If I’d known losing weight was this easy, I’d have done it sooner.

So I took my measurements yesterday morning for this first time in over 7 months.

On Jan 6th this year I took these measurements:

Weight: 75kg

Waist: 36 inches

Chest: 41 inches

On 11th Aug this year I took these measurements:

Weight: 66kg

Waist: 32 inches

Chest: 39.5 inches

Holy. Shit.

9kg scale weight lost and 4 inches around my waist. I really wasn’t expecting that much of a drop, I’d sneakly hoped I’d have shrunk my waist that much, but wasn’t really expecting it.

I only have proper fitness stats going back to 2011 and then my waist was 33 inches and my scale weight was 64kg, my chest was a measly 37 inches lol.

So working my nuts off for 12 hrs a day 5-6 days a week and not eating regularly is the way for me to lose body fat.


It’s funny really because I’ve never been a fan of food as such, but I do like to eat. I’ve never conciously not eaten because I wanted to lost body fat, but one thing I have noticed whilst working so hard delivery driving, is that my hunger disappears the harder I work.

I remember only a few weeks ago, I had my normal coffee upon waking and then my breakfast raw milk shake, with a banana and a scoop of whey protein in and that was it until I got back home at 7pm.

I realised that I was so busy delivering parcels that day, like stupidly busy that I didn’t think about eating because I hadn’t got hungry. Normally at some point hunger of some level kicks in during the day and I grab my lunch and eat it.

But that day I distinctly remember not feeling hungry and just drinking a few bottles of water.

Funnily enough when I got home and realised I hadn’t eaten my lunch I started to get hungry and then whilst cooking my dinner I felt proper starving and ate some of my lunch after my dinner lol.

Over the last 7 months I haven’t deliberately not eaten so that I lost body fat, my hunger levels just seemed to have dropped since being so busy delivery driving.

I’ve obviously known that this would happen as the weeks went by, but thought to myself it wouldn’t be this drastic.

Alas, here I am, having lost all the body fat I wanted to at the beginning of the year, and then some.

I don’t doubt that some of my lack of hunger has been due to stress as the job is pretty stressful at times, but I feel that I’ve got used to the stress levels now and don’t feel that it’s getting me down like it did at the beginning. Perhaps my brain and body have both become stronger from it and I’m now confident that I can deal with everything the job throws at me and consequently get less stressed from it.

As I mentioned in my last post, I did some deadlifting this week and really enjoyed it, so next week my aim is to do 2 or 3 lifting sessions of some kind and gradually build up to 3 or 4 every week again.

I don’t intend on shoving food down my neck for the sake of it, I’ll just increase my food intake as and when I get hungry.

I don’t actually like eating that much during the day whilst being so busy delivering parcels and prefer to have bigger dinners in the evenings.

I really like the full stomach feeling last thing at night. Although not really last thing at night as I can’t sleep on a full stomach, but within a few hours and I’m good.

I just need to make sure that if I eat more for dinner that it’s good food and not my normal dinners and then some junk thrown in for the extra calories. That’s how I got a 36 inch waist and I’m not having that again!

Anyway. It’s the weekend and what better way to celebrate losing so much body fat? Drink rum and play computer games.

Bang on!

Until next time…


Weightlifting after a day of lifting and carrying hundreds of boxes.

One thing I didn’t think about or plan for when starting this delivery driver job 6 months ago?

How fucked I’d be by the end of each working day.

Lifting, moving and walking with 250-400+ boxes varying in weight from 1kg to 40kg throughout the day really takes its toll on you in ways you can’t imagine.

Each day starts pretty manic. You get in to work, lift, move and carry loads of boxes loading them on to your van.

Then you go off and deliver them throughout the day, again lifting and carrying them.

Then you get to the end of the day, often 10hrs later and you have to do a load of collections, again, carrying and moving loads of boxes.

Finally you arrive back at your depot and you have to unload all of your collections put of your van.

Holy shit I’ve been smacked some nights.

And the thought of weightlifting in the evenings has completely left my mind.

I’ve not done a proper weightlifting session for many months and the obvious signs are there.

My strength has dropped no doubt, but by how much I don’t know exactly.

I’ve just done 3 sets of 5 rep deadlifts at 80kg, 90kg and 100kg.

The 100kg was pretty taxing and I’ll pay for tomorrow no doubt.

I know I’ve lost weight as my waist is a lot slimmer than it was months ago, but I don’t know my exact weight or measurements any more.

I think I’m probably down to around 67-68kg or less and I reckon my waist must be below 32 inches or there abouts now.

I’m going to have a weigh in and measure tomorrow morning and see where I’m at properly.

Not that I want to know the details any more, I’m really not bothered by measurements and stats, I just like to time lift when it suits me (obviously not a lot lately lol) and eat healthy enough to live the life I want to, stats don’t make a difference to any of that.

But still, I am a little inquisitive to know what I weigh and what measurement my waist is lol.

