Saturday 25 August 2012


05:16 - Bloody hell it's early. The plan is to get past Manchester before the weekend traffic kicks in. Target set off time is 6am.

07:33 - We've arrived at Chester services in Elton, just off the M56. This is a chance for a leg stretch and toilet stop. I'm glad to be past Manchester (and the horrible M60 ring road). Morticia just brought me a cup of tea (£2.15! Bloody rip off).

Next stop Wales!

09:14 - Stopped in Bala for toilet (for me, damn that cup of tea). The rain in heavy as I sit resting in a public car park.

09:30 - We've moved around the corner and are now parked by the lake enjoying a pre-prepared picnic. 

10:55 - Morticia takes over the driving for a while. Plan is to stop at a cafe further down the road.

11:40 - Stopped at Machynlleth, didn't partake in the cafe but stretched our legs.

12:14 - I'll be taking back over in the driving seat soon, just approaching Aberystwyth.

13:00 - ARRIVED!

18:12 - Earlier we had a little walk around, saw at least 4 dolphins (within 20 minutes of arriving) from the pier. Had my first pint of Brains in the Penwig (where we are staying) before checking in. Once in the cottage I (and Morticia) had a couple of hours sleep - I just woke up.

21:57 - Back at the cottage. Been out for a couple of pints followed by chips and corned beef rissole (unique and epic). It's time for an early night, the holiday starts proper tomorrow.

Friday 24 August 2012


10:03 - Tomorrow we go to Wales on our annual holiday. As it stands I really don't feel like going after yesterday. I'm sat in my dressing gown waiting for the bathroom to come free. 

12:03 - Shopping at Morrisons for food for the trip, didn't expect it to cost that much. 

21:06 - Finally sat down after a hard day sorting out everything for tomorrow's journey. The roof box was a bitch to fit (first time on this car). Looking forward to my bed, should be up at 5.

23:08 - Bed, taken a Nytol so hopefully the few hours I get will be restful.

23:38 - Bloody heavy rain keeping me awake!

Thursday 23 August 2012


No matter what I do something comes along to kick me down again. Why the fuck do I bother? My head hurts, my chest and heart feels heavy. I'm struggling to cope, everytime I feel I get a handle on things something happens to knock me to the floor.


Harley did well in her exams considering the fact that she had to pull back following a particularly dark time. Unfortunately her results weren't good enough to get her onto her chosen college course despite some guarantees given to her from them previously. She was devastated. I've made some calls and hopefully opened a few doors for her. There's always a plan B, especially at her age.

Monday 20 August 2012


Today I returned to the doctor to talk about my how I'm coping with things. It was a different doctor although I was glad she was a female like the previous one. Speaking about such things are easier to a woman than a man I feel although if I think a man would probably be happier with the latter if I'd gone in with some embarrassing itch.

I agreed that I've been a time bomb waiting to go off and finally I reached the end of my fuse, hopefully I managed to stop the explosion. My journey back to health is a long and difficult one. I have to try and make lifestyle changes and allow myself time and be me. That's going to be hard.

I've been signed off work for a further 2 weeks, this takes me to the other side of my planned holiday to Wales.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

1208.14 NOT SO DANDY

I just heard that the Dandy, a comic and British institution is in danger since its circulation dropped below 8,000. I grew up with the Dandy and Beano (I even dabbled with the Topper and Whizzer & Chips). I used to enjoy copying the cartoons and learned a lot from the art. I was also entertained, it's something that's lost on today's children.

Star Letter

Back in the 80s I even had a drawing and letter published in the Dandy's letters page (Star letter nonetheless).

I for one will mourn its passing.

Friday 10 August 2012

1208.10 BIG DAY OUT

As part of our learning to function together as a family and to put behind us all that has happened recently we decided to go out for the afternoon. We visited Sheffield City Centre to see the golden post box (in honour of the Olympic gold medal winner, Jessica Ennis) and to see the 'Sheffield by the sea' event (an idea they blatantly ripped off from Rotherham).

