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  1. As some who has an aversion to 'white gold' as it was referred to by the huge factory across the river from my neighbourhood, in other words, I grew up opposite the now defunct Tate and Lyle factory that produced our friend cane sugar in millions of tons, whilst it was open.
    There has been a recent campaign by some doctors to have a sugar tax put on it so that buyers would be put off purchasing the product.
    Some would say that this is a worthwhile ambitious plan.
    I don't!
    I believe that doing so would make some of the worst heavily sugared drinks more subject to abuse by our youngest members of our community, I think that some of our more vulnerable kids would get a kick out trying to get a form of buzz or addiction to those types of drinks. They would become iconic and revered!
    There is already a huge problem at an epidemic levels because of some energy drinks.
    The answer is education and getting our drinks industry to invest in new forms of sweeteners that have been developed but not passed by the American food watchdogs!
    The answers are already there and the way forward is clear.
    Already the big cola firms have done some adjustment in there plans for the future. But that is not enough!
    Surely regulating the sugar in the drinks and using harmless sweeteners are the answer!
    Regulating the big companies to change is financially beneficial to all parties and the world would be a healthier place!
    Already the big sugar companies are diversifying into other areas, the cola biggies are looking at other soft drinks, that are not loaded with the amount of sugar in them!
    Why can't the government stop sitting back and letting others do their job for them by introducing a sugar tax on the company's that have upward of ten teaspoonsful of sugar in each glass of drink!
    Aren't we taxed enough?
    The food and drink companies are reaping the profits from 'white gold'! Surely they don't want the tax either!
    Already, this week, there has been a statement about the growth of T2 diabetes again!
    Are these people waiting for the miracle cure?
    I hope not!
  2. When did you realize that the world was bigger and more daunting than you thought.
    The freedom of your primary school years, the rush of your early teen years, when your horizons broaden and you want to discover the world.
    The comfort of your family life and the protection of your friends, neighbours and for me, my elder brothers.
    My early years in the fifties and sixties were a time of poverty and struggle, but I really never thought much of it or realised how lucky we were, I was born ten years after the second world war. The threat of nuclear weapons in the cold war, was just another thing that could happen, but everybody laughed it off as if there was no way it would happen or stupid enough to push the button.
    The pathetic air raid drills that you practiced where just like play time.
    Living in the Merseyside area, we were prime targets and unless you were already in a shelter, your chances of survival were next to nothing.
    But we didn't know that, people just got on with the struggle of trying just to put food on the table and keep warm in one of the coldest winters ever in early '63.
    You lived your life, you played, you learned and you made the best of your life.
    How little was I aware of the likes of the bay of pigs, the assassination of JFK and other real important issues like the building of the Berlin wall and the American and Russian (USSR) domination of the post war world.
    We were taught, the sun would never go down on the British empire, the world was still pink! For those who don't know, grab hold of a pre 70s atlas and look at the pink countries that Great Britain ruled! India, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, South Africa and many more were beholding to the mother country!
    Britannia rules the waves, before the break up of the commonwealth and those countries became independent we were the super power of the world, into the sixties, we were beholden to the United States and the empire was diminishing.
    The empire games became the commonwealth games!
    The world politics were way over my head growing up. Even my grammar school years were not focused on what the actual situation was in the world, we were brought up to honour our proud British history and unaware of our place in the world. We were looking at Europe and the NATO alliance was crucial to our safety which against the Eastern bloc of Russian domination countries also known as the Warsaw pact.
    I just didn't realize the way of the world, my world was my family, friends and school. The latest big hit from America was the most important thing or football and how the local teams did, my team of kids playing on a Saturday morning was huge.
    Nothing had really prepared me from what happened to me in the summer of 1970!
    My parents and I, were offered the chance by close friends to visit Berlin. We would fly from Luton to Templehof airport, we would be picked up by this friend of my father's and stay on the RAF base at Gatow. This man was attached to the intelligence service though he was in the air service but as an interpreter for the British sector.
    At that time Berlin was divided into 4 sectors, British, French, American and Russian, the Berlin wall was the most dominant feature of the former capitol of the German people.
    On the first couple of days, we got our bearings and we visited various places, that were just somewhere different for me and really had no interest or a bit boring, shops and such, of course, things were just as scarce in the shops as they were at home. I wanted to see the war sites and those types of sightseeing places.
    The third day was a lazy day on the base, as our hosts both had busy days, the son had to still go to school, I shared his bedroom on the bottom bunk! His name was Peter.
    So I decided to venture out around the airbase, having no idea what I would see or do!
    I looked around the big runway and got close up to various types of aircraft and astounded by how small they were compared to passenger aircraft and the huge transport planes. I was warned away by the RAF service men, not to go too near. I didn't venture to near the MPs, they sort of scared me a little, and I didn't want to get into trouble.
    However as the day went on, my usual good sense of direction went awry and I suddenly found myself somewhere I didn't know, I was busy nosing around, the old personnel barracks, that must have been built during the Nazi era because of busts of German soldiers with their helmets on were on the end above the double doors. I found myself at the edge of the base golf course and then I realised, I was just a little bit lost, I started to retrace my steps. But as usual when things go wrong, you don't know which way to turn and you get yourself in a bit of a state about which way to go and when you do get back, you will get bollocked by your parents and suffer the consequences.
    A little (a lot) panic set in and as the light was fading towards evening, I wasn't sure, which building or path to use, the roads went around the golf course but which way to go. I made my mind up and followed the path near the road by the furthest building, this brought me to a larger road that I hadn't seen before. I was confused and just a little more scared.
    There was no one around, the area was silent and scary, I retraced my steps and it was getting darker, so I increased my running pace and headed back the way I had gone and went down the other path near the other road, this brought me back to the airfield and the hangars. I knew the house I was staying was behind a certain building which stood out a bit further on from the hangar I was by. I was heading directly there but a jeep with two MPs stopped me. I really nearly crapped my pants there and then. They asked me the relevant questions about who I was, where I was staying, and what was I doing roaming around the air base.
    I got told to get in the back of the jeep, which was brilliant by the way and dropped off at the house I was staying, where there were some more MPs and officers there and my really unhappy parents.
    I got the mother of all dressing down. I was grounded and lucky not to get my dad's belt across my arse. Grounded, during the day and was warned about my behaviour and no more nosing and wandering.
    I was told in no uncertain style, that if I had continued my journey down the bigger road then I would have probably ended up somewhere where I definitely shouldn't have been! I was left with the impression that I really didn't want to know.
    After a couple more days on the base, we were taken to do the sites around the Brandenburg gate. This was certainly an eye opener for me and my dad certainly got his point across about what was happening in the city. The gate was sealed off by barbed wire and tanks that had been sealed from the war. There was about six Russian guards goose stepping with machine guns which were not for show! The wall around that area were full of graffiti and there was the odd cross were east Germans had tried to escape and been killed.
    The next was Spandau prison, were Herr Hess, a Nazi bigwig was jailed for life, we got the tour and told of the former inmates, from the war, that had been tried and punished for their war crimes and I was shown certain rooms where these Nazis had committed suicide.
    For an impressionable fifteen year old, this was a bit too much of the history lesson and the sightseeing.
    We visited the bombed church in the centre of the city and witnessed a service there! The one thing that struck me about Berlin was so different from my own area, we had bomb sites everywhere they had all new construction everywhere, my dad often said he wondered who had won the war!
    We went ten pin bowling at the American px. I bought The Motown Story for $20 and was my pride and joy! We ate in the American officers restaurant mess(?). I had ham and eggs!
    It was a big ham steak and 3eggs. Absolutely gorgeous it was!
    The next day, we went out in the morning, I thought it would be just another sightseeing tour, well it was, but this was certainly something that I had not prepared myself for. My father's friend, the one we stayed with moved his son from beside me and he sat next to me and gave me a personal commentary about what was happening. We drove towards American guards, I thought it was another American Base but it wasn't, the barrier was raised and we drove on and about 50 yards on there was another barrier, which we stopped. There was Russian guards and East German police. We were told to get out the car and go into a long building. My dad's friend had told me that he had obtained personal visas for a visit through checkpoint Charlie to the east. I was being given the history and the importance of what it all meant, by my dad's friend, he was teaching me why, it was so important to be responsible for your behaviour and respect the power of not being in control of your life.
    I was stunned, I never really took it all in. My life was irrelevant in the big scheme of things, I was nobody, I was just another visitor through this part of the cold war and if the world went to war that day, I would just be a statistic in the books.
    You just don't realize how small and unimportant you are.
    Anyway I learnt that lesson, I knew my place and if I wanted something I would have to work hard for it.
    We visited the G.U.M. Were things were worse than at home and the faces of the people we seen were very different from anywhere else I had been, they were prisoners of global domination and they're lack of freedom.
    I really wouldn't like to live like that and I'm fortunate not to have despite the lack of rights we impoverished brits are going through despite the wealth of the country. My dad would certainly be unhappy because of the sacrifice his generation went through to win the war and the way that people with disabilities and the unfortunate are treated in this country now!
    The trip to East Berlin certainly made me realise that us British were just another European country and I believe that we should have real solid ties with our nearest neighbours on the continent, we just are not able to grow as a country without them, we depend so much on their trade and impact so much in our everyday life, we can't shut out the rest of the world. We have the most diverse capital in the world.
    We can't afford another world war, we can't let the idiots in power blow the world up. In all my life, there has been wars, even through the so called peace and through late 20th century history, there has been one war after another and the list of our war dead continues to grow. I have lost people throughout my life, family, good friends, work and social colleagues.
    There should be because of the technology, be any wars. There is an underlying trend towards extremism, haven't we learned our history lessons?
    I fear for the future, because of the power struggle, because of the thirst for capitalistic greed and religious ideology.
    I learnt my lesson, it seems the world hasn't!
  3. Today is the 18th June 2015.

    It is or was suppose to be my closest brothers birthday today.
    He died about 7 years ago, of a massive coronary. He went to work, died instantly, never made it home, aged 55.
    The only condition he had was T2 diabetes.
    He thought he was doing well, except obviously he wasn't!
    He still smoked, had the odd beer, liked his food and though fairly fit for his height and stature certainly didn't do enough exercise.

    He was my go to brother, my friend, my bunkmate, my street cred teacher, he tuned my ears for the love of my genre of music and helped me to become a better sportsman, better person, helped me to become a better parent and grandad. With fathers day coming up as well, I will be saying something special for my dearest!

    Today is also the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. This was a favourite battle that I studied, because of the connections of all my brother's birthdays.
    I have read extensively and had my share of weird dreams about it.

