Plans Are Not Useful

Let’s face it, plans are at best, empty hopes, destined for calamity.

That’s not what we’re sold, or hope for, granted. but we all know. I mean, I’m never happy when things go wrong, but it does prove the point.

Drumming is Like Golf

So, first chance I get, I’m going to buy a drum kit. I know what you’re thinking.

Drum kit

You’re thinking NO! Stop! Neil, a lot of people are just WAY better drummers than you. They’re out there, right now, and we could watch them on YouTube if we wanted to… but we don’t because, frankly, drummers drumming is not a thing we watch on purpose, we have better things to do with our time. Seriously.

You’re thinking NO! Neil, stop this, you have to remember there are kids out there who can play Black Page at age 13, and you absolutely can’t play that NOW, at age 42. Neil, you can’t play that. I know you’re thinking that.

You’re thinking NO! Neil, be reasonable. A drum kit is an expensive thing: ask yourself, Neil, what else could you do with that money? You could probably feed a fish for even more than a week.

You’re thinking NO! You haven’t played a drum kit in anger for ten years, what the fuck do you think you’re going to be able to do with one now? What?

Well, I have an answer to that one. There’s this story about a guy who was locked up in prison for ten years, and all he thought about during that time was his golf swing. Then, when he got out, the first ball he struck was a hole in one.

Shut up. That’s what I’m going on.

Loonies On The Bus

They say that life is a journey, but for most people, most journeys are just hassle. If doesn’t matter what mode of transport you use, there’s always expense and inconvenience, indignities, irritations, and worst of all, all those other people. Ugh. That’s why, given the choice, most people choose to travel by car, because it feels like personal space – well, except of course for all those other people in their personal spaces all over the roads, curse them! – but at least the car drivers are cut off from human contact, separate, their car like a portable teenage bedroom full of their personal stuff in a mess only they can possibly know and love.

George Michael, grinning, half asleep behind a car wheel.
George Michael – Bad Driver

So the roads are full of drivers, and for the most part we tolerate them because we know that they, like we, need to travel, and we understand their reasons for choosing to travel by car. However, we also know that among them, there are Bad Drivers, and we definitely curse them loudly. Top of the list of Bad Drivers is Drunks, People Who Are High, and People Who Are Asleep – all agree, they are definitely Bad Drivers.

Then there are Young Men aka Boy Racers, raging with hormones, many of whom I frankly wouldn’t trust on their own with an empty matchbox, yet whose parents wilfully unleash with the keys to a ton or so of fast moving metal. Bad. There are Old People, who drive too slowly, or simply ineptly, because with the best will in the world they can barely see their speedometer even HAS a needle, let alone the roundabout they’re driving over. And not forgetting Reps, a kind of continuance of the Boy Racer, but with expensive gadgets stuck to their face, a mocha balanced on their paunch, and blood pressure medication.

Now, I should talk, because I too have a belly on which a pint or two might rest. But I’m not just another fat middle aged man who resents, for instance, these younger, thinner men with all their youth and their… thin. No. I’m also a fat middle aged man who’s not allowed to drive, because like many people in the UK, my driving license has been withdrawn by the DVLA due to my mental health problems. So, though I’ve never had a speeding ticket, or even so much as a point on my license, the effect is exactly the same as a driving ban. A further category for Bad Drivers, then, is the Mentally Ill.

To be honest, though, I think it’s fair enough. For one thing, I can’t afford a car right now, so it’s a completely moot point. But considerations for road safety are paramount, as a quick, sobering glance at annual road casualty statistics for the UK proves. Witnessing an Accident and Emergency ward after a serious road traffic accident can be even more sobering. Road safety is serious.

Boris Johnson leans out of London bus.
Loony On The Bus.

But in any case, the whole focus of care for the mentally ill for the last few decades in the UK has been to get them out in the community. None of this locking them away in their own weird little worlds, but getting them out, on show among everyone else, so cars are definitely the wrong place for loonies. No, far better to get them out on public transport, because let’s face it, if a man’s going to stink of urine, swig meths through their beard, and spill ketchup strewn chips down their ill fitting floral print dress whilst talking to God through a shoe, they’re far better off on a bus.

Everybody knows about the loony on the bus – you know, the “eccentric” that everybody hopes doesn’t sit next to them. It turns out that I may now be that eccentric, but I can hardly sit next to myself, now, can I? … Ahaha. And it seems that many people think that public transport is becoming an increasing nightmare to travel on, mostly because they feel they’re the only sane one left on the bus.

But at least now you know, the reason the loonies are on the bus, is because the DVLA has taken their driving licenses away. Take it from me.

Saturday Night, Alright

Elton John, Saturday Night!

Whoaaaey, no… but no… whoooaaa… whoa. I seem to have come over all American. I do that. I’m not American, obviously, but I know any sensible persons out there anywhere are already saying to themselves, hey, you, what’s the fucking point of you, Neil!? WHAT?! WHY!!!???? And ok, ok, maybe you’re not quite that searching, sensitive soul, but you’re still wondering why you’re reading this, and what I’m saying to you both, is: here it is: the point: of this post:

Saturday Night, Alright!

It’s Saturday Night tonight, and I’ve had a hell of a day, you know? Really, I had my daughter wake me up this morning, I was all asleep on the couch, and she just came along made me make room for her – room on my own couch? MY couch? – and then she was all, no dad I don’t want the news on the TV, put CBBC on. You know? I mean, come on! Saturday morning? Who needs that? Even if it was her birthday this week.

Fortunately they’ve gone now – I say “they” because my son was here too, you know, my son Callum, who was in hospital recently because of… something? Him? But it’s all just ok now – more than enough that he can look after Evelyn if needed ok – soooo, after all that, I’m finally left alone with myself now, and a ton of beer, and the INTERNET! I KNOW!!! ACTUALLY WHOOO!!!!

SO, what do I do? Well, I put on my slouchy pants, because all my jeans are too tight for me these days, you better believe it, they. do. not. fit. it. hurts. all. the. time. so I put on my slouches. Beautiful. Then, I watched “THE MATCH” in which football team A who I did not support won over football team B who I should not support. Pfft, it was like playing Pig Rolling (which I did for some time with my son and my daughter this weekend, and I lost, by the fucking way, yeah, that’s how it goes for some).

Also, wait, listen, did I mention, I don’t like John Terry at all? Or Chelsea? Or sports? I hate sports, they make me watch them, they do.

Anyway, so, it’s Saturday night/Sunday morning, I have the whole world to myself, I’m a little warmly drunk judging by the detritus of wine bottles and beer cans laid around here that can frankly, I admit, only be mine, and I wonder, what can this moment bring? And then I realise: your suggestions would be welcome.

Alcohol, Bipolar and Me

Me sat with a near finished pint in one hand, lifting to mouth, and a full pint in the other.I’ve had various medications for my bipolar disorder over the years. In my twenties, prior to diagnosis, I took anti-depressants alone, because I would only end up in front of the GP when I was depressed. Later, in my thirties, when I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, I was also prescribed mood stabilisers. Right from the off, I’ve had difficulty with taking the mood stabilisers, and for a number of reasons. Perhaps, on reflection, not least because I was already very much using one.

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