Not my favourite day…

For me, Valentine’s Day = annual slap in the face!

I appreciate that if you’re in a relationship, it’s probably a great way to demonstrate your love to each other, but when you’ve been single for as long as I’ve been, the sheer amount of Valentine’s stuff that’s bombarded at you just really rubs it in.  I’m sure people would tell me not to take it seriously, and that it’s all a bit of fun, but I’m sure they’re people who’ve actually received a card at some time in their life!  I’ll admit that I’ve occasionally sent cards in the past, but obviously with me being the overly confident person that I am(!), I’ve never actually admitted to the girls I’ve sent them to that it’s me!

I know it’s probably really sad putting this all in a blog, but sometimes it’s easier to write this stuff down and throw it out there than to actually talk about it with anyone! I’d always thought that by this time of life, I’d be married with kids, and all that kind of stuff, but I guess I’m starting to accept that’s probably never going to happen. It doesn’t help that for years I was crazy about one girl, and wasted a load of time getting to know her better by spending time with her, and trying to do stuff that I thought she’d like (and other crap like that!)… and then trying to deal with it when she finally made it clear that she’d never be interested in someone like me, which has taken a lot longer for me to get out of my system than it should have done.  So now I’m the wrong side of 35, with no sign of anything in the distance, and obviously the older I get, it gets less and less likely that I’ll have kids of my own, which is pretty tough to be honest.

I’m sure there are other people who have similar issues, and struggle massively with the whole singleness thing, but often when you see so much focus on relationships around you, it’s hard.  As your mates get married, and then have kids, on one hand you’re really pleased for them, and you know it’s an amazing thing… but sometimes it’s really hard not to get jealous about it all, and ask yourself why they’ve got all that you’re desperate for as well. (I use the word ‘desperate’ in a way that hopefully doesn’t make make me look ‘desperate’!)

Wow – it’s a good job that Valentine’s Day is once a year… I wouldn’t want to be this honest on here too often!!

The last few weeks…

It’s been a strange few weeks.

A few posts ago I mentioned about my nan being ill. Well unfortunately she died a few weeks ago on the 1st November, and we had the funeral just a couple of weeks ago. It was weird thing – obviously it was all really sad, but with it being a Catholic funeral, there was a service for the family on the Sunday night when the coffin was brought into the church, then the actual funeral ceremony the next morning. It’s also quite strange, because I’d never realised that Catholics believe that the soul of the person is still in the coffin whilst it’s in the church, and they ask the saints and Mary to protect it overnight, and then in the second service the priest kind of commits the soul to heaven. All a bit odd!

It was also the same weekend at Steven’s birthday, so it was a strange weekend really. Also odd to note that last year dad’s funeral was 2 days after my birthday – and then this year, nan’s was 2 days after Steven’s.

On to yesterday then, and I had the most rubbish day, and it turned out totally opposite to how I’d hoped it would. It was Jess Torry’s dedication service at Vinelife, with Helen then being baptised afterwards, followed by a gathering back at their house. I’d totally planned to be there for the whole thing, and am truly gutted that it just all went pear-shaped. I arrived for the service about 10 minutes before the start, and it was all going fine until unfortunately, just as it was starting, I bumped into someone who I really wanted to avoid, and then just had to get out of there. I really tried hard not to let it get to me and stay in my seat, but I just couldn’t do it, even though it was such an important day. I’m actually really angry with myself for not being able to deal with it, but also pretty annoyed that the situation arose in the first place. As it was, I listened to the dedication part of the service from outside, but then left which meant I missed the get-together in the afternoon as well. I guess I just feel rubbish ‘cos I really wanted to be there for the whole of their special day, but because of what ultimately is just stupid stuff, I wasn’t there for them.

A year on…

It’s a year today that my dad died, and if I’m totally honest, I still don’t think I’ve properly felt anything abut it. I commented after the funeral that I hadn’t really had much of a reaction to it all, and maybe it’d come further on, but it hasn’t really. Maybe that makes me heartless – I don’t know. But maybe now isn’t the right time, and it’s still something I’ll deal with in the future.

Also, nan’s been taken into hospital this weekend, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen with that. When I first found out on Thursday, it sounded like it was really bad and everyone was fearing the worst, although mum’s texted me today to say that she’s improved, and is now eating and drinking (she hadn’t eaten in a week before being taken in), but they don’t know whether she’ll be allowed home or not. I guess it’s just a case of waiting really.

Dad’s funeral

Just got back home after being down in Tamworth today for my dad’s funeral. He’d been ill for a very long time but it’s still weird when it actually happens, because no matter how much you’re expecting it at some point, you don’t know how you’ll react.

