Teen Angst and Healing Hugs

Life is random and unpredictable.  The more foolish amongst you may think that I have these posts planned days in advance, and come to the keyboard with thoughts fully formed.

Those knowing me better may guess that I often stare at this white page after Sunday tea without a thought in my head, which is indeed no different to any other time of the week.

So up until this morning I had nothing and would have waffled on about some inane stuff, as usual, but events, as they often do have given me cause to press the keys.

As is becoming more the norm these days, I am getting my news via Twitter.  This morning I was doing just that having woken far too early to be acceptable for a Sunday.  The very sad news that I saw was that an actor from Glee had been found dead in a hotel room.  Cory Monteith it seems, has joined the ever-growing list of those who have found fame, fortune and the perils that accompany it at a young age, and although nothing has been announced yet, and we must not assume, looks to have died as a result.

Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith

Now, I am no Gleek.  To be fair, I thought the first series was original and watchable, and had all the best intentions.  Later series seem to have forgotten why it existed and instead of having the collection of “wrong uns”, have drifted towards a cast of the young and beautiful instead, which sort of defeated the object of the whole thing.

Anyway, Glee is one of those programmes were it is non negotiable that we watch. Emily loves it, and lives it.

Having taken in the news of his sad passing, it then dawned on me what the impact of this may be on Emily.  Nearly eighteen she might be, but this was bound to hit her hard.

An hour or so later, she appeared downstairs and literally collapsed in tears.  She has been very fortunate in that in her eighteen years on the planet, she hasn’t yet really experienced the loss of a close relative, and the closest thing to date had been the loss of our Cocker Spaniel a couple of years ago.

Such was her affection for the programme and its cast, she has taken this news as if she had lost a family member.

Some may say she should grow up, or get some perspective, but it is easy to forget the attachments you make to things as you grow up, and all we can be is supportive I suppose.

In a way I’d rather she were vulnerable, emotional and maybe even a little young for age, as the alternative is a little bleak.

She continues to mourn in her way, and has just made it downstairs after a full day in bed, red-eyed and weary, and sits hugging a cushion and her phone on the couch.  If there was a way to take her pain away I would, but only time will do that I suppose.  Dad’s hugs can only do so much!

Although of course, this young actor’s death hasn’t left me in bits, as I am old, wizened and devoid of that youthfulness she possesses, I do feel for his family and friends, not only having to deal with loss, but also with the media frenzy.  If it does turn out to be another death from “abuse” of some substance or other, I will struggle to be over sympathetic.  You may recall my disdain when Amy Winehouse died?  I of course just do not understand the “celebrity” world, and why these talented wealthy individuals have to shove stuff up their noses and veins in order to get through the day.  They need to try working for a living instead.  It’s a miracle that my daily commute hasn’t led me to Class A drugs or a murderous rampage yet.

Well, I suppose as they do not understand the daily grind, I of course do not understand the pressures and pitfalls of fame.

Onto more serious stuff.  My illness lingers.  I have had a bobbins week, full of snot, coughing, aches and snot.  Whilst I am now seeing light at the end of the tunnel, I could still wallpaper a large room with the contents of my nasal passages.

I’d like to thank all those who enquired after my health this week.  I’d like to, but, well you know the rest.

Looking ahead, we are now entering the final countdown.  Not like most years when at this stage I am bouncing of several walls at the promise of our two weeks in WDW.  Alas, no, I cannot relay that excitement.  This countdown is to the end of Emily’s childhood.  She turns 18 on the 26th of July, and we are thinking of suitable ways to mark the occasion.  Hopefully she will have recovered from her broken heart in time.

This coming week she resumes work on these here WDW home movies I have been teasing for the past few weeks.  To add the required kick up the arse she may need to get out of bed in the AM, the You Tube channel has now been set up, and should you wish to subscribe that would perhaps add the required pressure to have her complete one and post it.  So please, click through and subscribe folks.

Mkingdon's Kingdom
No pressure Emily!

Right, Glee’s on the telly, I may be required to dispense a hug or two.

Till the next time…..

The South, snot and Sedaka

Apologies for the radio silence for the past week.  That bloody thing called work just keeps getting in the way.

This week saw my final trip down to our Surbiton site to finish the consultation periods with the folks affected by the closure of that office.  They were surprisingly, and thankfully quite up beat about the whole thing, as most had found other jobs already.

Holiday Inn Room
Happy Holidays

Due to our usual hotel being full we were forced to go all up market and stay at the Holiday Inn instead.  Wow, amazing what an extra £20 a night can get you.  Well, if I’m honest it gets you some mood lighting, a mini bar and a couple of free pens.  Still, it was a nice place.

Due to the weather (how boring has it become to just talk about this crap weather all the time…so I won’t), I travelled by train rather than drive, and it was quite painless to be honest.  With only a minor detour around the bowels of the tube station upon changing trains at Euston, the whole trip took less than four hours!

The rest of the week has been quite uneventful work wise, and I’m sick of going to work so I’m sure you are sick of hearing about it.  Those who listen to me tweet (FOLLOW ME!!!) will know that I have a cold.  Not that I complain about it or anything, but I could have wallpapered a room with the contents of my nose this past week, with no need for any paste!!

So I returned home late on Thursday evening, and was in bed by 9.45, with sleep taking me a milisecond before my head hit the pillow.  Friday was a blur of boredom, and so to the start of the weekend.

Tube Tales

We watched a good film last night, vacating the living room for Rebecca and her friend so they could watch some horror flicks.  I dread to think what they watched!!  Anyway, back to me…this is my blog…..we watched the Taking of Pelham123 with Denzel Washington (Louise tells me he is a beautiful man) and John Travolta (Louise made no comment).

