An addition to the family!

No, I am not going to be a Daddy just yet! But we’ve had a surprise new member of the family from an unlikely source so we are all over the moon!

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The Boy ‘Alfie’ – Asleep and calm, at last!

Since the loss of the Hopton Canine Veteran back in September 2016, we’ve all been mourning and wondering if we’ll ever get over our lost boy Oscar. Forever with us with fond memories, happy thoughts and crazy doggie times, he’ll always be a part of our family. He was like a brother. That will make sense to any dog lover!

Just to confirm, we didn’t lose him. He’s dead

So although he is our minds on a daily basis. We’ve decided to give another little menace a home and we’ve done him proud already. He belonged to our next door neighbour.

As my blog is all very politically correct and by the book of law, his previous owners can be described as people from the travelling community. Or, as I like to call them, lying, fighting cruel bastards.

I’ve watched Alfie (or Lucky, as they called him) grow up from a tiny little pup, gazing over the fence and ever contemplating if he will be given a good home. Constantly tied to a wheelbarrow, for entertainment, ‘security’ and because it was the only option, it was heartbreaking to see such an energetic and gorgeous little boy being mistreated.

I would constantly go to him on a weely basis and pet him over the fence, he was such an affectionate little thing. The months passed by and before I knew it he was 6 months old. Strange, considering he could hardly my hands when I first saw him and now he is jumping over fences at his new home!

Through what I can only describe as an act of God, the owner visited our house and basically offered us the dog! This was less than 24 hours after I had been talking to Dad about him in the gym, where the answer to my question ‘Would you have him if they gave him up?’ was a resounding yes.

So, after a 2-minute conversation with them, we took him for a trial at Well House and he never came back.

 

Job done. We’ve rescued a dog ourselves.

Oscar mark 2.0?

 

Looks like he has had a lucky escape.

 

Reflecting.

6 days have passed but it feels like 6,000.

56 days to go and it feels like 6,000.

12 hours since we spoke and it feels like 6,000.

Love is measured in time. Maybe that’s why it’s all relevant to our lives? The question is somewhat rhetorical and almost inevitably unanswerable, but most of us want an answer.

I’m pining for your touch, your smile, your laugh, your energy around me, your physical presence and your unconditional love.

I don’t know what’s happening to me.

It’s such an amazing feeling, not just having these super-strong feelings of love, connection, romance, and togetherness; but to have them reciprocated.

I’ve had romances in the past and have felt like I’ve been in love, or she has been ‘the one’, but this all changed when I met you. The feeling is 1,000 times stronger in every possible way.

Soul mates are 2 parts of a jigsaw. You are one and I am the other. We fit together in all ways posssible.

Who cares that we haven’t found each other until now?

Nobody worth knowing. We’ve found each other. Surely that’s all that matters? (Rhetorical, but the answer is a definate YES!)

This is such a strange feeling but you are definitely my drug. I’m having massive withdrawal symptoms and it’s almost like my heart is hurting – Hurting with the temporary non-physical presence of someone you love.

Texting is fun. Video calls are even better, but there is nothing like feeling the soft touch of your skin as I wrap my arms around you, look deep into your eyes and kiss you.

Each day passes slower than the last. It feels longer than the next and hurts more than the present.

Countdown; minus Richard Whiteley.

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Sunrise as I was walking to work this very AM

0-62 seems ever so fast when you are timing a car, when measured in seconds. But in days, when you are waiting to see somebody, it seems like an eternity. Literally.

She’s come into my World out of nowhere. One minute I am minding my own business, and the next, we are at the cinema, on a friends-date, semi-flirting, in the dark, sharing popcorn, sharing a drink, laughing, gazing into each others eyes, wanting to kiss each other and feeling that ‘electricity’ when you meet someone for the first time.

What film did we go and see? What was it was about?! Funnily enough, I can’t remember!

She makes me smile. She makes me laugh. She embarrasses me. She makes me do crazy things. She looks after me. She’s cooked for me. She’s so my type; shorter, brunette, sexy, intelligent, gorgeous, mature, loves me for being me… and she has the perfect smile and laugh. That’s my favourite part about her.

I will not disclose anything too personal on here, but with our relationship, there are a few ties, and I know it will be tough in the near future – But did anybody say life was plain sailing when we were born? I certainly don’t remember agreeing and signing to any terms and conditions when I was born, weighing 8lb 12oz and clutching my first BIC.

