Changing times, scares and update

It’s been a long time since I did a blog post…..on here anyway! So I thought I would update anyone who might read this with what has been going on.

Firstly, as many of you will know I had some trouble with people keeping a closer eye on me than I deemed acceptable through the social media outlets that I use. Whilst some might have said ‘ignore, don’t worry about it and move on’, I took it as a personal intrusion that I wasn’t prepared to acquiesce to. After all, I know said person would not be too happy if I reciprocated. This has since been sorted, although I begrudged doing what I felt I had to in the end. It certainly left a sour taste in my mouth and still does.

This problem was dwarfed by the next issue that I, well I say I, but really it was my wife, encountered. Shortly before our first holiday abroad since our honeymoon four years ago and the first with our son, she found a lump in her breast. She, of course, told me straight away and we discussed the next steps. Whilst worried and concerned we stayed level headed about it. It was decided she would wait until we got back from holiday and then, if still there and not reduced, would immediately go to the doctors. It hadn’t, so she did. For peace of mind, and although the doctor thought it wasn’t the dreaded ‘Big C’, she took the option of being referred for further tests and clarification. The hospital didn’t hang around and got her in for the first appointment pretty quick. The consultant took a biopsy (with a big needle, so I was told!) and she was told it didn’t feel like anything too serious but needed to come back for a scan as well, which she did a week later. Covering all bases I thought and being very thorough. The following week we were both sitting in the waiting room awaiting the results from all the tests. It had been an intense three weeks and I’d had little time to get my head around the possible outcome. Up until this point, I honestly hadn’t thought the worst and how the news we might be getting would impact on our lives. The one hour wait for the consultant changed that and, whilst trying to be supportive for her, I was petrified inside and really didn’t know how I would react if the news was bad. My heart would have crumbled for sure. I have been with my wife for fifteen years now and know her inside out, so I knew however I was feeling she was feeling ten times worse (her Googling everything didn’t help!). We sat in silence most of the time occupying ourselves with nothing of any great importance. We got called in and being greeted with the opening line, “We were very worried” didn’t help the situation either. Thankfully it was followed by “but it’s good news, everything is benign”. A huge sigh of relief left me and my heart started beating again. We never have spoken about how we were feeling on that day and ‘what if’, but I suppose that’s not necessary now thankfully.

One thing that has improved since the last time I posted on here is our cash flow! My wife has secured more self-employed work for the partnership, as have I, and that all seems to be heading in the right direction now.

My little man has started (and is flourishing at) pre-school as well as developing into a top class kid. Still cheeky and demanding but so clever, polite and caring that he makes me very proud every single day.

Finally, I have started and have been asked to continue to write for a Spurs blog site which I love. I am also trying to put feelers out to other football blogs as well to see how far I can take this as it’s a real passion for me.

Life is good at the moment with positive things happening and developing and, as the saying goes, I will be making hay whilst the sun is shining as you never know when something will come and bite you in the arse!

Sorry for this short update turning out to be so long. Hopefully it hasn’t been boring for you and I will endeavour to be back here more often in the future.


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Am I missing something?

When I joined Twitter in May 2009 it was for a few reasons. Firstly, my wife had previously joined and encouraged me to do the same. Well, we had to talk somehow!

Secondly, it was a way of conferring with new people about various subjects and often debating issues and I have always been a believer in exposing yourself to different opinions being a healthy thing to do.

Over time, being on Twitter has been hilarious at times and the mocking and enjoying of certain programmes en masse has been a laugh.

In the middle of last year things began to change for me. People started to get into groups and cliques and only really talked amongst themselves for days or weeks at a time. I hear you saying “just unfollow them” and I did to some but that isn’t the point for me. I thought I was done with all that rubbish after school.

Also, it seems that some tweeters now only talk about themselves and their lives and occasionally dip into other followers lives just for ‘face value’ rather then interest. Once again, mostly unfollowed but not the issue here.

Lastly, and I have to say the most irritating and annoying for me, is when people tell me what my views should be and how I should think on various subjects. I am a well educated man who has developed views and opinions throughout my life, not all correct or necessarily the right way but still MINE! If I want to do, say or watch anything then I will. Of course, I am open to constructive criticism or a debate on it still.

