House of Pain

I write to you today from a house of pain. Most of it mine, so I shall only battle through a few words in order to satisfy my own undeniable need to keep up the tradition of posting each Sunday.

The pain that is not mine is owned by Emily, who has been nursing one of her first ever hangovers. No doubt Rebecca had one too, but she stayed out last night so we have not witnessed it. Both the girls went to a party at Rebecca’s boyfriend’s house, held to celebrate both of their birthdays. Tom had his birthday last week and Rebecca has hers in just over a week, so they had arranged a do to celebrate both events. I have only seen minimal social media evidence of the event, but Emily’s arrival home at 3am, and a day spent mainly in bed are sure signs that they had a good time.

Emily did briefly surface this morning for water, but after being the subject of Oli’s affections for half an hour she quickly retreated to bed and hasn’t been seen since.

hangover sunday

It was only yesterday that the parties the girls went to took place at the hell on earth that is a ball pool, and me and or Louise had to tolerate thirty plus kids screaming, sweating and ejecting snot and noise everywhere. Instead last night, just the two of us (and Oli) stayed home and watched a George Clooney film. The Descendants was both a very good, touching film and probably the best advert for Hawaii since Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

For clarity that is George and not me

Hawaii is now another place on the list we can’t afford to go on holiday to.

So what is the pain that is mine, I hear you say fretfully? Well, at around 6.30am today I was rudely awakened from my sleep with a huge amount of pain in my shoulder and neck. Who knows what caused it. Maybe I sleep in some odd positions, but by Christ it hurts. I have been suffering greatly since, unable to turn to the left or right without doing do from the hips, and looking like a ninety year old with piles each time I need to get up from my chair.

I have the pain tolerance of David Carradine from Kung Fu (ask your Dad) of course, so I am bearing up well, and not mentioning it every few minutes as you can imagine. The very act of typing this here post is causing me child-birth levels of pain (trust me I know, I’ve been through it twice) and so I shall be wrapping this up shortly to go and mope around some more.

I trust I shall be in your thoughts constantly now until I report a full recovery, and for that I am grateful. If you fancy buying All This and More, I know for a fact that each purchase and reading of it will decrease my pain levels by a notch or two. Consider it a small price to pay, literally.

I shall see you back here next Sunday, if not before, for hopefully pain-free postings, and reports of me entering the best seller list on Amazon. Over to you!

Till the next time….

Johnny Depp and Love Eggs. A Normal Weekend.

One of the side effects of Louise studying to become a nurse is that when she isn’t on placement and working silly shifts, she is at home locked in the bedroom, tip tapping away at a keyboard for hours, and days on end. She is, as I type, wrestling with an assignment, this time being a case study of the care of a lady with breast cancer.

Before last night, we had last bumped into each other at some point during last week when I was getting ready for work and Louise turned over to go back to sleep. So with that in mind, last night we resolved to go out, without any kids and see if we recognised each other. Emily was working, and Rebecca was out with her boyfriend’s family for his birthday meal.

I had spent almost all of yesterday watching all of Homeland, but despite this, we decided to go to the cinema. Not being huge fans of super hero films the Spider Man and Captain America films were not options we wanted to take. Beyond that, unless we wanted to go and watch a Bollywood film, we were really only left with a new Johnny Depp film called Transcendence. Yes, I know it sounds like an energy drink you might buy from Aldi, but knowing little about it, we took a chance based on Mr Depp’s presence in it.

After a swift drinky in the bar, we took our seats and overly priced confectionery and settled in.

It was shite.

I won’t spoil the plot in case you see it in the future, but it just seemed to totally lose its way as a film. It started off as a half decent premise about Artificial Intelligence (like the cast of TOWIE), but then sort of wandered off into a semi-war film, with a very silly battle scene where random men in khaki fired shells at solar panels….really.

