Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Monday, November 28, 2005

There's No Other Way.

I have come to a decision for the sake of my health and my sanity. At the current time I cannot do my current job without seriously fucking up my head. I had a chat with my boss today, as he wanted to know how I got on at the medical on Friday. I have decided it is best if I move on. So I am going to look for a transfer back to Southend. I'm lucky that I have got the support of my manager in this. He has had severe stress in the past (although not depression) so he is empathetic as a result. It will mean a bit of a drop in salary, but my health is more important than a couple of grand a year. Anyway it won't be so bad as I won't have to fork out for travel up to London three times a week.

This is something I should have done ages ago but I kept convincing myself that I was going to be alright in a couple of days and my concentration levels were going to be miraculously restored. This hasn't happened and I don't think it will for a bit, so this is the best option. It might not stop the anxiety but it will be one thing less to fret about.

On another note, I am going to my first ever Yoga class tomorrow. I have been thinking of trying yoga for ages but didn't really want to go on my own. Anyway my mate Jim wants to try it too so we've found a class nearby that specialises in beginners and intermediates, so we're going to give it a go tomorrow night. I have spoken to several people, including my sister, who have found it very beneficial in relaxing the mind and body. It's worth a try. It would be nice to relax for once.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Best Imitation Of Myself*

I had a medical for work on Friday afternoon. It was meant to be on Friday morning but just as I was leaving the house to attend it, I received a phone call from the medical centre saying that the doctor was heading to Norwich by mistake and was therefore having to turn the car around. It maent a five hour delay, but hey, I was off anyway so it didn't really matter.

I'd had a medical about nine/ten months ago because my hip was so bad and they recommended some changes in work patterns that were largely ignored. However, I had already had some reasonable adjustment and I wasn't having to go to London every day anymore which was a help. This time the medical was more to do with the anxiety I have been having of late.

As I have probably already bored you with, I have along with the anxiety (probably because of it rather than as a cause of it) been having a crisis of confidence at work. The people I work with are a very bright lot. They grasp the nettle very quickly and there ability to analyse a problem as quickly and throughly as they do leaves me feeling distinctly inadequet. I have come to the conclusion that I am just not cut out for the job that I do.

It is quite intimidating though being asked questions about what's going inside your head and why you are feeling so anxious and why you are depressed, especially when the answers you give are going into a report that is going back to work. Are you to be totally honest? Or keep a bit back? In the end I was as honest as I could be. Being anything else serves no real purpose and doesn't really address the problem. So a report will be winging it's way back to the powers that be. I'm going to try and forget about it for the moment as I don't want something else playing on my mind.

*Copyright Ben Folds

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thalidomide - The Musical.

I went to see Mat Fraser's Thalidomide - The Musical on Tuesday in Colchester an it was a great night out.

It is a thought provoking, moving and funny musical about a young boy (Fraser) born with phocomelia which causes stunted growth in the limbs. The condition is caused my expectent mothers taking the drug Thalidomide which helped morning sickness but had very serious side affects on their unborn children.

Some critics have rounded on Fraser because of his very frank portrayal of a child growing up with phocomelia but as Mat himself has explained you can only use the experiences you know about.

His co-star is Anna Winslet, older sister of Kate and she is excellent as Katie, the main proganist Glynn's (played by Fraser obviously) love interest and soul mate. The play is full of brilliantly sick jokes and lyrics and is 'a cartoon version of my own life' as Fraser called it in a Guardian interview earlier this month.

It is currently on tour around the country so I'd advise a trip out to see it. Mind you Lady Bracknell, Becca and Turtle are going to see it tonight in Liverpool so I'd steer clear of The Unity Theatre if I were you. I have no idea what is will be like with those three together, but there is bound to be trouble. lol.

I hope you all enjoy it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards.

I'm getting fed up with the way I feel at the moment. I can't seem to get out of the rut I'm in. I'm feeling increasingly low and despondant about things. I'm anxious and so tired all the time (although the two things are probably connected) and although I'm doing loads of stuff and see my mates quite a bit I feel lonely and isolated which doesn't help.

I'm in a Catch-22 situation. I am definitely overdoing things at the moment. I'm going out a lot in the week to see gigs (which I do really enjoy) and at weekends I'm out shopping, spending far too much money just to make myself feel better. On the other hand my leg and hip are hurting a lot and I'm in a lot of pain. The trouble is if I sit about doing nothing start to dwell on stuff. I am a bloody brilliant dweller, even if say so myself. I could dwell for England, so I could. Finding a happy medium at the moment is proving to be beyond my ken. So really it's a choice between being fucked in the body or being fucked in the head and I'm choosing the body option at the moment just because it seems the better one in the short term.

