Late Night Blues

In the past few days a lot has changed for me.

First of all, I have a job. Not a good one, but a job. It will allow me to earn some money while I work out what I do next.

The bad news is that the job is primarily based around night shifts. Hence why I’m currently awake as 2:35am, way past my usual bedtime.

Even worse news is that it is a job I’ve done before – cashier at a petrol station. Well, a few different petrol stations in fact. Perhaps I don’t really know what I’ve let myself in for. Only now is it dawning on me that unless I want to have to do this regularly – changing my sleep pattern by staying up late, taking regular naps, going to bed early, or a combination of all three – I’m going to have to turn into a night owl.

How long I can put up with it, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll find I like my new living pattern. In truth though, it’s unlikely to work out very well in the house I live in now. There’s no way I’ll be able to sleep very well during the day here. It’s not just the noise of the family, but the heat in my loft bedroom is unbearable at the moment.

Nevertheless, it could be the perfect excuse I need to escape from this house. Though my original plan was to get a part time job to sustain an income from which I could fund more business activities, I’m somewhat loathe to waste any money on that pathetic excuse for a business which I run, the one which has currently not received a phone call in almost a week.

So maybe, instead, I could use my money to rent somewhere. Near where I live they have just built an apartment block. A very nice one too. I could rent a one-bedroomed apartment in an excellent location for transport and shops for £400/month. It’s a lot of money, but I think I’d appreciate the freedom again. I’ve had it with here – it’s just too much. I feel too depressed here. I feel too detached from my brothers and sister because I’m more like a parent now than a sibling – because all I seem to do is moan at them or ask them to do things. Crap. I would have hated to have had an older brother telling me what to do.

The best thing for me would be to be gone from here. But I know it would make my mum and dad’s job incredibly difficult. Things are amazingly stressful around this family at the moment, due to my older sister, my grandparents, and various other circumstances. If I went it would make things ten times worse.

It’s something I’ll have to keep thinking about. There’s no immediate rush to decide, and in the meantime I can earn some money. Tomorrow will be my first night shift ever. It should be OK, but you never know in petrol stations! Either way, if I can get into a routine I’ll probably feel a bit better about it.

Cos right now I feel shit. And it’s not helped by the awful news on the TV. What a night to be up late. Poor Michael Jackson. I had a lot of time for his music. The man himself was clearly not all there in his later years. But it remains a tragedy that he became that way, partly created because he lived his entire life as a celebrity.

It’s a strange world we live in.

Fatherless Day

Today is Father’s Day. Normally a day for celebration and much eating of rich food in this house. Indeed, I would normally go and bake a soda bread, or perhaps some scones.

Not today. The reason is simple – work.

My dad doesn’t get a chance to do overtime all that often. In fact, it hardly ever happens. But finances are so tight in this house that when he does, he grabs the opportunity.

So, instead of this morning being a nice relaxing family gathering, with the gifting of cards and – for this year, anyway – some very good presents, instead the whole thing will have to be delayed till this evening.

Bit of a shame really – though I suppose I am fortunate that my dad will still be here anyway. Others, for whatever reason, have nothing to celebrate today.

Father’s Day is much lower in our society’s priorities. You can say what you like about anti-female sexism of the past, but, let’s face it, the Christian calendar on which Britain’s secular society is mostly based only has room for a Mothering Sunday, but not a male equivalent. We only invented Father’s day to bring in a bit of balance, but mostly to make some money for the greetings card business.

I also know this having worked in a card shop. Mother’s Day was almost as big as Christmas. Father’s Day was about half the size. That’s quite some signficant gap.

Is it because fathers are just objectively not as good as mothers? Or is it because there are fewer fathers worth praising? Knowing my dad, and knowing what a good one he is, I’d have to reject the former. But I think the latter must definitely be true. We hear so many stories about absent fathers that it feeds into a certain sense that not everyone has a dad worth bothering over.

Meanwhile, my dad is toiling away this morning in work, trying to earn our family some more money. Money that just gets spent on clothes, food, etc. He finds that extremely disheartening, when he looks at his online banking only to see the money just draining away. Occasionally he gets to put £50 in his savings account. Otherwise, it’s like a huge hole at the bottom of the bucket. Not so much a drip-drip, but a floody-floody.

But I appreciate it. One day I may even be able to earn enough money to contribute to living here (how many times have I said that?) so that he doesn’t feel the pinch so much. That would mean a lot, I know. It might also alleviate my guilty, scrounging conscience.

He does a lot for us, and asks for almost nothing in return. I don’t yet think my brothers and sister realise it. In truth, it’s one of those things I think you only come to appreciate by living away from home for a while; when you begin to appreciate the task of how to run an independent existence.

I’ll just have to make up for the lack of baking this morning by making some muffins later. I suspect he’ll enjoy that.

Thanks, Dad.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It’s a truism of my life that I can sit at home for days, enjoying the nice weather, but then when I’m actually required to do something, actually go somewhere, the weather will turn.

And so it has came to pass again this morning. The rain is pounding away on the roof above me, and I’m sitting here desperately hoping that it will stop by 11am – the time I need to be heading out of here.

It’s been a desperate few days. Not only have we been dealing with my brother’s broken nose, and the nightmare of trying to get the police interested (even though we have a photo of the perpetrator, his name, contact details and CCTV footage!), but in my own life there have been the usual turns for the worse.

Number 1 – I have wasted a significant degree of time chasing after people and applying for jobs that either a) don’t exist; or b) were already sewn up. I’ve tried to secure some part-time work recently, including applying for an old job I once did. Now my calls aren’t returned, and in any case it was their turn to reply after I’d jumped through all the hoops. If they’re not bothered, then fuck them. I’ve had enough of being pleasant to people only to get it thrown back in my face. It is any wonder why I want to be self-employed properly? I hate sucking up to bosses – “Oh yes, I really want this job because it will be a wonderful challenge for me and I want to work for such an outstanding company that will help me develop as an individual!”. Bullshit. You want the job because you need the cash and you’re sick and tired of watching Flog It! and Jeremy Kyle.

