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Therapy? interview

So, I got my first shot at an interview for UberRock and who should it be but the the very band I know most about besides Deep Purple. Chuffed as mintballs I was, and so it was out with Word, and my thinking cap on. The results of it can be found here and I have to say I’m quite pleased as Andy Cairns actually properly seemed to engage with the questions. There’s a couple of daft ones but they were still genuine questions which I was curious to hear the answers to. Kakistocracy and Crutch are such good songs.

Other than that, all’s well with the world I guess. Latvia and Lithuania were fun. Flights were easy, and generally it’s all peaceful in my world. It’s bills’r’us time but hey ho. It continues to get me back established in the system and gives me history in the UK, something I’ve not had since 2007! 

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Time flies

So, it’s been 6 months since I properly landed back in Wolves in a place of my own rather than in hotels and sofas etc.. and I’ve barely added anything of substance. Time for a proper update!

I managed to capture a job in true to form Wiseman style. One interview, one job. It’s how it’s almost always been. Again it’s banal work and sadly 5 days rather than the Amazon 4 which I’d grown accustomed to and quite enjoyed but it pays a little better and keeps me out of the pub thus saving me money. Entertainingly after the interview they emailed and rang me to tell me that, on this occasion, I was unsuccessful! So, I hit the Giffard the next day to grab their wifi and whip out an album review for UberRock and a beer, only to receive a call saying I had in fact got the job and could I start at 2pm today! Already on pint 2 I said “Nope… but I can do tomorrow if that’s helpful?” to which they agreed to call me back to confirm. 12pm the next day arrived… still no call so I called them and was told “Yes, you’re due in today!”. A week later, a mix up with my rate of pay and ANOTHER letter telling me I’d been unsuccessful in my application and finally things smoothed out!

The dingey flat is still dingey, and I still completely lack any form of cooking facility but I do still have a fridge and now have plates (not just a plate!) and a couple of mugs and probably more importantly a fridge. Everyone who promised me things when I moved in simply never came through, and so I basically survived until I got paid from the first month which was fortunately a 5 Friday month so threw me enough cash to sort the essentials!  So.. ham and cheese butties abound and the local chippy/Chinese/Indians swallow more of my money than they probably should but at least I have somewhere to keep milk etc cool! The one concession to personalising the place is, I was offered a chance to review a website’s product, so converted a picture of a wood pigeon I took while in Lichfield into an aluminium styled wall picture which I have to say is rather beautiful. I miss having proper camera equipment but every now and again I land lucky with the Medion and something sits still long enough to allow me the 10 attempts I need to get it right!

pigeon

So, as the 3rd year anniversary of the divorce looms I’ve decided to treat myself. These last 3 years have been hard. I’ve survived stupid amounts of stress, from the change of environment, being single again, the crazy actions of some people I trusted, work related insanity at Amazon, homelessness and to all intents and purposes, destitution, and I’ve come through the other side. I’ve survived. There’s a line from the new (and soon to be reviewed by yours truly) Therapy album Cleave that says “Success is Survival” and boy is that accurate these days. But, at least for a month, I have managed to put away enough cash to be able to get away from it all for a few days. Nothing major but, 5 days up in Latvia in Riga and a trip to Vilnius in Lithuania while there is all set up and paid for! The flights with be the first since my one way flight back home from Amsterdam and the first one coincides with the confirmation of the divorce in Leiden. It wasn’t planned like that, just serendipity or a fortuitous accident caused it to be that way. 2 new countries, 2 new capitals, some time away from Wolves and just a little nod to myself that I am deserving of more than just surviving. 

So, life is better than it was. There’s some stability, both fiscally and jobwise. 6 months ago it could’ve gone very differently. But it didn’t, and here I am. With Giffgaff now doing 20gig allowances on their sim and allowing tethering, I can even catch up on the odd Gotham episode too. And more importantly, I can stream this new Therapy? album which is what I should be doing so for now.. it’s signing off time!

boutros boutros ghali!

Facebook post worth saving

There’s lots being posted about mental health at the moment. I think it’s important to point out that, quite a few psychological issues are often something which you don’t develop yourself as such, but you get given to you.

