Well, November has been an interesting month…
I decided to join in with Movember again this year: fundraising for men’s mental health. A good cause. But yes, I end up looking more ridiculous than usual and hating the annoying slug festering under my nose! At least tomorrow I can shave the bastard off or at least trim it right back!
Tonight, I’m supposed to be going to their Gala Parté at the Roundhouse Camden, but I came down with a heavy cold this week which is on its way out – thankfully – but is on my chest right now, so I can’t really be arsed. And I’m a little bit down at the moment, if I’m honest, but shh! That’s our secret, right?
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.
The 6th was the Bring Me The Horizon gig at Brixton. A good one, if I’m honest, although the band’s lead singer was a knob trying to look big in front of the predominantly young, female, screaming audience. More noise from them than from the stage.
That Friday it was the PurplePort London Social: it was good to meet up with some photographers and some models, including Sakura Star who’d previously said she was keen to work with me on a somewhat noir bondage and fetish project going forward: she has some excellent work on her portfolio already.
The next day it was off up to Norwich to see Norwich City beat West Ham United and thereby save Chris Hughton from the dole queue for a little longer…
The following week was fun at work: I was put forward for a major commission in Canada without my knowledge so I had a meeting planned with my boss – the owner of the business I work for – which never happened as we’d heard that I was needed in Chicago for a meeting which was then cancelled at short notice as they’d gone with a local company instead of ours. So that’s parked for another day…
I had a couple of days off that week to recharge and the Wednesday was a good opportunity to have one last thrash on the Sprint before winter sets in. I headed off down to Sussex, for a “Bigboy Breakfast” at Wesson’s Cafe, stopping off en route to get a warning for a dodgy numberplate as it’s too small, apparently. Oops! Must order a legal one: the bike never came with one because the vanity plate came later. The that night it was off to the O2 to see Vampire Weekend and Noah and the Whale in concert. GT and I stayed for three songs, it was that rubbish…
At the weekend, GT and I were off to an 80s party in the evening: her goth’d up (more so than usual thanks to crimping her hair) and me with a poodle perm wig, Frankie Say Relax t-shirt, white linen trousers and some horrendous white canvas shoes. A late one at that, DJ-ing from my iPhone with some 80s tracks. And then there was the Sunday…
GT had a race first thing in the morning, so while she was gone I got up, bathed and had a coffee. When she got back I made more coffee and joined her in the bathroom whilst she had a post-race bath. I told her there was something wrong: I felt she wasn’t that in to me any more – we’ve been seeing each other for nearly 3 years now on an irregular, regular basis – and that it’s become more pronounced since she was promoted, working longer hours with shifts, etc. GT agreed that she seemed to have no time to put in to a relationship these days to make one work, so we agreed to split up rather than just going through the motions. We then spent the afternoon shopping in Kingston and had dinner before I left.
The following weekend was all about gigs and bikes: on Saturday it was off to the NEC for Motorcycle Live. A chance for me to buy some new Goretex Alpinestars SMX Plus bike boots in black for next summer’s Austrian Eurothrash. It was also great to bump into Emma Kate Dawson for a chat and a catch-up.
Then on the Saturday night I saw Queens of the Stone Age at the Wembley Arena and as I had a spare ticket – I always buy two out of habit – I invited Sakura Star along as I knew she was at a loose end having just split up from her bloke. She showed me some great photos that another photographer had taken of her in a fab leather and feather dress which are now on her profiles having got clearance from the designers and we had a few drinks before the gig. QOTSA were excellent and SS was good company.
Then on the Sunday night it was off to the Hammersmith Apollo with GT to see the Pixies who were also absolutely superb.
Last week was busy: London, Birmingham and Manchester with lots of different hotels and lots of travelling. And there’s more to come soon when I pop over to Toronto to speak at a major event.
At least that should keep me busy and my mind off relationships past, present and future. In the meantime, I’ve booked next year’s holidays to Fuerteventura with my ‘kids’ to go with the Austrian Eurothrash.
So I’ve covered the Sprint GT’s first service over on its own blog – I just need to start giving it the berries a bit more (although its trip computer must be over-reading…).
I also received a letter about my stepmother’s estate which was a piece of pleasant news and well timed, given I’m planning to buy a house or maybe even my apartment which may soon be up for sale.
