragraph 2: "A spirit of intolerance might repel alcoholics whose lives could have been saved, had it not been for such stupidity. We would not even do the cause of temperate drinking any good, for not one drinker in a thousand likes to be told anything about alcohol by one who hates it."
"We must change playmates, playgrounds, and playthings"
Page 100-101: "Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn't think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so.
We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status. His only chance for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland Ice Cap, and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch and ruin everything!"
"I'm a people pleaser. I need to learn to take care of myself"
Page 61, paragraph 2:"Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind?"
"Don't drink, even if your ass falls off."
Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever.  Yet we found it impossible.  This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.”
"I haven't had a drink today, so I'm a complete success today."
Page 19, paragraph 1: "The elimination of drinking is but a beginning.  A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.”
"It's my opinion that..." or "I don't know anything about the Big Book, but this is the way I do it..."
Page 19, paragraph 1: "We have concluded to publish an anonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it.  We shall bring to the task our combined experience and knowledge.  This should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem."
"Don't drink, no matter what."
Page 34, paragraph 2: “Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever.  Yet we found it impossible.  This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it—this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.”
Page 31, paragraph 4: "We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition."
"We need to give up planning, it doesn't work."
Page 86, paragraphs  3-4: "On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while."
"I have a choice to not drink today."
Page 30, paragraph 3: "We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals - usually brief - were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better."
"If all I do is stay sober today, then it's been a good day."
Page 82, paragraph 3: " Sometimes we hear an alcoholic say that the only thing he needs to do is to keep sober. Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be no home if he doesn't. But he is yet a long way from making good to the wife or parents whom for years he has so shockingly treated."
Page 82 paragraph 4: "We feel a man is unthinking when he says sobriety is enough."
"You don't need a shrink. You have an alcoholic personality. All you will ever need is in the first 164 pages of the Big Book."
Page 133, 2nd paragraph: "But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward."
"AA is the only way to stay sober."
page 95, paragraph 4: If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us.
Page 164, paragraph 3: “ Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little.”
“My sponsor told me that, if in making an amend I would be harmed, I could consider myself as one of the ‘others’ in Step Nine.”
Page 79, paragraph 2 “Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences might be.”
"I need to forgive myself first" or "You need to be good to yourself"
Page 74, paragraph 2  “ The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.”
"Take what you want and leave the rest"
Page 17, paragraph 3: "The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism."
"Just do the next right thing"
Page 86, paragraph 4: " We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision."
Page 87, paragraph 1: " Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas."
"Don't make any major decisions for the first year"
Page 60, paragraph 4:
"(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him."
Page 76, paragraph 2: "When ready, we say something like this: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." We have then completed Step Seven."
"Stay out of relationships for the first year!"
Page. 69, paragraph 1: "We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone's sex conduct."
Page 69, paragraph 3: "In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter.  The right answer will come if we want it."
Page 69, paragraph 4: "God alone can judge our sex situation."
Page 69-70:"Counsel with other persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge."
Page 70, Paragraph 2: "We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing."
"Alcohol was my drug of choice"
Page 24, paragraph 2: "The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink."
"Keep coming back, eventually it will rub off on you"
Page 64, Paragraph 1: "Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us"
"Ninety Meetings in Ninety Days"
Page 15, paragraph 2: "We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek."
Page 19, paragraph 2: "None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did."
Page 59, paragraph 3: "Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery"
"You only work one step a year" "Take your time to work the steps"
Page 569, paragraph 3: What often takes place in a few months can hardly be brought about by himself alone."
Page 63, paragraph3: "Next we launched on a course of vigorous action."
Page 74, paragraph 2: "If that is so, this step may be postponed, only, however, if we hold ourselves in complete readiness to go through with it at the first opportunity"
Page 75, paragraph 3: "Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for AN HOUR, carefully reviewing what we have done."
"Make sure to put something good about yourself in your 4th step inventory."
Page 64 paragraph 3 "First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure."
Page 67 paragraph 3  "The inventory was ours, not the other man's.  When we saw our faults we listed them."
Page 71 paragraph 1  "If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning."