Until next time…


Turning 40. Is it a defining moment?

So yesterday I finally turned 40.

Not that I’ve been waiting to turn 40. You know,  just sat at home in a chair watching the world go by and now I’m 40 I can finally be free to go out into the world.

But that’s what it had felt like with many peoples responses to me turning 40.

This past week everyone that knew I was turning 40 wanted to know what I was doing to celebrate, was I doing something extra special, because you know 40 is a big thing.

Is it?

I didn’t think it was. And still don’t, but others seem to think the opposite.

I get excited and happy about things. But celebrating my birth and the 40th anniversary of it. Not so much.

I get excited about the end of each year. What I’ve experienced, learnt etc. And I enjoy looking back on the year and then forward to the next.

But getting excited about the anniversary of my birth. Again, not so much.

Sure I enjoy receiving gifts. As anyone might.

Sure I enjoy eating special birthday foods. As anyone might.

And sure, I enjoy receiving attention from people. As anyone might.

But I don’t feel like it’s that much of a special day.

Especially reaching a certain age.

It feels the same as any other age.

Even reading about other people’s experiences of reaching 40. I still don’t feel any different about it.

Age is just a number.

Cliche I know.

But there is more to it.

For me, anyway.

I’ve never been a trend setter.

I’ve never been first to the party.

I’ve always let others go first.

But as I’ve gotten older. I’ve started to catch up.

Perhaps turning 40 will mean I will be a trend setter. Perhaps I will be first to the party.

Perhaps I will go first for once.



I’ve always done things differently to others.

I watch. I read. I listen. I learn.

I assimilate what makes others happy and I do my own thing, my own way that makes me happy.

Watching others. Reading about others. Listening to others. Learning from others.

I won’t lie, it has been lonely at times.

But that’s because I’ve wanted it to be.

I don’t do large crowds. I don’t do large circles of people I don’t really know.

I do small intimate circles of people who I allow into my world.

I allow them to share their world with me.

Some people don’t understand that, some people don’t accept that.

Others do and we share each other’s worlds.

It might only be a fleeting moment in each of our lifetimes.

It might be every day of our lifetimes.

It might start unexpectedly and end even more so.

It might start meaningfully and also end so.

Turning 40 has made me accept the interludes of loneliness.

Turning 40 has made me realise that the loneliness has allowed me to learn who I really am.

For a long time I was scared of the loneliness.

I allowed it to consume me for long periods of my life.

But without knowing it, I was still watching. Still reading. Still listening and as it turns out, still learning.

Perhaps I’m not so different after all.

Perhaps I’m talking shit.

Either way.

Turning 40 is just a number.

But it is a number that has allowed me to become who I am today.

Turning 40 isn’t defining. But my life until 40 has been defining.

I wonder what the next 40 will bring.

Until next time…


Weightlifting at last! 

Finally managed to finish work early enough to be home for 5pm and I got some weightlifting in, finally! 

Was really excited for some reason lol. Felt like it was Christmas.

Until I got under the bar. 

I decided to start with some 5 rep sets of squats.

I’ll stick with 2.5kg over bodyweight to start with I thought. So I plonked 72.5kg on the bar and holy moly did it feel heavy.

5th rep I was straining, I could feel the veins in my head bulging lol. 

2nd set was strangely easier and 3rd set felt pretty good too.

Guess I just needed to greese the cogs as it were. 

I wanted to do more but thought better of it, we’ll see how my body feels over the next few days lol.

Also did some bent over rows, as I don’t feel I can do any deadlifting until I’m properly back into it. And I stuck with 46.5kg on the bar for 3 sets of 8 for those.

Then I did a 10 rep set of chin ups and finished off with some side raises, because I could lol. 

I’m going to work on a plan this week for the coming few months. And this time I think I’ll put down 15 exercises that I want to do through the week and then when I get home from delivery driving, I can pick a few exercises from the list, according to how tired I am. 

That’s the plan anyway, it working is another thing, we’ll see how my body reacts this week.

Until next time, 


Wednesday musings

I made the decision to wake up an hour after my partner this morning.

She got up at 6 am to go for a run on the treadmill. And I decided that even though I don’t have a job, I should start waking up at the time I probably will once I do.

Create a routine an all.

So I was awake at 7 am and up and ready for the day by 8 am. Which was the earliest for a few weeks.

I decided to hit some household choirs head on as I’d been putting the off for a week.

The main choir being cleaning the oven.

That took me most of the morning. We use it a lot as we like to cook proper foods and we rarely eat ready meals.

We both need to get into the habit of giving it a more regular wipe down.

Then I did the hoovering and felt some weird sense of accomplishment at the house having a clean floor.

Had some lunch and then arranged another job interview for tomorrow. This time with a local delivery company, so fingers crossed that turns out positive as I’d prefer to work locally.

Now I’m spending a few hours this afternoon reading. One thing I read that stuck out for me was this… 2 Mental Shifts.

