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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Chapter 23 - A story about finales and new beginnings


So here we are at the season finale of 10 Resolutions. The end of S01 as it were. But do not worry, for 10 Resolutions has been renewed for a 2nd season. But weve got a lot to get through before we get to some revelations. (And I promise I won’t moan about me being side-lined with tonsillitis for the best part of the last two weeks).

The Christmas Meat Sweats
The Saturday before Christmas - Dan, Christine, baby Amelia, Wifey and I had family Christmas together. With Dan and I miles away from our original families - it was really nice to be able to spend the day all together and just have loads of fun. I cooked the meat (and we all survived)! 

The next day Wifey and I headed back to the homelands for the twins 1st birthday.
And when I think back to the massive range of emotions I felt back then and everything that has happened since - it seems like an age ago that they joined the world (and 10 Resolutions began) but something that I'll never forget and will always remember is how thankful I am that they are here with us.  I certainly can't imagine life without them.
Christmas Day saw me finishing a night shift early in the morning before heading to the in laws once I'd woken up. A tactical dump was needed halfway through the meal - but we had a great day (even if I did have the meat sweats until halfway through the night). I really wouldn't mind if I never ate turkey again though (which was something I repeated saying pretty much every day for the next week). After a lie in on Boxing Day - Wifey dragged me shopping - In a fair agreement though, she let me watch the football later in the day. Rubbish TV I think was probably the order of the day in most households around the country and in the evening it was no different for us. At this point I have to say though - Christmas specials do not seem right AFTER Christmas. 

On the 27th Wifey and I returned to the Homelands for a family get together with my Dad's side of the family. Amazing food, loads of beer and it was followed by a quick drop in to see Phil and Rach (and Caitlin) as well as Nigel and Carole. I have no idea what time that party carried on till - but it looked like it was going to be a late one!
And after a few days it was time for New Year - Party time spent with Wifey, the in-laws, Joe, Howson, Apryle, Wayne, more meat sweats, cigars and karaoke (including some questionable song choices and a massive hidden talent from someone....Howson - and yes there is video footage)

A few days later I jumped on a train to the roundabout haven of Swindon where I stopped in for a few drinks and laughs with Kate before she headed off to Africa to save the universe. Despite Kate attracting the attention of a slightly worse for wear older lady (who took quite a shine to her) we had a great time. I found it strange though that Kate didn't take my fashion advice seriously for her trip though. Who wouldn't want bright pink Nike trainers or the world's least flattering poo coloured jacket?

Over the next few days I spent a lot of time in the cinema...meaning that my film count for the year is already high. Saving Mr Banks though I have to say was a complete surprise. Unexpected and powerful - I thought it was fantastic. I also loved the Hobbit - although like most other people I'm sure the ending frustrated you all as well. 

Rachel's 30th
Lisa Denmark
(*Typical season finale introduction of character for season 2 tease*) 


I met Lisa at Dan and Christines wedding last year and she is very much Kraigs better half. She is smart and funny whilst having a lovely feisty edge and she is more than able to hold her own in banter with the guys of our crowd. One of the other things that I love about Lisa is that she has a bit of a hedgehog personality.  When I first met her she had quite a “hard” exterior but after breaking that down (probably through annoying her and her just giving up) Ive found that she really does have a heart of gold and thats amazing. In another turn of events – Ive also just nominated her to become our leader (because we really need someone to organise us) and because she has experience in the fact that she is a Police Lady (is that politically correct?) Police Officer? I just know that I cant call her a Police Bird………..

So Rachels 30th Birthday party was a couple of weeks ago and it was a great night. Everyone was there bar a couple of poorly people (one being my wife sick with Tonsillitis - no spoiler alert needed for where I got it) and we had a great night. Knowing in advance how expensive drinks would be in Marlow however I decided to think ahead and left a number of pre-bought drinks in the back of Dans car. The plan worked a treat and I had a never- ending pint glass. Whenever I needed a drink Id take Dans keys and go and get one from the boot. As you can imagine a completely foolproof (or remarkably hard to break) plan and I even had a working system when getting drinks:

1.    Open boot
2.    Place car keys in pocket
3.    Pour drink into wonderfully never-ending pint glass
4.    Remove drink (and can) from boot
5.    Lock car
6.    Place car keys back in pocket
7.    Put rubbish in bin

