The extra bits...(Under construction).

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

     A heart felt thankyou to all who have taken the time to read my musings thus far. I wish you all a peaceful and contented New Year. Until the next time, fare thee well.

John

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Wishes.....

     Just wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.



     Until next year, take good care of yourselves, leave the past where it belongs and grasp the future with hope in your heart....

John


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Done n dusted...

     Well that's it, my stint at the not so 'Fun Factory' is at an end for this year and for the first time in many years I shall not be working overtime during the Christmas break. My mind has been dark and so bloody tired whilst my body has fallen into a state of being permanently knackered over the past few months, to be honest I have truly been at the end of my tether will little to spark an interest in the world around me. When my new Engineering manager asked what hours I'd be working I politely told him that he could take his OT and place it where the Sun no longer shines, after all, enough is enough.

     So hopefully the three, yes three!, weeks that I have to myself will allow me to take some steps forward and repair some of the damage the Dog has done of late. I have no firm plans though I'm hoping that the pain in my knees will ease and allow me to walk the terrible twosome in the hills as they are definitely becoming far too use to this sedentary life they're enjoying at the moment....




     I am sure that the walking will also do me some good, there is something soothing and restful that I find when walking with Mother Nature and I miss that terribly so. As for anything else? well I'll not be making any plans to be honest but just some time to myself to take stock and find some sort of direction. One thing that I will definitely not be doing though is thinking too hard about the past if I can help it, because that always screws me up and allows the dog to bite my hairy arse! I need to find my mojo, so to speak, and start looking forward instead of behind me at the misery that seems to follow me. 

     Perhaps I will find something that I've lacked for many a long time....



     Until the next time, take care....

John

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Dog bites....

     So once again I have found myself flirting with the Black Dog, maybe not as deep into the abyss as I have previously been but far enough to know that I'm a long way from healing. What triggered the decline this time? Well your guess is as good as mine as  now I try to stop looking for the reasons why because that search for answers has always eluded me and driven me mad when trying to explain why my mind goes into meltdowns and my actions cause so much pain. Better for all those I love that I keep my distance and my own counsel for the time being, for how can they understand when I have no way to explain myself and the demons that rule my mind in the dark days.

     I have lost much and caused so much pain to my true love I wonder at times will I ever find peace and a sense of belonging with another. It's at times like these that I cannot see a future only a past that should have been so different, for another as well as myself. I have to live with myself and the ruination that seems to follow me, sometimes it is indeed too hard to even put one foot in front of another as my mood grows dark.

     Why do I write these thoughts on these pages where tis usually humour that abounds? I guess it's because I need to say things that I can't to the ones I love, perhaps it's because I would like people to know that I'm more than words on a screen and that, if the right buttons are pushed, we can all turn our backs on goodness and love. Maybe it's because I look at myself and see nothing to be proud of? Who knows? but one thing is for certain and that is we never know what life holds for us and even the strongest may fail.

     I'm sorry if this post is not what you expect from me but we all have a story to tell. Till the next time, take care of yourselves....

John

Friday, 12 December 2014

Turning into my father......

     Bloody hell I am feeling my age of late, just been to the doctors today about my seemingly ever decaying knee joints and I end up getting tablets for the pain, tablets to stop the tablets for the pain upsetting my stomach (which I always considered as ironclad!), more blood tests from the local vampire nurse for a myriad of issues including a check up on my high cholesterol, anything underlying that may be causing my aches and pains and other stuff that my whirling mind failed to take in, and not forgetting the physiotherapy course I've been referred onto, Oh and not to mention that the kindly doctor talked to me about my depression and decided to up my dose of 'happy pills' as well, just when I thought that I was getting a handle on it....bugger!
    
      But apart from not able to have a decent nights sleep since I don't know when, my rapidly decaying joints which make every 12 hour shift at work a grind...literally you should hear them bones grating on one another, and makes walking the dogs basically impossible at the moment.... which is an absolute bastard because I cannot even get to the hills to release my mind from its whirling chaos that it seems to fall to more often of late, speaking of that which it seems to be once again heading towards the abyss and now I'm taking more tablets than the pharmacy holds in reserve, rattling as well as grinding with every step! the fact that I find myself complaining just like my dad about everything and anything...No, I'm not doing to bad at all....oh did I mention my glasses prescription has now been changed to Rose Tinted!!!!

