Thursday 21 February 2008


Greetings. When I was a little boy living in Vancouver, I remember how I loved to go into car showrooms and dream. I dreamt of the day that I would be able to have my very own car. I wanted a car like the one in the picture (a 1963 Studebaker Avanti). One time, in the Studebaker showroom, the salesman noticed my curiosity. "Do you like that car?" asked the salesman. The huge grin on my face and my nodding head most certainly answered that question. "Tell you what" he said. "If you go home and get two dollars, we will save this car for you until you are old enough to drive." With great excitement, I rushed home and asked my Mother for the two dollars. With a kind, gentle manner, my dear Mother explained he was only joking. Not much of a joke to a ten year old lad. The innocence of youth eh?
Today is a milestone for me. Today is the one year anniversary since my first ever blog on the community of Mind Bloggling. Today is my Brother's birthday. Happy birthday Andrew! Today marks my continuance in my personal, positive recovery to mental health wellbeing.
I would like to share with you a story of motivation. For many years I was a lonely, isolated recluse. My 'inner-critic' bombarded with negative thoughts. "Distance yourself from Society. You are not valued in that cruel, cynical, indifferent world, you are stupid and worthless!" Such negative thoughts were relentless. Then my last positive thread of resolve spoke to me. "Gary, you must challenge brave, be strong."
So with this thought swirling in my mind, I took action. I somehow found the courage to go on the 'Changes' Coordinator course. This became a turning point in my life. I discovered that even what could be perceived as a negative situation could be turned into a positive. When I was on the course, I had a rather inconvenient distraction of driving my son to work. That was forty miles a day, three days a week. On the Friday, the fourth day of his work week, he only worked half a day. Because of my finanical situation, on Friday's I stayed in my car and waited for him.
This is where renewed positive thinking came to fruition. Every Friday, through the cold Winter of 2006/07, I sat in my car. My negative self would have thought: "Oh great, I'm cold, I'm miserable and I've got five hours to wait for my son. How boring." Yet my positive self thought this: "Okay, I'm stuck here waiting for Tristan. Five hours can seem a long time. So here's the perfect opportunity to do your Changes course personal learning diary!" So with 'Penny', the Jack Russell dog, all curled up on the back seat and having a snooze; I focused on my diary. When I next looked up, there was Tristan tapping on the car window. The five hours had flown by.
So the Changes course was a major catalyst in my ongoing journey towards a better life. It was much more than just another college course. It taught me that I have value, that I can have friends. Indeed, it showed me that I am not alone. We are all in this together. We are all here for each other. Empathy is powerful.
I thank you for your time.

Monday 18 February 2008

Internet Service Unprovider

Hello and very good day to you. Finally, I have read the 'mountain' of mail that came thumping through my letter box. To those 'millions' of secret admirers who sent me a Valentine's Day card, thank you so much. (This may surprise you, but I made up the story about getting all those cards...even so, a guy can dream eh?)
On Sunday afternoon after spending a few hours mucking about in the garden, I decided it was time to get indoors and check out the Internet. I tried to log on and my Internet Service Provider was having none of it. It appeared that I suddenly didn't exist. Invalid password, invalid name, invalid bloody everything. Over and over I tried. Hour upon hour passed. Why didn't I just switch the thing off, and, heaven forbid, read a book?
Then an awful realisation came flowing into my head. For lack of a better way to describe it, I knew I must have my internet 'fix'. I was starting to get 'withdrawal symptoms'. I couldn't 'surf the web'. Heck the closest thing I was getting to surfing, was the 'waves' of panic that immersed me. What was I going to do?
Right then, I thought, one last try and if it doesn't work, I will phone my ISP's technical department. So with the cursor aimed on the 'sign on' bit, I gave it a nervous click. My anxiety was so enhanced that I looked away from the screen. Through parted fingers, I checked the situation on my monitor. Yahoo! (to clarify, 'yahoo' means: 'yippee' I'm online' and is not a reference to a particular ISP). I was on the 'WWW'. Thrilled with relief, I put all my account details back away. Two minutes later it crashed! If I hear the voice of 'Purdey' from the 'New Avengers' say "goodbye" one more time..I think I will resort to watching that would be Absolutely Fabulous.
After about two more hours of pratting about, my connection seems to have stabilised. However being the type not to tempt fate, I shall hastily bring this boring blog to a conclusion. To have switched on my computer and hear 'Purdey' say "Welcome to ***" ( I'll let you figure out what company it is..although the last letter of their name is 'L' and that rhymes with 'Hell') was almost music to my ears. Well it's a heck of a lot better than when I'm told "goodbye" and I haven't even signed off.
Moan over, bloody computers!

