Setting the record straight


I’m ill. Not in a physical sense that I’ve got a cold or a fever or worse but ill in the sense that I’ve had enough; given up; am hacked off, depressed, and at the end of my tether.

I’m taking a break from work. After 140 plus days of continuous logging on through days off, bank holidays and leave, I’ve walked away from the rat race to give myself a chance to breathe.

I’ve written a six page letter to my CEO setting out a long list of things, concerns, that I think should be addressed. I will spare you all the details save to say that I feel rather used and dirty, a bit exploited and a little bit, no a lot, undervalued.

Sometimes you just have to do it. Sometimes you either do it or you break and I’ve gone with option one over option two even though, deep inside, I know that option one will probably get me nowhere because, how can I say, past attempts have only led to greater frustration and promises made that were not kept.

I’m tired. Tired of being ignored when I think I could offer good ideas and help for everyone and yet nobody is interested and, because of my role, I’m just expected to be quiet and let my superiors do as they please. Not a chance!

I’m a rebel. Not intentionally in the sense that I’m not advocating a rebellion but rather in the sense that I dislike illogicality and want a clear vision, properly costed, properly thought out and fair to all and if I don’t see it then I’m going to question why not.

Of course that brings me into conflict with those far superior in position to myself for they dislike any questioning of their plans but I can’t just accept something I don’t understand because of the damage it does to myself and the anxiety and pain it causes me. I’m not trying to be awkward but sometimes you just want answers.

And it’s not only me. I know my colleagues won’t rock the boat and I know some of them are genuinely enthusiastic and if they are that’s great and cool..but for them, not me. I need those answers to satisfy myself that the future doesn’t mean more pain for me, more anxiety, more panic attacks or bashing my knuckles into a brick wall. I’m not them, I’m me. And I need those answers in case others forget to ask or would have asked but lacked courage to.

I keep reminding people I’m Autistic and sometimes that’s half the battle, fighting to prove that it’s not one size fits all and allowances have to be made for my unique views because if I’m happy then yay, less chance of me upsetting anyone else. Sadly that message rarely gets through.

My letters in now. 6 pages of observations, questions, pleadings and gently controlled frustration. I don’t know if it will make a scrap of difference, I don’t know if anyone cares enough to not simply dismiss it but hey, you have to stand up sometimes even if you end up being knocked down again.

I’m watching and I’m waiting, not anticipating much, but we will see.


I’m wandering.

Wandering through memories. Memories of places I’ve been, trying to recapture those moments, the sights, the smells, the heat, the noise.

I’d like to wander again.

I need to wander. I need that goal, that target if you will.

Without it I shrivel up and become a mere shadow of the person I am when I’m wandering.

Hope. It’s an elusive thing for in truth I hope little for myself. Grandiose ideas and fanciful dreams are just that now for I am no longer a young man and cannot turn back the steady advance of time.

Older, not wiser. Weaker certainly with the foul annoyance of Fibromyalgia giving nothing but varied levels of weariness and pain. Frustration then, that whilst I’m still capable, we find ourselves trapped in bubbles whilst an unseen virus reaps havoc amongst us.

I miss it. I miss everything. Lengthy anticipation, painstaking research; days when TripAdvisor and I were on speaking terms. The place where I’ll lay my head, the plane I’ll sit on, the things I’ll see.

Those are the days. Good days. In fact my best days. My best day ever.

Poring over brochures, comparing websites, adding costs, contrasting prices, booking leave. Airport parking, airport hotels, lists of what to pack, lists of what not to. Checking temperatures, flight times, departure and arrival times, time zones, free time.

There’s a kind of Autistic ecstasy in doing these things. They excite me in a way which, to the ordinary person, might seem amazing for they appear so mundane, so run of the mill, in some cases even unnecessary but that’s it, the finer details, the joy of knowing, of being prepared.

Times passing and I yearn for a time to wander once more. To walk paths both familiar and unfamiliar, to see new places and see again old friends. Times passing and the years grow shorter. The autumn of my life is here and each leaf that falls reminds me that I might only have a few years of reasonable health in which to see all I want to see.

This pandemic; this accursed thing has blighted my life in so many ways. Tragedy, inconvenience, frustration, the impact on my mental health, the one thing that wandering puts on hold albeit briefly.

Wandering. My minds wandering but oh boy, do I wish it were my feet!.

Strange times

These are strange times.

Turbulent times in which we try to bear a semblance of normality upon our shoulders whilst beset by abnormal events threatening to derail us.

The worlds a terrifying place. It seems that the truth is in short supply unless everyone’s telling it, in which case we’re more screwed than we have any right to be. At times when we should be pulling together it seems that the seams that hold us together are being ripped apart with quite alarming ease.

This sense of one-upmanship, idle boasts, bare faced lies, half-truths, missteps; it’s a jungle out there through which we, the sensible, cautious ones, try to navigate.

It’s heard to identify what’s best. What are people trying to achieve and can’t they do it without crawling over the cold dead bodies of their former friends and allies, let alone their enemies?.

