World of Bile

Thoughts, pics and links from me to you.. Read on...

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Location: London, United Kingdom

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoy writing it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

With the sirens ringing round my ears..

Hi Mark,

Sounds like The Old Bill are busy tonight. Police sirens are in the air as I by my train ticket for work tomorrow. The beered up Kingston masses must be in a feisty mood tonight I reckon.

To be honest, I'm falling out of love with WoB. I have been writing this blog for over two and a half years now. It aint as fun as it used to be. Why? Its becoming a sort of duty, I go a week without writing anything and feel vaguely guilty. Was gonna write reams of incisive commentary and analysis when I started, was gonna amuse and entertain. 330+ entries later I feel kind of flat and jaded.

Lets see where it leads. Might close World of Bile some time soon, perhaps keep writing, I dunno...

Anyway, things are interesting at the moment. E has taken steps to ensure her ex (lets call him M) is no longer a toxic influence in her life. He is a piece of work, entertaining mano e mano but totally unenlightened in how he treats women. She showed me the texts he sent and the voicemails he left, in short he can be nasty and cruel and dish out psychological treatment that no one deserves to experience. For the benefit of her son, she has taken every effort to accommadate a father /son relationship despite the crap M served up to her. However, things have reached a point where she has had to take legal steps to protect her boy .. and M has lost alot of control over the way things were. He now seems set on not seeing his son this weekend as things are not how he would like them. Sounds like a primo sulk to me.

Frankly this amazes me. E has been a paragon of consideration in her deeds, despite the conduct of her ex. With all that has transpired, I wouldve been tempted to stick the boot in - yet she is restrained, and I cant admire her more for that. M, on the other hand seems to be prepared to sacrifice a relationship with his own son out of sheer pride. It reminds me of my own father, who scurried off with his tail between his legs rather than face the reality in his life. In the process he lost 7 years of a relationship with his own son.. hell, he wasnt really there much beforehand anyway. Guess the penny dropped for him in about 2000 that he needed to make his peace with his own kids before it was to late. I hope he thanks God every night that he has reconciled with us.

Will M's sulk be shorter lived? I hope it is for his sake, and the sake of his son... of course I care so much more about the latter than the former. In the meantime we can give X all the affection he might need. Every boy needs his Daddy, but for those who can't see theirs - alternative measures can be taken.

Till Next Time

Alex

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I ache...

Hi Mark,

Have just had a three hour Krav Maga session with my workmate Johnno. Check it out on youtube for more information as I can barely sit and type at the mo, feel soo stiff..

Work has been non stop, as you might know, and I feel so guilty about it. A certain person who is very dear to me wasn't to impressed that my plan was to gonna jump on a train to London this morning, and I can understand their concern. After all, Sunday as the day of rest when you should be taking things easy, not being whaled on with a big stick in Central London. Anyway, I digress... as usual.

Now you won't know Johnno, actually his name is John. However, being a clean cut, fitness guy, I think 'Johnno' is a better handle for him. He's a clean cut guy who works in my office, is training to be a special (sound familiar?) and was looking for some self defence skill to take out with him on the beat. Me on the other had, I heard of it several years ago but never had the guts to give it a try.

So, we piled into Fitness First near Warren Street, an agreeable bunch of student types, dainty young girlies and a few portlier types.. thankfully no meatheads in evidence which reassured me. The instructors are an amiable, and surprisingly thick set bunch - the head guy (I forget his name) was a chunky bloke in his late 30s who looked like he meant business. Charming, funny at times but as hard as nails.

His assistant, a black dude called 'Mikey' was just as professional. He demonstrated a move to Johnno called 'The Hammer'.. with me holding the pads. It scared the living daylights out of me that something so seemingly effortless could have so much impact. Each lazy blow created a resounding 'thwack' on the pad and knocked me a step further back. Having demonstrated his skill, Mikey turned away and left us to it..

We kicked, poked and hit each other with reckless abandon. One of the choice moves was the technique to get out of being strangled, and my neck feels sore thinking about it. After three hours, the Krav Maga boys let us go, feeling slightly stiff but ecstatic. I really enjoyed it, and with Johnno at my side will go again soon.

Depends how I feel in the morning of course... ;)

Alex

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So our American cousins finally kicked out the fool Bush. They've just sworn in Obama as prez on a wonderfully crisp, sunny winter day.

Must've been an arrangement with the Big Man Upstairs, wonderful bit of symbolism for the bright sense of expectation we all have. Gotta admit it, Number 44 looks and sounds gooooood...far better than the wannabe cowboy imbecile who came before him.

Can he make a difference? I certainly hope so. But I fear the mess left by GWB and his cronies will be difficult to get over. Moreover Obama's Bailout Mark II sounds worryingly ominous though, will he throw the money at the problem like the last lot did??

Nonetheless, the global goodwill is there. Lets hope he can come up to expectations..

Winter blues..

Hi Mark,

Got a bad case of the winter lurgie at the moment. Streaming eyes, nose running freely, hacking and wheezing like an asthmatic steam engine. Not a good look. Unfortunately, after a few cases of man flu at the end of oh-eight, Ive gotta be a bit more circumspect at the start of oh-nine.

