Who was your hero?

Morning, I have sent off Version 1 of the book to some trusted friends for some constructive feedback, one is a successful published author, the other is the queen of grammar and the other is just a good friend. I have been reassured that version 1 is always shit and will always require more work, so, for now, I am just cracking on with the book. I have gotten to the part when I really did start being a rebellious little shit, just before turning into the teenager from Hell, Christ my mother deserves a medal!

Anyways, got no time for chatting about other shit going off in me life, so thought I would share the latest excerpt from my book…

Chapter 6 – settling into the new routine

I always sensed from mom that she would have easily preferred it if dad had just dropped off the radar, the face of the earth and stopped seeing us kids all together! Dealing with the constant let downs, Dad was a constant reminder of her past, that would come back to haunt her. Dad would let us down a lot and according to mom this happened frequently, its funny isn’t it, I don’t have any memories of this but its something mom painfully recalls, in particular there was one time, when me and my sister had been waiting on the corner of our street, we were stood waiting in the pissing rain, we were stood there piss wet through and after a while she had come out to us to tell us to come inside as it looked like Dad wouldn’t be coming. We both flatly refused, indignant about the suggestion that he wouldn’t be coming and refused to come back inside, just on the off chance that he did turn up, I mean ‘how would he feel if he did arrive and we weren’t there? He would think we didn’t care? He would stop coming? So we stood outside for a while longer, until we realized that he wouldn’t be coming or couldn’t come!  perhaps something had happened? He might be tied up with work? The car might have broken? He might be ill? There had to be a reason, didn’t there? I could always find an excuse for dad, there was always had to be a reason, right? Whereas with mom, I found it a lot harder to excuse her behavior or attitude away, even when she was trying to comfort me, I always felt that deep down that she was pleased that he hadn’t turned up, or let us down because that way life would be so much easier if Dad wasn’t in the picture.

That day, for example, mom recalls the moment we finally came indoors, out of the rain we were sad and disappointed with dad that he hadn’t turned up, but any anger I might have felt should have been saved for dad, was always reserved for mom, I could never express my hurt or anger toward Dad I would never have had the courage to tell him what I really thought of him, so mom would always be the second best option. I could feel myself changing and almost losing my innocence.

It was around that age the innocence that I felt living my old life at Woodseats felt like it had been a bubble a dream and us moving to a new life, new area, the bubble had popped, fucking exploded and it was slipping away, my environment had changed, my friendships were changing, my home life had changed, I was changing and I didn’t like it,  behind closed doors, alone in my thoughts I would often feel scared, alone, but I would never ever have shared those thoughts I had with ANYONE, because to admit that I was scared would be admitting I was weak. 

As our teenage years went by, my sister developed more of a nonchalant attitude towards dad and his constant let downs, it never seemed to bother her like it did me, she started to almost become desensitised accepting of  the fact that Dad would let us down and she just seemed to get on with life, whereas for me, Dad was still my hero, he was still my dad.

My dad, he would always be going somewhere, he had a purpose about him, an avid darts player he would always be off out playing a darts tournament at the pub. Growing up there were darts trophies all over the house, proud pictures of dad with Eric Bristow, Dad seemed elusive, unique, unlike the other dads I knew or had seen growing up. All the other dads ate a family meal with their families, or played with their kids in the park, or did normal dad things. I would go to friends houses and their dads would be having conversations with my friends about how their day went at school, taking an interest in where they would be going out to play all the boring stuff. 

Dad always drove a nice car, I remember once him having a Mercedes convertible. Dad didn’t do rules, he did what he wanted, when he wanted, he said what he wanted, even if it wasn’t always nice or people didn’t like what he had to say, when he talked, people listened. Dad was somebody I remember one of many times when friends parents would require if I had a father called Frank, Frank Ford? And it turned out they already knew him or had heard of him “yeh that’s my dad” I would secretly think to myself, one time after admitting to a friends father who my dad was, she wasn’t allowed to play to hang around with me? I never understood why though? Well, her loss! 

