Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

The resolutions are go!

Finally I’m getting my resolutions going.

I’ve bloated out in the two months I’ve not been working out at martial arts. I’ve only gone from ten stone six to eleven stone one, but I think I must have lost a lot of very heavy muscle and replaced it with acres of relatively light fat. I’m hanging over my trousers in a way that bears no resemblance to such a small increase in weight.

It’s a distressing thought that I am going to have to spend the rest of my life sweating the flab off.

Damn middle age!

I used to be able to stay slim without trying when I was young.I had a bloater phase about five years age, but then I gave up drinking and dropped three stones so I thought I had it cracked. Apparently not. My work is no longer physically demanding enough and I have been on the road (now I’ve got a car license) for over three years. Previously, with the bikes, I either got banned or crashed them. The longest (by a long way) that I was on the road continuously was fifteen months. That was the only time I ever renewed an insurance policy on a bike! The upshot of that being that I spent most of my life on a push-bike.

Long story slightly shorter than interminable, it turns out that it only the exercise of martial arts training that has stopped me looking like a space-hopper.

Which is preamble to saying I have started my training again. I’ve given up on the Taekwondo as flash but impractical, and gone back to Wing Chun Kung Fu, famously the style of Bruce Lee.

The lineage is impressive as well. The Sifu (Chinese for master) at the club was taught in Hong Kong by the sons of the legendary Yip Man (the guy who taught Bruce Lee, and about whom they made a film last year).

I’ve got the money to do it this time and I have an abundance of desire.

Also in the merits column, I am taking my niece who has been having a bit of trouble with her self confidence and has been avoiding going out of the house because of it. This will do her a power of good. Just getting out is a major step.

She braved it last night and came with me.

Kudos.

She met a load of new people and found them all to be a laugh, encouraging and supportive.

The exercise is it’s own reward (and punishment!) and, in time, she will be confident that she can handle herself if things should kick off. At the moment she seems to be in the worrying phase where she won’t go out because someone might see her, they then might make a comment, they then might give her abuse, they then might start a fight, they might, they might…

It’s all worry feeding on itself. When you don’t feel threatened by people taking the piss out of you (because you don’t sport chav chic) the abuse is like water off a ducks back.

This is the voice of experience here. See my pics. I wear that for everything, going to town, doing the shopping, it’s what I wear.

Anyway, if she sticks to it there is no bad. She was buzzing off it when we finished our first lesson on Tuesday. When I dropped her off at her mam and dad’s, they (her sister included) burst into a song and dance rendition of ‘Kung Fu Fighting’. That was funny.

That was one/ two items on my resolutions list. Exercise and back to martial arts.

The other big thing is back to my saxophone lessons tomorrow.

I can’t say I enjoy them. I want to know all the basics then I’m going to stop the lessons while I take my own time to practise everything. Get back at it though, that’s the main thing. I can’t run until I can walk.

The same with the Kung Fu. I was really nervous about going back. I’ve already quit that club twice (once because I was drinking too much to keep at it, once because I just couldn’t afford it.) Now I’ve been once, got over that nervous hurdle, I can just get on with getting on. Paying for my years membership and uniform tomorrow, just to show I’m committing. Which has not impressed Wendy overly. ‘Are you collecting them?’ sort of comments. (In fairness I’ve only got two, the Karate one and the Taekwondo one.)

The only thing I can’t seem to get moving is my driving career. That seems to be out of my hands. I keep applying, keep hearing nothing.

Ho hum.

Chin up, keep trying.

Getting there,

Buck.

New Year!

Momentous milestones! We’ve all made it into 2010, it’s my first blog entry of the year and my one hundredth entry on MySpace.

Welcome to the new century!

I thought I’d summarise 2009, as pertains to Wendy and me, but first let me tell about last night.

Our neighbours, who, in fairness, rarely hold parties, told us they were having one on New Years Eve. Fair do’s again, if you can’t party in the new year, when can you?

Then they said they’d hired a DJ! A feckin’ DJ! Ours is a block of three houses, this neighbour is the one in the middle, so to all intents and purposes is in a terraced house. And they were hiring a DJ.