I guess I still feel a bit numb over it all… today was really hard, especially the funeral service itself. There were a lot of people there – loads that I didn’t recognise, and some faces from the past that I hadn’t seen for 10 – 15 years. As part of the service, a song that my sister recorded with him a few years ago was played, and it was difficult hearing him sing at his own funeral.

I don’t know if I’m going to have some proper reaction further down the line – it feels a bit bottled up at the minute. In the last few years I’d not really been close to him and we’d had a lot of disagreements, but at the end of the day he’s my dad, and he’s now no longer with us, and I know I should react in some way.

Just not sure how at the moment.

Ste & Julie’s wedding

Thought it was time for one of my not-so-regular blogs! A couple of weekends ago, my brother Steve got married to Julie, so that leaves me as the only one not married!!

It was a nice day – they’d asked me to film it for them, so it kept me busy and gave me a job to do! Not sure when I’ll get a chance to edit it though… I’ve still need to do Vikky and Damien’s one from last September! It was a bit weird, because apart from family, I didn’t really know anyone else there – Vikky knows a lot of Ste’s mates, but being up in Manchester means that I lose touch with all stuff like that. There are photos of the day here.

It kind of makes me think about my own life a bit though. Both my brother and sister are now married, and I’d always hoped that the same would happen to me, and that I’ve have my own family and all that, but as I’m getting older, I see all that slipping away from me which makes me really quite sad at times. Also, I suppose as you see your mates around you getting married and having kids, it just reinforces it to you all the time. I know I’ve wasted my life a bit over the last few years… I’ve let my head get totally screwed up twice by someone I really liked (going back for more heartache obviously wasn’t the wisest thing I could have done – but sometimes you don’t act rationally!) It’s a bit weird how much your emotions can switch from having really strong feelings for someone to then never wanting to lay eyes on them again, especially when at the end of the day, the problem is mine not theirs… there’s no law that says they have to feel the same way! Even now though, I’m still struggling to put all that behind me and move on, but by never having to see her again, that should at least mean I can just wipe that period of my life away, and try to move forward. It is totally rubbish though – 5 years of spending your time thinking about one person is such a waste – but it’s a lot easier to say you’re over it than it actually being true!

Wow – that was all a bit more open and honest than I planned… though sometimes it’s good to get things off your chest!

The past

When I started this blog, I decided that I wanted to try and be pretty honest on here, and that the thing I’d never do would be to go back and either change stuff significantly, or remove stuff from posts.

Very tempted to break that second rule though…

Anyway, new year, same old everything else…

Underground and other stuff

Been away working at Soul Survivor, and I guess during that time I’ve been pondering about a few things, which I’m going to mention briefly at the top of this post.

I’ve been writing this blog now (on and off) for nearly three and a half years now(!), and I suppose in the last 9 months, I’ve been thinking a bit more about what I actually put on here. I think it’s because I read some blogs of people I know who are loads more open and honest in what they write, and in some ways I really wish I was more like that. But part of the problem is if you start writing really personal stuff that also affects other people, is it fair to put it in a place where anyone can see? I know you can change names and stuff like that, and can be careful about how you refer to people, but at the end of the day either they, or others, would probably be able to work out who you’re on about. Also, I’ve always been a quite private person when it comes to personal things – and maybe reading blogs by people who seem to have broken through that barrier makes me realise that I’d like to be more like that. Not sure. But I’d say that some of the stuff I’ve written this year has been more open than it would have been previously, and maybe it’s something I’m going to work on in the future… not promising anything – it’s something I need to work out!

Soul SurvivorAnyway, back to what’s been going on recently. I got home from Soul Survivor yesterday afternoon, and was so worn out I fell asleep as soon as I got in! I was there for 16 days – and it felt like an eternity! For the 2 main Soul Survivor weeks, I was working in their new hip-hop and urban venue run by the guys from the 29th Chapter – Underground – doing all the videos and visuals for the evening sets. I was working with a girl called Kate, who I hadn’t met before, but came recommended by John Roberts, and she was really good. She’s just finished a degree in Media Performance at Salford University, and it was so helpful having someone around who could do media stuff because there was SO much that we had to do.

As well doing live vision mixing of the performances onto a big screen at the back of the stage, we were filming and editing mini-programme segments to be dropped into the set each night. We did a couple of MTV spoofs… “Bling My Youthleader” (based on ‘Pimp My Ride’) and “Tents” (a rip-off of ‘Cribs’ but without the celebrities and luxurious pads), plus every day they were running “Urban Academy” auditions which we recorded and then edited into a highlights package. It was all just so intense – really long days, but enjoyable as well.