     Just to leave you with the thought for the day.....



    Until the next time, take care Hobbits....

John


   

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Trail and error.....

Just something that has been on my mind while. A few years ago I dabbled in writing a short story and coming across some of my meanderings has made me consider of trying again. Here's a snippet of some of that earlier scribing and I was wondering if you'd be as kind as to offer an opinion on whether or not, as the case may be, it would be worth me trying to expand this story? So here it be......


"The late evening’s autumnal sun, dappled by the browning leaves of bank side willow trees, tipped the ripples of the river’s surface with its watery bronze light. The mild autumn air had not yet succumbed to the icy fingers of the year’s first frost, although if anyone had been there to taste twilight’s breath they would have been sure that old Jack would soon be dusting the ground and what few lingering leaves remained with his softly shimmering carpet of white, translucent powder. With daylight rapidly retreating many of the riverside creatures were making hasty retreats to safe havens away from the night eyed vision and keen noses of the nocturnal predators presently stirring. Soon, even the raucous calls of the rooks would be subdued by the encroaching dusk as they welcomed the last of the parliament to their sanctuary, high in the distant chestnut trees.

The smooth surface of the river belied its depth and strength for at this point in its journey it now began to widen and meander seeking the sea to which it was forever drawn. As it left the forested hills and spread onto the flat pastureland below, the river, fed by countless mountain streams and tributaries, had acquired immense and unrelenting volume and power. Only the inner banks of the meanders provided enough footholds to allow aquatic vegetation to grow dense enough to provide a place of shelter, or of ambush, for the river’s many inhabitants. Felled by high winds when its root system became exposed during the massive rain storms of some ten years ago, the great trunk of an ancient willow cut across the apex of one of the meanders. The trunk’s anchor to the abrupt bank side was now decayed and it would not be many more seasons before the river, heavy during flood, would take what remained of it to the sea. But for now the dead willow providing asylum for all manner of the river’s inhabitants, from startled shoals of fry to innumerable invertebrates, from resting water fowl to stealthy assassins, all sheltering from the river and from each other. The barren river bed and its outer curves, where the racing water made it naught but impossible for even the most tenacious of plant life to grasp a hold, where these inhospitable areas were ignored by all but the strongest and most determined of creatures. These underwater deserts offered little relief to the small, unwary or feeble, with only the occasional smoothed rock outcrop, bank side eddy or discarded piece of man made debris providing the smallest of oasis’s for those creatures ill-fated enough to be swept from stronger cover.


            Shoals of sleek Roach kissed at the surface, taking unfortunate insects which had succumbed to the faltering evening temperature, their silver flanks, touched with a hint of gold, flashing like mirrors catching the waning sun from afar as they rolled over with their catch. Several dark olive green Tench, just a little more visible than specters in the more gloomy light near the river bed, shouldered aside the thinning reads as they cruised unhurriedly out of cover to scour over the mud and detritus of the river bed. Powerful enough to ignore the rivers current they slowly made their way back and forth disturbing clouds of silt as they rummaged, nose down and powerful tail up, searching for the wealth of food just below the mud’s surface from small crustaceans and  invertebrates to decaying seeds and berries dropped from trees overhanging the river’s edge. A shoal of small perch crashed through the few lifeless remaining branches of the fallen willow intent on nothing but the swarm of fry they’d surprised moments earlier. Their sergeant major’s stripes giving them the perfect camouflage whilst they hovered in the reeds in the failing light awaiting their prey to show themselves a little too far from cover. In a few seconds the rout was over and the perch headed back to take station in the reeds near the surface, hidden once more from untrained or unwary eyes. But not all the eyes that watched this tableau of underwater events were untrained, or unwary for that matter."



     Well I'll leave it your hands, until the next time take care.

John

Thursday, 4 December 2014

A new lady in my life....

