Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Rosie has commented that I have not updated for a while so here goes.

Last time I said I had started a new job, and was on probation. Well, 3 months into the 6 month probation, I have been confirmed as permanent. Even better, I am now in charge of the whole site, which is nice. Just got the small matter of planning to deal with 30% growth, installation of new equipment, and improving customer service. Well, I suppose it is better than downsizing and making people redundant!

In my personal life, I have now been with my girlfriend 6 months, and am very happy, though my new job is a significant distance away from her. I am confident that we can deal with that though. I need to find somewhere to live closer to work now, because the 80 minute drive each way is killing me, never mind the cost of the petrol.

I am only getting to see my kids once a fortnight, which sucks. Some might say I only have myself to blame, but I am certain that ending the marriage really was the right move. People I see only occasionally are saying how much happier I seem. I certainly feel a huge sense of relief. I've bought the kids mobile phones, so they can both phone me whenever they want. Had a phone call from them last night.

I have managed to sell my old house, for not much less than the asking price, and for the same as I paid for it 5 years ago, which I suppose is a result really. Should be completing on that at the end of the month, which takes a huge strain off the wallet.

Thats it for now. Better get on with some work! Will try to post a little more regularly from now on.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saturday night in

Going to have a completely chilled out Saturday night on the sofa, with lovely company and a bottle of wine, watching top quality tv.   Ok, actually I'll be watching the X Factor, but the company and the wine are great.

Continuing to enjoy playing poker again.   Playing at micro-limits, but enjoying the challenge of building a bankroll in the face of dreadful suckouts by players who don't know where the fold button is!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Moving On

I spent a grand total of one day unemployed.  Didn't get the job in Chester I previously wrote about, but am now working in Workington, in north-west Cumbria.  Had a meeting there on Monday 3rd November, and was asked to start the following day!  Only got a 6 month contract initially, but if all goes well it will be permanent.

Have started playing poker again recently.  Played in Pauly's Omaha tourney last weekend, and, whilst I wasn't first out, I wasn't much better!  Think I will stick to Hold'em for now.  I am sticking to cash games, and trying to build a bank-roll from basically nothing.  Generally am winning more than I am losing.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

How quickly everything changes

Well this is my first post for over two months.  I don't think I've read any blogs since mid July.  Rather a lot has happened since then, so here's the summary:

In July, I split up with my wife, after 14 years of marriage, and 18 years together.  At pretty much the same time, I found out that I was likely to be made redundant.

Lets start with the marriage.  

For a while now I have felt that things have been going wrong.  Arguments over stupid things, not being able to talk about stuff, just a general distance between us.  In the end I decided that things couldn't carry on like this.  She thinks it is all because I can't cope with her being disabled.  This isn't true.  That is just a tiny part of the whole thing.  Talking to some of our friends, they have expressed surprise that it didn't happen ages ago.  Did everyone see this coming apart from us?   I tried to stick it out at home for the sake of the kids, but it just wasn't practical.  So I am now living with my parents, which has some difficulties, but is generally ok for now.

My daughter in particular is finding things difficult.  I see the kids every weekend, and twice during the week at athletics training, but she is very upset at us all not doing things together anymore.  My wife and I are trying to keep things civil, but things have been done and said during the split that make it difficult.  I am sure that over time that will improve, but for now the thought of spending a day together is not good.

There is a lot of bitterness at the moment.  I handled things badly (is there a good way to leave your wife?) and upset her a lot.  She lashed out and someone I was briefly involved with (and who had no part in the marriage breakup) got hurt, which I am angry about.

Since then I have met a wonderful woman (via the internet of course!), who is also separated, and also has kids.  She is someone I can talk to about anything, including things I have never told anyone else.  We meet up whenever we can, but neither of us want our kids to meet the other, because we don't want them to have a succession of "aunties" and "uncles" if things don't work out.  We have taken a punt on us still being together in three months, and have bought tickets to see a band at the end of November.  Fingers crossed!

