Met my Buddhist friend today on the canal. I was telling him about my recent experiences in my life and without prompting he said to me “She’s ill” (I didn’t tell him my exes name or anything at all, I simply told him what had happened to me) he said “It’s controlling and bullying behaviour, it’s an illness rooted in insecurity” how insightful! And he’s correct. I didn’t tell him my ex was a bully or controlling, I just told him what had happened.
He was simply commenting on the condition.
Funnily enough my wife works for an organisation that according to Glassdoor has a bullying, harassing and controlling culture.
Maybe she just couldn’t leave her work at the office. Who knows?
My new Buddhist friend is so insightful, so calm, non judgemental…and…
He wants to commission me to do a photographic portrait of his life and boat when he returns from India shortly!
At school the only book I was ‘forced’ to read was ‘Kes’ after that never read much at all until…
I met a girl who was an avid reader…first gift she ever gave me…
Now…I’m from Washington, Tyne & Wear and in those days Holden Caulfield was as far removed from me as President Carter. No idea who he was. What he represented. I just didn’t ‘get it’. But I persevered with it…
Then I got into Ian McEwan..,
Here was something I could understand a little bit better. Just the plot and emotion without the Americanisation.
So…here began my reading journey..,
My daughter has started sending me books…we try to out read each other 😂😂😂
Amongst the books she had sent, she sent me this…it has a certain vernacular and rhythm much like ‘A Clockwork Orange’ – you have to keep at it…
Just watched ‘A Rebel In The Rye’ it was ok…a lot of the stuff I already knew…
From 0-18 years old I was what my mam called a ‘skinnymalink’ terribly thin. I weighed about 9st 10lbs at age 18.
At about 18 I decided to study karate and after a couple of years was put into ‘combat’ with another student. He was MASSIVE (in my eyes). At the end of the session in the changing room and <ahem> admiring his physique I asked him what the his secret was…
Long story short..,I ordered a Weider Bench and a weights set from my mam’s catalogue
And got to work.
I’d train every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, relentlessly in my home gym..
Eventually the home gym became limited (and at the time I was too insecure to join a public gym) however, I decided to start training at a gym in Concorde, Washington, Tyne & Wear.
I started to see a real difference.
I’d never been a big hit with the opposite sex on account of being short, skinny and ugly…
Then…ever so slowly..,things started to change.
As my chest, shoulders and legs started filling out, girls started showing an interest and…
Guys who may have been irreverent or disrespectful in the past (was great bumping into old school colleagues – you could visibly see their eyebrows raise) changed their attitude.
Then…for love and work (long story) I moved to Bolton, near Manchester.
I started training at a gym initially called ‘Physiques’ but after a few ownership changes became known as ‘J.R.’s Fitness Centre.
This was no jacuzzi / yoga / new age fitness centre. This was old school..,
After years and years of consistent training and clean eating (150g Protein every day, minimal junk) my stubborn physique began to change…
I used to go into the gym and immediately play Rocky music on a tape I had created…and eventually after about 2 years of that earned the nickname ‘Rocky’ which is ironic…I couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag…
Anyway I trained and trained and trained for years and my luck with the ladies slowly changed…
Anyway…I trained at that gym for years and years. My intensity slowed down after my forties.
The gym closed down early 2020. I’d trained there for over 30 years. Great memories. Great friends. It was a touchstone.
And here I am…
late fifties…reminiscing…wishing I could do it all again.
I’m sure it was about 1984. Maybe on the John Peel show, I first heard The Smiths. I rushed to The Eldon Centre and HMV to buy the album the next day.
I was a naive not very well travelled Mackem. Fit meant you could run the 100 metres in less than 11 seconds. Wally Range was an estate that thickos lived.,,
I saw The Smiths twice at Newcastle Mayfair, well, once really, punk hadn’t ‘officially’ finished so spitting was the order of the day…On my second concert someone spat at Morrissey . He said if anyone spits again he’ll leave the stage. 0.002 seconds later. Yep…you’ve guessed it…
I then moved to Bolton and worked in Manchester in 1988. I eventually got my head around the vocabulary – fit had nothing to do with your bench pressing ability.
The poetry of Morrissey sings to me. I know it’s not for everyone.
Ada McGrath: What a death! What a chance! What a surprise! My will has chosen life! Still it has had me spooked and many others besides!
Christopher McCandless: Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.
Into The Wild
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit.” – Christopher McCandless
Into The Wild
“The more you live in the present moment the more the fear of death disappears”
Here’s a surprising bit about me you probably don’t know.
My background is in I.T.
If you ever shopped in Makro in the late 80’s or early 90’s – I wrote the code that managed to identify the item number of defaced labels.
If you’ve ever bought cereal from Kelloggs, I wrote code to facilitate secure access for I.T. Staff.
I also wrote the code to enable the Wrexham site to Auto Recover from a system failure.
If you were ever a member of the RAC, I reconfigured their computer network to ensure that calls for assistance were dealt with in the most efficient manner.
If you ever bought anything from DABS 2000-2005 I managed that back end system.
So…there you go…