Depp himself was OK, although he seemed to be going through the motions, and overall, the film resembled one of those motions you have after eating the nachos with jalapeno peppers, as Louise did, during the film. The lead woman appeared to have been cast because they couldn’t get Scarlett Johanssen and there was also that bloke who was in the film Wimbledon a few years ago and that woman who played a reporter in House of Cards and got her norks out a bit. She didn’t even do that in this film, so her performance was marked down immediately. Morgan Freeman also appeared, but I think he has made them remove him from all promotional material.

Despite our whelm being not very overed, the pick n mix and actually having a night out made the evening worthwhile. Thankfully, I had laid my hands on some freeby vouchers for the cinema in question, so aside from the £100 for sweets, we didn’t actually pay to watch this nonsense.

In less than twelve months now, Louise should be qualified, and employed which should mean we can once again afford to eat and see each other for multiple hours per week.

The Easter break brought with it several hours of actual sunshine on Friday, and I undertook my first dog walk of the year with fewer than seven layers. It was glorious. The fields through which Oli and I usually battle the elements were strangely firm and unmoist, and we posed for what I believe the youngsters of the day may call a selfie.

sunny oli 22014

The future looked so bright I had to wear those glasses that go dark in the sun and make me look “special”. Of course, since Friday, we have been back to the brutal biting winds and several layers, but summer was nice whilst it lasted.

I hope your eggs are lovely. I have no eggs, of either the chocolate or love variety, which is a disgrace. I shall have to rely on stealing Emily’s, as she often has Easter eggs left at Christmas. Well she would if I didn’t go and release them from her storage/hiding place in her wardrobe. It has become a tradition.

Send eggs….and money….and flight tickets to Florida!

Till the next time…..

I Have Cosmically Ordered My Balls to Drop.

Life is all about balance. For example, I completely failed you on my promise of mid-week bloggery whilst off work. However, I was very, very successful in forcing myself to do nothing, so that balances it out. It may sound odd to you that I have to force myself to do nothing, as I am quite competent at parking my arse on my seat and vegging for hours at a time, but as I have mentioned before, I am wired to be task driven, and more importantly task completion driven. This is why Louise can put three brushes worth of paint on any surface in the house, leave all the brushes and implements out and know that I cannot stand it to be half done.

So yes, with a week off, with no plans, I did very well at doing nothing. I pottered a bit, did a bit of taxi-ing and walked the dog every day. I also watched about eleven episodes of Homeland (never seen it), and about six hundred and four episodes of Arrested Development all courtesy of Netflix. So I’d call last week a win overall. I feel better for it, and speaking of balance again, whilst this Sunday is followed by the horror of an impending Monday, there is but four days at work, before another four days off. On balance, that’s a good thing too.

This week of no work has reinforced what I have long believed. Having done pretty well at not getting dragged into work emails, although I didn’t avoid it entirely, I now know for sure that I could retire tomorrow, not miss work one bit, and enjoy my days immeasurably more. There would be no moping around the house, with me missing the cut and thrust of corporate life, I can assure you of that. Not that I do much cutting and thrusting, but you know what I mean. I trust that the lottery Gods are listening/reading, and using a technique embraced by Noel Edmonds, Cosmic Ordering, I am ensuring this will be my destiny before the week is out.


Many say that money can’t buy you happiness, and we’ve all heard many tales of woe and hardship from millionaire celebrities, but frankly, they are just doing it wrong. Give me a few million and I’ll show you how it’s done, and I can guarantee I’ll be generally happier that I am sat in the commute to office. Hark at me, going on about Cosmic Ordering, and the like. One week off work and I’m sat here wearing open toed sandals and a kaftan with flowers in my hair. Give me till lunch time tomorrow and I’ll be spitting bile and vitriol all over social media again. Work is quite clearly bad for me.

There is still no chance of me booking a Florida trip this year. So sure are we of not going that Rebecca has arranged to go away with her boyfriend’s family to their place in Turkey. Yep, we really are NOT going this year. Of course, now that I have cosmically ordered my balls to drop then she will simply have to have two holidays once those millions are tucked away in my account. I think she’d be up for that.