"You need to stay in those feelings and really feel them."
Page 84, paragraph 2: "When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them."
pg. 125 paragraph 1
 "So we think that unless some good and useful purpose is to be served, past occurrences should not be discussed."
"There are no musts in this program."
Page 99, paragraph 1: "it must be done if any results are to be expected."
Page 99, paragraph 2: "we must try to repair the damage immediately lest we pay the penalty by a spree."
Page 99, paragraph 3: "it must be on a better basis, since the former did not work."
Page 83, paragraph 1: "Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. We must take the lead."
Page 83, paragraph 2: "We must remember that ten or twenty years of drunkenness would make a skeptic out of anyone."
Page 74, paragraph 1: "Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it."
Page 74, paragraph 2: "The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others."
Page 75, paragraph 1: " But we must not use this as a mere excuse to postpone."
Page 85, paragraph 3: " But we must go further and that means more action."
Page 85, paragraph 2: " Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities."
Page 85, paragraph 2: "These are thoughts which must go with us constantly."
Page 80, paragraph 1: " If we have obtained permission, have consulted with others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink."
Page 14, paragraph 2: " I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all."
Page 62, paragraph 3: " Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!"
Page 144, paragraph 3: "The man must decide for himself."
Page 89, paragraph 2: "To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss."
Page 33, paragraph 3: " If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind"
Page 79, paragraph 2: "We must not shrink at anything."
Page 86, paragraph 2: "But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others."
Page 120, paragraph 2: "he must redouble his spiritual activities if he expects to survive."
Page 152, paragraph 2: "I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I?"
Page 95, paragraph 3: "he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on"
Page 95, paragraph 3: "If he is to find God, the desire must come from within."
Page 159, paragraph 3: "Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary."
Page 156, paragraph 3: " Both saw that they must keep spiritually active. "
Page 130, paragraph 2: "that is where our work must be done."
Page 82, paragraph 3: "Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be no home if he doesn't."
Page 143, paragraph 2: "he should understand that he must undergo a change of heart"
Page 69, paragraph 4: "Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it."
Page 69, paragraph 4: "We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm"
Page 44, paragraph 3: "we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life - or else."
Page 78, paragraph 3: "We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them."
Page 93, paragraph 3: "To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action."
Page 43, paragraph 4: "His defense must come from a Higher Power."
Page 66, paragraph 4: "We saw that these resentments must be mastered"
Page 146, paragraph 4: " For he knows he must be honest if he would live at all."
Page 73, paragraph 5: "We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world."
But Remember...  "When the man is presented with this volume it is best that no one tell him he must abide by its suggestions." page 144, paragraph 3


I Stand By The Door

An Apologia for my Life (apologia means “a formal defense of opinions or conduct”)
By Sam Shoemaker (from the Oxford Group)

I stand by the door.  I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out.  The door is the most important door in the world - it is the door through which men walk when they find God.  There is no use my going way inside and staying there, when so many are still outside and they, as much as I, crave to know where the door is.  And all that so many ever find is only the wall where the door ought to be. They creep along the wall like blind men, with outstretched; groping hands, feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door, yet they never find it. So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world is for men to find that door - the door to God. 
The most important thing that any man can do is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands and put it on the latch - the latch that only clicks and opens to the man's own touch.
Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die on cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.  Die for want of what is within their grasp.  They live on the other side of it - live because they have not found it.  Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it, and open it, and walk in, and find Him. So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in - go way down into the cavernous cellars, and way up into the spacious attics.  It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.  Go into the deepest of hidden casements, of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.  Some must inhabit those inner rooms and know the depths and heights of God, and call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.  Sometimes I take a deeper look in.  Sometimes venture in a little farther, but my place seems closer to the opening. So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.  Some people get part way in and become afraid lest God and the zeal of His house devour them; for God is so very great and asks all of us. And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia and want to get out. 'Let me out!' they cry. And the people way inside only terrify them more.  Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.  For the old life, they have seen too much: One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.  Somebody must be watching for the frightened who seek to sneak out just where they came in, to tell them how much better it is inside.  The people too far in do not see how near these are to leaving - preoccupied with the wonder of it all.  Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door but would like to run away. So for them too, I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.  But I wish they would not forget how it was before they got in. Then they would be able to help the people who have not yet even found the door.
Or the people who want to run away again from God.  You can go in too deeply and stay in too long and forget the people outside the door.  As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place, near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there, but not so far from men as not to hear them, and remember they are there too. Where? Outside the door - thousands of them. Millions of them.  But - more important for me - one of them, two of them, ten of them.  Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch. So I shall stand by the door and wait for those who seek it.
I had rather be a doorkeeper, so I stand by the door.

Monday, 20 December 2010

An image i like

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I like numbers

Is it an odd thing that I seem to derive a certain amount of pleasure from seeing numbers in sequence? A case in point is this photo, a photo i just pulled up to take. For sure when I mention it to the majority of people they seem to look at me like I'm a bit of a nut nut. But not everyone, and that's the important bit. Once in a great while I'll mention it to someone and get a knowing nod with a smile ta boot. Maybe it is a bit odd, maybe I'm a bit odd. Either way, I'm fairly sure I'm not alone.

