The song they play every night

Letting go is hard to do.
It’s not want I want.  It’s not how I wanted.  It’s not for want.
I know it’s needed.  I know I should.  I know I love you.
I hear it’s for the best.  I hear what I want to say.  I hear the returned silence.
Wept back then.  Wept for what was lost.  Wept for what was.
Memories will remain, and the smiles, and the tears.

Sunset over Scotland

The song they play every night

Welcome 2016

Andy about to barfWell 2016 has sprung on us and much felicitations to all you in this newest of years.  Unfortunately the day before New Years Eve I was head down in the toilet crying out for Ralph & Huey.

The days following, up-to and including today, I have just been wasted and feeling like I’ve drunk too much – all without the actual having drunk anything.  Apart from water.  Which doesn’t count!

Ho-Hum, hopefully this doesn’t last much longer as it’s beginning to lose its appeal somewhat, although that said. it is making the “lose weight” resolution easier to stick to – not eating and throwing up the little that you do eat helps marvellously.

Roll on the recovery and 2016 actually kick-starting properly for me!


Old Rubbish and New Looks

Seeing as I was starting afresh come the new year, I thought it best to give the ol’ site a bit of a fresh new look, get the fonts somewhat more readable than they have been of late, and clear out a lot of the old rubbish that has been cluttering up the site.

To be honest, the site was refreshed (to a greater or lesser extent) when I published my last post, but that process is now complete, and I’ve just finished ‘archiving’ the vast majority of the blog entries – apart from a select few that still tickle me.

Let me take the chance, for anybody who happens to stumble into here, to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a most excellent New Year!


Fresh Start

I have a plan.  It’s not a particularly cunning plan, and you certainly couldn’t pin a tail on it and call it a weasel either.  However, a plan is what it is.

It’s hard to recognise something when you’re mid that something, but it’s gotten to the point where even I am seeing it for what it is now.  Ever since my Dad’s death, two years ago, I’ve been in a sort of limbo.  I certainly haven’t had the drive to update this site since then, I’ve kind of “cruise controlled” through Karate and I definitely have a malaise with respect to keeping my weight down and getting myself in trim

Admittedly there’s also been a number of health reasons for some of the above as well, but those are no longer an excuse and I need to get myself out of this funk and get mine arse into gear.

You can view this as some sort of “New Years Resolutions”, but they really aren’t meant as such and I am purposefully posting this earlier in the Christmas period to give myself that promised kick up the jacksy.

That said, beginning next year I will be changing a LOT of things about myself and what I do, and this does mean that I will;

  • Update this blog
  • I need to start keeping a track of, and measuring myself against, what’s gone before.  This will probably also include ups ‘n downs in mood, but that’s par for the course and you should be use to that by now.  However I will keep the navel gazing to a minimum.

    But it’s also about getting my brain engaged and wordsmithing once more.  Keeps the brain active, which can’t be a bad thing…. right?

  • Get my weight down to 85kg!
  • This is non-negotiable, I’ve been wobbling around for far too long now and am generally an unfit little jabba.  Youngest sprog has mentioned that he also wants to start hitting the weights and I think this will provide me with enough drive to work with him to get myself in a place where I want to be at the same time too.

  • Changing the focus of my karate
  • I will continue to train with GKR as it is STRONG in basics and the core principals of Karate and is NOT deserving of a lot of the criticisms it gets.  I’ve trained with other Shotokan and Wado-Ryu clubs and the teaching methods and principals are not vastly different.

    However, like the other ‘traditional’ clubs that I’ve trained with it does focus almost too much on the ‘art’ and only slightly on the ‘martial’.

    This means that I will start shifting my primary style to Shorin-Ryu and into the more ‘martial’ aspects of Karate, with greater emphasis on practical self-defence including locks, throws, groundwork and conditioning – you learn to block and shift a lot better when the incoming punches and kicks are done with somewhat less restraint!

As I said, the above list is not exhaustive and other things will be spring-cleaned from the life internal, but it will be interesting to see how far this goes (and which of the above draws more comment) – but here’s to the fresh start come the new year!

a nervous looking andy

I can…

I can visualise his face, I can remember how he looked as he laughed, I can remember a thousand little facets of his character and outlook, but I can no longer remember his voice.

I can remember every minute of that day; the call late at night, the flashing blue lights, the ambulance getting lost, the tears, the horrible hot chocolate, my throat so tight I couldn’t talk, and seeing the body that was both him and not him.  However I can no longer put a voice to a thousand different conversations still remembered.

I’m told I sound like him on the phone, but that is something that I can never hear.

I can remember sitting on my sofa at home feeling drained, and I can still remember my two sons coming wordlessly in and sitting either side of me to put their heads on my shoulders; and that still brings tears to my eyes even now.

