My journey from here to there (5th Jan-11th Jan 2019).

My journey from here to there.

Saturday 5th January, 2019.

First swim of the new year this morning. I managed a very slow one mile (or 1.609 kilometres depending on your age, location and/or preference).

I’ve written this before but, for me anyway, exercise trumps any other method of managing a depressive illness. Apart from anything else it comes without the negative side effects I’ve experienced with antidepressants. Far be it from me to tell anybody what to do but I command anyone fighting this type of battle to complete five star jumps and eleven squat thrusts. You’ll thank me for it as soon as your hamstring injury heals.

Saturday has always been my drinking day. For years I’ve pretty much lived for the feeling I get, somewhere at about the midpoint of my second drink, where I start to relax and feel comfortable in my surroundings.

I have noted of late that things are changing. It may just be a phase but it doesn’t feel that way. I still drink, I still have some fantastic adventures that I don’t remember whilst drunk and I still enjoy the company of people far more when I’m under the influence than when I’m not.

Drinking often feels like a chore these days though. Something I have to do because I always have. I no longer look forward to it in the same way and those really great drunken times are becoming harder to find.

I’m also acutely aware of the people in my life struggling with alcohol related issues and that I’ve been fortunate in avoiding the worst of these. When I’m in their company I don’t judge. I sympathise, empathise, help if I can but try not to enable. I also thank my lucky stars.

Sometimes I think I should stop drinking completely but then I remember that I have very few other interests and that I need material for this here diary. The things we do for our art.

Today’s drinking took place at a wonderful establishment known as Wrenthorpe Sports and Social Club. It’s like the famous Cheers bar although there is no Sam, Woody or Coach behind the bar. It doesn’t have its own television show with a catchy theme tune and not everyone there knows your name.

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It is the best place I know where, once your annual membership subscription (£4 for existing members, £6 for new members) is paid, you can get pleasantly inebriated for under £20. You can achieve a similar state for £0 if you’re one of the friends I have who are highly skilled in the noble art of never paying for a round at the bar.

I wrote another post about the impact of drinking too much once upon a time. If you’d like to read that it’s available by clicking the link below.

Hangover Blog.

A very tame affair today though. The afternoon consisted of a moderate number of drinks. Some half hearted discussion on the state of the United Kingdom where voices were barely raised above a menacing growl (no fights in the toilets on this occasion) and a helpful review of a local Italian restaurant one friend had frequented yesterday.

I also won £56.24, including my stake, on a football bet. A new year miracle if ever there was one.

Sunday 6th January, 2019.

I didn’t do much worth writing about today so I’ll just add a picture of a puppy and one of a pony to shamelessly attract fans of these types of creatures to the diary. To be fair they were taken by me on my morning constitutional with Buddy dog.

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London Town tomorrow for actual paid work. When I write ‘paid’ I mean I think it is. One of the things I’ve not been great at since I’ve been self employed is establishing with 100% certainty that I’ll be remunerated for what a client asks me to do. Fingers crossed.

Monday 7th January, 2019.

Another area where I’m still getting to grips with in the self employed world is client management. At present whatever they ask for, I generally say yes. Usually this is fine but, occasionally, I end up in situations that are no good for me at all.

This week has presented two examples of this. I’m heading to London to attend a preparatory meeting for the second phase of a global project that I’ll be involved in the roll out for over the next few months.

Essentially the meeting is what’s called a ‘Train the Trainer’. The objective is to train a group of people on how to deliver a set of educational materials so they can, in turn, use them to train other people in a particular subject, in this case communication skills.

The issue here is that I’ve been asked to deliver an element of the new material, as part of this process, that I didn’t write and haven’t seen brought to life before. Some of you might be able to relate to how difficult this is to do. Especially with a new client that I don’t yet have a real working relationship with.

This kind of thing would always have made me uncomfortable but, these days, the impact it has on me is far worse and extremely challenging for me to deal with. When stress and my anxiety collide I begin to shut down. There is tiredness bordering on exhaustion, I get really irritable and I feel like my eyesight is fading. It’s my own fault though, I should have just said no.

