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My Spiritual Home

I guess this will turn into something of a history lesson if I allow it and to be honest, maybe thats what it deserves. So instead of making this a very long winded piece, I shall just put links up where I deem necessary and it shall be up to you dear reader whether you wish to delve further or not. I shall though, just add snipets of information here and there, just to help understand the piece.

I guess my life thus far has been a search, not only for myself, but for my own spiritual essence. I dont believe in God as such, but deep in the hills of Northumberland, England, I think I am closer to “God” than anywhere else. I just love getting losy in the Cheviot Hills. I would live there if I could, happily, spending my days roaming the hills and valleys. I feel at ease with myself there and at ease with the world. Nowhere else gives me that, that I have found anyway.

Since I became ill, I have not been back to my spiritual home. I miss it terribly, so does my partner. But, on June 19th, we have booked a holiday cottage there and will spend a full week, in the shadow of Humbleton Hill and we will enjoy every second of it. I can’t wait to get there now and enjoy the peace and tranquility I have missed these last 3 years.

I have used a little poetic licence here, but in effect, it is not far from the reality that I have bent slightly.

Upon the hill I fix my gaze,
on bracken deep and sheep that graze,

gliders swoop akin to birds in flight,
across the vista of this wonderous sight.

the old hill fort of days long gone,
battered by winds, rain and sun,

just a hill now I love to climb,
as it stands in defiance of old father time.

looking east toward the coast,
as I sit atop my humble host,

looking north to the Border Reivers domain,
to battlefields, where their enemies were slain.

looking south across the Pennine Way,
a longer climb for another day.

looking west across the rolling hills,
toward the land of dark, satanic mills,

across panoramic views, I let my eye roam,
as I stand once more, atop, my spiritual home.

A few explanations here methinks.

I am referring to a place called Humbleton Hill, in the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland.

The Border Reivers were a band of nomads who inhabited the English/Scottish border areas from the 13th to the 16th centuries. A very interesting people, they are still referred to today in the area.


I make reference to a Hill Fort, which many of these hills were around the bronze and iron age. Arial photographs show the contours of the land that are not visable at ground level. These photographs show the remains of settlements and how they were constructed.


I also mention The Pennine Way. This is a footpath that follows what we call the Spine of England, the Pennine Hills. It is 267 miles long and stretches from Derbyshire [Edale] and ends in the Borders or Eng/Sco [Kirk Yetholm].


I also refer to gliders. There is a gliding school not far from the hill and at weekends, you can sit all day watching them coming and going. I never tire of seeing them.

Last but not least, I mention the “land of dark, satanic mills”. This is geographically incorrect. Due west would be Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway. But South West you can see the area referred to in William Blakes original poem, Jeruselem. This poem has now become a hymn,  synonymous with England and its people. If you wish to read the poem,


Or, if you prefer to listen to it being sung,

So there ends this piece. I am proud of where I live. I am lucky to have what we have so close at hand, yet so far away since I am not allowed to drive anymore on medical grounds.

I hope you take a little time to explore some of the links I have posted, I am sure you wont be disappointed.

Toodle Pip

Submitted to Victoria’s MMWP


Never running smootly.

Things, situations, never seem to run smoothly in this family. Its tiresome, it really is.

Our son [Tinks Dad] was supposed to be moving into his new house on Saturday, but due to other buyers in the chain, that date has been moved back a week until 3rd May at earliest. We had al put in a lot of effort to get this pushed through. All was going perfectly well until Sunday. The couple buying our sons place currently work in Dubai and flew in to take another look at the place and do a little measuring up. It was then that we learnt they could not complete by the dates given. I had managed to organise a removal company and a new nursery for Tinks. Our son had done all the stuff needed for broadband to be activated, phone lines, fax lines [as his partner works from home] re-directed post [letters etc] and changed the address on his driving licence. All that, and more besides has been put on hold for another week. That eats into the time they had both booked off from work. They are both in pretty high positions and getting time off at short notice is difficult for them both. A Senior Operations Manager and a Human Resources Manager need to organise cover for time off and make sure all loose ends are neatly tied up. Both of them will be on call during holidays, to sort out any major problems. I don’t envy them at all.

So now, we all sit and wait and hope that completion happens soon. My partner has booked time off as well. I don’t need to do that, thankfully, I am off and available anytime. I shall be doing a lot of looking after Tinks whilst the move goes ahead. The two grannies will be helping clean the new place and dad and his mate will be humping a lot of boxes and bags. I have the easy task!