Work is worrying me too. I really dread going in at the moment. This is mainly because I'm finding it almost impossible to concentrate. I have a fairly cerebal job, and not being the brightest person, especially in comparison to my colleagues, I find I really have to concentrate just to appear to keep up with them. I find stuff just isn't going in at the moment and I'm struggling. My understanding and analytical skills are all over the place and as a result my confidence is shot. This has definitely affected my performance. I can't take a long period off sick because I was off last year for nearly six months when the anxiety came back with avengence. I would go on half pay if I was off for any length of time and I just couldn't afford to be off. I've a mortgage to pay as well as all the other household stuff to deal with.

I'm at a bit of a loss as what to do. I keep hanging on in there thinking that things will just get better on there own but they don't seem to be really.

I keep telling myself that if I had a girlfriend everything would be fine and dandy and maybe it would. It might do my self-esteem some good. But as the old saying goes (well it's probably a new-aged saying actually)you have to love yourself before someone else can love you back. My last two relationships ended (one after nearly two years and one after 7 months) without me being told I was loved so my self-conscious and confidence are pretty much fucked up. If I was a talented songwriter I could be the new Morrisey ;-)

This is all stupid self-pity and it's very unattractive I know that and I really want it to stop, but it doesn't matter how many assertiveness courses you go on or self help books you read the only way in the end you can feel loved (I'm not talking about being loved by family and friends because that is different) is to actually be loved. I don't know why it is so important to me. Why the opinion of one other person who I care about means so much but it does. I've got friends both male and female who claim it doesn't bother them at all. They never say the 'L' word and don't want to hear it in return because to quote one male friend 'it puts you under an obligation if you say it'. I'm sorry I think that is bollocks. That's what it's all about isn't it? I was with a girl some 9 years ago and one day she said to me "Why don't you say you love me much anymore" to which I said "You've have never said it to me" to which she said "Well it's sounds so naff doesn't it". Work that one out, needless to say we weren't together for much longer.

Sorry, this is self indulgent and rambling and you've probably got bored by now with my pathetic self pitying. I'll now and going and do something useful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

He's Got Radioactive Blood.

Ooo it's everso exciting. I'm to attend Southend Hospital tomorrow for a Isotope bone scan -spect. I have to report to the Nuclear Medicine Department in the morning where they will give me an injection which contains 'a small amount of radioactivity'. I then have to walk about for a bit and drink some fluid so there is time 'for the chemical to move around your body' so it says here. That sounds fun. I won't have to have Ready Brek in the morning cos I'll have a glow all of my own. Afterwards I've got to drink more fluid to help flush out the radioactive bit. I'm seriously hoping I'll have luminous wee. That would be so cool.

I hope I don't meet with an unfortunate accident and a spider doesn't bit me or something. I could end up spinning webs out of me hands or hanging upside down from the ceiling or getting off with Kirsten Dunst...hang on a minute, this doesn't sound too bad after all ;-)

What this is meant to do is give the pain clinic consultant a clear view of my joints. With any luck he'll be able to see what's causing me the pain in my hip. It's worth a try even if it does turn me into a superhero.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I'm not a poet and don't I know it!!

As documented I've been feeling a bit rubbish this last couple of weeks culminating in me getting some new meds for the increasing anxiety I've been feeling. Last night I had one of my really bad nights sleep. This usually manifests itself in me tossing and turning and lying awake reliving events in my head, or even worse pining for women I fell hopelessly in unrequited love with.

This is a bad idea. It does you no good whatsoever. I have been told before by friends and by professional counsellors that you need to do something about this. You can get up and do something, thus blocking it out or you can write your thoughts down thus expunging them from your mind, at least for that moment anyway.

Last night in my tossy turny episode I was ruminating on a young woman who I was briefly acquainted with and with whom I fell hopelessly in love. It was all unrequited of course and it really fucked me up for quite a while (I won't bore you with the details). So last night, and I wasn't pissed, I decided to write a poem for her. This was at about 1.30 in the morning and as you will see was a mistake. Although this was purely an exercise in trying to channel all the negative thoughts and energy I was experiencing and I don't have any intention of sending it to her, anyway I haven't seen her for an age and don't know where she lives.

When I looked at this poem this morning I fell about in fits of laughter. It is a really bad poem, really bad. Full of self-pity and appalling couplets. It sounded good last night when I was feeling all sorry for myself and was dreaming about what could have happened if she had decided that I was the one for her.

So as a lesson to any budding poets out there and because it is just so shit and it made me laugh, I give you my poem about unrequited love. Billy Bragg, Martha Wainwright and Morrisey eat your collective hearts out ;-) Bracketed comments are my own.

You're the itch I cannot scratch,
The star I cannot reach, (pass the sick bucket)
Like the damp unstrikeable match, (I needed something to rhyme with scratch, sorry)
Lost keys on a sandy beach.