    How can I not be thoughtful about the date?
    It would have disrupted the british way of life in the early nineteenth century to have such a hostile close enemy across the channel.
    It could have led to a different relationship with Europe and especially the Germanic states into the Victorian era. Would a really strong French state have been involved in the Franco- Prussian war?
    I'm not to sure!
    Could it have changed the Royal line? And the big split between Victoria's grandchildren that probably caused the first world war? Probably!
    I've no doubt that there would have been a big European war anyway, but Waterloo changed the balance of power in Great Britain's favour and she built an empire because of it! There are no ifs, buts, maybe! It allowed our monarchy to thrive and spread their influence around the world!
    If that hadn't happened, by the middle of the 20th century, the world that split asunder because of Hitler and Hirohito, though having recently researched the Japanese conquest for natural resources into out and out war. The Americans brought about the war because of decisions made before the crash of 1929. To deny the Japanese, simply supplying commodities, minerals and resources that they had to import as well as basic foodstuffs, then Pearl harbour might not have happened!
    This brings me back to my dad, as it's dad's day on Sunday. His adult life was drastically changed because of the war, he was never the same, even though he survived the jungles of Burma, the Japanese and double malaria. A chindit, and proud of it! But would never talk of it!
    He sired a family and taught each and everyone one of his four sons to work, play and live life to our family. We got out of poverty, because of the boys work ethic and we all dragged ourselves to live better lives.
    I give thanks to the generations before mine from doing their bit in both world wars.
    Perhaps we could all do with a bit of giving peace a chance, not just here, but in all the world. Or would all those sacrifices be for nought, because of the power hungry fools that are causing all the different wars across the globe now.

    Maybe had we lost Waterloo, it was close, it definitely would have been different!

    Maybe, my family line wouldn't have got past the Victorian era. According to my grandad, because of our kids birthday, he said that we had a distant relative that fought there and survived!

    What if we had lost?
    There would have been a good chance he wouldn't have survived!

    Weird ain't it!

    Anyway, thinking of you Bruv!
  4. As if you needed telling, I have really weird and interesting dreams.
    This one is no different.

    Last night was nothing unusual, my disruptive sleep patterns, to go the toilet, made me remember this one.

    I was in charge of a limo type car and I was driving people that I knew to their destinations, one after another, they would get in the kerbside door, climb in the back say hello, and sit back. There was no conversation, just a vision of each and every passenger behind me as though I was looking through the rear view mirror.
    As soon as we would arrive, wherever that may have been, they alighted through the roadside door.
    This happened at least ten times.
    I couldn't see out through the front windscreen, just the back of the vehicle.
    Nothing strange, you say, and I would agree.

    But you see, these were all my relatives, who have passed away.

    What was the point? no idea!
    Why was I driving? No idea! Oh yeah, I have never passed my driving test! I have an eyesight problem with spacial awareness 30 to 40 yards ahead of me. I just can't judge it properly!

    This is just me!
    Weird dreams!

    And to finish off my car took off and flew to my workplace to drop me off, I got to open the door and my alarm went off!

    That's it!
    A short blog for a change!

    Thanks f or reading!
  5. This is one of those days that I'm having, is what I call 'a thinking day!' This is due to watching the many sports on television and being off work, for a change! I just go into a torpor where everything going on around me isn't happening and my brain starts working overtime and that is all that matters. I don't need to document all my family and personal things that go on in my head, as with having a large family there is always something going on! Not moaning its the way it is.
    I have been trying to come up with how I am going to write this, there is no easy way and one of the threads, that has been troubling me, is doing the rounds at the moment, this blog is not about the rights or wrongs, it is, my opinion, that's all it is, it is not directed at anyone in particular, I'm not the sort to ridicule or tell posters directly, that they are wrong and I'm right!
    It is my opinion!
    That's what blogs are for aren't they?

    For me, as my history has been documented, well and truly by my threads and my blog, my story of how I bettered my symptoms, until now, I am well, and healthier etc.
    Had I continued to follow the NICE recommendations on diet for diabetics, when I was misdiagnosed and through my actual diagnosis, I would be in a terrible place. I would be ill with a catalogue of symptoms.
    I think that even in a recent blog I alluded to my specialist asking me to up my carbs, which I refused!
    All but one or two people have suggested I eat carbs to help me, (how I don't know?), but because I have learned that carbs are seriously bad for me, those couple of people, have literally given me my life back.
    Every where I look on Google, other forums and formats, it insists that I eat carbs. Even my time on this forum or if I look on the home page, the advice is low carb or reduce your carbs, which is really good advice. I have even seen videos on tube that RH ers eat a quantity of carbs a day, eh! What! I know there are very small amounts in everything we eat. But nowhere except maybe the RH threads does it mention that a very, very low carb diet is preferable to posters looking for advice.
    I am in ketosis!
    It's where I have been, it's where I'm staying. It has to be, because I don't want to be ill again.
    I want to be in ketosis, I'm happy to be there. It is a state of health and happiness for me.
    Even though I probably could (or should) have a few more carbs, but why?
    Why do I want to?
    Why do I need to?
    Why should I?

    The simple answer to all those questions is, I Don't!

    So moving on, because that's me!

    The big question for me, is the reason for this blog.

    I cannot understand or reason it out, because (as a star trek fan) it's illogical!

    If low carbing is so good for even at a reduced diet, and I am following my own advice, reduce carbs etc.
    Why does the majority of diabetic posters want to eat more carbs when they get their blood glucose levels down?
    If the recommended low carb diet from the forum from the majority of successful posters is to be followed then why try and go back to what probably had an undesirable effect on their health in the first place?
    You do notice that I'm picking my words carefully!
    I truly believe that we have a carb filled epidemic on our hands! There is so much of it in everything you see in the shops, supermarkets, and fast food outlets. Even the salads are covered with dressings that are loaded with carbs.
    Went and didn't stay at a pub, trying to have a meal, it was ridiculous, there was nothing on the menu or would they alter the menu to suit me. I complained, but did me no good, even the diet coke was pumped and full of sugar!
    There is obviously a bigger issue with food production and our eating habits as a population but it just seems as though real good dietary advice in my opinion, is not out there. Therefore, the reason for the obesity epidemic.

    There is a slow change if you look for it, as in this forum and in books, but business doesn't want you to know about it!
    I'm digressing, the big question is why, when you know that you are in control of your blood glucose levels, do you need or want to go back to eating the carbs?

    I just don't understand it! It's not logical!

    There is another issue for me.
    If you are a T1 diabetic, why the need to boast, brag, post about how you can bolus for carbs, when you need to?
    It's rhetorical!, also I'm not qualified to comment!
    The fact that you want to inject yourself because you have to is fine by me, but to use more insulin because you want to eat fast food doesn't sit right for me, that's illogical!
    That's the same as an alcoholic having meds for his liver and then going out on the beer! That's illogical!

    I believe that sometimes on the forum there should be more separate forums for T1s and T2s, but where do you stop?
    As my condition is distinct that treatment, should be very low carb and eat little and often!
    But for all the various types of diabetes, it is very difficult to find one recommendation other than reduce carbs, that fits all types.

    This forum is brilliant, it has its little trials and tribulations, but in the main, this is where posters come to get advice from experienced diabetics, for whom the recommendations have been ever so successful, which includes me!

    I just think sometimes that having newbies see threads that say eat normally when your medicated, is just wrong somehow. Especially as they are reluctant to join and are just perusing!
    I can remember joining with reluctance, because I felt embarrassed at putting my health issues out there on the internet, to strangers, who I just didn't know or trust.
    You have to put yourself in their place! Someone who has just been diagnosed T2 with dietary issues and overweight, and his first thread he/she reads, is as long as you have insulin you can carry on eating *****!
    I just don't get it! Surely eating a reduced carb diet is better than injecting more insulin.
    I have said eating 'normally', but what is normal?
    For me now, it's eating to make sure I'm not affected by foods that make me ill.
    My normal is not your normal!
    I have to, for the rest of my life eat like this!
    That is my logic! I eat to my meter to make me healthier and give me real good energy levels. My life signs are brilliant. Only my pancreas misbehaves, when I have too many carbs.
    Therefore I'm allergic to them.!
    So in summary, there are posters who like, in their opinion, need to tell people that because of meds they have a license to do and eat anything they like and **** everybody else. Why do they need to do that? Isn't that against forum rules? If it isn't it should be!
    It's illogical in my opinion!

    Rant over!

    Once again, it's just my opinion!
  6. This time I thought I would record in this blog, about my trials and tribulations of my disruptive sleep patterns.
    And the weirdness of what happens when you are consistently hyper then hypo, through the hours that you should be spending fast asleep and dreaming of such nice things that you can never remember!

    However, the title could be a bit misleading, not totally, but it is called a teaser, to get your attention, so that you keep reading.

    As you know, if you have my other blogs, that during my dark days, I suffered with a whole host of weird dreams, that, had my head spinning and my body sore, well since diagnosis, things have gotten better and the dreams have abated, even though now and again I have the usual recurring ones.

    This one is right out of fiction.

    It begins with a dream that I had many years ago, it has all the hallmarks of a historical dream that I have occasional, but because I have so many through my life, this was stored away with the others that have been either forgotten or half remembered. This dream as I said was quite a few years ago and what made it stand out was the fact that I was telling the story just like a documentary.
    This narration was unnerving to say the least and it in itself is not remarkable, but the dream didn't end at one occurrence or one dream.
    What transpired is a singular recurring themed dream.

    Let me explain, my first dream in the sequence was of Greek soldier of the ancient Spartan, Athenian era. Not sure but it reminded me of Troy, who knows, the second was of a dark ages battle, typically, knights charging and arrows flying through the air, you know what I mean! The third is of a huge fire in a massive temple like building and people in Egyptian clothes running around like headless chickens. The fourth is of expansive gardens like you see at stately homes but more Mediterranean and water courses and waterfalls of the ornate type, the gardens were terraced and the canals, tributaries where running through it all.
    Through this fourth dream a recurring mention was that a voice was saying, 'it's not babylon!' Obviously referring to the wonder of the hanging gardens of Babylon.

    As I stated, these dreams meant nothing individually, but together as I was to discover, was mind blowing.

