Thursday, April 26, 2007

A spiritual Bacon Barm - 3 stories of me

Not a good day for me yesterday, it seemed that many of the pieces I saw falling into place just didn’t match the picture on the box. Many thanks to Kara-Leah for her well timed e-mail that appeared in my inbox just as I was packing up and heading for bed. Her words were just the lift I needed to take with me to my dreams and provide a spiritual band-aid for the metaphysical knocks and grazes of a draining day.

So up this morning with renewed vigour – got the kids packed off to school with a hug, a kiss and my wishes for a happy day tucked in with their lunch – then straight in the bath for a refreshing soak for me with no-one in the house to disturb my wallowing. How quickly the bubbles washed away the negativity of life and left me in a happy haze to think back on the lessons I have learned that may have seemed harsh at the time but brought a smile to my face as I lay there drifting buoyed by watery warmth.

I feel I have already lived a dozen lives and my aim to live a full life has already been met. Some sad times and some good, some self caused and some not, some tears and many smiles. The kind of life that many would not understand and others would fear to tread but never what I call a ‘flat-line’ life and may it remain that way. You have to have your lowest lows to know your highest highs, I always say.

Here a few stories that I’ll share with you and the lessons I learned from them. Please feel free to laugh with me as I reveal some moments that those of lesser steel would lock away and forget – but that’s not me – I feel it’s OK to find humour in others misfortune as long as you are willing to share yours to exchange their tears for a smile. I’m my own hardest critic and my biggest fan, I’m my demon and my saint, the first to pour scorn on my failings and my own best friend to offer the kindest word. That’s the way I learn from each moment and strive to be a better man.

Story One

One Christmas Eve when I was about 17, I thought it would be a great idea to drink several litres of Cider while in Manchester City Centre. Feeling a little worse for wear I headed for the bus to take me home where it was intention to go straight up to bed. Miraculously I managed to get on the correct, and very full, bus and found a seat upstairs where I could snuggle down and try and gather my thoughts enough to stay awake for the 40 minute journey home.

Everything was fine until around 15 minutes into the journey when I started to feel nauseous and headed downstairs to get off for some fresh air and to spare the other passengers from the image and horror of sharing the journey with a puking drunk – see I’m even public spirited when I’m wasted! I stood at the only door on the bus, by the driver, and saw that it was still some way to the next stop.

By now my stomach was churning and I was close to losing all control, “can you stop and let me off please I feel sick” said I to the Driver, “Hang on mate, you’ll have to wait for the next stop”, said he and carried on driving, I REALLY need to get off mate”, said I my head spinning, “No” said he. WHOOOOOOOOOOOSSSHHHHH came the vomit - akin to a scene from the Exorcist, covering the whole of the doors and filling the foot-well.

Again and again it came – wave after wave – until the bus pulled over and the dripping doors opened wide. I stepped off splashing as I went and didn’t look back as I crossed the street – caught my shins on a low wall and landed on some grass, quickly falling into thankful unconscious sleep.

Waking up some time later it took me all my strength and determination to place each foot in front of the other to plod my laborious way home. I arrived at home and put my key in the door, which was attached to a long dog-chain I clipped to my belt-loop (OK – I thought it looked cool at the time when I put my keys in my back pocket and the chain hung down in a loop). Just as the door swung open I slid to one side and my parents came to the door, summoned by the noise, to find me swinging from the chain, smelling of vomit and obviously very, very drunk.

The lessonif you are a Bus Driver and a drunken kid says open the doors the best thing to do is open them.

Story Two

You actually get two lessons for the price of one with this story. One happy Saturday morning just before Mothers Day many years ago I was lazing in bed when there was a knock on the door – I jumped up, grabbed whatever clothes I could find and went downstairs to see who it was. It turned out to be my younger cousin, Darren, and he asked me if I fancied walking up to the shops with him to get cards and gifts for our Mothers. Caught still dozing I quickly had a wash, brushed my teeth, grabbed a coat and put on my Doc Marten boots (apologies to my non-UK readers these are similar to Army boots).

We set off to shops and purchased the items for Mothering Sunday, thus ensuring that we would be welcome to stay at home for another twelve months. As it was now dinner-time we decided to meet with our Mothers who always spent Saturday at our Grandparents house. Fed and watered we headed to the playing field behind our Grandparents for a ‘kick-around’ with a few friends and a soccer ball.

All was well and I was in the process of spinning round to connect with a spectacular volley when – SNAP – Darkness – then I came round in intense pain. In my excitement I had forgotten that I was wearing the wrong footwear and although my body and leg had spun around 180 degrees my foot had stayed planted in the same place. After some fuss and some screaming and shouting on my part my Aunt drove her car on to the field and whisked me off to Hospital.

