Getting Back

Well, being back in England is jolly nice, no job or home and a strong desire to get back to New Zealand. Even all those friends that ignored me for a year and then suddenly emailed to say we should meet up as they’d love to hear about my adventures have once again disappeared off the radar. 

Now I don’t want to sound like a moaning miserable bitter old man but there are just somethings that a trip abroad will not change. So what is this all about? Well, in truth I don’t really know. Its… I suppose a little metaphor of my life at the moment. Being in New Zealand allowed me to think and examine my life and where I want to go. We all know, if you’ve been following the blog that I want out of theatre that much is clear, what is a little hazy is what I want to replace it with. 

Today I applied for an outdoor shop job, and a trainee Air Traffic control, both fit in to what I wish to do. One work outdoors and be an activity leader and the other have a well paid job with future prospects. 

The other side of me is trying to work back up to running a marathon, except my legs and hips seem to have differing thoughts on this as every run is growing harder along with what seems like a little injury in my hips. Maybe a tight hip flexor or something else. But what ever it is, running more than 5 miles is proving to be a pain. 

Either way I am not really committing to anything, running, job hunting or re-contacting my old connections in theatre. I’m also not really making a concerted effort to contact old friends I did without them for a year so a little longer isn’t going to hurt. I would like to point out here that I am contacting some, ones who remained connected and didn’t have a spell of radio silence while I was away. Yes I know how to hold a grudge. But if one more says they’d love to hear my adventures I might just say ‘You could have skyped or IM’d or Facebooked and got it in real time’ Like its not like I was in the Borneo rainforest with no modern methods of communication. But I can count the amount of people on my right hand who emailed, or FB a couple of times. 

So yes, back to civilian street, no more walking down to the beach with a mountain as a backdrop and clear blue skys watching ships and relaxing in the coolest littlest capital in the world. Oh no,  its getting back to my old life which for reasons known to me I’m trying to avoid. After all why go away for a life changing experience only to return and resume with your old life. 

So getting back to it, is something I think I will carry on avoiding. 

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My special place.

Really short one.

But for some reason and I am not sure why, I dreamt about death last night and what I would do if I died.

While the jury is still out on burial I know that I would like a bench to be placed on top of Snowdon. A nice circular one with a tree planted in the middle and if I did go down the route of cremation than I would have my ashes scattered over Snowdon and Cadir Idris.

I think this also cam about as a friend sent me a link on twitter ‘a song for @lddex’ The song was “Rambler” by The Houghton Weavers.

I like it, as the song is me…. and the line ‘But sooner than part from the mountains, I think I would rather be dead’ is true.

So let’s make this a legal document. When i do pass, I would like some sort of bench or tree to be planted on my favourite mountain looking over the place where i feel happiest.

the Song, Sung by a different group.

No Excuses.

Well I don’t have any left…. I can’t have any left… I have the tickets and the camper booked and come June I will be out of here to the surprise of many and those are some of my closest friends who for one reason or another I fail to see as much as I should in the time I have left.

It has taken several long years to get to this point and as expected I am now having second thoughts. The seeds of doubt are being planted. I’m not sure why and lets face it I’m not about to give up the chance and say ‘You know what I won’t bother’ especially when I have just spent near to £2000 on the trip and begun selling all my gear.

So whats the post about? Just another reminder to you all that I’m swanning off to New Zealand and leaving the rat race. Well, in a sense ‘Yes’ but the really point is that I could have been jetting off at the end of this month and if truth is to be known I could be writing a completely different blog sat on a beach or up the side of a mountain in a hut describing my latest NZ adventures. The reasons why I’m not are simple. The simple answer is that I had an excuse after excuse not to buy the tickets, not to set a date.

The reason why I am still at home now and not about to board a plane for a 25 hour trip is that ‘Well I have work scheduled for then’ To which the replies were, book it in April. ‘But the Manchester Marathon is in April and I really want to run in my home city again and smash my PB and get under 4’ But you can do that when you come back. ‘ Yeah but I’ve been offered work for April now which will give me more spends’ Go in May then. ‘Its the 10K and I would really like to beat my PB and break 40 minutes – Besides it was the race that started my addiction, I owe it to myself to make it the last UK race I run for a while’

So there you have it excuse after excuse. Off course I could keep them coming… I have no bag!, or I’ve lost my e-ticket but the bottom line is I will be going and the only regret as the day looms towards me is that I made excuses for not booking it earlier as I am now once again sat alone in the dark with social media as my only company counting down the days until I escape this pitifully lonely isolated life.