Common sense has been abandoned for the self-serving cause of selfishness. What I want goes and the rest of you don’t matter seems, all too often, to be the case.

I’ll go where I want, wear what I want, touch who I want; the mantras of today.

Respect is dead. Led as we are by liars and buffoons, how can we hope to rely on them to lead us?. What example do they set for our children? And for us?.

Contradictions, double takes, u-turns, misinformation; government policy. You ask for direction but their compass, both actual and moral, is broken.

We, the disabled, the poor, the low paid, will bear the brunt. Paying back is never fair. Increased taxes particularly indirect ones affect all equally. The rich will stay rich and the poor will stay in the gutter.

Strange times. Worrying times. Anxious times. Fighting back tears, fighting back revulsion, fighting back in the face of overwhelming adversity.

We live in strange times.

I don’t like strange.

Strange is scary.

And right now I’m very very scared…

The Mask Falls

When it slips,

And you see me,

What do you see?

The truth,



Naked and afraid.

Being me,

Whoever I am,

Feeling lost,

Submerged beneath layers,

Of face paint,

Or brittle, delicate ceramic,

Or is my mask,

Surgical in nature,

Another faceless clone,

Stalking strange streets.

My mask is tight,

Too tight,



Rubbed raw skin beneath.


Once so certain,

Now bits and pieces,

I see myself,

Through broken mirror,

A thousand images,

Which is me?.

Different masks,

Different days,

Hiding the truth,

From me,

From you,

From the world.

My mask slips,

You see it,

You rush forward,

Thrust it back into place,


Unable to cope,

Not wanting to see me,

The real me.

My mask slips,

I will it to fall,

I tear at it with bloody fingers,

I drag it from me,

Tearing at my skin,

But it holds fast.

It cannot slip, not now,

For you fear to see what lies beneath,

You fear me,

As I fear myself.


Life just drifts along. Sunset becomes a new dawn and sunrise slowly fades into the day.

Clock watching. I do that more than I should, aware of each passing second, each moment I’ll never get back. Life slows to a crawl.

Outside the world is humming with activity. Builders across the way, the constant to and fro of traffic, horse riders, people walking..

Inside I watch the clock tick over, constantly aware of the ticking, like a time bomb or slowly counting away the moments that I have left to me.

Too much thinking time. Too much dwelling time. Too much time.

Random thoughts pop into my head. Today’s cricket, will we win? Last nights football, why did we lose?. The royal names of Egyptian Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty. What I ate yesterday. Why I can’t find Cherry Trees in Animal Crossing. Have I paid my lottery money?. How much do I owe for office birthday collections…it’s all there.

Underlying it all are thoughts of…nothing good. Distracted by too many failures. My…apathy, my uselessness, my inability to act.

Thoughts that I’m drifting, rudderless, towards my own sunset, scared of what’s ahead of me, disappointed by what I’m leaving behind.

Thoughts that it just wasn’t worth it, that I failed, that I didn’t do enough because I didn’t know what to do.

Harmful thoughts.

But they’re all I have.

A slow day

It’s a slow day.

Slow days are like torture. They’re the opposite kind of torture to fast days.

Fast days bring exhaustion. Never having time to think, never pausing, missing lunch, trying to play catch up.

Slow days bring agonising gaps; gaps into which thoughts intrude. Bad thoughts. Self harming thoughts. Times when you dwell, dwell on the bad stuff, the failures, the mishaps and cock ups.

There’s no traffic today. My phones rung twice and I’ve answered two emails. This time yesterday I’d done two or three times that number. It’s frustrating, things I could be doing but I’m working and, you know, there might actually be something for me to do. Perhaps….

I’m tired. Been up since 4.00am. Slow days seem even longer when that happens. They drag on and on and on. It’s not as though I can make work up to keep me occupied.

Slow day. Dwelling on my inadequate nature, my failings. Frustrated at …so, so much!. External anger at the world, inner turmoil at my inability to deal with it all.

Life’s slipping away. That moment is one I’ll never live again. And that one. Slow days make me realise how much time I’ve wasted in the pursuit of…something. No idea what, that elusive happiness perhaps …even a job where I feel I’m doing some good.

It’s slow today, so slow.

Don’t wish your life away. Don’t wish it were tomorrow already. Wise words falling upon my deaf ears.

But every day is the same now and this world offers me no hope. There’s no mythical light at the end of the tunnel. If there was it would probably be a train coming to run me down.

It’s a slow day. All I see is darkness.

Maybe tomorrow then?.



Outer Peace

It’s Monday.

Monday’s are manic. Constant phones, emails to catch up on, the general fallout from the weekend and whatever HMRC have inflicted on my clients.

A day when, I spend my time being slowly dragged down by people and pondering on the fruitless existence to which I am subject.

I hate feeling powerless. The accountant who keeps the 90 year old in self assessment long after they needed to just to bring in an extra £200 a year in fees. The individual who knows they should file but simply refuses to because..why should they? Surely HMRC know their self-employment income, or their Polish pension, or how much rent they got?. The person who treats me like dirt because I work for a charity..when the management already do a fine job of that in any event!