Thursday 14 February 2008

A 'Mountain' of Mail.

I have almost managed to clear a pathway to my front door. The 'mountain' of mail (also known as Valentine's cards or is it bills?) I receive on February 14th is staggering. Early Valentine's morning, I looked out my window and saw the postal lorry (an 'articulated' lorry, no less, which doesn't mean it is a well-spoken truck)... and knew that great stacks of Valentine's Day cards would soon be thumping through my letter box.

This year has been even more of a struggle. The overflow of Valentine cards was so great that it cascaded into my living room and onto my keyboard. Must clear off a couple more if I get my metters lixed, I blame it on that last card I just removed off my beykoard

Valentine's Day, in all seriousness, is a day of reflection. I think of my lost love. I hope she is happy, for despite it all, I will never stop caring. I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day. This is a short blog. I have a 'mountain' of mail to read. Well a guy can dream....

Sunday 3 February 2008

The Cynic Clinic.

Hi there. I was contemplating doing a blog about apathy but I couldn't be bothered. Somebody asked me if I was always indecisive. Well yes and no.
Then I got to thinking about doing a blog about being cynical. Okay then, it is easy to dismiss the good intentions of folks as some sinister plan to actually take advantage of us. So does everybody have a 'hidden agenda'? Please look at the lil' dude (yes it's a dude), in the picture on the left. Does he look like he would become disillusioned by an indifferent world? Maybe, just maybe, he would challenge the cynics. What about 'Tinkerbell'? You would most certainly trust her. Or, would the cynic think that people, or for that matter, mythical fairies, are all just 'wolves in sheep's clothing'? What if I were to tell a cynic that I have no 'hidden agenda'. 'Yeah right, 'course you don't', thinks the cynic.
It is a sad state of affairs, when genuine good intentions are interpreted as some sort of sinister, surreptious plot to take advantage of the unsuspecting. So what if we had a way to convince the cynic that not all people have underlying devious intentions? What if we could convince the cynic that the reason shops put milk at the back of the store, when you only wanted milk; is not because they hope you will be tempted to buy extra items. No, ofcourse the real reason is they want you to enjoy the delights of battling down some crowded aisle, skillfully dodging the congregation of folks who refuse to budge. You see, they know that you want the challenge of getting to the bloody milk. Why put it in a location that would make sense to someone who just wants milk!
Bravely and unscathed, you stagger up to the checkout counter, firmly clutching the bottle of 'cow juice'. You begin to relax as you hand over the money for the milk. Ofcourse, if you have kids, this little escapade to the store may not be quite over. Boldly on display are the dreaded sweet temptations. "Oh can we have some sweets, please oh please!" scream the little angels. Now we know that the store has located them is such a manner, not as a ploy to increase profits and torture parents. No, what the shop is really saying is: 'Go on buy your wonderful children a well-deserved treat. It has nothing to do with our profit margin, it all about how much you love your kids.
I'm sure you realise that none of the preceding statements were even remotely cynical or sarcastic (yeah right!). However, how about a place cynics could go to reduce their overwhelming sense that the world is full of 'two-faced', 'back-stabbing' plotters? What if we could make them see that there are people who embrace altruism? So why not a non-profit, charitable organisation for cynics? The logical choice of names would be 'The Cynic Clinic'. A warm and caring ethos. Where our aim would be to help the cynic discover the goodness in others.
That's it then. The Cynic Clinic. A detox for the disillusioned. "Yeah right. I suppose you people at The Cynic Clinic expect me to believe you are as sincere as a mosquito at a blood donor centre? You expect me to believe that you are not making 'big bucks' out of it all!" states the cynic. Never mind, I suppose the concept of The Cynic Clinic would never work. Then again, maybe I'm just being cynical?