    It was sometime early in 2014 that I was searching for a book for my kindle. I am an avid reader and I have read and own hundreds of books in my house and on my kindle, there's nothing like, listening to my music and reading, especially in the garden in the sun! (Not much this summer!) And I was looking for free books, as often for not, you can pick up a good read for absolutely free. As I say, I was scouring the free book section and a title really intrigued me.
    It was by a new author, Jodi Taylor. It was a first book in a series that had been published only recently. It had been given nearly a 5 star rating and the reviews were very praiseworthy and glowing in the reviewers opinions.
    You see because of my boyhood dreams and my favourite subjects was history. And the fascination I have with history, is consuming at times. I'm watching Napoleon, a biographical documentary now on beeb 2.
    So I read the reviews and decided to buy, as it I was free. I usually don't buy series of books, but I was persuaded.
    The theme is about a newly installed historian, (our heroine) coming to grips with going through time and visiting important periods of time. I got engrossed and read it in one reading. It was just my cup of tea. Oh yeah, they drink a lot of tea, as do I! The title was 'One damned thing after another'.
    How appropriate to my life story!
    I loved the story and I couldn't wait for the next instalment. I was hooked, and wrote a review on Amazon in total praise of the concept and storytelling.
    There was something else that nudged my memory, even though at the time, I dismissed it as a mere coincidence!
    I couldn't quite get to think what had piqued my interest and my excitement was exuberant.
    The second of the series was published and I once again devoured it and read it in one sitting. The story rolled on at a pace. And as it unfurled, the characters and the shenanigans, with the history, had me enthralled and every other descriptive adjective you could think of. There was something about the way the author told the story that had me hooked!
    Book 3 came out and as I had pre-ordered it, able to read it, as quickly as I could. This was the book that didn't let me read it in one sitting.
    This time our heroine travelled to Agincourt, then to Troy! I had to re-read it over and over.
    It was like a real bad case of revisiting my dreams, it was like finding deja vu in a book, it was my dreams wrote by a stranger, in a book!
    Wow! I thought at first I was living in the dream. That I was dreaming, and it was my old dream! How could this be?
    How can I dream of living in a book or I was narrating the book before it had been written, my dreams were many years before it was published?
    It was mind blowing, I had to do lots of things to check I wasn't dreaming. You have to remember at that time, I was quite ill, and wasn't at my best! I was all over the place really! My symptoms were making my life hell!
    This was like a jolt of electricity, the wife thought I was taking hallucinogenic drugs, never have, never will!
    It would have explained it all to be on crack or LSD! But no drugs, no nothing!
    The fourth and fifth books gave me the other dreams that I had and even a couple more that until I read them, it came from somewhere deep in my subconscious.
    Of course all this could be coincidence! It could be that I'm making two and two making something other than four. I could be making this all up.
    So ok, I know already that book 6 is on its way, and no doubt more after that, the series is in the top 100 ebooks on Amazon and every volume is rated 4stars and above. The demand for more is insatiable.
    So what I'm going to write is a dream I had about a few certain time frames and see if the author puts them in her next books.
    The first is about A Napoleonic battle, the second is about the American revolution., the third is about the French revolution, the fourth is English civil war. I will probably by elimination get one right.
    I would put the American civil war but that recurring dream has been covered and I'm not certain it's the same type of narrative dream. It is completely different type of dream.
    Let's see what happens! The next book is due in August.

    Okay, to recap, why I know these dreams are linked in some way in my subconscious to the books is described in the book, nearly as close as could be. The one that put it all together was the fourth dream about the gardens.
    'Re 'it's not Babylon!'
    In the book, our heroine travelled to not Babylon, but to another place, which is not Babylon where legend has us believing that the hanging gardens are there, but after reading and watching a documentary. They have discovered that the gardens where never in Babylon. This same storyline is depicted exactly as my dream foretold.
    This dream was in my teenage years, and the book brought it all back.

    How , what, why is it all about?. I don't know! I really don't know! Why do I have these weird dreams? How does this author write my dreams so exactly? This is more than deja vu! I know I'm weird, but this is taking the pies out of weirdness!

    If you haven't and history is your cup of tea, then read the books, they are brilliant!

    Update to this blog, the next new novel is to be published on Christmas day 2015, on the front cover is a depiction of the, I think, battle of Waterloo! Go figure!
  7. A Reactionary, part 2!!

    I never can recall the date exactly, cos I don't do diaries except food ones and blood glucose levels.
    I do know that it is now over 12 months since my stay in hospital which ruled out everything else but Reactive Hypoglycaemia. I came out with a determination to get to grips with my condition and control the symptoms which had been troubling me for far too many years. I came to realise that my will power and my refusal to be ill any more, with justification, how I would do this!
    It is also over a year now that I have been in ketosis. It is over a year that I have been taking the drug sitagliptin.
    It is over a year in which my determination has won! Well nearly!
    I have yet to reach my target weight, but that is still another goal to be achieved, one of many that I set myself.
    I have been relentless in my determination to eat nothing but very, very low carb meals.
    I do eat small pieces of fruit and I test some boundaries of some foods, but, and it's a big but. I have done without potatoes, pasta, rice, pastry, bread (except a slice of Bergen) grains of any type.
    I cannot bring myself to try at all. My consultant asked me to try some more complex carbs, I refused, asking, if ketosis was working, why break something that isn't broken! I eat to my meter and stay between 4-6mmols at all times, that I'm aware of!
    I have been invigorated, my energy levels are really good, I wake up in the morning feeling like a thirty year old, rather than a oap! I work very hard, in a manual demanding job, which was supposed to be part time but has turned into full time at the moment. I do feel tired, but it's a healthy tired.
    I sleep better and have less weird dreams, I still wake up 2 or 3 times a night to pee, but that's the excess insulin, so I have been told. But fall back off to sleep more or less straight away. Something that wouldn't have happened a couple of years ago!
    My life has improved so much this last year, the wife has improved a bit, money is not as tight, the kids and grandkids are doing well, the daughter is struggling with her thyroid, but is with a good endocrinologist. She has a rare form she has been told! Now where have I heard that phrase before? Hmmm?
    I could do with a holiday, but cannot get away for a while yet!
    Even my football club has some good vibes for the season coming and are one of the favourites for the division, here's hoping!

    As I've said before, I can't believe how healthy I am and my medical people agree with that assessment. Since diagnosis, my life signs and function tests are normal, not just for someone young and healthy but for a man of my age, is really good. All my BP, cholesterol, heart, urine, stool tests are normal. Other than my condition, there is nothing except wear and tear, nowt wrong with me! I smoked, drank, ate unhealthy and ignored my health as I thought that I was 'fine'!
    I never let my symptoms get in my way of what I really wanted to do. I struggled for years, so I could earn a living.
    I just got on with, not thinking I was that ill! Even when I knew there was something other than my misdiagnosis of T2, was going on, did I not try and work my way through life.
    I think it has got to do with having to go through childhood poverty, had something to do with it! Always willing to work and not shy of having a go and could usually turn my hand to it. Having a few decent brain cells helped, despite the bang on my head at 10 that did knock my education somewhat!
    I think because, I gained a lot of work experience in my first couple of years in my working life, that the concept of working has not been totally alien. Indeed I'm very proud that I have never had a day on the dole in all my working life, says, that I've, been lucky (especially in this area) and a good worker and have never been sacked says another. 60 and my latest employer has plans for me. Says it all!
    My future is planned out, the state of ketosis is staying, I'm still learning and getting better in the kitchen, I'm organizing my life to help my wife, even though I'm not there as much as me and her would like, a full time job, the chores, the cooking, cleaning, laundry, walking the dog, shopping etc. Has my life busier than I could have believed, especially considering the trials that have caused so much heartache, the last few years.
    I sure hope that this continues for a while to come.