Life is complicated. Well it can be. So it will be hard at some point. For me, I think it will be tricky and somewhat challenging during this part of my ‘youth’, but hey ho, I’m putting in 110% effort. I’m not giving up on this whatsoever!

I’ve had relationships in the past, which have hurt me, most of us have. We constantly remind ourselves what its like to feel that heartbreak, especially in a new relationship – This is the body’s way of defending itself incase it gets hurt again; its a psychological barrier which rises when the heart has been broken.

After being hurt, you don’t want to get into another relationship for the fear of being rejected, hurt, let down etc. I normally have the feeling of anxiety when I begin to feel it’s the start of seeing somebody new. Having them as a girlfriend or making it official seems to bring my own personal barrier up quicker than a bolt of lightning!

…but, this time, it’s different. It’s all happened so fast, so quick, but it doesn’t feel too fast at all. It’s unique, it’s new, it’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, it’s breathtaking, it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had. Oh yeah, and it feels so natural! Have I known this person in another life? I’m sure of it.

I know we don’t know what the future will bring for each and every one of us, that’s impossible, hence why the British weather forecasters get such a slating, but one thing for sure, is that I know I want to hold onto these feelings, with this particular person, for as long as I can.

If you read this, which I’m sure you will do, then the wait will be so worth it. Every day that passes makes me happier because I am one day closer to seeing you, but sadder, because it’s another day without you.

 

3 down and 59 to go.

 

 

Everyone wants this connection.

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This is real love.

Most of us meet new people all the time. Different colours, sizes, heights, looks, religions, races, sexualities, you get the picture. This happens to me on a daily basis, especially working in retail.

I suppose I would say 99.99% of the people I have seen during the last 19 months I have worked here have made an impact on me; they come in, I build rapport, we have a laugh, we tell a few jokes, I try to make them laugh, they get what they want and they leave happy. Or so it goes. I suppose that’s a prefect retail scenario. They make an impact on me because I will think about how nice they have been with me (or some not so nice!) and they will pop into my mind every so often because of a sparked memory. Eventually, most will leave my mind as the ‘connection’ we built between us in store, fades.


There is always one person. One person you seem to connect with more than others. They make you smile, they make you feel sick like you have butterflies in your stomach, they make you laugh, they make you feel like nobody else matters.

It’s fascinating how the human body responds to different people. What is it that makes you like one person and not the other. That feeling of ‘love’ comes to mind. You can pick up a copy of Collins’ dictionary to find out that the definition of love is ‘a strong feeling of affection’ – Which in most cases is very appropriate, but for me, it’s more.

Someone’s attributes can mean love. A smile, notorious for being somewhat contagious, can be an everlasting memory. When they leave, you close your eyes, and imagine their smile – It then makes you smile. This feeling when you are both smiling is something which doesn’t happen very often. It’s things like this which I believe are related and very strongly linked to love.

Ok, you can smile about a friend smiling, or family member, or even an acquaintance, but there is more, always.

There’s something special for me about touching someone’s skin. This is a person who you have strong feelings for. A person who makes you smile, laugh, embarrassed, warm, feel loved, wanted and above all else, feel yourself. Combine all these factors with touching their skin and it makes a connection. You can look into their eyes for several minutes at a time and it doesn’t feel awkward in the slightest.

I’ve done this recently (as you can probably tell by this loving blog post!) and the feel is indescribable. I am struggling to put it into words now to be honest – But doing my best, as always.

Ok, that sounds easy, like you can do it with anyone, but you can’t, so try it… look into the eyes of someone you know for several minutes and do it without smiling – Just admire them for how you know them and how you are connected to them in any way, shape or form.

Most of you will find that it is awkward, you get a lump in your throat from being nervous, anxious or whatever you want to call it. You find yourself feeling compelled to look away but at the same time you want to complete the challenge.

Not as easy as it looks is it? That’s because you don’t love them in the way I have been describing.

When you find it, don’t let it go. As you can tell I am in this situation right now! I want to share because this person means so much to me – And yes, she knows!

I guarantee she smiles reading this part… I will update you with the date and time WHEN she does!

Look, in all seriousness, there may be obstacles, of course, because life is not handed to you on a plate. But work at them! That’s the sort of fun part. Isn’t the cliché… ‘Grab life by horns?’

Well start grabbing, or it might be too late. Don’t let this person get away from you. If you are happy with it, let them be your stalker, because…

 

 

everybody wants this connection.