This is how life appears to be these days. Its one thing after another. I just want a year, just one, where nothing goes wrong. How is it possible to make that happen? I always relished a challenge, and problems and complications were nothing to me, I just tackled them head on. These days, I am not able to do that. This damned condition has changed me in many ways and problem solving is just one small area that has suffered. I am on the road to making it back, so that all the small things don’t drag me down, but its a fuckin long road, or looks that way some days. This time four years ago, I would have done a lot of things myself. Removals? Pfft, piece of cake, rent a van, done in a morning. Theres things that need doing in the new place. Me? First one up the ladder and do it for nothing but a cup of tea and a beer when finished. I was very handy. In the first house my son shared with his partner, we fitted the new kitchen and bathroom, did a lot of painting. Fixed drainpipes, repaired some poor pointing at the rear. Stripped the porch back to bare wood and renovated it. All shit like that was my domain. Sadly, no more. I feel useless sometimes. I have to try to not think like that, but at times like these, it’s harder than it sounds.

So we wait.

Meanwhile, on a slightly different subject. Poker is a mess right now. I am hardly playing and only one cash withdrawal has come through without hassle so far. Carbon paid up inside two days. Nothing from the others and its over $1500 that’s owed. I was wanting to leave the cash alone, out of sight until I had enough to pay for a trip to Paris for my partners birthday. She has always wanted to go there and we should have gone on her 50th, but my health was too bad to allow that. So I thought I would keep my poker bankroll hidden, then drop the surprise on her. I can still do that. I am withdrawing to Moneybookers, an e wallet, that no one but me has access to. The only trouble with that is, I can spend it, or it’s not growing as I am not playing. But until this mess in the States gets sorted, internet poker is holding its breath to see what happens next. More and more poker providers are pulling out of America completely. That affects us all. Fields will be smaller, the amount of cash and SnG players will lessen, that means reduced prize pools. To us playing small buy ins/micros, it shouldn’t have too big effect, but nothing is certain right now.

So I am left waiting on two fronts.

Just to add fuel to the fire, finding some voluntary work that’s suitable is proving more difficult than I thought it would.

C’est la vie.

That was the day that was.

Tuesdays, I just love Tuesdays. After talking about my dislike of Sundays, Tuesdays carry the mantle of my favourite day. Why would anyones favourite day be a Tuesday? Pull up a sandbag, take a seat and I shall reveal all.

Tuesday is babysitting day and has been for almost three years now. We get the pleasure of our delightful granddaughter every Tuesday, all day. We feed her, we bath her and play with her and its the day where I forget about everything and my focus is 100% on her. I call her my Tinkerbell as she sprinkles a little magic everywhere she goes.

Unfortunately, Tinkerbell was up at 5am this morning. She is not the worlds greatest sleeper, that’s for sure, but 5am! So she was tired by the time she arrived with daddy. He drops her off on his way to work and picks her up again on his way home. Theres always a meal for him and we have usually already had our meal. So its been a full day indoors today. It was raining this am, so no big deal, we always manage to occupy her. She has a great imagination and loves make-believe games. I can still drive with her, unlike real life. We can go anywhere we choose and be whoever we want to be. She has her imaginary friend Thomas here today and he keeps running away like a naughty little boy and we have to find him. Like a game of hide and seek, only different. It’s great fun most of the time.

Things have been hectic of late with our son and his partner. They have put their house on the market and are looking for a new place of their own. The 3rd couple to view their house put in an offer that was accepted and our son put an offer in on another property which was also accepted. So anywhere in the next 12 weeks, matters should be finalised and our son and his little family will be moving. Fingers crossed all goes well. Our son also has a new job he found out today. He has just been promoted to Senior Operations Manager. Not bad for 31 and he has only been with the company 6 months. Great news. Better pay, better prospects. One downside, he has to travel sometimes. He will be looking after the Apple [yes that Apple] contract and that encompasses just about everywhere in the world. How often that travel will be is yet to be determined. The problem that now arises though is this. His partner is also in a job that demands some travel. Thankfully its only the UK, but she can still be away from home for two or three nights a week. So what the hell happens when they are both away is a bridge we shall cross when we come to it. My partner works part-time and we often have Tinkerbell stay with us for a night. That one night could end up becoming 2 or 3. Her other grandma is not in the best of health and finds it hard going to look after Tinkerbell for a day. She has never looked after her for longer than that and has not had her stay for a night.

So that’s his house sold, another house bought and a new job to boot. Is it any wonder I like Tuesdays?

If you like House music, you wont like this?

1: In the house in a heartbeat, Theme to the film 28 weeks later.

2: House of the rising sun, The Animals, good old Geordie boys!

3: This old house, Shakin Stevens [cover]

4: Our house, Madness.

5: Ghost in my house, R Dean Taylor

6: This is our house, Bon Jovi

7: Houses of  the Holy, Led Zeppelin

8: Burning dow the house, The Cardigans ft Tom Jones

9: A house is not a home, Luther Vandross

10: Rock this house, BB King and Elton John