The second example is even worse. I’ve been asked to share a hotel room with somebody I’ve never met as the client is looking to keep costs for this meeting down. As a very strong introvert this is up there with my worst nightmares. I need somewhere to escape to and this scenario is not that. It’s my own fault though, I should have just said no.

This is a twin room apparently 👇.

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😳

On the upside they do maintain a decent hash brown in this hotel so I’ll try and remain positive and focus on looking forward to breakfast.

Hopefully I won’t be murdered in my sleep by my roommate for the night. If I am then I’d like to be cremated along with my slow cooker and the sky q remote control.

Tuesday 8th January, 2019.

I’m alive! Hash browns consumed.

Heading to the office for the business meeting I wrote about yesterday. My client is based close to Canary Wharf. For those that don’t know, this is where a lot of ‘Fat Cats’ make their money.

Check out some of the available property in Canary Wharf by clicking the link below. If I continue with my current levels of gambling success I expect to be able to purchase a dustbin in the area in approximately eighty three million years.

Canary Wharf Property.

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As I was strolling towards my clients office my mind wondered towards the uncertainty these overweight felines must be feeling in our pre Brexit world. It’s possible that if/when Britain leaves the European Union they will become even fatter cats. They might well end up as skinny cats though. At the time of writing their future levels of obesity are unknown.

Had lunch looking at some boats. I had an egg sandwich, a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and a Diet Coke. I did consider also purchasing a chunky kit kat but then I remembered that I’m not allowed to claim the price of my luncheon on expenses for this particular meeting.

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Wednesday 9th January, 2019.

So I delivered the session I was worried about today. It went well, it was quite easy really and all the people in the room were extremely supportive.

The thing is, I knew it would be. At least part of me did anyway. I’m good at this kind of thing and I’ve been doing it for a fair old while. I never listen to the part of me that gets this. For some reason I allow the other part that tells me I will fail, points out all my failings and doesn’t let me sleep to rule over my roost. I continuously make things more difficult for myself than they are for no rational reason other than because I am a turnip.

Are you a root vegetable as well? If so, how do you cope?

Thursday 10th January, 2019.

Highlight of the day was Buddy dog meeting my friends new puppy whilst out for a walk. They seemed to like each other although I suspect, like their owners, they will fundamentally disagree on politics and support rival football teams.

No doubt more women will find his puppy attractive than they do mine as well. This is no bad thing though as it will teach Buddy dog an early lesson as to how unfathomable the world can sometimes be.

Friday 11th January, 2019.

A day of administration awaits. Not my strong point but I don’t work hard enough to justify the employment of a personal assistant so I have to do it all myself.

Two further business trips later this month so I need to sort the logistics for those out. I’m headed to Munich for five days on January 20th and then over to North Carolina on January 27th for a week.

One of the reasons I decided to have a go at the diary this year is because I have a number of trips like this scheduled over the next few months. It was obviously important to find the appropriate platform from which I could show off about my jet setting ways.

I also have work planned in Bradford and, possibly, Liverpool coming up so it will be a good opportunity to provide my readers with a comparison of McDonald’s restaurants in Germany, the USA and the UK.

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It’s been a difficult week for the community I live in. It’s not for me to go into the details as I don’t know any of the people involved but if you’re reading this and have been personally impacted then my thoughts are with you.

I want everyone to remember how they were as a small child before, and I know this came sooner for some than others, the world wrongly taught many of us to think and behave differently. If you wanted something, or needed to let someone know how you were feeling, you would find a way to do so.

If you couldn’t find, or didn’t yet have, the words you’d use whatever noises or body language you could to get your message across. It wouldn’t even occur to you to keep things to yourself or that the person you were trying to communicate with wouldn’t want to listen. You just, in anyway you could, using words or otherwise, ‘talked’.

In my own convoluted way, I’m trying to say that we should harness the power more of our inner small child and just talk when there’s something wrong. If you don’t have the words to explain how you’re feeling, or are worried about the impact your words might have, then just talk anyway. Talk until someone understands you and gives you what you need, or at least helps you to work out what that is.