Your memory sets me in a whirl,
Though I hardly knew you,
Like the train window girl, (I nicked the last four words off of Scott Walker)
Disappearing from view.

I could never tell you how I felt,
Nor the longing in my heart, (poor little lamb)
How your voice would make me melt, ( she wasn't a superhero so fuck knows what this means)
You had me from the start.

(Here comes the self pitying bit, get yer hankies out)

My feelings for you were all consuming, (Jesus this is shit)
Unrequited love's made that way (Er yes what's new)
It's painful return always looming (Get a bloody grip man)
It must be kept at bay (Possibly the worst last line in a poem ever, it was 2 o'clock in the morning though and I really needed a wee).

Well that's it. I think that bollocks will be melting the hearts of any women anytime soon. I should stick to lists I think.

Friday, November 11, 2005

'I Want To Be Straight.'

It's one of my 'I hate being a crip days' today. On most days I celebrate the fact because it gives me so much, but today I'm really down, anxious and sore. I usually end up making things worse for myself by giving myself a really hard time. Inanimate objects bear the brunt of my frustration at struggling to get in and out of the car, or not having a free hand when carrying stuff or when I trip over my stick.

I ws prescribed new meds yesterday so once they've bedded in maybe I'll feel a little bit better.
I know I'll be okay at some stage and I'll be criptastic again but today I'm cranky. I've been off work for two days at that worries me because I've had too much time off in the last eighteen months or so. I find it really difficult to concentrate when I'm there. It's quite a cerebral job and I'm not the brightest star in the sky and I really have to work at it even appear half way decent so feeling like I do doesn't help any.

Anyway I've been trying to maintain equilibrium by mainly listening too:

Elliot Smith - XO
Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
Martha Wainwright - Martha Wainwright
Ian Dury - Reasons To Be Cheerful
The Fall - 50, 000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong
Laura Vires - Year Of Meteors
Fiery Furnaces - Rehearsing My Choir
The Cramps - Off The Bone
( ) - Sigur Ros
Sparklehorse - It's A Wonderful Life
Gabriel Yared - Betty Blue Soundtrack
The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
Errol Garner - Concert By The Sea
Stacey Kent - The Tender Trap.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Reasons To Be Cheerful (Not).

I'm always seeing lists of favourite, most popular, biggest selling things on the telly, in magazines, books and on the internet. I'm a right one for the list myself. In the next month or so no doubt I'll be posting my favourite records of the year. However in the interests of nothing in particular I've drawn up a list of things that I don't particular like. Some of them I'd even admit to hating. None are Earth shattering or important. Remember kids, this is just a bit of fun.

1. Carrots - In my view carrots are the food of the devil. It is unnatural to have orange things on your plate. I really, really hate boiled carrots. Please, if I ever come to dinner(and I hope to one day *wink*) don't put carrots on my plate. I would have to take them off before eating and that might be embarrasing.

2. Shop Assistants Who Talk To Their Mates While They Are Serving - It seems to happen everywhere these days. And it is the height of bad manners. I used towork in a contact centre, imagine the outcry if when someone phoned I asked them to hold on while I finished my conversation about what went on in Eastenders last night.

3. Drivers Who Don't Indicate - Another popular pastime. When approaching a roundabout or junction INDICATE!! This is not only good practice but lets other road users know what the fuck you are doing.

4. People Who Talk At Gigs - Those gig goers amongst us (Nic, Stella you'll know what I mean) will despair of those people who think it is okay to carry on a converstaion with there mates during a performance and because gigs usually involve loud music, shout over the top of it in order to be heard. Here is a tip. If you do wish to discuss the latest news with your companion then please FUCK OFF TO THE BAR AND DO IT!. Don't stand benhind me or Nic or Stella (if you happen to be in Melbourne for the day). A batey crip is a dangerous crip, remember that.

5. Burberry - Horrid check stuff that should only be worn by rich country types when they are out slaughtering defenceless animals in the name of sport. It is not meant to be a fashion accessory.

6. ITV - Is there anything worth watching on ITV? No thought not.

7. My PC - Bloody bastard thing. It takes two goes to boot up and two goes to get online which is the equivilent of about twenty minutes. Then it is so slow I can't download pictures to my blog with it and have to use another PC if I want to adorn any entry. It kicks me off line about twice a session and I cannot use it to download music, videos etc. I need a new one.

8. Liver - I like most foods. Give me hearts, kidneys or even tripe and I'm a happy boy. Lambs or calves liver (chicken liver is yummy) makes me heave though. So if you don't want Marmiteboy for dinner liver and carrots is what you'll have to serve.

9. The Lighthouse Family - Could they be the shitest band of all time? Are they worse than Dido, Katie Melua, Keane, Coldplay and James Blunt? Yes they are.