Me with Jessica Ennis' Gold Post Box

We had a great trip, afterwards we called at Meadowhall for a bit of tea and a spot of light shopping. Morticia by this time was really struggling to get around so we decided to head home.

Wednesday 8 August 2012


Harley returned home today following a long mediation involving my parents. I'm not about to kid myself that the next few weeks are going to be easy, a lot has happened and things need to be resolved. For now I feel a little better, although my stress levels remain high I feel that I have some hope now.

Tuesday 7 August 2012


Olympic cycling has been the one thing that has gotten me through the last week and a bit. Today was the last day in the velodrome.

Victoria Pendleton was robbed of a potential gold medal by a very controversial decision by the officials, it was the second time in the games that she had been on the receiving end of their interpretation of the rules. She won silver in the women sprint which was the last medal of her professional career.

Laura Trott and the legendary Sir Chris Hoy (in his last appearance at the Olympics) both took gold in the Omnium and Kerin (respectively). Chris is now the most successful British Olympian after exceeding Sir Steve Redgrave (who was on hand at the velodrome to congratulate him).

Monday 6 August 2012

1208.06 SICKNOTE

I haven't visited a doctor for years for myself. It was a strange experience to go today and lay it all out, my problems and fears, the fact I'm not sleeping properly and the way I feel about life at the moment. I did this depression test which I scored highly on (although the doctor recognised this was due to my situation rather than me suffering from full on depression). She was a very kind and understanding doctor and it did feel good to get things off my chest. She offered me drugs to help me but stated that they had addictive qualities, I declined these but she signed me off work for 2 weeks and referred me to a 'wellbeing practitioner'.

I don't know where I'd be without the Olympic Cycling over this period, for a brief time I've allowed myself to try and escape the reality of the situation and lose myself in the sport.

This evening our Team GB cyclists scored yet another gold when Jason Kenny triumphed in the Individual Sprint, well done.

Saturday 4 August 2012

1208.04 A WEEK OF HELL

It's been a week since my daughter walked out of the door. It's been indescribable, I haven't worked, I have barely slept and I've had a headache for days (no painkillers seem to have an effect). I spoke to my parents today at our house, I'm not sure where we go from here.

Another gold in cycling gave me a little lift this afternoon. The Olympics are the only thing keeping me going throughout all this.


Well done Jessica Ennis on her gold medal.

Friday 3 August 2012

1208.03 MY HELL (part 4)

Tomorrow it will have been a week since my eldest daughter stormed out of the house following an argument regarding the company she has been keeping and her attitude / lies. I am hiding from the world, not taking phonecalls or responding to texts unless they are from my parents (who have unwittingly become dragged into this by my daughter turning up on their doorstep). The only thing that is getting me through is the Olympic cycling, it's providing me with a diversion and somewhere to bury my head.

Thursday 2 August 2012

1208.02 MY HELL (part 3)

Not sure what is happening. My parents are taking it really slow which in turn makes the whole situation more difficult for us. I don't know what will happen in the next few days but I do know that it is those days which will determine the long term picture. My parents are jeopardising the good work in rebuilding our relationship following years of estrangement by potentially going against our rules and giving our daughter 'asylum'.

I am still too worked up to return to work but I must soon face up to going back. My mind has difficulty concentrating at the moment, it always dwells on the current situation.

I watched the Olympic cycling again (track action this time in the velodrome) by means of a diversion. I enjoyed watching our successes with Chris Hoy, Phillip Hindes and Jason Kenny in the men's team sprint. Disappointed for Victoria Pendleton when she and her team mate were relegated following an illegal overtake.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

1208.01 MY HELL (continued)

We are still not a family. My heart lays heavy with the pain of our separation. I had a long conversation with my dad last night on the phone. I laid it all on the line telling him everything about the last 3 years and in particular the last 12 months. The hell that I put forward I think shocked him, having said that I haven't heard anything since.

There has been some light in my darkness. I allowed myself a couple of hours to immerse myself in the Olympic cycling, in particular the men's road time trial. What a result, I am so proud to be a British Cyclist - Well done to Bradley Wiggins (gold) and Chris Froome (bronze).