Word of the day: goofball. 

You know when you watch a scary film and you have to move with the light on, turning one on in the next room, before turning he one off in the current room, you’re a bit jumpy… no, is that just this goofball then..? Well, as I’ve been going up to bed, I’ve been using a flashlight for ‘guidance’ (an olight baton s20 if anyone is interested, it’s a good light 🍻) with some sort of odd backwards shimmy type affair up the stairs, no idea why, I’m guessing it has something to do with someone creeping up behind me, but I’ve already locked up the doors and re-checked them… I guess my mind is just trying to play ricks on me. I did do the old, I’m staying up late so I don’t have to go to sleep routine again last night, that needs to stop. 

I had been thinking about taking my daughter camping, just the two of us, just one night and only somewhere local. I was thinking this before last Monday, today would have been one of my rest days anyway. But I’m not sure how I feel about it now in all honesty, being out in the middle of nowhere, effectively, on our own, I don’t know how to describe I feel about it. I know I am happy sat in my house, maybe somewhere small with a few people? I know that big places that are full make me feel a bit funny! But an empty, unfamiliar place with no one around… used to sound like bliss to me, now I’m not so sure..? 
Anyway, I woke up a couple of times, I only remember two, so that’s a bit better, when I woke up, I switched my phone on and did the old checking on what’s happened over night and just laid in bed, my little girl was up and she sneaked in and came to lay on the bed next to me, we chatted to see what she wanted to do for the day. Looks like we are going for a walk. We did go for a walk, my daughter with her scooter, it was nothing special, but it was special. 

The rest of the day has just been… meh… good old meh!

Media Schmedia….

I went to bed pretty early last night, I was shattered, as soon as I put my head on the pillow and closed my eyes, I was running up those stairs agains, the sites, smells and sounds were all there. I must have eventually dropped off… but not for long, I awoke sweating and had been dreaming again, another sea related one, don’t know if that is a coincidence… I do like the see though 😉. The sea was rising around me and I was just climbing higher up the hill/rock face type affair. Before I went to bed, my parents popped round, they had a card for me, a card from a complete stranger, well to me anyway, a person that I have never met, wanted to wish me well and send thanks, it upset me as I was reading it. Then I got to sit with my little girl on my knee, snuggling up, just before she went to bed, luckily she had her back to me really and couldn’t see the tears rolling down my face, me, being so lucky was just going through my mind. 

When I got up in the morning, I went to my daughters bedroom and opened the door, she was sat up reading, with a DVD on in the back ground, her big eyes and wayward hair made me smile. 

Nothing like quick browse on the tinterweb and Facebook to wind me up. To see that all the first responders were invited to the station for the opening this morning, was a little upsetting, I didn’t get an invite, is that because I’m not a civil servant and just a whopper..? Then I find myself wanting to comment on people’s posts but bite my tongue…thumbs, or whatever… posts that say that Abedi won’t be buried in greater Manchester, well, having seen him, I know that there isn’t actually that much that could be buried. Another really annoying newspaper story that say that a girl staggered out and fell into the arms of a paramedic… bollocks, absolute bollocks! The girl in question was inside the foyer and the paramedics were not allowed in by the police for quite some time in fear of a second device, my colleague kneeled with her, helped and comforted her until the paramedics could get in and then she was carried out. The media and the facts, the people taking ‘credit’ for things is so frustrating. We got a ‘mention’ of sorts, being part of the railway staff that were first on scene, but we were THE first on scenes, with the BTP officers, it goes on to say that there were walking wounded… no, no there wasn’t, nobody was moving when we got there, it was dark, smokey, quiet! I definitely don’t feel part of it, I feel like we’ve been left out to dry really. May I add, I don’t want a pat on the back, just the truth, why make shit up and fill in the blanks with whatever story..? 

You may well have guessed I’m a bit bitter today. I’ve not really had a good day, don’t know why, just been down, my daughter has made me smile so many times whilst she’s been at home with me, but… I just can’t place it, felt down pretty much all day. Even a surprise bottle of beer that my wife bought for me, although it was nice and greatly appreciated, didn’t lift my spirits. 

I am hoping that I can snap out of it tomorrow, I would like to do something with my daughter, just the two of us, something fun, something that we will both remember and something that will make us both smile, for different reasons. 

Inside the cordon.

