Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Happy New Year!

So the end is upon us. 2011 fades into the rose tinted archive of nostalgia and we face the impending wrath of 2012.

Round ups and resolutions seem to be the order of business, so what did 2011 deposit upon us? On the large scale it seemed to be the historical equivalent of the vomit the cat left on the stairs carpet for you to tread in. On balance it appears that the end should be in site for the continual financial cataclysms and foreign conflicts, but with the arab revolutions generally leading to opportunities for religious fanatics to grab power, the death of European democracy as puppet dictators are installed to ensure idealogical statism persists against the will of the people, and a fresh oil conflict looms on the horizon with the added excitement of nukes, I think it is safe to predict a year of greater turmoil, uncertainty, and a general backwards slide into corruption, conflict and chaos.

So is it all doom and gloom?

Of course not. And I do not just mean the glorious tax burden of the Olympics that I expect to be bored with hearing about by the end of January.

The really important things are still there. Friends and family (well, the ones you like anyway). The advent of ever more inventive methods of communication allow us to stay in touch or reconnect with friends we would otherwise lose. Instead of worrying about inflation stopping us buying yet more tat, cancel the shopping trip and spend it talking to a friend.

Go try something you never would have considered, ignore that nagging voice that stops you with the threat of embarrassment or failure and just give it a go. If nothing else, you’ll have a good story for when you see your friends.

In essence become more childlike. How many over Christmas have seen a small child ignore the big expensive present to become full of joy at a small insignificant thing that when combined with their imagination opened a new world of play.

Their ability to simply enjoy life is something we all had. We either cast it aside or lost it somewhere along the path to careers, mortgages, and council tax demands. I suspect it’s still there somewhere, so if I have to have a new years resolution, it’s that. So I hope to become more childish. I shall try to enjoy life more and not let the pointless rubbish get to me as much.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

The festive yuletide is upon us, a time for good will and merryment.

I wish all my readers a very happy christmas, saturnalia, yule, winter solstice (few days late there but it’s the thoughts that count), or any other festival that may be appropriate. I hope that you have a lovely break, or if you are at work a quiet shift, or especially if you are deployed that you come home safe to your loved ones.

Take care of yourselves and those you care about and see you as we hurtle headlong into 2012. Lets all hope the Mayans (like Harold Camping) are wrong!

I try not to wallow too much on here, firstly as it doesn’t actually help very often and secondly I don’t want to bore the arse off of you dear reader. However with another funeral to attend next week, the mood does drift towards the melancholic as I’m sure you would understand.

Anyway, as I try not to name names on these electronic dribblings of mine, I will not dwell on the who’s and the whens, as those that know me well enough will know that I am the last in a line of Spiders without actually being very old myself (and no, 30 something is not that old yet thank you so very much). Suffice to say next week is again somebody I liked very much and will miss, albeit for a change they can be said to have had a long and fullsome life, to often in the past I have not been able to say that of my friends.(I include family I like as friends…)

Anyway to the point at hand. It is amazing how music can effect us. I was playing through some tracks today, and whilst admittedly pondering mortality more than usual a particular track made me think of a particular friend now gone. So, if you will forgive my self centered-ness for a moment I wish to share some music that immediately makes me think of 3 friends who should have had longer with us.

First up, my best friend for a lot years, best man, best supporter in times of serious trouble, and conscience on more than one occasion. Kev. I simply cannot hear Hawkwind without thinking of him, and in particular this track. Cheers Bud, I wouldn’t be the same quiet, easy going, shy person if it wasn’t for you. So turn down the lights, crank up the volume and hit play…

Next up a guy who looked out for me on more than one occasion, gave me first Bass guitar lesson (sorry I never did have the patience to keep it up!), essentially gave me an 800W bass rig, (which my neighbours loved at the time! – I’ve passed it onto a good cause so at least it gets properly used mate!). He was a good friend and a great bass player who never got the audience he deserved, and he loved this guy… I hope he laughed as I fell through a fence smashed on Jack Daniels at his wake. Somehow I know he would have approved…

Lastly a school friend I knew since Junior school, sat next to for years, and although we lost touch as we all departed for Uni his loss was still a shock. Even at school he had individual tastes in music. I hope he found what he was looking for.

The names aren’t important. That they were my friends is. Without our friends we would not be the people we are. Without mine, including these, I would never have got so far.

Thanks to you all,

So if you take anything from this. Remember your friends, make the effort to say thanks, or just hi. There’ll be a day when one of you can’t.

editors note:
For those who think this the height of hypocrisy alongside my atheist rants.

