I've been worried this week. My breathing has been dodgy and I've been out of breath more than I care for. My lovely colleague Louise, who stopped smoking 40 a day about 2 years ago, was very supportive reminding me that I am 50 and it takes a damned sight longer to feel the benefits - she's 59 and still doesn't feel like she's anywhere near fully got control of her lungs back; but she reckons the improvement is there and I should stop looking for it as it will only exacerbate my fears.
It was 3 months on Tuesday and I'm still as adamant now as I was back in August when I started to get really scared. The most obvious improvement is my sense of smell and I have to be honest, doesn't the world smell fucking 'orrible; I'm picking up all kinds of smells I would have been oblivious to 4 months ago and a lot of them are really nasty. I was going to say unpleasant, but frankly that's an understatement.
The drains on the back entrance to the school smell like the back entrance of a diseased man after he'd eaten 4 tins of beans, 2 packets of Jaffa cakes and 17 pints of Guinness (with a couple of chick pea and cabbage vindaloos thrown in for some tangy-ness). I get a whiff of it most days, yet a lot of people don't seem to know it's there. But I think my boss's office is haunted and no one else thinks its anything but my impending madness.
It has been one of those monster weeks at work; one of the kind that I will only really be able to explain in full when I no longer work there. Fights, unbelievable air-headedness, bird shit, restraints and physical interventions, putting up with a professional whinger, discovering a few things that has boosted my ego, but not turned my head and being witness to a couple of things that will only truly be appreciated when I can go into full Phil-mode with rather than pussy-footing around.
However, and probably the reason for the reticence, is the news that I have a nickname. I've had a few - Hallicks when I was a pre-teen; big-nose, cunt, Phil the bastard, Fil Fil Fil to name just a few. However, the latest one has a strange and rather pride inducing ring to it. The year 11s have started calling me... Legend. And I believe it is because of this blog, which might result in this blog migrating somewhere else, changing its name and allowing me to go back into full bastard mode (that's Bast not Barst).
A lot of people at school bought the book on Kindle, but I think quite a few have found Farkynell2 - this blog - because there have been some references to things that have only appeared on here and I get the impression that a percentage of the older kids at the school are even more endeared towards me because of my no-holds barred, no-nonsense approach to calling a digging implement a spade; either that or they're unbelievably sad and enjoy reading about my mega-exciting and dynamic life. The strange thing is that last year I was the favourite of the lower part of the school - years 7, 8 and 9 loved me, but 10 and 11 weren't so keen. There's been a strange about face this year, with year 11 exhibiting this new found respect for me, but the lower years now viewing me with a lot more suspicion and fear. But that's no bad thing...
Going back to the non-smoking for a second; last time I tried to stop I'd put on over two stone by the time I hit the 3 month mark and after 6 months, when I gave up giving up, I'd gone up to over 16 stones - which is getting on for 200lbs (possibly more, I can't be arsed to work it out) - this time I'm only 8lbs over my usual weight and I'm kind of convinced I never actually got back to that 13st weight despite the fags and less carbohydrate intake. However, as well as having this almost constant asthma attack, one of the main symptoms of COPD is the fact you find it really difficult to put on weight, which is why sufferers are shoved on steroids a lot. I suppose the thing is, I'm pretty much convinced that when I do go and get all these tests done that they will find something wrong and probably incurable with me. I sat watching the telly this evening and day-dreamt of taking a really deep breath again...
Down and Deep
I've had a mass clear-out this week on my Yahoo email account. I went from 61 emails to 9 with a bit of judicious hacking and slashing. While I was doing it, in my draft folder I found 7 or 8 unsent emails (or in a few cases, serial numbers etc., for stuff I need - like my Kindle account and my AVG shit) and one of them was written back in May when I was desperately unhappy at work; was still feeling the effects of the first two chest infections I had and probably needed some catharsis.
Boy... I should write more when I'm depressed. It's bleak stuff; stark and hard with an edge to it that you wouldn't usually associate with me, but I sat there and thought, "fuck me, did I really write this?" Maybe one day, like the extremely long diatribe about my 6 years at the YOT, I will put it up on the blog; mainly because I should as it is a great example of what I can do when the pressure is off and I'm just writing for me rather than thinking about possibly selling it, publishing it or becoming the next big literary thing. It's possibly an example to why Skizz hired me and SB had so much faith in me.
Penge & Hampton
- Up to C still; this has been made up mainly of The Cure this week, but midway through the week I got into new territory with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Collective Soul (who did a couple of good albums worth of material); The Charlatans, who suffered; I decided to keep Wonderland despite it being very poor in places, but dumped Sympatico because it is utter shit. China Crisis led me to create a new word doc called The Dump List, which is essentially a list of singles/tracks that I would have kept on their own, but am not prepared to keep an entire CD. The two CC albums I had crammed onto one CD had just two tracks I can see myself playing again (and besides, One El tends to play them one every year or so at his quizzes, so I can get my fix then). There's more of the above to come and some Crowded House, Sheryl Crow and a few others. I have to be honest, I have five CSN(Y) CDs and I only think one of them is what it says on the cover.
- Watch Grabbers, a great little horror/SF film set on an Irish island that reminded me more of a Ealing comedy than a horror film. Marvellous stuff.
- England are rubbish.
- Remember Glass Onion? The occasional blog I do with recipes? I'm going to do one for all you meat eaters.
- Went back to the Lamplighter to win some money for the quiz kitty, walked away with nearly £40 and dropped 2½ points out of 60. Sounds like it was easy, but it was actually a real brain-racker!
- As I write this Spurs are 1-0 up against The Arse and my dreams of that twat AVB being sacked are in tatters; but I know, deep down, that by 2.30, we'll be 3 or 4-2 down and looking like a sack of shit.