A couple of weeks ago I was walking alone around Willen Lake, which is a lovely big lake in Milton Keynes famed for it’s wakeboarding circuit and abundance of swans and geese and other wildlife. The weather was sweltering, and I was looking for a patch of lakeside grass to plonk myself on for an hour or two where I could enjoy the cool breeze off the water, whilst flicking through a knitting mag and listening to some rousing oompah music on my Spotify. Continue reading
You read a lot about seemingly staunch, fully ‘converted’, solidly-grounded non-drinkers with three, four, five years of sobriety under their belts that suddenly go POP and fall off the wagon. Sometimes this can be a spectacular Gascoigne-esque fall, where the booze-victim finds themselves staggering around an off licence in a dressing gown with their tackle hanging out, and other times this can just mean a couple of wines or beers at home, before a fitful sleep and a fleeting return to the world of abstinence with the counter zero’d (or not – depending whether you view relapse as an expected part of recovery).
In my world, in my little corner of East Milton Keynes (Eastside bitches), it’s been a good few weeks for getting things done. I’m at the start of a week off work – I’m heading soon to a bit of a solo writers retreat in a caravan back oop naarth – and I feel like I’ve literally skidded sideways into the weekend after tying up a fuckload of loose ends. In the last few days the car has been serviced, I’ve taken thirteen people from work on a cool little indoor climbing and caving experience, I’ve hosted a smart little ‘retro gaming & pizza’ party at my gaff (and fucking WON the gaming competition – touch me), I’ve spent a couple of long days getting shit sorted in London, and I’ve even squeezed in a few reet sweaty 10km runs. All of this is cool, and even in my boozing days I like to think I wasn’t the type to sit about in my grundies and let life pass me by, but one BIG thing that has always been good at putting a black cloud over things for me – and that has stuck through me like a giant mucky kebab skewer for years and years – is the unshakable feeling that I’m shite at my job, and that handing over before a holiday will expose me for what I really am. And this worry is far-reaching…
A few days ago I was on Facebook looking for bad grammar to correct, and other things to feel smug about (what of it??) when a picture popped up, posted by a mate who was sat on a train in Manchester. The picture was innocent enough – I think he was waiting for the choo-choo to leave the station and take him to a faraway rock gig or whatever – but the thing that caught my eye, even caused a sudden jolt to pass through my knackers, was the open can of Boddingtons Bitter sat on the table at the bottom of the picture.
Before moving to Milton Keynes I spent around 5 years working in Manchester city centre, which – despite the long travelling times – I really enjoyed. It was the buzz of the whole place which I liked to get caught up in, and even my daily walk down Whitworth Street from Piccadilly Train Station felt like a stroll through the centre of the universe. I still think Manchester pips London as my favourite UK city, and we even went back up there for our joint stag/hen do earlier this year. Continue reading
In a few months I’ll have been sober for two years. It’s flown by, but the changes have been huge – and it feels a bit surreal when I look back at drunk Jon and his antics (the chubby scamp). In comparison life appears to have become quite ‘normal’. I keep fit, I visit friends, I go to gigs, I watch movies, I wash my car (okay that one’s a lie – I pay these local Polish guys to do it), I read books, and I’ve even grown up a bit and bought a flat with the missus. Continue reading
I’m aware that my blog is sometimes sickeningly positive, and even though sobriety has given me a second chance at life – just like life in general: there can be bad times. I’m really keen to keep all of the experiences I write about as unfiltered and as true-to-life as possible, so on that note – here is a little story about what happened to me this weekend, and about how being sober can sometimes (but hardly ever) be the problem rather than the solution. Continue reading
I found out last week that my ridiculous techno-punk band Petrol Bastard has got a slot at this year’s Boomtown Fair, which is a huge music and arts festival held every year near Winchester, and attended by around 60,000 people. This is very cool – but also brings mixed feelings. Oh the fun I’d be having at Boomtown if I was still drinking… Continue reading