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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Mince pies and ice cream

As we roll into the week before Christmas I feel the need to put my hands up to the fact I may have been hitting the old mince pie and ice cream a tad to much. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, as such, but it is a thing. I guess I should consider myself lucky I get to feast on such things, yes, lucky I am. That being the case it would seem nothing short of common sense to enjoy the luck I'm given, and eat the pies and ice cream as much as I can. Problem is I really don't believe in luck. 

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Been thinking of late, I'm not blogging much compared to what I have in the past. So with that in mind I decided to sit down tonight and tap away on the old key board for a while. However, I quickly found myself  reading back, deleting and trying again. This happened several times. What will people think? will they like what I write? will it be funny? Blah, Blah, Blah. The thing is I know only to well that as soon as I go down that road, I'm more or less screwed. You see the whole point of starting this blog was to simply sit down and write. It really ain't about the end result, its just doing it that I like.

With that in mind I cant help thinking, and that I must say is a perilous activity, how quickly things can change. In the blink of an eye life can shift from sunshine and happiness, to bum trembling doom and despair. A case in point is unfolding as I write. Under my guidance Mrs D has backed up her iphone and is attempting to restore it to factory settings. Unfortunately things are no going quite to plan and I find the night has fallen some what, in the balance. Bright ideas are most surely wonderful things, sometimes.... 

I guess it might be an idea to have less ideas. But if that be the case, is it an idea I can have in the first place. This is the kind of thing I ponder from time to time, the sort of thing that takes up space in my head. Is this normal? I really have no idea and that's fine for now. Looks like the wife's iphone might be OK as well......   

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Do what you want

Seventy six years ago today a man called Bill Wilson took what turned out to be has last alcoholic drink. A few months later he hooked up with a chap called Bob Smith and the Twelve Step fellowship Alcoholics Anonymous trudged into action. Its an incredible thing that from this tiny spark such a mind blowing and life changing thing has grown. The Twelve Step program of recovery (and we do recover, make no mistake) has undoubtedly affected and changed the lives of so many since then, and I'm happy to report that includes me.

Thing is, it includes me because I want to be included, I want to be part of this thing, this way of life. I some times find myself chatting to folk who seem keen to give me reasons why the Steps will not work for them. They go to great lengths listing this and that, telling me how they once knew someone who worked the steps and used again, of how they heard tell of a person drinking in a meeting. To each and every one who has ever had (or intends to have) this conversation with me, please understand when I say, DO WHAT YOU WANT.

I'm not here to talk anyone into recovery, the only thing I know for sure is that up until now this has been the thing for me. I suspect it will continue that way and I really think a key part in the puzzle that makes that possible is the fact I truly want to be here. Many tried, but no one way able to convince me I was done, until I was. I'm left with a bit of that old gratitude thing again though when I think of Bill all those years ago, that last drink, and what grew out of it.  

Friday, 10 December 2010

Student shenanigans

Dear old Mrs D decided to put something on her facebook page yesterday just to see what the response would be. It was to do with the recent student shenanigans and I've got to say I was staggered by the way people reacted. On the back of that it has become quite apparent to me that some folk take themselves much, much to seriously. Now obviously I know I can't do anything about that, but what I can do is take look at myself and ask the question, am I taking myself to seriously?

A couple of days ago the Christmas tree went up in the Dobbo household. I thought it looked quite good but unfortunately the 20 lights a twinkling didn't seem to cut the proverbial mustard. Tonight we tried again this time armed with 160 lights a twinkling. The end result is much improved, but what a fucking nightmare doing it. You see I have the most wonderful wife, I truly love her with all my heart, but she's really not the person to put up Christmas  decorations with. Nevertheless, the job is done and the weekend is ahead of us. Tomorrow the afore mentioned Mrs D will be celebrating a very cool six year anniversary and I will do my best to not take myself to dam serious.       

Sprout

I've never made a secret of the fact that I quite enjoy a sprout from time to time. Seems to me that the humble sprout generally gets a fair bit of bad press, well not from me. For the record and anyone even vaguely interested, I like sprouts. That's all.
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Sunday, 5 December 2010

400 miles

To say it's been quite a weekend would be an understatement of extreme proportions. It's been nothing short of mental. I'm gona try a brief roundup so I can crawl in the bath and then bed, I so need some sleep.

It all started with a drive up to the inlaws on Saturday. A simple, some would say flawless plan lay before us. Drive up, stay the night, leave Jack with his nan on Sunday and nip up to Birmingham for a convention committee meeting. Upon or triumphant return we would simply drive home in a relaxed state of contentment.