I haven’t written anything on this blog since that day, not through the usual laziness but I knew it would be a roller-coaster of emotions to try and get this post out.  I can feel the tears rolling down as this is written.

I can’t remember my dad’s voice, for which I feel both guilty and sad about, but I *CAN* remember the love he showed us, the silly things he did, the way he annoyed his grandchildren and the thousand little things he did for us because he could, and I can feel myself smiling when thinking about him.

…and that feels good enough.

Rest In Peace Dad.

Hard target.. (´・_・`)

The problem with Karate is that if, for whatever reason, you miss out a week or two it seems like you go back to square white belt.  Any semblance of co-ordination goes out the window, and the most basic of principals are assigned to the part of the brain that’s also responsible for you microwaving the bowl of sugar and pouring milk into the tin of coffee… I wouldn’t mind half so much but I can’t have coffee any longer anyways!

However that said I have managed to come up with a variety of fresh and exciting new karate moves, the pinnacle of this being my use of unusual parts of my body to block a punch.

…Let’s put it this way; I was speechless and the young lass who was partnering me is now educated as to the real meaning of “cock-blocking”.  I think Gichin Funakoshi missed a trick what THAT particular move; She couldn’t hit me for laughing, ergo she was incapacitated!

Ah well, at least I can work on my katas, how bad can they be?


Challenging routine

Not entirely sure why “here” has decided that we’ve been having it all entirely too easy, but the daily showering routine can be summarised as;

1.  Enter ridiculously small shower cubicle.

2.  Confidently twiddle with shower controls. Alternate between “drooling” and something that a Northern Irish policeman would be proud of during marching season.

3.  Accept fate and go with semi-cold dribble.

4.  Utilise shower gel and shampoo that’s been scientifically researched, finely tuned to our special requirements and sensitive nature. Accept that whatever herbal name is printed on the bottle, it will smell of fly spray.

5.  Suds Up!

6.  Turn around and accidentally turn off the shower with arse, scrabble around for control whilst shampoo blinded (yes I do still use shampoo) and turn shower back into riot control mode. Try to control that and shower curtain starts getting all intimate. Unsuccessfully control shower curtain and drop shower gel, attempt to pick that up and bang head on wall whilst shower curtain visits a place no object should EVER visit.

7.  Violently twist away from curtain and yelp when nether regions and shower control high-five each other. Shower turns to freezing violence again.

8.  Add new and exciting phrases to the Anglo-Saxon lexicon. Retreat.

baby in sink9.  Accept defeat and resort to plan B…


This week has been too bloody weird for words.

…Well almost too bloody weird for words, if it was “too bloody weird for words” this would be a blissfully short blog post.

I’m not entirely sure if I am just a magnet for weirdos and/or weird conversations, or if it’s that I am just more keenly aware of the ridiculousness around me – which probably says more about me than the situations I witness/get involved in.

The problem comes when trying to verbalise this.  How do you, for example, write about some fellow user of the work’s urinal approaching the toilet and not-so-much peeing into it but having what can only be described as an uncontrolled yellow explosion, without coming over a little…. weird?

He was apologetic, I had wet shoes and a somewhat alarmed look.

..Or coming across a rather attractive young lady, also at work, struggling to pull open a door that was clearly marked “Push”.

I like to think I’m a polite person, but I struggle to know which is the correct expression to put on one’s face when, after informing her that she needs to push the door, she comes back with “Excuse me, but I had to pull it when I came in from the other side earlier!”

Answers on a postcard please.

kokutsu dachi…Or what shade of red is the most appropriate to blush to when, after providing some help to a more mature lady just starting on her karate journey on where to place her hands when dropping into kokutsu dachi (answer as I explained to her; just below your sternum or “on the bra line” as it had been explained to me by a fellow female karate-ka), she comes back with “What if you have droopy tits?”

Not entirely sure to be honest, or what the best tack is to take when asking that of Sensei.

I think the icing on the cake though was the out of the blue message I received from a young lady of my acquaintance, during my usual insomniac late nighters, which read “Did u know Dolphins rape ppl :O“, then closely followed by “Google it!

Now I’m a self professed idiot, but even *I’M* not idiotic enough to go googling that particular phrase.  Also, I prefer my pornographic material to be somewhat more mainstream than that don’t feel that sort of thing is appropriate.

The fact that the person in question went as far as establishing that the aforementioned dolphin’s prefer their victims to be male and had taken the time to find videos of this was also a little bemusing.

…and the only thing that I can think of after all of this?  I don’t have enough bewildered expressions in my repertoire to continue noticing this stuff.