Dad didn’t live near us, but he could normally be found drinking in one of the local pubs around the estate. It seemed like everyone knew dad, dad was everyones mate no one had a bad word to say about dad, well apart from mom or my nan, but they were just bitter weren’t they Mom must have been weak or not up to scratch! Why else would dad have gone with another woman? Even after all the hours of mom grooming dad, preening him before he went out on a night out, dad still found someone else didn’t he? As for Nan never liked Dad anyway, I have always known that, I did used to wondered if she was just jealous of mom after all

I realised at around the tender age of 12 I wanted to be like dad…

The story continues…

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The opposite of Addiction is Connection

Recently I was accused of “not having a life because I was too busy writing about it” the fact that I am writing about this now, over a week later bares testament to how much this comment has played on my mind.

On the one hand, I want to say “well at least I am doing something I enjoy and actually get a lot out of it, I am happy so I don’t care what you think” but on the other hand I also want to say or even scream “Yes but there is more to life than chasing, pursuing trying to meet, or fit onto societies narrative too”. for example how the fuck does someone think, feel, believe that they are less of a person or that they have somehow failed, just because they don’t own their own house OR because they don’t have the cash to do what EVER they would like or desire to do? OR because they don’t like the way they look?

My writing is for me is much more than offloading or escaping the shit that sometimes consumes my brain, my life, and talking “bollocks” It has much more to do with embracing the shit parts, accepting, connecting, re-connecting with me. My work isn’t about the pursuit of being promoted, being acknowledged or recognised (I don’t need any organization to do that for me), my work, why I do what I do, is all about making connections, reaching out to people who have found themselves disconnected from society, disconnected from friends and family, all because of some poor life choices they may have made yesterday OR years before.

The person who I really am, the person behind my profile pic on social media, the person out there working making a living, the person who is in the fortunate position to be able to travel more than once a year, the person who for who don’t know me, looking in from the outside may look and think “ahh its alright for her she got her life sorted”.

NEWS FLASH!!! NEWS FLASH!!! NEWS FLASH!!! NEWS FLASH!!! NEWS FLASH!!!

No fucker ever gets their life sorted, there is always and will always be hurdles and shit that is thrown in front of us. But one thing that I also know to be true is that by being able to connect with myself and be in the fortunate position to be able to reach out and connect with people who get me is PRICELESS.

Right, enough of this writing bullshit…. Love Fordy

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You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be

I cannot take credit for this quote, it is from the latest book I am reading “Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything” by Elizabeth Gilbert, but it certainly got me thinking and reflecting

The past week or so has certainly felt like either something, someone at some point has been sent to test my emotional resilience, the past few days I have been in a vicious cycle of doubting then reassuring myself or questioning then reasoning with myself. why am I writing the book? will it be interesting enough? am I a narcissist is the writing just a form of Narcissism, self indulgence?

Am I a good mom? I have done things better, could I be doing things better? should I be doing something different? I get it, all moms are different there are those whose lives revolve around their kids and then their kids, right up until they die, but then there are others, like myself who want to keep a little back for themselves, to be a mom but want to be me too! is that selfish? Christ this parenting malarky is hard, regardless of how old ya kids are.

Then I haven’t felt 100% is it that? I mean I am perimenopausal the hormones are all over the fucking place, is it that? FUCK me I haven’t just been #havingawordwimesen I have had full-blown arguments with me sen. All I have wanted to do at times is isolate myself from all the crap and tediousness we call “life”, but hey that don’t a) pay the bills and b) sat alone wishing and hoping ain’t going to change anything, is it?

Reading that quote yesterday, was a subtle reminder and acknowledgment that wishing and hoping don’t and won’t change things and despite all the self-doubting I have still been steaming ahead with the writing, because that voice in my head still won’t shut the fuck up. I know that deep down I have found that writing, making time for me, in the morning before I expose myself to the “real” world is like a form of mindfulness as Sylvia Plath said: “I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still”. I have made progress, despite feeling doubtful within myself, I remind myself that this time last year, I was doing fuck all! now in a matter of months, i successfully managed to write down over 100, 000 words (if you include the persnal journal and book)

I have made a bold step and have asked someone to read my work to date, I am ready for some feedback, some constructive feedback, I am nearly a third into the book and don’t want to get to the end to have to re-write it all again. so its time to get cracking with some version control.

