Category Archives: life etc.

Just like old times…

If you are either of my regular readers, you may have noticed two things.  Firstly, that I haven’t blogged in a month, which is most unlike me, and secondly that I’ve reverted back to my original blog name.  How come?

1) Very busy, and not in the mood for writing a “what I did today” type blog at the moment (not knocking them, just not really what I want to do at the moment) but struggling for inspiration of what to write instead;

2) Because I missed being One Man and His Blog.

So, it’s a bit “back to basics” here.  I’m not sure what shape this is going to take for the foreseeable future, but then I could say the same about my life.  I’m sure I’ll have fun finding out…

Gutted

My housemate D moved to the UK from South Africa a year ago, and moved into our house at the end of March.  He’s a great bloke, a good friend, and hilariously funny.  So you can imagine how gutted we all were when D came home tonight to announce that he’s probably going to have to leave the country in a few months.  And then you can imagine how gutted he is.

D has fallen foul of the new immigration laws.  He can’t stay without a visa; he needs the support of his employer to get the visa; his employer has said they can’t help.  This seems really sucky to me, as they’ve been really supportive of him in the past, and he’s had several promotions and commendations from his managers (I would boycott the employer in protest, but I don’t use their product in the first place, so that would be even more pointless) .  Barring a sudden whirlwind romance and wedding (and he’s not the kind of guy who’d fake that stuff just so he could stay), he would have to leave by this time next year – but he wouldn’t be allowed to work past the end of February, so in practical terms he’d have to leave then.

What’s also sad is that, while D is clearly proud of his heritage (as he reminded me following the rugby the other day) he really feels at home in the UK, and most of his close family are actually here rather than in South Africa.  He’s involved in loads of stuff in his church, including leading worship and youth work, and it’s clearly going to be heartbreaking for him if he has to turn his back on it all.

We’re all rather shocked and saddened.  It’s not a happy evening in our house.

My… brain… hurts!!!

I have a headache.  It’s probably due to dehydration, which is largely due to the fact that I have been so frantically trying to sort stuff out at work today that I kept forgetting to make a cup of tea.  And although I did drink some water, I probably should have drunk more.  So once I’ve written this, it’ll be time for a pie, chips, water and a couple of Ibuprofen.  That classic dinner combination.

Anyway, I’ve had a fairly tough few days, just in terms of having to think through a lot of stuff, and discussing things with people who were mostly (but not entirely) symapthetic.  However some good things did happen, not least an unexpected phone call from my lovely sister who talks sense (although if you’ve ever overheard us having a conversation, you might dispute that).

In other news, after many delays (some of which were within my control, so apologies there) my WISE gift will be in the post tomorrow.  In order to reach this point, I had to spend twenty minutes queueing at the post office after work… just to buy an envelope.  Now I get to put something in it, take it back to the post office tomorrow to find out how much it costs, and then hopefully the lucky recipient should have a belated-but-enjoyable surprise by the end of the week (so yes, it’s someone in the UK).

Frohliche WISEnachten*

Since everybody else is blogging about their WISE gifts and stuff, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon.  In case you’re not up on it, WISE is the Wibsite International Secret Exchange, in which from time to time Wiblog bloggers across the world send stuff to each other through the post. (remember that?  It’s what we used to have before emails.  Turns out it’s still going too, and is more useful for sending bulky items.)

Being Mr Last Minute, I thought I’d wait til today before buying my lovely things.  The other reason for waiting was that the annual German Christmas market opened today.  So, WISE receiver, expect something pretty and something ornamental (with the emphasis on “mental”).

The arrival of the German market has now replaced the sound of Noddy Holder bellowing “Iiit’s CHRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSST-MMMAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSS!” as my key indication that the festive season has arrived.  It’s nice to walk out of work of an evening and see a huge number of people eating wurst and crepes and garlic bread and drinking gluhwein.  Although it’s less nice when it gets really busy and it takes twenty minutes to walk to the bus stop because you can’t get round the dawdlers in front of you.  Maybe, if I ever get things sorted out with my camera (long story), I might bring you some exciting pictoral reportage.  Failing that, expect a restaurant review of the wurst stall shortly.

*which is kind of a hijacking of the German for “happy Christmas”.  A bilingual pun, if you will.  I’m such a show-off.

The long and winding road

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you probably should get out more.  But meanwhile, you may have noticed my tendency to be vague about things, to talk about stuff and situations without ever really telling you anything.  This, my friends, is the problem I have with the internet – it’s a great place to share things, but due to the fact that anyone and everyone can then read what you’ve said, it’s not always appropriate to share very much at all.

As if to demonstrate this, there are currently three situations which I really want to tell you about, but because there are other people involved, I can’t really say much.  But let’s have a go anyway, eh?

Situation 1 has been rumbling around for a long time, and at the end of last week I realised I can’t just let it keep rumbling without doing something about it.  It’s going to be a (probably) long and difficult process to sort it out; I’ve been on the journey to sorting it for a while, but I’ve largely been sitting in the passenger seat, and now I need to start driving more.  While I’m getting there, though, I still have to travel through places I don’t particularly want to be in – but I know if I stay here, it will become a place I want to be in even less.  So now’s the time to start moving forward.

Situation 2 is rather complicated.  If we use the journey analogy again – I’ve spent a while driving down this road, only to find myself at a dead end.  Except I’ve been having some trouble accepting it’s a dead end, and have been looking for ways around it.  However, I’m now starting to think I should head off in a different direction instead, and then my sat nav appears to have already programmed itself to take me there, even though I’m still not quite convinced it’s where I want to go.  This is potentially quite an exciting adventure, but I feel I need to make my mind up where I want to end up, and I’m not sure I really know yet.

Situation 3 is thankfully a more positive one.  I’ve spent a long time driving, and needed a bit of a break – someone to take the wheel for a bit.  A few people have considered it, but for one reason or another it hasn’t really worked out.  Now, though, it looks like we’ve tracked down someone who’s a great driver – much better than me – who can share some of the load.  This has been a long time coming, and I’m so grateful we’ve finally reached this point.  I’m not stopping driving altogether, you understand – just allowing myself more time to doze in the passenger seat while someone else is at the wheel, thus ensuring I’m fresher and better prepared for when it’s my turn to do some driving.

So there it is.  A mixture of positive and not-so-positive issues from my life, disguised as non-specific motoring adventures.  I look forward to the day when I can tell you that I’ve reached my destination on that first journey, and when I’ve worked out where I’m actually going on the second journey.  Right now, I’m just glad the third journey is finally sorted, as it gives me hope that the other two will be sorted too one day.  And then, maybe, just maybe, I might be able to tell you where I’ve been going and stop all this vague stuff.