In between the two weeks, I stayed on-site for Momentum, and some guys from Tamworth were there for that, so spent a bit of time with them which was cool. And they had a baby with them which kind of distracted everyone (in a totally good way) all week! Even though it was supposed to be more of a rest that week, that didn’t really happen because I ended up spending some of the week in our edit suite doing preparation for week B!

The photos from Soul Survivor and Momentum are here.
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I guess the major thing that’s happened since I last posted on here was on the night before I left for Soul Survivor, I got a call from my mum to tell me that a really close family friend had committed suicide the night before. It was someone who I’ve known for about 20 years, and she really was part of the family, and it’s horrific.

I think I’m still in a bit of shock because I dont think I’ve really accepted it yet… I’d only been talking to her 4 days before at my nan’s funeral, and it was totally the last thing I expected. I wasn’t able to go to the funeral because I was obviously working down in Somerset when they held it, but I think in a strange way, I’m kind of glad I didn’t because I’d rather remember her as she was the last time I saw her.

Nan

It’s weird when you see a picture of someone you’ve only really known as quite old, but the photo that you’re looking at is of them much younger.

It was my nan’s funeral yesterday morning down at the Coton Centre in Tamworth, and for me it wasn’t a great day. I really don’t like funerals – I find it really odd sitting there knowing that the person you’re there for is in a box just a few metres away. During the actual burial, I kind of stayed back a bit – I didn’t want to look into the hole after the coffin was lowered. And then the thing afterwards where everyone gets together for food. I just don’t really get it. I suppose it’s what people do, and it’s quite normal, but I just feel uncomfortable with it – I guess I just don’t like death and all that. Also it didn’t help that I had a splitting headache, so didn’t really have anything to eat all day… though I managed to get through quite a lot of water!

Anyway, back to the photo. I don’t know how old my nan was when the picture that was on the order of service was taken, but it looks like she was quite a bit younger than I am now. Not sure why that makes me think about stuff and what relevance it has in the grand scheme of things, but it does!

Weird couple of days

Today was James and Helen’s wedding, and I was invited to the service and to the evening reception. Didn’t really get a chance to speak to them at all, but they seemed to be having a brilliant time, which is what’s important! I’ve put my photos of it here.

It was a good wedding, with some really nice touches…during the signing of the register, they ran a video montage of photos of them both growing up, which looked really cool, and there were some other bits that stood out as well.

I guess though that I found it pretty tough – I didn’t really feel right being there. It’s really hard to explain (and I’m certainly not going to try too much here!), but I just felt uncomfortable for most of the time, and I left at the end of the night not feeling too great. I suppose in the end it doesn’t really matter, because I won’t see anyone from there again anyway.

And to change the subject totally, the other news is that my nan died yesterday morning. It wasn’t totally unexpected, because I found out a couple of months ago that she’d had got cancer and she’s been in hospital since then, but it’s only been in the last two weeks that the cancer got really aggressive and spread like it did. I actually went to see her in hospital about a month ago, and she seemed fine – the plan was that she was supposed to be going home and starting radiotherapy this week, but then all of a sudden it really took hold. To be honest, I’m glad I last saw her like that, rather than in her last few days of life. The funeral will probably be the week after next, but no date’s been set yet.

Why?

I’m sat here in the office watching Sky News’ coverage of the terrorist attacks in London today – and it makes me feel sick, and if I’m honest, quite apprehensive and scared. They’re showing shots of the bombed bus, and have been describing scenes at the tube stations after explosions on 3 tube trains. The news reports are saying it looks like about 45 are dead so far, but that figure could rise. I can’t understand at all the mentality of the people who do this sort of thing, I just really can’t.

What makes it even more poignant is that yesterday, Prince was up in Manchester so we could work on some videos for their venue at this year’s Soul Survivor. The venue is called ‘Underground’ so we were working on an opening video which is basically made up of shots of walking round the Underground stations and travelling on tube trains, which Prince had filmed on his way up here on Tuesday afternoon. Not sure whether we’ll be scrapping that now, with the event only a month away.

I think what makes me scared the most is that there doesn’t seem to be any way of stopping this sort of thing happening – how on earth to you check everyone who gets onto trains and buses? If someone is determined enough to do this kind of thing, what can be done?

New Year – same old thing…?

Wanted to write something on the first day of the new year, but I don’t think it’ll be very long!

So 2004 is finally gone, and about time too! I’m banking on that fact that this year can be no worse than last! I’ve definitely got a few regrets about things I’ve done over the last year, so for 2005 I’m planning on making sure I don’t put myself in a situation to make the same mistakes again.

See – I said I wouldn’t write much!