     The astute amongst you may well have noted the first line of yesterday's post, "Whilst having  a quiet moment to myself..." and wondered to yourselves what, beside the grind, could be keeping young Mr. Wooldridge so busy that a quiet moment is noteworthy? Well to tell the truth there be a new lady in my life and over the last few days we, including Bear, have been getting to know each other and spending some time away from the world as happens when these things occur. I have shied away from introducing her to the world as is it best to be sure, I feel, that relationships are indeed going to last awhile before blathering away about them to others and then feeling the fool when they fail. And it is also true that during my life over the last few years I have found myself in no position mentally to take on a new relationship without causing pain to others and myself so for me this is a huge yet unavoidable step so without further ado nor embroilment of words let me introduce you to the lady who has entered mine and Bear's life like a breath of fresh sea air, please meet Nelly......


Ta Daaaa

     Isn't she a cutie pie or what? Now to be honest I have indeed been reluctant to share in the news of the  arrival of Nelly the Elephant as for one I wasn't sure that she'd be staying with Bear n me for any length of time as she'd have to fit in with Bear and my at times nomadic lifestyle (to be honest I also have, at times, trouble enough looking after myself) and secondly I do tend these days to be more reclusive and divulge less about myself and my life, as boring as it may be. But I was perusing some of my favourite bloggers work today and a piece by my friend John Grey hit home, titled The Unwanted it may be found here, for Nelly too was unwanted so I thought that I'd share the story of how I've ended up with another four legged friend.

     Don't get me wrong, Nelly was not treated badly but she was just used for a purpose and not as a pet nor as a companion. You see Nelly was brought up by breeders for the sole purpose of introducing new blood stock into the lines, which is fine, yet as soon as she proved not fit for purpose she was put up for sale to be moved on from the only home she had known because she was no longer profitable. Yes I understand this and the need to make money, after all I grew up in the world of Greyhound racing and the atrocities that occur in that business make Nelly's plight pale into nothing really but it still didn't sit well with me when I heard about her so I made a call and arranged to go and see her along with Bear. 

     Nelly and Bear hit it off immediately and she does has a certain way of cocking her head and looking at you in such a sad and pleading way that my heart melted but my head surprisingly still ruled the day. Turns out that she's of a similar age to the Bear but has only known the kennels all her life whilst me and Bear have drifted from place to place, when she was last bred apparently she had too many pups inside of her and had to be operated upon removing them and her womb, seven out of ten pups surviving. She raised these util they were old enough to be sold and at this point she became surplus to requirements.  So should I take on a young, un-house trained bitch still recovering from just rearing her pups and a major operation was the question I faced. I asked for time to think and me and Bear left, after all could I give her the life she deserved after I have failed others in so many ways? 

     But perhaps not only would Bear have a companion whilst I'm at the grind but also maybe this could be another step on the road to my healing and making up for my past wrongs? The more I thought about Nelly the more that she seemed to have come along at the right time so a phone call later and just a few days ago the Beagle had landed. Was I right? well time will only tell though Bramble is happy with her new toy! we've only had a couple of accidents and she is surprisingly clean for a kennel dog and her arrival has given me more focus. We're not walking at the moment as Nelly has a long road to recover fully and Bear is in season so the timing is good. Hopefully, as the signs seem to be at the moment, this will be the start of a special chapter in my life and who knows, perhaps life won't be too bad after all, time will tell.

Double trouble!


Till the next time, from the three of us, thank you for reading and take care.

John




Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Changes....

      Whilst having a quiet moment to myself today I've been catching up on other far more interesting blogs than my own. As I was perusing away with gay abandon the sinking feeling that perhaps my own blog offering lacked a certain something overtook my sluggish thought process. Aha thought I, tis nought but the actual layout and colors of the whole damn thing. With a swift look at the template designer so kindly provided by Blogger and my own twee blog will be as inviting and as sought after as "a stream of Bat's piss.... a shaft of golden light when all around is dark!" (I thank e Mr. Python), after all how hard can it be?