It’s not all been shit though, earlier on this year I responded to a Facebook post, which said “the first five people to reply to this post will receive a gift” I replied, but I also re-shared the post on my wall. I got 5 replies, well 6 truth be told, the 6th was from someone who I have the greatest respect and admiration for, who over recent months despite staying clean has had to deal with some real personal trauma that has come back to haunt her, in the form of PTSD, but yet despite all this SHIT she still hasn’t gone back to the bottle, she thought she had missed out, but truth be told this was an opportunity, excuse to do something nice for her. Despite feeling crap about me sen, it felt nice to be able to personally hand pick a book for each person, all apart from one, which was a book about sarcasm had been a book I had read myself and gotten something from it.

This week I am compiling a nomination for a woman, who in my eyes is Sheffield’s version of Mother Theresa, Now it’s these kinds of acts that make me feel whole again. So enough wi the moaning, wishing, hoping, i am back to nurturing this backbone and getting on with shit!

Also, I have come on this morning? for the women reading this, you’ll know what i mean.

Love Fordy x



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Shit happens – you won’t be the first and you won’t be the last


Tonight I’m off to see “Cultivating Mad Cow” a one-woman play, its based on a book written by a woman’s personal journey who was suffering from bipolar, her mental health was shattered, however, her  journey was paused for a time, after she threw herself off a building, shattering what was left of her physical being. But that incident was just the start of her journey. Call it rock bottom (literally) Kathryn’s story is truly incredible, amazing but more importantly about being BRAVE enough to open her soul and share it. She’s can be mad as a box of frogs, but she’s one of the realest passionate people I have met in a long time. 

After arranging to meet with Kathryn over the phone for the first time, (I have to say at this point, I had only agreed to meet with her at such short notice, due to her persistence)  after putting down the phone a colleague asked me if I knew who she was? I’m like “Summit to do with DWP and disabilities?” I was then told about her story, about and about the book she had written “Cultivating Mad Cow”, and boy did my attitude change, after her insistence that I meet her, it was me who was more excited about meeting her. I was only a few weeks into this page and practicing my writing, so the opportunity to gain any tips or advice would be priceless.

I have the pleasure of working, coming into contact with people from all walks of life, from the person begging in the street, right up to people in a position of power. They may look different on the outside, but everyone has their own personal story to tell each one uniquely their own and their own to tell, should they chose. Kathryn chose to share hers.

Everyones definition of resilience is different, we all have it, we all possess resilience often we don’t recognise just how resilient we are, until like an elastic band, which starts out with an abundance of elasticity but has been played with, toyed with stretched, maybe used for a time to bind something in place, but sometimes it has been stretched so much to the point that there is no elasticity left resulting in us snapping, making unwise decisions, some which can have a lifetime of consequences. We all bare our own personal scars, which are a reminders of a time we have been stretched too far, sometimes the evidence of being stretched too far are still there to see, some visible to the naked eye others are not but can been seen in how we, act, react, how we deal with life, our actions. 

But just because the elastic band has snapped doesn’t mean it no longer serves a purpose! “how many times has the SHIT HIT THE PAN and you’ve snapped your elastic band in two, you have used all your bands up, had nothing left to use, so being resourceful you decide tie a knot into the band and start again?”– fuck me my band has about 5 knots biding it all together. 

Resilience, this is a quality that I love in people, the very same people who have at some point in their life been stretched to near breaking point but who have found the courage and strength to bounce back and who have found a way to manage their own elasticity and learned how to use it wisely. That’s all this page/blog is all about, recognizing that #Shithappens all the time, sometimes there is FUCK all you can do about it, but we do have choices how we manage/deal with the shit. sometimes it can help to know, understand and learn from others that when you are going through shit, you won’t be the first and you won’t be the last , but next time you can determines how far you will allow yourself to go before snapping.

