Ice hockey, thoughts of turning forty and reminiscing

I like to take newbies to watch the hockey in my home town of Nottingham. I advertise it as ‘fighting on ice, by toothless North American’s ‘ – but, there was little fight from my team over the weekend.

It seems to be the drab, dire, disappointing end, to what should have been, a decent season. I’ve been watching them for over 20yrs and it’s the poorest I’ve ever seen them. We lost to our local rivals, which makes the testicle punch of sport support, a double one. I did feel deflated. Until the Jäger kicked in and the takeaway lured me in. Twice.

There’s always next year..

Being back in my home town for the first time in several years, forced me to think about how far I’d come. It wasn’t that long ago, I was aimlessly wondering from bar to pub to club, not really knowing what was going on. The hangovers mounted up, as the money disappeared and I got into an unforgiving routine. It’s a short, slippery slope from that vantage, before swooshing into the abyss. Without skis. Or a helmet. Clutching a bottle of gin and snagging swift sips, whilst fending off the attacks of passers by.

Oh what could have been..

So the countdown to 40 is on. In fact, the race is rapidly approaching its conclusion. For both my wife and I, as we are born on the same day. Thankfully the tests reveal we’re not related, just weirdly alike. And our son seems ok – albeit crackers. But always happy.

I don’t mind 40.

For my 30th, I ventured to Africa with a buddy, surfing and only just surviving a weeks boozing. I could write two books about that week and the things we saw. It changed me as a person. I saw poverty on a scale that broke me. It was like humans were consumables. A man called Doctor looked after us, kept me alive (just) and displayed a human side, which I didn’t know existed. Unfortunately, I was too young and idiotic to fully realise what I experienced there. It means more now I’ve almost grown up.

I came back from there and got online – asking random strangers if they needed a husband. In training. A trainee husband. Someone who has the will, but not the skill to become a husband. I found a candidate. She’s awesome and puts up with this writing nonsense. As long as I cook for her. It’s a fair deal.

It’s hard not to look back without a hint of bitterness, the shape of my life as a young adult is not something I can easily relate to now. It’s too far apart from the life I enjoy.

On the drive home, through my old neighbourhood, my wife asked if I missed the car I had just chopped in for a new one. Instantaneously, I said no. Adding, I tend not to look backwards, only forwards. There is too much shit in the past and it stinks. If you keep scratching the past, you end up with a big, visible, painful wound.

The last month of blogging has been eye opening and breath catching. The numbers keep going on and I keep badgering friends and reducing the expected Christmas card list. I honestly can’t thank people enough.

Until I’m rich and famous – then I will forget everyone and buy that island I’ve been researching. There is a fine balance between catharsis and opening a box which should be locked. Baring my soul on these pages is not easy, it’s leaves me exposed and vulnerable – but strangely, I’m OK with the risk, a few people turning off and life just keeps rumbling on.

Honestly – my heart swells with your support – thank you.

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Published by @poetofthesouth

Full time author, part time business persona.

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