I’ve always worked for the business I work at and not just for myself. From memory, I’ve always been one of the first people to take on more work when needed. To stay later/work extra days if needed or even help others with their tasks when not asked if I can see they’re running late or could just do with a hand.

Not because I enjoy being praised, but because I know that everything that everyone does or doesn’t do, effects the company. And ultimately as an employee it’s in my interest that everyone in the company and the actual company it self, does well.

Without a doubt looking at a lot of people that are unhappy in their job, one of the main reasons is that they don’t go that extra mile for the company or their fellow worker. They do it for praise and/or a promotion/raise.

I couldn’t care less about gaining promotions or praise. Sure I like to be told every now and again that I’ve done a good job. But I’m an adult, I know I’ve done a good job when the job has been completed as required and because I’ve done it.

If I’ve been asked to do a job, I’ll do it as best I can, as quick as time allows and I’ll go the extra mile if needed without being asked. Because I like to do a good job. Not because I want to please my bosses, I’ve generally worked in customer facing roles so the only people that need pleasing are customers.

From experience, I know this gives me browny points with bosses or puts me in their good books and sure I’ve used this in the past too and been able to get days off at short notice or more favourable jobs rather than a mundane task.

But that is never the reason I do a good job. I do a good job because I enjoy doing a good job and want a customer to have a good experience of the company they are dealing with. Why bother doing something if you’re not going to do it to the best of your abilities?

Huh. Wednesday musings turned into something else. That’s enough of that.

Time for some more activity me thinks, bodyweight only, 3 rounds of push ups, squats and chin ups is good enough right now.

Until next time…


Basic bodyweight exercises and treading water.

It’s been a weird few days off work for me. After possibly one of the best work weeks sleep wise, I got to the end of the week feeling great mentally and physically, the 1-2hrs extra sleep I’ve been getting each day this week definitely helped my moods towards the end of the week.

For most of this year by the end of the work week, I would start to feel a little demotivated and really not want to do anything on my days off, other than sleep and relax.

But this week even though mentally I felt great by the end of it, I just felt like not doing anything on my days off. Well, apart from playing poota games lol.

I did a few rounds of some bodyweight exercises yesterday, and today I did a 15-20 minute brisk walk on the treadmill with my 18kg weights vest on, for a bit of conditioning. I think I’m going to run next time as the brisk walk didn’t really get me out of breath.

Strangely I didn’t feel like doing any weight lifting on my days off, even though I was looking forward to doing some at the beginning of the week.

And today I had a good think about a few things in my life right now and I realised that it feels a little like I’m treading water at the moment.

Not moving on from a job I thought I was leaving and also not moving towards my financial goals, has meant that basically, I’ll be standing still for the next few months.

I like to feel that I’m always working towards something, but now that I’m staying in my current job for a few months, it doesn’t feel like I’m working towards anything particular, which I guess is true.

I need to find a few small things to work towards over the next few months to keep my motivation levels up, and they’ll probably be fitness and sleep related, as that’s about as much as I can plan for at the moment.

I think a few more weeks of getting more sleep during the day time should start to have a more positive effect on my daily moods, and I think I’ll set some conditioning goals as I know what I want to do weightlifting wise.

Anyhoo, enough of that, it’s zombie watching time.

Until next time…



Down Memory Lane: Teenage Drug Use, Youth Detention Centers and More Drug Use.

So I’ve decided to open up a bit on the blog/diary and recall some of my life that I’ve kept to myself, aside from some very close loved one’s, no one else know’s about these parts of my life, but I now feel the need to write them down.

If people read them, then so be it, but my desire to recall them in writing is for me to see with my own eyes and process my past visually. I might end up deleting them in the future, but that’s another day.

To kick memory lane off, I’m going to start with my teenage drug abuse. Please be aware that this is a very long post, what’s called long form on the interweb these days, so if you’re going to read it, get comfy and get a pillow, I might send you to sleep.

I’ll start off by saying I’ve never taken what are termed hard drugs, that being heroine or cocaine, although I have taken a few puffs on a cocaine joint, but that is my only hard drug tasting.

I have been around people and dealers who have taken and sold hard drugs in large quantities, but I’ve never taken any hard drugs myself.

Now soft drugs, or what I call soft drugs, I did take and for several years in the case of LSD and Ecstasy pills and probably for over a decade and a half I smoked cannabis. During my teenage years and in my twenties too.

The ages I mention are vaguely what I remember, but could be off by a few years here and there because of the persistent cannabis use, I think my long term memory isn’t what it should be.

Anyway, here we go…..

I think I was about 12 or 13 when I first smelt the smell. The earthy, spicey funky smell of what I now know as cannabis that lingered in my home living room.

I had smelt it in the house before but never really paid attention to it, but then this day it was particularly strong and I remember wondering what it was as I came home from school through the front door.