    Life I love against carbs

    This reactionary has a life to live, let's get on with it.
  8. I wanted to write about my music taste, which is quite refined, I know what I like and I like what I know.
    In fact, I have my type of music on most of the time now.
    The thought of how I became to like my music is one like is quite odd and a bit weird.
    If you have read my blog, you know that I grew up in the heady days of the merseybeat years.
    You couldn't get away from the sound, every radio, television, music stores and all the scousers, bar a few, were singing Beatles, Gerry and the pacemakers, the merseybeats, the searchers, Cilla, etc. Was all you could hear.
    Even my parents and my eldest brothers bought their records and played them to their hearts content. Having no television till '68.
    I think by the time I turned a teenager in that year, I had had my fill
    The solution was found in my other brother's taste in music was completely different, he enjoyed the beach boys and deep south soul, particularly Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin. I grew to like the kind of soulful tunes that these great singers put their really impressive talents to. It was that same year, that, sadly Otis died in a plane crash, with others in his backing group, which also included some of the band, Booker T & the M.Gs
    This music was more satisfyingly enjoyable and I wanted to hear more different sounds, the radio became my ally in getting scouse noise out of my head.. My brother began to try and get radio Caroline on his cheap portable radio. My dad's pride and joy was illicit in our pursuit of good sounds. The stereogram, with record player and long wave and short wave radio, was polished every other day! My eldest brother dared play one of his rock records on it, my dad knew it and threatened us with the leather belt he wore, if we were to touch the needle again! Even though, he would have been upset if he caught us.
    Because my brother liked his music, he was allowed to receive a 'dansette' record player for Christmas It was white with a red lid.
    He started his 'collection'.
    My parents never did get that music was just as important to me as my brother. So I wasn't allowed my own music, so I mainly reverted to the radio.
    My favourite dj was Tony Blackburn, simply because I was getting to the age where I started to want to go to the discos that happened then, mainly in church halls. He played a vibrant fast beat with great vocalist, touch of soul, and a rythym that made your feet move. The thing I liked about this music was that it was properly produced and had proper orchestration, with brass and strings.
    It wasn't just guitars. The songs meant something and you could dance to them. This was Northern Soul!
    The sound came from the black areas of northern cities in the U.S.
    I don't want to go on about the differences between genres, but if you want up tempo powerful songs and performance and absolute talent. Then what grew out of Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia, you have an altogether music experience of some great artists, musicians, songwriters and producers, of course, you had to like the Motown sound and one of the most famous record labels has played an enormous affect on my life. I loved everything they did for years. The list is endless of the songs and artists that I am still listening to now, and I don't believe, I will ever tire of it!
    My favourite group were The Originals. Initially signed on to be backing singers for Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross. They did the tours with them and made their own singles and albums into the seventies. My favourite song, is by them called, Baby, I'm For Real.
    My favourite solo singer is the one and only, and still recording and touring is William 'Smokey' Robinson. In not only my opinion, the greatest poet and songwriter of the late 20th century. His career is exceptional and excuse the pun, record breaking. He has either sang, wrote, produced and been involved in more than 4000 published songs.
    This love of this type of music paved the way to enjoying my early teen years, that made me forget, the drudge of poverty and grammar school life. All my classmates were of the opinion that I was odd, not liking the latest brit band or singer. I was a lover of black music! I was condemned.
    This was totally different in the discos, where like minded teenagers enjoyed the dances and camaraderie of the mod scene.
    Of course, this got me into all kinds of trouble and arguments with my 'betters'. My parents just didn't understand why I wanted to be a part of this music scene.
    Even my mod short haircut got me in trouble, while the long hair and unkempt hair got away with murder. The school wanted haircuts like my grandad or Hitler, rather than the stylish, groomed look that I wore!
    I was beginning to get to know all the well known bands and groups of the Northern soul scene.
    I have by now heard enough of the greatest modern music and nothing compares to the composition and production of the motown, Chicago and Philadelphia sound.
    My greatest symbol of ownership was called ' The Motown Story'. It was a record album collection that I bought in Berlin, at the American Base PX. It cost me $20. It was well worth the money.
    It was stolen when I moved house over 22 years ago. I was so angry about that.
    Getting ahead of myself!
    All through my teens, I grew into the movement, the music I loved, the clothes, were smart and we were always respectful towards our friends. Everywhere you went a mod was a mod! That's it!
    We had a way with making ourselves happy without the troubles that followed years later.
    I remember in the summer of '71, just as the first mods began to alter to real shorter haircut styles, they still danced, grew up with, hung around with, and joined in with all races and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference, who they were.
    Skinheads, the original ones, not the political biased and media loved hooligans. They were decent, smart and law abiding, not interested in politics or bovver!
    I really couldn't wait to start earning a wage, to buy real mod clothes, to but a suit, tailor made from Burton's. So by the time I had been in work for about two months. I had bought my first Ben Sherman, blue gingham! My first Oxford bags, brogues, and ordered my first suit, grey! Centre vent, all tailor made to the latest style and fashion.
    My love for my music and the sound took me to new and exciting venues all over the north. Been to some great theatres to see artists. Edwin Starr at the Wookey Hollow in Liverpool. Diana Ross at the Empire, who appeared with my favourites as backing singers then!, The Marvellettes. I've seen The Temps, The Four Tops, The Stylistics and many others.
    My music is my go to place when I need to chill. All through my years of struggle, the one thing that really helped me cope with everything that was going on was to turn my music on and find more tunes and try and discover, sounds that I have forgotten or never heard before. I relax to it!
    I don't think I could have got through it all especially when angry and annoyed, confused, when I just wanted the world to go away! When I couldn't watch the television because of the bluriness of my eyes because of the uncontrolled up and down of my blood glucose levels.
    I turned to my music. When I was awake in the middle of the night, the nagging headaches, the urge to eat the fridge. It was music that helped me!
    Northern Soul music is timeless and more enjoyable the older I get. I don't get to the discos no more, but I still have a spin when I'm on my own.
    The genre of music is everywhere, adverts on television is full of them. The radio stations keeping getting requests and the influence on modern music from the roots is insurmountable.
    Long live Northern Soul!
  9. Ok it's the day after whit Monday to be truthful, but, all this was in my head since last night.
    I have just had the most boring of days off. And as usual, I ran out things to do, since most of what I had to do was done by midday. All my chores and cooking was sorted for me and the wife, that's if she would eat proper, well, better!
    The garden was done and just needed tidying, there was no decorating or major cleaning to be done, I did the shopping on Saturday. The easy day off became a boring long restless day.
    The kids and grandkids were all doing something, the eldest with the partner and three little ones went to watch the three queens on the Mersey. I was asked but the crowds and probably no decent specs as I later found out. I didn't fancy it. I have already seen them previously.

    Anyway, that's not what my blog is about. My emotions came to the fore last evening in a rather surprising way. I have always been busy, I always find something to do. But for some reason, last night, was different. I couldn't be bothered or ***** about finding anything to do. I don't do self analysis!
    This is not me! I always just get on with it! I'm a fighter, not wanting anything else to interfere in what I want to achieve. I've fought my way out of poverty, I've worked hard to give my kids the chance to be more than I could ever imagine to do. I've done ok!
    I've fought for 15 years to get a proper understanding of my condition, I was misdiagnosed prediabetic and over 5 years ago, T2 diabetic.
    If you have read my blog, then you know, I will keep at it until I'm satisfied with what is happening, indeed, I really want to go on and help others and be a guinea pig, doing tests, so that my docs can understand my rare condition.
    I'm babbling on here.
    I did nothing at all last night, but think!
    I thought about my life at the moment and was thinking about the wife, the kids and grandkids.
    I was disturbed in a way, that, because I have been so busy, that, I have been close to being negligent to my lot. I don't mean, hurting them, but not being as much help as I would like to think I could be. I want to be a better person that just thinking about my life.
    Because of this train of thought, I started to think a bit morbid. You know what would happen if I wasn't here or the wife, I shook that off cos I'm not going anywhere yet, I want to see my great grandkids before that! I'm very positive and I want to live as long as I'm healthy not to be a burden to anyone. This is also not about me thinking about losing people around me. I never get used to having family die or close friends and acquaintances. But those thoughts are distant in this case. I have never really expressed my feelings about death to anyone and this is not the time and place!
    My mind changed to my own medical condition and where I am now and what would happen. That got my thoughts on why!
    Why was I so weird?
    I know, that I'm so relieved, that after all this time, I know what is wrong with me, and I'm doing so well presently, but why was I so different than anyone that I have known or likely too.
    I am (according to my consultant) so rare, that possibly, there has been more men that have walked on the moon, than have been diagnosed with Late Reactive Hypoglycaemia. Not because of the condition but with developing it naturally!
    All my docs, think that I'm unusual if not weird, I'm not special, before you even go there! I have always been Joe Normal. Just another father, brother, grandad, husband, friend etc, just a number on a clock card in my jobs. No one special, just another season ticket holder at my local football club, a face in the crowd!
    Why was my body different from 6 billion others.
    The other thing I've noticed while chewing this over, was all the time I've tried to help fellow (ha!) RHers. Is that the posters that have the same group of having this condition is female.
    Not one male!!
    I'm in a minority of one!
    Just me!
    Does that make me more special or more weird?
    How do you think I felt after revealing all this to myself.
    No, I don't believe I'm the only one, but I'm in an elite group, aren't I!
    If this was discovered in Salem or Rome or anywhere where the local hierarchy disliked anything strange, I shudder to think what would have happened. Would the Nazis have experimented on me?
    These thoughts of mine are clear, distinct, completely understood by me. I hate explaining myself as weird, unusual, or I'm different!
    I would like to be back in the pack!
    I want to be Joe Normal again!
    But, this ain't going to happen!
    I'm stuck with it!
    My mind is really straight.
    I'm usually quite confident in myself but the very thoughts of this is very disturbing to me. Why am I so different? I tried to track my life's course, where had it started and the reason behind it all? Why was my hormone imbalance different? Why was my pancreas producing too much Insulin? Why did one need to constantly go for a pee? Why couldn't my team win? What is the meaning of it all? Why do I have the continuous weird dreams?

    What is going to happen to me? Will my pancreas give out, because of overuse? Would my resistance finally be succumbed? Can I control my condition for the rest of my life? Would I develop diabetes eventually? Why me? Can I be healthy enough for a few more years, till I can really eventually retire? I know I have to work, jobs aren't easy to come by at my age especially around here! Why do I have to work, as this means letting my wife fend for herself, while I'm out, and that shouldn't be right after we have worked so hard and paid our more than fair share of taxes and national insurance. This country is so arse about face about how it treats its people.You don't count unless they need your vote, or you can bear influence by having copious amounts of money!
    I'm babbling on again! Sorry!
    All my thoughts last night were not any part of the symptoms that RHers suffer! They do, but not me, not now, I keep in control. So I shouldn't get them awful symptoms. These thoughts are a realisation of the true facts as I see them at this moment in time.
    My life has been cruising because of work and my daily busy life. I have a big job on and won't let up anytime soon. Can't take time off, I do try to get things ready for tomorrow and I sort the chores and bills are usually paid by the bank. There are things that will need attention but not yet. I have to stay positive and I know that I do have support and help from my family but they need help as well.
    But back to my thinking, my perusal.
    Sorry, just been for another toilet break.

    Have you ever felt alone? Like when you know that you are on your own and that you are the only one? It's not very nice!
    There are many who feel lonely, but are never alone?
    There are those who are on their own but not lonely!
    I'm just not used to it, being different from everyone, that is a weird thought, isn't it? I don't like it much, however you put it!
    I'm not depressed, far from it, I'm excited about many things. I have just been left alone to think, and I now know, that thinking really hurts! My brain is reviewing my unconscious thoughts.

    I have to get to grips on my feelings, after all I am a man!
    I think like many, I'm not scared, I'm more likely apprehensive about what's going to happen to me. I will probably outlive my younger wife. I will not give up, living my life, like I have, I have my kids, my grandkids, my friends, my football. I have my life to live!
    And I'm going to give it a bloody good go.
    Sorry to ramble on, but this needed doing. It's helping me to do this! I wanted to give more feeling to this blog but I don't have the words, to put it over on here. I am one in a billion, but even though sometimes I wonder why I have been dealt this hand, I will continue to grow old in control of my condition, no matter what happens in the future.

    As a famous actor in a favourite film of mine said;

    The future, the undiscovered country!
  10. Well here goes, with the next chapter of my young life.

