Monday, 31 January 2011

A super strong, multi layer, spear proof hat

It must be over a year ago when I blogged about Isambard Kingdom Brunel. A man short of size but mighty of hat. A man who built many of the great wonders in the Victorian age. Ships, bridges, railways, the list could go on and on. I well remember my first visit to the Clifton suspension bridge as a kid and going down the docks to see the Great Briton as she started her long restoration process. For a young country boy this was indeed a great thing to see.

It would be many years before I was really able to understand the true might of this man. Brunel towered above his peers, measuring six foot plus, he was an imposing figure and no mistake. However, its only recently that the the full extent of Brunel's quest for power and prestige has been relieved. Scientific evidence has recently proved beyond reasonable doubt that Brunel was in fact a person of restricted growth, a PORG if you will.

For years this could never be accepted, clearly photographic proof shows Brunel towering skyward. However, upon closer examination and with the aid of modern technology we are now able to identify that only three foot two inches of Brunel's six foot frame, was in fact Brunel. The rest was made up of super strong, multi layer, spear proof hat. In latter years this revolutionary material would be used to build the mighty codpiece that would protect Walt Disney's family jewels in the now infamous mouse attack of 53.

Nevertheless Brunel was a great man, Walt Disney may well have been also.                    

Thursday, 27 January 2011


If I've said it once I must have said it four times, all this meditation stuff ant what it's cracked up to be. Or may be it's simply I'm doing it wrong. A good friend of mine is the sort of chap who will happily out stare a goat at a hundred yards without so much as blinking. He can watch Walls for hours on end and leave filled with peace. Me, I leave with a desire to purchase a big tub of filler and set to work. Maybe I'm not cut out for mediation.

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Do, dee, do, do

With a whole pile of fellowship service, study and work to do tonight I made a decision to neatly file it all on the fuck it pile for one night and relax, and I've got to say thus far it's been a screaming success. I may well be in a state of relaxation and providing the desire to kill my fucking neighbours banging around upstairs doesn't overwhelm me, it may continue for a while.

It's an odd thing, but sometimes I think I forget how to relax, to simply chill out and drift away. The truth of it is for me this really is a peace of piss. Normally all I have to do is stop doing all the stuff I normally have to do. Once that's happened I don't feel the need to do the things I do that do, dee, do, do. From a practical point of view this amounts to me clicking into you-tube and listening to some tunes, maybe once in a great while picking up my guitar and perhaps even blogging a little. The end result is a far cry from the Zen like state I once dreamed of, but the will to kill has subsided and that's near enough to relaxed for me.       

Friday, 21 January 2011

It can creep up unnoticed

It's a wonderful thing to notice how many pointless things, especially signs like the one on the right, pop up all around us. It really dose underline how often we end up taking
ourselves to dam seriously.

Maybe that's one of the reasons I started writing this blog, the desire to avoid taking my self to seriously. It's not a condition I usually suffer from but nevertheless, once in a great while it can creep up unnoticed.

Anyho, the weekend is now upon us and my plans are at this point, thankfully, limited. A run around the wood with the boy is as far as it goes. Lets hope it stays that way.  

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Third Step Promises

All sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn. Alcoholics Anonymous p.63

Over the last few days I've been blogging some stuff around the promises laid out in the Big Book. I remember reading this stuff in early recover and thinking it was all a bit far fetched, a bit over the top if you will. My experience over the years has shown me that this is simply not the case.

However, it hasn't happened as a result of sitting on my arse and doing bugger all. Like most things in this word I have had to put some effort into it. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, nevertheless effort all the same.

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The forth Step Promises

We let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear. Alcoholics Anonymous p.68 We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people. Alcoholics Anonymous p.70

It still amazes me how much I hear people talk about this dreaded Step Four thing. I listen as my fellows share tails of woe and despair about the deep dark secrets that may (or may not) come out. How will I cope when these things are revealed to me, they say. Blah, blah, blah, they say.

Well here's the thing, and please listen carefully. There is NOTHING in your step four you haven't done at least once already, NOTHING. It would seem to me a
Fair amount of folk go and get pissed when they put this stuff off. Often justified be fear of what they might discover about themselves. Please try to remember, the fourth Step is your inventory and as such, you know it already.

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Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Fifth Step Promises

Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe. Alcoholics Anonymous p.75

The Fifth Step Promises might just sound like a bunch of spiritual bullshit, a few lines of empty promises that someone long ago put in a dusty old book. Thing is, how this stuff sounds is nowhere near as important as how it works, and that can only be discovered with your own experience. Listening to others is often a good starting point but you'll get where your going as the result of your actions.

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Saturday, 8 January 2011

Ninth Step Promises

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. (Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 83-84)

The ones we've all heard so many times. Always thought they were a but extravagant to be honest. Extravagant but true.

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Friday, 7 January 2011

The Tenth Step Promises.

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. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition. Alcoholics Anonymous pp.84-85

Another bunch of mighty promises and no mistake. I guess one of the things I was told early on is, if your unsure, why not give it a go and see for yourself. If you've got nothing to lose, you've got nothing to lose so why not?

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

The eleventh step promises

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves. It works-it really does. Alcoholics Anonymous p.88

For sure I had a time in my life when I was sure the above was a croc of shit. I mean, come on, pause when agitated!! It all sounded nothing short of impossible. Well I can tell ya, what I once thought impossible has for sure become a working part of my day. Fancy having a go at the impossible? Give it a try, you might be surprised.

Monday, 3 January 2011

New strings attached

Mrs D  got me a new set of strings for my guitar at Christmas and tonight I final got round to changing them. Those who know, know. But for those who don't, a new set of strings on almost any guitar is quite simply a breath of fresh air. It really highlights how a simple change, can make all the difference. And that's got me thinking.

Over the last couple of days I've been listening to folk and quietly smiling at the various new years resolutions they have been coming up with. The endless list of what will soon become empty promises seem to food from young and old at this time of year and I always wonder why people feel the need to wait. Why no simply deal with things as and when they come up?

So what of my resolutions? To be honest I haven't got any, but that's not to say I'm not making some changes. The truth of the matter is I'm normal making small changes, little tweaks if you will. Once in a great while I might give myself a new set of strings, but for the most part it's just gentle tuning. My hope is that 2011 will be a year of gentle tuning.