Theatre isn’t really my thing, the last time I went was to the the theatre it was to see  ‘Something about Rita’, (which was amazing by the way) in fact it could have been called “something about Tracey” as I resonated so much with the character (but more of that in the book) but tonight, I am off to see someone perform Kathryn’s story, into a one women play, fuck knows how you do that? Well I’ll find out tonight, as tonights performance is (hopefully) the first draft of a performance that will be fine tuned and shown in theatres across the country. 

 Who would have thought eh! I bet Kathryn never did at the time, that her story of desperation/ hell would soon turn out to inspire and educate others around her, After meeting Kathryn and shyly telling her that I too was attempting to write a book, a story about me, dad and addiction, Kathryn gave me the courage to say, “Fuck it, just do it!” So thank you Kathryn and I will see you tonight,

PS did you say we had to bring our dildos or pens by the way?

Love Fordy xxx

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Pedastool -who’s on yours?

Have been doing some writing and wanted to share this part of the book and my own personal reflections.

Who’s on your pedastool? For years it was my dad, he was my hero and despite being a full weight TWAT many a time his position never shifted from the pedastool a position I had created for him. Growing up knowing that he had always favored me over my sister (there is more about that in the book) but growing up I almost felt compelled, obliged to return the favor. I was fiercely protective about my dad, looking back in hindsight though, I now recognize and realize that I had placed dad on that pedastool when I was myself a very confused person, kid, a child myself. It’s only when we grow older, wiser, that we can start to see through the fog of ignorance, reflect and see things for what they were, but at the moment, in that moment in time that fog of ignorance is a bastard, it blinds us of our own reality.

This isn’t a pity party, it is what it is, it was, what it was ‘at that time’ and i’m ok with that, because at 48 years old I am starting, learning to make sense of why I placed dad on that pedastool for sooo many years. I dont begrudge his position or place on the pedastool, i just want to understand “why” he was there for so long.

It wasn’t until years later that I had taken dad off this pedastool and instead, sat on it myself and i learned that it was a perfect fit for ME the pedastool is my throne now, there is only room for one on this stool and that’s me, there are a select few who I allowed to sit beside me though! now it is reserved for the people who I love, respect, admire, even when dad was finally taken off the throne, he was allowed occasionally to come back and sit alongside me but only When he behaved. 

The book

There were no specific routine contact arrangements with dad, so we would see him every so often, often he was later or didn’t turn up. Which according to mom happened frequently, its funny isn’t it, I don’t have any memories of this but its something mom painfully recalls, in particular there was one time, when me and my sister had been waiting on the corner of our street, we were stood waiting in the pissing rain, we were stood there piss wet through and after a while she had come out to us to tell us to come inside as it looked like Dad wouldn’t be coming. We both flatly refused, indignant about the suggestion that he wouldn’t be coming and refused to come back inside, just on the off chance that he did turn up, I mean ‘how would he feel if he did arrive and we weren’t there? He would think we didn’t care? He would stop coming? So we stood outside for a while longer, until we realized that he wouldn’t be coming or couldn’t come!  perhaps something had happened? He might be tied up with work? The car might have broken? He might be ill? There had to be a reason, didn’t there? I could always find an excuse for dad, there was always had to be a reason, right?

Whereas with mom, I found it a lot harder to excuse her behavior or attitude away, even when she was trying to comfort me, I always felt that deep down that she was really pleased that he hadn’t turned up, or let us down because that way life would be so much easier if Dad wasn’t in the picture. That day, for example, mom recalls the moment we finally came indoors, out of the rain, I don’t. I was obviously sad and disappointed with dad that he hadn’t turned up, but any anger I might have felt, that was always reserved for mom, I could never express my hurt or anger towards Dad I would never have the courage to tell him what I really thought of him, so mom would always be the second best option.