    I left you hanging there, something that probably changed my life and I believe hindered my adult life in a major way.
    My slip off the roof of the shed.
    I breezed through my primary school, I passed the 11+, and I looked to have a bright future, but that fall did something that I hadn't realised until to late. Looking back, I know that my brain didn't work like it did before the accident, I had a decent IQ, but for some reason I couldn't quite match the others in my class, my grades (an Americanism) fell and my behaviour in school was temperamental bordering on disobedience.
    My grammar school education didn't get off on the best foot, as I hated the privileged system, where class mattered more than merit I was naive to think that masters treated every boy the same. There was a couple that suffered the peasants, but only the head games master was interested in our abilities.
    I suffered dreadfully in sciences and technical studies, things I had found easy were hard, and some subjects, the ones I liked, history, geography, maths and chemistry, were beginning to get beyond me. I tried, really tried. But I slumped. As a result my schooling fell behind.
    In my Technical Grammar school, it was definitely the same as boarding public schools. The head boy could hand out punishments even canings to fags. (First years). Any teacher could give corporal punishment for any infringement. I had six of the best three times, twice for fighting, both times holding my corner while being bullied and abused by my elders and betters. And once for failing to do any homework for physics, because the teacher failed to let me understand it. He deliberately ignored my concerns about the way the homework should be set out and didn't provide the literature for discovery.
    As I said from the area I grew up it was a big deal to get a place at grammar school, and I'm afraid, it should never had happened, I just wasn't cut out for it. I was already, a jumped up 'red' as my totally right wing masters were fond of telling me.
    Why this school allowed lower class rubbish like me, they couldn't understand it!
    In my first year, I had seen schoolkids of eleven bullied, brutalized, battered by older boys and especially masters who used a whole range of tools to hurt you. Including board dusters, metal edge rulers, cold showers in the nude, standing in the cold and rain, the cane, the whip, slipper, gym shoe, and the like.
    You were made to play rugby and run cross country, no exceptions, and that was cruel on some of the kids. I would actually say it was a kind of class war, by the time comprehensive schools began, all the lads were destined to work manually for their livelihoods by the fifth year, none went to sixth form, quite a few went to night school to get trades and apprenticeships. But I am getting ahead of myself. I did enjoy my school years despite the struggle intellectually. My sporting years was up and down, I played rugby, cricket, swimming, basketball and in athletics and cross country, eventually won my full colours by my fifth year, though I never got to wear them as my parents couldn't afford the excessive cost of the barathea blazer, I had the tie which was half colours. My cross country best was 28th in the county school trials, not bad.
    Cricket was snobs only until the master seen me play in games, I was told that I had to play in whites, but my eldest brother, who had trials with Lancashire, but they didn't take him on because he went to the wrong grammar school. He had plenty from his cricket club and, I was excepted into the team. Me and my brothers excelled in cricket, between us we had quite a few representative honours.
    I thought that now was my chance to shine, but I didn't get much chance with bowling and few chances to bat as I was always down the order, at the end of my second year in the team, I approached the head sports master and asked him why I was so far down the batting order, that I had never been dismissed yet. He said he would look into it. The next season, I went up to number 5 to appease me. I did represent my county just once, didn't bat or bowl, though I did run someone out. I played cricket for a local park team until my work interfered and football, and of course, the wife and kids. Other family still play for the same club, my nephew and my son play there in the Liverpool competition, (which is a very good standard, just below professional) and two of my grandkids also are playing junior cricket and one is very good all rounder.
    I did try to better myself and get my schooling up to standard, I failed sadly and I knew and my parents knew, so I was told to try and find an apprenticeship that suited me, though having six subjects for homework didn't help, that was every day!
    My love for history and local geography wouldn't get me a job in local industry. My head was turned by printing, and so I turned every available hour that didn't have school work, sport or going on adventures with my mates, busy with library visits to learn as much as I could.
    I had some good friends then in school, those that weren't put off by my standing in social life and one or two that I still see every now and then, there was some in my form that never did speak to me from the first day to last. I lost a good school mate of mine in the Falklands war. But these fellow pupils were the ones who transferred to different grammar schools when my school went comprehensive.
    We had some good times in school, and there were some decent things that happened to me in school.
    I believe that even though my IQ stayed level it didn't grow and my reasoning was hampered by my landing on my head.
    I even struggled in things like algebra, I didn't get the concept, trigonometry, square roots etc. Before that accident my maths were really good, my English was fairly good, handwriting very good. It all went away.

    Away from school my adventures to my local area grew with getting a bike one Christmas, it let me go to places that were too far to walk. And to meet other kids and enjoy their company and make new friends. My travels took me to gain a knowledge and history of my very rich historical naval history in my area. It's really a pity that my school didn't have an exam in local history and local geography. Also in sport knowledge.
    My sport outside school had me playing Saturday morning football, for my local youth club.,
    There are just too many adventures to tell, I would be writing for days. One that stands out is memorable.
    I was always interested in the soul music, northern soul and tamla Motown sound, my first ever disco at the local church, which turned out to be my last for a while, I was really loving the experience and wanted nothing more than to listen and have a good time.
    I had pleaded with my mother to go and won her over with promises of time and behaviour.
    Well, you can see what happens can't you. I got caught up in a mass scramble, a petty trivial teenage tiff turned into a free for all ruckus.
    Of course as a bystander, I was the one, who got his collar felt, and despite my innocent pleadings to the police and my mother, I was grounded for months, mind you I was only fourteen!
    I was a mod by then, I could only afford certain things, but a Ben Sherman shirt, blue and white gingham was my pride and a pair of jeans called supertuf from a local Liverpool jeans manfacturer, that was my summer clothes to go to the local open air swimming baths, I spent all my free time there, even when it was raining and cold, it was brilliant and I learned my street cred in the intense environment of the resort business. Getting away from the poverty and my chores, day to day living with no money hampered my life.
    I would be first up especially in the winter, clean and lay, the fire, then light it and make sure that my parents got away to work without fuss, I would rinse the breakfast dishes, then my school day would start with a 3 mile bus ride.
    I would get home,then do the shopping from the grocers across the road, or the butchers and once a week mostly on a Friday chippie chips between us. I would have to have the table done for tea and make sure every chore was done before spending the evening struggling with my homework. Before bed.
    It wasn't till I was fifteen that my evenings changed and I was allowed out.
    I don't believe that having a hard family life affected my life and it taught me to respect things that you have to work so hard for.
    It certainly helped me to be a better parent than mine and helped me grow as an adult with work and responsibilities.
    My last year in school it was all to do with exams, sport and play took a backward step, I really revised my subjects despite my struggles, I achieved 2 o levels in history and art (?) 4 gcse, in geography, maths, English and chemistry.
    No technical subjects though, I believe my school failed me in some ways, I blame the system, that class is more important than merit! But I have no regrets, I think I learned more in the next couple of years, especially nous and common sense. The way of the world in the workplace and to achieve anything you had to work hard for it.
    I passed my entrance exam to be an apprenticeship to be a printer, but I couldn't find a firm to take me on. So I did what any person needed to do as at that time work was plenty and got myself as a machinists helper at £8 per week. I learnt to do so much in my first job, machine minder, actually learnt to set up the whole printing process on small machines, from lithography, artwork, paper recognition and printing and collating, bookbinding and packing, ink knowledge and quality control. I still can think the process through even off my head now after 40 years. I even had use of one of the first computerised paper cutting guilotines.
    I lasted just over a year there till I found a better paid job at a larger printers, in the paper stores, where I learnt a
    great Deal more, my mentor, Tommy, I could actually do his whole job within a couple of months and probably run his department better soon after. But things intervened in my life and my working life changed at eighteen.
    From the day I left school, I started work the next Monday, till the day I retired, and I'm still working hard now, I have never had a day on the dole. That is an achievement in itself by a manual worker in Merseyside. I have always provided more than enough for my kids, as I would never allow my kids the poverty I was brought (or dragged) through. This country is so arse about face!
    Ok now that's basically my teenage years, oh yeah, I did say something about The Beatles and the ferries, well, it wasn't me, the Beatles, I preferred other music. I did get the chance in the early seventies, but I couldn't be bothered ,I wasn't into them at all!
    Beatlemania, had those around me, in a tizz. It was good for the Merseyside area, but it didn't really affect me.
    The ferries got me to Liverpol city centre quicker than anything else as there was no cross river buses then, there was only one tunnel then, and I grew up around the building of the second, my brother worked on it as a labourer. The railway was too far away then, I don't think I used the rail to travel until I was at least 15. However the ferry got me to the big football games at Everton and Liverpool. And I rode on it often to the local resort New Brighton.
    I think that will do for now, maybe, I will write further of some of my adventures, of playing in the park and hanging out in some interesting places. And maybe my love life. And my paternal life.
    Who knows?

    Thanks for reading!
  11. There I was going to write my teenage years (part2), but, as usual my weirdness got weirder.
    Of course, I'm talking about my dreams.
    This one had my brain in tatters in the early morning as it woke me up.
    The usual aches and pains and my thoughts all day turned to my memories.

    It was the usual road trip theme, where you go on a holiday or trip to somewhere.
    I had my overnight bag with me and dressed up in shorts and shirt, for a sunny day.
    My brother joined me, don't know why, but he was my travelling companion for my trip.
    I had never been away with him since we were teenagers. However I was glad to have him along, I know that.

    We were on a coach trip, don't know where our destination was, but that didn't really matter.
    We arrived at the first stopover. We got off, and we went for a walk as the place we stopped was known by me, as a place where I had been a few times in the past, it was on the coast by where I live, we walked for a while and we stopped for a cup of tea for me, and a coffee for my brother.
    Then we decided after a bit of personal chit chat, you know, the usually boring sibling banter, how work was, and what would we do when we retired. We talked of our aches and pains and how he was treating his heart and his diabetes, I told him quite clearly, never been better, and he was chuffed for me.
    For some reason when the pair of us got back to the coach stop, it wasn't there, but we weren't bothered. I was happy being with him on our little trip.
    He suggested going for a pint in the convenient local that was next to the coach stop.
    He went the bar and brought me a pint of IPA, (hadn't had one for over ten years! Don't tell the wife or the docs!)
    We discussed footie and our usual discussion about modern football. Him being a kopite, and me being a Rovers fan. He was always teasing me about my team being rubbish especially lately, and I had a go at him at the waste of money, they were paying and not winning anything lately.
    Why I needed to tell you that, I don't know, I just felt it was relevant, I can only tell you what was happening.
    We were standing in the bar, quite close to the door, the door opened, in walked a teenager, with a travelling bag, you know, the one with wheels, like an oaps shopping trolley. Anyway he bangs into the person next to me and my brother, rolls over his foot and knocks his drink over. It was a big drink, bigger than mine and I was envious.
    Anyway a scuffle broke out, it was like dancing, not queensbury rules anyway!
    So I stepped in between them and parted them, my brother went back the bar to get more drinks, I think! However, I started ranting and raving at the poor lad, he stood there as I gave him both barrels. He never flinched! He took it well!
    So, yeah! It was my dream, and I lay down the law. Unless the wife is involved!
    Everyone disappeared, everything disappeared, it left me alone in my dream. Standing, turning around, trying to see where my brother had gone, I hadn't even drunk my first pint and it had gone!
    I shouted him, telling him, we would miss the bus!
    He stood behind me, he had stood behind my left shoulder all the way through my dream.
    He said, "don't go on like that, shouting never worked, always persuade! Teach!"
    That's what he said! Then he repeated the last word, "Teach!" "Teach!" "Teach!"
    He said it a few more times, before he left me again.