 

 

Lake Vyrnwy

Rob came down from T’Bradford last night. We would normally spend the Sunday recovering from a hangover induced by rather a large amount of alcohol, but as I am now ‘responsible’ and T-Total, we spent it walking instead.

Lake Vyrnwy is just over an hours drive away; even though the weather wasn’t brilliant, the views were still pretty spectacular.

It’s almost 100% flat, the whole 12 miles from either end of the bridge which is the focal point upon entry to the Lake. It’s meandering windy roads and notorious twists and turns make it almost seem endless, but if you keep on ploughing through the corners you will eventually complete a very nice walk.

Selfie of the big lads before the sweat started dripping from the boll*cks! Looking fresh-faced and pumped full of energy, we didn’t realise how far it actually was! Yes, about 12-13 miles, but as I mentioned above it always seems a lot more when it’s windy!

I tried to capture the sunlight rays beaming through the trees in this photo but it was too bright and I probably got the wrong angle. That’s more like it. There’s me trying to blame the sun and it was my poor camera skills.

With a little help from the filter on my iPhone 7, this was one of my favourite photos of the day. Capturing the main piece of architecture in the area, it scans across the whole landscape to depict a very cloudy & desolate atmosphere, pre-walk.

11 years is too long for anything!!

I’ve finally made a big decision in my life. I have finally managed to get myself out of retail. I’m so happy about this. It’s definitely a step in the right direction with my health and career… whatever it is I want to do!

I have spent the last 11 years predominantly within a sales based environment. This all started when I left university back in 2006 after hating the course I was doing; Computer Science. Of course the excessive amounts of alcohol played no part in me not being able to afford to live anymore. But the bank of Dad paid for a large portion of this, so thanks, Dad!

“One giant leap for Samkind”

So, I’ve decided to take a giant leap for Samkind and step into support/care work. I’ve worked out (I have taken my time I know!) and been told so many times by many other family members, friends and customers that I am a born people person. I love helping people but within a shop based environments it’s just not me anymore. Take away the targets, technology, stress and the other bullshit that comes with other retail jobs and you are left with just 2 people – Help. Plain and simple.

It’s a big, bold move, and already I have had the support from a lot of people who is great. The retail aspect of my current job was causing me stress, this was turning into depression and I was having time off work – Naturally I didn’t want to take time off work but when you have an episode there is nothing you can do apart from wait. There are a few factors which can help such as exercise and meditation etc, but time is the best healer. God, I hate that cliché, but it’s so true.

Once my training and shadowing is complete, I’ll be working at a local care facility where I will be aiding people with whatever they need help with – This will vary from one end of the scale to the other so I am enthused and positive about my new line of work. I’m excited to try something completely new and be challenged with a new scenario on a daily basis.

That’s pretty much it for now, more updates will come as I go along. All in all, I am very happy with leaving retail. Even though I haven’t even started my new role yet, I am just ecstatic to be changing my life for the better – Mainly because it’s something new to focus on, I can take the skills into this job I have accrued from the last 11 years of focusing on people and I can be the Sam that does ever so well with said people.

The age range will be primarily focused upon the elderly because it’s that bracket which normally require the constant help and support I will be giving, but I am open to every single possibility and will welcome the job with open arms and a fresh start.

Time to Krak-ów-pen a Becks Blue

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This was a view from just outside our digs – Hotel Europejski – A favourite from the trip. I do love a black and white. To me, they depict much more of a powerful scene.

Well there has been quite a lot happening since I last posted a blog; it’s only been 16 days but it has seemed like weeks! It just goes to show that I do actually enjoy writing online and I have missed it. I kept putting it and and somewhat procrastinating… so I have finally sat down and I am about to unleash a whole new life which I have created for myself.

The title you might be familiar with because hidden deep inside my headline is a Polish city – Yes, you’ve cracked my MI5 like code – It is of course, Kraków.

I visited with my Dad and Julie a couple of weekends ago. It was brilliant. Our predominant aim was to go and visit the post-traumatic scenes on Auschwitz and Auschwitz 2, less commonly know as Birkenau.

It’s something I had personally learned in school and I’m sure it is embedded in more syllabus today, but to actually go there and feel the chilling environment for yourself is a whole different kettle of fish.