     So now after a couple of hours changing layout, text colors and backgrounds I've ended up with....a greenish tinge to the text, bugger. I guess I'm not cut out to be the arty type after all and my stream of Bat's urine has dried up in the blazing sun of of being Mr. Average. But hey ho at least I tried, I guess that I'll have to rely upon my fabled use of the english language and cast my web of words to entice the masses of folk out there to my hallowed pages where they may be described as "a big cream tart...where there is anticipation for their arrival and once finished there is just a yearning for more", or perhaps I can just write the same old drivel as usual, bugger once more.


     Perhaps my blog will not appeal to the masses after all and I'll be destined to remain a grunt at the Fun factory until my knackered knees finally give up on the idiotic notion of supporting this rotund body of mine for good....ahh that'll be thrice bugger then. Oh well time for a bacon n egg sandwich, a large mug of tea and a sit down with Bear and let her listen to my woes in front of a blazing fire...not such a bad life after all is it?


      Thank you for taking the time to read this drivel of mine, until the next time take care.


John


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Indestructible youth?..

       I received several comments upon my whinging post of the other day and one from a friend from across the pond, Mark, gave me an inner smile as I contemplated his words.... "A friend in Missouri once told me that if we hadn't done what we did when we were younger, we wouldn't be in the shape we're in today. But hey, back then we were bulletproof."..... and cast my mind back to days when I had less fear in my life and, as many other youths still do, felt totally indestructible.

     Tis true that as a youngster I felt that I could take on the world and that  I would always come out unscathed, yet looking back this certainly was not always the case and I received more beatings than was probably healthy for me and some of the scrapes I found myself in? well I guess that I'm lucky just to be whinging about my knees as I approach my half century, although I'm sure that there is plenty of past injuries and bodily misuse awaiting to come back and bite me in the arse in the the not so far future.

     Oh and whilst I'm waffling on I lay the blame totally and one hundred percent at the feet of my father, Wooldridge senior, for many, many beatings received! Now don't ye start thinking that I had a terrible upbringing at the hands of my parents 'cause that could not be further from the truth. In fact I couldn't have wished for a better upbringing as they brought me up with unconditional love but also gave me a strong backbone with which to face the world, it's no fault of theirs that my mind fell into the dark places. But why blame my father for an above average number of beatings? Well just because of a little snippet of Wooldridge wisdom he graciously bestowed on me, the bastard. It went something like this... " Son I'm not advocating that using your fists is an answer that you should resort to but there may be times that this is unavoidable. So, if ever faced with a situation where conflict is inevitable don't be a gentleman and await the first blow, get yours in first and make it a bloody good one. Also if faced with more than one aggressor always smack the biggest one first because if he goes down then the others will be sure to hesitate in continuing with the conflict"..... oh well done dad! So now this five and a half foot tall, already instilled with a short fused temper and testosterone filled callow youth now had a set of fatherly guidelines which will be sure to keep him safe and sound, not! My then circle of friends must have loved it as we strolled drunkenly around town because if there was ever the slightest, alcohol fueled, hint of trouble yours truly would jump on the biggest bugger whilst my 'mates' either ran like school girls or at least only had normal sized opponents to face as the man mountain I'd jumped on with gay abandon proceeded to give me a severe pasting, or two!

     But in truth it is not the 'amauter light weight boxing' that took place on alcohol fueled nights out that will probably catch up with my already knackered body in the years to come but more than likely it will be the rash of road accidents that yours truly was involved in. Myself and also my brother had a reckless approach, to say the least, when it came to driving and it's a miracle that either of us are alive today to recount the tales of holed hedges and bloody trudges home to face yet another inquest by 'Ol' stringvest' after the latest encounter with unplanned 'off roading'! On reflection the one I probably was most luckiest to walk limp away from one that involved  myself, a cyclist and a bloody big wagon and I will swear to whatever gods you believe in that this particular incident was not my fault, although the police and courts deemed to take a slightly different view at the time......