I doubt I will ever leave Twitter and a psychologist in human behaviour would probably say this is all natural and how we all behave in society so why would it be any different on a website?

All I know is that it disappoints me as after the hassle, stress and day to day goings on in my “real life” I just want a release from it and at times Twitter isn’t like it used to be.

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My name is Robert and I have an eBay problem!

I have never been a big eBayer up until now, occasionally I would pop on to see if various bits and pieces were available but it was never my first port of call.

Well, it’s all changed now and you just try and stop me! I’m constantly looking for stuff even if it is rubbish and I am not even that interested in it! *step away from the computer*

Let me clarify for you, most of my looking, and certainly buying, is for a small, cute little boy who I just love to spoil but I have slowly drifted into looking for Sarah and even *shock horror* myself!

My tactics are plain and simple, decide what I am willing to pay for said item, make a late bid (around 1 minute left or so) and let the process play out in front of me. Until that is I get excited by the buzz and raise my highest bid, not all the time mind you as I still have an ounce of sense not to be totally stupid!

There have been wins (mainly Mega Blok Thomas and Disney Cars stuff and Fireman Sam figures and vehicles), losses (the same) and watching like a jaguar ready to pounce. I have been really happy with some of my purchases as some of the things you just cannot buy in shops here or I haven’t even seen them available. Plus the smile Aidan will have when he gets them for his birthday, Christmas or good behaviour will be so big the price and time will all be worth it.

I am sure this is just a phase I am going through after “discovering” it again and while I have funds available it’s a great source of presents for people.

Anyway I have to dash an auction is finishing in 5,4,3,2,1………..

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Working for a better future

So here I am on a early Tuesday afternoon writing a blog for the first time in months listening to Bruno Mars on Spotify and collecting my thoughts on what has been a strange and trying few months.

The last time I blogged it was about my competitive nature dwindling slightly and asking myself why. I now know it was about the fact I was still trying to concentrate on the wrong thing instead of what was important for me and my family. No more! Don’t get me wrong though I hate losing still and expect I always will.

I am now actively searching for new clients to build mine and my wife’s business partnership (which we have had some success at I am pleased to say) as well as working hard at my main source of income with my Dad. I am also determined and want to finish off all my qualifications as this will open many doors for me in the immediate and long term future and if all goes to plan we will effectively have some security behind us.

I have also learned from talking to various “real” and Twitter folk to chill slightly and not get so stressed and worked up about things and let things go a bit more (my wife may say too much now!). It feels like I have turned a corner and grown up if you know what I mean.

So life seems to be going in the right direction on these fronts and I can now see chinks of light coming from the tunnel far in the distance.

Don’t get me wrong, life is not all rosy in the garden of Handworker and there are still some things to do and sort out and other things I would love to do but in reality will fall by the wayside. At the moment though I am content with the way things are progressing but still want and will thrive to get more. That’s natural though, right?

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My competitive nature!

I am a ultra competitive person when it comes to most things, almost to an unhealthy point in fact! When it comes to sports though and sporting fantasy games I seem to have gone off the scale recently and become frustrated and a sore loser.

Sports have always been and will always be a massive part of my life.

My love of sport has always been there and when I was a child my father used to encourage us to play all the time and often would take myself and my brother out to do so.  The problem being he would play to win every time and sometimes this would crush us.  I suppose the term now would be “tough love”. This resulted in many arguments and tantums and some fights as well!  I suppose this taught me to do my best at all times and play to win always, hence my will to win nowadays.  Eventually the student would become the master and the tables turned and then for some reason dad wasn’t so keen on playing anymore!

Nowadays my days of playing alot of sport are gone but I still watch it as often as I can and support various teams within different sports.  Depending on results my moods can be quite different at times.  Also for about 7-8 years I have always played fantasy sports games, mainly football and my passion for winning and being the best has not relented.  Over the course of that time I have won “it” many times and always been in with a shout of winning it even if I come up short in the end.  On these occasions I have just taken the defeat in a sensible way as I know I came close and couldn’t do anymore.  Yes I was rational, I didn’t like it but  I was a grown up and accepted it until the next time.