It was late when we went to bed, really late… past 12 kind of late… most days I have consciously made an effort to stay up late so I don’t have to sleep and when I do sleep, it isn’t the best… From 0530, I was wide awake, replied to a few messages I’d received in them few hours I was waiting until the alarm that is set for 0630 went off but, I couldn’t wait, I ended up just going down stairs.
I’d had had a few offers of lifts to manchester, but I didn’t really want to put anyone out and I had to try to do it on my own. I’d still not 100% decided on how to get there, do I go double whammy and get the train in…? As I was getting ready, I could hear the trains in the bottom of the valley where they toot the horn for where the pedestrian crossing is, as it was so silent around, it seemed to be louder than usual, so, I decided to just do it…. I drove to Stalybridge station, really early. I had thought about getting one train but ended up being thee so early, I could catch 3 trains prior to the one I came for as I was so apprehensive. Of course, it was delayed, so sitting in the car, rather than standing on the cold windy platform for 25 minutes or so. I got on to the platform and the train was delayed even longer, sort of dragging out the anxiety for me, making it a bit worse, as daft as it sounds, I could feel my heart pounding as I boarded the train. It was full of football fans, ooooh, the football 😂, minding their own business, a little bit of singing, nothing over the top and then just chatting, a few beers and what not, just enjoying themselves, sort of put me at ease… sort of.
I got of the train and walked through the station, which in itself was a bit of a feat that I have accomplished… even if I was practically running through. As soon as I got through the front doors, I immediately slowed my pace.
As I approached the hotel, I could see my mate sat outside. We chatted a bit, small talk, and then got down to the meat and veg of it all. If was good! We eventually moved inside for a coffee, the rest of the ‘team’ arrived and we had a bit of a laugh. It seemed a bit wrong but it seemed right. We went into another room for a briefing, the mood changed instantly. Taxis picked us up and dropped us off at the back of the printworks, we ensured that everyone had arrived and move on as one group. As we walked down, I looked down a side street and saw the top of the bubble like structure of the station, I immediately snapped my eyes front, I didn’t want to see it just yet. We got to the first cordon and were allowed through it. Within moments, a different police officer called for us to stop, the person who was in charge of us approached him and was with him for a number of visits, the only thing that we heard was the officer say ‘no one is allowed in’, well, pretty much everyone heard that, and the group started to murmur, potentially not a good start. As we were stood there, there were a lot of police officers milling around, a few armed, a few GMP and a few BTP, all in a short space of time. It looked like they were moving cars out of the station carpark to be collected by their owners possibly? Anyway, a couple more minutes passed, a little radio chatter and a phone call and we were allowed to proceed. As we walked over the tram tracks, again, I looked right and could see right into the station, a couple of genie lifts, workmen, the light tinkering of tools, all was good…ish. We got round the corner and there was a police van half blocking the road, another line of police tape and an officer waiting for us to sign in, I showed the officer my driving licence, signed in and moved under the tape like the 2012 limbo world champion I am… not! As we were stood next to the little Marks and Spencer’s waiting for the the whole group to go through the same process, we noticed the bells from Manchester Cathedral were ringing, like they were practicing or something..? It added a little serenity to the moment.