    I woke with a start, the wife told me later, I was shouting 'teach' a few times before I woke. The wife was not happy as usual, when I had one of these dreams! Ho hum!
    Always in the ****, depth varies!

    As I've already said, that dream had a really dramatic effect on me!
    The reason is, my brother is right, I coach teenage boys of the age that the teenager in my dream, the one I shouted at, was around the same age. And it gave me a reminder that there is nothing worse than ranting at a kid like that and showing them is better.
    I had got a little mad, nothing serious, but I think I needed a reminder, as we ended the season on a bit of a low. When you coach, encouraging the lads, to get them to do, what is the right way, is more important than anything else. Including my own feelings.

    The other reason is something I haven't mentioned about what else my brother had said.
    I asked him, why we weren't getting on the coach.
    He said. "The coach is for him and not for me!" He smiled at me,
    "Your coach won't be along for quite a while yet!"
    I knew what was happening in my dream, he would go out of my life again and I was really sad and angry, I couldn't see or talk to him once more!
    You see, my brother died when he was 55, nearly seven years ago. He died of a massive coronary, brought on by diabetes and not looking after himself! (Hence the reason I asked him about his heart and diabetes in my conversation with him!)
    He was my nearest blood relation, we slept together for my first eleven years. He guided me through a lot of my childhood and often got me out of my fair share of trouble.
    He still battered me though, because, I was youngest, therefore easy meat, to pick on and use as a punchbag! But I still loved him and I do miss him occasionally! Not as much as I should, but I do!

    I hope he is enjoying his retirement, with the rest of my lot wherever they are, I hope he is happy, and from time to time he can hopefully come and talk to me again, please!
  12. Having wrote a post on @Pasha thread about how kids aren't allowed the freedom we had.
    I thought I would give you an insight into my childhood. Living on the banks of the Mersey.

    I grew up in Wallasey, a stone's throw across the river from the port of Liverpool.
    My younger days were spent in front of, my house in my street, playing in the street with kids of my age, learning skills such as kicking anything, mad on footie! Staying out of trouble with the neighbours, though not to successful, playing tag, relievio, cricket, football, stone throwing and playing on bombed sites with old houses that hadn't been demolished yet!
    There was a lot of bombed sites, simply because the Germans plastered the dock areas regularly, as Liverpool played a major role in troop and goods movement, as well as shipbuilding and train freight movement. The role was so important that the headquarters of the North Atlantic 'Western Approaches' were housed underground in close to the waterfront.
    How we for hours played and got filthy in our hand me downs clothes, surprises me.
    As I grew up before my teen years, a lot of time were spent swimming in our local baths, it was very rare that a child couldn't swim over 5, that went to my school. Think if I can remember, I had three swimming certificates by the age of seven,by eleven before Grammar school, I could do 100, 25yard lengths. There was no near football pitches to play on and the only grass was in a park close to my school which there was a couple of bowling greens. You wouldn't dare play on them as your local Dad's and Grandads and some women played on them. Either the park keeper would get you in trouble with your parents, or some busybody would grass on you, or worse our local bobbie, George, would clip you around the ear and threaten you with borstal, or again grass you up to your parents, a leather strap was the deterrent. You didn't mess with your dad's belt! With three older brothers, could you blame him? It was the norm then. If you hadn't had it, you were called a sissy!
    My primary school years were spent learning my chores as both parents had to work just to put food on the table. I had to learn to do the cleaning, washing, shopping down the local main street. Learn how to make coal then coke fires, this was the only heating in the house, carry it in, build it, set fire to it and keep it going. Then the next morning, clean the hearth, take out the ashes and start again. I was the youngest, so I had to do the worst jobs especially as my eldest brothers began out of school jobs or started work when they finished school at fifteen. My mom, would give me hell if it wasn't done properly. Or no anything for a day or week, didn't get pocket money. I had to earn any spends, that's if my parents had any.
    I actually did go to school and swam and played when I could especially in the warmer times down by the river in the swings, the grounds of the town hall, all the riverside areas were playgrounds, where you learnt cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, Tommy v jerries. Or fighting the nips! On my first bike up and down the hills and prom.
    We learnt cardboard racing on slopes of grass, we played on the sand, when the tide was out. It was full of oil and other detritus, that a busy river would accumulate over the years. We built sandcastles and barricades, to see whose would last when the tide did come in. Once the tide turned, the boats that came into the river got heavier and the waves got higher. Those who fished learnt there trade on that promenade, indeed that playground of us lucky kids that grew up there is still the same. With imagination, you could believe anything that you dream up is, possible there. There is nothing like the smell when the tide turns. I miss it now!
    A view across to the three graces. The port of Liverpool is such a well known scene, it has changed, recently and the likes of the Pier Head, the Liver building, Cunard building and the India building.
    It is a very memorable seafront to grow up with and see it every day.
    The river traffic was busy in those years, indeed, in our fourth year, we were given a merchant vessel to follow and track through the shipping news. Mine was the ss mentheus (I think!) From the Blue Funnel Line. The site of merchantmen going out with the pilot boats and then at the turn of the tide others coming into the docks on both sides of the river. The docks were no go areas until you were a teenager and then in daylight only, there was a lot of Dockers that lived around by us, they were usually big men and more than often, hard! You wouldn't pick a fight with one!
    The locals were the hub of life, we didn't drink water, we had to boil water for tea and cooking for using for baths etc. The pubs were more like social clubs for the residents, a piano would always be heard plunking away at night to outrageous singing and cheering, we used to get our drinks from the 'Offie'. An off license, next or attached to the pub. There was plenty of pubs. There was 5 within a hundred yards of our house. And the local Labour club. We used to hang around at night times around them, to pick up a few coppers for sweets.
    We were told horror stories of things that would happen to us if we drank water, go somewhere we shouldn't, go to posh areas, or steal, 'borrow something without telling! Borstal was always a threat or being put in deva! 'Deva' is a place in Chester named after the Romans fort there. But to us it was a sanitorium, where nutters went.
    There was lots of warnings about kids being kidnapped by foreign seamen and what they did to them. There was the local axeman, told to little kids to scare them, and me! Apparently there was such a murder in that area, when someone was actually axed to death!
    Life was tough but you just had to get on with life then, and really we didn't know any better. Nothing prepared us from the winter of 1963. That was the coldest prolonged spell of under zero degrees weather that I have experienced. We were stuck indoors for weeks upon weeks, no school and no going out, we did venture out in our less than cold weather clothing, just to see ice floating on the Mersey, as we were told, then, that the river had frozen! It hadn't froze. Small floes of ice were going out with the tide.
    We ran there and back to try and keep warm, it didn't! It was perishing! There were stalagmites everywhere. Hanging from gutters, ice was all over everything. My worst chore through this was getting the coke from the coke station a couple of miles away. We had to wheel an old pram, to carry it home. It was called 'going for coke!' There was very little work and things were really rough around March, when we had to borrow money just for the coke and food, as there was no money.
    I spent most of my time reading. I read encyclopedias, history books and novels, I learnt an awful lot from these books.
    Of course the problem of keeping warm and making sure the house was safe from such low temperatures. The pipes leaked from the thaw and we were very close to flooding the house.
    But after the horror s, there was the long summers along the river watching the boats, the ferries, the tugs and sometimes warships. The Ark Royal was built at Cammell Lairds and it filled the river! There was always something happening out there! There was always something happening on the promenade and some really great adventures could be had down there. If you have thought of it, we have done it! From dawn to dusk and sometimes later, we were out, nobody worried too much. If you were late, so what, you could see the ferry clock or the Liver clock and you didn't have a watch.
    I loved it down there especially in the warm weather, you didn't have Sun cream to protect you, you took off as much as you wanted to, you always wore short trousers, so down to bare chest or in your vest, no hat! Great playing days and no bother to anyone.
    If it rained, no worries, make your way to one of the many shelters along the front, wait it out, and carry on playing.
    You could walk for miles around the coastline, up to Egremont, New Brighton, on to Moreton shore and onto to West Kirby. We never went that far, could never get past the fair and baths and pier around the fort in New Brighton. We walked everywhere then.
    Mother redcaps was a scary place for the locals in Wallasey, full of tales of pirates, wreckers and smuggling. It was a very historical 'inn' for centuries and had smugglers tunnels under the coastline for miles. We have had some fun exploring the site. Sadly now, an old peoples home now built on the site, though, there is still the tunnels, which are sadly 'dangerous', my arse! The Beehive was also a magnet for kids, as there was old buildings and a sailing club which was run down and interesting for all sorts of reasons. If you lived around here you were interested in boats, ships or anything that floated. Of course there was the buoyancy aids, that needed washing in the river!!!!!
    The school I went to was good enough to send a few cleverest kids to grammar school including two of my brothers and about 4 from my year. I actually passed my 11+!!!! The reward I got for this was shocking to my system as the rich kids bullied and treated us like untermenschen. Despite us being the better sporting players and the intelligent. Even the toffee nosed masters put us in our place! It was something out of Dickensian novel.
    My primary school had a belfry and we were warned not to go up there. What a stupid thing to say? Of course we went up and of course we got caught and punished. The school also had an area with bushes and trees, so you could hide at dinnertime and do things out of the way of the dinnertime staff. Her name was Miss Shehan. (Say it fast!) She was in her dotage and everybody thought she was a witch. All the kids were scared of her. Of course her nickname was 'washing'. She of course caught us many times in the out of bounds area. She of course reported us to the headmistress, who threatened us with banning us from the baths and staying in at dinnertime. Once we got a ruler over our fingers for something we hadn't done! Just the way it was!
    We played footie in the playground with a very worn tennis ball. Proper balls or flyaways, (plastic) were too expensive and were rarely seen. We called Football, togger! Don't know why!!
    We played cricket in the summer, which I was very good at, for my age and in primary school I played representative games for my district in my last two years, both times not out and highest scorer. We didn't win either, but I did meet a very good bowler, who became a teammate at grammar school. We only played one game of football for my primary, a 2-1 defeat in a cup, and an own goal for me, their winner. I have posted about this before. I went to score many more 'oggies' for my teams!!!
    My two teachers at primary school were both different. Mr Wotton was brilliant, studious and encouraged our sport. I'm sure he was the reason a few of us got to grammar school. And Mr Edwards, who for some reason favoured the girls! Especially swimming lessons. He wasn't very good and just did his job,! Strange, though, we heard later that he left the school because of complaints from parents! Hmm!
    The g food thing about school then was the dinners, even fussy then, the dinner ladies always give you what you wanted, as I didn't like dairy or greens, I got a couple more spuds or more meat and pudding, sometimes, it was my best meal of the day.
    We got up to all sorts of high jinks during the holidays. Our parents were at work and we went where we wanted as long as the chores were done. Occasionally visiting areas that were no go areas and private sites to explore and discover. There was big industrial sites by the docks, toy factory, flour mills and storage wharves, big machinery and propeller makers, the train freight lines were full of stuff to investigate. Of course there were dock officials to chase you away, but you could always run faster.
    We learnt to go ratting down by the ferry terminal, the size of them. Massive, long things, that we used big stones as target practice. You could go beachcombing and find all kinds of flotsam and jetsam.
    Life was simpler for a pre teen then. If you did what was expected, and kept out of trouble (that your parents didn't find out about) all was well, you didn't want for nothing, as you knew, you would get spoilt on your birthday and Christmas. (Sometimes!)
    I think my early days was full of the life skills and street cred, that is sadly missing for most kids now. The scaremongering do gooders have ruined childhood for my grandkids and turned today's kids into introverted spoilt brats. When they get the release and a sense of freedom, they ruin it as they wouldn't get the knowledge from their elder brothers and friends. Our youngsters are missing things, they shouldn't.
    However, an accident, and I had a few, including breaking my right arm (embarrassing myself) in the swimming baths. My left arm building a shed with my mates, which wasn't as sturdy as I thought. And cuts and plus to other parts of my body, that I was a regular at the local A&E department. This accident happened during the summer holidays before going to grammar school.. Again on the roof of a shed, this time our coal shed, it had a roof made of asbestos. Well I ventured up there as I was spying on a few older acquaintances who were messing about on the bombed site next but one house to us. It had been raining. It was slippery and guess what? Yeah I slipped onto barbed wire, which my leg caught, I was hanging upside down, then landed on the top of my head and was knocked unconscious.
    Woke up in hospital, leg and head bandaged. Never did learn not to climb! Had concussion, slept in a bed by myself for the first time, unless you count the times when my brother preferred to sleep on the floor, instead! Unbeknownst at the time, this affected my next few years. Which I will tell in part two, my teenage years.
    Oh yeah, the ferry cross the Mersey thing and the Merseybeat thing, will be part of it.

