Sunday, 21 December 2014

When the road ran out...

It has been a while since I posted...

That seems to be the precursor for my most recent blog posts, so why change the habit?

This Christmas the decision was made to abandon the Gosport base and decamp to the North as that was where a majority of the family are based. With three dogs, albeit small rats, and four kids, albeit two younger and two adults, the logistics were challenging. Thanks to Dad for volunteering to take the older boys and the pups. My missus, Beth, Eds and I are well installed in an apartment in Newcastle City Centre, and that is where the drama for today's tale lies.

We arrived around 2000 last evening after a breakdown, the bonnet on the Land Rover refused to close after an oil check, and a shoulder implosion (something that occurs frequently following my serious car smash  in Belgium a decade ago). After a number of family arguments, when I say family I do of course mean a single member, we offloaded, relaxed and indulged in some local cuisine; Chicken Parmesan and notable kebabs! Then bed and sleep.

The boys were to travel from Gosport this morning so the plan was from me to check on the old man then take the available tram members to Berwick to show them where I grew up.

First off, today was the Sunderland vs Newcastle derby, which I intended to circumvent by an early departure. WRONG! Beth decided that a full beautification and feedback loop was necessary, we managed to leave an hour before kick-off.

As our apartment is a mere 100m from St James' Park and we had no choice but to pass the throng of highly charged, intelligent human-beings on their way to the match, we ended up caught between the Geordies and the Mackems in an escalating riot.

We finally managed to push our way through the dickheads, thanks to the police for encouraging to keep driving directly at the drunken bell-ends.

Our destination, Berwick-Upon-Tweed was visited for too short a time, but many memories returned and I shall when I have time.

A blurry shot of our old house in Mansefield Road

Some bloody bridge!

Eddy on Spittal beach

Me looking out to see the sea, Spittal promenade

Wind blowing in my greying mane

Johnny's in Spittal as it is now

Spittal beach

Eds and Beth in Spittal

When the road ran out

The road to Holy Island

All in all a very brief visit and journey through the elements that still mean so much to me. I would so much like to do this again and catch up with any who remember me from the days when there was a wood yard in Tweedmouth and no Nero or Costa in Berwicj high street!

Monday, 2 December 2013

December again, how the f*** did that happen?

Once again yet another holiday season is upon us, all tho soon and once again finding me completely unprepared.

In the run up to Christmas I find myself in a rather different position than I did last year. The old Gledson homestead in French France is signed over tomorrow and my dad returns shortly afterwards to take up residence in our tin box for a few weeks before embarking on a search for a new home. Kirsty, Will's other half, is now living with us full time.Also the new addition, Fiona, is very small one and has carved a niche for herself that bothers no-one and, of course, we have the usual crowd. Bearing in mind our house can support five out of the six of our usual contingent at any one time Christmas day began to look a little awkward. Google to the rescue: It appears that Gosport has a great many large, opulent, holiday quarters, many at the newly converted Clarence Yard. So, that's what I did. I booked an 8 berth apartment for the Christmas period.

At least we will have a base, walking distance from the house and office, to have Christmas dinner and free up space for us all. The only rules will be, no TV, no news, no football and above all NO JUSTIN 'KIN BIEBER!!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Change, change, it's time for another change

It has been a while since I blogged with most of recent time spent in working with a new set of monkeys (well the management at least) and slowly becoming more and more disillusioned with the broadcast behemoth that is Arqiva. In fact the disillusionment has slowly led to increasing depression as the travel and fruitlessness of effort has frustrated and infuriated me to extreme measures.

That aside, we have a new family member. Fiona Dawn Wilkinson joined us on Wednesday 13th November. She is an absolute delight and as miniature Daschunds go she is agile, quick witted and has fitted in very well.

Last week Chris and I exhibited at BVE (British Video Exhibition)  North at the Manchester Central exhibition centre with Garland Partners which was a slow and dull show but did show that we are really onto something and need to find a way to dedicate more time to progress.

Which leads me to an explanation of the blog title. It wasn't too long ago that we, in the Gledson household, were pooling coins to buy food, and I would have taken any job going, which I 'kin well did. Maintaining momentum with Cerberus had been difficult to say the least, but with a great deal of support from our partners and suppliers we are now in a position to move on to the next stage. Unfortunately this will entail someone taking on a full time mantle to take the helm to move this puppy forward. To this end I will turn in my notice this week, not as bad as it sounds as I aim to see the year out in the current contract and have alternative means of income filtering in slowly.

It's been a tough year so far, the only way is up.

Friday, 4 October 2013

What a bunch of bankers

OK, this is a whinge, granted, and a whinge about money at that.

For those of you who do read my blog, you may remember that as soon as it was evident that I was probably earning once more, Emma and I dragged our sorry arses into our nearest Natwest branch and opened our hearts to the customer relationship manager. It was the first time that I have ever owned up to not having complete control of my life and all elements that may effect it. Angela, our relationship manager, was incredibly helpful and honest. We left so much happier and feeling hopeful.

Then, yesterday, after a month of working my cute little arse off, we received millions (five) letters from Natwest demanding immediately payment of everything, including the mortgage. The alternative was removal of all banking privileges, effective within 60 days. I rang them.

It transpires that at no point is there a means for branches or departments to exchange information. Progress. They apologised for the stress and general incompetence but could not reverse the process without a full review, happening tomorrow morning on the phone. Cunch of bunts!!!!

On a positive note, Cerberus is started to gain momentum. I will say no more, other than, thanks Roger, Dawn, Lorna and Helen for your belief. As always the Cerberus team, you know who you are, have been there.