     At the time I drove a silver Vauxhall Viva HC, considered by some misguided folk as the poor man's Ford Escort but I always felt that the Viva was a far superior car and if I'm ever fortunate enough to own one again as a Summer cruiser I'll jump at the chance. I swear (yes I know, all to frequently) that this modest little car just purred along and even back then the Viva was becoming a rarer sight as more modern cars were becoming available to the young men of the day. Anyways, I was heading to work in the steady flow of morning traffic approaching a recently revamped junction on the new Penyffordd bypass when up ahead I espyed a parked up New Ford Escort turbo...a distinctive car known to most whom I worked with as it was owned by a arsehole team leader in the factory. I digress, the turbo was parked just after the junction, illegally I may add, whilst the arsehole chatted away to his mate on the side. At this point the road widened with the two lanes splitting to allow oncoming traffic a lane to pull into and await an opportunity to use said junction, traffic on my side was forced into this middle section to pass the arseholes car (can't be bothered scribing it out anymore because the title is well deserved) but was moving smoothly as there was nothing oncoming that wished to use the junction. Approaching the parked up car I did the usual checks look ahead, use mirrors to check behind, signal, check again, maneuver into the 'empty' space and.....bollocks!

    Into my path a cyclist had appeared, head down, pedaling furiously away towards me a good fifteen yards on the chevrons before he hits the short slip road to turn off at the junction, illegal arsehole two I believe though at the time this thought did not pass through my startled mind it was more akin to arrgghhhhhhh!!!! I seem to recall. The only option left to me was to pull the wheel hard to the right trying to take me around the now very startled and open mouthed cyclist who'd pulled right across to my left in a vain effort to cross the road ahead of oncoming traffic, namely a silver Viva driven by me, arse! Now the poor old Viva was most definitely not a car noted for its road holding qualities especially on the then legal remould tyres of the day and due to the savage jerk upon its steering wheel the little tyke decided to slide its rear end out, you know if it had just followed my chosen direction all would have been good, and I heard the faint 'chink' of rear wing upon cycle, oops. So instead of trying trying to wrestle the car back into line I swung my head rearwards trying to spot the cyclist with attention being roughly brought back forward to the unnerving smack as the Viva clattered the far raised kerb and bounced me back into the oncoming lane just in time to see the venerable Foden logo of great British wagon building fill my vision.....bollocks!





     The next thing that I recall is reaching out and burning my hand upon the engine block of my beloved Viva, no I hadn't lifted the bonnet to check the oil, the engine block was happily sitting next to me where the passenger seat used to be, there was to be no quick getaway from this one I mused. An odd thought you may ask when I'm pleading innocence in this incident but the truth is I'd written several cars off before this happened all down to my fault so running from accidents had become a little bit of a habit at the time. A group of concerned folk had gathered around and helped me out of the mangled wreckage, thinking more clearly now I headed towards where an even larger group of people had gathered around a rather prone cyclist. Have to admit that my legs then failed me and I slumped onto the grass verge awaiting an ambulance and the inevitable sirens of police cars. 

     The first ambulance whisked the cyclist away which was fair enough then the second to arrive took the bloody wagon driver away as he was already complaining of neck pains! Neck bloody pains? It took his unladen wagon more distance to come to a halt than an fully laden ocean going tanker would need, his bloody skid marks didn't start until twenty yards after the point of impact and he's already trying to lay the groundwork for his insurance claim? Bastard. So I finally get my lift to the hospital in the ambulance and the questions about what hurts are fired at me. Well for a start my left foot feels like it's on fire with shooting pains lancing up my leg to my groin and I've got a headache too, bless. After cutting my trainer off the medic informed me that two of my toes were badly dislocated and also a rib had popped out, not too bad then me thinks. At this point my headache was really becoming annoying and seemed concentrated above my right eye so I did what came naturally and poked it with my finger. The medic's face changed from apathy to perhaps mild concern at this moment as he gently pulled my hand and its pokey finger away being as my finger had gone in a good half an inch farther than what a normal skull should allow, " guess you may have fractured your skull young man", well thank you Einstein.

     So finally arriving at the hospital  the ambulances' medic's diagnoses are confirmed by doctors and the like. Cheerfully I'm told that my head will just have to heal on its own (still got a slight dent), the popped rib? well we could bind it but it'll not make much difference so we won't bother (still raised), but the toes that are pointing over ninety degrees to wrong way we can fix them but by Christ it's going hurt, great. I find myself now stretched out in a hospital gown, very fetching, whilst the Paki doc attempts to examine and then rectify my by now screaming in searing agony toes.