    Thanks for reading.
  13. Well, after my last blog was about a recurring dream. This one is a totally standalone unbelievable occurrence.

    This is another civil war account, marching with grey legs and boots dusty with the tramping of so many miles of country lan e s, tracks and roads.
    Where we are going is anyone's guess, it is the height of summer, the air is hot, I'm sweating, my feet and legs hurt. I really just want to stop, oh, for a drink of cold water. Please Lord, let it rain! (I don't know why I'm asking for divine Intervention, as I'm not at all religious)
    The way ahead is full of trees, a big forest, green foliage is everywhere, there must be a river nearby, maybe we can take a break.
    Shaded area to sleep awhile. Hope we are camping there!

    The legs in front of me stop and I continue to walk and I am so tired that my legs just keep going and its not until I fall over do I get some sense of where I am.
    The trees have opened onto a some kind of farm, a staging post, I think! There are stables with horses and cattle. I rest against a wooden post with no thought of doing anything. I just sit there admiring the view, the trees, the gorgeous countryside, the sun beating down. You could say I'm in a torpor. Nowt happening, just a feeling of why I can't rest, even if I tried to shut my eyes, I wouldn't get the sleep, my restlessness is stopping me resting even in my dreams!!!!

    A noise interferes with my dream, a click is echoing around me, I shield my eyes to see where the noise is coming from.
    A man is standing there with a long rifle, he has a grey dusty coat on (why is everything grey and dusty?) His slouch hat is tilted to the side, so it's not showing his facial features. He has a long beard, but every other feature is in shadow.
    He waves his rifle, signifying for me to get up. I feel safe, don't foresee a threat, something about him seems serene. He points to a raised wooden platform. I gently raise myself from the dusty grey floor. It's difficult to get my legs going, I need a stretch or two to get the kinks out of my muscles. I dust myself down and climb up on to the wooden platform, there is a wagon unmatched, next to the it, not laden, just there. My focus is just on the bearded man. I smile and I wonder if I'm to get into the wagon!
    There's a loud explosion, it's like a cannon roar, the noise bursts agonisingly on my eardrums. My chest and back start hurting, I hurtle backwards, there is grey dust everywhere, I'm staring up into a cloudless blue sky. I feel peace, I feel quiet, maybe I can rest my aching, dusty grey legs and feet now!
    Suddenly, the realisation, that I have huge pains all over my upper torso and I see red in my eyes, I start to panic. I know now that I've been shot.
    The burning is agonising, I'm on fire.
    I wake up, I'm doubled up in pain. I'm on the floor and I'm hot and sweating, the wife thinks I'm having a coronary. I can't get my breath, the pain is lessening slowly. I need water and I feel dirty, the big question is, am I alive, I must be because I'm in pain. And I'm hot, bloody hell, I'm hot. If I had any night clothes on, they would be drenched.
    The wife is fussing, she tells me she had to move out of the way of my thrashing around and my screaming???
    After a few minutes and sticking my head in cold water, I start to calm down, the pain in my chest and back have receded. I cool down a little bit, I have a high temperature all day! As usual a bad headache accompanies the normal back of the eyes ache and my fatigue is unusual for a couple of days. It's a good job I'm not in work that day! The bruising appears, the wife phones the doctors and by the time I get an appointment, all the symptoms have more or less disappeared. There's no evidence of heart or lung problems, in fact the doctor is quite pleased with my health except for all the symptoms for T2!!!!.
    I have died many times in my battles in my dreams. But I've never been executed in cold blood, I am shivering, writing this.
    I'm weird, my dreams are weird, vivid, descriptive and I have no idea why my nights are haunted by these 'hauntings'
    I wish somebody could tell me what the dreams mean or their reasons for disrupting my life even though they only happen when my temperature raises ever so slightly.
  14. I like most people dream, I have always dreamt in Technicolor. Most dreams are forgotten after waking. We have all had nightmares and night frightens, especially with high temperatures in a fever. Your mind plays all sorts of tricks on you.
    I have always had colourful vivid dreams. The dreams mainly affect certain periods of my life, puberty, pre pubescent, and as an adult. And more in the last 15 years because of fluctuating blood glucose levels.
    Dreams of different types, there is the road trip to somewhere or nowhere. I can actually draw maps of the places I visit during my rem sleep. Mainly countryside paths or roads, walking or marching, grey legs, boots.
    There is the dreams of being chased, there is the wishful thinking sort. Of me younger winning many glorious sporting trophies and playing for big teams in all types of sport, even those I couldn't even try to play.
    There is the overeating dreams!!(saying nothing, I have never dreamt my pillow is a marshmallow!)
    Then there is the military dreams of fighting and battles.
    Marching dreams dominate my nights, my legs and feet suffer so. The dust and cold and warm, I feel it all!
    These are the most explicit and colourful and noisy.
    The result of these dreams can be very painful and disruptive to my sleep patterns, which led to sleeping tablets. At that time, I was so tired and irritable and with the other symptoms that the diabetics get from hypers and hypos.
    I have often woken up from one of these dreams bruised, battered, in pain, sweating, panicking and often found either flailing in bed or sprawled on the floor. One particular dream happened when I was around aged 8, I was found out of bed screaming with a huge bruise on my back, a dream about a knife in the back,. I have even pulled muscles and strained myself and unexplained marks and bruises have appeared on all my body! My brother, when young refused to share a bed, indeed my wife has also slept elsewhere during my bad times. She sometimes accuses me because of her problems, when I have dreamt violently.
    Another particular dream when seven (1963) involved blue shapes coming towards me and fighting these shapes, at the time I had a reaction to pain meds because of a broken arm. (A really embarrassing story, because I slipped over in the local swimming pool) I really was scrapping for my life. The screams and noise was deafening, loud bangs and crashing. Booms and shouts. I know I had to help my friends fight these shapes. I struggled with some blue shape. My arm exploded in agony. I woke up in so much pain, my arm was really sore. My parents took me back to the hospital and my arm was broken even more than before and had to be reset again.
    I have never had so much pain in my life. Or since, it took some time to get over it.
    I have dreamt of Napoleonic battles, Indian mutiny, trench warfare and wars of every age from armour through leather and colours uniforms. But not as severe as the ones above.
    The early years passed and my adult life dreams was rarely memorable I believe because I was healthy and very busy with a largish family, work, working shifts and a busy social life.
    Fast forward to the 1990s, I was having a look at a new documentary series on the television. History always had a fascination for me. I loved mainly military history and the way the countries often decided the future with a massed battle on a day to decide things. I always read anything historical as a youngster on the Romans, Egyptians,Napoleonic, Crimean,and the first and second world wars.
    I loved the film Zulu. This was showing on the local cinemas in the mid 60s. The Zulu and Boer Wars were intriguing and because my father fought in Burma (he was a chindit) in WW2. That was a part of history that I read avidly.
    But the period of history that holds an absolute fascination and enthralled me was the American civil war.
    Since my retirement. I have had the chance to read so many books on the war.
    I really cannot put down the scope of human endurance and sacrifice of the armies. As well as the civilian suffering. They fought for what they thought was right, their rights and their way of life and the end to slavery. The scholars are still arguing about the causes and and why brother fought against brother, state against state, technology against outraged tactics, which to so much slaughter.
    I believe I'm waffling now!
    Anyway mid 90s and this documentary, it was Ken Burns excellent 10 part(?) Series of the war. Very descriptive. It was described by critics as as the best researched and achieved great acclaim. I was enthralled.
    In one episode of the series, there appeared a picture of a confederate private. They were reciting parts of his recollections that appeared in his book. I froze and sat transfixed, a feeling of recognition and deja vue. I went rigid, started to tingle, was sweating, the hairs all over my body stood on end. That feeling that you say that someone has walked on your grave! I recognised the face, but from where? The wife got concerned and asked me what was wrong. I think I've seen a ghost, I said. Trying to explain the feeling that I knew the face on the screen so well and yet I didn't! The wife called me weird and behave myself.
    Could I know someone that resembled him, maybe an old school friend or someone at work? She ended up laughing at me and told me to grow up. I'll end up scaring the kids! The only fact that I'd gathered was his name was Sam Watkins.
    It was quickly forgotten in a much too busy life.
    I still read, but there wasn't a great deal in the local libraries. Computers and googling were years away!
    Quite a few years later, time gets to our bodies and my busy life finally started to catch up with me. I got the warning to look after myself after a dizzy spell in work. I gave smoking up, alcohol was reduced drastically, I was put on a recommended diet (didn't work!) And because of early retirement, I needed more exercise. Working part time, and the advent of sky and being able to read more about anything I wanted, my dreams hadn't interfered so much.
    I was (now I know) misdiagnosed diabetic in 2010. Dreams started to become a problem again. More nights of lucid, vivid visits to places and locales, becoming more weird as I was feeling worse. The more time I had the worse I got. I didn't relate the dreams to fluctuating blood glucose levels., the worse the condition of my illness, the more restless sleeplessness, the more I relied on sleeping tablets, the less sleep I got. The more bruised and battered I got, the more desperate I got. The more trips to the doctors. The more desperation and the feeling of depression. The more dreams, the less I enjoyed life. The many, many symptoms that were affecting me. I was in a place that I hated, I was having more severe dreams and I was close to total exhaustion. I was experiencing a colourful array of nightly horrors, that kept waking me, while my blood glucose levels bounced around, like a yo yo. It was terrible, the screams, the pain, the struggle, the fighting, the desperation, the noise, is it any wonder I couldn't get the much needed rest and recuperation needed to have a life. I was just getting through work and I had my disabled wife to look after, the days, weeks, months blurred into nothing into drudgery, not caring for family, friends and every facet of my life suffered. The wife moved out of our bedroom to get her sleep, she was desperately needing her rest as well.
    My dreams were of recurring images of blue shapes and images of fighting in battles, hand to hand, the sense became realisation that I was dreaming of things about u t the civil war. Was it my subconscious taking over?
    Was my imagination running away with me? (favourite Temptations track) Was it night time hypos and hypers?
    I wouldn't blame anyone dismissing this tale of recurring nightmares. Why would you believe me? I wouldn't have, I'm very sceptical about anything that can't be proven.
    The severe disruption to my sleep and my health suffered. Pills weren't helping. Restlessness, lethargy, severe tiredness, fatigue, anxiety and I was getting depression. More than once, I thought I had totally lost it, I rarely had a grip on life. I was just going through the motions. I still had obligations to family and work, many so called friends disappeared. This was not me!!