If someone talks to you then really listen. Listen to their words, of course, but also listen for the words they don’t say and for the noise they are making with their body language. If you think that you don’t know how to help them then try anyway. You are likely to be helping them far more than you know just by making the effort. I know this to be true because I’m one of the people who’ve been helped immeasurably by a kind word or deed at times when I’ve really needed them.

Jeepers, how preachy do I sound 👆. Sorry, not sorry 😊.

I’m here to listen if anybody reads this and feels they would like to talk. There are also a number of really outstanding organisations that people can contact if they would like better qualified help. I’ve included links to some of them below:

Mind

Samaritans

Andy’s Mans Club

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To end this weeks diary entry on a slightly happier note, I’ve included a short video of Buddy dog taking issue with a plimsole for having the temerity to encroach on his territory.

Have a great weekend…

 If you missed last weeks instalment of my journey from here to there you can read it by clicking the link below.

My journey from here to there. Jan 1st-Jan 4th, 2019.

35 thoughts on “My journey from here to there (5th Jan-11th Jan 2019).

  1. Enjoyed reading your diary -it’s so relatable, funny and you have a natural talent for writing 😁. I wish I could express my feelings like that! I look forward to further instalments of soup, crisps and walking the dog-reflects my life very well. 😆😆

  2. Great journaling! I like the lightheartedness of it but also the your reflections on drinking, mental health and exercise. Must say though you will not find me swimming this time of year at all , ever in this country…way too cold!

  3. I enjoyed reading your blog. You’re obviously quite local to me and I work in the area of international education for a national organisation and, until recently, was doing this freelance. I would always say I would prefer a single room rather than sharing with someone you’ve never met. If the client values you as a professional then I’m surprised that they suggested this. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    1. Thanks for reading. Normally I would as well, not sure why I didn’t really. Trying to be accommodating to a new client probably. Lesson learned though…

  4. You have a fantastic way of telling your events. I am glad you are still alive, I would have been exactly the same. I struggle to say no and that situation I would have struggled. Well done and well deserved hash browns

  5. I couldn’t agree more about how much a workout can help with stress, anxiety, depression. Such a natural way to release negative energy! Also, LOL @ the two twin beds pushed together against ONE headboard. Thanks for sharing your stories!
    -Melanie

  6. Reading your diary just made me think of Adrian Mole 🙈😂 Well done for conquering the anxiety enough to complete your training, I know the battle myself. And your puppy is adorable!

  7. I love that Woofy Water sign lol!!!
    I could never share a hotel room with a stranger.
    Keeping a diary is a great idea on this journey.

  8. Being an introvert myself I understand how it could be sharing the room. what more the bed. oww. Your article has this feel good vibe that I love. =)

  9. Haha! How awkward! How was it bunking with the stranger? You’re right, saying no when something isn’t right for us is definitely a necessary skill. I know I’ve had to live through many self-imposed unwanted experiences in order to reflect on my processes and learn how to be more assertive next time.

  10. You are just…oh my god…I’m crying laughing again.

    I’m a bit concerned though…I’ll tell you why Old Tom.

    We appear to have the same interests, character flaws and stuff – I might be a female version of you, you miserable git. What a couple of pickles we are!

    I’m a slow swimmer. I love a drinkie especially on the weekend…in a ‘drinkers-pub-environment’ (can’t relate to the falling out with the booze right now however) while the slow cooker is doing its thing. I love a footie bet on a Saturday. I always bet on ‘Will Both Teams Score?’. I often take a punt on Accrington and Fleetwood – I’m just drawn to them. I don’t often win. Top tip though…Ayr ALWAYS score.

    I have just become self-employed. I am a pushover. There are many times when I should say ‘no’ but instead ‘yes’ comes flying out my gob. I fell out with my best mate on her wedding day (partly) because she made me share a twin bedroom in a hotel with a stranger – the beds were pushed together in the exact same way as per in your photograph – there was no promise of hashbrowns – I just found all of that TOO much to deal.

    I too have had an experience in Cannary Whalf – I put rubbish in the bin you might be able to afford to purchase there one day.

    I’m a root vegetable…I’m not a turnip…but I can see that you are – great photographic likeness.

    I’m a sweet potato. Hmmmm, how do I cope…? I make sure that if anybody tries to chop me up I cause the knife to slip off my skin and they chop their own fingers off.