Once we had all signed in, there was another chat, making sure that we were all ready to move on with the visit. As I walked down the front of the station, I couldn’t help but think about the last time I walked down this street, well, second to last, I was pulling a stretcher with 3 paramedics whilst they were working on the already dead person, whilst I was staring at their face. As we went through the entrance to the station, the one that became the triage area, overlooked by the big map mural on the wall, I looked right, in that corner was where I spent most of my time with 2 patients, relatives, but took a bit of a turn for the worse whilst there and I felt helpless, even though I knew that I’d done what I could… I still don’t know where they are or how they’re doing. There were cleaners, joiner building a hoarding, scaffolders putting a scaffold up, we stopped as we all got onto the concourse and again, we had a chat, to see how we were and to explain a few things about the building work and where we were free to roam to. At this point, I looked left and slightly upwards to the doors of the arena and…. a police officer that was trying to be respectful and creeping past behind us, tripped over a wooden plant pot… phew, that brought be back down to earth, made me chuckle a bit, he chuckled, a few of us did. I walked over through the ticket gates to the approximate location as to where I was stood on Monday night, I was transfixed really, just there… vacant, but, it is the 29th of May 2017, it is a little after 1000, and whilst 2231, 22/05/17 is going to be there forever, it may be the same place, but now is now, a different time, that time has passed. The two lads I was working with had gravitated to their positions as well, in their own little moments, I know that relived that exact moment again, just before Abedi was to Detonate that IED, laughing and joking…. then I could smell it, I heard it allover again…my heart rate was already elevated. Fighting back the tears. We walked around a little, placed hands on shoulders to provide a little comfort, split up to be on our own, grouped up… almost an hour had passed and our time slot was over, we were all pretty much ready to leave. Everything that I felt coming in to the station, I felt in reverse. We were asked in the morning if we felt scared going back, I can’t say that I felt scared being there, but then again, I don’t think I did on the night… auto pilot, head down and getting amongst it, doing what I could, there was no time for fear.
As we walked out under the inner cordon, waiting for everyone to sign out, we could still hear the bells for the cathedral, couldn’t really believe that it had been a little under an hour that we had been there, it seemed like 5 minutes.
We had the option to go back to the hotel, but pretty much everyone was happy to call it a day…. well, the majority of us went for a beer before making our way home. I walked through the centre of Manchester, up towards Piccadilly station, it was busy, lost of people about, again, I avoided this sort of thing on Friday, it still feel… anxious I’d guess you’d call it. This wasn’t really made any better that I was stood on the platform and the train was delayed and it was filling up, not dust for my train but for the one before and one after, that got me a little bit uncomfortable, so much so I moved away and went onto the adjacent platform to get away from the crowd. When I got in, there was a parcel notification card behind the door, when I looked at it, it was at the neighbours house that we don’t really get on with, they never take parcels for us, various delivery drivers have told us over the years that they’ve flat out refused, anyway, this time they did, which I guess was a little humbling in its self, they’ve probably got no idea of the situation or whatever, just a nice thing to do. I couldn’t be bothered going to get it, not because I couldn’t be bothered…just couldn’t be bothered… if you get what I mean, when management got home, she went and got it for me, it was a massive box, not something that I was expecting, I opened it up and there was a smaller box… could be something I was expecting, wait, it’s heavy, not what I was expecting, I opened it up and it was a bottle of Gin, definitely not what I was expecting, as I looked through the box there was a gift note, a nicely worded message that brought tears to my eyes, it is heartwarming to realise that I have so many family and friends that actually care about me. I pretty much went full retard when my little girl gave me a shortbread lolly pop with ‘best dad ever’ written on it and a bag of marshmallows to boot!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/detonate/”>Detonate</a>