     Whoaa, stop the press, did John just use the word 'Paki' then, is John some kind of racist zealot determined to stamp out all lesser beings.....err no. But I do admit using the word 'Paki' to describe the very nice doctor as much as I would use the word Aussie for an Australian, Brit for a British person, Yank for our American cousins, Paddy or Mic for an Irishman, Lass for an attractive woman, Scot for a Scottish man, idiot for a football fan, Taffy for a fellow Welshman (or sheep shagger upon occasion) and so forth. It's not racist it is my vocabulary and being the man I am I'll not be changing it to suit some peoples idea of political correctness, nor will I apologies for the use of such words because I do not use them as derogatory nor to insult, they are descriptive tools that my already meagre grasp of the English language that I require to describe things. Yes I could have just said doctor but by saying Paki the picture is completer, rightly or wrongly. Oh and one other thing why do so many people deride colored folk without even knowing them personally and then spend thousands of pounds to sit under a hot foreign sun to get a tan so making their skin darker? beats me.

    So the very nice Paki doctor informs that I won't need sedation as this will take but a second and the pain will be minimal....wrong! As soon as he laid his hands on my foot the pain was unbearable and it was obvious that something was going to have to be administered to assist the process. We'll give you a local anesthetic he quietly informed me, to which I shakily replied couldn't you just knock me out 'cause I don't think that'll work either? Local anesthetic administered and suitable time allowed for it to take effect once more the doc attempts to lay hands on my foot to find it snatched from his grasp a couple of times."Now don't be such a baby" he chides, to which I replied "Just knock me out cause that is just too much pain for me", reassuringly smiling he cobra like grasped my foot and proceeded to wrench away at my poor toes to which my knee jerk reaction was kick out with my other leg...bugger. The sight of the non plussed doc rising from the floor over the foot of the bed won't be easily forgotten. The little bugger was still smiling as he regained his glasses from the side of his face "we'll be knocking you out Mr. Wooldridge then".....

      I come to in the ward as the surrounding privacy curtains are pulled aside feeling slightly spaced out to say the least. The nurses do their final checks and leave me be to recover. Left to my own devices now I glance over to the bed upon my right hand side to be greeted by the sight of a middle aged man whose face is heavily bandaged, almost like it had come into contact with a hard surface at speed.... taking no notice of a little warning voice I asked him what had happened? He managed to mumble something about being knocked off his bike this morning, " was it a silver car by any chance I asked innocently?", to which he barely managed to nod his head....warning voice John, warning voice getting louder..." it was me" I cheerfully informed him, and that's when the trouble started........


       Five months down the line and in spite of a bundle of evidence to the contrary the whole sorry episode was deemed by the laziest of police work and a courtroom that was probably late for lunch to be entirely my fault and I ended up with a bloody ridiculous fine and a six month ban from driving being as this latest escapaide took my points well over the limit. Had to laugh though, my father accompanied me to the courts and all morning whilst we awaited my turn kept drilling into me the need for respect, to speak clearly and to stick to the truth. Damn thing as the penalties were being read out, head now bowed, all I could hear was my father's booming voice from the rear of the courtroom "call this effing justice you corrupt bastards" and that was the nicest thing he had to say. Needless to say he was eventually escorted out and ended up with his own fine, served him right for his snippet of wisdom regards hitting the biggest bugger first, could've told me that running away like a big girls blouse was another option couldn't he?

     Not really sure of the point of this tale, though I hope you enjoyed it if you got this far.

John
    

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Have I mentioned my knees.....

     I arose from the pit this morning with more aches and pains in areas that should not really ache or give pain at all. Oh and regarding my mental state I would not go as far as to say that I am suicidal or for that matter being dragged down by the Dog of Black but by Christ I'm a right miserable bugger lately! Everything just seems to be too much of a bloody effort of late, only God knows what the effing hell is the matter with me. 

