Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Friends

I never had a dog growing up.

They always freaked me out if I'm being honest, I'm not sure why. It's hard to believe looking at me now, at just shy of 6"3 but I was a really small kid growing up and they always seemed massive.

When I started the final year of high school in 1995 I was 5"4, when I finished I was 5"11. That helped me out quite a bit in all honesty because my brother is really tall.

I couldn't have dealt with being loads shorter than my big brother. I mean he'll always be taller than me, that's a given but still, not by much these days.

There were all manner of animals around our house growing up from cats to fish and even a tortoise, who my dad drilled a tiny hole in the back of his shell and attached a red ribbon so he wouldn't get lost in the grass.

I had a cat later on in life when I lived on my own, not through my design, and I ended up giving her to a lovely old lady who'd recently lost her cat when I moved back to my mum's house. I knew I'd be moving to a new house and that I probably wouldn't be able to accommodate a pet. I was sad initially but I knew that Mookie had gone to a nice house so I didn't give it too much thought.

A few years back I was helping my brother clear out his late mother in law's house and managed to inherit a budgie who didn't have anywhere to go. He'd been on his own a bit because of hospital visits and you could tell the situation had stressed him a bit. I'd try and minimise the amount I'd spend apart from him wherever possible and always left him the radio on if we had to go out.

He got used to the situation pretty quickly, he even escaped at one point and shat on my brand new TV but that's another story for another day.

My wife, impulsive as a young Cyndi Lauper, bought another budgie as a present I believe initially but we ended up keeping her. Harper was her name and she was loads bigger than Bobby and a lot more tame and confident.

The two still tweet away like they've know each other forever. It's so heartening to see them chattering away hour after hour. It kind of reminds you that we all need people; like minded souls to share the day and to enjoy experiences with.

The central drive to my wife's strategy regarding pets however, was clear from day one.

She wanted a dog.

I didn't.

We'd talk about it for hours and weighed up various options but it became obvious, to me at least, that I couldn't stand being the person that made the person I cared about the most, unhappy for whatever reason.

I knew that at some point it'd happen but it became more about the timing than anything else and also, because I'm such an idiot sometimes, about me squashing my own ridiculous sense of stubbornness.
When we first drove to pick little Larry the Dachshund up I was equal parts nervous/excited really as I didn't know what to expect, but over the first few weeks I noticed myself spending more and more time wondering about what he was doing whilst I was at work or away somewhere. I passed it off mentally however. I was right. I had to be. Everyone else was wrong.

Everyone I spoke to though asked me about him, loved him, fussed him massively however, but somehow I never quite seemed to get it. He was adorable, quite comical and at the same time and a little bit curious but in my head I wondered if that was as far as this relationship would go.

Fast forward to this past weekend, a glorious sprawling Easter Bank Holiday spectacular, which involved hanging out and eating like an absolute cretin, and something changed.

Yesterday I was sitting on the floor with my hoodie on and Larry wandered over to see what I was doing and climbed up on my chest as I watched television. This was nothing new really, he'd been doing this for a while but this time I noticed that he seemed a little cold so I wrapped him up in the warmness of my hoodie without even thinking too much about it.

I'd never really done anything that impulsive before with him and, looking back at it, I guess it was a big step.

He took one look at me, snorted a little and then settled down for a nap. As he lay there on my chest I could see that he was still struggling to get comfortable though, so I zipped up my top over him while I watched the TV.

I never even noticed that he fell asleep until I looked at him.

He looked so peaceful that I didn't even want to breathe properly in case I woke him up. I could feel myself getting a little drowsy because, as he got warmer and more relaxed, his breathing was quite hypnotic and he almost became like a hot water bottle.

I took one last glance at him before I shut my eyes and it all made sense at that point.

I get it now. I completely get it.

I'm back at work today, but I'm already wondering about what the future with Larry and Vanille will hold. We're not designed to do this on our own, others make up the most important parts of what we do why we do.

Until next time my friends.
Take care.
Speak soon.

Ben

Monday, 3 April 2017

Dad

I try and keep this space free for when I need it now.

Whenever I've got something to say more than glib romanticized witticisms or observations about being stuck in a lift somewhere.

It's 10 years since I lost my Dad.

I don't know where to begin or how to start.

I figured I'd just sit here, write a bit and things would happen.

The words would come along nice and easily but it's harder than that somehow.




Dad,

There's so much I wish I could tell you. There's so many things that have happened. I've got a wife, she's amazing. You'd love her. She's called Alison and she's probably the best human being I've ever met. She's pretty and kind and thoughtful and makes everything worth doing.

I've got a small dog called Larry and two budgies called Bobby and Harper. Larry's adorable and quickly becoming my favourite thing.

I've got a nice house and a nice job and a good car as well, not that that's super important but I know that you always think it is.

You were right by the way; getting that teaching qualification was probably the best thing I've ever done because not long after you left I started teaching regularly and 10 years later I'm still doing it.

Mum's doing fine as well but I guess you knew she would. She's strong like that, I moved back in home for 3 years to help her out and to save a bit of money as well. It made the whole transition easier for both of us. I moved out in 2011 and still live in the same house. We'll probably move soon though because I can see us getting another dog at some point and we'll need a bit more room.

I wrote a bit, for a few magazines, websites and various publications. I could always imagine you being happy about that, because I know you were so passionate about writing and everything to do with that. I wrote primarily about mixed martial arts but there's been quite a bit of other stuff as well in the meantime.

Speaking of mixed martial arts, I judge fights now and have been doing so for about 7 years. I've been all over the place and been privileged to see some fantastic things and meet some wonderful people. It's probably the one thing I do out of everything I do that I feel I do the best if that's not too convoluted.

I also play a load of old computer games on a channel on YouTube. I'll never forget you walking me down to Longton on a Saturday to play all those arcade machines. I loved that.

I should be really happy but on a day like today that seems next to impossible.

I miss everything about you.
I miss being able to talk to you about nothing.
I miss important talks but most importantly I miss that I never had the opportunity to make you properly proud of me. Everything that I'm most proud of in my entire life happened after you went, so I never got a chance to show you what I could become. I'll never stop trying though, I promise you that. I'll always try to do the right thing like you taught me and to try and to always help out anyone who needs it.

Take Care Dad
Love Always
Ben

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Lost for a day


I'm sorry I've not been here for a while.

Those who know me will know that I recently started a videogaming channel on Youtube and it's taken up quite a bit of time. In a good way though you understand.

It's not like I don't get the thoughts to write anymore, it's just getting the process right to let them tumble out of my head in good order.

Yesterday was one of the best Saturdays I've had in forever. All I did was play Mario and drink tea. It was a dark, cold afternoon and I stayed warm indoors and played videogames.

I'm working on a Super Mario World 96 exit clear so I needed to practice a little bit before I sat down to record, which I think will happen next week. It's frightening how lost I became in the whole process. It's literally like nothing else existed.  I took this photo before I started and I've been unable to get away from looking at it ever since.

It's just perfect.

It's dark but the lights seem warm.
It's comforting and full of amazing memories.
It's the beginning of a fantastic journey and I've got everything I need.

I'll never stop doing the things that make me happy.
That's the key people, that's truly the key.

Take care
Speak soon
Ben