I could feel myself changing and almost losing my innocence. The innocence that I felt living my old life at Woodseats felt like it had been a bubble and us moving to a new life, new area, the bubble had popped, fucking exploded and it was slipping away, my environment had changed, my friendships were changing, my home life had changed, I was changing and I didn’t like it,  behind closed doors, alone in my thoughts I would often feel scared, alone, but I would never ever have shared those thoughts I had with ANYONE, because to admit that I was scared would be admitting I was weak. As our teenage years went by, my sister however developed more of a nonchalant attitude towards dad and his constant let downs, it never seemed to bother her like it did me, she started to almost become desensitised accepting of  the fact that Dad would let us down and she just seemed to get on with life, whereas for me, Dad was still my hero, my dad.

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Routine

Sunday 13 Jan – Already fucking ready!!

First week back and my attempt to get back into the old routine and its had its ups and downs, in fact more downs if I am being honest. Having routine for me is a vital element in attempting to maintain my sanity, as I am starting to learn and understand more as I go along this journey. Routine for me can be particularly hard  to maintain all times as I am an extremely impulsive person, I can be easily distracted by things that quite frankly are not worth the distraction, ie social media, TV or family drama, or get easily excited or passionate about new ideas and being creative. In fact it is Sunday morning and after a pretty productive Saturday, where I had a massive clear out and clear up in the house, (which quite frankly hasn’t seen a duster for the past 3 weeks) mainly in preparation to make space for my youngest  who was bringing the last of her personal belongings back to Sheffield after living in Manchester for the past year and is staying with us for a while and whilst housework isn’t high on my list of priorities, I do find that coming home to a untidy house, doesn’t help my untidy brain. In between the cleaning I made a couple of calls to close friends who I haven’t had the chance to catch up with or should I say “Have been too distracted to make time” connecting with those people who “get you” is vital, its a form of reconnecting, not just with them but with me. I spent an hour shopping and catching up with the mother, the daughter and grandson came around and just spending time playing with him is good for the soul. 

I had decided that due to my super efficiency Saturday that I would treat myself to a long over due lay in this morning, “Is it me, or does too much sleep make you feel worse? Or am I just a fucking weirdo?” I have woken this morning feeling slightly hungover and flat, which is weird considering I abstained from alcohol for the past week since returning from skiing (well apart from Thursday night, when I met a mate for a good old catch up – reconnecting) or maybe it has something to do with trying to get back into my daily routine of writing, making time for myself isn’t as easy as I think it should be, there goes them Fucking expectations again! I suppose it can be easier to get back into a physical routine, waking up, getting ya ass into work etc, but getting back into a psychological routine seems to takes a little longer. 

I have been avoiding TV, apart from, the Vikings series on an evening, oh and catching up on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, (it’s my guilty pleasure) but I wasn’t going to miss Ruby Wax who I had heard was going to be on this mornings Sunday brunch, launching her new book “How to be Human” http://www.rubywax.net (if you haven’t read any of her books yet, I would highly recommend them).  “Upgrading your minds is as important as upgrading your phone”  so after the interview on TV I took me sen upstairs into me safe space and here I am trying to upgrade me noggin, recharge, re-boot that grey matter! 

I love love love this woman, well her philosophy on life is amazing and born out of her own personal experience of depression and mental anxiety. I wrote a blog last year about her after reading her book for the first time and I shall be downloading the new book later today, but one of the things that really resonates with me is when she talks about all the external life distractions that often consume us without us even realizing it and that we all too often end up doing something that we hadn’t planned.

I did it myself today, a classic example, I was on the phone, scrolling through FB, when I see an advert about personalised notebooks, they looked cool, even though I didn’t need one, nor had I been thinking about buying a notebook, when all of a sudden before know it, I’ve clicked on the site, I’m  checking out prices and was seriously considering designing and buying my own! Before I pressed the confirm button, I sat back #Haveawordwimesen and thought ‘why though? you don’t need it? You didn’t even want one until you saw the advert?’ So I decided to close the link and get back to doing something more productive and fooking FREE, had I pressed confirm I would now be £15 outta pocket. 

So whilst I am starting to get back into the routine of doing, arriving at work, attending meetings, getting the shopping in, I recognize I need to allow myself more time, patience to get back into the routine of being, again. Being in that happy place, the place where I make time for me, to think for myself, make time to focus on my goals, my desires such as the book and doing more writing,  instead of focusing too much on the work-related goals that all too often distract me from me.

