The extra bits...(Under construction).

Thursday, 31 December 2015


     Greetings one and all who take the time to read my scribblings here upon 'Of Brambles and Bears'. Tis nearly the end of another year as I write and tis funny to think that my next post (if I can be arsed that be) will be next year, unless that is the guinness gets a hold of me and I am inspired to drunkenly put the world to rights later this evening.

     Tis been a year of huge ups and downs with the start of the year being a time of extreme darkness for myself and without the understanding and support of my George I shudder now to think where I may have ended up. As some of you may indeed know the Black dog holds sway over my mind and has in the past taken me to the very point of taking my life, but there are two ladies in my life to whom I owe a massive dept, Bramble for being there that day when the dog was about to win and shining like a beacon of light when the darkness all but snuffed my light out completely and my George for taking me in, supporting and loving me through the deepest of my despairs and showing me that life is again worth living. 

     The Fun Factory once again proved to be a place that I should really make an effort to put behind me in the coming months and no this is not a bloody resolution. Firstly being demoted, although of course this was spun as 'harmonisation' kicked me in the nether regions and secondly the new shift structure starting January adding to the pressure of the workplace and, in my opinion, will only drag factory morale and productivity down. But hey ho on the bright side being 'harmonised' has given me less responsibility and the kick up the arse needed to at least look over the fence at pastures new.  

     Yes the Dog has been ever present this year and I think I have been more aware of the bitch stalking me than in the past. This I feel is a good thing whereas before I had no idea of my darkness and just existed now I at least realised when she closes upon me and can try to fight her attacks and outpace her for awhile. The year has also been one of some highlights too.....

      Compromise garden's pond was constructed and stocked with plant and fish, and also received its first Dragon (quite apt being in Wales)....

     A wonderful holiday was had in Cornwall where 'friends not yet met' became 'friends for life', (the wonderful Tracy and Keith that be)....

      Not forgetting the small world created in my aquarium that proves as restful to my mind as anything....

      Oh and the latest girl in my life who now has her own blog...

     So not too bad a year in an up and down sort of way. As I have touched upon in recent posts I am becoming more aware of and practising 'living in the here and now', trying to let the past have less effect and not worry too much about what the future holds, it is not an easy thing to do but when it happens it certainly helps. Speaking of the future there is a holiday booked for New Zealand, tickets bought for AC/DC in the spring, extension plans for Compromise garden, a germ of an idea for a career change and a rust bucket of a car to get sorted and on the road.....should be a good year me thinks.

     Tonight we shall curl up by the open fire and sip some black nector to say farewell to 2015 and welcome in the coming year. All that is left for me then is to wish you all every happiness in the coming New Year and take damn good care of yourselves, hope to see you next year my friends,


Saturday, 26 December 2015

Tortoise or Hare?....

     The New year is fast approaching and the old one will soon be behind us, which is traditionally the time for new beginnings, for unrealistic resolutions (but all with good intention) and for the girding of loins for the year ahead. So what has this here rotund, Black Dog hounded, Welshman resolved to do this coming year? Bugger all that's what!

     Now do not misunderstand me, it is not as if my life could not be improved and I certainly could be a far better person based upon the evidence of my past. But I will not be drawn into the trap of making resolutions to change perceived failings of mine that I do not have a cat in Hells chance of maintaining. No, I would rather just try to make slow and gentle changes that will be long lasting and will make a real difference to myself and those that I love. Living with and slowly coming to terms with the Black dog has at least taught me that 'slow n steady' wins the race and certainly past tactics of mine in trying to change who I am by rushing like a bull at a gate headlong into perceived better ways have been doomed to failure from the start, and failing certainly allows the Black dog to strengthen her grip upon my life. No, I realise now that slow changes are needed if the dog is to be kept at bay, for my life to be more fulfilled and for me to become that 'better person', especially to others. A rash series of resolutions that will swiftly fall by the wayside is not the answer for me, and I say 'for me' as we are all different and making the yearly batch of resolutions may indeed work for others.

      So how do I intend to improve my life this coming year? Well for a start there is something that has already started and which I hope to continue and expand upon and that is learning to realise that I am who I am in the moment. All the bad, and yes good, of the past has shaped me into who I am at this precise moment in time. I cannot change the past anymore than I can predict the future and learning to accept myself for who or what I am is, I believe, the key to breaking the dog's hold upon my life. It sounds simple enough but believe me when I tell you it is a far from simple thing to achieve as the past still haunts me and dreams of the future still cloud my mind. The trend, I believe, is to call such a way of thinking 'mindfulness' but I have never been one for trends and I prefer just calling it 'being me'.

      More run of the mill stuff is that I really must become less rotund as my bloody knees are going to give up the ghost if they have to keep supporting my winter store of lard. But again, as regular readers will know that this is a topic that keeps popping up throughout my scribings hence will not be a 'new' resolution. I certainly wish to walk more this year after last year's complete shambles of none adventure but this goes hand in hand with knees and rotundness so again not a 'new' resolution. Of course Rusty's restoration will be ongoing, now having her own blog here, Comprise garden and the aquarium (aquariums? shhh don't tell George) will continue to mature and help quiet my tumbling thoughts and of course there is my scribings upon here, which will still remain to be as tongue in cheek, serious, or as tangential as I like. I have had doubts about continuing my blog as you may know, but the issues that before made me doubt the good sense of allowing an insight into my life for others to see have not reappeared and as long as my words continue to help others with the Dog or bring a smile to just one person's face then I shall continue, after all I seem to have made several friends here in the blogosphere.