What I hadnt quite looked act in the grand scheme of my plan however was the variables (I knew I should have paid more attention in science) as up until my last trip to the car, Id gone alone so could completely concentrate on my system. But on the last run I went with Lewis and we got into a big conversation which slightly distracted me from what I was doing. I shut the boot complete with can (to put in the bin) in hand and walked away. But as I started to make my way in, something started to dawn on me. And as I started to check my jacket (slowly at first then more frantically like someone who is searching for a spider on their body) I realised that Id left the keys in the boot of the car. Which wouldnt have been a problem if the boot were still unlocked. But as I ran back to check I realised that the moment the boot shut it became locked. Which meant that my fool proof plan had spectacularly failed and now I had to go and fix my somewhat epic balls up. 

I know how I would have reacted if the situation was reversed. I would have gone nuts and been completely furious. But in the moment I told Dan - I experienced two amazing things. Grace and forgiveness. I booked the car to stay in the car park until the Monday morning and called a taxi to get us all. Dan and Christine arranged for Christines parents to drop the spare keys off the next day and then Dan said well at least I can have a drink now.  In different circumstances things wouldnt have worked out so well and if the situation was flipped the other way around, well this would be a much different story. But thankfully it wasnt. Dan knew that I was hurting and beating myself up from what Id done (and dont get me wrong here absolutely rightly so) so he left me to punish myself. Ill tell you one thing though fixing my balls up ended up costing me much more than paying the extra £’s for drinks ever would have done…..

So there you have it - and as the last two weeks have been taken up with tonsillitis and me going slightly stir crazy that pretty much brings you up to date. Not having anything to do for that period does strange things to a man though and I have now reached a number of conclusions: Daytime TV is awful (as it the Riddick trilogy), Sky Sports News is VERY repetitive when watched for long periods of time, the English cricket team are rubbish (and cricket should probably just be stopped for boredom purposes) and a number of charities have self-defeating tactics when it comes to door to door sales (by calling multiple times in the same week). On top of that I have also learnt that anaesthetic spray has a very weird effect when sprayed on the tongue instead of tonsils....

But that's enough of my rambling - and the time has come for some revelations (after all - that is what season finales are about).

Resolution Revelations
Ok – so let’s start with what we already know (Resolutions in no particular order here):
1.                   Release Album (Officially revealed in Chapter 15)

This was one of the resolutions that I touched most upon so it would have been hard to miss it. In pretty much every chapter leading up to the not really very big reveal (as it was really obvious) I touched on it. Album released – if you bought a copy then you’ll already know what another resolution is (see number 6), if you haven’t yet, you can buy it from here or Amazon or the ITunes. The good news here is that this resolution is officially cleared.

2.                   At Home - Focus On Music (First mentioned in Chapter 2 yet revealed in Chapter 14)
It sounds like a really simple thing – but I get really easily distracted at home. This is something I touched on more in chapter 8. But at the start of the year I desperately needed to focus on finishing the last couple of tracks for the album but I was struggling as I’d always find something else to do. By making this a resolution though and by making myself accountable to you all - I not only finished the tracks on the album – but I’ve also continued in that mindset of writing throughout the year. I still do have Playstation time – but I’ve also finished writing the next EP along the way. And that friends is something I could never have done without making it into a resolution. (It took me 5 years to write the album). 

3.                   Lose 2 Stone (Officially revealed in Chapter 14)
Does half a stone count? No – I don't think it should either. In honesty I haven’t tried nearly hard enough to do this I should (and will) as the year progresses, but in earnest I probably only really started trying this year. So 2013 for this was a start - but overall a BIG fail for this one. So this is a rollover....

4.                   “Build” Seek His Face (First mentioned in Chapter 2)
Seek His Face, is an event run by Padley and me in Cheltenham that connects people from different Churches (something that I’m really passionate about) and I touched on it more in chapter 16. Seek has grown in the last year yes, but I don't think it is anywhere near (yet) what it could become. In honesty, I’ve probably not done as much as I could to help it along it’s way though which is why it needs to roll over. I want it to grow through reputation – but for that to happen more people need to know about it in the first place – and that’s where I’ve let myself down here. Still – I’m excited to see what happens.

5.                   Keep Up With Bible Plans And Spend More Time With God  (First mentioned *I think* in Chapter 16)
It sounds like such an easy thing – but making time to learn more about my faith is something that in the past I have been rubbish at (hence making it a resolution). My faith this year has grown though as has my knowledge and whilst I’m fully aware that I can grow more – I’m on a much better track than I was and I now set myself some time each day just to have some quiet time (and I don't mean quiet time with a ps4). Having this as one of my resolutions has really helped and doing it daily has kind of embedded in me now. 