As I walked into the living room my mother and I think my step brother were quickly putting away rizla packets and clear bags of green and brown ‘stuff’.

I didn’t ask what it was as I knew, although having never actually seen any that close before, I’d seen pictures in magazines that friends had had at school. I just ignored it, said hi and went up to my room.

I sat on my bed for a minute and thought to myself ‘huh, my family smokes weed” … “cool!”

Whilst I had two parents, both a mother and a step-father (I never knew or met my real father before he passed away when I was 21 – another post for another day!), it was mainly my mothers influence that I took to heart. And she generally had a laid back approach, what will be will be kind of thing.

Sometimes now I wish she had pushed me to pursue certain things when I was younger, like a sporting career, but then I wouldn’t be where I am or know the people that I do now most likely, so it is what it is – see, that’s her influence right there!

Anyway, a few months went by and I found out where the hiding place was for her or my brothers stash and starting stealing bits here and there. But I had nothing to smoke it with tobacco wise, so I had to steal an odd cigarette here and there too, but this was more difficult as neither of them were ever without their tobacco close to them.

It wasn’t until I was probably 14/15 that I actually started smoking cigarettes. Until then I had simply used the tobacco I could get every now and then from them for the joints I rolled. I suppose I could’ve got some somewhere else if I really tried, but it never occurred to me to do so.

Fuck knows why but for some reason I started smoking a brand of cigarettes called Camel too. Really strong and nasty on the throat they were, but perhaps because I had been smoking cannabis for a while they weren’t has bad as they should’ve been.

Anyway, I was a casual smoker of cigarettes around friends, trying to be cool and all that and none of them knew I smoked cannabis as I rarely did it and when I did it was on my own down the park etc.

It wasn’t until probably just before my 16th birthday that some of my friends started talking about smoking or trying cannabis and the conversation came up one day down the park. I was asked if I’d try it and when I openly said that I’d been smoking it on and off for a few years already, I was almost instantly the coolest kid in our group.

They all started asking questions, like where’d I get it, how long had I smoked for, how much did I smoke, what kind did I smoke etc.

I didn’t like it to be honest. I’ve never been an attention seeker and didn’t enjoy when any group of people focused me, especially when I was stoned.

I tried to laugh it off and said I didn’t really enjoy it and wasn’t going to continue smoking it any more.

Thankfully no-one pushed me any further on where I got my cannabis from, as I started to really worry that I’d blurt out that I stole it from my mother and then the next time she or they saw each other when we were together, someone would mention it and that’d be me done for.

The truth was that actually I loved smoking the weed.

The whole preparation of rolling a joint, making it nice and smooth and cylindrical and then the first few puffs, the feeling of the smoke sliding down my throat, the warm fuzzy feeling in my lungs and then the cannabis hit on my brain.

If you’ve smoked weed and enjoyed it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t then I honestly recommend trying it, it’s not an evil drug, it doesn’t make you do anything other than become relaxed and grounded.

I loved the feeling of relaxation, my whole body would feel light, airy and just amazing. I loved the feeling of not thinking about anything other than what was happening to my body and the sounds and colours all around me, it really was an amazing feeling and one that I quickly got addicted to.

And when I say addicted. I don’t mean like smoking a joint or six every single day. But that when I’d get time on my own, or wanted to get away from things I would smoke a joint and that was me sorted.

Things took a turn for the worse soon after this though. I stopped smoking it regularly. Mainly because my mother had moved her stash and I couldn’t find it anymore, but then things changed with my friends and my irregular smoking.

Or should I say ‘who’ I was friends with.

For one reason or another (that I still can’t work out why to this day) I made friends with a few lads who were a little on the brash and rude side shall we say. They lived in one of the rough parts of the town and had already been to juvenile prison a few times for various offences ranging from car theft to drug selling.

I never got into car theft, ever, but I did get into drug selling a few years down the line. Before that though I was slowly but surely moving down a slippery slope.

I had started smoking a lot, every day. Mainly because I was around these lads a lot. But then I started stealing from cars. Stereo’s, personal possessions left in them etc. And would sell them for money to buy weed from these lads other friends.

It wasn’t very long, barely a few months really. Things had moved fast, but for what ever reason, something inside of me wanted out. I no longer wanted to be friends with these lads or their friends and so started to spend more time with my other friends whom were pretty straight laced in comparison.

During the summer holidays of my 16th year, myself and two of these friends were playing football in my back garden. The house was empty and it was just us. I had been telling them what I had been up to with the other lads I made friends with and I began to feel like the top dog of this little group.

Like I said, these two friends were pretty straight laced, they didn’t really get into trouble and they definitely didn’t do drugs.

And that was my down fall. Because my ego took over me, I started to tell them some stories of what I had gotten up to the previous few months. We continued to play football in the back garden and then all of a sudden our ball went over the wall and into a builders yard that was next to my house.

From that moment on until about 6 months later, my life was a blur. Something had taken over me, if only for a few seconds, but those few seconds changed my life.