      Absolutely sod all seems to be going right at the moment. For instance, about a month or so ago I decided that I've been a fat bastard now for long enough and that it was about high time that I got my lardy arse off the sofa and did something about it. My first step was one of immense, even though I do say so myself, sensibleness with me going to the local nurse and getting myself MOT'd, so to speak. Well I am approaching the half century in years next birthday so I thought it would be a damned fine idea to ensure my aging body could cope with trying to regain a small modicom of fitness. So I allow myself to be prodded and pulled, weighed and measured and God knows how many blood samples taken and then, when my results returned, told that yep you're a fat bastard and your cholesterol is mucho higho, bugger! Oh alright the charming nurse didn't exactly put it across in those terms but that was the general gist of the conversation. But I remained positive as things could have been a damn sight worse m'thinks, so armed with a plethora of diet sheets and a referral to the local gym I set off with enthusiasm in my quest for the fountain of youth, or the dribble of reasonable healthy middle age at least. 

      Did I mention my Knees and how they have started to hurt like hell of late? Probably brought on by years of crawling under broken machinery and now exaggerated by the fact that I am a fat bastard! No? oh well never mind, perhaps I will later, anyways back to the plot, well as close to a plot as this whinging, rambling and moaning post could be that is. Anyways, did I mention that I hate gyms? The whole idea of been stuck in a sweaty room full of ' the beautiful people' whilst gasping for any spare molecule of oxygen my decrepit body screams out for as I pound away at the monotony of fixed bikes, treadmills, waterless rowing machines and cross trainers appeals to me less than being tarred and feathered and placed upon a medieval rack whilst having hot needles pushed under my fingernails and being forced to listen to Barry bloody Manilow! No? well thats how I felt when told to get my fat arse down there, the damn thing is though after the first few sessions I started feeling a buzz after the hours torture and actually found myself looking forward to it, especially as scales and the fit of my clothes began to tell me that progress indeed was being made. No longer did I consider my jeans as a set of cheese slicers awaiting to leave a red welt around my midriff, oh indeed not they were fast becoming something that fit and felt comfortable once more. Did I mention my knees? yes? well the bastards have rebelled and now I'm having to give the gym a miss because of them, the selfish bastards! Don't they realise that if they didn't have to carry so much lard they would feel so much better? selfish bastards!

    Then there's the diet sheets, cheese is out, white bread? nope, and just about everything else that gives me the pleasure of mastication has been suspended for the time being, bollocks! And yes I did say mastication although I'm beginning to get the feeling that even the simple pleasure of masterbation may well be taken away from me at this rate!

     Ah but there's always gentle walks with the Bear across gentile hills or smooth forest trails I hear you say, though then again I get so many bloody voices in my head these days it is difficult to know which ones are telling the truth. Thing is about said trails is that I love walking them whilst Bear zig zags away, quartering the area ahead as her deep down instincts compel her to do so, but the miserable little bitch has now come into season so I dare not risk her being impregnated by some shell suit wearing scouser's Pit Bull called 'Axe' whilst they're out on their Bear Grylls inspired yearly pilgrimage to the undiscovered wilderness that is the Welsh hills. Don't get me wrong, at least they do take their dog out once a year whilst braving the outdoors in the most unsuitable clothing ever imaginable, for Christ's sake I've even seen their 'moll' dressed up to the nines in high effing heels walking up Moel Famau! So yes they are at least trying to get 'out there', (very bloody trying indeed). Oh and did I mention my knees and the excruciating agony they subject me too if I even dare think about a gradient of more than one in a thousand? selfish bastards that they are, so now I'm subjected to dreary short walks on tarred paths around the local village. Oh and have you seen the bleedin state of the footpaths around here? there are more holes in them than a sieve that has been riddled by a tommy gun! Everytime I drag the Bear out, she hates the lead by the way, I end up jarring my knees countless times in these craters or having them twisted against their normal action of operation as Bear surges off at stupid angles just because she thinks something smells nice on that lamp post we passed ten yards back, the bitch.

     So I thinks to myself I'll put some bird feeders up, after all if my knees won't let me get to nature I'll get nature to come to me. So now, at no small expense might I say, there is an assortment of tempting feeders there awaiting a myriad of feathered visitors to lighten my mood and lift my spirits, yes? No, all I've had so far is two Jackdaws and a bloody rat hanging on for grim life to my luxury sun flower heart feeder which now sports the latest in rodent improvements because that the furry little bastard has chewed a effing big hole in it, bollocks!