    Buddy is cute as…don’t have him getting a complex just because you, his human, don’t realise your worth! Stop deflecting your negativity onto Buddy dog – he’s way better than that blonde mutt – if that’s a girl dog I’d say she was definitely punching. I will say though that your mate has nicer trainers than your muddy ass ones…I can’t believe Buddy would put one of those things in his mouth and swing it around like he just don’t care…they’ve probably ruined his sense of smell by the looks of em.

    Looooovvvve, Loooooove, Loooooove your posts. You need to get your ass in gear and write a book you Turnip!

    1. Thanks Sweet Potato. I believe they have a ‘fries’ version of you but I have no experience of them as yet.

      Wow, a female version of me. That is a thing. Not sure what kind of thing but it’s definitely a thing.

      I shall include Ayr the next time I have a bet. Obviously I’ll be humming ‘Something in the Air tonight’ by Phil Collins as I place my cross in their box.

      Self employed is ok. I like the bit where I work less but not the bit where I earn less. I’d write a book in an attempt to supplement my income but, apparently, most authors earn peanuts (the cheap ones as well).

      I lost Buddy today. He escaped from the garden using one of the ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ or ‘Harry’ tunnels he’s been secretly digging. As I’m not a Nazi I didn’t execute him at the side of the road upon recapturing him but I did withhold the bit of cheese I normally give him at lunch.

      I like that a newly fashionable vegetable such as yourself reads my posts. I’d recommend a few but, obviously, I hate all of them.

      Sometimes I read back some of the older ones and I think they were written by a different person. I bet JK Rowling doesn’t have that problem when she reads her first Harry Potter book. Shakespeare might but then, in his/her/their case, that might be true.

      Old Tom

      p.s. I know your real identity Sweet Potato! You can’t fool me with your literary disguise.

  11. What does one do with a turnip? I’m not sure… yes sweet potatoes are very versatile, McDonalds haven’t jumped on the bandwagon…. I can be a chip, mashed, baked, roasted, boiled, souped…put in the slow cooker….hmmm, what with you, Turnip Tom?

    I’m telling you…that poor pooch is digging tunnels to get away from your negativity…he’s like…’please shoot me dead…please, please, please’. His job is to dig…yours is to maintain your fortress. He did his job lovely…you failed….you’re the one who should be deprived of a treat. No Chicago Fire for you tonight…but give that Bud the cheese you owe him.

    If you had to pick your best post, you’d choose…? Which? Which do you hate less than all the others?

    Sweet Potato

    p.s. trendy sweet potatoes come in many guises…chips, roasties, baked, crisps…..who knows what you’re fooling with!

    1. One balances a turnip on ones head obviously. You’ve obviously never been to finishing school in the North of England.

      I hate all of them but, other than the depressing ones about depression and the sex one about sex, these are the ones that I enjoyed writing the most. By ‘enjoyed.’ I obviously mean I enjoyed loathing every second.

      They’re also the ones my readers liked the most but most of them are not to be trusted as they are lulling me into a false sense of security so they can then murder me.

      Feel free not to read them as none of these are funny. They’re not very long either though so you’ll need to drink your wine fast.

      https://phillslater.blog/2018/01/11/unfinished-novel-extract/

      https://phillslater.blog/2018/05/25/the-waiting-room/

      https://phillslater.blog/2018/05/31/i-bet-you-look-good-on-the-dancefloor/

      https://phillslater.blog/2018/02/22/a-short-story-about-love/

      1. Haha… a turnip on your head!!!! My nan used to have me walking up and down with a book on mine when I was little and easy to entertain – I’m further south than you.

        Right…that’s my reading list sorted for tomorrow… did I see the word 🤣🤭’dancefloor’ come up in a link? THAT’S Fkin FIRST!

        Sweet Potato

      2. It’s from a phase on the blog when I was asking for song titles and then attempting to write a story based on them.

        I bet that you look good on the Dancefloor was suggested by my middle sister. It made her cry but she is a wuss.

        I’m off to London tomorrow to schmooz a Client. I need to go on YouTube now to find an instructional video on how to schmooz.

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