6.                   Honour, Encourage & Thank My Friends And Family (First mentioned in Chapter 1)
It’s 10:10 in the morning and as I write this I have tears building up in my eyes after re-reading the notes in the album cover and after reading the (close to) 85,000 words of 10 Resolutions so far. I am so incredibly lucky to have so many amazing people in my life and in almost every chapter I’m reminded of that through the example’s people around me set. If I knew I was blessed in regards to this before 10 Resolutions started I have now been blown away. I wanted to encourage people through 10 Resolutions and to let people close to me know simply how much they mean to me and how amazing they are. Hopefully, I’ve done that along the way. The world in general can be a negative place at times – and If I’ve managed to build someone up through doing this then that’s fantastic. Thank you all. The honest truth is that without you I really don't know where I would be.  A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you – and I experience that grace being afforded to me constantly – so thank you. Oh, and I’ve obviously missed some people along the way (I’m sorry) – but please don't think that I don't value you or love you – but if I mentioned everyone in season 1, who could I talk about in season 2? 

7.         Remind Cass That You Love Her Every Day (First mentioned in Chapter 6)
This resolution sounds like the simplest thing in the world, but when I wrote it – I didn't just mean telling her. No, the resolution involved showing her as well (as I’ve been rubbish at doing it in the past). And no I don't mean in the crudest sense by her walking in from work and me standing there with a rose in my mouth completely naked ready to “show her”. What I mean is that I’d cook for her after a hard day’s work, I’d make more time for us, I’d buy her little presents...you get the idea. In the past I’ve been rubbish and I’ve been working harder all year (despite embarrassing her on a number of occasions) to try and get better at it. Love should be limitless for those you adore - and because of that, this resolution has to roll over – because I could always do better (and Wifey now knows about it). 

8.                   Become More Open with My Feelings (See Chapter 9)
Men get a bad rap a lot of the time for either not being emotional enough or for being over emotional. My problem however is that unless you really know me, I tend to hide my feelings behind a front (or facade as it were). And I think the chapter that broke through this barrier for me was chapter 9. I said from the start that I was going to be honest on this journey but I had no idea that I was going to have to cover ground like that. But writing through it really helped me – and I’m forever grateful to Cass for letting me do it and for telling the universe about what was going on.

9.                   Become a Better Man (See every chapter)
You could see this as a general resolution if you want, but it really goes hand in hand with number 6. You see I’ve done stuff that I’m not proud of in the past (haven’t we all). And I’ve let other people and myself down. At the start of 2013 I made a resolution to be there for people as much as they had been there for me – and then that resolution kind of evolved into this. I want to be the best friend, husband, brother and son that I could possibly be – and that takes time. I’m certainly not there yet but I’m on my way. If someone else wrote my cast list entry – I always wonder about what it would say. But above all else - I would just love for it to say that I’m a good man. 

10.               ???
In a way, resolution 10 was a massive success – but it’s resolution caused me more pain than I could ever have imagined due to the way it resolved. By this point you’ll either know what it is – or you’ll be lost. But that doesn't really matter as this is a roll over – and I have faith.

So there you have it. The end of season 1. It really has been emotional. If I’ve done my job right, you’ll have laughed with me (and at me), you’ll have felt pain alongside me, you’ll have been encouraged (and challenged) and you’ll still have questions. Which really leaves just one question to answer before the start of season 2 (in the near future):

What is the best Season Finale of all time?
I can’t comment on all time – but I’ll let you in on a secret for one of the ones I enjoyed the most....




Once again – thank you for reading and sharing this journey with me. As ever, please feel free to ask questions on Facebook, Twitter and email (and please do). And as a final request...can someone PLEASE do something about the walking train wreck that is Bieber.....

Speak soon and God Bless


In the really annoying piece of time between Christmas and New Year 2012 - someone asked me the inevitable question about what my resolutions were going to be for the coming year. And my list of potential resolutions was a big list. A very big list. I made 10 resolutions and stuck to some of them whilst I learnt about myself along the way. Some resolutions have now finished, some have been rolled over and some new ones have been added to get me back to hav 10. And yes – I am going to tell you all what they are. But not just yet...... 


A new day is coming.


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