Swimming in rage…

The messages and comments I have had via Facebook have helped and whilst it was the last one that I am going to post on there, the amount of people that have specifically asked if I can carry on doing them, not just for me but for them has been overwhelming to say the least, so here it is a proper blog, how long I will keep it up for, I’m not sure but it is here, and I am keeping it separate from facebook altogether and it takes out the personal feel that has helped me but it has also had the opposite effect, through no body’s fault, just…well….

It was 2030 when I decided to give in and go to bed, I’d had a bad few hours and was feeling a bit down, I didn’t want to just sit on the sofa, I’d got a bag ready for a hike I’d been invited along on and that was it, I knew I was tired, I wanted sleep…. I can remember waking up in the night. I went for a glass of water at one point, but it was at 0845 when I actually wok, looked at the time and realised that I must have needed that, as well as the fact In should have been about 10-15 miles away 15 minutes ago to set off on my hike.
It was a grey and cloudy morning, looked a little we my outside but not torrential downpour kind of wet though…. am I going to get away with wearing my sunglasses today…? I went downstairs and it was time for countryfile and a coffee…had the feeing again where I don’t really want to eat. Sunday is the day my daughter has swimming lessons, I decided that I wanted to go with her, as I normally would on ‘a day off’, we got ready and as we were walking out of the front door, I noticed management had a couple of bags for life under her arm, I asked the simple question ‘are we going shipping after?’ Mainly because I don’t think I wanted to do that just yet. She barked back at me ‘no they live in the car’, well… I’ve you have seen any of the x-men movies, you may know who the character mystique, when she ‘morphs’ into another person, it’s like it does it a square at a time, it’s like dominoes falling actually, anyway, that is exactly what I felt like with the rage coming over me. I get angry, people that know me knows that it takes a lot to flick that switch… this was with the lightning speed of Barry Allen. A walk down the road brought me back down a little. The initial bang of the oak door with 2 panes of glass in was a bit of a shock as well… that was my fault…dick!
I was walking behind my little girl, she was wearing little jeans, a denim jacket, a lilac t-shirt, her favourite colour is purple, she had little converse style, my little pony trainers on and was carrying her swimming bag, she was chunnering on to her mummy, I got thinking how lucky I was, I got thinking how many other daddies had walked behind their little girls once upon a time, thinking the exact same thoughts as me, and will never get the chance to do it again… the rage was gone… guilt set in.
We got to swimming, I made a brew and everything was going ok, then I just had a bit of a, well… flashback I guess you’d call it, I had tears on my cheeks. A few minutes later, there was a young girl, I’d guess that she was 4 years old, she didn’t want her hair brushing after getting out of the pool, she was facing me, looking up at me…and there we have it, it was the same as the little girl stood next to her dead mummy on the floor, within an instant I was stood in the foyer again. The, I assume grandma of this little girl noticed that the little girl was looking at me, she looked between the two of us and said to the girl, ‘look, this man is looking at you and he’s not crying’… well, I was, which was probably a really odd thing to see…
Moments later, the instructor was in the pool and was crying… unbeknown to me, well, apparently I had been told days before, bet I’ve not really been in, even though the lights have been on, that she had two friends that were in that foyer and never left. She knew that I had been there… so then I got thinking, has my being in that room at that time affected her…again, another reason to be upset.
We went home, I sat on the sofa and was staring into space, I was hungry, the first time that I have consciously been hungry and not been given food to eat. I got up and went into the kitchen, I knew there was a pie in the fridge, it was a nice pie, a proper pie, one from the butchers, a nice pork and chorizo one…. I cut it into half ate one, I went back into the kitchen and the other half had gone, as funny as this is now, I went into full on rage mode, I had to go and sit on the bed to calm down a little.
Management had friends that were in the are, so we went and met them with the kids and what not, I was a little quiet but ended up chatting a little… we ended up at a pub… unfortunately 😉 I had my staple ‘Tiger Rut’ brewed down the road from our home, we sat on a bench in the front garden of the place we were… I got a phone call, it was from the station manager at Victoria, he was in the session on Friday, the station will be released from Police custody this evening and before it opens to the public we can go for our visit in the morning…. the sunglasses came down instantly. I know I need to do it, I agreed to do it the other day…. the same day we drove past the flowers at the arena carpark..!
I finished my pint off with the sunglasses on…. ‘what do I wear’ came into my mind… this made me chuckle to myself and also made me sad. All in all, today has been a bad day for me, I am going to have a couple of beers, listen to some music and compose myself tomorrow morning whilst deciding if I am ready to get the train to Piccadilly or to drive and also… what I should wear.