Time to push on and make a difference.

Today's picture: A fat chicken

Monday, 23 September 2013

Beware The Slenderman

Those of you who have followed my blog will know of my long running analogy, comparing our situation with the game, Slender. I do honestly believe that this is quite a fair comparison. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, please at least, check it out. A first person, free, and scary, download, Slender involves a quest for clues, when at the same time, being chased through dark woods by a disturbing, lanky, pale and disturbing figure. Just when you think it is safe, the screen clouds and The Slenderman stands before you. That is our, my family's, situation.

I have been slavishly toiling, as a bitch for Arqiva, for a month now and, to be quite honest, I am struggling to maintain my sanity. I suspect that Chris is in the same boat, but needs must! I did, however, expect to begin to claw my way, week by week, to a state that can be considered by some to reflect financial stability. Fat chance. Idiots and buffoons have ensured that the coffers remain dry, or at least partially. In Slenderman terms, I am standing at the tree-line with The Slenderman directly behind me, arse!

Quick wins for Cerberus have queued up and so we have to prioritise, I just hope we choose wisely.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I've stayed in some shitholes in my time, but...

Where to start?

High Wycombe, that's where I start. The travelling to the job mooching about in the Chalfonts takes its toll, especially after a busy weekend in Amsterdam at IBC. An important demo tomorrow drove me to make a very bad decision, to stay overnight nearby, somewhere I could get to work without a two hour drive. Last week it was at a rather peculiar, but clean, comfortable and classy establishment where I was well looked after by an eccentric lady in Amersham. I walked into town and had a great curry before grabbing a great nights sleep.

This week I opted to look for a cheaper establishment in High Wycombe. As it transpired the price turned out to be the same, but the place...

After driving along the A40 on the way out of town I began to despair at the decrepit, drooping and dreary facades of the roadside houses. It seemed the further I travelled towards my destination the worse the frontage became. Eventually I gave up and pulled over; I had obviously overshot the mark. A quick google check on the phone gave me an address, excellent, two minutes later I pulled into the car park at a shiny hotel. I checked in and was told that my room was in the annexe. The annexe turned out to be a manky semi half a mile down the road.

From here on I swear never to stay in a 'hotel' without tarmac on the drive nor one where the 'car-park' is piled high with empty bottle of white lightning. Still I have been wrong before so I entered the building.

Nope, I was right. My room was at the top of the house. A small room with a cupboard for a bathroom and the same price as the palatial triple room in Amersham, arse.

Right, I thought, man up Gledson and get your arse down to the pub. Cash first. Thankfully, the bright lights of a BP garage guided me towards an ATM. As I withdrew cash from an account I could hardly afford to attack I saw a handwritten sign stuck to the Budgens shop window which bore the legend, 'We serve alcohol till 1AM', badly spelt and written but setting the scene.

I took the cash, which contained five pound notes, never a good sign, and marched off to the nearest pub. The White Horse boasted, Sky Sports, free food and exotic dancing; I kept walking.

The next pub, The Bird in Hand, seemed a little better so I took the plunge. I ordered a pint of Strongbow as I perused the menu; beef madras and chips, fried chicken burger etc etc. I found a table in a corner and sat down. Within seconds a scrawny scouser with yellow and brown nicotine stained teeth asked me if he could join me beneath the large TV. 'Shit', I thought, 'fooking football.' I feigned interest in my phone, sunk my pint and left.

With little option left to me I returned to the bright lights of Budgens and the BP garage. It was still a long way off 1AM, barely 7PM, but I was after a menu of kings. As I approached the checkout an old man in his pyjamas with his left leg in a plaster cast hobbled behind me and nodded a greeting. He held a single can of lager and a packet of Haribo. Normally I would have sneered openly but with my basket of onion rings (a tasty corn snack) a bottle of wine and a star bar, I felt I could not judge.

Thankfully I had my primula and ham sandwiches left from lunch. So, I returned to the room opened the wine and resolved to write emails, eat my meal and fall asleep to the sound of sirens.

Amersham next week.

My dinner!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Fag kiosk bingo and

Before I start my usual nonsense on the usual whinging about how I have to eat value mince and scrape up road-kill cats for the kids breakfast I will relate a shining light of rare genius. Also, I do realise that the title is better placed for a 0930 weekday advert for an ITV show but, let's see where it leads us.

After spending the allocated £20 at Asda, smugly coming in well under budget (56 pence), I joined the queue at the kiosk on the route back to the car. As I viewed those standing before me, a flash of snobbery and superiority overwhelmed me for more than a few seconds. This was when the idea of fag kiosk bingo was born.

A full house is when the Jez Kezesque loser in front on the queue buys: fags, a lottery ticket (or scratch card) and pays a utility bill with a plastic stick. The bonus ball, thunder ball, whatever, is if they are eating something, preferably a pasty, bought in the store. I was somewhat unfortunate as I saw all of the  above but in different customers which meant no full house. The fat little girl stuffing her face with a steak slice while she stood beside her nan, probably, as she bought fags and a lottery ticket, was the closest to a full house but no cigar

Yesterday was the lowest day we have had as a family for some time; the cupboards were bare, honestly, and we returned to the days of Portland; tinned food and toast. Then, this morning, it turned around; I am getting paid this week, Will received his inheritance, Sam sold the remaining Cub and Emma has another editing assignment. We may get through this...whinge over ;-)

We had considered the position as desperate and all of us, adults that is, applied for a Wonga loan. Ironically, I was the only one who was refused. Emma, Sam and Will were all accepted but turned it down as a matter of smugness and principle.

Todays photo, a masked Mexican wrestler;