In that split second I felt top dog, I felt confident and strong and so lead the way. I jumped over the wall, like I’d never done before. Instead waiting until the builders yard had opened during the week and gone round to ask for my ball back.

When I landed on the otherside of the wall, my adrenaline was pumping. I encouraged the two friends to jump over with me and then we explored this new land.

It wasn’t a very big builders yard but it had a big office block. So we all peared in through the windows and my adrenaline filled young mind said “let’s smash a window and break in”.

A few hours later we were sat on some office chairs, having completely turned the place upside down, trashing desks, computers, printers etc. All in the name of entertainment.

It started to get dark outside and we all left and then climbed back over my garden wall and the two friends left. I went up to my room feeling like some lion king or top cockerel. Who had just showed some young lads what it was like to be the cool kid.

Yeah, adrenaline and youth stupidity don’t mix well.

The next morning arrived and my same two friends came round once the family had left and for whatever reason we decided to go back over the wall and into the office again.

Obviously this was the best idea ever and so full of adrenaline and youthful stupidity we did.

It was only a few minutes of us being in the office again, when one of us turned around to walk out of a door and a man was standing there with a cricket bat, and I’ve never forgotten what he said to this day.

“Any of you little shits move and I’ll fucking smack the shit out of you”.

Of course we thought about running, but he was a big guy and he had a cricket bat and was blocking our only exit. My mind was racing, fuck, we’re fucking done for here, but we can push past him and make a run for it.

As I was literally getting ready to make a run at him, I saw two police officers coming up the stairs behind him, and that was that.

We were arrested and put in hand cuffs. As we were taken to a police car outside two of my other friends from the more street wise group walked past on the other side of the road. I remember very vividly what they said when I made eye contact with them…

“Nice one Mikey, you’ll be the talk of the street now!”


Yeah fucking great I thought. Just what I wanted.

But that was the last thing on my mind. From that moment until I got to the court house a few weeks later, everything was a blur.

I can remember the youth lawyer that I was allocated said to me that I should be alright because I was under 16 when I committed the offence.

Yeah, famous last words.

From expecting a slap on the wrist, a suspended prison sentence at most, to hearing the judge blurt out the words “Mr Michael J S*******”, I hear by sentence you to 12 months in a youth detention center”.

Holy fucking shit.

Those were the exact words I uttered when I looked over at the lawyer. The judge warned me for swearing, but I didn’t care, what was worse then getting a prison sentence?

My lawyers face was as full of surprise as I was.

What the actual fuck.

And that was it. The next thing I knew I was in a transport van being taking somewhere.

We arrived after what seemed like hours of driving and I saw day light and my home for what I thought would be the next 12 months.

I was stunned. Silent, cold and shitting myself because what I saw next made me feel like I had never felt before or ever since.

What was supposed to be a youth detention center, was that, but too it was a fucking adult prison.

The youth detention center was just a wing of a full blown adult fucking prison.

Oh fuck me, fuck me, fuck me.

Those were the exact words going through my head as I was walked in to the main holding area for new prisoners, I was confronted with full blown adults looking at me like what I can only describe as a fresh piece of meat.

I felt small, child like and as if my life was over.

One of my friends had also been sentenced the same as me, the other was lucky enough to be too young to even be considered for the court room, lucky for him.

My other friend had been quieter than me the whole drive to the prison and during our strip search, our reclothing in lovely prison wear and our walk past the adult wings to our so called youth wing and eventually to our prison cells.

My head was pointed to the floor the whole time, I didn’t make eye contact with anybody unless I was told to.

I had heard so called prison stories from the street wise group of lads I made friends with, and I didn’t like them and here I was actually living one of those stories.

Fuck me, fuck me.

If things had been a blur up until this point, then they had become a full on blindfold and I only recall glimpses of what happened after this until a few years later when I finally snapped out of my nightmare.

I wasn’t in prison that long, but after being released, it took me a while to find my real self once again.

Anyway. A few days had passed in the so called youth detention center, which I call prison from now as that’s what it was.

I was let out of my cell one morning and told to go get a shower and breakfast. I hadn’t spoken to my friend in the cell two away from me as he had withdrawn himself and literally didn’t come out of his cell for anything other than food.

I could hear him sobbing like the teenager he was some nights, and after a few hours one of the older youths would shout at him to shut the fuck up or else.

Which he of course did, because some of these so call youths, didn’t look like youths. I never got to know their ages, but they seemed older than teenagers.

It had hit my friend a lot harder than me I think. I don’t recall actually speaking to him for the whole time I was in prison. I do recall being told by one of the wardens that he was on special watch because he was so quiet and never left his cell.

Nothing came of that, but I did think he might do something stupid as he literally never left his cell.

Within a week of being in prison, I had been befriended by a lad who I nicknamed ‘Titch”. Which was quite funny for me seeing as though we were both small.