10. Celebrity Professional Scousers - Having lived on Merseyside in my late twenties and early thirties I find nothing more offensive than this particular species of the human race. Most Liverpudians I have met have been warm, friendly, humourous and kind. However when it comes to the kind of scouser that you get on tv be it Craig wot won Big Brother, to Tarby and Cilla I get really pissed off with the professional scouser. I remember seeing the very first episode of Big Brother where Craig introduced himself by saying 'I'm a scouser so obviouly I'll make evryone laugh'. Wrong!! Why do professional scousers believe that they are funnier than everyone else? And another thing, why does 'Our Cilla' as she calls herself, keep asking her fellow scousers to 'Give my love to the 'pool' when she never bloody goes there. She is safely tucked up in Sunningdale with Tarby and another showbiz types and never sets foot in the place. She can't love it that much can she? I've heard that she wouldn't be welcome much anyway. No one hates a professional scouser as much as a real one does.

As an extra here is a quote that I read today and rather liked.

On being asked if he had missed out on anything by being disabled the great Ian Dury replied "...Naaah...I missed a couple of buses though..." We miss you Ian.

Monday, November 07, 2005

"Just Another Manic Monday"

Feeling rough today, so rough I've started quoting Bangles songs. I had a proper panic attack at teatime today which put me off my lamb stew. This has annoyed me as lamb stew is one of my favourite dinners.

I had been feeling a bit less anxious lately but yesterday I started getting a tight chest again and had a restless 3 hours sleep. I didn't feel too bad in the office but as I got home I felt really strange. I didn't run about like a headless chicken or anything but I felt really physically scared for about an hour and haven't really felt right since.

Dunno what's brought it on today. Maybe it was because I've gone back to work today and I'm a work shy fop? Or maybe the TENS machine has been shaking me insides up? Both of these are highly unlikely. Hopefully I'll be okay again by tomorrow but it does concern me slighty. s I've probably banged on before felt like this twice before and ended up being quite ill with anxiety both times. At least this time I'm on meds for it so I may be able to ward it off. I hd the results of the blood tests and ECG I had the other week recently and thankfully it came up okay. There is nothing physically wrong with me. That's good of course but it worries me that it must mean this is a mental health issue.

Friday, November 04, 2005

TENS Machine

After a wait of over 9 months I finally received a TENS machine from the pain clinic on Wednesday. The TENS machine is potenially a clever bit of kit as it offer drug free pain relief. What it purportedly does is send a tingly sensation to the area of pain. This sensation tricks the brain as it reaches it before the pain signal. If it works properly this will help the pain considerablely. I have been advised by people who have used one (thanks Mumpy) that two hours on and one hour off is a good way of using it and I'm going to give it a go.

I have one problem though. It doesn't work properly. One of the leads isn't sending any signal at all so I'm going to have to go back to the clinic with it and see about getting it changed.

Introduction Agency Update.

Thanks for all the comments you posted last week in reply to my Introduction Agency post. I received details from them on Wednesday and I'm not going to able to go ahead. The main reason for this is that they want an upfront payment of £499!! This is a great deal of money, which I haven't got. Even if I did have it I would be wary of paying someone this kind of money for not very much. They take your photo and put it in a book with a little description of you and that's about it. Also on closer inspection of their bumpf it seems they want to introduce me to 'ladies' and that they have several 'gentlemen' on their books. I'm not happy with their terminology at all. I don't think I'm going to find a young(ish) woman into gigging etc with them so I'm going to have to think on.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I've kissed Martha Wainwright!!

Well it was a peck on the cheek really but she is a bona fide rock 'n' roll star and has made records and everything.

This momentous event in Marmiteboy's day happened last night at The Cambridge Junction after the opening night of Martha's UK tour. She signed my copy of her cd, which has almost permanent residency in the cd player at the moment and then lent forward for a peck on the cheek. I wasn't the only one mind, she was kissing everybody.

As for the gig? Well it was good without being great. The band do need to tighten up a bit and Martha did keep changing the set about so half the time I'm sure they didn't know what was happening next. She sings like an angel though and has as an easy relaxed manner on stage. I'm sure this comes from being from a family of performers, her Dad is Loundan Wainwright III and her Mum is Kate McGarrigle and her brother Rufus Wainwright.

There were some very good performances despite the shakiness though, Ball and Chain was wonderful as was a couple of French songs she did with her cousin Lilli, akso from the McGarrigle family. The biggest cheer of course was for the quite splendid Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole', which is a track so wonderful it makes the hairs stand up omn the back of my neck when I hear it. I I'm now the owner of a BMFA tee-shirt which I shall not be wearing when I visit my Mum.

I've no doubt as the tour continues she'll get better and better and I look forward to seeing her again.