So we expected loud, and as they are into their cocaine, we expected it to go on a bit.

Happily Wendy’s brother, Peter, invited us around to see in the new year. This was welcome as Wendy gets really stressed out about noise nowadays.

We set off to Pete’s and Emma’s (his wife) at about eleven pm. (The ability to jump in the car whenever we feel like and the feeling of moral superiority are the best consolations for not drinking!)

We came home at about half past three, and next door were still at it! We went to bed by four am, and the music was only quiet, but because they were all coked up they were unaware of how loud they were being every time they went outside for a fag.

After a fitful sleep we got up at twelve noon and they were still going!

Respect to the quality of the product, but shit!

They started to disperse before one in the afternoon, now all is quiet.

We are tired and a bit miffed with them, but in the small mercies column, it’s only the fact that my day off happened to fall today that stopped me from having to get up at ten to five this morning.

OK, whinge over, back to the review.

Let me paint a word picture of this time last year; I was working in the De-kit department, I was still paying for training towards my HGV class II license having already failed the test two or three times, I was training in Taekwondo and Kung Fu but was having to decide between them because we were so poor, Wendy was still a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau and we were unmarried.

Phew, how times change!

In January I passed my class II, to the relief and surprise of many. Then over the year I set about the class I (articulated lorry) training and tests. Many tests. There was the moment of high drama when it looked like we had run out of credit and I still hadn’t passed, then miraculously the credit card doubled our limit unbidden. (God bless those unscrupulous bastards!) Finally, in July, I passed.

The relief has never been so great! £ 5,615 to get both licenses. Worth every penny just to be free from the terror of having to take one more bloody test. Then from July to now I have been strung along by work that they would employ me as a driver. Five months!

On the subject of work, in January we in the de-kit department heard a rumour that we were being kicked out and being replaced by agency workers. This was dismissed by the management. We took unofficial industrial action and in the end they came clean that everything we’d heard was true. Thanks for the graft lads and screw you.

Back to order picking then for the rest of the year in ambient and, although they’d sworn it would not be the case, in the freezer.

Our works then is managed by lying bastards who’ll tell you anything to keep you sweet. Which is why I am applying for every driving job I see and not waiting for them to sort me out.

Wendy decided that 13 years was long enough as a trial and wanted to get married, which we duly did. We were still poor (still paying for the driver training, Wendy still unemployed) so it was a cheap and cheerful affair. That was fine by me, but it later transpired that Wendy wanted to make it something of an occasion.

Forgot to mention, Wendy was plump at the beginning of the year. She saw the wedding photo’s above and went on a diet for the best part of the rest of the year, losing three and a half stones! Go Wendy!

This is her now.

We took a week’s holiday in Scotland for a honeymoon, paid for out of everyone’s kind gifts of cash at the wedding. That was lovely.

I had a walk on part as an evil eco-bastard in the Gardeners World peat special. They asked me at the flower show if I used peat based compost, to which I replied that I just  used the cheapest as I am poor. They aired it!

Ho hum. Evil Bucky.

July was a double celebration for us, I finally passed the bloody HGV test and Wendy got a paid job with the C.A.B. as a trainee debt advisor, her favourite subject.

That was bloody splendid. I didn’t have to run up any more debt in the truck training (once you’ve started you can’t afford to stop until you’ve passed and have a means to recoup your outlay) and Wendy was raking in some decent cash. Huzzah! We could start paying off debts rather than accruing them.

Shortly thereafter I ran afoul of a speed camera. Bugger.

In the martial arts sphere I had to give up on the most expensive one (Kung Fu) early on in the year but by November, when money was no longer such an issue, I realised that I’d backed the wrong horse.

I want a martial art that will win fights. At a Taekwondo lesson they said to me that I was supposed to do this spinning whip kick and land it with my back to the opponent so they couldn’t score points off a return kick to my chest armour. Land it with your back to your opponent! That is a quick way to get a knife stuck in your back on the street.

That was the moment I knew that however much I liked kicking people in the head, it wasn’t a serious martial art. I gave it up in November, and will be returning to Wing Chun Kung Fu on the 12th of January.

The other highlight of this year was remembering a teenage ambition of learning to play the sax. The good thing was we were finally in a position where we could afford for me to indulge my whim.