It’s the weekend…

Today is Saturday, it’s forecast heavy rain… I’m looking forwards to it, freshen everywhere up a little, hopefully me as well. With that being said, this WAS going to be my last post like this. The writings that I have done over the past few days were a recommendation on how to cope with it all from a very good friend of mine, a man who I have secretly idolised for many years, anyway, I decided to go one step further and share with the people I know and love, to try and help them understand why I am acting in a certain way or whatever. There are a lot of things that when I come to speak about it… my jaw almost locks up… I know my brain is ready for speaking but I physically can’t… I’ve never felt anything like it. So doing it this way, it makes it easier for me to get it out. It has also helped me in the fact that I have had a constant stream of messages from around the world, literally allover, I woke up at 0730 today but didn’t get out of bed until 0840 as I was reading and replaying to all he messages I had received over night…. that is just amazing! I can’t thank you all enough, even if you haven’t sent a message as you don’t know what to say, which is understandable and pretty much what a lot of people have said, the fact that you’re reading this is enough for me, but on the same ruling, I wouldn’t mind if no one read them! I didn’t expect the response that I have got from all of you! As I said in the first post, these are for me, they have fulfilled what I wanted them to do and I don’t want to carry on posting them at the risk of boring a lot of people or making them think that I am only doing this for some form of gratification, reassurance or sympathy. Those that know me, know that I am a quiet and shy person most of the time and these messages are not like me… but you probably also know that I tell good long stories 😂. I feel that I want to try to get back to being me, myself. I am still going to be writing a lot down, privately, I haven’t got through it all yet, there are loads of things I’ve not mentioned here, or anywhere as yet as I am still in the process of unravelling it for myself. There are so many things that I cannot and will not pass on, some people don’t understand the magnitude of what has happened, not in a bad way, just because it is incomprehensible unless you were there and saw it, and even then, it is still not easy to process. I saw a 90 second long clip of the scene, I saw myself, even if you don’t know me, you know that it is me, just crouched down next to someone and I robotically get up and move on to the next, it wasn’t hard for me to watch, I was there and experienced it first hand but it did make me realise how big it was! I dropped into conversation, nonchalantly about having to use T-Shirts for tourniquets as I had used the personal tourniquet I always have strapped to my leg… I cannot remember the person that I used that on… that memory may come back to me at some point, I hope it does. Let’s remember that I was there, I walked away, and got to spend my daughters birthday with her and my wife… I am extremely lucky, whichever way you look at it but, and it is a massive but, 119 people’s families, whole families are living with this a lot closer to home than me, death, serious life changing injuries, their lives and their families lives will never be the same again. I’ve got it easy all things considered.
There are going to be a hard couple of ‘events’ for me in the next few days, things that I was asked if I waned to be a part of and I have agreed to, again, to try and help with the process of getting back to normal, whatever that may be, I am looking forwards to them in the most part but still apprehensive at the same time.
When I got up, the house was empty, home alone, party time….🤔 I knew that it was going to be empty, I heard them going out, opportune moment for a bowl of cocopops me thinks, sat in the middle of the floor, chomping away in silence, felt good, oddly! I started to get myself thinking about things, memories, the flashbacks I had when I woke up in the night.
Got myself sorted out, put my shorts on today, wasn’t very comfy in jeans yesterday, I can tell you 😉 and I toddled off up to see my tattooist friend and get myself booked in. Glorious sunshine walking down there, with a light breeze, by beard blowing in the wind… that is pretty much the only reason I have a beard 😂 Anyway, Before everyone had started on it, I had already thought about getting a tattoo of a moth a few months ago on my right arm, I’d discussed it with work colleagues, I progressed on to it being a colourful bee, but was reminded that it would probably be a bit ‘girly’… so… I may bee getting a tattoo… see what I did there. I am glad to see that this has become a popular thing and that people are donating money in a way that they see is beneficial. Hats off to he people that are donating their time and goods to enable this as well! All my tattoos have a meaning to me, not just because I had £50 or whatever in my pocket and wanted a shit bit of kitchen scratcher ink on my body. They represent times, people and places in my life. So yeah… I think that this just about qualifies. I’m not going to go into great detail as to what it would signify to me, that is for me, people will see the bee and associate it with Manchester and that will be the end of it after all, it is for me, no one else… I’ll be getting the moth as well just so you know.
I walked back home, still warm, but it had clouded over a little and the wind had picked up, my mood hadn’t, in the last few minutes I have had anger… rage anger and guilt. Over the past few days, I have experienced pretty much all the emotions, at once, singly, repeatedly, I expected most of them but not all of them. With the help of a lot of you peeps, I have ‘powered on through’ 😉 I cannot thank you enough!
I went to a kids party, one of my daughters school friends, I was trying to do normal things. Got in the car and did the old forgetting the seatbelt, staring into space thing, the couple of hours before the party were not the best, it seems to come in waves and at no specific reason and no specific time and no apparent ‘trigger’. The party was going well, the first balloon popping unexpectedly was a shock, then the woman messing with the PA system and causing massive reverb or whatever and even though the kids running round and screaming was because they were happy and enjoying theirselves, it got me thinking a little more, after I’d calmed down a little of course, to the point where I had a few tears again. I got to watch my little girl having fun with her friends, dancing with a big plastic hat, oversized spectacles and an inflatable microphone and playing with bubbles being blown out of a bubble machine, all priceless really! Sunglasses have been my friend this whole week, they hide when I have been on another planet they’ve also hidden tears well, to a degree anyway 😂. I was going to try and not have an alcoholic drink today, but, that’s gone out of the window for now, I’ll just be having the one bottle of beer though.
In closing, thank you for everything over the past few days, you’ve all been a massive help! ❤️ 🐝👍🏻👊🏻🍻

Session….not on the beer, but on the beer!