I ponder on the ingratitude of so many. This crisis we find ourselves in has brought out both the best and worst of people. Accountants close, HMRC reduce staff but we grit our teeth and work from home, subject to all the abuse people can muster because..”Well, you are open aren’t you?”.

And the rich..or the better off, those with £40K pensions and lump sums in the £250K range, just using our service because yes, it’s open, and with not even a thank you when we go the extra mile. Yes, we are open, yes we help those on low incomes…but if we suggest that these better off souls find themselves an accountant they just ridicule us and tell us we know nothing.

I ponder on the lack of support, that fact that those of us at the coalface are the ones who get treated like dirt. Paid a pittance whilst higher ups receive 6 times as much. Paid according to our skills apparently, which only shows me how little skill I apparently have.

I ponder on where it’s going wrong. I ponder on how a job that should be so meaningful for all the good we do, reduces me to a worthless shell because of the complete lack of value I feel I have.

I ponder changing jobs, knowing only too well the frightening statistics on the employment of Autistic people. And I have ADHD. And fibromyalgia. I ponder on how hard it will be and then comes the despair in big fucking waves that smash into me and drive me down.

I ponder life. I wonder if it’s worth it. What to live for?. No talent, zero enjoyment, a job dragging me down, hobbies and interests pale husks of what they once were. Travel now a distant memory and a future fantasy now tainted by this virus.

It’s Monday. It’s mad. It’s mad and I ponder everything.

And I resolve nothing.

The turbulent spectre


Dominated by the turbulent spectre,

Ghostly apparition,

Always there,

Shadow born.

The deceit of man,

Decay, violence, inhumanity,

The spectres joyous toys,

Casting long fingers of darkness,

Across all I see.

Cold, clammy fingers,

Threaten to strangle joy,

Suffocate last vestiges of hope,

Silence desperate pleas for common sense,

Deemed unworthy cries to spectres gaping ears.

Dominating all,

Darkest cloud,

Storm born,

Seething mass of violent desire,

Uncaring, hateful,

Overshadowing all hope,

Drowned in the deep.

I am lost,

A pinprick of light,

Needle in Gods haystack,

Search abandoned,

For hope lies shattered,

At spectres ghostly feet.


All I can see,

Thrashing, moaning,

Under baleful glare of one,

Who takes pleasure from my pain.

My world,


Painfully warped,

Unnaturally twisted,

At his mercy,

The turbulent spectre,

Ruling all.

The waiting game

I’m waiting for inspiration,

But all I get is perspiration,

I’m waiting to take action,

But I just can’t get the traction,

I’m waiting to make some plans,

But my maps old and faded,

I’m waiting to move on,

But I’m feeling tired and jaded,

I’m waiting to start living,

But life ain’t that forgiving,

I’m waiting to feel passion,

But my hearts just sad and empty,

I’m waiting to fight back,

But the strength is what I lack,

I’m waiting for some hope,

But I’m dangling by a rope,

I’m waiting to get started,

But I feel tired and half hearted,

I’m waiting to be me,

But my mask won’t set me free,

I’m waiting for so much,

But I feel so out of touch,

My life’s consumed by shame,

This is all a waiting game.

What’s in a picture : Number ?? +1

Monkey business

Too much monkeying about.

I like Twitter in the sense that you find out some interesting stuff on it but then I hate it because you read too much stuff that just….triggers, for want of a better word.

I find it frustrating. I want to teach a wider audience because there are times I feel like I’ve got something worth saying but then I’m usually drowned in the mix and someone more established with a 1000 or more followers, says what I’ve said all along and takes the plaudits.

It happens.

My blogs a case in point. I’ve blogged about strife in the Autistic community on several occasions and those blogs have reached, perhaps, three or four people …then you wait a bit and a better known ‘tweeter’ posts almost exactly the same thing and they get hundreds of likes and retweets.

Now I know I can’t predict what others will say but let’s admit it, Tis a bit galling to feel what you’ve said time after time is only taken seriously if you aren’t the person saying it. It’s as though you don’t count or aren’t ‘someone’ in the community. You aren’t a person with a voice.

Low self esteem is crippling and it’s only reenforcing that issue when what you write isn’t picked up. I’m asked why I want people to read my blog and it’s because I would like to feel I have some value; some meaning in my life rather than just writing aimlessly or, if I do write something good or profound, pointlessly.

People said they read my blog. The stats say otherwise. I’m sure my tweets are one of several thousand that crop up on people’s timeline in a daily basis, if you follow hundreds and hundreds, and that’s okay, I get it because I miss tweets all the time; but don’t say you read my blog just to be kind if you don’t actually read it. The stats don’t lie.

So that’s it, moan over.

Until next time.

When perhaps I will write something profound and worthwhile.

Or just have another moan.

As for Twitter?. It will exist long after I’m gone. And perhaps I’m gone already.