At work, since the Company got taken over in January 07, I have felt increasingly vulnerable.  As an independent company, I was involved in all aspects of the business - purchasing, sales, service, quality, production, transport, and doing projects for the MD.  As part of a national company, they have centralised purchasing and sales, a group quality manager etc.  Much of what is done centrally I think is pretty poor, but no one seemed interested in listening to any ideas from us.    On 18th August it was confirmed that I was being made redundant, and was given 12 weeks notice.  After 17 years working there it isn't nice, but it isn't the same place anymore after the takeover.

Next Wednesday I've got the third in a series of meetings with a company in Chester, in the same industry.  They are independently owned, and are growing fast.  I sent them my CV speculatively, they didn't actually have any vacancies, but, it looks promising that they are going to create a position for me (which is nice!).  So hopefully, by the end of next week I will have a job, and can chill out.

Have just re-read all that, and it isn't terribly well written or coherent, but, maybe in time, I can get my head straighter, and look at things less emotionally.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed the new add over to the left, promoting my gallery at Imagekind. You can pop over there and buy fabulous framed photos of this beautiful country. You can also get the images made into greetings cards.

Commercial over. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It was my Uncle´s funeral today. He was 63, and has three sons aged 17, 18 and 23.

He was diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago. In that time he has also had 3 hip replacements. All of this he regarded as a nuisance which got in the way of him running his farm. When it was first diagnosed, he would get up in the morning, milk the cows, have a 160 mile round trip to Christies for radiotherapy, then milk the cows again. Later on there was chemotherapy. Again he just carried on as normal. He became so well known at the hospital that at one stage, when he felt he was too busy to go in, a nurse turned up in the farmyard to take blood for testing. In amongst all of this, he, along with his sons, built a new milking parlour. His hip was so bad at this point he had to be lifted into the seat of the digger in the morning, would work all day, then would be lifted out in the evening.

A less stuborn man would have been dead five years ago just from the treatment, never mind the illness.

At the end of last year, finally being persuaded that his sons could manage the farm, he had some drastic treatment which involved wiping out his immune system, which as a result, lead to him developing numerous other problems, but, he fought them off, and the treatment was expected to give him 5 years without other treatment. However, fate had other ideas, and one of the potential side effects, that had a 5% chance of occuring was found 6 weeks ago. Leukemia. 6 weeks later we are standing around a grave. The mind can only drag a reluctant, pain ravaged body so far. In the end his strength finally ran out. However, he has seen his three sons grow into men to be proud of, and maybe he finally let go knowing that they were ready to go it alone.

Looking back, I remember the man who wouldn´t let me call him Uncle, because it made him feel old, who stopped all work on the farm to make me a sledge when I saw my first heavy snowfall, and who had to be the first to use it. Who, when I was aged 7, saw how upset I was at the death of a lamb I had been bottle feeding on the farm, turned up at our house that evening with a lamb of my own (which we took for walks round the village on a lead!). I remember sitting on his knee steering the tractor, and rolling bales of hay across the field towards the trailer when I wasn´t big enough to lift them.

The village church was full. In fact there were people standing because there was nowhere to sit. The collection plate couldn´t be seen under the pile of notes placed upon it. The money is being split between the hospital where he had been treated for the last 10 years, and the village charity fund, which had previously given £2000 to the hospital.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I had a reasonable night at the Bloggerment last night, finishing in the money in third place, for my second ever cash in the tournament. I also managed to drop the hammer twice!

I had some good fortune just before the break, when Spid went all in and I called with 66. Spid showed 77, but a 6 on the turn doubled me up, and left Spid down on 775 in chips. However, only two hands later he saw 77 again, and doubled up with a full house.

Down to the last three, and I went to war with AJo, against simonjjj's TT. A Jack on the flop and an Ace on the turn were great for me, but the Ten on the river certainly wasn't, and my stack was decimated. 5 hands later and I was out.

Spid recovered in fine style to win the whole thing, with Simon taking second.

It was a good night, with some good natured banter in the chat box, and some familiar names playing. A turnout of 13 isn't great, but I quite like a short-handed table to start. Hope to make it again next week.

Iggy´s Satellite Success

Iggy is in the main event.