    Along came Christmas 2012, three things that changed my life. The realization and the revelation was stunning to say the least. What was it, that had had led to such a drastic change?
    Simply presents from family. The first was a kindle ebook reader. A whole new library to discover.A DVD collection of documentaries about the civil war. The third was a gift voucher for my kindle.
    The family had gathered and were insistent that I got my health issues sorted. That Christmas gave me the determination to get sorted. It was the start of my long hard battle with my surgery to give me my life back.
    I read and read about all things that interested me. I watched the dvds, and needed more information.
    Never thought of that face that stunned me many years back.
    I was browsing on my kindle, through the recommendations for me. When a book scrolled up and I noticed it had a civil war storyline and written by a certain Sam Watkins! I ordered it regardless of cost or even if I had anything left from my gift voucher. It wasn't released on kindle.
    The very next day after another torrid night, I again visited the surgery. I had a huge hypo in front of the doctor, my blood glucose level was in the low threes. She immediately ordered a referral to an endocrinologist.
    2 days later, the book arrived. I skimmed read it, firstly glancing at the details of the author Sam Watkins. He belonged to Co. H of the 1st Tennessee regiment of the Confederate army. Which fought mainly in the western theatre of the war.
    Then because this discovery of this soldier gave me a slight relief and a real thirst of knowledge for this man.
    I read the thoughts of the times through this soldiers eyes and gleaned every detail that I could, the circumstances and of how he became involved and how he was lucky to escape the war alive. He had gone through the whole war, fought in many battles and unbelievable that he was 1 of 8 who survived from his whole company.
    Then about a third of the way through into the memoir, a revelation, that I still think is incredulous, his best friend and his mess mate, his sleep partner, the one who looked after him through the suffering and hardship, had the exact same name as myself!
    I reread and went over the passage again and again. Yes he had my name. A coincidence. My name is not rare, but I had this deja vue feeling again, I started sweating, my heart raced, my whole world stopped, I froze, I was shaking uncontrollably,my mind stopped working, the earth shook, I was suddenly very ill. I couldn't stop shaking, I was sweating but freezing. The aches and pains returned especially in my arm. My arm couldn't take weight or move. My hands tangled and pains and needles all over my body. I had an instant migraine, my head was on fire and I was freezing! I had to lie down, the migraine was so intense. Probably my worst ever!
    The wife gave me one of her diazepam to knock me out. And to relax me.
    I woke up, had I dreamt it all? I could never tell then! Had I imagined it all?
    I rushed downstairs and with a fear of trepidation, I picked up the book and read through it again, I read with a lighter heart about there exploits and adventures and the various engagements they had endured until I came across the page which described how this private had been wounded. And lately died of his wounds. His arm had been blown apart at the line of Kennesaw mountain or known as the battle of bloody angle. There was severe hand to hand fighting the federal union troops constantly attacked the line the Confederates defended. There was thousands of casualties. During the battle he had saved private Watkins life.

    After this initial shock, the dreams lessened in intensity. My interest in this group of soldiers had indeed piqued my interest. Any spare moment, would find me googling about the war and particularly the first Tennessee.

    Meanwhile, about two weeks later, I had my first appointment with my consultant., he immediately got me to see a dietician that day. Who recommended a low carb diet and advised me to look at a forum on a particular web site. Educate myself on all things low carb and have further tests.
    This I did and a diagnosis of Reactive Hypoglycaemia. And of course that I didn't have diabetes!
    The googling took me on a voyage of discovery that has had me fascinated and as my blood levels normalised and the discovery of this private and his life and hardships, the dreams have more or less receded. I don't dream of the battles, but the marching dreams are a reminder that I believe will never go away.
    My namesake was born in a town called Florence, I was born in my parents house, Florence Road!!! He named his rifle Florence Fleming, Fleming is a surname, that is associated closely with my father's side of the family!!

    So what have I discovered with all my googling and my fascination with this period and characters, the truth is that some coincidences are just that. How do I feel about them, well, the same as I feel about the dreams, weird, uncertain and apprehensive.
    I have asked myself, what has got to do with me? Same name, Florence, Fleming and that recognition of a face I knew so well. My fascination with the war. The date of the battle 27th June, my eldest son's birthday. Why would I be fascinated by soldiers who fought for a system that politically I abhor! I admire there tenacity, their courage, their resolve, the way they battled through the hardships and the harsh reality of war, the horror and the boredom followed by extreme fear and the stoic defence of their way of life.
    I can only let you decide.
    Just what is at work here? I know that since diagnosis and the discovery of my namesake, I have my life back and feel calmer and fitter and better than I have for a long time. It like a weight has been lifted. I am in control again. It is really weird but wonderful.

    There are other coincidences, that are are unusual, my eldest brother was born at 5am 'D Day' June 6th 1944. My second eldest brother birthday was the anniversary of Agincourt. My third eldest brother was born on the 18th June, The battle of Waterloo.
    My birth day was the same day as changed naval warfare forever. The end of military sailing ships at the battle of Hampton Roads. American civil war again. The first time ironclad fought against one another. All my brothers birthday have significant outcomes for world history. Coincidences again. Maybe.
    Oh I nearly forgot, there was another battle that I have to mention about the civil war. It has always made me sad and depressed when I read about it, I go cold and shiver. It is the battle of Franklin, where the first Tennessee lost hundreds of men in futile attacks.
    Most of Sam Watkins regiment were killed there.By then defeat was a certainty for the Confederate States. And the losses were dreadful. Why do I feel that way when I read it?
    Have recently read a book about about the battle and one woman's battle through and after the battle, her house and land were used as a hospital and cemetry. That must have been a nightmare out of all proportions! Thousands of casualties, how did they cope?

    The coincidences are just coincidences, the dreams just dreams, the events are just life's events, an imaginative dreamer, a very restless sleeper.(at the time). I have now become tranquil and settled and the dreams I dream are of memories, but whose?
    It couldn't be anything else, could it?
    My subconscious playing tricks while I'm ill and my body is responding to tricks of the mind.
    If you have ever gone through weird dreams and experiences, deja vu or other such nonsense, then you know what I've been through!
    Perchance to dream?
    A remembrance of time past?

    Oh yeah! Having looked through Sam Watkins company records, the private with my name died of his wounds on 8/3/1865. Exactly ninety years before my birth. Sam died in 2001, the book has been hailed as one of the finest memoirs of a soldier from the civil war.
    The title of my blog is the same subtitle used on Sam's book, 'Co Aitch'.
  15. This really happened.

    As usual my father-in-law, got the bus to get his bits and Bob's on Saturday and as usual he left his bus pass on the bus.

    So under orders from my better half, I was ordered to get it back! After a few phone calls, I found that it had been handed in at a post office way out in the suburbs near a grammar school.

    So armed with the map in my head and the knowledge of what bus(es) to get. I embarked.
    The journey was not a problem and even the post office was straightforward as could be.
    I walked to the nearest bus stop and lo and behold the next bus scheduled was 45 minutes away, so I set off on shanks' pony to get another bus, a different route, the bus stop was outside the school.
    I started approaching the school near the corner which I had to turn to get there. Nearing the bus stop, I started getting the feeling (again) that I had been here before. I know that I've never walked here before or as I got to the bus stop, the feeling was really intense, I remember straight away that I met an old school friend there. I met him as he was back in school.
    I got a grip of myself and looked at the bus times, it was due in another ten minutes. So the shelter had a seat, I smiled at myself wondering whether I had been there before, I was convinced I hadn't.
    I was lost in thought when a lady approached and asked if they (a gent was behind her) had missed the bus.
    No I answered,
    With that, we just started passing time chatting nice talk and the topic of how far you could get on the bus now and how you were lucky to get a bus anywhere outside the old boroughs, before the eighties..
    I told them from where I used to live to get to my favourite football team I had to get two buses and walk etc.
    They asked where I was from and a sudden realisation that I knew the gent but not at this age.
    I told them where I grew up and stated that I went to my school, 'so did I' was his response, then he mentioned my name, I knew it was him and I hadn't seen him since school..
    We shook hands and asked about what had happened to each other, gave each other telephone numbers with a promise to chat or text.
    We sat together on the bus until I had to get off at my stop. It was after the farewell wave, I had forgotten about the deja vue and the memory that I had either dreamt the situation or had something to do with our meeting, it surely wasn't just a coincidence?
    Was it fate? A chance encounter? I wouldn't have known him until we started speaking. I certainly don't talk to strangers at bus stops. Not ever! Why then? If I had got an earlier or later bus? Weird or what?

    I am weird!
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