Sunday, 28 December 2014

The patient with no name

The patient with no name

Please don't seem me as disabled
look beyond these signs of my frailty
Even if my mind is broken
look for my soul and spirit
Be in the moment with me if you can

Sunday, 14 September 2014


I aim to do some piano practice most days. It usually consists of the new piece I am working on with my piano teacher - currently Flower Duet by Delibes plus 2 or 3 old favourites - currently The Policeman's song and Autumn Leaves. The other day I decided to play Somewhere over the rainbow for the first time in about 6 months. After a couple of goes it all came back to me, my fingers remembered. Because I know and love this song so well I can put me into it more than many other songs. (You try doing a sad version of The Policeman's song!) So it becomes a subtle and different expression of my mood in that moment. Wow! Sad, angry, wistful, impatient, happy even or maybe a mixture.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Betweem me and you-and-me poem

Between me and you-and-me

On my way
To meet you again

I travel
Therefore I am

And apart

I become
A curious me
Being alone

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Boss consults Q his spiritual director

- You know Q there are difficulties in my life at the moment.
- Hmm.
- Yeah, I don’t really fit into things that well. I feel a bit on the edge of things. I’m currently seeing a few old mates, trying to develop more of a social life after giving myself over to my work for so long. But it’s not easy. And…
- And?
- And I am finding church difficult.
- Ah!
- Yeah. I long for a sense of spiritual and human belonging. I can feel connected to people during worship and when we sing but I have lost the sense of a human connection – how to talk about me, my love, my hopes, my fears, my spirituality. I used to like being anonymous, lost in the midst of the congregation but now it is like I don’t exist. I don’t seem to mean anything to anyone anymore. Occasionally I still attend a service and people briefly welcome back and then that’s that….It’s painful.
Q nodded. The Boss fell silent and a tear ran down is cheek. He brushed it away and got out a hankerchief and rubbed his eyes.
- That sounds a really tough place to be.
- It is…. I feel so stupid….What’s wrong with me?
- Hm…. Maybe God wants you to experience this.
- But why?
- Who knows? For your own good, maybe for the good of others… What else can you do?
- Nothing (The Boss sighed) I can be nowhere else… I still believe, help my lack of belonging.
- Oh Boss. (A heartfelt sigh from Q).
The Boss smiled grimly. At least he felt heard, felt received by Q in his painful position.

But this time the silence in Q’s stud did not have its usual healing impact on the Boss. He found himself weeping bitter tears. And only gradually did his sobs fade away into an uneasy silence.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Mystic bit (July)

A somewhat dishevelled Paul was at Manchester airport terminal 3 to pick up his old mate Frankie. A dishevelled look was not unusual for Paul either a consequence of long hours on a stakeout or a night at Ms place where he refused to store any clothes – fearing it would signal a commitment that he did not yet want to make.

Frankie was coming home from Chicago and his plane was 2 hours late. The cappuccino that Paul had drunk had left a bitter taste in his mouth and already he was bored with the latest issue of Private Eye and with the overloud dull one sided conversation of a middle aged Yank at a nearby table. Paul never travelled with his computer or tablet. Often his work got a bit physical and in any case he left the fancy electronic side of his work to App in the Fuel Café.

Paul found himself musing on last night with M. A visit to Band on the Wall for some cool jazz had been an aural treat but the conversation back at Ms place had turned sour as she once more addressed his lack of commitment.
- The thing is Paul neither of us are getting any younger.
Paul shrugged, not wanting to encourage her.
- And sooner or later I need you to commit.
Paul nodded.
- Understood?
- Understood.
M sighed wearily and offered him a brandy.
- Best not, I’m picking Frankie up first thing at the airport.

Things went quiet, too quiet, and despite their physical closeness in bed there was a real distance between them. The trouble was Paul didn’t want to commit but nor did he want to lose M. It felt like a choice was being forced on him and he wondered what would Frankie say? He knew already ‘Keep it light, stick with your truth, be you, not what the other person wants.’ ’That’s all very well but what if I lose her?’ ‘You’ve lost her already if it means you’re giving up on you to be with her.’
- Oh shit!
An elderly woman sat nearby was startled by his profanity.
- Oops… sorry said Paul blushing. She smiled in return.

Monday, 17 March 2014

5: 2 diet 4 months on

5:2 diet 4 months on

Well I have continued with the 5:2 diet since last November when my GP suggested I try it as my cholesterol level was too high and without taking Statins or doing the diet a heart attack was possible. Well to a hypochondriac like me that was a wake up call. And I really don’t like the idea of being on long term medication. 5 years on penicillin as a teenager was enough for me and I really didn’t want to see myself as one of those as on medication for the rest of my life. Well at least not yet! So I have become a 5:2 bore instead. Except many people I have spoken to are also on the diet - well the Mosley book has sold 500,000 copies last year alone.

So for 2 days a week I eat 600 calories or less, it is rather confusingly called a ‘fast day’ and this triggers my body into some very useful actions that lower my cholesterol and cause me to lose weight even though I eat more or less as normal on the other 5 days. My cholesterol levels have come down quite a bit already which pleased my GP no end! and I have also lost 8 kilos – 10% of my weight.

On the 2 days I am often hungry and a bit grumpy or is it the other way round? It helps if I am working at home or have plenty of meetings scheduled. I feel, and probably are, thinner skinned, a bit more vulnerable but also in more recent weeks I have started to like and enjoy my body more now that there is less of it. I have had to buy some new clothes as the old ones were getting a bit baggy.

Each day that I do the diet I feel a sinking feeling in my stomach, it is one day or maybe one week at a time and I just hope that one day my GP will say ‘Enough’ or at least ‘Just do it one day a week’. Two months to go till my next blood test.

My family have been great, helping my count calories and figure out some tasty low calorie foods. It also helps that I have flexibility in my work timetable and that I can vary the days on which I fast and fit things around holidays etc.

It is also supposed to bring a cognitive improvement but I can see little trace of that apart from a slightly manic phase for 3 days a couple of weeks ago, but I blame the moon for that.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Nice Ending Poem

Nice Ending
Rebus has got his man
And celebrates in the ox with Siobhan

Nice Ending
You walked away from me
And I didn’t feel sad

Nice Ending
You died and I wept
And then I felt all calm

Nice Ending
We shared a brandy together
And you left and I slept

Nice Ending
I got on the plane
And it left Nairobi

Nice Ending
It’s what we all want
Death at home in our beds with our boots on.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

At home

Sometimes I catch myself saying out loud (and it is often in the bathroom for some reason!) 'I want to go home'. This makes me wonder what home means to me. I certainly don't feel at home' in Manchester where I have lived for the last 18 years. Indeed I feel that I 'live in exile' in Manchester. But I no longer belong where I was born in Kidderminster in Worcestershire even though those West Midland and Brummie accents invoke such nostalgia in me. Indeed I was desparate to leave home from aged 14 onwards and never really went back after going to Uni at aged 18.

So being at home is not really a place for me. I do feel at home at times with groups of people when I can really let my hair down and I have discovered that it is nothing to do with alcohol as I have been high as a kite with people when no drink has been taken.

I do feel at home in some sacred sites including some churches (Lastingham, Durham cathedral, stone circles (think Avebury or Callanish) and of course when I have a mystical experience - in touch with all - then I am then really at home.