It’s been a stark reminder that life can be tough at times, and we can be even tougher on ourselves, the key is recognizing when we aren’t taking care of us, often when we don’t take care of us, it can be too late before you realise, you are off balance, but you can always get that routine and sense of balance back with a little patience, time and self-compassion.

Love Fordy x

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Back to the book

Morning guys, after a decent first day back at work yesterday, after getting back into my old routine and after having some reflection time #havingawordwimesen I have decided to focus a little more of my precious time on the book, opposed to on here talking about me sen and life’s observations, i will still do that but I do want to focus more I time on the book, so I thought I could do both? I can share some of my writing on here as well and this could actually work in my favor? I’m still not sure about using real names yet or not?

1) I will be making time for the book and 2) I would actually appreciate any comments or feedback you might have, I mean hey, the more the merrier, right?

But before I share, please be mindful that my writing is in early, early, early draft having never written or published a book before I suspect or understand that there are and will be a few edits required, so I figured I could get your feedback as I go along? the chapter I am about to share is about the time in my early twenties when I had started to question just what the fuck I was doing with my life, now I had thought this many a time before, but this time I supposed I had started to be exposed to a different reality.

So here goes

Working at cafe 

I’m not sure exactly when I started unravelling, falling apart mentally, I know I had felt emotionally numb for a long time, before I finally lost the plot. I certainly wasn’t happy, I’d not been happy for a number of years, I felt taken for granted, used, like I was there trying to please everyone, making them happy, without ever getting anything fuck all back in return. I’d frequently be thinking, ‘god theres got to be more to life than this?’

xxxx had started going out with his old mates, who he used to hang around with before I met him. At first, I thought it was great, he’d finally gotten out of a rut, being a recluse and was stepping out into the land of the living, actually fucking doing something.  But, it wasn’t long before he saw an opportunity to make a bit of money, by selling drugs on the side. Personally, I wasn’t that bothered, whilst he was doing his thing, he wasn’t pecking at my fucking head and he seemed happy enough, he was turning back into the guy I first fell for, truth be told. 

When I was a teenager, and around where I grew up, the worst drug people were taking was glue or cannabis, I’d had a sniff of glue before, but didn’t really like how it made me feel and they were the really hard core guys, those who didn’t give a fuck about what they did etc. I think having a kid at seventeen and not being exposed to the “drugs Scene” per say, I didn’t go out, if I did it was for a quick drink with me dad, there was none about then, or if there were I never saw em. Even when my ex was dealing and there were drugs in the house, drugs had never really bothered me or scared me if I’m perfectly honest and I just couldn’t see the point and why people took them. I never thought about the Law and real consequences for his new hobby, or job as he’s started to treat it as such. 

We’d managed, well I say “we” the house was in his name, after my attempt of leaving him previously so “he” managed to get a house exchange from Walkley to an area called Basegreen, near back to my old stomping ground, back nearer to his new mates. I was happy to move, the new house was much bigger, I stopped working for dad and hardly saw him anymore, so this was like a new chapter, also moving up there meant I would be closer to Mom, as she only lived around the corner. I didn’t have a job at the time and money was tight, well he had “his” money, but that didn’t count, the ‘tight bastard’ and we had a new house that needed decorating. So like the time before mom and Ada, helped out loads, some of his money went towards new stuff, but not all of it, it started to go on new designer clothes, fuck me his wardrobe was worth a fortune. 