Number 2 – the football club seems to be heading into ruin because of the incident, and ongoing traumas which were enhanced still further on Saturday. Not only is it a logistical nightmare, but the so-called “kids” were playing against (many of them are overage) are thugs and have no class. Same goes for the managers. Then there is the problem of leagues threatening to go renegade and quit the local FA structures. Total nightmare, and all because of a few egos and the low level of intelligence that most people running football clubs and leagues have.

Number 3 – due to my brother’s broken nose, I have assumed all his responsibilities for delivering his newspaper round. Yes, that does mean I take his pay, but for £20 it’s a lot of pissing around. For instance, today I’m going to a job, then coming home to do the paper round, then going back out to do another job. Lunacy. But it has to be done, and no one else can do it.

Number 4 – my elder sister is a constant source of agony and woe to us all, but particularly my mum, who feels like she has to help her do everything, from pay her bills, to finding her a new place to live.

And in the midst of all this, there are birthdays and Father’s Day. They’re meant to be happy, joyous occasions. But no one feels like celebrating anything because of the continuous compounding of misery we’ve suffered the past two weeks or so.

I despair. I really do. I wish I had good news to report, but there just never seems to be any. The only good news is that at least I’m fit and healthy. Not everyone can say that.

Out Of Joint

As usual, it’s been an odd few days.

The most recent farce has revolved around my football team. As normal. This time, after a match, a thug playing for the opposition side came over and punched my brother in the nose, breaking it.

I’ve never seen a broken nose before, despite it being one of the most common injuries people suffer. The blood was everywhere, and it took over two hours for it to stop. The perpetrator of the assault got away – but we are in the very fortunate position of having photos of him, having his name, and playing affiliated football against registered opposition, the player will be dealt with.

And not just by the local football association. No, we have gone to the police as well, and we will press charges. Might teach the fucker a lesson. No more than he deserves; he’s probably got away with it for years. A lot of these players are thugs, and they play sports as an excuse to get aggression out of their system, caring little for who they damage in the process. The whole event was so pre-meditated, and yet so cowardly, that my brother had no chance to defend himself. He was just struck hard on the nose. I saw it with my own eyes. It didn’t look that bad at first – but I can’t believe he had never done it before. Hopefully we can get him banned from football for life, because no other player should have the misfortunate to play against him again.

So that’s caused us no end of trauma in the past 24 hours. The annoying thing about it was that we had just won the game. It took a shine off everything, and now we don’t want to play any more. After the incident of the broken leg at Christmas, I’m starting to think someone is telling us we shouldn’t run a football team. We’re not allowed to have success. As soon as we get it – it’s taken away so cruelly.

Meanwhile, I’ve been desperately trying to find some work. I’ve entered into a serious lull at the moment with my business, so I’ve been looking for something part-time. No luck. I even contacted a former employer. Something might still happen, and I’m desperate for a response, but I hate the waiting. It’s just horrible.

Of course, the whole thing would be academic if my failure of a business actually did something. I’m starting to think my phone has been disconnected. Maybe it was a bad idea to only have a mobile number? Some people don’t trust calling a random mobile. Somehow the landline just looks more trustworthy. It means there’s a physical presence of some kind. I would think more carefully about that, but the cost… unthinkable. I think that’s half my problem. I’m not prepared to spend money I don’t have.

Not much of an entrepreneur am I?

What A Difference A Friend Makes

I post this morning from the living room of my friend’s flat in Hull. On Monday I got an excited text from him, and others, asking if I’d be available for a visit this weekend. I haven’t seen him or any of my remaining friends in Hull for almost a year.

That has now been corrected, of course. I arrived here on Friday after an extremely long National Express coach journey, something that I will be repeating early this afternoon. It’s been a very good weekend, full of banter and getting back up to speed. Because, no matter what the internet offers in terms of keeping in touch with people, it just can’t compare to talking face-to-face.

On Saturday we wandered around Beverley market, something which I’d actually never done properly before. It was excellent, and I’m really envious. The variety of wonderful food on offer was just fantastic. Where else in the country will you find a shop dedicated to the baking and selling of scones? The smell when I got in there was just heaven, and the bewildering choice, from orange and lemon to ginger spice had to be experienced to be believed. And as someone who has baked many scones in the past but never achieved anything as wonderfully light and sweet as the scone I ate from there, I was even more jealous than before. I wish I had a way of bringing some home as my dad would have loved it. They just wouldn’t be the same though; the one I ate had just come out the oven. Even better.

So the market was explored and then we moved on to one of the many local pubs to play some pool. That was a success, especially because I actually won a game. I also felt like I was improving too. I need to remember to play with a longer bridge – it seems to improve my game.

Then we went out for a meal in an Indian restaurant. That is somewhat traditional now between my friends and I as we are all great fans of the food. That was also excellent, if a little too filling. I still feel stuffed this morning. But that’s why I love Indian restaurants. You always get enough food to eat, and the price you pay is similar if not cheaper than any other restaurant.

Overall though, the big lesson to me from this trip has been that I’ve dearly missed having friends around. My life would be so much better with them. There’d be more things to do and people to share it with. It’s made me seriously consider moving back here. I never thought I’d say that about Hull, that’s for sure.

I have to get my life in order. If I can get my PC sales business to take off, then realistically I can live anywhere in the UK. It wouldn’t matter as I’d be doing everything through the internet. I need a break, somehow. I just wish I knew what would do the trick – cos I’d be prepared to spend good money to achieve it.