Recently and for what ever reason when I have not done well I lose the plot slightly and just don’t want to know and almost give up on it.  This is not like me at all as I never give in until it’s over (another thing my dad taught me).

This causes me a problem if it starts taking over my everyday life, as I want Aidan to grow up being competitive and strive for victory whenever possible and have a love of sport but I also don’t want him to see his old man lose his temper over something that is, although near and dear to me, essentially something that is not going to change my life in the end.  Also as you can imagine, this often causes rows with Sarah.

Is my frustration not anything to do with sport at all but something else in my life? I really couldn’t say. For now I need to accept things as they are, support my teams passionately, have a healthy winning attitude and apply that to everything in my life that matters. And of course win!

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In the blink of an eye!

29th July 2008 is the day my whole world changed forever! That is the day my son Aidan was born and it was the happiest and proudest day of my life so far. Probably the scariest as well! Don’t get me wrong my wedding day was a truly wonderful and happy day also but I have to be honest and say this topped it!

During the 2 years he has been with us life has changed so much. The entire way we think about and approach things is different as well as being limited at times at what we can do. It has been tough and a very steep learning curve but we have got through it. So far at least anyway!

When I was looking through some old, very cute, pictures of him as a baby the other night I got thinking about how much over the last few months he has changed and grown up on us all of a sudden.

Less then an hour old!

I have always loved spending time with him but now it is so different as he is actively involved too. It’s not just about milk, nappies and sleep anymore. His vocabulary is excellent and he talks non stop (ok sometimes I wish he would just be quiet, I admit it!) and we can have proper chats about all sorts. He tells me about his day when I get in from work and drags me straight away to play with his trains or cars before I have even taken off my coat sometimes. He seems to understand everything and be so knowledgeable and is exploring his imagination whilst playing now. I love the fact he knows his own mind even though it drives me up the wall at times! He has always enjoyed his grub but him sitting at the table with us on his own proper chair makes him seem so grown up. Same with his single bed in his own room. He is a very happy, kind and good child (in the main) who I adore and am so proud of.

Obviously I am only stating the good stuff but don’t worry he strops and tantrums and gets annoyed too and doesn’t do everything we ask of him but he flashes his cheeky dimpled smile and giggles and all is right with the world again and he gets away with murder!

See what I mean?

It seems I closed my eyes for a minute and my cute, cuddly little baby has turned into a very grown up toddler. If I close them again what will happen then?

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Job Motivational Issues

Just recently my motivation seems to be going and I am stuck in a rut. I cant explain why really! I have a wonderful wife, yes she drives me mad at times, yes we argue but our relationship hasn’t changed much over the 15 years we have been together and in fact has got stronger.  My 2 year old toddler (thinks he is going on 5 though) is going from strength to strength and growing up into a lovely little lad. Work is ok, plenty around and still getting paid by clients in these difficult times. So why is it?

After doing some thinking I came to the conclusion it may be related to my working life.

All my life, career wise, I have fallen into things as such. My first career was in catering, this started at secondary school where I set up a small lunchtime restaurant for the teachers whilst doing a NVQ during my A’Levels. Once finished these I went to catering college at Westminster (one of the best in the country) and did a Diploma in Hospitality Management. Got a trainee apprenticeship at a hotel chain once I left and then continued at various hotels and restaurants and finally ended up at the Corporate BBC site as Hospitality Manager.  I then made a mistake and left for a bad job that didn’t work out and subsequently “fell” into accountancy.  Don’t get me wrong nothing wrong with it, it has more security then catering and pays better too but I just don’t believe its what I really want to do with my life.  I can hear you all going well do what you want then but its not so easy when you are the main money earner in the family and you have a young child and responsibilities to deal with.  I can’t just up and leave and start again on a career past that might take training or trainee positions anymore.

This leaves me in a complex position as we all need to be motivated in our life and all want to have a job that we have interest in and enjoy, even though there is a fact somewhere that a high percentage of us are not in that position at all.

I have targets in the next few years I want to achieve for myself and my family and need to get some energy, motivation and start enjoying my working career again!

What to do?

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