We were led around the two concentration camps by a very short Polish woman. Her knowledgeable was incredible. It’s something you could learn over time, with practice and determination – But the way she described some of the atrocities and happenings which went on all those years ago was unexplainably chilling. It’s like the Holocaust has happened last week and I could see the sadness in her eyes.

She didn’t mention anything about her family being controlled by Nazi-occupied Poland but I think there was a good chance this could have been factual, given the way she conducted herself during our tour, her almost life-like personal experiences and the emotion she conveyed through the medium of speech.

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The iconic gates from the entrance to Auschwitz – This is where our tour started and is also the point where hundreds of thousands walked through and never returned alive

‘Arbeit Macht Frei’

Probably the most ironic statement I now believe I had ever read in my life. It’s a German translation enforced by Hitler and Hess throughout the concentration camps which literally translates to ‘Work means freedom’ – I don’t really need to go into detail here but this to me is the biggest contradiction in terms.

Throughout the tour we were constantly reminded of the punishment that people would suffer from right beneath our own eyes. Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Homosexuals would be beaten, shot, tortured, starved, experimented on and even worked to death. There is just far too much for me to explain on a singular blog and it’s almost emotional now just writing about this.

We walked from building to building with our guide, taking in the atmosphere, imagining what it would have been like to be here and seeing the aftermath of a 70-year old crime of genocide; walking in silence certainly exacerbated the feeling of sadness – Something I am sure and hope all of the other tourists felt.

Some of the buildings were used as offices for the tours, some were preserved from the Holocaust and others were turned into museums and memorials which is what we were there for. The most horrific sight for Dad, Julie and I was the building which contained the personal belongings from the people who had been murdered.

One room was split down the middle by a full-length glass partition. One side was where we could walk around in our guide groups and the other was displaying people’s items post-murder. This room was the worst by far. After these people had been killed – They would be stripped of anything that was of any value to the German’s – Jewellery, clothes, watches and even hair. To the left of us as we entered said room was the biggest most extraordinary mound of hair I have ever seen. I would say it was probably big enough to fill 3-400 bath tubs. That’s the only thing that has come to my mind right now – I am sure you are aware this blog is more serious than most – I would like to show some respect to these people during my blog post.

The next room was shoes – Women and children were shot dead or sent to the gas chambers once they were ‘selected’ if they could perform duties in the concentration camps or not. This was down to not being fit enough, old enough or even willing to work. Once a selection for each individual had been made – Which was about 75% in terms of amount of people being killed after being brought in from the outside villages and towns – They would be killed using various different methods.

The room was filled with shoes. Black, brown, grey… and little red ones. Probably belonging to a little girl between the age of 4 and 5.

Horrific. It’s something you have to see for yourself. But it made me want to cry.

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The front of Auschwitz 2 or ‘Birkenau’. Desolate. Cold. Chilling. Sad. Unbelievable.

I think I could write all day about my experience here, but I don’t want to. For no other reason than it would make me more sad probably you too, but also because it’s a place I believe you should all visit yourself.

People who are still alive today fought for the liberation of millions of people during this period in the 1940’s, their bravery and courage enabled us to lead the lives we live today. The ones who inevitably sacrificed their lives to give us ours will never be forgotten, to even think about what they went through is painful. How can the World of created such a monster? Who knows. No one ever will.

It’s certainly a lesson to our future generations. Scarily enough, it may even be a warning. This could happen again. That’s the most frightening part in my eyes.

 

The stakes are high.

Go in to a supermarket and navigate to the meat section, grab the nearest fillet and hold it above your head, then repeat the title of this post.

Very funny. This isn’t sarcasm. Just a joke I had with Amy this week. Amy, I hope you are reading this because I know you will smile!

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Fillet · Wedges · Mushrooms Sauce · Peas · Bosh!

Talking of steaks – This three-way Instagram photo above was Sunday’s meal. 3 fillet steaks were just a little under £25 from a local farm shop (Churncote, Welshpool Road) which had been freshly cut for us. They weren’t the thickest of cuts but I guess I never contemplated shrinkage when I was asking the butcher to slice up our cow – Maybe next time I’ll go for 2 inches thick so that the actual cooked piece is somewhat larger.

Anyway – Still a good 9/10 for me – A light homemade mushroom sauce, wedges and a billion peas was my perfect Sunday (Hot Fuzz anyone?)… so thanks Jules!


For some reason I am up ridiculously early; it’s that start of my week off so I guess subconsciously I am making the most of it and not staying in bed like a fat slob.