The abuse I received from my parents, both physical and emotional, certainly has shaped how I interact with the world. I recall being severely beaten by my father for not tying my shoelaces “correctly” and being so scared to venture downstairs to the toilet as a kid that I’d pee under the carpet, rather than get a thrashing. And.. my bed time was still 7.30pm at 15 on school nights!

Weighing in at 5 stone aged 14 and still bedwetting like the sprinkler system on a football field, finding my father unconscious and dying from an overdose, and watching my insane religious mother ritually burn all family photos after her divorce because “her children were all abominations in the eyes of The Lord”, all take their toll. You learn to trust no-one, and isolation becomes a privilege because it’s safe.

And therein lies a danger. Isolation can be a killer. A predisposition for depression can be simply given to you by the environment you existed in, and once the chemical imbalance is there within the brain’s structure, that dark pathway is just waiting to be traversed.

For myself, I was and still am lucky. I came to grips with what was happening and understood that blame wasn’t something I needed to assume for my parents’ behaviour. I poured myself into reading and loved my music and took strength from both. I’m the same now. Some of you who read this will know me as the guy at the noisy end of the bar in my local rock pub, where I rarely engage with people but instead lose myself for a while in the music. It’s a safer version of isolation where I can belong by association rather than interaction. A shared passion.

Others however do not have such an outlet, and so I ask you : Look out for these people. Offer them an ear. It might cost you 10 minutes, an hour, or a lifetime of interactions, but it might also save a life. Perhaps suggest to them an activity you can do together. I chose for years to write a blog and at it’s been massively cathartic. It doesn’t make pretty reading at times and to and outsider there are most certainly places with said blog where all they’ll see is vitriol, but for me I can testify wholeheartedly that it helped me enormously.

I’ll drop here a link to one of the delightful issues my parents lumbered me with. It tells the story of mealtimes at The Wiseman’s… and its long lasting impact on my world.

If you’ve read to the bottom of here though… you’ve probably read enough of my piffle already haha

tongue tied and beaten

 

Sevendust

Well, this is a turn up for the books. Or rather articles. Seems I’m at least writing a little bit again. I, sometime in the distant past, send off an enquiry as to if I could write a few reviews etc of cds and concerts etc and then promptly forgot about it completely. Then, at 1am I get pinged by the editor. Here’s a starter for 10! Review Sevendust. All I see is War. 

It’s actually pretty damn good (the album not the review). We (the entity formerly known as “wife” constituting the other member) had the chance to see them in Vegas many many moons ago but chose Drowningpool and Flyleaf instead. While I stand by that as a decent decision at the time, I’d be quite happy to go see these lot now. Anyway, if you fancy having a shufti at my musings you can find the article here via Uber Rock! 

Other than that, I guess I’m alive. Life ticks over as normal. No joy finding work which is frankly nuts. 44, fit, healthy, smart, and 2 years of Amazon experience behind me since returning to the UK should be enough to demonstrate that I’m prepared to do what’s needed but.. there’s not much I can do. With only my old Samsung Wave for internet access, and only a 6 month contract on the flat I’m in, it’s actually starting to look a little bleak again. Something needs to manifest quickly, but having applied for nigh on 200 jobs in 90 days… and getting ziltch in return, it’s all a bit soul destroying. Living on £5 a day seems to be beyond the concept of most which is as it should be because it’s simply not doable. Still… it’s clearing the puppyfat from the belly. Positives. The rosacea didn’t help, pretty much rendering me unemployable for anything which I might have been a public face for anyone, but, it’s eased again now. 

Back once again

So, after several months of bouncing from sofas to hotel to sofa .. I am alive and well and back in Wolves. I have my own place, my own bills, not shared accommodation but a proper (if rather grotty) flat. I survived through good fortune and stubbornness and bloodymindedness  with the help of a young lady and her generosity. Sammy, I’m forever in your debt. 

I however have no Internet at home so I am not able to update this properly! That will change though in time. I’m currently still getting back  on my feet but… for moment I’m thinking there but for the grace of *insert deity* go I.