CUT TO EXTERIOR : OUTSIDE FLAT

MAN 1 : Can you hear that?

MAN 2 : What? Hear what, I can’t hear anything?

MAN 1 : Sounds like the tiniest violin playing for some one

CUT BACK TO INTERIOR OF FLAT WHERE A 30 YEAR OLD TYPES AT HIS KEYBOARD, THE LIGHTS ARE OFF.

Who Am I

Now I’m not the first and certainly will not be the last to make this observation unless the world is too suddenly terminate the second I have published this post.

While the title suggests a deep meaningful insight to who I think I am or what I am, then I’m sorry but it couldn’t be further from the truth. No it’s all about call centres and having to check who you are. I have always found this strange and they say it’s all to protect your identity and to prevent fraud. In theory I understand and what a great idea but in practice it’s bloody stupid. Here are three examples where I feel it has proven to be comical.

Blood Donation

Yeap the old blood bank asks you. The other day I went in to have my pint of blood drained from my arm to be asked my name, date of birth and address. This was all done after I had just filled in the health questionnaire which has these details printed on it. Also this form was now positioned on the table in front of the nurse and myself. So lets say that some one was stupid enough that they wanted to steal my identity to give blood they could either remember the information on the form or do what I did yesterday and read the information. I can understand why they need to do it, but why not ask for photo I.D the system of asking you address, and Date of birth seem silly. Also my best mate could go along as all the information they ask is common knowledge amongst my friends. The real laughable event is after the health screen, I then go over to the bed to donate. After the needle is inserted and the blood is flowing the same nurse asks the same questions. As if I would have changed person within those ten minutes and if I turned out to be an impostor what would they do, stop the donation? or carry on draining all the blood out as punishment?

Tax Office

This one is short, why would someone steal someones identity and then phone the tax office to talk about their tax needs and pay their tax bill. The real annoying thing is when you get passed from department to department and each new operative asks you the security details again. Why? My phone company does it, can I ask them questions to make sure I’m talking to the right company?

Banks/Phone/Tax/Insurance

It’s not a summary of what I’ve just said, it’s a biggest pain out of all of them. There is a little bit of me that understands the security check when I phone. After all I want my money to be safe, the issue is when they phone you. I feel like saying, ‘It’s me! you phoned me? Surly me answering and confirming it was me should be enough that I am the person you wanted to speak too?’

So there we have it, todays life complaint.

Starting Again

It’s no secret that I want out of my current job the trouble is it’s not just a job or a career but a way of life. Describing the theatre biz to people who are not connected to it is a hard task. Even partners who have their better halfs working in the industry can’t really explain this magical hidden world.

As well as a job with unsociable hours comes the joys of a very busy hectic social life always drinking and partying as you say goodbye to one cast and hello to a whole bunch of new actors. I’ve been luckily enough to work with some very generous people and my phone book and facebook page is filled with one time affairs of people I’ve worked with knowing that years down the line our paths will once again cross.

However my career has taken the wrong path and has come to a dead end. I can’t trace my steps back as I’ve come too far, instead a career change is needed. Now let’s be honest people who read this blog or know me just a little will know my love of history, Wales and castles and that my dream job would be to work in a Snowdonia National Park or for the National Trust the trouble is how do you start?

The theatre biz has seen me with several transferable skills but how do I lay these out on application forms? I am a production manager which in simple terms is some one who managers budgets, all staff involved on a production and schedules to make that show be built and open on time. But for some reason people scoff as its nots a business or shop manager a role they can relate or understand having knowledge off that position.

So again where do I start, how do you start again? I’m applying for jobs that I meet the criteria for but don’t seem to get beyond ‘thank you for your application we’ll be in touch if you get through to the interview stage’

I sometimes wish it would be easier to stay in the theatre game but while the social life is great the settling down side is absent. You can forget buying a house or starting a family as it really does not pay enough or give you the time needed away from work. I often joke that theatre is my life but the tragic truth is that my life is theatre. I sleep, talk, walk, drink, eat this art form and like a seductive mistress she has a spell and a grasp on me so strong that I forget there is more important things in life.

Oh well time for yet another application form. Wish me luck!