It was good, although not quite as good as I thought it may be.  Denzel has packed some pounds on for the role it seems.  I hate to see these middle aged men letting themselves go, what are they thinking!!

Then I had a bit of a revelation.  Being all high brow, I flicked over to BBC Four to see if there was some documentary on post modern art in 1950’s Poland, or similar, only to find a surreal programme from the 1980’s.  It was a sort of Audience with, television special from Neil Sedaka.  If asked to describe him I would say he is a slightly more butch version of Liberace…but only a bit more.  To paint the picture he was wearing a pink sequined tuxedo with matching cuban heels.  Well, I guess it was acceptable in the 80’s!!

Anyway, as the programme progressed I was absolutely amazed at the massive amount of classic songs he has written.  I am a big fan of songwriting, quality songwriting, and I don’t mind who does it.  I like all sorts of them from all over the specturm….let’s have a non comprehensive list…

1.  Crowded House (Neil Finn is a Kiwi Genius)

2.  McFly (Danny and Tom are massively underrated, and highly talented.  I am slightly biased as Danny is a local lad, and his parents live round the corner from the mother in law)

3.  Hue and Cry (Obscure 80’s reference, but just great songwriting overlaced with swoonsome vocals)

4.  Jellyfish (well, long term readers will know all about them.  You tube is your friend to learn more)

5.  George Michael (Class and quality over many decades)

6. Gary Barlow (no explanation needed)

7. Manilow (see, no amount of lack of crediblity can daunt my admiration for a good tune smith)

Neil Sedaka
Butch Liberace

There are many more of course, but I was truly blown away with the Sedaka, and my iPod will be taking some Sedaka home later I can assure you.  Just to highlight a few of the gems from his pen…


The Hungry Years

Love will keep us together

Breaking up is hard to do

Calendar Girl

Neil….much respect!!

I am a sucker for a good hook line on a song, and have scant regard for the cool factor…yes my iPod includes the Backstreet boys, Rush, the Buble, Level 42, and McAlmont & Butler amongst others.  Heck, I’ll even admit to seeing Nik Kershaw live some years ago…damn he should have been in my list too.  Forget his teenybop stuff, after that he got all grown up and wrote some belters that me and three others heard.

So there we go, I seem to have made you some sort of old school compilation tape of just a few of my favourite musical things…all because of the Sedaka.  He moves in mysterious ways.

Till the next time…..

Snot Christmas yet…

However, I have now finished work for the festive period!!  It was timed perfectly that on my last day in the office I was visited by the snot fairy, and I have a full blown case of man flu (which I guess is different to a half blown case…isn’t our language funny sometimes?).

I won’t talk you through my working week as once again I was down south, a fully fledged member of the death squad for our Surbiton office, with Wednesday being a full day of shifting crap from the office and then on Thursday, more meetings with the poor sods now looking for work.

I see that after saying I wouldn’t talk you through it I seem to be doing exactly that now….anyway, the journey home started in a full blown (there I go again) blizzard, and ending about seven hours later with a full blown sense of humour failure.

Whilst I was away Emily & Rebecca went to see Paramore (supported by Youmeatsix) at the MEN.  They loved it just a lot.  I like Paramore too, mainly as I am an utterly cool Dad.

Paramore all dressed up

So on my return to the frozen North, I popped into the house for all of ten minutes before setting off out again in the snow to attend a team xmas meal, at a lovely curry house in Whitefield.  The Forts of India was very good, and I could just eat my Saag Chicken all over again right now.

Forts of India Interior
Saag Chicken please....

So despite feeling the onset of my gruesome illness I had a nice night with good company and tremendous food.  I do find it odd that the chaps who work for me forget I am sort of a normal person, and it does take a little while for them to relax when out of the office.  I am only the boss as I have a mortgage to pay…not through choice!!

However, after the two days I had down south, as soon as the last forkful was consumed, the cash was left with the guys and I was off to bed.

A frustrating drive home, as it had been on the way there, as three flakes of snow means that everyone drives as if we lived in the frozen wastes of Alaska.

Friday started badly, with the man flu having me in it’s full grip by now.  I struggled out of bed, and through the snow, arriving at work around 10am.  It was OK though, I was forgiven by my team as I had brought them last day chocolates!!

I sort of limped through Friday to be honest, and was very glad to put work behind me around 5pm.  After a very busy last few weeks, the official finish for xmas sort of snuck up on me, and there wasn’t the usual feeling of it being an event.

I do not darken work’s door again until Jan the 4th, so you have been warned, I may post more often, and the content may get a little repetitive!!  It has not escaped my notice that my illness has arrived just in time to eat into my holiday, rather than preventing me from working.

Right now I am sat on the couch in a house resembling a sauna, as I can’t bring myself to turn the heating off.  I have around twelve layers on, and Enchanted on the telly.  The house is peaceful as Louise is out with Emily and Ben (boyfriend of Emily) at her drum lesson.

The first boyfriend!

On the subject of Ben/boyfriends, I am a little put out that I actually like him.  I had always hoped to make any boyfriend’s life an outright misery, with over bearing/oppressive/embarassing behaviour.

Instead, I find myself encouraging Emily to see more of him, be nice to him, and not to be moody!!!

Rebecca is out at a friend’s house, after a sleep over last night, so I type away, the dog snoring at my feet, hoping Louise brings back something good to eat.  I have to feed a cold…it is the law!!

We are forecast lots of snow tonight, and yep, right on cue it has started.  So once the family are back we shall barricade the front door, crank the heating up to eleven, and find something unchallenging to watch on the telly.

Drat, the extraction of snot from the nasal area is becoming a pressing requirement so I shall sign off…..till the next time.