Note also the winklepicker shoes. Suddenly finding yourself with expendable income is such a nice feeling! It took some doing, mind, it wasn’t gifted. A few years back I had to stop drinking, Wendy had to prove herself worthy of a really demanding job. We are reaping the rewards of our effort. By all the people who go on holiday every year, own their own homes, have savings etc, we would still be deemed pretty damn poor, so I’m not boasting, just saying for us this is solvency and bloody welcome it is too!

We are into 2010. Wendy is going great guns, her diet has paid off, she’s up to speed at her job (she’s bagged her man ) and she’s a happy bunny. I’ve got loads of stuff, have cleared a load of debts and am clearing more. I have my licenses and have applied for jobs (including driver in the T.A.) and I reckon this will be the start of it.

2010. By the end of it I will be a professional driver and, with the cash that comes with it, we will be able to be debt free and minted!

This is going to be a great year.

You heard it here first.

Buck.

New Year, same ol’ same ol’

Here we are again. Another new year. Everything changes but stays the same. "Change is the only constant."  "Have you always thought that?" To quote from the genius of Iain M. Banks.

2009! It only seems like yesterday that Prince was anticipating the millennium and saying "tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1999."

*looks around the internet, sighs. Remembers when all of this was fields*

And,… we’re back in the room! Sorry, senior moment there.

So, first of the new year. "How did the last year rate in the grand scheme of things Bucky?" I hear you cry. Not so bad actually.

’07 was a hideous year, anus horrible-us, so to speak. Everything was poor, Wendy had all those accidents and was in and out of hospital then lost her job, I had to quit my training for CAB, leave my job and start nights, then was laid off. I was then working nights for an agency at not much more than my hourly rate at Asda, and without the security of a real job. All in all the only upside was that I gave up the beer. And stuck to the martial arts. I am not at the original club I joined, but I went straight to a different flavour of martial arts and have maintained the training.

I didn’t do so well with the meditation. The interest in Buddhism that it sparked has remained though.

Also I was taken-on full-time at work which, after the debacle of the freezer, has proved a boon. It has given me security, a wage that pays the bills, and the incentive to train to become a HGV driver. Whilst not rushing unduly I am making progress towards that goal.

The other ‘onward and upward’ theme of ’08 was Wendy’s. She has given up the beer with me, sorted out her medication (and not had a seizure all year! It  had got to be every week or so in the nadir of ’07) and has returned to the Citizens Advice Bureau. Only as a volunteer, but in a proving-herself-hale-and-hearty capacity.

So, to summarise, ’07 sucked bottom, but large. ’08 has been a slow but steady progression. We are not in the same league as we were this time last year, not even the same sport (to steal from ‘Pulp Fiction’).

As for ’09; I’ll pass my driving test (s) and get a massively well paid job, (then hopefully be able to pay off the debt accumulated in paying for the unending lessons) Wendy will be back at CAB as a paid advisor ,(which won’t harm our finances any) I will be getting another four belts at Taekwondo, at least three in Wing Chun Kung Fu and I really need to start going to the Buddhist temple in Manchester.

Right here, right now my job’s OK (I was overly sensitive last time I posted. Now the boss is back at work it’s all reasonable.) I have finally got over that tendon/ muscle issue in my shin (first days training today for about a fortnight, and I’ve not stiffened up that much. Still doing turning kicks at head height!) and now I have a 5′, 100lb punch/ kick bag! As soon as the hanging bracket gets here I will be having big kicking fun. Oh, we are back to normal at work now as well, so five days a week, which means I was off today after all.

As for new years resolutions; it’s just to keep on doing what I’m doing. (TKD, Kung Fu, training every day and trying to get my driving licenses.) The only other thing is to get to the temple in Manchester and get back to my meditating. Buddha wants me for a sunbeam.

So that’s it. Like a karmic yo-yo we’ve slammed into the very depths of badness and are bouncing right back up again. With what we’ve learned there is no ceiling to our rebound. We are approaching escape velocity (and are still too geeky!)

I wish the same for any and all who read this.

Happy 2009 to us one and all.

Buck.

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