Saturday night sleeping on one of them bastard inflatable beds was not a great experience. Mrs D did her best to try and make it more comfortable but alas, to no avail. With no bottom sheet and the mattress covered with a supper grip cover, I found myself victim to the twist and turn wedgie over and over. The end result, not a fucking wink of sleep all night.

7.30am we left the mother ship and headed north for our meeting. I freely admit the journey up was cool and as we arrived I thought the day was for sure on the up. Shortly after I was charged £4.10p for a small cup of costa coffee. You can imagine how my heart sang. As if to add insult to injury, I was also charged £4.15 for a hot choc.

As the day drew to a close and I set of to retrieve the boy with my beloved wife, I remember thinking, home, just let's get home. Sadly this was to take a little longer then I first thought mostly due to the afore mentioned wife putting or home address in the sat nav and not her mothers where the boy was. Some hours latter we made it back to the mother ship torn and tattered.

At long last we picked up Jack and set off back to our most wonderful of homes, however, we still had more to come. Poor little Jack has been unwell the last few days, a constant cough has left me feeling really, really sorry for him. Despite this, I found him spewing all over the back seat with another hour of driving quite a thing.

We did eventually make it home. Absolutely knackered and stinking of sick the Dobbo clan shuffled in, put the heating on and thanked God we made it back. It's been a long 400 miles.

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Saturday, 4 December 2010

A cake of such mighty proportions

It don't seem all that long ago I used to fly about everywhere on my trusty push-bike and wash cars all day long. The result was that for a man in his mid thirties, I was in fairy good shape, even if I do say so myself. Then things started to change.

I found myself in an office, bound to a desk for most of the day perfecting the art of the mighty sit. This on it's own would have surely been move then enough to reshape, but then came the cake.

Not just any cake, oh no. A cake of such mighty proportions that should it be approached with anything less then extreme caution, death would instantly follow. Turns out there's a lot of these death cakes out there and I seem to have developed a taste for the little buggers. So, whats the answer? Well its quite simple. Watch what I eat, make sure I exercise regularly and avoid anything that looks even remotely like a death cake. Will I? To be honest its not very likely.     

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Just a joke.

A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: “That’s the ugliest baby that I’ve ever seen. Ugh!” The woman then goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!” The man says: “You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

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Could this be true?

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Two feet of snow.

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Fed up

Fed up Meaning To have had more than enough of something or someone, or to be bored with or tired of the same.

Origin 'Fed up' conveys a feeling of being listless and somewhat annoyed, rather like the later English RAF/Army slang expressions 'browned off', 'brassed off' and 'cheesed off'. It has a different origin from those obscure military expressions, as it has a literal meaning, which is 'satiated with food'.

Sadly, we often forget the wisdom of the old English proverb 'enough is as good as a feast' and, having already eaten our fill, eat just that little bit more. The unpleasant feeling that comes from eating more than is good for us is what is meant by 'fed up'.

The expression dates from the early 19th century, when the languid aristocracy were compared to farm animals that were force fed to make them plump for market.

This piece, from the English newspaper The Middlesex Courier, February 1832, recounts a court case in which it was argued that the Duke of Bourbon couldn't have hanged himself, being unable either to stand on a chair or tie a knot. The lawyer referred to 'the awkwardness of Princes', saying: Every thing being done for them, they never learn to do anything; they are fed up, as it were, in a stall to exist and not to act. It is rare to find a Prince who can walk decently across a room.

In our own time, the best example of being 'fed up' is in the black comedy Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, 1983, in which the bad-tempered and satiated Monsieur Creosote, played by Terry Jones, is induced to eat just 'one more wafer-thin mint', before exploding.

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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I know your out there

So, as some of you may be aware, I've started to study. Its an strange concept to me and I'm the first to admit I'm not exactly the most learned of folk. Still I thought why not try, that simple principle seems to have worked so far, so why not now. I've been at a a little while now and my first couple of assignments seem to got where they need to be, when they need to be there.

But tonight something quite odd happened, odd and quite frankly a touch freaky, at least for me. What could this earth shattering event be I hear you ask, what ever has happened? Well, very simply, I enjoyed myself. Tonight I sat down with a pile of books and enjoyed studying them. Now I know to some folk this might sound strange, I've heard talk of the people who really do enjoy study, I know your out there, But that's never been me. Not till now.

So here I am trudging towards my latter years with the sudden revelation that learning stuff might actually be enjoyable. Looks like my chances of getting through this thing might be improving.