Both girls continue to give me reason to believe we may have done a half decent job at this parenting lark. They both have part-time jobs, at which they both work hard and do the best they can. Rebecca continues to show determination and motivation that she could not possibly have inherited from me in her quest for the physique she desires. It is awe-inspiring, literally, how committed she is, and the results she is seeing. She is also doing very well at college, needing no policing in her attendance, and pretty much has her life planned out. That will all change of course but she is driven, conscientious, unstoppable and based on all of that, probably the milk man’s.

Whilst Emily has no such long-term plan yet, which is fine by us, she has herself a job that keeps her ticking over, gives her some great experience, and I’m sure things are going to come into focus for her before too long.

So having delivered you a largely positive blog, no doubt brought about by my chilled week off and today’s football (Up the pool!), I shall leave you to wonder if it was really me that wrote this whilst I go and roast my potatoes. Alas, that is not a euphemism.

Till the next time…..


A blog about other blogs.

As I mentioned last week, I sit here tonight, tipping and a tapping at this keyboard completely free of the impending and disabling Sunday night gloom. I am off all week, and I can’t tell you how good that feels. I have to get some sleep, as I honestly feel totally knackered, so my goals for the week are to do plenty of that, relax a bit and maybe even take it easy some too. I really do intend to try to disconnect myself from the office as much as possible, and let my brain rest as well.

As I am officially on holiday now, (I’m sure I mentioned that!) I am going to be taking it easy with this post and simply blogging about other blogs that you should read.

Not being able to be there in person, I am scratching the itch of Florida by writing about it instead. Of course, by scratching it in this way I also make the itch worse, but you all know you have to keep scratching anyway.

This week, I contributed to another article for Floridatix all about the best beaches in Florida. If you would please have a click, a look, a read and a share that would be very helpful. It may not come as a huge surprise that I chose Vero Beach, but there is also some good info in the article about beaches I knew nothing about.


During last week at work I found myself away for a night, and yet again, the glamour of glitz of doing so should not be underestimated. Having retired to my salubrious suite for the evening, I feasted like a king on the very best that the Sainsbury’s local had to offer, and found myself lay on my single bed, in a room that I could touch both walls with arms extended watching a programme all about Versailles on BBC Four. I am a wilder version of every hedonistic, wild man of rock that ever existed. The week dragged to be honest, and I was very, very glad to close the laptop at the end of Friday.

Emily was away last week too. She went to Leicester to spend some time with a friend of hers at University there, and to see a gig. You can read all about that in her latest blog post here. Do come back though!

Outside of work, and my experience of inferior hotels, last week did bring a small flurry of lovely reviews about All This And More, and it is always nice to know that folks are taking the time to read it, and coming away feeling good about the experience. I have collected a less than great review too, which I have given the time and thought it deserves. None. That should get you to click-through and read the reviews anyway! 🙂

If you have any thoughts or comments on the book, then please feel free to comment here too. I’d love to hear from you.

I haven’t found the energy, time or inspiration to start writing something else yet. In a way, I am scared too, knowing how much effort was involved in the last one, I know that if I start it, I will be driven to finish it. It is how I am wired unfortunately. Let’s just say that I am resting my brain to allow it to come up with something worthy of that effort.

With a week out of work ahead of me, I may do something crazy and do some blogging mid-week. The universe may come to an end with this shift in the fabric of time, but by doing so I may be able to give a bit more time to a post, and do one that isn’t the usual round-up of the week’s events. Who knows what exciting news I may have to share!?

This weekend has been a lovely blur of not doing a lot, too much food and a Netflix extravaganza (again). We have, eleven years too late, discovered Arrested Development. We’ve watched it back to back non stop since watching the first one yesterday and it is great fun, well written, funny and packed with an excellent cast. Of course, everyone else in the world will already have watched it, but I thought I’d tell you anyway.

You can tell how far behind we are as Micheal Cera is in it, and he isn’t fully through puberty. I think he’s in his mid forties now! Well, nearly anyway.

So watch out for mid-week blogginess. I’m not promising anything, but that should keep you awake at night with excitement, or if that doesn’t, the fact that the Mkingdon Facebook page got to 700 likes this week should.

Till the next time…..