We go to Krakow on Thursday, so that is something I have been looking forward to in a while. I am not a fan of history, in terms of the events which happened 100, 200, 300 years ago etc – But I do like the WW1 and WW2 side of things. I think it’s because it’s more documented, there’s more evidential findings on what occurred during these times and there are many documentaries, films and readings so for me it’s easier to follow. For someone who writes a blog like this that probably sounds a bit weird but I have a very short attention span, so unless it interests me or it’s relevant I am highly unlikely to pay attention.

I imagine it’s going to be pretty harrowing – To have family members go through wars and not be able to talk about them is hard enough, but to see the aftermath of the atrocities which occurred more than 60 years ago and to still experience that chilling sensation I expect will be mind-blowing. Unfortunately, it will be mind-blowing in a different sense; what could cause, or what could one person possibly have going through their mind to commit genocide on this monstrous level?

Anyway, enough of that for now, I will document our trip and post when I come back!


This week, depression wise etc, has been top draw. It’s strange to think that some days, I don’t even think about it – Which is great. My brain (cell) must be managing any thoughts I have within my subconscious, rationalising them quick enough and eradicating them from my mind.

I think this is depicted well in my blogging – I am sure if you look back to July 24 when you can clearly see a self-destructive Sam, and then compare it to my recent posts, there is definitely an improvement on the language I am using, my outlook on life and generally it’s a more uplifting read. If it’s not then please tell me because I can always adapt!

Is this normal life then? I had spent so many years where depression was an unknown and untapped part of my life, I suppose now I can say it went undiagnosed because I didn’t know what the hell was happening to me – The anger, the sadness, the emptiness, the worthlessness. I feel so much more mellow, calm, relaxed and on track at this current moment in time. It’s bizarre. It really is.

You all know what I am doing to ‘counteract’ the depression because I have said previously, I am positive all these attributes are working together to help me because I feel like this is how everyone else feels on a daily basis. That’s such a broad spectrum I know and it’s impossible to know how others are actually feeling but I just imagine it’s a lot more peaceful and less stressful when you don’t have something like depression hanging over you.

Job done for today.

Like a fine wine, like an old cheese…

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Just to start us off – Photo of the week was yet again food, because it’s amazing! These were old pita breads which were 7 days old and about to be chucked away – So I shoved some mashed boiled egg, rocket, spinach, feta, black pepper and oil in and made a delish meal!

A modesty blog, a blog full of self-appreciation, a blog full of big-headed comments. Of course, why the f*ck not, this is all about me, screw the rest of you.

Not really, but I like to think you get what I am saying. If not. Listen closely. Turn your hearing aid up, sit back in your rocking chair with your mug of Earl Grey (mother) and don’t be an interrupting tw*t.

I’ve heard so many people moaning recently; moaning about life, relationships, work, friends, etc etc – So much negativity from so few mouths! I am sure there is some sort of old myth  / cliché lying about somewhere which states that if you think negative then negative things or bad things will happen.

I haven’t really thought like that for a while. I’ve been busy, keeping myself active and sometimes (mainly at work) racing around like a headless chicken. For me, this helps. Keeping my tiny brain occupied is one of the contributing to factors to me battling depression.

For those of you who are now thinking, ‘Oh my god, you a such a hypocrite, you moan all the time!’ – Well, yes, I do, but I do it for effect and probably because there is nothing better to do at the time! It’s the real moaners you have to watch out for, the people who can bring you down with their negativity, the people who don’t make you smile when you see them and the people who just aren’t worth your time of day.

For those of you who actually may be inspired by my not-yet-award-winning-blog, get of your fat ass and do something about what you want to change. If I can, you can.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t turned myself into a health freak (yet), I am just eating the usual junk or craving food in moderation, going to the gym and changing little things at a time. I’ve seen big change already in almost 4 months so that’s the most inspirational and  motivating thing for me personally.

I’m currently sat in my shorts writing this blog, eating 2 semi-hard boiled eggs and fried mashed potato and veg from 2 days ago. I’m no Gordon Ramsey but it actually tastes pretty darn good.

Now I have got myself in better shape, I will be starting some challenges soon and posting them on here. Little ones, but achieving something even as small as making your bed in the morning really does help me with depression. It sounds really silly to think about but I used to just leave it when I walked out of the house. If I am now in a rush, over sleep, or have something which makes me late for work in the morning, I will always make my bed to tell myself that I have achieved something.