While waiting for a doctor and a free treatment room I realised that in my rush to answer the door that morning I had forgotten to put on any underwear. I confided this embarrassing fact in my Aunt which resulted in great mirth. I was diagnosed as having snapped the ligament off my ankle bone and my turn came to be wheeled into the treatment room to be faced with a young nurse.

She got the equipment ready to strap up my ankle and lower leg and then turned to me saying “You’re lucky, I think I can get your jeans off over the foot so I won’t have to cut them” – my face dropped – I hadn’t considered this. I looked at my Aunt with horror on my face and hers had a huge grin “that’s OK said I, my Mother can sew them back up – she’s good at sewing”. The nurse looked back at me puzzled and said “well if that’s how you want to do it” and cut my jeans up past my knee.

The lessonsyour Mother is right, ALWAYS wear clean underwear and never play soccer in Doc Marten boots.

Story Three

I used to have this small ritual each month where I would treat myself to whatever I fancied for breakfast on the way to work of the morning I received my Monthly pay. This was totally guilt free and calorie laden – my little pay day gift to me. This particular pay day morning I had set off for work and it was a GLORIOUS day – the sun was shining bright, the air was fresh and there was real promise in the air – you know, the kind of day where it seems that everyone you pass has a smile for you and the spring is in your step.

This particular day I’d decided that I’d have Fried Bacon and Mushrooms on a Barm with a drizzle of HP sauce (apologies again to my non-UK readers but trust me this is a very good combination - check the pic at the top). I was walking down the street to the Sandwich Shop and could already taste it on my lips – the proverbial ‘cherry on the cake’ for this marvellous day.

As I got to the shop I was so filled with anticipation and promise that I actually skipped up the two steps – caught my toe on the step – and fell FLAT on my face right inside. The other customers all turned round in unison and looked at me lying on the floor just as the Shop-owner asked “Can I help you?”, I replied still lying on the floor with my last shred of dignity “A Bacon and Mushroom Barm please” to which he answered “Sorry mate we’ve not got any mushrooms”. My defeat had become complete.

The lessonwhen all seems well with the world beware that last step.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these stories enough to want to add your own. Please feel free to write a similar article on your site linking back to here so I can follow your track-back (add a little link love) or alternatively you can add your story in a comment.

Please take the time to do this as I’d love to read your stories and see the lessons that you learnt. I’ve shown you mine now you show me yours – LOL.

Take care, Be the Change and SHARE your Wisdom,



klm said...

Hey Damian,

He he he... I loved your stories. And thanks for the props too re. the email. Always glad to lend a word or two.

And in the spirit of your stories, I'm going to screw up my courage and share a 'moment' with you and your readers.

I was travelling through Mexico with a close friend, and like most girls, we often wore each others' clothes. This particular evening my belly had been giving me some trouble... as it does when you travel in third world countries for the first time.

We were staying in tiny cabanas on the beach, and the toilet block was a fair distance away. I woke up in the middle of the night with that 'oh oh' feeling and leapt up, grabbing the shorts I'd been wearing that day and a t-shirt.

It was pitch black outside, and there were very few lights, but necessity called, and I threw caution to the wind and ran as fast as I could for the toilet block.

But it just wasn't fast enough.

And of course, being funny belly, my, ahem, bowel movement, had the consistancy of irish strew.

All over my friend's shorts. All over me.

Thank goodness the showers were right beside the toilets and I just leapt in, fully dressed and washed all the ickyness away - thankful it was night and no one was around to see my disgraceful state.

And by the time the sun came up, my friend's shorts were dry, and clean as a baby's bottom.

Disaster averted.

How much worse it could have been...

Much joy,

Debs said...

Hey Damian,

Thanks for the peak into
your world and the lessons

I've made a post at my blog...

Glass-Haste = Pain

Nathalie said...

Thank you so much Damien. I was having a really rotten day so far, but these stories made me happy again! (altough they probably weren't funny for you at the time)

@ Kara-Leah: just curious...did you tell your friend what happened, or...? :D

Titania Starlight said...

Those were very good stories. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

Damian said...

Wow guys many thanks for the comments - glad you enjoyed the stories :-)

Kara-Leah - thank you for your story (and your honesty) - It's good to share these moments of disaster and I know you were laughing to yourself while typing up that story - remember what goes around comes around - LOL

Debs - Wonderful post on your site - thank you for joininng in the fun and sharing your 'moment' with the world :-)

Nathalie - glad that your frown is now a smile.

Take care,


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