No Life

Now, before you stop reading; this is not a ‘feel sorry for me’ post, but some people may have turned away just from the title. I am writing this while I am waiting for Concord to dry. Not that I have just nipped down to Manchester Airport and spray painted the real Concord in the hanger as that would be stupid. No I am off course building a model of Concord that I got for my birthday six weeks ago and have only just got round to constructing the model.

The Time has been given to me due to the wonderful nature of the theatre biz and my refusal to work Christmas shows as I am not the biggest fan of this so called festive time. I really can’t think of anything worse than being pushed to and thro while drinking a thimble of overpriced spices mixed in with like warn red wine on a cold wet dark evening being overlooked by a giant Zippy in a Santa costume and then be confronted by idiots who find it perfectly acceptable to amble their way though the city centre loaded with bags filled with gifts that they can’t afford but some how have managed to find some credit limit on a card, pushing this country and the word into more of a recession has come the new year they will struggle to find the money to pay off there over indulged debt and therefore reduce there house hold spending coursing the economy to shrink as the high street faces yet another load of shops closing like a line of dominoes.

Image

Now I don’t know if what I have said is completely true, but it seemed topical and I am always one for not spending or wasting money. If you are going to buy me a gift then make sure you ask me what I want, or be 110% sure that it is something I need or want otherwise you are not only wasting your money but in the process causing a painful moment when I unwrap the gift and have to fake gratitude on the useless object held in my hand and thanking the giver in a sincere voice while all the time working out where I will store or place and sometimes destroy the said item. Now thats not to say I don’t dislike receive surprises. One of my best 30th Birthday presents was from my best mate who got me a bottle of red wine in a wooden box that was bottled back in 1981 (my date of birth) This kind of present shows thought mixed with something I like. It does mean that he has set a high bar for me to match on his 30th.

The whole hattred of Christmas can be seen in another blog post here and here, and the idea of buying and giving presents if fine, but I don’t like the process of choosing and this all comes down to money. I spend weeks looking at gifts thinking ‘That’ll be good’ but then think ‘will they use it or will it be waste of money’ and I hate the idea of Christmas starting way back in August and everyone saying we will have to meet up for a Christmas drink, or we should meet up being thats it’s Christmas. How about we just meet up despite the month and the season and you may contact in one of the other 11 months of the year.

Anyway back to having no life and living like scrooge. For my 30th my parents got me an Airfix of Concord that I have been longing after for a while. I use to do Aifix, or my dad/brother use to do them as I watched but I can remember having them suspended from my ceiling in flight formation and several months ago when the work well was dry I got back into building these model planes to pass the time. Now once agin all my mates are at work, and I have six weeks to spend on my own so I thought I would open the box and start building this wonderful plane. This is where the title comes from for the blog. I have known for a long time that I love castles and history, but it seems at the moment my life is unfulfilled, all I seem to go on about it running and now I am sat in the cold building a 1:44 model of a plane that no longer graces our sky. But the the funny thing is that I am quite happy and content with this as it means I am inside and away from people having to find money to pay for yet another festive drink as they stuff several more mince pies in their fat faces all in the name of a holiday that in my opinion only seems to aid people in putting on weight and being unbearably jolly and happy at the prospect that 4 weeks time they would have over indulged and unbuttoning there trousers to the tune of “A White Christmas” and saying “we have to do it as it’s tradition” Therefore at the moment I feel that i am a bit of a bore, and I feel that several friends would agree with this statement, but it’s secret that i am a boring miserable sod but at the moment the only subject I like to talk about is my work and running an being that I have no work then running is the only subject. Therefore for the next week or however long it take me to construct this already fiddly model I have no life.

Oh well time to glue another bit of the nose. Should i place it on up or down? Life is filled with so many difficult  choices.

Leaving

This is a short post, as I have thinking to do. I’ve mentioned this before but can’t find the post to reference.

I’m fast approaching 30 and feel my career is not going anywhere and I wrote a while ago about giving it up or maybe moving to London where all the work in the industry is. Once again after a spell of work all be it tiny little designs the thought once again crossed my mind as I was confronted by a realisation.

So I am now thinking of leaving Manchester (which apart from friends and family I have no other ties) and following Dick to where the streets are paved with gold or quite simply say good-bye to the industry that has formed the back bone of my life for the past 12 years.

Lots of thinking ahead.