Anyway, I say I befriended him, but in reality he had forced his ‘friendship’ on me. He approached me one morning recreation break when we had just been let out of our cells for an hour or so (22.5hrs in a cell pretty much) and he announced that if I wanted an easy life, that we should be friends and he’d see to it that I was left alone.

Sure, no problem at all mate. Those were the exact words I said, because as he looked at me and said that, he also looked over to two of the biggest teenagers I have seen to this day. They looked like they had been lifting weights for years and looked like they were in their for a while.

I’m not in anyway exaggerating this, but I really did become suspicious of these two, because I’m not brain dead and I could see that these two were definitely not teenagers.

How the fuck they were allowed in to the youth section I don’t know, but out of all the not looking like teenager type guys in this section, these two stood out like sore thumbs.

Anyway. I said to Titch, what do you have in mind. And his response still makes me laugh to this day.

“Just sort me and the boys out with some sugar and biscuits and you’ll be good”.

Quick as lighting, I was like, sure, what ever you want, it’s yours Titch.

My mind was racing. I was like, what the fuck. Here’s me thinking of all the stories of being made the sex doll of several men. Of being forced to perform various sexual acts that my street wise friends had supposedly told me had happened to some of their friends.

And yet here was this guy, the ever so scary but likeable guy I called Titch, saying sort me out with some sugar and fucking biscuits and you’ll be good.

Seriously, I was like, am I just being softened up for the hard shit later on, or what.

Anyway. We were given a weekly cash allowance from the prison to buy ourselves things like sugar, tea bags, toiletries etc.

It turns out that in this youth section, and possibly in the adult section, that these purchases were often used to swap for various favours.

My allowance was obviously used to appease this Titch guy. Fuck was I going to piss anyone off, I wanted an easy life and would do what I was told to get it.

I had often laid at night wondering when the day would come that I would get approached or held against my will in the showers etc and told I was going to be someone’s sex bitch. Alas, it never happened.

And as far as I can remember and I’ve sat many a time in the past trying to get my brain to remember the exact events of this period, nothing ever happened to me like that, thankfully.

I was forced into doing a few favours of buying things for people that could’ve turned violent, but I relented and for a while my whole weekly allowance was used to buy several guys toiletries that I needed, but did without as I had the desire to keep my limbs unbroken and punctured rather than being able to use toothpaste or eat some chocolate biscuits!

Several months had gone by and I received a visit from my youth lawyer. She had apparently tried to get in earlier to see me but was refused for some reason or another. She was extremely apologetic, to the point of honestly coming across that she couldn’t be as more surprised at the sentencing than I was.

She said that she was trying as hard as she could to get my sentenced at least reduced if not squashed completely. She had found out that the judge I was supposed to have had had taken ill or something and that I had been given a notoriously hard judge who often came down hard on youths.

Fantastic. Just what I wanted to cheer me up.

She said she’d be back in touch asap but that I should prepare for being in prison for Christmas.

I seem to remember it being sometime in November when I saw her next. This though is as hazy as it gets because I don’t recall exactly how long I was in for, I think it was 3 or 4 months, but it could have been less or even more.

Either way I remember our prison wing being decorated with Christmas decorations or should I say a Christmas tree and one line of tinsle or something like that and then I saw my lawyer again and this time she said I had been given a court hearing for me to attend.

I honestly thought that I would be in there for Christmas, but that I would be out earlier than my original sentence.

Again this part is really hazy, but I recall saying good bye to Titch and his two larger than normal teenage friends and they were actually pretty friendly and wished me well in getting my sentence reduced, my friend though I don’t recall seeing, I seem to remember him being moved to another cell and seeing him even less than I had before.

Perhaps he got out before me and had his sentenced squashed or reduced, I’ll never know because I never saw him again after this.

I arrived at the court and all I can remember is a massive sense of relief. My emotions were all over the place, I was like a kid at Christmas looking at their presents under the tree, I looked around at the outside world, thinking to myself I so want to see all this again every day, I really hope I don’t go back to prison.

I had prepared myself for only getting a reduction in my sentence and going back to the prison, but after the judge uttered the words “You’ve served your time and are being released, I hope you’ve learnt a valuable lesson” I honestly don’t remember what I said, who I said it to or even who I saw on the way out of the court.

I do remember being happy as fuck, obviously. I had a light head and felt like I was the luckiest guy on earth.

I was given a clear plastic bag with my belongings in, with the words HM Prison Service or something like that written in big blue letters on it. Giving away the fact to every one I passed in the street what I was.

I do remember not giving a shit. For a few minutes I felt really confident and like the bag was a badge of honour. But this didn’t last long and I soon started to feel shy and wanting to just be at home and alone.

From that moment on I don’t recall what happened next. I have a vague memory of being at home sat on a bean bag with my mum and her partner in the room, all of us being really happy and smiling that I was home.

