May 1st 2011. It’s May Day; I’m four months sober and feeling pretty good, all things considered.

4 Months – Still sober.

I cannot claim that I have completely turned my life around during the past 4 months, but I can claim some degree of success, when I look back at what my alcoholic life had become over the past decade or so.

There are many plusses and a few minuses, so I will try to be brutally honest with myself and set them out below:-


  • I sleep pretty well most days,
  • I no longer have alcoholic nightmares,
  • I am free of ant-depressant drugs,
  • I am eating well,
  • I have a happy, stable relationship,
  • I keep myself occupied, mainly with my writing and other computer activities, and I have even started reading again.
  • I derive great enjoyment of looking after and interacting with my 3 loving dogs. They, along with Noo, are the loves and joys of my life.
  • For the most part I feel fairly positive about life and the future.


  • I still have a propensity to frequent ‘dens of ill repute’ where I engage in ‘shameful acts’ and am unfaithful to my partner, although in the famous words of Bill Clinton –‘I did not have sexual relations with those women….’
  • I am still woefully unfit and keep on putting off the day when I will get serious about taking exercise.
  • I also keep putting off my long overdue appointments with my diabetes specialist, and even more crucially, my heart specialist. I haven’t seen my heart specialist for over two years, for as well as my coronary problems, (narrowing of my arteries), two ‘non- cardiac’ doctors have told me in the past year that I have a heart valve problem.
  • Some days I feel a bit low and very lethargic – fortunately, I seem to be able to shake off these feelings after a day or so, but when they come, they are worrying.
  • I have failed to expand my activities which mainly centre upon writing, a small amount of reading, downloading and watching TV programmes and movies. I feel my life should be more productive.

In a little under four months’ time I will be flying to England for the first time in 6 years to spend a few weeks with my family and to attend my youngest daughter’s wedding. So I am hoping that my progress into a happy, contented sober, sexagenarian who is leading a half- way useful life will be in a much more advanced state of development by the time I step onto the plane for my trip back to Blighty on 12th August.

A Royal Wedding post Script.

Ok Folks! I confess! I am a charlatan and a hypocrite!

Last Friday morning I sat down to do some work on my computer and as usual tuned into BBC radio 5 via the internet to catch up with all the latest domestic news and sport and was horrified to find that all my favourite news presenters had deserted there news desks and were lining the Royal wedding route, seemingly totally consumed by the events of the day. It was my annoyance with the disruption to normal service that prompted me to write my ‘anti Royal’ rant .

I wrote it to the background of BBC radio presenters who were reporting from various ‘wedding locations’ in London and elsewhere. When I had finally completed my blog, I decided to take a quick peak at the events unfolding on BBC World Service. I am sorry to say – dear readers – that I soon became hooked and only came up for air, several hours later when the festivities finally came to and end with Bill and Kate driving away in an open top DB5, a gift from Queenie Mummy to her dear little Charlie, who had lent it to ‘My son Bill’ for the occasion.

You would have to be hard man indeed not to be impressed with the pomp and grandeur of the occasion and not a little admiration for how the Brits manage these events so well. (Yes, TT, you are right, it was even better than the ‘Prisoner of Zenda’.)

The last time I sat down to watch such an occasion was the funeral of ‘The People’s Princess’ (Ugh!!!), which was also staged with incredible flair and sense of the occasion. I also admit to being an absolute glutton for choral music – one of my all-time favourite music genres – and while not being quite so sated as I was by the sheer quantity of mainly requiem music at Di’s funeral, there was, nevertheless some truly wonderful choral pieces, including one specially written for the occasion, performed by an orchestra and choir that was simply awe inspiring. How about those post horns?

So yes, I enjoyed the whole effing spectacle, and yes I even shed a brief tear – for that is who I am.  

But was it a waste of money?


Should Britain be wasting money in this way in a time of austerity?

No! But if it is being wasted against my wishes, then I might as well enjoy it, as over a third of the entire world’s population apparently did.

It amused me to note, with some irony, that Baldy Bill and Kate popped back to ‘his’ to get changed, that Grandma  and Grandpa called it a night quite early and went home to ‘her’s’. The younger members of the set, most of whom were dressed appallingly, staggered out in the wee hours and were driven home to ‘their’s’. A few undoubtedly stayed over at ‘Granny’s’.

It could almost be the aftermath of any big wedding, couldn’t it?

Yes, except, that in this case ‘his’ is Clarence House – a four storey palace boasting several hundred  bedrooms and state rooms; ‘her’s’ is Windsor Castle, the largest occupied castle in the world, containing over 1,000 rooms; their’s are Kensington Palace and St James’s Palace; two large Central London palaces on prime real estate that are the homes to a number of minor Royals; and of course Granny’s is Buckingham Palace – Queenie’s second London home  – a positively modest residence by Windsor Castle standards, with a mere 775 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.

But just in case she gets a little bored, poor thing, our dear little Lizzie has a few other modest country residences. There is her Norfolk Retreat – Sandringham House – a massive stately home in the 20,000 acre Sandringham Estate, which also boasts 120 Acres of stunning gardens. Lizzie and her brood spend their Christmases there, away from the polluted and plague –ridden capital. Then there is Balmoral Castle in Scotland, a massive Castle set in a 50,000 acre estate of heather clad hills and ancient Caledonian woodland next to the river Dee. The Royal brood have their summer holidays there. And we mustn’t forget the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, another massive, ancient Castle where the grounds are so large that they are able to accommodate 8,000 people at their garden parties.

Quite a long way from Mobi’s back yard, family barbeques that I used to hold out in South Essex where any more than ten guests and they were over-spilling into the street…

So, yes I loved the wedding; yes, I thought Kate was stunning – as was her dress – yes, I wish the happy couple every success and happiness in their lives; but yes, I am still a fervent anti-monarchist, (in its present form), and I deplore the ostentatious, gratuitous, extravagant flaunting of privilege and wealth that still epitomises the 21st century Royal lifestyle in an increasingly troubled and impoverished world.  

I wonder if anyone will compose some music for me if I decide to get married for the sixth time??? ….☺


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