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Day: July 11, 2012

‘What day is today? It’s Neil’s birthday. What a day for a birthday, let’s all have some cake’

Well that headline is a lie because yesterday was my birthday but I have a tradition where I don’t talk about my birthday online on the actual day itself. I also wanted to use the birthday song from Futurama so I had to use the headline even though it was a lie. I also didn’t have any cake yesterday *sad face*

Well yes folks another circumnavigation of the sun completed and survival has been met which is the first thing I look at when reviewing that trip. I always like looking back and having a birthday in the middle of the year makes me it easy to do reviews on my birthday and at the end of the calendar year. So let’s look back at my 29th circumnavigation of the giant ball of fire that we orbit around.

Obviously there is only one place to start and that is the sad news that my dad didn’t complete his 71st trip around the sun. He passed away after a stroke earlier in the year and whilst it was extremely hard – what is harder – far harder is that his last resting place is still up in the air. He wanted his ashes spread in a certain place but for reasons that I’m not willing to go into in a public forum these wishes may not be carried out. That is hard and hopefully this can be overcome but I fear this will rumble on for many more months yet and that is painful.

Away from that sad note though my 29th trip around the sun was mainly a positive one. I achieved one of my biggest life goals by commenting on a live football match on radio. Something that I achieved in August 2011 by calling the Southend United v Leyton Orient Carling Cup match. I have subsequently done several more matches and I’m in line to takeover one of the commentary seats on all Southend home games whenever one of the commentators moves on (his house is up for sale and he’s moving out of the region to be nearer his kids/grandkids) so that will happen at some point soon. So that is something that I will be looking forward to going forward.

Last September in the wee small hours of a Friday morning I got a tweet asking me if I was going to Liberal Democrat Party Conference. I had no plans to but when it came out that I had the opportunity to interview Nick Clegg those plans quickly changed. I interviewed the Deputy Prime Minister and it was quite a surreal and interesting experience. Other notes from that weekend include losing four lbs in weight in just two days (didn’t exactly eat a lot and my hotel was a good two miles from the venue) and being accosted by a prostitute. Oh the hilarity. An interesting experience though.

Another interesting experience was running for local office. Seriously had you told me a couple of years back that I would be running for local office I’d have laughed. Laughed a lot. Laughed manically to myself and then been taken away by those nice men in white coats. However I did and despite finishing sixth out of six, it was an eye-opening experience and one that should stand me in good stead should I ever want to stand again (that decision is certainly up in the air).

Also in this trip around the sun I did what they all thought was impossible. Oh yes folks I only went and got myself a girlfriend (cue lots of whistling and hollering) but don’t worry folks it was not to last. After just a few weeks it was decided that the (un)lucky lady didn’t like me as much as she liked her ex-husband (or as it turned out – her still husband) and me in a few weeks hadn’t done enough compared to what he had in the best part of the decade. She kept comparing me to him and decided that the man who text her saying she wanted a divorce was a better man than I. Yeah the ego took a small hit on that one.

She said that it wasn’t me (*scoffs*) but it was her and she just had to sort herself out. Luckily for her she met someone else and suddenly she was fine. What a minute… and she is as far as I know very happy with her new man. Last time we saw each other she asked me if I would look after her cats whilst she went on holiday in August. We’ve not seen each other since. I suspect my cat-feeding services are no longer required and nor is my friendship. Ah well. Been there before and the old female not having single male friends (at least at the start of a new relationship) thing unless they are in the same social group rears itself again.

Of course there will be other people in my life in time. I have had a grand total of two offers of a date since but I said no to both. No wait actually three but the third was a blind date. I did actually have a couple of other dates late last year but one thought it was a booty call – yeah it really wasn’t and subsequently didn’t speak to me again and the other turned out to be my kryptonite in turns of women – clingy. Way too clingy. Clingy and Neil do not mix so that ended quick sharpish too.

I think one of my proudest achievements has been my new patio area that is now adorned with herbs and fruits. I am seriously chuffed about all this and every time a new fruit shows signs of growing I get a semblance of a smile across my face. I already have strawberries and peppers growing and I have gooseberries, winter squash, rhubarb, tomatoes and cucumber all in soil waiting their turn to make me happy. My herbs are also developing well and they are giving off a lovely smell out there although this new greenery has made my patio a new home for snails.

Lastly I have been approached to take on a couple of new writing jobs which is always nice. My ramblings here have been read by over 300,000 people in the past twelve months which I think is quite a staggering number and makes me happy. My radio stuff is still the same and is good fun with the football a huge added bonus.

Overall I’d say the past twelve months have been a success and I have made more progress towards being happy and diverse than I have in many years. In the final trip around the sun before I hit the big 3-0 I wonder what will come up but a lot of what happened in my 29th year wasn’t exactly on my radar this time last year. Also my first full day as a 29 year-old has started with a tax rebate from HMRC so maybe this will be a good one?

We’ll see and whatever happens no doubt it will be written up for all to see here…

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