That was nice and is probably a fitting last memory from that period of my life, because I can honestly look back on it now with a smile on my face knowing that I came through it a better person and more importantly a different person. Because there was no way I was going back to a prison again, something had to change, but it didn’t happen too quickly.

My life didn’t get immediately better after this and for the few years afterwards I kept a circle of friends similar to that before going to prison.

These friends though were not into the harder criminal life of stealing and selling stolen goods, but just wanted to take and sell drugs and have a good time at parties. Pretty tame compared to the previous bunch.

I don’t recall exact time frames and dates but I do recall my mother changing partners to my distaste and then me going off the rails a little and being forced out of home and having to sleep on the floor of a friends for a few months.

I then found a new circle of friends who were really into drugs and parties and thus begun the next stage of my drug taking life, one where I got arrested yet again.

As I said, I slummed it on my friends floor/couch for a few months and then one day when buying some weed from one of his dealers at the time, we were asked if we had enough money to start buying in bulk and becoming dealers ourselves.

I was on the fence about it. I didn’t want to go back to prison obviously, but at the same time it was one of the few options open to me at the time of making some decent money.

I hadn’t the skills or desire to find a proper paying job and so reluctantly I agreed to get some money together and together with my friend we started buying weed wholesale from his dealer and selling it on to our friends.

It was as easy and uncomplicated as that. I knew that I wanted to just stick with weed and that if offered anything harder I would decline it, but thankfully we were never asked to sell anything harder nor were we dealers for very long.

I think we were actual dealers for only a few months. Not because we didn’t sell anything, because we sold a lot, but we also smoked a lot too. In fact I remember one day looking at our batch of weed that we’d had for a week and it was over half gone and we’d only sold a few bags.

We spent the next week approaching everyone we knew to sell the rest just to make sure that by the end of the 2nd week when the payment was due on this batch that we had enough money to pay the head dealer.

It was probably the wake up call I needed because after we had paid the head dealer I told my friend that was it and I wasn’t going to sell weed anymore. He was reluctant to stop at first, but I persuaded him otherwise and thankfully our head dealer was happy enough too, he did try and persuade us otherwise, but wasn’t the type to get physical and so his persuasion wasn’t particularly heavy.

After this we ended up moving in to a shared house and we shared it with a couple of other guys, with the landlord living in what I called the granny annex, all of us were drug takers and liked music, we all started just smoking weed but it progressed to taking LSD and Ecstasy regularly as we all liked to party, but other than that it was all pretty tame.

As it turned out, the landlord was a dealer and often had access to some new and exciting strains of weed and we would often be the guinea pigs for some colourful and potent new strain fresh from a far off land.

One thing led to another and I was persuaded to grow a few plants, but stupidly I had put one plant in the window of my bedroom as it got the sun all day and this amongst other things got us raided by the police.

From memory they had been watching the landlord for a while and were tipped off by a local resident of the comings and goings at his house, the police had put a watch on the house and amongst other things, the big green plant in my window (no idea how it got so big, pure luck) had given them enough evidence to raid the house one evening.

It was a pretty surprising visit from the police, but a mellow one as we were all stoned out of our heads that night.

We were all smoking and joking in the living room when the front door was suddenly booted in and police offers swarmed in shouting for us all to get down on the ground.

Of course being stoned out of our heads, we did exactly that and pretty much all to the letter said “oh man, what a bummer”. We’d been smoking a particularly strong strain from Holland and I remember it being purple and very sticky, lovely stuff to smell and smoke it was.

It turned out that they were really only after the landlord as he was the dealer and they’d had their eye on him for a few years apparently. Myself and the other guys got off with cautions, to which I was more thankful for than the others, for obvious reasons.

After this, the next few years are hazy again, which is most likely due to the amount of weed I had been smoking over the years, but I seemed to get bored of smoking weed and had grown apart from this new batch of friends.

I remember deciding to gain some basic computer skills and had enrolled in a back to work type scheme that was shown to me by someone at the local job center.

I remember really getting into it and thinking that this was my chance to get some proper skills and get away from my previous life.

I successfully completed the course and I gained my first full time job through it and then enrolled in another course and gained an NVQ Level 2 in IT and also one in Customer Service, to which I’m still pretty proud of to this day.

The reason that I’m proud of gaining those two qualifications is that I was sent to prison the year of what was supposed to be my GCSE’s. And before being imprisoned I remember taking my mock GCSE’s the months before and had been given pretty good grades for a number of subjects.

English and maths were definitely two subjects I remember being given high grades for but the others I can’t remember. I do remember being told in middle school when I was leaving for upper school at the age of 13 that I was at the top of my class for French and German and that when I joined upper school if I got my head down I could get into the top classes for English and Maths too, having been in the 2nd top classes during middle school.

Alas, various things happened and all that went out of the window!

Anyway, that’s about as much as I need to write for this memory lane post. I gained my NVQ’s whilst employed in my first full-time job. Where I also met my current partner of 18.5 yrs and within a year of that I met a guy who introduced me to health and fitness and the rest as they say is history from that point of view.