     There is some adventure to be had already upon the horizon with a trip to New Zealand booked (be there dragons?) where I am presently engaged in trying to organise having some more ink done whilst out there and in keeping with the antipodean theme two tickets for AC/DC have been purchased for their summer tour upon these isles, rock n roll baby. Nearer home I'm hoping that 'friends for life' will be met again this coming year as well as perhaps some others from the blogosphere. As for other adventure I thoroughly intend to make the most of any opportunities that arise and of course will keep you posted. But do not think that I am looking too far ahead, some things do require looking to the future in order to plan for and to organise but on the whole I am still just trying to live in, and appreciate the moment and will try to continue to so. I am finding this step by small step living less taxing than the reflecting too much on the gone and the worrying or dreaming to much about the future and I am slowly (very slowly) coming to terms with myself in the 'now'.

     So yes no resolutions made apart from 'I'm not making a New year resolution' but a year ahead full of promise, adventure before dementia and one hopefully less affected by the Dog. Oh and yes I did say in my previous post that I would not be posting before the New year but I had to do something today to take my mind off my over stuffed and uncomfortably full stomach. It would interesting to know what plans you all have for this coming year, if you have resolutions in mind and if you manage to keep them! 

Until the next time, take good care and a very Happy New year to one and all of you.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Til the next post ....

     Tis been a mixed year for yours truly, full of good intentions, unfinished projects (a lot of unfinished projects!), the Black Dog (of coarse), an expanding waistline (see good intentions), a garden that has surpassed expectation, a Morris Minor that was not 'as sold', a wonderful holiday in Cornwall, a really shite 3 months off work with the Dog, a distinct lack of walking (re expanding waistline!), a set of ever decaying knees (re a distinct lack of walking), a far better than expected 50th birthday, the aquarium set up and thriving, a new devotion to making lists, selling more on E bay than spending on it (remarkable I know), joined a gym against my better judgement (been twice), no new ink (a thousand curses) and a thousand other ups and downs.

      The upshot of this turbulent year? well I'm not to bloody sure to be honest. I'm finding it a tad easier to live with myself as the guilt of passed days does not weigh quite as heavy as before, the list of projects has been whittled down to just a couple, one small one and one 'minor' one and I am finally coming to terms with who I am instead of perhaps searching for the 'me' that I have wrongly pictured in my mind. 

     The future? who knows what tomorrow brings but hopefully it'll be a little easier. One thing for sure is that I'm not looking to the future too hard nor am I looking behind me as intensely as I used too, I'm just living in the moment and it's not too bad a thing to do m'thinks. 

     I wish you all the best for Christmas and the New year my friends and I'll see you on these pages next year.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Lists, lists and more bloody lists....

     Following on from my previous post there certainly seemed a common thread running through your comments (which are always welcome) and that was 'make lists young man, and we are not talking about the kind of list that a torpedoed convoy escort takes on in mid Atlantic during the war. Near enough every comment made reference to lists and the order they can bring to a troubled and butterfly menaced mind like mine. Ok so I'm using a tad of poetic licence and paraphrasing somewhat but you get the picture.

     As you can probably tell from said previous post my head has not quite been in the right place of late, far from it truth be told. So today as I felt myself settling down to do bugger all once again knowing that later on I'd be cursing myself and feeling lower than whale shit once again, the kind of catch 22 that the Dog loves biting me with, I took a step forward. Turned off the television, mobile phone, computer and picked up a pencil and paper and decided to list the main areas that need attention just to see if it would help. Try to keep the exercise short I thought that just listing the areas of concern and in some form of priority would be a good starting point and something to build upon. So I ended up with a list of five and no I'm not telling as a man's lists are his kingdom and I shall defend them with my life!, suffice to say that they covered the major areas which are cropping up in my life time and again.

     Ok so one item on the list was Rusty, not rocket science guessing that one, and I'm sitting there twirling my ikea pencil like a gunslinger 'cause I'm in the zone without even realising it.  Before long the Rusty section had a list of its own from what needed sorting before the stripping could begin to revamping the finished car with the stuff to make her cope with the cut and thrust of modern traffic. Didn't even stop for my usual brew or three and I'm still scrawling away and another two lists are stretching down the A4 pad for the car project and you know what? it does actually work,  Rusty's restoration was starting to take a structure that instead of making my head spin looked orderly and very doable, just by taking some good advice, time to sit and list things out I began to realise something I used to know and practice years before the Dog......  it doesn't matter the size of a task if you just break it down into bite size pieces.  So hell yeah lists definitely work, thanks to all of you for reminding me of that. Oh and one other thing that helped today, knocking the b'jesus out of the old lean-to with a sledge hammer in compliance with Rusty list, line 1.

Till the next time take care,