So I decided to look for new job, cash in hand and found one, working on a small cafe, called “Sharon’s  Cafe” situated in the far corner on the ground floor in Castle Markets, backing onto the busy fish and meat market. I still remember my first day, I was shitting me sen, it was an early start, I had to be there for about 6 (I think) ready to serve the market stall staff, who’d been there hours before, preparing their fresh meat and fish for the customers later that day. I’d never worked in a Cafe before, I’d worked in a canteen, serving food, but not preparing it, but I was never afraid of trying out anything new or hard graft and the cash in hand was just what i needed at the time. The Cafe was only a small area, but enough for three adults to be maneuvering around and serving customers. I felt a bit like a new ornament on display when I first got there being scrutinized by some of the regulars I’d been shown the basic’s, so just winged it, brushed off the flirtatious comments, and exchanged banter with me newly acquired workmates, just like John the owner had warned me about before starting, but it wasn’t so bad. But it did transpire that a minority of the market staff where shagging each other like fucking rabbits! (but thats another story) The hardest part was cutting the uncut bread! That’s all the majority of morning customers came for, that a big mug of steaming hot tea or coffee and toast, which came with either, butter, jam, marmalade or dripping and salt and I had started to learn how the regular customers liked their toast in the morning. 

Despite the early morning starts, I really enjoyed working at the cafe, its was great to see customers old friends, living on other side of the city, meeting at the cafe most mornings, for a slice of toast and a catch up. Some of them could spend most of the morning there, arriving on their own and leaving on their own. I soon realised that this place was more than just a cafe, more than just somewhere to get their fill of toast and endless cups of tea or froffy coffee. I pictured that for some, this being the only place, where they had a chance to talk to someone other than the four walls at home. Other regulars would use the cafe as a meeting point, often children and grandchildren would arrive to join them. The cafe was always buzzing with chat, gossip, stories of holidays, relationships. The more I was around other peoples relationships, the more I started questioning my own, I’d started questioning loads. 

On my way home one afternoon I bumped into xxxx, who was an old friend from school and her and her bloke, her childhood sweetheart used to come up to ours when we first moved to Walkey. Don’t ask me why, they stopped coming around, we didn’t have mobiles back then, I’d not seen her for a couple of years and then I bumped into her in the ‘hole in the road’ she looked ‘alot’ different, she was super skinny, really on edge, not like the old fun carefree xxxx I had previously known. It turns out she is no longer with her childhood sweetheart, but had been dating a well known, hard nut called xxxxxxxxxxx , however, she just recently moved into a women’s hostel fleeing his violence, apparently, he’d dangled her by the ankles from the top floor of Park Hills Flats. Whilst i was accustomed to a bit of domestic abuse and intimidation with dad and mom, this sounded like a whole other level, christ I recall walking away and wishing I could just take her home with me and protect her. We chatted and caught up on how our lives had changed, I told her about xxxx and what he was up to and exchanged numbers. It was nice to reconnect to an old friend again and we agreed not to lose touch again. 

It was xxx who introduced me to our new dealer, he did good deals on speed he seemed like a nice guy, not your typical looking dealer, not that you can ever tell anymore and yes I heard he had an reputation, but in the flesh and seeing him with his partner and daughter I saw another side to him. I also got on well with his partner we were around the same age, we had kids the same age, so when I used to go around to collect the speed, it was more like a social visit rather than being there for a drugs transaction, we would use our get togethers to moan about life, kids, partners etc, ya know the usual crap. I remember that she didnt go out much, she was like a recluse, happy to stay in doors, whilst her hubby was out and about wheeling and dealing, I suppose I was the same, I didn’t go anywhere, not really, let be fair I didn’t have any mates to go out with.

Dad wasn’t around as much, in fact, I rarely spoke to him he was busy being a publican, larging it up behind the bar, so what he didn’t know didn’t hurt, ‘right’. Dad was like many blokes of his generation, anti-drugs, so had he known what we were up to he would have flipped his fucking lid, big time and had he known at the time that I was associating with guys he knew and associated with, he would have defiantly flipped. 

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Time is a precious comodity ​”How are you using yours?”

Its Sunday and my body feels like it’s been thrown around a fucking washing machine on spin wash! I am seriously rethinking this skiing malarky, whilst I do enjoy it and let’s be fair it’s better than being at home doing nowt, it has been a compromise I have made for the past 5 years and needs some serious reconsideration on my part. Although I didn’t take me laptop, hence the absence on here but I did take a Christmas gift, a lovely note book that simply says “Little book of ideas” gifted to me by my youngest. I have been still doing a lot of reading, reflection, dictation to my phone (which is a great way of capturing ideas immediately) and writing, in fact I couldn’t wait to get home, back into me little room and start tapping away again at the keys – so here I am. 