My alarm went off at 0600, I was already awake but struggle to sit up and turn it off, very little actual sleep again last night, the same reasons, as every other night. Quick wash, dressed and sit on the floor in the living room, a little vacant. I’m not sure how today is going to pan out. I am ultimately unsure if I am ‘upto’ walking into Piccadilly train station to meet the colleagues and staff and be taken to the place where this session is. I know that I didn’t want to get the train in, lucky, my brother who is working in Manchester today has said he will give me a lift in.
As I was walking down the street to where my car was parked, I felt like that this was going to be a bad day, I was feeling down and vacant again… I got in the car, stalled it, started it again and pulled out of the carpark, as I got down the road a bit, a red hot chilli peppers song came on, I felt… uplifted straight away and I started singing… well, speaking the words, within a few lines, maybe to the chorus, not too sure, I had tears rolling down my face, I carried on… and then stopped, I couldn’t physically do it… I tried… today is not going to be easy! As I was sat outside my brothers house, I got a message from sarah, saying how hat she was there for me and she always will be and what not, again, tears streaming down my face. This situation is now within my family unit, how many other people are in the same boat… the families of people that died, the families of the people that are injured, the families of those that were on the scene immediately after… then everyone else that is thinking could have been me, could happen again, I work in Manchester, or whatever else that could link them… that’s thousands of people affected or touched by this, not just me. I sat in the car for a good 10 minutes doing the staring at the window thing again.
I got to the Piccadilly station and met up with a colleague, we had to go into the station to meet another colleague. I said that we should walk up the street way, incase we walked past him, It wasn’t because of that at all, I didn’t want to walk the full way through the station! I was relieved that they both came, the first time I have seen them since Tuesday morning. We walked outside to meet up with some other staff, a few familiar faces from Monday night. We waited for a few more to turn up, whilst we were waiting, the building site over the way was working and going about their business, something dropped and made a bang, not an overly big one, but… none the less I had shit myself!
We all walked en mass to the hotel.
I sat in a room with 10 other men, all of whom witnessed the same as me. We all had a bit of a teary moment a number of times, we all had a laugh, it was very strange. I can’t say that I have any answers, but, I know what to expect and a few things to help. We left together and went for a beer in the sun. We are now part of a club, an exclusive club, not a good one to be in, but at least we can all share it. A couple of the big bosses (not from my company) came by to speak to us and to clear a few things up for us, that helped a bit, they asked us for our input on a few things, which was reassuring a massive reassurance actually! I am so glad that we were invited along to this session by another company, grateful really!
The day started like a tough one but has got clearer as it has gone on. One of the things we were asked was if we wanted a ‘private visit’ to Victoria station before it opens, have a look round and get acclimatised, if you like, but in a controlled environment and with the councillors etc, we discussed it and said yes….
Anyway, after leaving the other lads, I walked a mile or so to meet my brother who had offered to give me a lift home. We set off and I wasn’t really paying attention really, we got to a junction and he said, ‘ahh, shit, I didn’t think, are you ok going this way?’ I said yeah, barely lookin hip as to where we were, we were just driving past the arena car park, I wasn’t paying attention, it was all good…. until we got to the traffic lights, I looked to the right and saw quite a few people looking at all the flowers and teddy bears that had been left… I’m not going to lie, I broke down a little…
I will just add, there was a young Muslim boy, stood, brushing tears off his cheeks as he stood looking at the tributes with his dad stood behind him and his hand placed upon his shoulder…..
An unplanned visit off some good friends and a beer or two sorted that right out for now, that’s Friday over and done with! 👊🏻

Live, Laugh, Love.