Due to a change of plans, I had Saturday free so I decided to get the pushbike out to go for a little spin: maybe 5 or 6 miles on the advice of my Consultant Knee Surgeon and my physiotherapist at the excellent London Bridge Hospital. 11.4 miles later and I’d had a great time, keeping the cadence up and not putting too much effort through the knee. Same thing next week, I think.
GT popped over in the evening, meeting me for dinner at the O2 where we were then due to see Iron Maiden play. An excellent gig! Then over to Waterloo to say goodnight and back home to the apartment.
Up at a reasonable time on Sunday to head up to Norfolk for lunch with the ‘kids’ which was made more difficult by the completely inept road closure arrangements for the Prudential Ride London: every main road out of London to the East was closed despite the official sites claiming they’d be open earlier.
Monday saw more check-ups and blood tests – all fine – and a nice, long phone call as arranged the week before from Humberside Police to explain, as expected and agreed, that they wouldn’t be pressing charges against the psycho ex for her theft and disposal of some of my stuff (“intention to permanently deprive”), but only because it wouldn’t be in the public interest to waste taxpayers’ money on a prosecution: there was the passage of time caused by them, sadly, which they accepted was the case and they knew she would never admit guilt – she never does – and accept a caution, so the options were a full trial or nothing and the thefts were, as I told them, insignificant (I’ve long since replaced the stolen goods with better quality, newer things … a bit like I did with her, I suppose). They suggested I start a private prosecution, which is always an option, but I can’t be arsed to waste any more time on her.
But the good news is that they’ve now got the proof of what she’s really like: a liar and a thief. So that’s the end of that: maybe she’ll stop stalking me one day too?
So it’s onward and upward!
A beautiful, sunny day today! I left Manchester this morning and drove through the Peak District to do a presentation at an immensely impressive off-site fabrication park near to Worksop. Due to the amount of traffic, my speed was forced lower which meant I could actually sight-see as I was driving along and made my journey so much more enjoyable.
The middle of the afternoon found me heading back down to London and I chose my preferred route, via the A1 and M11. What this meant was that I ended up driving back down the route I used to travel twice a week when I was living in Cleethorpes and hence was very familiar. As it was still hot and sunny and with the music playing loudly, my mood was its usual positive one, genuinely happy. I did find myself reminiscing about the times I’d done this same journey as I passed Grantham, my former turn-off onto the A46.
I thought about the good times I’d had as a result of those journeys and how ignorance had been bliss; ignorance of my being conned, betrayed, deceived and then blatantly lied to before I left forever. And then I was reminded about how much I’m enjoying life these days without all of that baggage and how I’m at peace with what happened. I’ve already forgiven but not forgotten. It appears that what doesn’t kill you does indeed make you stronger: in my case it taught me that I could still be generous whilst suffering fools and con-artists graciously and to value family and friends more. And it meant that I could have true happiness without hassle and heartache. And that’s got to be good.
So I’m back in London tonight but heading back up to Manchester in the morning, this time by train so I can have a leisurely breakfast and a snooze in First Class. Work hard, play hard, love lots and live life to the full: looking forward to seeing more stunning European Cities (like Vienna, again in June) and then my Big Trip in the summer.
So, who or what is 2000RM?
Well, for now it’s a 1999 Ford Mondeo ST200 five door hatchback and not a bad car at all. I bought it at very short notice from my local Ford dealer when my well-thrashed Ford Scorpio 24VCosworth finally gave up the ghost (engine was fine, but the auto box was knackered and with 120,000 very hard miles down, I’m not surprised it went).
I’d just about bought a Volvo C70-T5 Coupe until my wife spotted that it was only two doors and had a beige interior: not good with two kids… This was after she’d ruled out a Jaguar XJR on the grounds that it was a “look at me” car.
My Scorpio was in the workshop with the dodgy box and the dealer lent me their ST200 – “it’s only a Mundane-oh”, I said – for a couple of days just to see how I got on. No complaints from my first wife, Amy was unruffled although she liked the colour and Jack was chuffed as it sounded like the baddies’ car from “Bullitt”.
So I bought it, slapped on the vanity plate and here we are.