Firstly, just because I understand my psychological shortcomings in missing people and hoping they’re still laughing doesn’t mean I’ve conquered them. But at least I’m trying.

Secondly and most importantly – they were my friends and it’s my blog, so tough shit.

The Ice age continues in the North East (-11 deg C today) and has so far cost me a days holiday and a set of glow plugs, but it’s ok, I’ve forgiven the snow, it’s just too much fun to be mad at for long anyway.

But with the British pre-occupation with weather at the best of times I though I would gather some useful, interesting or just fascinating links for weather related websites together in one post.

I suppose first up should be the daddy of them all, the all knowing Met Office. Good place for forecasts, weather warnings (available as an RSS feed) and marine forecasts

Becasue they are a bit slow to update their pressure charts and it’s nice to be able to view them all in one place I can recommend Metbrief

For an alternative forecasts available to high resolution, there’s the weather underground.

For the Teessiders amongst you, there is an amateur local weather statiion online with great info on it – and fascinating to watch it change! You can also find stations in your locality by using the mesomap function on the website

For anyone interested in the forecast from the local airport allmetsat have the terminal Airfield Forecasts online – with the very useful decode in plain english!

For specific charts of all types, the aptly named weathercharts!

And finally the ever popular and stunningly pretty sometimes Satellite images courtesy of Dundee uni receiving station. free registration required – but it’s definitely worth it.

If you have any sites you use, please add them in the comments so they can be shared with everyone else.

remember, no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing….

Rather than yield to my usual pessimism and cynicism I thought some pointers towards websites run by friends that I often visit. Varying subjects but all well worth browsing…So, in no particular order I give you…

First up, Timmy Conflicting Interests. An old friend (or should that be a friend I’ve known for a while?) that I’ve managed to re-connect with recently has a blog on his interests of wargaming, living history and re-enacting (battering people with a historical slant…) A varied walk into Tim’s (on the left) broad interests is a very easy read (you can tell he’s a teacher… good grammar and all that!) and is updated regularly to keep you interested!

Also from Tim is the Spirit of the Game. A hub dedicated to gaming and the various game systems they have written or use. Loads of good stuff and resources to use, or just good fun to read!

Next up is the English System Principles (ESP) Martial Arts.

Darren has been involved with English Martial Arts for longer than I certainly care to remember, progressing from student, to assistant and now instructs in the South Essex area. The website carries a wealth of information and links to the bulletin board and forum. If you ever fancy some physical history, backed up solid principles and research then well worth a visit. All round nice chaps too!

As they say…

E.S.P. is a school of martial arts based on learning and using certain universal principles and truths in order to fight effectively. Its origins are firmly rooted in the teachings and practices of medieval masters, running ‘schools of fence’ both for practical defence and fighting for ones life and country.

There are techniques deciphered from ancient historical texts and plates that have been thoroughly tested and shown to provide solid defence under pressure.

However, the real heart of the system are The Principles and the truths inherent within, coupled with truths and practicalities inherent to every fighting system, laid bare and explained – as a science, rather than a mystical art.

Lastly for this post, Milgeek, a blog of his…

obsession with things military, including my airsoft hobby, family history in World War 2, military gaming, defence news and much more.

For any of you (myself included) this is a fascinating blog of the geeks rampage through Airsoft, computer gaming (especially the shooty variety!) and military history, usually family orientated). With a extra dose of current military matters thrown in for good measure. An entertaining and informative read, and always on my favorite links list on any browser! [although his airsoft stuff needs to be backed up by some more time on the battlefield 😉 !-get better soon]

Well there you have them. All regular reads of mine, and I heartily commend them to such fine discerning readers such as yourselves… after all, you can trust me…right?

[to all the guys – hope you can forgive the blatant ripping off of your graphics and quotes!]

Intrigued? Thought you would be. Unfortunately though this is a shameless plug for a buddy raising cash for Movember.

“Movember?” you’re thinking “WTF is that?”… It’s growing Mo’s in November, hence Movember (geddit?!)

Basically, he agrees to try to grow some manly hair. (believe me, it’s a real test for him!) and in return for the opportunity to laugh at, ridicule and embarrass him people cough up some cash in the name of the Prostate Cancer Charity. A worthwhile and for some blokes, damn necessary organisation. So to help fellow blokes basically have less of a pain in the arse part with a few quid now. Come on, you lose more than that in the pub and not even realise.

You can check Pauls page out here complete with pics and links to donate.

Movember - Sponsor Me