One of the things that I did ponder a-lot about whilst away from the normal distractions from life was “Time” and how undervalued, underestimated and quite frankly it is taken for granted, so wanted to explore it more on here.

I’m 48 now and 49 this year and my initial desire back in June 2018, when I started committing to writing, was to have completed writing the book “Blood is thicker than Alcohol” by my 50th Birthday 29th May 2020. To be honest starting this blog hadn’t factored in any other the original plan but here I am 6 months in with this being my 100th post FUCK ME!

I have mentioned before that when I was struggling with university coming up to my 40th Birthday, I procrastinated a lot, in fact I even procrastinated about procrastinating, I came across a quote, don’t ask me where, or why but it resonated with me so much I had it tattooed on me foot as a gift to myself the quote says “Procrastination is the thief of time”. 

I did an Instagram post whilst away that said  ‘There are 24 hours in a day and 168 in a week, just over a quarter of that time is spent on sleep and thats if your getting 7hrs or more which over a week leaves 119 hours left. For me another 37+ of my hours are dedicated to work, leaving me 82 hours left a week to play around with. Not bad eh? But then lets break that down a little more. In those 82 hours I need to find time for my family, commitments or engagements, housework, preparation, planning, being there for others and some where in the middle of all this I need to find and make time for me. 

Before starting this journey, I would have never dreamed of getting up an hour earlier before work to spend some time on me, but now its a priority for those 7 hours a week leaving 75 for all of the above. 

Social media, this was one of my main observations whilst away, the amount of time I observed people spending on their phones, myself included I used to be a fucker with it, responding to messages, or chatting to mates, seeing what everyone’s been up to, my phone is the was the first thing I looked at when walking up, (cos the alarms on me phone) I could go online, Facebook for a quick snoop and before I know it I have been staring at the fucker for an hour! Then there’s the time spent in between the day, on the bus into work, or breaks, lunchtime, traveling home from work, getting in from work, having a cheeky glance whilst adverts are on or during a shit boring tv program Pat is making me watch. Christ I working in the addiction field and I have to confess I think I had and perhaps still have a little too much dependency on social media which is just another form of procrastination.

So back to the math 75 hrs left in the week, if I was honest with myself I would / could guesstimate that I perhaps spend 3 hrs a day on Social Media, 21 a week, that’s 54 hours left for the week and that is not a lot to fit in, because quite frankly distractions in life cost us time, and despite all the planning or preparation you can guarantee that you are going to use some of your specious time for something unexpectedly happening, out of your control or someone needing your time and attention, say a loved one who might be having a bad time, who may need a shoulder to cry on or just someone to listen, be there, be present, this uses up your precious time. 

So my new New Years Resolution is to use my hours and time more wisely, practicing to say NO to things I don’t want to do and say YES more to the thing’s that make me happy, content like writing and accomplishing my goal to produce a book.

I indend on dong this by replacing the time I would have spent on social media, doing more reading, writing, sat here tapping away in me room, spending more time #Havingawordwimesn opposed to wasting precious time seeing what some one had for dinner!

Time is a precious commodity, we are get one shot of this life, I dread to think on reflection just how many hours, years I wasted on a relationship, worrying or thinking about what other people think before I might have taken any action, or how much time I have spent procrastinating so before I go ask yourself this, out of all the free hours you have allocated for you

  • How much time do you spend worrying about things, sometimes things that might never happen?
  • How much time do you dedicate to a relationship? Are you giving too much or not enough perhaps?
  • How much of your time you are dedicating or committing to doing something that you don’t really want to do? 
  • How much time do you allocate for yourself just to take a step back and think about you?
  • How many hours are you wasting on social media?

Reet I’m off, after a gawgus Sunday dinner prepared by or old man, I’m off for my weekly Sunday Siesta and after skiing and travelling for a week the couple of hours spent snoozing are definatly going to be worth it

Love Fordy x

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