11 Aug 2013

Wow, what a few days that has been. Funeral on Friday. My dear Mother lost her Sister, my Auntie. I haven’t seen Her for years so felt a little detached at the crematorium but still it was a sad occasion, although, as they always say, “a nice send off”. Really not sure what a bad funeral would be?

But funerals always make you reflect, usually about times past with that person, and maybe the joy of being with them, knowing them, or even the sadness of not being as close or even in touch as much as you feel you should have been. Always after the fact. Why don’t we think of this BEFORE they die?

And so that has made for an eventful few days within the confines of my dieting and stroke rehabilitation. Food plan has, lets just say, not been to plan. Weight has fluctuated, but not massively, which is a nice surprise. I am confident that by my Friday weigh in I shall be back to my acceptable fatness rather than feeling like the steam roller that i was. Bonus.

To date I have lost a stone, actually 16lbs, but a stone sounds better. I feel so much better, but not in the sense of not feeling so fat. Yes I can look in the mirror and see a difference in the face, but I still struggle with a full length view. The belly is still stupidly big, making me look like the stereotypical darts player form the late 70’s and early 80’s era. I even tried a shirt on and had to tuck it in because I was bemused by the look of wearing it loose. But in the head, the mental state, the difference is massive. I may still have 2 stone to go to get to my initial target weight, but I feel now that I can and will achieve that. In fact a part of me actually worries about what I will have to focus on once I do get there. But hey, lets not forget I have a stroke to get over. Stupid boy.

So far it has been 17 months since that life changing day. No, actually, temporary life altering day. As the fantastic Stroke Association will keep telling you, “You are a stroke survivor, not a victim”, and that does help with the mindset. One day I will be fully recovered, one day I will walk without my stick, and not look like I have been stuck on a horses back for 3 days. One day I will be able to manage walking the dog across the fields, on the uneven ground, I won’t need to look at the floor 8 – 10 feet in front of me all the time to ensure I stay upright, I will walk up and down kerbs like they don’t exists, like I used to be able to, and to be able to look left and right while moving forward, something that I cannot currently do. And most importantly, I WILL get my driving licence back. That is massive to me, in between running pubs if I were at a lose end and needing to earn money I would sign on for agency driving work. I have always had an issue with my eyesight so could never get through the medical for driving trucks, but I could drive vans and small lorries. Love driving, even when stuck in traffic on the M25, M6, M1, or the dreaded A14. So to now not even be allowed to drive my car is killing me. And the biggest traffic jam you get around here is the queue for Asda car park. Typical. I hear the parents saying about how busy the M5 is outside of their house, and it makes me chuckle. Try living in the Midlands.

To give more context to the driving issue, when I had the stroke I was managing a pub, something I have done for 20 years. As you can probably guess when you run a pub you will almost always get the flat above it to live in. That being the case I have lived and worked in my given pub and have never had a need to rent somewhere, and was never financially positioned to buy. So now, since being unable to work and thus losing my job, I am stuck on the dreaded waiting list for a council flat. Right at the time when everyone is trying to downsize from their houses due to the new bedroom tax. My timing has always been rubbish. My parents have been fantastic and I am at this time lodging at theirs. 43 y/o and still living with the parents. Haha. But, as great as they are for doing that for me, they live in the middle of nowhere. I can walk a little way, but I need to feel safe. There are no pavements on the roads around here, and it’s a mile and a half to the nearest village. That’s the one that I was brought up in, and apart from having a pub that is open in the evenings, there is nothing there worth walking to. So not being allowed to drive actually makes me feel totally stranded. And the pub is not an option, due to the dieting obviously, but I cannot walk in the dark. The vertigo wont allow it.

I have a best mate, Jamie, and his wife Michelle, along with their son James. They will sometimes give me a shout and come and pick me up so we can all go for a meal. Love those times. It’s nice to be back here in that sense, all those years away and not being able to pop round for a coffee and suchlike has an effect. Jamie is my only friend here that I am in contact enough with to be able to go out and have a meal or drink together. All the other people I know, mostly through being in touch on Facebook, well they haven’t seen me for so long that they are hardly likely to give me a shout to go out with them. A situation I fully understand and respect. Maybe if I had of had more time running the local pub then I would have rebuilt past friendships, as well as new ones. But Jamie has been a constant in my life since we were 7 y/o. Never lost touch, no matter where each other was, may not speak for a while but eventually one of us would ring the other. Feeling a bit of man love here. lol.