     So this morning, on my second day recovery from the grind, I really could not be arsed in getting up to face the world. So I fed n watered Bear, made a brew and then preceded to feel sorry for myself and deliberate as to whether I could face another bloody bowl of cardboard Musli. I did consider taking a walk down a canal tow path but I'd probably only fall in, betrayed by my knees, and drown, entangled in an abandoned shopping trolley whilst the heavens opened and it pissed down and Bear takes no notice because she's sniffing at something disgusting again. Have I mentioned my knees........

John

Friday, 14 November 2014

At the dogs......

     It must be over thirty odd years since I have been to the dogs, and before yea start associating this post with le chien noir let me reassure you that these canine tales could not be further from my tales of an unhinged mind and a drowning soul. But in a way the Black dog is responsible for my forthcoming tales of ' At the dogs...' that will sometimes frequent these hallowed pages I scribe as the memories of the dogs came flooding back just the other week when visiting me mum and dad. They always inquire about my state of mind and worry far too much over my health, but that's parents I guess. They keep me informed of my brother's and sister's goings on but recently talk of my brother is somewhat strained between us as they see him as their son and as such forgive him all, as they do me, yet I have come to see him as something else, something estranged and lost to me. But maybe that will be a tale for more sombre times. These days, after the ritual of making sure that I am still just about sane, the conversation primarily falls to times past when the Wooldridge clan's worries seemed few and far between and that is how the subject of going the the dogs, 'flapping tracks' and of skullduggery arose. If ye have not already guessed the subject of  these soon to be forthcoming tales then I shall ease your suspense and tell you that it is the subject of greyhound racing to which I refer.




     Indeed for many years the Wooldridge clan were somewhat noteworthy and , dare I say, notorious in the greyhound racing fraternity of the North West of England. Our greyhounds raced at exotic locations such as Chester, Oldham, Bolton, Chesterfield and Winsford to name but a few. The majority of these tracks were flapping tracks, that is to say privately run tracks and not the glamorous arenas  to be seen upon the television upon occasion, where there was a semblance of civility presented to the viewing public. Oh no indeed, for the flapping tracks were where all the least desired of human 'virtues' such as greed, lies, cheating, dishonesty and sometimes violence shone out and were just part and parcel of 'going to the dogs'. So how did a basically honest family with a strong code of right and wrong thrive in such company without succumbing to these low virtues? I guess it came down to strength of character as well as physical strength plus a little devilment that seems to run through the Wooldridge blood. So hopefully my next few posts will enlighten you and provide even a wry smile or two as your education on the subject of 'the dogs' continues.....

Until the next time, take care....

John

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Going to the dogs .....

     When I was a mere lad, with none of today's troubles to burden my mind, dogs other than the Black one occupied my waking thoughts. In those dim and distant days the name 'Wooldridge' was held in high esteem around the flapping tracks of the Northwest of England, and even further afield when the Wooldridge clan sometimes sallied forth to raid pastures new. I'm guessing that few, if any, of my gentle readers have much idea of what I'm talking about so perhaps I'll explain in further posts if that is to your liking. But before ye ask for more, and it will take only one of ye to do so, brace thy selves for tales of skulduggery, shady goings on, dark humour and the odd bit of Anglo Saxon to boot.

Till the next time, take care....

John.

Monday, 13 October 2014

The art of conversation.....

     

     The easiest way is, I feel, to express an opinion and to have people listen to my words and digest my spoken thoughts before they give a knee jerk answer is to speak softly, to speak strongly, to speak with thought, to speak from the heart and................







to carry a bloody solid, big stick!


Till the next time, take care....

John

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Pictures of time off....


     Just a selection of photographs from my recent travels, didn't take many as restricted by charging points for phone & camera and also was far to busy just finding some peace in my surroundings. Some pictures may well repeat but I'm far too knackered to be arsed checking! 














































      Hope you enjoy the pics, till the next time take care....

John