Today is another beautiful day, 16°c and clear blue skies at 0700…what more can you ask for…? Well, there are lots of things really, but the things that we need, will not happen over night, and the things that we want may never happen, the best thing to do is to enjoy yourself today, smile, laugh… have a conversation with a complete stranger… or someone close just chat bubbles, tell them a cheesy joke and enjoy the time with that person. Here’s a joke actually, what does a penguin wear to the beach….? Flipper flops…!
One thing I do want to say is, the post on Facebook yesterday, like this one today was for myself, I have no ‘agenda’ with it, yesterday’s made me feel different, pretty much instantaneously, however, I am glad that people shared the status, and reached a wider ‘audience’ the comments and messages I’ve had from all corners of the globe are heart warming and reassuring, but please, remember, I was just in the wrong place at the right time, there were many that were there and were targeted for being there. A couple of people that were there have messaged me, understood exactly what I have said and it has encouraged them to do something similar, which is amazing, I’m glad my ramblings has helped at least one person, other than myself in some way.
I genuinely couldn’t talk yesterday, I didn’t want to, couldn’t be arsed, my wife kept talking to me and trying to be as normal as she could, she got the occasional grunt back, if I was half paying attention at that time, I couldn’t tell her what I was thinking, writing some of it down in the way that I did would probably help others, like her to understand, not just myself, I don’t want to push people away, which is apparently common.
How am I today…? I still don’t really know, I don’t feel like I did when I woke yesterday, so that’s a good thing…I guess..?
I really didn’t sleep good last night, I woke up loads of times, got up a few, just broken and disjointed really. I had some really odd dreams when I did sleep, some related and some not apparently related but vivid and…. very odd. The sound, smell and initial image is so prominent in my mind as well as a number of faces. Someone has just asked what it sounded like after reading my description yesterday, i still can’t really describe it properly really, it was a loud boom but the echo was… almost like the lasers on war of the worlds, but there was a secondary sound with in it as well that was plinking.
I still standby what I said yesterday about hate towards particular groups of people. It isn’t going to get us anywhere. This was one man, ONE MAN, brainwashed by a ‘cult faction’ of sorts, that happens to ‘follow’ one religion, it does not mean that everyone ‘genuinely’ following that religion is the same… they are quite the opposite and in the eyes of this ‘cult’ they are also the enemy. Let’s not forget that people who follow this religion were there, beside me and everyone else, they were and still are a massive part of the aftercare for the incident, helping the injured and their families in so many ways.
Let me put it another way… I think that I have around 2.5k Facebook friends and 4K on Instagram, if one of you… and I know that none of you would, were to commit such an atrocity, would that make the best part of 7000 people eligible for the blame for their hand of being involved in it…? The answer of course is NO! There are so many narrow minded and short sited people that jump on the bandwagon and follow like a good sheeple would…. this needs to change.
Today, I drove the car… as daft and simple as that seems, yesterday and the day before, I couldn’t really concentrate on anything longer than a couple of minutes, I had to be told to put my seatbelt on even though the alarm was going to tell me that my seatbelt wasn’t on every time I got in the car…I was vacant, staring at the window, not through the window, just at it. Today, I think I’m a bit clearer, maybe it is just because I am focussed on normal things getting some new keys to replace the lost ones for the Harley and that I am going to see some old friends, getting out there and doing something whilst also still reflecting on going out for a meal with my wife and daughter last night for her birthday, rather than sitting on the sofa tuned into the news all day and getting myself down… but I am shattered 😂.
I’m still unsure as to what I am supposed to do really, do I just go in work as normal next week, do I take time off… what will I feel like after going to Victoria station for the first time… or he subsequent times after…? Who knows. I’m hoping that tomorrow, someone will give me some answers or at least aid me to get some from myself.
I am also thinking more about the wider picture today, how this was planned to be carried out at such a time when this will cause maximum damage not only in the immediate local but also to the system, causing rifts in the country, right before an election and potentially causing a wrongful outcome, which in the long run would affect the country in many more ways. I can’t tell you who to vote for, I won’t tell you who to vote for, we live in a democratic society, I will say that you must use your vote, not stupidly, not to make sure that one party doesn’t get in even though you know the party you are voting for also won’t get in! You have a say, use it wisely.
I have read a couple of things today one that struck me was people complaining that the army are being drafted in to aid the police… I can’t see why this is wrong, well I can, but, before you judge the Army being deployed onto the streets of our wonderful nation, stop and think of them and wonder why they are there, that young soldier guarding an important building, spare a thought for him as well. He’s paid 15-16k a year and will be doing 12 hour shifts to help fill the gaps in an ever thinner ‘blue line’ who themselves, aren’t paid that much more, have been massively cut back and they are needed more, to do the job they should be doing, policing!
Go up to any of them, police, army, fire, ambulance staff and say thanks for protecting you, shake their hands. Let them know you are grateful for protecting this country and world we live in!! Don’t give them a hug though if they have firearms… they won’t like that… I doubt you will either.

The day after…

I decided to write this on my phone in the notes section to see if I could verbalise it a little bit better to see if I could try and understand it better myself, but then, as so many people have shared their intimate and personal experiences from situations that are similar and ones that are different, in the last couple of days, I thought it right to do the same, but in the open…. share my musings, if you will! For sympathy… no, for attention…. no… for myself!