I supposed I could’ve broken this post up into two or three posts, but I got into a rhythm writing it this morning after my run on the treadmill that I just went with it and finished it off after starting and writing a few paragraphs the other day.

Reading back over this post as I have done a few times whilst writing it, I recall bits of my past with almost picture like quality and yet other parts are like they never happened and I recall nothing but yet know that it happened because I remember bits before and after it.

It took me until very recently to admit that smoking weed has probably affected my memory for the worse and although my experience has taught me that there is nothing to fear from smoking weed and that it poses literally very little to no threat to society when compared to alcohol and other drugs, it’s use must be monitored and kept to a minimum to not have a negative effect on the person and people it is used by.

I know that the harder drugs like LSD and Ecstasy are the one’s that can do serious damage and may actually be the things that are responsible for my supposed memory loss, but again, if used in a safe environment and to irregular use, even these drugs are not dangerous to our society or the people who use them.

But then we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t do things to ourselves that effect society in a negative way and this is the issue with our world at the moment and one that the mass media and governments take issue with and therefore the reasons for the illegality of all drugs.

And from someone who has personal experience of a lot of drugs I can honestly say that if all drugs were legal and used in a responsible way, there would be far far less deaths and harm done from them and society would be that much better off.

But then like a lot of things, every day people would be making honest money from them rather than corporations and the governments. And we couldn’t have a functioning society without that could we.

Oops, there’s the obvious drug fueled paranoia creeping back in again, guess I should keep off the drugs, oh wait. Yup it’s been nearly 5 years since I last smoked weed and that was literally the last illegal drug I took.

I think when we went to Denmark to harvest Christmas Tree’s for a season I probably smoked a little too much more weed than I should have as I got addicted to the feeling again for a few months, but then my health and fitness bug took over and I stopped once and for all.

Well I say once and for all, I’d probably dabble for a night if I was offered, but I wouldn’t go back to smoking weed regularly again.

Being quite an introspective person even before I smoked weed, I know that once I get addicted to something it’s hard to kick the habit, like a lot of negative things I guess.

I used to love the whole process of making a spliff full of weed and the feeling afterwards, but that feeling dulls once you smoke it regularly enough and you need more and more to feel the same level of high and it just gets more and more until eventually you either have to smoke it irregularly to get that feeling again or stop completely like I did.

I know one or two people still who smoke it every other weekend, but I think because of my past I can’t do that. If I had regular access to it again I’d probably start smoking it regularly again and that doesn’t fit with the lifestyle I now know makes me the happiest.

For sure I was happy smoking weed regularly, who wouldn’t be. That feeling of relaxation, being at ease with yourself and with the world.

But for me the regular use brought my laziness out in a big way, I would regularly go weeks without seeing anyone if I didn’t have to, I would eat shit every day because I wasn’t hungry for proper meals just grazing on crap all day and I wouldn’t exercise for obvious reasons like I was too relaxed and stoned too.

So that’s not the life for me anymore and I feel better for it, if that’s the right word. Perhaps not, perhaps different and happier are the right words.

I’m not better than I used to be, because I smoked weed because I wanted to and because I enjoyed it, so there’s nothing wrong with doing something because it makes you happy. But I’m definitely a completely and totally different person now than when I was smoking weed.

My levels of confidence, self esteem and respect for my body are almost a complete 180 to what they used to be. I’m more confident in interacting with all kinds of people these days too.

Sure I find myself still being a recluse at times, maybe because I’m so at ease with my own company unlike a lot of people and I find a lot of pleasure in knowing myself at a deeper level again unlike a lot of people do.

But I’m finding more lately that perhaps because I do know myself better than other people know themselves, that I’m more comfortable saying pretty much anything to anyone, even if it offends them.

I mean it’s only my opinion based on my life experiences, why shouldn’t I say what I think. I might have a view of something based on my life experiences, but that doesn’t mean I’m stuck in that thought process and will continue to think that way forever.

If my life so far has taught me anything, it’s that my current thoughts are just that, current. They’ve been shaped by the past but are influenced by my future. Meaning that whilst they are what they are right now, it’s due to my past experience. But because of the future, they are changeable because obviously the future is yet to be experienced.

Fuck that’s deep, I’m pretty sure I’m not stoned right now. Shit imagine the stuff I could’ve written down when I was stoned years ago. Would I have even got off my arse to open poota and actually write anything though? haha

So that’s enough of that for today. A post that was mind expanding for me and possibly sleep inducing for anyone who read it, has anyone actually read this? haha. Hey ho, this was for me as is most of this blog, I get pleasure from writing my own thoughts down and don’t think I’m mentally able to help others through writing as I’m too self absorbed, but hey you never know.

Saying that, if anyone has anything to share from reading this, do say something, I appreciate all comments, good or bad, it’s only your opinion after all.

Until next time…