Last weekend Ellen and myself took Xander to meet my Dad, his wife Moyra and my sister Astrid. It was a birthday/ meet the family kind of thing. They absolutely loved him! He revelled in the attention and was at his most charming best. D&M are hungering for grandchildren and Astrid is looking for practice when hers come along so it was win-win. Astrid’s husband, film director Jon, gave me a full sized theatrical poster for the Cass movie which I’ll have to find wall space for. Check out how well it’s doing in the sales online.. sold out at WH Smiths which is encouraging…

My life is so busy at the moment. Of course my gym work has priority on my time, Ellen and X come a close second. Family and friends fill the gaps, but of course there are limitations. It is a nice quandary to have in my opinion, even though catching up with people has become an obstacle. One thing I will miss out on this year is the cricket. Working at Lords was gruelling, but a childhood dream come true. This summer the Australians are coming and wouldn’t miss it for the world. Still, it’ll have to join the queue of all the other stuff I’m planning to do this year. Want a chance to check out the Second Test for free? Check out this link.

Anyway, thats your lot for the moment. I'll be down in Guildford town on Friday evening to catch up with Liv et al, so if you're out and about it would be good to meet up.

Cheerio,

Alex

Sunday, January 11, 2009

'A whole lotta shaking going on'

Hi Mark,

Was really nice to see you. Was great to see everyone in fact.

As is the custom of recent years, my 32nd (!!) birthday was celebrated on the same occasion as Liv's 28th. For a change, she picked the venue: the Tinkling Ivories bar in the centre of Guildford - something different to our usual 'book a table in a boozer somewhere and thats it kind' of approach. I was thrilled, a radical departure from the usual. A venue with a table, somewhere civilised where we could listen to live music and chat amongst ourselves.

How wrong I was.

The place was rammed. My trainers somehow beat the 'nice shoes only' rule and we fought our way to meet up with Liv et al. There was no table, so we stood and mingled, firstly in the middle of the bar area and then towards the far end where the performing area was set up. Playing catch up with friends has become more difficult over time As my life is more wonderfully complicated than it was before, this isnt a total tragedy. Still, it was a pleasure to cajole Jacob down for one of his free evenings, and it is always a pleasure to see some of the Guildford regulars. Anyway, I digress...

The venue was full of very well dressed aspirational people in their 20s - wearing somber earth colours and strappy cocktail dresses. It reminded me when the bar with a dance floor kind of venue opened in town when I was about eighteen: discerning, well to do people looking to sample something new. Most were very happy, very drunk but joyfully contented with what was served up. I on the other had was not impressed at all, the piano served up a number of club standards and other genre defying oldies in a competent Elton John style. Maybe I wasn't drunk enough, but this was totally inappropriate! Case in point: 'Fly Me to the Moon' a tender, wistful song which needs to be treated gently or have plenty of orchestral backing. Listen to Sinatra or Nat King Cole and you will hear the way the words are thoughtfully mulled over, not belted out by a competent Jerry Lee Lewis wannabee. Plus, why would I want to hear a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody in a Chas N Dave stylee when the original is so much more satisfying?

Conversation was difficult, the music wasn't exactly there to savour, the bar was rammed. We made our excuses and started drifting away. Felt sorry for Liv, who ironically enough was strutting her stuff and generally having a fine old time! She didn't take to our apologetic departures and was ready to dance on into the early hours...


Still, I will arrange a visit to see everyone when I can. Suddenly the friendship of those dear to me feels too valuable to be ignored. If I had a resolution for oh nine it would be to ensure daily life doesnt get in the way of those important to me...

Till Next Time

Alex

Friday, January 02, 2009

A clean sheet..

Hi Mark,

How were your celebrations? I was working till early afternoon at the gym and then shot up to town to meet Ellen. We walked around for a while, paid a visit to Wong Kei's for dinner and tried to catch a film, any film with no luck at all.

We returned home from Waterloo on a half past seven train just as the even trains starting pulling into town. Disgorging their cargo of eager young revellers in their finest threads, all with expectations of a high old time and big fat wallets to fuel it. Certainly took me back to fine nights of other times, when I'd knock back a prodigious amount and spend the first day of the following year regretting it. Frankly, after rising at pitch black o'clock that morning, all I wanted to do was go home and sleep, and thats pretty much what we did. We lay in the warm solitude of Ellen's bed and listened out for the fireworks and the cheers that heralded the entrance of oh-nine.

May be different next year, we'll see.

Oh-eight was a year which greatly exceeded expectations for me, as you probably know. If the next twelve months come close I'll be thrilled. Resolutions? Ask me and I'll tell you.

Had an amusing moment this evening. Doing my laundry of all things....

Reached the bottom of the basket. You know, where all the socks seem to gravitate to.

Had hung them out the previous evening to dry and was greeted with the sight of several dozen black socks on my clothes horse and the radiator. Inert but almost full of some hidden menace, was a bit like the final scene of The Birds!


Cheers,

Alex