I don’t feel too good today, I don’t know if it’s because the adrenaline has completely ran out now or….. well, I can’t really explain why… just… meh!
The little girl who ran up to me asking me to help her mummy, I just couldn’t help, well her mum is now another face and name that I now know. I know that the list will continue to grow with the amount of people I did come across.
I feel like I just can’t be bothered with doing things, even conversations.
I have found myself staring into space and or having tears rolling down my face, I just don’t know what I can do… what am I supposed to do..? Yet I am a lucky one… the stuff upper lip approach, as a good friend described, is utter bollocks as he said it would be! Yesterday, I had what you could almost describe as bravado I guess, I wasn’t going to let it consume me, I was upset, but I ‘thought’ I could deal with that.
The noise from the blast is still prominent in my mind, it wasn’t like a comedy cartoon boom… it was almost musical, tuneful, the echo that resonated around the flash and the associated ‘plinking’ was unreal, I couldn’t describe it if I tried. The smell was something I couldn’t really place, burning but not like how you’d think and not like explosives I’ve smelled before. The calm, immediately after, when I set foot into that foyer… was just so strange. All this is what I fell asleep with in my head…for the little sleep I did get.
I have had some great messages and supportive comments from loads of people, some of whom I’ve never really spoken to, you have all made me smile. THANK YOU, I can’t thank you enough, I’d say I’d buy you all a beer but I couldn’t afford it… it would end up being a messy night 😂
I’ve had lots of advice, great advice off a number of people and the things that they have all said has started to make a lot more sense.
I went to Tesco and felt like I didn’t want to be there, I walked round the outside of all the aisles and wanted to get out asap, I felt really uncomfortable… in Tesco… at 0900…
I’m a small fry in this whole affair, I’m no one, just someone that was in the wrong place at the right time, there are people that are in far worse positions than I am right now and I thankful that I can go out and celebrate my little girls birthday and make many more memories.
I don’t want to get into debates about religion, bashing certain people, racist and bigoted ideals along with the politics of it all… we need to make sure that we are all safe in the NOW, in the immediate aftermath. We cannot lose site of the fact that people, innocent people, CHILDREN, our friends, family, colleagues, auntie Doris’s dog walkers next door neighbour, whoever, were murdered and injured in a horrific, brutal, cowardly way by a man that walked amongst us as one of us. We (and this is golden, coming from me right now) need to pull together, rise above it, but stay alert and not let this deter us from whatever our normal lives are, look after eacother… love each other!
For those of you that have expressed a concern about me, Northern are holding a counselling session on Friday morning, I am going to attend. I don’t know how I feel about it as I have to meet at Piccadilly train station, but as my job is based in that environment,I guess I need to suck it up and see.
I’d just like to say thank you to everyone that’s read this, the two lads that were with me on the night and to the hundreds of people, professional or other that came to the aid of all the people involved!

I just walked in…

On Tuesday morning at about 0305, I had just walked through the front door, poured a large one, put the news on, and I was getting a bit pissed off with the reports and the people that are ringing in with ‘information’
There had been a bomb at a concert in the Manchester arena. I was there.
It did go off just outside the arena but within the foyer, there were nuts and bolts everywhere and a lot of injuries and fatalities were caused by these…..I was within distance to see the effects and of course hear it.
My two colleagues and I were pretty much first on scene along with two British Transport Police officers… as soon as we heard the one loud bang, we looked at each other made sure we were ok and that what it was is what it was and ran up to the arena….regardless who you are, what we were confronted with was not a really a textbook situation.
The sites, the smells, it was unnatural, unreal… surreal almost… I still cannot believe it. I do not envy the job of the person that will review the footage from my body worn cctv. I came across people that were clearly dead as a result of their injuries.
There are many things that I will take away from that night that are etched into my brain..

The world we live in is one fucked up place! This is political, with the election looming, they have got what they wanted and put the country into turmoil… they have done this… with our children…

Keep your close ones close.

I cannot wait for management ( My wife and five, soon to be six year old daughter) to wake so I can give them a big hug and let them know that I love them!

They have confirmed that it was a suicide bomber, I can say that it definitely was… the huge chunk of flesh that didn’t belong to anyone along with all the nuts and bolts confirmed that to me pretty much straight away.