A new exception to that rule, Sarah. Wow, what a woman. If everybody was as lovely as Sarah then the whole world would sleep easy. Kind, considerate, compassionate. OK, maybe a little “Mothering” in a sense, but in an endearing way. She picks me up and takes me for coffee, or for a meal, or, like the other day, even shopping for clothes for me for the funeral. Being inflated as i am currently I no longer have trousers and shirts that fit me. I have point blank refused to buy new as I am so determined to lose this weight. THEN, I will treat myself to a new wardrobe of clothing. But, the funeral, kind of ‘forced’ the issue for me. Needed shirt and trousers to show my respect. And while ensconced in the changing room, trying on 5 different sizes of trousers, I heard a little voice come through the curtain “are you ok in there?”. Awwww bless her, so caring, and Mothering. lol. But I wouldn’t change her for the world. We all need friends like Sarah. She is even my contact to the outside world through keeping in touch with me every day via text. Would miss her friendship should she ever go.

So now it’s Sunday. Another weekend has passed almost, the start of a new week beckons. They are much of a muchness to me. Not that it’s ever been any different. Weeks and weekends roll into each other now just as they did in the pubs. Thinking I need to somehow get better and find a nice Monday to Friday job so I can once again learn to appreciate what a weekend feels like. Perhaps I should become a Doctor? They only work Monday to Friday, especially if they are hospital consultants!

And so I ponder my next move. I think I shall make an effort to get out to the car and get the battery sorted. Being sat for so long it has gone flat. Then I can practice driving up and down the farmers lane. The one thing with my issues is that the brain can be taught again, so I’m hoping that I can “teach” it not to cause me a lack of co-ordination while driving. I used to feel nauseated as a passenger, for the first 20 seconds or so of the car moving I would feel like I was on a rollercoaster. Bloody horrible. But now I have very little issue when we set off. The balance issues don’t happen while I’m sitting down, so all I need to do is get the brain and the eyes working in conjunction with each other as I look left and right. Easy. Haha. What a huge difference that would make to my life if I could get out and about in the car.

Dinner time, the advantage of living at the parents, Mother makes a mean Sunday roast. Have a good week, I shall return soon, and talk another load of rubbish for anybody willing to listen.



Me, 43 y/o of the male species, currently residing back in the town of my incarnation after spending 20 years running around the Midlands area troubleshooting run down and/or bankrupt pubs. Single and stuck at my parents while waiting for the local authority to be really kind and give me a flat to live in. Seems they are not as quick with their thoughtfulness as one would hope. With so much time running pubs I have many an experience, long and tall tales to tell, stories of wonderful people, as well as some not so wonderful people. I still have a passion for real ales, in the art of keeping them, serving them, making sure they are at optimum level for the customer, and yes maybe drinking them, although now it is to a somewhat lesser extent. But more about that if someone wishes to ask, or maybe some of it will come into my blogs? One can never tell. I had finally come home after so long when the company I worked for decided they no longer had a pub for me to run when the last one I was in got sold to a local property developer. 2 days notice I had of becoming jobless and homeless. The traits of being a Managing trouble-shooter I’m afraid. So home I came, stopped at my best mates for a few weeks, left there and went to my parents. Travelled many a mile for interviews with pub companies and agencies, including almost 900 miles in 2 days for 2 such opportunities. That’s the love I have for staying in the pub trade. Alas it would seem that I also have far to much experience, a few Area Managers and company owners having an obvious disdain for the fact I knew more than them about the trade. Not that I was one to rub it in their faces, but I think it must have come across as I talked of what my past history entailed. Sunday 26th February 2012, I walked into one of the village pubs for a drink that had only reopened a few days before. Got chatting to the chap that was leasing it and by Monday lunch time I was the Manager. Result. Managing a pub I had known since childhood, knew most of the customers, and had a family name well connected to the area. Wish I had of gone in sooner, would have saved me a fortune in petrol. Less than 3 weeks later, Thursday 15th March 2012, the pub was doing good, lots to sort out to get it trading properly but the signs were very positive. Approx 6.30 – 7am while having a coffee and watching the news on telly the stroke happened. Put me on the floor, took my mobility, killed my speech, blurred my vision completely. Had to crawl down the stairs to let the ambulance crew in. So here we are, present day, lost my job, again, so homeless, and now unable to work, have ended up back at my parents. For ANYBODY that has a job where your home comes with it, buy something, even a caravan, but something, you never know when you will need it. It's now a while since it happened and all I have been left with of any inconvenience is vertigo, both the severe and BPPV varieties. That created a massive lack of mobility which in turn had me balloon by over 3 and a half stone. So here I am, grateful to be living, but determined to beat the vertigo, and to lose the fat. Follow my blog and join me on a journey that is actually enjoyable, in that it gives me a focus while I’m left as one of this Governmen'ts horrible statistics that they can't force back to work (yet). (Ooops, dont think me political, I am not, in any way shape or form, just as I don’t believe in God, but I do read the news about the state of current affairs.) Thanks for reading.

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